Return of the Screech Monkey….(said in a spooky voice).

It’s a good thing this baby is so cute!

The other day I wrote about how he was climbing now rather than screeching, well I think I spoke too soon.  He screeched all day today!  Forget water boarding, if you really want to torture someone, stick my little Milk Monkey in a room with them, they’ll tell you everything you want to know!  I feel like telling you all my deep, dark secrets right now!!  

I’ve been flat out exhausted for the past couple days now.  I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone think straight.  I have a lot less patience when I’m tired, so the screeching really struck a nerve (or two or three).  I was really happy when Daddy finally got home and took over with the baby.  My heart goes out to all the single mummy’s out there who don’t get the relief at the end of the day.  I have no idea how they do it!  I’m very thankful for a husband who takes such an active role in caring for our children.

The Little Princess’s face is improving bit by bit, every day.  I noticed today that her little eyebrow on the right side, now lifts as high as the left.  It’s so nice to see her face returning to the way it’s suppose to be.  Her right eye no longer has the vacant expressionless look to it, I can see the gleam returning.  The little Princess has an excellent smile – I think the word excellent was created just to describe it – I can’t wait to see both sides of her little mouth upturned into one of them!

Daddy says… Tug of war

It’s fun watching our little ones growing up.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were carrying the Milk Monkey everywhere, holding him close and feeding him his bottles.  Now he’s up and moving all over the place!  We’ve given up our living room and set up gates to try and keep him out of trouble.  But, of course, as Mummy posted here – he’s up and climbing on everything now!

Last night he managed to climb up onto the couch with his sister.  When her guard was down, he was able to grab hold of her beloved “Meow Meow” and the tug-of-war began.  Neither wanted to give it up!  The Milk Monkey has a pretty strong grip and seemed convinced it must be his, but the Princess was not going to give in without a fight either.

After a few minutes the Mighty Princess muscled “Meow Meow” aware from the little guy.  However, in retaliation, he pulled on her hair.

Yes, it doesn’t take long for those little babies to start growing up and developing personalities of their own, and it’s just amazing to watch them develop. The Professor is our little thinker, always asking questions.  The Princess is our kind hearted, yet tough-as-nails brave little girl. And the Milk Monkey – well, so far he’s our adventurous little daredevil, ready to climb up and over anything in his path!

Tearful Goodbyes and Encouraging Smiles…

After 5 weeks of visiting, Little Miss Fancy returned home with her parents Saturday morning.  There were lots of tears after she left and the house felt a bit empty, and a lot more quiet without her.  The quietness could partly be attributed to our own 3 children being exhausted from all the excitement and sight seeing of the past week.  I myself ended up drifting off on the couch Saturday only to wake up and stumble off to bed for another couple hours.  I’ve been fighting off a cold for the past couple days and it completely wiped me out Saturday.

Today we seemed to have a little more energy and spent it swimming in Papa’s pool – the water was so crisp and refreshing.  We bbq’d some chicken sausages and I made a salad and we had dinner at Papa’s by the pool.  It was relaxing.  It’s always nice visiting with Papa (my father in law), he’s fun, kind and tells great stories!  It was definitely a great way to end the weekend.

  

While we were packing up getting ready to leave, the Milk Monkey was trying to climb out of his stroller.  We’ve been having some climbing issues with him recently.  I had forgotten what it was like to have a toddler around.  Let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of reminders lately!  He’s climbing up on things constantly and yet, he refuses to walk.  He’s climbed both living room chairs, the little children’s chairs and he’s even climbed into the storage bin under the couch – he stayed in that one for about 45 mins just hanging out.  The climbing makes it hard to get anything done when he’s awake.  We’re forever having to rescue him!  I guess it could be worse, he could still be screeching!  Thank goodness he’s stopped the screeching!

