I am so happy to say that I got Christie, the kids and my mom to come out and visit us again. This time they flew into NYC and spent two days here before we all drove down to the South Jersey Shore. We had a blast. We spent one whole day showing them a piece of NYC. We started with a subway ride from 110th st to 50th. We first checked out the Top of the Rock. It was a great view of the entire city and I was most impressed with the view of central park in the center of all those buildings. It was my first time and a great way to explain to my mom how massive the city is. She always asking me if certain things she sees on the news or reads in a book are where I live. This way she could see that my area is tiny in comparison. We moved on to 42nd st/Times Square. It was great for them to see Times Square in person. The longer we were there the more busy it got and gave the kids a chance to see how crowded it is here. We did a lot of walking and even made it to Toys R Us where the kids road on a ferris wheel with Ben. It is quite a site to see. Imagine a huge ferris wheel inside a toy store in the middle of Times Square. They even have a life size T-rex that moves and looks quite real. Thank goodness the growl was on real low because I think Brody would have lost his mind. Sad and happy to say that Brody slept through the whole toy store experience. It made that hour just a bit easier. We were unable to make it over to FAO swhartz but the kids were happy to check out the M & M store. Brody loved it there because the music was loud and he loves to groove. I personally didn't enjoy it much and my mom got a reality of how over priced those touristy shops are. She wanted to buy a small bag of m and m's for Brody and they wanted to charge her six dollars. I wish we could have spent more time showing them around but those few things can wear you out because there is a lot of walking involved.
We packed up the rented mini van and headed south the next day. It was our third time at the fairway villas in Galloway. We didn't get the best weather but good enough for us to enjoy the beach and pool for a few days. It was Henry and Kendal's first real time in the Atlantic ocean and learning to body surf. We really only got one great beach day so that kind of sucked for swimming in the ocean but it also made us do more things that we normally wouldn't have checked out. We went to Ripley's believe it or not on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The kids and Christie got a chance to see how strange Atlantic city really is. In the movies it sounds so cool. When you are there it actually seems depressing...The land of broken dreams. The board walk was quite fun. It reminded me of a Hollywood set. If you look at the very first photo you can see the back ground is a little too perfect. We had a great time. Both my kids were very scared of Ripley's but the whole experience was one I will never forget. Ben bought way too many pretzels and Henry decided to see if the seagulls would attack him for some food. We almost peed our pants watching that. We even found a great candy store and bought enough candy for an army. We also went to the smallest aquarium I have ever been to but love that we were able to touch so many of the creatures. The kids loved petting the sting rays. We had a lot of fun firsts happen on this trip. Coolidge learned to swim without any floaties. Every summer we taught him swimming techniques and the first day in the pool he had his floaties on. However, he couldn't stand them and wanted to swim on his own. Over the two weeks. He got stronger and stronger and nothing could hold him back. He would have rathered sit out of the pool than wear a jacket or floaties. Brody went from holding on to me with a death grip to swimming with floaties. The more comfortable he got with me the more he was able to try things. Once he discovered floating on his own he didn't want me to touch him. He swam all around the pool. Next year I see him jumping in face under.
Brody also got a chance to do his first go-kart ride. He loved it so much that he screamed while as we left. I wanted to take him again but they were closed. We also rented a bike that carried us all and road from one end of the board walk to the other. The kids loved it and I wasn't feeling so well so it was nice to just sit and ride. We were so impressed with the beach that Christie had Kendal wrote some beach house numbers down. This family trip was one of my favorites. My goal was to get them to like it so much that they would all want to come every year.
Both my boys recently celebrated their birthday. Coolidge turned 6 and Brody turned 3. I can't believe how fast it has gone by. They are both changing so fast. Coolidge is maturing and learning new things constantly. He recently mastered tieing his own shoes. I love seeing his face when he learns a new skill. He is so proud of himself and I am also so proud of his determination lately. We are going to start potty training Brody this summer. I have been reluctant to potty train him. Partly I think I haven't started is because he doesn't show much interest and part of me knows he will no longer be my baby. With Coolidge I was always ready for the next step but knowing that Brody is my last baby I am slower at pushing him along. I know it is time and I know from experience that I have to be the one ready and then he will follow my lead. I can't even imagine how cute he will be in his big boy underpants.
I can't believe that Coolidge will be finished with kindergarten next week. My little boy is moving up to the first grade. Sometimes I look at him and I see a teenager. My life over the last 3 years went from taking care of other peoples kids to raising my own and being a part of the pta. I love being their mom and can't wait to see them grow every day.