It has been a week and quite a week it has been. Busy days seem to go faster so the past week has been light speed.
Last week I had an ‘unplanned’ Friday. There were things to do but nothing HAD to get done that day until a 3:30 start at school for a major setup and I was ready for a great day of finishing things. I was still considering my copious options when the phone rang and that was the end of unplanned. Thus is the life of multi-home ownership, sometimes the washer just dies and because friends live there I moved heaven and earth to get them a washer that day. Technically I just moved a washer up and down a set of stairs (with help) but in between was a bunch of calls to find a washer and the drive to go get it. The set up for the carnival went well but ate up the evening and I did finally get a call into my dad to celebrate his 26th birthday.
The weekend was a social blur with the school carnival, great weather, friends stopping over, an impromptu backyard fire where we burned the Christmas tree is spectacular 12 ft flames (only for about 2 minutes). General peace and happiness for all.
Monday the kids had off for no apparent reason. So, we did things around the house but none of the things I needed to get done. On the other hand, Niamh exercised her creative side with a sewing machine gifted to us by a friend who appreciates little kids learning to sew. I was amazed that she really could do it. I know, I personally taught her and she
has seen me do it, but her fingers and brain just worked together and she really really did the sewing herself this time. I have grand visions of her sewing with me now, hopefully getting things done faster.
Tuesday with only one child was still a dervish of activity. We had our vent hood put in and that went really really well. We were lucky that there was nothing structural in the way (besides the roof). There was a crazy moment of fire when the drop cloth used to protect the brand new stove kinda caught on fire because the installer was leaning against the burner dials. It was seen promptly and nobody was hurt and everyone laughed including the installer. I also had the over-scheduled day that included a conference for Fiona (she is doing very well), swim lessons for Fiona (also doing well and can even swim somewhat and can actually float on her back!), swim lessons for Niamh and Zoe (they have been good for a while, this is refinement) and finally home for dinner where I tag Lars who has an aerobic class at 6:45. Quite a day.
Wednesday I have no blog excuse except I spent all day working on work and my computer was being a pain. So were many other programs and I was just done with the computer by the time I got the things done for people who pay me.
Today I did 3 under dresses and the end is in sight for the 3 over dresses – hand sewing only that I like to do while I watch TV. I ‘wasted’ some time chilling with Fiona in bed because she really needed a nap. I got a nap at least and in the end, she did too, so I’m stealing some time here to document how not working can end up being very very busy.
The weather is totally helping things not feel too crazy because we can go outside and the kids play after dinner. It might not do great things for our schedule but they are less cranky overall and while they play I can do things.
Tomorrow is Niamh’s birthday so all the while we have been counting down. We have done shopping, there are plenty of gifts even though 9 is a really hard age to shop for. Breakfast is planned and tonight after my school board meeting I’ll be getting the traditional balloons ready for breakfast. The day will have to be shared with a road trip because we are off to an event for the weekend. In her honor, we got a fun hotel with a pool with slides and there is a plan for cake by the pool at 9 pm CST (parents and sisters note for calling in)
Now I have just a few minutes before they come home and we need to scoot to a friends house for a final fitting and then to my ‘date’ core conditioning class. If I want to add pictures and maybe spell check I need to leave things here semi unfinished (just like my life!)
Location – back in MN in my own home
Nap – I got one, told them all to sleep or not but don’t bother me! Locked the front door and scattered snacks on the floor.
House – doing well for not being touched for a week.
Cat – back from cat vacation and happy (or as happy as a cat shows) to be back
My most recent Instagram is a picture of me at 4am. Our flight was at 6, I woke up at 3, it was a good flight really but nothing is actually ‘good’ at 4am. The kids are getting very adept at travel and I wish they would have slept, calmly playing a game for an hour was good enough even if I had to ‘look!’ every 2-5 minutes. The best thing about a flight that early is that even after getting to the car, getting home, dropping off Lars and going to go get the cat and then getting home to stay I felt like it was 5 pm but it was only 10:30. The kids chilled with TV powered by a remote they know and I kicked them outside to play in our spring sunshine.
I marked this last day of vacation by eating a cookie with my coffee, to say good-bye to unrestricted eating. I didn’t go crazy eating on vacation but I also didn’t try and count because we were out so often. The food, on the whole, was very good, we went out to a fancy steak place and a well known tex-mex tacarita. We found a phenomenal sandwich shop that I could go back to every day and even the ‘Whataburger’ fast food was solid. Our goal was to avoid any food place that we could eat at here. The weird side of food was the lack of grocery shops, they must be hiding because we had a ton of trouble finding them. The kids ate more pop tarts in the past week than in their entire lives but I think it balanced.
