what we’ve been up to this summer

Other than a bazillon trips, of course.

Being out of town once a month (or more!) has really put the brakes on getting ANYTHING done here at the house; it’s been hard enough to keep up with mowing the lawn! My landscaping looks atrocious and all those ‘little’ summer projects have fallen by the wayside, but we’ve been having tons of fun.

1. We have a climber! Technically, that’s old news, but she’s really reached new heights (ha!) lately. Maelle loves this ‘Eiffel Tower-esque’ structure at the playground by the pool. It’s quite high, but she scales it confidently. We also tried to hit the pool as often as we could; it’s closed for the season now, and we’re already looking forward to next year!

2. Speaking of the pool…I got a new pool bag! After my SIL Abigail raved about her Bogg Bag at the lake (and I saw it in action), I knew it was time for an upgrade. I’d been using my old one since we went on a cruise 10 or 12 years ago, and now that I’m packing for two it just wasn’t big enough. Plus, this rubber one is much less problematic on the wet pool deck. I can’t wait to use it at the beach next month!

Also, the clear bag next to it is a Vera Bradley lotion bag–another of my SIL’s finds that is a huge winner. It’s perfect for keeping things like sunscreen and shampoo upright in your bag (Maelle’s pool shampoo spilled more than once this summer…). The bag is discontinued, so I had to hunt around online and ended up finding this adorable one on Poshmark.

3. I finally started riding my bike again! Andrew got it for me a few years back, and–obviously–pregnancy and having a small child kept me from riding much the last couple summers. It finally hit me that I needed to get a trailer for Maelle so she could join me! Our first adventure was a picnic lunch at a playground on the other side of the village, and since then we’ve used the bike to get to the pool and to run errands on Main Street.

4. Our run group has celebrated a ton of birthdays this summer, for both the stroller mamas and the kids! We had a couple in April, a bunch of us around Memorial Day, Maelle’s and Nora’s in July, and now three more in August. I love our growing running group and the moms who have become some of my dearest friends. It’s hard to believe it all started with two babies born just a few weeks apart four years ago.

5. We went to the fair! The Erie County Fair is, I believe, the largest county fair in the country. It’s huge, and has everything: rides, shows, farm animals, fair food, displays and big-name concerts, like Trace Adkins, Nelly and Zach Williams. Andrew and I have never made going to the fair a big priority (he didn’t grow up going very often), although many people here do. It’s a big deal, and everyone loves it. When Carolyn called and invited us to join them, we jumped at the chance to take Maelle and make it a family outing. Seeing it through the eyes of a toddler was so fun. We watched a ninja show, visited the cows, ate fried dough and sipped lemonade, and she even rode the carousel with her cousins.

6. Maelle is also into dumping all her toys out, either all over the couch or on the floor. She also likes to create ‘pools’ on the floor with all (and I mean ALL) of our pillows and blankets so she can swim.

7. We tried out the West Falls swimming hole! Some friends invited us–it was their first time venturing to the swimming hole as well–and I jumped at the chance to get in the water on a hot day now that our pool is closed. Turns out that the swimming hole is actually part of a creek walk I’d been meaning to take Maelle to at J.P. Nicely Park. We packed our gear and lunches and hiked in (it’s not far but it IS steep!) and ended up at a lovely little bend in the creek with a deep enough area for kids to swim. We’ve had a super dry summer, so I imagine with a bit more rain it would be even deeper. The only downside to the event? My trusty Keens died while we were hiking out. But at almost 20 years old, who could blame them? They’ve been with me since college, and while they appeared to be in like-new condition, the left sole just gave up the ghost. As they are an essential summer/paddle-boarding item, new ones have been ordered.

8. We got a new car! Honestly, it’s been a long time coming, as Andrew’s truck was becoming more and more expensive to fix and less and less reliable. Before kids, fine. After kids, no bueno. I’d had an Explorer as a rental car back in 2019 when Maelle and I flew to Denver last-minute to say goodbye to my aunt who was losing her battle with brain cancer. I loved it, and so I’ve had Explorers on the brain ever since. After some much deliberation, crunching the numbers, and searching for the exact one we wanted (moonroof! heated steering wheel!), she arrived early, days before our trip to Cabo. We raced through the paperwork and I enjoyed our trip to Mexico just a little more, knowing my new car was waiting for me in the garage.

9. Outdoor painting is amazing. I saw it on Instagram, and Maelle received an outdoor paint kit from one of her little friends at her birthday party. We haven’t done it many times yet, but it’s so fun! It washes off easily, and the kit even came with a tray and little rollers.

10. Maelle got an x-ray. Yes, you read that right. This photo is from her 3-year-old check-up back in July, at which she was 33 pounds and 3 feet, 3 inches tall. I don’t think I’ll forget those stats anytime soon! Back to the x-ray. During our lake trip, Maelle was bouncing on our bed and must have landed wrong (still on the bed), because she cried out in pain and began favoring her right arm that evening and into the next morning. Thankfully, I have a girlfriend who happens to be a pediatrician, so I reached out to see what we should do, especially since we were out of town. She advised observation for the next few days as long as the pain didn’t increase. That same day, Maelle seemed to recover the full use of her arm and didn’t seem to be in any pain at all. However, about once a day or so, she’d remark that ‘her arm hurt,’ or ‘wasn’t better yet,’ which continued for about a week. By this time we were home again, and I finally decided we needed her doctor to do a physical exam at the least. He did, and while he didn’t seem to think it was broken, he said we should get the x-ray anyway just in case. Thankfully, the appointment and following trip to urgent care went extremely well, and we received confirmation that afternoon that her arm was not broken. Hopefully that was our first and LAST x-ray experience…but I’m not holding my breath.

I can’t believe summer is almost over and that we are just a few weeks away from Maelle starting PRESCHOOL!

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