Sunday, July 23, 2017

July

Apparently I've dropped to "blogging" once a month, although it's more like just dumping some pictures on here. Today will be no different. While we've been out and about every day, there isn't much variety in the photos because 1) I try to not have my phone on my while the kids are up and 2) we tend to stick to our favorite basics of hiking, reading, and beach. I'd say it's been a pretty idyllic summer so far.

VBS ended with the kids all singing for Sunday Service. Hudson LOVED it and can't wait to do it again. 

This doesn't look like much, but it's Steve getting up early (after having gone to bed late) to finish reading a book he couldn't put down. Totally the norm in my life, but he's not a reader (gasp!) so this made me ridiculously happy. 

Houghton Pond has become popular. Sad. I mean good that it will probably remain open, sad because I like getting shaded parking spaces and having the place to myself.

But also good because the kids make friends every time they go and are being pushed to be braver in the water. 

Fourth of July! Hudson sort of stretched the whole "red, white, and blue" concept, haha. 

Don't be fooled, he was NOT waiting patiently for the parade to start. At least we were in the shade.

Decided a beach outing was in order and lucked out in getting the remaining parking place AND the guy somehow didn't charge us. As always the kids had a blast. 

Sand under my feet is the happiest of feelings. 

The First Annual Fourth at Woodman's. Our friend group always cooks out/has parties for all the holidays and it's wonderful (especially with family so far) but so much work with all the prep so this year we all met up at the fish shack and let them do the cooking and clean up and it's going to happen from now on. Delicious and so much fun (also free lemonade which made the kids day).

Back at the beach...

Gorgeous day for it.

Ice cream after dinner!

Hiking....somewhere....

Still wrestling with the guilt of this (major rule follower here!) but I'm not keeping a reading log for Henri this summer as the school asked. She reads waaaaaay too much for me to record each and every book. I'm confident she's not regressing any in her skills, and if they really need to know I can give them a general idea of the series she's gone through. In the meantime, she's really on a roll with her reading and has taken over reading to Hudson at night once they go to bed. 

Tried for a date night with the kids. 

It's smoothie season!!! Acai bowl with banana, flaked coconut and cocao nibs. Dinner of champions (and lazy moms who don't want to bake).

Bit of a story here. Short version: Trader Joe's "season" for pickle popcorn was only 2 months this year. Panic when realized season was already over. Called every store in the state. One still had some on the shelf, asked them to pull it all. Got there and they actually had 3 cases they said I could have. We settled on 26 bags to cover us until next year when it comes back in season. Very very happy child. 

Henri had a super early morning appointment downtown Boston. To get there in time and find parking we had to arrive 45 minutes early, so they got a treat at Whole Foods. 

Quick and painless, kids had fun playing with the chair, and we're cleared for another year. Yay!

Always think this is a good idea, always find rice in weird places for the next 3 weeks.

Game changer! Kids can make their own lunches!!! All the praise hands. 

Went to the Farmers Market to get honey. Came home with 6 ears of corn and cookies bigger than your head.

Chores around the house (he pruned back all the creeping vines and did a very thorough job of it)

Random "furniture" keeps popping up around my yard like this bench. 

Yes, I still "babywear". Does Lillebaby need a rep? 'Cause I still think this is the only "must have" when having a child, even over diapers or clothing. Must have imprinted on my kids or something because even almost 4 years later it still soothes the savage beast. 

It's been a pretty great summer in the thrifting department, this to date is my best find: LL Bean duck boots, in my size, in fantastic shape, for $30!!!!!!! I wanted these this spring but were back ordered for months. So glad I held off since these never go on sale.

The smile is fake. Finally went on a "date" and it was really a forced death march all over town in the miserable heat that culminated in a downpour when we were just a block from the car. 

Proof that it's not all the creamers and sugars that make my kid love coffee. He sucks it down just the same when it's black. 

2 months behind season, we've finally had 3 very small strawberries. 

Hudson loves the babies and they adore him back

Another hike, some Audubon trail

Who taught him "bunny ears"???Drives his sister nuts. Lunch date at Chik fil A.

Filled Hudson's dreams of having a dog. For 24 hours. Got to babysit for the neighbors. Other than losing couch privileges for scrabbling on and scratching up our leather couch, he was perfectly well behaved and a pleasure to have. 

His selfie game needs work. 

Went to Ogunquit yesterday for a full day of beach (and baseball).

