One of the many conversations we had in our hours and hours of driving from Maine to Philly was about what Jack wanted to be when he grew up.  I think he noticed a tow truck out his window and then it went something like this…

“I want to drive a tow truck when I get bigger Mommy.  And a monster truck too.  And then I’m going to work on diggers.”

“I thought you wanted to have an aircraft carrier?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m going to do that one day in the week too.  I’m going to do a different thing on the different days, maybe two days on the aircraft carrier and then I’ll start over again, but I’ll be on a different aircraft carrier…But I want some weekends too where I don’t have to work…And then I’ll go back and do some work.”

A few hours later…

“I want to be a race car driver too, Mommy, like Lightning McQueen so I can be the fastest.  I’m going to do that one day too.”

And then, a few days ago out of the blue, he says, “Mommy, I forgot about sports!  I’m going to do sports when I grow up too.”

I’ll just keep telling him he can do whatever he wants.  Because he can!

Summer Adventures in Maine

Some of our other adventures this summer included…

First four wheeler ride…and first drink of water from the ATV/Snowmobile clubhouse while makeshift repairs were made to one of the four wheelers
First adventure into the woods to get marshmallow toasting sticks, first toasted marshmallow, first burnt marshmallows
First homemade whoopie pies…made by Grammie with Jack’s help, eaten with no help required

2 concerts in the park where Jack and Casey ran around like crazy and then essentially took turns tackling each other…strangely without resulting in any crying or injuries

First trip to foggy Roque Bluffs where you could barely see the ocean through the fog

First trip to the top of Breakneck Mountain and to the highest point in Alexander, Maine to pick blueberries

International Festival parade where Jack and Casey sat close enough to the street to grab a lot of candy…and I let them eat it.

Jack’s first performance at the concert stage in the park

First fireworks…started at 8:30 and home by 9.  They were “too loud for my ears” according to Casey, but she liked the visual display
This is still not the comprehensive list (like someone is grading me on this) but I think it gives a little sense of the busy and fun trip we had.

Summer Adventures in Maine – Fishing

I mentioned in a previous post about our trip to Ocean City that Jack got a little obsessed with the idea of going fishing.  I knew that we would definitely get a chance to fish while we were in Maine.  Grampie took off work one afternoon and we went on the four wheelers for a fishing adventure with Jack at Meddybemps Lake.

Jack and Grampie did some fishing and I was the event photographer.  Jack practiced casting from the steps at the house first and got the hang of it before heading to the lake.  He really enjoyed casting and flinging his bobber out into the water.  I don’t think he liked the idea of just sitting and waiting for the bobber to move, but he was still pretty patient with it.  A couple of times he asked, “What time are the fish going to bite?”  His little mind wanted to know exactly when he was going to catch a fish.

Eventually he caught a little sunfish and reeled him in.  He was very proud of it and wanted to take him home and eat him.  
We had a couple of smaller fish nibbling on the worms a few times.  The water was so clear, you could see them swimming in through the grass.  There are three of them in the picture I took.

We didn’t really have a lot of success at our first spot, so we moved to another spot and fished off the rocks for a bit.  Jack was getting tired by this time and his casting was suffering ie anyone near him was in danger of getting stuck with a hook.  Thankfully we had already caught a couple fish and Jack could call his first Maine fishing trip successful.

After that first trip, I guess you could say Jack was hooked…pun intended.  He said that his favorite part of our trip to Maine was fishing and as we were literally heading over the Piscataqua River and leaving Maine, he said he wished we could have stayed a few more days to do some more fishing.
Every time a family member asked him how big the fish was that he caught, he would hold his hands about 6 inches apart.  They would then hold their hands a lot further apart and say, “Don’t you mean this big?” in an attempt to teach Jack how to exaggerate the big catch.  But Jack was having none of that.  He would just say, “No…it was only this big” every single time.  
We went fishing two more times after the first adventure.  The second time we met most of my dad’s family at another lake and everyone brought canoes.  Dad and I took Jack out fishing in the canoe for a while.  He caught a little perch there but I don’t think he loved just trailing his line in the water as we paddled the canoe around.  Once again he was very patient for a 4 year old, but he became more interested in the gummy worms I had than the crawlers for fishing.
On our third fishing trip, we went back to Meddybemps Lake on the four wheelers and brought Casey along.  Before Casey and I had even reached the landing (we were busy taking pictures), Jack had already caught a fish.  The fish were biting pretty good (or wicked good I should say) and we caught three, a few more got away and then we ran out of worms.  Unfortunately, the fish weren’t as interested in the lures but Jack and Casey both caught fish before we switched to lures and everyone was happy. 

