Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And so it begins...

I'm talking about Toddlerhood & [More] Sibling Rivalry. 

Up until now, the big girls have had it easy. They've only had to share with each other...until now. It's official, Clara is on the move. She is a walker. She is all over the place and into everything. She isn't particularly interested in any baby toys. She wants to play with baby dolls, barbies, strollers, the kitchen and anything & everything the big girls are playing with. Our sweet little Clara Belle is slowly turning into a house wrecker. 

At first, the girls were so excited their baby sister was walking, but as each day passes, I think they are realizing life as they knew it is slowly dwindling away. Someone else is intruding into their space and their toys. Clara is now a threat. A big one.

It's no joke. Clara is certainly turning into a full blown toddler as we speak. She gets into everything including the trash. Loves to climb into the dogs water bowl. Eat their food. Throw toys. Throw food. Climb stairs. Anything and everything that is so far away from infant hood as possible.

Mairead & Lilah are getting frustrated - she is invading their space! Here are some quotes from this morning alone from Mairead: 

"NO! Clara!....You can't play with my toys!" 
"Mom! She keeps touching my dolls!" 
"She keeps taking my things away!"
"...but she hitted me with the doll!" 

I just explain that she is just a baby and doesn't really know what she is doing! She just wants to do what they do! 

How can you not laugh at that? Here is this little 10 month old house wrecker. I can't even tell you how many times I've had to break up a fight against Clara, one of her sisters and an item - usually a baby doll or stroller. Clara has got a tight grip and she doesn't give up easy! 

So, I am surely getting a glimpse into my future! It's going to be a roller coaster ride and I am ready! On the positive note, I am so glad Clara is finally walking! Her sisters just love cheering her on as she explores the house on her own two feet!

Monday, July 26, 2010

'She' is Heeeeeeere. What next?

No! Not what you're thinking! My period that is. Today, I got my first period since before I was pregnant with Clara. I knew it was coming. I could just tell. Then, this morning, I woke up, and sure enough....ugh. Definitely not excited. It had been since JANUARY 2009 that I had a cycle...the longest I have ever gone without. So, I shouldn't complain that much, plus, it will be nice to see what's going on with my body.

After I gave birth to Mairead, my period returned at 11 weeks post partum. And yes, I was exclusively breastfeeding! I was pissed. I thought one of the perks of nursing was no period? Boy, I was so wrong. Not to mention, my period was awful. Heavy. Long and irregular. The complete opposite of what it was pre-kids. I remember being on vacation in the Outer Banks with friends when Mairead was 4 months old, and my period decided to show only 22 days into my cycle....and it was awful. I remember bleeding all over the place (aren't you glad you are reading my blog???) and having to change tampons behind a towel. It sucked!!!!

With Lilah, I had expected to get it early, too.....but I didn't. I was 8 months post partum with her. It wasn't as bad of an experience this time around. A little more 'normal'. I only had several cycles after her since I got pregnant when she was 13 months old.

Any who...if you can figure it out, three kids. In 3.5 years. All 19-21 months apart. Doesn't take a whole hell of a lot to get pregnant, not to mention, I am still nursing when I become pregnant. So, I am still assuming I am what you call a fertile myrtle. So. That begs the question. Will there be #4? I've said an almost confident yes for a while. Kevin says "If you came home today and said you were done, I'd say Thank You, God!" - so, I guess that means he's "done". We are both in agreement over one thing though...if we do decide to go for a fourth child, it would have to be now or never.

You see, we'd prefer not to have what I call a straggler. We have three kids, all the same age difference apart and we'd want the same for the next. Kevin is almost 36 and I am 31. We want to be young parents. When we're done, we want to be done with the baby stage, not in and out and back in again. We don't want to wait a few years down the road and decide, so it will either be now or never. I am in 100% agreement with that.

