ok, ok, so I guess I owe them a good pictures of them with their loves, because I can hear them yelling at me now...
On Saturday we went to Camel Beach, a water park. Kendall loved going down all the slides, have the water pour over her and watch everyone going down the big slides. They both loved the lazy river and Ethan even fell asleep on me as we floated together. Ethan came down with a cold on Saturday which caused him to have some coughing going on, I too was starting to feel rotten and get that campfire feeling in my throat, but we pushed on, took some cough syrup, and the three of us now have scratchy throats and a terrible post nasal drip cough. However, we would have had this camping or not, so we will live.
So will we camp again, sure! I don't think I would make any changes with the exception of not to get sick bc then I could have stayed by the fire longer! I would for sure pack the wagon again next time and I am sure Andy would too. Here are some photos of the weekend.
These next 2 shots are at home the night before we left. Honeygram gave Kendall and Ethan some rain ponchos, a back pack, and a canteen. All of these items had to go on as soon as we got home to prepare us for our weekend. Kendall even decided on her hiking shoes and is holding what she found on her 'hike' around our basement. ( a crocodile, of course, her favorite animal & when asked, what she wants to be when she grows up)
Kendall fast asleep on the first night. We slept head to head to the kids so they slept next to each other. I was afraid one would wake the other up, but Ethan just curled into Kendall and a few times at night I would find him sprawled out with his legs and arms covering Kendall.
Ethan eating his breakfast. He just thought this was great that he could eat on the back of Pop's truck.
We decided to hike to Hawk Falls, which was just long enough for the kids. When we got to the falls, there was people jumping off them, so what does my family do? Join in. Everyone but my Mom and I jumped in. (someone had to watch the kids, and not only that I didn't have my suit with me) The water was freezing, so much so that it took your breath away, but that didn't stop the jumpers from throwing themselves off cliffs and posing under the waterfalls for pictures. Kendall so desperately wanted to go into the water, so we finally said, ok we will let you in, thinking she would get right out bc it was so cold, yeah right. With some coaxing, she would have jumped off the cliffs as well.
Point of blog, I find it worth mentioning websites sometimes. My new favorite, http://www.etsy.com. It is all handmade things by super creative people, my competition to some extent, but just the same they have some really awesome things that are worth a gander. These types of things are right up my alley and I would much rather a gift from something like this. So if you have a free moment, check it out.
My little man, Kendall, and I took a trip to the CHOP offices in Chalfont yesterday to get a better inspection of Ethan's ears. E is a chronic ear infection sufferer and thus has become an antibiotic junkie, so much so that they are losing the effect they once had at lets say, 2 months old. At our last appointment for him and his ears the doctor finally flagged him and said, this kid needs tubes, the grand total is in, and in his 17 months of life, Ethan has had 11 documented ear infections. That is just being seen by the doctor, since the antibiotics have lost their effectiveness on him, there are times I know he has one but do not take him unless he has a high fever and/or his sleep is interrupted bc there is no point putting him through the nastiness that is augmentin unless I need to. And then once on the antibiotic we usually have a good month until it is gone, with 20 days on two different antibiotics. A clear candidate, don't you agree?
So off we went. Now some might cringe at the thought of taking two young toddlers to a doctors office for what is sure to be an extended period of time. However, these are my kids. I am not bragging or saying my kids do not ever act out in public settings, but the doctors is a sure bet that they will behave. Simply because they themselves think that they are doctors. I have mentioned this before with Kendall, but now it has gone on to Ethan, so much so that Santa will be bringing him his very own doctor's kit this Christmas because one stethoscope to share just isn't cool. Everything that could be deemed an eligible patient in this house has been evaluated by each of them at least 20 times. So being in the presence of another doctor is for them, being amongst colleagues. As the doctor was showing me charts of the procedure that was to be performed, they too were right next to me peering over the edge of the book. So you might think, well they are surely going to be doctors, well perhaps, but there is also a good chance they will just be like their mother and just obsess over the shows on Discovery Health.
