Tag Archive | vacation

Back from the get-away

We are back ūüôā

The kids are fine, the adult in charge of the kids is fine, the house is even fine.  I call this a success.  We filled in the balance of the afternoon with snuggles.

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My only complaints about the weekend are because we are entirely¬†spoiled.¬† The restaurant¬†we choose had a fairly small menu and Lars had a good dish but mine was super bland and not what was on the menu.¬† The breakfast was similar – I cook breakfast foods well enough to know that these were not fresh, they were ok but nothing to rave about.¬† So because we cook too well we are too fussy about the food out in the world.¬† The house was a cool old Victorian with tons of original woodwork and furnishings.¬† It was authentic enough I didn’t want to plug anything extra in and made note of the fire exits just in case. We met another very nice couple and learned a bit of the history of the house.¬† Technically nothing I didn’t guess but the owners were not there and they actually¬†know more details.

We had an odd amount of time this morning so we ended up stopping for Thor Ragnarock¬†and I very much enjoyed it.¬† The theater was a ‘bistro’ so you could order lunch or snacks and there were seats with tables like a first-class airline so it was a very good experience.¬† The movie itself was well done, you can’t help but be inspired by hero movies – heroes¬†are the ones running toward the danger, that is what they do.

Overall a very nice getaway.¬† It is a little town about an hour away and we choose it nearly at random because we just wanted something interesting and unknown to us and that it was.¬† We discovered that they have some really awesome playgrounds and also a great 20mile bike trail so we will probably be back in the spring so the guys training for their¬†150-mile ride can do a practice round.¬† We also didn’t get to tour what the town was originally famous for – the pottery – but we did go to the shoe museum and saw two very familiar¬†pairs of boots; one my grandfather wore in WWII as a paratrooper and the other my parents wore as 70’s era mountain climbers.

I hope it won’t be years before we do something like this again but it was a special way to celebrate our 13th anniversary.

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Niamhs view

We have a friend who can’t come to pennsic so the kids got my old phone for pictures. Here is a selection from day 1 taken by Dakota and Niamh 

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 ūüôā ¬†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.