Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 -- The Handy Family Christmas Card

 photo Christmasedits.jpg
We have had a wonderful year. The highlight has been having our fifth baby, Owen. He has truly made our home a magical place. All the kids love being around him, holding him, and helping out. His smiles light up the room.

Owen, 10 weeks, is concentrating on the things he knows best-- eating, eating, and eating. He is growing fast (and so is his hair -- which is like the softest little buzz cut right now). He loves the sound of running water (thank you iphone app) and loves bathtime. If these trends hold, Owen may someday win food eating contests.

Adam, 4 years old is such a good boy. He entertains himself when he has to, loves playing cars and airplanes, and loves to do math. He always has a math problem to test his mom. "Mom, what is 7 plus 5?" If Mom gets it wrong, Adam loves to correct her. If mom gets it right . . . Adam seems a little disappointed. Adam may very well grow up to be a mathematician.

Madelyn, 6 years old, first grade has lost her first teeth this year. She played soccer, started piano, loves to read, and thinks that Owen is her baby. She can barely carry him (as he has gotten so big already), but that doesn't stop her. Her future career better have great flex time arrangements so she can carry her babies all around.

Catherine, 8 years old, third grade has new glasses, new braces, but still the same love of life attitude. She continues piano (on occasion) and has started the violin. But mostly she loves to create. Arts and crafts are her forte in life. Her mother is convinced the ideal career for her would be a cartoonist -- the combo of her fabulous drawings and brilliant sense of humor.

Julianne, 10 years old, fifth grade (middle school) is growing, growing, growing. She may overtake her mother's height this year. Julianne is playing the flute and had a part in the school musical. She is super helpful. Right now her ideal career would be make-up artist. She is constantly putting on make-up (and then taking it off because her mom won't let her wear it out of the house) (thank you-- facial wipes).

Jamie, another year older, fifth grade (ha ha -- but I do get to "help" with a lot of homework) is trying to shrink after having baby Owen. She knows every street in the town and is convinced that she probably could carpool to the moon and back every week no problem. Always pursuing a new hobby, this year she jumped into the world of professional photography with her good friend Lillian. ( It has been a fun and exciting challenge. Maybe she will grow up to be a photographer!

Trent, another year older, also surviving fifth grade, is enjoying being a fellow at the FASB (financial accounting standards board). He is loving the short commute and the new challenges. He has started running again and now just wishes it were not so dark and cold so that he could run through the neighborhood instead of in the basement on a treadmill. He hears about all his kids upcoming careers and just wonders how all the college bills will get paid!

We love receiving each and every Christmas card (whether they be print or digital) and give thanks for the friendships we have. It truly is a highlight of the holiday season to catch up with so many friends and see how they and their families have changed each year.

Love, the Handy's

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The number 1 question I get asked . . .

"Are you surviving baby #5?" or "How do you do it?"

So, while this may seem boring to you to actually read, I decided to write down exactly how 1 Saturday went.  So that someday, I can remember exactly how we did it. 
  • Soccer season was in full swing when Owen was born.  Normally I stay at the same park during the kids practice's and play with the other kids.  We always have a lot of fun batting with whiffle balls, playing catch, or running around.  However, once Owen was born, the weather changed dramatically and nearly every practice was FREEZING and super windy.  It meant that we sat in the car for an hour during practice.  The game days were even worse (instead of 1 hour of soccer) there was often 3-5 hours of soccer.  Trent and I came up with some pretty creative ways to see all the games and get the kids to all the other activities (that always seem to occur at the same time as soccer).   Here is how one Saturday went.  I got up, fed Owen, left him and the other kids at home while I took Julianne to her soccer game that started at 9 am.  Trent in the meantime got the other kids ready and met us at the field at 9:45.  He was able to see the end of Julianne's game and then he left at 10 with Adam for the 2 of them to get haircuts.  That left me at the park with Julianne, Catherine, Madelyn, and Owen.  After Julianne's game we went to the van (we had a 15 minute break before Madelyn's game started) and I nursed Owen in the car.  As I went to change his diaper, I realized he had a huge blowout.  I checked the diaper bag (which Trent brought) and there wasn't any change of clothes.  I got him all cleaned up, put on a new diaper, wrapped him in a blanket, put him in my sling, zippered my own coat around both of us and then wrapped a blanket around that and headed out to see Madelyn's soccer game.  With 10 minutes left of Madelyn's game, Trent and Adam came back and then I left with Owen and Julianne to take Julianne to the dress rehearsal of the musical she was in.  When I got back to the park, I watched about 10 minutes of Catherine's game and since by now Adam and Madelyn were freezing I took them and Owen and we headed home.  Trent brought Catherine home after her game and waited in the car to take Madelyn to a birthday party.  When he got back, I hopped in the car to pick Julianne up from the dress rehearsal, go to a photo shoot, and then pick Madelyn up from her party.  Now it is 6 o:clock and the kids wonder why Mom is so tired! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Kids, Happy Mom