We saw the nurse practitioner, went over his medical history, raced to get weighed and measured, and then went back into the lobby to wait. We then saw the audiologist who gave us all a hearing test. It really was just for Ethan, but the three of us got to go into the booth and watch the show that tests a small child's hearing. Kendall thought we were in a theater, she asked me when the movie was going to start, which is odd bc she has never been to a movie theater. Regardless, Ethan passed with perfect hearing. Back to the lobby. We then saw the ENT, Ethan was evaluated thoroughly, clear ears at that moment, figures, but he had also just ended a dose of antibiotics. Then one last time back to the lobby to wait for them to review E's chart and either call us back or send us on our way. They came out, we were called back like with thought we would be, and met with the surgeon who confirmed that Ethan would for sure be getting tubes in his ears. 2 1/2 hours later we walked out the door, and some might say, oh the kids must have been relieved to get out of there, but I turned to Kendall and asked, 'ready to go?', and she replies, 'ok, lets go to another doctor's house.'
Ethan's surgery will be on Monday September 8th, and no Kendall will not be scrubbing in, even though she would love it.
The McCays met us there, so of course Kendall was so pleased to have her buddies, the twins with her.
Kendall and Ethan LOVE animals. I mean above all else. If you were to put candy in front of them or a dog, I am not kidding my kids would go for the dog. This was Ethan's first time at the Grange Fair, and of course Kendall didn't remember last year, or so I thought. As we were driving down to my parents to go, Kendall says to me, 'Mommy, I gonna ride the pony, o.k.?', which is what we did last year.
Kendall also got to ride a pony with Brynn and Molly. Her pony was named Sparky. The look on her face as she went in the circle was sheer pride. When the ride came to an end and she was lifted off of Sparky her world crashed around her and she cried and cried and begged to get back on, my Dad was ready to put her back on and I quickly diverted to another event...funnel cake.
We love to get funnel cake at fairs. On the ride there I told Kendall we were going to get funnel cake and she was said, 'I not have any of that.' I told her she would love it. And so when the plate and some lemonade were placed in front of her, her eyes popped out of her head. A massive swirly donut it must have resembled to her bc she dug right in...and our resident food eating contestant Ethan joined right in.
She of course ate next to Molly and Brynn and they had their own funnel cake extravaganza!
We then walked off some of the greasy and fatty sugar coated bliss and then listened to an Elvis impersonator that the kids loved to dance to. Well my kids will dance to anything, it is one of their favorite things to do, so even a silly man trying to sing like Elvis will do.
Then off to the rides. I had forgotten how crazy carnival/fair rides are. I mean they look as if they might fall apart and send people flying to their death at any moment. But for some reason I gave no second thought to sending Kendall on a Merry Go Round. I then decided to go on with her, and would sit with E on the little bench that goes around. E then decided he would go on a horse before it began to spin. And spin it did. Ethan grasped on to me so tightly as it spun around and around and insisted upon me holding him. So as I attempt to get him off the horse and keep my balance at the same time, I envision myself flying off. I grab on to him and then I am stuck holding on to the tail of this metal horse that is going up and down for dear life. I honestly thought that if we spun anymore it would start to take flight. Thinking that was it for Kendall, as we are exiting the Merry Go Round of death, she looks at the Ferris Wheel and says, 'I want to go on that Mommy.' Yeah right. And then she looks to the right and sees that swinging boat and asks to go on that. Does this child have any fear what so ever?
After Aidan & Ashley go on the Scrambler that must have scrambled their brains like eggs, we headed over to the kiddie rides. Wouldn't you know what Kendall ran to right away...yes, the roller coaster. Albeit, it is a kiddie roller coaster but generally not for 2 year olds, she didn't even meet the height requirement, but Aidan volunteered to go with her, and the girl bent the rules. Like Aidan could save her if she were to fly out, but what is the likelihood of that happening?;)
So to get her ready for this ride, we sent them on the jeeps that go around in the circle, as you can see by Kendall's face, this ride held no level of excitement for her. She is always after a thrill. So to the roller coaster. We got them in and it took off, as it whipped around the corner Kendall's mouth popped open in that astonished way that could induce tears or laughter, I thought for sure she was about it cry when she began to scream and laugh. Amy thought for sure Molly was also going to scream to come off, but as they rounded the second bend to go down a slight hill, her arms went up in the air as if she were on the Great American Scream Machine having the time of her life.
