Friday, November 4, 2011

Bits and Bobs

The title of this post is taken from our days in England.  It's basically "Miscellaneous" said in a more fun way.

Anyways,  here's a few things that have been going on.  On Sept. 6th, the day before Makenna's first day of school, I decided to take her out and we went bowling.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera!  It was our first time bowling and we decided to invite our cousins Katie and Natalie. 

It was quite a hand full...3 adults and 3 kids bowling.  Natalie (who's 2,) kept trying to take her turn constantly.  Katie and Makenna just kept standing in the way where ever they were.  But we got through 2 games a piece and decided that was enough.  Not to mention how much the prices went up!  I remember when you would "rent" bowling shoes and get your money back.  I guess they realized that no one was going to steal these corny things, so they now make you pay for the shoes and you get nothing back in return. 

Makenna and I then went to the ice cream store.  It was just her and I in the store, and my ice cream was a bit melted and messy - not as good.  Either way, I enjoyed a day with my big girl who was starting the next chapter of her life the next day.

On Sept. 18th, it was a nice "Fall" day so Chris decided to get some painting done.  Makenna loves painting so she decided she had to help and Chris and I always love watching the two of them doing things together.

Of course she tired of this quickly but it was fun while it lasted.

On Monday, Oct 10th we decided to go to the pumpkin farm with Aunt Autumn, Katie and Natalie.  Since we left a little sooner than I had anticipated, I didn't have my camera - yet again!  (I still have to get the pictures for bowling and this from Autumn). 

Makenna enjoyed it until her and Katie started fighting over who got to push the cart with the pumpkins in it.  Makenna didn't want to do the maze so she played in a play area, and did a obstacle course.  I had to go in and help her the first time, because she wasn't sure what to do and got scared, but then the second time through she was a pro.
On Thursday, October 20th, Makenna found the guitar that daddy got from his dad and decided she wanted to learn how to play.  Now Chris and Makenna play at the same level.

 So hopefully at some point I'll bug Autumn to get the bowling and Pumpkin Pictures.  AND hopefully at some point, I'll be caught up and stay caught up!  Here's to wishing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

First Day of School - Take Two

A full week went by before Makenna had to go to school again (Sept 14th).  I was kind of surprised at this since her school wasn't flooded, but I guess kids in another area that are bussed to her school were flooded.  I think it was Ninevah area, if I recall.

This time it was a full day and as you can see, we still went with the Hello Kitty theme.

The next day, after school, she had her fist day of dance class - 20 minutes of ballet, 20 minutes of jazz, then 20 minutes of tap.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Day of School – Kindergarten (9/7/11)

I knew this day was coming and I was dreading it.  We got up bright and early (before 6am) to get our routine down that we scheduled out the night before. 
  • Mommy gets up – gets Makenna up and then takes out the dogs while Makenna gets dressed.   
  • Daddy gets himself up and ready for work.
  • Then Mommy gets lunch together for Makenna (and herself) and feeds all the animals (both human and beast). 
  • Daddy comes out and enjoys time with Makenna during breakfast.
  • Mommy then gets Makenna brushed (teeth and hair) and daddy gets to take the dogs out for one last bathroom break.
  • Shoes on, coats on – time to catch the bus!
Of course there may be a few extra minutes here or there to watch a little bit of cartoons and there’s always time to complain as we’ve found out.

We all made the trip to the end of the driveway, waited for the bus, had hugs and kisses, and I met the very nice bus driver – Sheldon.  He told me the “rules” of crossing in front of the bus – (go to the mailbox where he can make eye contact with myself and Makenna) and then when he gives the signal – a wave of his hand – we cross).  It was now my duty to pass this on and reinforce it with Makenna. 
I had a couple of questions myself.  What times does he expect to be dropping her off in the afternoons (he says around 3:45pm or so) and is he going to wake her up to get off the bus?  I’m serious I told him, I expect her to be half awake by the time the bus gets here.

Off they went and I cried.  Then Chris and I got in our car and went to the school to wait, and on the way, I cried some more.  We wanted to meet with her teacher and see where her classroom was and have a peace of mind.   We went in to the school and then decided to wait in our car for a while as we didn’t want to wait in the “herded” parent’s area.

