Yesterday we celebrated our family birthday, a tradition we started in the last couple of years. It is technically Brian’s and my anniversary, but it is, more importantly, the day that our family was born. Interestingly, matrimony literally means “the making of a mother”.
We had planned a beach day last year, but Sophie went down with the stomach flu, so we opted for a picnic in the garden at home. This year we were rewarded with a beautiful day on Cape Cod Bay.
After lunch at Arnolds in Eastham, we headed down to First Encounter Beach, opting for the tamer bayside of the Cape, though we would have loved to have seen the National Seashore on the oceanside. We agreed that it was better to be safe with the wee ones, especially since the tide had just come in. First Encounter Beach is the place where the Pilgrims first encountered the Natives. The beach is amazing – it’s fairly shallow, and the waves are small and gentle. When the tide goes out, you can walk a mile or more out on the sand. There are crabs and snails to be picked up and admired, and put back, shells to be collected, plenty of wet sand for castle-building.
I went out to run some errands with the girls, leaving Jack in charge of his three little brothers. I suggested he have the little boys build something with bricks at the table in order to keep them occupied and out of trouble. I returned to this::
Our little architect... He insisted on adding the train tracks around the castle.
It isn’t very often we can get Brian to take a day off – it isn’t often he has the opportunity. Which is good since that means that his business is… well… very busy. So you can imagine the delight when he announced that he had a WHOLE DAY with no teleconferences, no tasks pending. He suggested we take the three little ones out for the day while the older four were at VBS. Cate agreed to drive the bigguns home and fix them lunch while we were gone (SO nice to have an adult child!).
After some back-and-forth about all the wonderful choices for outings with wee ones, we settled on Mystic Aquarium, which is a little over an hour from our house. We actually managed to get the kids dressed in coordinating outfits and pack the bag without any help. \o/ Yay us! However, we were a little behind schedule because the morning was spent chasing our cranky rooster Gaston back into his run after an evening of traipsing around the neighbourhood.
The weather was gorgeous – in the 70s and dry after a week of nailing heat and humidity. What a fantastic place – really well planned in every way. We all had a super time. See?
Brian checking out the ticketing booth. We decided on a membership.
The kids waiting for Papa to get the tickets. They look pretty eager to get going.
We had a beautiful lunch at the cafe. James enjoyed three onions. Who knew?
Sophie and Louis helping Papa to decide which exhibit to visit first.
Louis walking through one of the tunnels on his way to the beluga tank.
The kids loved the underwater observation area. This female beluga swam right up to say hello!
Brian gives Louis a lift to get a better look at the beluga exhibit.
The penguins were a hoot! We all loved the underwater observation area where the penguins swam right up to the glass.
The freshwater pond was lovely, just full of frogs turtles and dragonflies!
The kids loved the “fishy-go-round”. 🙂
James’ favourite was the ray tank. He just stayed and stayed and stayed.
I can’t believe I got this shot of an adult and a juvenile clownfish. Remind you of anyone?
Sophie doing her impression of her new fishy friends.
On the way out, the kids spotted this pampas grass and went for a trek.
Louis thought these blue hydrangeas were beautiful. So did I.
Looks like someone had a great day!
15 minutes later he was asleep.
and so was he…
and so was she.
After we packed the kiddoes back into the bus, we stopped for some cold drinks. As we were placing our order, the cell phone rang. It was Cate who began by saying “everyone is OK”. Is that ever followed by good news? She had taken the kids to pick up some photo prints she’d ordered when a tire on the car blew. Seriously, I’d never had that happen to me in 20-something years of driving. She has her license for a month and POW! Literally.
Fortunately, Grandpa (Brian’s dad) was only about 15 minutes away and ran out to help. We were still over an hour away. But if we thought it would be an easy fix, we were in for a disappointment. The tire was stuck fast and despite Grandpa’s (and two other kind-hearted men’s) best efforts, they couldn’t budge it. We called roadside assistance to help and arrived several minutes before they did… toting a BIG hammer. The chap knocked the old tire off and the gal replaced it with the donut in no time.
Everything else after that is a blank… We were all home together, safe and sound, with quite a story to share.
Wonder what will happen the next time Pa gets some time off? We’ll be expecting big adventures ALL the time now. 🙂 Oh, the pressure.
There is a large bag full of pretty yarns in pinks, lavenders, and creams waiting to be made up into blankets, jumpers and soakers for you. There is also a packet or two of tops waiting to be embroidered, and a fresh set of flannel receiving blankets which will be warmed up and used at your birth. Soon I will be visiting fabric stores to buy pretty stuff to make you dresses and girly bedding… and your baptismal gown. Maybe we’ll have another baptism on Christ the King – just like Louis! What a glorious day to come into the bosom of the Church family!
We’re all looking forward to seeing your sweet little face, and kissing your precious little hands and feet. We’re so blessed that you’ve come along to join our family. You are loved more than you will ever know.
We’ve evened up the numbers – 4 sons and 4 daughters. I like things to be nice and even, balanced. The news is too new to have sunk in completely yet. I thought that I’d have set straight to work shopping, sewing, knitting. Instead I’m waiting… I’m waiting for the reality to dawn that we’ll welcome a little gal after two very rambunctious boys. She’s in awfully good hands as far as protection goes. I’m certain that “the sons of thunder” will flank her every move, ready to challenge anyone they perceive as any kind of threat to their little princess.
So while I’ve got a pile of sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery to do – and a new Christening gown to design, I’ve got lots of time to think of a name for our little darling. After three older daughters, I feel like I could use a little help deciding. In order to encourage folks to suggest names for the baby, I’m doing a giveaway – a little gift of handmade soaps and balm worth between $20 and $30 (check back later for a photo). All you need to do is to leave a comment below with your vote or suggestion.
To help you out, I’ll tell you a little bit about us. Brian is French Canadian, I am largely Celtic (a combination of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish). None of our children have Celtic names, but of course, Brian does – ironic. Our children all have very conventional names, no oddities – my name is odd enough for the entire family. We’re Catholic, so we like names that also belong to Saints, or are somehow related to them; and we like to name our children after special people in our lives (relatives, friends, etc.)
So far, our roll call includes::
On our list of possibilities so far are::
Evangeline (most likely as a middle)
So as I said, just leave a comment to this post with your vote – or a whole new suggestion – and we’ll choose a name at random to take the prize!