Training Wheels

Mom found a second hand Thomas the Train bike with training wheels for Quinn. Of course it was the first thing Quinn noticed when we walked in to the garage. Generally if he sees a bike he will want to get on it and this time was no exception.

Here we go...off for a bike ride.





Oh how I love this impish smile of his.



And back home we go.



Just in case you were wondering if Quinn still has his "rat tail", wonder no longer (I heard the grandparents groan all the way in New Jersey ;)



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Little Swimmer

Quinn has spent alot of time in the water over the last couple of months and is having much fun! Last week while I was visiting mom in Maryland the temperature was above 90 every day. Fortunately we were able to cool off in her neighbor's pool where the water temperature was a refreshing 83 degrees.

Here's our little guy.



Quinn enjoyed floating around in the fish floatie.





A view from above...



And a view from below...



Quinn jumped off the diving board the first day we went swimming so I thought it would be fun to catch of video of him jumping off. Check out what happens. (Turn down your speakers -- my voice is loud and annoying :)



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My Mom

One of the many things that has always amazed me about my mother is how many true friends she has. Friendship takes a lot of work -- calling, writing, remembering, etc. And my mom puts in that work. Calling to check in on a sick friend, writing Christmas cards to people she hasn't seen in 40 years, and remembering birthdays, kids, grandkids, etc. Mom has traveled the world and made friends everywhere she went. In fact, she is still in touch with her pen pal (remember those) who she started writing to in grade school -- and they have never met!! Her penpal's granddaughter is ill and mom likes to check in on her website to see how the young teen is doing. I could go on and on about how much my mom does for others, both in thought and action.

Mom's birthday was last week and I went to Maryland to spend the week with her. I was not surprised by the phone ringing off the hook with birthday wishes and the number of birthday cards she received. It's a testament to the saying "that you get what you give". Let me just say that mom got alot...





Now that I'm a mother myself, I much more appreciate the mom that she was and still is to me. What a wonderful role model I have! Happy Birthday Mom!

This is one of my favorite pictures of mom and Quinn. You can just feel the love :)



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Our Little Clown

Quinn and I were up late one night and he got into his craft box. He took a blue magic marker and did this...







He thought it was pretty funny, especially when he got a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Fortunately it was a washable marker so it was off in a jiffy.

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Uh Oh! It's Elmo!!

Quinn got a Tickle-Me-Elmo from the Wise Family before they left California. We've taken him out of the box a couple of times, but Quinn just isn't digging him. I thought he was finally ready to tickle Elmo. See what happens...




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Now Quinn Knows his ABC's...

This may be the cutest thing I've ever seen (ok, I'm a little prejudiced).



ps...I always sing "...now Quinn knows his ABC's, next time won't he sing with me" just in case you're wondering what he's saying :)

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He Keeps it Interesting!

As many of you know, Don is partial to taking a bath vs showering. All the great minds bathe -- like Bill Gates. Don prefers to bathe because it gives him time to catch up on his reading. This morning I found these two books by the bathtub. As Alex would say 'Don keeps it interesting'.

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Summer is Here!

Summer is here so it must be time to go to the Westfield Pool! The weather was looking a little iffy but we decided to brave the elements and head to the pool. It turned out to be a warm and sunny day. The pool water was still on the chilly side and we saw lots of kids with blue lips and the shivers -- including our own. We had to take a couple of breaks to wrap him in a towel and warm him up. Quinn started off a little tentatively but then jumped right in to the fun. You might remember that our local pool has a very large sprayground and two big kiddie pools.

The rainbow tunnel! This is perfect if you're starting to get hot but don't want to get soaking wet.



Quinn walking through one of the fountains.



Quinn was sitting under the water "tree".



We had a great day and Quinn zonked out early. I'm sure we'll be back on Sunday for another full pool day :)

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Blueberry Picking

After being away from home for two weeks, Quinn and I hung around the house for most of the week enjoying being home. Today we decided to venture out and go blueberry picking with my friend Alison and her family. You probably remember her adorable son, Fraser, from this post. Fraser and Quinn have become good buddies and have great fun playing together. Alison also brought along her husband Damani and 3 month old baby girl Jasmine. The blueberry farm was about an hours drive, but we enjoyed a beautiful 75 degree day and lots of organic blueberries just waiting to be picked.

The farm has a small area with goats, sheep, and pea hens. We went to check them out, but Quinn wanted to go "over there". I wonder what he's pointing to?



Aha! What boy can resist riding on a big red tractor?





Honk! Honk!



Then we were off to pick blueberries. Quinn didn't have much patience to pick blueberries and this was my view most of the time. Quinn running down the rows of blueberry bushes!



A little game of peek-a-boo that Quinn found very entertaining.



