Growing Out On A Limb


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At the pool. He swims!

Last Sunday was a pretty chill day, hanging out around home.

Daddy took the boys on a nature walk for the morning.  They love every second of being outside and wandering around the woods.  It’s good for the imagination too apparently… here they are “fishing”.

IMG_4655It was a beautifully sunny day so in the afternoon we went to the pool.

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This was actually a big day for us in the pool.  Oliver made big strides in the pool last year but was never willing to try getting in the water with any sort of floating aid.  I knew if he tried he would realize that he could actually swim a bit but he’s not all that open to new things and he’s kind of hard to convince when his mind gets stuck on something.

On Sunday he was wandering around the wading pool by laying down and walking his hands along the bottom.  I told him if he had a life jacket on it would help him swim and was super shocked when he agreed to it with no coercing.

And he did it!  It was the sweetest looking dog paddle I’ve ever seen and he was beaming – so proud of himself!  And once again he showed me how much he is growing up and opening up to be accepting of new things.

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Apparently Emery needed a break from all that swimming fun!
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Just another gorgeous summer day!

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Beating the Heat with Cool

Hot, hot hot.

And what do you do on one of the hottest days of the summer?  You go where the water is and you stick your feet in it!

For us that was the camp, which is always great for photo ops.  Especially when the subjects are these pretty girls.

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IMG_2545 I think Aaliyah is going to be outdoorsy like the rest of the family.  Wouldn’t you say?  IMG_2549

Sweetness.  IMG_2580-003 Three generations of loveliness.  IMG_2588

Proud moment for papa … all three grandkids piled onto the wheeler!  IMG_2599 If sticking your feet in the brook isn’t enough (and it wasn’t), then you head to the nearest  swimming hole and go in up to your neck!  IMG_2616 Nana got the boys new sunglasses, which they immediately put on and left on and will not leave the house without.  I’m not sure which one of them is cooler!

IMG_2627 Oh wait … I think we have a winner.  IMG_2632-001


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Vacationing in Camden, Maine

Last weekend we were in Camden, Maine for our summer vacation.  Being rather pregnant, I wasn’t sure we would get one of our more typical camping vacations this summer but we decided to go for it… three nights tenting in Camden’s State Park.  Yes, we have a good air mattress.

What we didn’t count on was the heat wave.  Friday morning it was 31 degrees by 9 am and still 36 degrees at supper time.  It made for lots of trips to the water (lake and ocean) and a warm tent at bedtime but being that close to the coast was far better than sitting in front of fans at home.

The boys were super excited to go camping.  If you ask them what their favorite part was, at least half the time Oliver says “the campfire”.  They like sticking their sticks into the fire and seeing the “sparkles” fly up when daddy stokes the fire.

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The first morning the boys and I gave daddy some nap time and went to Lincolnville beach, just up the road.  The water was make-your-legs-ache cold but boy, it felt good after sitting in the sun for a while.
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It was also the only beach we found that was actually more sandy than rocky.  The boys played quite a bit that morning making sand castles.  IMG_1987-001 There was a ferry nearby that came about every hour and kicked up waves that Oliver was pretty excited to jump in.  IMG_1991We planned on hiking Mount Battie later that day but it was way too hot.  Instead, we drove to the top of Mount Battie and wandered around.  It has a really pretty view of Camden’s waterfront.
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IMG_2002So, why Camden?  That day, July 5th, was the day of the Great Schooner race… a race from Camden to Rockland between the big windjammers of the area (and there are many!).  For hubby’s 40th birthday, we chartered a smaller sailboat to be in the Rockland harbor (20 mins south of Camden) for the finish of the race, among the windjammers.  Hubby has always had an appreciation for the Bluenose and its history so this seemed like a really cool gift for a milestone birthday.

It was the Bufflehead and a really neat experience!  Captain Dan was so welcoming and down to earth and knows a lot about the big windjammers… you can easily tell he genuinely loves doing what he does.  He even let off a little (but loud) cannon when we got near a couple of his buddies’ ships.

We will recommend him to anyone looking for a similar experience!  Here’s the bufflehead and us getting ready to board.
IMG_2022 The boys were really good on the boat… kind of quiet, just taking it all in, but they seemed to enjoy it overall.  You can really get a sense of all the big windjammers in the water with us.  IMG_2036 I think hubby enjoyed his birthday gift!  IMG_2051

I wish I could remember all of the stories Dan told us about the big windjammers.  They were really pretty to look at and all different from each other so interesting to hear about.

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The one on the right with the three front sails and topsails was my favorite.

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Emery stuck with me for most of the trip.  He even nodded off at one point.  It was a pretty comfy spot for both of us, I’ll admit.

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I kept thinking what a neat experience that was for the boys.  And what a nice spot to be on such a hot day!  IMG_2067This one kind of shows the tilt the boat got when the sails were full (and I say “kind of” because it got quite a bit tippier than that!).  I admit I looked back at Captain Dan a couple of times to make sure I shouldn’t be worried.  
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A shot of the Camden harbor on Saturday morning…
IMG_4548We spent more time at Lincolnville beach Saturday morning, only daddy came with us this time.  There isn’t a lot of kid-oriented stuff in that area but we don’t feel our kids need amusement parks and water slides at this age anyway.  They were perfectly happy at this beach on Friday morning so we went back the next day and they had a ball splashing in the waves again!

