Anniversary – Oceanside

This year I planned a night away for Brian and I to celebrate our 4 year anniversary! It doesn’t seem possible that it has been 4 years sometimes and other times it feels like it has been at least 10. :)

The weekend started with our actual anniversary on Friday. We took our little guy out to dinner at Margaritas. He had fun, there was a little newborn at the table near us and he was all about the “baby” :) He enjoyed walking around the uncrowded restaurant and inevitably bumping his head into a table which of course hurt and our waiter came quickly by with a hat to help that head feel and look better! Then he proceeded to spill his drink all over his shirt and finally stumbled out of Margaritas looking more like it was his 21st birthday then our 4th anniversary.

The next day Grammy came down to watch Arlo so that we could go out to the NH Coast.  (Thank you so much again Mom!) :) We had the famous lobster rolls from the Beach Plum for lunch and enjoyed taking our time making our way over to the hotel, which was right on the beach and right in front of where we used to live when we were first together. We brought the bicycles and skateboards and planned to re-live our carefree beach living lifestyle, if only for a weekend. We road the boards, we biked, we walked the beach in the evening before going out to a yummy dinner and special dessert.

There were some serious fisherman setup on the beach with 8 poles in the water. They ended up fishing well past 11pm! Their poles had lights on the tips of them and we could still see them out there from our hotel late at night. We remembered how peaceful it is to be by the sea. And it reminded us of how wonderful it was to live right there and we hope to someday get a chance to be that close again in the future somehow.

We both happened to wake early and notice that the sun was just about to rise up over the ocean. So we made quick hotel coffee’s in our cups and took them down to watch the day’s beginning.

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It was truly beautiful and peaceful and we even saw a baby seal on the beach. We hoped she was ok, as we walked closer she bobbled off back into the sea before we could get to close.

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The birds over the ocean were amazing to watch. They flew so close and in such formation. So peaceful.

We made a cute shadow story on the wall. :)

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We went to breakfast and then rode the skateboards back down to get smoothies at the secret spot and enjoyed watching all the surfers on what was the warmest day in September that there probably has ever been! It was a beautiful weekend to be at the beach and celebrating our marriage and love at the place where it sort of all began.

It was great to take a break from our busy crazy workaholic lives and just be together with the ocean and the sand and the sun. It was also nice to return home and see that little smile that we love so much on the most beautiful product of our love, our boy. :)

 

 

To the shore once more…

How crazy life gets. It’s been 2 months since our little family reunion trip to Ocean City, and I am finally getting around to posting about it. This year’s trip to the shore was a very special and fun one. Typically we go down over the fourth of July. But this year, Grandma would be away then and we were able to schedule both Susan and our families to be there for the end of July and the “Night in Venice” yearly celebration boat parade they do around the bay, where all the houses dress up according to the theme and the parade of boats comes around and they judge the winners etc.

The fact that there would be 11 out of the 12 of Ann and Dave’s  grandchildren there for the event made it very fun and exciting for everyone. :) We went down for the week before the big night and left on Sunday morning after, so it was the grand finale of the trip, so to speak.

The whole week was so much fun. I just love any chance we can to get the cousin’s together. They all had fun together, Sup boarding, fishing, beach fun, crabbing, mini-golfing, boogie boarding, the boardwalk & rides, playing and even vegging out watching “American Ninja Warrior” which was the favorite pick of the week for the bigger kids. Arlo and Emma were teamed up with Daniel Tiger however. :)

The first couple of days we were there solo. Susan’s crew took the scenic route stopping at Niagara Falls among other places on their way. Arlo’s first day on the high-seas was a rough and windy one. He earned “Old-Salt” Status by Grandpa for  handling it all very well!

Supping and family shenanigans at grandma’s.

Arlo and Emma thought the sprinklers that automatically came on were the greatest thing!

Beach Days… Arlo still not so much a fan of the Ocean even despite the warmer temperatures! So opposite of his big brother Colin who was crawling & running out to sea starting at 9 months old! Brian and I got to go baby free to the beach while grandma stayed with Arlo who was napping one day and we got to do some boogie boarding ourselves! Ahhh that was nice! :)

Boardwalk Fun! Arlo loved the rides at the amusement park. I am so surprised how unafraid he seemed to be. I might be in trouble with a little dare devil on my hands! This was the first year our family tried out a Surrey ride on the boardwalk. Susan’s family do it every year as tradition. I think we may have to join them. It was pretty fun!

