Monday, November 30, 2015

Our Trip To Miami

Over Thanksgiving break, Georgia and I went to Miami. 

We spent Thanksgiving by the pool.

It wasn't the warmest day (it was actually cloudy and pretty windy) but cloudy and windy in November Miami is much, much better than November Massachusetts.

This mother/daughter trip was in honor of Georgia's twelfth birthday - and yes, I am aware that Georgia recently turned 13.  We've been busy.

After our day of relaxation at the pool, we were ready to spend Friday at the spa.

We got fancy mani / pedis, listened to a lot of Enya and Georgia ate a plate full of brownies from the Ladies' Lounge.

On Saturday, we went to the Miami Botanical Gardens were partially closed while a catering company set up for an Art Basel reception.

We did get to commune with the Miami turtles, which was just as fabulous as it sounds.

Hello Florida turtle!

Other highlights of our trip included:  a good dinner at a Cuban restaurant (Georgia had the Cuban chicken fingers), a good dinner at an Italian restaurant, some great virgin, fruity, frozen drinks, trips to the beach and a short trip on Black Friday to some Miami Beach shops.

It was hard to come back to Massachusetts because I'm not a huge fan of winter, but it was great to be back together as a family again and I'm excited that it's now Christmas/Hannukah season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy (Faux) Birthday

Georgia and I are taking a trip to Miami later this week, so we celebrated her 13th birthday a little early.

It was Georgia's Faux Birthday.

I saved one present for Georgia to open on her actual birthday, but we did everything else.  We ate the dinner of Georgia's choice, sang the song, blew out the candles and enjoyed the cake.

And then we opened the presents that have already arrived (some haven't yet which means that Georgia will also have the fun of opening presents when we get back from Florida).

She loved the gift card, the earrings, the polymer clay and book, the sweatshirt/socks and the gifts that we gave her (some new shoes, a tshirt, a watch).

We leave for Florida tomorrow evening - and I can not wait.  It's been really cold here in Massachusetts and I'm eager to get a little warmth and relaxation.  Georgia and I both went to the book store and stocked up on some beach reads, and we are looking forward to sitting on a chaise lounge and doing nothing.

I won't be at my computer on Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rainy Day Solutions

Pippa Middleton and I walk Josie to school every morning - rain or shine.  But obviously, we prefer the shine.  Pippa Middleton doesn't mind walking in the rain, but her fur absorbs water like a sponge and drying her off when we get back home, takes a long time.

So Josie and I bought her a pretty pink raincoat.

We used it for the first time last week and it worked!

The coat has a hood, but it covered Pippa's eyes, so she wore it pushed back.

It's hard to tell from the photos, but the coat covered her entire belly and back and so clean-up was limited to just her paws.

Even better, Pippa didn't mind wearing her raincoat, which bodes well for the winter coat she will have to wear once the temperatures drop.  

Neither rain, no sleet nor snow will keep us from our walks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An Unexpected Development

So this last weekend was Henry's hockey State Tournament - in other words, it was the end of the year for his hockey season.  

Let me give you a little reminder:  Youth hockey goes up through ninth grade and after that, you are expected to play on your high school team.  There still is a youth hockey option - the Midgets level - but it's a half-season (or really a quarter-season if you want to be exact) and that is on purpose to allow everyone time to play on their high school team, too.  

Henry's high school doesn't have a hockey team, so he had decided to try basketball this year and he spent the summer prepping and learning how the game is played.  We were all a little sad that Henry's hockey season was going to be so short for the next three years.  Henry's played hockey since kindergarten, so it seemed sad that that part of his life was over.

And then something unexpected happened. 

Last week, to everyone's surprise, Henry's school announced that they were starting a boy's hockey team.

Great right!?! 

There are just enough boys to form a team (although a few aren't perhaps as seasoned as Henry) and the Athletic Director found ice time and put together a schedule of games.

So just as we thought it was ending, Henry's hockey season has been extended!  He gets to play "varsity" hockey which is fabulous and he'll have the bragging rights of being on the very first hockey team ever at his school.

We are all thrilled.

There is some downsides:  the ice time is from 6-7 AM in the morning and it's not at his school but at Boston University.  We won't be able to get our money back from the private van service we paid to take Henry to school every morning and the van won't make a detour from taking the rest of the kids to school in order to drop Henry off at the ice rink (the nerve, huh?) so Gordy will have to rearrange his schedule to get Henry there.  

Some mornings, they are going to meet at 6am at the school for off-ice training, so on those days, Gordy will have to get Henry all the way to Henry's school (which is pretty far from Gordy's office).

It's not the best scenario, but we are still thrilled.  And it's only for one semester.  High School hockey seasons (November to February/March) are much shorter than the the youth hockey seasons (September to April) that we are used to doing.

The team might not be the same level of hockey that Henry is used to and it will be hard to win games against more established teams.... but who cares!

