Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Earlier today we arrived home after our busy and quick visit with family in Maine. My mother-in-law is here visiting us, it is so nice to have her. The boys adore her. On Monday we headed to Norridgewock to visit faimly and to pick up my oldest son who had been spending a few days with my parents. We were able to visit Ian’s dad and his grandfather as well. In addition, we enjoyed a great Big G's breaskfast with the Pieds and Puccios, a Christmas tradition. All good visits.

Then we went to a Christmas Eve service at Grace Capital Church. Lots of wonderful holiday music and a great reminder about what Christmas is truly about. I feel so connected to God lately and it feels good. I am starting to feel good about religion and my liberal views. At one time I thought they could not coexist.

But now I feel a spirit around me, I feel the presence of my Aunt more than ever, and all of these feelings are positive. My mind is more open than it has ever been. I am growing as a person, I can feel it.

For once my feelings about God don’t question my beliefs, they don’t give me guilt, they don’t focus on how I feel about other people, rather they focus on my spirit and my blessings. They remind me of how short time on earth is in the large scope of eternity.

Hold on to your family, friends, and any thing you enjoy. Appreciate. Respect. Love. Give. Because tomorrow it could be gone. The touch from my children, the jokes from my husband, the love from my family, the warmth of our home… it one day will all be gone. Reality. No matter what you believe happens after life here, it will one day be gone. If I can live my life knowing that these things are temporary I can appreciate, respect, love, give… just a little more.

I am not sure about everything about God but one thing I know is that I am starting to have peace. Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is stealing wrong???

Today I dropped Kael off at daycare and as usual he takes off his coat and shoes. He hands me his coat and says “you do it mumma” (meaning he wants me to hang his coat up for him). So I kindly oblige and as I reach to the hook I hear this loud crash at my feet. I look down and there is glass everywhere. I just can’t believe that I knocked something down. I am puzzled... where did it come from and how did I hit it???

Then I look down more closely and I seem to recognize this glass mess on the floor. It is one of our Christmas ornaments that fell out of Kael's jacket! I look over at Kael and with my stern face and I can’t help but laugh. I say “Kael, did you take an ornament off the tree this morning?” He looks so sad, so I can’t help but hug him and say while laughing “It’s ok sweetie, but you can’t take the ornaments to school with you”. He just says “I show it to school and keep it in my pocket”.

You know how they say "it's the thought that counts". Well it is. The thought of Kael trying to secretly stuff a glass ornament in his pocket to show his class is just a sweet memory that I will have for many Christmases. It was his thought that counted.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Remembering Santa

So today, Ian took the kids to the mall to see Santa. He later called me at work to tell me the kids had a great time. They both sat on Santa’s lap and they both gave him a big hug. He said the kids were really well behaved so they ate lunch there and he took them to the candy store to pick out a piece of candy. Ian is such a great dad. Although this is not why I am posting…..

I get home from work and ask “Kaiden, how was your day?” was and he gets all excited and says “daddy took us to the mall!” He goes on to tell me about how much fun he had eating lunch and picking out candy. I asked…. “Did you do anything else at the mall???” He says “no, just lunch and candy”. I ask “wasn’t there anything else fun you did at the mall???” and he says “no, just lunch and candy”. He then goes on to describe the kind of candy he picked out. “oh and we saw Santa” he says at last.

I know they are excited for Christmas but I can say they are not too excited!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for old books

I have a large box of old books that my parents gave to me when I had my kids. There are lots of books from the 70s and 80s in there but there are also several that were considered "old" even when I was young. Here is a little treasure I found among them, the book has good pictures but it is the words in this book that make me like it so much. The kids love it too:

A Christmas Party

On Christmas Eve would you believe the forest gave a party.
She asked the little squirrels in and rabbits, fat and hearty.
She called the bear who slumbered there until he heard the talking.
And all the little woodchucks came in couples nearly walking.
She lit the skies to charm their eyes with many Christmas tapers.
She spread the ground with snowy rugs to help their merry capers.
She hung a tree for all to see with frosty chains and pompons.
She spread a feast for scores at least with nuts and carrot bonbons.
They clapped their paws and joined their claws and danced in dizzy measure,
and Santa Claus drove home that way and dropped them each a treasure.
He gave the bear a lion’s share of sweets and Christmas candy.
The rabbits, bows, and no one knows how fine they felt and dandy.
Each squirrel found pecans, a pound, the woodchucks corn and clover,
and Santa stayed to watch a while until the fun was over.
On Christmas Eve, would you believe? And yet I think it shocking,
not one of all the guests who came could hang a Christmas stocking.