A morning out for three… we went to breakfast and strolled through town and the farmers market. While the other kids went to a pirate play with grandma.

Arlo loved to play with (accessorize with) Grandma’s nail kit bag and even tried to fit into Grandpa’s shoes… My silly guy. :)

 

We even took the opportunity to coordinate a family photo shoot. And although we are no professionals, I think we did ok. Great memories were captured which is what counts the most and it was a beautiful evening at the beach. My absolute favorite of all of them has to be the “Silly” group shot we got.

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And of course there was the big event. We had made signs and prepared the house and ourselves to dress our best for “Night at the Oscars” themed Night in Venice celebration. The kids had a lot of fun we had a yummy cookout and got to feel a little silly for the evening.

To my crazy and lovable 1.5 year old!!

Arlo,

Make that 19 months now, I started this post a month ago and haven’t had time to get back to it! I can’t believe how fast time flies. Another blink and you’ll be TWO… oh and then what will we do… love you even more I guess.

You amaze, delight, frustrate, challenge, and already show me so much love. Your hugs are the best, your smooches, though usually wide open mouthed or sticky faced are pretty great too. I especially love when you give me “fish face” kisses.

You are becoming so independent and learning so much. It is fascinating and heartbreaking at times to watch.

Your hair is getting so long in the back with the cutest curls around the ears. Dad wants to get it cut this weekend… we’ll see. :)

A late bloomer on the walking you took your first true un-assisted steps at about 16 months. But now you cruise around like it’s no big deal. You are  great with stairs and other obstacles too we don’t even keep the gates closed anymore and feel confident in your skills and your caution that you use on them.Though we have had some scraped knees and such lately, playing outside. You learned the word ” boo boo” and will point to your little disappearing scrape anytime the word is mentioned to show it off and get a little sympathy. So cute.

You’re pretty cautious around the pool which is great, you like to go up to the edge, sit and put your feet in. You even know where the stairs are and will go over to that end and step into the first step on your own sometimes, usually with us by your side though.But now you have just begun to get even more daring and confident and “jump” step off the edge into my arms with big smiles as you do it! You can blow bubbles really well and like to “push-off” the sides of the pool with your feet.

You LOVE ANYTHING THAT GOES!! Cars, trucks and planes are your favorite right now, dad and colin keep you well supplied with matchbox cars and you love to play with them and make the noises and you get so excited when you see real cars and trucks on the road too.

You love bikes and you really loved when we take out your tricycle. You can reach the pedals but can’t quite manage to get them around yet…but I predict you will soon!

At your 18 month appointment the doc told us you had a growth spurt and you are 2ft 10inches! 94th percentile or something crazy like that for height. At this rate I will be looking up to you in no time! STOP THAT!

Your vocabulary is starting to grow too. Although not totally clear and/or understandable, you can express yourself pretty well. You can say “Car” (of course), “Cheese”, “Balloon”, “Ball”, “Book”, “Chair”, “Hi”, “Mommy”, “Daddy”, “Kitty”, “Water”, “Woof”, “Shhh”, “Grammy”,”Tickle” etc. etc. You also use your basic sign language for things, your favorite being “MORE” no surprise there.

You like to help out, carry things and push things around like the broom and vacuum (with help). You love to rough house and jump on mommy and daddy. You love when your siblings are here and literally throw a fit when they have to leave. :( Breaks my heart.

You have a temper and are impatient at times but we are working on it lately and it seems to be improving a little.

You love looking at pictures, go figure!

You’re appetite changes daily and you are getting to be a little choosy on your eating. Some meals you do really surprisingly well and others you are not as interested in. It’s hard to keep you at the table long enough too, because all you want to do is go play. You are picky about fruits, not a fan of strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, melons, pineapple. Although you like all of those flavors when made into smoothies, which we do almost daily. You do like pears, grapes, cherries, prunes, apples and bananas.

It’s the same with veggies there are only a few that you will really eat well and others not so much. I also sneak them into smoothies too and that seems to help, especially the leafy greens.

You like to share food and I especially love when you hand me things or try to feed me things that have already been half chewed… Thanks buddy.

You are particular about your tv entertainment, it is usually only one of two things. Elmo or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I’ve tried other things out but nothing else seems to do and that’s ok, your choices are pretty good I think and we don’t watch much anyways.

