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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cape Cahd...

My family has grown a LOT over the past 6 years. Not only have each of my sisters and I gotten married to our beaus, but we've also had seven kids between us, making what was once a core family of five now an extended family of fifteen.
Living spread out across the country makes it difficult to see each other as often as we'd like, which is especially sad for the cousins, who are all basically the same age (6, 5, 4, almost 3, 18 months and 5 months - I told you, it's been a busy 6 years!) and view our family get togethers as one giant playdate. So we're really trying to make the effort to make this happen more often and finding ourselves needing to get creative with where these get togethers will take place for all of these people.
My sister Jess and her family have spent the past few summers in Cape Cod. They rent a nice house that's within walking distance to a beach and a lake and set up shop for 4+ weeks. The house is perfect - plenty of bedrooms, giant pool, big basement and lots of room for grown-ups and tiny humans alike. So this year, for our annual family reunion, we all decided to join them, with half of us staying with the Kellys and half of us staying a few houses up the beach. 
The travel days getting to and from there were loooooong. Dealing with three kids and all the crap that comes with that, plus incompetent airport employees, unexpectedly long lines for an early Tuesday morning at LAX, and a couple of full on melt-downs due to irrational reasons is no easy feat. But we took deep breaths when they were needed and the three days we spent there, filled with lots of lobster, perfect weather and family time turned out to be worth it. 
My sister was a gracious host and I was impressed with her seemingly effortless ability to make lunches and dinners for so many people. The boys were definitely excited to see each other, naming their foursome "The Adventure Crew" and taking turns beating up on each other (sadly, Greyson and Gus always seemed to be the victim, although those two bruisers could sure handle the torture much better than their older brothers). The girls were like three ships passing in the night; when one went down for a nap, the other two woke up and so on and so forth. But we did manage to get some cute pics of the three of them in those rare moments when they were all awake and I'm eager to see how their friendship grows as time goes on.
The nicest part of the trip, besides getting to see the kids spend so much time together, was the quality time we got to spend with my sisters and their husbands. The house served as a nice home base and during the day, everyone was able to kind of do what they wanted to do, or in our case, whatever nap schedules dictated had to be done. 
We spent the last night celebrating my dad's 68th birthday, with sunset cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a yummy dinner and cake. And of course, a few rounds of my new favorite game, Fishbowl, for the grown-up kids ;-)
Happy birthday, Papa!
Oh, hi, selfie stick!
We're thinking this is going to become an annual thing and I'm already counting down the days until next year. Here are some pics of our trip.
Dylan on the left, June on the right...
Hayes and Gus surveying the scene...
First time putting her toes in the sand!
Napping on Nana...
The Adventure Crew ;-)
Nightly meeting for the crew... pants optional.
We were brave enough to take these maniacs out to breakfast one morning...
Lots of auntie love...
Junie...
Right before his first time on a boat... He tolerated it but asked to come back to shore immediately,
Me and my crew...
Til next year, my new friend, Dennis!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FOJ Fun...

We had a jam packed weekend of endless entertaining, with different folks coming over for lunch or dinner + a swim every day - and it was pretty damn awesome. It's kind of handy having people come to you when you have so many kids and napping schedules to take into consideration and although it meant that our grocery bill was substantially higher (something my pool-owning boss warned me about before we put in the damn thing), it also meant we could leisurely visit with friends while the littles that were awake played amongst themselves.
Happy Canada Day!
Having a backyard again is, in one word, amazing. The pool, the deck, the grass - everything came together exactly how we wanted it to and we are thoroughly enjoying our outdoor living area, rarely coming inside while the sun is out. The boys are absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, which makes for an easier bedtime and a happier mama. We've yet to get a bill from LADWP (somehow we were a glitch in the system and seemed to have been forgotten about for the last 4 months - they've assured us we'll be receiving our bill soon) so I'm not sure how much this whole pool thing is going to cost us to maintain, but it sure feels like we're getting our money's worth!
This past weekend was a busy one. We had out-of-town guests come for the night on Friday, 4 month old baby girl AND vegetarian dog in tow. Boys finished off their first week of camp (Greyson was a rockstar and transitioned into being there on his own without skipping a beat - he even cried one day at pick up because he didn't want to go home!). Saturday and Sunday was spent poolside with different friends and their kiddos, lots of bbq and summer brews and my new favorite at-home concoction, watermelon aqua fresca. Saturday night, we checked an item off our bucket list by having a family movie night where we ate pizza and your standard movie concessions while watching Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Hayes and I fell asleep, Grant and Greyson were wide awake - sounds about right!).
And we did a little bit of the same for FOJ yesterday... Hotdogs for lunch while watching the nauseating hotdog eating contest (70 hotdogs?!?!), lots of time in the pool with our neighbors and a couple of other friends, bbq burgers for dinner, ice cream cake for dessert and some fireworks at our local park. Grant and the boys had their own at-home show when we got home (much to Mama's chagrin) and that was a wrap on FOJ '16. It really was the perfect summer weekend ;-)

I MEAN!
Henley and Indie, future besties...
Happy birthday, Ryder!
Waiting for the fireworks...
Picking out their fireworks for the at-home show...
Hope y'all had a good one!