Birthday Girls

My ladies and I started my birthday off with a little morning hike.  There’s a spot in nearby Hanover, NH that I have wanted to explore for years, but just never made the time.  I figure my birthday was a good a day as any!

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Unfortunately I overestimated the girls’ threshold for exercise and desire to get sweaty.  They were more into having snuggle sessions and adorable photo ops.

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And with a little help from my self-timer, I even got in a photo!  Sometimes it’s good to remember that I was there for these moments, too!

So we didn’t get too far, but the view was gorgeous and the girls were really great company.  On the way back down, they wanted to take a break in the shade for a bit.

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And search for wildflowers.

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And take big camera selfies.

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This is me, no make-up, the day I turned 35.  I hope I always have so many excuses to smile!

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I Want To Remember…

I want to remember how she asks for Band-Aids pretty much every day.  Several times a day.  She says she “needs a check-up” and then discusses which kind of Band-Aid she will choose: Cars, Hello Kitty, or Doc McStuffins.  She rotates pretty well.

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She also really loves to brush her teeth.  She asks to do it every time she walks by the bathroom.  She stands on a stool and has to reach all the way on her tippy toes to reach the water.  Her brother doesn’t even need a stool anymore; I don’t want to forget these baby steps.

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My baby and her baby steps.

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Em’s First Dance Performance

I was asked if I wouldn’t mind to take some photos at the Lebanon Ballet School’s final performance in June, and since Em would be showcasing everything she has learned over the course of her many classes this year, I was happy to oblige so that I could a) challenge myself to get some quality photos indoors under fluorescent lights but also b) so Em could see me and her family front and center when she stood in front of the crowd to perform.  Taking photos of the dancers was so interesting because of the challenges posed; I used the only zoom lens in my camera bag, my Tamron 24-75mm, and was pleased with the results.

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But in truth, I only had eyes for one prima ballerina.

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I was so proud of my girl!  Being in the same space where she has her classes, wearing her usual leotard really helped her feel less anxious.  She was excited to show what she has learned, especially in front of her big brother, and did her very very best.

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Her group was able to come up three times, and every time she seemed more comfortable.  In between she would sit with Jax and Little H, watching the older girls dance and probably imagining what it will be like when it’s her turn to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.  I think having her very own cheering section in the front row, familiar faces proud and cheering her on, really helped her to shine.

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Afterward, JDubbs brought the other kids and Auntie Jenny home while I stayed with the star for some celebratory cake and her share of congratulations to the entire ensemble.

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You have come so far and grown so much, my darling Em!  We couldn’t be more proud!

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We love you, our beautiful dancer!

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Mad Scientists

You know how family members always ask, What does Johnny want for his next birthday?  Or What is Suzie asking Santa for this year? Well, if your kids are elementary school-aged, I have a gift for you: a present you can give your kids that is just plain awesome.

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 I am not getting paid for this, nor do I have any affiliate links.  I really love this primary science kit (and the measuring kit that goes with it) and want to spread the word because it’s summertime and we’re all in this survival thing together.  If your kid has an inquisitive mind, do yourself a favor and invest in these sets that come with experiments made with household items, like the traditional vinegar and baking soda eruptions that every kid loves.  Because, really, all kid deserve to be mad scientists every once in a while.  Complete with safety goggles.

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In the past, we have taken our experiments to the next level by writing down or hypotheses and observations in our handy dandy journals, but, hey it’s summer!  We do experiments in our pajamas and to hell with the scientific method.  We keep it low-key so they hardly know they’re learning.  Everyone wins. IMG_4446

Speaking of learning, even I was surprised by this experiment where you put raisins in a glass with clear soda and watch them float up and down on carbonation bubbles.  It was really cool, even to me! #nerdalert

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So if the summer is stretching before you is a little daunting, invest in some toys that will keep them engaged and using their brains for countless hours to come!  There are worse things than being mad scientists; after all, as Alice in Wonderland says to the Mad Hatter, “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

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Chameleon

Ninja Turtle shirt?  Check.

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Froggy friends?  Check.

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Changing from cute and fancy girly girl to a rough-and-tumble, toolbox-toting little lady who hangs with the boys just as easily as she plays with the girls? Check. Little H is quite the chameleon!

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Whether it’s accessories or amphibians, she does it all.

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Contagious

A mom of one of Em’s friends jokingly accused me the other day of turning her more athletic daughter into a “girly girl.” Apparently hanging out with Em makes people more girly.  Hmmm…I’m not sure about that.  Let’s examine the evidence.

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Okay, girlie, yes, but that’s not necessarily compelling evidence.

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Oh, right.  So maybe Em’s girliness is a bit contagious.

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Hmmm…it may be more of an epidemic than I thought!

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Three In A Tub

These three babes in one bathtub always remind me of the rhyme Rub-A-Dub-Dub.  So much so that I have written about this exact scenario more than once, with striking similarities!

It’s like deja vu!

2014

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2015

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Even though I keep telling myself it’s not worth it to put all three of them in the tub together with the squabbling over who sits next to the faucet and the fact that they’re just running out of room, every now and then I give it one more try for the sheer joy that I still can.  Privacy and peeing in the tub and arguments about Paw Patrol squirt toys be damned.  It’s still worth it.

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