An Evening on the Deck

Last night we all retired to the deck after dinner. The kids got out some energy and the adults relaxed with a cold beverage. Quinn is having a great time with his cousins and they are doing a great job of keeping him entertained.

Ty is a riot to be around. He comes up with the funniest questions and observations. Just this morning he told me that 'Quinn is a mystery'. Which can be very true at times. The boys were up much too late last night so Q was a bit cranky this morning. At one point Ty asked me "is this one of the times when he cries for no reason". Actually Quinn was crying for a reason, just not a very good reason. But back to Ty. He's a a silly little ham and always keeps us entertained. How could you not love this face.

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Ty being himself.

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My little guy with a chocolate chip cookie face.

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Ross and Tamara enjoying a beverage brewed in the Rockies.

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Tamara kicking back.

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A great view of the mountains at sunset from the back deck.

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Today everyone is off to Cabella's while I enjoy a little quiet time by myself.







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She's a Superstar!

I have had the good fortune to be able to watch Sami play in a couple of soccer scrimmages during my visit. Last night we got to see her score her first goal ever! It was pretty exciting to see her kick from the backfield go right through the goalies legs. She also got to kick most of the penalty and corner kicks. Here's our little superstar.

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We also went to a game the night before and those poor girls had to 'warm up' and start the game in a torrential downpour. It was raining so hard for about 30 minutes. Fortunately the skies cleared and the sun came out. It was quite a beautiful sight with the sun streaming through the clouds and the Utah mountains in the background. Here's a shot of Tamara and mom watching the game.

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Bold Move

Quinn and I are visiting Ross and family in Utah and last night we went to watch Sami play in a soccer scrimmage. Quinn was having a great time on the playground duplicating all the moves the big boys were making. It was especially heart stopping for mama because it had just rained so everything was slick.

In this photo, I had asked him not to climb up there. He just gave me a small liitle smile and climbed right up.



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Mister Handsome

Quinn loves:

- playing outside
- riding his scooter
- Thomas, Buzz Light Year, Nemo, wall-E, etc, etc, etc
- slow mornings cuddling with mama or papa
- cheese, chocolate milk, and strawberries (not necessarily in that order)
- cookies (which we call fig newtons (yes, a bad trick on Quinn))
- all the things I didn't mention, and

hanging out at the pool....



Thanks Stacey for a great picture.

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Art Installation

I thought it would be fun to put some homemade art work in Quinn's playroom. I bought a couple of canvases and had Sullivan paint one while she was here. We asked her to paint something that Quinn would like and she hit the nail right on the head with a rocket ship. We gave her free reign and I think she did a pretty fantastic job. Notice the craters she painted in the moon.

I then chose the same colors that Sullivan used and had Quinn do his own painting. Quinn kept talking about Sullivan's rocket but said the orange rocket ship looking thing in the lower right area was a waterfall. Rocket ship or waterfall? He also painted the Q himself. I urged him to paint a Q and also re-dip his brush in the paint but it was all him.

I love how they turned out and they look great in Quinn's playroom.





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Letters and Sounds

Quinn loves the alphabet and all the sounds each letter makes. We have alphabet magnets on the refrigerator and he likes to collect ALL of them in his Hess dump truck and go through them making the sound each letter makes. He also loves tracing letters.

We were up late the other night and I captured Quinn having fun with his letters.



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Lady Liberty

Stacey and Sullivan visited last week and they really wanted to make a trip to the Statue of Liberty. We had a false start on Wednesday due to someone staying up too late the night before and another little someone getting up very early that morning. We were happy we didn't go on Wednesday because it poured down rain. We finally made it on Friday. It was hot and crowded but always worth the trip. A bonus for Sullivan was a Barbie exhibit at Ellis Island with Barbie's from around the world.

The top three pictures are from my iphone. This application gives the pictures a throwback feel to an older film camera. I love this picture.