Thus ends another year at the fair with fun and laughter amongst everyone.
However, we were really upset and offended by the sheep's Halloween Costumes this year...
Andy will be having further drug testing performed after a review of the footage.
Here is Ethan not to be out done needing to also be on camera. His vocabulary is growing more and more, and I love when he says 'please', so here it is. He also mastered 'no,' today, and it sounds like an old man with a deep voice when he says it. So cute.
It has been almost 17 months now. It is official, the kid hates being on a swing. And each time I take him to the playground, I think, maybe today will be the day he thinks these things are fun. I mean, what kid does not think swings are fun? Kendall adores them, and I can remember spending many an afternoon swinging trying to reach tree limbs. No, not my boy.I even try singing a song from our favorite show, 'Yo Gabba Gabba,' entitled 'Just try it and you'll like it,' and that is basically the entire lyrics to the song, but for some reason we love it. But even that didn't work, so I am ditching my efforts. Last thing I want to be is the mom who forces their kid to enjoy something because they did or do, because I still enjoy the swings. Most especially the ones at the amusement parks that go around and around. But is it just me, or as you are going around and around, do you ever wonder what would happen if the hook that holds the chain and the swing on the massive rotator just snapped off. You would literally be air borne for a long while at a tilt, just flying through the air, a torpedo, if you will. I tend to look around while spinning eyeing out things that might break my fall. Just like you contemplate jumping off when a playground swing is going super high and landing and rolling like they do in the movies. I would never really do that, by the way, just think about it. And you ask, and you enjoy this? Well sure, the fear of it is half the fun. And that is what Ethan doesn't get, much like his father, sometimes a little 'good' fear, makes the experience all that more exciting. I imagine its the same feeling you get before skydiving, you are scared out of your mind, but paired with that fear is excitement, so you jump. So the boys of the family can continue to cheer on the girls as we embark on 'scary' adventures.
My last effort until he asks, of putting E on a swing...
And the bink goes in to soothe him...he would much rather watch...
Running away from me as I ask if he wants to try again...
On solid ground, being chased by Kendall through the maze...
But back to Yo Gabba Gabba. Has anyone watched this show in its entirety, I mean sat with your kids and watched it? I swear the creators were in my brain, added some funny characters to act out what they found in there, and made a show. When I first saw it I was a little freaked out by the main character, he is an all out gay guy in an orange shiny Lycra jumpsuit with a drum majors hat on his head, and there is these crazy characters that walk awkwardly around and sing, and the enthusiasm is just disturbing. But second time around, I was like, wait a second...these songs sound like something I would sing, and the main guy sounds like me when I am trying to entice my children into eating their food. Snippet of my day, I will admit that I do sing crazy made up songs about the most random things, today we sang about Ethan and why he feels the need to pee on the hardwood floor right after I remove his diaper. The songs are repetitive and we dance all crazy like...just like Yo Gabba Gabba. Last night Kendall was picking her nose and eating her boogers while I was talking with her, and we just made up a song about boogers tasting like sugar.
Ok, so I am a strange person, I will admit it. But would you rather be the mom that took pictures of your kids crying on the swings when they were little bc you know they will think it is funny later and just let their creativity fly capturing raw moments and an understanding that it is o.k. to be silly? Or the mom that over and over again yelled at their kid for picking their nose and scolded them or made them feel weird for being goofy? I mean they will find out sooner or later that it is not cool to pick your nose in front of people, no need to nag. Side Note- if my child were sitting at the dinner table picking his or her nose, I would obviously say something, there is a time and a place for nose picking. (Insert Peet Peeve Announcement Horn Sound) It drives me nuts when a child, not out of control, but just being silly is reprimanded. I mean I could see if they were in someones face being annoying or getting in some one's way, or being too loud. But if you pick, pick, pick at your kid, how do you ever expect their personality to flourish? My motto, you only get one shot with these kids, so squat down and pretend you are a giant crab on the beach after the queen of all crabby pants, and take in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and laugh and be silly with us.
