Birthday Date Night

I had a really wonderful birthday and enjoyed our special night out.  Marleny watched Quinn while Don and I went to a restaurant in Liberty State Park which is on the river directly across from NYC.   We started with drinks at Liberty House Restaurant which is a large establishment with amazing grounds.  There were private cabanas, comfy couches, zen gardens, firepits with marshmallows along several bars, a dining room, and alot of special function rooms.  We saw 2 weddings in progress the short time we were there.   It was a spectacular location, but not known for their food.  We had dinner at a restaurant next door.  It was delicious!  When we got home we were happy to see the bottom right corner picture.  But that deserves a post all of it's own.  



Around Here....

...someone likes to play with Legos of all shapes and sizes.  

 

Spiderman

Our little guy loves to go vertical.  


One More Beach Day

With the change of Summer to Fall we thought we would sneak in one last day at the beach.  And what a glorious day it was.



 Don snapped this picture of Q and I playing down near the rocks.  





Back to Sundance

It's that time of year when I start singing the praises of Quinn's school, Sundance.  I was a bit worried how he would do with 3 full days but this has been the easiest adjustment so far.  Although he's not always happy to leave home, he's happy to go to school and is sharing so much information this year.   The other night as I was putting him to bed he said he wanted to tell one story and then read one story.  He went on to tell me the story about Little Tim.  This is something I don't think he has ever done.  Repeat a story that he learned at school.  Yesterday when we were at lunch he started telling me the story again and I whipped out my iphone to record it.   We were in a Subway restaurant so there's a bit of background noise but I think it's still cute.


I had a big frog he was Giant Tim
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim
He drank up all the water and ate up all the soap
Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit 

Last night was Back to School night at Sundance.  I got to meet most of his teachers and hear about what they will be learning this year.  As usual I was blown away and so happy that we found Sundance.  When we visited the art room there were self portraits of all the kids hanging up.  The children had mirrors to look at themselves while they created their self portrait.   Quinn's teacher, Ms. Kate, said that Quinn wanted to add four eyes to his portrait.  Ms. Kate asked him to look in the mirror to see how many eyes he had.  He said two but was very disappointed because he wanted to be an alien.


The teacher drew the outline for the face and neck and the kids did everything else.  Quinn doesn't really love to draw these days so I was very pleasantly surprised by this.  

Happy Birthday Don!

I would have blogged about Don's birthday when it happened but the birthday celebrations started early and lasted through the week...cause that's how we roll.

For some reason Don and I get our important dates messed up.  I believe it was our first wedding anniversary that Mom had to correct us on the actual anniversary date.  This year we thought Don's birthday fell on a Tuesday, which was actually 9/11, and made plans for that day.  Don requested a trip to Pizzeria Uno's for a deep dish pizza and beer.  It wasn't until Monday that we realized that we got the day wrong but still went ahead with our celebration as planned.

Tuesday:  Pizza and Beer and Balloon Animals at Uno's



Wednesday:  Special home made dinner and gifts (and a nice greeting from Quinn)



 {Don requested yoga blocks for his birthday and Quinn is demonstrating how to use them in a downward dog position.}


Thursday:  A visit from Grams and Carrot Cake 





{admiring the Legos candles that Q picked out for his dad}

Saturday:  Adult Night Out while Grams stays with The Boy

{love his picture of my handsome man}


Packing Lunch

I'm still a little bit excited about packing Quinn's lunch every day.  Part of the reason for that is because he's still excited about it every day.  Talk to me/us again at the end of the year.  I've decided to take a bento box approach to his lunches with bits of this and that with some fun cups and food picks thrown in for fun.

On Wednesday he got a mini-bagel with cream cheese, raisins and a couple of yogurt covered raisins, strawberries, olives, and a dried fruit strip.  And you can see how he did with his lunch.  I asked him if there were any animals in his lunch and he remembered all the little food picks.   But like I said, ask me again at the end of the year.


Sitting in the Sun

After a full day at school on Monday, Quinn and I enjoyed a day at home together on Tuesday.  It felt like our first cool Fall day and Quinn found a little spot in the sun to stay warm.  I loved this day and I love this capture.



