Snow Day!

Our NYC trip really wore everyone out, and we are all a bit under the weather, especially LittleL.G., so we have been laying low.

But this morning when the girls woke up and saw snow on the ground they immediately wanted to go out and play. At 6:30. In their pajamas. Before breakfast.

I managed to hold them off long enough for my coffee to kick in and for us to get a little bit of "Christmas School" done, but even then, we were out playing by 9am!

We took the sled out and I pulled the girls down to a sledding hill we found on the trails by our house, but our German sled with runners didn't do well on lightly covered leaves and we flipped it on the first run and the girls refused another try. Time for a good old plastic sled, I guess... 

We still had a nice sled ride back to the house where we sledded down our front lawn a while and played in the back yard until everyone was cold enough to be convinced it was time to head in. 

Having snow outside put all of us in a better mood today and it was so much more fun reading Christmas books and doing our STEM advent activity. Hoping it sticks around until Christmas!


NYC at Christmastime: A Family Tradition

Every year we debate going to NYC at Christmastime to see the real Santa at the Plaza Hotel, where he stays for the month of December to take a vacation before going back up to the North Pole to deliver all the toys Christmas Eve. It is a big undertaking and a long day of traveling, but even though it seems crazy, we always end up going for it. This year, we went on fairly short notice after checking the weather for the week and seeing a day with temps in the high 50s. Not quite the tropical weather of last year, but definitely worth going YESTERDAY!

Our trip has evolved over the years as MiniM.E. has gotten older and we've gotten to be seasoned pros at scheduling the day and navigating the city.  We drove into Poukeepsie to take the train in where we once again raved about the benefits of the indoor train station and a bathroom break for two little girls that I most definitely did NOT want to use the bathroom on the train.  The girls were fantastic on the car ride this year and happily sat through the train ride with iPads and Pringles.

We started our trip with a walk up 5th Avenue where we always stop for coffee at the Trump Tower. It was a bit more difficult to navigate this year with news crews set up, police blockades, secret service and bag searches, but it's part of our yearly tradition and we had to have our Trump Tower Starbucks.

Next, a visit to the Plaza to check the best time to visit Santa, and then off to Central Park for a hot dog lunch, a nice walk, and a visit to the zoo. While we were walking around the weather was gorgeous, but as we made our way to the zoo the clouds rolled in and it got a bit windy, making us glad I packed hats and gloves!

Then it was back to the Plaza Hotel with promises of ice cream for LittleL.G. if she would just sit on Santa's lap for a quick minute. Thankfully, she complied. We were a bit worried since any talk of Santa seems to elicit terror in her eyes and she has refused to sit on Santa's lap since the day we first mentioned it.

After an ice cream snack we began our walk back down 5th Avenue. Finally, LittleL.G. passed out after not napping all day. She missed the tree at Rockafeller Center and the light show at Sak's, but I made sure to wake her up for the "Bitty Baby Store" (The American Girl Store).

By the time we made it back down to 42nd Street to walk over to Bryant Park it was past dinner time, the time we usually head home on the train. But the Bryant Park Christmas Market is my favorite part of NYC and we needed to grab some food anyway... and the girls would have missed the carousel! So we walked around a bit, rode the carousel, ate some delicious street food, and headed back on the train.

The least successful part of the trip, by far, was the train ride home. Everyone was tired and cranky and it was crowded and we were thirsty because we didn't quite have time to buy drinks at the train station. But we finally made it back to the car where we had water waiting and the girls immediately fell asleep for the ride home.

As usual it was a crazy and exhausting day. But the girls had a blast and we enjoyed ourselves. It wouldn't be Christmastime without a trip to the city!


Happy Thanksgiving!

And cheers to the start of the holiday season!! We had a quiet but very enjoyable Thanksgiving with just Gram and Grumpy this year. The girls weren't quite sure what to do with the day as the parade and dog show were only entertaining for a little while and neither wanted to eat Thanksgiving dinner, but we kept busy playing and cooking and spending time together.

