Monday, July 26, 2010

As we walked onto the beach this morning I was blown away by the beauty of the day. The sun was glistening over the ocean, the water was so clear and calm. I normally like to sit on the shore for most of the lessons and the kids have to pester me to get in but this morning I was looking forward to dipping into the cold water. I wondered why there seemed to be so few people in the water on such a perfect day. Turns out, looks can be deceiving. That beautiful, clear water was teeming with jellyfish. Some were clear and harmless. Some, not so much. Hayley had the bad luck of encountering one of the not so harmless ones. She was with her class for swim lessons and I was collecting shells with Ace. I turned around and saw that her class was out of the water. I rushed back, thinking it was later than I thought and I didn't want Hayley to wonder where we were. But she was already at the bathhouse with the lifeguard, getting a baking soda and vinegar treatment for the sting. Some friend who had seen the incident said she looked fine and that it seemed to be a little sting but when I saw her my heart just sank, she was obviously in so much pain.  I took her right home and left her in Andy's capable hands while I went and got whatever treats Ace and I could find that might make her feel a little better. I got to the counter at the drugstore with pringles, ice cream, a movie, some swedish fish, and a pack of gum. I was talking to the cashier about what happened and she said "Well, this will make her feel better, it's better than medicine." That's when I remembered what I was supposed to be buying: medicine. So I had to go back for tylenol. The combination of all the treats and the tylenol did seem to ease her pain and now she is back in action and her welts have faded. Now she just has one bright red mark and a few pink marks.
Andy says he got small stings plenty of times in Florida but besides him, Hayley is the first one of us ever to encounter a jellyfish. I hope she is the last but with all the time we spend in the water, that might be wishful thinking.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We are hitting that mid-Summertime slump.  The kids are getting tired of so much time all together.  Right this minute they are having "quiet time" downstairs. Quiet time that I can hear all the way upstairs, because Julia is yelling at Ace to "weave me Alooneee!!!" That explains why I have been hiding from the blog, I don't want to admit that things are falling apart a bit here, better to leave up our Fourth of July post, from when it was all sunshine and fireworks.
We have been saved on many days from complete craziness by our sweet neighbor, who sends her teenager daughter over to babysit and invites the kids over to play with her 8 year old. Last night Ace went completely ape-sh!t because Julia got to use a jelly jar as a milk cup and he wanted it and I sent him out to the deck to get some air. While he was out there he yelled over to our neighbor asking if Timmy (8) could come over and that saved the day. We set up the bubble machine and they played freeze tag (Timmy kept changing the rules if he seemed to be losing). I brought out a big bucket of soapy water and they washed all our backyard toys. By bedtime we were all feeling much better.
We have started our special days with each of the kids. At the beginning of the summer each of the kids started planning what they wanted to do for their day. Ace wanted to see Despicable Me so Sunday we had a great date day, just to two of us. We went to the mall first and he was so cooperative, even giving me fashion advice while I tried to find shoes to go with a new dress ("You should find some big shoes that have Ironman on them, and then get me a pair so we match!")  He held all the doors for me, even the big heavy ones in the theater. It was the first movie I've ever seen in 3D and I think I was as impressed by it as Ace.
Oh, and I had a birthday (and pictures to prove it, thanks to my mom) We went to the beach and out for pizza. I asked the kids to wear something special for my birthday. I dressed Lucy in a new jumper and she kept showing off her new "pretty". Ace dressed like a pirate. Saturday we had a party with my parents. Julia recommended strawberry cake and it was a great choice. 

I wish I had a better way to pull all this together to wind up this post but I don't. Again, I blame the Summertime Slump.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


This was the first year all the kids went to see the fireworks. Hayley went once when she was younger and, if I remember correctly, we brought Baby Ace along too but he would not remember that year. The past few years we have been content to watch on the TV but this year we were just crazy enough to load up the van and take all 4 kids to the beach to watch the fireworks over the bay. I am so thankful we did!  We had cousin Naomi along too which was sweet icing on the cake. The kids ran and played (and peed) in the sand while we watched some smaller fireworks come from the boats. Just when everyone started to get a little restless and Lucy started chanting "Home? Home? Home?", the show began. Some kids might have sat in silent wonderment and watched the magic but these are my kids we are talking about. There was a running commentary through the entire show. Ace was curious about what happened to the fireworks in the sky, where they went after we saw them, what role firefighters might play in setting off fireworks. Naomi talked about, well, everything. Including how a good firefighting name for Ace would be Fred. Lucy ran from my lap, to Grandma's, to Andy's and back again, kissed me full on the lips over and over again, repeated important words from the day "Home, pocket, potty, pretties" and occasionally glanced at the fireworks. She also clapped, she was big on clapping. One of the funniest moments was when she sat on my lap and I sang along with the music "God bless America, my home sweet home" and her eyes got very wide and she started yelling "Home? Home! Home?" 
It was such a memorable night, and the perfect end to a great holiday weekend. Yesterday we marched in our town's parade. Julia was a rock star riding her bike for the first year, Ace rode his motorcycle bike, Naomi rode the scooter (but mostly walked and collected candy) and Hayley walked. We played games afterwards and then rewarded ourselves with a treat and root beer at the candy store. The day before we had a long, relaxing day at the beach and dinner at our favorite pizza place.
The weekend has been amazing but somewhat bittersweet since we will probably be moving next year around this time. That means this could be our last Fourth of July here. It breaks my heart because I love our town and this season reminds me why. I love our friends here, I love being so close to my parents for a good part of the year, I love all this town has to offer. But I know that this is what being a military family is about. We set down roots, find people and places that we love where we live and then, before we are ever ready, we have to say goodbye to them. The sweet part of that is knowing that there are new people to meet and new favorite places to discover in our new home and we can always cherish friendships and memories from our old home.  But I  understand Lucy's longing for "Home! Home! Home!", because I agree, adventures are fun but nothing beats the comfort of home.