Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blankie: Harbinger of Bad Boyfriends To Come?

About a year and a half ago, at the ripe old age of three, Laura decided to adopt a lovey. Specifically, a swaddling blanket covered with butterflies. Unlike Annie Bear, who 12 years later is alive, kicking, and at sleepaway camp with Clare, Blankie has not aged well. Exhibit A:

Blankie is so fragile that I am afraid to wash it - not that Laura would let me. Thus, Blankie is disgusting. However, Laura finds such talk quite offensive, and badgers me until I admit to liking him (her?) (a false claim, naturally). I have tried to plant the seed that Blankie will not stand the test of time, and may some day need to get thrown out. You can imagine how well that has gone over.
Today, Laura threw a tea party using the new set she bought with the allowance she saved for several weeks. In addition to inviting me, I suggested she include some stuffed animals. So, she invited Mousie and Blankie (here's hoping her creativity in naming improves in the coming years). Who invites a blanket to a tea party?? That was when it struck me: Blankie is probably the first in a potentially long line of undesirable boyfriends that we will attempt to discourage, and instead likely reinforce her determination to keep around. Perhaps I will start referring to Blankie as Bad Boy. I can hear her indignation now...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Buffalo Shuffle: Fourth of July at PCC

Given Danny's sore throat, our Fourth of July kicked off with a trip to urgent care to see if he had strep. He did not, so we headed back home for a relaxing morning while Tim and Larry golfed. We weren't too sure what Danny would be up for, but decided that we couldn't all forego the festivities. So Tim and I took the girls to the PCC pool, planning for Larry and Danny to join us for dinner and, ideally, fireworks.

Due to the inclement and chilly weather earlier in the week, this wound up being our first and only swim at PCC. The girls had a good time with Tim, and I once again enjoyed staying in my regular clothes and observing! (This happens so rarely in Atlanta, after all.)
Happily, Danny was well enough to meet us for dinner and carnival games, which kept everyone amused and thus enabled us to stick around for the fireworks. The buffet was delicious, the games fun, and the weather glorious:

Missing Donna, but knowing she was where she should be.

It was unanimously decided that Park Club knows how to do the 4th!

2015 Buffalo Shuffle: Favorite Spots Revisited

There are plenty of places we look forward to revisiting when we head to Buffalo. The kids love the quick walk to Spot Coffee for breakfast:

I love the typically cooler weather, allowing lovely runs around Delaware Park (and this year, Clare joined me more often than not, preparing for cross country):
We all love the Buffalo Zoo, and this year we got some exceptional views of all the animals, particularly the tiger and lion:

Danny is so tasty!
Laura and I returned to the Museum of Play in Rochester (below), while Donna took the other two to the Rochester Museum and Science Center, which turned out to be excellent!

Donna, Clare and I returned to tea at the White Linen Tea House, where we celebrated sweet Ryan's arrival:

And, we returned to Fort Niagara, where they were having a weekend reenactment of the French & Indian War. This was quite a scene, and I suspect would have been more enticing had Danny not been miserable with a very sore throat:
After observing a battle, and procuring a toy knife, I took Danny and Laura home while Tim, Clare and Larry headed for Niagara Falls on what was truly a spectacularly beautiful day:
Lots of quality time in quality spots!

2015 Buffalo Shuffle: Bay Beach

This year's summer visit to Buffalo was a bit condensed, owing to working around Clare's travel and camp schedules, and trying to coordinate with the CA cousins. Oh, and due to the arrival of the newest family member, Ryan Michael Frey! While I think we would all have liked a bit more time, we managed to hit all the highlights as well as try a couple of new things, so mission most definitely accomplished.
Clare with her adoring charge, Andrew
Last year, the weather did not cooperate for us to get up to the Wards' beach home in Canada - and our first two days in Buffalo made us wonder if the same would hold true this time. Fortunately, Mother Nature smiled kindly on us and we had a glorious day at Bay Beach. It was the kind of weather that meant adults weren't too interested in swimming, but that did not deter the kids. Better still, I did not have to wear a swimsuit and had the pleasure of sitting in a beach chair, chatting with adults and watching the kids have a blast.

Which they most certainly did. Clare enjoyed playing the role of eldest child on the beach, which made her the center of many young ones' attention. Danny and Laura, meanwhile, spent hours with the yellow kayak. Seriously, hours. Danny was most often the captain, giving rides to many a kid and also enjoying solo voyages. But as you see from the top photo, Laura wasn't afraid to lead the pack, either!

The day was the epitome of fun in the sun, and we are so grateful to be invited every year!