One summer my family, or should I say my dad, decided to try and move us there. A modern day Oregon Trail. We drove my dad's extended cab pickup with a trailer attached across the United States. I sat in the cab, with a cap, obviously, with the dog, miserable as all get out. I don't think I spoke to anyone until South Dakota, and that was to complain that the dog's breath was getting worse by the minute and that I was going to throw her out the back if she didn't sit up front for a little bit.
Now you tell me how a family that is so close to their extended family that we might as well all live together can survive without them? Not only that, my cat, Fat Sue, was left behind. So much to my father's dismay, we moved back. Same house, same school, same friends, I was 15 and so grateful.
Now when we go to visit I conjure up ways in my mind of how we too can move out there. But of course the whole family would have to come, I can't afford to visit every 3 months. But the crunchiness of it appeals to me now that I have kids.
So each year, the family comes to visit, it is usually right around the same time each year, and every other year they come to the Outer Banks with us. Usually every other year, my parents go to visit and ski. I took Andy there one summer when we were childless and we explored Yellowstone and adventures with my Uncle Steve. Eventually the 4 of us will go, its still a little advanced for the kids to really get it. I would like to take Andy in the winter to ski.
So their annual visit came, although Uncle Steve didn't come, he had work commitments, but Mom Mom went back with them to stay for two weeks and visit with her boy.
Kendall loved visiting with her cousins. Kate is 7 and Carson is 3. She was able to spend a day and a half with them, since they also had to visit with Aunt Eileen's family. The day's with them were spent at Mom Mom & Pop Pop's farm and I think Kendall showed them everything there is to do there in an 8 hour day, exhausting everyone.
None the less, it is always good to see them, and have fun with them. We miss them when they go.
Mademoiselle Fink in her tea attire best.
Getting ready in the wagon with Kate & Carson. (if you notice Kaitlyn decided to give her bangs a trim for the big trip east) This is Kendall's first ride in the wagon, all other times she has screamed, "NOOO!", when offered.She must have wanted to seem brave in front of her cousins.
The crazy 72 year old, white haired driver....HOLD ON TIGHT!
However, although we love the friendships our kids have made with each other, on a regular basis, toddler war erupts. There is about 7 regulars that play together, and I will identify each of them by their first names, omitting their last to protect their privacy and the embarrassment of their parents. On occasion there are 2-3 added children that come to play visiting their grandparents, or sister and their nephews...but beyond that subtle mention, I will keep it to the 7, I will even go as far to omit the oldest, 'Big' Connor, since he tends to stay out of it or referee.
So we have 6. They eat pops together, they ride bikes together, they swim in the Miller's pool together. They chase after one another, the color on sidewalks together, and then all of a sudden it turns. We have tried to pinpoint the cause of the battles erupting but it is random attacks. And when one child whips out their weapon of destruction, they all follow suit.
They will battle over the purple piece of chalk, the color or number of the rings they have in their hands that belongs to the silly game the daddy's play, because so and so stole so and so's flip flops, because for some reason all the girls have to wear flip flops. They will argue over the order of going up and down porch steps, the buckets in the pool, it is random and break out with no warning.
They each have their battle weapon and without fail, they never falter or change arms.
Andrew: the brut, he just pushes everyone around, he is the biggest, the oldest, so if he doesn't like what you are doing, he will just hip check you out of the way.
Emily: the snatcher, she will see what she wants and as fast as she can just swipe it right out of your hands, no warning, and then just stand there and look at you. Because if you aren't Andrew, she is the next in line, and what are you going to do?
Sarah: now she is the queen of sneak attacks. Just when you think she isn't going to go after your or get upset, wham, in comes the back hand, the shove, and you will look at her and ask, 'Sarah, what did you do to Kendall,' and she will look at you with no fear, just sheer determination, ' I hit her, ' with no explanation necessary, according to her.
Kendall:Without fail, Kendall will either bite, pull hair, hit, or sit on you if you cross her. She makes no attempt at disguising her actions, she will flail and exaggerate her movements, she has not mastered the art of subtlety, or maybe she has, and she doesn't want to be.
