First Amusement Park Trip

About 45 minutes from where we live is a local amusement park that specializes in families and wholesomeness.  I have been there many, many times as a child and always had wonderful memories of the merry-go-round and my first roller coaster ride.  Just good, old fashioned fun.

Chris has never been to this park and neither has Jack, so we figured a beautiful Sunday of 82 degrees and sunny was as good a day as any to venture there.

Considering that I haven’t been there in well over 15 years, it was nostalgia all over again as we drove in the grassy field to park the car.  My father used to ride the rides with us and my mother would be off to the side snapping photos of my sisters and I having the time of our lives.

Jack was told before we left that we were going to a special park which had rides instead of monkey bars and slides and he was intrigued.

When we arrived, we all stopped and ate something as it was lunch time and we needed our strength!  After eating, it was time for Max’s lunch, so we sat on a bench in a shady area so that Max could eat and Chris and Jack were off to ride the rides!

Fireman Jack

Initially, Chris said that Jack wanted to get off the first ride as he was unsure, but after that, he was thrilled!  He loved the cars, the train, firetrucks, everything!  Chris was enjoying himself just as much!  So much so that when my in-laws are in again from California next week, Chris would love to bring them there for the day again.

On the kiddie ferris wheel

Jack has not stopped talking about the rides, especially the helicopters.  He had seen the helicopter ride and had said that he did not want to ride it as the helicopters went into the air.  We spent the day avoiding the ride only to get to the car while Jack cried about not riding the helicopters.  He has since said each day since, “Mommy, are we going to go to the special park to ride the helicopters today?!”  It looks like he will give it another try if we go back again soon.

Captain Jack

We were all overdue for a family day together, so I am glad that we dropped everything and spent this day together!

Oh, and Max was wonderful!  He was happy to be in the carrier and occasionally in the double stroller as we navigated the park.  So well behaved!

Max watching big brother on the rides

I absolutely cherish these family days!

Taking a cruise with Daddy

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

We tried to keep this weekend as low key as possible and were pretty successful, I might add.  However, the central air in my Mom’s house went on Friday (it was 90 degrees + each day with tons of humidity) and I was ready to jump off a cliff.  Everyone that we knew with a pool was either away or hadn’t opened their pool yet.  But we survived.  Barely.

It’s funny how quickly you are thankful for the little things in life when you no longer have them.

We spent much of the weekend playing in the backyard, working on the yard, remembering the fallen soldiers, and we went and put flowers on my father’s grave.  Not much, but just enough to make the most out of a long, relaxing weekend.

Monday morning, we went and watched our local Memorial Day parade and cheered on our Veterans.

A special thank you goes out to my Dad (Air Force), my father-in-law (Marines) and brother-in-law (Marines) for their service.  Without your selflessness, we would not have what we have- including (fixed) central air.  Thank you!

Waiting for the parade to start

So excited!

In between picking up candy

Watching the parade with Daddy

First Class Field Trip to see Trains & Trolleys

Jack’s school is wonderful when it comes to child-centered learning.  His classroom curriculum is focused on learning on a topic a week, or over several weeks and encompassing that topic in their everyday learning.  For example, when his teachers were focusing on Trains and Trolleys, they will center the topic with train tracks and trains for play, reading train books, singing train songs, doing train crafts, etc…  It is such a wonderful way to see him learn and soak all of the information in.

A few weeks ago, his teachers planned a day at the Steamtown Railworks, which is the local train museum and historic society.  The majority of his class came with their parents and grandparents and Jack had a wonderful time.  As he is already a huge fan of Thomas the Train, this was right up his alley.

We went through the museum and ended with a trolley ride past his school.  Let me tell you…he was beside himself with happiness!

Walking through an old trolley car with Daddy






























A train table with a mock-up of our entire hometown and surrounding counties






























Little conductor!


















Most of Jack’s class


















My little engineer

First Swim of the Season

On Saturday, Chris and I had plans to get so much done, after Chris was done golfing, but from 7:00am on, every plan that we had went to the wind as everything began to change.

Chris had planned to golf in the morning, but had to cancel to run to the doctors office.  I had planned to get a much needed pedicure (can’t reach my feet comfortably), but was home with Jack cleaning, doing the wash and trying to organize.

One thing that we did make a priority was to go out and buy a swimming pool for Jack.  We knew it would be hot and since Jack loves to be outdoors, a pool sounded like the perfect solution for an active and beautiful day outside.

Once he awoke from his nap (Daddy mowed the lawn, Mommy set up and cleaned the sand & water table and hosed down his house), he jumped into his swim trunks and off we went!

He is still ever so much the water baby that he has always been with trying to lay down in the water, splashing the dogs, pouring water over his head, playing with his toys and just having a wonderful time.

It makes my heart sing to see him enjoying something that he truly is excited about.  I’m absolutely sure that this pool will get a lot of use this summer!!

