September

This summer we were fortunate to get to attend many of the “free” concerts in the park in Portsmouth. We love live music and this was a wonderful way to go have a night out with Arlo and enjoy ourselves too.

My favorite month (September) Started out with us getting to see one of my FAVORITE artists. Josh Ritter.:) Arlo had a great time. There were other kids to play around with and we all just had so much fun.

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For Labor Day weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Tim and Kerin!:) And my mom came over as well. We had decided to keep the pool open until after labor day because of that and I am so glad we did because it turned out to be a fantastic and warm sunny weekend of fun. PLUS, Arlo finally mastered swimming on his own with Floaties!! He was so proud and excited!!! Go buddy!

We also stopped in at a farm stand to get some corn for our cookout and they had a little mini hay maze, they had a big one too but we only had time for a little explorer to explore.

My little climber got up here on his own to get trail mix.

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Climbing up on well and big jumps off… yikes


 

Ridin’ on his sweet new ride… (Daddy backed over the old one with the van, ha! oops.)

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Flying kites at the beach with dad and a little beach yoga with mom.

This amazing creature showed up at our doorstep (literally) at the end of Sept. I was half totally creeped out and half in awe of it’s web and size and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. We investigated of course and found out that it was a Yellow Garden Spider and she was harmless, she stayed for about a week then her and her amazing web were gone. Arlo thought she was really cool, even though his face may not show it in the photos and he looked forward to seeing her each day.:)

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The end of Sept also brings our wedding anniversary. This year we went up to N.Conway and stayed a night while Arlo stayed at Grammy’s house! It was nice to get away. We kept things pretty low key and there weren’t many pictures taken. We took our time, driving pretty back roads, had a lovely dinner, perused some shops, had a great breakfast and then decided we really just missed our little guy, so we headed back. We stopped on our way back at a lovely little spot that had some morning fog lifting off of the water.PHOTO_20150927_085352

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The final night swim in the pool before we closed it up for the year.

August

This month started out with a bang. We went on a lovely hike with lovely people. My childhood friend Michelle and her man-friend. A tiny jaunt up Mt. Willard, but it was loads of fun and of course the most amazing view for the easy amount of effort.

Arlo got to hike for a while too until he wanted to be carried of course. We stopped off first in Plymouth my old college stomping grounds and had a yummy lunch at Beiderman’s. Then we checked out the local ski & sport shop and Arlo tried his hand at skiing (ha) We grabbed him a cool little backpack for school, which paired so nicely with his hiking outfit. The hike was great and then we all headed to Flatbread in North Conway of course for dinner. Where Michelle had some gifts for the little man including a fun bubble blower which he checked out first thing the next morning at home because we “needed more power” due to needing a screw driver to put batteries in.:) Fun times.

Arlo enjoying some summer dandelion fun.

The next fun outing was a family trip to Aquaboggan Water Park in Maine. Thanks to Nana Jodie for free passes!

Colin and Dad Race

Bad mom moment… caught on camera. Double fisting the McD’s.
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We had the great opportunity to visit with my Dad’s side of the family when my Grandfather was up visiting from Georgia and my Aunt JoAnn was down visiting from Canada. My Aunt Dee invited us all to her home for a pool party and we all had a really great time. I love my family, wish we had more time to spend together more often.:)

My kiddo being a total hamm.

Lovely evening baseball game with the FisherCats.

A trip to the Children’s Museum in Dover with Arlo. Grammy met us there too! What fun it was to discover so many things.


A visit to Grammy’s house.

Our grape plants did very well this year and gave us lots of grapes to make and can a BUNCH of the most yummy Jelly. Great gifts. Put your request in now!:)

July

The beginning of July brought our annual family road trip to Ocean City, NJ. Where we spent the week reuniting with family. We feel very fortunate and grateful that we can all get together like this every year and it really shows us just how fast the kids are all growing up! Thanks for having us all again Ann and Dave. We love you.

We arrived just in time for celebrating the 4th of July. The first day we were there. Cousin’s reunited and we played at the playground a little before heading down to the beach to fly kites and dig in the sand.