The Little Princess is doing well.  I’ve noticed a tiny bit of improvement in her face.  Her little lips have started to slightly curl up again on the right side.  It’s a very small improvement but it’s extremely encouraging!  We went to the doctors visit this past Friday and the doctor confirmed we were given the right treatment at the hospital.  She’s getting the right antibiotics and the 3 weeks was the correct length of time.  I’ll be happy when this is all a distant memory behind us.  We will definitely be more vigilant checking for ticks!

 

The Girl With the Crooked Smile…

It’s been difficult to watch my beautiful, little girl express herself without moving one side of her face.  She’s such an animated child which only seems to emphasize the partial paralysis.   I know it’s only temporary and I keep telling myself that but it’s still hard sometimes.  I do have to say her little crooked smile is adorable!  For some reason she’s gained the funniest little giggle…it must have something to do with not being able to move one side of her mouth.  My little Princess has been a real trouper through the whole ordeal.  It hasn’t seemed to bother her at all and it’s definitely not stopped her from being her wonderfully goofy self, even when faced with some of the complications her condition has caused her.

On Monday we went into Boston.  We took the T (a train) in, which the children love to do.  As soon as we left South Station I noticed the Little Princess was having trouble with her eye on the non moving side of her face.  Tears were streaming from her eye and she kept rubbing it with her hand.  It was quite windy and I figured it was probably getting irritated from the wind and the inability to blink.  I gave her a napkin, wet down from water for her to hold.  Not only was the wind irritating but she couldn’t squint to keep the sun out, or close her eye lid when the wind blew wisps of her hair into it.   The Little Professor graciously gave his baseball cap to his sister to keep her hair away from her face and the sun shaded from her eyes.  Eventually we stumbled upon a sun glass booth in Quincy Market and bought her some sun glasses and she was good from then on.  I just wanted to scoop her up and shield her from everything but my Mighty Princess would have none of that…there was too much to do.

It’s been a busy past couple of days.  Miss Fancy’s parents, my aunt and uncle, arrived from Cincinnati to take her back home.  It’s so nice having family visit.  I don’t get to see these relatives very often, so when I do get some time with them I cherish it.  Thankfully, I get their company until Saturday and then they’ll return home, taking my sweet, little Miss Fancy with them.  I’m definitely going to miss her!!  Hopefully, she had enough fun to want to visit us again next summer!!

 

 

You Keep Your Cell Phone Where?

This past weekend I took the girls to the American Girl store so that Little Miss Fancy could check it out.  She’s never been and as suspected she was blown away by the immensity of it.  From the moment we walked through the doors we were saturated in American Girl paraphernalia, something that is slightly overwhelming on the first visit, but in an exciting way.

The girls ran from display to display admiring the dolls with their detailed clothes and furniture, while I spent my time keeping track of thier whereabouts.   We eventually made our way upstairs to the Bistro where the girls ordered off the dessert menu while Mummy enjoyed a nice coffee.  We were shocked at the portion sizes!

Our shopping day came to a quick close as the Princess developed a sudden headache along with a fever.  I scooped my little, precious girl up and sat with her on a shaded bench while Daddy went to get the car.  I began to notice people giving me funny looks which at first I figured was just my imagination until one woman gave me a very animated, obviously disgusted look.  It made me very self consciuos and I started checking to make sure the Princess’s dress hadn’t ridden up or that my neckline hadn’t been pulled down while I was holding my little girl – we certainly didn’t want to be exposing our bits!  That’s when I realized that by trying to shield my daughters sensitive eyes from the sun to comfort her, I had put her in a “nursing” position.  Shocked, I looked up in time to witness yet another woman who was staring at me with a look of horror on her face but what really drew my attention was her cell phone sticking out from between her breasts.  Seriously, did it not fit in the big purse she was carrying?!  I couldn’t keep myself from laughing at the irony of the situation!  Sometimes I really just do not understand the world around me…it makes me feel old or maybe wiser!

