The (almost) end of summer…finally

15 Aug

Have I mentioned I overdid it with the summer activities? Lo, I have. The trip to Portland was a lot of fun. The boys and I visited my friends June and Kristen and their two little girls. We spent a lot of time playing in their neighborhood playground and we went to the Clark County Fair. Their smallest, a cute one year old named Lexi, had a pretty quick meltdown upon arrival (it was sunny, it was hot, it was VERY LOUD and pretty much a recipe for overstimulation) and Kristen had to whisk her off to the petting zoo for most of it. The older one, Jordan (3), did a little better but seemed kind of overwhelmed. I think the combination of having the boys in town and the constant playing (Ben and Jordan hit it off) as well as the fair was a bit too much. I’ve heard that since we left they took Jordan back and she had a blast.

The boys loved the fair. The fair is stinking expensive! I bought 80 tickets ($70) and didn’t get to ride a single ride. I really look forward to when the boys are bigger and can ride some of the cool rides with me. We were mostly exiled to toddler ride land for the whole day. We split off from June and Kristen since the boys wanted to ride EVERYTHING and met up with them at the end of the fair trip for snacks and the ride back. Kristen’s dad commented several times that the boys were great fair goers, nothing fazed them, they never got grumpy, and had a great time. That was a nice thing to hear. I do have some pretty fun kids and their ability to handle being tired is pretty awesome. It does get easier once they’re older, though. I can’t attribute all of their awesomeness to my parenting skills (but I will try).

We came back Sunday and promptly went into zombie mode. We were all so tired. We had bike day at Small Faces Monday. Monday, I worked a swing (3-11:30) then back up the next morning for a 9 AM meeting. I was in that from 9-11:30 then left for a quick lunch. I went back to work from 12:45-11:30 that night. I have moved to a .6 position so I have to work another 8 hours a paycheck but I don’t have an actual shift, I’m just putting in the hours when I can. Since the boys are already at 3 days a week for Small Faces, I don’t want to increase their hours since they don’t offer 4 day a week care, it’s either 2, 3, or 5. Moving to 5 days a week would erase any benefit from the extra 8 hours I work and actually end up costing us more so right now I’m just tacking on 2 hours here, 3 hours there to work four extra hours a week.

So I got off work at 11:30 that night then back up at 7 the next morning to get ready to go to Bellingham. Ananda’s 40th birthday was Wednesday and she was having a family celebration at her grandparent’s lake house on Lake Whatcom. The house was unbelievable and the boys had so much fun playing in the lake and going on speedboat rides. The house is on a bit of property that used to be a small resort so in addition to the main house there are five small cabins and we stayed in one. After the boys went to bed, we put sleeping bags out on the lawn to watch the Perseid meteor shower and saw some really amazing meteors! It was a fantastic evening and a great way to celebrate Ananda.

We came back Thursday afternoon and Andy has been on 12 hour days from Friday until Monday night. I worked Friday and the rest of this weekend is pretty much dedicated to getting ready for our camping trip to Glacier on Tuesday. We plan to leave about 5 AM Tuesday so it’s necessary to get it all done by the time we go to bed Monday. We are driving to Kalispell, MT on Tuesday (about 8 hours) then staying in a hotel that night. Wednesday morning, we will drive the additional hour to Glacier to set up camp. We will be there through Saturday. The plan is to drive back Saturday but we will probably opt for driving a bit then staying in a hotel Saturday night so we can get showers, pool time, and some rest. I’m not too crazy about the idea of packing up camp, driving 8-10 hours, then trying to get the boys washed up after 4 days of camping before putting them to bed. It would be about 2 in the morning at that point! So we’ve left it open.

Unfortunately, Will can’t go with us (but for a great reason, he starts work with the gaming company this week) so he will housesit for us while we are gone. I’m super bummed he can’t make it since we all had so much fun on the Deception Pass trip but there’s not much to be done about it.

So now we are almost off to Glacier and aside from booking the campground, I have done ZERO planning for it. I remembered to book the hotel for Tuesday so at least we have places to stay. I printed out a page of short kid-friendly hikes to do around Glacier. We are debating bringing the bikes but Glacier doesn’t seem very bike friendly. We are thinking of bringing our bikes with the two trailers (Eli’s trailer bike and the Weehoo) but there don’t seem to be a lot of places to ride other than the actual road through it and even that has time constraints on when you can ride it so I’m thinking not. I hate riding on roads with cars and Glacier sounds like a tough ride without hauling 30+ lbs. I’m trying to think of ways to keep the boys occupied at the campsite because we’ve gotten totally spoiled camping with other families this summer and having built-in distractors. There is a water park close to Glacier and I figure we will do that one of the days. The other days will probably just be short hikes, Junior Ranger missions, and a lot of staring at a fire (no burn ban yet! If we do get one, man, this is going to be rough). The weather at Glacier seems to vary wildly depending on where you are in the park–I’ve seen forecasts for nights as low as high 30s (if you look under “Glacier Nat’l Park” in the weather app) or as low as low 50s (if you look under “West Glacier” which I think is closer to where we will be staying. In any case, I’m having to pack us for EVERY POSSIBLE WEATHER PHENOMENON and it’s a lot! We are so lucky to get to go on a trip like this and our kids are so fortunate to live in a part of the country where things like this are just a day’s drive away.

Tomorrow, the boys and I are doing the grocery shop for the trip and going to the library to stock up on books and DVDs. Aside from throwing everything in the car and some camping meal prep, there’s not much else to do.

The potty training will begin in earnest once we get back. I haven’t been consistent about it and I had no intention of winging it on the camping trip so I haven’t really pushed it all that much. Eli starts 1st grade in early September and we will be settling back into a routine. I received invites for two more kids’ birthday parties the weekends after we get back and I declined both. I felt badly about it but I am really trying to be mindful of how frazzled we all are and how much we need to slow down.

I do have one last trip planned for the end of September. My friends Carrie and Wendy are coming on Weds, Sept 23rd and just the three of us are going to Orcas Island to stay at a B&B until that Sunday! I am so excited about it I don’t know what to do with myself. Aside from the idea of just having 3.5 days without kids, the opportunity to get to spend that time with my oldest and dearest is mind boggling. I plan to do a lot of reading, a lot of napping, a lot of chatting and laughing, some kayaking, and just spending time with my girls. I expect this trip to be very rejuvenating for me and I am so looking forward to it!

Milestone news- Eli is about to lose his first top front tooth. It’s quite loose and keeps bleeding but he won’t let us yank it. He now says his “r”s like an adult and that is bittersweet to me. Ben can buckle himself into his carseat and is very proud of this accomplishment. He’s riding the small bike with training wheels like a pro but still doesn’t like the balance bike. Quite often Ben will refuse hugs and kisses at bedtime which is sad but that kid is all about controlling his environment so I don’t hassle him over it. He still follows me everywhere so I know he still likes me 🙂

Going to put this up for now and hopefully will get more pictures up before I hit the sack.

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