Friday, August 26, 2011

A few more summer activities

As the summer comes to a close, I have been getting ever more steadily busy. School's starting to request forms, supplies, volunteers for activities, then always my own lists of things to do before the kids start back at school. Luckily some of those things involve not doing what kids would consider boring. Over the past two weeks, we were able to go fishing while boating in Lake Minnetonka, and I took the kids to our nearby outdoor mini golf course.

While the kids do boat in Wisconsin, Russ hasn't been able to make it out this summer due to our busy schedule. He is the fisherperson in our family so when his dad invited us on his boat, we knew we were going to be able to get fishing. Now, let me backtrack for a little bit. Trevor has been enjoying a PBS kids show called "Wild Kratts" which is mostly about a two brothers that turn cartoon and are able to experience what it is like to be animals living in the wild. One such show was about small and large mouth bass. Before and after the cartoon part of the show, they will talk about an animal and explain how even kids can make a difference. So when they talked about the bass, they talked about how when fishing, they never use live bait. And whenever they catch a fish, it is on a catch and release mentality.

So while we were driving out to the lake, Russ stopped at a bait shop. Trevor went in with Russ and came out talking about how even though Russ bought a bag full of live minnows, as well as small canister of worms, he was going to use the fake bait. I think that while we were continuing to drive to the lake, Trevor was talking about how the minnows needed to be free. Which is why Russ made it clear to him that although he didn't have to use the live minnows, he was not to let them go free. Well, it seems Trevor had other ideas. As soon as we were at the boat dock, Trevor, Russ, and Gwen were on the boat and Russ had to come back to lock the van. As I was walking up to the boat, Trevor had a slight smirk on his face, and Russ was very unhappy. Can you guess what happened? Yep, Trevor had opened the minnow bag, and dumped them over the side of the boat while Russ had been walking the keys back to the car. And nope, he didn't have any remorse. He was so happy to say they were free. I couldn't help but chuckle, while my back was to Trevor of course. While there were still worms to use, Trevor refused and just used the fake bait. He caught 5 or so fish off of the docks, then another 3 or 4 off of the boat, all using fake bait. Russ tried to use the worms, but then switched to the fake bait. I'm not sure what was on Gwen's line, but I also know that she put the line in the water caught and reeled in her own fish off of a dock that same day. We were all very successful. And by all, I mean those fishing. I am not exactly up for that type of excitement.

The other day, I found a morning where the kids and I could run out to the nearby mini golf course. It was a beautiful morning, and no one was there right when it opened. So we could take our time and not feel rushed. It is amazing how not feeling stressed, pressured, rushed or anything can make for a wonderful time. Trevor enjoyed keeping score and he and I actually tied exactly. So while he didn't win, I think he was ok that we tied as well. Of course at the end, both kids were amazed at how the last hole collected the balls. So after our round of golf I took the kids to our neighborhood ice cream shop called Scoops. Trevor had been to the ice cream place when he was at the parks program. This year, he missed the one trip they made. Strange thing though - he actually had a choice between blue moon and superman and he chose superman. I had a yummy pineapple coconut flavor and Gwen had her chocolate shake.

So we have one week left to the start of school. We have a few more things to do before school starts and then we'll see what our schedule changes to be. I have hopes of having more free time but something tells me I might be wrong in that thought.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gwen's luck

I guess it really isn't luck. She may simply be going through a growth spurt or something when she becomes a bit more uncoordinated and falls down a lot. She is the girl that has fallen down the starts, fallen off of a high swinging swing, fallen off of a playground flat onto her stomach, and then gotten the cuts and bruises from skinned knees and ankles and such. So this past week with it being a bit more stressful than normal, yep she was at her finest. Thankfully nothing ever is a huge deal, but I always feel so bad for her. On Friday before the wedding, she was outside without any shoes on. I asked her twice to put her shoes on because with the hot asphalt and cement I knew it would be trouble with her. Well, she forgot to step up onto a landing and skinned her ankles pretty good. Right where her crocs hit her ankles and she would hate to have a bandaid on her feet. She was already needing a rest time, so this just compounded the fact.