I found some wild blueberries to nibble on while we were fishing and Casey enjoyed picking them.  She manages to get so dirty everywhere we go…whether we’re fishing in the country or just sitting in the car in suburbia!


Quotes of the Day from Jack

Today we spent most of the day at home…and the toys strewn all over the house account for that.  It was a good day to reconnect with toys and for me to do some things around the house.  I’m already caught up on laundry from our vacation so that’s a good start!

Some funny things came out of Jack’s mouth today…

Me:  Where did your pajamas go?  (As he jumped into bed buck naked this morning)
Jack:  My foot felt funny so I took them off.

“I have chicken bumps, Mommy!” (also known as goose bumps)

Me:  Why is Casey crying Jack?
Jack:  She was standing on the ice [hardwood floors] and just fell down.  I didn’t do anything…she just fell on her own.  It would be better if she was on the carpet.

“Can I pick your clothes out for you today, Mommy?”  Luckily I already had them picked out, but I’m curious what he would have selected for me.

“Let’s go look at the beautiful fish.”  (while stopping by the vet’s office)

Jack:  Mommy, where is Tugger?
Me:  I don’t know, probably upstairs sleeping.  Why?
Jack:  I made this for her.  [He shows me something he cut out of purple construction paper and on which he glued some purple scraps.]  It’s a picture of her face.
—10 minutes later—
Jack:  I changed my mind Mommy.  This is a picture of you.  It’s for you, not Tugger.
Me (inner sarcastic monologue):  Precious.  I’ll treasure this forever.  Let’s put it right on the fridge. Purple, dog-faced Mommy.

Super Vacation!

As Casey has taken to saying, “Oh my gosh!”  I think we took our two weeks of vacationing in Maine to a new level of busyness.  I can’t remember ever cramming so many things into two weeks in Maine, even the week before our wedding.  I sat down last night to just jot down the major things we did each day and it was exhausting just thinking about all of it.  We had pretty big events planned for every day, sometimes two.  And maybe they won’t seem like major events in a couple years when the kids are older and there is no nap time to schedule around, but it was a lot for a 2 year old and a 4 year old.

We still aren’t quite home yet, so I don’t have all my pictures uploaded yet.  (And that reminds me that I forgot to bring the disk with me with the first few hundred pictures I took on vacation.  The few hundred I took in the first two days.)  I’m looking forward to getting home and back into my house though.  And back to a normal bedtime for the kids.  To say bedtime has slipped a little in the past couple of weeks is an understatement.  It’s been about 2 hours late.  For Casey, that means sleeping in a couple extra hours, which means a later start to the day and then to fit everything in, bedtime slips again.  Jack has adjusted to a 9pm bedtime, which means when he goes to bed at 8pm, he requires me to make many trips to his room.  Last night, he deflated his air mattress and told me he did that because he was “frustrated about fruit!”  He wanted strawberries…there were no strawberries.

So we’ll get back to a normal schedule soon, get back to Jack and Casey’s toys, get ready for school (!) and I’ll write more about our adventures when I can add some pictures to it.

Brady’s Quilt

Brady’s quilt didn’t have a name until a few days ago when Brady was finally born and we found out he was a boy!  I made this quilt for my sister-in-law’s baby shower.  Since she didn’t know whether she was having a boy or girl, I had to go with gender neutral fabric.  I used 2 charm packs of Frolic by Sandy Gervais for Moda (along with 2 white charm packs) and I thought it turned out pretty cute. 

The backing fabric is Cosmic Flowers in Grass from the same line with the leftover charms for my first pieced back.  The backing was perfect since I didn’t know whether it was a boy or girl…mostly green with blue and pink on it.  (Although not too much pink, now that we know he’s a boy.)  I used the Patchwork and Points tutorial from Moda Bake Shop but used binding instead of prairie points.

I feel like I rearranged those charms over and over to get them *perfectly* random but I was either really tired when I did it or they got rearraged during sewing.  Now I see too many similar colors and patterns beside each other, but I’m working to let go of that perfectionism because I really do like how it came out.

Kelly's Quilt - Front

Kelly's Quilt - Pieced Back

If I asked my son to pose for a picture, he wouldn’t…he’d close his eyes and try to hide his head.  But since I was trying to take a picture of a quilt, he thought he should jump right into it.