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Later we went down to the boardwalk to watch the fireworks oceanside.:)

The next day included more fun and another family photo session at the beach for some frame worthy shots for this year’s trip. Arlo is ready to get his modelling on.:)

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Colin (12)

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Arlo (2)

And the best family shot we could get this year… :)

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Tyler (15)

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Kyle (11)

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Evan (9)

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Emma (4)

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We took a fun outing to the Zoo one day with all of the kiddos. It was VERY hot.

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After the zoo, Brian, Arlo and I stopped in and had a little visit with Brian’s college friend Rick and Arlo did a little swimming there to cool off.

Brian, Susan and I took the littles to Storybook Land for another day trip while the big kids went to the boardwalk with Grandma for fun on the big kid rides.

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And we ended the trip with the annual Night in Venice celebration.


My ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG was recorded during our trip too… Check it out.


 

June

The Highlights.

My handy husband built Arlo a Big Boy Bed! It came out great and Arlo is so excited to have a big bed of his own that Daddy built.:)

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A great way to start the day. Dunkin’s and Playground fun with these goobers.

Ice Cream at the Milk Room.

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Strawberry Pickin’. Arlo says, “Strawberries are my favorite!” (previously would spit them out… picked fresh… they are his favorite, go figure!)

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Summer Concerts!

Brian and I got to sneak off to one by ourselves… Kid free! Yippy! Date night! Thanks Mom! Avett Brothers and John Prine!! It rocked!

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Then we checked out a few of the FREE concerts in the park in Portsmouth this summer. That is an amazing opportunity! Beautiful scenery and great tunes on a blanket made for some pretty lovely evenings. We even met up with (aunt) Teresa too! In June we saw Richard Thompson.

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Arlo’s got moves


The Pool.

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More Playground Fun.


Puddle jumping in our Church Clothes.

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THE BEACH!

Sandcastle Competition

Glow Sticks.

A visit from Papa & Nana

And we will end it with some more Arlo dance moves…

I LOVE YOU!

Spring

How we have hungered for you this year. Finally you are here giving us sunny warm days in which to rejuvenate ourselves.

We fled to the mountains on an spontaneous drive after church one Sunday. For some lunch at our favorite Flatbread and a scenic drive. It was a great little retreat. The Kanc was majestic as always.

Arlo has been practicing a lot on the trampoline. And demonstrates very strong legs, good balance and high flying abilities!:) Quite the stunt man. The trampoline is even a good place to catch dragon flies apparently! This guy landed right on me!😀


We moved his basketball hoop outside that he got from Grammy for his birthday and he has been loving shooting hoops! A natural I think!

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Loves to use chopsticks

 

And playing with Ca (colin)

Helping in with garden:

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Mother’s Day:

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We almost took this guy home with us after a fun visit to a local pet shop… aww… maybe someday.

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Grandma came to visit. Storytime before bed. Reading a book that used to be Brian’s when he was little too!

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We also had a nice bike ride trip & lunch with Grammy on The Eastern Trail in Maine.

And of course we have begun frequenting the playground again. So happy to get out in the sunshine.


Ahh… Pool’s Open for Summer! Little chilly still though.:)

 

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Arlo’s vocabulary is ever growing and he can be a little parrot, repeating all things said by us and that he gets from the books we read with him etc. Some words are still not quite there but the way he says things just makes it so much cuter. Some of those cute things are:

Awesome!

Pockoks (Pockets. He is obsessed with them.:)

Go Away. Grumpy. (from a library book)

Occoly (Chocolate)  Callella (Vanilla)

No, No Diggy (Telling “Kitty” how it is)

Welcome (in place of Thank you)

Go Boing (trampoline)

 

Winter Wrap-Up & Hello Spring!

This was one tough long, cold snowy winter. And now that it is past us officially we can look back and see that there were also lots of fun things about it too. Hello Spring! We are glad you are here.

Arlo loved digging in the snow with his “ShoSho” (shovel). And cruising in and pushing his sled on the trail.

We enjoyed trips over to Odiorne State Park in Rye. Brian and I went on a solo snow shoe day while Grammy hung out with Arlo and then another time Arlo and Mommy went for some playground and rock throwing fun.:) Arlo loved going down the slide over and over and over.

As early spring brought some rainy weather, Arlo loved that it brought puddles for jumping in.:) He loves his new “rainy” boots! And I got him his own little “brella” after seeing how he got so excited about using mine.:)

For Easter Arlo and I went up to visit Grammy.:)

We have been enjoying the sunny warm weather outside lately. Swinging…

Cleaning up the yard & exploring…

and playing on the new addition to outside fun in our yard – The Trampoline. (or Boing Boing) as Arlo says.:) Thanks again Uncle Tim, the kids all love it!