So, I don't know. I don't feel as though I am 100% ready for another, but I also feel as though there is someone missing. I don't even care if it is a boy or a girl. Just healthy. A boy would be fantabulous - a wonderful change! but, a girl would be great too...all girls - I can continue saying "C'Mon Girls! Let's go" and that's a blanket statement for everyone....including the dogs. How great!!! There is something about odd numbers. I hate leaving anyone out, and with odd numbers, there is always someone left out. When you go out to dinner and you say 5, they seat you at a table that holds 6....when you buy tickets to a game or concert,  people usually sell even numbered items (2, 4, 6.... seats). See where I am going? Kevin thinks I am nuts. He just sees $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ signs. I am a woman, and therefore, I do not. I am just not able to say I feel complete.

Of course, there is a piece inside of me that says....should we be done? Are we done? Life is starting to get easy again. Easy to leave the kids with sitters or family. I am enjoying adult beverages.

...but, I am a lover of children. I have always wanted a bunch. So, Kevin and I need to decide what we are going to do. Jump in again. Or get comfortable with three beautiful girls. I guess we should decide soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summertime Fun with Nana & Papa

The girls have been itching to get to Old Orchard Beach for a while now, but we've been waiting for the 'perfect' time to bring them! Since Mairead has had a tough last few weeks behavior-wise, we told her once she started to listen better, we'd be able to go.

Well, last week her behavior was not good at all, and I was at my wits end with her...wait, we were at our wits end. My mom had spoken with her and told Mairead if she got a day where she got all 'stars' then they would drive up and take the girls.

Finally on Saturday, Mairead had a great day! It was like having the old Mairead back. She listened. She did everything she was supposed to do, so she was able to tell Nana & Papa she was allowed to go because she got all 'stars'! The girls woke up on Sunday knowing Nana & Papa were coming to take them to Old Orchard Beach for the day. Lilah was so excited! As soon as she woke up she kept repeating "I ready to gooooo! I ready to goooooo!" and Mairead kept asking "When are they coming? Are they here yet? I want to go to Old Orchard Beach!" They were obviously so excited!

My mom kept sending photo texts to show us what a great time they were having together!

Here is Nana and the girls!
Papa Steve & Mairead
Mairead & Lilah

Even though Lilah went to Old Orchard Beach last year, she was just 1.5, so she really didn't enjoy it, and was spooked by some of the rides....but not this year! The girls had a blast! Of course doing anything with Nana & Papa is special, but, this was something they had been really waiting to do this   summer!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not good enough...

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or how you do it, just isn't good enough? Today is one of those days. I try to be a hands on, fun mom and sometimes I just feel like that isn't good enough, like my kids want more and more....and more. This whole parenting thing sure does wax and wane. One week the kids are remarkable and then next...not so much. I don't expect a lot out of our girls, I really don't.

Today, I woke up and the girls did really great. Good listening all around. I thought today we were starting anew. They had made a mess in their playroom, but that's okay, they were having fun! Then, we met friends at Fort Williams where they have a playground. The kids played for 1.5 hours. They seemed to have had a blast. When we came home, I made lunch and I asked them to pick up their toys before they ate. It is one of their "jobs" on their chart - they have to pick up toys before or after lunch and again after dinner. Do you think they did it? Nope. I asked them again. And again. And again. After three times, they lose their star for that job. Mairead was being fresh, spitting and plain old inappropriate behavior. I gave them lunch and one more chance to pick up. Nope. So, Mairead lost all but one of her toys for rest. She protested and protested hard, but she has to realize that if she can't pick up her toys, she can't go on to make a mess out of the toys in my bedroom (she rests in there because Clara naps in her room). Am I being unreasonable with this?

I feel like I do so much for our girls during the day. I don't mean things like make them breakfast or clean up or things like that, but fun things. I make sure we're with friends, head to the beach (several times per week), park visits, shopping, etc. I am constantly pushing things aside [chores, housework, projects, etc] because I want our girls to have fun and not be bored. They are only little once...

