The Great Escape

Daddy had a vacation day to take so to celebrate a long weekend and the girls finally being able to swim again, we decided to go to the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom.

MiniM.E. has been begging to go back to the "outdoor" waterpark since the first time we went, and it seemed a better idea to go on a Friday than on a weekend.

We had some time to ride the rides before the waterpark opened.  MiniM.E. and Daddy went on the BIG roller coaster while LittleL.G. and I hung around the kiddie area.  Even though LittleL.G. loved the swing the last few times we went, today was not a swinging day.  She tried her first roller coaster:

... and had a miserable time. It was way too bumpy and jerky and because she is so short, her head kept banging the restraint bar.

The tiny spray area was a huge hit though.

Time for just one more balloon ride before the waterpark:

And then we spent a few hours splashing and swimming and sliding. It was a great Friday!


American Girls' Night Out

Last night MiniM.E. and I had a Mommy-Daughter date night at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  It was American Girls' Night Out, a few hours of American Girl-themed activities before the New York City Ballet's performance of Jewels.  MiniM.E. remembers going last year and has been anticipating the evening for months.  Her doll got a new dress for the event as a "learning to swim present" and MiniM.E. made sure she and I were both dressed in coordinating outfits too.

Had I read last year's post before we went, I might have tried harder to suggest a different date night activity. I did remember being a bit underwhelmed, but was hoping maybe some improvements had been made.

I was sadly not more impressed than last year. 

Being a little older, the craft held MiniM.E.'s attention for a while, but we were still finished with the activities with an hour to wait before the ballet.

finding out there was still an hour to wait
Again, it was nice that we stayed for the ballet because it was definitely the highlight of the evening.

And despite the less than exciting pre-show, it was awesome to have a night out with just MiniM.E.


A Week of Swimmer's Ear

Sunday we usually go to church and do some grocery shopping and play in the afternoon or maybe have a BBQ.

Today MiniM.E. was really cranky when she woke up and started complaining a lot about her ear. Luckily our pediatrician just started offering Sunday hours so we were at the doctor's office instead of church. Both girls have swimmer's ear so we are on day 4 of no swimming.

Instead of playing in the water Sunday afternoon, Daddy and MiniM.E. escaped the heat by going ice skating while I reorganized the playroom.

It was too hot to BBQ so we went to dinner at our new favorite spot, BWP.  They have good food and the girls can run around and play in a grassy area by their outside patio.
or hide in the bushes?
Monday we had plans to go to the lake and MiniM.E. was crushed that she couldn't swim, so to lessen the blow we went to the TreePaad.

Tuesday we had lunch with friends and then visited another new baby, Baby R. and his sister J.

Today we met MiniM.E.'s preschool teacher at the track for breakfast, then spent the rest of the morning downtown and caught a Zucchini Brother's concert at the library.  (MiniM.E. was too busy with her teacher to stop for photos.)

We've been doing a great job keeping busy out of the water and the heat!


Adirondack Animal Land

Our summer has been so busy that it's flown by and here we are a week away from August! We haven't had time for as many of our "usual" summer activities, but one that we couldn't neglect because it is everyone's favorite is Animal Land.

MiniM.E. was more excited than ever this year, and much braver too! She fed all the animals, even the monkeys. And as always, we spent a good deal of time visiting her favorite animals, the deer.

LittleL.G. was a little more timid this time around and only wanted to look at the animals from afar. She did have a great time on the playground though.

We planned on spending the whole day, but we got rained out after lunch, which was perfect because we had seen everything and it coincided with nap time.


Polo and A Park Picnic

A few weeks ago they plowed the big field by our house and installed four big red posts.  Daddy and MiniM.E. and I have been having a good time guessing what they are for.  Of course, we, the grown ups, could deduce that it was likely a playing field of some sort.  MiniM.E.'s best guess was that the big posts were for two giant hammocks, which would have been almost as awesome as their real use.

Gram escorted us home from NH so we all took a walk to check out the field and see if we could figure out what they used it for.  A week ago there were horses parked at the edge, so my guess was polo.  And I was right!  Our field is now used for amateur polo practice.  Once we learned they were going to play polo we darted home for some chairs, blankets and snacks and set up to watch.  It was far better watching practice polo than real polo because we were so much closer and the sun wasn't shining right in our eyes as it does on the tailgating side of the Polo Club polo field.  We will definitely be back to check out some more polo soon!

After nap we said our goodbyes to Gram and headed downtown for a picnic in the park with Baby G. and family.