I posted this picture on Facebook and got lots of comments that Quinn looks just like me. Maybe I need to do a "Like Mother, Like Son" post. You can see I dressed him in a very bright outfit. One of my mom tricks that I use when I know it's going to be crowded and I want to be able to spot him quickly.



I was lying in the grass to get all of Lady Liberty in the picture and my little man was climbing all over me. We were having a great time!



Stacey and Sullivan were having fun with poses. This one turned out very cute. While Stacey was here we also created a watermark for her now that she has started blogging.



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This is for Don

Don has been working very hard at teaching Quinn his full name and birth date. I'm working on age with the display of fingers. So far I'm on 2 days with 4 fingers :) Today for the first time I heard Quinn say his full name and birth date. If you know what they are, you should be able to understand him. This is a *very* quick video.



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Sweets for my Sweets

Quinn's post hair cut treat is a chocolate-vanilla twist at Rita's. I think he likes it.

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Quinn and Sullivan

I had such a great time with Stacey here for almost a week. Sitting around chatting, having a glass or two of wine, off on an adventure, or watching the kids. And Quinn loves Sullivan! And Sullivan was so good with Quinn. They really kept each other company and had a great time. They both love the iphone, tv, movies, swinging, pouring water from one cup to another, swimming, buzzing around on the scooter, painting, etc, etc.

Here's how their friendship unfolded over the week. A morning banana in the recliner while they watched some tv.



Never far from each other.











Quinn had his own 'video' but he would much rather cuddle up with Sullivan and watch hers.



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Westfield Pool

In a post a couple of months ago, I mentioned that a friend started a blog about all the things she loves about Westfield. She moved to Westfield a year or so ago and her blog highlights all of her great finds in and around town. In one of her recent posts she highlighted the Westfield pool. Lots of great pictures of the pool. http://www.westfieldclio.com/2010/07/blue-crush.html

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Quinn on Swing

I apologize for the radio silence and no posts lately. I'll see if I can make it up to you over the next couple of days. We'll start off with this little video of Quinn on the "monkey" swing. In the last month he's become more interested in the swing. Then Sullivan was here visiting and she LOVES the swing which renewed Quinn's interest. Quinn shed many tears that week when he had to take turns with Sullivan on the swing.

If you listen closely, you can hear Quinn saying "To infinity and beyond" when you give him the blast-off push. Buzz Lightyear says that in the movie "Toy Story" which happens to be one of his new favorites. Enough jibber jabber -- here's the video...



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It was the Best of Times...



This is Quinn just as he is waking up. Maybe not so happy. You may remember back in November when I made this post about the Terrific Two's. At the time I thought Quinn was entering that two year old stage but what I didn't realize was that it was just the tip of the iceburg. I am back to reading parenting books to give me ways to cope in the moment and also look at the bigger picture.

I never realized what strong emotions a little 2 3/4 year old boy could pull out of me. I was telling Don the other night "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Funny -- I just looked up the full quote and it seems quite appropriate...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it ws the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."

I watch amazed as he learns new sayings and builds sentences, operates the microwave, puts on his own shoes, cuddles with me every morning and everything else that makes my heart smile. (As I type this he just asked me to get a ladder so he can get a clock off the top shelf of the bookcase.) I also stand amazed as he breaks down crying and immobile when I get his shoes out of the closet instead of letting him do it, when he refuses to get dressed because I pulled off his pj bottoms instead of letting him do it, when I try to get a bathing suit on him, and the list goes on.

We have learned to give Quinn lots of options so that he has a sense of control and independence. Sometimes it's as simple as "juice or milk?". Other times it's "Do you want to walk up the stairs or should I carry you?". He hasn't quite realized that he another choice of doing nothing at all, but it works to get him upstairs.

We add tools to our parenting toolbox but every time we get one thing figured out, it changes again. I remember when I knew *everything* about parenthood -- my name was Aunt Amy.