Then today, and what seems like every day this week, the girls just can't listen. Can't take care of their toys. I'm frustrated. I know I have to continue being consistent with them, but I feel like a broken record. I have a bag full of goodies they picked out the other day at Target for when they get a day with all stars (meaning completed their tasks without problem). They will get M&Ms for every star on their chart. I know I have to stick with it, today is just the third day of this, but I am doubting myself. I hate when I doubt myself. I don't like to yell at them, and lately, I feel like I've been yelling too much. I even downloaded a "bell" application on my iphone to get their attention because I thought it would go better.

(See the jobs on the left. Stars = completed without problem. Circles = had to ask more than 3 times and no M&M given for task. X = did not do. For every star = M&M and all stars they'd get to pick out prize in bag) 

I know they understand the concept because they do so well with bringing their plates to the sink and their trash into the trash can, hanging their bath towels, putting their clothes in the hamper and shoes in the basket. They do all of that and do it well, but, when it comes to cleaning their toys, they just don't care. We have toys in the garage we have taken away. So, what do we do, take away more? Take them all away?

Seriously! This has been a tough week with the girls. I don't know what more to take away from them. Tonight, we're supposed to head out to dinner with friends from Kevin's work, but honestly, they don't deserve it - but what do you do? Keep loving them and maintain consistency. I know that is key. They'll get there.......and in the meantime, I'll have a few beers tonight at dinner! That should help :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 10 Months, Clara!

This morning, we came downstairs and did our typical morning routine. Then, it hit me. Today is July 20th. Today, Clara is 10 months old. It hit me like a ton of bricks. 10 months seems so big - it just doesn't feel like it has been 10 months since she was born into this world. I look at her and she amazes me each and every day. Her personality is just blossoming. She is certainly a fiesty one! As the day passed, I would just look at my little baby and stare at her in amazement. She has grown so much. It's pretty emotional, I mean, when did she change? Did I miss anything? Don't get me wrong, I think about this with all of our girls, but today, it was about Clara. I thought about her 1st birthday party. Next month, we will start planning her first party. Sending out invitations for the big celebration. Mairead has been counting the months, and I know she is looking forward to celebrating her little sisters first birthday. It will surely be a special day...but for now, I am going to enjoy our little baby Clara.

For being just 10 months, she has brought so much to our little family. She has two big sisters who love and adore her. She is starting to melt her daddy's heart, just like her sisters have done. Each month that goes by, she conquers so much. Last week, we were at swim school with the big girls, and Kevin walked in, and Clara says "daaadaaaaa" quietly. It was as clear as day but so incredibly sweet. Two nights ago, she took her first steps. Three-four to be exact. She continued to do it a few times after, and has done it a few times since. She's on her way to being able to do a better job keeping up with the big girls! She loves to be at the beach. She loves watermelon, especially at the beach. She loves pirates booty. She loves food. She can scream with the best of them. She knows what she wants. Did I say she knows what she wants???

She has really turned a great corner with sleeping at night! She has been sleeping until around 5am, sometimes later, too. She is just turning into a big girl. Tonight, while I was putting her to bed, she was nursing, and caressing my arm with her hand, looking so relaxed. It was so cute and I had my cell phone with me, so I had to snap a photo of her enjoying some milkies before bed. She is still nursing about 6-8 times a day and eating breakfast and dinner. She has been demanding to eat during lunch, so lately, she will have a snack with the girls during lunch. The girl likes to eat! She even likes Lobster - who doesn't? Looks like she will follow in her sisters footsteps.

Clara loves to dance! She loves music. During naps and night, she listens to music, and every time I bring her into the bedroom to sleep, we will stop at the music to dance a little bit. When I stop, she shakes her head and dances some more! Talk about cute. I can't even describe how cute she is! We are so lucky to have such a sweet, beautiful baby girl in our family. She brings us so much joy! Each month, she just blossoms even more! The thought of life to come with her brings a smile to my face. Happy 10 months baby girl....time has gone too fast, but at the same time, I can't remember a time without you! xoxoxoxo

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Knock your Sox off fun!