Well, then close to 8am and her bus still wasn’t there!  Mind you she got on the bus around 7:05 a.m.  So about an hour later (exactly) – in she strolls.  After being so happy to see her alive, we walked her to the classroom.  She found her cubby and her assigned seat.  We introduced ourselves to her teacher, “Mrs. Friend,” – and yes that’s really her name.

We got a couple of pictures and we were on our way.  Chris took me back home and he left for work.  I took the day off to recuperate from the emotions and I wanted to really make sure I would be there when she got home. 

Good thing I did as I was startled by a phone call around 11:30 a.m. from an automated voice telling me that due to the weather (lots and lots of rain) that my child would be let out at 1pm.  I initially thought to myself, “boy if kids are coming home because of some rain – I can’t wait to see how many days I’ll have to take off due to snow!”
Since the bus driver gave me an approximate of 45 – 50 minutes to get home when they would normally leave at 3:05 p.m., I figured that she should be home 1:45 or so.  I went out in the cold wet rain with the dogs at 1:35 and started to wait and wait and wait.  The dogs were shivering and soaked so I took them back in and proceeded to wait some more – with Makenna’s rain boots in hand.
Finally after 2pm the bus showed.  I was a bit miffed but figured that due to the weather, he may have had to go slower than he normally would.  Or at least I hoped.  Otherwise this girl is going to have an hour drive each way every day!  Sure enough when he opened his doors, he had to wake her up.
But she was excited to see me and after a quick change into her boots, down the driveway we went.  I found out much later in the day the true severity of the rains – which you can see some of it in these links:

There are many more if you go to Youtube but I thought these would suffice to show you why Makenna’s first day of school was cut short.  Not only that, but she then had a whole week off.  I felt like this girl is going to be so confused as to why she has to go a full day and for more than one day in a row when school starts again.

Here’s some photos of the day:
(Can you tell we're now into "Hello Kitty"?)

Heading down to catch the bus
Meeting the bus driver
Found assigned seat
Returning down the long drive back home (after half a day)
Made it through our first day looking a bit weary 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NYS State Fair 2011

We decided to make another trip to the State Fair this year (Sept. 3rd).  Unfortunately, we chose the last Saturday of the fair to go which also happened to be a very hot, humid day.  As we were there, I thought to myself, didn’t we go last year on a hot and humid day?  Why do we keep torturing ourselves?

Then to look at the grin and smile of my little girl on the roller coaster (kiddie roller coaster) and other rides that I recall why we come...which I would have pictures of if the camera battery didn't die.
This year we also went with my aunt and uncle from RI who came down. 
As a special surprise, we happened to see Crystal Bowersox ( and got close enough to snap a couple of pictures.  I wasn’t willing to stand in line to get a picture with her but this was good enough for me!

I had also seen this on the news about this sand sculpture and it was truly humbling and amazing.  What was really hard was trying to explain it to Makenna.  She kept asking questions and the most simple answer I could give her was that some bad people did a bad thing that killed a lot of people.  Of course she kept asking why and I had no good answer for that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rare Form

Can I just say what a little stinker my girl is! She was in rare form today (August 30th).
This morning, while trying to get ready, I was insisting that she brush her hair and teeth BEFORE going downstairs to get her shoes on. In my mind, it was a time saver. Why go all the way downstairs to put on shoes, to then come back up and brush hair and teeth. When I was insisting on getting my way, she got mad, stomped upstairs, and said, "I quit you! Old Mother."
I burst out laughing. Not the right reaction but I could not help it. Then as she continued to talk back, I got on her case.
Later, when we got home, I was on her case about not eating her lunch. This has been an on-going issue for the past couple of weeks. I specifically put in her lunch, what she requests (within reason). Today was a grilled cheese sandwich with "white" cheese not "orange cheese." Come to find out as I opened her lunch box, she had a bite of applesauce and her juice box - that's it.
Everyone says I shouldn't worry but I am because I feel that she's going to need the energy to get through the day at school. She typically eats a poor breakfast too, meaning that she doesn't eat much for breakfast.
Well, when I found out how little she ate, I said, "That's it! I'm going to start packing foods you don't like since you're not eating the foods you do like." "Expect broccoli in your next lunch," I told her. Of course she's saying no way to that idea. I kept reiterating that if she's not eating what she says she will, maybe she'll eat stuff she says she won't.
Later, she used that same logic on the dogs. They haven't been eating much either and she told them that if they didn't eat their food that they were going to start getting food they didn't like. I thought, "wow, that was a quick turn-around." For her to use that same logic within a half-hour on someone else. I guess I was just glad it wasn't me for a change.
After dinner, which she ate right up, she was trying to get me to give her a dessert. I had already planned on going for ice cream with her as long as she did well at gymnastics. When I told her that she was all excited and gave me a high-five and a hug.
When we did go get the ice cream, and when I handed it to her, she said, "precious" like Gollum does in Lord of the Rings. It seems like we have some serious food issues in this family.

