September 27, 2008

Wild and Wonderful

That is the West Virginia state motto. So last weekend we thought we would check it out to see how accurate that motto is. And I have to agree, at least on the latter, it is wonderful! We took our family to Cacapon Resort State Park in West Virginia for an overnight getaway.

"Operation Road Trip" commenced. We began with a fun picnic at the lake and then we all headed down to the dock. Paddle boating was the biggest hit for my kids and I think we provided cheap entertainment to the onlookers on the shore as each child had their turn to paddle, which involved me or Alan climbing into the back of the boat to switch places with them, while the other person steadied the boat and held Bridger at the same time, all the while holding the hand of a child or two while they used their free hand to stretch themselves over the boat to touch the water as we paddled. I think the dock patrol posted "high tide" warnings on their boards while we were out there.

After paddle boating we took the kids horseback riding. The kids were thoroughly delighted when, after their ride, the cowboy presented them each with a horseshoe from their horse. We went with them and their new dirty treasure to a field next to the stable to play a game of horseshoes. That game was short lived, however, as we couldn't get the kids to grasp the concept of waiting until all horseshoes are thrown before you go and retrieve yours. We were able to call a cease-fire before there was any bloodshed.

After that we played on a fun old fashioned playground with complete with the vomit-go-round -- remember these things? I think liability has caused them to be removed from every playground except for those untouched circa 1950's ones parks like this one.

Also while there, Alan and I also had some fun and took turns each shooting a round of wobble trap.

The kids loved sitting there with their ear protection on watching mom and dad "sploosh orange frisbees" (translated - shoot clays). For the harmony of my marriage, I will refrain from saying who shot more clays.

In the evening we sat in the rocking chairs along the porch overlooking the golf course and had a nice visit with some other hotel guests while the kids ran around the abandoned course. After a long, hot summer it was such a welcome feeling to finally have a chill to the evening air.

Beyond our paddle boating and horseshoe chaos, the only thing wild about the "Wild and Wonderful" state was our night. We were excited thinking about how pleasant the night would be since we splurged and got two adjoining hotel rooms. That night was anything but pleasant. Wild is truly the word to describe it. #1 had his own bed, #2 and 3 were sharing a bed with #4 in his pack and play, mom and dad had their own room. #2 and 3 were being way too wild together, so we switched #3 and #1. #1 then was coughing so much that it was keeping #2 awake, so I brought #1 in my bed, whose coughing then was keeping me awake. I went to the other room to share with #3. I will NeVeR share a bed with #3 again. She was all over my space, somewhat embedding herself into my back with an occasional spastic knee jerk to my lower jerk every so often. I would frequently go back to #1 and give him some water and every time I came back she would be further spread into my space. At some moment in the night I had enough and I just gave her a big push back to her side. Still asleep, but at the top of her lungs she yelled, "HEY!! Don't PUSH me!!", and was snoring again in the next breath. Not before that woke up #4, however, who was then crying and had to be put back to sleep.
I think that our family put the "wild" in "wild and wonderful" for the West Virginians and had a great time doing it!

September 15, 2008

Women Drivers

Alan and I are finally learning how to have a life beyond co-parenting once again. After seven years of little ones, we have been able to get into a regular dating habit again. At first we didn't know how to relax at a restaurant together without the demands of cutting up food for others, overseeing the no-spilling initiative, managing the negotiations over who got what color crayons in their kid's menu pack, explain for the 10th time why we are not ordering soda, etc. etc. etc. Yes, it is sheer bliss just to sit. . . and eat. . . slowly. But lest our dates be all food-based, we decided to shake it up and be a little wild-n-crazy one night. Or, as wild and crazy as two sleep deprived, 30-somethings get with a 9:30pm babysitter deadline. And so it was. . .
Alan is first, I'm behind him
off to the races! We doubled with my brother and his wife for a little extreme go-kart challenge. These are not your grandma's go-karts, however. And the helmet and jumpsuit were not just for dress-up. On the liability waiver we had to sign it actually did mention the potential death risk. Maybe for some drivers it would be. For me, I learned, there would be no such risk. I realized something about myself. Now that I have four carseats in my car, I drive differently. I drive slower, I let cars merge (aka cut me off) without resistance, I listen to different car tunes and at a different volume. I think I have possibly become . . . rEsPOnsiBLe?! Apparently, that mother-hen driving style spills over. And so all suited up, I squeezed my self into the driver's seat of the kart, revved my engine to intimidate my husband with whom I had made some high stakes bet of dish duty or something, waited for the green light and I was off like a speed demon. Or at least I thought I was. I was eating Alan's dust in no time. On the third and fourth laps I actually had the track monitor hold up his "Stop Riding Your Brakes!" sign to me. I was pitiful. I could not be wild and crazy no matter how hard I tried. Perhaps it is because I have been driving around with this on my window too long. . .

September 07, 2008

Dear Father Time. . .

STOP! Or at least, slow down a little. please.

How can some days seem so long when time goes by so fast?! I just sent off a little one to kindergarten and another to first grade this week. The house seemed a little too still with half of my kids gone. I'm excited for kindergarten, I barely get my dishes done and it's time to wait for the bus to return again. Three and a half hours of school a day, I can do that. But, the first grader -- all day long is just too long! I have started dinner preparations by the time he returns. I am considering a petition to the county to make 1st - 12th grade half day, just like kindergarten. If my petition is rejected then I just might consider homeschooling. Lance spends more time with another women than with me. grrr. And then he comes home talking crazy talk about things like Pokemon and Bakugan Battle Brawlers - huh? "What's that?" I have to humbly ask. I miss them, they are my little companions and friends and I do not want them to get any bigger. Sadie misses them too. On the first day of school she plopped herself in front of the door and told me that she was going to watch for the bus to come. It was only 9:15am.

People tell me that their children become more and more fun as time goes by. And mine have. I have loved all of the tomorrows that have come but I have really loved all of the yesterdays too. So for now I respectively request, dear Father Time, that you forget about us for a little while. I am loving today.