Here are some more pictures taken with my new lens on a stunning fall day here in Connecticut.

My poem

I have a love-hate relationship with the fall --
I love how it looks, how it feels;
but I hate that each day means our winter draws near
oh the dark, oh the cold, my heart reels.

Happy Halloween


We had a great Halloween. Friday night we had a "trunk or treat" at our church. Going from car to car is so much more fun than house to house (especially here where the houses are so spread out!). On Saturday we trick or treated in the neighboring town center. All the businesses open their doors along main street for trick or treaters. It is so fun and it is during the day so it is light outside and a little warmer than the evenings. My kids had so much fun and candy, that when it came to last night (the real Halloween) they didn't even ask to go trick or treating. It was very dark and very, very cold -- I was so glad they didn't ask. I didn't remind them of it either. This morning Julianne commented "We forgot to go trick or treating!) We only had 2 trick or treaters to our door, so that certainly helped them forget about it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I love being a mom!

Things have been so busy. I don't have a lot of time to blog. I love having a newborn around. I love Fall in New England. I love watching all my kids fall in love with "the baby".

I am so happy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Owen James Handy


I sent out an announcement about Owen today.  But for any of you who might not have gotten it . . .
Owen was born Saturday, October 2, 2010
8 lbs 13 oz, 19 3/4 in
And I loved this photo of him sucking his thumb!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adam's 4th Birthday

Adam is growing and growing. Everyday he has some amazing way that his muscles will grow. (Today he said, "If I eat 2 bowls of cereal my muscles will get big today") He is smart and funny and easygoing. I love hanging out with him during the day. He loves cars, trucks, playing outside, baseball, and anything else stereotypically boy. We had a fun birthday party with many of his friends (despite the rain outside).

Here is another cute one of him!

Starting School

In the midst of all the business I wrote about, school did start. And I did take pictures of it. And I meant to blog about it. But it has now been a while, but I am going to catch up!

Julianne has matured into a beautiful 5th grader. In our town, that means she starts middle school. (that makes Trent and I feel old) Her school starts earlier than the elementary school. So in this first set of pictures you will see that while she is all dressed and ready to go, everyone else in still in their PJ's.

Roughly an hour later, Catherine and Madelyn get on their bus. We follow that bus to school and walk them to their classrooms. (Middle school is too cool for Mom and Dad to do that!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The last 2 1/2 weeks

I'm not entirely sure how I made it through the last 2 1/2 weeks. Thank goodness my iphone has a calendar. My goal each day was to just focus on the next place I needed to be and not worry about anything beyond that. So in short . . . here is what we have been doing.

1. Worrying -- about my mom, she is recovering from her surgery (with 3 of her sisters there to help her). I try to call her once or twice a day (which is normal). She is doing well. Thanks to so many of you who have asked how I am doing. She will be starting chemotherapy soon . . . and I am sure that will be a new adjustment but we are just grateful for the treatments that are available.

