28 July, 2014

Summer Camping at Sweetwater Forest campground

We went camping down the Cape this past weekend with Moo, Freak Show, Cheese Please and Cheez-It Hippy Chick (CIHC).  On the ride down there was…traffic, and I realized that the only time we have been to Sweetwater was during Columbus Day, when most people have stopped camping. I was hoping I didn’t make a grave error in judgment as I had no idea what the campground would be like with lots of people in it. Luckily the camping gods were with us  and we had a great time. It wasn’t Fransted great, but being closer means we may get to go camping with certain people more often. Moo & family recently got a new dog and it was Puppy’s  first time camping. We think she may have had a bit of fun.


Spotty Chop is still very skittish as he is afraid that when she jumps her claws and teeth are going to  hurt, but the more he is around her the more comfortable he is getting. Boy toy and I love her claw and teeth marks  and see them as a badge of honor. Puppy has been going to training classes and we got to watch some of the training up close. Puppy is a wicked SMAHT dog, and it was a lot of fun seeing what goes into training one.





We rented canoes and splashed our way around the pond



(Moo loves having her picture taken )





Spotty decided to sleep in the car BY HIMSELF this weekend. I can’t Frelling believe that I did not snap A SINGLE PHOTO OF HIM IN HIS COZY NEST. He is thinking that he should have his own tent for Labor Day camping…. The first night he woke up after 1am, wandered around the campsites realized we were all asleep and got back into the car and went back to sleep.

ME: “You could have come into the tent with us”
Spotty: laughing “I didn’t want to”

Who the hell is this child and what has he done with Spotty?!

Cheese Please was on a mission to enjoy camping with her Cheez-It sister. I didn’t get a lot of shots with the two of them, but she made sure that CIHC was very active during the camping trip. 



Hippy Chick  tried to bring Potato Chip Cheese Please (PCCP) to the beach with her, but the level of effort on her part was disappointing.

We also had a terror alert. Spotty asked if he could run up to the camp store and buy something, we said sure and off he went.

Boy toy comments “it’s not like him to be this long – do you want me to check?”

Does a bear shit?

Boy toy went off and a little later he comes back saying “he wasn’t at the store, he wasn’t at the video arcade”. I start to panic. Is he lost and crying (the campground is huge, there are some sections we have never been in, it always takes me till the day we leave before I know where I am going.)  Moo tells me to breathe. Boy Toy and I head out again to see if we can find him. Long story short he was fine. He didn’t get lost. On his way to the store he had to go to the bathroom and then he went to the store. Freak Show found him. As I was wandering around trying to find/hear him and slowly going crazy with the thoughts that some serial rapist/killer had dragged him into one of the unknown sections of the campground I saw Freak Show walking quickly in the distance. Seeing him reminded me that we weren’t alone, Moo/Freak Show/Cheese Please/Puppy were with us, and would help us until we got Spotty Chop back.   I am usually a great person to be around in a crisis. I am able to hold it together until the crisis passes (and then I meltdown), but I have a feeling I will not be so good when it involves Spotty. I have never been so scared. And as a parent you are going to have several of these “never been so scared” moments, but Christ on a Cracker. I NEVER want to be in that position again.


Spotty Chop was pretty sad that we had to go home so soon. Cheese Please  distracted him by letting him assist her in making a pancake breakfast for all of us. Tasty cakecakes (again with no photos, I am not sure what was up with my brain this weekend)!


07 July, 2014

Memorial Day Camping – Good golly Miz Fransted, we have missed you


We had a glorious long weekend up in the White Mountains. Did it rain? Of course! But luckily we can handle a little rain. We played a lot of ping pong, and Foosball. 


We sat around the fire and snacked like  mad men. Our new ride (Hyundai Santa Fe) was excellent for the trip. We actually have a bit more room than the Jeep Liberty so Spotty Chop wasn’t crushed into a tiny warren.  Since it was the first trip of the season we of course forgot a few things (nothing that a quick “grab a new poppy at Walmart” couldn’t fix) a tarp for the wood (did I mention it rained? ). This one crawled up our ass a bit as we purchased….4-6 new tarps in the fall to cover the two cords of wood we used. No walkie talkies, no glow sticks. Could have been worse, once Boy Toys clothes never made it up.  



We also went to Six Gun City (oh they renamed it since Mem Day - Fort Jefferson Fun Park). I will admit I was a bit disappointed in how…old the place looked, but I know they have been struggling. You can buy all day passes, or tickets (I think the go carts were 5 tickets). I figured out that if Boy Toy and Spotty Chop did either the laser tag or go carts 4 times the all day tickets would pay for themselves. I grabbed a few tickets so I could do something with them. Boy Toy would have stayed on the go carts all day (hell  he would probably still be there if I hadn’t dragged him away. Spotty Chop LOVED laser tag, in fact he met a friend there and they ran around for the rest of the day.



So a good time was had by all. 

Maybe it won’t take a month + to write about camping 4th of July...who am I kidding? I will be lucky to have something up by Christmas.

03 July, 2014

Dear Spotty Chop you are 112 months old

Start of Summer addition

You seem to be enjoying summer explorer camp this year. So far you have gone to:
  • Nantasket Beach
  • Hopkinton State Park
  • Scussett Beach
  • Dinosaur Exhibit
  • Goddard State Park

Papa has taken you to:
  • Lego Land – you had fun
  • Heritage Museum & Gardens – you LOVED this – they had 2 exhibits you couldn’t stop talking about. The first was “Wicked Plants”, detailing all sorts of plants that can kill you Papa said you read EVERY description – hahaha – welcome to our world. There was also a “Big Bug” exhibit, you had to search the grounds for all of the man made, wooden bugs.

