Tag Archive | vacation

Pennsic prep – the final 5 days

I had a very productive weekend!  Not only did I get quite a few things sewn, I also found all the garb in storage.  There was a vague worry that an entire box of the current sizes had been deeply buried in storage but I got it out without too much stress.  We might not have perfect wardrobes, but, we will have enough I think.

My plan today is to finish evaluating the pile for who fits what and triple check that each pile is enough of the right things.  Have you ever rushed to pack for a trip and just figured you would take your clean laundry basket?  That does not work, by the way, you think it should be a perfect week of clothing but it really isn’t.  Same concept with my totes of garb, you feel like a pile the height of my child  would yield outfits for the week but some years they grow tall and need skirts and some garb is too warm and you get the idea…  the only way is to stand there with each child and try on all things in the size range.

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The end goal is to have everything packed and delivered to the person packing the trailer by Wednesday.  I feel like an important step, the ‘pack the car’ step will be missing from my life this year, but, I have done extra packing plenty of years so I don’t think my lifetime average will be negatively impacted.

Thursday the plan is to have a clean up the house and hang out day.  I hope my plans actually work out and there are no crazy departures from the normal schedule the next few days.

This is probably not the wild and crazy fun blog this week.  I’m just going to pack and parent.  Next thing after I publish here is to make the list for packing, it has been bouncing in my head but with the house rearrangement, there are not as many notebooks as there once were. I have done this dozens of times but it still looks daunting before you start.  I may go and buy New Totes!  that will jump start the process.  My old ones are getting beat up anyway~

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Just in case you thought we did nothing fun all weekend we did head out to the mall for a little fun.  We had a mission for a special bottle for a friend and since we were at the mall we got milkshakes and went on some rides.  Just enough to be fun, not so much that they got crabby.  Pizza dinner and back to work but I’m glad to be as far along as I am.  All things I sew now are bonus, I don’t totally NEED anything and that is a nice feeling.

I also got a new phone!  My old one was 5 years old and the battery was down to almost nothing.  I had been hesitating because I like all the info and pictures I have on my old phone and didn’t want to start over but they guy at the store had a transfer machine so my new phone is identical and it feels nice to have a phone working all day again.

I’ll try and take a picture of all that I created this week, I’m pretty pleased with myself 🙂  Now I need to get breakfast and the day going, my ‘screen’ time is up!

our finite summer and complaints about the dog

I have no idea what I am going to do next summer when I have the oppisate issue of a super long summer, I guess that is going under the category of next year’s problems…  This summer is super short and in many ways is half over so each day when we do something it is likely to be the only time we do that particular thing.  To make thing just a little more fun there is the side project of keeping the house show-ready and my endless sleeping issues.

When I started this post I had just intended on posting a bit about the stuff we have done but the fact that someone or something wakes me up 2x a night is really starting to grind on me and kill our summer.  I’m lucky if I have the energy or patience (my patience is fueled by sleep) to make it past 3pm and that just does not make enough time to do all the things we want to do.  The dog is now the weakest link lately because if anything happens during the night she feels like it is morning and will whine to be let out for hours.  Yes, I know, don’t give in and in a few days she will stop however after about 45min she actually is awake and need to go to the bathroom and after an hour or so of whining she will have an accident and then she really gets loud.  It is like the kid that pukes after 10min of crying, you can’t let them ‘cry it out’ when it always ends in puke.  So, Fiona needing bathroom help or Zoe having a bad dream (both happened on Sunday night at 2 and 4 respectively) usually I can be back asleep in 5 min after helping a child but Prima can hear the bustle and she assumes it is morning.  Que the whining for the next forever.  Last night Lars fell asleep watching TV and at 2am he got up and went to bed – usually that wakes me up for 30 seconds but Prima transforms that into hours.  Yesterday I crashed at 3 for an hour but since napping at 3pm is not usual I got phone calls and texts and kids needing a thing.  On the other hand, I’m mastering the 10min power nap….

