My Life of Travels and Adventures: September 2017

School Lunches - Week 1/2

21 September 2017

We are only on week 2 of Kindergarten and I am already tired of packing lunches.  Reid is a weird eater and I am having a hard time coming up with lunch options that are not the same daily.  

We have been using a Yumbox Bento Box for lunches and have been really happy with it so far.   Reid has the Terra Green Yumbox and Bryn has the Bijoux Purple Yumbox.  Although, I am not packing lunch for Bryn for a while, I decided to order her a Yumbox too.  We have used it a bunch this past summer for picnic lunches at the park and also as a snack holder for on longer car rides.  

We also have the Yumbox Mini Snack Box  that I use in addition to a Thermos Funtainer  for hot lunches.  

So... Lunches.  Nothing too fancy here....

Lunch 1: Cheese, sliced apples, peanuts, a monster cookie, roll, peas and a couple mini oreos. He requested whole apples, not slices and didn't like the monster cookie.  

Lunch 2: Raisins, peanuts, blueberries, dried pineapples, croutons, peas and a fruit strip.  Although he ate all his peanuts the day before, this day he decided he didn't like them anymore.  
Lunch 3: Cheese, blueberries, raisins, buttered toast, sliced peppers and a fruit strip.  
Lunch 4: Dried pineapples, strawberries, yogurt covered raisins, buttered toast, chips and gummy fish.    He requested buttered toast again, since I made the best in the world.  
Lunch 5: Can I have a roast beef sandwich? Cheese, raisins, roast beef sandwich, peas and a piece of maple sugar. 
Lunch 6: Leftovers.  Pretzels, a couple gummy fish, raisins, an apple and leftover spaghetti. 
Travel Snacks: Last weekend we were going to be out of the house the entire day on Saturday and in the car for several hours, so I packed each kid a Yumbox full of snacks to help with the long car ride
Snack Ideas: Pretzels, raisins, peanuts, dried pineapple, goldfish, popcorn and a few smarties. 

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A Trip On The Erie Canal

18 September 2017

This past summer, my mother-in-law was in town for the weekend and requested to see the Erie Canal.  Reid loves The Erie Canal Song, so we had gone on a tour last year and decided to repeat again this year at The Lockport Locks + Erie Canal Cruise.
The boat ride is around 2  hours but quite interesting.  You head upstream and up 50ft through two locks, which even after hearing how they work, and riding through them several times, I still find fascinating.  
Everything is gravity fed and based on which doors are opened or closed the water level rises or goes down and so does the boats.  

You also pass under several bridges...

The first is an upside down railroad bridge.  When the railroad proposed a bridge over the water, it was only okayed if the railroad was so many feet above the water.  Which they obeyed.  But since the railroad would obviously benefit if larger items couldn't fit over the canal, they built the structure of the bridge upside down... ultimately making the canal useless for certain large items and bringing those goods to the rail.  

The Big Bridge is the widest bridge in the US at 299ft wide.  There is a road and parking along the bridge.  

Finally you pass under "low bridges" which can be raised for boats to pass and then lowered for traffic to cross the canal.  

The guides give all sorts of interesting facts about The Erie Canal and a few fun canal songs are played.  

It should be noted that the water from the canal comes from Lake Erie and we had a wet July leading up to our visit, resulting in muddy water.  When we visited last summer the water was much clearer.  

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A Couple Things: Family Update

14 September 2017

1. He started Kindergarten shortly after Labor Day.  So far he seems to really enjoy school, although the after school mood swings are a little much sometimes.  I am really excited to see how Kindergarten challenges him and to hear all about the fun stuff he is learning.  Although, he came home the first day and all that he could remember was that the computer read them a book and that they have spoons and forks in the lunch room.  So am I not too sure how much I will hear about his day.  

He really wants to ride the bus and had been riding it home from school each day.  He is the last one off at night and would be the first on in the morning but I have been taking him to school each morning.  The bus comes by almost an hour before school starts, about the same time he wakes up each morning, so we have been sleeping in until 7am and then I drive him the 10 minutes to school at 8am.  

2. Reid ran track this summer in the 5/6 year old division.  They had 3 meets and a championship meet.  We could sign him up for 3 events at each meet and although he tried most of them (hurdles, long jump, sprints, relays and distance), I think he may be more of a distance runner.  He was able to keep a pretty consistent pace on the 400M and 800M and wasn't horribly winded at the end.  He ended the season with a couple 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons.   

