Monday, August 30, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

So, the kids have been pretty funny lately. Colin is a lot chattier than Gillian, and plus, he thinks he Conan O'Brien, so he gets most of the one liners. But, Bean gets some, on occasion.

Some examples:

We were driving in the car last Sunday before Daddy went back to work after vacation. He said something about "playing catch up..."
Colin: "Ketchup. French Fries! Mmmmmm."

Gillian packs up her baby and backpack and says, "BYE!"
Us: "Where are you going?"
G: "BEACH!!!!"
(Repeat 1000 times in the past 10 days)

C&G: "Honey? Honey? Honey"
Me: "Who's Honey???"
Turns out it's ME! Apparently, I use "honey" a lot when I talk to them, so they are using it on me. It's refreshing after a million MAMAS!

We had a picnic in the park last Friday across from the herd of buffalo that live in the game preserve. Colin took Daddy down to see the herd.
Colin: "Hi." (to the buffalo)
Colin: "FUNNY!"
Colin: "Grass!"
Colin: "Funny buffles!"
Apparently, it was funny that the large herbivores were eating grass.

Getting Colin up EVERY MORNING this week:
Colin: "Daddy?"
Me: "No, Daddy's at work today."
Small pause.
Colin: "WAFFLES!"

Heavens, there have to be a million more, but I can't remember them at the moment. It's never dull, that's for sure.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Time Family Reunion

I meant to get this up before vacation, but life got a little crazy, but I still wanted to post it!

So, I have a big family. Not like 8 kids in my family big, but lots of aunts, cousins, second cousins and whatnot. This summer my aunt and several of her cousins planned a BIG reunion for all of the decedents of my Great-Great-Grandfather, John H. Smith. As far as I can recall, he had six children, including my Great-Grandfather John M. Smith, who then had my Grandfather, Lee Smith, and finally my mom. Phew. Anyway, it's a full family tree.

There were three days of events planned the first weekend of August, and I think about 100 people were in attendance over the course of the weekend. Pretty impressive, huh? Since I am a nap and bedtime fanatic, we missed a few events, but we made it to the pig roast on Saturday night and potluck picnic on Sunday.

Michael was charged with official photography, but nap/bedtime prevented him from being handy a lot of the time. He did still get some good photos though. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. Although, having my Grandparents' pond 10 feet from the picnic shelter made for some interesting moments!

A few pics, starting with my Grandpa and Grandma. I think they really enjoyed themselves all weekend, visiting and seeing lots of family!

A meeting of minds of the youngest generation (although, I do think one branch of the family technically has one MORE generation beyond Colin, Gillian, and Sarah, but anyway...)

Dismembering the pig (that's Uncle Willis, Uncle Stevie, and Cousin Matt):

And my Grandpa's cute, so we'll put up another picture of him:

Me and my Great-Aunt Ann. Yeah, you want her genes. Trust me.

There are TONS more reunion pictures over on flickr, but I don't like to post too many without people's permission.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010: Last Day!

Friday dawned beautifully (oh, and Colin was up early enough to see the dawn if he had been allowed); it was sunny, hot, and not humid. YAY! When we got down to the water, we could see that it was a lot calmer than it had been most of the week. Michael and I had been playing with the idea of taking the kids out in the deeper water, but it had just been too rough. Not Friday though!

This video is pretty crappy, but it's all I have of the kids in the water on Friday! Don't watch if you get seasick. In case you can't tell, it's Daddy with Colin and GraGra with Bean. Grandpa Greg is out there too. I'm filming and trying to keep the camera dry:

Oh, and Uncle D and Grandpa Frank made an AWESOME sand fort on Friday, and the kids DID NOT destroy it! BUT, I am in all of the pictures of the fort and they are not flattering in the least, and since this is my blog, I'm not posting them. Sorry.