On the exercise front; I got a good run in plus some time at the hotel gym last night and most days we walked 5k steps or more. My exercise log should also reflect that I carried Fiona a quarter of the time too. Spoiled little girl with no baby to take her place on my hip – she was toted around like an infant but in return she slept on me most days, fulfilling her nap requirement and keeping us from abandoning her. Travel with kids is a balance of food and sleep and fun and managing the extremes of schedule changes while still actually doing different things.
I unpacked a bit and I’m glad to have the rest of the day to get to the remainder of that. My camera is not yet out so this won’t get pictures – just average it with the past two posts and we work out square. Just in case, I never actually write another post on this adventure the brief itenery was;
Friday night – travel and arrive at the Dallas hotel
Saturday – hotel shuttle out to the Perot museum – stayed until lunch. Went out to the mexican place and then strolled up the road to the Art Museum. Saw a brief, but good, round of art and then rode the street car up and back. To a public park that was way too crowded and back to the Perot again. That was the night we tucked the kids into bed and left them with Becki and we went to the fancy steak place. The day was very sunny and warm and just right to walk around Dallas.
Sunday – collected our ride for the week, a 10 passanger van that reminded me of the space shuttle. Out to Ft Worth to the stock yard that is a total tourest place to view the cowboy side of Texas. We left there and drove drove drove to Galveston to check in at the Air B&B house. (the house was its own story, in short, I give it 2 stars of 5)
Monday – wake up to waves and sea air! Head into the main part of the island and take the ferry on a trip across and back again. Ate at the fun sandwitch place and drove around a bit taking in the victorian houses and finally finding a grocery store. Back to the house and the rest of the afternoon on the beach where boogie boarding and sand building were the order of the day.
Tuesday – getting mega storm warnings all day but nothing more than a sprinkle actually happened. First I dragged them to the visitor center that is an 1830’s house and along with good info on where to go, we got to peek in on the house and its exibits (it was closed). They directed us to the library across the street for genelogy info and it also had a huge Texas history museum floor as well as a nice and modern kids area. It was an unexpected find and very fun for all. Lunch in town and then we went to quite a few shops along the historic main street including the beef jerkey and choclate shops. I strolled a sleeping Fiona while they went to the pirate museum. Last, we got to the Bishop Palace and begged our way into a tour even thought they were just about closed and finally back to the house for an evening beach walk.
Wednesday – Close up the house and drive drive drive (in the rain) back with a brief stop in Huston for the space center. We had no time to really go in so we just ran around the outside a bit. The rental car had a hard deadline of 5 pm and there are somethings you can’t talk your way out of. The end of the day was a mash of finding food and a not so great hotel but when you select for proximity to airport and 24h shuttle you have to compromise on the actual quality of other things. Hey, it had a pool, so that worked out.
And that, in a thousand words or less, was the vacation. We got lucky all around with weather and got most of what we wanted to do done.
Now on to part 2 of spring break since the kids had zero snow days, we have Monday off too. 4 more days of break! I wish we had more time in Texas but I’m glad to have some days here to enjoy. Lars is just about done tuning up the kids bikes so I’m going to leave this and go enjoy some MN springtime.
the fun word of the week at Cee’s is PINK. Trust me, our house is awash in pink. I personally like the color and good thing because Niamh LOVES it and so does Fiona (today) and Zoe strays so far from the pack loving red, but settling for pink since it is more common and ‘boys’ have taken over Red. (don’t get me started on the fact that color does not have a gender)
Today was a gray gray day. Zoe does not nap but needs to be pretty mellow while Fiona does. Usually kindle or puzzles or a show etc and thats when I get some time on my computer. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see a bright spot in the yard. Zoe had gone outside and was enjoying a stroll in the wet grass with her pink punch of color.
I love when the alphabet lines up exactly with what I would like to write 🙂
What a weekend it was! Double birthday parties; tons of positives but a few negatives too.
– 2 kids are happy and the center of the world in rapid succession. You know how all the siblings feel on their sister birthday… hard to tell a kids “just wait a month!” but not too hard to say “tomorrow! just 12 hours until your turn!”
