Four Feet too Short….

We made it to Canada without any major issues – yay!  We were able to get on the road by 2:30am and arrived at the campground around 1:30pm.  We set up the trailer only to find the electric hook up was over 50 feet away.  We had a long 15 amp extension cord that we were able to hook up to using our adapter, however as soon as we turned on the air conditioner it blew the circuit.

Going without A/C was not an option – it was a sauna in the trailer.

We had to find a 30amp extension cord – apparently not an easy task!  We eventually found one at an RV dealership.  As it turns out they are not only hard to find but are fairly expensive too – and by fairly I mean very!  We opted for the 25foot one for $75, rather than the 50foot one for $140.  When we got back to the campsite and hooked it up we found out it was about 4feet too short.  No biggie, we figured we’d just move the trailer up a couple feet, except that it turned out we had blown a fuse too and couldn’t lower the hitch.  So back in the truck we climbed and off we went in search of a fuse.  It was around 9pm by the time we finally got everything working properly and in the right place!  By that point we had spent about 19 hours in the truck and we were all a little punchy.

It could only get better from there and it did.  We had a wonderful time with friends and family at the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  It was so nice to be able to share that day with everyone.  The next day we celebrated the Princess’s 5th birthday and the Milk Monkey’s 1st birthday with all our friends and family too.  It was a great weekend…I’m so thankful to everyone who took the time to be with us during this special weekend.  We thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone!  I wish we could do that more often!

We put the extra big sink in the trailer to good use!

Daddy Says… The Milk Monkey turns one.

Today the Milk Monkey turned 1 year old, and of course we celebrated in our favorite way – camping! It’s amazing how quickly the year has passed. Our little guy has grown so much.

We took the trailer on our first really long haul, and after a long weekend of fun and adventure we are all exhausted. This post is being emailed in, so hopefully it gets through ok! Once we are able to secure an Internet connection for the computer, we’ll have a lot more stories to share.

Until then – Happy Birthday Milk Monkey!!!

The Milk Monkey enjoying a birthday dinner of smoked ribs ala Honestly Daddy.

The Night Before Canada…

I’m exhausted!

If you ever want a good work out, spend the day packing a trailer!!  My body hurts all over…especially my legs!  That first step up to the trailer is so high, it’s like a lunge every time.

We had most of the trailer packed and ready to go, but there’s always the last few things…which turn into a few more things and even a few more.

Now, we are packed!

Since we’re leaving in the middle of the night, we decided to sleep the first part of the night in the trailer, that way we don’t have to bring all our bedding out at 2am.  We really, really need to get bedding and pillows just for the trailer!!  At the moment everyone is asleep except me.  Daddy went to sleep at 8, so that he’ll be rested while driving through the night.  On a long trip like this – 9 to 10 hours – we try to do a good portion of it during the night so the kids can sleep.  That way we don’t have to stop as often.

I really enjoy long trips in the car, especially with my wonderful husband.  We talk and laugh – it’s usually the gasping for breath with tears rolling down my cheeks kind of laughing.  We eat sandwiches and snacks and drink coffee.  While the kids are sleeping we quietly listen to music, usually something that my amazingly patient husband has to suffer through – this time it’ll be songs from the show Smash…yay!!  I usually end up playing a game or two on my laptop, read my kindle and I always, always spend time texting my friend Superwomen!!! She’s the best!  

What I do not do is drive.  That’s better left to Daddy.  He prefers to do it, I prefer to let him – especially now with the trailer.

I look forward to the long drives, especially the ones to Canada!  It’s always a nice feeling knowing that I’m heading home to see my friends and family.  This time is even more special because we are having the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  I have family travelling from all over so they can attend.  It’ll be so nice to see everyone.  I’m so excited!!!

I guess I should try to get a little sleep before we leave!

It’s Finally Finished!!!

After weeks and weeks of endless sewing I have finally finished the quilt for my Princess!

I’m pleased with how it turned out.

It’s not perfect,

but it’s beautiful!

What I really love about it is that I finished it.  Lack of follow through has always been one of my flaws.  I start many projects but I rarely finish them.  I tend to lose interest before I get to the end.  As I get older – or as I like to call it…more mature – I’m learning the importance of finishing things to the end.

It turns out, finished projects are much more beautiful than the unfinished ones.

I really enjoyed sewing it, I just didn’t enjoy the looming deadline.  A month is not enough time to complete a quilt that size.

I’m so happy with how it turned out…the colours, the pattern and even how it has the wrinkly quilt look to it.

My sweet little Princess is going to love it!  I can’t wait to see her expression when she sees it.

   

Soon, I will start picking out fabric and a design for my next quilt.  I’ll be making it for my Little Professor, for Christmas – months and months  from now!

Soccer Pics and Solar Panels…

Our weekend went like this…

Saturday morning the kids had soccer pictures so they had to be at the field half an hour earlier than usual looking their best.  The Little Professor and I had been talking about cutting his hair, it had grown too long and he doesn’t like it when I style it for him.

He says I make it stick up too high.

I say it sticks up because it’s too long.

We both agree keeping it short is the way to go.

