Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

Connecticut Open House Day {2016}

Monday, June 13th, 2016

We went to Gillette Castle a few years ago for Open House Day, because although the castle is really neat and you *could* spend a lot of time walking around and looking at everything, it’s hard to do with kids. We decided to go back again this year, because I love doing things for free so there’s no preesure to spend a long time there if the children aren’t into it. I guess this year they were as into it as you expect children to be, although Linc was only into it if someone was carrying him.

There are also a lot of great hiking trails all around the castle that used to be part of Mr. Gillette’s miniature train system, but it started to rain and we didn’t get very far. I was also wearing a 30 lb toddler on my back and 20 lbs of pregnant on my front (don’t ask how that happens when my husband is carrying zero pounds of children) so I was happy to keep our hike short.

gillette castle

gillette castle-5

gillette castle-7

gillette castle-9

gillette castle-10

gillette castle-12

gillette castle-14

gillette castle-17

gillette castle-18

gillette castle-20

gillette castle-21

gillette castle-24

gillette castle-25

gillette castle-26

gillette castle-28

gillette castle-30

gillette castle-32

gillette castle-34

gillette castle-36

gillette castle-40

Evan was running and fell and scraped up his knee. Caroline was rolling down a hill and rolled right into a rock. They are obviously having a WONDERFUL TIME.

gillette castle-42

gillette castle-43

gillette castle-44

gillette castle-46

gillette castle-48

gillette castle-50

gillette castle-51

gillette castle-54

gillette castle-56

gillette castle-57

gillette castle-60

gillette castle-61

gillette castle-63

gillette castle-67

gillette castle-70

gillette castle-71

Despite the fact that we look very along in these photos there were definitely a lot of people out enjoying the free admission day. Please feel free to admire my talent for keeping them out of the pictures.

Related posts:

Did I Mention There Was A Big Hill?
Paper Mama's Photo Challenge: Favorite From April
Davis Christmas 2012

Aquarium Date With Linc

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Linc and I went to the Mystic Aquarium this morning, with no real agenda and as much time as we wanted to wander. I realized with school ending tomorrow we’re at the end of the “off season” and from now on we’ll basically avoid Mystic like the plague, because tourists are the worst. Even if we go on less-nice days, or weekdays, or days you wouldn’t expect it to be crowded it will be the Special 15 Day Camps From Long Island All Come At Once Day or something. But today at 9 am we were golden and after 2 hours of saying hi to all the animals, we left just as the buses started pulling up outside for end-of-the-year field trips.

Photography at the aquarium is always fun but definitely a huge challenge for me. The indoors is very dark and has lots of colored light. Outdoors is super bright and sunny and without a really nice zoom lens the animals are too far away. Remembering to switch settings back and forth between those locations seems to get forgotten while I’m also trying to make sure I don’t lose Linc or let him throw stuff in the touch tank. One of these days I’ll go ALONE and bring a macro lens and try to just get fish shots, but for now you mostly get the back of my kid’s head while he looks at things.

Linc took a nice nap today and everyone got 100% green points at school which means they earned some iPad time, so I managed to get these sorted AND edited less than 12 hours after taking them. I’m very proud.

linc aquarium

linc aquarium-2

linc aquarium-6

linc aquarium-7

linc aquarium-8

linc aquarium-9

linc aquarium-10

linc aquarium-11

linc aquarium-13

linc aquarium-14

linc aquarium-15

linc aquarium-17

linc aquarium-19

linc aquarium-21

linc aquarium-22

linc aquarium-24

linc aquarium-25

linc aquarium-27

linc aquarium-29
linc aquarium-30

linc aquarium-31

linc aquarium-32

Related posts:

Halloween Countdown
Lake Compounce - Win A Family 4-Pack of Tickets!
My Week(260) in iPhone Photos

BIG Family Fun at Foxwoods

Monday, May 9th, 2016

During spring break this year, we – the whole circus that is my family – got to spend a super fun day at Foxwoods. They always do a ton of kid activities for spring vacation and this year I was lucky enough to be invited to a special blogger day that included visiting the Treehouse Arcade, seeing Clifford the Big Red Dog on stage and a delicious meal at California Pizza Kitchen. And there were cupcakes.

