We enjoyed a few days with away from the end-of-school rush at the cabin over Memorial Day weekend. Our friends Jess, Murray, and Olive joined us. (Sadly, Kevin couldn’t make it this year.)
The trip included a number of notable events:
Oliver’s first trip to the cabin, including relatively long drives, unfamiliar sleeping arrangements, and a wacky schedule. He was quite flexible, though he did complain that we were letting him freeze during the first night (temps dropped steeply after dark). We nailed it on the second night.
Oliver’s first kayak trip.
Maggie’s first time paddling the canoe and sitting on a proper bench.
Griffin and Murray’s first time being largely independent in the kayaks. This was not exactly our intent, but they got them in the water before the rest of us were ready and before we knew it they were across the lake, exploring the island. (Definitely wearing life jackets!)
Griffin caught a frog.
Relatively close encounter with a pileated woodpecker on a birch by the cabin. The photos, at the end of the set below, are blurry phone pics, but this sucker was huge.
Two new eggs in the loon nest. We weren’t sure if they would use the same nest site for a second year running. Last year one egg did not hatch. We’ll be checking back on the nest at our next visit.
Thunderstorms and hail kept us inside on Sunday afternoon, which allowed for a smashing D&D game. (Griffin’s elf wizard was nearly killed by an evil skeleton, but Maggie gave him one of her healing potions.)
Oliver enjoying the view from the porch.
Oliver’s first time out in a kayak.
Maggie’s first time paddling (occasionally) the canoe.
Griffin and Murray zipped all over the lake.
Two fresh loon eggs in the same nest that we found last summer.
Oliver working on some teething issues (and boosting his immune system).
Bedtime reading with Jess.
Pileated woodpecker is on the trunk of the tree above the cluster of green leaves. (This was the maximum zoom with my phone… alas I didn’t have time to get the telephoto on my camera.)
Profile of the pileated woodpecker on the large branch to the left.
First, as mentioned on Monday, Oliver is now sleeping in his new crib in the kids’ bedroom. We were planning on a more gradual transition, but Griffin and Maggie were so excited to have him move in that we went for it. It’s been pretty miraculous so far. Every night this week, they’ve all gone to bed at the same time, with no special rituals for Oliver. We generally hang out near the crib for a little bit while he falls asleep, but it’s pretty quick. Honestly, the whole thing is a bit spooky; he just lies down and falls asleep. Crazy!
Oliver has been out on a couple of bike rides now in the iBert seat on Sarah’s bike. He loves it, and we love the fact that we have a new way of getting around town with him. The older kids enjoy riding their bikes, too, so this increases the whole family’s range of car-free transit. It’s hard to believe that this little guy will be riding his own bike in a few years.
This one might be better titled “Grasping” or “Manual Dexterity,” but they don’t have the same alliterative pizazz. Oliver has been getting better at using his little hands over the past month. He reaches for things intentionally, grasps objects we put in his hands, and likes to touch things within reach. (I like to walk around with him and let him touch different things—the bark of a tree, a smooth stone, a fuzzy towel—and watch him react to the different textures. On a more practical note, he can hold his bottle when he’s in his bouncy chair. He drops it frequently, but he loves trying to hold it and it gives us just a bit more leeway when we’re prepping a meal or trying to accomplish other tasks that require our hands.
Andrew and I were talking after dinner about my experience with why girls or young women might be sitting on the sidelines of pick-up sports games, and Maggie was seemingly not listening, singing *loudly*, next to us. She kept getting louder, so my voice kept getting louder as we talked. I said, “You know? I just didn’t want to play with guys who were being all macho and major douchebags!”
Without skipping a beat, Maggie yells out, “DOUCHEBAGS! Yeah, they’re douchebags! D O U C H E B A G S!”
Thus we added another word to the, “don’t call anyone this” and “don’t say this outside our house” list.
I live for these moments of Zen: I overslept (because baby wakes up a lot still, and apparently when I get a chance, I am a log) and walked downstairs to my two oldest reading, one on the couch, one on a chair, baby bouncing in the bouncer, Regina Spektor on the stereo, and greeted with “Good morning Mama!”
Andrew, going nuclear: “If you two don’t knock it off and go to bed, I’m going to take a screwdriver and take that door right off and throw it away.”
Maggie: “You can’t even do that!”
Andrew: “Oh yes I can!”
I’m downstairs giggling even though I shouldn’t be. Giggling, that is.