Back to School

Monday was Quinn's first day back to school for another year of Pre-K at Sundance.    This year he will stay for a full day (9am - 3pm) so he will take a backpack with his lunch box.



Although all his backpack contained was his lunchbox, he thought it was pretty heavy and kept falling over.  One day he is going to be the best at drawing fouls in basketball because he can really fake a fall.



Off to school we went.  Once we got there, Ms. Kate helped him find his cubby and get his lunchbox and backpack situated.  Hugs and goodbye.  I was the only one who seemed a little sad.



Instead of a letter of the week, they are now learning a word of the week.  I think it's kinda funny that this is the word they chose but I get it.    Probably alot of mandatory stuff going on at school this week.



I was eager to see what was left in his lunchbox.  I sent him to school with a PB&J cut in to two train shapes, a cereal bar, some apples, and graham cracker bunnies.  He did pretty good!



I like to get him a little toy and a treat for his first day of school.  He had been asking and asking for a dino-car for weeks and today it was at home waiting for him.



It made me happy that he went to school happy and came home happy.  I asked if he slept during rest time and he said no.  I believe it because he was zonked out at 8:30 pm and slept until 9 am the next morning (actually I woke him at 9).

I'm looking forward to another great year.

The Bug Museum

On Saturday we had a very buggy experience at Insectopolis.  Who knew a bug museum could be so much fun.  I wish my father could have been there to share the experience with us and see how much his littlest grandson just loved everything bugs.

Interesting that this place is owned and run by a extermination company.  Curious.



The museum was just the right size and we were able to make it in and out of there in about an hour.   Long enough to make it worth our while but short enough that Quinn was enthusiastic the whole time.  There was a big selection of both live and dead insects.   Lots of live tarantulas and cockroaches.



I'm still rocking my telephoto/macro lens and captured these macros.  Quinn knew the bugs were dead if they had a nail in them :)



There were two live bee hives set up with clear tubes connecting them to each other and also to a source of sugar.    We also noticed a tube that looked like it went outside.  On our way out we went around the back of the building and sure enough there were 3 tubes with lots of bees buzzing around.



Once an hour the museum entomologist pulls out some live creatures to learn about and touch.   Todays selection included a hissing cockroach, a scorpion, a millipede, and a tarantula.  Our young entomologist host reminded us that these were all his pets and none of these could hurt us in any way.  Honestly, I had no desire to touch these things but felt that I needed to put on my brave face so that Quinn wouldn't be fearful.  Although it took some coaxing, Quinn put at least a finger on all these creatures.  Sorry I don't have pictures but it was one of those experiences that I chose to participate in instead of photograph.


It was really nice to see Quinn's enthusiasm for the insects and really enjoy the museum.  He always talks about how we are nice to bugs and that bugs like him.  Our little entomologist.  

Orientation Day

Quinn starts school on Monday.  I'm excited for him but not ready to see the end to our lazy mornings and fun summer days.  He will be going M-W-F from 9 am - 3 pm.  His first full days at school.  Orientation was on Friday but we started off our day playing with some friends from last year.   These are the two girls that he has been with the last two years at Sundance.  One will be on a different schedule at Sundance and the other going to pre-k at her public school.  We will miss seeing them and their moms.  

I can't tell you how much silliness and giggling was going on in this picture.  So much fun!!  (And sorry for all the crappy iphone images.)



Then it was off for a new pair of sneakers, some lunch, and Sundance.   I've been talking up his new teacher all summer so he was very excited to meet Ms. Kate and show her his new shoes.    His schedule is a little different every day with lots of time for indoor/outdoor play.  He also gets and hour for lunch and rest every day.  This year he will be learning language arts, math, science, art, computers (ha!), cooking, music, stage, and spanish.  Ms. Kate has warned us that the kids will become very independent this year so be prepared.

His class consists of all returning Sundance students -- there are 5 kids from his class last year and one from his class the year before (the little blondie on Q's left).  He also has another set of twins in his class this year (the two behind Q in the bright red and blue shirt).  And that's Mr. Daniel in the back that does all the sport stuff with the kids.


Quinn was excited to be back at school and see alot of familiar faces.  We'll see how that goes Monday morning!

