Additional Awesomeness...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Papa's Birthday at the lake.

Ok, so I'm only 5 weeks behind on my posts.  It's been busy around here, and with the holidays coming up, it's only going to get busier!

After we had a couple of weeks to recover from Piggy's party, mom and dad treated us to a weekend up at Bass Lake.  The boys even got presents for Papa's birthday!  Believe it or not, the boys have never been out on the water, and have never been fishing.  Papa aimed to rectify both things in one fell swoop.

They rented a nice pontoon boat, and we spent a day on the water.  We bbq'd, and taught the boys to fish. Piggy became quite adept at 'catching' the boat anchor!  We also had a near-calamity when Papa's very favorite hat flew away!   Thankfully, Grumpy is a great boat-driver, and was able to swing back around and pick it up before it sank.



















We had a lovely cabin to stay in...large enough for all 3 families, though JJ and Auntie M couldn't make it with the cousins.  The deck got lots of use...


And a wonderful time was had by all.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More Conversations with Piggy

Piggy strikes again!  Here a a couple of gems for your Friday reading pleasure.
Me, at 2:30 this morning:  (Stanky wakes us with a tummy ache. He's shuttled off to the bathroom and some tums, then back to bed.  I roll over, right into the Pigster. "Where did you come from dude?
Piggy: Uh, comed in frum my woom (insert head jiggle here). Duh.
This was apparently funny enough to wake the Grumpasaur into a chuckle.
Also this morning, (Thankfully after we got up):
Piggy, who was still snuggled into my nice warm bed:  Will thombuddy pwese get me some cwothes?
Being the doting mother I am, I picked out something for him.  I neglected to grab clean chonies since, well, he put on a pair of brand new out of the bag ones last night before bed.  This was not OK, and this was the little lecture I got:
Piggy: Ewe dinnit got me no CHOWNEES!
Me: Pigs, you put on those new ones before bed. They didn't get dirty on your clean sleeping body, so I assume they are still good.
Piggy: NO-ah! Dose new chownees is only fow BEDTIME-uh! Get. Me. Old. CHOWNEES!
Of course, being the non-pushover I am, I made him get them himself. No way was I braving the minefield in front of that closet again!  But I learned that only saggy butt, threadbare chonies are appropriate for school.  At least, according to my pint-sized dictator.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Army Party...4th Birthday Madness

It's official, Piggy is 4.  He couldn't quite wrap his brain around the fact that his actual birthday was Friday (yes, Friday the 13th), and his party, Saturday.  He was just happy to have a day of popsicles and party at pre-K, then a huge, chaotic pool party on Saturday!

I can't remember (since I've slept since then) if I posted about Stanky's army-themed party back in March.  Well, it made an impression on Pigs, so that's what he asked for too.

For some reason, we tend to go big for the 4th birthday, and low-key on others.  Piggy wanted to have his party at Nana & Papa's house, so everyone could swim.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, giving us a pretty dry 100 degree day yesterday.

The one thing Piggy stipulated (other than the venue), was a camouflage cake.  I rolled my eyes and put it off as long as possible, but, that boy was not about to change his mind!

So, 3 cake mixes (I was lazy) later...




Then there were the 4 cans of frosting (hey, my homemade frosting tastes great, but is ALWAYS runny!)...


And finally, here we are!




He was already worn out by the time we took this photo...after all, daddies and 20+ kids had been at this:




For almost 2 hours!  And of course, the party ran late, so all told, we had over 4 hours of pool and junk food time.  I'd say that was a pretty successful birthday, even if I didn't do handmade favors (DollarStore Holla!) or a color-coordinated, 3-course meal.  My kids are simple.  Throw some fruit, chips and dips at them, plop a couple of coolers of capri sun & water down, and they are in heaven.  As long as there is cake and ice cream too!

Happy Birthday Piggy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Living History

Mom, where's daddy today?

He's with the Honor Guard at Pelco for the 9/11 memorial service. Today is 9/11, which is also known as Patriots Day. You are supposed to show your support by wearing red, white and blue to school today.

