Pre-Easter, Easter Fun

We are getting ready for Easter around here. Since I am desperately behind on holiday preparations and anything else life-related, Mom and Dad stepped in and hosted the egg dyeing party today.  Nell took her time and enjoyed the colors available to her, while Guy dyed all of his eggs blue as fast as he could.  You will notice the rapid accumulation of light blue eggs…

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Officially the fastest egg dyeing party ever, but the kids had a blast!  Even if we did end up with a very blue non-assortment of eggs.

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After the real eggs came the fake eggs: the county hosts massive egg hunts for all of the different age groups at each of the country parks, so this afternoon, Nell and Guy joined a gazillion other 3-5 year olds on the field to scoop up 2,000 eggs with candy and prize tickets.

The face of a competitor.

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Of course, downtime is pretty good, too, when you’re a toddler with a basket.IMG_8486 IMG_8485 IMG_8484 20170409_143244_HDR  Look how well-behaved we look…20170409_141559_HDR

We didn’t hang out with the Easter bunny at the park — he looked too intimidating — but Nell did sit down at the daycare egg hunt with this totally legit, not at all creepy looking version…

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And yes, it was 30 degrees on Friday for that picture, and 70 degrees today.  Must be spring in Maryland.

Just keep swimming

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It has been more than three weeks since surgery, a little over halfway through my doctor-prescribed surgical recovery and restrictions.  So far as I can tell, my recovery from the surgery itself seems perfect.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel when my restrictions will fall away, and I am desperate to get back on my board and stretch out the muscles that tighten a little more each day.

The serum sickness is still there with aches during the day that stay manageable so long as I keep moving around.  But in the late afternoon/early evening, the pain starts to settle back in like an old friend.  By the end of the evening, my back, my knees, my ankles, my wrists last night — but that one was new — all feel shredded.  My doctor prescribed weeks more of steroids and painkillers, but I am not interested in those.  Luckily my resolve to not fill those prescriptions is stronger during the day when the pharmacies are open.  I question the decision every night when I can no longer walk without pain, but then I wake up the next morning, again thinking it’s going to be a better day.

There isn’t so much online in terms of anecdotes about serum sickness — and I think it’s likely an issue of the fact that no really gets diagnosed with serum sickness.  It’s a guess when all the other obvious things — like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc — get ruled out and nothing more makes sense.  What there are a lot of, however, are stories of shared symptoms, pain that comes back at night, and a discouraging time-frame that makes me think I am in this for the long haul.

So I’m ignoring the aches and pains as best I can, and I’ve got my eye on all the things that will get better and will change as I get deeper into my recovery — like my restriction on swimming, which makes G the designated swim parent right now.  Normally that wouldn’t be an issue — Guy usually spends all his pool time in the shallow end by the fountains, where I can easily play referee, but on our last trip this past weekend, he was all about all of the pool — including all of the slides.

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But just look at the sheer happiness on Guy’s face hanging out in the deep end with Daddy:

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I think his fountain days are done.

 

Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

That’s actually the end of a joke. The one that goes,

“No way can you fit all four seasons into one month.”
Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

It’s the end of President’s Day Weekend —  a weekend that often throws a major snowstorm our way — but in an unusual curve ball, we’re enjoying something even warmer than most spring days. We’re certainly not complaining about the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, but we’re all wondering if this is really it for winter. No more snow or sledding or wearing those expensive snow boots the kids won’t fit into next year?

But, before I launch into summertime posts, I need to backtrack, because we have had SOME snow this season, and since it’s been a long time since my last post, I’m overdue to post our winter pictures from the icy cold snap that stretched for a pretty long time around here last month.

The kids have both become daredevils when it comes to sledding down the hill.