We decided to have a fun last night at the beach (and not cook), so all ten of us headed out for dinner. The kids must have been starving because they actually ATE their dinner, and they never eat well in restaurants. After all had their fill of crab cakes, we hit the boardwalk.

It was a beautiful evening, dry, warm, and breezy. Perfect. We strolled a bit and avoided seagulls. Grammy and Grandpa had their picture taken with the little guys:

Then we took the kids to Play Land. We had scoped out a carousel earlier in the week and we were headed for fun. Or at least Gillian was. Colin told us, "NO! Done, done, done." So, Michael held him while we went round and round.

As you can see, Gillian LOVED it!

Then, Gillian spotted the BOAT ride. She had to ride it. HAD TO. Again, Colin not so politely refused.

This video of Gillian riding the boats is my absolute favorite right now. You can just see how proud of herself she is. She is a big girl, riding a cool boat all by herself! Like Princess Grace on the Riviera!

Ok, so we were mean and MADE Colin get in the boat. And he did end up liking it, but it didn't start out well:

But, he looks ok in the video:

After we were done torturing Colin, we went for one last ice cream cone. Colin actually liked that. GraGra and Grandpa Greg wanted a picture with the younglings, but since it was already past bedtime, it didn't go so well. Although, it is comical:

Sigh. So that was our week of sun, fun, and sand. We had a fantastic time. On Saturday morning, we beat feet for home. The kids, once again, traveled very well, even though Colin did not sleep a wink the entire way home. But, he also did not complain ONCE.

Fun time. Must do it again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010: No More Rain!

Luckily, after one day of rain, the sun returned. Or, at least it was dry on Thursday! Colin was rather insistent that we return to the Ba-BEACH as soon as possible. We were happy to oblige.

So, GraGra had gotten the kids these little wheely, garden buckets for Easter. To my eyes they looked like good candidates for hauling beach crap. And BINGO, they were perfect for just that job. HOWEVER, they were apparently better to fill with water and turn into Toddler Hip Baths! Funtimes!



Colin also decided he needed to learn tether ball with Uncle D!

Also, creative destruction is fun:

With all the extra adult help around, Mama and Dada actually got to sit and relax, briefly. We got proof!

After lunch and nap, Michael and I took the kids to downtown Rehoboth to rent bikes. The kids have been admiring the bikes in the park all summer and I thought they might enjoy tooling about on the back of a bike (granted Michael and I have not actually ridden bikes in a loooooooooong time and this could have been a BIG disaster). Colin was rather resistant to the helmet and then to being placed in the bike seat, but mean Mom that I am, I persevered. After a minute of pedaling about, he was content to check things out.

Gillian, on the other hand, L-O-V-E-D it (this is soon to become a theme). Michael reports that she was very happy to ride with him; she was singing little songs, and smiling up a storm. We rode for about 6 miles down to Henlopen and then through downtown Rehoboth (Michael and Bean rode MUCH faster than C and me, and Michael won't let me live it down). Sadly, we had no camera along on this adventure.

After dinner, we decided to run back down to the beach for a little stroll and some fun. Sadly, Bean was very, very grumpy and soon had to leave and went directly to bed. I hear that Colin had a wonderful time talking to the moon that he spied in the sky. We did manage to grab a semi-decent family picture, even though Bean was nearing MELTDOWN mode:
(Isn't that lighting the BEST. I mean, I love that light!)

I also grabbed this cute one of tiny little Gillian with giant Grandpa and Dada:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010: Date Night

So, besides all the love and affection that C&G got all week, what's the best reason to take TWO sets of grandparents on vacation with you? Oh yeah, that would be DATE NIGHT. Woo hoo!

Michael and I had delayed our anniversary celebration for a week since we knew babysitters would be handy at the beach. So, on Wednesday evening we headed out (leaving a sobbing Colin at home crying for DADDY) and hit the town!

