Friday, September 30, 2011

CT Trip - Post 6 - NYC

From Attleboro to NYC was a 3.5 hour drive, we made good time.  We were actually surprised to arrive as quickly as we did.  Funny thing happened, I had input NY, NY into the GPS, so instead of taking us to Andy's apartment, it directed us to City Hall.  Michael was thrilled with me.  After a long phone call with Andy we made it to our destination.  Street parking was another funny story.  Michael and Andy ended up settling on a parking garage spot after over an hour of searching for a good street spot.  Andy was a great host, the apartment was beautiful.  We visited Central Park and Starbucks.  Here are just a few pics of our fast stop in the city.  I do have more, but they are on Michael's iPhone, I think we uploaded most of the good ones to Facebook.

This is Liam's, "I want out of this car seat", look

Nighttime view from Andy's apartment

What Liam felt like doing after he got out of the car seat

Awwww, what a cutie.  While Daddy and Andy where taking FOREVER
to look for a parking space, Liam and I had a photo shoot!

Another cool picture of the city

We ended up getting to be after 2 am, I woke up the next morning to what were apparently "normal" city noises.  Sirens, honks, etc.  We hung out at the apartment for awhile. I got brave and hit the streets of NYC to find a Starbucks.  Luckily, it was like 500 feet from Andy's apartment, so I didn't have to far.  I was very entertained by people watching while I was in very long line (by Springfield standards).  My favorite people watching memory is of a little blond haired French boy who was cleverly seeking out a site.  He charmed his way into snagging a table from a pretty lady who was getting ready to leave.  It was super cute.  After Starbucks, we headed out to Central Park for a stroll around.  We could have stayed there for hours.  The weather was perfect.  Unfortunately, we had to hit the road. We missed the kids, and were anxious to get home.  We had one more stop planned, Lima, Ohio.  Woo Hoo, Lima here we come. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

CT Trip - Post 4

Well it has been a busy couple of days.  We are currently in New York City on the 31st floor of a high rise in Manhattan, overlooking the beautiful city.  We are a few blocks from Central Park and a block away from Julliard.  With several other attractions within walking distance.  I am not at all a big city girl so this has been a little stressful for me. It is such an experience though. I couldn't pass up "living it up" with one of our best friends who has lived in NYC for 10+ years. This is the first opportunity in the past 10 years that we have been able to travel and stay with Andy in New York. He graciously invited us to come on Saturday night at the wedding of two of our other best friends, Justin & Jennifer Bartlett. 

View from Andy's terrace.

I'm going to recap the last few days and then post a few pictures.  I have over 300+ pictures from the past few days. I'm not sure how to pick out my favorite few, but I'll do my best. 

On Friday, we chilled in the morning; slept in a bit. Then, Michael did his best man duties and headed off to run errands with Justin. I stayed at the hotel and napped and cuddled the cutest baby in the world. At lunch time, Andy and I went to a nearby Asian restaurant and had a tasty meal. Next we were off to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Michael and I got a funny look into the future of what Cora may be like when she is the bride.  Jennifer was in control of the rehearsal, she knew just what she wanted to happen and just how to practice it with everyone. The rehearsal dinner was at an awesome Thai restaurant. We got to have awesome Thai iced tea and Thai beer, appetizers galore and my favorite meal was the Thai curry chicken. Justin and Jennifer gave a great toast; Justin was actually speechless which I have personally never seen. They gave very heartfelt gifts to the wedding party.

The Wedding Site

Saturday was the big day! The preparations started at mid-day. The boys got dressed and ready. I helped out with the shirt ironing! When everyone was dressed and ready, the boys headed off to the site. They setup a few things and then got to enjoy a drink before the ceremony. Everything seem to go off without a hitch. Frank, Justin, and Jennifer wrote the "script" for the wedding and it was truly beautiful. The reception and dinner were remarkable as well. Jennifer arranged for one of her cousins to watch Liam. So, Michael and I got to fully enjoy everything. Michael, Andy, Jennifer's dad and sisters all gave toasts that were wonderful, touching and a little embarrassing. Then, we got to eat a great meal and dance the night away. What a fantastic night with our best friends whom we have shared so many happy and sad moments with. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives.

