Wednesday, 31 August 2011

(Not) Back to school icecream

Now you can see why Lucy was disappointed about school being cancelled - we had a big build up!

It all culminated the day before. Andrew took the day off work and we had a leisurely breakfast. Bacon, french toast casserole and fruit cups topped with cream.

Next we headed to the beach for some sandy fun. This was the day before the hurricane so the waves were pretty good. Because most kids were back at school we had the beach to ourselves. We picked up lunch at PT Grills (with the vouchers we won at the adoption quarter auction) and ate in the backyard.

Before dinner Lucy and I drove over to Boombalattis to get ice cream. The new kindergartener got to choose the favours - she chose strawberry and oreo cookie. At home we set up a candy bar and let the kids decorate their ice cream bowls.

Now for school already!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Crazy weather

We are still alive and kicking.

Last week we survived tornadoes, an earthquake and a hurricane.

It has been quite a week.

We lost power during the hurricane on two occasions: Friday 4pm - 6pm and Saturday 3am - 11am. But it was nothing like we were prepared for and thankfully nothing major happened. We had some leaks in our roof which we'll have to fix and the yard was a mess with branches (which are now all cleaned up and ready for pick up on the curb).
We survived our first hurricane!

On top of that Lucy was supposed to start kindergarten but school was cancelled because of Hurricane Irene. The school called a few minutes ago and confirmed that school IS on tomorrow.
Andrew is dropping her off and then she is catching the bus home. I'm still not sure exactly where the bus stop is but I guess we'll find out tomorrow (and it may involve me running wildly down the street waving)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

UPDATE: Hurricane Irene

School is cancelled for tomorrow!! Oh no. Lucy is going to be so mad!

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is approaching us and is due sometime on Saturday (not sure what time) School finishes early tomorrow so they can get the schools ready to act as evacuation shelters. Lucy was worried they would cancel her first day of school!

We don't know if Wilmington is going to get a direct hit yet. Pray that we don't.

Currently cleaning the garage so we can store lots in there. Not sure if we are going to stay or go. We will decide tomorrow when we get more information.

In the meantime I am focusing on getting Lucy to her first day of kindergarten tomorrow!!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Chocolate banana stud cake

Any chance I get to cook from 'Rose's Heavenly Cakes' I do so.

When I found out belatedly it was our friend Robin's birthday I quickly looked through the cookbook for a fast but delicious cake.

If you have the book you know that 'fast' is a relative term with Rose. No cake in her book is fast per se but some are not as intricate as others.

The ganache on this cake was SO easy and yet so awesome. I am going to be using it again.

The studs were supposed to take 45 minutes but I only had 15 minutes before Robin was arriving so I just went for it with both hands. Not as neat or symmetrical as Rose's decoration but hey you do what you have to do when you have 3 little people.

I told Lucy and Henry to keep the cake a secret from Robin. However neither of them are good with secrets. Henry told her repeatedly: happy.... hide.... shhhh! (He says happy for happy birthday)

So now this is known as the happy hide cake! And it tastes good too!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Travelling with children is not glamourous

This post is a reality check on all the previous ones.

Our roadtrip was fun but it was also hard work.

Traveling with three little ones, especially an energetic 2 year old, is not easy.

There were plenty of things we wanted to do but cancelled due to tiredness, heat or tantrums.

The photo left was one such case. It was 104 degrees, I've got milk spew on my shirt and I'm cradling a sleeping baby (who only wants to sleep when held). Andrew has taken the other two kids for a walk but they all get so tired we have to drive to dinner, which is both inconvenient and expensive.

I'm not complaining. I just didn't want to give the impression that we are some sort of super parents or that it was just all fun and games ;)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Henry's trip highlights

1. Julia Child's pots in the Museum of American History

2. Riding the 'orsies' on the carousel (or pig in this case) at the mall and at the Please Touch museum

3. Catching waves

4. Meeting Henry the elephant at the Museum of Natural History

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Lucy meets Lucy

Whilst in Philly, we took a 1 hour diversion down the Atlantic Highway to Margate City, New Jersey.

This was of course to meet a 6 storey high, 130 year old pachyderm named Lucy!

Lucy the girl was ecstatic to meet Lucy the elephant.

Lucy the girl was even more ecstatic to enter the gift shop and revel in the Lucyness of it all. Tshirts, magnets, mugs, postcards, you-name-it, all had 'Lucy' plastered across it.

