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Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Merry Christmas from ADDled Adventures!

Skyler heard this song and decided it was so beautiful that she wanted to sing it. She listened to it a second time and then made the video. She is facing the computer with the lyrics so she would have the words right there for her.

Break Free

14 Dec

We have been really busy this fall.   Here is a video of Skyler singing at Sunny Hill while attending another Kid’s Free Weekend.   Once again, her favorite her favorite DJ Pat was the Friday night entertainment.

Summer Fun – Sunny Hill Resort (Catskills, New York) Part 2

27 Sep

Sunny Hill vikingI first mentioned Sunny Hill last year as a great summer fun place to visit.  As we get ready to enjoy one of their Kid’s Free Weekends next week, I realize that it is more than that because you can enjoy it any time of year.

We enjoyed Kid’s Free Weekend this past June which as jam packed with exciting things to do from the brand new Viking Obstacle Race course to fireworks at the lake on Saturday night.  My daughter was especially thrilled to have her favorite DJ Pat as the Friday night entertainment.  This upcoming weekend will be a special Halloween event filled Kid’s Free Weekend.   There will be a costume party, table decorating contest and a haunted hayride.  Taking these shorter trips is a nice and more relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of a full week vacation.

Here are some of Sky’s greatest Sunny Hill singing hits from June 2014:


 

Pet Therapy: Lily the Boxer – Happy Birthday

9 Jul

LilyHappy 4th Birthday, Lily! (Née: Lady Lilianna Rose)

Sometimes when we are feeling stressed or in need of some extra love.  We head over to my parents’ to visit with Lily the boxer.  Lily thinks the kids are part of her pack.  She is especially protective of Skyler.   The minute she goes to play with the little girl at the house in the back, Lily starts barking, crying and racing to come get me because Skyler is not where she belongs.  A properly trained boxer is a great family pet.   They are very loving and think they are human too.  Besides, Lily is just so and snugly.  She loves to cuddle, lean, or even sit on her humans as long as she is touching them.

We have a collection of videos that we have made of Lily throughout her 4 years that keeps us smiling when we can’t get over the my parents’ house.

Here are some examples of Lily’s goofiness. You can see all of her videos at Lily’s YouTube List.



Happy Father’s Day

15 Jun

To all those fathers that are in their children’s lives: Happy Father’s Day!

For those who are not in their children’s lives but should be: You are missing out on great memories. All it takes is one little surprise letter, book, gift, phone call to keep your connection alive.

As I mentioned a few days ago, Skyler was singing at the Rockland Boulder’s game at Provident Bank Park. Today was her big debut and she wowed the crowd.

Father’s Day – The Star Spangled Banner

8 Jun

If you live in the NY Tri-State area and not sure what to do for Father’s Day(June 15, 2014), you should consider coming to the Rockland Boulder’s game in Pomona, NY. Of course, I am slightly biased because Skyler will be performing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the game.  The game begins at 2:00 PM but there is always so much to do before the game that I would come early.  It really is a great deal for a family trip because you don’t lose your shirt like at some other baseball stadiums nearby.

Celebrate Father’s Day at Provident Bank Park and come on to the field for a post-game catch with Dad! Arrive early for a special giveaway from Kinchley’s Pizza!  Don’t forget- it’s Sunday, which means Kids Run the Bases after the game, brought to you by JCC Rockland!

Skyler was fortunate enough to have a practice run while we were on vacation by singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Sunny Hill at the request of the fantastic DJ Pat in honor of D-Day.

Day Trip: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester

26 May

Lego masterbuilderLego - Sky
Last summer, the kids had a visit from the Granddad and Aunt from England. We took a day to check out the new LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester in Yonkers, NY.  I regret that we never got to LEGOLAND® California Resort before we moved from Las Vegas to New York so this little trip was a big deal for Tristan.

Bring your Wallet, Credit Cards, and Right Arm!

The first shock you will get is the ticket prices:  $18 a child and $22 an adult.   They also tell the kids about a special activity badge they can buy that includes a booklet on a lanyard with stamps to collect at each location and some puzzles for an extra $4 each.  Well, no kid seemed to go past the ticket seller without upgrading their package making their price the same as the adults.   So for the 5 of us, it cost $110 just to get in the door.

Your first stamp/stop is the LEGO® Factory Tour where the kids to pretend to make LEGOs®.  There was a feature for seeing how much you weighed in LEGOs® but this was not working the day we were there.  It basically said each of us weighed the same number of blocks.

Your next stop is Kingdom Quest which is a short ride that has laser guns.  You travel through an adventure where you have to shoot the “monsters and stuff” to gain points.  The kids felt the ride was too short considering how long they waited to have their turn.

You travel through MINILAND® to get to the rest of the center. MINILAND® was definitely the adult favorite of this trip with a LEGO® replica of New York City. I will post pictures from MINILAND® area at the bottom of this post.

