Growing Out On A Limb

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Best shopping partner

Eleanor loves to go shopping (and i enjoy taking her!)  I suppose this is just one reason why!  


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Just the beginning… 

Oliver went to a week long hockey summer camp last week.  He has been at us for months to play hockey so we figured this was a great chance for him to try it out for the week.  

In true Oliver fashion, he expected it to know everything as soon as he hit the ice and that the camp would be nothing but playing real hockey games, so he came home on Monday night a little downtrodden.  But he stuck it out and came home much more happy on Tuesday.

On Friday they did have a game.  He didn’t touch the puck much while skating among the bigger guys and the ones who have played for a few years, but he loved it.  I can see early mornings and cold bum arenas in my not-so-distant future.  

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PEI 2016

So many pictures from such a good vacation in PEI!  We spent a week on the island almost two weeks ago and my vacation buzz is pretty much gone so it’s a perfect time to go through and post the pictures.

And away we go!  20160807_143539We spent the first half of the week in Campbell’s Cove… one of my favorite spots ever.  It’s on the eastern side of the island, away from the touristy crowds.  We stay at a small family campground that has its own private beach (that wouldn’t begin to be full if every single camper headed to the beach).  I love how homey and friendly it is, how quiet it is, how the beach is right there, and how the kids could ride their bikes and run whenever they wanted.  20160807_200206Emery wasn’t feeling great the first part of the week.  He pretty much spent every campfire bundled up like this.  20160807_205826Nana and papa and the Hills were along for this part of the trip.  We were super happy to have them along!  20160807_205843It was kind of windy and cool but we did get some beach time.  This is my new favorite picture of eleanor.
20160808_103055Eleanor didn’t get in the water here but she sure loved the sand!  IMG_7023I could take pictures of her all day.  IMG_7011
IMG_7028Emery still wasn’t feeling well but I still like this picture of him with the red cliff behind.  IMG_7009There were good-sized waves one day, which were fun for everyone!  The campground had boogie boards that the boys enjoyed.   IMG_6983



20160808_103311Who knew that rob has a “thing” for kites?!  It was a perfect day for it and he shared with all the kids who wanted to.  One kite string broke and it went in a nearby field.  Rob was pretty scared hesitant to walk through the tall grass to get it, so he offered up an ice cream to whoever retrieved it.  The kids (and papa too!) thought it was pretty awesome to be getting ice cream at 9:30 in the morning!  IMG_7037

Just a pretty shot taken while on mission kite retrieval.  IMG_7046

I love this toothless smile.  Oliver loves loves loves the beach and the ocean and everything about it.  IMG_7031

Eleanor loved their little playground!  She spent many hours there with sophie and willa – on and off the swings, up and down the slide, and making sand pies in the “kitchen”.  20160808_105128


20160808_113242We left the campground only once for a change of scenery and went to the old Elmira train station, where the confederation trail ends.  We took a little walk on the trail.  Emery got stung by a hornet but the walk was great other than that!  20160809_143054

20160809_145414This is a really random shot that was taken after our walk but I love how emery seems to be photo bombing it!  20160809_153116Campfire after campfire after campfire.  No one is complaining about that!  S’mores make such a mess but … well, how can you not?!20160809_201026

20160809_210407A morning shot.  One of the things I remember from camping as a kid was having those tiny boxes of cereal.  It was such a treat because we rarely got the “fun” kinds of cereal at home – think frosted flakes or fruit loops.  Yes, we make bigger breakfasts some mornings too but, for me, those tiny boxes of cereal equal camping and are always on the shopping list.  20160810_075327Papa got lots of grandkid time…20160810_085021… and was his normal goofy self here and there.  I must note that there was an adult bike nearby but of course that’s not papa’s style (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!).  20160810_101119(1)Partway through the week we packed up the camper and went to Brackley beach.  The campground was bigger, the area more touristy, but we had a really lovely campsite and were just a short drive from the beach.  The campground had a pool and a playground and activities too!

