Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter 2014

Happy Easter 2014!!  We had a great day today!

First, to get us in the Easter spirit, some artwork from the boys.  They painted some Easter pictures with Natalie last week.  I love them!



Natalie bought them cute little bunnies (I discovered them when I put them to bed Friday night) and left us some gorgeous-smelling hyacinths on the kitchen counter.



The Easter Bunny was extremely generous to the boys, but I think he was probably also pretty thrifty.  Like I'll bet he got some of the stuff at Saver's, from Mini's attic, and Walmart...The Reese's bunnies are from Mini and the bubble mower is from Papa.




The boys painted the jelly-bean box with Natalie.  The Easter Bunny used it for some Hot Wheels cars.


Inside the large egg are some more Hot Wheels cars.





The boys were overjoyed when they came down the stairs.  I told Sebastian the night before that the Easter Bunny was coming and that he'd bring treats.  I thought he didn't even understand.  Well, the first thing he said when he woke up was "Easter Bunny!  Treeeeeeats!"  So I guess he got it!


Sebastian went straight for the Match Box cars.



But then he saw the Cars boxes...look at his face!


He nearly hyperventilated over each box.  Click here for a video of it.


He got Chick and another race car (came together), the "new" Lightening McQueen (after Ramon "paint's him up right"), Flo, Sheriff, and Sarge.




Meanwhile, Adi was thriiiiiiiiiilled beyond believe with his bubble lawnmower.


Here's a link to a video of the boys begging Papa to open their toys.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj4vXnkmrUI

Adi mowed the "lawn" back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...I thought he was going to put ruts in the floor.  He went through two containers of bubbles before we left the house at 8:45AM! Click here for a video of Adrian.



Sebastian was so happy with his new cars, the he didn't even ask to watch McQueen...he was content just to line up his cars over and over and over again.



 Adi put on his McQueen sunglasses to mow.



Even Puppy got in on the mowing.





At 9am we went to Nick and Lorna's for an egg hunt with their family.  Sebastian immediately started hitting on Caroline.  He was in love with her...he followed her around.  At one point he even tried to go with her into the bathroom.  She wasn't really enjoying his attention...poor girl--she couldn't shake him.




I think she's trying to escape him here...


The egg hunt was AWESOME.  The boys had such a great time.  They actually got the concept of looking for the eggs and had fun searching.  I should have known that the Paone family would know how to do an egg hunt right...they had the best prizes inside the eggs I've ever seen.  The boys got money, candy, a coupon for a free appetizer at Texas Road House, and bags of gold coins...they traded in slips of paper they found in some of the eggs for their prizes.  It was very clever!  I'll have to copy them for when we do egg hunts at our house in the future.  As always, we loved seeing everyone.  We felt bad because we left right after the egg hunt and came home to get ready for Auntie Mimi's house.



You'll notice in this picture that Adi took his lawnmower with him to the Paone's house...he hauled it with him as he searched for eggs.




At Auntie Mimi's Adi also had his lawnmower.  He had fun sitting with Mini on the stairs.  He kept touching the "troll toes" on a statue of a foot my Auntie Mimi has.



 Adi also played with Nana.





The boys had a good time playing cars and pushing the lawnmower around Tia Mimi's condo.  We ate like kings and queens.  Kitchen and Auntie Carol brought the boys McQueen sippy cups with McQueen tattoos inside.  Inside the cups there was also chocolate (their favorite!) and the Corvette race car from Cars that Papa loves along with his pit crew manager (not sure of his name).  They were happy to add those two cars to their growing collection.  Baby James was adorable as always.  I just realized I didn't get any pictures of him.  Bummer.

Kitchen brought the electric whoopie cushion, and Sebastian had a good time laughing about how all his cars were pooping.  Here's the video.

We left around 2:30 and the boys napped for about 40 minutes on the ride home.  They were CRANKY PANTS when we got home.  They were all out of sorts and didn't know what they wanted.  Eventually they got the crank out of their systems and were fine the rest of the afternoon.  They went to bed without a peep at 6:30 when we put them down!  Exhausted!