2. Doctors and Dentists and Orthodontists (oh my) -- I thought I should get all the kids caught up on everything before the baby was born. Which means that in addition to my weekly doctor appointments I have added and completed 12 additional appointments in the last 2 weeks alone. That is a lot! We have collectively endured 5 teeth cleanings, 1 tooth pulling, 4 flu shots, 3 finger pricks (which were surprisingly more dramatic than they should have been) and lots and lots of waiting. Additionally, I am still doing my daily shots of Lovenox -- and the only one not getting the flu shot so far is Trent and I am pretty sure he now has the flu. He has been down and out for 36 hours. Literally sleeping for perhaps 30 of the 36 hours. The six hours he has been awake did not help his spirits much as all he did was watch BYU lose.

3. School stuff -- 2 open houses, several parent meetings and coffees, musical auditions, musical rehearsals, homework (don't get me started on that one), 2 different schools, 2 different bus schedules, packing lunches (my most dreaded task), explaining repeatedly to my middle schooler that she cannot buy icecream for lunch, early pickups (because of all the appointments), and more . . .

4. Music -- 3 kids on piano, 1 on flute and 1 on violin -- it sometimes makes for quite the cacophany in the house.

5. Soccer -- 3 kids, 3 different practice days, 3 games each Saturday-- Today they were as spread apart as they could be, but without giving me time to go do something in between. Julianne from 9:30 to 10:30, Madelyn from 11:00 to 12:00 and Catherine from 12:30 to 1:30. They all love it though (except maybe Madelyn -- who loves to be there and loves to be with her friends, but needs constant reminding during the game to watch the ball-- or as was the case today-- remind her that the goalie does not sit down, even if the ball is on the other side of the field).

6. Being 9 months pregnant -- there is just a certain level of endurance required this last month. The ground is so very far away. I must sit so far back from the table that I seem to spill every meal and snack on me. I can't do dishes without drenching my shirt because I am so leaned up against the counter. There is nothing remotely cute about being this pregnant. Trent said (in a very loving manner) from the front and the back you look great, but if you turn to the side you kind of look like an alien. (and the reality is that he is right!)

7. Bad hair days -- about 5 weeks ago the ignitor on our propane oven apparently got weak and so in a brilliant example of bad timing, I opened the oven door just as the propane ignited (after having some time to build up because of the weak ignitor) and was able to experience first hand a huge fireball rushing at my face and hair. Fortunately I was not burned. Unfortunately my hair was not so lucky. It was pulled back, but a good centimeter around my face was entirely singed off as were my eyebrows. The eyebrows are back, and so is the hair around my face. . . the problem is that the hair just sticks straight up and is about 2 cm long. It is going to be a long process growing it out. After 3 visits by repairmen, a lot of new parts, and them showing me a dozen times that it works, I still open ovens very, very cautiously.

8. Redecorating -- I started removing the wallpaper in Adam's room (it was halfway up the wall with a baseball border). I HATE WALLPAPER. I am convinced that when it was installed that they must have run out of regular wallpaper glue and used super glue. It is a happy moment when a piece the size of a penny finally comes off. We have bought wainscoting and a chair rail and now need to paint and install it (all before the baby comes). Unfortunately, my worker has been asleep for 36 hours and so this project is lasting a long time.

9. Photography -- My little business adventure with Lillian is really doing well. I absolutely love it. I am learning so much and getting so much better with each photo shoot. And since I am having a baby soon, we have crammed in 3 days of photoshoots this month (as well as a few extra ones) and I have probably a thousand photos still to edit.

10. Nesting???-- I really want to, but I don't have the energy. The only great thing about being this busy is that despite having a large watermelon-like protrusion trying to interfere with my sleep, I am so tired that I sleep great.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ovarian Cancer -- Stage IIIc

Now this is a post I never thought I would have to write. Because as we all know, mom's just shouldn't get sick. And if you know my mom, then you know that she most certainly doesn't deserve anything bad happening to her. But life just doesn't always work out the way I think it ought to go.

