Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

We attended the Memorial Day Parade in Gilbertsville. Mom and Dad brought Grandma Shirley. We saw many old friends: the Swifts, my classmates Chris and Steve, the Sperls... the familiarity is comfortable and reassuring.

And yet there were reminders that time passes. Mr. Sadlocha was in the crowd instead of marching with the Boy Scouts. Mrs. Pochy wasn't in uniform with the Ladies Fire Auxilary this year. Rev. Palada played his harmonica during the service at the cemetary; this is his last week preaching in Gilbertsville. It's been 20 years. Mrs. Barb told us that the flag flown was Dotsie's. Just regular people, but they are (like many others) the heart of a small town.

Of course it wasn't all sadness!

There was a kid on a pogo stick, waving flags and the band sounded particularly good (let's hope that's a good sign for Sherburne Pageant of Bands next weekend).

Here's some video for those of you who couldn't make it.

And here's our annual Anniversary photo. Graham was (again) not feeling it. He told us he was shy, and even the promise of some Scooby Dooby Yummy Gummies couldn't convince him to cooperate. Thanks to Grandma and Ruthann for snapping the shots below:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Shower

Baby Hannah Melody is due at the beginning of August. Michelle is really glowing. And how cute is Justin in this pic? They're going to be terrific parents. The party was very relaxed. Michelle received so many cute presents. There was lots of yummy food, and lots of good jokes about the (lack of) safety precautions used with babies 30 years ago. Thank goodness Lisa and I were strong enough to survive ;).

Grandma Shirley holding 3 generations on her lap.
She didn't think her knees were strong enough but she was a good sport:

And check out these pretty girls! It was a great day.

Up and Away

As I was coming home from work I spotted this hot air balloon floating over our neighborhood, and I called Melissa so she and Graham could see it. He has been a big fan of them ever since last year's Balloon Festival at Neahwa park . On more than one occasion he woke up and told us stories of how he saw a hot air balloon at his school (apparently in his dreams), so I knew he'd be excited.

By the time I got home it had already passed over our house and was heading East, so while Melissa started the coffee, I grabbed Graham (still in his pj's) and we started to chase it down Main Street. We stopped at a few parking lots along the way, and pulled over so Graham could stand on the truck tool box and wave as they passed overhead. They were low enough that they could see us, and Graham was thrilled when they waved and shouted back.

I asked him where he thought they were going, and he replied, "They going Price Chopper to get cheese." It was an odd answer, but since Price Chopper was only a few more blocks in the right direction, I took him there to watch it pass over one last time, and wouldn't you know it?

He was right.

The balloon looked lower than ever, and it suddenly occurred to me that it may actually hit a light pole or tree, (or Price Chopper itself) and I may be faced with the guilt of forever scarring my 2.5 year old with an eye witness account of a toddler size version of the Hindenburg.
Luckily, it cleared all obstacles and proceeded to land in a tiny grass area of to the side of the lot. Here's some video of the almost perfect landing.

We walked over and shook hands with everyone, and as we watched the balloon deflate, I told them of Graham's prediction, and one of the gentleman riding told him that he did in fact like cheese, and that he would be sure to go over to get some.

Graham was delighted.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Water Sports

Looks like warm weather is finally here! It even got hot enough to break out the kiddie pool and have some fun with the hose.

It's going to be a great Summer!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Year

Today is Grandma Jeanie's birthday. We called her from Geneva to sing her the birthday song with Amanda and Ethan early this morning. Graham cried (shocker).

Things went much better when we later stopped by the farm to enjoy a piece of homemade cake (way to go Grandpa!) and celebrate.

Happy birthday, Mom! I wish you a year filled with kisses and lots of chocolate cake. XO

Road Trip

We took a trip this weekend to visit Aunt Amanda and Uncle Ethan in Geneva, and while en route, we made a quick detour to see Taughannock Falls . It's been 2 years since Melissa and Graham had been there with Grandma Jean, and although the falls may not have changed much, Graham sure has!

Graham was definitely more interested in the falls than posing for the camera this time, but we were able to capture a few quick smiles.

After a quick snack and diaper change, we were off to Amanda's where she and Ethan took us to the Seneca Yacht Club for a delicious BBQ by the lakeside.

We just about finished dinner when raindrops caused us to pack everything up and go for ice cream. (Which of course was perfectly fine with Graham)

The next morning we headed out to visit Aunt Lizzie and see her new house!

