Friday, September 2, 2011


Oh the fun we had!  Vacation is so wonderful *sang in opera type voice*.  I miss it so much.  It is never long enough.  I love the ocean more and more every time I go there.  Ian doesn't understand why we don't sell our house for "a hundred dollars or something" and just buy one at the ocean.  I don't understand either...

So we started our vacation early on a Saturday morning.  We were all packed up and ready to go.  We stopped for breakfast about 1/2 way there.  The kids were so excited about eating breakfast out.  On one hand it made me feel like I deprive them if they get this excited about breakfast at Denny's, on the other hand, it made me realize how awesome my kids are that they see blessings in every little thing.  I love them so much.  I also realized that eating out on vacation with Super GF Boy (gluten free Ian) would be challenging (but doable).

Just before we left for vacation, Ian lost one of his two front teeth.  I had told him that he would get a double tooth prize if he lost it on vacation.  It was dangling by a string.  After cutting a deal with me, and my agreeing that it was close enough to vacation for the double tooth prize he yanked it a day early.  The other tooth was also hanging precariously, but he dare not push his luck.  He waited until we got to the cottage.  He was there less than an hour when he yanked out the second tooth.  Soooooo Cute!  I love a toothless grin! 
We were all so excited to get to the cottage and see my mom and dad!  We hadn't seen them in weeks and we missed them so much!!!  They are the greatest parents EVER!  I think I mentioned that in the last blog too.  We are so grateful for them and that they let us come stay with them for vacation.  I don't know what we would do without them, certainly not go on an awesome vacation at the beach...
Something happened on vacation this year that hasn't happened on vacation in a very long time.  It rained...hard.  It rained non-stop for two full days.  It was awesome anyway.  Angela and the girls came down in the midst of the rain and they were a ray of sunshine for us all.  Nothing can brighten a rainy day like Madi and Annika!
We are starting to outgrow our little cottage...I'm thinking we'll need a pop up camper for next year. 
Bella and Madi captured my camera for some rainy day fun and took some pretty funny pictures.

The next day, the rain cleared out and we headed to the beach!  My cousin Renee and her daughter Angelique came down to join us for the day.

It was a perfect time for crabbing when we were at the beach.  I love to watch them do this because I have some wonderful memories of crabbing in the very same spot with Angela and my friends Jen and Lindsey.  We have pictures of the four of us that look very much like these, except 25 years older...
My boys were brave enough to hold the crabs.  They were proud of their bravery. (I don't think this crab actually had any front claws lol).

They caught quite a few!
Then, they let them all go to have a race and see who would get to the water first.  These guys buried themselves in the sand immediately. 
But some were more adventurous and headed for the water.  This guy was the winner.
Annika looking adorable in her beach attire.  Hard to believe we'll have a beach baby of our own next year!
A little pizza party at our "Cozy Cottage Cafe" after the beach was great fun for everyone before Angela, Madi and Annika headed home. 
After dinner we went on a nice boat ride on Papa's boat.  The water was so calm and the sky was so beautiful.  Sunset on the ocean is one of my favorite things EVER. 

This is one of my favorite pictures from vacation.  We just picked cotton candy clouds right out of the sky to nibble on our boat ride.  I have a lot of pictures over the years of when we've gone to pick things, but this is my one and only cotton candy picking picture.
One of the highlights of vacation for my boys was all the fishing they got to do.  All three of them caught a lot of fish this year!  Our freezer is restocked with striped bass and bluefish.  Ian caught the striper in the picture below.  That is also one of my favorite pictures from vacation this year.
Isaac and his bluefish...
Ian and his bluefish...
Ian, trying to hold up the striper on his own.  Gotta love when you catch a fish that is too big for you to hold up alone!
The boys and their bluefish.
We were able to spend some more time at another beach called Napa Tree.  It is so much fun.  The kids love it there now that they are getting a little older and can have fun in the waves. 
Bella is part mermaid.  We have to drag her out of the water from time to time to eat and rehydrate.
Ian tried boogie boarding this year and had a blast.  He said it was his favorite part of vacation this year.  He also decided that living where there is no waves is "dumb". 