About 4 weeks ago, my mom started experiencing abdominal discomfort. She knew something was wrong and went right to the doctor. About a week and a half ago the puzzle pieces all started to come together and the signs were all pointing to ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer is an interesting beast. They can't 100% confirm it until they do surgery.

Today was my mom's surgery. Even though all the signs pointed to ovarian cancer, I think there was, in all of our minds, a small hope that some huge mistake had been made and that surgery would show some other less horrible option.

But, that was not the case.

The surgery found cancer . . . everywhere. And the surgeon skillfully removed it from as many places as she could- ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, omentum, sections of the small intestine, sections of the large intestine, sections of the colon, the appendix, the lymph nodes, and more. Technically speaking it is in stage IIIc.

Chemotherapy will be starting soon.

Interestingly, as I drove through my little town today I noticed teal colored ribbons on all the trees, lamp posts, and street signs. I had read online that teal is the color ribbon that represents ovarian cancer. So I drove around until I found the woman who was tying the ribbons. I asked her if they were for ovarian cancer. She replied, "Yes, today is the kick off of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month."

I loved the timing. I certainly am more aware of ovarian cancer today. And I hope you all are too!

And the website is

Here are the signs of ovarian cancer. Perhaps posting this will help someone else. Awareness and knowledge are key to detecting this cancer.

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. This is partly due to the fact that these two small, almond shaped organs are deep within the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the uterus. These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:

Pelvic or abdominal pain
Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

Upset stomach or heartburn
Back pain
Pain during sex
Constipation or menstrual changes
If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician.

Persistence of Symptoms
When the symptoms are persistent, when they do not resolve with normal interventions (like diet change, exercise, laxatives, rest) it is imperative for a woman to see her doctor. Persistence of symptoms is key. Because these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer have been described as vague or silent, only around 19% of ovarian cancer is found in the early stages. Symptoms typically occur in advanced stages when tumor growth creates pressure on the bladder and rectum, and fluid begins to form.

A rectovaginal pelvic examination is when the doctor simultaneously inserts one finger in the rectum and one in the vagina.
It is helpful to take a mild laxative or enema before the pelvic exam.
Have a comprehensive family history taken by a physician knowledgeable in the risks associated with ovarian cancer. 5% to 10% of ovarian cancer has a familial link.
Every woman should undergo a regular rectal and vaginal pelvic examination. If an irregularity of the ovary is found, alternatives to evaluation include transvaginal sonography and/or tumor markers. The most common tumor marker is a blood test called the CA-125.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 8, 2010 -- Our 14th Anniversary

Trent and I celebrated our 14th anniversary this past week. Time certainly puts a fun perspective on things. On the one hand 14 seems like a big number. (Am I really old enough to have been married 14 years??? It can't be true because I feel like I am 25 and I didn't get married at age 9!) But then I remember my real age (34) and then think, "Wow, I got married at age 20???? that seems so young"

On the other hand -- if 14 years can fly by so fast it is scary to think what will happen over the next 14 years with our kids growing up and stuff.

I should really dig out our wedding photos (and convert them to digital) and post them but right now that seems like too big of a project to start . . . so sorry not this year (maybe for our 15th anniversary???)

In the past 14 years, we have seen together. . .
  • Jamie finishing college and grad school (1997 and 1999)
  • Trent doing the same (1999)
  • Moving from Provo, Utah to an apartment in Stafford TX (1999)
  • Trent starting to work for Ernst & Young (1999)
  • Jamie teaching school at Stafford Middle School (1999-2000)
  • Our first child (Julianne) born in 2000
  • Buying our first home in Missouri City (2001)
  • Our second child (Catherine) born in 2002
  • Our first miscarriage in 2003
  • Our third daughter (Madelyn) in 2004
  • Our first son (Adam) in 2006
  • Building and moving into our second home in Katy TX (2007)
  • Our second miscarriage (2008)
  • Moving to New Canaan, CT so Trent could work in Ernst & Youngs National office in Manhattan (2008)
  • Our third miscarriage (2009)
  • Trent starting to work for 2 years at the Financial Accounting Standards Board in CT (2010)
  • And now less than 2 months until our second son and fifth child is born (2010)
We have had highs and lows, but have always been there for each other.  In these 14 years we have seen one set of our parents become empty nesters and the other set of parents start all over (having a baby 13 years ago).  We have seen 9 (of 10) siblings graduate high school and college and 4 of them complete graduate school.  (the one born just 13 years ago obviously has not graduated high school or college yet!).  We have seen 7 of them married.  We have become aunts and uncles 14 times. 