Poem by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey 1909.

I googled her and found of that she was born in 1875 and was an American children's author. In 1947 she won a Newbery Medal for her book Miss Hickory.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The “Little Things”

In response to my dear friend Andrea’s blog, I am blogging about the “Little Things”. I can easily list the “Big Things” and even the “Funny Things” but listing the “Little Things” took me more thought.

Finding a wonderful church
Family, friends, and my wonderful dog
Time for
The people I work with
Ian and I both having a job

An Evening with Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood, who we saw last week
Kaiden’s skunk spray (thanks for reminding me about this Celeste!)
The way my cat sits
My husband
Kael’s lack of understanding…

Kaiden: “Kael, what are your superpowers?”
Kael: “Two”
Kaiden: “No Kael, I said what are your superpowers?!”
Kael: “Two”
Kaiden: “Kael that makes no sense, I asked you what do you have for superpowers, like super speed, or are you invisible?”
Kael: “I’m two” …. this went on for the whole ride to town.

Bedtime stories
Hot coco
Scotch Tape
Drop in visits (thanks Piszczeks!)
Tomb with Ian
Putting together puzzles with kids around….

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


History! Where were you when Obama was declared the President Elect????

I was in tears last night. A big night for our nation. It is funny because I had somewhat forgotten he was black. Well, I don't think I forgot, my excitement just wasn't focused on it. I just wanted him to be president so badly because of his policies and for the person he is. It wasn't really until last night that this overwhelming joy filled me (on top of my joy that I was already feeling) as to what this means for the African American community.

Donna Brazile, an African American, gave a great visual last night on CNN (she's one of my favorite analysts, probably second only to David Gergen I love that guy!). She was walking down the streets of her town, getting ready to cast her vote, she was talking about the role model Obama will be to young African American kids. That's when it hit me. And as some else said, it's not about Obama, its about possibilities. Some truth there.

The pride, the joy, the hope, the example that Obama is and will be to so many black kids. I imagine I may feel this when a woman is president. But our plight in America, altough a rough one, was not nearly as bad as slavery. So maybe I won't think of it as the same. Thinking back on a time, a time when my parents were young, that blacks were treated by most as second class citizens, and just a few generations before that... slavery. Amazing, disgusting, and heart breaking. But now, the symbol Obama will be. And what a symbol he is. It took a man of his caliber, his grace, his smarts, and his calmness to do it and I am so excited for where he will take us in the next 8 years. Maybe I am all goggly eyes over him, but I just have so much hope for our nation now. My expectation are high.

His policies are my highlight, but his race is like the cherry on top.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lincoln, New Hampshire

So we took a family foliage trip up north a couple of weeks ago and I am slow to blog about it but I will say that it was very nice. I was just so nice to be together, the four of us. We only went one night but family trips for us are very rare, so I will take one night with my family. Ian and I have work schedules that are like ink and water. Literally.

On a Thursday afternoon we took off to Lincoln, New Hampshire. Our first stop was a to Loon Mountain. We rode the Gondola up, which gave us a great view of the mountains and leaves. They were so beautiful! At the top of the mountain there are these “glacial caves” which for me was the high light of the trip. Basically it is a loop hike with 10 side trails that take you off the easy boardwalk path to explore these huge boulders and their crevices. Some tight squeezes but I was impressed because it was something that the whole family could enjoy. I thought for sure I would have to stay on the main boardwalk with Kael while the big boys explored but that wasn’t the case. It was easy enough for our 2 ½ year old (with lots of assistance). Ian and I had to pass him from hole to hole and kind of guide him and remind him to stay low (we did forget one time and he ended up with a big bump on his head). The hike was very easy but with the side trails it made it lots of fun for the kids.

The next morning we took the Hobo trail ride. This was an 80 minute trail ride that the kids enjoyed. They had a great play ground outside too. We got lunch on the train and the kids sat patiently and ate while we all enjoyed the scenery. Very nice.