IMG_4553 That afternoon we decided to walk the breakwater in Rockland.  It is 7/8 mile and leads to a big lighthouse.  The walk was tricky because the big stones were all pieced together like a mosaic, so we ended up carrying Emery most of the way.  IMG_4578 Here we are at the lighthouse (see us at the end?).  IMG_4584 After that walk we were SO hot, we went back to the lake we had gone to the previous two nights… Barrett’s cove in Camden State Park.  I guess we’re creatures of habit but again, the boys had such fun, why not go back?  And the lake was perfect… warm and shallow enough for quite a while so the kids could play freely.

See the floaty?  Best $5 I’ve ever spent.  Oliver has been really resistant to try any sort of floating device up to this summer but he absolutely loved floating around in these things!  He’ll be swimming in no time.

This lake was also so shallow that both boys could walk themselves along the bottom with their hands really easily. At one point during our second night, Oliver was doing just that and suddenly proclaimed to no one in particular, “This is great!  This is soooo great!”.

IMG_4592 Home sweet home.  Camden State Park is like most state parks… no frills.  We realized on this trip that the stay would have been a bit easier at a campground that was geared a bit more toward kids (playground, pool, etc) but it was a really nice campground … clean, wooded sites, free (and good) showers, and surprisingly quiet for a July 4th weekend.  IMG_4612

Emery was kind of mesmerized by the sparklers.
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Campfires, tenting, oceans, lakes, sailing, and let’s not forget seat dancing on the way home… it was a nice trip.  There were definitely some really trying moments for mommy and daddy (a couple of which made us consider coming home a night early) but overall we had fun and I’m really glad we explored this part of Maine.  And yes, at seven and a half months pregnant, I am even glad we braved the camping.

I’m not sure how much of these trips the kids will remember but I can’t help thinking that the experiences and time spent together as a family are shaping them in a positive way just the same.


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A few garden shots

These are just a few garden pics from around home.  I don’t get a chance to play with the camera as much as I’d like to, but I did manage to snap a few the other day.

We decided to downsize our vegetable garden this year because we thought we were selling our house and wanted to be able to move our garden if we had to.  Plus we have two toddlers and a new baby due in the middle of it all and are somehow finding less time to spend on things like weeding and watering.

This was one of the more unique planters, an experiment of sorts… a pallet planted with lettuce up top and spinach on the bottom.  It was tricky to water at first but the soil is staying put better now that there are roots to help hold the dirt in place.

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I know this is technically overexposed but I still like it.  I have a lot of these on my doorstep this year.   
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I’m not sure any rose will ever top this old-fashioned variety.  I like how the background kind of looks like watercolor.   IMG_1937Just a weed by the road.  IMG_1953

 


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Canada Day 2013

Although it has been a cool, damp spring overall, Canada day was hot and sunny and just a beautiful day to be outside.

We started out just doing chores and playing around home.  Oliver is really keen to help me with little chores and I do not hesitate to let him (especially since I know he won’t always be offering to help).  Besides, it’s important to me that I raise boys that are self-sufficient and do all types of chores.  And he feels good about contributing.  It’s a win for both of us.

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It also gave us a chance to talk about the bees buzzing at a bush near the clothesline.  He recently got stung and has been petrified of “stingy bugs” ever since.  From his stool he could see them buzzing around and he was scared but we talked about how the bee was just doing his job, like Oliver was, by taking the nectar back to the hive, and that he should just be still when they come close.  I don’t know if it helped his fear but it can’t hurt for him to be able to watch them from a distance.

(Meanwhile, Emery was sitting there watching them buzz around flowers a foot away, saying, “Look, mommy!”).

Oliver rode his bike a bit.

IMG_1945(The helmet went on less than two minutes after this).  

We didn’t get any pictures but we headed downtown later to take part in the town’s Canada day festivities.  They had a magic show, several big bouncy castles, free swimming (which was super welcome on such a hot day), and lots of yummy food.

We needed a break before the parade started though.  An ice cream break!

IMG_4492 I tried to get Emery to smile for an ice-cream-all-over-the-face shot.  This is what I got:  IMG_4497 Then he gave me his “surprised” face.  IMG_4498Then it was time for the parade!  It’s your typical small-town parade,  maybe a little smaller this year, which is just fine with the boys.  I think this is the only shot we have that would indicate to anyone that it was Canada day.  Emery still doesn’t grasp that it was a holiday to celebrate Canada (or what “Canada” is for that matter) but Oliver was really interested in why people had flags up and what the holiday was all about this year.

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The highlight of the parade for two boys?  The massive tractor that came next.  It’s not actually in the picture of course but I like the looks on their faces in this picture.  IMG_4507

The weekends and the holidays play me out, being over 7 months pregnant and all, and by the end of the day my hips and lower back are really sore.  But these fun off-routine days are so worth it… the boys have fun, we have fun, and we’re taking part in our town’s festivities, which I think is really important for the kids to experience.

And of course, the memories are priceless.