Evan & Ethan: I pair them together because they are only 2 weeks apart and the youngest of the group. For the most part they stay out of the way, in the back of the pack, however, their defense mechanisms may be the most grating on the nerves, because they have mastered the art of the whine, or the uncontrollable sob. If someone steals their toy, gets in their way, pushes or swipes at them, they act as if they have been involved in mortal combat. For the most part, the older kids, know to keep the swipes light, and their movements gentle when it comes to engaging in combat with the babies of the group, but the boys reaction is always the same, it is a scream that comes from the gut, like a firehouse siren, it starts low and soft and escalates to all out emergency mode scream in less than a few seconds.
The most recent war was the biggest of all, and I blame, us,
the parents, because this object that the war was centered around, was obvious. We perhaps thought we could patrol it, that they would listen and take turns, but after 30 minutes the object of desire was turned off. It was Emily's battery operated Princess Convertible. One of those cars that enables toddlers to pretend they are adults, and can drive around with the push of a pedal, a turn of the steering wheel, and pop of a gear shift into forward or reverse, and they go until their hearts content, well at least until the battery dies. I know what you are thinking, one car, 6 kids, yeah right. There was room for 2 and the instructions were to take turns we were even refereeing. Toddler War.
So feet were run over, the best of friends turned enemies, as hit and runs occurred all around. There were even physical fights breaking out amongst passenger and driver with no concern to direction the car was taking. It ran over bushes, up trees, off the sidewalk, it was chaos.
This picture was taken after the car battery was unplugged as they each decided they would share' the car, and all be flocked around it like the ants were to the picnic food that fell to the ground in the midst of the war. Soon after this picture was taken...
'she's pinching me'
'he's hogging the seat'
'she's smooshing me'
'don't look at me'
As I looked around yesterday I saw the toys, the fat cat, and the carpet with the stains I loathe. Listening I heard the washer going, Kendall singing one of her made up songs, E crying about something gone wrong, and Laurie Berkner singing about some Shady Tree that I would have liked to go to. I walked over to my hubby, sticking to the hard wood floors as I went due to the spilled apple juice from sippy cups that failed to keep their promises and gave him a big fat kiss. Because this is 7 years and what better way to celebrate then be in the midst of what has been accumulated over 7 years?
Because had we gone out or away we would have wondered how and what the kids were doing the entire time. This is our life right now and I couldn't be more content.
We celebrated with pizza from our favorite pizza place up here and we played with our kids, and to me that is an anniversary, doing what you like to do best with the family we have built in the past 7 years.
So to my best friend...
I thank you for 7+ years. I thank you for taking care of me, our family, and sacrificing for us on a daily basis. I admire your strength, your integrity, and your unconditional love for me. I thank you for your faithfulness, your trust, and your heart. I love you more and more. And as for a seven year itch, the only itch I have is from the mosquitoes that decided to have dinner on my ankles the other night!
You're in my heart, you're in my soul
You'll be my breath should i grow old
You are my lover, you're my best friend
You're in my soul
So my sisters and I planned a wedding shower for our cousin, Ashley, who's wedding we are all in on October 4th. I must say, that the shower, was a success, we do know how to throw a party. I think we may have a business on our hands, I just have to convince the two of them. However, I broke a few of my own rules in the planning part, and those I will never ever stray from again:
1. If you know how to plan the party and you know you can do it the best, just do it
2. When enlisting people to help, make sure they are reliable. In the future, I will go no further than my family to bring items, everyone else is incompetent.
3. Do not care about stepping on anyone else's toes, the recipient of the party does not care about anything other then the fact that it was a beautiful affair, all about them.
We made the favors, by hand, which I loved. Although they took about 30 some hours to do, they were really pretty hand decorated cookies that we configured ourselves, cutting apart cookie cutters, and using paring knives to get them in the shapes we wanted. Thanks again, Wilton for providing all the fun accessories that were used to decorate them. My kids even got in on the cookie baking process. Ethan assisted his Aunt Michelle by 'tossing', ok chucking the cookie cutters at her. And Kendall carefully added all the ingredients to the mixing bowl as our resident pastry chef apprentice. They also were our resident cookie samplers. Because if you didn't know this already, there is no avoiding helpful toddler hands when you do this kind of fun stuff during the day.
I made the invites, my sisters did the designning of the decorations, and we all put it together.
I won't give away any of our party planning secrets, because then well, you wouldn't need us, now would you?
The Bride & her rehearsal bouquet
Kendall and the Flower Girls