Oh and Rogan the lifeguard (the dog) was on constant watch on the side of the pool and would become hysterical if Jack splashed or became excited.  (I really should get it on video…)

Jack playing and Rogan “lifeguarding”




































“Rogie Baby, stop barking!”


















Water baby

Work is Sometimes Fun

This past week, I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah for work.  I have to begin with saying that it is a beautiful area!  Snow-capped mountains surrounding the city, beautiful buildings, the Mormon church and more.  Just breathtaking!

The Mormon Church


Just beautiful!

One funny thing about the city though.  Some crosswalks are equipped with bright orange flags to carry from one side to another to ensure a safer crossing.  After going to dinner with about 20 of my coworkers, most from other countries in Europe and South America, we all had to try the orange flag crossing!  Here are a few photos following dinner (and a lot of drinking for some people) with the crossing.

Flag crossing!!!


Here we go!


My flag and I


A few friends with their flags

St. Patrick’s Day 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Parade weekend is the holiest of holy days for my family.  It all began with my mother who would dress us head to toe in green, kilts, Irish sweaters and blinking pins and send us on our way to walk the parade route with our father, who was a Friendly Son of St. Patrick.  This year has been exceptionally hard because I did not get the usual phone call early in the morning, which usually went something like this, “Top of the morning to you, Molly.”  To which I would reply, “And the rest of the day to yourself, Mom.”

My Mom always had a knack for making it an even bigger holiday than it really is; shamrock shakes, green bagels, green beer (for her) and ensuring that we knew every word to every Irish song that the band would play in the bar after the parade.

This year, Chris, who is also a Friendly Son of St. Patrick, proudly marched the parade route with Jack in his stroller.  He beamed with pride and so did I to see my son partake in the wonderful tradition that I was able to experience as a child myself.

We enjoyed the after-party and as usual, it was nice to catch up with friends and watch Jack marvel in the provate bagpiper and drum band performance in our party room.

So proud of my Irish lads!

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick


Chris and Jack marching ❤


Irish lads marching


My sweet little lad


Chris, me, my sister Lisa and Jack after the parade


Watching the rest of the parade




Memorial Day Weekend

We all had a blast this weekend!  Aunt Colleen came home with her friend Lizzie and we just kept busy from the minute that they arrived.  Following a day of swimming in the baby pool, playing on the sand and water table, and running around the back yard, Jack fell asleep that night almost instantaneously.  He was wiped out!

Hanging out with Daddy

Saturday was another busy day with errands, hot weather, and remembrance.  Chris and I put Jack down for a nap and took a trip to my father’s grave to plant some flowers and do some weeding.  Upon arriving there, I was a little upset to see that there was no flag placed on my father’s grave or on my Uncle Bob’s grave for their service in the military.  I started to get angry.  How could they just forget to put something on the grave?  They both fought for our country and served proudly and there is no flag to indicate that?

I located the groundskeeper who was returning the backhoe from a freshly dug grave and inquired about why there were no flags place on the grave.  He explained that the grave markers, the metal flag stands which used to be on the grave, were not there and the servicemen only place a flag for each marker.  “One hundred and twenty five of the metal grave markers were recently stolen from the cemetery and the military is the only group that can replace them.  I asked for two individual flags to place in the ground instead.  He obliged and Chris and I proudly put the flags in the ground at their final resting places.  They should be honored, grave marker or no grave marker.  Hopefully the military personnel will see the flags and replace the markers that were stolen from the cemetery.

We woke up Sunday morning and went to mass.  After mass, it was already beastly hot outside.  (Around 90)  So, Colleen, Lizzie and I all jumped in the car and headed to Target for a larger pool for the backyard and other fun outside items.  Chris and I took this large rectangular pool and filled it up with air at the local convenience mart and drove home with the pool being held onto the roof of the Venza.  Totally redneck, but we laughed the whole time and got some interesting stares from many neighbors.  🙂  Needless to say, even though the water was FREEZING, we still enjoyed cooling off and soaking up some rays while enjoying burgers, hot dogs and other cookout-style foods.  At night, Grammy offered to babysit so we could all go out together, so once Jack was asleep, we headed to see the Memorial Day fireworks at the casino.

Jared, Colleen and Jack

The new pool


Crawling through the tube

Grammy was having a good day

This was the first time that I have ever seen fireworks set to music, and needless to say, it was interesting.  We  were a little surprised with several of the music choices, but all in all, it was a great time.  A beer or two later, following some sightings of people in prom-style dresses (It’s a freaking CASINO people!), we all headed home.

We all went to the Memorial Day parade on Monday morning to honor those who have served and given their lives for this country.  Jack loved all of the trucks, especially the fire trucks, and was glad to see all of the children as well.  Aunt Colleen and Aunt Lizzie did their auntie duties by chasing down the candy that was being thrown by the people in the parade and filled a few bags of tootsie rolls and peppermints for later.  No children were harmed in the chasing of the candy, although they were the oldest two collecting the candy.  😉

Watching the parade with Big Leen

Watching the trucks

I need one of these

Fire trucks!!

