Monday, October 20, 2014

fall fun outta state

Last weekend we went back to Seneca, South Carolina for what seems to be turning into our annual fall trip.  We stayed again at Kacy's parents' lake house and this time the Stravelakis' came along, too.  What a difference a year makes when we're bringing children!  Last year I had a three-ish month old baby who still nursed every three hours.  This year Logan was amazing and so fun to watch with so many other people around.

We didn't go to Fall for Greenville, but we did head back to Denver Downs and it was fun!  We went Saturday and planned to stay a while after last year not planning and just hanging out for a couple of hours in the evening.  It was cool to be with a large group of friends, but not feel the pressure to try and stay together as we all have kids in different age groups.  Clark and Oliver enjoyed doing things like the zip line, barrel roll, and hay obstacle course, while the toddler twins loved the slide, horse carriage ride, and trying the zip line.  Little Harper couldn't do a lot of stuff, but she enjoyed screaming and throwing tantrums.  Just kidding, Claire...  Really I know Claire and Tony stressed about the "terrible two-year old" but she wasn't horrible.  She's just at that age where life is hard because communication is hard.  Our kids enjoyed eating corn dogs and ice cream cones, going through the corn maze, and running around as much as they could.

Back at the house, the boys swam at least once a day.  Saturday evening we took a boat ride to see a waterfall and the boys got out and swam in the freezing water there.  It was nice to relax and let the kids all play with/torment each other.  I love all of these people and look forward to next year!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


It's the middle of October and I have been avoiding the blog.  I have been busy doing stuff, reading stuff, eating stuff, and other stuff, but none of it has felt relevant enough to share or document.  Corey tells me I need to keep blogging and now that our internet is going faster, thanks to him, I guess I will update update update ya.

First things first.  I hate this time of year almost as much as I love it.  The weather is significantly cooling down finally and my kids are sick.  Clark had a fever and missed two days of school with wimpyitis.  The first day home I was working aka babysitting, and he tagged along.  He laid around watching Netflix on the Kindle.  The next day he woke up bellyaching about a bellyache and after we took Corey to work and Logan to her check up, I made him spend the rest of the day in bed.  He wasn't so sick after all, but got plenty of rest and reading time.  Saturday night/Sunday morning, Clark woke us up to say Oliver was coughing and crying for me.  I went to check on him and it sounded like he was coughing up a lung in a deep echoing well.  I grabbed a towel in time to catch his phlegmy vomit and get him some water.  He went back to sleep, but Corey took him to urgent care Sunday morning just to be sure.  Of course they prescribed a steroid, Albuterol, and antibiotic.  Crossing fingers and holding breaths that the rest of us don't get anything.

As you read, I took Corey to work one day.  I really did that several days last week.  But let me back up a little to fill you in on why we were van-less.  Last week we went to our friends' parents' lake house in South Carolina.  We went last year and were hoping to go again.  The stars and dates aligned and we found ourselves on 85 heading north when our van began to shake like I was manning a machine gun.  Corey flipped out because he'd never had that happen before on the interstate.  We were two hours into our three hour trip so we weren't turning around and suddenly Clark was whining about how hot it was in the back when we realized the air wasn't working.  We turned everything off and rolled the windows down and dropped our speed to 70.  We continued on warily and hoping the van wouldn't give us any more trouble the rest of the weekend.  We also discussed how we wanted to pay for repairs or try to sell and find another one reasonably priced.  Our favorite type of discussion, by the way...  So we made it through the weekend and back home.  I had to work Monday (babysitting is my job three days a week now) and the boys were out of school, so I needed the van to get to the house.  Tuesday morning we dropped the van at a repair shop, I drove Corey to work and then had to strap three kids in the back of our Civic that evening to pick him up.  And that's how things went until Friday afternoon when it was ready and shake-free.  Whew.

