This morning, we filled our tray and our tummies with loads of bright red berries at Maxwell’s Farm in Cape E. Thanks to our friends (the Czerkes family) who accompanied us and introduced us to this perfect place to pick strawberries!
And to my delight, Sheridan has added another fruit to her currently limited repertoire. She wouldn’t touch strawberries before, but apparently they are more appetizing when you pick them up off the ground. Makes sense I guess, as the girl these days will eat dirt and sample rocks more willingly than she will eat the veggies on her plate!
And by WWF, we mean “Wrestling With Father”. For the last couple of weeks, Larry has been arriving home from work at a decent hour, allowing time to play a bit before the kids go to bed. They’ve made up a game in which they run down the hallway and into our room where Daddy is on the floor, supposedly playing the “bad guy” and “trying to get them”. In reality, he just sits there and they run right to him! They love to be caught by Daddy and to wrestle their way out of his arms, only to be caught again.
I captured these laughter-drenched moments on video recently, and have posted a quick version above. If you want to hear the full audio (cackling and wrestling sound effects included), you can check out the unabridged video posted on the web gallery. Betcha can’t watch this without smiling!
We ventured out to the local Audubon Center for play group on Monday. It was simple outdoor fun, just kids being kids. They marched down trails, climbed on (and jumped off) boulders, stopped for a frog-stake out near the lilypad pond, and concocted pretend lunches out of rocks and dirt. For some reason, I went on a photo rampage, and captured an inordinate amount of the happy moments, and a few not so happy....
No, it was really more like running. Just running. Without dreaming or sleeping at all the night prior. And then day-dreaming, while running, about when the running would be over, and how soon I could be sleeping. But I’m running on too far ahead of myself, so let me start at the beginning....
The fun began Friday with a night out with Larry--no kids, just grown-ups. By the end of the evening, we had shed our grown-up status and were acting like kids, dancing to 80s tunes that hearkened us back to the days of yore (aka high school). So, by midnight, we realized it was time to stop partying like it was 1999 and head home. I had a 5k road race to run bright and early the next morning. Not to mention we needed to relieve the sitter, who was probably starting to worry.
So that night, I have no idea why, but I couldn’t fall asleep. The later it got, the more my mind raced. It was this weird countdown. I have to be up in 4 hours...3.5 hours...3 hours. By T minus 2 hours and counting, I was a mess. I’m normally out cold by 11 p.m., or 30 minutes into Law & Order, whichever comes first. So this was a foreign experience for me. After less than an hour of sleep, I had to get up to start the day with a 5k. Thank goodness for adrenalin!
I had signed up to run the race with friends Kate & Meredith in an attempt to motivate myself to exercise. It worked! I finished the race without stopping to walk, which I think may be my “personal best”. You gotta start somewhere, right?
After the race, we met back at Kate’s house for a cook-out, complete with a bouncy house for the kids (which served as a sort of outdoor “padded room” that I’m always saying I need for Sheridan). It was relaxing and fun day for all, followed by a night of solid sleep glorious sleep!
Larry had what the residents call a “golden weekend” this past weekend. It’s the term for getting two full days off in a row. It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, I’d have to agree that it is nothing short of golden.
Some highlights from our golden days with Dad:
1) We rode bikes out to Bug’s Light (the very same 15 mile ride I made with the kid’s last week). This time, Larry pulled the trailer. What a difference 60 pounds of dead weight makes. The ride was SO much more enjoyable when I didn’t have to concentrate on not passing out on the side of the road.
2) We stopped for a pizza picnic midway through the ride, and dined alongside the ducks. Dad let Caed indulge in some orange soda, and helped Dani take “big bites” right off the slice.
3) After pizza, the kids ran around in the gazebo and played “dingbat with Dad”. This is the aptly named game where Larry hangs the kids upside down and spins them around yelling, “Ding-bat! Ding-bat! Where’s the ding-bat??” (See pictures below for supporting evidence of this beloved--and perhaps insulting--game).
4) When we got to the lighthouse, it was getting late, and we thought we’d just turn around. But Caed convinced Daddy to let him out so he could walk all the way to the light house rail like a big boy. I waited by the bikes while father and son cast their long sunset shadows on the light house path.
