(Warning: Loooong post ahead)
Our summer? It's been a blast, people. Full of f-u-n, FUN and pretty much jam packed with all the things that toddler dreams are made of. Trips to the neighborhood swimming pool? Check. Ample time outside on large play structures? Check. Water balloon fights, lots of ice cream and popsicles, and a sleep schedule that has gone way, way, way out of wack? Triple double check. It's been our first summer in a while sans a summer vacay, so we've been busy creating memories in other ways, and lucky for us, great family and friends have been a major part of our summer.
The summer started off with a bang, when this pretty puppy was installed (by professionals, thank the Lord) in our backyard. It's pretty much the bee's knees in Belle's eyes, who loves spending time on her swing set every evening, after the summer sun has cooled down. For the longest time, she would wake up, look out the window and say "My swingset! It's still here!" Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa A and Aunt Tina and Uncle Jim for very generously helping us buy this for our little Belle.
We also took a quick overnight jaunt to Bethany Beach to spend time with some great friends. Belle loved the ocean and sand this year, but especially liked the small inflatable pool that someone thought to bring along. Genius idea!
Something Jeremy has been wanting to do for quite some time is take Belle to her first baseball game. She got her first dose of the major leagues at an Orioles vs. Indians game, and she also got her first dose of mascot meltdown. Let's just say she was NOT thrilled that the Oriole Bird sought her out and stooped down to her level to say hi.
Another first for Maribelle this summer was that she saw her first movie at a movie theater. We decided the new Winnie the Pooh movie was the perfect speed and length for a tot her age, and Aunt Jamie and Laura accompanied us to make the occasion extra special (although, am I the only one who just does not have a soft spot for Winnie the Pooh? Talk about a snoozefest, and they're all just kind of depressing characters. I'd so rather watch Yo Gabba Gabba over that whiny bear any day). Maribelle STILL asks me if I remember when we went to see a movie, and she recalls the entire afternoon, right down to what she had for lunch afterward.
My family has spent a lot of time trekking back and forth from Ohio to Maryland this summer, especially my dad, whose been here probably five times between May and August. I've spent more extended time with my sisters this summer than I have in a really long time, and it's been great to have all the extra help on hand. Plus, Maribelle loves all the doting attention, extra playmates, and unfamiliar purses through which she can rummage and inspect the contents (seriously people, she has a thing for purses and bags. Anyone she sees with a purse, backpack or briefcase catches her curiosity, and she salivates at the idea of getting her hands on the junk inside anyone's bag. The other day she even asked us what was in some guy's pocket! It's out of control.)
On an especially beautiful day, we took an afternoon trip to Annapolis to take a boat ride and grab some lunch. It really was the perfect summer outing, although Maribelle could care less about the boat and concentrated more on what was in Tara's purse.
We've got a bit more of summer left, and a few more family members coming to visit, so we're hoping to continue our streak of awesomesauce summer outings. Because with a baby on the way, fall is sure to be a bit more challenging, but in a good way.