 

 

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Terrific Two

Life is going at hyper-speed, I’m constantly trying to find ways to slow it down. To notice the little things and fully appreciate them, to be present in the moments as much as I can without constant distraction. I have my good days and bad with it but either way, time just keeps flying right on by.

I sit here tonight in the quiet after the big snow storm we had today, thinking about that anxious, nervous & excited night two years ago when we knew that you were on your way into the world and a smile spreads across my face because I am surely glad that we did not have this storm on that night!

Arlo, your arrival, changed everything. I became a Mom with all of the many meanings that, that title contains. Motherhood has opened my eyes to so many things, the good/bad/scary/sad & beautiful things in the world and in myself. Motherhood has made me further appreciate so many things, including things like my own parents great efforts, sacrifice and love for me… and of course the quiet peace of a little thing called nap-time.:)

Our house is way messier, but our hearts & lives are so much more full with you here. I am so so happy and lucky to be your Momma.

You are the coolest two-year old I know. I might be biased, but it’s true. This past year has been so, so fun. You have developed a TON and it has been a pleasure to watch you and guide you.

You are so excited to turn Two. You try so hard to get your two fingers up to show how old you are, just can’t seem to tuck that thumb in, most of the time it ends up as an L with the pointer and thumb and we call it good.:) You’re most excited about a birthday hat, you say “Hat” every time I tell you your birthday is coming. So, I had to make sure that you had a special hat for your big day.

You can do somersaults like a pro! You like to dance and sing, and do pretend cooking and sharing food with everyone. You even help out with the real cooking too! You helped us roll up enchiladas the other night and did great!  You like to play with the baby doll and change her diaper and feed her and give her a bottle. You love cars, trains, planes and things that go. You love your bath (bri) and have so much fun in the water. You like to color & draw. You like to climb and play and jump and slide. You love your big brother and sister and they have so much fun with you.

You can put on your own coat using the “Flipidy-Flop” method that Miss Amanda taught you. You can even manage to get your own shoes/boots on sometimes. And then there are the times you put on Momma’s heels and tromp around the kitchen, but I will try not to embarrass you too much. (the video may get shown to your girlfriend someday though, hehe)

Your vocabulary increases daily. Though sometimes I am the only one who understands your language. Some of your words sound similar to not so nice words and I have to do some explaining when others hear them. You have been learning emotions. You first started saying “HAPPY!” “Me, HAPPY” “Mommy, HAPPY” etc. it is so so cute. Now you are starting to say “Cry” in a sad tone, beginning to recognize and understand those feelings a bit more too. You are happy to share that your name is “Arlo” whenever asked now.

You are doing really well with your big-boy bed. It takes a little extra time to get you down some nights but I don’t mind too much usually. You have a super sweet routine now. Whenever I say it’s time for bed, you reach around and rub your hand on your low back and say “back”. Because you always want me to sit/lay with you and rub your back. I have been shortening these little goodnight sessions because they mostly just end up with you stalling and fooling around, asking for a drink etc. haha. Oh boy but you are cute. Now you even enjoy rubbing my back too. Gah.. you’re killin’ me kid.

Daddy and I love making you laugh, we make faces at each other and silly noises and you just eat it up. I love being goofballs no matter where we are or what is going on. I bet someday you will eventually get embarrassed by us but for now we will soak it up.

You are sweet and silly, smart and energetic, tall and handsome, a big helper and a typically happy guy. We are so proud of you buddy and look forward to another adventurous year ahead. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARLO! I hope you enjoyed your yummy special birthday “DoNuffins” this morning.

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Our Disney Experience

An unexpected, unplanned trip to Disney dropped into our laps when Isabelle’s Cheerleading Squad made their way to Nationals for their super cute choreographed dance routine! The girls worked hard and actually had a good shot of doing well at Nationals too! With a little luck and help from Grandma Ann and a few fantastic kiddos the trip was pretty much awesome!

Everything about it was a little overwhelming and crazy and well… unplanned. Brian had to be in Texas for work on Monday, so he flew out Sunday and would meet us in Florida on Tuesday afternoon just after the kids and I landed from Manchester, all followed by Grandma arriving from Arizona shortly thereafter.

