Archive | December 2016

Lazy last day of 2016

I might still be in pj’s….

There might still be brunch on the table….

Kids eyeballs may fall out from excessive TV….

BUT!

for the first time in a year, I slept for 8hours ūüôā ¬†Lars valiantly defended my sleep from the three needful things and they actually listened until he left his post and they came to find me. ¬†Oh well, still, a ¬†nice way to end the year.

We have dinner plans for tonight and a general plan for the NYE festivities but until then we are pretty free. ¬†I should do more in the house to reverse Christmas and undo vacation but instead, I super combed Niamh’s hair to get all the sand out (she has taken many showers, this is hard core sand) and made super pretty braids while watching the Lion Guard. ¬†I doodled around on facebook and Lars is defending the pretend universe with pretend guns on the computer.

On this arbitrary¬†‘last’ day of the year, I feel compelled to reflect on the year. ¬†Off the top of my head;

Went to Hawaii and NY and PA and had an epic road trip

Nobody died that I was directly related to but a very large number of friends had bad years in that respect.

Said good-bye to all diaper and diaper related items.

Started the Y and going to classes, both good fitness things, and had a year with the Fitbit¬†so I’m sure it will give me a year update at some point soon.

Got more clients!  I enjoy what I do with/for them and I am glad for the bit of money it puts into the system.  It makes doing the fun things easier.

Hit 1000 followers here ūüôā ¬†Thank you all for joining in a bit of my life. ¬†I appreciate the family and friends that read so when we talk in real life I’m not a stranger to you. ¬†I appreciate the strangers that have become friends through comments and likes and ‘meeting’ you on your own sites. ¬†Finally, I appreciate¬†the absolute strangers who read and follow but never say anything, I do hope the I make you laugh or think or feel less alone or whatever it is you need from a random mom in MN yapping daily about life trivia.

Obviously, the election was a big deal but technically it is less likely to impact my life than finishing potty training did so there is some perspective. Same with Brexit and the various acts of terror and violence in the world. ¬†I’m very very luck to live in this bubble out here in the upper midwest.

Looking forward I’m not planning anything out of the ordinary. ¬†I hope to continue¬†at status quo. ¬†The one thing I know is in my future is 3 kids in full-time school but other than that I’m not nailing down details. ¬†I’m going to keep up here, I’m going to keep on the exercise track, I’m going to keep mothering and wifing and friending and sistering.

This got longer than expected!  Credit to the TV and a pile of new toys that I had no interruptions this whole time.  I need to move the ball down the field now so later I can get back to relaxin.  I hope you all are having good final hours of 2016!

 

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Happy Second Christmas

We are home!

One of the tricky things about travel over Christmas is what to do about gifts.  Do you do them before the trip or after or drag them along on your trip?  This is doubled or tripled by what does your family do?  Give in person or ship to your home?  Complicate that more by variables unique to each situation and you get quite a situation.

We have been doing this for years and have come up with a few things that seem to help so if you are thinking of traveling during Christmas and wondering what to do here is what works for us;

  • If we are traveling very close to Christmas¬†we do gifts before we leave
    • Also if something that is a Christmas¬†gift but also needed on the trip
  • If we are leaving well before Christmas (like this time) we told the kids the gifts would be waiting when we got home and we would do Second Christmas
    • To make this work well I wrapped gifts well before we left and put them out so they could be shaken and wondered about, physical proof gifts exist
    • Had a friend put out the last few gifts and arrange them a bit and text a picture so on Christmas¬†morning I could show the kids that Santa had come and set the gifts out just like normal and there they were, waiting for them.
    • “santa” still came to us in Hawaii, but, for us Santa fills the stockings so that wasn’t hard to do there
  • Make Second Christmas a real deal – We got home late and groggy and cranky from travel and I made the kids wait one more night so this morning we woke up to Second Christmas where we had fancy pancakes and talks with relatives as we opened gifts and I’m treating the whole day like a private Christmas.
    • Also talking up the fact that we have an extra Christmas¬†day full of family time and nice food etc helped them feel good.

