Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Day at the Beach

Ron's 'refound' friend Kathy, from college, and her son Zach, invited our family, for the day on Tuesday, to their cottage rental right on

Lake Erie outside Buffalo. We headed up Monday night, spent the night, and headed to the beach bright and early Tuesday morning. Not quite the crack of dawn, but i'm pretty sure we were set up, blanket and umbrella, by 10am.

Thom, unsurprisingly, was a dream, hanging out in the shade. We sprayed the boys with sunscreen and let them go to town in the sand! I personally enjoyed the whole scene for the "best of both worlds" of it. I like the beach at the ocean for the sand and the "feel" but i don't like swimming due to the abrasive salt water (so irritating!). But this is FRESH LAKE WATER! I was in heaven. The water was knee or waist high most of the way, for at least 50 yards. We hung out on the beach, watching it fill up with college kids by noon. The kids escaped burn-free, but my back got pink and Kathy got RED. Eek. What a gorgeous day though. Sun, warm, breeze, no clouds. Thank you so much, Kathy, for your hospitality and generosity. You ROCK!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Here are the two best, most loving, most AWESOME Dads in my Universe! I love you both so much, and Sam and Thom are the luckiest kids EVAH!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great visit w/ Kath & Zach!

I (Ron) haven't seen Kathy in 17 years... but it feels like 4 years, 3 months, 2 days and 12 minutes.

More pics to come, but these are the ones off K's camera:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Colonial Days

First, a little history of Colonial Days that i gathered via the "Internets."

The first Colonial Days in Painted Post, NY was proclaimed in June of 1964 with a celebration "in official recognition of the improvements made in the business district of the Village." Colonial Days has grown from a modest beginning to one of the largest and longest consecutively held outdoor festivals in upstate New York. The Colonial Days parade now has the distinction as the largest professionally adjudicated High School Marching Band parade in New York State.

So, in celebration of the 45 years Colonial Days has been around, our family went down and YUKKED IT UP at the Carnival last Friday night! Sam rode some kiddie rides. He was HOOKED on the giant 'Fun Slide' (a loooong slide you ride down on a burlap sack). Turns out he might have been the only 3 yr old to ride it, given his height; a few of his friends from school were turned away for being too short. The three of us shared a Funnel Cake (you just GOTTA get one at a fair). $20 later (eek), we let Sam run around the FREE playground a while before we went home. It was such a nice night.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam Ran His First Race!

(First, i have to apologize, but i royally messed up the pictures (size) when i went to upload them off my camera. I was using my Mac, something a little different than the norm, and inadvertantly reformatted several pictures' size, permanently, to much smaller than usual. A decent amount of cursing was had, but i chalked it up to "Live and Learn." I did learn. Won't happen again. I still love my Mac.)

The 26th Annual Pop Can Fun Run hosted by Corning Hospital happened this past Sunday at 12:30pm. I had heard about this run a few years ago from my friend Christa, because her little boy, who was 3 at the time, ran, and came in first place! I think his picture even made the local paper. I had forgotten about it til Christa reminded me it was coming up; Sam's first "official" physical sport/competition. I'm eager for him to enjoy sports. He's always talking about playing baseball someday. I'll be sitting right there buddy, even though i really can't stand baseball. Maybe Sam'll convert me.

Anyhoo... I registered Sam a few days before. Got his race packet: Teeshirt (the smallest was still too big), race course, race number and pins. I loaded the boys up in the double stroller at noon and headed down, stopping by Natalie's along the way to pick her up (her help in watching Thom was extremely helpful - THANK YOU!). Soon the place was full of kids and green teeshirts! It was the perfect day: sunny blue skies, warm and breezy. Unfortunately Ron had to work.

The race is for kids ages 2 (!!) through 10, broken into heats, age/sex. So: first girls, age 2, then boys, age 2, and so on. Sam's race was the fourth one. I had him watching the first ones to get the idea. I had been "pumping him up" for 2 days with the Winner Talk and Run the Fastest Talk. All enthusiastically, of course. I was getting a kick out of his pre-race SMACK TALK! "Bring it!"

Soon it was TIME TO LINE UP, BOYS AGE 3. Sam and i got a spot on the line, listened to the dude with the megaphone and the rules and soon enough, it was "On your mark... get set... GO!"