We pulled out of the gate, and the first thing the boys spied was the Humvee across the street in the high school parking lot, surrounded by men in uniform. 'What are those army guys doing there mom?' I began to explain Patriots Day, and the why of it all, when the radio station we generally listen to on the way to school began playing recordings from September 11th. Drama was pretty tuned in. His eyes grew round as he listened to the background noises of the second plane hitting. His jaw dropped a bit as he heard people describing what they saw, and heard the president speak of the tragedy. He was worried that it was still happening.

As I pulled up to the school this morning, Drama insisted on our morning prayer first, then he had a question. So, we prayed, as we do each morning, for open minds & hearts, courage & discernment, and protection. Then Drama pointed to the huge banner on the office and asked me why today is Patriots Day. What does that mean? Does it have to do with that stuff on the radio?

How to explain it? As a fire family, we've always lived with the danger inherent in the job of the people we hold so dear. We've been through our share of funerals, memorials & tributes for friends lost to duty, or who succumbed as a later result of their exposure to something during their service. For them, death usually means daddy dresses up in his Honor Guard dress, and walks in a parade. Sometimes with the flag, sometimes the axe. But always quiet, somber and serious. But, since they've not ever attended a funeral, it's been a much more abstract concept to these little men of mine, and now I knew I'd have to come up with an explanation that both satisfied their morbid curiosity (they are BOYS, and obsessed with all things war-like) and held actual FACT.

We had some time to sit in the parking lot before the bell. I found some decent (no cursing or overly graphic images) footage on YouTube for the boys to listen to and see (I think it was NBC News footage) while I attempted to make sense of it for them. I assured them that what they were seeing and hearing about is HISTORY. It's the history of our country, that happened while mommy, daddy and all of the adults in their world were alive, but before they were born. History happens every day. But this day,9/11/2001, this day happened in a way that we always assumed we were safe from, and so it's become more living history than anything else.

Stanky was worried about the people waving from the top of the tower – did they get out? No son, they couldn't. The plane crashed between them and the ground, and the fire kept them from leaving. Did they die? Yes. That weally sucks mom. Yes bubby, it does.

Piggy wondered 'why the flyuh man would cwash dat pwane? Did he get sick and die?" No baby. Men who wanted to hurt our people and our country got on those planes, and then fought the pilot and other people to take over the planes. Those men flew the planes into certain places that they knew would get lots of attention, even knowing that they would die. They did it to show that we, our country, wasn't prepared to handle a terrorist attack, they did it because they could, and they wanted to hurt people here. 'Well, how many pwanes cwashed? Did all those people die?' There were four planes, and yes, all those people died. Two planes flew into the buildings like we just saw on mommy's phone. One plane was supposed to crash into the White House, where our president lives, but the people on that plane, regular people like you and me, they fought those men, and the plane crashed in a field. Another plane crashed into a building we call the Pentagon, where lots of important military leaders work to keep our country safe.

Drama sat and absorbed what I had said. 'So, how many people died? A lot?' I don't remember the exact total number of people who died. I do know that 343 first responders died that day. Firefighters and police like daddy and his friends, whose job it is to keep us safe and help us when we need it. I was there, bubby, a month after it happened. And it was still horrible, even though the fires were mostly out and they had found everyone alive that they were going to find. The men and women down there where the buildings collapsed were looking for the people who did not get out, and for clues about why it all happened the way that it did. It was a very sad time, and also a very angry time, because so many innocent people were killed, for no reason that we could understand.

Then the bell rang, and the conversation was over. I'm sure the topic will come up at dinner tonight, and at some point we will take them all to Pelco to the memorial there. Even now, 12 years later, it's difficult to discuss. I'm sure there will be much coverage on radio & television tonight, and that Grumpasaur will be able to give a much better explanation than I did.