So much has changed over the years and yet so much is still the same.

To celebrate -- we bought a new table and chairs set for our breakfast room.  (We are just so romantic that way!!!!). 

And tonight we are going out to dinner and a movie.  It may not be the most glamourous celebration, but it is the kind of low key celebration that we enjoy most-- just hanging out together!

Sunday Morning, August 8th

Madelyn finally lost her first tooth! It was so wiggly it was bothering her and yet she could not bring herself to pull it out. The permanent tooth had already grown in (nearly completely) behind it. Finally Daddy helped that little tooth come out. Only a few tears were shed which gave way to the giant smile she has sported ever since. She loved having the tooth fairy come.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What am I doing today, August 4, 2010?

First, I just wanted you all to know that as far as my blogs go -- I am getting caught up. On this blog (which is like our scrapbook) I am caught up to today! YEAH!!!!!!

Because today I am redoing our bar stools. Nothing fancy, just the same as before. I redid the black paint last night and today I am redoing the upholstery on the seats with identical fabric. After 2 years of daily use, the fabric needs replacing!



So if you love staple guns, come on over and hang out with me. Otherwise today I am going grocery shopping and to target.

Also, I am getting caught up with my other blogs -- I have the goal of 1 post a week for the year on both my cooking blog and my photography blog. I am 11 posts behind on the cooking blog and 5 posts behind on the photography blog. But by Sunday I should be done.

Also, Lillian and I are loving our new photography business. I have so many fun things I want to do with it, but I am making it wait until I am caught up in my personal life. So as soon as the other blogs are up to date expect more fun things at!

Sorry to clog up all your blog readers and facebook updates, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. . . especially when she has her 5th baby due in 9 weeks. (but who's counting???)

Julianne's room re-decorating project

When we first moved here to New Canaan, there was some room shuffling. Before (in TX) Julianne and Catherine shared a room and Madelyn had her own room. Here Julianne had her own room and Catherine and Madelyn shared. As it was, Julianne inherited all of Madelyn's room decor that we just sort of made work for her. She liked it OK, but didn't love it. On the contrary I loved it! Madelyn's room had always been my favorite. Over the past 2 years everytime we walked by the bedding section of any store, Julianne has asked and asked for new bedding. We FINALLY did it.

Here is the room before. So sweet and cute.

And here it is after. Definately more Tween than before. But very fun and she LOVES it!

Swimming Fun

The kids love swimming. I have a love/hate relationship with swimming right now. I love being in the water. I don't feel pregnant. I don't feel huge. I just float and float! I hate being in a swimsuit out of the water. I do feel pregnant. I do feel huge. I do look huge. I do feel heavy. Oh well!

The kids are really getting good (and fast!). At the end of each day they can race me and see if they can beat me. For the first time, I am actually having to really swim in order to win. One of these days, one of them will beat me!

Enjoy this collage of their fun!

Two Brave Girls!

Catherine and Madelyn both decided to get their ears pierced. Madelyn went first. She was so brave. Catherine went next, she was only brave because Madelyn had been (in fact if Madelyn hadn't done it, I think Catherine would have chickened out (as she has before)). They each picked beautiful earrings and looks so grown up!

Happy Birthday to Madelyn!

Madelyn turned 6 years old on July 29th. It is hard to believe that our little girl is so big. She thought long and hard about what kind of birthday party to have. She decided on a butterfly party.

