Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nothing Scheduled: July 22, 2014

Afternoons at our house.  It's a huge milestone that the kids have adjusted to the boundaries of our yard and can play without constantly trying to run where Mommy can't see.  Early spring and summer ventures outside with solo supervision were just too stressful.  I'm thankful that I can engage the kids in play now without constantly running around trying to find everyone.
Climbing trees?  I am so not ready for this!
Cooperating and doing chores?
I am so ready for this!
We enjoyed a visit from some Florida friends this month-- our second round of company.  We're wondering who will be our third!  Seeing old friends is a nice reminder of good times.  Devon hasn't stopped talking about his friends since they left.
Devon sat for his first storytime this month.  No, I didn't say he attended his first storytime.  I said he SAT for his first storytime. 
Afterwards, we actually attempted Walmart! 
It helped to have a friend along with another cart.  Walmart gets full marks in my book for price and selection, but a huge fail in the multiples carts area. 
On the way home, the kids were thirsty, so they passed around a refill of Mommy's lemonade with uncharacteristic good sharing skills.
Right now Devon earns tokens for kindness and obedience and Carrie and Melina earn "poopy tokens".  I usually try to keep my blog posts clear of the scatalogical, but  I've gone from washing poopy pants 1-2 times a day a month ago to no accidents this past week.  I can't describe how transformative that has been for my morale, the smell in my laundry room, our confidence on outings, and generally our lives. 
Carrie and Melina still nap pretty well in the afternoons.  I'm not sure when they intend to give this up, but I'm gonna ride that train as long as I can. 
Somebody needs to buy this kid a bean bag chair.  Oh, wait, he already has one....
We've had some lovely days lately, and some lovely meals outside.  Maryland summer is so gorgeous.  Milder even than Florida winter, breezy, and beautiful.  It's mid-July and we haven't had our ac on all week.  Amazing!
 Over Fourth of July weekend we welcomed  Mama and Papa for a long visit from Tennessee.  The kids ecstatically settled into long days of playing indoors and out with their best pals. 
Mommy and Daddy got right to work, taking advantage of the childcare to car shop.  It was an exhausting process, but fruitful in the end.  Last week we brought home a Subaru Forester.  It seemed like the right addition to our transportation choices, having all-wheel drive and high clearance underneath for all this Maryland snow.

Thanks for your prayers for the successful resolution of our insurance claim after the accident.  If you don't mind, please pray again!  Things are stalled over a month in and we're settling in for a long fight.  Even after several tries, we're still being offered a settlement that is over 3k too low.  Their comps have valued our car the same as ones that have twice the mileage on them and are covered in dents.  So frustrating, and hard for either of us to deal with because, in case nobody's noticed, we have enough going on.  
 ...but we weren't the only ones to  get new wheels.  The girls got new bikes as an early birthday present.  They're very attached to them, as you can (um) see, and all three riding bikes around the driveway is becoming a nightly ritual. 
A few times a week we take a pilgrimage to "a new fun park".  Pretty much every park is fun for the kids, and since we're new to the area every park is new. 
We enjoyed a trip through Amish country with Mama and Papa, including a meal at a favorite buffet restaurant.  Buffet restaurants make no money on our kids.  The "jiggly jellos" alone.....
We also swung by an Amish furniture store to pick up two surprises for an upcoming birthday.....
Swings are not my favorite playground equipment.  For me, the perk of taking the kids to the park is that they burn off more energy than I do.  Not so if they sit in a swing and I push them.  But they love to swing.  So we swing. 
Somebody buy this girl a beanbag chair!  I mean it!  She turns three next week.....
And a toy box!  Here she is preparing her bed for her afternoon nap.  Half the time, she sleeps on the floor because her bed is too full. 
Before Mama and Papa left we got our anniversary Cheesecake Factory dinner in...
...and a trip to the beach!  It did these Florida Babies good to reconnect with their favorite place.
Sadly, Delaware's Rehoboth beach is a far cry from the peaceful, empty Vero beaches.  We found it crowded and touristy in comparison.  The kids looked bewildered at the metered parking and the blocks and blocks we had to walk to see the beach.
Thankfully, we headed up the coast and found a State Park.  We paid eight dollars to get the beach experience we were used to: a mostly empty parking lot right next to a boardwalk leading to a beach that is not hideously overcrowded.  Overall, it was a fun day.  It wasn't Florida, but still....
Mama and Papa left on Thursday, and Grammy and Grandpa come a week from today.  In this week of interim, we've got nothing on the schedule.  We play outside.  We go to the park.  The kids get up, eat three meals a day, take an epic bath to wash off the black summer dirt and keep their skinned knees and elbows clean, and go to bed again. 
The Cecil County Fair was two minutes away from us, so we went this weekend.  It was a high-energy trip for something so close, complete with a meltdown from Number One Son when his hat dropped in the bleachers during the lion show.  Mommy and the girls rescued it on the way to the car.  Nobody got to ride the rides, because the ticket line was thirty minutes long. 
The girls drew lots of attention, holding hands and shouting happily at the animals.  "We love you!  We love you!"  On the way out, their hands were stamped for reentry and they kept presenting parts of their body to be stamped.  Home we came, the girls covered in black washable ink stamps. 
Sunday was the Ice Cream Festival at Kilby Cream, another local favorite.  The kids made the most of it with TWO rounds of free cookies to go with their ice cream.  Bedtime was fun.