So anyway, I’m tired, what else is new?  I should be used to this after 9 years.  Moving on~

Earlier in the summer, I said I made a chart that needed to be done before screen time.  This has been working out really really well.  I’ve seen them for years on Pinterest and other parent sites but until I had 2/3 of the kids reading it was not a good plan for us.  Zoe can not only read but is motivated by lists and check boxes and while she admits she is only doing things for the list, I don’t think she actually minds.  Since she is doing it Niamh does it too and Fiona more or less wants to do what they do anyway so she follows along.  This has also made me feel much better about falling asleep in the afternoon because I know the morning was productive.  I was not exactly planning on sleeping but it is a nice side bonus.  Since we need to super tidy every morning anyway them doing ‘the list’ gives me the time and a little help in the house and has made it so we can get out and do fun things.

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After the crazy mid-week Monday we did get a bunch of little things like oil changes and new tires and grocery shopping stuff and Wednesday we had a friend over and with no prompting,  they broke out the science kit and made a multi-color foam volcano.  I did not help at all until I heard them getting really experimental (talk of adding diet coke) because it was not fizzy enough but otherwise it was a fun experiment.

Last week Friday we went to the Gibbs family farm, a historic pioneer site with a sod house and the actual farm house from when the family purchased Minnesota territory for 1.25 an acre well before it was a state (the got 150 acres and basically hit the lotto for land with appreciation).  It was a ‘farm Friday’ so it was an open day for the public and the theme for the week was farm animals.  Other weeks have more interesting themes but this was the only Friday we had.  The animal talk was really basic, any kid that has been read the normal kid books about cows going moo, eating grass, giving milk, and having calfs covered the level they were discussing on this tour.  The only new piece of info I got was that apparently pigs can be used to break up the soil on a farm by moving their pen around.  It was a nice outing made better by meeting a friend who lived nearby because after we did everything in about an hour and a half we went to her house and visited her bunny.

Then we had the real weekend and went to see the totally re-done children’s museum.  We have a membership so I hope we can go a few times but even just once was worth it because they have improved the experience and added some new things like the green screen set for older kids.  I didn’t get many pictures but if you are wondering the MN Children’s Museum is worth it and can easily fill a day.  The only thing that was not as good as they made it sound was the 4 story climbing structure.  It is tall, but, it is really just 2 towers of platforms you can go up or down, not really as interactive or cool as most other play areas but it is very solid and clean and there are stairs for parents/bad climbers so that is all good extras.

Sunday we had a lazy morning and then got out and enjoyed the day and finally made it to the Y after a month of being gone.  I do miss exercise, I just took it off the list when I was packing and cleaning and then in NY and I don’t really see it becoming regular again until school starts but I hope I get to work out a few times at least.

Yesterday we stole one of our favorite babies for a play date and then did some shopping for our camping trip and then the aforementioned nap.  I’m also sewing at a friend’s house to keep this house neat so 3x in the past 2 weeks I’ve commuted to sew for a few hours.  It is nice to have people to sew with, I’ll probably still go visit even when I have the ability to make a mess in my own house!

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Looking forward we are going camping Friday -Sunday and next week the girls have day camp all week.  The following week we go to Pennsic for 2 weeks and then home and school starts?!?  This week I need to shop/prep food and pack including getting stuff out of storage…  It will all get done somehow.  I feel like we are missing the lazy days of summer with going to the beach and pool and playdates but we do what we can~

What did we do in NY?

This is totally not a guide to what-to-do in NY, like I said yesterday visiting my parents is not your normal visit to a person or place.  For the sake of completeness I do want to write what we did so I don’t forget.

This is not in order… it is in the order they uploaded and I don’t have time to mess with them so without further Adu;

Muddy Puddle days at a local farm we go visit most visits.  This is a really cool event where for $4 kids get to dive, slide and generally romp in mud puddles.  We nearly didn’t go because the morning was rainy and cool but our friends really did and so we wanted to spend time with them more than avoid hypothermia and fortunately for all it turned around and it was gorgeous and sunny and perfect.  Miss Math has a much better picture when they were all head to toe mud, this is a post mud one after we hosed them down.

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Many trips to the beach and we learned that Prima loves to dig in the sand.  She loves to dig in anything but sand makes the most gratifying hole when you are a 2lb dog.