The Bride & Groom

Us all dressed up!

The Three Amigos!

Us with the little man!

Our little charmer

Friday, September 16, 2011

CT Trip - Post 3

Well we are in East Windsor, CT.  We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express.  We arrived yesterday at about 5:45 pm eastern time.  In Dwyer style, we arrived just in time to head out the bachelor and bachelorette parties.

We enjoyed our hotel in Bedford, PA and we woke up yesterday refreshed and ready to tackle the remaining 8-9 hour drive.  The drive continued to be beautiful.  Michael expressed that he loves the mountains with English style towns nestled in the hillsides.  We saw many a lot of pretty scenery along the way including, beautiful churches, old houses along the road, and old railroad bridgees.  West Virginia had a lot of rolling hills, and Pennslyvania brought us into the bigger steeper mountains.  We have only taken a few pictures, and they are not very exciting, but I'll attach them at the end of this post.  Because we were both rested, Michael and I got to do a lot of talking about our families future.  It was a lot of fun, being silly and talking about whatever topics came to mind. 

Liam has been, and continues to be a doll baby.  He was so good in the car.  He slept most of the drive, and when he was awake he enjoyed playing with his "new" toys.  Those would be the ones that Mommy dug out of the baby tubs in the closet that used to belong to his other brothers and sister.  He also enjoyed many bottles and bowls of oatmeal & banans.  He really liked that Mommy and Daddy were sitting the back seat with him sometimes.  That doesn't happen very often, and he seemed to really eat up all of the attention.

So, we drove through the rest of Pennsylvania, New York, and Conneticut.  We arrived just in time to change and head out to the parites.  Michael and the boys went out to dinner in Hartford, CT (just about 15 minutes from East Windsor).  They ate at Trumball Kitchen, he got to eat mussels (a new found favorite).  I'm not really sure what all went on after that, but they retired to the hotel and finished up the party in Justin's hotel room.  The girls also went to a restaurant in downtown Hartford called Salute.  We had a bit of car trouble getting out there.  I drove with Justin's mother, Mary Margaret, and her sister, Marilyn.  We made it safely in our vehicle, after we gave up on getting their rental car to cooperate.  We arrived at the restaurant a few minutes late, but still in plenty of time to share a couple of hours with the girls.  We enjoyed a shared meal of salad, appetizers (I tried the calamari, Cora will be proud of her Mommy), pasta, and chicken.  We played a fun game and then I'm sure the party continued, but Liam and I returned to the hotel to put the little sweet baby to bed.

Here are the pictures....I'll try to take more today.

Louisville Lights - at about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday

Wednesday Sunrise

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CT Trip - Post 2

We had hoped to make the whole 24 hour, 1400 mile trip without stopping over at a hotel, but we didn't quite make it.  We made it 16 hours and 1000 miles.  We have had to admit that we are older and bigger wusses than we used to be in our twenties (the old man is already asleep at 8:45 while I'm typing this post :-).  

So far we have driven through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. We stopped in Bedford, PA at around 4:30.   We checked into the hotel, rested a bit, then after much silliness  about where to eat, we went to an Italian pizza place in downtown Bedford.

Liam has been absolutely amazing.  He sleeps most of the time in the car.  He only cried a tiny bit.  He has been very happy to be free from the car seat the last several hours.

We have also been very pleased with the drive.  I'll try to post more specifics a little later.  I'm feeling quite tired after only getting a few cat naps in the car last night and today.

