Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Girl Haircut

We all got haircuts tonight. When we arrived at our salon Ally said she wanted to go first (she knows she can watch a TV show on our phones when Feri is cutting her hair). Turns out the salon has new rules about only person at a time at the station. We were so impressed that Ally went with Feri all by herself and sat perfectly for her whole haircut.
The finished cut - bangs are a little short for me, but Ally can pull it off, and she really rocks the bunny sticker accessory!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The "Cabins" AKA New Hampshire

We truly had a wonderful time in NH with our friends. We were only there for 2 nights, but it was enough to feel like a break and a mini vacation.

We pulled up to the lodge and there is a fabulous yard with 3 different swing sets!

After checking in we drove right up to our cabin. The cabin had a bedroom, a living room with small fridge and fireplace and a bathroom. Perfect size for our family.
After trying out the fishing pole we headed to the beach.
All dressed up for our fancy dinner at the lodge. (of course Ally only ate grapes and rice krispies for dinner and mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert)
Playing on the playground after dinner. Ally was jumping forward and backwards upside down on these rings all the time.
Becky and Shannon playing badminton. It was just such a nice place to stay - racquets and birdies were there at the net, soccer balls at the field and basket balls on the court. Beach towels, life vests, sand toys at the water. So there was no schlepping of all the gear to enjoy anything. Just fun and relaxation.On mommy's shoulders for the long walk back to the cabin. (not very long to me, but Ally was tired that first night.)
We hosted our friends for marshmallows the first night. Ally as usual only toasted them for other people and preferred to eat hers raw. She had a limit of 4 each night, since that was her age. The second night we made s'mores and Ally ate a piece of chocolate, several graham crackers and her 4 marshmallows, but not together. I kept thinking "well its a s'more in her belly" and I do feel kind of bad her taste buds didn't get to experience the combination of flavors.
We saw this GIANT frog at our fishing hole the 2nd day we were there. It sat there for a long time until Ally scared it away with a feather. I guess frogs are ticklish.
It rained our second day there in the afternoon so we took a drive to the King Arthur Flour factory and store. The girls colored while we shopped. After our excursion the girls fell asleep and napped for over two hours. I guess playing and fishing takes a lot out of 4 year olds. After nap we drove in to Hanover for dinner. I had fun telling Ally about how that is where Grandpa Frank went to school.
It was a beautiful sunset.

Our last morning, a picture of the 3 girls (Ally, Stella and her little sister Violet) on the swing set.
Such good friends. They will be going to a different school next year, but I think we'll all manage to stay friends.
Our family vacation shot.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Great Storm

It was supposed to be the storm of the century, Hurrican Irene. But it kind of fizzled here in Boston. We spent the most of the day inside. Ally played by herself with input and encouragement from me, while I tried to read a book, and Becky sewed. I finished my book while Ally watched a Dinosaur Train DVD in the afternoon and Becky finished her project. Pants for Ally. Check them out!
Ally's first response sadly was "they look kind of silly...what if someone laughs at me..." but she did try them on eventually and then would not take them off! We loved this model pose she did.
All smiles
Then in the afternoon Ally and I ventured outside. This was the worst of the damage in our neighborhood - a downed tree limb. It actually fell in the middle of the street so nothing was damaged, then a good samaratin dragged it to the side of the road.
Ally said these flowers "looked sad" I have to agree.
We walked around the neighborhood with some friends for quite a while and then headed home for dinner and bed.
All in all we feel very lucky to have missed the brunt of the storm.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


We just got back from New Hampshire, and have a pile of great photos to share. On our way out of town, we got a kid-sized fishing pole for Ally along with the bare minimum of tackle (hooks, sinkers and bobbers). We had a blast with Ally and her friend Stella, showing them how to fish for the first time. They were both very excited. (Stella's little sister Violet was excited, too).

The rod came with a plastic fish-shaped weight for practicing casting. We were shocked when the girls were able to cast so quickly!

Discussing the finer points of casting
Violet even tried casting.