Both Quinn and Fraser were getting pretty bored with the blueberry picking so I gave them a ride around the farm in the wagon. Cutie pies!!



Alison has turned us on to a YouTube video that Fraser loves about the Mars Rover. Quinn has now become quite a fan and both boys were playing with their stick and pine cone rockets. Here's Quinn flying his rocket around the farm.



I couldn't finish this post without a picture of the adorable Miss Jasmine. She is such a happy little girl always ready to share a smile.



We came home with several pounds a blueberries and memories of a great day!

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Love City, USVI

We had a great two weeks in St. John! The weather was as expected -- mostly sunny with an occasional rain shower and one full day of rain. And it was hot! In the 90's every day so we enjoyed alot of time in the water. Our villa, Hibiscus Gardens, was beyond perfect for us. A one level, two bedroom house with a pool. It was equipped with everything we could have asked for and more! We would stay at Hibiscus Gardens again in a heart beat.

The beautiful thing about going back to St. John is that nothing really changes. Everything is just as we left it, other than the addition of a traffic circle. There are still no traffic lights on the island. We know exactly where to go to see, get, or do whatever it is we need to do. We even recognize alot of locals from our honeymoon 10 years ago.

We enjoyed most breakfasts at the house, other than our 'St. John Breakfast of Champions' which consists of Hercules Pate and Rum Punch. A Hercules Pate is an island favorite that is similar to a large empanada but better. You have to get there early in order to score one before they run out. A great on-the-go breakfast on the way to the beach. All of our lunches were beach or poolside and then a handful of dinners in and out. Our favorite dinner spot continues to be The Beach Bar where we can pull up a table on the sand, enjoy a couple of beers, eat dinner, and watch Quinn get head to toe wet playing in the ocean. Dinner at The Beach Bar is always accompanied by lots of salty locals. Don and I also enjoyed a couple of dinners out by ourselves which was very nice.

We spent most of our days at either Trunk Bay or Maho Bay, but also threw in a couple of other beaches. On our last day on STJ we headed to Trunk Bay and were overrun by cruise ship passengers. They come in swarms and leave when the whistle blows. We had the misfortune of seeing a drowning victim pulled out of the water that day. He happened to be floating very near to where we were sitting but unfortunately there are so many people face down in the water snorkeling that this guy went unnoticed. We were underwhelmed by the life guard's response once they did notice him. They worked on him for quite some time on the beach but he didn't appear to make it. A bittersweet ending to our trip.

We headed over to St. Thomas the day before our departure and stayed on STT for the night. In previous years it has made the transition to getting home much easier, but was probably a little much with/for Quinn. But, we enjoyed the day by the pool sipping tropical rum beverages and checking out the hotel's local iguana population.

As you might expect, I took hundreds of pictures. I hope to get alot of them posted on a site where you can flip through an album, but I just haven't had the time. I will also need to make a separate blog posting with all the details from Don's Beach-to-Beach Power Swim. Lots of fun pictures there ;)

But, here are some of my favorite pics from the trip.

Maho Bay Baby Toss!





A view of Trunk Bay through Don's eyes.



Our favorite snorkeling spot on St. John is Waterlemon Cay. It's a 1.5 mile hike in and then a bit of a swim out to the cay. We always see lots of good stuff there and this year didn't disappoint. I was hankering to see a Eagle Ray and kept suggesting we would see one at Waterlemon. And sure enough we did. This picture doesn't do it justice. It is such a beautiful creature and is much larger than this picture suggests. I would guess his tail was 5 - 6 feet long. Majestic!


And Don got a glimpse of this shark swimming right off the beach at Maho Bay. This picture is actually the opposite of what it looks like. The shark was pretty small -- maybe 2 - 3 feet long. But he hung around for quite some time cruising up and down the beach just a couple yards from shore in the shallow water.

We were all happy to get home and back to our own stuff. Quinn was quite content all day Sunday touching and playing with all of his toys. Three suitcases unpacked and 6 loads of laundry later, all is good :)

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The Yes! Vacation Continues

Yes, you can have ice cream for dinner!

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Quinn on Vacation

Anything goes on vacation. Unless it was unsafe, we pretty much said yes to every request Quinnn has made.

1 - cookies for breakfast? Yes!
2 - a big drink of Diet Coke? Yes!
3 - getting wet from head to toe while having dinner on the beach? Yes!
4 - spending hours bare butt around the pool? Yes!
5 - I need ice cream! Yes!
6 - no need to shower for a week straight when you spend all day in the water! Yes!

We are having a great time and enjoying our last several days. We have a sitter tonight and then again tomorrow during the day. We plan to hit our favorite snorkeling spot Waterlemon Cay. Lots of pictures to come :)


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