Dominic, aged 6 months: We are just thiiiiiis close to being a crawler. He gets where he needs to go by rolling and scooting backwards. He can go from laying to sitting all by his onesie. And he "twerks" if you will while up on hands and knees. Like I said. Thiiiiis close. Heaven help me. 

David, aged 2 years: If David were a dwarf he would be Grumpy. The camera comes out and he does the above. He never went through this stage before and I'd prefer it to hit the road running. Especially since I have zero tricks up my sleeve for bribery. Letty's bribe was always a fruit snack. I'm never above bribery. And this is my last week with David as a two year old..... sniff.

Letteria, aged 4 years: A dream of hers came true the other night when she had her very first cake pop. She loves watching YouTube tutorials and always wants the pops that look like princess dresses? Seems like a lot of work for very little cake. 

Past weekly shots here.



a dinosaur's birthday that wasn't

Happy happy Fourth of July (weekend)! Hopefully wherever you'll find yourself today you'll be eating some bbq and watching some fireworks and just doing all the other all-American type of activities we so love about the summer and this holiday. I know we will be!

Last week was our purple dino friend's birthday party, always in Duke's Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland. It was a hectic day that started out with cherries and then Dom's six month well-visit (18 pounds, 9 ounces) and then found me driving down the highway towards DW. We just cannot miss his party! Usually involving tons of children and frantic parents trying to keep an eye on all of them at once, lots of snacks, card coloring, loud music and games and ending up with cupcakes. The kids enjoy! 

But when the Fitzs and I arrived at Duke's Lagoon it was eerily quiet. The forecast was calling for rain but surely not enough to cancel his birthday party? Surely?  After the party was forty minutes late we figured that it had been cancelled and packed up to leave, only to be told no, not cancelled, simply moved to another location. Shame on us you know? The other location only boasted Crush orange soda samples and card coloring... it was quite a disappointment. I heard they would have cake eventually but at that point we had waited long enough. And in typical Laurie and Steph fashion we both had evening plans... so.... next year? We confirm party location first and foremost. We didn't even get to hang with Duke and wish the birthday boy a happy day!

The above is becoming David's new MO. Squat down. Stare at the ground. Ignore all pleadings from his mother. Repeat. Anyways have a great holiday weekend!!



it is cherry season once more

Let's pick all the fruit we can, yes? Get outside and bring the kids and just you know, get your feet covered in wet grass and your fingers all sticky and give those kids a sense of accomplishment. The majority of our picking needs are met by a certain Cherry Hill Orchards. From cherries to pumpkins they carry us through all the seasons. Last week we loaded up the van with my mother and sister and Lena (!) and drove down yonder to get us some sweet dark cherries. Nonna provided the bags and general cherry knowledge, Beth picked for David while he held his bag open (can't touch the nasty fruit now can we?), and Letty climbed every ladder along the way. And Dom? Well, Dom didn't have much to say in the matter.

And then to top it all off Nonna treated us to all picked cherries! Thank you Nonna!

Last year's cherries here. And before that here.



a pipe and a crepe

Our final full day at The Shore started off with the culinary stylings of the youngest Olsen brother, Dan. They arrived and caused a flurry of activity that ended up with some very tasty brunch. 

After which Aunt Sue took the big kids and I out on the jet ski. Two years ago Letty loved it, but last year she was weird and wouldn't do it. And here we are. At it again. Sue got it up to 17 mph and Letty had enough of it at that speed, no more. David was in the midst of a toddler tantrum that was quite embarrassing for us all, but mostly for him. He was plunked on the jet ski by his father in his pink life vest with his fingers firmly placed in his mouth, commenting on every boat and bird he saw but NO, not faster! How lucky are these kids? Jet skiing at their age!?

All of this followed by more pool time and our final family dinner together. We left the next morning to Letty's pitiful sniffles that had me remembering my own crushed little heart whenever I would drive away from my grandma's house. I feel for her, I do. Vacations ending are rough. Vacations ending with fun family you don't see that often is even rougher. We started discussing all the fun things to look forward to this summer and soon enough she too was moving on. But that bunk bed man. That thing she still is hooked on. 

As always, thank you Uncle Glenn and Aunt Sue for hosting my brood and just being so good to my kids!

There was one better family photo except Letteria ruined it by sticking out her tongue. Ahem. 

And hey! It's July first! How?!



a sandy father's day and a proposal

Father's Day for Matt this year was pretty much the biggest failure on my end. I neglected to get him (and even my own father!) a card. I forgot Matt's gift at home. And he had to change his fair share of dirty diapers. I did skip my morning run so he wouldn't be alone with three kids (that's my story and I'm sticking to it), and Dom said "da" for the first time so... does that count?

Anyways back to the beach it was! Which is no small feat!!! Carts and chairs and umbrellas and towels and toys and oh my!!! The only way to survive this is with beverages and then a dip in the pool. Again. We are predictable are we not?

All the dads and non dad love to pick crabs. Like for hours. Like get crab shell in their hair like it. So what better way to celebrate them than letting them pick those crabs? With beer and corn on the cob and mac and cheese (and chicken for those who don't like to work for their food - me). 

And then the moment we have been waiting for since we learned of his plan a few weeks ago!!! The Proposal!!! Dan had Letty hand Heidi a stack of photographs of their friends and family (and pets) holding silly signs saying "say yes" or anything along those lines. Then he said some nice things I can't remember like partner and love and best friend while I was playing paparazzi and Steve photobombed practically every shot. She did say yes. Thank God Reg (the dog) now has an honest man for a father! Shortly afterwards Heidi's brother and sister-in-law and baby showed up to join the celebrations. These photos do make it seem like the baby is their's but no, baby Silas would be their nephew. 

So yay!! A proposal! A wedding! Woohoo! Congrats to the happy couple! We all love you and wish you nothing but the best!!


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