We stopped for dinner at Dogfish Head Brew Pub. Michael loves this place. They make several of his favorite beers and they have some pretty good food too. (They offer a brewery tour in Delaware too, but, sadly, this year it was all booked up while were were down.) We had a lovely dinner and I had large, yummy Cosmo, which may or may not have made me dizzy and a little goofy. (Yes, I am a cheap date)

After dinner the rain appeared to cease for a while, so we took the opportunity to stroll about downtown Rehoboth for some quality people watching, minor window shopping, and dessert! We always get ice cream a couple times a week while on vacation, and always at The Royal Treat. Since C&G are nut-free and we were sharing ice cream with them, we took the solo trip as a nut-indulgence exercise (well, Michael did, I just went with overall indulgence!).

Peanut Butter Swirl Love:

Hot Fudge Fantasy:

Umm, yeah, remember that dizzy and goofy thing....

And one together (ok, so it took six shots to get this ONE decent one, and the kids weren't even there!!):

After ice cream, we were REALLY wild and hit the late showing of "Inception". What a great, great movie. Well written, well acted, well paced, great visuals, and great music. One of the best movies we've seen in a while. It was worth staying up until 12:30 am for!!!

Anyway, fun date night! Thanks Grandmas and Poppops!

Beach Vacation 2010 - Day 4: Rain

Our fourth day at the beach turned out to be cool and rainy with no beach time to be had. With only limited toys available around the beach house and two kids who were accustomed by now the entertainment of the beach, we needed to find some means of providing similar entertainment to the kids while it rained. Enter McDonalds.

Lea had spotted a McDonalds with an indoor playland on our way into Rehoboth on Saturday. Remembering this, we got the kids dressed after breakfast and headed out to see what we could see. The kids had never been to a McDonalds before (other than passing through the drive-thru to pick-up bad-for-us breakfast sandwiches for Lea and I on trips), so this was going to be a new experience for them.

Upon arriving, I bought Lea and I some of their frozen smoothie drinks (I had wanted their on of their mocha ones but they were out) and Lea took the kids to the playland. I think you could say they enjoyed it...
They enjoyed the smoothies too...
Li'l Bean was all about posing for portraits with people. First her Momma and then Ronald McDonald - though she crawled up on his lap by herself, she was evidently a little skeptical.
Later Bean helped to prepare lunch... and I tried on Bean's fashion glasses:
Afternoon activities consisted of the customary nap and then because it continued to rain some Play with Me Sesames. While not as exciting as the Watie, it was enough to keep everyone entertained.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010 - Days 2 and 3

On our second and third days at the beach the kids warmed up to playing in the sand. On our first day at the beach, the kids were pretty much obsessed with the water and only the water. By day 2 the obsession with the water had somewhat lessened, and they were able to appreciate the fun that could be had with the sand.
They spent a good bit of time filling sand into holes that either I, Uncle David, or one the Grandpa's had dug...
...and taking breaks for peaches...
...but their favorite thing to do in the sand was to get into holes!
It turns out that holes are fun for peek-a-boo...
...and wading in...
And sometimes they're just fun to dig!

Beach Vacation 2010 - Day 1

For our first fully day at the beach it was just us, GraGra and Grandpa Greg. Grandpa Frank and Grammy as well as Uncle David and Aunt Mercedes attended a wedding back at home on Saturday and didn't get to head to the beach until Sunday morning. Those of us who were here, however, packed up our beach stuff and headed for the sand.

