Monday, June 23, 2014

Just because you can turn it into a lesson, maybe you shouldn't...

Biggest lesson from this last vacation... Just because you can turn an activity into a great Lesson, doesn't mean you should or are prepared for the after effect from the Lesson.

So, as you all read, we decided to go crabbing while we were on vacation. We purchased our license, but since Mother nature was messing with us a bit, we did not buy any gear. We really weren't even sure we would be able to get out there to go crabbing. At last there was a break in the weather so we went for it.

Hubby managed to pull out 7-8 clams using a kids sand shovel and pail. We brought them back to the campsite and tried to identify the clams so we knew what we were looking at. That is when we decided to make a Lesson out of it. We placed a large vinyl tablecloth on the floor of our fifth wheel and went for it.

We had already soaked the clams revealing their true colors and shell designs. That in itself was fun for the kids.

We allowed the kids to touch and feel the clams before we opened them up. We talked about how hard their shells were and how they can pull their shells closed, etc.

Then hubby started popping them open. That is when it got interesting. I decided on a spur of the moment that it was the perfect opportunity to talk about how we all look different on the outside but on the inside we are all the same.  Each one of our clams had different colors and shell patterns. BUT, when you opened them up they looked exactly the same. I looked over at Hubby while I was explaining this to our kids, and he had the 'wow, you go momma' look on his face. Our conversation went well, with no questions about our family makeup, or the fact that we all look different. I remember thinking to myself, 'wow, that was easy, and that went well'...

Fast forward... We were packing up our trailer getting ready to start the long voyage home when LeiLei (out of nowhere) asks... "Is JayJay Black?" I nearly dropped the dish I was washing. Poor Hubby just froze... To which I said, " LeiLei we all look different don't we?" Then I think I went on to say, "JayJay is chocolate just like her brother, and you LeiLei are vanilla". That made the kids giggle and then JayJay add that she loves chocolate ice-cream. Once the words ice-cream were muttered the conversation was over. Now I must say that they have talked about it a few times since we have been back, but I don't think they really get it yet.

So like I said earlier... Just because you can turn something into a Lesson, really think about whether or not you are ready for your family to have that lesson. All in all it worked out o.k. and I am glad I did it. But, let me tell you, in the future I will think about what is about to come flying out of my mouth before it is to late.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Till Next Time Dear Ocean

I have made the decision that retirement will find me living at the Beach. Thank goodness Hubbs is on board, that would have been a problem. I am so in my element at the beach... I love the heavy ocean air, I love the warm soft sand, I love staring at the awesomeness of the ocean. I am not just any beach kind of girl, and I think I have a lot of beaches to explore before I settle on the one. Thank goodness we have quite a few years before retirement so that we can test them all out to see which one fits the best.

At the moment my favorite is Newport Oregon. It is a fishing community, a true working community as opposed to just a tourist community. Complete with a lighthouse!

This last trip was just as amazing as our prior trip. Mother Nature was moody but that is to be expected when you are on the coast. After our visit to the aquarium we did what any good parent would do. We headed to a Brewery. Don't worry its kid friendly. Not just any Brewery, the Rogue Brewery. Its a must see if you are ever in Newport.

They have a little cafe upstairs that serves everything from Fish Tacos to Kobe Beef Burgers. We dined on Burgers, Corndogs, and Chicken Strips... 

Had the kids not been with us, I would have opted to sit out here. Unfortunately none of our kids were thrilled with the smell of the Brewery. The last thing I wanted to listen to during our entire meal was "this place is stinky". So we sat inside the cafe.

This year we were adventurous and purchased a license to go clamming. Maybe next year we will purchase the correct supplies to do it. I made Hubby go out there with a kids sand shovel and a CARS sand pail to go clamming. He came back with some! So we decided to do a show and tell with the kids.  Our kids thought it was hilarious when the clam peepee'd on daddy, and when the clam shut close on daddys finger. I might have laughed a bit too.

Well till next time dear ocean... 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh Ocean how I love thee!

I think I am starting to recover from our time at the beach. Although our washing machine is not.I came back thoroughly exhausted, and that might be an understatement. Gone are the days of sitting at the beach watching the ocean for hours, letting your mind completely veg out. Now I spend the majority of my beach time telling the kids that it is not o.k. to step on each others sand castles, or reminding them not to throw sand (as I am flushing out another kids eye that is filled with sand), or pulling out snack after snack to keep my kids from melting down. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world, I am just saying there is no relaxation in any of our vacations anymore.

We spent quite a bit of time at the beach. We have a lovely campground that we go to every year. They have direct access to the Bay (which is fabulous when you have Littles). The Bay is great because the water is pretty still allowing the kids to really have a great time in the water, without having a nervous nelly mom constantly getting after them.

From the beach (and our campground) we could see the seals sunning themselves!

Whats a day at the beach without flying a kite? I will be honest with ya, it took quite a while for the hubby and I to get these kites up in the sky. Apparently our kite flying skills are not the greatest, good thing our kids don't know any different.

Remember that comment earlier about the throwing sand thing... This is what I am talking about... At least he wasn't upset...

No visit to the coast is complete without a trip to the Aquarium... It is one of our favorite things to do, and since Mother Nature threw us some rain we fled to the indoors.

I know our kids did not appreciate this the way we did, but this was the coolest moment...

Then came my favorite exhibit, the shark tunnel... If only I could be a better photographer.. It really is cool being in a tunnel and having sharks swimming around you.