For children who only discovered video games 4 months ago and have only been to Chuck E Cheese twice in their life, my kids have an unnatural love of arcade games. They are terrible at them. Really, really bad. If E didn’t “help” a little, we would end up with a total of about 17 tickets which works out to three-fourths of a bouncy ball in the prize store. But armed with a loaded card and pointed towards the games, all three had a great time in the Treehouse Arcade.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-2

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-3

Things I don’t love: shooting games. Things my husband and son LOOOOOOVE: shooting games.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-4

Look, it’s Evan’s first swag bag! He was so excited they gave him a free bag he didn’t even look in it until we needed to find out cupcake coupons several hours later.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-5

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-6

This game simulated being attacked by giant spiders. Linc did not love the spiders.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-7

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-8

I also stick out my tongue while I am concentrating very hard.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-9

After we turned in our (virtual) tickets for prizes (including plenty of snacks), we headed over to the Fox Theater for the Clifford Show. It was a musical, which all the kids loved, and had just enough audience participation that they stayed interested the whole time. Since the theater was full of parents with small children I didn’t even feel bad when Linc started screeching in joy when Clifford grew from a hand puppet to a giant two-person sized dog, or when he wouldn’t stay in his seat and bounced back and forth between E and I pointing frantically at the stage like, “GUYS DO YOU EVEN SEE THIS? THAT DOG IS HUGE!”

After the show, we got to meet a medium-sized Clifford at the step and repeat in the lobby. I’ll admit Evan and Caroline were a little bummed they didn’t get to meet giant Clifford, but they still enjoyed their hugs and autographed cast pictures.

 

clifford the big red dog at fox theater

clifford the big red dog at fox theater-2

clifford the big red dog at fox theater-3

Linc wasn’t quiiiiiiite sure about Clifford (although I am writing this with him sitting next to me and he’s SO EXCITED about this picture, obviously it’s a happy memory instead of a nightmare) but he didn’t completely freak out. That’s success when you’re talking about people dresses as character.

After the meet and greet, we went straight over to California Pizza Kitchen for some dinner. Back when we first moved to Connecticut, long before we had kids, E and I lived in the town right next to the casino and used to go to CPK for dinner alllllllll the time. Their hummus and warm pita is the best, the free table bread is amazing, and if we each ordered a personal pizza we had enough to take home for leftovers. But we’ve only been maybe once in the last seven years so it was a special treat to be back.

Evan and Linc ordered mac and cheese and Caroline ordered a kid pizza. Only Linc had leftovers, which we took home and Evan at for breakfast the next day (because carbs + dairy is always an appropriate breakfast). E got his favorite club pizza and I got the Thai chicken, which is the best kind. CPK was very family friendly and our waitress was quick to refill the chocolate milks, which is almost all it takes for us to enjoy a fairly peaceful meal.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-13

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-14

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-15

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-16

After dinner we walked over to Cake by Franck to pick up our Clifford cupcakes. I could have spent much, much longer in that shop, looking at the desserts and making up reasons I definitely needed to buy ALL of them right at that moment, but the kids wanted to grab and go so we took our cake home. Well, Evan did, Caroline’s was gone by the time we hit the parking garage.

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-17

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-18

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-19

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-20

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-21

Clifford at Foxwoods Casino-22

 

It was a lovely way to spend the day together as a family, I’m so glad E was able to come and enjoy it with us. Big thanks to the team at Foxwoods for their generosity and the invitation. When we get to do fun stuff like this I’m always super grateful that the internet is still a fun place to hang out and my blog has stayed alive for as long as it has.

 

 

Related posts:

Steppin' Out {6}
Thankful Day 19: Caroline: 11 Months
My Week(273) in iPhone Photos

Photos Of Pretty Things On Yucky Days

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

One of the things I like about photography is that although I try my best to capture real life, I’m able to frame real life as much more attractive than it might actually be. I can bring the better parts into focus and blur out the junk.

But this week has been all junk for me. I’m still recovering from whatever the horrible, straight-from-hell plant bloomed this month that caused my allergies. Today was the first day in weeks I’ve risked wearing real pants in public because I was 90% sure I wouldn’t pee myself when I had a coughing fit. I’m at that point in my second trimester when being pregnant starts to be uncomfortable in minor but annoying ways – my back hurts, my hips hurt, my knees hurt when I go down the stairs. I still have morning sickness in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. I am trying very, very hard to focus on how much I should treasure this last pregnancy but I’m struggling.

To make things worse, our spring this year has been terribly rainy and cold. Spring in Connecticut is usually our beautiful, flower-filled reward for surviving winter. But this year has been dreary. It’s keeping us inside and depriving me of some much-needed vitamin D. It’s almost making my children COMPLETELY insane. No one can sit still for more than 20 seconds without poking someone else or grabbing someone else or kicking someone else or trying to stand on their heads and falling off the couch onto someone else. My patience – which would be thin from pregnancy and allergies to begin with – is so worn it’s almost nonexistent. Bad weather is so isolating for me as a mom, since most of my friendships involve things like taking long walks or our kids to the park or the aquarium or other outdoor-heavy activities. And once I fall into a pattern of being along more often than not I find it very, very hard to climb back out.