TUESDAY

Arlo had been building excitement about the trip (mostly the “plaaaaane” ride) all weekend. I crept into his room early Tuesday morning and woke him up and the first thing he says..”plaaaaaane” haha. I myself had only 2 hours of sleep, as I was up late working and packing everything the night before! Oh it would be a long day already I could tell. We picked up the big kiddos and got to the airport. It was a bit icy on the roads and a yucky day. Colin got stopped at security because he was packin’ scissors in his backpack…. uh-oh… luckily they were just below the size limit and we were on our way. Little did we know it would be a while before we were actually in the air. Due to some mechanical issues and then having to de-ice the wings, we sat forever in the plane before our adventure could even begin. Quickly running out of entertainment for our not-so-baby-anymore lap child who was squirmy and being bounced back and forth between the three of us snug in a row.

Finally we were on our way! I was already nervous traveling with just me and all of the kids, (Colin & Izzy ended up being a huge help of course) and now we were behind schedule, there was a decent size layover planned but we now have used that up sitting on a runway. We quickly made our way to what we thought was our gate in Baltimore and grabbed a quick bite to eat, just as we were sitting and eating, Colin says, “it says 3pm to Orlando on the sign is that right?” Me: “No, that is not right” I check. Not our flight number. FUDGE. No one at the desk, I go around to the other side to the gate next to us where there are attendants at the desk and see that our flight gate changed to this one and is now boarding… YIKES and PHEW! Thank you Colin for speaking up!

We made it to Florida in one piece. Hey, this picture spot looks familiar, Arlo and I were just here at the Orlando Airport last year visiting Great Grammy! Obviously, needed another updated pic of all the kids.

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We met up with Bri and Grandma at the airport and then the kids and I boarded the Disney Magical Express bus to our hotel. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Which is where the team was required to stay. Grandma stayed outside the Disney parks and was renting a car with Brian and met us over there.

The kids sporting their personalized Park Hopper bracelets on the bus

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The resort looked really nice and overall I suppose it was…

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We arrived tired and hungry and the kids and I had to schlep with our luggage and all the way down through this long building to a certain conference hall to “Check-In” in a special area for the Cheerleading group, rather than right at the front of the hotel. Then had to walk all the way back and had received a map showing we had to also walk quite far to our room as well. This place was huge. Both me and Arlo who was much more vocal than I, were displeased with this arrival/check-in process. I call Brian with Arlo screaming in the background, “Where are you?” Thankfully they were one minute away and we met up with them back at the front by the time we got there.

The kids all went with grandma and the luggage in the car over to the room as we found out there was some parking back there, and Bri and I took a nice walk to the room alone to catch up after days apart and a crazy travel day.

We had dinner at the resort lobby in a restaurant that was overpriced and not very yummy, but it filled the need at the time. We bid goodnight to Grandma and went back to the room. Another great first impression came when we got back to the room and the group staying in the room next to us was most likely drunk and fighting/having very loud drama in and out of their room as we tried to get Arlo to sleep. I was NOT HAPPY, we called the front desk,  I think someone in their room may have even called the police, either way things died down and we didn’t have to change rooms, like I was getting really tempted to try to do.

As it was, 5 people in our one room was a lot! It got messy and cramped and hard with sleeping times being very different, but we figured out to put Arlo’s crib behind the sliding doors to the vanity area and put the fan in the bathroom on for white noise so that we all didn’t have to go to sleep by 8pm every night, although we ended up not being long after that most nights as we were usually wiped by the day’s end.

WEDNESDAY

Izzy had practice with her team in the morning and then after that we all headed over to the Animal Kingdom park for the day!

20141210_111254Every park had their own specially decorated huge Christmas Tree, Arlo loved it!

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We saw lots of Animals (of course), Gorillas, Goats, Zebra, Elephant, Hippo, Giraffe, Tarantulas, Lions, Birds, Monkeys, Rhinos, Alligators, so many things!

Attractions we checked out were:

Conservation Station

The Affection Section

The Gorillas

The Safari

River Rapids

Expedition Everest

TreiceraTop Spin

I made everyone stand in line so I could meet Pocahontas!… (worth it!) :)  It was a really fun day and great start to our Disney parks adventures.