I Love Our Playgroup

When MiniM.E. was a baby and I was a new mom and I hadn't found my mommy-friends and I was overwhelmed and sleep deprived and didn't know what I was doing, I was fortunate enough to find my two fantastic mommy-friends, J. & T. and their daughters. We held "playgroup" for our babies (only one of whom was actually old enough to play when we first started) on Wednesday afternoons and it was was got me through the week- having someplace to go and something to do mid-week.

We have held our (mostly) weekly playgroup faithfully since then and we have grown from three kids to seven in about as many years. All the kids are close and play well together and look forward to seeing each other. We are so lucky to have found such a fantastic playgroup. 

So. Much. Fun.

When you play this hard at the splash pad:

 You nap this hard when you get home:


BabySlimJim and Food

BabySlimJim had multiple food protein intolerance from 6 weeks on and we struggled to find a solution that let him keep nursing and when that didn't work, we struggled to find a formula that he would tolerate (and that made us feel okay about feeding it to him). Fortunately, we found a great German formula, HiPP HA and he's been eating that since. 

Because of his intolerance, when six months rolled around we couldn't find anything he could eat. So he just drank his meals. Finally around eight months he started eating rice, which seemed to agree with him, but everything else made him miserable.

At almost a year, we decided to try again and started gradually introducing a few grains and some fruits and vegetables and miraculously, he was okay!

So we kept going. Turkey, chicken, beans, grains... 

And finally the big few: gluten, dairy and eggs.

And he is fine! I am so thankful that he has outgrown his intolerance and can eat like a normal kid.

It's taken him a while to figure out what this "food" thing is all about since he didn't get it for so long, but he is loving it. Especially bread.

While we don't do this often, here he is enjoying his sisters' favorite treat: Dunkin Donuts.

And here he is in his new favorite location- the booster seat. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to say this for a long time, but I'm glad I can: this guy loves his food!


The Butterfly Release

As part of homeschooling, we hatched butterflies for the second year. This year I went for the budget caterpillars to save a few bucks, which I regret as only half the butterflies made it from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The girls, fortunately, didn't seem to notice and cared only about the butterflies that did hatch. This year the caterpillars also didn't all go through the same stages at the same time, so we had a couple butterflies that hatched almost two weeks ago and one that just hatched a couple days ago. I didn't want them to start laying butterfly eggs in our habitat and have us end up with hundreds of tiny caterpillars all over the place, so today was the day we decided to let them free.

The girls were a little sad to see them go, but I think the thrill of holding them and watching them fly away made up for it.

 BabySlimJim didn't really care. But he's cute and had fun on the slide.


An Epic Sleepover

MiniM.E. and LittleL.G. have been begging to have a sleepover. They always ask when we are already hanging out with friends and it's beyond late and no one has their sleep over stuff and it's time for our friends to go home anyway.

The last time they asked, the moms agreed that June 1st we would schedule the sleepover. But of course, all the moms totally spaced until a couple days ago when MiniM.E. asked, "Mom, when is June first?" to which I blankly replied something to the effect of, "um... I don't know, maybe Friday?"

A fit of excitement followed, the cause of which I still was drawing a blank on... Until the fit ended with chants of "SLEEP-OV-ER! SLEEP-OV-ER!"

And so yesterday we hosted an epic sleepover. Three big girls, one little girl, one one-year-old boy (who only stayed til bedtime) and our baby (who went to sleep before the party even started).

We made tacos:

A fort:

Ice cream sundaes:

And a giant sleeping pile.

It was a late night, but so much fun!


A Surprise Visit from Mrs. O'Shea

MiniM.E. wasn't the biggest fan of going to preschool at the start. Or really, ever. There were lots of tears shed and lots of mornings of begging not to go. Even though once she was there, she always had a good time. But despite the dislike of actually going to preschool, MiniM.E. loved her preschool teacher, Mrs. O'Shea.

Even after her two years of preschool, we still tried to keep in touch and would sometimes get together for coffee at the bookstore.

But then the "worst thing that could ever happen" to MiniM.E. happened: Mrs. O'Shea moved away. There were tears for days.

MiniM.E. and Mrs. O'Shea have been pen pals since she left about a year ago, and MiniM.E. hasn't let a week go by without asking when Mrs. O'Shea is coming to visit.

Mrs. O'Shea did finally come back to visit and she and I decided to surprise MiniM.E. by meeting out for breakfast and a walk.

MiniM.E. was so excited to see one of her most favorite people in the whole world. And it was great to catch up. Maybe next time we'll have to take a road trip to visit her!