The little Princess is still not feeling well.  She’s not keeping much down but we’re able to keep the fever in a comfortable range with some children’s Tylenol.   Hopefully tonight she’ll get some good rest and and be back to her usual peppy, cheerful self – and hopefully tonight I’ll get some much needed sleep.  

 

Lights…Camera…Action!

 

A while back I wrote a post about Squishy Baff and our fun filled experience with it – you can read it here.

The kids and I tried it out one crazy night and eventually with a little help from Nana J, it lead to filming a segment on NECN’s Does it Work? with Leslie Gaydos.  This past Tuesday the kids and I reinacted our experience with Squishy Baff for the camera – we are now TV stars, or so we like to pretend.  

To be honest, I was so completely nervous that I worked myself into a migraine by the end of it.  I’m not much of a camera person unless I’m the one behind it.  I’m also not one for conversation with people who I don’t know very well.  I’m so much more eloquent in my head than I am out loud.  Words tend to get lost as they make their way from my mind to my mouth and I end up saying the dumbest things, then I start to panic because I realize what I said and then a pause turns into seconds and my mind goes blank and that’s when it becomes clear that the person I’m talking with probably thinks I’m one gum short of a full pack.  Thankfully, I was met with kindness and understanding during the filming and I couldn’t have been more appreciative.

My children, on the other hand, are like little running faucets.  Words come spilling out of their mouths informing everyone around them of every thought that pops into their adorable, little heads.  Unfortunately, that sometimes means giving out information that would normally be private to our family – very embarrassing and sometimes hard to explain.  Other times, like Tuesday, it means they can thrive when they find themselves in a new situation.  They were fabulous and I was so proud of them, in fact I envied their ease as they performed in front of the camera effortlessly.  They really enjoyed every minute of it and when it was finished they chatted about it for the rest of the day, dancing around with excitement.

Little Miss Fancy also enjoyed the fun even though she was behind the scenes.  She recorded the whole event on her camera, finding tiny little spots to hang out in so she could get some great shots.  She walked away with some good pictures, she’s quite the little camera-wo-man.  I think she may have a natural talent and good career ahead of her if she ever wanted to take it in that direction.  I was very impressed.

Overall it was a great experience, something for us to talk about in the years to come.  We learned a couple things too like it takes a lot of filming (hours actually) and a lot of different shots for a two minute segment and the more light on a person the better they look on TV – oh how I wish I could have lassoed the sun and dragged it closer to me!  Oh well, I was promised I’d be edited in a way that would make me look like a genius, too bad I can’t edit live conversations like that.

 

Life’s Usual Routine…

Once again we find ourselves reluctantly returning home from an extended stay in our trailer.  Everyone’s always a little sad the fist day back but I think I take it the hardest.  I find the reality of not being able to live our dream very frustrating.  That saying “so close I can feel it” has never been more true while we’re in our trailer but when we return home it slowly slips away as the days go by and life picks up it’s usual routine.

We almost didn’t make it home today, we almost got stranded at the campsite.  The decision was made to stay the Sunday night so that we could fully enjoy father’s day – being in the trailer for special occasions is still the novelty in our household.  Since we were camping so close to home we were able to do it.  We just packed everything up Sunday night and woke up really early this morning.  Daddy popped the kids into the truck while I started closing up the slides and making sure everything was ready for the ride.  I heard the truck trying to turn over, but it just didn’t, the battery was completely dead.  Thankfully Daddy had the foresight to park the front of the truck facing the trailer’s hitch and was able to jump start the truck’s battery using the trailers battery.  He’s so smart!  We were able to make it home ok – I was secretly hoping we’d have to stay.  It turns out we needed to buy a new battery.

Our trips are never dull.

Camping was great.  Wompatuck State Park is beautiful – very much about the nature.  There were lots of things that I loved about the campground and a few things I didn’t like so very much.

Here are some of the things I liked…

The price – it’s really hard to beat $15 a night, especially for electric hook ups.

It was close to home and work.

The campsites are beautiful, quiet and private.