Nothing short of golden.
This week Caed graduated to a “big boy bike”, and bequeathed his old tricycle to his very eager little sister. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but this clip reminds me of that random scene in While You Were Sleeping where the paperboy wipes out. Wouldn’t you know Caed had been riding his bike for a couple days without a single fall....until I broke out the video camera.
On Saturday, we went Bradbury State Park and made our way up the summit trail on what turned out to be a beautiful morning. Calli got to come too, and she wasted no time finding water, then dirt, then more water, so that she was caked in mud within the first 5 minutes up the trail. (That’s when I remembered why I usually don’t bring her along on these sorts of excursions.)
All in all, we probably hiked about 2.5 miles, and Caed kept pace like a champ. (Dani gets no props as she was just taking it easy in the back-back).
Nothing beats a morning in the great outdoors, except for maybe a lazy afternoon in a quiet house (which is normally occupied by two loud and crah-AY-zee kids). And lucky us, we got both that day!
Last night, the whole family enjoyed an evening out at the ballpark, courtesy of Dad’s work. It was raining a bit, but we had fun anyway, splashing in the puddles, climbing on the rails, and pigging out on Sea Biscuits (ice cream cookie sandwiches), while watching the Sea Dogs play.
And yes, you’ll see that both kiddos are sporting a splash of Red Sox gear. I just want to go on record saying that we have not defected from our beloved Indians. We just figured that when in Rome (or Red Sox nation in this case), do as the die-hard down-easterners do...and root root root for the home team!
On Monday, we skipped school and work to skip some rocks and skip around at Mackworth Island, also referred to as Macaroni Island, by our 3.5 yr old adventure hiker. The real treat was that Dad got to come too, having a few days off from work. He set the record for the most skips (five!), and Dani set the record for the most falls (I stopped counting after five). Her equilibrium was apparently a bit off, as we noticed halfway through the walk that she had some “drainage” (this is the nice word for it) coming out of one ear. Me being the genius Mom that I am quickly connected the dots.....so THAT’s why she was up crying all night!
Anyway, Dani’s ear infection aside, we had a great morning, and will definitely be going back soon for more hiking adventures.
Sunday was gorgeous (all that Saturday was not). So after church, we headed out for the bike ride that I had originally hoped to do on Saturday. We biked from our house out to Bug’s Light Park, about 15 miles round trip.
We really enjoyed exploring the bike trail that spanned from Scarborough to South Portland, taking us through wooded areas, open pastures, beside train tracks, and past parks replete with ducks and daisies. We stopped to have a light lunch at the halfway mark, where we saw a light house, and lots of big boats. (Dani has added the word “boat” to her repertoire, by the way).
By the time we got home, my legs were jello, Dani was sound asleep, and Caed was singing made-up songs about boats and riding in the “adventure forest”. It was great fun and great exercise. Just one more reason we love Maine in the summer time!
Caed was apparently too tired (and too involved in his TV show) to care that Sheridan was pinching his cheeks in dear old auntie fashion as if she was 60 yrs older and commenting on how big he is getting. Her parade of affection for her big brother came to a halt only after she fell off the ottoman.
Caed quickly scooted to the middle of their perch in an effort to keep his sibling and assailant of affection from resuming her incessant hugging. Undaunted, she pushed him over, climbed back up, and started the cheek pinching again. Eventually he protested, I stopped taking pictures, and Sheridan went to bed. But gosh, it was cute while it lasted.
I had great expectations for Saturday. It was my “day off” with the kids (Larry worked all weekend), and I had all kinds of fun planned. And then it rained. And rained. And rained. So we ended up not on the shores of the ocean, or on the trail beside the bay, or on a bike ride to the light house.
Instead of blue waters and green meadows....we headed toward the golden arches, and dined indoors at the mom-dreaded, kid-adored Mickey D’s playplace. While I am way less than wild about that particular venue, the kids ate it up (literally and figuratively), and I didn’t have to cook. And it was right around the corner from a drive-thru Starbucks. So you could almost say ...”doo doo doot doo doo, we’re lovin’ it”!