I am a New Englander and I love the Boston Red Sox! I think there is nothing like walking into Fenway Park. I just love everything about it. There is one think I like more though...walking into Fenway alongside my hubby (and no kids)! And on Thursday night, we were able to do just that!

I had bought tickets for two Sox games from a former co-worker back in the spring. My parents took the girls (all three!) and we were off! This was the first time we had left Clara during dinner and bedtime so I was unsure how it would all turn out. I pumped some milk the few days leading up to the game so my mom would have something to give her before bed. Thankfully, she had been taking a cup without any problems for the past few weeks so that made me feel better. I am the only one who has ever put Clara to bed up until now. So, I apologized to my mom and off we went on a date into Boston to watch the Boston Red Sox!

It isn't often we get to leave all three kids for more than an hour or two at a time, so this was a real treat! Kevin and I drove into Boston. It was great. No requests for Raffi, no whining....nothing! We had peace and quiet for just a few minutes and it was enjoyable! When we got into Boston we had a beer and just enjoyed some adult time. This year, I was able to indulge! Last year when Kevin and I had a night away, I was big and pregnant with Clara, so no beer and limited junk food for me! This year was different though. Cold beer and yummy food! Can't beat that, especially on a beautiful summer night.

Our seats were pretty good, too! Since the Sox were losing, we snuck up closer to the field, and it was great. Since we had an hour drive back to my parents, we left in the 7th inning. Clara had gone to sleep easily for my parents, but woke up and was having a tough time going back to sleep, so we thought we might as well leave so we don't get home too late! The big girls were sound asleep and Clara was, too.

It was so nice to have a real, fun date! I mean, we get to go out frequently, but it is generally for dinner and then we're back home! This was actually a blast and even though the Sox lost, it didn't matter to me one bit. It wasn't about the sox, it was just about having some time with each other! Thanks to my parents who tackled all three girls so we could enjoy without worry!

Thankfully, we have tickets again in September, and I can't wait to do it all over again!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Clogged Toilets aren't fun to unclog!

I absolutely do not try to embellish on how great our life is. I try to keep it real and when it comes to raising three little girls, it very rarely gets boring around here. Most days are great and some days, well, aren't so great. Remember in my last entry how I talked about some days I think it would be better if I went back to work as a nurse??? Well, yeah, today was one of them!

It started off fairly good. The girls had a squabble over a new tea set a friend brought them yesterday, but the problems were easily fixed. After that was squared away, the girls played so nicely together. They picked up their toys before they took something else out. I even told them if it continued, they would be able to get some of their toys in the garage back.

Once I got Clara to sleep for her morning nap, the girls quietly watched 'Angelina' on the couch while I showered. We were heading over to the neighbors to play. Once we were all ready, I told Lilah to go potty. She obliged and went. She got off of the potty and flushed the toilet. I didn't realize the toilet had been flushed several times, then, all of a sudden, there was

water everywhere. And other contents that will go unmentioned. Yep. You know. 

Mairead had gone potty earlier and used a bit too much toilet paper. She says "Mamma, I used a lot of toilet paper!" You see, she's been wanting to be independent while using the potty, especially after going poopy. Most of the time she gets it, but when she asked me to help her wash her hands because there was poop on them, I should have known something was up. the time I really realized what was going on, there was about an inch of water on the bathroom floor and with ummmm other nastiness. I shut the water off and tried to keep three curious blonde haired beauties out of the bathroom. Not as easy as you may think. What was even harder was finding the plunger. You would think it would be in an easily reachable location, right? WRONG. You see, I don't use a plunger, but Kevin does [often], and well, he's a man and has a hard time putting things back in the same place each time or maybe telling me where an important item like the plunger could be found. Of course when I called him, he wasn't answering. Any. Of. His. Phones. Yep. There is gross water seeping out of the bathroom, three curious children who are really wanting to know what this plunger is and how it is used. Then, after 15 minutes of searching, I find it in a bathroom tucked way behind in the cabinet. Um yeah, that's a great place. The plunger was smaller than the hole, so getting a good suction was tough. Each time I stuck the plunger in the toilet, nasty water bellowed out onto the floor. YUCK. After about 5 minutes of trying to get the toilet unclogged, I finally did it. I never thought unclogging a toilet would be that tough - and for the record, that was my first time ever having to unclog a toilet! I'll leave that duty to my husband who is an expert!

