Look who's got a collar and tag, finally! Sophie has developed into a full blown escape artist, with occasional assistance from certain children who maybe hold the front door open longer than they should. Ahem. They will remain nameless. Anyhow, we still want her to be an indoor cat, but I figured a collar and tag with our phone number couldn't be a bad idea. Sophie, however, disagreed.
I bought a collar, one of those snazzy break-away numbers, and it was gone in less than an hour. So I bought another, this time one with an elastic section designed to let her slip out if it gets caught on something. And it lasted two hours. So here's collar number three. It's a plain old fashioned nylon collar without any bells, whistles, or safety gadgets. And it's been a full day and she hasn't gotten it off. I win! (Momentarily.)
Ellie's in summer camp for the next couple of weeks and she's super excited to get to go on field trip/adventures. Her first one was today, and she spent all morning pointing out to Gabe that she was going on an ADVENTURE while Gabe was just going to run ERRANDS with mom and ADVENTURES are fun and exciting, and ERRANDS are not. Way to rub it in, kid.
So...the first half of Gabe's morning looked like this:
Yep, not exciting at all - although the very real possibility of my water breaking while I try to load all that crap into the car added a certain sense of danger.
On the way home we were stopped at a red light and Gabe noticed a trail on the side of the road. He immediately asked if I could stop the car and we could go on an adventure. Sure kid...in a few short weeks your world is going to be totally rocked by the arrival of your baby sister. You want to stop and walk on a trail for a bit? You got it.
So the second half of his morning looked like this:
We picked fresh raspberries, saw the "biggest rock EVER," and had a grand old adventure. This kid rocks.
We're almost ready for Baby Girl's arrival....as ready as anyone can be really. And I'm psyched to have an almost finished nursery! It's almost finished, because really, when is anything ever actually done? But I'm not allowing myself to stress over the remaining details, so it's done as done needs to be.
The view from the upstairs hallway. It just makes me so happy to see pictures on the wall. Maybe now I'll actually motivate to hang some art in Ellie and Gabe's room.
The crib used to belong to our neighbors, and we're borrowing the nursing chair from Todd and Bess. Seriously, the room would be empty if it weren't for our friends. We're so lucky.
The dresser is a "hack" of our old Ikea Hemnes dresser, inspired by this one. I'm happy we changed it up, since the all black dresser felt too dark in this room. And the TV is only here to help me through the first sleepless weeks. After that it'll go back in the guest room and we'll put some book/toy storage in that corner.
The Peter Rabbit art is actually a floor puzzle I found at a local consignment store. I just duct taped it together on the back. Instant nursery art!
Ahhh, will anyone let the pigeon drive the Godforsaken bus?!?! Ellie actually ripped these pages out of our book almost two years ago. I salvaged the pictures I could, framed them with some old frames I had lying around and then never actually hung them up. Oops. I'm so glad they finally found a home.
Anyone recognize the chuppah I made for our wedding? I always wanted to hang it above Ellie's crib when she was born, but the angled ceiling in her nursery-nook made it really challenging. So it's just been folded up in the bottom of a chest for the last ten years. As Brian always feels the need to point out, those are some massive doves. I didn't want to cut it or anything, so it's just folded and taped, and hung from some foamcore...someday I'll get it properly cleaned and shadowbox it. I'd like to keep it nice in case any of the kids have any interest in getting married under it. A girl can dream.
So that's it! When Baby Girl finally shows up she'll have a place to sleep. Phew!
I have a long-standing tradition of calling something a tradition even if I've only done it once. So, in that spirit, I continued the tradition I started with Ellie and made a mobile for Baby Girl. Poor Gabe didn't get his own handmade mobile, but had to make do with his sister's. Such is the lot of the middle child.
I was inspired by this project, that I found by googling DIY baby mobile or some such nonsense. Essentially I just wrapped two embroidery hoops with jute, and glued scrapbook paper wings to clothespins. I had the balance perfect at one point, but now that it's actually hanging in the nursery it needs some adjustment. Oh well, that's for another day.
In a further effort to distract me from obsessing over the number of days/hours/minutes until Baby Girl arrives, we piled everyone on the boat yesterday. And it was a beautiful calm day, and I only had to ask Brian to "please slow down!" one time. All in all a total success...
Todd and Bess joined us and we had dinner at the marina in Haverstraw. Coincidentally, my friend Rene found herself stuck in Peekskill so we met up with her and her friends and ended up giving them a sunset cruise ride back to Tarrytown. A perfect day? Possibly. It makes me so happy that the kids will grow up thinking of the Hudson as part of their world they can explore, instead of just something pretty to look at.
The only downside is that Gabe seems to be picking up on my boat nervousness. He used to beg Brian to "go faster" but now he wants to sit on my lap and whines when we hit some waves. I think he needs to get on the boat a few more times without me and rediscover his boat-joy. And as Amy pointed out, I almost look like I'm enjoying myself in these pictures. Progress.