But the big takeaway here? What's really important? There are people in this country who are ready and willing to sacrifice their lives for others, no questions asked, no second thoughts. Selflessly giving, so that we can continue on, day by day, enjoying our lives of relative freedom. They are our patriots. Our firefighters, police, EMS and military men and women. And that guy down the street who saw a creeper following your kid and scared him off. The lady next door who happened to be home on a day your dad had a heart attack in the yard and saved his life. The kid at school who stood up for someone smaller, and kept a bully away. We are ALL patriots. Today we remember the ones who gave all, so that we can continue on in their honor and memory.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spicy soda, Ants in my dishwasher, and other random shizzle

I did the dishes last night. I KNOW. Shut your mouth before the flies land. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, I discovered a nasty little surprise this morning when I went to grab a cup from the dishwasher. ANTS. They were all over the inside of the dishwasher. What. The. Shizz people?! How do they even get in there? So I had to spray those nasties dead, and run the dang thing again, with extra hot water and heated dry (two settings I have NEVER used before). The question is…will there be little dead bodies baked onto my dishes when I get home tonight? I don't look forward to finding out.


 

In other, cuter news, here's another conversation with Piggy.


 

Piggy: Mawm! I's soooo thusty!

Me: (knowing I shouldn't, but not really caring at this point) Here, have a sip of my soda.

Piggy: Wow! Dat's cold stuff! An jus a wittle schpicy.

Me:

Piggy: You know how dey make it schpicy?

Me: Um, no idea. Never noticed it was spicy before.

Piggy: It's da bubbles that is schpicy. They put tiny mans inside to stuh it up when you schip it, so it gets schpicy.

Me: Good to know. But, doesn't that mean we just drank a whole bunch of tiny men?

Piggy: NO! Deys got wopes and stuckers so they can stay in da stwah and you can't suck dem out.

Thanks kid, I never knew that. Stuckers & Wopes. Maybe I should call Pepsi with a new ad campaign?


 

And in just a little bit of other news, I mopped the kitchen floor last night, started a load of towels and went to bed at a decent hour. It was NOT easier to get up this morning.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fall just might be in the air.

I smelled it, yes I did!  That nippy little tang in the air that says 'Fall is on the way'!  It may just be wishful thinking (in fact, I'm sure that's what my family will say).  And after we had a few weeks (a few weeks ago!) of gorgeous 80 degree days and 60 degree nights, oh yeah, I'm looking forward to Fall.

The weather here can change at the drop of a hat.  That gorgeousness of those two weeks got smacked back by a couple of  weeks of 100+ weather.  We are supposedly in for a "cool down" to the mid-nineties for the forseeable future, though the trusty old Farmer's Almanac says that September and October will be cooler than normal, with above-normal rainfall and a period of hot weather in mid-September. 

I'm so down with that!  Pinterest isn't helping either.  I keep seeing wonderful Fall decorating and craft ideas, festive front porches, and recipes for cold-weather comfort food.  Here are a few of my favorites, from my Fall Seasonal board:
No Source - computer wallpaper!


Pinterest - No Source - anyone?


Source




KellisHouse




Yahoo images via Pinterest





justagirlblog


Source

I'm loving being able to open the windows at night again.  Hopefully, the slightly cooler weather will be here to stay, and I can bring out my fall decorations next weekend without feeling foolish!

Are you looking forward to a change in seasons?

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Countdown Begins

I don't know about you, but around here, we've got 2 weeks until school starts.  And I have both ends of the spectrum when it comes to kids looking forward to a new school year.

Drama is all for it.  He can't wait to get back, break in a new teacher and reconnect with his buddies.  And eat second breakfast and two lunches every day.  I swear he's a hobbit.

Stanky isn't so sure.  He still doesn't believe that Piggy isn't going to kindy this year, and is not at all sold on the idea of a new teacher, classroom, and schedule.  He's holding on to the fact that he and Drama will have recess together this year.  I've tried telling him that he's probably not going to hang with his brother, but I think the sibling and school hierarchy is going to have to to that job for me.  I guess it's just one of those things that doesn't compute when it comes from mom.

Piggy, on the other hand, has been begging to re-start his regular pre-K schedule ever since week 2 of summer.  He loves his teachers and classroom, has tons of friends in both classes, and is doing really well with his letters, colors, shapes and basic math.  Fine motor skills are coming along, though he'd still rather pretend to be a sniper than write his name.  Just like his daddy, that one.