A good time was had by all of us that day... Mother Nature even chilled out as the day went on. Allowing us to be outside once again.

Since mommy hood does not stop, I now have three kids looking at me demanding breakfast. So this post will be continued tomorrow. Stay tuned, mommy and daddy went to a brewery!

Monday, June 16, 2014

We are back!!!!

So I had to take a little break from writing on my Blog. Life got a bit crazy and I felt like I was being pulled in just a few too many directions. My choices were to either snap, or let something go... And the winner (or loser, all in how you look at it) was the Blog... I thought it was better for me to step away for a short bit, rather than push myself to write posts that were being forced. A forced post is a very dull unengaging post. I love to write, so the thought of putting filler posts out there just was not an option. As frustrated as I was at the idea of not keeping up with my Blog, I knew it was best for me, and for those of you who take time out of your day to follow us by reading my posts.

So now I am back and ready to write. Ready to let you in on our life, yet again. So fasten your seat belts, cause here we go.

This past week has been a whirl wind. Hubby had to go off to Canada for work for a few days.  Not having him here was hard on all of us. It of course just adds to my work load, which means I have to attach my Wonder Woman Cape and jump right in. What I had not anticipated was the LeiLei factor. Poor LeiLei had a very rough couple of days. When I say rough I mean extremely rough. To the point of having to be removed from a class field trip and driven back to school. She had made such improvements with controlling her outbursts that I was truly shocked at this turn of events.  The first day hubby was gone was the worst. From the field trip incident to unexplained sobbing moments to defiantly repeating the word NO every 15 seconds for five minutes (at least) strait. By the time I put the kids to bed that night I was defeated, exhausted, and wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. The second day was a bit better, we at least shared a few laughs that day. Not many, but a few. We still had many tearful (as in uncontrollable sobbing) moments. We also experienced a lot of anger and frustration, with an underlying bit of fear. By the time the third day rolled around, her spirits were improving, but unfortunately mine were not. I was so exhausted by this point that I was a bit of miss cranky pants. Many a times that day, I had to remind myself to chill out. I found myself so stressed out that I was having ghost chess pains, heavy heartbeats, and just felt sick to my stomach. All brought on by stress. As the week went on her attitude improved, just in time for their pre-school end of year program.

Hubbs made it home with time to spare in regards to their ever anticipated program. Complete with Jesus Loves me, America the Beautiful and . On top of that each child was able to use the microphone to introduce themselves, tell everyone what the first letter in their name is, and give us another word that starts with the same letter.  So it went something like this, My name is JayJay "J" for Jellyfish. Needless to say LeiLei spoke so quietly that I don't think anyone in the audience heard. Then there was JayJay who grabbed the microphone right out of teachers hand and belted it out there. I think everyone in the audience couldn't help but laugh... I am a bit worried that we might have quite the stage hog on our hands.

After we went home, I nearly collapsed. It had been such a crazy week between extra work at home, preparing for the last day of school, working on the kids teachers gifts, and then at the last minute finding out you are also going to make gifts for the teacher and her assistant on behalf of the class. There just was nothing left. I took the kids over to our neighbors house, let me paint a little visual for you.... Mommy (Me) wearing = flip flops from Walmart (2 years old and originally cost no more than $2.00, they are nasty by now), cargo shorts that have to be 9 years old (have paint splotches from many of my previous crafting and room painting projects) and a white t-shit.... We are talking GROSS. My girls were still wearing their pretty dresses, but by this point their cute sandals had been replaced with tennis shoes. Ademan, not quite sure what he was wearing, but I do know that about an hour after getting there his diaper gave way which caused his shorts to get wet... We were such a sight for sore eyes... That is what happens when I get tired.

Since we can't ever have a dull moment at our home, our weekend went a little something like this.  Saturday morning we decided to go look at new camping fifth wheels. Not because we need one, but because our local dealer has a model that we have been wanting to see in person for a few years. I must admit as I sat in some of these uber luxury fifth wheels, visions of retirement and driving around the country started flashing before me. Quickly to be ruined by comments of, "Are we going home". I swear a certain little JayJay was like a broken record. Every trailer we went into was met with "Are we going home"... One can only listen to that so many times before they say, "yes, we are going home"... Here is where the fun starts. We fed them lunch and JayJay told us she was not very hungry and then she trotted off to bed for nap time. Odd, but not alarming. By three o'clock I felt her head and it was blazing hot. Her temp was at 102 and I was shocked. She was also complaining about an owie on her tongue which looked like a blister.. I assumed it was because she had eaten allot of strawberries that week. The fever made no sense to me, and had me worried. We were able to get it down by giving her medicine, but we were completely fighting it. The next morning she was complaining about her tongue and tummy hurting, and then by the end of the day her back had begun to hurt. Again we were fighting a 102 fever. By Monday morning at 8 I was on the phone calling her Doctors office. Low and behold both she and LeiLei were diagnosed with Hand Foot & Mouth Disease. So now we sit and wait for it to run its course. LeiLei has fared way better than her sister and my guess is that is due to the fact that JayJay still has Mono in her system. My poor babies... I have always heard the horror stories from other parents about putting their kids in Daycare and then the endless illness roller coaster that ensues. I thought surely having my girls in a private school  we should be far better off... Nope!

That is what we have been up to. I hope you all have had a lovely few weeks. Now let the summer adventures begin!