seven months. (and 11 days).

hazel hit the seven month milestone a week and a half ago.
i took some pictures.
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it’s getting harder. she never stops moving.
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she’s full all out crawling. and pulling up. and starting to cruise. she loves to get into the dog food. and dump the full bowl of dog water. and pull books off the shelf. and all of the diapers out of the basket. she is an avid fan of knocking down towers. and knee bouncing to rhymes. she likes to make kiss faces. and tongue clicking sounds. and most of all, she enjoys eating legos.
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she’s not a fan of the car seat. or the other two kids always trying to hold her in one place. or sleeping. she’s still the world’s worst sleeper. nights are usually ok (although the last four have been rocky). naps are horrible. i’m lucky to get 45 minutes. we’re still taking three or four (sometimes only two) 30 minute power naps a day. it’s pretty much miserable.
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hazel has just started putting in her pacifier on her own. i assume this correlates to her ability to stealthily put legos into her mouth. and puffs. and tiny bits of food. or dog fur. still no teeth. i don’t mind a gummy baby smile, though.
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this girl is feisty and outspoken. just like the other two.
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time is flying by.
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lid kid everyday life ,

random summer happenings.

other than our beach trip and our ny trip, we haven’t been doing much this summer. it’s way harder to do things with the treacherous trio that i had ever imagined. i think their age difference plays into that. but, mostly, we just hang out around the house and such. here’s a photo filled post to prove it.

girl bath time. (hazel is pretty much done with sink baths because she tries to kill herself the entire time).
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lucy bath time. (derek’s parents were keeping her while we were in NY, so i wanted her fresh and clean for them).
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crazy reader.
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keeping it classy.
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garden harvest.
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my friend angie got a new puppy. we raced over to visit her. anna was in heaven. if i weren’t already on the brink of insanity, i would almost want to get a puppy.
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stair climber. (we put a gate up approximately 14 seconds after this picture).
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so. i spend time and money on gardens and herbs and such on the deck. and they all die. and i swear i’ll never do it again. and then. you know. parsley and pretty flowers just randomly grow wherever they feel like.
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example of time/money being wasted. my artichoke plant seems to have been overtaken by some tiny little black bug. i’ve left it for now. we’ll see what happens.
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i haven’t posted much anna art lately. but, here’s one fun drawing she made. she tells me that it’s a picture of lucy with her standing behind lucy and also with her pretending to be lucy.
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tomato ripening.
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derek’s grampa had a 95th birthday. and party. and a photographer was hired. and all of the kids, grandkids and great grandkids were there. in blue shirts. and it was hot. and we hopefully managed a decent pic or two. i think we attempted every permutation of people possible. like a wedding.
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lid kids and cousins.
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great grand kids and paw paw.
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the cake had to wait until after picture time. anna scooted right up with paw paw.
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the jumperoo makes hazel fall asleep. everytime. sometimes i take her out and lie her down. sometimes i leave her. if i leave her, when she wakes up, she immediately starts jumping again.
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we haven’t had the chickens out much since tina fey died was violently murdered by our idiot dog. but anna loves them so much, so we’ve been letting her get one or two out to play. our new favorite is chickensarahpowers.
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more jumperoo sleeping.
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remember that thing about hazel being done with sink baths. here’s the photo evidence of her craziness.
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she wanted all of the veggies to join her.
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ritz cracker.
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happy girl about to play with all of the play doh colors.
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so…
that doesn’t get me fully updated because there’s a zillion pictures on my phone.
and approximately 1/2 of them are of isaac’s floor, taken by anna.

anyhooooo…
that’s all.
we are so boring.