You and J-Man have swam and made sugar cookies at our place (there is a water balloon fight, tie dying and rice crispy treats in your futures too!)

You have been camping twice with another trip this weekend AND we had the extra crunchie bonus of having my favorite godson, his sister and their parents (my uncle & aunt) here for the week. We got to see them once, you were SOO disappointed that you didn’t get to spend a week with GO, but you guys made the most of the time you had.


Movies you have watched:
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – it was insane watching you watch this – you at times were dancing you were so excited, well sometimes with glee, but often you did the dance of annoyance-  any time we had to pause the movie)
  • The Spy Next Door (you were extremely nervous that you wouldn’t like this, but we explained that Jackie Chan has done a lot of funny movies) – you loved it
  • Free Birds  - you were happy
  • And something else that for the life of me I can’t remember


You have added several things to your mealtime adventures:
  • Hamburger (both burgers and just hamburger in stuff – TACOS!!!! YOU LOVE TOACOSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssss)
  • Sausage (you have been eating breakfast sausage for awhile, but now you do sweet Italian – in fact the other night Boy Toy was grilling sausage for our supper and I had him grill two packages 1 for dinner and 1 that I would throw into a spaghetti sauce the next day. You ate 7 sausages, you would have eaten more, but I refused. I had 2…
  • Piquant pork chops  - this is a recipe that your great-grandmother (Nannie’s mom) used to make. To be honest with you I was expecting you to dislike it and I had BIG plans on having the leftovers for lunch today, but guess who loved it….well, you didn’t care for the red peppers and I didn’t understand when you kept saying “it has too much ketchup”  what you really meant was peppers – once I explained and we moved the peppers away you went to town. Yet another recipe that will soon need to be doubled (hold the peppers)  


Summer Reading:

I took you and J-man to the library’s summer reading kick off – they had a magician Peter Boie that was really cool, “Peter started learning magic at age 11 from a magic book he checked out of his local library.  That interest turned into a career as a professional magician which takes him around the country performing for people in all walks of life.”

The neat thing about the program this summer is that not only do you fill out periodic table for every 30 mins they read (we can’t help loving the elements  - http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/theymightbegiants/meettheelements.html), but they are also given an optional science experiment  to do (for more changes of prizes). This will be great for kids like J-man who find reading challenging/boring.  You are super excited about it (last year’s theme was pirates and doubloons).   I get kind of bummed when we go to events at the library when there are very few kids your age or older. Why aren’t more people at the Library? BOOOOOKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Our town is often an odd town.

We are also doing the Barns & Noble  summer reading program where you read 8 books and then you get a free book. Who doesn’t love FREE!!!??

Books read: (or in the midst of reading, which I really don’t get as I don’t have multiple books going at the same time, I find your reading style an abomination, not that I would say such a thing, get a book, read book, move to the next. THAT is the order of things):
  • BIG NATE AND FRIENDS
  • OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY
  • GAME OVER, PETE WATSON
  • Dragon Keepers #3: The Dragon in the Library
At least these are the ones I know about…I may be missing a few as you sometimes just read and I don’t notice and then I say “Spotty, why don’t you read “xxx” and you go “I read that awhile ago”.  Or the stuff you read in school. Your teacher let you all take home a book and a couple of magazines if you wanted the last day of school. You brought home “Fudgeamania” by Judy Blume. I said “oh are you going to read that?” And you replied “I already read this. In fact this was maybe my most favorite book I have read.” Really? It’s one of your most favorite and I had no idea. YOU are growing up far too fast my boy.  We are also listening to the Hobbit on CD and I am reading you The Familiars #3: Circle of Heroes.


Well two weeks into Summer and you are really into the swing of things. I couldn’t be happier. You are an amazing individual. Love ya kiddo 

27 June, 2014

WPI's Touch Tomorrow Festival

A couple of weekends ago we went to WPI’s Touchtomorrow event that is cosponsored by NASA. This event is free to the public and allows everyone to get up close and personal with Robots, astronauts, professors and students who have built/are building/thinking about building cool stuff.  There was  a ton of stuff for kids to do. Spotty’s eyes were aglow. He was enraptured listening to one of the mechanical engineering professors. He was talking about how they initially go to home depot when they are building proto types of items that would help the disabled. I never would have expected Spotty to be interested, but he didn’t want to leave. Spotty was also able to drive around a couple of robots and play video games that the students created.  We spent at least 5 hours there, and could have spent more. Spotty got a very cool NASA patch for completing his “passport” (going around to various shows/talks and getting a stamp to say he participated).  We will definitely be back next year.
















19 June, 2014

Spotty Chop's last school project

Biography of famous folks from Massachusetts. The kids had to do research, write a speech, dress as their person and create an “artifact” that represented them.


Spotty chose An Wang (founder of Wang Labs) as his person. 

Some mom’s were complaining about the people their kids choose and how “hard it was to dress them so they resembled their character”.  

I gave them an eyebrow raise and said “Spotty chose an Asian business man”. They shut their pie holes.

Spotty thought with his glasses and polka dot bow tie that he looked EXACTLY like An Wang. I couldn't agree more. 





Ps - for the folks too young to remember, the artifact was a word processor, the precursor to the home PC. In fact this looks identical to the word processor I brought to Simmons College...