Stories & Such

From a mother of three to you.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Our StoryLand Story

Way back in June of 2008 our family made it's first journey to the White Mountains of NH to visit StoryLand.  I had vague memories of going to park when I was a kid, and my mother remembers being taken there when she was a child as well.  With that in mind, I admit I was worried that the place would be dated and rundown.  Much to my delight, my worries were unfounded.

StoryLand is a beautiful park with lovely flower gardens, updated and well kept Story Book scenes, family oriented rides and play areas, as well as shows and character interactions.  The park is perfect for a young family, not quite ready for the size or expense of the full Disney experience.  We enjoy it so much, we have returned to StoryLand on four other occasions and made some amazing family memories.

I hope you enjoy this photo set of our StoryLand adventures.

Monday, August 27, 2012

One Crazy Summer

Summer is once again coming to an end and it has been a full and fun one.  Tomorrow morning  all three of my "babies" hop on a school bus and head off to elementary school together.

I am both sad and excited to see them go.  I will not be one of those mothers who cries as the bus pulls away.  I may even feel compelled to raise my hands in a brief celebration of victory.  But I am aware that I will never be the mother's of an infant, a toddler, or a preschooler again, and that comes with it's own joys and sorrows.

I will never change another diaper, they have visiting nurses for that.  I will never prepare a bottle for a midnight feeding.  I will never again scrape babyfood off my kitchen floor, the highchair, the walls, the baby.   I will never again put my children in the dryer.

I will never again misalign the snaps up and down the inside of my children's pants.  I will never again spend my mealtimes cutting food into tiny pieces until my food is cold and congealed.  I will never again struggle through the grocery store with a baby on my hip, another in the basket, and a third pulling random colorful items off the shelves and tossing them in the cart while I'm not looking.  I will never again rock my babies to sleep, though Allison has been requesting and receiving lullabies at bedtime lately, and every once in a while I still pull her into my lap and snuggle with her while I sing.

I will never again be vomited on.  Seriously children, I am so done with that so you are never ever drinking alcohol while you are living under my roof!  I will never again put 2 kids on the bus at 7:55 then bring a kid to preschool for 9:15 then rush home to get a kid off the bus at 11:30 then pick up my preschooler at 11:45 then get the last kid off the bus at 3:05.

I will never again be mystified by my child's incoherent babble, I will misunderstand them for completely new and unexpected reasons.  I will still lose sleep, though not because my child is hungry or wet or playing "let's torture mommy and scream loudly for no reason until she comes in and holds me and then stop screaming and pretend to fall asleep until she puts us down in the crib and then instantly start screaming again".  I hated that game.   I will still plan birthday parties but the theme won't be Sesame Street.

I will lose my cell phone again, it is inevitable, but not to liquid dammage (not covered by warranty) after a dixie cup of juice is dumped into my purse; I'm sure I can be more creative then that.   I will still love them with complete abandon, though now I can share that love with them on a whole new level.

That's only a small sampling of all the things I won't be doing anymore.  It pales in comparison to all the things we have yet to do together.  As you all know, I have three wonderful, gorgeous children and this summer we made a lot of fabulous memories.  We'd like to share them with you.

We started the summer with Allison's 5th birthday party.

Then she rocked her first dance recital.

Then we went camping with some good friends.

After the camping trip we made our annual 4th of July pilgrimage to up-state New York to visit Memere and Pepere.  

We took the kids to Breezy Grounds picnic, lake and water slides.

We had fun at Grandma and Grandpa's lake house.

And we finished off with Alex's 9th birthday party at One Stop Fun.

It was long, hot and fun, but all good things must come to an end.  We're trading in bathing suits and sunscreen for packed lunches and homework.  And as mixed as my emotions are about seeing all three of my babies hop on a bus tomorrow, I believe the image below sums it up appropriately.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Allison's Stay & Play Concert

Allison is growing up fast and hitting some new milestones.  Today marked the end of her Stay & Play experience at her preschool.  Her final day of school is actually next Friday, but the Stay & Play group had a little concert today to celebrate the friendships and love for music they've shared this year.

Enjoy these pictures and videos from the show.

A, B, C, D...

Muffin Man...

Do Re Mi...

The Lion Sleeps Tonight...

Goin' To The Zoo...

East Side West Side...

Gillis Mountain...

Tossing & Turning...

If I Had A Hammer...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Valentine's Message from Allison

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I didn't buy cards,
and mail them to you.

Don't hold this lack
over my head,
I'm sending these
super cute videos instead.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1st Day of School 2011

Three years ago I watched Alex hop on the school bus for the very first time. Today it was Conner's turn. After waking up to an insanely early alarm, I got going and got breakfast ready and lunches packed. For the first time ever, we had to drag poor Conner out of bed.

