Friday, August 28, 2009

Kickin' Back in the 'Dacks

John and I always like to have something to look forward to. I think it was during our trip to Cape Cod last summer (if not before) that he started talking about where we could go on vacation this summer. Considering the baby and not knowing how well he would travel, we figured it should be somewhere within New York State (a 3 hour drive max). And he even suggested that it should be somewhere not too far from Syracuse so that the grandparents could join us for part of the time if they liked.

So he started checking out places on the web as soon as we got back. It was probably April when he started getting serious about it. When he got transferred to open a new Target store this summer, we were worried for a while that we wouldn't be able to go anywhere. But he cobbled together 5 days in a row (cleverly needing only 2 vacation days to do it) and booked Camp Garoga on the edge of the Adirondacks. The place was perfect: cute, cozy, charming and comfortable. The location was just about at Aaron's limit for a driving trip, and it was close enough to a fair number of activities to keep us occupied.

We had some good family bonding time. The first two days, before John got there, my parents came up. We went to Howe Caverns, which was the first time I'd been there in about 20 years. It's exactly the same of course, but according to the tour guides they are planning on extending it soon. Genevieve was suitably impressed.

One day we went to the Adirondack Animal Land, which is basically a zoo with a lot of animal interaction and other kid-friendly stuff. Another day we went to Saratoga Springs, and as I already mentioned, we spent a day at Six Flags. We took turns going on lots of rides with Genevieve of course. Even Aaron got to take his first amusement park ride--the Big Red Car in Wiggle World. :-)

I had never been to a real racecourse before, so I thought Saratoga was interesting. When we were on our way there, Genevieve asked if you HAD TO bet--because she wasn't going to lose HER four dollars! (Incidentally she "earned" that $4 by getting change of a $5 bill I gave her to buy a cookie.) Of course, when you don't bet it's not very exciting so we didn't stay long. Plus it was pouring rain much of the time. The horses were really beautiful, though. Oh, and Aaron got his first taste of cotton candy.

Despite the rain we did sneak in a campfire with s'mores and a little bit of hiking in the woods behind the cabin. On the way home we stopped by to see Grandma and Grandpa.

And John started planning next year's trip...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I really thought it would be done by now

The kitchen project is making progress finally...but still much to do. The whole experience has been fraught with difficulties. Partly due to oddities of having an old house (such as uneven floors and crazy wiring), partly my fault (I didn't like the original counter I picked out) and partly to unreliable contractors (e.g. it took months for the electrical work to get done). One contractor has been great throughout, though, and he has done a lot of work on the house this summer besides the kitchen, including rebuilding the bathroom wall, one of our chimneys and a little cupola on top of the garage.

Here are some photos of the current state of the kitchen. I love the new countertops, cabinet, floor, built-in bench seats and lighting. I still need one of the contractors to come back and finish up moldings, etc. Mostly we have the DIY part left to do: tiling the backsplash, patching and painting the ceiling and walls, and making curtains and seat cushions. Also I need to find a new kitchen table and chairs and install some shelving. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Acrobat

We went to Six Flags in Lake George on Saturday. Despite the outrageous prices of everything, we did have a great time ($25.99 admission for an infant? $8.99 for popcorn??), and we got pretty lucky with the weather. It was overcast and threatening to rain all day, which kept away the crowds, but it didn't actually rain until we were driving home exhausted from a long day of adventure.

Of course Genevieve had to try the bungee-trampoline thing. Most kids we saw just bounced up and down and maybe managed a flip here and there. My little jumping bean did flip after flip after flip...

When we got home from our vacation we heard that Genevieve had been selected for the gymnastics team at the training center. Since she's been going there all day for camp most of the summer, she's gotten to be pretty good. Her flexibility and skills have improved tremendously. In June she couldn't do a proper cartwheel, but now she's doing beautiful ones, as well as roundoffs, walkovers, almost full splits, and working on back handsprings. She can do seat drops, swivel hips, somersaults and other tricks on the trampoline just about indefinitely. I haven't had the opportunity to observe her on the bars or balance beam recently, but I know she was working on cartwheels on the balance beam (just the thought of trying such a thing scares me). They say she'll be competing at Level 4. She has a whole little routine she's been working on. When she perfects it I will post a video.

How astonishing that a child of mine could have such athletic ability!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's fun to feed a kid who likes to eat.

Aaron loves his veggies...and just about everything else. What a pleasure compared to my ultra-picky 7-year old. (To be fair, she wasn't picky at this age either.)
We did discover one thing he doesn't like, though. I have been supplementing a little with formula practically ever since he was born. He always had Enfamil and accepted it just fine. Last week I bought some Similac, and coincidentally around the same time stopped pumping at work so he was relying more on formula. Boy, was that a mistake. By Monday he was refusing his bottle entirely and getting pretty cranky. It finally dawned on me that evening that the fussiness correlated with the brand switch. I picked up more Enfamil at Wegmans the next morning, and sure enough, he's a happy guy again. I felt bad that it took me almost a week to figure it out. The problem was that I usually just breastfeed him, and various other people (father, grandparents, daycare) give him bottles, so I didn't realize for a while. I must admit I'm surprised that he cares and that the stuff tastes different. There is such an array of different types of formula these days, it's dizzying.