Friday, August 21, 2015

Adara learns to swim!

Adara has been begging me for weeks to teach her to swim underwater, but with a baby in my arms, I can never really focus on her long enough to teach her.  After seeing another friend her age learn to swim, she was even more determined.  Finally a few days ago, Mallory was playing with her... at first they were dunking underwater, which made me a little nervous, but she seemed fine.  The next thing I knew, they were jumping off the side and swimming back to the steps! I love that a 6 year old accomplished in less than an hour what I didn't manage to teach her all summer! :)

Video here and here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Bedroom!

Alasdair and Alden & I went up to the lake 2 days late this year... My parents took the girls so that we could finally redo their bedroom!  For the 3+ years we've lived in this house, it's been painted a dark brown, with a fleece blanket for a curtain, and Adara's mattress on the floor.  For the last 6 months, there hasn't even been a working light in there.  The door & trim were also the only remaining unpainted in the house.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a "before" picture... but it's been pretty dire.  So when my mom offered to pick up the girls on her way up to the lake, we jumped on the chance to get the room painted.  Late in the day on Friday, we realized we might be in striking distance of finishing in time to also drive to IKEA and get their new furniture too, so the girls could come home to a fully finished new room.  It was a very long 2 days, but we left for vacation having demo'd the old shelving in their closet, painted the door/trim (3 coats), walls (2 coats) and driven to Ikea (2.5 hours away) and assembled their bunk bed and dressers.  I am most proud of the fact that we assembled Ikea furniture at midnight without any marital conflict. ;)

midnight on Friday

I wanted to paint a neutral color or something we'd used elsewhere in the house, but the girls have a sweet Daddy who wanted them to have a pink room because "it will make them so happy."  He was right. :)

baby's 1st Swedish meatballs

got home after the long day at Ikea to an incredible sunset

midnight on Saturday

And, Sunday:

And the next Sunday, the girls come home to find it. :)  Emily wandered in and froze... then turned and ran for Adara.  Precious.

Here's a video of their sweet speechless reactions. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2nd Annual Big House Weekend

After our family Westport week, our friends joined us at the Big House for the weekend.  The same group as last year, and the same perfect weekend of swimming and paddle boarding and tubing and frog catching and kids playing well and sitting on the piazza talking after the kids were in bed.  It makes me happy beyond words to have these people in our life and to share this place with them.  

We had 14 kids ages 1 to 12, and they all got along and took care of each other all weekend.  The older kids offered the youngers rides on the paddle boards and included them in games. They all dote don Alden, who could often be found in Ethan or Micah's arms, pointing where he wanted to go while the whole crowd of elementary schoolers followed. 

Austin's 7th birthday

I love these sweet girls!

Every single adult spent some time holding Alden.  I felt very spoiled!

The best hour of the weekend: floating here and then all 5 women relaxing on a flotilla of paddle boards 


We spent 5 days at the lake with my parents last week.  Highlights - lots of quality cousin time on the Palace Rocks, and trips to the Wild Center and the Essex County Fair. 

I love the view of the Crown Point Bridge!

 Katy took some awesome pictures with her real camera.  
This boy.  My heart.

My happy place.  I could spent hours on a paddle board in the middle of the lake.


 David & Kat had us all to the Big House for dinner.

Emily was quite proud of herself for mastering the inflatable dolphin after everyone else fell off.

Chatting with Valentina.

Early morning iPad time with Papa. :)  He spent the first hour of the morning with the girls every day and let us sleep a bit.  So lovely.

Rob & Katy brought this "Champ" float.

Practicing walking on the rocks.

We took a great rainy day trip to the Wild Center!
 the girls loved the otters

outdoor wild walk with suspension bridges, giant model birds nest and spider web to climb in

art center

a little lower deck time.  my other happy place.

Dad & I took the girls up Merlins, which was more of an adventure with half the trail being hidden because of brush piles and downed trees.

 Alden adopted Nancy as his new best friend.  He pointed to her right away, and spent most of the week crawling over to her to be held.
Ice cream sandwich = happy baby

And a morning at the fair!
"merry go-a-round"

top of the ferris wheel with my girl!

 heading back for a 2nd ride with Mimi

Maple ice cream & maple cotton candy.  Yum!