CT Trip - Nearly 10 Hours in the Car

Michael,  Liam, and I left for CT at approximately 9 pm.  It is almost 7 am, we have been at it for nearly 10 hours.  Liam slept two five hour stretches only waking up once to eat.  right now, we are resting just outside of Louisville, KY.  Liam is playing and stretching his chubby little legs.  I just got finished driving through heavy traffic.  who knew there could be heavy traffic from 4:15 to 6:45, but that apparently that is what happens when they close an interstate near a major city. For someone who doesn't regularly drive a standard, it was hard!  Well we're all done resting.  Back to driving.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back to Work

I officially had my first day back to work on June 20. I was blessed to get three and a half months with my sweet boy, and three weeks off with all of my kids. They all bring so much joy to my life! My work is continuing to be extremely flexible with my schedule, and Gma and Gpa Pearson are watching the kiddo while I am working. So, it is working out for me to continue to do some work as a CPA. I don't talk all that much about my job, but it is another great blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do. I work mainly with non profit hospitals and community health centers, helping them out with tax work.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Farm Fun, Part II - June 7 - June 19, 2011

This can only be done with pictures and captions (in the effort of saving some time).  I need to get on with my blog, so I've got to just throw some pics up for this week and get over my blog block.

We (Nancy, Patrick, Collin, Thomas, Jack (the dog), Ed, Astara, Cora, Henry, George, Liam, and myself) all packed into George's house at the farm.  We added Joey, Michael and Cheyenne for a couple of days.  So, needless to say we had a FULL house.  We did so much fun stuff in 12 days, but here are just a few of the 500+ pictures we have.  The best part of the trip was that the kids got to build an awesome treehouse at the farm, under the direction of Patrick and Collin's Grandpa Ed.  More to come on that later.....

Astara conducting her first "painting" class.

Cora working on "corn goo" science project

Cora working on earning a cooking girl scout badge.

The "reading" fort

The sweetest golden doodle ever....Jack!

Cora the "tree hunter"

The boys playing Catan.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Liam's Baptism - June 4, 2011

We had an awesome time celebrating Liam's special day with many friends and family. He was baptized at our parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church. Father Denis Dougherty enjoyed baptizing a very happy little boy. Liam wore the Dwyer family baptismal outfit that has been worn my several generations of Dwyer babies. We arrived at the church in typical Dwyer style with only a few minutes to spare. Luckily, we all made it there safely. Mommy did a speedy outfit change on Liam in the back, and we made it to the front of the church just in time. St. Joe's performs their baptism ceremonies during mass. Liam was very content the whole time. He was staring at the priest the whole time, even when he poured holy water on him. Father Denis couldn't believe how well Liam took the "cold" holy water.  We shared this special day with many, we are truly blessed in so many ways. Here are some of the great pictures from this special occasion.

Our little gift from God and his Mommy!

Father Denis was smitten with little Liam

Georgie and Thomas playing on the church steps. So cute!

Godmother Analita! 

"The Godfather"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Farm Fun - May 28th thru June 4th

For those who may not know, "the farm," is property in very remote Missouri, about 30 miles south of Salem, Missouri.  The drive is about 2 hours and 45 minutes from Springfield.   Michael's grandfather, George Hellmuth, acquired the property bit by bit over a span of 30+ years.  Michael's parents currently live on the property, and there are several other houses there that are rented out, or used by family when we visit.  It is the most beautiful place I have ever been, very peaceful and relaxing, as well as full of adventure and fun.  Also, it is right near many springs and natural attractions that we like to take field trips to when we are visiting.  So, here's what we did the first week we visited this summer.

We stayed at Uncle George's house, it has been recently renovated and has four bedrooms and two baths.  It was plenty of room for the clan we brought to the farm.  For the first weekend it was Michael, Astara, Cheyenne, Cora, Henry, George, Liam, and myself.  Michael and Cheyenne had to return to work and school on Monday, and the rest of us stayed until the next Saturday.  Here are some pics of fun times we had together.
Daddy and Liam "hanging" out

Daddy fishing....he did this a lot this trip.

Astara had a good time finding interesting creatures. 
I'm not sure how she found this one, but it
 was the smallest frog any of us had ever seen.  

Cheyenne and Cora had a mini photo shoot,
 this is one of the pictures Cora snapped of Cheyenne. 
It isn't hard to get a good picture of this beautiful girl.

One of the super fun things we did on the trip was to teach, or refresh, all of the kids on how to play solitaire.  After they got good at playing on their own, we decided to let them play double solitaire with two of the masters!  We had so much fun playing together. 

Cheyenne brushing up on her solitaire game.

