Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Mommy, I need more motrin."

This is going to be a LONG post due to a very busy two weeks.  I've been remiss in posting as there has been a bad, bad bug that invaded our kiddos.  It has caused what has felt like a constant refrain out of the mouths of our babes this week, <insert whine>..."Mommy. I need more motrin."  We have been hit by a nasty kid-borne virus.  It started last week with Isobel and then made it's way through Sofia, Eloise and Finn.  So far Mark, Mathilde and I have been spared (thank goodness!).  It has been a silent and calm bug causing temperatures to spike to 102 and then holds for 36 hours causing belly pains and exhaustion.  As far as illnesses go, it is the best kind - it creates no messes and quiet kids!
Over the last two weeks; we helped move Uncle Joe's family and celebrated Mark, welcomed summer and Isobel turned 5.  The move was pretty easy as far as moving goes.  All the men and Olivia moved boxes and what-nots, while Heather, Mom and I entertained all 10 kids at Heather's. 

9 of 10
So with 10 kids...what did we decide to do?!  TIE DYE Father's Day gifts for 2 dad's and 2 granddad's with coordinating ones for all 10 kids!  It was a lot more fun than I expected, but a lot more of a mommy project than a kid project...oh well!  They turned out great :)  While we were all together we also celebrated Isobel's 5th birthday!

Father's Day 2011 was a good day.  We spent the day doing things Mark enjoys.  After Mass and an errand, we went to Goodwill and got Chinese and then it was home for a quiet afternoon of napping and playing.  The tie dye was a hit, but apparently Eloise was a surprise spoiler!  Mark had asked her the day before what we spent the day doing...honest 3 y.o. "Tie-dying for you!"...gotta love her.

 June 21st, we celebrated the Summer Solstice with summer drawings, Mathile's 1st food, popsicles and catching lightening bugs!  The kids had a great time, although Sofia was the only one brave enough to touch/catch the lightening bugs.  We caught 30+ and stayed up way to late.  After coming in and stories, Mark spent awhile with the big girls looking up and listening to summer noises on the computer.
Sofia's picture for the lightening bugs

YUM!  Spinach and potatoes!  1st Foods!

She was safe as long as they were in the jar!

Letting them go!

Once it is officially summer it must be time for Isobel's birthday!!!  She is FIVE!
She had a great day!  We went to Chik-Fil-A for dinner.  She (finally) got her Our Generation doll with an extra outfit and a new dress.  And we had cupcakes and ice cream.  Due to a very busy morning taking care of grown up stuff, I was slack and bought cupcakes...such a horrible mommy.  Isobel didn't seem to mind as the store bought ones came with Rapunzel rings.

Ice cream...yum!
A birthday is not complete without an Eloise covered in cake!
 And that wraps up the last two weeks!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer adventures begin...

We kicked off the summer by spending the first weekend camping and celebrating birthdays at Pocahontas State Park near Richmond.

To say that I was dreading this trip is an understatement!  I enjoy camping.  I enjoy being outside.  I enjoy being outside with the kids.  But the thought of packing up EVERYTHING for three days and eating, sleeping and sweating...well, yeah.  Not to mention that this particular state park has a water park that after seeing pictures of it caused me to literally lose sleep in anxious anticipation of trying to tackle it with 5 non-swimming littles.

I prepared all our meals ahead to avoid as much clean up and dish washing in a bucket as humanly possible.  All the clothes and swimmies and blankets and pots and booster seat and exersaucer and...were all gathered.  All the while trying to figure out how to contain and calm both mine and Mark's fears and quirks that are only magnified in new environments.  We both HATE dirty kids...so why do we think it's fun to do this I kept wondering.

But after 3 days of prepping and worrying the van and camper were filled to capacity with all the "necessities", 2 dogs, 5 clean kiddos, the daddy and one not so calm mommy.   But we were off on our adventure...

Baby's 1st Camping Adventure
We arrived by mid-afternoon on Friday just as a rainless thunderstorm came through.  Rainless was good in that we were able to set up and start playing, bad in that there was a lot of sweat and no swimming.

 The kids snacked and played and were so underfoot as we tried to get everything out and set up for a fun weekend together and with family.

And then off to the playground... 

 It took Finn about 15 minutes to figure out how to climb the "rock wall" but once he did there was no stopping him from going up and around and down the slide and up and around and down the slide and....  He is still at the age where curiosity far outweighs caution and makes me cringe with fear of injuries but he had SOOOOO much fun despite the heat and all that sweat!

 The pups (Cera and Diesel) waited quietly in the shade while their babies played.

Friday evening the park rangers host a welcome campfire with singing, s'mores and stories.  The kids had a great time and were thankfully very well behaved around the campfire.
 The good news about heat and playing and sweating is it makes very tired babies :)  So after s'mores at Uncle Mike and Aunt Leslie's campsite it was family shower (their bath facilities we comparatively fabulous!) and bed (at the early hour 11p!)

They woke up with the sun Saturday am and this mommy and daddy could not get them to the pool fast enough!  Thank goodness breakfast only had to be heated and Starbucks (I know that's not camping, but it keeps the mommy calm :) )was only 10 minutes away!

The plan for the weekend was simple exhaust kids :)  But the itinerary was basic; Saturday - pool, party, dinner and a thunderstorm thrown in.  Sunday - Mass, pool, back up, home...

THE POOL!  Eagerly anticipated by the kids, equally dreaded by the parents!  But they had so much fun!!!!  And two afternoons was plenty :)

Uncle Mike and Finn!  I'm not sure we could have handled this adventure without his help.
He LOVED  this slide too!
Mark and Eloise trying to create havoc
Bathing Beauty
Da' Boys
Waiting in the waiting pool for the bigger area to regulate its chlorine levels...

The end of our swimming time...
 This trip was planned to celebrate June birthdays and celebrate we did :)

Despite all the sweat, dirt, and stress the memories of this trip are full of happiness!  And there may even be a few scars to show for it...
Showing off her bandages from fun in the sun and swim crawling in shallow water!

 Home and in bed!  I think we might even go camping again one day :)