Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can you forgive me?

This is rambling, repetitive and a downright shambles but at least I blogged. I blogged, damnit.

Our vacation is history. (Pitiful pun intended.) And all in all it went remarkably well. We got a Bounce Pass that enabled us to go to Busch Gardens & Colonial Williamsburg as much as we wanted all week. We did Williamsburg 3 days, Busch Gardens 3 days and Jamestown Settlement 1 day. And yes, it was busy. We are busy vacationers. If we have a morning where we lounge around a bit before getting under way it feels like we’re wasting time. Time that could be spent having fun! Before the kids our vacations were a helluva lotta walking around, seeing and doing. Going to Paris and seeing like 5 things in a day. I remember just how sore and scarred my feet were after a day spent walking all along the Seine from Museum to Church to Garden. We can’t do it like that anymore. But we can do one thing each day, though small children are not really museum/lecture friendly. The first day we were in Williamsburg we went into a shop – the wigmakers, shoemakers, candlestick makers – and everyone was standing there quietly listening to the shopkeeper talk about the craft and colonial times and Ray started going “ROCK! ROCK! ROCK!” at the top of his lungs because he wanted to go back outside and return to playing with ye olde colonial rocks. And after a few scenes like that we realized the shops were not gonna fly. But many things did. We had such a great time in the Governor’s Palace Garden that we went two days in a row. They liked the horses, the hoop and stick, and even eating in the Colonial Tavern. And the kids loved the fife, the drums and the cannons. Ray loves to recount the cheer “Hup Hup! (hoo)Ray! Hup Hup! Ray! Hup Hup! Ray! Boom! (cannon).”

Of course nothing compared to Busch Gardens. The kids loved the rides, the water areas and the shows so much that a trip that at first included one day at the park included three. It was Ray’s first real amusement park experience and he will tell you all about it. “RAWR!” means he rode the dragons. “Boat. Wet!” is all about his experience on the log flume. “Bee!” alludes to his experience on the lady bug ride. Both Noah and Ray poured over the map of Busch Gardens almost every night talking about what rides they had been on and then they began recreating the rollercoasters as they ran around the hotel rooms. One of the standout moments for me was when I took Noah on a “4D adventure ride” called Corkscrew Hill. The attendant swore to me it was not scary but rather about ancient Ireland. We sat in movie theater seats with lap belts and 3D glasses watching a film and then the damn seats started to move. I felt ill and horrified instantly. I just kept thinking “LET IT END! LET IT END!” and I was thrilled Noah didn’t look as sick as I felt. Then they had a witch on screen Noah said he was scared and buried his head in my arm. That minute until it was over has got to be one of the longest ones in my life. And not because I felt like I was going to lose my lunch but because I was so upset he was scared and I couldn’t make it stop. Welcome to parenthood.

Noah really had a great time. He just loves to be out and learning. And Ray was such a trooper. He had one nap the entire week we were in Williamsburg and still remarkably held it together all day. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of tense moments. And they usually start with Mark and I deciding on what our course of action is, especially if it involves meal time. Course when it was just us it would get dicey on vacations at meal times because we were both beat and wanting the other one to make the decisions, only of course if they were the right ones. But now that we aren’t the only grumpy ones it can get ugly until we’re all fed. Plus we had a few spats because of misunderstandings. Mark is the big history buff among us. At the beginning of the week he bought a book about all the Colonial Williamsburg buildings and their histories and he read it all week. Hell, I like to take a nice informative tour but I could only read that book if a grade depended on it. And I wanted to make sure he got enough out of our vacation. But whenever I suggested I wrangle the kids while he spent more time looking at something or doing something I didn’t think the kids were able to do Mark would take it as an insult. And then he worried I wasn’t enjoying the vacation since I didn’t want to go in the museum by myself too. Yeah, so we mostly argued about whether the other one was enjoying themselves. What the hell is wrong with us? Ahhh marriage. Noone ever said it was easy.

But vacation is over. And summer is on it’s way. I decided not to sign Noah up for the summer program at the school he is attending now because they don’t let the little kids outside. Granted it’s only three hours, three days a week, and they keep the little ones in because it’s too hard to keep track of them with all the other older kids all over the area, but I wanted something different for him this year. I found a rec program where they had an enclosed area and the kids could be out on the playground equipment and even play in sprinklers. It seemed much more enjoyable for him. Problem is that the first session filled up and we only got him in for July, one week of which he will miss to go to the beach with my Mom. And now I have him all day, every day the whole rest of the summer. That is kind of panicking me because he is now so social and prefers to be with kids his own age. And it puts a huge burden on me to keep him busy and engaged all summer. So some other neighborhood moms and I are trying to come up with some sort of plan for getting the kids together regularly and doing field trips. Though worried about my sanity over the summer I do feel like I need to treasure this time on the opposite side of the spectrum because I’m already getting sad about Noah being in school three 6 hour days starting in the Fall and how we will have so much less time together. Sheesh. I can’t make up my damn mind.

