Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Polar Express

My brother Jared happened to hear about/find out about a Polar Expess Train trip out of Utica.  It's a 2 hour trip and on the first hour you are heading out towards the "North Pole" to see Santa and all his workers.  Who knew the North Pole was only an hour away from Utica?!  This was a bit of a let-down though.  I'm not sure now what I was expecting, but we just got to view Santa and his North Pole from the window of the train.

The other downside of this was that it seemed as though their normal P.A. system was down or that something was malfunctioning.  The elves kept coming through with a handheld speaker system that was scratchy and hard to hear.  I did hear one worker mention something about "something not working" - and that's probably why we heard the Polar Express Story near the end of the story instead of from the beginning.  The elves did their best in trying to keep us entertained by having games and dances in the aisles.

It was nice to look at the Christmas lights along the route glowing on the white snow.  Plus to see the anticipation of the kids when they heard Santa was coming on the train after our stop at the North Pole. 

We had an elf come through and start asking the kids what they wanted for Christmas.  Makenna started talking about Barbies and cars - which was news to me - but then the elf said, "Oh, you mean like a  Barbie car you ride in?"  She then went on to explain how you could get a car big enough to fit a person in and how Makenna could drive it.  I, being across the aisle and hearing this conversation, yelled, "Yo Elf! - are you paying for that?!"  Nothing like a helpful teenager to plant the idea in her head of some expensive toy and then walk away!

We did get to see Santa though and he gave each kid a bell and we got our golden ticket punched and made it back to the station.  That's where we were told we'd have hot chocolate and cookies.  Again, me in my disappointment thinking we'd have these gourmet hot chocolates and a buffet of cookies to choose from.  Santa must be in a fiscal cliff crunch as we got a little baggie of about 4 cookies (small archway chocolate chip ones - hard at that,) and instant hot cocoa - Swiss Miss(?) - about 3 /4 full and not too warm.

Being that it was well past Makenna's bedtime - she had a bit of a breakdown on the way home about Santa and what not.  But luckily the trip is taken in their pajama's and all we had to do was brush her teeth before we left the train station so that she could just fall asleep on the way home and we could just put her into bed. 

Not sure if I'd do the trip again or not....but it was worth the trip to do it once.

We started the day out by having Eli, Abbie, and Makenna (along with the adults) watch the Polar Express at our house in 3-D.

 Uncle Jake met us at the train station - which was mighty nice of him since he came in from Boston!
 Got our Golden Ticket!
 The "North Pole"



Dance - Again!

She still wanted to take dance (and I'm so very happy about that) - I love watching her perform and enjoy herself.  This year we signed her up for a half-hour class before dance called "acro" which is a fancy way of saying acrobatics - (or a lazy way) - but it does some of the things that she was learning in gymnastics. 

Like bridges, forward rolls, headstands, etc.  She's still trying to master these things but it's fun to watch her try.

Here's a cute video of one of her dance practices:
I look forward to more shows this coming year!

Summer Fairs

It seems as though we've created a tradition in going to both the local Spiedie Fest (August 4th,) and up to the New York State Fair (Sept. 1st).  This gives Makenna an opportunity to get her "fill" of rides and adventures.  This year was no exception.

This was a big tube like thing that she could crawl in and it would spin around as she crawled (think hamster wheel) - and it was floating on a small pool of water.

This was like a reverse bungee jump.  She loved this but was willing to jump too high.  I was hoping to see her do flips, and possibly spark her interest in going back to gymnastics.

State Fair:

She loved this swing ride and went on it at least twice.  Of course I tried not to think of her flying across the park in some freak accident.

I enjoy the opportunity to go and enjoy the fairs that we have locally and have a great family day together.

Uncle Tom's Wedding

On June 9th, my Uncle Tom got married in Massachusetts.  It was a really nice day and I REALLY enjoyed playing with my camera.  Let's just say these pictures are only a tiny fraction of the pictures I took.
(If you look close (or click on the picture) you'll see Eli hiding behind Makenna)

 (Abbie with my brother Jared)

 (Jessica with Abbie)
I know my child loves to dance but this girl danced non-stop!  She danced with people she didn't know, to slow songs, to fast songs, to song she's never heard before.  She was definitely entertaining!
Here is a link to watch my tiny dancer in action:
I only hope that she grows up still loving to dance to things in life that she's never done before!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Makenna turns SIX!

