Daddy says… Graduation Party

This weekend we went to my niece’s High School graduation party.  It was great to see her finished with High School, full of hopes and dreams for the future.  She’s already been accepted to a really good school and has a major in mind that I know she will be great at.  I’m so proud of her!  Not only is she my niece, but she’s my God Daughter as well, so she has always been particularly special to me and it’s really great to see her do so well.

The party was held at her aunt’s house, and we all had a great time hanging out, talking, laughing and catching up with some family members we don’t see very often.

Most importantly for the kids however… there was a pool!

The kids probably spent about 4 hours in the pool, swimming and jumping off the diving board.  There was even a slide!  There were so many older cousins around that Miss Fancy, the Princess and the Professor constantly had someone nearby to make sure they were Ok. Mummy and I felt pretty comfortable letting them swim and play without even having to join them. We just kept a watchful eye on them from the overlooking deck.

    

Even the Milk monkey spent some time in the water.

After a long day in the big pool, the Princess spotted this little tub half filled with water that had been warming in the sun all day…

“It’s my hot pool, Daddy!”

All in all, it was a really fun day and we all had a great time.

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Bieber Fever

 

For the past two nights we have all gathered into the living room as a family to watch Justin Bieber’s World Tour on tv.  Believe me, that’s not something we would normally do, but our favourite little guest appears to have something called Bieber Fever.  Little Miss Fancy tried to deny it at first…but the truth came out as the show began and she started spouting off miscellaneous facts about the teen idol.  We watched in amusement while she bounced up and down on the couch with excitement, singing along and pulling out a dance move or two.  She was pretty cute through the whole thing!

Having an 11 year old girl around has been fun, helpful and at times a little perplexing.  It’s completely different than having a 5 year old girl, it’s definitely given us a valuable glance into the future.  We’ve been enjoying our time with Little Miss Fancy a whole lot and it’s amazing that 3 weeks have flown by already.  We’re definitely going to miss her when she goes home!!

Not everything has gone smoothly with the visit.  My little Princess has been dealing with the big ol’ green eyed monster.  One night as I was putting her to bed she started crying out of the blue…”Do you think she (Little Miss Fancy) is better than me?”.  I was shocked! Since that night we’ve been working on her feelings of insecurity.  The Princess is not just jealous of our new guest, she’s accused me of liking Daddy more than her too.  She’s been a lot more clingy lately and she requests to snuggle in “Mummy’s bed” every night until she falls asleep but thankfully, most of the time Princess can get past her jealousy and just enjoy her special time with her cousin.

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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.

 

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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


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Daddy says… Fathers Day

I love fathers day. And not just because Mummy takes care of the kids early and lets me sleep in, or the breakfast in bed (pancakes and a steak, egg & cheddar sandwich -Mmmm), or the cute homemade cards. Yes, all those things are great, and I do really enjoy them, but typically on fathers day, we spend a quiet relaxing day with each other – and that’s what I really love.

This year, we were camping in our trailer and had a great day together. We took a nice hike in the park and the kids spent most of the time exploring the woods and hunting for good walking sticks. We made our way to a freshwater spring that the park has some taps hooked up to and filled our water bottles with some crisp clear spring water.

         

A little later in the afternoon, we came back and cooked a nice dinner on the grill. Some hot dogs and a selection of chicken sausages along with a nice salad.

All in all it was a great day, because I spent it with my favorite people in the world – My family.

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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?!

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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!

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Daddy says… Poor little Chipmunk

Camping is always a great experience.  There’s this relaxing, laid back feeling with camping that is hard to feel anywhere else.  It’s  funny because we’re enjoying this comforting isolation, deep in the woods, separated from the rest of society, and yet- we’re only 15 minutes from our house!

As it is, I took the Little Professor to a Doctor appointment today, continued onto work for a few hours and was back at the campsite by 3:30 in the afternoon.  Thankfully I work for a company that encourages working from home, and my manager is also very supportive of the process – so I have been able to spend part of my work week right here at the campsite, logged into work on my laptop.

As fun as it is, there is, of course, the occasional bug bite or scraped knee to deal with. Last night each of the older kids needed Mummy to fix some boo-boos.

Just look at these sad faces!

         

As you may, or may not, be able to tell – they are all faking!  They were giggling and having fun with Mummy while they were getting bandaged – and Mummy decided to see if she could get a “sad face” picture of each to demonstrate the pain and suffering of their wounds.  So, in order to get sad face pictures, she would tell each in turn a sad little story about a down on his luck chipmunk that ran into all sort of adversity. Hit by a car – with his Mommy chipmunk watching, but he lived… however the little chipmunk had amnesia now and couldn’t even recognize his Mommy chipmunk… So Sad.

But, minor injuries (and memory impaired chipmunks) aside, everyone is having a lot of fun and we just don’t want it to end.

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Let’s go camping…again

While cleaning the trailer out late Saturday afternoon, Daddy and I had a great idea…let’s go camping!  Sometimes I like to do crazy spontaneous things and it just happens I married a wonderful man who is willing to indulge me.  So…we packed up the trailer for another week long trip.

We are camping close enough to home that Daddy can still go to work during the day and we brought all the “technology” so I can work from the campsite.

After arriving at the campground, we set ourselves up and headed out for a day trip down to Plimoth Plantation.  It was Little Miss Fancy’s first time and she had a blast.  One of the 17th Century women put the girls to work watering the garden and beating the bedding with a stick.   They also spent some time feeding a bull…this was not a recognized chore and is possibly frowned upon by the establishment.  We were given a private tour to the chicken coup where the Princess announced it smelled like chicken poop and spent a lot of time asking many questions about life in a new colony, during the 17th century.  During all this we periodically gazed out to the ocean and breathed in the warm, salty air.  I can’t imagine being anything but truly relaxed there!

   

When we returned back to our campsite we roasted hot dogs and Smores over a roaring fire.  The kids all found their own sticks and Daddy whittled the ends for them.  Everyone was exhausted and super giddy…there were lots of giggles and silly jokes.  Halfway during the meal we were visited by a very odd looking Caterpillar.  Someone tried to feed it leaves, some of us took pictures, we all got a really close look.  Once we were all finished studying him, I gently tossed him onto a bush and was met by screams from all three kids doing a voice over for the Caterpillar falling to the ground.  What a bunch of cheeky monkey’s I’m living with and I love them all!  I’m just so blessed!

   

 

 Before and After pictures of the backseat crew…

  

Now that’s a good day!

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