We decided to cut it last minute, so that put us behind in our schedule.  With a lot of rushing we were able to make it to the field on time.  I gave strict warnings not to get dirty.

No running around and no digging in the dirt…just stay clean until the pictures are taken!

That didn’t last long…the Princess was all over the place, rolling around in the grass and digging in the dirt.  When I reminded her of the no dirt rule she responded…”It’s not dirt Mummy, it’s sand!”  Then the Professor came running over with pieces of grass all over him, all sweaty and flushed and something on his shirt.  Apparently, one of the other boys was throwing grass and a blade landed in his mouth which made him throw up…on his shirt.   I guess all those times I told him not to put grass in his mouth because dogs pee on it really made an impression on him.  Thank goodness for baby wipes!!!

I managed to get both of them clean and you can’t even tell in the pictures.

    

The rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent shopping and packing for our first big vacation with the trailer.  We’ll be driving all the way to Canada (10 hours) for the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  There was a lot of eye rolling and sighing going on at the stores.  It makes for a very distracting shopping trip and as a result we ended up going to 3 different Walmarts in one weekend.  Not fun!  One of those times we came across a travel trailer in the parking lot.  The owners had unhooked it and were off somewhere.  It had what looked like a solar panel propped up on the ground charging the battery.  Super cool!!!  It left us full of questions.  Did Walmart mind that they had unhooked and left it unattended?  I wonder why they did that?  Where did they get the cool solar panel?

I needed to know!

So I found a scrap of paper and left them a little note and put my email address on it.  We tucked it into the door handle to their trailer.  I don’t know if they’ll get it, they should, and if they do I’m not sure if they’ll email us back but it was worth a try!  If they do, I’ll let you know!

Later…back at the trailer…

    

We started packing our things.  I also put down some of that rubbery shelf lining to try to keep things from moving while the trailer is on the move.  Meanwhile, Daddy un-boxed his new smoker/bbq –it was a late birthday gift– for travelling.  It turns out it’s too big to fit in the storage compartment of the trailer.  That won’t stop him!  He’ll find a place for it.  He’s pretty excited to smoke something…I think it’ll be ribs first!

School Begins Again…

Today was the first day of Grade 1 and Grade 3 in our house.

No, the Professor and the Princess didn’t get dolled up in new outfits, they didn’t have new school supplies and they didn’t pose for pictures.

It was actually rather uneventful.

Aside from the amazing little Milk Monkey trying so hard to participate from the side lines!

School took place in our living room and we were all super comfy in our pj’s.

I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee as I began the journey of teaching my Princess to read and write.

The Professor easily fell back into his normal school routine.

It all feels so natural now.

Of course, there were the usual moments of holding back my frustration, especially while the Princess learned to write the letter “A a”.

Her tiny little fingers gripped the pencil as she tried to form the curved part and then connect the “stick” just right.

I wanted so badly to be able to help her do it perfect but instead I encouraged her gently “That’s it, you almost have it!  You’ll get it on the next  one!  Keep trying!  Remember it’s a lower case ‘a’ keep it between the lines.”

She was trying so hard her forehead had little wrinkles and her nose was scrunched,

her little freckles displaced – I love those freckles!

She blew through the math, at times losing patience with me “Mummy, I get it!” and she did get it!

She’s so smart!

The Professor and I came to an agreement, he’s now on summer work load.  It just made more sense.

He’s still 6 years old and he blew through Grade 2 in less than 8 months!

It’s time to slow down a bit.  We’ll supplement with lots of reading and some fun projects!

Today I added up his grade average for last year – 99.2%!

His response was “That’s it?!  I’ll have to try harder this year!”

I reassured him he did awesome this past year, he definitely doesn’t need to worry, just keep up the excellent work!

I’m a big fan of my Little Professor!!!

We made a pact – this year I’ll try to be more patient and he’ll keep on working as hard as usual!!

Just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough…

I absolutely adore my children!!!!

Mother’s Day Extravaganza….

Ok, maybe in reality it wasn’t that over the top but in my mind it was!

We woke in the trailer – we backyard camped – to homemade cards and beautiful flowers!

I also woke up to snuggles, kisses and giggles – my favourite!

Then there was some Lego Creativity time with my boys!

    

And more snuggling and jokes with my Princess – we do a lot of “pillow chatting”.

She always wants to me whisper secrets in her ear, so I do, secrets of  love and adoration and rainbows and anything pink.

Then I tickled her for a while and listened to her deep, heart filled laughter!

Later I sat on the floor with the Milk Monkey and we danced and practiced standing on his own.

Daddy cooked a yummy dinner and we all decided we needed to backyard camp one more time.

We just weren’t ready to end the magical day!

Actually now that I look back on it….extravaganza fits perfectly for me!

Motherhood is…

 

May always gets me reflecting about motherhood.  For one, the obvious, Mother’s Day takes place in May but also the Princess was born in May as was my Little Milk Monkey.  I have been blessed with 3 healthy children.  I’m so thankful for this.  It’s seriously something I thank God for every single day and some days more than once.