Oliver was pretty proud that he could do the monkey bars back and forth.  20160811_095450


Everyone loves the swings!  20160811_120436We had one afternoon of rain but everyone got comfy with a movie (for about three and a half minutes – then one of them touched the other).  20160811_145106

20160811_162040Towards the end of the trip we knew one rainy day and one sunny day were coming.  We had promised the kids we would do a theme park with water slides one day but didn’t want to waste the sunny day on that, so we packed all the kids in the car (ours and a few cousins) and went to shining waters.  Best.  Decision.  Ever.  It was cool at the waterslides and yes, we got a little wet, but there were no lines or waiting anywhere.  And everyone had fun so it ended up being a great day.

Funny mirrors!  20160812_112534Random train in the woods.  20160812_113218

20160812_113247That roller coaster behind was the best ride (in my opinion).  I convinced emery to try it the first time we went and he sat beside me.  He was cool with it for about 10 seconds but then it picked up speed and went around a turn on its side and emery screamed in legitimate terror.  I’m not sure when I’ll ever get him on a decent-sized roller coaster again!  20160812_122045Eleanor enjoyed the rides as much as the boys, though she obviously couldn’t go on all the same ones.  20160812_133251This one was a fan favorite but especially for eleanor because the other kids could go with her on this one.  20160812_135602There was a smaller roller coaster that Eleanor and I couldn’t get on… 20160812_134203… but I caught this sweet shot of lucy and oliver!  And emery seemed okay with this one.  20160812_134205The water slides were a bit of a bust.  They had four water slides (two of them were tube slides) and a really awesome section for smaller kids with smaller waterslides.  It was just too rainy and cold for emery and eleanor to enjoy them.  Oliver tried the bigger slides but I think one of them frightened him a bit and then it was game over.  I rode a few times with the older cousins and they really were a blast but we didn’t stay in that section for long because of the weather.

We did get some sweet balloon animals out of it though!
20160812_151810As we were leaving, the kids noticed the llama was poking her head out of the window.  Notice sophie’s best llama impression (and yes, sophie… this picture will make an appearance at your wedding).  20160812_154447The rain of course made for a puddly campground when we got back.  20160812_185936_001I will never go on a camping trip without a container of lego.  It’s the great equalizer.  20160812_194704And then… brackley beach.  Ahh, it’s such a pretty beach.  Our family never stepped foot on cavendish.  Hauling three young kids through those crowds for a chance to sit two feet from another beach goer just isn’t attractive to me.  But this beach… yes.  20160813_133220Sand castles be darned.  We built our own creeper!  20160813_150851Ok, no wait… this is my new favorite picture of eleanor. 20160813_151031What a beautiful day for the beach.  I love all the shells.  20160813_152311Emery finally got in the water!  20160813_153803The campground we were at had a halloween night where the kids dressed up and the campers handed out candy.  We were limited in our costume supplies, but Oliver went as a hockey player (complete with black eye), Emery put on his transformers sweater with the hood up so he looked like a transformer, and Eleanor had a paw patrol mask that was intended for her birthday party but doubled as a costume.  20160813_184944We had a joint birthday party for everyone with birthdays in august and september.  Everyone was showered with gifts and birthday cake!  20160813_190735I think Eleanor’s favorite gift was this doll.  It came with a stroller, diaper bag, and all the accessories.
20160813_192038We packed up and drove home in the pouring rain.  It made for quick and wet packing full of lots of complaining (mostly by the kids), but we made it home safe and sound.  20160814_085532It had been a while since our family all got away together for a good stretch of time.  Of course we had the odd up and down, the odd meltdown, the odd sour puss moment, but all in all our first big camping trip with our camper went really well.  My hope is that we are building the type of memories that still stick with me from my childhood.  Can’t wait for the next one!

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Eleanor Turns 3!

My lovely,

You are the sweetest of sweets, the brightest of lights!


You are such a girly girl.  It amazes me how inherent the “girly” is when you are surrounded by trucks and superheroes and rough-and-tumble boys all of the time.  You will often spend long periods of time tucking your dolls in, changing their clothes, and hugging them.  When I asked you what you would like for your birthday, you said, “Ummmm…. PINK!”.


