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Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Adventures

Our family has made up for so much lost summer time over the past three weekends, and I finally feel like we've had some good summer fun.

We spent a weekend in Bridgton, Maine, at Camp Kingswood. The event was sponsored by Hannah's preschool, and we spent a lovely Shabbat with other small children and their families. Since I LOVED my summers at GUCI in Zionsville, Indiana, it was a blast to get to introduce Hannah and Max to the camp experience. We slept in a cabin (though I don't remember the beds being so awful when I was 10 or 12!), ate in the dining hall, swam in a lake, tried archery, did arts & crafts, went to services, had song sessions, got bug bites and scraped knees, had a campfire and made smores. We told each other stories (about the "Fish Tailor" or "Fish Taler" depending on your telling) to get to sleep and met interesting people. It was wonderful to spend three days as a family, without TV and housework distracting us. Hannah left telling new friends that she'd be back next year.

The following weekend was a little more low-key, with Tot Shabbat on Saturday and a trip to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston on Sunday. Marc's parents joined us for the zoo, which worked well. When they left they took Hannah with them, and she spent most of the past week in Hartford, as her school was closed. We've never been apart for so long, and I missed her so much. However, she had an amazing time there, getting lavished with attention (and lots of new toys!). And it was great to have the alone time with Max, who is getting so big so quickly. He now has four teeth and is doing some real crawling, though he seems to prefer scooting around on his belly when he can manage it. He also seemed to find his voice while Hannah was gone, taking the opportunity to get a word in, finally!

On Thursday night the three of us drove to Hartford and reunited with Hannah. And then we really packed all the best parts of summer into one day that Friday. We got up pretty early and drove to Hammonasset Beach, getting to the beach for the first time all summer. Hannah loves being in the water and jumping in the waves, and Max seems to like it too, though I did have to stop him from gnawing on a rock he found in the sand! It was a little cool, so we didn't spend much time there, and found a great place for lunch - coincidentally named Fish Tale! We had a nice lunch outside and Hannah got to ride on a carousel, another staple of summer in New England. After lunch we headed out to the Mystic Aquarium, which we've tried to get to for the last three summers, and we finally made it. Hannah has been very into jellyfish, and had a great time there. We just didn't feel like ending the day, so after dinner we decided to try mini-golf (or putt-putt, which is what I really want to call it!). It was a bit tough since one of us had to hold Max the entire time, but Hannah actually seemed to enjoy it. I know that was influenced by Troy Bolton being a golf pro in High School Musical 2, but hey, whatever it takes. It was a truly great day, and I'm so glad we did it.

Saturday was also busy, with a wedding for one of Marc's MANY cousins. Josh and Michelle looked so happy, and the weather was mostly agreeable. It was great to see all of our extended family. Hannah is totally in her element at a wedding, and many thanks for the bride and groom for graciously dancing with her so often! Max also seemed to have a great time. He loved the music and, if I may say so myself, loved dancing with his mommy. He looked very handsome in his little sailor suit, and Hannah was very pretty in her pink gingham dress. Afterward my in-laws offered to watch the kids so Marc and I could go out, and we had a great dinner at a place we'd never been to before, but hope to definitely go back to again.

And today we went to Old Sturbridge Village. We were lucky to get in for free today as a benefit of our membership in the local PBS affiliate, which was worth the membership fee right there! Hannah got so into it, and our aspiring fashion designer loved seeing the old spinning wheels and looms and, of course, the clothes. She was the perfect age to enjoy all the activities, and I had fun making dipped candles and a candle holder with her.

The best part of this busy weekend is that I still have tomorrow off! I'll be able to get the laundry done and the house put back together before we have to get back to work and a very busy week coming up. And I actually had the time to sit and write this very long post, which never would have occurred under normal circumstances. Four day weekends are awesome!!!

So I'm now ready for fall to bring it on. The next few weeks are going to be a bit challenging - I have wisdom tooth removal to look forward to - but also another wedding coming up and our temple annual BBQ, which I have been helping to plan. Then the High Holidays begin. There's always something on the Google Calendar. Before I know it, the kids will be turning 1 and 5! So I continue to live up to the name, LilMisBUSY.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vanished Summer

Unbelievably, we're a week into August already. Tonight, my best friend from high school, Betsy, is staying with us. We first discussed these plans some six months ago, and I'm not sure how the night has arrived already.

This summer has been a drag. Between the issues with my heel and many other medical traumas in the lives of those around me, not much has happened in a carefree summer way. By the third week of the cast, it was becoming more and more difficult for me to get around with it. My body had adjusted to walking in strange ways, and when I finally got it removed, it took a while for me to trust my leg again. But just days later, I threw a wonderful surprise party for Julie's 30th birthday, and tried to temporarily forget my own pain. Unfortunately though, Julie then began dealing with health issues of her own, which brought a new degree of fear and worry into my life.

Just after that, we had the unexpected passing of Marc's grandmother. Instead of spending a weekend in Hartford relaxing with family and playing at the beach, it became a difficult weekend of emotion and exhaustion. And because of my never-reliable body reaching it's maximum stress-handling breaking point, I came down with an eye infection to boot.

And just so I don't neglect to mention it, we also had a draining doctor's appointment with Max, the result of which is that he will be getting outfitted for a helmet to be worn almost constantly to treat plageocephaly (his flat head) for about 3 months. And to think this was actually the least major thing we had to deal with!

So as the title suggests, this summer seems to have just vanished. We haven't done much, and have actually found it difficult to justify some outings with gas prices as they are. This weekend will be pretty low key too. Though low key, so long as there are no more medical crises, kind of sounds good.

I am trying to look forward to fall.