As you enter the main center, you realize that it is a swarm of madness and chaos. This is a large, warehouse type room fill with strollers and LEGOs®. In this main room there is LEGO® Racers: Build & Test, Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, LEGO® Fire Academy, LEGO® Construction Site, LEGO® Master Builder Academy, DUPLO® Village, Earthquake Tables, LEGO® Friends, and LEGO® 4D Cinema.

The hands-on activity areas were:

  • DUPLO® Village (Ages: 1 – 5) – A Mommy and me type of area for the younger crowd.
  • LEGO® Fire Academy (Maximum height allowed inside is 54″) & LEGO® Construction Site (36″ to 54″ Tall) – A climber system with just the kids allowed inside. It was utter madness in there with little ones being taken out by plush LEGOs®. Not for the nervous parent. My kids were on the older side of things. There was really no monitoring system to make sure the smaller ones were not in the older area. Most kids in here were on average 4-5 years old.
  • Earthquake Tables (All ages) – A station with several tables to test your building creations against the powers of an earthquake. The kids enjoyed this station but for the amount of children in the facility there was really not enough tables. There were many parents not keeping an eye on their children here so the kids were just pushing others out of the way to take tables away from kids that had been waiting.
  • LEGO® Racers: Build & Test – (All ages) A building area to make your own car and test it on a race track and stunt track. As with the Earthquake area, there really was not LEGO® wheels to go around for the kids to make cars with. The kids were crawling all over the floor looking for lost wheels just to have their cars have enough to race.
  • LEGO® Friends (All ages) – This area is dedicated to the “girl line” of LEGOs® which rather annoys me because I loved playing LEGOs® as a kid and did not need pink and purple blocks to make my own houses, dog bowls, robots, etc. Skyler loved this area because there was karaoke.
  • LEGO® Master Builder Academy (Suggested Age: 7 and up) – A private classroom where the kids build a pre-made kit like the ones you can buy at the checkout. There is a at schedule for the classes and each class has a maximum number of kids allowed inside. A less-than enthusiastic “Master Builder” talks the kids through building their LEGO® kits. Tristan found himself moving ahead because the instructor was really slow. There is a catch to this class: you have to pay for the kit you just made if you child wants to take it home. So budget for some extra cost. I asked at the shop and they said these kits can run as much as $10 depending on the class.

The experience areas were:

  • Merlin’s Apprentice Ride (Minimum 36″ tall to ride, Up to 48″ must right with an adult) – This is the one ride that is in this center. This one ride has a line longer than most at any Six Flags. By the time you get to the front of the line, your kids are hanging from the rafters. According to my children, this ride was not worth of the wait. The phrase “it just plain stinks” was used to describe the ride.
  • LEGO® 4D Cinema (All ages) – This was the highlight of the trip. The kids wanted to keep going in over and over again. There were two movies running that day with LEGO® Legends of Chima™ 4D Movie Experience and LEGO® City: A Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure. Both movies kept my kids amused and they loved the 4D effects that were featured. We are just glad it was not in Smell-O-Vision. The kids still quote the skunk featured in the Chima™ movie with a sheepish “sorry”.

As with most places, you exit through a store. Exiting through a LEGO® Store can be a harrowing experience with exhausted children. All in all, this place is really for younger kids more than anything. If you child is around 5-7 years old, that would be the ideal age. Beyond that they will be bored with most of the activities.

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester
39 Fitzgerald St
Yonkers, NY 10710

Lego Statue of Liberty

Lego NYC8

Lego NYC7

Lego NYC6

Lego NYC5

Lego NYC4

Lego NYC3

Lego NYC2

Lego NYC1

Sailor Moon (‘Let It Go’ Parody)

24 May

Sailor SkylerSo you have all seen her dress as Sailor Moon….twice(here and here).  And you have seen her sing ‘Let It Go’…..twice(here and here).  The next step seems pretty obvious.   Skyler wanted to sing a ‘Let It Go’ song all about Sailor Moon in honor of the Sailor Moon goodness that is happening.  So I sat down and wrote the lyrics for her and she practiced.   I made any repairs to the costume that needed doing since being worn for NY ComicCon, a Girl Scout Halloween Party, the school Halloween party and Trick-or-Treating.

We used a black plastic tablecloth for the backdrop with a moon taped to it.  We found the kitchen had good enough acoustics to record the song and then we were set.   Well, after 10 takes due to wardrobe issues (accidentally ripped off her bow), lyric oops (started singing ‘Let It Go’ at parts), and prop distractions (almost took the camera out with the wand).

This song is dedicated to a wonderful nurse that moved away.   Nurse Kate, you were amazing and I don’t think that any nurse will ever live up to the bar you set in the kids’ eyes. Where else are we going to find someone who loves the same things as all 3 of us?  From Doctor Who to FireflyMeowchis to Sailor Moon, and, most importantly, Cosplay Tips, you made every visit with you memorable.   We miss you terribly and hope you are having a wonderful time in your new state and job.