– All the cleaning and setup goes further. I didn’t feel like I was burning energy by putting up a tent and cleaning for a week because I got the benefit for 2 days rather than 2 hours.
– Renting something big like a bouncer feels more economic when you get two full parties from it, and, having it for 2 full days gives tons of other times that we could enjoy. Our company also gave us a pretty decent discount for the second day and I must say, they were a very easy to work with company and it was absolutely effortless on our part.
– Better with practice – the second party was so much easier because we worked the bugs out on the first round. We did shoot ourselves a bit on that though because I didn’t want Zoe to feel like she had ‘the same’ party so I kept trying to make key things different so not everything had economy of scale.
– crossing your fingers for 2 good weather days in a row. We were the luckiest we could ever hope for, both days were perfect but there was plenty of backup plans just in case.
– Nonstop party – maybe this should also go in the positive but we didn’t have any recovery time. We did have a nice gap since the second party was an early evening party, but, it was still like being chained to a treadmill because things had to get done done done.
– a mutually acceptable date is not a perfect fit for either – This party was 2 weeks after Niamh’s real birthday and 3 weeks before Zoe’s… I think it is easier because we clearly labeled them “Friend Party” but still, Zoe isn’t 5 yet! Give me my last 3 weeks of sweed four year old Zoe!
Overall I think the positives win. My sister does a double party for her sons often because they have mostly the same friends but that won’t really work for us. Some friends overlap but I like the two days. I think half the new school friends mom’s who heard we had another party the day before/after assume I have twins and I’m crazy about letting them have their own party…
Coming up next is a bunch of pictures of Zoe’s party. Yes, it looks a lot like Niamh’s but the 5 year old bunch had some real differences. 5 year olds eat less, are less interested in doing puzzles, are more interested in playing with their dolls and on swings, take a longer time to eat and require real cleaning since they are all messy eaters. You also have to remind them to go to the bathroom. They also are 100% more calm with gift opening, Niamh’s friends were like a mosh pit, Zoe’s all sat quietly – I did try to encourage this by giving them all a blanket spot to sit, and, a box of popcorn to eat while watching. Zoe’s friends all have siblings that came and bounced post party and Niamh’s friends were all gone within 5 minutes of the stated finish time. Niamh’s theme was golden birthday, Zoe’s theme was PJ party. Without further comment, Zoe:
different table cloth
Pizza’s for all
cake (yes, I wore PJ’s too)
sniff… she isn’t 5 yet! Shut up cake!
Animals giving the puzzle a try
blanket ‘goodie bag’ was a hit
It was a wonderful, full, happy weekend.
I have spent the last 2 weeks decluttering, spring cleaning and in general getting the house ready ‘just in case’ the weather was bad.
Not one kid set foot in the house
The weather was perfect; sunny, warm, slight breeze.
They loved everything from the fruit to the cake and nobody wanted to leave. I call this a complete win. Lets do it again tomorrow!
And here are so many pictures you will feel like you were there~
Lars is on the bottom of that pile of girls Golden princess yippie! my decorating ready for cake puzzle teamwork time puzzle hunt – every egg had a puzzle piece in it. my zoo table ready too cute tent side
L day could be for Lars… He is a very good person but he is also an adult with work and friends etc so he does not need my blog yapping about him. I know I should also technically limit what I write about my kids too since they already have a large digital footprint, but, on the other hand, this is my baby book of them too. Nothing here could ever really harm them because even if they run for president and someone digs this up what will they find? Someone was a difficult kid sometimes that had normal kid crabby days? Who wasn’t? I do occasionally wonder who is Looking – there are well over 600 people subscribed plus around 100 that click daily. I like to believe everyone is nice and I hope I’m never discouraged of that idea. Maybe if I hit a few thousand subscribers I’ll go back and edit all their names 🙂
Speaking of Looking – now is the time of year where everything is worth looking at. The grass is green, the birds are flying, the flowers are popping up. You can see what people wear since they are not cocooned in coats. People are out and about again and my afternoons are full of the kids pointing and yelling “LOOK!” an airplane, bird, motorcycle, bug, flower…. Their wonder is contagious and they hear an equal number of “LOOK!” from me pointing out something new and cool.
The Cee challenge this week is close ups, looking close to see the tiny detail
Here are two I took this week for the challenge – the center of a sea star is a sea star, and, my emerging tulip
And this is from the fall but this guy came to visit a few times and I got good pictures with my really big lense