We're just a few weeks out (hopefully!) from Baby Girl's arrival, and I'm coping the way I always do when things feel vaguely out of control - by making lists. There's currently a grocery list, a cleaning supplies list, a list of vegetables in the refrigerator so I don't forget about them and let them fester into a gooey slop, a nursery completion list, and a list of baby items that remain to be purchased or found in our basement storage room. Did we throw away all the baby bottles after Gabe was done with them? Or are they in a box in the basment room of doom? Who the heck knows....
Anyhow, poor Brian can't keep up with what list is what, so this is what I found yesterday.
Check out these crazy monkeys - straight from Colorado! We only got them for one night while they roadtripped their way to Cape Cod, but we'll take what we can get. And they took us on our first treasure hunt/geocache expedition. I never really understood how that whole thing worked, so it was cool to have the pros teach us the ropes. The kids were big fans. My favorite part, though, was watching Gabe and Owen giggle and wrestle like a couple of drunken puppies. They were awesome.
What a sweet fluke of the calendar that the 4th of July was on a Friday this year. That meant a half day of work for Brian on Thursday, followed by a three day weekend. It felt like a real mini-vacation. We had hoped to watch the fireworks from the boat on Friday night, but the water was a little too rough for it to be enjoyable (Read: I was fricking terrified.). So we improvised on the banks of the Hudson, and had a great view of Nyack's, Tarrytown's, and a third mystery location's show. It was a ridiculously late night for the kids, but you can't blow off fireworks!
Saturday we took the kids on a mini-hike around Swan Lake at Rockfeller Preserve. It's a mile of completely flat carriage roads, and Gabe spent the entire time complaining that he was thirsty. Oh well, we'll turn him into an outdoorsman yet.
He did perk up for lunch at a local diner, where the waitress claimed a Leprachaun had dropped off clover stickers for good boys and girls.
The river was nice and smooth on Sunday so we hooked up with the neighbors and went for an afternoon cruise. I'm still a little nervous on the boat, but we're working on it.
We spent last weekend in Vermont with Meme, and got to spend a little time with Jeremy, Ashley, Dylan, and Sophie at the Wilmington House. These two are clearly up to no good.
I was nervous being up there for the first time since Dad passed away, but in the end it felt good. Good to be there with Kathy, good to see the house without all the medical equipment and reminders of my Dad's pain, and good to just all be together, remembering and smiling. We do miss him like crazy.
And just like that, pre-K is over. Tomorrow is Ellie's class picnic and performance at a local park. She's been singing the songs around the house for weeks now. It should be, um, interesting. When do kids develop a sense of pitch?
Here's E on the first day of pre-K, and the last. Sunrise...sunset. I made cookies to celebrate the first day of "summer" and now the kids won't eat their dinner. Guess I made my own bed with that one.
I know...I know. This is my third kid, and I had a baby shower? But really, any excuse to get the girls together for lunch. And Bess and Amy were so incredibly sweet to put everything together. While we all practiced being "the ladies who lunch" the boys BBQ'd at home and watched the kids. I'm a lucky lady.
When we first moved here I spent a lot of time at a local playground, looking for people. I was so used to the Brooklyn playground scene, which could be overwhelming in its chaos, and Tarrytown felt, well, apocalyptic. Maybe there'd be a family there, or a young mom pushing her toddler on the swing, but it was eerily quiet and I was far too intimidated to talk to anyone.
Well, a new playground has opened up with SPRINKLERS and everyone has come out of the woodwork. Yesterday was gorgeous and I made plans to meet a friend and let the kids splash around before heading to Third Friday for cotton candy and a pet parade (seriously). Turns out everyone in town had the same idea. I think I ran into almost everyone I know. So fun! It felt like an impromptu country fair. And the evening was perfect for Ellie to eat her weight in cotton candy and gape at the doggies marching along the sidewalk.
Someday kids, when you let mom sleep in on the weekends, and can get your own breakfast, maybe we'll get a dog.
Whew. That was kind of exhausting. Fun, but exhausting. All poor Brian wanted to do was spend the day on the boat, preferably with his brother and the cousins. And the day dawned beautiful, sunny, and well, windy. A little too windy for me and the kids on the boat, apparently. A few too many big rocking waves, and a few too many soaking splashes left the kids screaming and miserable, me clinging to the boat for dear life, and cousin Jonah laughing with delight. Seriously, that kid loved it.
So we aborted mission: turned the boat around and headed to the river playground instead. Brian and his brother went back out (it's not like conditions were dangerous, it was just too rough to be fun for me) and Sari and I picnicked with the kids and then let them run wild at the splash park.
After dinner at the boat club the water looked MUCH calmer so we got right back on the horse/boat and went out to the middle of the river for some Early Birthday Cupcakes for Uncle Mike. All in all a successful day. Us Schneiders don't give up easily. Happy Father's Day, Brian. We couldn't do this without you.