Let's see if I remember how to do this blogging thing. We just got back from the July 4 week at the beach, which generally is my favorite week of the year.
But the day before the beach trip began, we celebrated Claire's first birthday! Happy birthday, sweet girl! We kept the party simple, with family only (still quite a crowd) and a menu of hot dogs, chips, fruit and cake. We had planned to at least have balloons and homemade ice cream, but the day was slammed with a Loyd/Taylor play date, two articles that were due, and real estate loose ends to tie up before leaving town, not to mention what party preparations we did do and pre-trip laundry/packing/cleaning.
Ron stepped up and kept Claire for five straight hours before the party, without which I might have lost my mind, but still it was go-time before I knew it. Several guests had arrived before I realized Claire was still wearing the blackberry-stained mess of an outfit she'd had on all day. She got clean clothes, but sadly I forgot her custom-made party bib from Gail! Fortunately, it's not birthday-specific, and she has many more parties in her future.
Anyway, the evening was a lot of fun! Claire surely had no idea why so many of her favorite people were together in one place, but she loved it. She got an assortment of great gifts, all of which she enjoyed rediscovering today when we got home. (Except for the new books, which went with us to the beach, and which I have already memorized -- I can't speak for her.)
I did not take a single picture but plenty of other people did, and Amanda and Dad even beat me to blogging about the party. (Thank you both!)
The beach trip was awesome too, of course. This year we rented an extra condo in our same building for a total of four bedrooms and four bathrooms, so there was plenty of room for all the Kirby people plus assorted friends, most of whom could stay only a few days because they have "jobs."
Claire got her own bathroom to sleep in and she slept great except for the two nights she woke up crying at 3 a.m. Not sure what that was about, but at least she didn't make a habit of it. Matt, Claire and I shared the extra condo with Jacob, Carrie and Riley through Wednesday, then they left (though we literally tried to bribe them to stay!) and we were on our own.
Again, we took almost no pictures -- fewer than a dozen all week. There were so many other cameras flashing that it just didn't seem worth the effort, although I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up on Facebook. Over the week, Claire developed into a confident walker and proved that she loves, LOVES, the water. She has not even a healthy fear of the ocean, so we kept a very close eye on her.
She put her new walking skills to good use, frequently toddling as fast as she could straight toward the water. Being toppled by waves didn't bother her. Being covered from head to toe in sand sure as heck didn't. (Occasionally she'd roll around in it, then, flat on her back, look up at the sky and giggle to herself.)
She threw an all-out fit when some little boy tried to reclaim his boogie board, and share a seashell from her collection? Forget it. Despite being slathered in SPF 50 sunscreen from morning till night, she has baby swimsuit tan lines.
She stayed on a pretty regular nap schedule, and Matt and I got lots of reading in while she slept. We also got to go out for dinner without her twice, thanks to Ron's babysitting services -- once we went with a group, and once we went alone. And we made three quick trips to the outlets. It was a wonderful week, and we arrived home to a clean house, and we get to sleep in our own bed tonight. But first we'll eat some leftover (not homemade) ice cream. Good times.
Also, my trio of overdue friends have all produced babies since I last blogged! Congratulations to Lib and Jorge (Wright Granger), Jax and Nathan (Sophia Lois) and Sonya and Mark (Annabelle Leigh)!
Thus ends the interminable blog post.