Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Light Fireworks √

This Fourth of July was our stinkers 4th Independence Day! Can you even believe that, because I can’t? We love 4th of July. We LOVE everything about it. The BBQ’s, the fireworks, the parties and we must not forget about the darling and festive little outfits. Yup, I’m that mom. You know the one who decks their kiddo out in red, white a blue, complete with a bow the size of a human head. I’m so that mom and there’s no shame in my game. I totally embrace my inner pageant mom when Independence Day rolls around every year because it’s just so fun.

This year was pretty low key for us. We had just got back into town and had a lot going on, so we decided to celebrate with friends back home. The Bean’s uncles A and B had just moved into a new, beautiful home so they hosted all of us for the holiday. It was a bit of a housewarming and 4th of July BBQ all in one. I tried slapping a giant bow on Gracie’s head but this year, she wasn’t having it. And because everything with our big girl now involves negotiation (as is the case with most 3 year olds), we settled on braids in exchange for some gummy snacks. Yes, I bribed her and she looked adorable! ;)


We had a new and unsettling experience at the party that l pray never happens again, because it was pretty horrible. When we arrived at the Guncles, there was only one other kiddo there, a young boy about 3 years older than Grace. When we first introduced ourselves to the little boy and his mom, we could see that he had down syndrome and looked to be just as sweet as ever. A few moments later, as our backs were turned checking out the toys in the room, the boy tackled Grace to the ground and had her by the hair. He was much bigger than her so he had no problem taking her down. It took two of us to pull them apart and while it all happened so quickly, I think we were in a bit of shock after it took place. The other mother explained that her son had a tough time with children smaller than him and Georgia and I were quick to tell her it was ok. Having a family member with down syndrome, we understand that down syndrome kids can have unexpected reactions in certain situations, even though most DS kiddos I’ve met, have been gentle. We then checked Grace out and aside from being wide-eyed and shaken up, she seemed ok. We were surprised at what happened but quickly moved on from the situation and moved to another area at the party.

About 45 minutes later, Grace was playing in the grass courtyard area with the dog when out of the corner of my eye, I could see the little boy enter the courtyard with his mom. Before I could even stand up he was in a full on sprint toward Gracie and was grunting very loudly as he ran, which scared the hell out of me. Before I could get to her, he got to her and tackled her to the ground. As I was running from across the yard and around bushes to get to her, he was choking her from behind and violently pulling at her hair. It was the most terrifying experience I’ve had with my little one and well, it was just awful. The mom had no control over her son so it took what felt like a full minute to break Grace free from his grasp. Once I had her in my arms he was still lunging at us and reaching for her while making noises that scared even me. At this point, I was beyond upset. It was an uncomfortable situation for all involved but at the end of the day, we were at this party for less than an hour and in that time, my kid was hurt twice by a boy much bigger than her, who intentionally wanted to harm her.

I told G that we needed to go because there was no way I was going to risk something happening again and Grace was crying saying that she wanted to go home as well.That made me so sad because she was so excited to come to the party and swim. Fast forward 10 minutes and before we could collect our things, I noticed the boy’s mom gathering her belongings to leave and while my heart broke for her, because as she shared, things like this have happened before, I was relieved to see them go. A while later the mom came outside and said goodbye to everyone, including me. She was joking with friends about going home early and acting as though nothing had happened. I wouldn’t say that I was expecting an apology but it upset me that she didn’t even ask if my daughter was ok. Here my little 3 year old had been pounded on by her son twice, both incidents were extremely physical and frightening and resulted in Grace having hair pulled out, being red faced and crying and we didn’t even get so much as a, “hope she’s ok.” Am I wrong for feeling this way? As fellow parents, what would you have done? If it was your child who hurt another kiddo, would you have checked on the kid they hurt?


We managed to salvage the day and within about 30 minute Gracie was excited to get in the Jacuzzi and swim.


We played with the dogs, lit fireworks and had a pretty good time.


It was a 4th of July that I won’t soon forget, but it wasn’t all bad. The situation we were faced with caused us to have several conversations with our gal about safety. We talked with her about the importance of standing up for herself, being aware of her surroundings and always getting an adult if someone is being hurt. We also talked about how her little voice can be LOUD and if something ever happens like that again and she’s away from us, scream as loud as she can for help.


This parenthood gig is full of life lessons and this year, a few lessons were learned on the 4th of July.


Mama getting in on the action!