This was after the tide was going out (Hudson practicing surfing, he had pretty good balance!). Prior to this both kids were out in the waves trying to body board.

Henri did pretty well until she got slammed under by a surprise wave. Getting the sand out of her hair was quite the chore last night. 

Mini castle. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June adventures

It's been a busy start to vacation! No lazing around yet, although that will hopefully come. For now we've been to NY to visit the cousins, gone strawberry picking, camped, and are currently in the midst of vacation bible school. We're also in the midst of some gorgeous weather, so I've been skipping naps/quiet time and keeping the kids outside to soak it all up. Here's a smattering of what we've been doing (and most of it is in no semblance of order):

Our tire was losing air, so Hudson checked on it before each outing for me. 

You know you're not in Boston any more when the rest stops feature these.....

The park up the hill from the inlaws just got renovated and the adults had a great time on the climbing wall

She's got some impressive muscles!

The traditional meet-up for a cone (or 2 in John's case...)

It was way past his bedtime and starting to show. Actually, the theme of the weekend could have been "it's way past his bedtime and it's showing". And yes, those are bananas on Henri's romper. 

He adores Ava, and she's so sweet to him. He thoroughly enjoyed the dress up

On the way home we swung by Animal Adventure Park, home of the famous giraffe, April. 

Lots of other great animals though (camels!!!!) that you could feed. The kids really liked it, and the weather held off until we got back in our car.

Ta-da!!! I met the internet star.

...also a baby camel. Awwwww!!!!

Hudson's favorite was the macaw. Hudson insisted he looked like a pirate in this picture

Back at Harris Hill, someone took their golf game super seriously


And back again....


Can you see Hudson's tongue out too? Hahaha

Um, terrible unflattering photo of me, but April was trying to take a lick of Steve's phone

The strawberry field we picked in was way out back, so we got a hayride out to it. Hudson was thrilled, he still talks about the one he got in September with Henri's class. 

Pretending to pick

This is pretty much all she did. 

It's too easy to go overboard on the picking. The cost is always a bit sobering at the end. But they tasted awesome!

Fruits of our (very short, not really strenuous at all) labor.

Honestly, they should weigh her before and after. She's got to cut in to their profit margin by a good deal.

Headed back with full tummies and in anticipation of the sugary strawberry donuts

Camping! I have next to no pictures of this as my phone stayed in the car for almost the whole thing. It was hot, everyone was exhausted, everyone was sick/recovering from illness. It rained all night Friday and as we were tearing down Saturday. It wasn't a horrible trip, but it wasn't our greatest by any means. Very disorganized, kind of "meh". However, Meg and Nate came, which made it much more fun!!

See? No "pep" this year (she had bronchitis and was on medication but still coughed all. night. long.)

Dinner on Thursday was a burned mess, but Friday morning Steve made the best Toads on Toast ever and that was pretty much the highlight of my trip. We also got to sample grilled glazed donuts (wow), and downed lots of Deepa's special percolator coffee (a true blessing after a long night of no sleep).

We did Kimballs for lunch and ice cream on Sat and the kids were asleep before we left the parking lot. 

The neighbor's roses. I feel bad, it's his bush, but the only blooms always push through the fence to our side so we get to enjoy them. 

My tomato plant is getting huge!!!

...and all it's producing is 2 little tomatoes. Must remember to not attempt any kind of garden next year and save the money for a CSA membership instead.

With the kids at VBS I was able to get in a particularly grand thrifting trip. Italian made shoes for me for $5.49? Don't mind if I do....

Yup, they're amazing. 

It worked out that the girl I hired to paint our kitchen, hall, and bathroom was able to do the job over the weekends that we were out of town which was perfect since it's a very small house and we would have had to find something to occupy the kids with for a few days. Now it's on to researching and contacting contractors to do the kitchen reno. Hoping in the near future to be able to fit more than one guest at our table!

Looks blue here, and maybe it is, but it's a very light grey with green undertones. They did a fantastic job (I despise painting so this was fabulous!!!) and having it completed all at once was great. So now the whole interior has been converted to shades of grey and blue. Muuuuuch more peaceful. 

The bathroom is definitely a lot more blue than I love, but it was Steve's choice and I can live with it. Feels too "coastal" for me, but I'll try to tone that down with decor. 

Assisting in keeping the kids up through nap time, I made frozen coffees today. Coffee syrup, concentrated coffee, some creamer, lots of ice. I drank it straight from the pitcher it was so good. And being coffee, it earned "A+" ratings from the kids.