Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Horsing Around

Before we went to NY, Mairead had a very busy morning taking care of the horses in our house.  I was sitting in the first floor living room when she ran through wearing a cowboy hat. She ran into the parlor, then walked up the front stairs singing to herself.  A few minutes later, I heard her come down the back stairs and saw that she had a blanket.  She went into the parlor looking a little guilty and then told me that "Mom have to go check on the boys," which is code for "I am doing something I am probably not supposed to be doing, so don't come in htere."  Turns out that all she was doing was procuring blankets for her two horses.

She then told me, "I have a surprise for you!"  She likes to tell me that and then take my hand to lead me to the surprise.  But, she tells me "You have to close your eyes" and then checks to be sure I am not peeking.  She led me to the horses and wanted me to ride the small brown one.  I told her that I was too big so she thought about it for a moment and then told me I could have the blue (larger) horse.  The blue one is her favorite, so it was sweet to see her give it up for me.  When Ben came down, though, she jumped back on that blue one right away!  Ben came down without a hat, though, so she ran upstairs to the dress up clothes and selected one for him.  He happily obliged and hopped on the brown horse so they could ride together.

After riding, Mairead and the horses were all tuckered out, so everyone settled down for a rest.

How cute is this kid?  I love to see her imagination at work and she has been coming up with some great ways to play lately!

In other cute news, Jack has become super confident in the pool (while wearing a puddle jumper, lol) and loves to swim. Ben has been MUCH more timid (they switched personalities on this, I guess). Ben would just sit on the pool steps and not go in at all, even with me or DH. Lately, we have really been working with Ben and have succeeded in getting him in to the pool though he mostly clings to us for dear life. Today, I was in with Ben and Jack was swimming around. I told him Ben was a little scared, and this conversation ensued:

J- You scared, Ben?

B- Yeah, Jackie.

J- It's ok, Ben.

Jack then takes Ben's little hand in his own and swam alongside him. I am tearing up just thinking about it. Finally, Ben says, "Oh, thanks, Jackie" and they swam together. Seriously?  Cutest thing ever.

On Sunday, My mom's work (a hospital) had a 'friends and family day' thing and we got to go to Canobie Lake Park for free. I love free. Anyway, the kids had an awesome time! Mostly Mairead. The boys were scared on a lot of the rides, even though they were just little 'kiddie' rides.  We rode on the carousel first and they all liked that.  I was with Jack who sat stonefaced through the whole ride.  I asked, "Is this fun, Jack?"  His reply- a sober 'Yes.'  Are you having fun, Jackie? "Yes." 

They did great on rides that Dave and I could do with them. Mairead, though, loved EVERYthing. She even did the kid roller coaster with Dave and the look on her face was priceless. I  forgot my camera so I don't have pictures right now.  I did buy a disposable one (for TWELVE DOLLARS) so when I use up all the exposures, I'll get them developed and scan them in to share.  I was so mad at myself for that!  It was a really fun day, though, and Nana and Grampy came to share it with us!  Thanks, Nana, Grampy, and LGH! 

Anyway, the first ride we did was the carousel. None of the kids had done it before and when I looked at the three of them all lined up on their horses, I started to tear up (I am a nut). My parents used to take us to places like this when we were little and I thought about how everything comes full circle and I am now sharing these moments with MY kids that my parents shared with us... and my parents were with us, enjoying everything with the kids, too. It was just really special.
We have been so lucky to do so many fun things this summer even though we have REALLY cut back in our budget, and I am so grateful. We did Canobie because of my mom's work, we went to the aquarium because my super cool friend had passes for us, we went to an animal park thanks to Dave's mom, etc.  We are just so lucky to have people around us who are able and happy to help us plan fun things for the kids.

Nothing is new on the job front for Dave.  We are really getting anxious now since school starts for most places in about two weeks. This summer has been a lot of fun, but increasingly stressful as August wanes away.  I just have to believe that someone will want to hire him in the next two weeks- the alternative is just too upsetting to consider.  We will keep you posted on that!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just playing around

A really great part of our trips to NY is to see the kids play with their cousin, Rachael.  They all love her and follow her around pretty much the entire time.  When we first arrived, we found that Rachael had created a little playroom in the garage so that the kids could have fun and stay out of the sun.  It was a great idea!
Rosie hopped in the car to take advantage of the many goldfish crackers and pretzel sticks that hit the floor as we made the long drive out to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

 Grandma had some great surprises for the kids, including these great trucks for the boys.  One is a fire truck, and one is a tow truck.  These were perfect gifts because Dave's dad was a firefighter and owned a garage, so he used to drive both of those vehicles.  The boys loved them.  In fact, they insist that these trucks go to bed with them every night.

Later in the day, Dave and I took the kids to a nearby playground where they had a great time.  It's a pretty awesome playground with a huge climbing structure, tons of slides, and plenty of other things to do.  It was great for all ages.

Yes, that is Ben, climbing the rock wall.

And yes, that is him climbing a ladder to the very top of the VERY high structure.  This kid has NO fear.  He climbed up like he had done it a million times.  Other parents kept looking at me like, "Is she going to stop him?"  As he made it to the top and then came down the slide, they were laughing about how fearless he is.  I'm glad he has fun and that he is so strong and so confident, but I foresee a LOT of ER visits in our future...

There he goes again.

Jack was NOT in jail and he WAS having fun, even though it doesn't appear that way.
I still have so many more pictures to post-- I am so behind!  We have been having such a great and busy summer that I can't keep up!  We have about 3 weeks until Mairead goes back to school, and we are hoping and praying that Dave will be going back even before that.  He has not been hired yet but we hope that these last two weeks before schools open will lead him to something great.  Please wish us luck!

Mairead's Birthday... again

This lucky kid had the birthday that never ends this year!  We had a few little friends and their moms over last week to help Mairead celebrate.  It just works out that several of my mom friends have little girls who are the same age as Mairead.  So, we bought some pink decorations, made pink cupcakes, and Katie delivered pink cupcake toppers for the party for the girls.

 She loved this pink bow and insisted on wearing it as a hat.
 I loved seeing how nicely and quietly the five girls played together.  So different than how my two boys play!

 After cupcakes, we all enjoyed a 'make your own sundae' dessert.  The plan was for this party to be poolside, but it didn't work out that way due to the weather.  So, we just made the best of it inside.

 Have I mentioned how much Mairead loves chocolate ice cream?  She can't get enough of it!

 After naps, Jack and Ben came down to flirt play with the girls.

The girls and their moms brought such great birthday gifts for Mairead and we are very grateful!  All of the kids had fun at the art table working on projects and coloring pictures while the moms had a chance to chat.  Thanks, everyone, for making it such a great afternoon for Mairead!