Henry will get to do Midget town hockey still - and that will be his super-serious hockey until his high school team catches up.  It's fantastic and we couldn't be more excited.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Our Weekend

Gordy and I were single parents this weekend - Gordy single-parented Georgia in Bethesda, MD and I single-parented Henry and Josie in Massachusetts.

We divided, but I'm not sure if we conquered.

Gordy and Georgia left Friday morning.  Friday meant a lot of packing, coordinating and traveling for Gordy, but it was a buy day for me.  Josie and I were free after school and we used the time to shop for her Christmas dress.  

She also practiced her guitar:

Saturday was a little more hectic.  Henry and Josie had hockey games at the same time.  I dropped off Henry at his coach's house and drove Josie to her game.  Henry's team won (and Henry got a goal) and Josie's team won, too.

We met back at the house and hung out with Pippa Middleton for awhile.

We ate dinner and then left for Henry's second game around 7:45pm.  The game was scheduled for 8:50, but the game before his ran late, so the match didn't start until 9:20.  

9:20 is past Josie's bedtime.  She pretty much conked out by the third period.  And Henry and I conked out the second we got back home (around 11pm).

The good news was that Henry's team won.  The bad news was that the team didn't have enough points (or some such problem) and didn't advance to the next round of the tournament.

We continued the winning streak on Sunday.

Georgia's team won the Bethesda tournament.  Gordy texted me this photo:

I think Georgia's eyes might be closed.

Josie's team won their Sunday game, too.

Sunday was Georgia's turn for a late night.  When she got home from Maryland, Georgia had homework to do.  

It's never a dull moment here.

Monday, November 9, 2015

An Afternoon With 3/4ths of the Southerns

Last weekend was Family Weekend at my niece, Lily's college and so Meredith, John and Avery were in Massachusetts.  On Sunday, they stopped off in our neighborhood to visit a potential school for Avery.  

Gordy and Josie were at a hockey game in Rhode Island, but Georgia, Henry and I met The Southerns at the college for a quick tour.

It was great to see them.

After we walked around the campus for awhile, we all went to a tavern that Meredith found on her phone.  This happens almost every time we are with Meredith.  She gets on her phone, types in a few words and out pops a great restaurant suggestion that is close by and which everyone loves.

It's an amazing bit of magic.

Two hours later, The Southerns were back on the plane and heading for home.  

We are REALLY looking forward to Christmas!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halloween 2015

And so Halloween 2015 happened (albeit more than a few days ago).

Josie dressed up as a bee and Pippa Middleton was her flower.

I didn't go out trick or treating, Gordy went with Josie and her friend Eva, but it was reported that Pippa Middleton went joyfully up to every door, greeted the owners, the owner's dogs and any children who might be present.  She refused to hang out at the end of the walkway with Gordy and was peppy and happy for the entire two hour trick or treating session.

Here is Pippa with Josie and Eva before the night began:

Henry joined in the festivities by wearing a turkey hat:

While Gordy was out with the little girls, Henry and I were driving down to a one of his friend's house where a group of 8 fifteen-year-old boys hung out for the night.   They didn't go out trick or treating, but they did go out around ten, to walk around the neighborhood to check for bowls of candy left out by people who didn't feel like opening their door for little children.

They found nothing.

Georgia did go trick or treating, but first she had a bunch of friends over to our house to get ready (put on make-up) and eat dinner.

We also had a photo "booth" with props and a polaroid camera so her friends could take home photos.

Most of the girls wore unicorn / animal onesies and those long, red nails are press-ons that were purchased for the night and removed before everyone went to sleep.

Henry stayed over at another friend's house, Josie's friend, Eva, stayed over at our house and Georgia's gang all came back to our house after trick or treating to watch a movie.  

Halloween 2015 was a success!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Carving The Pumpkin 2015

We are all about the Pug Dog in our house.  We made a costume for Pippa, we went trick-or-treating with Pippa and we even had a Pippa face carved on our Halloween pumpkin.

Georgia found this stencil on the internet:

Gordy is always hesitant to use a stencil on a pumpkin.  

Carving a pumpkin with lots of detail is not easy.

The act of carving the pumpkin is always the same at our house.  At the beginning, all the kids watch Gordy and help remove the goo and dispense advice.

But then they get bored and soon Gordy is left carving the pumpkin on his own.  We are not a family that enjoys carving multiple pumpkins.  Our attention spans are not particularly long.

Around the middle of this process, I doubted that Gordy would ever agree to use another pumpkin stencil again.  There was a lot of complaining - all of it perfectly valid. But by the end, when he could see the results, Gordy changed his mind.  The pumpkin turned out wonderfully.

Look at the likeness:

Okay, so the Doug The Pug stencil has a smiling pug and Pippa Middleton is more serious, but still.  It's impressive, no?

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