Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When playing is all one wants to do.

On the days, when instead of napping we prefer playing hide-and-seek,

we get out of the house

and head to the forest to play with a friend.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We'll be back sooner than expected.

With the weather report predicting yet another day in the 90s for Sunday, Seth came up with the idea of driving to Bushkill Falls for a nice walk in a (hopefully) cooler area. After packing up the car and heading out, we were on our way. It took about 15 minutes before Seth realized he'd left the name of the falls on a piece of paper on the kitchen counter, but luckily for the GPS system's 'point-of-interest' database, we were able to find the way. (How did we ever manage before GPS systems. Oh yeah ... our husbands would get lost until we insisted on asking for directions!)

I must say, even though the trip was a little bit over an hour and a half each way, it was totally worth it... except that we'll be back there next week for our vacation at the Pocmont Resort, located right across from the falls. No, we hadn't realized they were next door to each other.
The scenery is so beautiful, that I wish I lived nearby and could visit the falls every day. I don't think the kids appreciated them as much though. They were more preoccupied with climbing up and down hundreds of steep stairs. Julia walked down the stairs by herself without holding to a railing, and even when Seth or I would try to help, she'd scream that she wanted to do it herself. (She is at the stage where she wants to do everything by herself whether it's climbing very steep stairs, climbing up metal bars in the playground, getting dressed, crossing a street, jumping from a couch onto a chair, etc.) I'm stuck letting her feel that she's doing these things herself, but I (justifiably) can't completely trust her yet. (The times that she does fall, at least I'm there to catch her.) Most of the time, we would have to call for David as we'd lose sight of him as he was running ahead of us jumping over a few steps at the time and not fazed that beyond the wood banister was a couple-hundred foot drop.

Julia admires the view, while David tries to figure out how to climb onto the ledge.

Once David figured out that we were following the yellow trail, he didn't need us anymore! Julia did her best to keep up with her big brother.

David found the hike much more challenging by climbing onto the big rocks.

The kids stop to splash Seth as he tries taking a picture.

It's difficult to say 'no' to Julia when she pours on the cuteness!

We finished our outing with some yummy ice cream and spending some time in a playground on the grounds. On the way home, David fell asleep shortly after getting buckled up, while Julia kept us company in the car as she had no intentions of falling asleep.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The music to my ears.

Two little girls giggling.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Play, celebrations and just about anything else we could fit in one summer day.

Catching the butterflies (the moths will do).

Digging out worms and just about anything that crawls, placing them in a jar and insisting on bringing it inside.

Coming up with an idea of placing a jumping rope on two chair. Trying out his invention.

Using mommy's handmade blanket for a cape and pretending to be a cool superhero.

Celebrating Bandit's birthday even though it is really in March.

Having a blast at his cousins' Birthday party.

More pretend play continues...the house is filled with Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, butterflies and fairies.

Summer sure is fun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The tradition continues.

July 4th has come again, bringing along with it the Leonia's annual 5k Run for Fun race. This year, I was actually hoping that it would rain, so I would have an excuse for not participating. I have been slacking off lately, barely running three miles a week as opposed to the 35 (or so) miles I ran after Julia's birth. I knew I wouldn't do as well time-wise as I had last year and I didn't want to be disappointed. I've tried to get out for a run to the park just before kids' bedtime, but then I feel guilty that both kids get the short end of a stick. Seth can't read Ukrainian bedtime stories to Julia (which seem to interest her more than the English ones) and David gets to listen to less stories than he would when both of us are around ... so usually I'll stay home and help Seth put the kids to bed. So because I wasn't prepared for the run, I wasn't looking forward to it. (Yes, I realize it is not a marathon, but when you haven't run in a while, a 5K run can feel just like a marathon.)

I remember seeing an ambulance cruising around last year just in case somebody needed medical attention. This year, the ambulance was nowhere to be found, which scared me a bit as I felt as I might need it at any time. As soon as I made it to the finish line in just under 26 minutes - a minute later than last year, I had to sit down because I felt that I would collapse. My dear husband who I know (or hope) didn't have bad intentions said to me, "I thought you would make it in a better time." Sigh...

The ironic thing is that despite the slower time, I received a first place trophy among women in my age category. I finally figured out why I get trophies -- there must be only 3 women in my age category who participate. The person who came in first in this year's race was a girl who made it in 17 minutes. 17 minutes!

So, as a more meaningful reward to myself that night, I skipped a dinner and instead had a bowl of yummy ice cream ... guilt-free.

A Night At The Camel

Every year, around Independence Day, Overpeck Park is transformed into rides, circus-like performers, games with stuffer animal awards, and various concession booths.

All week, David has been looking forward to spending time at the carnival, or as David has been calling it, "camel." Julia has been sharing his enthusiasm, but not sure what all the fuss is about. Tonight, we spent several hours showing the kiddies a good time.

We finished the night with some popcorn which both kids devoured.

For the kids, it was a great time. Even the rain didn't seem to bother them tonight.

In addition to the memories, David won himself a plastic ninja sword and Julia left with a stuffed dinosaur. For Nataliya and I, it was exhausting having to run after the kids for few more hours longer than usual, but worth it for the smiles on their faces and the conversations that will follow in the days to come.