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july 4th and our last day in batavia.

so, in batavia, on the fourth of july, there’s an extravaganza in centennial park all afternoon. i haven’t been to it in years upon years, but this year, we decided to give it a go.

i totally should have taken a panoramic shot of all of the festivities. there’s music. and crafty vendors. bounce houses. food stands. balloons. dunk booths. petting zoo. and so many batavians.
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my kids wanted to do the bounce obstacle course immediately. so we did.
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then, anna got her nails painted, while isaac went to the balloon “animal” line. and then it was eating time. i opted for italian sausage, obviously.
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hazel begrudgingly sat with my sister julie.
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anna with new gramma.
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julie and scott are the coolest.
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after the picnic in the park, we headed back to the lake and resumed lake type activities. fishing. eating more foods. swimming. etcetera.

derek (or maybe isaac) caught a catfish. so much excitement.
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all of the fisherfolk.
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julie, the sparkler unibomber.
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anna. sparkler. grampa terry.
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anyhooo. we barely made it to the fireworks. and didn’t make it all the way through them. hazel melted down. anna was tired. isaac was only mildly interested. and i didn’t get any good iphone pics. not that anyone needs to see firework pictures. you can google it.

we spent our last day, packing and cramming in some more eating and swimming. firstly, we went to the pok-a-dot again. mmmmm.
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more beef on weck, gravy fries and root beer.
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then. swimming at the beach.
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these two got along surprisingly well.
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and then. well. more eating. dinner at bourbon and burger. so good. all the menu items are burgers. and the toppings are ridiculous. one has chicken tenders and ham. one is served between two grilled cheeses (and has a ton of other toppings too). one has pot roast on it. you get the idea.
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mine was the styx burger. it had cheese sticks and marinara on it.
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i capped off my visit with a night out with some friends. we went to center street smokehouse, where you can go upstairs and out onto a roof, facing jackson square. which just happened to be home to “the ramble” where a bunch of local bands come to play 45 minute sets all day long. we caught the end of it. my view.
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the friends. tepedino twins and courtney jackett. fun.
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and then.
the ride home.
misery.
there was this:
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and hazel was horrible.
and the older two argued.
and had to go to the bathroom every three minutes.
we stopped about 10 times. seriously.
and the drive took 13.5 hours total. about 4 more than google maps said it would.

bleh.

anyhow…. that’s it for the trip.
see you in 2015, batavia. maybe.

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taughannock falls.

i have a friend named mary.
she was my camp counselor at ymca camp arthur g. hough. (aka: the most magical place in the universe).
she was also a friend of my uncle, who isn’t all that much older than me, now that we are in our 30′s and 40′s.
and. she was a substitute teacher and cheerleading coach while i was in high school.
oh. and now she’s related to me by marriage. her cousin married my cousin. as is the norm in batavia.

anyhow. we’ve stayed in touch somewhat all these years and many times when i visit batavia, she hauls her people up from ithaca to hang for a bit. well, this time, i decided that we should head her way. she recommended a terrific hiking spot, so we loaded up and headed to meet her on july 3rd.

we met at the top of taughannock falls, which is just north of ithaca on cayuga lake. (a finger lake). the view was amazing.
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mary snapped this family pic for us, but it was a bit dark, so i’ve used my expert photo retouching skills to completely wash it out for you…
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mary and her girls.
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we drove to the bottom of the falls and parked and sunblocked and strapped babies to moms and all that good stuff and hiked in. and by hiked, i mean, walked leisurely along a gravel path that runs adjacent to the creek from the falls.

you can’t actually swim at the bottom of the falls because apparently sometimes large hunks of rock fall off. which was fine with me. i like me and my kids to be unsmooshed by rocks. but, we got close enough to be amazed.

this pic is from the bridge that, if you look closely, you can see in the first picture taken from the scenic overlook.
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we walked a little further in. isaac, obviously had to walk on the wall, preferring the most dangerous mode of getting there.
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then a family pic.
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and a mom pic.
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after gazing upon nature’s wonders, it was time to hop into the stream. hazel loved it.
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seriously. even though it was ice cold.
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rock eater.
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derek walked back along the trail, while the rest of us attempted to hike back in the creek. it was quite treacherous. the rocks below are either super slippery or super jagged and sharp. and the best was when the slippery rocks guided you right along into some jagged and sharp rocks. my feet were battered when all was said and done. and isaac was short one pair of $2.50 old navy flip flops.
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my mom mostly handled anna duty, because at first, i attempted to have hazel in the carrier. bad plan. i don’t know how i didn’t fall while i had her, but at the first point where i could hand her off to derek, i did.
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there were some spots that were deep enough to swim, so we would have to stop and wait for isaac and anna to get their swim on.
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they had a lot of fun.
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when we got back and changed into dry clothes, we drove over to a little snack shack near the lake. and we could see a giant cloud of gray and rain rolling over the lake. and just as we got our food, the sky opened up on us. we waited it out, and then followed mary into ithaca. we had hoped to visit her house for a bit, but traffic was horrible, so we just wound up stopping at purity for ice cream. go figure.

rainbow sherbet in a sprinkle waffle cone.
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mary and her girls and one of my girls.
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and. the other side of the table.
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then we made the two hour journey home. and another vacation day was in the books.