There wasn’t a long list of strict rules and restrictions.

The bathrooms were clean, old but clean.

It was great to be able to watch the kids play and amuse themselves with nature.

Here are some of the things I didn’t like…

The campsites were hard to back a 36 foot trailer into – we couldn’t get into the first site at all.

The electric hook ups are only 20amp.

The showers had very low water pressure and the shower heads are very low –basically only good for children with very little hair to wash.

Everyone drives really fast, even the rangers.

There are so many bugs, harmless but annoying.

There’s no park for the kids.

The good definitely outweigh the bad even if the lists are even and I can see us going back there many times, especially with the price and location.  Still, had we been full timing – our next stop would have definitely been somewhere with full hookups, a park and pool and cement pads to camp on.  Liking nature is definitely a new concept to me, one that I’m embracing, as it goes hand in hand with camping but “roughing it” has never been something I enjoy – the fully loaded trailer with two tv’s and stainless steal appliances probably gave that away already.  

I wouldn’t call Wompatuck roughing it, after all it does have electric and the comfort stations,

but there’s a whole lot of nature going on!

Taking a bath in the trailer


The Sun Appears

It rained for a day and half.

For a day and half I was stuck in a trailer with 4 kids.

It was fine at first – they stayed in their pj’s watching cartoons and eating popcorn.

We accomplished some school work and had nice warm soup for lunch.

Everyone was so happy to be snuggled up together, protected from the angry storm.

By this afternoon, it was a whole other story.  Accusing fingers were pointed in all directions, no one was getting along, we certainly weren’t holding hands singing Kumbaya.

I would have chosen to have my toe nails pulled one by one if it would bring out the sun.  Fortunately, it didn’t have to go that far!

The sun came out in full force and it’s warmth was fabulous!

I was so happy and I’m pretty sure I saw a sunbeams reach out and smack the grumpy moods right off the kids – then again it was probably just a case of “trailer” fever.

We celebrated our return to freedom with a delicious dinner!  Grilled chicken topped with avocados and mangoes over a bed of baby spinach leaves with a mock green Verde sauce ( a reduced gazpacho).  The only sounds that came from the kids and Daddy were “yum”, “mmm” and “Can I please have more?”… a sure sign of a good dinner!

Who says camping food has to be hot dogs over a campfire?!

Quick Before the Mosquitoes Get You…

This is the first camping trip where we’ve really had to deal with mosquitoes, especially early in the morning and in the evening.  So far we are winning…though the mosquitoes have scored a few.  We keep applying the bug spray and have the citronella candle going and it really seems to help.  Our site is so wooded and we love it because it gives us amazing privacy and keeps us nice and cool during the day, which is so important because we don’t have a 30amp hook up at this campground, so we can’t run the AC.  As I’ve mentioned before, the trailer turns into an oven on a sunny day!

Dealing with all the mosquitoes has brought back memories of the Little Professor and his experience with them in his early years.  We bought our house when he was 2 going on 3 and where our house is located, there are a lot of those pesky, itchy bugs.  We’ve never stayed out late in our backyard because of them.  When we would arrive home we’d say to the Little Professor “Hurry up, the mosquitoes are out!  We need to get inside before they bite us”.  He took it very seriously and would scurry into the house without pausing for anything.  For about two years we would arrive home and he’d join us in rushing into the house and proclaiming “We need to get in the house before the Mosquitoes get us!”

I don’t remember exactly how it came about…I think the Little Professor asked us where the Mosquitoes live or a question like that, but we soon realized we had been terrorizing our child for years every summer season.  It never dawned on us that he didn’t know what a mosquito was.  He was assuming they were as big as dogs and instead of leaving itchy bumps, they would most likely rip your arm off if they got a hold of you!  The unmistakable relief, on his little face, when we told him they were tiny little bugs was enough to make any mummy feel guilty for all the anxiety we had caused him.  Now, a couple years later, it’s something funny we can all laugh about, like we did the other night!