I want to say so much stuff about Ray but it seems so repetitive and like I’m featuring him over Noah too much – but he’s just in this very developmentally interesting and fun stage. His current playtime mostly consists of drawing, listening to books, “choo choo trains,” making “cake” and “soup,” water play, dancing and drums. He has insane passions for… everything. That is who he is. Fiery, lively little red head that he is. Above all things though he currently adores lemonade, ice cream, chocolate (hell any “TREAT!”) bananas, chex mix and MEAT! He isn’t big on veggies sadly but he does love asparagus. He’s still nursing at sleeping times. I am often struck by the fact that at the same time of Noah’s development I would talk about whether I should be weaning him to anyone that stood still – but with Ray I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks since I know what I am doing. And THAT is the beauty of having more than one. It seems so much more relaxed now. Ray is starting to become TWO. With increased instances of him yelling “NO” and “I want! I want! I want!” He is also far more apt to take off than Noah ever was, which is so scary, but on the positive side he is also more apt to play by himself than Noah still is. Above all Ray is damn infectious – and not in a swine flu way (have to mention it by law). His smiles and laughter are life affirming. And when both him and Noah start making each other laugh I feel like my life’s purpose has been fulfilled, that there can’t be greater joy. (GAG!)

And Noah is so far from a baby. He is wise beyond his years. He is inundating us with questions about the origin of man, how Mark and I met and started liking each other, and would he watch over Ray if he died. I really do think he is perfect which I am almost ashamed to admit. My only complaint about Noah is that he often gets sad and gives up when he can’t master something right away. He’s told me he’ll have to find a wife to put his shoes on for him. Don’t even get me started on buttons and butt wiping. But as much as he grows I am very happy that he is still very cuddly and affectionate with me. When that stops it will truly break my heart.

Have I got any more blathering to do? Sure. But I will spare you. Oh except to mention that I need to get a damn piece of exercise equipment. A treadmill perhaps. Something I can use at home 40 minutes a day – and then do it. Because the dieting is not working. I diet and lose weight and then stop dieting and then binge on all the stuff I didn’t eat while dieting and it’s all back in a heartbeat. I need easy access to a minimal amount of exercise daily. It’s my only hope. And Mark’s 20th reunion is coming and I don’t want to be an embarrassment to him. I am so stressed about how I look and what I will wear and how will the kids get to bed without me that I’d rather cut off a toe than go. You see I often get sad and give up when I can’t master something right away.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hey sunshine.

Tomorrow we head outta town. I'm a bit sad but mostly exhausted. We're still debating about going back to Busch Gardens for a few hours before we hit the road. Our pass is still good and the kids have been obsessing over how much fun it was, but OH the energy it takes us old folks. And that might not be a great idea before a five hour drive and might mean more traffic. Still, the kids and their excitement! We shall see.

With a bang

Our last moments at Colonial Williamsburg were fife, drum and cannon fire. Awesome.

Applause please.

Give them an empty stage and they will give you a show. Ray had to be carried away crying "Show! Show!"


No surprise that Noah the maziac adored the hedge maze. We did it 2 days in a row. Can you see Noah and Mark at the center looking triumphant?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The thing I always tell myself is that you can make semi-ambitious trips with kids if you focus on what they will enjoy and set your expectations low so that you are thrilled at whatever you do see. And I have constantly had to remind myself of this in the last few days. Ray is not in a stay quiet during guided tours in quiet places stage. He is in a romping, jumping, squealing stage. But he is also in a stage of wonder and obsession and finding something he is interested in is utterly magical. Though I really thought Noah would enjoy and learn alot more, I have been disappointed that he is following Ray's cues a bit. If I have to rush Ray out of some place so Mark and Noah can finish listening, Noah is fixating on where we are going without them.
But taking a cue from how much the boys enjoyed the outdoor exhibits at Jamestown Settlement, today we spent the bulk of our day romping around in the gardens in the Governor's Palace. We also enjoyed the storytime at the Folk Art museum, tours of the jail and the magazine, and some of the outdoor performances of Revolutionary City. It was a good day, a busy day. And though Mark and I might have liked to tour more houses and shops, we very much appreciate what we did get to do and especially the moments that the kids seemed to be especially enjoying himself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Row, row, row!

The boys really enjoyed the outdoor exhibits at Jamestown Settlement today. They loved running about in old boats, forts, and Indian villages. Yesterdays first trip to Colonial Williamsburg was less successful as Ray was too revved up and Noah too tired to listen to what the shopkeepers had to say. It's no surprise that 2 years old is not an ideal age for the appreciation of historical reenactments. But tomorrow we go back with more energy, new approach and new appreciation for what we do get to experience.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Slowing the pace

It's a rainy morning. We're having a quiet start and Ray's getting his first nap on vacation. The older gents are taking advantage of the quiet time to do some book learnin. After lunch and Ray's respite we'll head to Colonial Williamsburg to poke about and get a handle on what we'd like to do the remainder of the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Milky white

For some reason I have a mental block about bringing swimgear to theme parks. We avoided the watery areas until it was time to go and then left the park in various levels of undress.

Thrill rides

As much as we enjoyed gawking at the coasters we stuck to the kiddie rides. It's just as well since I felt sick after riding Oscar's Wiggly Worms.


Don't let him fool ya. He's full on dangerous.

Ye olde gift shop

Just in case you need more than just the 2 corners, but less than 4.

High flyin

I wish I could ride the sky ride all day. Does that make me lame?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunshine Days

Spending every available moment outside. Nothing is quite as reenergizing as the first lovely days of Spring.