You love your books and we read them over and over to you every day. You even get the humor in some of them it is amazing to hear you laugh at the funny parts. We have checked out the library for new material recently too and you thought that was pretty cool.

You know most of your body parts and will point to any that we ask you about. You’re favorite right now is showing off your belly button and then making everyone else show theirs too! :)

You’re already getting little boy stinky feet even! And you giggle as I make faces about them. :) You even did the funniest thing the other night walking away from the dinner table you ripped a Toot so loud and then looked back at me and laughed like you knew that was funny… I died laughing with you.

I love to play and laugh with you. I love our special times together. And although you wear me out and drive me crazy sometimes, I want you to know that I love you unconditionally and always. xoxo

-Mom

 

Summer in the Park – L.L. Bean – Josh Ritter

We snuck a little weekend getaway in and went up to Freeport, Maine a couple of weekends ago to attend a free concert in the park at L.L. Bean. We of course had to go because one of our favorites was playing, Josh Ritter. So we used Brian’s traveling hotel points, went up early spent the day shopping enjoyed a fantastic evening concert in the open air and stayed the night.

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Arlo had so much fun too. Took a powernap on the way up there.

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We grabbed some lunch at the Bow Street Market. We stopped into the NorthFace Outlet  (only one of two in the country)  we found Brian some running shoes and Arlo a deeply discounted winter jacket for next year. He saw it from across the store and got so excited about it’s bright green colors.

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Of course we checked out the L.L. Bean stores and Arlo went crazy, running around playing with everything on display and wanting to touch everything. haha. He got excited about everything he saw. Oh the wonder of it all! We got him a cute little bean chair for the concert which he was stoked about.

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We saw kids all around town walking with balloons they had received from a shop. Arlo would point and get all excited and say “baaaoooonnn” so naturally we had to go find the shop with the free giveaway and get him one. :)

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The concert was amazing, Josh even had his little girl Beatrix who is just a little older than Arlo there too! I was trying to leverage the fact we had a cute kid too, to try to get closer or meet him but sadly that didn’t turn out. Maybe another time!

Arlo enjoyed the show and of course clapped every time a song was over. Even when he fell asleep eventually, he would wake up with a startle and clap automatically before knowing what was even going on every time a song ended, then right back out he went. What a good little trooper. What a great night.

 

 

 

Independence Day Weekend

Sadly, just getting caught up on some posts I have been meaning to create. Too busy having fun, to document it all in a timely manner I suppose! :)

This year’s fourth of July was a little different then usual. Typically we would be in NJ at the shore for the fourth but we are going down a little later for Night In Venice this year instead. This past week we had all the kiddos at out house though, and I think the kids all had fun despite the fact that Brian and I still had to work most the week. Arlo enjoyed hanging with the big kids especially on the stairs… hmm… he is getting really good at them and had his practice going up and down a lot with the big kids this week. And of course the pool definitely got some use with all the nice weather we mostly had. :)

And although we didn’t get to see any fireworks due to crazy rain on the fourth we did have a great independence day weekend. Saturday morning we took all the kids on a little hike up to the fire tower in Pawtuckaway. It was such a crisp clear morning a great time to be outside! Though we suffered some bug bites and some minor ankle twists it was glorious to get out after Friday’s rain storms.

Arlo did his usual of falling asleep on the way back down but this time he managed to “cry” his way out of the backpack and into Daddy’s arms for the 3 miles down. Daddy felt that later but was so happy to snuggle with his boy, he wouldn’t even let me take a turn. :)

The kids went home after lunch and we entertained a couple of friends at the with dinner and pool fun that evening.

On Sunday, we got up and at ‘em again and took Arlo on a bike ride to breakfast in town. After breakfast we biked up to the elementary school for some playground fun before biking home. There we found a great playground with lots of fun rope features and spinny things that even Bri and I giggled ourselves silly on and it a big sandbox filled with toys for playing with!! Needless to say we had a sleeping baby on the bike ride home. We wore him out! :)

We ended the weekend fun that afternoon when we checked out a new place for ice cream in town. We all really enjoyed it. Brian’s flavor was the best out of all of ours, Peach’s and Cream. yummm…

 

North Carolina Cousin Fun

Brian’s work needed him in NC at the end of May and this business trip, Arlo and I tagged along so that we could visit with Brian’s sister Susan (who happened to be celebrating a birthday during our stay) and Jon and our 4 nephews and niece!

