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Friday, July 29, 2011

Learning is fun

Today the rain kept us inside but there was plenty to see and do at the museum of natural history!

A play area for little builders:

Dylan gathering the materials

Thatcher getting them to the job site

Oliver operating the machineryCamryn...the interior designer!

The rest of the museum was filled with animals, artifacts, gems and.... DINOSAURS!!!

The T-REX was a fav

Snake encounter

Learning about the stars in the planetarium

After absorbing so much new information, we returned home for some down time. The rain had subsided so the kids played in the backyard while our steak and potato dinner cooked on the grill. After bedtime routine, the adults took a stroll down college memory lane while playing Rummikub and sipping on some Twisted Teas! Other than the absence of my hubby, it was a perfect day!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cooling Off in Cleveland

Yesterday we hit the Splash Pad loaded with water slides, fountains, buckets and sprayers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Science, mishaps and exhaustion

Excited for our first day together we packed the kids in the car and headed to the Science Museum. With all five kids loaded up and ready to go, I frantically searched for my keys. Not in my purse or bag, Tera searched the house and by this time the kids were roasting in the heat of the car. As I was unbuckling Camryn to give them some fresh air she told me that her and Oliver had been playing with my keys earlier. We took both the kids on a scavenger hunt through the house to find the keys, and wouldn't you know they lead me right to them!

The prospect of traveling in 2 cars all week long and cutting into our chatting time, led us to the decision to borrow Tera's sister car that could accommodate us all. Well it could only fit us all with a certain configuration of specific car seats. Tera and I both dripping with sweat, finally figured out a winning set up. NOW we were finally headed to the museum.

It was well worth the wait:

The outdoor water area was definitely a favorite of all the kids. Oliver tried to climb into the pools, Thatcher wanted to take his clothes off and I had to wring Camryn's dress out!

As a reward for their good behavior and in an effort to keep them awake in the car ride home, we bought the kids some skittles. Well, we bought them but couldn't retrieve them!!

Even though the Skittles were gone in a flash, we managed to occupy the kids until we pulled into the driveway. That is until we realized Tera's house keys and garage door openers were in her car. With us still in her sister's car, we had no way to get into her house! We buckled the now whining kids back into their car seats and tracked her sister down at Target to get the keys.

Luckily, I had delivered pizza all the way from home so dinner was ready as soon as we walked in the door. Parker loved his first taste of Naples!!!

Full bellies gave the kids their second wind so we let them run their energy off at a playground.

And a night would NOT be complete without ice cream for dessert.

Exhaustion set in and the kids and I were sleep before our heads hit the pillows! Day #1...success!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cleveland Bound

Every year since we graduated college, my best friend Tera and I have managed to see each other! We've taken planes, crossed oceans and driven through the night but have never miss a visit. Two husbands, three dogs and five kids later, the tradition still continues!

Late yesterday afternoon, I packed the car and loaded the kids up for the ten hour trek to Cleveland. The anticipation of seeing their long distances friends carried my giddy kids through the first hour of the drive. Land Before Time calmed them down and ate up another hour and a half. Brand new coloring books and crayons occupied about 20 minutes and electronic video games warped their minds for a good hour. Rocking out to the Imagination Movers brought us well into Pennsylvania.

At the half way point, they were definitely getting antsy so we stopped for dinner and to stretch our legs. With fast food filled bellies and empty bladders, we changed into pajamas and got strapped back into our car seats. I was counting on the magic of Walt Disney to lull them to sleep but all the action they packed into the movie Tangled kept them awake. I could start to see their wide eyes getting heavy in the glow of their screens and knew it would be minutes before I could listen to some adult music to get ME through the rest of the drive.

A half gallon of lemonade, a bag of gummy bears and more handfuls then I care to admit of pretzel M&M's had me on a sugar high and trucking along. I arrived at Tera's house just before midnight, not even drowsy in the least. She helped me unloaded my kids and get them into bed. I stared at her third baby, who I had yet to meet and couldnt wait to hold him in the morning. We assessed how much the others kids have grown since last time and chit chatted a bit before bedtime.

The kids were the first ones awake this morning so happy to be in each other's company. They having been getting along perfectly and occuping themselves so Tera and I can catch up. It's going to be a good week...I'll keep you posted!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dylan goes to camp

The brochure was sent home from school in February. Dylan stared at it everyday, longing to be among the kids jumping on water trampolines, holding a bow and arrow, sliding down water slides and roasting marshmallows. Those marketing people knew what they were doing!! Dylan was hooked, he just had to go to summer camp. He even pledged to save his own money in order to go.

As summer approached, he still hadn't forgotten about this camp. So we took him to check it out. Mid-way into the tour, I knew it was the perfect fit. It was a legit summer camp, complete with bug juice and campfire singalongs. All the outdoor activities seemed right up his alley and the best part was he got to plan his own day each morning. The afternoon was spent swimming, boating and playing in the lake. We signed him up for one week on the spot.

The last day of school marked the countdown to camp. And Monday the big day arrived. We dropped an eager Dylan off at camp to choose his activities and waved goodbye for the day. At pick he was quick to spill all the details of his day, excited for what the next one would hold. By bedtime he was clearly exhausted but his days adevntures were worth the nighttime struggles.

His week long jaunt at summer camp wraps up with an overnight. The prospect of sleeping under the stars and making smores had sealed the deal for Dylan. So yesterday I dropped him off with sleeping bag and pillow in hand. I bravely gave him a quick hug and watched him walk away, knowing I would not see him again for 36 hours!!!

It was refreshing to see this confident, outgoing kid. What a far cry from the 3 year old who cried for months at pre-school drop-off. He immediately throws himself into the crowd, ready to meet new people and try new things. He never looked back!

This experience has been amazing for him. I'm very anxious to pick him up and hear all about the campout!! There is no doubt in my mind that he loved every second. Luckily, for my sake, he can't do sleepover camp until he is 7 but I have a feeling he might be going for 2 weeks next summer!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caught on film

The kids and I had a fantastic time at our friend's lake house the other day and thanks to a great friend....it was captured on film:


King of the raft!!


A little R&R

The many faces of Camryn

The amazing Dylan

Always breaking the rules
(notice Camryn's disgust at her brother's armpit fart)

We even caught a turtle!!

It's so nice to have evidence of the day. But sometimes I feel like I'm so focused on capturing the moment that I miss out on the actual moment. So I've been making an effort to leave the camera behind...but luckily Jeff found our antics photoworthy!!!

And look at that...I do exist!! Pictures of me with the kids are rare since I'm always behind the camera. It was as if we had our own personal photographer...I wonder how much he would charge to follow us around on vacation???

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kid Conversations


In the car:
Camryn: Dyl..I'm bigger than you!
Dylan: No, you are not!
C: Yep...I'm bigger.
D: I'm bigger because I'm older.
C: No, I'm bigger.
D: Cam, you know people come in all different shapes and sizes.
C: Yeah...I'm a rectangle!

At the dinner table:
Dylan: Camryn, did you know there are forks in the road, not just these kind of forks.
Camryn: Those would be dirty to eat with.

In the line at Dunkin Donuts:
(staring longingly at the photo of the newest fruit coolatta flavor)
Dylan: Mom, does that have alcohol in it?
Mom: No, it's a smoothie.
Dylan: Your smoothies always have alcohol in them.

At the park:
(Dress up, undies down and peeing on a rock in the wide open)
Camryn: MOM!!! I peed out of my vagina!!!