Becky & Max joined us in Maine this weekend to celebrate the last few days of summer. Soon, school buses will sputter down the street, leaves will flutter from yellow-tipped trees, and we will put on sweatshirts instead of swim suits. But not before we dish one more summer helping of fun onto our plates!
Within an hour of the von Meister’s arrival, we packed our beach bags and headed out to Pine Point Beach. The tide was low, and so we ventured through the tidal pools and over a sand bar, on a splashed-filled treasure hunt. The water was frigid, but the kids were not the slightest bit daunted.
With sand speckled toes and rosy cheeks serving as ample evidence of our beach adventure, we then headed over to Salty Bay for dinner. Sheridan led the way...
The next day, it was a bit overcast, so we hit the Children’s Museum, always a crowd pleaser. The highlight for our boys was the opportunity to play pirates, costumes and all. These pictures capture their attempt at a “pirate face”.
And I can’t help but throw this one in. Caed put on a puppy costume, and then pretended to be the Big Bad Wolf. He huffed and he puffed, but he never quite captured the essence of his chosen character. Let’s face it, he can pull off adorable puppy, but Big Bad Wolf just ain’t in him.
More to come from our weekend in the next post!
About a dozen times a day, sometimes more, never less.
Barreling her way toward age two, Sheridan has perfected the tantrum cliche, turning the fuss on and off with the stomp of her foot. She is quite insistent that all official meltdowns must occur on the floor, and thus, she has also perfected the art of slowly leaning back until her head touches the floor, making way for the real kicking, writhing and flailing. This technique has improved dramatically with practice, as just weeks ago, she was still flailing backwards with too much speed and bumping her head on the floor, adding legitimacy to the screaming that was already underway. Indeed, she has made great strides.
What is interesting about all this drama is that it only took seconds for her to morph from utter distress into a coy little poser. Yes, that is a smile you see in this next picture.
As soon as the kids noticed a camera was in play, they quickly scooted into position and began hamming it up. Sheridan is particularly adept at the appearance of innocence, sugar and spice and all that is nice. “Spice”, that I can see. “All that is nice”, hmmm, not so much.
They both refuse to stand still.
This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting our friends and former neighbors the McClarys, as they made their way from Alexandria, VA to their vacation spot a few hours up the coast from us. (That’s right, folks, there is indeed US territory further north of us, more than four hours worth of it. Who knew?)
The kiddos above (left to right: Ian, Caed, Kyra & Sheridan--a veritable Irish clan) are evidence of how time marches on (my face) at lightning speed, transforming these twins from toddlers into near-teenagers, in what seemed like months, not years. I am reminded of video footage I have from just four years ago, when Larry and I brought baby Caed home from the hospital to Bayliss Drive. As Ian and Kyra clamored to see the new baby, Ian ran over to his mom shouting, “Look how small he is!! I can’t believe it! Was I ever that little??”
And as every parent can, we rewind instantly through thousands of moments to the exact one in which we held our very tiny baby in our arms for the first time. And we answer, “Yes, yes, you were once that little.” And the only thing we find hard to believe is that so much time has passed since that beautiful moment.
You pumiced your face? So it’s been a rough week, and I’m a bit tired. Nothing close to the “I have a 7 week old who screams by night, and a 2 yr old who screams by day” kind-of tired. But worn out, nonetheless.
So today, during the kids’ naps and quiet time, I seized the opportunity to go for a quick run and take a long shower. I probably should have reversed the time priorities (long run, quick shower), but I was tired, remember. So anyway, in my sleepy stupor, I reached for the face wash.....and picked up the foot wash. The only bright side here is that it was designed “for her”, so it smelled minty. Not like feet. Which is what I envision the Dr. Scholl’s “for him” would probably smell like.
Anyway, judging from the picture above, you can see how I would mix up my exfoliants, can you not??
Now this is where I ask for some crowd participation. Humor me please. What’s the silliest or craziest or scariest or funniest thing you’ve ever done in the name of sleep deprivation?
Since I "back-blogged" this one, you don't have the benefit of the other sleep-deprivation stories shared. Here's the abridged list of some fatigue-induced folly:
1) slamming the car into inanimate objects in the garage, on two separate occasions.
2) waking up in the middle of the night and asking the wife, "how many organizations do you want me to try?" before getting up to calm/change the screaming baby
3) forgetting to brush teeth (not funny, as much as it is just gross)
4) freshening up with Clorox disinfectant wipes
5) mistaking the lotion for conditioner, and vice versa
6) tasting bad milk, and instead of pouring it out, taking a pen and writing "bad milk" on the container, then returning it to the fridge (so the unsuspecting wife could pour it on her cereal the next morning).