The girls played and rode the carousel while we waited for the Daddies to meet us after work. And, of course, MiniM.E. had to have her baby-cuddle-fix.


More Swimming and Monkeying Around

After our day trip to CT we stayed in NH until yesterday enjoying the pool and the (much!) warmer weather than we had for our last visit.

Since Daddy was home working and Grumpy was working too, Gram and I did most of the swimming and playing.  Since MiniM.E. is so much better at swimming now and always wants to be in with no floatation device, someone always has to be with her, and LittleL.G. is so fickle about the cool (88? really??) water that she kept wanting to run back and forth between the big pool and the hot tub, so I was left with little time for photo opportunities.

Fortunately I got a few of the girls enjoying themselves.

A few on the swing set

And one of MiniM.E. on the NEW monkey bars Grumpy installed for her! Thanks Grumpy!


A Quick Trip to CT

Today we drove down to CT with my mom to go to my cousin's daughter's baptism (first cousin once removed doesn't sound as good).  It was nice to go down and see my aunt and uncle and cousins and the kids since we hardly see them- usually at Christmastime and maybe once more during the year.

It was a quick ceremony and then we went to a small party to celebrate.

watching with L.

All dressed up!

MiniM.E. is the oldest of the kids, my cousin's son is almost three and her daughter is just a couple weeks older than LittleL.G.  The girls played really well together.  My cousin's daughter loved MiniM.E. and kept hugging her and following her around, which was really cute.  Her son was so excited to have everyone around that he was a little wild for MiniM.E. but they did have a great time playing with the hose together.

After the party my aunt and uncle took us to Rich's Ice Cream.  It was so crowded it took almost half and hour to get ice cream, but the girls and I had a good time watching the cows and playing on the stairs while we waited.  Best dinner ever!  After ice cream we got in the van and drove to NH where we'll stay for most of the week.

It was really nice to see everyone!


The End of Swimming Lessons

We just finished up the whole three weeks of swimming lessons today. It was a huge commitment to drive down to Clifton Park every day, but it was SO worth it. And it really was a lot of fun. We arrived early every day to play in the kiddie pool and most days we stayed to have lunch and play on the playground. A couple days we even bought guest passes to the pool and stayed to swim.  LittleL.G. finally got excited about swimming too.

And MiniM.E. has really come to enjoy the lessons and even wanted to sign up for more this summer.

Of course, there is a waiting list for the second session and we have lots of plans for the rest of the summer, so it wouldn't have worked out. But we are definitely signing up again next summer.  I never imagined she would make so much progress in just three weeks!

Our summertime weekends might always start with a Friday afternoon trip downtown... It's a quick trip since LittleL.G. naps until almost 4 some days and the girls like to be home for Daddy, especially on Friday's to welcome the weekend.

We started out on a carousel ride.  MiniM.E. rode a horse, of course, and LittleL.G. still insists on riding on a bench.

This week the ducks were hungrier but we saw only a few babies.  I guess they grow up fast and we haven't been downtown much this summer!

Happy Weekend!


Lunch With Baby G.

We were lucky to get to see Baby G. again this week.  Our weekly play group had lunch at his house. The girls played, the not-so-new-at-two moms tried to help out and get lunch together and the not-so-little-anymore babies played with the big kids or watched the excitement.

And of course everyone wanted a turn holding the new baby.


A Long Weekend in NH

Week two of swimming looked a lot like week one of swimming, with a lot of improvement, but also a lot of the same: kicking, floating, scooping, etc.  I knew that what MiniM.E. really needed was some time to practice what she's been learning, but with swimming taking up our entire morning, and nap taking up most of our afternoon, there just hasn't been time to get to another pool to practice.

Fortunately, this past weekend we had TWO really great reasons to visit NH.  One: lots of time for swimming practice.  And more importantly, two: Auntie Jen and her boyfriend and son E. were going to be visiting at the same time.

The weather really didn't cooperate.  It rained most of the time and the high for the weekend was 67. But Gram and Grumpy were nice enough to really heat up the pool for us so MiniM.E. was able to spend hours in the pool anyway.

She really did just need some practice because after just the first evening of swimming, she was jumping off the diving board and swimming to the ladder all by herself.

And by the end of the weekend she could almost swim from one end of the pool to the other!

LittleL.G. forgot she was only one and a half and didn't want to be left out, so she did a lot of jumping too!


She was also really excited to see Auntie Jen and spend some time with E. They had a great time swimming and playing together.