So I learned a new skill (facepainting) and we had fun. Each girl designed their own butterflies color scheme.

We played caterpillar, caterpillar, butterfly (duck, duck, goose). We had a butterfly hunt in the yard (for hidden foam butterflies). And of course cupcakes and icecream!

Here she is writing all her thank-you notes!

The Big Storm

Wednesday, July 21 was just like most other days. The kids and I had been swimming and I had checked the weather. There was no chance of rain in the forecast. We headed home around 4:00, all the kids bathed and I showered and as I got out of the shower I thought, "It sure does seem dark outside."

Right at 5:00, it started to rain heavy -- so heavy that there was all this loud noise on the deck. I thought it was because the rain was knocking the acorns out of the big Oak tree and when they hit the deck it is a very loud sound . . . but when I looked at the deck I could see it was very large marble sized hail. I called all the kids to come and look at the hail.

And then the wind picked up . . . and yes, again it sounded like a freight train I could just see another of our trees start to fall and was starting to run for the basement when the power went out and it was all quiet again.

But the damage was done. In our front yard, 1 huge tree down -- with the roots and everything standing straight up. In our back yard 4 more large trees down (and this time they took the fence with them) and in the wilderness area behind our house another very large tree down.

Our generator kicked on (thank goodness for that!) Our generator runs a small panel of the whole house so we have about 10 outlets, lights in the upstairs bathrooms, lights in the master bedroom, and the TV outlets in the family room. Most importantly it runs the fridge and the well pump so that we have water.

We had a similar storm / tornado just a few months before and so I assumed maybe things would be back to normal soon -- but this storm was much more fierce than the other. Julianne was at a friends house and they were unable to even get her home as all the surrounding streets were closed with trees down. It took Trent over an hour to drive his normally 15 minute drive (and that required going around 2 barricades, driving around fallen trees, and under hanging wires).

In short, we were without power for 48 hours. It was a mess. Here are some pictures from my iphone.







The lazy days of summer have finally arrived!

The date -- Thursday, July 15

That was our first "lazy day" of summer. The first day not on vacation. The first day without houseguests. And despite how much fun the previous activities had been I think all of us were excited for this day.

My kids have been watching Phineas and Ferb (with passion) and I laugh everytime the title song begins, "There's a 104 days of summer vacation til school comes along just to end it."

NOT FOR MY KIDS -- here there are 67 days of summer vacation til school comes along just to end it -- and then if you take out the vacation days . . .only 47 lazy days.

So we are making the best of our 47 days. Each day starts with the "rotation" -- 4 kids, 4 stations (piano, computer, reading, TV), 30 minutes per station = the easiest 2 hours of the day because everyone is in a different room working on something different. There is no interaction between the kids and that means NO FIGHTING and ARGUING (although there is an occasional altercation between the child and the piano!)

Then we do are best to find somewhere to swim each afternoon.

And then you add in all the extras . . . library, playdates, projects, outings, and to be quite honest . . . these days don't feel too lazy at all. In fact, I think they may be busier than school days!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Rest of Nana and Grandpa's visit

We made it to church on Sunday after our extremely late night and were grateful to sit back and relax all afternoon. We had a nice dinner. Trent made cookies (like he does every Sunday) and we rested.

The main bulk of our fun was now over. Trent started work at the FASB that Monday, July 12. It was fun to have him home in the morning and eat breakfast together. (his commute is now 15 minutes!!!!!)

As for the kids, Nana & Grandpa, and me . . . we kept ourselves busy. We went shopping on Monday, to the New Canaan Nature Center on Tuesday morning, and then while I went to several doctors appointments on Tuesday afternoon, Nana and Grandpa took the kids to a train museum. On Wednesday we went bowling. Wednesday late afternoon we drove to Trent's work where Nana and Grandpa got in his car and they headed back to the airport. We had such a fun visit!!!!

Day Trip #3 -- The Brooklyn Bridge and more of NYC

We had a busy Saturday!!!

We took the train from New Canaan to Grand Central.