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batavia friends and family day.

i’ve lost track of the days.
the day i’m about to blog about is a day that we just hung around batavia mostly.

for lunch, we picked up subs from south side deli and then snatched my gramps up from the VA hospital and took him to aunt eleanor’s for a little outdoor picnic. the weather was perfect. in my head, i had visions of my childhood, when a zillion relatives would be frolicking about between my aunt eleanor’s and my great gramma’s houses. but, it was a decidedly sadder version of those old family gatherings.

we settled my gramps into a chair under a tree and i handed off hazel for their first official meeting.
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we then spent the next little while getting my uncle ray out of the house and into his chair. it made me sad. a year and a half ago, he was super sharp and getting around great. he’s gone downhill fast. anyhow. between getting my kids fed and helping with uncle ray and such, i don’t have any other pics.

i did go on a little stroll around the yard and take some pics of the surrounding scenery for posterity. there’s a few massive trees scattered around the two yards, but this one is the biggest. it’s quite amazing.
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(that’s a collapsed barn in the back. we were never allowed to play in it because there was always worry that it would collapse. it finally happened this year. we totally could have played in it after all.)

their yard is surrounded by miles and miles of farm land. this year, the crop is cabbage. which casts a distinct and slightly unpleasant (but a bit nostalgic) aroma about the place.
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so much cabbage. those are black walnut trees. nothing like stepping on a black walnut with barefeet as you run through the yard unsuspectingly.
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across the street, there are some cows. i took the kids over for a visit. they were skeptical of the audience.
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kids and cows.
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after a bit, we loaded up my gramps and dropped him back at the nursing home.

that evening, we caught up with some old pals from my high school and college years. the tepedino twins. we played a lot of softball together. and their dad was one of our coaches. they had their posse of kids and i had mine. and they picked up running around right where we left off years ago.
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see saw. teeter totter. whatever.
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while the kids wrestled and ran and such, the twins and i made plans for a big party night out in batavia.
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and then. on the way home. well. you know.

lickity splits and more ice cream.
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oh my gosh. how many more days are left already???

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food and friends. batavia and williamsville.

we continued our western new york eating tour by hitting up the pok-a-dot for some beef on weck and gravy fries. (for newer readers of this blog, my gramma, mom and i all worked at the pok-a-dot. a lot of memories. and old friendly faces. i think it’s a national treasure. no? it should be.)
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beef on weck. gravy fries. frosted root beer mug.
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the timing of our pok-a-dot trip was intentional. knowing that we would leave with a distinct “deep fried” scent, we planned for a time when we’d be swimming shortly afterwards. my friend julie and her isaac and anna and abigail met us for some beach swimming.

anna immediately got to work digging up the brand new sand.
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hazel. always a fan of sand and water.
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heart.
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sand eater.
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i don’t know what we did the rest of the day. because it’s not documented by photo and the week is a blur. the next pic i own is of these chicken wings. which was what we had for lunch the next day… at paulie’s pizza.
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anna even had her first wing. she’s a fan. but only of the skin. i mean, who isn’t?
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outside of paulie’s there’s a giant thomas the train mural. it’s actually one of many murals all over batavia. it’s pretty cool, actually, considering it’s batavia.
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in the afternoon, we drove to buffalo (williamsville to be precise), to visit our old north carolina friends, the browns. you might remember i kept the girls some before hazel arrived. well, they moved back to buffalo and we miss them, but we are thankful we still get to see them once in awhile.

