Sunday, August 30, 2015

Playing Catch-Up

I'm officially a complete week behind.  I'm sorry.  When I last left off, we were in Maine visiting Elizabeth, Sean, Owen and my parents.  But we only spent a day there before heading back home to Massachusetts where we spent another day running errands before we left again for a weekend on Block Island.  Gordy and Georgia stayed home (Georgia had a lacrosse try-out) but we were still a party of five since Josie and Henry had friends join us.

The weekend was supposed to be lousy - the forecast for the island was rain, rain, and more rain.  Plus wind, thunder and a lightening storm or two.  I figured it would be a long weekend of entertaining bored children, but Block Island threw us a bone and the weather was glorious the entire three days.

The boys did their own thing, but the girls and I took advantage of the sun and went to the beach each day.

We also visited the Labyrinth - our first visit there this season.

We did have one overcast morning, so I took the kids to New Harbor to go crab "fishing."

Josie's friend was hesitant to bait her hook with squid, but once we helped her with that, she quickly became a pro.

It's only been a week, but I've already forgotten all that we did last weekend.  

I do remember that there was an afternoon of shopping with a quick stop to get Dells' Lemonade:

And the girls did play some game on the lawn that involved almost every toy from our storage closet:

The summer is coming to an end.  We have one more weekend to go on Block Island before we close for the season.  Henry's first day of school is only a few days away but the girls go back to school after Labor Day.  We did our big school supply shop last week and Georgia's soccer began two weeks ago.  

I'm sorry that summer is coming to a close, but that's only because it was such a fun one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Elizabeth, Sean, Owen and Dorothy were vacationing in Maine when we got back from Block Island, so the kids and I (plus Pippa Middleton) went up to visit them for the day.

There was much Owen play...

plus Granny and Grandfather had purchased a Slip N Slide which all the grandchildren enjoyed.

and of course there was a trip to the swimming hole.

Later in the afternoon, Josie allowed Owen to dress her up using clothes / accessories from Granny's costume box.

Half ballerina / half pirate.

This was Pippa Middleton's first day trip and she did very well.   She slept for most of the car ride and then acted very pleasantly towards Dorothy and Nellie (my parents' dog).  

She even managed to stay accident-free which is not surprising in that she's been almost-completely house-broken for months but at the same time, it is surprising since we've never owned a dog that didn't instantly christen my parents' carpet upon entering their house.  Especially when there are two other dogs wandering the house.

We stayed in Maine until after dinner and then headed back to Massachusetts.  Henry, Josie and I (along with two friends) went to Block Island for a long weekend just a few days later.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Sports Practice

All three of our children had summer sports homework this year.  Josie had to do thrice-weekly workout sessions for hockey.  She had to do planks, side planks, jump-roping, 10 minutes of stick handling and then puck shooting.  This regime did not end while we were on vacation on Block Island, either.  Gordy set up a "shooting wall" by using an old tarp, some boogie boards left by the previous owners and a good amount of rope.  

Josie wasn't a huge fan of the summer hockey homework, but she did it.  Even less of a fan of the hockey homework was me.  Gordy set up the shooting wall by an old raised garden in our yard and whenever Josie hit a wayward puck, I'd have to reach into the weed patch (full of stinging nettles) to find it.

Georgia also had summer sports work.  

She had soccer skills to practice and for that, we headed over to the Block Island playing fields on our bikes.

I rather enjoyed these moments as I love to ride my bike on Block Island and I'm a huge fan of the playing fields.

There is a lovely tent set up with bleacher seats and even a water cooler for hydration.

I enjoyed my book in the shade while Georgia kicked and headed.

And even though I never got any photos of him, Henry was busy daily with his own exercise regime.  Henry is contemplating playing basketball this year (for the first time ever) and he's been working daily on his shooting and his jumping.  He even purchased an on-line training routine that he's been following for about four weeks.  

I've been impressed with Henry's dedication and I'm equally impressed that he's so willing to try something completely new.  

Now that we are home, soccer has begun.  Georgia has twice-weekly practices and will add a third (skills practice) soon.  Josie begins hockey in the very near-future.  Henry has awhile to go before his hockey begins but he does start school before Labor Day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Doctor Is In

Now that my children are older, I don't often come across them playing imaginative games.  It's sad, really, because imaginative play previously made up about 50% of my blog (the other 40% was sport reporting with 10% spent complaining about carpools).

We had been home from Block Island for a couple of days, when I encountered the following sign in my stairwell:

You should know that we call our house "The Leaky Cauldron" because of the ice dams (and because we love Harry Potter).

At the top of the stairs were more signs:

And when I got to Josie's room, there was the doctor herself!

The office was open, so I was able to walk in and check out the facilities.

Dr. Josie had set up a (non-working) computer and phone.

She had an exam room set up on her bed, complete with eye chart.

The only thing she needed were patients.

I didn't get any photos of the severely bloodied Georgia who showed up for stitches or the ill Gordy who had general malaise - there is such a thing as patient privacy.

Geesh, people!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Paddle Boarding on Block Island

One of the activities that my friend Nara and her children wanted to do on Block Island was to try paddle boarding.

We got delayed a few times - first when all the paddle boards were taken out by a couple of large parties and again when the weather was too windy.

On our third attempt, we had success.

The girls split up into two teams - one older sister and one younger sister per board.

I stayed on dry land, so I got photos as they left and then I followed them to a bridge, where I was able to snap some photos of them in real nature.

They all loved the paddle boarding - especially once they cruised into deeper water and they could knock each other off their boards and do some swimming.

This was our first time paddle boarding on Block Island.  The kids had briefly tried paddle boarding when we visited friends on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

This adventure was such a hit that the following weekend, the Elliot girls convinced Gordy to take them out again (this time with Georgia's friend, D).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Block Island 2015

We just got back from three glorious weeks on Block Island.  We had a wonderful time, beautiful weather and this year, we had the added bonus of visiting friends.  

Gordy left after the first week (and Georgia went home with him to attend a soccer program).  Pippa Middleton attempted to keep them both from leaving:

It didn't work.  Maybe next year, Pippa, when you are bigger.

While they were gone, Henry and Josie and I went to the Block Island Fire Department Bingo night which was super-funny and highly entertaining.

That week, we also got a visit from my friend Nara and her family.

And while they were at the house, we celebrated her daughter's birthday.

Nara and I went to college together and then once we graduated, we spent many a crazy day/evening together in New York City and Washington, DC.  Nara met her husband a few months before I met Gordy and the four of us (along with another college friend, Tara - hello, Tara! and Gordy's roommate, Aaron - hello, Aaron!) spent our mid-twenties (how should I put this....) "enjoying our youth."

We are all old people now, old people with children, although you'd never know that from looking at these photos.

Now THIS photo (below), is more honest about how much we've aged:

Oldies.  On the porch.

I'm so happy that our kids got along with Nara's daughters.  They bonded quickly and easily just like their mothers did.

I wasn't the only person who had friends come to visit.   Georgia's friend D came to visit us and Henry had his two friends at the beginning of the summer and of course, his friend Sam spent the first week with us.  We also had our friends the Ms and the Ks at the beginning of the summer.  I really enjoyed entertaining and sharing the island that we love.

Having friends around really made the vacation special.

Leaving Block Island today was really hard.  I will miss everything about the house, the beach, the island and especially having so many visitors.

I was tempted to follow Pippa Middleton's lead and hide when the ferry arrived this morning, but I didn't.

We do have two more trips to the island planned this summer.  Josie's friend is coming for a weekend and my parents are coming to stay as well.  

I'm going to get the most out of this summer as I can.

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