I've read a couple of books.  I finished Death du Jour, which was pretty interesting.  Corey and I binged watch Bones on Netflix and are now on the current season.  Watching episodes weekly is the pits by the way.  Temperance Brennan of the book series is nothing like her character on the show other than they are female forensic anthropologists.  I liked the book, but am glad I didn't go into it hoping it was like the show.  I also finished listening to another audiobook, The Raven Boys.  I've liked most of the Stiefvater stories, and that includes this one.  I didn't love the narrator and I was telling Claire about this because she used to listen to a lot of audiobooks when she commuted every day for work.  She told me about her favorite and so maybe I'll find one specifically narrated by him to give audiobooks another try.  Another finished book was Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  I had put off reading this for several reasons, but after Claire said she liked it I decided to give it a try.  I enjoyed reading about her experience, but man her lack of research and overestimating her abilities was tough to take in some of the time.  That means I made my goal of 40 books this year.  According to Goodreads, I've read 42 and with two and a half months left I will probably read more. 

Speaking of books, I was invited to a girls' night and we went to Gone Girl.  As you may recall I read this last year and it was insane.  When I heard they were making a movie, I wasn't sure I wanted to see it.  The book was/is everywhere and I was incredibly frustrated by the ending.  When a friend planned to see this for our night out I went along with it because I love going to movies and was curious enough to see how the story looked on a screen.  Two of the four of us did not read the book so it was kind of fun seeing their reactions.  The screenplay was written by Gillian Flynn so it was almost exactly like the book, which I totally appreciated.  Minor differences didn't bother me and oh wow, the acting was really good.  I felt the same emotions from reading the book and the ending killed me again in the movie.  The two ladies who hadn't read were looking at us like, "Wait!  Did that just happen??"  I still don't think I loved it, but it brought the whole thing to a nice little close.

Well I think that's it.  I've got a few "experience" posts to share, but this was real life in the first part of October.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

fall fun

Over the weekend we visited Whitley Farms for their Fall Festival.  It's not even October, but okay whatever.  It was free to visit and then you could pay to do some activities.  We picked pumpkins, let the kids run around in the dirt, and then did a few crafts.  We skipped paying for a hay ride, pony ride, and petting zoo.  Just a short trip, but lots of fun.

Clark set this up and took the picture.

Some of the pumpkins were huge and the prices went from 50 cents to $20+.  I kept having to tell Clark no because he wanted the pricey ones.  We got some cute little ones and a medium one all for $6.  Not too bad for the experience.

Monday, September 29, 2014

run for funds

The boys' school did a Run for Funds again this year and my pockets are feeling empty after the activity.  First of all, I'm so glad they do this fundraiser instead of us selling cookie dough wrapping paper Rainbow vacs...  Usually I just pledged a flat rate for Clark, but this year I took a chance and wanted him to be even more excited about the number of laps he'd run, so I did $1 per lap.  I knew this was a risky move, but figured $50 wasn't a terrible amount to donate to his school.  For Oliver I did half that and since this is the big deal and pretty much only time we give a large amount of money to the school, it's worth it to me. 

Having two kids in the same school is awesome.  I've never had to put one kid on a bus and then drop another one off somewhere else.  I know some parents who do this for one reason or another and I mourn for them.  So this may sound whiny, but I had to be at Oliver's run at 9 am and then waste an hour and a half before Clark's run began at 11 am.  I'm finally at that time of kids' lives where the age difference is great enough you have to do things at separate times.  Normally Clark's grade would have run at 10, so back to back, but they switched 2nd and 5th grades and ugh.  Logan was a good sport and we were able to wile the time away.

Pre-K, kindergarten, and first cute.  Such mad dashers.  Easily worn out.

Second graders have been doing this for years and it's a little easier to figure out running in a circle.

 Oliver was so proud of his 34 laps.  He also loved that he was on the green team.

Clark getting his laps marked.

This was a dancing lap and waving his arms back and forth is all the dancing he'll do in public.

Clark completed 54 laps!  He told me, "I got a new record.  But not really.  Those last two laps they said to count twice."

So they had fun, got some exercise, and earned money for their school.