Sunday, May 31, 2009

Playing with the Primo

Now that Ryan is living with us again after announcing a few months ago that he and Casey had decided to separate, he gets Roman every other weekend. This si nice because we get to see him a lot and Jasmine gets to play with her cousin. They played on the playground in the backyard a few weeks ago and had a blast! It is fun to watch Roman get excited to see Jasmine and to run after her all over the place. Jasmine like to boss Roman around and he seems to be OK with it for now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 6 - Going Home & First Smile

Lorne had to work half a day on Thursday and so I spent the morning packing our things, packing the car, bathing both girls, bathing myself, and having lunch with Jasmine, all before picking up Daddy to begin the trek home.
I took my time with all my tasks in the morning and so I caught some cute moments with the camera. Ava's first smile was technically on May 20 - but I didn't catch it on camera of course. During our vacation, she started to smile more and so I had fun playing with her on the couch and got some cute smiles.Then Jasmine jumped in and I got some really cute pictures of the girls together. These girls are my life and when I look into their pure, sweet faces, I can't help but smile and my spirit fills with love and warmth. I can't believe I have been so blessed to have these wonderful little girls given to me and I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility in making sure they are happy, well cared for and being the best little girls they can be.When we finally got Daddy around 3 PM, we began the long drive back. We arrived around 2 AM but everyone was safe and sound, happy to be home and very tired.

Day 5 - Office, Aquarium and Uhlirs...

Laura had to leave on an early flight to a family commitment on our last full day in Boston so I decided to find something fun for us to do. Lorne of course had to work again but this time we dropped him off and took the girls in so they could see where Daddy works when he isn't at home and so his co-workers could meet the girls as well.Jasmine was super excited to meet everyone and sit at Daddy's desk and work with him a bit. All the people in the office were super nice to us and we only stayed 15 minutes as we were headed into downtown to visit the aquarium.It was a chilly rainy day, which made visiting the aquarium a great idea - but standing in line to get tickets a bad idea! Once we got inside, the first thing we saw was an amazing display of penguins. They were so cute and Jasmine had a ball watching them swim and walk around on their rocks. They were at the center of the aquarium so we saw them frequently throughout our time there.We also saw many aquariums with different types of fish and sea life - it was great to see how into it Jasmine was- she loved seeing all the different kinds of fish and asked me to tell her what kind they all were - thank goodness for good signage above all the different aquariums! She especially liked the clown fish (Nemo) and the jellyfish and sea dragons.In the center of the building is a HUGE cylindrical salt water aquarium that extends all the way up the building that has large sea life - sharks, sea turtles, and tuna, just to name a few. They have a ramp going up that you can walk up and get really close to the fish. We spent time walking slowly up and pausing every so often to get a good look at the fish and turtles swimming by. Jasmine especially like to pretend she was afraid of the shark and we played fun games together pretending to be afraid.At the top, they have a section where the kids can pick up and touch different sea creatures like starfish and some shelled creatures. Jasmine wouldn't touch the starfish, even when I picked it up for her. I am not sure why she was scared to touch it, since she touches all kinds of other animals, but she did touch a shell later.I also decided Jasmine was old enough to enjoy and Imax film and so I bought tickets to an under the sea one with Jim Carrey as the narrator. It was fun to watch her try and grab at the fish as they seemed to swim toward us with our 3D glasses on.Poor Ava probably didn't get much out of it but she was there and slept a lot.After we were done with the aquarium, we drove out to pick up Daddy from work and then headed off to our friends The Uhlir's house for dinner. Nik Uhlir and I went to high school together and he and his wife used to live here in Virginia and we used to do lots of things together. They moved to Boston more than a year ago and recently had their first baby, Nik Jr. about a month before Ava was born. It was nice to visit their home and see them again and met little Nik Jr. Dinner was good and the company was better. We had a great last night in Boston.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 4 - Boston