I'm kind of on the fence.  On the one hand, I've worked my schedule around so that I can drop the boys off and not have to pay Campus Club morning fees.  Total win on that one.  On the other hand, I will have to wrangle all 3 boys again, every morning, to get them out of the house by 7:30.  Last school year, we split the difference and Grumpy took 2, while I took Piggy (since his preschool is at work).  Should be interesting.

At least I've given myself a bit of a break from the BTS craziness.  Here's why:
  1. We don't get school supply lists until AFTER school starts.  I miss all the sales anyway, so why bother to pick up a bunch of crap that the teachers won't even have on the list this year?
  2. Shorts are allowed until the end of OCTOBER.  My boys are currently growing like weeds on steroids.  So what if they don't have new pants for the first day of school?  They are just going to grow out of them by October, so why bother?  I'll hit up those mid-season sales and pre-holiday sales to outfit them for the winter months. 
  3. Drama is getting to that age where he wants to have a say in what he's wearing.  And he probably will change his mind about what he likes/wants the second he sees what his besties are wearing.  Which means I will have to take him shopping with me.  I really don't want to drag him around, over, and through sale-dazed crowds if I can possibly help it. 
I, for one, can totally get behind the idea of a single trip to Target before school.  One kid needs decent school shoes, and they all need underwear and socks.  I think I can get away with a single-kid trip to Tar-jay the weekend before school starts, don't you?

Anyone else have Back-To-School apathy?  Blues?  Bliss?

Monday, July 22, 2013

TB & Learning to say NO

Ever had a case of TB?  No, not the blood-hacking, life-sucking bacterial infection.  I'm referring to the all-too-common case of Tired Butt.  Which this entire family is currently suffering from.

The last two weeks have been complete and utter Cray-Cray.  Seriously.  Set-up for VBS, summer school and work the first week.  (And by set-up, I refer to me letting my minor case of OCD have a field day with registration sign-ins, emergency forms and spreadsheets).  The second week was the actual week of VBS.  And the last week of summer school for Drama.  I'm going to take a moment to whine (although the other 74 VBS volunteers have more cause to do so than I!) here, and give you a quick & dirty rundown of the schedule last week:

5:50 am - first shrill alarm goes off.  Scares the crap out of Grumpy every time.  I just hit snooze.
6:00 am - clock radio alarm goes off for Grumpy.  He actually gets up.  And one or more kids takes his place in my bed.
6:15 am - second shrill alarm goes off.  I briefly debate snuggling the child-sized intruder for another 15 minutes, until I encounter either a puddle of drool, or get farted on.  Either one will get me out of bed.
6:30 am - third attempt to wake Drama for school.  Debate pulling off covers, for fear of what I may find under there.  Do it anyway and narrowly escape the mule-kick-of-death.
6:32 am - attempt to figure out whether this coffee is fresh, or yesterdays' leavings (Grumpy will drink it no matter what). Realize it's too risky to guess and move on with the day.
6:45 am - SUCCESS!  I hear someone peeing, so obviously, someone has gotten up. 
7:00 am - Drama is up and dressed, debating eating at home or convincing me to take him to school (I think I took him one or two days...they are all blurring together.)
7:15 am - if Drama has succeeded in his attempt to get me to chauffer him to school, we are in the car.  I think he does this so he can have his free breakfast at school, and waiting for daddy doesn't leave enough time to eat once he gets there!
7:30 am - One way or another, I'm in the car on the way to work.  Where I will weep silently with gratitude for the overall silence.
8:00 am - realize I did not ingest any sort of caffiene at home.  Scrounge for change for cheap employee coffee from the cafe.
11:00 am - S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G. 
1:40 pm - leave to spring Drama from summer school.  Finally eat something, because I forgot my lunch AND my snacks on the kitchen counter this morning.
2:30 pm - get back to work.  Make stab at being productive.
4:00 pm - leave early to rush home
4:13 pm - arrive home to slap together some semblance of a good meal, unless I remembered to throw stuff in the crockpot (or told my awesomesauce sitter to do so!)
5:00 pm - rush around trying to find everyone's VBS shirts.  4 out of 5 is acceptable at this point.
5:40 pm - arrive at VBS to find hordes already descending on registration...thank my lucky stars I left one of the sign-in sheets with the volunteers.
8:45 pm - leave VBS.  It was awesome all week.  It was exhausting all week.  And I wasn't even teaching! 
9:30 pm - finally convince overstimulated kids to get in bed.  After all, we have to do it all over again tomorrow!