we walked to a local park and wading pool. (so nice. to be able to walk to things.)
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then we walked to sorrentino’s for delicious italian fare.
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i went with the chicken finger sub.
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this kid’s face. i love it.
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we also ran into some other nc folks while dining. micah and jude were on an anniversary date in buffalo and happened to be nearby. they met up with us at the restaurant for a bit. and then we all strolled around williamsville for a bit.

you know. like to this waterfall.
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photo op with our pals. it’s almost perfect except for sadie being tucked behind derek. if you look closely, you can see her peeking out.
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i think isaac and annie will have a lifelong love/hate relationship.
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hazel.
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some creek wading. my classy girl, holding up her dress so it doesn’t get wet.
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more walking. williamsville is delightful.
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our final stop was to a cute little ice cream and candy shop that i wish i took more pictures of. there was a piano outside. these aspiring musicians didn’t miss the opportunity to bang out some noise.
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playing so nicely together. a rarity.
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lastly. a pic of the older kids with their ice creams.
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and that was that for days three and four. i think.

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hazel’s first trip to batavia. part one.

i’m only now just recovering from our trip to ny. we got home nine days ago. it was super busy. and i barely slept. and never slept well. and the travels were misery. but, we had lots of fun and adventures.

we loaded up and left on a friday afternoon after derek finished a test at work. thankfully, the kids were in vbs all week in the mornings and i was able to unpack and recover from the beach and repack and prepare for this trip without the two arguing siblings underfoot.

hazel started off the trip on the right foot. but, that would soon change…
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she was miserable. i climbed to the back of the van about 20 times. i would get everyone situated. and think i had a moment to rest. and then, the screaming would begin again. hazel is a girl on the go and being strapped into the carseat is torturous for her. the kids all finally fell asleep before 11 pm and we finished out the trip in relative peace. i tried to get some sleep, because no matter what time we go to sleep at our house, the kids are up at 630. and with the excitement of vacation, it would probably be earlier. we rolled in around 2 am.

and i was right. we were up and at ‘em at the crack of dawn. and before 9 am, isaac loaded up the pedal boat.
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and then took a spin on the boat with grampa terry.
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and dad.
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and capped it all off with a swim.
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we laid low all day. visited aunt eleanor and uncle ray. shopped for groceries and such. and then got back to swimming. anna hopped in with new gramma while zeke stood watch. (and barked at my mom incessantly).
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finally, we put the last of the lidkids in, necessitating my participation. and got this grainy shot of me and all the little people bobbing around the lake.
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and after the swims, our first of many trips to lickity splits for delicious perry’s ice cream. except derek who just got this massive “medium” dipped soft serve cone.
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i went with oregon blackberry cheesecake. (everytime). and hazel helped me. (everytime).
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acquiring ice cream tastes was serious business for this baby.
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intense.
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ike and his superhero flavor.
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anna and her superhero flavor.
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day two. isaac talked jake into taking him on a boat ride.
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anna joined in the fun.
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the older kids and i made our yearly visit to northside deli for slush puppies.
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while we were out and about, jake was busy graduating high school. which is totally crazy.
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and apparently super tiring.
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and then there was a small graduation party for the last of deb and ter’s six kids. with lots of delicious foods.
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this concludes my post for days one and two in batavia new york. hopefully, i can get the next post up in under nine days. :)

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no dads allowed beach trip. day six.

on our last day, we were decidedly beached out.
i had no desire to march everyone out there just to have them whining the whole time and then come back in and desand all of them. so. to the pool we went.

i didn’t take many pics, because i was mostly in the pool. there was a little girl there that was being soooo mean to our kids. splashing them. hanging onto the inner tubes while they attempted to float around. pushing the inner tubes away when they were trying to jump into them. and then just plain stealing the inner tubes. i even had to fight with her to get a the tubes back three or four times. she insisted it was “her turn” despite how many times i informed her that they were MY inner tubes and only MY kids would get turns. her parents were blissfully sun bathing at the other end of the pool as we dealt with their little evil spawn. :)

anyways. when we weren’t fighting for the inner tubes, anna was happily floating around in the pink one.
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and isaac hopping around in the blue.
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we went back to the room for a lunch buffet of all of our foods because i was not interested in bringing any home.