I won't go into the other details of how the remainder of my day went, but, I am sure you now get the gist of it all! And I'm just glad the day is pretty much over... just never gets boring, does it? That's okay though, boring is boring!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why don't friends with kids have time?

Being a stay at home mom is definitely a full time job - actually more than a full time job. In my "past life" I was a nurse - a L&D nurse to be exact. It was great and some days I miss it. I miss making a difference in the lives of others, but, when it was my turn to have babies, I couldn't do both the way I wanted to. It was a tough decision, but I had to choose my child[ren] and family, and in the end, I left my job to be home with Mairead full time. I don't regret it one bit.

There are days when I couldn't imagine working and missing out on what my girls accomplish each and everyday. They are only little once and for me, I couldn't miss out on the days I cherish so much. I love teaching them about life. I love teaching them about the little things. I am sometimes jealous of those woman around me who are able commit themselves to their family AND their career at the same time.

There are days when I wonder why I don't go back. Days are long. The whining kills me. I don't get much of a break. I repeat myself all day long. I break up fights. I am a maid. I am a cook. A referee. I guess you could say I pretty much do it all. Some days I yell too much. Some days I wonder if our kids will be okay - are we doing a good job as parents? But, at the end of the day, it is all completely worth it to me when our girls tell us they love us or do something to melt our hearts.

I always snicker at those people who do not know what it is like to stay home with children all day long. I know they judge. I know they talk behind [our] backs, but how much do they realize just how much is involved in raising children? Before I had children, I had a pretty good idea, but never really understood just how much was involved. I am sometimes frustrated with just how little I get accomplished on some days, and then, I read this article above. It's true. 100% true. I sometimes sit down at the end of the day, after the girls have gone to bed, and look around. I think "What the hell have I done? I feel as though I haven't stopped all day, but I still have so much to do..." - then I read this...

So if you are one of those people wondering what it is I do all day long - here you go!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So grateful for healthy children...

Some days I look at our three beautiful girls and think about how lucky we are to have them all here with us and healthy. There are so many things that can go wrong with a baby from the moment of conception all the way through their birth - and beyond. When our girls were all born, Kevin and I looked at each of them in amazement. They were perfect. From their ear folds to their tiny little toes. What a miracle it is...

With Mairead & Clara, I experienced 1st trimester bleeding. It was so scary and thankfully, it stopped and led to perfectly healthy little baby girls. That wasn't the only complication I experienced during my pregnancies. With Mairead (born at 37.0 weeks), I had preterm labor at 29 weeks and oligohydramnios (or low fluid), which ended up getting me induced at exactly 37 weeks. With Lilah (born at 36.6 weeks), I was found to have a dangerously shortened cervix (incompetent cervix) at 19 weeks and ended up getting an emergent cerclage. I landed myself on bed rest until about 34 weeks or so. With Clara (born at 36.2 weeks), I had first trimester bleeding and a subchorionic hemorrhage (small), then I got a preventative cervical cerclage at 13 weeks. Thankfully, my cervical issues stayed fairly stable (with one big drop at 19 weeks) and I was able to remain off of strict bed rest for my pregnancy. I did have some potential fluid issues and preterm labor at 34 weeks, but overall, it was a much less stressful pregnancy than Lilah's. I think back to my three pregnancies and think about how lucky we were to have ended up with three, healthy babies...born a little early, but healthy!