1.  Little Miss is really enjoying her alone time with me during the days now.  When both kids were home all summer they played together very well (all things considered) and I was pretty much the third wheel.  Well now that Reid is in school all day, she is my little sidekick.  She loves playing with her kitchen and serving me food and drinks and such.  

I forgot how easy it was only having one kid to take on errands with me and it really has made those quick trips to the store easier and much more relaxed.  

2. Bryn is noisy.  If you had asked me last month, I would have told you that Reid is the noisy one and Bryn is fairly quiet.  Well she is totally coming out of her own when we are alone together and talking up a storm... only some of which I actually understand.  She is definitely saying more "words" and its becoming easier to understand what she is saying or what she wants but there are still a lot of babbling going on over here.  And its constant noise.  (But its all good).

Neil + I:
1. We are still chugging along with the business.  Its fun, tiring and rewarding.  I finally cleaned off enough of my desk to start filing and catching up on the years worth of book keeping that needs to be done.  Oh joy.  

Neil took off a little over a month this summer and had surgery on his leg that required crutches and no weight on it for a while.  Everything went well and he is back to work and back to using his leg just fine. 

2. I keep delaying running again.  I was waiting until it was not so hot out again.  Then waiting until Reid was back in school.  Now it has been raining and dreary for a while.  Soon.  Hopefully.  Or next Spring.  We shall see. 

We ended up not going away on a big vacation this year.  But had several day trips and an overnight "vacation" this summer.  We hit up Darien Lake several times this summer and took turns riding the rides with Reid.  He is just a couple inches too shorts for the roller coasters and such but does enjoy the spinning/fast rides that he can go on.  

We also went to Great Wolf Lodge for one night.  Which was too much fun for the kids.  Reid loved the waterslides and I loved that it was indoors and didn't require sunscreen!

I'll probably be doing a couple posts on the fun this day trips with did this summer, so watch for those as well.  

I share a lot more family pictures on instagram if you want to follow along.  

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Oat and Honey Bars

12 September 2017

Sometimes I look into our pantry and just have to use up the tiny little bit of some random ingredient that I still have in there.  This recipe was one of those times.  I was looking to make some more space in the pantry and found less than one cup of rice crispies cereal in a container.  

I am pretty sure none of us will eat rice crispies cereal unless it is in a yummy dessert so why was I saving such a small amount, I am not sure.  

I ended up turning it into Oat + Honey Bars which were very tasty and quickly gobbles up by all.  

Oat + Honey Bars

1.5 C Oats
1/2 C Rice Crispies Cereal
3 Tbsp Cornmeal
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 C Honey
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x9 inch pan with tin foil and spray with non stick cooking spray. 
2. Combine the oats, rice crispies, cornmeal and baking soda in a large bowl. 
3. In a small bowl, add the honey and coconut oil and microwave for 30sec- 1 minute.  Mix to combine. Then add the vanilla and brown sugar.  
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl and mix to combine. 
5. Transfer to the baking pan and then press down to flatten. 
6. Cook for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for 10-20 minutes before removing from the baking dish and cutting.  

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06 September 2017

I keep going back and forth on blogging.  Do I continue at this random pace, do I commit to actually blogging a couple times a week or do I just give up on it.  

I still enjoy reading blogs.  I still follow along with quite a few bloggers.  But I am just struggling with where my little blog fits in.  

I totally fell off the blogging band wagon when I was pregnant with Bryn.  Sooo... 2015.  That pregnancy was tough on me so a lot of "fun" stuff fell by the wayside just to keep normal daily stuff a float.  I tried my hand at blogging again this year.  But with no real time carved aside for it. 

However, today, I just dropped my oldest off at Kindergarten.  Once the toddler was asleep for her nap.  I started blogging again. I sat on the couch and watched an hour of reality tv.  Then I started blogging again.  Then I cleaned off enough of the desk in the office for my laptop to fit and now I am here.  

Right now my plan is to write a few things while Bryn naps each day.  I have a couple post ideas floating around in my head.  And quite a few travel and DIY projects to share.  We shall see how this plays out. 

So for now.  I am back with a little "me" time carved out each day to write.  

I'll leave you with this picture from the corner of our yard.  With the way our house faces and the trees directly behind us we usually don't see the pretty sunsets but on this night I was out in the garden and the pink sky was reflecting back to the East.  

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