We had no great bait, so I grabbed the end of the loaf of bread and we soon headed to the water to give it a try. What a gorgeous day!
Sometimes Ally would cast herself, and sometimes she'd get me to start it off, but she held the rod most of the time.
Alas, the fish liked the bread, but we didn't catch anything the first day.
The second morning, however, Ally and Julie went to the local store to buy WORMS. Our first attempts were in a canoe - Julie showed off her expert hook-baiting skills while rockin' in a boat. She has a true talent. Ally's canoe-sitting stamina did not last very long, so no fish were caught in the boat.
Ally took turns fishing off the dog-swim steps with Stella. They did a very good job sharing the fishing pole.
We watched the teeny fish eat the worms at our feet, but soon a BIGGER teeny fish came along. Stella caught a fish!
The girls were very excited! (They looked scared of the fish in this photo, but they weren't really!)

What a catch!
Stella and Ally inspected the fish closely.
The NEXT day, after Stella and her family had gone, we stuck around to do some more fishing. At the dock, Ally did great and reeled in the big one.
The hook was in good, and we had no pliers (I have no idea what we would have done had we caught any serious fish!), so we had lots of chances to check out the fish before I finally got the hook out.
Ally was super-excited!
A proud girl. She had a great introduction to fishing!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Play date

We had Alice and her mom over for a dinner play date recently. While Becky and I made dinner, Ally and Alice got manicures.

They insisted on painting their fingers themselves, but Cheryl cleaned them up a bit with nail polish removal afterwards! Needless to day this was a drop cloth, not a table cloth and it was trashed after two 4 year olds self-applied nail polish! I love how Ally is carefully holding her hands to let the polish dry.

After dinner it was of to the park. Ally loves to show off her monkey bar skills. Alice tried so hard to do them. She was a great sport about it and kept working at it.

A group shot. Becky took the picture.

We had not seen our friends in a long time so it was good to get together. The girls will be going to the same school next year, but in different classes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sick on a Saturday

Saturday morning Ally woke up with a fever. She had the sniffles too. But she got to watch a lot of TV.

Her current favorite show is Dinosaur Train. Its on PBS, but we have now purchased all the DVDs available of old episodes.

The show is about a family of Pteranodons - Shiny, Tiny & Don and their adoptive brother Buddy who is a T-Rex. Above is a shot of Shiny & Don with Buddy and the Conductor (one with the hat on). The Conductor conducts the Dinosaur Train that the 4 children/dinosaurs ride with their parents to explore other time periods and meet and learn about other dinosaurs. Buddy always has a hypothesis and now Ally likes to say she has a "hypopothis" and she can define the word as well - its "an idea you can test".

After a long period of TV we made a short trip to Target, where we bought baby Lucy a tent and a sleeping bag. Let me say that putting together the doll tent was almost as tricky as putting together our actual full size tent, and it did in fact take two of us.

But Ally was very happy with the finished product. She put baby to sleep in the tent and then took her own nap - 2 1/2 hours of sleep in the middle of the day. She was pretty tired and sicky feeling.

When she woke up she cuddled on the couch with me, baby and Nali. Then we watched a movie.

Because as we kept telling Ally, the only good thing about being sick is that you can watch a lot of TV. After the movie, and some more dinosaur train Ally was actually bouncing off the furniture. Literally she was jumping and doing somersaults on the couch. She still had a fever, but I took her to the park anyway to burn off some more energy. She took it easy and played in the fountain a little, and ate dinner there. Then came home, took a bath, showered, watched gymnastics with mama on TV and then went right to bed. No complaints or anything.

She slept all night, and woke up better on Sunday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Band Cont'd

Last weekend Becky and Ally went to PA to visit Becky's parents. I had 4 days home alone. I painted for 2 days and worked for 2 days. But I did manage to slip in some shopping. After the recent post about the "pretend" instruments Ally was using and a sad incident during a playdate. I decided it was time for Ally to have some actual play instruments of her own. So I surprised her with a gift when she got home from PA.

What is it Mommy?

A Band in a Box

loving the triangle

Later in the week, Becky was at an appointment and Ally and I had some time just the two of us. She decided we should do "shows". She went and got all of her and baby's favorite animals to watch the show. My show...

yes me playing the triangle and singing songs

I was amazing. Everyone should be very sad they missed it. But lucky for me my photography assistant Ally took a picture of my performance to share on the blog.

We took turns. It was so much fun for Ally and torture for me.

But for this face I'll submit to that kind of torture any day.