We then took a drive up through Franconia Notch just to enjoy the views. Ahh… the beauty! It is amazing that this place is just an hour north of us and we don’t spend more time up there. The White Mountains are just breath taking, especially in October! If Kael wasn’t snoozing and Ian didn’t have to be back for work, we would have spent more time up there hiking or just stopping to take it all in. But I was very thankful for the quick drive through.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Another moment I just have to write down....

Kael: “Mumma, see that kitty? I saw a kitty! He wasn’t walkin’. He was dead."
Me: “He was dead? What does that mean, Kael?”
Kael: “His legs no movin’. He no have batteries.”
Me: “oh”

And for the record, I think the cat was just lying in the grass, sleeping. I think.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Party 2008

For the past four years we have had a Halloween party at the house for the kids and their friends. It was a lot of fun this year, as it is every year. Each year there are new faces. I wonder if the kids are getting tired of the same old things… arts and crafts, pumpkin decorating, cupcake decorating, story time, etc. Maybe next year I will add in a candy hunt, where you hunt for clues and it eventually leads you to candy. ... hummmm....

I did add a song this time… the kids enjoyed it. You all sit close together and you sing very softly…

Ghost so scary, ghost so white.
Don’t scare
[LEAH!] on Halloween night!

And when you say the kids name you shout and reach out towards them to jump them. They loved that. Leah, Emily, and Geetika especially jumped!

I didn’t give prizes for best costume but there were some good ones there. Leah was an absolutely adorable flamingo and Kaiden’s friend from school was a cute zebra… it makes me so envious of those who can sew! Jacob and Brendon were Legos. We had to keep them separated so they didn't stick together. :-) I also thought it was cute that my son was a firefighter and his best friend showed up as a cat. To the rescue! Although, I did see the cat chasing my son with his fire ax; so I guess times have fully changed.

Honorable mentions: Hanna Montana, Tinkerbelle, Barbie, Venom, cow, giraffe, and a not so honerable mention: my youngest went as a boy who did not want to wear his cow outfit.
The kids ended the afternoon with a Halloween cup (that’s tradition!), some stickers, a book, and a few pieces of candy. Not too much candy, because after all they got to frost their own cupcakes and add sprinkles. I make several colors of frosting in which some kids insist on adding some of each to their small cupcake! It is fun to see the difference this year from two years ago. Two years ago the kids were not patient enough to add frosting. The cupcake was gone before they got around to that. All around, this year the kids were much more patient and there were no melt downs (other than my 2 yr old being, when I said he couldn't have a fifth candy pretzel!).

So if anyone is reading this that made it to the party, thanks so much. I enjoy so much seeing the kids have fun and get ready for next year because I think we will have a scavenger hunt outside and there's already talk from the hubby of a haunted house in the basement. And of course thanks to my parents who help me out so much!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm a rock star

A memory I need to write down....

my husband picked Kaiden up from school the other day and like every other day all the girls said bye to him in their very sweet voices. But this day, as Kaiden walked with Ian to the car, Kaiden turned to him and said... "yeah, I'm a rock star".

This just tickles me. I have no idea where he even heard this saying. I didn't even know he knew what a rock star was!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Baby quilt... some progress

On Wednesday I stayed home with Kaiden because he was sick. He was pretty low key all day but later in the afternoon I decided to cut up my material and start on my quilt project (ya know, the one I blogged about many many weeks ago) and Kaiden showed some interest in joining me, so it was nice to see him feeling better.

Before I could work on my project though, Kaiden wanted me to make him a blanket for his resting buddies. He and his grammie made a resting buddy blanket last time we were in Maine but he has two nest of resting buddies. The cats sleep in one nest with the duck and the dogs sleep in another nest.

So he picked out the material from my large stash and his only stipulation was that it had to be exactly the same size as the one grammie and he made. He was very adamant about that which I find funny because I think he was worrying about being fair to his resting buddies. Very cute.

So here he is sewing his blanket:

Phew… it is the exactly the same size of the other one:

And here is my material cut up, ready to be sewn together.

