Saturday, August 15, 2009

At the farm with Jenn

Our friend Jenn has a horse at a barn a few towns away. We've been trying all summer to sync up our schedules so I could bring the kids up. The stars aligned on Friday and off we went. The farm was a lot bigger than I expected. There were goats, a pig, ponies, TONS of horses and even a resident donkey named Amigo that roamed around.

I was surprised that the kids weren't afraid to put their hands out to pet the horses. When the horse would lick their hand they would pull it away and laugh.

These were the ponies. A little more eye level than the big horses.

After a tour of the barn Jenn took us for a long walk all around the farm. That's the farm house at the top of the hill. It's mainly a riding farm so there are lots of areas for horses to be ridden.

There was a water fountain in the middle of the property that the kids couldn't stop talking about. All they wanted to do was to go see it. We eventually made it there and they probably would have stayed there all day throwing rocks into the pond. Eventually Jackson wandered off and found a nice water filled ditch to play in.

While at the pond we saw a HUGE frog. Jenn and I weren't crazy about it. It makes me shudder just thinking of it. But the kids loved it. Luckily it stayed put and didn't jump at us.

Then we went back up to the barn to get Jenn's horse all dressed for riding. She just bought Major in May. He was very mistreated by his previous owners and was extremely malnourished. Jenn has done a great job taking care of him and retraining him (She's only 19 by the way). I never would have known he was 300 pounds underweight just a few months ago. He looked so healthy and was very well behaved.

The kids even got to help brush him.

I asked Jenn if Jackson could get up for a picture. She said sure so I asked Jackson if he wanted to and he said hmmm meaning yes. He absolutely loved it up there. She ended up riding around the paddock a few times with him. He cried when we took him down.

Then I asked Maddie if she wanted to go on the horse and she said hmmm meaning no. She really wanted nothing to do with it.

After that Jenn rode up to another paddock where there were jumps. The three of us followed behind. Through the fields were other jumps built into the landscape. One of them was these long black tubes stacked on top of each other. Maddie stood on one end and Jackson went to the other and they were yelling back and forth to each other. Jenn and I were cracking up until I heard Maddie scream and cry. I went to her and she was rubbing her eye. I thought maybe she burned her cheek on the black plastic or scrapped it on the rough edge but when I looked IN the tube I saw about 30 yellow jackets around a nest. UGH! I felt so bad that she had been stung. I know how bad it hurts. We all went back to the barn so Jenn could put some baking soda on it. She was still crying pretty hard and through her tears and heart breaking cry she looked me in the eye and said "KISS IT!!!!" She swelled up a little but strangely nothing like her mosquito bites!
We made our way back up to the jump area and watched Major take some jumps.

Then we walked back down to the area where Jackson first rode. This picture gives you an idea how big Major is!

Then Jenn hoisted Jackson up to ride by himself!

She said he was a natural. He was completely comfortable up there and very serious.

After we were all sufficiently, sweaty, dirty, tired and hungry we all went and grabbed a sandwich.

Below is Maddie's eye after we got home and had a bath. It was completely fine on Saturday.

Here's a slideshow of the many more photos I got that day.

Bradley Palmer

I can't believe it's August and we just went to the splash pool at Bradley Palmer State Park for the first time this summer the other day.

Last year was a little tough for me to bring them because they weren't real steady on their feet so they were constantly getting knocked under the water. But this year was a whole different story. I could literally sit in my chair and just watch them have fun. AAAAHHHH. It was great.

There is a playground right next to the pool so they constantly go back and forth. They both climbed this ladder for the first time all by them selves. I actually had to hold back the tears because they are getting so big.

Maddie decided she was going to do laps around the playground. She was skipping and singing all the way around.

There was an older boy who had a ball playing with Jackson. They chased each other around for a long time.

Then they stole some other kid's floaty and fought over it. Fun times.

The parking lot that we park in is about a half mile walk from the pool. We took in nature on the way back. They watched this butterfly for a while and were pointing at all of the bugs.

First time painting

I was finally brave enough to face the mess of painting.

The very first thing Jackson did when I opened the first paint was stick his finger in and lick the paint off. He didn't do it again.

Once he realized he was supposed to put the brush in he would only dip it in ALL the way causing all of the paint to spill over the top. I realized then that I should have gotten water paints.

The painting started off not so bad but then they wanted to open another color. Then another and another...

Until all of the colors were just smooshed together. Then they started finger painting meaning Jackson shoved his whole hand in there.

Then came the body painting...

All of the paint containers are now just black. We haven't painted since.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BBQ and First trip to Gillette Stadium

This past Saturday Gia had her annual BBQ. We spent a few hours there. Jackson was a total fish again in her big pool. He was swimming completely alone with the floatie on. He didn't want me to touch him at all. He even jumped in once without holding onto my hands.

Look how big Max is!!

After the BBQ we went straight to Gillette Stadium to take the kids to their first professional soccer game. We also tailgated before. They had fun running around in the parking lot kicking a soccer ball around. We had chicken that Chris made on the hibachi and cookies for dessert.

At the beginning of the game they were very excited by everything to look at. They loved how everyone was clapping and cheering.

Maddie even did a little singing.

As was to be expected the game didn't hold their attention so they were climbing all over the chairs and us. At half time we took them out to walk around. Once we brought them back to the seats for the second half they wanted nothing to do with being there. We stuck it out for a little while longer but left about 20 minutes before the end and as we were walking out of the stadium we heard a huge roar. We totally missed a goal! The kids would have loved that.
I initially only wanted to bring one of them then bring the other one to the next game but Chris wanted to bring them both. Now I don't think he'll even want to bring one back.

Go Revs!

Nana and Papa's neighbors

Two weekends ago we went to a birthday party for Nana and Papa's neighbor. All of his grandkids were there and some of the other neighborhood kids. They were all having a ball on the slip and slide.

Later we ended up at Nana's with the fire pit going. The kids were all up on the deck playing. Maddie was playing catch and Jackson was wrestling with the 5 grandkids. I warned them that he was a madman. They shrugged me off until one of them got kneed where a boy doesn't want to get kneed.-

Jackson was filthy! Look at that face!!

How cute is this kid??

Jackson and Grandpa mowing the lawn

Jackson is obsessed with Grandpa's tractor. He loves to mow the lawn with him. Madison wants nothing to do with it.

Visiting Alyssa at the hospital

Alyssa is expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday morning after a 12 day stay. When she was three days old she started to appear very jaundiced. Her bilirubin level was so high that they moved her to the special care nursery and ran some tests. She had been breastfeeding really well but it turned out that's what was making her sick. She has a very rare genetic disorder called galactosemia. Her body is missing the enzyme necessary to break down galactose which is in milk and even some fruits and vegetables and legumes. If the galactose builds up in her system she can have organ damage. This is very different from lactose intolerance. Once she was switched to soy formula she immediately improved. We're all going to have to be very responsible for the health of this beautiful little girl. Mike and Kristen are very lucky to have a geneticist that specializes in galactosemia right here in Boston. The doctor said she was the only person this year in Massachusetts to be born with the disorder.

So we've spent a lot of time back and forth. One day we were in the parking garage just outside the elevator. M&J decided they wanted to hang out there for a while. Jackson was playing the drums on the "wet floor" cone and Madison was sitting on the windowsill singing really loudly.