It's a beautiful 1950's 2 story with a finished basement I'm still a bit jealous of. (Complete with gas stove hook up and 2 giant work sinks that were used for canning by the original owner)Graham loved the tour of the house, but the big thrill for him was the storm door on the back porch. He must have opened and closed that thing about a hundred times.

After enjoying lunch with Liz and her Mom, we then headed off to the Lilac Festival. Graham loves pointing out buses he sees in our everyday travels, but you can't imagine the excitement he had when he learned we were actually going to ride on a real school bus that shuttled us to the event.

It was really the best part of the festival!

The next morning Amanda made us delicious crepes while Uncle Ethan showed Graham the awesome responsibility of the sous chef.

It was a very tasty end to a really fun weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Curious Little Monkey

"You never do know what's around the bend-

A big adventure, or a brand new friend

When you're curious, like Curious George! "

Melissa and I surprised Graham by taking the day off, letting him skip school, and going to see the new "Curious George Live!" show at the Stanley Theatre in Utica. We splurged a bit to get the special front row "monkey seats" and an exclusive meet and greet with George himself!

Graham was not shy at all about running up to meet the ape sized monkey, and was even ready for another turn when the other kids had all had their chances.

Melissa and I made this our Mother's/Father's day gifts, and this hug was worth every penny.

Mommy had her share of the love as well, as Graham cuddled with her for the entire performance.

The storyline revolved around Georges friend Chef Pisghetti who is devastated when he loses all his customers to a two bit inventor who created a machine that pumps out square meatballs in a fraction of the time it takes Chef to make his. Seeing how sad Chef is, George enters him in a Golden Meatball Competition to prove once and for all who's balls are better.

Why am I telling you all this? To explain the following photo-

One of the funniest sequences in the show involved the 2 ladies dressed as dancing plates of spaghetti and golden meatballs during the Vegas style cook-off. (This may be this year's Halloween costume idea, if we can convince Graham to wear the chef's hat!)

George of course helps win the competition, and everyone is happy. The finale had 2 loud bursts from a confetti cannon that was a bit startling, but the excitement of the multi colored ribbons floating down around us was more than enough to make up for it. Melissa commented that she felt like she'd just won America's Funniest Home Videos. All of us in the front row were scooping up handfuls of confetti and throwing it back up in the air, trying to prolong the fun.

But soon it was time to go, and the trip to the car was filled with talk of meatballs and monkeys, and a little bit of ribbon kept to "show the puppies".

I bought Graham a shirt from the show. I'd like to make it a tradition to buy one from each concert we attend. It'll be interesting to see how many he'll acquire in his lifetime.

P.S. Batman ice cream may make little kids happy, they taste horrible and leave your face blue.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Graham Armstrong

Aunt Betsy and Dean gave us this terrific tricycle. "Daddy Boy" screwed some blocks to the pedals (plus a little duct tape for style) and with a little practice, it was full steam ahead.
Next stop, Tour de France!

(Please note- The wheels have since been well oiled, sorry about the noise!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


More kids in the hot tub... (7! A new record!)

More smokey fire...

More marshmallows...

Sweet Smiles...

And sticky situations :)

When Mel said it was the year of the s'more she wasn't joking. What she failed to mention is that BEETS would be added. Yes, she has found at least 2 other people who love that veggie as much as she does! (I obviously am not one of them.)

Beet Lovers of the World, Unite!

This has become a welcome monthly ritual that hopefully will continue throughout the Summer. (The s'mores, not the beets.)

Here's Graham rocking out at the after party. Check out his Front Man Swagger:

Sand castles

Graham and I spent a breezy Saturday at Gilbert Lake State Park. My goal was to check out the cabin we're renting for a week in June. Graham's goal was to play in the sand. We got lucky and the Maintenance Crew was cleaning our cabin so we got to go inside... it has a fireplace and plenty of room.

With that out of the way, we made our way down to the sandy beach.

It was a little chilly but we dipped our toes in the lake and got nice and "mussy!"

Graham also had a great time on the playground. He's getting adventurous-- climbed up the big slide without hesitation ... but wanted a hand when he came down that first time. Not for nothing, but when I climbed up for a turn, I turned a little green. It's a high one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Lambs

We got a call from Grandpa Paul that the baby lambs have started arriving! Graham, Abby and I took a quick peek at the first 3 born. (There have been 8 more births since this visit!)

They have already been in the barnyard to enjoy the warm spring afternoons.

Here Farmer Graham helps out in the barn. I love the enthusiastic "You did it!" he gives them when they eat from his hand.