…. wonder how long it will be before I blog about its completion!
oh... and thanks mom, I love my hand me down machine!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


On Friday, September 12, I attend another Obama rally and it was so much fun. Earlier this summer I went to the Unity rally to see Obama and Hillary. That was a blast. It was especially exciting because some coworkers and I got selected to be seated behind Obama! Not only did we get to see both Obama and Hillary up close but we also got to skip the what seemed like an endless line at the check in and I got to shake Obama’s hand… twice!!! You could even see me on CNN, among the hundreds of people around me. Such a great time.

So Friday's rally was awesome too. It started with an email Wednesday night announcing that Obama would be in town and that tickets would be available the next day at the Obama office downtown. So Thursday I went down to the Obama office and picked up tickets. It is always so cool to see lines and lines of people excited about getting tickets for Obama.

What made this trip special is I asked Kaiden if he wanted to attend and he said yes. So in order to make sure Kaiden could see, we needed to get good seats so we didnt' end up on the floor. Doors opened at 4:30pm, so Kaiden and I got there at 3:45pm. We found our way in to the lobby and waited. It was great because we were among the first 30 people to arrive, everyone had Obama stickers, hats, and shirts on and we just sat and waited. At around 4:15pm I was a bit puzzled as to why more people weren’t arriving. Then shortly thereafter, someone announced for all the volunteers to meet in the adjacent room. A few seconds later we were the only ones left in the lobby! We were hanging out with the volunteers and not in line!!! So we walked, in the rain, around the building to where the public entrance was and there we were greeted by hundreds of people in line. Crap.

It worked out just fine though. Many people wanted the floor spots to be up closer to Obama and I wanted the back bleacher spot so Kaiden could spread out and we could stand on our seats without blocking someone’s view. This way Kaiden could actually see Obama speak.

Obama was 1.5 hours late which I look back on and am amazed at how wonderful Kaiden behaved. Of course I had a coworker, her daughter, a friend, and two young girls to entertain him. I also brought lots of snacks and water. By 8pm Obama showed up and gave a fantastic speech. And by 9 pm we were out of there.

Kaiden picked out an Obama button on our way out. I must note that he asked for a pin and I simply agreed to buy it for him, because I am not a big fan of putting paraphernalia on kids as they are too young to make their own decisions. As I type, I can spy Kael's Patriots shirts on the couch. :-) Speaking of Kael, my wonderful friend Celeste watched Kael for me and I am so glad that I decided not to bring him with me. That would have been too long for him.

So Kaiden and I also made it on the radio. Listen.

Kaiden was definitely the most articulate of the three of us!

I also must say that my blog started out ranting about McCain and Palin, expecially Palin, but I deleted it all and decided to just post the top 10 reasons I like Obama:

1. His willingness to end this war
2. His ability to motivate young people to serve their country, military and non-military service
3. He’s pro-choice, something that women fought to have that be their decision, not the governments. Also knowing that Palin, who could be one heart beat from the presidency, doesn’t even support abortions if a girl was raped by her father… yikes! And doesn’t think birth control should be taught to teens… her conservative Christian values terrify me as a Christian! Ok… I’m ranting….
4. He supports the reform of immigration while realizing people are people… i.e., he would not tear apart breastfeeding mothers from their American children unlike the recent raids in Massachusetts and elsewhere that were then praised by the republicans
5. He is for universal health care .
6. He wants to STOP the tax breaks Bush gives to the wealthy (income from 250k and up) and will CUT taxes for working families a $1000 per family ($500 per working person) and ELIMINATE income tax for seniors making less than $50,000.
7. His ability to deal with economic issues and his focus on not outsourcing America jobs… that’s where the tax cuts need to be
8. He is focused on HAVING an energy plan! Wow what a concept!
9. His grass roots campaigning, which means he doesn’t owe anybody anything once in office! Small donations from just average people. Amazing what he has done.
10. This administration had 8 years and totally messed us up, it is time for CHANGE!

Someone put it this way… even if you don’t like Obama, if you were trying to fix something with a wrench and that wrench just wasn’t working, wouldn’t you reach into your tool box and grab something else, or would you still keep using that wrench?

And if you missed it, here is the Saturday Night Live skit with Palin and Hillary. People are still talking about how funny this is!!! Watch.

AND most importantly... don't forget to VOTE on November 4th!!!

If you haven't registered get info on your state's registration process here: click.

Maine & New Hampshire: You can register on election day at the polling place!