Given the positive reception that the Ocean (a.k.a. Watie!) had received the previous evening, a B-line was made for the surf. The kids loved it! They wanted to go further and further out - and they don't really want to hold on to your hand. Everybody played in the water until both kids were shivering (they have like 0% body fat, so they shiver in Grandpa DickieDo's 88°F pool). They both wanted more, but we felt it was best to warm-up a little bit first.
The kids are now apparently huge fans of peaches. They liked sliced/diced peaches before, but those pale in comparison to whole fresh peaches. And while fresh is better than preserved, we suspect part of the appeal is that they've been allowed to each the peaches whole and so they feel like big kids with their whole fruit. While they warmed up after their dip in the water, they enjoyed a couple peaches on the beach.
Lea being a prudent and conscientious mommy is concerned about their exposure (or really potential over exposure to the sun). Both kids being fair, and Lea having a ton of moles that she gets checked out, we've been trying to convince the kids to wear hats. Gillian doesn't really mind so much -
Colin, on the other hand, is not really a fan (though he looks rather resigned here)...
Around 11:00, we headed back to the house for lunch (and to prepare for a nap). While the kids slept, the adults cleaned up from lunch and the beach, went shopping, and awaited the arrival of the remaining Uhls. Lo and behold, around dinner time, they arrived. Evidentally, technology has consumed us all as everyone whipped out their laptops, iPod touches, etc.
After a lovely dinner of lasagna, the kids still had a little bit of energy left, so we piled them into their wagon (which Grammy and Grandpa Frank had brought) and set off for a walk about town (though Colin would have much preferred to go back to the Watie!). We started off with two in the wagon, but as always there's got to be someone who feels the need to be carried.
Thankfully, Uncle D was there to lend a hand:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beach Vacation 2010 - Travel

This year we decided that we would head-out for the beach relatively early in the morning: 6:00 AM. We didn't quite make that... we left at around 6:20, but with two 21-month-old twins, I'll take it. This is earlier than the kids normally get out of bed, so we had a very faint hope that they might doze a little in the car. That didn't happen. Nevertheless, the kids were well behaved all morning.

We made pretty good time on the first leg of our trip and arrived in Lacaster a little after 10 in the morning. Lea had hoped to find a McDonald's with a play area, but we managed to strike out there... I guess we just need to get an iPhone so we can look these things up. If you recall, last year we stopped at Lapp's Family Restaurant in Lancaster for lunch. Since it had a big open parking lot and a grassy surrounding area, we figured we would stop there again since we couldn't find a play area. Much to our surprise, however, Lapp's was closed! That, however, did not deter us from stopping anyway and using the parking lot and grassy area as a way for the kids to blow off some energy. GraGra and Grandpa Greg also met up with us there and from that point on we traveled together.

Since Lapp's was closed and it was still early, we decided to drive on a bit further before stopping for lunch. We drove through the touristy Amish country surrounding Lancaster, through Gap, and into Delaware and then started seriously looking for lunch. Outside of Newark we stopped at a Bob Evans - which had to have been the sloooooooooowest Bob Evans in history. It took forever to get lunch. The kids, who had been awake since just be 6:00, didn't really want to eat (even though they were hungry). Since it took forever, they started to get antsy - they weren't bad, but I was ready to be done.

Since we were now into the time span when the kids are normally napping, they were already antsy, and traffic on Delaware Route 1 is generally horrible, we deployed the DVD player and buckled the kids in. Even though distance-wise we were most of the way there (only about 80 miles from our desitination), the after-lunch travel session seemed like the longest.

Traffic on Delaware Route 1 is horrible. It slows and stops for no reason. Crawls along at a snail's pace for miles. I hate it, but I'm fearful that the devil I know is better than any of the other devils out there that I don't know. Luckily the kids were entranced by the Sesame DVD in the player, and at different points each of them slept for about a half an hour:
About 2 and a half hours and 80 miles after we finished lunch we arrived at the realty office in Rehoboth to pick up the keys to the beach house. We managed to get mostly situated before C&G needed dinner. They ate some leftover pizza that GraGra and Grandpa Greg had brought with them and then we headed down to the beach.

Both Colin and Gillian LOVE the beach! Well, ok, I exaggerate. They LOVE the "Watie!", they could take or leave the sand. Both kids love to stand in the surf and let the water hit them.
Gillian ended up getting knocked over by the surf, but she didn't even care! They love the beach!