During the week, we decided to have one of the nights be a "girl's night."  After the boys went to bed, Astara, Cora, and I stayed up late to do some fun stuff.  We did mud masks, from the Dead Sea Mud that Auntie Cara gave us from the Middle East.  Then, we did some hair braiding, nail painting, microwave s'mores, and we stayed up late and watched a few comedy shows. 

Cora and Astara's mud mask

Pretty toes!

This is Astara's nine small braids into three braids,
into one BIG braid.  Turned out pretty cool looking.

This is one of Cora's cool braids.

There always seems to be something new to see at the farm.  This trip it was Roaring Springs.  We have seen this on a previous trip, but it was very overgrown and hard to get to.  This time, the way to the spring had been cleared, and there was a new suspension bridge over the creek.  This was our first time seeing the bridge and the cleared area around the spring. 

 The kids striking a pose at the new suspension bridge at Roaring Springs.

On Friday, June 3rd, we took a fun field trip to Montauk State Park.  We ate at the restaurant inside the park, then we ventured outside to see a little bit of nature.  It was super hot and humid this day, so we had to take several breaks to cool off.  We got a good look at the spring that starts the Current River.  Then, we went and fed the trout in the fish hatchery.  This was a cool field trip for me, because it brought back memories for me of when we took my Grandfather there on a fishing trip many years ago.
Cora pushing little brother Liam along the trail to the spring. 

George and Henry checking out the spring that is the start of the Current River.

Henry being a goof ball.

George and Henry feeding the many, many, many trout in the hatchery pond.

Henry trying to keep his balance while wading in the strong current of the Current River.

 Super Cute Georgie Boy!

A pretty view on the drive to Montauk.  This was from a lookout point near Aker's Ferry. 

Hay, hay, and more hay was the theme for this week at the farm.  Bob was busy all week cutting, raking, and bailing the hay.  The kids and I had a good time just sitting and watching the process.  They thought it was great fun to watch the hay be put into bales and be spit out by the machine. 

On Friday night, we enjoyed our last time of "creek sitting."  Granddaddy Joe and Granny joined us and we had a BBQ and creek fun.  This was our last night at the farm for this week, so after we went home and packed up for our return home for a few days. 
Liam showing off his handsome smile.

Cora loves to show us how fast, and messy, she can eat watermelon!

More postings to come on our farm fun!  We have another ten days and more adventures to blog about.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Henry's Award Winning Poem





Good, annoying, fun

Good for nothing

Likes to eat cat food


Discovery Center Trip - 5/17

I forgot to post about this great day!  I got to go with Henry's class to the Discover Center.  Staff from the center visit the classroom for 7 weeks to teach them cool science things.  At the end of the seven weeks the kids all go together to the center on a field trip.  I got the privilege to drive my minivan with five of the boys, Henry, Wes, Alex, Cameron, and Gino.  Then at the center all of the 2nd grade boys got to be with me.  Luckily, there are only four of them and they are all very well behaved.  We had lots of fun playing at the museum.  This year they even convinced me to be the parent that rode on the high wire bike.  It was fun,  but scary, I got out there and did it.  If I ever do it again, I think I will be more adventurous. 

Wes, Henry, and Cameron playing with the spinning wheel thing, notice the
newsman and Einstein look-a-like in the background, they were shooting a story.

 The air canon - Mommy got a blast from a worker,
while I had my head inside trying to figure out what it was.

Fridge magnet tunnels, the boys had a blast creating pathways for the metal
ball to travel.  They spent more time here than anywhere else in the center.

Mommy on the high wire bike!

We also got to do a fun DNA extraction experiment that was a lot of fun for the boys.  It almost made us late to the high wire bike event.  The high wire bike was three stories up, and the bike is on a high wire with a 300 lb counterweight.  It stays on the wire as long as the rider is less than three hundred pounds.  It was fun to ride, and I wasn't too scared, until I looked down and saw all of the school kids underneath me through the net.  Then I got a little bit nervous about the whole thing coming down.  Luckily, it didn't even budge.  It was fun, and know I can boast about being brave enough to get on the bike.