It is soooooooooooooo important this year to vote and know the issues. A lot is a stake.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ice Cream Social at Mem's

Oh, there seems so much to blog about lately but I have been way too busy

Where to start!....

On grandparent's day, September 7th, I took the kids up to Maine to visit my grandmother (mem). She lives in an assisted living place and they had an ice cream social to celebrate. I actually didn’t want to go but my mem doesn’t ask for much and at my cousins wedding the week before she said to me, “oh, I would love it for you to come”. I didn’t go out of guilt and I didn’t hunt for excuses. My grandmother never puts guilt on me; she’s not that kind of grandmother. I did it because I knew she would love it but I think mostly I did it because it felt like one of those moments that I thought I should seize, more so than usual. I wonder if it was the time and place that she asked me. It is always good to remind ourselves that not one of us will be here forever. She is a very special person to me and I treasure seeing her with my kids. I want them to know her and remember her. I remember my mem’s mom. Not much but I do remember her. It really gets back to how I feel about my Aunt Sarah; I want them to know her. They didn’t have that opportunity to have their own memories but they do with my grandmother. So we made another memory and it was a really nice time. The kids loved the ice cream, mem loved seeing them, and I must say my mem just looked so pretty that day. All smiles too.

She also called Kaiden today because he sent her a picture of a butterfly. The other day we were painting and he was making was about to make her a picture and he chirped up., “can I call mem-mem to see what she wants in her picture?” “Sure” I said. So he gets on the phone with her and says, “mem-mem, I am making you a thank you picture for sending me presents on my birthday, what would you like… a volcano, a tornado, a fire…… oh, a rainbow…. (he thinks a little)… yeah, I can make a rainbow for you mem-mem… oh, a butterfly too….. well, do you want a monarch butterfly or a blue one?.... ok, I can do that. Love you mem-mem, bye.”

It was a very cute conversation. So he went to work making a beautiful blue butterfly with a purple and blue rainbow in the background, one that I wish I took a picture of. Well, she got it today and wanted to call to say thanks. I think he said you’re welcome.

We got some great grandparents photos. Here is me with my grandmother, mem and my Walter.

And here are the boys with their grandparents, grampie and grammie.

Also, we came across these pirates eating ice cream too. Scarry place!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally Project 1 COMPLETE!

Ok, so it only took me a month, almost to the day but Kaiden's room has officially been transformed.

And it seems to be working....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Liz's Wedding

Ahh… my wonderful beautiful cousin Elizabeth got married on Saturday. She was absolutely beautiful, to no surprise. She has a great smile and it fits her very friendly personality. Adam was handsome, as usual. I think that was his quote, but I do agree. He wore a gray suit that looked great. He was a little nervous like Liz but you wouldn't have known it during their ceremony. From what little I know of Adam, he likes to joke around and he is crazy about Liz, so he will be a good fit into our family. We joke lots but mostly, we are crazy about Liz too.

The wedding was at Old Orchard Beach at Joseph's By the Sea. It was outside and you could see the ocean and sail boats in the background but not the beach goers. A perfect backdrop. And the weather was predicted to be rain, but it was dry and couldn't have been better. A perfect day for Liz and Adam.

They met online (MySpace), so they had these cute little computers on the table as dinner mint dispensers. They were about the size of a baseball. Not the mints, the dispensers. :-)

They each had 2 bridesmaids/groomsmen by their sides that also looked beautiful and handsome. And as a perfect entrance to the ceremony, Liz's dad (Uncle Brent to me) and her brother Dan led her down the aisle. Dan and Uncle Brent looks handsome too! Must be in the genes.

The newest member of the Sites: Adam.

I wish my brother Andy and his family could have been here but they are in Tennessee and it was just too hard to get the time off for the travel. He is missing from the below photo of my grandmother and all her grandchildren. Tanya (who looked great in her sexy brown dress); Liz and Dan; and me all behind our mem. The great grand kids (Lucas, Elise, Kayla, Orion, Kaiden, and Kael) all call her mem-mem.

What a wonderful wedding.

I didn’t get through it without crying though. It was definitely a wonderful day and I am so happy for Liz but any big event without my Aunt Sarah is just tough. It is hard not to crave to have her there to hold, to have her to laugh with, to just see her beaming with delight for Liz, to just share this wonderful day with her.

