Monday, July 14, 2014

Seashells by the Seashore...

This past Friday was the end of Brian's Vacation Bible School experience.  It was the first time we've ever done anything like that - and it definitely won't be the last.  It was held at a local church - St. Matthew's United Methodist Church of Valley Forge  - not far from Brian's preschool.  As a matter of fact, several children that were in Brian's class were in his group!
He had such a great time every morning and was always so happy when I picked him up.  At the beginning of the week, they gave the kids a CD of music that they'd be singing each day.  I recorded the disc into my car stereo and kept the actual disc in the stereo in the house - and we listened to it all day every day until we memorized all the words.  I still have many of the songs on repeat in my head!  On the last day they asked the parents to come early at pick up so we could see the kids singing all the songs.
When it was all over and Brian knew it was time to say goodbye, he fell into sobs on my shoulder.  At first I thought something had happened and was trying to gently ask him what was wrong!!  He could barely talk.  Finally he looked up at me and said, "I'm going to miss this place."
Yep - it was a great week.

The entire week was also spent procrastinating.  We were heading to the beach on Saturday and I intended to spend each morning while Brian was at Bible School packing.  Yeah... that didn't happen.  It was too easy for me to stare at Hope... or get sucked into a Lego marathon... or watch the two of them playing with each other.  
Many times this week Brian gave Hope a little talk about what she should expect from her very first Ocean City vacation:  what she'd see, what we'd do, where we'd go... it was adorable.
Friday found me frantically packing, making food, and standing in front of our mini-van with Ed trying to figure out how in the world we'd fit all of our stuff and my Mom's in one car.  Ed is the master, though, and with a couple "origami-like" moves he got every last thing in!  Saturday morning we were off for Ocean City, New Jersey!  I sat in the back between the kids which was quite fun. 
A few hours laster, we were here!  We moved everything into the house we are renting and no sooner had a visitor.  My sister, Meg, and her family rented a house a half a block away and my other sister, Bean, and her family are here, too!  My heart skipped a beat when Brian yelled from the front porch, "Mommy!!  Here comes Emily!!"  I ran to get my camera and snapped my first glimpse of my newly pregnant niece.  She's having a baby!!  (I'm beyond excited about this)  
That evening after dinner, the four of us met up with a photographer I met through this blog.  Kate Giovinco was one of my "event sponsors" for Gavin's Playground Project.  She wanted to photograph us by Gavin's pier.  Ed suggested that we should wear what we did for our Elvis vow renewal, which I thought was a lovely idea.  Kate sent us these two previews late Saturday night and... I'm in love.
 I especially love the one of Ed and Brian - they both look so handsome!!  Funny story - Brian's pants aren't really that dark.  They just look that way because they are SOAKED!  We let him jump in the water - with his fancy clothes on.  Because, why not?  
After the session, we met up with my family on the boardwalk for some fun under the "super moon!" 
I'm always happy to see my nieces and nephews - especially my beautiful Goddaughter, Shannon.  My hair twin!  
"Soon to be a Grandpa" Greg, my brother in law, was Hope's new best friend.  He put her right to sleep!  
 
It was a late night on the "boards" and everyone was tired on Sunday morning.  Brian slept in until 8 and Hope didn't wake up until close to 10!!  But they woke up happy and ready to take on the world.  Brian got busy building Lego masterpieces...
...while Hope stunned us by knocking out another big milestone right in front of our eyes - she went from her belly to sitting up!!
We're still trying to get her to do it again on camera.  Stay tuned!

Everyone was headed to the beach so I started getting all of our things together.  Sunscreen, towels, toys, bathing su.... oh no.  I couldn't find the kids bathing suits.  I did this last year, too.  My Mom and I had to go out shopping for a bathing suit for Brian.  Who forgets a bathing suit when you're going to the beach?  Apparently, me.  Twice.  After a five minute freak out session where I was pretty mad at myself - I actually found Brian's.  But not Hope's.  Ed also forgot some things and may take a ride home (a couple rainy days are coming up) to get everything... but in the meantime, we improvised with an appropriate "Life is Good" romper!

Once we got our act together, we headed to the beach.  I couldn't wait to try out my new umbrella!!  I got the Sport-Brella XL Portable Sun and Weather Shelter.  Shelter is the perfect word - this thing is a beast!  I love the shade and don't last long on the beach if I'm not under an umbrella.  This covered me completely (and didn't require me to sit in a low chair, which I don't like) - and it also covered Hope in a little play area!  Brian even stopped by when he wanted a snack and could fit in there, too.  It was the BEST! 
 I also purchased the teeniest baby pool for Hope.  I bought that HERE on Amazon and I loved that one of the reviewers said that you could blow it up in four breaths.  That was pretty accurate.  I had three intentions for the pool - add water and let her splash out of the sand... use it like a "play pen" where she could safely play with her non-sandy toys...
 or let her nap in there - again, out of the sand.  Get the "keep sand out of her hands" theme?  
It worked...
...for now.
We haven't added any water yet so she hasn't missed her bathing suit at all!  (it's pretty chilly, believe it or not!) 
 Brian had an awesome first day with some of his cousins!  
His favorite thing to do is to dig a hole until he sees water.  And he has an ingenious method.  
He recruits other people (usually Daddy, but this time several cousins) to dig a big, deep hole while he supervises and looks cute!  Brilliant.  He literally spent all day playing in the sand. 
 
He ended the day with a very sweet trip down the beach with his Uncle Jim to collect seashells on the seashore!  
We're so excited to be with family this week!  
Last night we all met at my sister's rental home to have a big, family dinner.  And I took one photo.  Of pregnant Emily with Hope.  Because, again - obsessed with her having a baby.  She doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl yet - but if she has a girl... she is set!  Her baby is due this winter and Hope was a winter baby!  
And finally... we can't let the week go by without acknowledging Hope's 32nd week with us!

Everything about her is changing.  Her look is changing...
...her hair is growing...
...she's getting stronger and sitting up more...
...she is starting to army crawl... 
...and she's eating bigger quantities - BY DEMAND!  You can't feed her fast enough!  
But some things have remained the same.  She's still an extremely pleasant baby - a great sleeper - and has a smile that will light up a room.  
And, she and Brian still adore each other!  No surprise.  
This afternoon we will be at Gillian's Wonderland Pier in Ocean City for their "Magical Monday!"  If you're in the area, come by to see us from 1-4!  Here is what they posted on their Facebook Page:

Tomorrow is Wonder's Charitable Magical Monday! Purchase a $25 wristband for unlimited rides from 1-4pm and half the proceeds are donated to a charity. This Monday, July 14th proceeds go to Gavin's Playground, All-Abilities Playground Project at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children! Chasing Rainbows
Photo: Tomorrow is Wonder's Charitable Magical Monday! Purchase a $25 wristband for unlimited rides from 1-4pm and half the proceeds are donated to a charity. This Monday, July 14th proceeds go to Gavin's Playground, All-Abilities Playground Project at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children! Chasing Rainbows

If you can't make it, but want to help Gavin's Playground Project, consider donating the $25.00 (or any amount you want!) through THIS link!

Thanks for caring about our little family!  I'm off to enjoy our vacation!



1 comment:

  1. The third picture down of Hope by h3rself o the couch, she looks just like her big brother Gavin. :) By the way, absolutely every picture of her and Brian together is adorable - they are totally smitten with each other!

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