It isn't anything new when I mention thinking about wanting just one last baby. I've always been a lover a children. Always wanted children. A lot of them, actually. I babysat at a young age and spent summers babysitting children all the way through getting married. When I hear people say "you should stop, you have healthy children, why risk it..." it bothers me. I think no matter how many children you want, there is always a risk of having a children who isn't perfect. Maybe because I am a labor & delivery nurse by trade that I know not every family has a "happy ending" -  and even before I had a child, I knew my first may not be perfect. Why would this be any different with a 3rd......4th......5th.....? Having a child is a risk from the second you make that decision. There are no guarantees with life...unfortunately at any age. I try not to live my life with "what-if's" - it's just not for me.

I've been following a blog about a little boy born (Living with Three Hobbits and a Giant) with a severe heart defect who was not expected to survive, and is now one. He has conquered so many obstacles, surgeries, but he is a fighter! His parents seem to be such strong people, and when I read the blog this morning, I thought this topic struck me hard. You see, just last night, a few girlfriends of mine and I were talking about pregnancy, and this very topic that I've been discussing - not having more children because of the chances of "something happening"... I don't understand why people feel the need to give you their opinions and/or disapproval on having [more] children. I think the number of children a family decides to have is absolutely no one elses business. While some may choose to have one others may choose to have 19. If you can provide a loving, caring, nurturing home while being able to provide your children with everything needed to be a first class citizen in the community, then why not? What is the problem? I know some may think we are crazy for having three all close in age. It works for us. And while they wouldn't do it or have done it, that is no ones business but ours.

Of course, there are no guarantees in life. Ever. Of course no one goes into a pregnancy expecting an "unhealthy" child, so when it happens, most people are taken by surprise. Devastated. Shocked. Saddened. It can be life stopping. It's those people who take the positive end of the "shit stick" and make do - and the blog entry about talks about "resetting the bar" and how you lead your life after major life "disappointments". Do you sulk or enjoy the blessings you do have? I would hope that if I were ever in a situation like the family above, I would be a fighter. Of course have highs and lows and maybe more lows than highs...but I would make sure our child(ren) have the best possible chance for the best possible life.

Both Kevin and I have chosen not to have any genetic testing done with our children during just doesn't matter. We have set out to have children, and if we are blessed with a child who needs extra help, then we will give that child everything he/she needs.

I am so thankful for everything Kevin and I have with our girls and I don't take even a second of it for granted because you just never know...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Nope! No need to adjust your screen...that is Clara (9mos) sitting on the potty!

Yes, maybe I am jumping the gun just a bit. But, let me explain... You see, Clara poops every morning, usually within 20 minutes or so of waking up. I would say it is very unusual if she didn't poop. Since starting solid foods and giving her two meals a day, her poops are.....well, nasty. Even if I didn't cloth diaper, I'd still think they were nasty. I know they are only going to get worse!!! Ewwwwwwww!

So, since she's an every morning pooper, I thought I may try sitting her on the potty when she wakes up in the morning. I kind of started it as a joke thinking it may work, but I never expected her to actually do it. Yep. You read that right. She really did poop on the potty. Not once. Not twice.....but FIVE times in four days. It's pretty amazing. The first day it took her about 10+ minutes to do it, and each morning, it has gotten quicker! This morning it was about 2-3 minutes. I even put her on after nap since she had an afternoon poop yesterday....and well, what do you know! She pooped! and Peed! Seriously! I think she is getting the hang of it, too. While she sits there, she will play with a toy, but when she starts to go, she will drop (or throw) the toy and won't take it back......then...what do you know! there is poop!