This year I seem to be inundated with stories about the lives of brave mothers everywhere who are going through or have recently been through trials with their precious children.   These amazing women are faced with challenges and devastation that no mother should ever have to experience.  I’ve quietly cried for their losses, pain and disappointment, I’ve prayed for them often, sometimes daily, and I’ve silently cheered for every little victory they’ve shared.   My heart goes out to those mummy’s who would give anything to make their children well.  I want to hug them and tell them they’re amazing!  Instead I pray, I pray hard and I enlist those I know who are prayer warriors around me to pray also.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital fighting for their life or what it’s like to lose a child and I pray I never do.

I have had my own struggles as a Mummy.  After my Little Professor was born I started experiencing a lot of anxiety which was unusual for my normally care free self.  Every night as I lay in the dark trying to get to sleep I would go through different scenarios in my mind.  What if there was a fire, how would I get to the babies room, what if the natural gas heater blew, what if the people downstairs has a gun and shot it through their ceiling, what if someone breaks in how would I protect my children?…it just went on and on.  Leaving the house was even harder.  I would dread a trip to the grocery store.  What if we were in a car accident, what if someone showed up with a gun, what if someone tried to take my babies?  I would constantly assess situations and try to figure out potential hazzards to my children.

To the reasonable mind those scenarios are unlikely but they would reverberate in mine.  I would become paralyzed with fear.  It was clearly controlling me and the decisions I was making.  It was interfering with my ability to be a good mother.  I saw it reflecting in my children at times.  Some days, when the children went to work with their father I would sit on the couch and cry in fear that they weren’t coming home.  Some nights were so bad that I would lay in bed shaking, pleading with my husband to pray for me – pray for us to be safe through the night.  I often wondered how much torment my mind would be able to handle before I snapped.

Thankfully, I have been able to overcome the fear with the help of God.  I started reading Psalm 91 every single day.  Whenever I would start to panic I would read it again.  I realized the fear and anxiety started with thoughts and whenever one would start forming in my head I would think to myself “no”.  Sometimes, I’d even have to say it out loud to myself to drown out the thoughts.  There have even been times when I have struggled with a thought to the point of tears and shouting “no” to myself until it passed.  I am determined to not allow fear to dictate what I do.

For so long I have kept this to myself, only sharing it with my husband and a few other close to me.  I always felt ashamed about it.  I didn’t think anyone would understand and maybe they won’t, but sharing it now is liberating!   I have been to a very dark place and with God I’ve survived and overcome and I’m so very thankful for that!  Every Mummy has an amazing testimony because Motherhood is hard and challenging and amazing and rewarding!  We need to tell our stories and we need to pray for each other and we need to celebrate our victories!!!

 

 

Crashes, Falls and Cookies…

At the moment I’m laying on the couch moaning and whining in pain.  I know I’m acting like a baby but my body hurts so much – I’m giving myself permission to complain.  It’s been an eventful day and not necessarily the good kind of eventful, though there were some pretty good moments.

The day started off as usual, woke up tired, dragged myself onto the treadmill –you’d think, with all my treadmill time I’ve been logging, I’d be losing weight faster than I am – worked, and even got some sewing accomplished.  It’s the kids week off before they start their next grade so that makes life much easier on me.  I had been secretly hoping it would pour rain all day so that the Professor’s soccer practice would be canceled.  We have all been fighting off a cold –and so far we are winning – and I didn’t want to expose everyone to the cold, damp weather.

Rain was forecasted for all day but as usual the predictions were wrong and the clouds refused to give up the rain.  Soooo…I piled the kids into the truck and made our way to the soccer field.  I was trying to find a parking spot where I could see the field from the truck in case of rain.  I really didn’t want the Milk Monkey getting wet.  As I was backing into the spot I ran right into one of those big garbage bins in the back of the school.

There was a unison of gasps as we heard the smash!

I caught the Professor’s look in the rear view mirror, his eyes were huge and his mouth was wide open in horror.

I jumped out and rushed to the back!  Thankfully the damage was minimal, it was just the rear light lens that was damaged.  As much as I’d rather not spend $50 on a new one, I’m very thankful that it wasn’t worse.

Fifteen minutes into practice it started raining.  I returned to the truck with the Princess and the Milk Monkey while the Professor finished his practice in the rain.  Later, at home I sent the children up to shower and get pj’s on.  That was around the same time I fell down the whole flight of stairs – ouch!!! – and that brings me back to my whining.

Thankfully, I didn’t do any serious damage, just some soreness.  I’m so thankful it wasn’t worse!

On a brighter and sweeter note…the UPS man showed up at our door today bearing gifts!

I’m a big fan of the UPS man!!

I didn’t order anything so I was a little suspicious – even more so when I realized it was a tin of cookies – my over active imagination in full working order!

Inside I found a little thank you card from the RV dealership we bought our trailer from.  I thought that was a really nice touch, especially since we were a for sure thing!

I would recommend buying an RV from Flagg RV to anyone – not just because they send really delicious cookies if you do!  They were very helpful and have excellent customer service, also their prices are far better than any other dealership we talked too.

So today wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worse day ever!  Even through it all I can still find reasons to be thankful!