Canada Family Reunion

The weekend of August 26th, we had yet another family reunion but this time for Chris’s mom’s side of the family up in Canada.  It was really a birthday party for Joan’s Aunt Doris who was turning 85 but a lot of the family was coming so it was also considered a reunion.  We first debated whether or not to go since we knew hurricane Irene was on its way.  But what better reason to escape the possibility of rain, storm damage,  and no electricity then to leave and head up north for a family reunion.  We also took Chris’s parents with us so that they didn’t have to be nervous about driving up or back through the impending weather. 

We got up there Friday night and went to Aunt Doris’s house.  She lived in an apartment complex and when Chris and Makenna went out for a walk, they found a farm right behind the complex with goats, rabbits, horses, and other animals I can’t remember.  It was fenced off but the animals came right up to them.  Of course when I went out later with Makenna, the animals were being fed so had no interest in me.
The next day we went to some beach like area for the reunion/birthday party.   It was a really a nice summer day and we got to enjoy the water.  What was really neat about it was that it was really shallow water with a lot of sand bars so you could really walk out far and it was shallow.  The bad thing was you couldn’t really swim as it was so shallow.  Also, the section we were at was the pet section.  A lot of people brought their dogs and they seemed to have free reign about where they went to the bathroom.  I even saw one dog use the water as his spot so I wasn’t too thrilled about going in after that.

After the reunion we had to go find this cheese place which took forever to find but when we did, it was worth the trip!  I made Chris buy some maple cheddar and even though it was expensive, it was SO worth it!  We then went to “Aunt Jan’s” house (she’s a daughter to Doris).  She has horses that she shows and takes care of for other people.  She has a really neat farm house and is also building an addition over the garage for guests.

Since her sister who has grandkids lives next door, she also has this cool playhouse that Makenna enjoyed. 

All day and night we debated what time we should leave on Sunday; early in the morning, later in the morning, later in the afternoon?  We kept tracking Hurricane Irene and Chris finally came up with a plan to drive more West and then South to go around it.  This worked.  We saw sunny skies the whole way home.
We did decide to stop in Toronto at a Discovery Center but we only stayed for an IMAX movie which was ironically called “Tornado Alley.”  We felt that we should continue to push on as we knew the storm was actually heading into Canada. 
We went through the Canadian border at Niagara Falls and just as we crossed, I got a dreaded phone call from the girl watching our dogs that Maddie was really ill.  She had been trying to call me and it wasn’t until we crossed the border that the phone rang.
Not sure what happened but Maddie was puking and having diarrhea and was extremely dehydrated because of it.  I told the girl to go ahead and have the vet give her the necessary fluids and medicine.
When we got home you could see a remarkable difference in attitude from Maddie – she was practically lethargic.  After a few days she perked up but whatever it was came back again.  We had stopped giving her the medication when it seemed as though she was doing better and found out, just like humans, you should finish the medication.  She seems to be back on track but not quite 100%. 
Who wanted these stinking dogs anyways – oh yeah me – DUMB!
At least we got away and didn’t see any rain and only had a small tree that had fallen from the hurricane right next to our propane tank and still had electricity when we came home.  Even though the vet bill was an unexpected $250 we still enjoyed the last weekend of Summer.

Niagara Falls Reunion

I am SO far behind on my blogging (obviously)!  I will hopefully remember a lot of what we did the last month of Summer!
On the weekend of August 19th we went up to Niagara Falls.  The annual “Jones” family reunion was this weekend and we decided instead of just going up one night or just for the day that we would make a weekend trip of it. 
We got up there on Friday and went to Chris’s Aunt Doloris and Uncle Bob’s house.  They live in an apartment complex that has a pretty even driveway so Makenna was able to ride her bike again.  This just shows us we really need to pave our driveway.  This poor girl only has been able to ride this bike a few times and she really enjoys the opportunities to do it.