Then took the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Then we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed the great skylines of both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

We went to a pizza place in Brooklyn called Grimaldi's (which was quite good) and then walked back across the bridge. (Adam and Madelyn napped in the stroller for the walk back).

Then we took the subway to the southern tip of Manhattan and took the Staten Island Ferry. It was a nice ride. We then walked through the financial district where we saw the stock exchange, federal hall, Trinity church, wall street and more.

We raced back to the subway to go to Grand Central and catch the 5:07 train home. It was a fun day. Our plan was to go home, eat dinner and watch National Treasure.

BUT, our plans didn't quite work out. As we walked into Grand Central to check the monitors to find out which track our train would be on, it became apparent that something was wrong. ALL of the trains on the New Haven line showed DELAYED on the board. I checked my email (because they send me updates) to find that all the wires at the Greenwhich station were ripped down and that the New Haven line is closed for repairs.

Apparently the heat had been so bad the previous week that it causes the wires to droop and one of the trains hooks had caught all of them.

We knew we had a long wait ahead, but we were quite frankly tired (we had easily walked 8 miles so far). We just needed somewhere to go and wait -- so we went to a movie "Despicable me.". That was just what we needed -- a cool place, with chairs, to sit and wait (and it didn't hurt that we could laugh a lot while we waited!).

When the movie was over, I had just gotten a notification that a limited shuttle train would be running. So we raced (literally) back to Grand Central where we found nothing but chaos. Trent was waiting in line to try and get information when he heard via a security guards walkie talkie that a diesel train (one that doesn't need the electrical wires) was pulling onto track 112 and would be leaving soon for Stamford. We ran to track 112. Got on and within 5 minutes the train pulled away. (Grand Central never even made an announcement about this train). We left at 8:45 p.m. But the train went excrutiatingly slow and it stopped in New Rochelle, where we had to get off and wait for another diesel train. (apparently 1 other train had left grand central about 40 minutes before us) and all the passengers from both trains were waiting on the platform in New Rochelle. Finally another train came and we CRAMMED on board and made our way to Stamford. We hopped off the Stamford train looking for the train to New Canaan (which normally would have left about 2 minutes previously) but we hoped that they would have the sense to wait for us (given that we were the first train load of people from NYC in 6 hours), but NO!!!!! the train left on time 2 minutes before we got there. Which meant we now had an hour to wait for the next train.

To say we were getting frustrated is an understatement.

It was now 10:30. The next train wasn't going to come until 11:00. The station employees (rather than doing their jobs) were just standing around. I finally couldn't stand it and complained a little to them. They were less than helpful. When we asked why they didn't have the New Canaan Train wait, they said that choice was up to the conductor on that train.

Finally the New Canaan train arrived. Trent let the conductor know that he should have waited. The conductor gave us this big long lecture about staying on time. He was less than helpful. BUT then in a shocking new developement, when he heard that the 3rd train from NYC was coming soon, he now decided to wait for them.

We got home a little after 1 am. We were tired. We were hungry. We may never ride the trains again. Usually they are so convenient and easy, but NOT THAT DAY!!!!!!!!

Day Trip #2 -- Compo Beach & The Movies

Compo Beach is in Westport and is only a 20 minute drive from our house. The beach is beautiful (but as it is on Long Island Sound, there are sadly no great waves). There is a cute boardwalk and playground. We went there on Friday, July 9. This summer has been much (MUCH) warmer than last summer and so this trip to the beach marks the first time that the water didn't feel cold. The kids and I were all in the water and calling out to Dad, Nana, and Grandpa to come in when Julianne started screaming -- and then I saw it too - - a Jellyfish. We all rushed out of the water. Julianne got stung pretty good on her leg. And it certainly discouraged us from going in the water again that day. Apparently warm water, though comfortable for swimming, is also very appealing to jellyfish. So we had fun building sandcastles, reading, and collecting shells.








After enjoying the beach we all went to see Toy Story 3. The kids loved it! (and so did the adults)