Jason and I were blessed to have a date night on vacation.  We waited to celebrate our anniversary (11 years!!).  My parents had a delightful evening with the kids and we went out for an awesome dinner, ice cream at my favorite place in Mystic and then stargazed on the beach.  Could an anniversary date night be more perfect?  I think not.  My mom took this picture of us before we left.  Can you believe that belly still has over 2 months to grow?!
One fine day at the ocean my dad took us all out for a cruise up the Mystic River.  It is one of my favorite things to do on vacation.  I love looking at all of the boats and seeing the drawbridge and trestle bridge go up.  Its so relaxing. On our way back my dad took us out for lunch.  Something about pulling up in a boat to go out to lunch makes me feel really cool. 

Isaac had his hand at driving the boat on our cruise.  He took his job VERY seriously and did a great job.
On our way back, we stopped and did some fishing.  The bluefish were having a feeding frenzy around us and it was a blast to see Jay and the kids reel them in one after another!
One of my favorite ocean fish to eat is sea bass, this guy wasn't even big enough for a snack lol.  Maybe we'll get him next year when he's a little bigger.
Bella had the big catch of the day.  She reeled in a huge bluefish.  It was quite the battle and she was pretty tired out when it was all said and done! 
After a long day on the boat we took the kids to an outdoor showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory along the Mystic River.  It was a great time!

Our last full day of vacation we decided to go back to Napa Tree one last time to catch a few more waves.  Our friends DO and Dottie joined us and DO taught Isabella how to fly his big kite.  The kids had so much fun flying it.  Bella did really well!  We also took a long walk to the end of the beach to see where there had been an old military "fortress" built.  It was really neat.  In the past you could walk down stairs and really explore the rooms underground but it is all roped off now and you can only see it from the top.  It was a bit of a hike and I didn't bring the camera but you can check out what we saw by clicking HERE

Then it was time to load the car back up and head home.  This is how the kids felt about leaving...
The great thing is, vacation really wasn't over yet!  We still had over two weeks until school and there was more fun to be had.  Bella got to go back to Lake Compounce with Hannah the day after we got home.  It certainly softened the blow of vacation being over.  We got to go to my friend Jen's and see what was in our garden and play with her boys.  The harvest was plentiful!

I made pickled beets.  This week I am going to make pesto.  We are still waiting for our bounty of tomatoes to turn red so we can make some salsa.  I really love having a garden from which to harvest herbs and vegetables to store and preserve.  It makes me feel so poineerish.  It is lame that pickling beets and freezing pesto makes me think I am a pioneer, I know.  I couldn't hold a candle to Ma Ingalls but still, I shall revel in my accomplishments from the perspective of my pampered modern existence.
On to fall activities...Isaac is playing fall baseball and Ian decided he wants to golf.  He has been asking to join a golf team for a long time but there are no golf "teams" for 6 year olds that I can find.  That said, who needs a golf team?!  Jason knows how to play and is going to take him weekly to the driving range to teach him some things.  Ian is sooo excited that dad is his golf "coach" and is looking very forward to their weekly outings and so is Jason :) 

After we survived Hurricane Irene unscathed we squeezed in another day of summer fun at a water park on Wednesday.  It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast.  This was actually part of their Christmas present last year which had been a gift for every season.  Summer's gift was a day at a water park.  My friend Megan joined us with her delightful children and a good time was had by all!  We can't wait to go back next year!

So, labor day weekend and then back to school!  I am all prepped and ready to go.  I have planned every subject out from September until June.  Now I will move on to making preparations for baby!  Speaking of which...we are looking for a dresser for Isaac so we can pass his on to the baby (didn't think we would be converting it back to a changing table after all these years...).  We don't have a ton of needs because I can borrow just about everything from my sister!  Yay!  My greatest need (and newest adventure) will be cloth diapers.  I have decided to go cloth with this one, mostly to reduce the constant cost of buying disposables, and because I don't like all the chemicals that are in the disposables.  I'm actually pretty excited about it.  Cloth diapers have come a long way since pins and rubber pants.  It is sort of its own online subculture.  There are actually blogs devoted to sending you various cloth diaper blogs to try to win cloth diapers...I haven't won any...yet ;)
Also looking forward to hitting the town wide tag sale back home next weekend and the Big E coming up in a few weeks.  I wonder what the butter sculpture will be this year...


Jenn Y said...

Glad you all had such a fantastic summer! Good luck with the new school year and most of all with you new little one!!