My friends, I present to you the Spray Ground, a staple of summer time fun in northern VA. Caed and Dani are probably under the impression that we endured an eleven hour journey to the DC area for this and this alone. On this particular outing, we were joined by some of our wonderful Virginia-based friends and family, including Max, Wesley & Silas, Lena, and cousin Gus.
The picture above depicts the two Myles kiddos assuming “the position”, which basically entails channeling their inner aquatic dare-devil, feet flirting with the squirting source, and noses dangerously dangling over the line of fire.
Dani took breaks from water play every now and then to give her water-logged nostrils a break, and to ensure I got wet too by implementing the toddler equivalent of “shaking” (and by shaking, I am referring to how dogs feel compelled to throw water from their backs only when a dry human is within close proximity).
In Dani’s case, this meant hanging on my legs and threatening to fling her head back on the pavement if I didn’t pick her up while sopping wet. She only did this because I had opted not to wear a bathing suit. Had I come prepared, she would not have even gone in the water. This is not a hypothesis. This is a fact, tested rigorously in accordance with scientific method. She NEVER gets wet when I wear a bathing suit, but you can bet your bikini that she will dive into the nearest body of water if I am the slightest bit unprepared to get soaked.
But if I sound bitter about getting wet, keep in mind that the GORGEOUS sunshine dried me out quite nicely and quickly, thank you very much. So nope, not complaining. Not one bit! Our excursion to the spray ground was a splashing success, and that too is a scientific fact!
Last February, I took the kids down with me to northern VA on what was supposed to be a combination of business meetings and play dates with dear friends. When I returned, I was so worn out that I swore I wouldn’t do it again until they were both old enough to drive their own car down 1-95. But as it turns out, I was brave enough to try again before Dani’s sweet sixteen. And I’m so glad I did.
The trip was, in a word, PERFECT. And here are the top ten reasons why:
1) Sammy. My precious newest nephew, all six weeks of him. I had the pleasure of lulling him to sleep in the gorilla house at the national zoo, while Caed, Gus and Max were thoroughly entertained by a gorilla, who was (and this is not part of my top ten) eating his own poo.
2) Gus. Another precious nephew, who is the epitome of all that is cute. This kid was born to say “cheese”. It warmed my heart to see him sitting next to Caed at dinner--the two of them taking silliness with sandwiches to a whole new level.
3) Aaron & Laura. Are you sensing a theme here? Yep, I love those Damianis. It is a rare treat to spend time with my siblings and their families, and I loved every minute of the visit with these newly-transplanted Virginians.
4) Becky & Max. We may not be officially related, but they are truly like family. This delightful duo bunked with us for a few nights during our stay, and we had a blast. Becky remains one of my dearest friends even after moving miles away. And Max and Caed are such great buddies (it’s like imagining Rick and Larry together in preschool). When we got home, Caed told me that we should have someone else “take our house in Maine” so that we could get “a new house in ‘jinya (Virginia) close to Max, or maybe just live at Max’s house”. I often feel the same way!
5) Shawneen. Now this gal is what really made the difference between the winter trip versus the summer trip. She is our regular sitter as well as Caed’s preschool teacher. She came with us to care for the kids while I worked. The kids had so much fun on their outings with her, and she helped me immensely on the drive down, and throughout the week. Caed, Dani and I all equally adore her.
But I’ll stop blubbering about the wonderful people that made our drive worthwhile, and transition toward the superficial side of the spectrum for the last five reasons...
6) Dani had her own secluded place for sleep this time around. And therefore, the rest of us actually got to sleep too. Ever since the February excursion (where it was one room for all, and all for no sleep), I no longer take a good night’s sleep for granted, especially away from home.
7) The weather was gorgeous, unseasonably cool in the low 80s and not a drop of rain, making it easy to get outside every day and enjoy the parks and sites.
8) There was a Starbucks within walking distance. I don’t really need to elaborate on this.
9) Trader Joe’s was a mile away, and I totally stocked up! And there’s nothing like a $5 bottle Pinot Grigio (that tastes like a $20 bottle) and a best friend to share it with. Note that Becky and I broke into the stockpiles, just so I didn’t have to worry about packing too much wine to take home.
10) We all stayed healthy. This stands in contrast to the February trip, where each one of us came up with our own unique form of crummy. Dani vomited (this is her signature, after all). Caed had an ear infection. And I took the triple crown with a fever, cold and stomach bug. The misery of it all has clearly not escaped my memory, even months later.
But on THIS adventure down south, there was nary a sniffle. Just a few cuts and bruises from having way too much fun. And maybe a few marks from where I pinched myself thinking this trip was too good to be true!