Following the parade, we were invited to a cookout and to have a swim in a friend’s pool around the corner.  Jack loved the water and was thrilled to be able to splash around with Mommy and Daddy.  When we tried to put him in his float though, that is when the tears started.  Big fat tears.  Maybe the Mommy and Me swim class spoiled him into thinking that each time he is in the pool, he will be held and not in the float.

We left for nap time and I just started packing and prepping everyone for Tuesday.  My first day at work, even though I am spending it flying to Chicago, and Jack’s first day at his new school.  (Jack’s first day at school will be in a future post)

We remembered those who have fought for us.

Swimming Play Date

On Friday, our friends Carolyn and Elle came over with the Bridge Girls for a little iced tea, girl talk and to see two of the cutest babies splash and play in the baby pool!

Jack had quite the hard-to-get presence about him and even though Elle was mainly interested in splashing and playing with him in the pool, Jack was having a blast getting in and out of the pool.  Constantly.

I would say the most of Jack’s time was spent getting in and out of the pool instead of swimming.

And without further ado…

Jack kept getting in and out of the pool


Bringing the beach ball in

In again

And out again...

Blowing kisses to the Bridge girls. What a ham!


Motown Philly Back Again

The family headed down to the old house in Philly for the weekend to plant some flowers, clean, catch up with friends and to meet with our Realtor about how the market is going.  Since it was pretty much a weekend on tour between the To Do List and everyone who was hoping to see us for the first time in a long time, we tried to just keep up with the pace.

Friday night, we got in, had some pizza and just took it easy knowing what Saturday had in store for us.

Saturday morning, Jack and I were up early and after some breakfast, we jumped in the car and headed to the Lancaster Outlets for some deals.  Banana Republic was buy 2, Get one free!  Right up my alley!

First stop?  J.Crew.  If I could make a deal to only shop at one store for the rest of my life, it would hands-down be J.Crew.  The classic styles, silhouettes, soft t-shirts and denim…I am in heaven.  My only request would be that they would make dresses and button downs for girls who are D cups and up.  Don’t get me wrong…I get my fill of D-cup bathing suits from them, but dress shopping would be easier if I wasn’t trying to fit gigantic boobs into a dress made for someone with beestings.

But, I digress.

After picking up some Crewcuts clothes on sale for JackMan and a dress and more Matchstick denim for me.  (Side note: I want to be buried in these jeans!)  We then headed to Banana to get some suits and more outfits and then finished it off with a little Baby Gap action where I bought Jack his first Superman shirt with the removable cape on the back.  That will be for this fall/next spring, but such a great deal!

We drove through the farms of Lancaster and with each cow that Jack saw, I heard a “mooooooo!” in the back seat.  What can I say?  The kid loves cows.

We then had a BBQ with our friends Eric, Erica, Briella, Adam and Katie.  We absolutely miss them all terribly.  Living here is not the same without them.  After stuffing our faces with Erica’s delicious cooking, we decided to play “The Michael Jackson Experience” on the Wii.  Best.  Game.  Ever.

Briella and Jack cuddled up and watched a show and played with toys.  A great time was had by all!

Sunday, we got up early and prepped the house for the Realtor’s visit and packed up.  A quick brunch at Kate & Sean’s new house (Yum!) and after a nap, we headed to see The Shanafelts.

We had a nice visit and were able to take a sneak peek into the new baby’s room while Bryce and Chase entertained us and Jack.

For dinner, we stopped at a local tavern on the way home with them and shared some laughs and beers and talked about the events coming up.  “Baby Johnny” (this is what Bryce and Chase are insisting on calling the new baby, but not the name) will be here in early July and we are all on pins and needles until his arrival!  Andrea looks fabulous and is ready to take on a life with three little boys.  Such a wonderful adventure!

The weekend trip made us realize how much we really do miss our friends in Philly.  Although there is some distance between us now, we hope to make more of an effort to get together and keep the friendship going.  🙂

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!!

On Friday night, we went to the local Triple-A Yankees baseball game with a great deal for tickets.

Yankees vs. Red Sox

Jack donned his Yankees outfit and we all took our seats.  He did fairly well up until the 5th inning where he decided that he wanted to run around and only eat the bun from his hot dog (confirmation that there is a little bit of me in that boy).

I only got a few photos between feeding Jack, chasing him and trying to keep my eyes open for foul balls.

It was a great family night out, but I am looking forward to when Jack will appreciate the baseball game instead of trying to capture his attention by counting “One…Two…Three” as the pitcher throws the ball.  🙂

They had a Time Out section of a bounce house, a batting cage and more for the younger kids.  Jack LOVED the bounce house!

Playing in the Yankees bounce house

We left shortly after the bottom of the 7th inning after singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Daddy

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 10-0.  Just a great family night out.