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Half Share

One goal for Don and I is to find new ways to live 'greener'. We purchased a compost bin at the beginning of the summer and enjoy seeing the compost grow and then shrink. We had been putting in our oodles of pizza boxes but they weren't breaking down quickly enough so off to the landfill for pizza boxes.

So we were pleased when a new friend offered to share her Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with us. If you're not familiar with CSA's then check out this. We pick up our bounty at a local church and she and I will switch off every other week. I'm really excited about participating and supporting a local, organic farmer.

In this week's share, we got one bunch of boston lettuce, 3 sweet onions, one bunch of basil, 2 cucumbers, 3 summer squash, one bunch of broccoli, three beets, three kohlrabi, one bunch of swiss chard, and one pound of sugar snap peas.




Don and I participated in a CSA in Seattle and I found it easiest to break everything down the day you get it, if possible. So all the greens got washed, chopped and bagged. Tops were cut off, veggies were washed and broccoli was cut in to florets. I also shelled and cooked the peas, which we munched on during dinner, and made pesto out of the basil. See....



From what I understand, the share grows as the summer goes on. We've also signed up for an additional fruit share where we get an additional share of fresh summer fruit. Can't wait!

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Like Father, Like Son?

When Quinn was born, we all looked at him and tried to figure out who he looked like. In one picture he reminded us exactly of cousin Alex, but that was short lived. I sometimes hear that he looks alot like me but I think that's because we have similar coloring. It seems like lately that most people think he looks like his dad...and Don agrees.

Thanks to Barbara, who sent me pictures of Don as a baby, we are able to do some comparisons. I tried to find a similar-ish picture at the same age.

This first one really surprised me. I had remembered taking a picture of Quinn rummaging through the pantry right after we moved in to our house in NJ. It turns out that both Barbara and I took pictures of our boys at the same age going through the pantry. They are both about 16 months.



Here are my two favorite guys at about 20 months old.



And celebrating their 2nd birthday.



So, what do you think? Like Father, Like Son?


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Morning and Night

We have our routines. Quiet mornings that start out in slow motion. Quinn is slow to wake up (like his mama) and likes to be held for a good 20 minutes or so before he's ready to start the day. It's one of the best parts of the day. On this morning Quinn asked for some hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream. We balanced it with some cantaloupe and raspberries. Sometimes Quinn likes a sense of order, which can be seen from his line up of melon.



Ready, Set, Smile :)



This is one of my favorite pictures. The pure, natural smile from our Mister Handsome.



Our evening routine usually takes us out to the patio for digging in the sandbox, spraying the hose, swinging, or maybe even painting.















I love our morning and evening routines.

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One Day at Trunk Bay and an "End"ing Treat

I thought I would post more pictures from our trip to St. John. All but the first picture are from our first day on St. John at Trunk Bay. While I was there, I decided not to take all the usual photo shots -- how many pictures do I really need of Trunk Bay? Yes, it's one of the most photographed beaches in the world but I really like this one that I took last year.



The rest of these shots are from our compact waterproof Canon which turned out to be a great little camera, above and below the ocean blue.

Don and Quinn coming out for a swim. It took Quinn a day or so to get warmed up to the ocean and it's gentle current. Don took matters in to his own hands and hoisted Quinn up high!



A view from above the ocean blue...



and a view from below the ocean blue.



I grabbed my snorkeling gear and camera and off I went. Just in case you need directions just follow the underwater signs.





There were lots of these tiny silversides. I looked over and saw a cyclone of fish.



All the little fish got the bigger fish jumping.



You also always see beautifully colored Parrotfish -- this guy is a Stoplight Parrotfish. Their job is to clean algae off the coral and rocks. When you're underwater you can hear them scraping at the coral.



I love the reflection of the coral off the water.



These Squirrelfish with their big black eyes always creep me out a little bit. They're usually hanging out under overhangs.



A post snorkeling picture of me and the little man.



A view from where I sit.



Oh how I love Trunk Bay.



And one last "treat" to end our day. We were sitting on the beach having dinner at the Beach Bar and this rowdy crew sailed by.


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