Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July weekend!

We had a busy and fun 4th of July weekend this year!  It was hot - oh man was it hot - but we made the best of it!

On the 4th, Dashiell and I made our traditional red, white and blue strawberries (strawberries dipped in white chocolate, then dipped in blue sprinkles) and made some lovely chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and red and blue sprinkles, all to bring to Uncle David and Aunt Lindsay's 4th of July bbq.  No pictures of either the treats or the party were taken, unfortunately.  But it was a fun (though sweaty) afternoon, filled with family and good food.  Then Rick and I took Aurelia home to get some sleep while Dashiell headed out to the fireworks with nana and grandpa!  Lucky kid!  We considered trying to take Aurelia, but since the fireworks begin 2 hours after her bedtime - and she's only 18 months old and needs her sleep - we decided we could wait another year (or two) before attempting a fireworks viewing.  We were told that Dashiell was very good, and very snuggly (on a hot, hot night...oof...).

The next day we picked D up from the grandparents and headed out for a warm-weather hike!  We went to visit the fire tower in Medford, which is fortunately a very easy, short, shady hike.

Dashiell's favorite clump of mushrooms, found on the way up to the tower.

I'm so glad we did it!  Though Dashiell complained about the "long" walk up to the tower, once we got there he was AMAZED.  First off, it's a really cool little tower - it looks like a very small castle, and we've been studying knights and castles the past couple of weeks so it was very timely.

Once you get inside, the view of Boston is pretty darned neat, even on a hazy day.  And it's nicely breezy inside - perfect during the warm weather!

There's a cool outcropping of rock right outside the tower that's fun to climb on, and it also has the lovely view.

My favorite quote from Dashiell during this excursion?  "I never imagined what was behind all those trees next to the highway!"  Said with such reverent awe that you just knew that seeing Boston from this angle was totally blowing his mind.

The next day Rick and I had "Date Day/Night"!  The grandparents had the kids over for a sleep over, so after dropping them off at around 11 am Rick and I headed to the beach!  We chose Revere Beach for it's close proximity, ease of parking (we found a free spot on street!) and the fact that there's a Kelly's Roast Beef right there, so we had lunch covered!  It was so relaxing - no worrying about putting enough sunscreen on the kiddos, watching them closely to make sure they weren't about to drown or eat handfuls of sands, or trying to limit Dashiell to a small number of shells and rocks to add to his collection (you know he'd want to take home every stinkin' shell and rock he came across!).  We lounged about, READING (what the heck is that?!?), taking our time to get to the bathrooms when we needed them, and it was lovely.  And it made me realize that we could easily bring the kiddos to Revere Beach and it wouldn't be too big of a hassle.  It's a HUGE beach, with amenities.  And since parking is cheap or free, if it turned out to be a disaster we wouldn't feel like we wasted $25 in parking fees if we left early.

Later that night we decided to be true Boston tourists and headed out on a sunset cruise of the harbor!  Though the ship was a little cheesy and the bathrooms nearly made me want to jump out the porthole, it was a fun cruise!  The view was great, they had Sam Adams beer, and I learned a little more about the harbor islands than I knew before. 

 Rick and I on the boat!

 Boston skyline from the harbor

Zakim bridge - one of my favorite bridges!

USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument

We called Dashiell to say goodnight to him from the boat (Aurelia was already asleep), and he longingly said, "I hope that someday I'm invited to go on the boat, too".  Shortly thereafter we received a picture of the drawing Dashiell did of a boat right after he got off the phone with us.

I guess we'll be taking another cruise soon!

Rick and I had a great day and evening, but by the time we picked up the kids the next day we really did miss them!  It's nice to get that bit of a recharge every once in a while, not only for the break and to reconnect as a couple, but to make you realize how much you appreciate having the chaos of the kiddos in your life every day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Things I need to remember

Aurelia just had her 18 month doctor's appointment yesterday, and it got me thinking about all the awesome things that she does, and how easy it is to forget all of it!  Yes, toddlerhood is full of challenges, but on the whole life with Aurelia is just so much fun.  She is my little fearless monkey, and she is the funniest thing since, well, since Dashiell was 18 months old!  So I need to write down some of my favorite things that she does, because I know I'll forget half of them by this time next year.

