Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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

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Linc did not yet understand the point of egg hunting.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Oak Leaf Dairy – BABY GOATS 2016

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Apologies in advance for the many, many baby goat visit posts this month, but this is literally the best part of the spring and I am not actually sorry. I took the kids even though E was out of town, which meant I was watching or wearing (mostly wearing) Linc the whole time and means this first set of photos is very average. ANY pictures¬†are inadequate to describe how sweet these babies are though. They’ve had more than 100 kids born in the past week or so, with 200 more to go (almost all mama goats have twins or triplets so it’s hard to know exactly), so in a couple weeks when the older ones are more like teenagers is when the barn gets super crazy and you’re in danger of being literally smothered by frolicking baby goats. IT IS THE BEST.

I’m a little sorry I’ve told SO many people about Oak Leaf Dairy. It’s gotten very popular and a little crowded now. I wish they were open either longer or on some weekdays so I could get my visits in when I didn’t have to share so much.

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Newborn goat in a box.

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THIS IS THEIR TINIEST BABY AND HER NAME IS GINGER SNAP.

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That is the face of a tween who just discovered the miracle of goat birth.

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Brand new baby goat!

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The baby goat barn is still sparsly populated enough that they’re keeping all the babies in the stalls

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Last year he just stayed in a bundle on my back and watched. This year he wanted down for a little bit to say hi, but then asked to go back up where he could pet goats without any of them trying to sit on him.

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Disclaimer: Caroline dressed herself.

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There are a lot of great things about the goat farm, but one of the best is that after all the goat snuggling the kids can go outside and run like crazy people.

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My children ate all of the cheese curds in the car on the way home. I didn’t get ANY. So it looks like we’ll see you again next weekend, Oak Leaf!

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SNOW DAY 2016

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Today was our first snow of the winter, and possibly the only one we’re going to get. Our weather has been unseasonably warm (no complaints) and the kids have been dying for a chance to build snowmen and do other normal New Englandy winter stuff. A Friday snow day is the very best scenario. I’m tired of the school routine, I was planning to stay home with Linc all day anyway, we have a bunch of food, and my husband will probably be home early. Which is exactly what happened. Plus it wasn’t even that cold, so playing outside was fun instead of terrible.

p.s. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Caroline’s snowsuit before. I got it at a consignment store last winter and it is the BEST. It’s from Hanna Andersson and is technically “baby” sized but still fits her this year. If you ever see one of these at a tag sale or thrift store, grab it up.

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No cameras were harmed in the making of this photo.

And then the snow stopped and the sun came out!

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