After surveying the Lucy wonderland we joined a tour group to climb inside the structure. We watched a short documentary on the history of the elephant before climbing onto the howdah for a view of the beach.

Lucy had a fabulous time (despite the photo at the top!) and walked away with a new tshirt, mug and adventure book, concluding that all Lucy's are wonderful!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Andrew's fun

1. Driving the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel

2. Playing at the beach

3. Examining helicopters
at the National Air and Space Museum

4.Eating lots of meat from DiNics at Reading Termi
nal Market

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Roadtrip snippets

(in reverse order)

We are back in Wilmington NC. Unpacking, washing and fixing the air conditioner. It's going to take a while to get back to 'normal' but it's okay with us to extend the vacation at home and eat ice cream for breakfast tomorrow.

After a LONG walk along the boardwalk, splashing in the water and enjoying picadillo beef stuffed plantains at mojitos, we are staying up to watch the fireworks. Kids enjoyed some carnival rides and beachwalking. We are loving VB.

Just drove through the Chesapeake bay tunnel, an engineering marvel, and soon we'll be in Virginia beach. Farewell ocean city Maryland, city of drunk college students and beach advertising. We're glad to be heading home.

Kids easily pleased. Perfect vacation = hotel pool + dinner at cracker barrel. Tick.

Just saw the liberty bell (through an outer window) ho hum. Then walked to reading terminal market. WOW! Foodie paradise. Ate at DiNics and gazed at all the wonderful foods we wished we could buy. My picks: lamb crown, fresh pressed cider and smoked ham hocks.

Had planned to have an awesome Chinese feast in Philly tonight. Things haven't worked out timing wise so we are somewhere in Jersey at a chick-fil-a and I couldn't be significantly happier.

In nj. These state changes are making my head spin. Just left Lucy the elephant in margate city. Lucy the girl loved meeting Lucy the elephant who is 125 years older than her but still looking good. 2 children asleep and neither is called Lucy except by mistake!!

Please touch children's museum in Philly is awesome if not expensive ($76 for 4 of us, ouch!) hooray we've got to 27 states AND got our passports.

We're in Wilmington! DE that is, not NC. Barely made it with all the screaming, kicking and non sleeping children. About to hit the iron hill brewery and stroll the riverwalk.

We are on the road and we've made it to our first new state-west Virginia! Ate lunch at the country cafe in harpers ferry where the king of Jordan visited in 2009.

Heat + crowds + hotel room beds = screaming children in national air and space museum. Thankfully back on the road tomorrow in an air conditioned car. However first we are having ice cream sundaes for dinner at serendipity.

On a dinner date with #1 daughter at firefly. Kids decorate their own cookie during appetizer which is baked and served for dessert. Me, I'm having a glass of red, my first in a very long time. Trust that my other family is doing ok in the hotel room with some tj specials.

Now I know felicity is appropriately named. She just laughed in her sleep. Oh so fun!

Blueberry waffles and ice-cream for breakfast. We must be on holidays!! First stop this morning - the Australian embassy. Then on to the butterfly pavilion at the natural history museum.

Professional mama this afternoon. Comforting various tired thoms children at various times. Different location but same vocation.

Cool mint tea and a salmon bento box at teaism. Only 1 child crying.

Henry was hysterically happy to see all the pots in Julia child's kitchen at the museum of American history. Pots! Pots! POTS!!

We can see trader joes from our hotel window!

146 miles to dc. We're listening to Charlie and the chocolate factory and eating chocolate coated almonds. Wouldnt mind an everlasting gobstopper right now

Monday, 8 August 2011

Over half way

Our road trip added four new states to our tally: West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. We are now at 27 states!
  • In West Virginia we visited Harpers Ferry where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet and ate a cafe that the King of Jordan visited in 2009.
  • In Delaware we visited Wilmington and ate dinner at the Iron Hill Brewery on the riverfront.
  • In Pennsylvania we visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall before eating lunch at Reading Terminal Market.
  • In New Jersey we visited Margate City to see Lucy the elephant.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Chocolate heaven

This is one of my favourite photos from our road trip as it captures the sense of summer fun. Because it isn't everyday, or indeed very many days in life, that we have ice cream for dinner.

On our last night in DC we walked through Georgetown to eat at Serendipity 3. To start our sugar feast we ordered a double sized frozen hot chocolate. With four straws the bowl was quickly drained as we slurped up the liquid chocolately goodness.

And I love the happy look of the three month old, who despite not being able to indulge in the chocolate was just happy to be there with her favourite people.

More trip highlights to follow.