Grumpasaur stayed Friday night to help break down a bit.  I had to say NO and get middle & little home.  And, while he may have said he was going to help out on Saturday, I heard nothing of it.  Until Saturday evening, from my mother.  So I guess I said NO again.  Because I slept in, and lounged around in happy clothes all day, until the boys drove me so completely batty that I agreed to swimming just to get a moment of peace.  Until I remembered Drama had a birthday party at 5.  Sigh  At least I thought to pick up a gift card earlier in the week...

I love love love VBS and what it does for our kids.  But that doesn't make me any less glad that it's over for another year, and I can relax a smidge for the next little while.  At least until I say yes to something else awesome, for which I will likely kick myself later.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If I say it, I'll jinx it.

We've recently had a run-in with some nasty summer bug.  Couple that with the nasty attack that Vacation Bible School gets from satan every year, and it's been a rough couple of weeks.

Thankfully, VBS is running pretty smoothly, despite the illness that's been circulating.  I took over the bulk of the registration responsibilities this year, and, I'm pleased to say, it's worked out rather smoothly.  Of course, I did give my OCD a bit of a loose rein over the process!  The kids are engaged and enthusiastic, and the volunteers all seem tireless and invested.  One of our BEST programs yet!  Our family, church family, and church neighborhood are truly blessed.

Stanky, Piggy & I all stayed home last night, since Piggy spent the day puking all over Miss Moo.  Of course, he was just fine after I got home ;)  Stanky started to leave with Grumpy & Drama, but cried wolf before they even got out of the neighborhood.  How do you teach a kid who spent 2 days (2 weeks ago) puking that he is not going to puke every time his tummy aches?  I'm trying to get the point across that sometimes, it just plain means you are HUNGRY.  He's not having it.  And he's normally my big eater.  This will pass, and I'm sure he will be grazing through a weeks worth of groceries in a couple days.

In other church-related news, we are growing!  So it's time to gather some movers & shakers and make some changes.  If you follow Foundation on facebook, you've probably noticed a few changes to the pages, as well as active links to our church website.  Which is also in the midst of a facelift.  Big changes coming people.  BIG changes.  That said, the changes are only going to compliment the existing (ahem) foundation, not change it.  I think it's important to make note of that fact. 

I can't believe summer is more than half-gone!  Drama is finishing up summer school this week, which means that we only have about a month of summer left before school starts in August.  I'm hoping we can carve out another long weekend to hit the beach before school starts.

Oh oh OH!  I'm probably going to have a REALLY REALLY big announcement here at the end of the summer.  Let's just say that something long wished and worked for is within the grasp of a family member.  NO.  We are not buying a house.  Seriously people.  You'd think we turned into grown-ups or something.  Sheesh!

I'd better get back to the work that pays me now.  Since we all know, from my less than routine posts, that this here blog is a hobby, not a money-maker! LOL

See ya on the flip-side.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

More conversations with Piggy

Piggy: Momma! I jusht wealized! Yous alweddy mawwied! And you just did it wif my daddy just like, um tew weekth ago! So. You mawwied.

I swear its like talking to the impressive clergy from Princess Bride some days.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We should all be so lucky

Piggy has been in a snit.  Not because he's not getting dessert or to play outside.  No. 
Piggy is in a snit because he is

NOT
GOING
TO
PRESCHOOL 

That's right people.  This kid throws a fit every loving morning because it's not a school day.  You'd think he'd be as happy as his brothers are to stay home every day and chill.  Maybe do something like this all day...



I can only hope he's this happy with Kindergarten in a few years!




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Conversations with Piggy: The Baby Shower

Pig: Momma!  What day is dis?

Me: Saturday.

Pig: Don't we got summin ta dew taday?  Da pawtie? Duh! (insert obnoxious head-waggle & eye rolling)

Me: Yes, the baby shower is at 2:00.

Pig:

Pig: We all gonna be in da bafwoom?  Who gunna be in da shaer?

