Monday, July 14, 2014

Trip of a lifetime.

 I've got really cool parents.
They're fun.  Super fun.
And they've blossomed as grandparents.  They are so engaged with our kids.
Mom recently retired and they planned the trip of a lifetime.  They bought an RV, and headed east.  Their trip will ultimately take them across the country before heading back to NC.
They spent six days at the house, enjoying the pool and the sunshine.
Motorcycle rides.

 This is what the folks will call home for the next three months.
They left on a Monday with the girls, headed to Rhode Island.
Each of us have a special place--a place that holds memories, that we long for when we are not there.
For me, and my parents, it's the Charlestown Breachway in Rhode Island.
I spent the better part of every summer in a camper, just yards from the beach, playing on the beach, roasting marshmallows, making summertime friends that we'd see every year, and as I got older, flirting with the college park rangers and lifeguards.
There is no place that I would rather spend my time than this sleepy little beach town.
 I was so excited to get there, I convinced Wes that we should leave a day early.
This is the first picture of Tommy's first day at the ocean.  Dani and Tori, having arrived before us were happy to show us around.
 I didn't turn on my laptop once.
The kids didn't miss the lack of electronics.
They were too busy running in the surf and looking for hermit crabs in the breachway.
 Dancing in the ocean.
 Enjoying the glow of the evening sun, showing Grandma their hermit crabs.
 It was dinners out, and the freshest seafood.
Pleasantly wonderful manners too.
 The nightly post-dinner trip back to the beach, just to enjoy the sounds and the sand.
 Maybe the taste of the sand too?
 The smiles never left their faces.
 Ice cream at the end of a hot day.
 And the beginning of sunset while the waves crashed.
Chasing sea gulls.
 Throwing rocks.
 Beautiful sunsets.
 The excitement of a door with a Tommy-sized window.
 Snacks at the picnic table.
 The feel of the sand between your toes.
 And just enjoying the love of family.
 Pretending to drive.
 Enjoying the sun.
 And back, for more hermit crabs.
 And then it was time to go, but it felt like we had just arrived.
Because time just kind of stops there.
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a trip of a lifetime.
We love you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pre-K doin's.

 I've always thought that things like pre-k graduations are so silly and unnecessary.  Logically, I buy into the idea that kids don't need participation trophies, and that we don't need to make up silly milestones for them.
Then, I had a kid in Pre-K.  I'm not saying I don't think it's silly, because it is.  And it's certainly unnecessary.  But, the kids all seemed pretty proud about graduating, and I'd be lying if I told you I didn't get teary during the ceremony.
It started with Dani being named "Pre-K Student of the Year" for her school.  This meant she got to attend a local baseball game and was recognized on the field--and got to run out onto the field with the home team.
She stayed out there for the National Anthem.  She was so proud.  And, it was pretty awesome, the whole family got to watch her from the stands.
 Two days later, it was Pre-K graduation.  Nothing like a hot summer night in an un-air conditioned elementary school cafeteria.
 Dani got to lead the assembly by holding the mic and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  (teary mommy)
 Look at this kid's face.  She's walking to receive her Pre-K "diploma".  She's beaming.
It's impossible not to be excited for her--because she's so excited about being ready for real school!
 Tori and Tommy managed to sit relatively still during the event.
 An attempt at a family photo was, as usual, like herding cats.  Tori is channeling her inner Bangles "Walk like an Egyptian" vibe.  This was the best, of many attempts.
It's amazing how fast this time flies.  Dani's headed to kindergarten.  Kindergarten!  (And Tori to Pre-K)
When we were driving to the Mohawks game, the night she was receiving the Student of the Year honor, she was in the back seat telling Tori, "To be the student of the year, you have to work hard and do your best every day in pre-k, Tori."
She is amazingly smart, and articulate for her age.  (I realize every parent says this.)
And, we're so proud of her.
A few kid sayings of late...
Some weeks ago, Tori hopped into the coveted second row minivan seat (that Dani had asked for) and when Dani protested, Tori's response was, "You snooze, you lose, kid."  (Thanks Grandma.)
Now, all three kids vie to be the first at anything so they can hurl the "you snooze you lose" taunt.
Last night I was talking to Dani and Tori about my parents' impending visit.  I was mentioning that there were a few things in the house that I wanted Grandpa to fix.  I told them that Grandpa could fix anything.  Dani disagreed.  "Grandpa can't fix people, mommy."
At dinner tonight, Tori announced that she would like to call me Bethany.  When I said no, she could call me mommy, she settled on mom, and told me if I were a balloon she would pop me.
Dani's favorite jokes to tell these days;
What do you call a cow with no legs?  Ground beef.
Why can't you hear a pterodactyl going to the bathroom?  Because the "p" is silent.