Life on earth moves along without her. I miss her so badly, as so many others do too. Adam never met her, their children will never meet her, my children never met her, any friends that come into our family lives since she left in 2001 will never meet her. I get this lump in my throat because I want my loved ones to know her like I knew her. That won’t happen but to some level I need to make sure they understand this piece of my life. She is so hard to explain to others because her character was so unique…. so fun, so special, so honest, so caring, so loving, and so strong.

My uncle said to me at the wedding, it’s ok to cry, just never forget her. That is impossible. I do feel her around and I am not fully sure about the form of God and heaven but I fully believe in a higher power and spirits and angels and life beyond here. So I know I will see her again one day and I don’t just say that but I honestly know that. But that doesn’t settle my cravings now.

An empty seat remained beside Liz's dad at the ceremony. A precious little calla lily rested there with a note that said "In Memory. Mother of the Bride"

Lots of love and happiness to Liz and Adam and I look forward to all the new memories they will bring to the family and they will share with us.

Thank Yous

Here is a glimpse of Kaiden’s thank you paintings. For thank you notes for his birthday he wanted to make each person a thank you painting. I usually just have him make a couple of paintings and I cut them up into little notes. But he was determined to paint everyone a personal painting with a story or title attached to each. I would tell him the name of the person and he would paint them a painting using a feather as a paint brush. They came out very nice. They were mostly of fire, tornados, and volcanoes. Hummm.... I wonder if he has been watching too much National Geographic: Earth Biography!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kaiden's First day of School

Kaiden's first day of school was today. Wow. I didn't think I would cry but I did and more than just a couple of tears. Ian was so sensitive by responding..."don't even think about having another baby. Only 3 more years and the other one will be in school... wooo hooo!" His joking did follow with a nice warm hug, so I guess I should add that for the record. It is hard to let your first child on the bus. 5 years old. Wow. I can so easily close my eyes and picture the two of us sleeping together in the recliner when he was just weeks old. I can feel his soft skin and he is nestled in my neck. I can feel those warm arms around my neck. I can see and hear him laughing at himself when I would plop him in front of the mirror.... peak-a-boo.... followed by more laughter and those big big smiles. I can hear his new words saying "love ew mumma". I remember those first steps. I can see him learning to run in the grass in the front yard. I can hear him saying to me now, "I love you more than all the stars". I can do all this by just closing my eyes. It is so fresh, so recent, as it was the chapter we just finished. As my mother always says as one chapter closes on your life, another one is right there in front of you to have all of these new and wonderful memories. But today I don't want to move on to another chapter. I loved the one I was in. But I did fight the urge to hold onto him and not let him on the bus. It was a good thing that it all happended so fast. No time for me to hold down his wings. Here's the bus, hug, kiss, "don't forget to say his to the bus driver", and off he went. The big wonderful boy that he is, is growing. And his mumma is sad, happy and proud today.

The conversation:
"Hey buddy, I am going to want to take a few photos of you before you head to school"
"oh man... just not to many ok?"

Bus Number 16

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stay-cation = Good Times

What a weekend! We left our home, bound for home, at about 9am on Saturday. Yes, that’s right, bound for home. we had our first stay-cation. We were going to go camping this weekend up north but just decided to stay put and camp right here in our backyard. This was definitely a great weekend for us. It reminded me of the importance of turning off the TV (and computer!), not doing housework, and spending time, quality time, with my kids. I don’t know about anyone else but I have a hard time focusing on playing. I can sit and do a craft for sometime or weed the garden while they ride their bikes around me but pretending that I am a race car, or a doctor, or a superhero for more than 8 minutes is hard for me. So this weekend really gave us that time to be fully engaged.

So our weekend was packed full of activities. The weekend activities included crafts (making necklaces, mostly), tie dying t-shirts, chalk drawing on the drive way, body tattoos, jumping in the kiddy pool and sprinkler, playing at the local playground, setting up the tent (a favorite), testing the tent out by wrestling and playing “camel saves the day” (more on that later), hiking up the brook, eating our meals outside, having a family ice cream social, starting a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and tenting out, oh… I am just exhausted thinking about all that we have done! Not mention, Ian and I did slip away for an anniversary dinner on Saturday night followed by some mini golf at Chuckster’s in Chichester while our sitter played with the boys in the tent and put them to bed inside the house (or as Kaiden has been calling it this weekend, our really big camper).

