It is still cold and raw here in Boston and while we can see most of our grass, it’s still way too cold to toss the kids out the door in the morning to “explore their new yard.” But at this point in the winter (I refuse to acknowledge spring before we at least crack 50 on a regular basis), we’ve completely exhausted most feasible indoor distraction options that last long enough for one of us to finish a cup of coffee while it’s hot. We are desperate. Which explains how we ended up at the grocery store Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.
About four years ago, we stumbled on an Easter egg hunt in our local supermarket, of all places. That first one was a bit of a train wreck. No organization, a very late bunny appearance and a rather unprepared staff in general. So our expectations were very low, still, it was new and different and we hoped would capture the girls’ attention for at least 15 minutes.
We were therefor pleasantly surprised to find that while the crowds have gotten no bigger and the bunny is still terrifying to Ce, the logistics definitely had improved. The girls had a great time stuffing their faces with free mini donuts and then careening around (rather bewildered) customers pulling eggs off the shelves. Allison was genuinely confused at first but she’s very good at doing exactly as big sister does, so she managed to to figure it out pretty quick.
We followed it up by dying some eggs of our own. Not a bad Saturday morning after all.
Unlike last year’s more planned out shoot, this year’s was more spur of the moment – the kids are tearing apart the living room, let’s go outside to save our sanity – type of shoot. We took far less than last year (109 vs 376) but I think it turned out alright. That’s not to say they all turned out perfect. Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the card cut:
Stress was already high at our house with a potential move looming, so our nerves were pretty shredded even before the prospect of facing a screwed up bed time routine and sugar crashing children entered the picture. So we gritted our teeth and….were pleasantly surprised.
The alcohol def-con started the night at 4, but never inched higher. There were no costume mishaps, no spills, no tears, no boneless meltdowns. There was definitely some candy and hyperactivity, but it all crested and crashed to have both Elsa and Tink sleeping by nine. A veteran of five Halloweens now, I’ll take that.
[Note: Web gremlins threw a raging party on the servers where I host my little corner of the web and left things quite a mess. Now ask anyone with little kids, or just look at my lawn, squeaky screen door or busted bathroom ran, things don’t get fixed quickly with kids around. Just making it to 8 pm with your sanity is an accomplishment. So it took a month, but I’m back. Be prepared for a flood of hyperbole, sarcasm and cuteness in the next week until I catch up. On this blog it’s just a week or so after July 4th. Let’s say the 10th.]
The girls (and Dash) spent a solid five days around the fourth of July tiring out and terrorizing the grandparents at the beach house. Despite the amount of obsessive aftermath sweeping by Pop Pop (and obsessive pre-storm weather channel watching by GG), I don’t think many of the adults minded the forced respite that the dear old tropical storm (I did feel like an old friend by the time it arrived) forced on us. We actually made it through most of the day dry, but nightfall brought rain, a loss of power and lots of wind, but it was mostly sunny again by noon the following day and I’m not sure the girls even noticed. Sometimes I envy Ally’s three-second attention span.
For better and worse, Ally is much more independent this year. On the plus side: she sleeps through the night, she’s almost potty trained, she doesn’t think sand is a delicacy, she plays with her sister. On the negative side: she’ll wade into the water up to her neck without a care, she has an irrational fear of dark colored sand, she believes obsessively getting in and out of the pool is a delightful game. Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives. One afternoon, sitting in a beach chair, I watched the girls play together making a sand castle near the water’s
edge and had two sips of a beer. But soon, maybe next summer, I can envision having an entire beer before having to get out my chair to mitigate a dire shovel dispute or pull a hermit crab out of Allison’s mouth. The dream is so close.
Life with one child, never mind two (and a dog), is a never ending process of revising your to-do list in order to change a diaper, find a missing My Little Pony, create your own Frozen invitations because you refuse to pay black market prices or staying up late trying to soothe an ear infection.
Our lives the last month have been a storm of spring sickness (Ally & Mom), birthday parties (Cecilia), doctors appointments (Cecilia & Ally), holiday visiting, and futile attempts to disguise amoxicillin doses in apple sauce. I’ll spare you those photos and just share the cuteness (at least post-Easter mass) of the matching dresses and the egg hunt. We were not foolish enough to attempt any Easter bonnets.
On the hunt
Dash’s favorite activity
Important to check for holes
A gentle hug
I can still hold both of ’em
The two most common questions I’ve heard regarding our Christmas card this year where: Where did you take them? and How many shots did it take?
Where? For folks that live nearby, we took the photos on an early Sunday morning in November at Vine Lake Cemetary, mostly on the benches near the lake or on the big hill near the maintenance shed.
How many? A lot. It was pretty chilly that morning and it was after surviving church, so Cecilia was hungry and restless. Not an ideal mood to conjure holiday cheer. I kept my finger glued to the shutter for a half hour hoping to get something good with quantity over quality. It ended up working out. We shot 376 to get the 8 that we used.
Here are some of the outtakes: