Miss Livy Spends Most of a Day with her Auny

Yes, I spelled that correctly, Auny. The name that my niece Livy has given me is Auny, not Auntie, not Tee Tee as she had once started to say. I am now Auny. And I love it!

One day I got a chance to take Livy for most of an afternoon back to my home so that her Mommy (my sister) could catch a break to clean house, relax and get whatever done she wanted to get done. Honestly, she should just sleep when she gets that time, but she had stuff to do and so I was very happy to test out taking Livy for a bit.

Babysitting Livy my Niece

I picked up Livy and went to get my daughter from her visit with her Dad. I then traveled home with Livy and my daughter before my son’s were coming home from their Dads. It was so adorable watching Livy spend quality time with her Auny and cousins. Livy is now about a year and a half, time has flown so quickly. Come January she will be two years old!

Jenny the Pug has finally learned to be calm around Livy, they spent some time hanging out a bit as shown above. Jenny loved following Livy around and giving her puppy kisses. Simply precious.

I love the photo of Ki with Livy next to her arm in arm. We really have a strong family bond around here and so happy Livy takes to that big time too! That was a fun day, and the separation anxiety my niece has, left her within moments of her waving buh bye to her Mommy. I remember those days of my baby crying until I was out of sight, then they were fine. Thankfully  my sis knows Livy is in great hands with someone she feels safe with and who adores and loves her to pieces so it is easier for my sis to allow Livy time with me. I must admit, I am so in love with being an Auny!!!!

Livy is a true miracle baby and a blessing to have in our world.

Summer Break Sleep Overs

I have always wanted to be that home for kids, a place to be a “home away from home” so to speak for any and every child. One thing that is actually important to me is to be a part of the foster and adoption system some day and help kids who are a ward of the state or need a place to stay during the time their parents work to get in a better place, so it’s no wonder that my children love having their friends over here at my house. I make the home cozy for kids but we do have rules, boundaries and expectations; it’s not just a “kids run all” place either.

With that being said, my daughter wanted to have her bestie over for the first weekend after school ended and so I allowed that to happen with permission from her bestie’s parents. What better way to ring in the first weekend of Summer break than do have a fabulous sleep over weekend event?

Sleepver over fun for summer break in NH

We went for a swim and had a family fun BBQ at my Dad‘s with a day trip there. Livy, my sister, the three boys, my boyfriend, Dad and step Mom all had a blast. We played pretend volley ball with a blow up ball and pretend net. We ate good food. we laughed and just had such a fun day.  Sadly, one thing about having a home where you encourage people to be who they are and kids to be kids, is that occasionally the youngest will take full advantage of being a kid and do something like this …

Crazy Five year Old

Needless to say he lost all privileges to markers in the van for a long, long, long time after he arrived home looking like this. That is a mix of mud, chocolate ice cream and highlighter. On. His. Face.

Fire Pit Sleep Over NH

Later on that night we decided to start up the fire pit and had a lovely marshmallow roasting event where some had marshmallows and some had smores. Aj had hotdogs, because he doesn’t much care for roasted marshmallows nor smores.

Roasted Marshmallows

It was such a blast being able to have this celebration of a summer sleep over to start summer with a bang! I am glad to be able to enjoy this type of fun with little to no money spent, after all I am a simple person who doesn’t believe in spending a ton of money for fun!

 

 

Our Trip to Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire

I haven’t been to the Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire since my teen years, and even then I don’t recall actually stopping, getting out and enjoying the place. Recently I decided that would be a fun day trip to do with the kids, what made the trip even more fun was that my daughter took along her bestie and we also brought my sister as well as my baby niece with us. There was my Town & Country packed full with five kids and two adults headed to make the over hour drive to Hampton Beach State Park.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip

After spending hours trying to find a parking spot near the Sand Sculptures and main beach area of Hampton Beach, we decided to drive further down and let the kids jump the waves, swim in the ocean and play in an area that didn’t have lifeguards but had open parking spaces. Sadly, I didn’t plan for parking meters appropriately so I only had enough quarters so we could swim at this end of Hampton Beach for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I feel that was really plenty of time, though, to be honest.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 3

The four big kids had such a fun time out in the ocean, little man was dancing in the waves, Aj was smiling and laughing, the two big girls were floating around enjoying the cold water from the Atlantic Ocean. This was so worth it after our couple hour drive that it took us, then more hours trying to find parking. This view made that drive and time in the van well worth it.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 2

I loved watching my oldest laugh and let loose in the ocean waves, she really is an over achiever during the school year, so I try to ensure she enjoys her Summer time during her childhood years! I love seeing the smile on Aj’s face here as the wave came rolling in crashing upon the kids.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 4

After using up our meter pay, we hopped back into the van and got the kids all ready to travel back towards the main stretch of Hampton Beach State Park. After all, one of the things we really came to see was the huge sand sculptures from the competition that had just happened the week prior. Since it was later on in the day, we found a spot quickly and proceeded to head to the beach.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 5

The sand sculptures were amazing, I must admit Olaf was my favorite. I just love Olaf from the movie Frozen. The kids loved how large the sculptures were and had a blast taking pictures and walking around looking at all of the scuptures

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Next up, we had to feed the tribe, while I did bring some PB&J sandwiches and sis brought some snacks too, we still needed to feed the tribe something. I bought one large pizza from a place on the strip of Hampton Beach State Park and we all enjoyed one decent size of cheese pizza as well as some drinks. This is the crew sitting down to eat at one of the stage areas on the Hampton Beach Strip.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH

After lunch, we decided to head over to the Blue Ocean Discovery Center that is located at Hampton Beach State Park; they share with you information about the ocean animals and work to help keep our ocean animals safe. With their hands on touch tank, the kids had a blast! This place did cost $1 per person, except Livy my niece was free since she is under age 2.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH starfish

This was such fun, watching the kids hang onto starfish and crabs. I loved listening to the nice ladies who worked there explain things and my children watched, listening along learning so much from them.

This was certainly a great day trip, while we did learn a few things from the trip on how we can make another trip better, we all enjoyed ourselves fully. I think the kids didn’t end up asleep til closer to midnight that night, but to watch how happy they were and the fact that this was a first time experience of the ocean for my baby nice — made this day priceless!

Yes, These Kids Have Already Been in the Pool #NH #VT

These kids of mine have already ventured into the pool at my Dad’s home in Vermont. Yes. They did. The pool was about 70 degrees. Of course, me being the parent I am, told them only dip your feet. Seriously, what was I thinking? Dip your feet means get in the water up to your chest, which turned into my Dad saying to me, “what are you talking about? If they can put their feet in then they can get in!” Leave it to Dad … so in they went.

Kicking off Summer Early

So the kids… decided to listen to Grampa because Mom is chop liver when big ole Grampa is around ;)

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I love that all three kids were having a blast, after all they hadn’t slept very well the night before. I worked 10-12 on Saturday morning and knew the kids had to get out of the house that day. I figured what better place than Grampas! It’s all farm land with obviously this pool too. Once we arrived and the van was stopped, we all were at peace. I love it!

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I adore that Aj was smiling, laughing and joking away with everyone. It was a fun time for all and Miss Olivia was there too with my sister …

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Shown above is Miss Livy hanging onto Grampa’s hand while my sis is in the background watching her little baby girl walk around with Gramps.

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It was a beautiful day full of swimming, chatting, laughing and walking out to the barn to see the cow as well as behind Grampa’s to see the piggies. I can’t wait for some food from those piggies!

The pool was warm to the kids, but it was too early for this Mama to be hopping in. Have you gone in an outdoor pool yet this year?

 

 

What To Do On Spring Break – Day 3 Easter Sunday

Day three of Spring Break arrived and it was time for Easter. This was Easter Sunday. I had the boys until about 10am I do believe, as they wanted to spend Easter with their Mom and Dad, so we shared it. My daughter was happy to have a full day and overnight as well as another day with me without the boys! The kids woke up and proceeded to find their Easter Baskets…

Easter Sunday - Spring Break Day 3

The Easter Bunny was lazy this year, because he didn’t hide the baskets very well, which was a super bummer to the kids, but they got over it.

Easter Sunday - Spring Break Day 3

I even woke up to a surprise, it took me a while to see that I had a stuffed bunny and a rose sitting beside the coffee machine. Apparently I am not awake enough to notice things like that right away in the early morning, but eventually I noticed it and my heart melted.

Easter Sunday - Spring Break Day 3

Then it was time, the boys left with their Daddy for the day and overnight. My daughter, Lee and I headed out to get on the road and enjoy the day. First we stopped by my Aunt Robin’s grave. She passed away when I was five, but she is always a huge part of me. I think of her often and I used to go up at least once a year and snap a pic of Ki beside Robin’s grave. This was the first year in many we made it up, have to get back on tradition. Thankfully our visit prompted my Gram to go visit too, because she went up and gave Robin’s grave a cleaning. I didn’t have anything to clean it. Was sad to see it so dirty.

Easter Sunday - Spring Break Day 3

Next, we all ventured out to my Dad’s house to pick up the kids Easter gifts there. My daughter wouldn’t take a pic with me, so I snapped one with Lee. The farm is such a beautiful place and we even ended up with a surprise …

Easter Sunday - Spring Break Day 3

Miss Livy, my sister and Livy’s Daddy showed up too. We had a fun few hours just chilling out with the family this afternoon. Then we ventured off to head home for dinner and to relax the remainder of Easter Sunday away.

Another happy day was had. Outside, with family!

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