Day Trip: Van Saun Park (Bergen County Zoo)

14 Apr

Van Saun - AlligatorOne great thing about living in this area is that there are many fun places a short drive away.  One of those places is Van Saun Park.  My family had been going to this park for as long as I can remember.   When i was a child we would have out annual family picnic here and the highlight was going on the train ride and seeing the zoo.

On the grounds of Van Saun Park is the Bergen County Zoo.   It is a great zoo for younger kids and it is not as exhausting or expensive as the Bronx Zoo.   Located in Paramus, NJ, the zoo has a small train ride and carousal ride for additional $1.50 a person.  Another neat feature is their special exhibit which was the Butterfly Pavilion last summer.  The kids enjoyed the Budgie Experience that was featured for several years before.  Butterflies can’t compete with a bird landing on your finger or even your head.

Van Saun - elkVan Saun TortoiseVaun Saun - Bald Eagle

The old Budgie Experience(2009):

Recent Van Saun Highlights:

 
Van Saun Park
216 Forest Ave
Paramus, NJ 07652

NY ComicCon Part 2 – Heroes and Such

13 Apr

ComicCon GroupOur journey to NY ComicCon 2013 was almost complete.  We just needed a good costume for Tristan.  He was going to go as the 10th Doctor but after reading about how hot it gets walking around.  I decided rather than spending the day hearing him complain about how hot he was and carrying the suit all over the place that we needed a more comfortable costume for hot areas.

Rory TristanRory Williams costume
We were able to put together a Rory costume from Day of the Moon (6.2). We already had the polo shirt, shorts, and sneakers so it was only a matter of tally marks and the sharpie around Rory’s neck.

The tally marks: I used waterproof black eyeliner to draw on the tally marks all over the place. I figured they would be easy to remove when we got home but hold up to any sweating that may occur.

The sharpie on a string: I took a dried out sharpie and glued it to a piece of twine to be worn around the neck.

Rory costume is complete.

Now Off to NY ComicCon.

Kidditch1 Kidditch2The kids started off their day at the “Kidditch” (aka Kids Quidditch) which was presented by the International Quidditch Association in the Family Room. At once point, my son turned to me and told me he had found “his” sport. They both had a blast as they each took turns in the groups for lessons in tossing the quaffle, throwing the bludgers, and chasing the snitch.

Afterwards we headed tot he autograph room to get in line for John Barrowman. As we go in line, I discovered that sometime at Quidditch, Tristan put down the bag he was holding for me while I took pictures of Skyler having her turn. This bag contained my cellphone, $120 cash, 2 credit cards, my driver’s license, Tristan’s Epi-Pen, Skyler’s Lactaid, both childrens’ insurance cards, and the ticket to the parking garage where we parked the van. Basically, without this bag, our adventure was coming to a screeching halt.

A female crew member stayed with my children in the John Barrowman autograph line while I ran back to the Family Room in the hopeless search for the missing bag. The Quidditch people were gone so I began to randomly ask the next group that was setting up. One girl asked me my name. She then pointed me to one of the authors sitting in the Family Room. She said he had found a bag.

Children’s author and comic book writer, Alex Simmons became a REAL ComicCon hero. He found the missing bag and kept is safe for me. He turned our first experience at ComicCon from disastrous to miraculous. Our special trip together was falling apart by Mr. Simmons was there save the day.

Barrowman1Now came the LONG wait in the autograph line for John Barrowman. From 11:22 AM until 2:03 PM, my two ADHD kids, one with Asperger’s, managed to stay in line to meet one of their heroes. Of course, breaking out the DS stash at 12:30 PM helped. I had told them at the beginning that they would have to share a picture of “Jack” because of the amoBArrowman2unt of money we allotted for the day. The kids were so cute and got all tongue-tied when the got to meet him. As he began to sign his autograph, he noticed that the two of them had only 1 picture. He turned to Skyler and asked her to pick what picture she thought was the best. She pointed to a different picture than the one we paid for. He grab that one off the table, autographed that one, and gave it to her. They each has an autographed picture and giant grins but John Barrowman was finished making everyone’s day. He then told them “Do you know why you have a great mom? *pause* Because she took you to ComicCon. Thank you, John Barrowman, because you made this mom very happy. (I didn’t know my camera was dying at the time so the pictures we took were fuzzy.)

I felt really bad for Gareth David-Lloyd. He was very sweet but this day was for the kids and, well, Torchwood, does not have a kid audience so they did not know Ianto Jones.

We took a quick bit of lunch which I had packed in the backpack and we were off to the vendor floor. Once up there, we did not come up for air until ComicCon closed. The kids had a great time and enjoyed every second. Skyler felt like a movie star when people started asking her if they could take her picture.

Here are a few of the people we took pictures of on our visit:

CC People 2 CC People 3 CC People 4 CC People 5 CC People 6 CC People 7 CC People 8 CC People 9 CC People 10 CC People 11 CC People 12 CC People 13 CC People 14

Check out NY ComicCon Part 1 – Sailor Moon Costume Revisited.