To celebrate Fourth of July, we went with Tim's family, including Kim and the kids, to Coronado for a fire and swimming. You might remember that we had a balmy summer, and these pictures attest to the fact that we were almost downright cold for our day at the beach. But we still had a wonderful time; Tim and I even got a chance to catch some waves on our boogie boards, though, my tummy was bulging at this time and it made it hard to get up on the board with any comfort, so I caught a few and then enjoyed splashing in the waves while Madeleine played in the sand with her cousins.
Tim & MJ brave the water:
Tim's family, and my parents join in for a hot dog and s'mores roast:
Tim's 3 girls:Before our Lake Mead trip, near the end of the month, we actually had a few household issues that came up unexpectedly. One of those issues was a swarm of bees that decided to build a huge hive inside our attic. Although Tim had tried to find them earlier this month, it wasn't until they had established a sizable hive, with about 8 pounds of honey, that we needed to actually bring an exterminator in to get rid of the bees. We both wanted to re-locate them, for we had heard that honeybees are somewhat an endangered species. We also felt bad that we would destroy them based solely on the fact that they were building a home in our home, but a few factors led us to the decision to demolish. Firstly, it was around this time that there was an article in the Press Enterprise about africanized honey bees attacking two horses in Menifee. Second, the humane removal experts we did call were very expensive and very busy. The way they talked, they made it sound like there were too many people out there trying to relocate their bees to honey farmers and that the farmers were overwhelmed with the amount of bees to be collected. Thirdly, as we talked to experts, it's hard to determine whether bees are africanized or not until the nest is well established. We were unable and unwilling to wait around and see if our bees got more aggressive the longer they lived in our attic (which they actually ended up doing). So, we went the cheap route and just paid for the bees to be sprayed.
A few of the bees outside our home:
Since we didn't want to pay someone $300-$400 to clean up and remove the hive, Tim climbed up and vacuumed out the hive. He said he felt bad because the honeycomb was very beautiful and intricate. I wanted to save the honey, but it was coated in chemicals after the death of the bees.
Here Tim works to remove the wax, honey and dead bees:
This picture actually shows the combs intact, before Tim started removal:After that little debacle, we headed out to Lake Mead, which you can read about here.
When we returned, we spent a lot of time in our pool, Madeleine loves to swim and we bought her a little turtle swim aid that allows her freedom of movement yet buoyancy as she practices swimming. She's definitely going to be swimming freely in the next year! She doesn't mind being dunked under water and loves "falling" off the ledge and feeling the sensation of dropping deeper into the water. She even floats on her back for a while if we tell her to "do a baby relax".
Madeleine being her adorable self during dinner; love that girl!:Tim worked a few 48 and 72 hr shifts to get time off for our Lake Mead vacation, so we went to visit him at the fire station.
Dada shows Madeleine what a day on the job is like:
Listening intently to proper handling of the hose:
When Tim is at work, I try to stay busy so that his absence doesn't send me into an abyss of depression, I often end up over at my parents house. This time, Uncle Jared read Madeleine the DOGGIES book by Sandra Boynton. It was very cute how he did all the different dog noises, and she liked it immensely:When Mads was not even born, I indulged in another Janie and Jack item: cowgirl boots, size 4. Well, she finally moved into a size 4, but the practicality of leather boots for a 13 month old is not eve measurable, so I think she wore them just this once.
At the very tail end of July, my parents and I decided to head up to Riley's Los Rios Ranchos and pick raspberries. Unfortunately, Tim was logging another long weekend at the station, so we headed up to Apple Valley to pass the time in a meaningful and fun way.
Popi shows Mads how to pull the berries off the stem:
We made out like bandits...eventually:
Nani and Mads enjoy summer's sweet bounty:
Almost every morning, Madeleine wanted to play with chalk. So, we spent most balmy mornings on the deck drawing lots and lots of "st..st..st", or stars if you don't speak Madeleine. We drew turtles and bunnies and ABCs and one day she took a nose-dive into the chalk. She was totally fine, but I had to take a picture of my cute, chalk-covered girl:Love, Lauren