You love to make people laugh and have a smile that draws people in.  You are sometimes shy around people you don’t know, but it usually doesn’t last long.  And even that is becoming less frequent as you get older.


You are (usually) so easy-going and happy-go-lucky and just want to be silly and have fun.  Being your mom is so much fun.

Here are some things about you as you turn three…

  • You love to go shopping with mommy.  Sometimes you wave and say hi to people, sometimes you sing ‘Let it Go’ loudly as we roll down the aisles.  Either way, people are drawn to you and can’t help but say hi.
  • You know all of your letters and some of your numbers.
  • You are into Paw Patrol and Frozen.  Your two other favorite shows are Busytown Mysteries and SuperWhy.
  • You are the girl of a thousand faces – you scrunch your face into every emotion and love it when people laugh at you.
  • You love books and our time reading bedtime stories.
  • You take NO crap from your brothers.
  • You love swimming and are swimming no problem this summer with your life jacket on.
  • You love to be helpful!  (I, for one, hope this continues for a looooong time)
  • You have the loveliest curly hair but most of the time you really dislike ponytails or hair bands.
  • You really like singing lately.  You’ve always sung here and there but lately you have found your voice, are learning more songs, and rocking it more loudly.

When I asked you today how you felt now that you are three, you said, “Ummm… BIG!  I’m not two!”.

We had a combo birthday party for you and your cousins and nanny while we were camping last week, but today we hung paw patrol decorations and had a paw patrol cake because it is your special day!



Mmm… cake!!20160815_174813

Opening presents on our camping trip.20160813_190735

And a selfie with mommy just because it makes me happy.  I can’t wait to see what 3-year-old you brings to the party.  20160809_145414

Love you,


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A Day Out With the Boys

Sometimes a mama just needs a little time with her boys!  It really seemed like we didn’t connect much for a few weeks with time spent here and time spent there, so with brian and eleanor out of town, we set out to do something a little special.

Their first request when they hear “downtown” is the library.  Among so many other things, they have a big lego table and that is where we spent our time – a house, an archway, a path leading to a pond (complete with ducks) surrounded by picnic tables.  Gotta love it.  20160730_123825

Since it was natal day weekend, there were free events happening all over the city.  I admit this was more my pick than theirs but happy meals softened them to the idea.  They had a free concert, kids outdoor activities (for younger kids it seemed), free cake, living statues, and a more classical quintet playing elsewhere in the garden.

The music was great and it was a gorgeous day.  The crowd was nowhere near as bad as I expected.  But of course the kids don’t sit for long so we grabbed an ice cream and wandered around.  20160730_132823Off we went around the park.  It’s difficult to see in this pic but… 20160730_134508… there is a classical quintet playing under that tree.  Isn’t that setup under that tree dreamy?  I could have laid here all day and listened to it.  20160730_134727The gardens are beautiful on the worst of days (but this happened to be one of the best).  20160730_135002

I love this image of the gardens and the city behind – kind of a clash of nature and industrial.  20160730_135846

We spent the rest of the day around the pool and just enjoying each other.  It’s funny how, as a mom, you sometimes feel a little crazy and crave some time away from the kids.  But for me there is a fine line between needing peace and quiet and just missing the heck out of those little buggers (and all the things that drove you crazy to begin with).

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Dollar Lake Camping

This was our first camping trip with our new-to-us camper (woohoo!) and, despite the fact that we had no water or electricity, it was a great first run and gave us a chance to figure out what we still needed.  It is an off-the-beaten-trail, no frills campground but well maintained and the lake is gorgeous for swimming.  The weather was hot and sunny, the company was top notch, so the entire weekend ranked right up there !

There is a really lovely sandy beach that is open to campers and the public.  The water looks muddy but it’s just sand on the bottom.  And the water was perfect for a dip.



Cutey cute cute.  20160723_105210

Cutey cute cute x 2.  20160723_105216

The boy loves his books!  And what better place to do it?  20160723_16105020160723_162915

Sweet digs!  Brought to you by the finest Price is Right model at site A18.  20160723_162941Adorable!  20160723_163753

We are all so pumped to go out again… next time is a week in PEI!!