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We had a morning brunch in the park with my friend Pete and Will and Greta and their various spouses and children.  Again, awesome weather and the kids all click and play so well they were begging to see each other again.  (Good thing we visit for Christmas too).  Pete gets the boy scout award by being the most prepared friend I have.  He makes me feel disorganized by comparison because while I can fish out a band-aid from my mom-bag, he had a full on med kit with 19 sizes of band-aids and none of them were covered in cookie crumbs or sand (like what is at the bottom of my bag)

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Another yearly stop to the Holtsville Science Center where they have a rescue zoo.  All the animals are rescues one way or another.  This time the peacocks were in full bloom and chasing around the hens who were ignoring them.  We also saw some pretty active bears and the normal crew of other animals.

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An absolutely unique opportunity happened this year – we happened to be in town for the PROM!  so 20 years after my prom, I’m taking a picture of my 2nd youngest cousin get ready for hers.  Sayville does something pretty cool.  Part 1 – they do a mass picture event at the local pretty picture park (where I also did my wedding pictures).  This is so fun because parents are invited and you see all the kids and it saves figuring out where else to do pictures.  They did the same for my prom and I loved it then too.  Cool thing 2; now they REQUIRE you to go to the prom in a giant party bus.  The buses leave from the picture spot and I think this does three great things; takes out the cost of limo (and the pressure to have a limo), limits pre-prom drinking risks, and keeps the schedule rolling better because you don’t have various traffic jams coming and going to the prom.  This is a newish thing and I like it but, I still love my prom limo experience…  The kids were entranced with all the dresses and they were like cheerleaders LOUDLY commenting on how much they loved this dress or that one.  I think they brightened quite a few teens day but none more than their A#1 cousin who was most pretty overall.

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On our very last day we met up with Pete and his girls and my nephews and we ran all over a nature trail.  We scared away most of the nature but had a great time.  Pete brought the good camera so I may get better than my 2 random snapshots.

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One of the unplanned great coincidences was that my cousin Antonia and her 3 kids were visiting the same time we were!  We hung out a few times including the twins first active beach experience.  Twin 1-year-olds are a challenge but Antonia is young and quick so running in separate directions was a fun test for her.  They are the sweetest little people who are at that mobile but ‘idiot’ stage and as an aunt, I found it nothing short of adorable.

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I have to say Miss Math is the ABSOLUTE best friend about making time for me and I am forever happy for all the time she creates for me.  This trip 2 other friends made really awesome efforts to come see me.  I missed getting a picture of one who drove 4 hours in traffic to see me for 3 hours, but here is my other.  She left as soon as work ended down south and drove the night to get to Sayville the morning I was leaving and texted at 6am that she was there and needed a nap and to call repeatedly until I woke her up.  We spent an hour or so catching up and seeing her pregnant belly and she saw all the productions of my pregnant belly plus the puppy (she has been a superb pup mom forever)

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I put this on Instagram too, this is my trio solo.  We went on plenty of beach and playground trip just us while the rest of NY was still in school.  They may fight, they may drive me crazy sometimes but if you think about it, who can you spend 24/7 with all the time?  We did do something every day but it was not a rush-rush vacation so there was plenty of time just us or just us and my parents.  I am not quite at the read a book stage of parenting, I still need to have eyes on them too frequently but it is nice that there are times I can just sit and relax.  2 weeks is a pretty long time to be gone but not long enough to feel like we fit in quite yet.  I end up missing my stuff, my car, my routine and to all the busy people who found time for me I know how hard it can be since usually, I have a really really full routine.  The break was nice but I’m glad to be back here even if I have zero family, all my friends are from the past few years so no ‘remember when we were’ conversations or history and my network is 1/12 of what it could be if I had stayed in my hohometown.   Moving here was a good decision but not an easy one but as always, I’m more glad for what I got to do and who I did get to see then sad about what I missed or leaving it behind again after 2 weeks.

 

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Bye bye guys, so glad we had this trip and everyone has an open invite to visit us!

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crunch day!

Yesterday I did not get everything done because I ended up going to the Dr and found that it is not allergies or a cold but strep.  You know how low the chances of strep are for an adult?  Well, I’m glad to live in a time of antibiotics and today they need to work overtime.  I need to get myself, 3 other humans and 1 canine through a pair of airports in less than 9 hours.  I have told all the girls that once we get to NY all my attention can be for them – not the house, no meetings, just my family, and NY friends.