I’m clinging to the thought that we have a vacation planned in 3 weeks, the kind where the weather will DEFINITELY be warmer and my children will wear themselves out every day and sleep like rocks. Friends + sunshine + food + what will definitely feel like herds of children + the ocean = a total attitude reset. And boy do I need one.

I’m also crossing my fingers for a military move for the first time in a long time. Right now it’s just a maybe, possibly, there’s a tiny chance it could happen. But I’m not going to fight it and I’m not going to talk myself out of it by thinking about the logistics. I’m just going to think pleasant, tropical thoughts about what MIGHT be in our future.

And for today, right now, I’m going to edit some more pictures showing my family as fun, pleasant people who sometimes go outside and do things besides scream at each other. Today’s photos were taken on the last evening we had a break in the rain. It was far too cold for Caroline’s outfit but don’t tell her that.

pink trees at NFA

pink trees at NFA-5

pink trees at NFA-7

pink trees at NFA-14

pink trees at NFA-16

pink trees at NFA-20

pink trees at NFA-22

pink trees at NFA-28

pink trees at NFA-31

pink trees at NFA-34

pink trees at NFA-43

pink trees at NFA-48

Related posts:

Water Baby
Gratuitous Pictures Of A Baby In A Park Friday
Insanely Long And Picture Filled Vacation Post

Easter Stuff 2016

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

A long time ago on this blog, I would have written 4 posts this week about all the stuff we did. Egg dying! Brunch! The Easter Bunny!

But 2 and a half extra kids later, I’m just pretty excited we actually DID the stuff, rather than the fact that I blogged about it. Or even took pictures of it. I don’t have a single photo of brunch. Is that growth? I can’t tell anymore. I really love the part of blogging that means all these things are documented (because God knows the baby books are all massive failures). But how much longer can I even keep this minimum effort up? Who thought it was a good idea to have so many kids? Will I ever catch up on the ten million things I should be doing right now?

Well that was a lot of unnecessary ennui for what was supposed to be a picture post. Look! Children doing cute things!

dyed eggs

Egg dyeing tip #1: Buy all the dye kits on clearance the week after Easter and save them for next year.
Egg dyeing tip #2: Do it while the toddler naps.

dyed eggs-2

dyed eggs-6

dyed eggs-7

dyed eggs-9

dyed eggs-13

dyed eggs-15

dyed eggs-16

Our church Easter egg hunt is a joy. Plenty of eggs for everyone in a small area and everyone is willing to share.

church egg hunt-2

church egg hunt-3

church egg hunt-4

Linc did not yet understand the point of egg hunting.

church egg hunt-5

church egg hunt-6

church egg hunt-8

Our town egg hunt was also fun, if slightly less…generous. Poor Evan’s age group was 6-12 year old and he got 3 eggs. Luckily Linc did a LOT better this time so he had plenty to share.

norwich egg hunt

norwich egg hunt-2

norwich egg hunt-4

I absolutely stooped to bribery to get Evan’s face painted. I promised the Easter bunny would bring him something special (because the Easter bunny had already purchased a Lego set).

norwich egg hunt-5

norwich egg hunt-6

norwich egg hunt-7

norwich egg hunt-10

norwich egg hunt-12

norwich egg hunt-14

norwich egg hunt-16

norwich egg hunt-17

norwich egg hunt-18

norwich egg hunt-19

norwich egg hunt-20

Our actual Easter day wasn’t such a joy. Linc didn’t sleep at all the night before and needed a nap during church, so I took the big kids while E stayed home with him. Caroline was super mad we didn’t walk to church (it was cold). They kids ate a ton of candy and were a mess by brunch, where Evan ate nothing but carrots and celery. Unfortunately, even if you only eat carrots and celery your meal still costs $22. And Linc screamed every time I got up to get food and left him at the table (surrounded by food, it’s not like he was starving). He also refused to be in any photos, so my cute coordinating children’s outfits were in vain.

BUT but Caroline and Evan happily shouted about how Jesus escaped from the tomb (Evan) and how being aliver is better than being deader (Caroline) during the children’s message at church, so at least we’ve gotten that part right.

The Easter Bunny left eggs all over the house, plus the baskets.

easter 2016

easter 2016-3

easter 2016-4

easter 2016-5

easter 2016-6

easter 2016-7

easter 2016-9

easter 2016-12

easter 2016-13

easter 2016-14

easter 2016-15

easter 2016-16

 

 

Related posts:

24 Months
My Week(114) in iPhone Photos
Woven Wraps: An Exhausting But Not At All Exhaustive Guide
Get Adobe Flash player