Today, as is our tradition the weekend after Thanksgiving, we drove out to Bob's Trees to cut our tree. Even though it was raining at home, we were surprised but a good 6" of snow on the ground at Bob's!
Fortunately for Gram and Grumpy and Daddy, who didn't wear boots, we found our perfect tree in record time and didn't have to traipse through acres of trees.

We loaded the tree on the car and headed over to the snack bar for a snack, saw the reindeer and played in the Christmas cut-outs.

1150 lights later the tree is up and ready for decorations. Let the Christmas Season begin!



It seems that with the change in the weather and lots of yard work and housework to get done on the weekends and appointments and school to get done during the week the past couple weeks haven't been very exciting and have been mostly about getting stuff done.  We must just be saving up for all the intense excitement and fun we expect to have from Thanksgiving to New Years!

In any case, in between running errands, appointments, school and general thing-getting-done-ness, we have visited two museums in the past week or so.  The weekend before last there was a fine arts fair at the Museum of Dance, which we have never been to.  I didn't expect to be able to tour the museum during the art show, but it was open and they encouraged the kids to visit a craft area where they made ornaments from recycled bottle caps and played in the kids room which was full of dress up dance clothes and dance activities.

The girls had a great time dressing up and dancing and using the "giant feet" to stomp around.  I'm sure they could have stayed all day.  I guess we'll have to add it to the list of places to visit when it's too cold to play outside!

Friday we were invited by our neighbors to visit the Children's Museum of Science and Technology in Troy since their oldest daughter had the day off from school.  It was nice to re-institute "Field Trip Friday." We have been using Friday as a school day lately because the beginnings of our weeks have been so hectic.  The girls had a great time building, seeing the animals, and exploring at the museum. It is always nice to take a trip with friends- the more the merrier! (and there is always someone to play with!)

The highlight of the museum was definitely the log boat.  And what's cuter than three girls in a boat?

Five girls, of course!

In the planning stages of Thanksgiving and Advent, but hopefully lots of fun and excitement leading up to the new year!



At the start of our homeschool year I didn't want to have extracurricular activities during the day because I wasn't sure how everything was going to play out. It has been going well, especially since we cut back a lot and I decided LittleL.G. needed an activity outside of the library playgroup (which she doesn't really care for) and I knew she would love gymnastics.

Even though MiniM.E. has dance Monday evenings and ice skating Saturday, there is a homeschool gymnastics class right before the two year old class and after a week of observing, MiniM.E. really wanted to try it out, so both girls now do gymnastics Thursdays.

I am amazed at what MiniM.E. is doing in her gymnastics class.

And LittleL.G. could not be more adorable doing the tiny obstacle course.


Squeezing in Some Outside Time

With the time change came much less sleep (hello, 4am) and a need to get outside in the afternoon before it gets dark.

Since the weather was nice today, we decided to go to a playground after nap before heading to work to pick up Daddy, whose car is in the shop.

It was so nice to be outside. And hopefully it will help get the kids back on schedule so I can sleep until at least 5...


A Fun Fall Weekend in NH

We took a quick trip to NH over the weekend to see Gram and Grumpy and take part in some fall-y NH fun.

Saturday we drove to the Anheuser Busch Brewery in Merrimack because it was Clydesdale Day. We were able to get our photo taken with a Clydesdale and we even got to pet it! There were a few others to see in the stable and many were running about in a field. They are huge!

Since we were there, we figured we would also take a brewery tour. Daddy was probably the most excited about the tour, but both the girls seemed to have a good time as well.

Sunday we had big plans to visit Pat's Peak for their annual Oktoberfest celebration but the girls had been looking forward to the fun things at Gram and Grumpy's house, like the zip line and the trampoline and the big pile of leaves Grumpy made and they would have been disappointed not to get to play outside at all, so we decided to have a relaxing Sunday instead.