Oh, before dinner, I went to put more bubbles in the lawnmower.  The bubble solution leaked all over the floor...and then the bubble wheel wouldn't turn so it wouldn't blow bubbles.  Adrian wore it out in less than one day???  He didn't mistreat it in any way...so after he was in bed, Carlos took it back to Walmart to exchange it.  Luckily they gave us a new one and Adi will be happy tomorrow.

I have the day off tomorrow to spend with the boys!  I'm excited--I only wish it weren't April vacation week.  All of our favorite places are going to be crowded.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vermont and a Much-Needed Weekend

This was a crazy week!

I went to work Monday and had a regular day.  Tuesday morning my colleagues and I headed up to Vershire, VT, to Milton's The Mountain School (TMS).  Basically,  high-school juniors from all over the country can study for a semester at TMS.  It's a working farm, so in addition to studying (and the curriculum, classes, and grading are no walk in the park), the students shear sheep, milk cows, cook, wash dishes, harvest crops, and learn outdoors stuff like orienteering and survival skills.  The experience culminates in a three-day-long "solo" out in the wilderness.  They cannot use any electronics and have to last three days in the wild with nothing to do but a notebook and stuff to read.

Anyway, we go up to do some college counseling for the kids to make sure they don't fall behind while they are up there.  The kids are so fascinating, it's a great time.  Plus the food is absolutely amazing.  The salads use lettuce that is grown right there on the farm and is harvested just a few hours before you eat it.  I've never tasted anything there over the past two years that wasn't delicious.  We arrived Tuesday on time for lunch, prepped folders, and then had a group meeting (I had to meet with 6 kids while up there) and four individual meetings.  Then we had dinner and drinks with the head of school.  Then we were off to the Devil's Den in Chelsea, VT, where Rhoda (4th or 5th generation Vermonter) took good care of us.  Rhoda is a hot ticket!

When we woke Wednesday morning, there was snow on the ground and it was freezing.  Actually it was worse than freezing: 22 degrees!  Here's what the mountain school looked like:







The dining hall is really cool.  They have couches in the middle of the room, and they have brief meetings before meals.  Before dinner, we heard a teacher and student perform.  The student played the guitar and sang, and the teacher accompanied him.  It's such a cool place!



The place is very sustainable.  They have compost toilets (but running water), borax for soap, and they use bandanas for napkins--no paper.

After we finished at the mountain school around 11AM on Wednesday, we drove home and stopped at Simon Pearce for lunch on the way home.  That restaurant (I think it's in Quichee, VT?) has got to be one of my absolute favorites.  Plus, everything tastes better because Milton's paying and I can order what I really want!  I had the best salad I've ever tasted in my entire life.  I googled the salad and Simon Pearce and came up with the recipe!  Have to try it!!  They use malt vinegar in the dressing--I never would have thought of that!

We didn't get home, because of traffic, until around 5:45PM, and then I hit traffic on rte. 24, too.  I just made it home in time to see the boys before they went to bed.

Thursday I went to Milton but chaperoned senior skip day, which turned out to be a trip to the Big Apple Circus in Government Center.  I hate circuses, and I was probably under 10 years old the last time I went.  I hate the idea of them.  But I have to admit, this was pretty cool!  They had horses and dogs, and that was the part I could do without.  I think it's terrible to have horses in the CITY where they can't run around.  Anyway, it was a fun morning.

Friday was a busy day because I was making up for lost time in the office.  I was so glad when the weekend rolled around!

Today we didn't have music class because it's April vacation (although not for us!).  We had banana pancakes for breakfast and then Carlos took the boys to Mini's house while I went to the dentist and headed for the laundromat.  It turns out our washing machine needs to be replaced...the new one doesn't come until next Saturday!  While the boys napped after lunch, I did some raking in the back yard.  It was hard work because the leaves were pretty wet and it made it hard to drag the tarp filled with leaves to the back of the yard to dump.  But it looks better!  Unfortunately, we still have a ton more yard work to do.

When the boys woke, we headed to Bird Park in Walpole.  It's a huge park with paths that run through it.  They also have a basketball court/paved area where they have a bunch of cozy coupes and tricycles out for people to use.  The playground is for 2-5 year olds (perfect size!), and it's pretty big.  I took the boys there last summer, but this was the first time Carlos had ever been.  The boys loved it!















Busy day tomorrow, too.  I'll post about it and take as many pictures as I can!