Our Bee Hole Brook walk was just awesome. We walked upstream in the brook for about a quarter to half mile. It felt like longer than that! Lots of little tiny rapids, some deep pools that came up to Kael's waist and lots of very careful steps.

I do have to elaborate a bit on “camel saves the day", as it was a learning experience for me. This is a game Kaiden made up. First the man in the desert (Kaiden) collapses and falls on to the mattress in the tent (yes, we have nice cushy foam mattresses in the tent… and yes, we still consider it camping), the man is dead, then the doctor (Kael) gets on his camel (that’s me) and rides to the man’s aid (although he is already dead so I am not sure what a doctor on a camel can do about it at this point). We finally get there but the doctor croaks getting off the camel. Not sure if it was too hot out or if it was hereditary but then the camel does surgery (tickling) on both the man and the doctor. The camel, as I quickly learned, has a magical hump that saves dead guys but only after they have had surgery. It is all so obvious after you understand the magic hidden in the hump!

We went through the weekend with pretty much a TV-free weekend. I *had* to watch a little tube to catch the Biden announcement and hype. I am sad Obama did not select Hillary but I do like Biden too…. that is a whole other post! See how TV can get you distracted and off topic!

We enjoyed the comfort of our own beds Saturday night, but spent Sunday night in the tent. The kids loved that. Monday morning we woke up from the tent and packed up (“grabbed my pillow”) and headed for home to end our Stay-cation. Kael and I left the house at 7am… to go back to the grind. Our very private site came with water and electricity, we didn’t get charged much, we didn’t have to fill up the car once, the neighbors were quiet, no barking dogs, and we added lots of great memories. And just like regular vacations, we came home to a messy house, we are tired from all the fun, and we are somewhat looking forward to the routine once again.

Good times. Really good times!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Liquid Planet Water Park

Kaiden did it! It took sometime and some adjusting the rewards chart but he made it before the summer was over!

Back in late June Kaiden and I made a rewards chart for him. If he could sleep in his own bed the whole night (had to be daylight before he snuck in with us) then he would get a sticker. He quickly made it to his first reward, Wall-E. Ian took both the boys to teh theater and they enjoyed it very much. But the bonus round took a little longer… and as the summer nears an end, he just finished putting the last sticker on his rewards chart. Water park here we come!

So the following day we headed to Liquid Planet. Thankfully it was nice out!

We had a great time. I think this park is a little pricey for its size but it was great for little kids (say 9 and under). There were only 2 water slides and 1 small pool. But in the end this was actually a good thing for us because we spent the whole time in the kids area, which is the main focus of the park and there weren’t many older kids there (which until I have older kids, is a good thing. And if I can add one complaint (ok two)… the snacks available were disappointing. Just junk food (chips, ice cream, etc) and you are not allowed to take in your own food AND it’s mostly a little kids park so they should at least have some kid snacks (fruit, crackers, raisins, etc.) They did have healthy subs and salads for lunch items but no good snacks. I think I’ll sneak in some rice cakes next time! ).

And my last complaint is that they have this yellow bump disc like thing with water squirting out and many of the toddlers love this because they can walk on it… but it is slippery and Kael fell and bumped his head. Hard. As I am standing and rocking Kael back and forth trying to calm his screams and tears down, this guy comes over to me and tells me that he has seen 4 kids today fall and hit their heads on that yellow-disc-bump-thing (ok, so he didn’t exactly call it that). It’s slippery and apparently dangerous. Then later in the day Kaiden was playing on it and I told him to be careful and a woman told me that her son and another kid fell on it and bumped their heads! So I would stay, away from that area. It is by the swings and its about 8” high by 5’ diameter, yellow, with water squirting out. And yes, I will be writing a letter. Other than those complaints, I thought the park was great and can’t wait to go again next year. I am so easy to please.

And stay tune for the results of our Stay-cation this weekend! Tenting, marshmallow roasting, ice cream social, hiking, all at the Clark Zoo this weekend! Kaiden is so excited about it. It will be a big challenge for me to be at home without doing housework!

The only exception will be… the lawn needs to be mowed but we will do that before we leave for our Stay-cation.