Bottom line is that we talked honestly about what would happen and how and why over and over to make sure they knew. ¬†Also, a good time to work on the fact that a trip to Hawaii and all the fun things we did were part of their Christmas, and, spending time together is better than spending money on gifts… ¬†However, that is a concept that is beyond many adults so I had realistic expectations for my kids and they did really well. ¬†Especially well now that they have their second Christmas ūüôā

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twas the night before 2nd Christmas

They did thoroughly enjoy what we got them and what was sent from family.  It seriously sounds like Christmas here today with all the playing with all the toys.

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final moments of torture waiting for Fiona to finish breakfast!

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super tight bows are hard…

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Grandma wins for most interesting and creative!

Next I need to tackle the unpacking. ¬†Our flight was nasty timing, departing at 11:50 pm meant that we couldn’t really have a normal bedtime but on the positive Zoe and Niamh and Lars slept. ¬†Fiona kept half waking up and freaking out so she and I did not get much rest. ¬†Landing in LA at 7:30am with a 2-hour layover was not too bad. ¬†You need at least 30min in LAX to get to the right place so we had enough time for a little breakfast and getting where we were going. ¬†I was a zombie and Niamh kept falling asleep everywhere but we did ok. ¬†Thankfully we had Vacation Mom to pick us up and we got home and ordered pizza and told the kids to eat and watch TV while we went to sleep. ¬†Lars actually ended up sleeping on both flights so he was reasonable when we got home and went to work to pre-catch up.

I’m, not unexpectedly, unsure on what day it actually is but I know we have a weekend and new years day to go so we have plenty of time to readjust to this time zone and weather. ¬†The house is decent, I need to grocery shop, but I did leave my sisters with clean laundry so I’m going to enjoy this day.

 

PS. this day for me made possible by my prents getting married 38 years ago.  Happy Anniversery!

Christmas Eve

I’ve been blog ¬†and I have a list of reasons why…. ¬†The biggest is my computer¬†decided to be ‘on vacation’ without official leave.

I have so many awesome pictures, we have been doing the family thing and the tourist thing and generally enjoying fantastic weather. ¬†When I get home I’ll do a massive update (maybe) but I’ll see about doing a gallery or something for those of you who care to see tons of pictures of Hawaii. ¬†I’m posting one a day on Instagram at least.

Today and tomorrow will be fun for us and I hope you too.  I know this is a crazy stress time of year for so many and I am putting out only good thoughts for the day.

Off for now, Happy Merry Everything

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my last day of 36

…. and second day in Hawaii!

The jetlag has worn off everyone finally. ¬†Poor Fiona had it worst, the other girls and I did fine and Lars just went to bed early. ¬†Speaking of poor Fiona, a bird pooped on her but she didn’t really care. ¬†She also got super dirty feet so when we got back from todays outing we washed her from head to toe.

 

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Fiona’s view of the movie. ¬†I drew the outlines of the people, Moana left and Mawi right. ¬†She did the rest and drew a ton of islands, his hook, and the animals he turned into.¬†

 

In a not unexpected situation, we were in a house full of Star Wars people who highly desired to see the new movie today. ¬†Lars is right there with them. ¬†I’m not so much… but! I did really want to see Moana, the movie about Hawaii that is staring one of my favorite actors. ¬†Moana did not disappoint, I loved it all and laughed all the way through. ¬†I particularly like that Moana was a very fit girl, a real sized active muscled female. ¬†Nothing against the waif look, but, the un natural princess proportions do get annoying after a while. ¬†For this movie trip, the girls went one way, the boys another, and then we met up for Mexican and a ramble around a park/beach. ¬†The park had the coolest trees and was full of the flora and fauna of the tropics. ¬†Trees just grow differently when they don’t have to worry about snow or ice.

I also got to experience a Hawaii Target, about the same as ours, to fill in the Santa duties for next weekend.  This morning Dan and I ran 4mi in my last run for my year and it was great scenery from palm trees and mountains to f15s and Airforce1.  Next up a game night and tomorrow the plan is to go to the beach.  This will be a first  in my life experience to go swimming on my birthday.