Lorne had to work for a few days before we headed home and we were happy to join him. Since Laura is currently searching for a job, she had time to hang out with us and show us the beautiful and chilly city of Boston.We were excited to go to the Public Garden where we saw the mallards and the bronze statue of the ducks in the book Laura had given to Jasmine as a gift. I loved the beauty and serenity that the public garden held in the middle of a thriving city. I could imagine having a picnic in the park and reading a book as the sun shone through the trees and the swan boats floated by on the pond. Simply breathtaking. I definitely have to go spend more time there and walk around the parts of the park we didn't get to.We took a ride on the swan boat and Jasmine really enjoyed being on the boat and seeing all the ducks and a few swans as well. Now when we read the book, she remembers she went on those boats. It is so great! It is worth mentioning that this was Ava's first boat ride!We stopped at a large playground for Jasmine to take a break to play and run around and so I could feed Ava as well. Jasmine had a ball and I was happy she could have a chance to get all her energies out.We then walked much of the Freedom Trail that goes through the city and our first stop on the trail was a church with a cemetery that boasts such tombs as Mother Goose, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and of course Benjamin Franklin.Next we saw the State House and a few markets before seeing Paul Revere's house (I must go back when I can get a tour inside) and finally, The Old North Church - where as you may know was where Paul Revere had a reverend put 2 lanterns in the steeple to warn that the British were coming by sea. I thought that was pretty cool to see - a historical gem.Having done quite a bit of walking pushing the double stroller with both girls, it was nice when we arrived at the restaurant that night, where we met Laura's parents and brother Andy for a great Italian dinner. I didn't take any pictures at dinner because I was tired from the day and was trying to feed Ava before the food arrived and then I was trying to engage in semi-intelligent conversation (from my end) and it was too much bother. Suffice it to say it was a very lovely dinner and evening with the whole Richter clan. We especially loved meeting Andy and along with the rest of the family would like to see more of him. I had a ball walking around Boston all day with all my best girls. It was a great day and Laura is a phenomenal tour guide. It helps that she loves Boston as well and loves to share her knowledge and she is also a great conversationalist and friend. Spending time with people I love in great places is what life is made of for me and it was about time that I went up to Boston to spend time with Laura.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 2 and 3

We had planned on heading up to Boston and staying with my dearest friend Laura but Laura gave us a call and said we should take a detour to New Hampshire and stay a couple of days at her family's lake house. Since Lorne didn't have to work until Tuesday, we decided that would be a very fun thing to do. Laura explained that it had been her favorite place in the world when she was 4 years old and that Jasmine would love it.
We had planned on making as early of a start as possible but Jasmine woke up in the morning dry heaving (this she got too much sun the day before and not enough water) and so after bathing her and changing her clothes twice, we started out towards New Hampshire.It pretty much took us all day to get there as we had to stop frequently to care for the baby and bathroom breaks for Jasmine and of course we took a break for a nice food stop. We didn't arrive to the lake house until close to 8 PM and Laura's parents were so kind to have dinner ready for us and so we sat down to eat.
We were pretty tired so after dinner and a little chatting, we headed off to bed.The Richter family lake house is located in the Lake Winnipesaukee area on a small 2 mile lake that I don't remember the name of. It is a great house, spacious and tranquil. I immediately felt at home and the hospitality from Laura and her parents was so nice.Our first order of business was to go on a canoe ride around the lake and check it out. I waited on shore while Lorne, Laura and Jasmine took the first ride and then Lorne and Ava watched as I went our with Laura and Jasmine. It was great - we saw some amazing houses on the lake and a loon in the water.I love being with Laura - she is fun, bubbly and lively and makes me feel relaxed. I am accepted by her being myself and that is very freeing for me. I also loved meeting her family. I have known Laura no for about 5 years and it was about time I met her parents whom I had heard so much about. They were so great to us and to our children. That is always the mark of people we love - they have to be good to our kids. It doesn't hurt when they are good to us as well!Jasmine had a lot of fun playing on the dock and throwing sticks and a ball in for Otto, the Richter's Golden Retriever. We lamented not having brought Preston. If we are invited up again I think we may have to bring our pup next time. Jasmine loved being outside and playing with Laura and being near the water. She even accidentally fell in while playing with daddy!After a yummy lunch, we put Jasmine down for a nap and went out driving around the cute little town and seeing a few shops. I love quiet towns like this - it is so peaceful and quaint - very New Englandish...I loved it!Laura brought out some of her old toys for Jas to play with and they also had fun playing Candyland together. We even joined in and had a good time!Since Lorne had to work down in Boston the next day, we packed our things and went out to dinner at a restaurant called Canoe before heading back to the Richter Winchester Mass. house. The food at this restaurant was absolutley amazing. I can't wait to go back and eat there again. I had a shrimp macaroni and cheese that was to die for and I tried Lorne and Laura's food and theirs was equally as good!The drive down to Boston was thankfully uneventful and we crashed hard that night after a perfect day.