On Saturday before the family reunion we decided to go to Fort Niagara.  I don’t think Makenna was too thrilled so she seemed to immediately attach to another family – who we did not know.   She ended up taking off with them right away (and I mean within 10 minutes of us being there) and she disappeared.   I was used to this happening but Chris was not and boy was Makenna in HUGE trouble when daddy got a hold of her.
She had managed to follow this couple, who had a little boy, up the stairs of one of the structures in the fort.  I knew she couldn’t have gotten too far so I looked around and then went up the stairs and sure enough there she was.  What I couldn’t understand was why this couple assumed we were the type of parents who would just let their child go wherever. 

We continued to walk around to the different buildings and then at one point they were having a cannon demonstration.  Makenna freaked!  She was so afraid of how loud it was going to be that she couldn’t relax.  They allowed us to come up around the cannon to see the demonstration but when they were going to actually light it, we had to stand way back.  Well, Makenna wouldn’t even get near the demonstration.  She literally wrenched her hand out of mine and ran away to a “safe place.”  I kind of chuckled but then went over to her and held my hands over her ears.  It happened really quick and then tears started coming.  I think we both thought we’d have a moment to prepare after the fuse was lit but it was like – lit – BANG!  No long fuse there.  Once we got her calmed down, we finished walking around and then went to the family reunion.

Makenna obviously enjoyed this as she got to swim and swim and swim.  She barely came out to eat and then went back in as soon as I would let her.  She also got to meet some cousins who were relatively around the same age

The next day we decided to stop at the Niagara Aquarium – which was really not that exciting.  They did have some seals that were blind – as you can tell by looking at the eyes.  There were penguins, fish, sharks, turtles, and frogs.  But it wasn’t really that big and we were done within an hour.

So we decided to go across this bridge over to the “Discovery Center” – this was even smaller than the aquarium and nothing really too exciting for Makenna to do.  It dealt more with the history and formation of the falls.  So we left there and headed home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Biker Chick

Nothing too exciting has been going on since our trip, thus the lack of postings. But here's an update.

Back around July 15th, I had the incredible foresight to get the dogs "shaved" for the Summer. What actually happened was they needed to be trimmed, and after Chris's attempt with his shaver, we realized it would be an all day ordeal for us to do it. Plus, we didn't even think we could get Maddie to sit still long enough to do it. So I called Pet Smart and made an appointment. When they asked me about the length of hair I wanted, I said, just shave it. They asked, do you want some Schnauzer features to remain around the face? I said, "Nope, just shave it!" They said even around the feet and tail? I said, "Yes, all of it, shaved!".

I came back a few hours later and didn't even think they were my dogs! They were about an inch thinner and so scrawny looking. I wish I had the foresight to take a before picture, but you're left with the "after" shots. (Gunner is the one with some brown on his face).
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I went out and bought a bicycle for Makenna. She was getting way too big for the tricycle so we moved her "up" to a four-wheeler (as my dad put it). It has a princess theme on it and a place for her to add a passenger (in this case it was bunny) and a back-pack on the front for her to store all her important crap (I mean stuff).

You can see that after Daddy finally had a chance to put it together how happy she was. The downside, sort of, was that it was raining out so she had to practice riding around in the garage. But it's not like she could really practice in our driveway since it's all loose stone anyways, so it worked out for the best. Plus, it was a way to keep her contained and for her to practice turning.
She's trying to get the hang of the whole pedal thing. On her tricycle she could pedal backwards. On this, if she pedals backwards, she stops abruptly.
You can see the frustrated look of "not getting it."
But when she did get it....she was elated! She came in later to tell me that she can ride her bike now and that she was all grown up. Yikes!
We also had a conversation a couple of Sundays ago (July 31st) on the way home from church about 9-1-1. I was explaining to her what it's for and when she should use it. It boiled down to she should only call it if (a) Mom or Dad asks her to; (b) if she can't wake Mom or Dad up for whatever reason.

I have these visions of her calling it because she fell and has a scrape and I won't give her a "plaster" (band-aid) and to tell them that she needs an am-bee-lee-ance to take her to the hospital to get better. Me then explaining to the EMT's that her version of hurt and need of medical attention is a bit different than mine. But to stick around as she may now need some medical attention for calling.