  • I love when Aurelia sings with me.  We sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" before bed each night, and she'll usually pipe in "gigg-o gigg-o, lee...stah".  If I switch things up and sing a different song, she'll intently watch my mouth and silently move her mouth with me.
  • She also sings the songs that Dashiell has learned at school, which usually include hand motions.  So cute to see her waving her hands back and forth to "This Land is Your Land".  (It should be noted that she still doesn't get the verbiage, but the melody and choreography are definitely there!)
  • Teeth brushing (and flossing!).  Every morning she, Dashiell and I all brush our teeth together.  I put the toothpaste on everyone's brushes, hand them to the kids, and we brush, brush, brush!  When I'm done I mumble "one, two, three SPIT" and D and I spit into the sink.  Aurelia cranes her neck and says "ptoo" since she a) can't reach the sink and b) can't spit.  Afterwards Dashiell reminds me that we have to floss, so I floss his teeth, then Aurelia comes over and opens her mouth to get flossed, too.  She has all of 10 teeth.* :)
  • Whenever anyone blows their nose she grabs a tissue, puts it up to her nose or mouth, and makes a "hhuuuuhhh" sound.
  • She talks.  And talks.  And talks.  Yet she probably only has 15 actual words.  But her babble is so expressive and engaging that you know she's telling you something of vital importance.  She knows exactly what she's talking about, it's just up to us to figure it out!
  • The squeal of delight whenever there's running involved!  Rick and Dashiell will usually start running around downstairs, and she'll throw herself into the mix and chase after them, always wanting to get in on the fun.
  • Her fearlessness.  I am in awe of it (look mom I can swing from this bar!).
  • The race to the computer room!  When I'm single parenting (usually 3 nights a week) I let Dashiell play on the computer while I put Aurelia to bed.  So every night Dashiell races us up the stairs ("I win!" he declares, and Aurelia mimics back "da-DEE!" with the same inflection, throwing her hands in the air).  Then when we all get to the top of the stairs we race to the computer room.  About a month ago Dashiell went into his room instead of going straight to the computer room, but Aurelia ran off to the computer by herself and declared "da-DEE!" once she got there.  She knows the score.
  • Her one-handed sippy cup drinking style.  I've been trying to get a picture of it but never catch it in time. I want to post it next to this picture of my grandpa drinking moonshine:

  • The way she buries herself between my knees when she gives me a hug.
  • The way she hugs her brother when she sees that he's sad.
  • The admiration and love she has for Dashiell.  When she wakes up in the morning her first utterance if she doesn't see Dashiell is "wheh da-show?" - where's Dashiell.  He is everything to her.  And she means the world to him, too!  He is an amazing big brother.  I know there will come a time when they will be more annoyed with each other than excited to be with one another, but I hope that doesn't happen for a long time.
I know there are so many other things I want to remember, but, well, I can't remember them right now.  See how easy it is to forget even the best things in life?

And for those of you who like stats, at her appointment yesterday Aurelia was 33" tall (85%tile) and weighs 25 lbs 10 oz (84%tile).  Her head continues to be ginormous - 48.9 cm (97%tile) but it's following the curve she's been on for over a year so it's nothing to be concerned about.  It just means it's hard to find hats that fit her huge melon. :)

*Ack!  I realized that I originally wrote that Aurelia had 8 teeth, when at the time she had 10...I obviously need a few counting lessons!  Then of course she goes and gets another tooth the next day!  So as of today, July 11, she has 11 teeth!  Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Month and a half of crazy! Part III - Everything else!

Now for the photo dump of everything else!  Just random cute things that have happened lately...

Aurelia discovers a flashlight and knows how to use it!

Friends visit from Missouri!
Dashiell gets cozy...
All the cute kiddos:

Dashiell and Aurelia reading "Another Monster at the End of this Book" on my Kindle:

Fun at the library "Bubble Dance Party"!

Hanging out in the toy bin in the library children's room:

Playing in the sprinklers on a super hot day:
Brought out the new "elephant" sprinkler - Aurelia wasn't sure what to do with it!

D on the first day of swim lessons:

Aurelia and her friend Ella playing during their brothers' swim lessons:

Month and a half of crazy! Part II - Celebrations and more celebrations!

More of our month and a half of crazy!!

Prior to D's graduation and Grandma Weber's visit, we attended the Memorial Day Parade in Stoneham - it runs right in front of Nana and Grandpa Hanson's house, which makes it mighty convenient!  It's a short parade, but it's nice.

Kiddos waiting for the action:

Random flag guy on a bike:

Kiddos, enthralled by the bands:

"Stoneham Strong":
 Little fife and drummers:

Father's Day also showed up in the mix of crazy!  It was so crazy we (or rather, I) forgot to send my OWN father a card, so I sent him this instead:

Then D had to make Grandpa Hanson a Father's Day card, too:
I love the facial hair on Grandpa.  So funny!

Later that week the park near our house (Tyler Park) held their first summer concert!  Overview of the small but fun event:
Dashiell checking out the grass:

Aurelia munching on popcorn:

Aurelia was almost done by this point - she was in need of a daddy ride!

One of Dashiell's preschool friends had a HUGE birthday party a couple of weeks ago.  It was for him and his two cousins, so they went all out!  Bouncy castle and house, pony rides and petting zoo, plus a ton of food. Aurelia LOVED the small bouncy  house:

Dashiell was brave enough to go on a pony ride this year!  We hadn't tried it in a couple of years since he used to be scared of them:
Here he was directed to "sit up straight", which apparently means "cover your ears with your shoulders":

I hate to think of what he was touching here:

Aurelia not only loved the bouncy house, she also loved the kiddie pool.  So much so she didn't care about getting her dress and (non-swim) diaper soaked:

And I almost forgot!  It was Nana Hanson's birthday this past month, too!  The kids sent her this:
In addition, we went out for a lovely dinner for Jeanne (Nana) with family and her friends, and the kids behaved so well, considering the venue.  It was a nice restaurant, not the kind we usually take them to.  The kids' menu was printed on the actual menu, not on a separate placemat type thing that they could color!  And we were woefully unprepared - Dashiell brought along a book to color in at his own insistence (did we think to pack it?  No, he did).  Other than the regular diaper bag stuff we had nothing.  I can't say it was the most relaxing dinner, but I'm so glad we were able to go!

I think that covered most of our celebrations this past month!  Up next:  EVERYTHING ELSE!