An Easel: Take Two

What’s good enough for the big kids is good enough for the baby.  That is, if the baby has anything to say about it!  Let me at that easel!

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Well, since Mommy has a thing or two to say about it, let’s use the chalkboard side rather than all that paint while wearing a white shirt.  Just as exciting, not nearly as messy.  Hopefully.

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IMG_5404 Em, as usual, relished the role of big sister and wanted to show Little H all the easel-y ropes.  Little H thought the rope-showing was incredibly fascinating and loved every second of sitting at the big kids’ table with a piece of chalk in her hand.  Just like big sis.  A dream come true!  Just look at her smile!

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And then, Em showed her the eraser, and Little H’s head exploded.

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Maybe a little too much easel, too soon.

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An Easel: Take One

An art easel is one of those things that all houses with kids should have, but every parent has a love-hate relationship with it.  It takes up space, painting is messy, they never use it…I heard it all when I asked friends if I should buy one.  But even though I knew it might be more hassle than it was worth, I asked my uncles to buy one for the kids for Christmas last year, and I think it was the right choice.

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I don’t pull it out very often, and it does take up room in a house that doesn’t have much extra space, but even if we never use it again, I am happy that I got to watch my big kids work together to create something really special: a picture of our home.

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House, trees, family, sky.  They’re the ones who decided what to paint and it was their choice to share one piece of paper.  I was impressed at their teamwork but also at the finished product.  A truly great work of art!

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One that you know this mama is going to keep forever!

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A Great Photo Of A Great Daddy

Have I ever mentioned that JDubbs is the greatest dad ever?  Well, he is, but he’s extra amazing because he makes time for each of our kids individually every day.  It starts when Em creeps in our bed for snuggles way before we’re ready to wake up almost every morning, how he makes breakfast for the three of them, takes Jax to school every day, does baths every night and splits bedtime duties, putting Little H to sleep while I bathe the big kids, then coming in to finish reading them stories, and takes Jax and Little H to soccer on Saturdays while I take Em to ballet, just to name a few.  And then, when it feels like she needs it (like on this day), he cuts out during lunch to take Em to school or for a special lunch with just Daddy.  He’s a good one.

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We all know it.  I think it shows.

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Farewell, Maine!

And the last post about our glorious adventures in Maine this summer is finally here, with a sweatshirt-by-the-sea day photo montage.  Wrapping up a beautiful vacation, the kids dipped their toes in the water and cuddled up in sweatshirts, saying goodbye to Drake’s Island until next year.

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I cherish every memory from this week away from it all with my four favorite people in the world.

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Maine really is the way life should be!

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Sandy Silhouettes

Here are my attempts at capturing silhouettes on a bright and beautiful beach day, although the sun was not low enough in the horizon for them to be exactly what I was trying to achieve.  I like how they turned out, regardless, with the reflective sand and cloudy sky.

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We live in such a wooded and hilly area that any time I try to practice true silhouettes behind my kids (in the traditional sense, not just playing with light), I fail because the light is still too far above them rather than behind them, or the sun doesn’t set until after their bedtime in the summer (when we’re out later).  Anyone have any suggestions as to how get my shot?

I didn’t mind that they weren’t perfect, anyway.  It was a lot of fun practicing!

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Next year the kids will be a little older and I plan to keep them up until sunset one night just to try some more (and who doesn’t love a sunset romp at the beach?).

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Fun in the sun!

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Hermit Crab Hunger Games

The day we bought the kites for the kids was also the windiest day of our vacation, so although the kids didn’t spend any time actually swimming in the water, they still had many aquatic adventures, the most significant of which was when they discovered hermit crabs and how exciting it is to hunt for them.

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Without question, my kids are braver than me in this arena, and I appreciated my excuse of taking photographs so that I wouldn’t have to actual touch any of the crabs, which I found creepy in the extreme.  The kids, however, thought they were amazing and quickly filled up a bucket to keep their new friends close by until we were ready to leave for the day.

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It was all fun and games until one of the biggest hermit crabs started brutally attacking the smaller ones and basically started eating them.  I was horrified and was practically shrieking; the kids were confused and not sure why the “Big Meanie” kept jumping on the other crabs’ backs.  After I realized that we had orchestrated our very own Hermit Crab Hunger Games and the blue bucket was our Cornucopia, we found a tide pool and let them be free.  A little lesson on survival of the fittest and Darwinism at a young age.  The kids were unfazed, but I was pretty traumatized.

After all that excitement, we enjoyed a quieter evening together, keeping an eye on our little friends as the tide rolled in and somehow managing to stay fairly dry.

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Little H decided that soggy diapers and damp dresses are for the birds, so she let it all hang loose for the last few trips down to the water.

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See that little circle of rocks?  That was our Hermit Crab Rehabilitation Center for those traumatized during the “Big Meanie” attack.  

One last trip up the lifeguard chair and we called it a night.

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Such a special place, our beach, even with a dose of crustacean cannibalism!

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Run-Of-The-Mill Awesome

Another blog post, another series of photographs documenting our wonderful time in Maine.  Just another magnificent day at the beach.

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But this time…

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…there were kites!

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And tide pools!

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So, really, it was far from ordinary.  Just run-of-the-mill awesome.

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If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now.  Best family vacation ever.

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