We have no idea where that black eye came from. He didn't go to bed with it! Conner soon rallied and got excited for his first day of school.

We really need to work on our routine, because as I'm writing this, it occurs to me that the next step should have involved brushing teeth. There's always tomorrow. We got on shoes and went outside to wait for the bus.

Then the bus appeared, and my three year preschool veteran followed his big brother up onto the bus and headed off to Kindergarten with no hesitation.

And that's when the overwhelming feeling hit me that my tiny little baby boy wasn't a baby anymore, and that my two oldest had just stepped onto the bus and left our home. They have grown up so quickly and the summer break has ended. Life will never be the same again. The emotions were admittedly overwhelming.

Click here for the full photoset from our fun morning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Allison's 4th Birthday

Allison is 4!  And it's about time.  I am constantly asked if she and Conner are twins.  Here are some pictures from her family party and her Fairy Princess party with her school friends.

Princess (and Prince) Class

This past spring a new children's playspace opened up in the next town over called Jam Time.  Aside from providing an excellent environment for little kids to run around and play, the place offers a set schedule of "classes" that appeal to the 2 - 6 crowd.  When I saw that they had a Princess Class I just couldn't resist signing Allison up.  

Now, Allison is in general a pretty grown-up little girl.  She tends towards a maturity and confidence that exceeds her 4 short years.  Knowing this, I assumed that Allison would enjoy herself in Princess Class while Conner played outside the little class room in the big open playspace full of other kids and a wide range of toys and climbing structures.  Both kids had other plans.  Allison would not stay in the classroom unless I stayed with her, and Conner would not play outside the classroom unless I stayed with him.  That's how we all ended up staying for Princess Class.  

For the 1st 10 or so minutes of the class, the girls were provided with a multitude of fancy costumes, fairy wings, tiaras, jewelry, shoes, wands, etc.  They dressed themselves all up, then the unused costumes were put away and the class was taught some etiquette lesson in a very fun and age appropriate way.  They played some games and listened to stories, then there was a craft to do and finally, a princess tea party with strawberry milk and a treat.  

Conner made it a minute and a half before jumping in.  He helped Allison pick out her costume, participated in the lesson, made a craft, and loved the tea party.  By the end of class I was writing a second check to the owner because Conner was hooked.  They graciously renamed the class Princess and Prince Class, and brought in knight and pirate costumes, but Conner has no interest beyond helping Allison with her attire.  

Here are some ridiculously cute pictures I've taken of the class.

Spring time fun

So many things happened this past Spring and I just had a lovely time going through the pictures.  It's amazing how much the kids change, and how quickly.  I notice a difference even though it's only been a few short months since most of these events happened:

Our nephew Sam had his second birthday.

My mother began the second leg of her battle against breast cancer.

I made too much popcorn.

Paul finally decided to keep me, and made it official by giving me his class ring.

Alex had his art project selected to be put on display at our public library.

Conner lost his first tooth.

And Allison got really really dirty.

Here are a few more pictures from the spring that you may enjoy.

Disney World!

It took months of planning, weeks of packing, and hours of flying, but in February Paul and I managed to successfully take the kids to Florida to vacation with Grandma & Grandpa Hall, visit Great Grandma Russell, visit with my cousin Cyndie and her wonderful family, and in our free time, we all went to Disney World a whole lot.

This was no small feet and there was no small amount of camera action, so witteling the 600+ pictures of vacation perfection down to a reasonable number was...well...beyond my capabilities.  I'm afraid I couldn't get it under 246.  However, you can rest assured that these are 246 of the best pictures you have ever seen in your entire life of the Russells and Halls and Great Grandma in February.  At Disney.  In the year 2011.  Pinky swear!

January 2011

Okay, so I'm way way way behind in posting pictures of the kids to this blog. But, you're in luck! I have dedicated this very evening to catching up and getting you the kid pics you deserve.

So, without any further ado, I dare you to look at the following picture set without smiling.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fabulous Fall Family Fun

Here's what we did all last fall:

Pumpkin picking,
Conner's birthday,
Painting the living room,
Making cookies, and
A haunted gingerbread house.

And here are the pictures to prove it:

click the SUPER pic for a slideshow

Allison vs. The Tide

This past summer Allison was lucky enough to spend a day at Hampton Beach with Grandma Hall and Mommy. After playing in the cold surf for a while, Allison noticed another family digging in the sand and building up a wall to try to keep the water out. She asked me to build one for her too, so I did, and in she climbed.

Here is a video of the first castle's unfortunate demise.  This video gets interesting at the 1:30 minute mark.

After her first "castle" was swallowed by the surf, Allison moved a little further up the beach and asked me to build her another one. We made it a little deeper then the first, with higher walls.

It didn't take long before it met the same fate as the first.

All in all it was a great day at the beach and fun to watch on this particular cold and rainy day.