Both Mairead & Lilah potty trained early. Mairead at 24 months exactly and Lilah about 20 months. Once they turned 1, we used to sit them on the potty before baths just to get used to sitting there. Mairead showed interested about 22 months and Lilah was a ripe old 19 months when she insisted on using the potty (and peeing in it!). It took Lilah a lot longer to get the hang of it than it did Mairead, but, I certainly didn't expect a lot out of a 19 month old wanting to potty train. I am guessing Clara will be younger, too, but until then, I'll keep doing this and getting her used to sitting there! She's pretty damn cute!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely do not expect Clara to be potty trained anytime soon. All I am trying to do is limit the number of poop diapers I have to clean up! If she poops half the time on the potty, then I'm happy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Weekend!

This years 4th of July weekend was probably one of the funnest (and action packed) we've had in a long time! To make everything even better, the weather was absolutely perfect. Seriously. It couldn't have been any better!

On Saturday morning, we kicked of the weekend by heading to Scarborough beach. We planned on getting there early ahead of the crowds because we knew it would be a bit crazy. The girls were so excited to go to Scarborough beach - they love playing in the waves! Generally, during the week, we head to Ferry since it's calmer and the walk tends to be considerably shorter. One of our neighbors (my running mate) was there so she spoiled the girls rotten and gave them lots of goodies! Clara snoozed on the beach for a while and we just enjoyed our day together! When we got home, we put the girls down for their rest/nap because we had to turn around and head to Portland for dinner and a sunset cruise around Casco Bay with friends!

Once everyone woke up, we met some good friends downtown for a fun night ahead - we started the night off with dinner at Portland Lobster Co..We had yummy lobster rolls and beer. After dinner, we ate some yummy ice cream and then boarded the boat for a sunset cruise on Casco Bay. The night was so perfect. Not too chilly. Perfectly clear. Just beautiful. The girls were so excited to go on a boat ride! Lilah kept saying "I ready to go on the boat!" and Mairead was very curious as to what kind of boat we were going on. It was fun playing tourist - we learned little facts about the area we didn't know about! Casco Bay really is a beautiful place. The islands were picture perfect New England. It reminded me of why I love New England so much.

On Sunday, we got ready for our third annual cookout. Our first 4th of July here in Maine, we celebrated with the Wallaces (the family we were with on the sunset cruise) and my parents. They, too, had just moved to Maine from Holland (though they are American) just a few weeks before we got here. Now, two years later, we celebrated with my parents and lots of friends we have met here in Maine. We are so lucky to have such great friends here. We all had a blast! We grilled out, drank a ton.....I made a mean "mamma's punch" and the guys drank lots of beer. The kids played on the waterslide and ran around. All of a sudden, it was 8pm and ready to head down to the beach to watch the fireworks. Time flies when you're having fun! We hustled and got everyone ready. Quick! Clara had just fallen asleep, so I had our high school sitter stay home with her so we didn't have to bother her. She had had a busy day and I didn't have the heart to bother her. So, she missed out on all the excitement of the 4th!

For the past two 4th of July's, we had trekked over to Portland to watch the 'big' fireworks, but this year, we decided to meet the Wallaces down at Ferry where you can see the Old Orchard Beach fireworks. Kristen had brought the fixins' for S'Mores and Kevin supplied the blow torch to make them! HA! Not to mention, I filled a gallon jug of "Mamma's punch" - It was hilarious! The kids ran around in the sand and waved sparklers. The sunset was amazing. Breathtaking actually. The fireworks were a decent distance, so I don't think they were quite as exciting for the girls as the Portland fireworks, but overall, it was a lot of fun!

On Monday, we headed back to the beach. It was HOT. Super duper HOT. Thankfully, the water was great and not too chilly - and by 'not too chilly' - I mean, my feet didn't get numb, but the water was still only about 60! It was a must to get in the water though! After the beach, we headed home for a quiet afternoon. Our friends followed us home and the kids had some time using the waterslide.

It was a great end to a perfect weekend. Really. The weekend was flawless. Everyone was happy. The weather was beautiful. And we had each other. I wish every weekend could be so perfect!