*Entire family erupts into snorts & giggles

Me: It's not that kind of shower Pigs!  It means everyone brings gifts for the baby.

Pig: Baby Yaksun?  It's  not his burfdey!

Me: The baby hasn't been born yet Pigs.  We bring gifts so his mommy and daddy have nice things for him when he comes home.

Pig: Well.  When it's MY burfdey, I don' wanna take a shower.  I just wanna bouncy house m'kay?

Monday, June 10, 2013

First day of Summer Vay-Cay

Strange things started happening today. 

#1: There was only 1 kid in my bed this morning
#2: I did not have to wake anyone up!
#3: Nobody threw a hissy fit before I left for work
#4: I did not have to make any breakfast/lunch this morning!! Well, except my own, but that's easy.
#5: I actually got to take a nice long shower without being stared at like the jellies at the aquarium.

And then I left for work.  Poor Miss Mandy is bearing the brunt of the summer whines.  Yes, I hear tell they have started already!

Drama woke up in a mood.  Banished himself to the garage to work on a model. 

Stanky doesn't want to eat anything in the house.  Typical.  He's currently killing off brain cells with yet another round of IronMan 2 on the idiot-box.

Piggy got the short stick again.  Brothers ran down the KindleFire battery again before letting him have a turn.  It sucks to be the baby sometimes!

I have just under 2 hours left of work.  What are the chances the meth-monkies will have morphed into sweet children by the time I get home? 





Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Now that it's over...

As I alluded to the other day, before this
 And this
 And this (why yes, that is a plastic automatic weapon.  And yes, he is picking his nose with his toe) happened:

We had to drive halfway back home to pick up the (sorta) beach house key.  Our lovely friend 'Stache was keeping an eye on the rabid dog for us, and was sweet enough to drive that bad boy to KC for us.  How sweet is that?  Yes ladies, he's single!

Before we turned around to pick up the key, we stopped at Chelle's in Pismo for some lunch.  Apparently this has become our favorite place to stop, because we eat here every time we are in Pismo.  The boys love getting ice cream with their meals!

So, the drive that is about 2 hours without pee-monsters in the backseat, turns into 3 1/2 hours with them.  The "halfway" point took us almost 2 hours to get back to, but thankfully, only 1 1/2 to get back to our final destination.  By that math folks, our 3-ish hour tour turned into about 7 hours of hell.  Courtesy of MOI, a fact that Grumpy was not about to let me forget.  Nevermind that I offered to fly solo and let him and the rats enjoy the beach.  Needless to say, that didn't happen.

Did I mention I started my period on this day?  Yeah.  Half of those car-stops were for me.  So, bleeding, guilt-ridden, overly emotional AND in BITCH CODE RED.  That's not a recipe for disaster, is it?

So, I was fired on the first day. 

Day 2 (Saturday)
Dear Diary,  Nobody wanted to eat what I made.  And nobody under 5 feet tall wanted to take a direction/subtle nudge/subliminal message/outright demand.  Thankfully, the Swap Meet was a hit, even though Piggy was hell-bent on going to the beach.  Once they discovered the slot car races and model trains, everything was right in their world.  Mommy taught them how to bargain, but only Drama profited from that lesson.  So, they all got to (mostly) empty their brand-spanking new Justice League wallets.  A fairly good time was had by all, despite only about 1/3 of the booths being open, which was weird.  Every other time we ever drove by, the place was jam-packed.

HUGE outdoor model train set-up.  The boys all got a kick out of this.




Off to spend their hard-earned slotcar winnings!

After the swap meet, it was off to the Outlets for a little retail therapy.  Piggy & Drama got some sandal-ish shoes, Grumpy got a nice RLP shirt on clearance for $23, and I, well, I had an adventure at the LBO with Piggy & Stanky. 

Have you ever tried to shop for anything with two crazed boys in tow?  It was not fun.  And, when I gave up and decided I'd just pull a much-needed bra off the rack, Piggy revolted and began kissing all of the underwear mannequins.  On the boobs.  Then he picked the loudest, most attention-getting bras in the place, hugged them closely, sighed 'boooobies' and placed a tender kiss, right over the nippular area on each cup.  I had to get out of there after that.  And of course, the kid got knuckles from dad for proclaming his boob-man status to the world.  What do you say to that?  He's 3.