I somehow lost the Sundance magnet off my car which really bothered Quinn so Don gave me his magnet.  On the way back to the car, Quinn asked if we could get one for Don.  Always thinking of his dad.


Here's goes another year!

September Beach Day

I love going to the beach off season.  The beach is empty and Quinn has free reign to roam.  I decided to take in a day at the beach before Quinn starts school on Monday.  You may remember last year we went to the beach club.  We visited again on Wednesday and had a very peaceful beach day.

My camera has a panorama function that will stitch images together.  As you can see, this function apparently doesn't work very well but here you go.   It was overcast but still warm and muggy enough to enjoy the beach and a brief dip in the pool.


The guys were ready to get going.  Beach, pool, beach, pool, beach, pool, etc, etc, etc.



Quinn loves little kids and always has a great time playing with Kaiden while Lucan goes off to find the big kids and all the action.



As you can see, it was just us and the seagulls.


Serenity now!

This and That

I'm challenging myself to use just one camera lens this week.  Fortunately this lens shoots both portrait style and macro.  I am struggling with the macro aspect but am giving it my best try.  I bought a bouquet of lilies to practice with but was pretty disappointed.  I feel the need to be more macro.  Here are my least hated shots (aka flower porn).






After a long train hiatus, Quinn has jumped back on the train and constantly wants to play Thomas or Chuggington.   We got him 2 new trains for his Chuggington set and we was very excited.   Hello Frostini!




How is it that kids can sit like this for hours?



You might recognize the painting in Quinn's playroom as one of our babyshower gifts.  It's full of fun little subtle images (life is a bowl of cherries, don't cry over spilled milk, a democratic donkey, etc).  Our dear young friend who painted this was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.   She is about to enter the "shit storm" (as she lovingly calls it) and our thoughts are constantly with her as she starts her battle to kick some cancer ass.


Dad




Recently Quinn started calling Don dad.  No longer papa.  Occasionally daddy (which drives Don a little crazy).    They are becoming quite a pair. Racing their hot wheels, building towering train tracks, and going off on treasure hunts.   In the morning Quinn frequently asks to go downstairs to see dad.  When I tell him that his dad went to work he will saw "awwww, I miss my dad".  My little mama's boy has turned in to quite a dad's boy...and I love seeing it continue to bloom.

Skimming Along

Our Labor Day weekend weather isn't really cooperating with us.  Too cool and cloudy for the pool today so we went on a kayaking adventure, this time much closer to home in our neighboring town of Cranford.   The three of us climbed in a tandem kayak and away we went.   

It's a fairly still and shallow river that runs through the parks and neighborhoods of Cranford.   There were many houses right on the river with fire pits, tiki torches, and chairs set up by the river.  We even saw a picnic table in a tree overlooking the river!  And of course we saw ducks, a turtle, and one lone deer.  

Don did most of the paddling as we enjoyed a quiet hour or so skimming along the river.  Not a bad way to spend our day.

Ahoy Matey!

On Thursday Quinn embarked on a pirate adventure with friends Lucas and Kaiden.  The first step was to get a pirate tattoo which matched the pirate dog on his hat.    Then pirate Grubby made sure everyone was strong enough and loud enough to be a pirate.  Step three, learn pirate talk.  Aye-aye matey!!



All the mateys boarded the Sea Gypsy II and were off on their pirate adventure.   Grubby led the festivities while Captain Smee drove the boat.  The day was full of sillyness and booger jokes.  But the favorite part of the day was finding Pirate Pete floating at sea and shooting him with their water cannons.  



I think I have the cutest matey of all!!!



The last task of the day was finding the "X" floating at sea which marked treasure!! (And yes, it was literally an X floating at sea.)  They heaved and hoisted it up.  There were 4 locks on the treasure chest and Quinn had been given a key earlier.  Once he opened up a lock he took the lock back to the captain.  You can see that the captain is where the adults sit, also known as the No Fun Zone.   (There was a large group of campers/counselors on the trip and were all wearing blue shirts.)



After opening the treasure chest every matey got a bag full of treasures.  Once we got back on dry land, Quinn pulled out his treasures for inspection.




This day earned Two Hooks Up!!