More tomorrow…. I plan on

Aloha time

We made it!img_1310

In my opinion, the key to travel is to absolutely ignore the things that could go wrong and focus only on the reality you want.  I refused to acknowledge the possibility of a snow storm or ice or delays or lost luggage and things worked!

We got a limo (just what you get when you have 5 people but it feels fancy) at 4:30.  It was also key to get into a warm car because I made everyone leave coats at home.

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I did my best to plan for things and we had a nice pile of food and snacks, I even went for lunchables for the kids because they have been wanting them for ages so that makes them ‘special’, and more importantly to me, they are reasonably crush proof so they were intact after hours of travel. ¬†The three planes and the three airports each had things to nitpick, but, overall it was worth it to get here.

Plane #1 was just fine and our layover was just long enough for a walk, a coffee, and a bit of a charge.

Plane #2 was the looooong one but I kept telling the kids it would be 8 hours but it was actually only 6 so that was a nice surprise.  We kept decent entertainment levels and constant snacks and things were pretty good.  Some of the surrounding people were not my first choice, but hey, that means we looked better in comparison.

Plane #3 was so short that the stewardess practically tossed juice to everyone from the back of the plane and then collected the cups and then we landed.

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why couldn’t this have been on the long flight?

 

My sister met us with the super pretty flower and we stumbled to her house and went to bed on a flat, non moving surface.

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my midnight after waking up at 4am!

 

The fitbit was very confused, I somehow managed to get 10k steps but my day was an extra 4 hours long and I started at 4am.  However, Fitbit could not figure out what to do when I synced so I had two Thursdays for a while.  I just need it to tell time in general so my steps will sort themselves out some how.

Today was more or less paperwork day.  We needed passes for the base, we planned out the big outings for the trip and got advance tickets to secure reservations and prices.  We visited a different base on the island for a drink and a view of the island and the harbor from the high ground.  The view from the grocery store was pretty good too, almost everywhere is either something pretty or something interesting.  I love the variety of things here.  My sister lives in a historic home in a historic neighborhood and the base is full of architecture from every era, but, in some ways time stopped here 75 years ago (once they cleaned up the mess that is).

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grocery store view.  Not half bad

 

We got out and about a little bit but not a lot.  Just the ability for the kids to play and us to eat dinner outside is a novelty.

A friend said once that visiting family isn’t a vacation, it is a trip. ¬†People imagine Hawaii like a luxury hotel or on a cruise or even on a massive cram it in sight seeing extravaganza BUT I am living life with my sisters family and it will include doing fun things, and, the best is that we are all in it together for the next 2 weeks.

Nearly ready

I have fit clothing, gifts, and assorted items for a family of 5 into one checked bag and 2 carry-ons. My sister has laundry, and, is my size so I plan on borrowing anything I forgot and/or didn’t want to use space on. ¬†We are also going to a place with only one temperature so everyone just has tank tops and shorts and they don’t take too much space.

The house is better than normal, we are in process of getting the trash and dishes done and I got a good hit on most of the house today. ¬†Work is in general good order, I expect to do some while away but that is how working for yourself works ūüôā

The kids are very excited. ¬†I’ve overheard songs and play games all about travel and airplanes and beaches and today when they packed some toys for the trip there was real discussion about who would go to avoid jealousy¬†in among the ponies. ¬†The highest rank ponies are the lucky chosen ones, if you were wondering…

Snacks are packed.  I got yogurt tubes of 2oz each to get past the TSA.  There is nothing worse than hungry kids. We are also working hard to eat all the cookies etc in the house that are open.  No real worries because our house/cat sitter(s) know where we keep the cookies too (and are welcome to them!)

The car is arranged for 4:30am¬†and right now I’m not frantic at all. ¬†Things are in hand, dinner is planned, I have a few more things to do but nothing we can’t get done in the next few hours. ¬†I have neglected exercising, but, packing and cleaning counts and my steps are decent for the day even without a formal workout.

Everyone wish me luck taking 3 kids on 3 planes for 15 hours!