Happy 4th Fourth, little stinker. :)


2015 Summer Bucket List – Light Fireworks √


1. Swim school
2. T-ball
3. Dance class
4. Make a fairy garden
5. Go camping
6. Feed ducks
7. Run through the sprinklers
8. Visit the library
9. Make popsicles
10. Go to Ranch Camp
11. Theatre Themed Summer School
12. Visit local water park
13. Lake trip
14. Go swimming
15. Movies on the lawn
16. Plant a Salsa Garden
17. Have a picnic
18. Visit the Nature Center
19. Make homemade playdough
20. Go to a Zoo Music Concert
21. Light fireworks
22. Roast marshmallows
23. Make root beer floats


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Lake Trip √


My first trip to the lake was when I was 2 months old. My parents were lake people, so my siblings and I grew up as “lake kids”, meaning we were always tanned and had way more fun when school was out than most of our friends, haha! In the summers for most of the 80’s and 90’s, we were at the lake at least one weekend a month and many of my most treasured childhood memories involve pretending to fly while sitting in the front of our speeding boat, learning how to water ski, roasting marshmallows and playing in the sand with my cousins. This played a huge factor in my knowing that G was, “the one” because she loved this kind of stuff too. Georgia was more of an outdoorsy camper type because she spent most of her childhood up north in a beautiful mountain town called Penasco. The great thing about being a lake person is that’s it’s basically the same thing as being a camping person, just minus the water. Our lives meshed pretty well. :)


Because my family was still in the market for a new boat the year Grace was born, we didn’t get to take her out for her first lake trip until she was 2 years old and she LOVED it. Her and I played in the water from sun up to sun down and both got a bit of a sunburn, which tends to happen when you spend all of your time in and out of the lake. This recent trip out was super exciting for us because we finally talked my brother and his family into joining us and that’s something that he hasn’t done in 15+ years! This meant that Grace had another group of kiddos to play with and because she’s basically obsessed with her cousins, she was pretty excited!


G somehow talked me into buying a giant inflatable raft complete with a built-in ice chest, waiting pool and seats. I haven’t let her buy an actual boat yet, so I figured I should choose my battles and agree to the purchase of this enormous thing… Turns out, it was the best idea ever! Everyone loved it and in the afternoon, in-between boat rides, we spent all of our time playing on it. Good call, babe!


Our rule for Grace is that when were at the lake, even if we’re not on the boat and she’s just playing in the water, life jackets are mandatory. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over with our toddler now that she’s a “threenager” and takes issue with most rules that her mamas enforce (that’s a whole other post in itself). Thankfully there was a small pond in front of our camp that wasn’t more than a foot of water so we agreed to let her splash around in that, free of her life jacket. She, of course decided that if she didn’t have to wear a life jacket in the pond, she would just spend all of her time there running around and digging to her hearts delight. I will say that it was pretty easy to talk her into wearing her life jacket any time the group was hanging out on the raft. She loved it up there.


Our camp!


We spent the majoriety of our days grilling and eating the yummiest food. Seriously, is there anything better than lake breakfast? Eggs, potatoes, bacon and red and green chile just taste better when they’re cooked on the grill! YUM!


The kiddos splashed around in the water, tossed the football for hours and played in the sand every afternoon with zero need for electronics, which is one of my favorite things about the great outdoors. Childhood unplugged!


That is until a certain princess got to much heat and needed her mama nurses to tend to her. We’re talking wet washcloth on the forehead, fans blowing on her face, cold water to drink, iPad for entertainment… The works! It was all very dramatic and really cute at the same time, lol! 


Thankfully, our gal survived the heat and was more than ready to go back outside once Nani said it was time to take a boat ride. She quickly went from little miss mope to this…


Our tradition is to boat over to the Marina to feed the giant catfish and get ice cream, so we made sure to squeeze that in. The catfish were nowhere to be found but there was plenty of ice cream to go around and lots of fun stuff to climb on! The girls loved seeing all the house boats as we boated into the no wake zone. If I could live on a house boat, I totally would! Maybe when we retire in 35 years, babe? ;)


We are soooo hoping to squeeze another lake trip into our summer before it ends but with plans already set to go camping for Labor Day and our trip out to Denver this weekend, that may not happen. If not, I’m just glad we were able to get my brother and his family out to the lake this time and that we had such a great extended weekend together!


I have a little more free time on my hands right now so I’m hellbent on catching up on my blog posts! We’ve already scratched 11 of the 23 things off our Summer Bucket List, which means we’re half-way through and I’ve only posted about ONE bucket list adventure… total slacker, I know! Once we get back from Denver, I’ll catch up! Here are a few more pictures of our fun in the sun. Happy summer, friends!


This picture was taken right before I dropped my favorite sunglasses in the lake. They sank to the bottom immediately… That’s what I get for taking a lake selfie.


Movies on the lake!


She slept the entire drive home. A sure sign of a great trip! (and for the record, I did move that buckle higher up after taking the picture.) ;)


Our big girl! 


2015 Summer Bucket List – Lake Trip √ & Roast Marshmallows


1. Swim school
2. T-ball
3. Dance class
4. Make a fairy garden
5. Go camping
6. Feed ducks
7. Run through the sprinklers
8. Visit the library
9. Make popsicles
10. Go to Ranch Camp
11. Theatre Themed Summer School
12. Visit local water park
13. Lake trip
14. Go swimming
15. Movies on the lawn
16. Plant a Salsa Garden
17. Have a picnic
18. Visit the Nature Center
19. Make homemade playdough
20. Go to a Zoo Music Concert
21. Light fireworks
22. Roast marshmallows
23. Make root beer floats


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