AND WE WERE OFF!!! Parents are allowed to run ALONG SIDE children up to age 4, but if i help him or carry him, he's not eligible for a medal (1st-3rd place) or ribbon. Makes sense to me. I had no idea what i was in store for. I had a feeling Sam would run, but sometimes he can flake out for no reason when i least expect it (Mom's of toddlers know this!), so i was rolling with it all on this day...

BUT SAM RAN! And in fact, for the first 1/18th of the race (hehe...), HE WAS IN THE LEAD!!! But soon i noticed these steam engine kids blowing ahead and now i was just focused on the positive encouragement to GO GO GO BUDDY! Sam was smiling just about the whole run (a block's length), which made ME smile!

AND HE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE. Nope, he wasn't first, second or third, but he was somewhere in the middle and definitely not last and definitely not a crying heap on the road. There were a couple of those at the back. My little boy finished and gave me a big HIGH FIVE at the end, all sweaty and red faced.

Then said, "can we run it again?" Aw.

Next year, buddy. What a fun tradition. I loved the scene and it will be fun for me (and the boys) to do this every year.

So you might be wondering, as i had: Since the race is called the "Pop Can Fun Run," does that mean that Sam has to drink a can of pop at the end? No, this is not LITERAL. Yes, there are indeed cans of pop, free, to every runner, but there were also the healthier alternatives, one of which Sam picked (juice) and sucked right down. Then a hamburger. And Sam did get a blue ribbon for his participation.

So remember Christa's son i mentioned at the beginning, who won when he was three? Well, he kicked some major BUTT this year, age 5. He's clearly got a little runner in him. And he had to run up the block and BACK (starting at age 5). He was easily a good 15-20 yards ahead of the closest boy behind him. That was a lot of fun to watch. He just might take first place every year til age 10!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Wanna See My Funny Face?"

Faux Hawk

Step Aside, Dumbo.

Only a few folks know about Eric the Elephant. He’s often camera shy, and even more often a lazy bones, but lately, Eric is a constant pal of Sam’s. Sam's found his "security blanket" and oddly and inexplicably, I'm thrilled! Eric’s been known to accompany the family to Home Depot and Wegmans. He makes his way around the porch and vicinity on warm summer days. He travels between Sam’s bed, school and kitchen. Sometimes he likes to hide (relax, really!) in Thom’s playpen. It used to be that about once every 8 weeks or so, he would hibernate (you didn’t know elephants hibernate?) under Mommy’s bedside table, but that season is way over. He’s been teased, held hovering above a toilet, but then he cheers Sam on through his Bedtime Routine (“Brush those teeth super sparkly!”). Eric is one laid back dude – er, elephant. He’s soft and floppy and beany and quite frankly, if Sam ever grows tired of his company, he’s got a place with Mommy (or Tommy the Drool King). So keep an eye out for Eric - you might see him sneaking into pictures!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

'In the Spirit of Brad' 5K Race/Walk

Christa, Kathy, Melissa and I (and the boys!) participated in the 6th Annual "In the Spirit of Brad Sanford" 5K Race/Walk in Elmira Heights on this past Sunday, June 7. Brad, from what I can gather, was an honored and loved teacher, and avid runner, in the Elmira School district who died suddenly several years ago at age 58. Christa heard about the race and the rest of thought "yeah, that sounds good." It was a nice day - breezy and cool and the sun decided to hide for a while, which helped, especially on a particularly STEEP hill that didn't cut us a break at all (AND pushing a double stroller!). Thanks for taking turns with me, Kathy! We weren't out to break any records, so we rolled in over the finish line at 1:00:53. Now we can only get better! Thanks, ladies, for a fun day.

Memorial Day (a touch late, but eh..)

Not much to say other than it was a beautiful day for Corning's parade of fire trucks! Sam SO enjoys a parade, and for that reason, so do I. This was Thom's first, and he didn't so much as wince at the loud horns and sirens. He didn't dive for the candy either though - - Sam was right on top of that!

(I would like to point out, if you did not notice yourself, that Sam and Thom have coordinating shirts on, in different colors, each acquired at different times from sources other than the originating store: Old Navy. I love stuff like that!)

Monday, June 08, 2009

UPDATE: Activity on my Art Righty Blog

For those of you who haven't heard yet, I submitted a design to paint a wine barrel for an auction benefitting the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association. The proceeds for each barrel sold will be divided equally between the Association and the artist (aka ME!). So check out the artrighty blog for a while (the completed barrel is due June 29 and the auction runs from 7/3 through 10/11) to read my fun documentation of this project!