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The wind at the beach was insane — you can tell because the snow was blowing straight into the water and nothing was sticking to the sand. 20170107_131034_HDR 20170107_131041_HDR 20170107_131106 20170107_133837_HDR~2

Sally was too crazy in the snow and the only pictures we got of her were of her wriggly butt.20170107_135355_HDR

These pics were from my SUP session after the snow. The marina was completely iced in, so I had to roll to the beach to launch. 20170108_100443_HDR 20170110_120451_HDR~2 20170110_130608_HDR~2

We’ve done a good job getting outside all winter long — whether it’s been snowing, summer-hot, or somewhere in between. Here are a few pictures from one of those in-between days.  Since it has been unusually windy this season–and the wind at the beach is COLD–we’ve spent most of our time this winter at the big park near Mom and Dad’s house, and I don’t have any pictures from the park since we’re busy running after the kids and racing them on slides.  They’re exhausting!

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And finally, here are a few pictures from this weekend.  The kids started out in jackets and ended up in short sleeves.  Unbelievable for February!  We had more traffic headed to the beach in front of our house than we usually have on summer days.

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That picture of Nell sums up this weekend pretty well.  Who knows what the rest of February will bring!  (Seriously, it could be anything.)

Christmas

Sally Brown was a bit of a mischief maker last night, so we’re cleaning up Christmas early in perhaps our fastest transition from holiday to not holiday. But while the tree and the train and many of the decorations are already gone, we’re definitely still filled to the brim with holiday excitement around here.

We had a magical holiday that started with Christmas Eve at Mom and Dad’s house, where the kids pulled out new bikes that they enjoyed for hours before dinner.

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After putting out ten pounds of reindeer food in the form of glitter and carrots, we finally got the kids settled down for bed so Santa could come. Nell would not even let me read on Christmas Eve — “Mo-om, Santa won’t come if you’re awake.”  Right, of course.

But everyone finally fell asleep, and Santa paid us a visit.

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Santa brought wonderful things for everyone including clothes, toys, dolls, and trains for the kids; a new soundbar for G; SUP stuff, jewelry, and a new GoPro 5 for me; earrings galore for K; yoga and fishing items for Mom and Dad; clothes for Great Grandma Nelll; and special bones for the puppies.  Nell’s only disappointment was that Santa didn’t bring snow, so we did have to explain that Christmas =/= snow, despite what all of her favorite shows might have her believe.

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A few pictures from my Christmas SUP outing yesterday with new boots, gloves, and wetsox. Ahh, warm toes and fingers!

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Of course, we’ve got another special day today — it’s G’s birthday. Plus we’ve got a few more holiday tricks up our sleeves that we’ll be rolling out later this week.  Let the celebrating continue!!

It’s Beach Party Time!

Today we celebrated Nell’s 5th birthday at her annual party on the beach. This year’s theme was a luau, which the kids celebrated with grass skirts, leis, coconut cups, and all the usual beach party toys we provide each year — buckets, shovels, nets, bubbles, beach balls, etc.  Nell also wanted to bring her paddleboard so she could show her friends how she can paddle and let them try.  The kids were thrilled to try her board, and Nell was proud to show them how she could stand up and paddle.

It was a long day at the beach — Nell was there from about 8am-3pm, though Guy took KK home much earlier for his nap and some snuggles. But we lucked out with beautiful weather — probably the hottest, least windy birthday party she has had since we moved to the beach — and she declared the day a success.

Gorgeous morning on the beach as we were setting up

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Luau ready!20160731_084458 20160731_084530 20160731_084600 Nell wanted coconut cups and grass skirts. Check and check.20160731_092523 IMG_8067 (Large) IMG_8068 (Large) IMG_8075 (Large) IMG_8082 (Large) IMG_8085 (Large) IMG_8088 (Large) IMG_8090 (Large) IMG_8096 (Large) IMG_8099 (Large) IMG_8101 (Large) IMG_8102 (Large) IMG_8111 (Large) IMG_8112 (Large) IMG_8114 (Large)

Nell wanted to show all of her friends who she could stand up and paddle. I was not allowed to touch her board!IMG_8124 (Large) IMG_8125 (Large) IMG_8134 (Large) IMG_8143 (Large)

Hula girl cake and presents!IMG_8148 (Large) IMG_8153 (Large) IMG_8162 (Large) IMG_8173 (Large)

And just in case you still don’t quite feel like you were there: