Half Way to School Days

The days are just FLYING by here and I cannot believe that summer is halfway over.  Luckily, last weekend we were able to sneak away from the daily monotony of naps and house work to spend a few days ocean-side at Hershey's family's beach house.  It's so weird to be able to sit down and read a book without having to worry about what room should be painted or cleaned or organized or where I should be taking the girls to wear down their TIRELESS and BOTTOMLESS pits of energy.  I finally got to finish a book that I've been trying to read since DECEMBER, and if you know me, that's a REALLY LONG ASS TIME.

On Wednesday, we packed the truck from top to bottom and threw the girls into their car seats right before their morning nap.  We were on the road by 10:30, but Jane and Emma just weren't feelin their morning nap in their car seats.  They full out lost their shit for about 3/4 of the ride, despite how many Puffs, sippies and songs we stuffed them with.

By the time we got to the house (a 2.5 hour drive), everyone was ready to be OUT.  Hershey unpacked the car while I got the girls into their porch swings and worked on filling up the little pool.  The result was happy toddlers (finally).

The next day was super overcast and muggy, so we decided to trek to the Cape May County Zoo.  We figured no one would be there since it was such a crappy day.  Boy, were we wrong!  There was a line to get in, we could barely move, the whole place was smelly, and the animals were all sleeping.  Plus, the girls were less interested in the animals and more interested in playing with the other little kids and running away from us.  We stayed for about an hour and headed back home for nap time.

On Friday, we packed the girls up early and headed to the beach for lunch.  We got a full 2.5 hours in on the beach!  I'm telling you, packing a lunch and taking them up right after their morning nap is the way to go.  They did great until the last 20 minutes when Jane fell and smacked her head on the wagon and then spent the entire walk home trying to stand up in the wagon as Emma threw every toy that we brought with us onto the street.  

That night, Hershey's parents arrived.  That meant much-needed extra sets of hands to help with the girls, who were running around ripping books, smearing milk on the windows, and banging their heads on everything and anything they could.  Emma has also learned how to take outlet protectors out of the outlets, and gave us all a run for our money sticking her fingers in sockets.

Saturday, we headed up to the beach again, despite some imposing looking clouds on the horizon.  We got about half an hour in before the rain started.  Janey stormed the beach while Emmy splashed in the tidal pools.  I love watching their little faces as they run, without abandon, arms outstretched, towards the ocean like it's the best thing they've ever seen because it is.  

Day 5, the A/C decided it didn't want to work anymore.  It was about 83 degrees in the house, and Jane and Emma were all about NOT napping.  We decided to take them for a little boat ride to try to distract them and to get them out of the heat for a little while.  That was a total BUST, but they enjoyed the first 10 minutes!

(I got the girls' life jackets here.  When taking them on a boat, the life jackets MUST be Coast Guard Certified.)

Unfortunately, because of the heat, we were forced to leave prematurely after a 25 minute afternoon nap fiasco.

All in all, it was a good 5 days.  The girls had fun, it was a good change of scenery, but I think we were all happy to be back to our familiar home.  Jane and Emma ran in the house as soon as we got here and petted the cats, unloaded their book shelves, and leaped into their high chairs for dinner.  And once we put them to bed, Hershey and I got to work unpacking and moving BACK into our home.   

We will be here for 2 more weeks and then we are headed back to try for a 10 day vacation before going back to the grind.  I have a few things to share with you, including a couple of DIY projects that I've been working on and a home tour (FINALLY!!!). 

How are you all enjoying your summer?  What will you be doing with the remaining month of sunny days?

Happy Hump Day!

And also a BIG Happy Birthday to one of my very best friends in the world (and the mother of the best godson in the world), Jenny!  Love you girl!



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Bad Day to be a Clam

A few years ago, I stumbled into a very informal clambake at a restaurant and always thought it would be fun to have one in a backyard during the summer.  Well, Baby made my dreams come true, and yesterday we hosted our first clambake. 

We ordered 500 littleneck clams, 4 dozen blue claw crabs, and 4 pounds of shrimp, and got to work!  I found a really easy recipe on Pinterest, whipped up a batch of spiked lemonade, and about 25 of our closest friends and their kids all gathered at our abode for a day of games, chatting, napping, and NOMMING!

I even got to sneak in some clams and fun, myself!

(Photos courtesy of my amazing friend, Krystle)

Jane and Emma had the TIME of their little LIVES!  Janey hammed it up and flirted with EVERYONE...

While Emmy rummaged through everyone's belongings, and even got into the adult beverage stash!

It was awesome to have everyone at our place, relaxing, knowing that all of the kiddies were not only entertained, but 100% cared for and watched after.  

And we FINALLY were able to get a shot of the kids all together right before adult time ensued.  Ryan was the only one who was so pooped out by all of the excitement that he couldn't stay awake, so it turned into a chick pic (plus little Luke in Lindsay's belly and Baby G in Alie's!).  These girls were ready to PARRTTYYY!

Once the kids went to Sleepytown (we literally packed kids into almost every room in the house and then all ran outside!), we had some serious adult fun time.  Trust me, when you get four babies and one 4 year old to bed all at the same time in the same house, that's enough reason to party in and of itself.

Thank goodness that I have a very patient husband who is always willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that my every whim is made a reality.  He slaved over that grill all day making burgers and hot dogs for all of our guests.  When we finally rolled into bed at 2:30 a.m., my best friend and her family snuggled together in the basement, every bone in my body hurt, right down to my toes.  

And that, my friends, is how you know that you had a damn good time.

What other kinds of fun parties are you throwing this summer?

Hope you all have a great week!


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Because I'm HAPPYYYY...

In life, it is so important to have people by your side to bear witness.  Many people have touched my life while passing through, but there are only a select few who have known me through good and bad and thick and thin, and I am so lucky to call those people my friends -- no, my family. 

The part that makes me seriously Happy-Like-Pharell is that my kids get to have awesome friends just like mine.  And I know that because my friends all have kids who are the same age as my kids.  

This post is dedicated to my family -- my friends who have become my sisters and my brothers.  People who are not tied to me by blood, but who have stuck by my side through some really great and really tragic times in my life regardless.  Growing up and moving around so much as an only child was lonely, so I am so unbelievably grateful to know that my daughters not only have a home to grow up in now, but also a  built in network of friends who will always just be a phone call away.  People who they can share stories with and who they can roll their eyes at their cray-cray parents with.  

It is so much fun to watch Jane and Emma forming this bond with their friends already, even at this young age.  But the most fun part is to stand beside my best friends, my sistahs-from-another-mistahs, and watch our children together.  To hold each other's kids.  To watch my kids form bonds with these people who I have grown to love so incredibly much.  I could not survive this life without them, and Jane and Emma are so blessed to have them in their little lives.

Get ready for cuteness overload...

This weekend we are hosting our first ever clam bake with our familyfriends.  Pray for me.  

Hope you all had a great weekend, and cheers to it almost being the weekend!


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