A couple of short ups and downs on planes got us there we even had enough room to have an extra seat in our row which is always nice when traveling with a “lap baby” aka super squirmy toddler. Arlo had fun looking out the window of course and even in buckling himself in the middle seat. He is really becoming a pro at flying.

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We arrived in the afternoon and after getting settled into our hotel we went and met up with Susan and the family at their community pool where they were having a pot-luck dinner to celebrate the start of pool season. It was very warm almost 90 most the time we were there, felt like summer had surely arrived in NC already.

Arlo got to take a dip in the kiddie pool and had a lot of fun checking things out and hanging with Emma. We had a nice time visiting and catching up with Susan and Jon and watching all the boys play. (Except for Alex who was working his part time, after school job at Subway!) I still can’t believe he is so grown up to have a license, a car, a job. Wow! Sadly no pictures of pool fun, too busy keeping my hands and eyes on my little swimmer.

The next day was Susan’s birthday and Brian didn’t have to go to the office until Wednesday and Thursday. So we met up with Susan and Emma for a nice birthday lunch out, courtesy of Ann (thanks mom), after Arlo had a morning nap. Emma and Arlo enjoyed causing trouble together. Being loud and checking out the windows of the restaurant. Later we went over to their home and hung out and had a delicious meal with the whole family, including a yummy strawberry shortcake that Kyle helped make for his Mom’s birthday. Arlo’s favorite feature of their house was the staircase.

Emma wanted to have a special “little” table for her and Arlo set up. It was perhaps the cutest thing I have ever seen.

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After dinner a little music session broke out and Arlo was loving the piano playing too!

The next day Brian went to work and Arlo and I spent the whole day hanging with the Hansen’s. :) It was good fun. Susan and Emma took us to a place called KidZu. A fun little children’s museum. Where there was giant puzzle wall, building room, arts and crafts room and more. I think we all had a good time.

Back home for an afternoon nap for Arlo. (No more naps for big girl Emma, I am not looking forward to that loss of “me” time to come.) I got some work done while Susan and Emma went off on their bike to pick up the two younger boys (Kyle and Evan) from school. Then we all played together. Overall Emma and Arlo had fun with each other but they had their moments. Like when Emma was sitting on my lap and Arlo decided he wanted his Mom back and Emma wasn’t so willing to give in. Ha! They are both not used to sharing things very much yet.

Little miss Emma insisted I take a video of her singing songs, over and over again. :)

When Brian arrived after work, we headed out and on our way back to the hotel we made our ritual stop in for the best doughnuts ever, Krispy Kreme to have (snack &) breakfast the next morning. Arlo even got a doughnut hole for free.

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On Thursday after Brian went to work, Arlo and I had breakfast and played, he loved playing in the hotel room with the french doors opening and closing them, and the sliding mirror closet doors opening and closing them. And of course jumping all over our bed. The poor thing rolled off the bed that morning as he was getting tired for a nap. I held him after and laid back on the bed and he fell asleep on my chest almost instantly. I never wanted to move, so sweet. We took a little snooze together and then I had to get us moving to be out of the hotel before our check out time.With all my bags and of course Krispy Kreme and things I had my hands full, so, Arlo, who is starting to walk short distances at this point, would have to be a big boy and go it alone. It worked out great actually, we went slow and he helped “push” the suitcase from one side as I pulled it on the other all the way to the elevator and down and to the lobby, the people working the front desk got a kick out of us as we strolled in to wait for Susan to pick us up.

We took the kiddos to a park to play outside and it was lots of fun.

Later Brian came to join us and we all hung out until we had to say our good byes and get off to the airport for our evening flight home. I sooo wish we lived closer to these guys, it was a lot of fun having the kids together and spending time with Susan.

The airport was busy, we got there early enough to have a quick bite of dinner, we checked out the planes and the crew loading the bags and Arlo enjoyed carrying his snack bag around. It was quite cute. Like his sunglasses say… “he’s awesome”. :)

Bye Bye. NC.

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Buckle up Arlo.

The trip home was a little tougher. It always is isn’t it? You had your fun, you’re worn out and going home and just kinda want to be there already.

Arlo was very tired but had a really hard time actually falling asleep.There was a lot of passing him back and forth and keeping him entertained and trying to control the krankiness. It was exhausting for everyone. Finally of course with like 20 min left of the second flight he fell asleep.

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He stayed that way as we got off the plane too, for a while until we hit the bright lights and noises of baggage claim. Then back out again in the car of course. It was nice to be home again.