then, isaac and alden spent the afternoon playing ipads and kindles and various electronic devices.
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and hazel napped.
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i spent most of the afternoon packing and planning for the trip home. we went to chick fil a for dinner with steph and kaylin. we tried to get the kids to go to a more fun place to eat, but they desperately wanted chick fil a and cried at the possibility of not having it. so, chick fil a it was. isaac ate 14 nuggets and 2 orders of fries. hungry swimmer boy.

in the cool evening, i loaded up the van. (we were on the third floor and there was no elevator. did i already mention that? well, going down was better than coming up, but i still much preferred it to be cool). the kids went to bed. and i finished getting us ready to make a fast exit in the morning.

on the trip home, disaster struck.

hazel was losing it in the back seat for approximately 30 minutes before we got to the RDU airport to drop off chris and her kids. then, i made a wrong turn leaving the airport, so by the time i got back on our route, we had passed all the easy food options. hazel was still screaming like crazy and i was getting flustered. finally about 15 minutes down the road we pulled over to eat.

and i looked at my phone.
and chris had called 5 times.
she left her wallet in my car.

at that point, i had a nervous breakdown. i tried to console hazel a bit, before putting her back into the carseat and heading back to the airport. she immediately began screaming again. kids were arguing about ipad. and hungry.

i called derek.
i got to the car rental place.
returned wallet.
departed.
made a different wrong turn out of the airport.
and by the time i was back on 40, thankfully, hazel was asleep. i gave the kids some snacks and kept driving. there’s no stopping with a sleeping baby.

anyhooooo….
i called derek after a bit and told him we were fine and making good progress and that my nervous breakdown had subsided. at that point, he informed me that he was behind me a few miles. when i was super stressed, he had hopped in his car and headed towards me. he watched on an app on our phones and then turned around and followed me. when we finally stopped to eat, he surprised the kids, and traded cars with me.

and i drove the last 45 minutes in an eerily silent car.
and met my posse at home.
the end.

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no dads allowed beach trip. day five.

day five.
back to the beach.

for some reason (anna playing with my phone), i took a bunch of pictures in black and white before i noticed. it’s really hard to see your screen at the beach. so you just take lots of pics of random blobs and hope for the best. :)

hazel fell asleep on the way out again (yes!), so i just snapped a bunch of pics of the kids while i awaited her awakening.

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then hazel woke up and anna insisted on taking a picture with her.
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i plopped her down by the water and she just chilled. and passers by looked on curiously, at first thinking she was the worlds cutest beach baby and then wondering where her parents were. hahahahah.
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more anna and isaac and ocean…
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later in the afternoon, natalie came by to see if anna wanted to come hang out for the evening. she had dinner with the teen girls and then they went to the pool. after some pool time, some of the big kids played soccer, while anna looked on. natalie took some great shots of her.
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only one more day left…

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no dads allowed beach trip. day four.

ok. after our horrible day.
then our “off campus” day.
we were ready to try the beach again.
and the results were extraordinary.

firstly. the kids were well rested and happy.
then, hazel fell asleep in the carrier on the way. so, i was able to just set our stuff down and take a seat, while my kids played. stephanie snapped a pic of my sleeping beauty.
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this time, anna’s bff natalie was at the beach. she helped anna and the other little people build a sandcastle. she’s the best.
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isaac worked hard on his own castle.
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cute anna pic.
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i thought this picture was funny. the sandcastle building posse.
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when hazel woke up, she hammed it up for everyone. she kept making this goofy smile. not sure if it was because she loved the beach so much or because we were all laughing and she was trying to entertain us.
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seriously. she’s goofy.
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anna. frolicking.
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anna played really well with her friend kaylin all week. the loved splashing around in the little waves.
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most of our posse.
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after being out there for a good stretch, anna called it a day.
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natalie’s mom (heather) took some great pics of anna and nat…

this is a super duper cute shot of the anna beach bum.
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silly girls.
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natalie was so good with all the little people.
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and this super cute shot of nat and anna. heart.
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after our beach morning, we headed out to lunch at a mexican restaurant with steph and kaylin. i was stuffed. and then. i’m not really sure what we did for the rest of the evening, because i have no pictures to document it.

the end.

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