My little angel (said loosely at times) turned six on October 27th.  I have so many emotions regarding every year she grows older.  Considering she's my only child, I hate to see her grow as I know she'll one day grow to not want anything to do with me during her teen years.  I know that she'll look upon me one day and wonder how I every got through life as I'll know nothing in her eyes.

I fear that she will go off and make mistakes that I have.  I fear that she'll make worse mistakes.  I fear that she'll do things that have consequences that are unchangeable. 

But I also love her dearly, deeply and unconditionally.  I love to watch her grow and learn new things.  I love to make her laugh and watch her try to make me laugh.  I love to see her get so excited over seeing things and doing things that she loves to do, or was not expecting to do.  I love seeing her grow and learn at school, in her extra-curricular activities and her understanding of things.

I love seeing how she's grown in her vocabulary (even though it comes back to bite me at times,) her empathy for things, her curiosity of things (this year was a strong pre-occupation about death and dying) and her ability to read and do math in first grade that I swear I never did until at least third grade.

I love watching her doing things with her dad and having a close relationship with him - even though at times he can send her to tears on a drop of a dime.  But that just shows me how strong her love is for him.

I love when she says, "Yes mommy" in a child-like innocence of wanting to please and do as I ask...who wouldn't love that!?  I love when she decides to help on her me clean, help to do dishes or other chores. 

I love listening to her sing while she's on the toilet.  I laugh when she grunts on the toilet and talks about her "experience" of going with moans and groans and "phews"!  This is embarrassing to say the least when it happens in public but comical at the same time.

I love watching her get excited during a movie or show.  I love watching her dance and sing to shows.  I love watching her make faces.  I love that she loves going to bed.  I love her crawling into bed in the mornings even though I don't usually like the time.

I have a love/hate relationship with watching the videos of her as a little girl.  While it makes me smile and makes my heart melt, it also makes me cry a little for the little baby I used to have. 

I love being her mom and am so blessed to have had her.  I hope to have SO many more years to come, watch her grow, and cry some tears of watching her grow and become a beautiful woman.

Happy Birthday my bright, lovable six year old girl!
Birthday girl in the morning

These were at school from the day before her birthday

Her birthday fell on a Saturday so we could actually have her birthday party on her birthday at Jumping Jungle - same as last year - and another Hello Kitty Cake - like last year too.

 Cousin Eli taking a swing
 Can you see how sweaty she is in this picture?

 Here you can really see her sweat-soaked hair - at lesat she's having fun!
 Cousin Eli & Cousin Natalie
 Even Uncle Jared had fun!

Halloween 2012

Well now that the costume is all sorted out, we need the Pumpkin Farm Trip and the carving and the actual Trick-or-Treating portion of the holiday.  Also, the Trunk-Or-Treat at the church - can't miss that.

First up, Pumpkin Farm at Iron Kettle Farm
 The Hay Ride
 The Obstacle Course
 The Train Ride through (around) the hay
 Hopefully we remember to do this each year and see how she's grown
 The Great Pumpkin Decision
 Wheeling the loot to the car

Next up was the Trunk Or Treat at the Church - I took a lot of pictures but this one is the one I like the most (Makenna and cousin Katie)
Then we had to make sure and carve the pumpkins before Halloween (like 3 days before but hey, they at least lasted!)

 Someone does NOT like taking out the guts to the pumpkin!
 Our Happy crew

The comes Halloween.  This year we just went around the neighborhood of where Chris's parents live and we went with our cousins Eli and Abbie (and of course Uncle Jared & Aunt Jessica and mommy & daddy)

 Eli is Godzilla and Abbie is Dora.  Makenna made sure we understood repeatedly that she was a princess fairy.  At one point she yelled out loud for everyone one to hear, "I am NOT a FAIRY!"  We got a giggle out of that.  She wanted it to be known she was a Princess Fair and there is a very BIG distinction!