In the next 9 hours, I need to pack (yesterday I got all the laundry done, your favorite things are always the ones you just wore).  To save time I don’t plan on putting away any of the clothing we are not bringing – it is all going directly into totes in the garage so our house looks even tidier for 1/4 empty closets.  I need to get everything back to ‘show ready’ and that includes spiriting away many stuffed animals and swapping bed spreads etc.  I’ve saved my sanity by booking an awesome cleaning service for tomorrow who will do the floors and windows so I don’t have to worry about cleaning while we are still here.

I’m totally not the first person to move.  It is, however, the first time I have tried to do this sell a house thing and I wish I had more time to make it even better.  We have had just over a month from deciding this is what we are doing to hitting the market. I’ve done nearly nothing in the yard but that is on today’s list so maybe!

If anyone is wondering what my house looks like, here is the presale link

our house

We truly have taken good care of the house and I hate to leave behind the house we know for a new bag of tricks, but, we are also tripping over each other and need more space so we look and look for the next place to make our own.  Everyone think good thoughts for us!  We are actually in the great place that we don’t have to move, we don’t have to take a low offer, it is a seller’s market and I’m doing my best to not go crazy over this.

This time tomorrow I will be typing something (or maybe sleeping) from my parents in NY enjoying a well-earned vacation.

Back again

That was a long vacation.  After 11 days off they are now back in school and it is just Fiona and I again in our normal Tuesday.

I actually spent quite a bit of time with just Fiona at the waterpark since Niamh and Zoe have passed the height mark that lets them do nearly everything and Lars is the parent that prefers the crazy slides, so Fiona and I kept to the tame things.  Niamh also was at the great personal level of being allowed to be solo in the park as long as we had a good idea of where she was.  Mental note for next time – buy inexpensive waterproof watches for all, meeting at certain times is very hard when there are no clocks.  Since only the inside was open, and, it was very not crowded we could usually find everyone easily enough but the outdoor section is 2x the inside so if we do this again in the summer electric leashes are needed.img_2087

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After the first day, Fiona tried a big raft ride (3 stories high) and LOVED it.  Even after the 50th time she was still a giant grin.  I risked my phone to take pictures on the way down.  There were 2 other similar ones she also loved as well as well as an entire ‘island’ of slides and play things intended just for people 100lb and less.  I made her go there a few times so I could have a little rest sitting on the side.  Since I thought I would be doing nothing but sitting and watching her paddle, this was a big surprise.

The resort itself was mostly well done.  I appreciated their efforts to make inside seem like outside because it is a long winter inside.  The hotel itself has plenty of open walkways that make you feel like you are walking ‘outside’.

 

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this is right outside our room, overlooking the lobby, completely inside.

 

The downside is that in the winter, there isn’t quite enough for more than 2 days and since we were there for 3 we ended up paying for the attached (but not included) amusement park.  Here is where Fiona got the worst end, she was too short for most of the fun stuff so we left her sisters and went on long pokiwalks and disrupted (not really) a conference of farmers learning about seeds and stuff (I assume, we didn’t actually attend).  We also had coffee and donuts by the fountain – the kalahari had very good sweet shops all over the lobby.

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We got back in town just in time for our friends to have their baby.  Since we were not part of the production, we just got to be around for the fun after part where you get to snuggle a teeeeeeny tiny baby and reassure the new parents that they are the best parents for this baby, and, they have the most experience with him because they have been with him for 9 months already.  I also got to run them down a nice dinner the next day and be on hand for the first at home diaper change – the thrills in my life never end 😉

I’m glossing over the annoying bits of the break like the fact that even if we are on vacation, I get woken up by 7am and often 1 or 2 times a night.  Travel went well overall but I always get home more tired than if I had just stayed home.  Time change weekend did not help at all because my normal 5 hours of sleep got shrunk to 4 and by the end of that day I was sick of it all and needed a break from it all.  The super power of motherhood is the ability to find a way through the day because I did make it all the way through that final day and today, there is semi-normal life.

 

ps.  In case you are new to my vacations – I go with a fellow mom and her son and sometimes we take Lars.  Two moms are better than one

pps. Possibly the best thing was the huge number of pokimon, I could even get a pokistop from bed!

ppss.  Happy pi day, I’m making some pie later I think but can’t not mark the date.

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