After lunch, we hit Dinosaur Caves Park for an afternoon of sun & general messing around.  The boys love this park, and the views are spectacular.  BONUS - it was warm at the park.  The beach was C.O.L.D!  The boys got a chance to bust out their "behavior bubbles" (I'm not above bribery during long car trips!) and the soccer ball.









A man and his coffee...

Nights were filled with dinner complaints, dessert requests and card games nobody could win.  Drama & Piggy camped out in the living room, leaving Stanky a bed to himself.  He was not upset about this.

Day 3 - Sunday
Dear Diary, We got to sleep in!  The lack of electronic entertainment meant that we were all in bed by 9 every night.  And, wonder of wonders!  We all slept until 7:30 or 8 every. day.  It was GLORIOUS!!!

I was fired again, because I did not bring enough bacon, and was unwilling to schlep out to the store for more.  Oh darn they each only got 3 slices.  There were eggs and toast and oatmeal and donuts too!  You'd think I starve these boys, the way the carry on about food!

Drove by the swap meet (well, you can see it from the freeway) and it was hoppin.  Every booth, stall and store was open and doing brisk business.  Next time, we will be sure to go on Sunday!

It was cold and WINDY at the beach! We headed out anyway, convinced the winds would die down and we'd have a fun few hours full of sand. We grabbed some burgers to complement the rest of our picnic, and drove out onto the beach at Grover.

Unfortunately, the moment we opened the doors we froze. We scarfed our lunch inside the cozy car, and decided to implement Plan B. Which involved a movie theater and some smuggled drinks. And a reminder of why we made a rule about being 5 before you go to the theater - Piggy took a nice $8 nap that day. And Grumpy got to see about 2/3 of the movie, in between bathroom breaks for Stanky & Drama. We decided to try and find a movie rental place, but all we could find was RedBox. Sadly, the offerings were not much to our tastes, so we ended up with 3 movies at least 1 of us had seen before, and a really weird gangster-type movie with Brad Pitt that was just, well, gory and violent and WEIRD.

After the movie, we decided to drive back out to Grover, and take a ride out towards Sand Highway. We stopped to watch some crazy kite-boarders, and I spied 3 beautiful sand dollars that I quickly snatched up! We saw a bunch of sherriffs haul bootie out to the OHV area, but we never did find out what happened. Got lost on the way home, but, Day 3 ended uneventfully, thank goodness! The kids all enjoyed the Iron Man movie, so that was a big theme in all subsequent conversation. Note to self - bring DVDs next time!

I did have to explain for the gazillionth time again the nuances of KP.  And picking up wet towels off the floor.  For some reason, these boys all seem to think that vacation from school means vacation from chores.  I'm happy to disabuse them of that notion!

Day 4 (Monday)
Dear Diary, got to sleep in a little today.  The donuts and oatmeal were all gone, but thankfully I had gotten some pop-tarts and hidden them, so we have some breakfast.  Of course, that wasn't good enough, so I drove down to MickyD's for some brekkie. 

Cleaned up the house today - we want to be able to come back!  LEAVE NO TRACE is our motto.  Which included a lovely 10 minutes of me, on hands and knees, picking rice out of the dining room carpet where Piggy sat for dinner last night.  We finally got everything packed, cleaned up and put away by 11, and decided to make a stop back at the park on our way out of town. 








Took this with my phone camera!  I KNOW, right?!





We headed home after way too long of a wait for a less than satisfactory meal at a place that shall remain nameless, mostly because I can't remember it.  Traffic in PR was awful getting back onto 46, but it moved pretty well after that. 

Despite the crappy start, it ended up pretty well.  I DID actually smile a few times (and posted a photo of myself without any makeup and a very wind-tossed ponytail), and nobody got hurt, maimed, or otherwise emotionally scarred during this trip.  We made it home and settled back into the routine of school prep and unpacking all the shizz.

The moral of my story?  Always make sure you've got the keys, no matter how many times you have to check everyone else's suitcases!