Bryn’s Quilt

Oh my goodness…I just won a contest (my first!) through JayBird Quilts sponsored by Above All Fabric and now people are coming to my quilting blog and I don’t have much to show yet!  I started this blog a few days before going on vacation and in the frenzy of packing and obsessively cleaning, I didn’t get a chance to post about the other 2 quilts that I have finished.  Anyway, I am excited about the beautiful new fabric coming my way…more quilts to come!

But here’s more about the second quilt I finished…

Bryn's Baby Quilt

This quilt was for one of my best friend’s daughter who was born in June.  I used a tutorial from the Moda Bakeshop called Welcome Spring.  The fabric is Verna by Kate Spain for Moda and is one of my favorite fabric lines from Moda right now.  Some day I have plans to make myself something with it, but there are some more friends having babies coming up.  And I need to start planning for Christmas presents now if I want to get some of the ideas out of my head and onto the sewing machine before December 25th.

The quilt was very easy to make although it definitely didn’t turn out square in the end.  Something about sewing long strips of fabric together is still a little difficult for me.  I thought using a jelly roll ie precut fabric would help keep things straight and even, but I probably need to work on the accuracy of my seams.

This is my favorite quilt so far…you know, of the two I’ve made.  Actually there’s a third that was finished around the same time this was so there are 3 to compare.  I loved using the crisp white fabric along with the beautiful colors from Verna.  The backing fabric was a green paisley from the same line.

The Castle on Red Beach

On Saturday morning, Grammie took Jack and Casey down to the beach in front of the cottage.  The tide was way out and we walked out to meet it.  On a sand bar, Grammie started building a castle and Jack and Casey eagerly helped, turning it into a castle fit for King Neptune.  They searched for shells and glass to give it windows, then dug a moat and built a bridge and erected a flagpole. It was quite a creation, but doomed from the start as the tide turned while we were out there. 
Jack and Casey stood on their own island for a bit as the tide swirled around them.  They moved to the “island” where the castle was and hung out there as the tide came in around that as well.  We watched the castle get swallowed in the water and then headed back up the beach where Grammie then turned all manner of beach items into delicious food.  Casey only had to be told it was pretend food a few times. 
Jack, Grammie & Casey getting ready to build a castle

I didn’t realize Casey got in this picture but I love the way it turned out.

The Castle
Grammie, Jack & Casey on their island.
Holding their ground on their island, but the tide wins.

Here comes the tide.

The castle returns to the sea.

An Afternoon Discussion on Leprechauns

In between many outdoor adventures in Maine (for another post), a conversation on leprechauns ensued while Jack and Grammie baked some Whoopie Pies today.

It started with Jack finishing his breakfast bowl of Lucky Charms while he sat at the counter to help make the cookies.  He wanted some more, but Grammie told him that some leprechauns were eating the Lucky Charms and they were all gone.

Jack wanted to know if leprechauns were “real in our life.”  I told him that they might be, but we couldn’t see them very well.  When I was a little girl, leprechauns used to sneak into the Alexander Elementary School and dump messy desks in the middle of the night.  Jack’s response to this story was to ask if they were “real in our life” again.

I then consulted the internet for some more information on leprechauns, the random sites I found obviously being the definitive source on leprechauns.  In addition to the well-known fact that leprechauns guard the gold at the end of the rainbow, I was able to enrich Jack’s leprechaun knowledge even further. 

For instance, leprechauns are only two feet tall (shorter than Casey) and live under mushrooms.  And they are tricksters.  I thought Jack would appreciate this as he likes to consider himself a little bit of a trickster sometimes.  He thinks it’s funny to lock his car door while I’m walking around the car to get to his seat and buckle him.  I then try to open the door, and he laughs, unlocks it and then asks if he tricked me.  Gets me every time.  He also likes to yell “Surprise!” when he finally unlocks the door for me.

Anyway, the extra information about leprechauns didn’t seem to impress Jack.  He started to develop some of his own theories instead.  Maybe the firemen can catch the leprechauns in their nets.  If we catch a leprechaun, we should hide him somewhere safe, like in one of the lobster traps down on the beach.  And finally he asked, “I wonder if Daddy takes care of leprechauns too [like he takes care of pirates].” 

Despite all the leprechaun theories and “facts”, Jack continued to try to get the answer to his original question – “Yeah but Mommy, are leprechauns really in our life?”