The wedding went off for her without any crashes or scrapes thankfully although she was tired throughout the day, which I expected. She also went to my parents house that night and came back the next day without any incidents. Sunday night, she woke up once complaining that her ear hurt. I gave her some tylenol and she went down for the rest of the night. I asked her about it again in the morning and she said she was fine. She hadn't had a cold or runny nose so I didn't think it was an ear infection. She has had a few of those. So then the next day, she didn't sleep for longer than 30 minutes before she was complaining about her ear again. So I explained to her that the doctor was just going to check her ear and no shots (because that is what she is afraid of now) and possibly get some medicine. Again, no pain in the morning, eating fine, no runny nose so I was pretty confused. We saw the doctor and I explained the situation to him. He looked in her ear and explained that he thought it was swimmers ear but that she had a big buildup of wax that they needed to remove, otherwise the medication would not work.

In order to remove the wax, they had to flush it out with water. Because she had swimmers ear, it was extremely painful for her. So yeah, she was screaming, I couldn't even watch, just tried to console her as best I could. They flushed a syringe full at least 6-8 times and when the doctor looked again, it hadn't done much. So he had to remove it with a tweezers. That also was painful but at least it was quicker. Then they had to put a small sponge in her ear to keep the medicine close to the eardrum. The poor girl was so scared but understood that we were trying to make her better so she was apologizing and thanking the doctor for everything that was going on. He said she was melting his heart and now that everything is all over, they decided to give her a prize out of their prize box. So I took her home after that and she fell asleep in the car.

We've since had the sponge removed and need to keep doing the medicine drops for the rest of the week but pain seems to be much much better. The nearest we all can figure out happened is all the swimming she loves to do in the lake when we were there two weeks ago. She hasn't swam in a pool since then, only her usual dunks in the bathtub. So we are just hanging out until we get the all-clear. Hopefully she gets through her terrible spills and becomes a graceful girl.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A big wedding

So our entire family was in a wedding this past weekend. The summer has been focused on events leading up to the big day and we took part in as many as possible. I'm pretty sure my mom friends thought I was being my neurotic self trying to make sure the weekend went as smooth as possible. I guess I sort of forgot to include my husband in some of the planning that went on. Sorry honey!

I believe I will have some pictures to add to some of the notes in this blog, but for now I will simply run through what I remember and how we took part.

First off, the kids had vacation bible school at their church for the week. I had told everyone that was involved that we would not be able to attend on the last day, or the singing in church the following Sunday due to the wedding. We were all very excited and although Gwen didn't really understand, she enjoyed counting down the days and me having her and Trevor practice their "walking down the aisle" together.

So on Thursday, I was making my lists...things to bring out to the rehearsal, things to bring the day of the wedding, things to bring for the overnight at my parents was a lot to remember! I'm glad I like lists! Russ got in on Thursday night without a hitch, thank goodness. The boys were off right away on Friday morning to go golfing. The girls got to sleep in a little bit to go meet for lunch, followed by getting their nails done. Gwen has been sleeping past 8am and I knew that she also doesn't like to eat breakfast right away in the morning. So for both days, I packed some fruit in a cooler with her water, some cheese-its, and cheese sticks for in case she was hungry at various times. Yep....we tried to feed her "lunch" of her usual chicken and fries but she wasn't hungry. Or only hungry enough to be hungry again in the car ride on the way to get our nails done. When we went into the nail salon she quickly found the kid pedicure seat and played around in it. She is ok if you want to paint her nails, but cutting them or picking at them freaks her out. She came over and sat with Kyrsten and I while our pedicures were being done, and she made sure to tell me that she didn't want them picking at her toes like they were doing to mine.

So when it was her turn, I asked them to do a modified manicure and pedicure. Gwen did have to stop the woman from using the clippers (I think there was a small language barrier) but she got the pink and even got a little design on both her two fingers and two toes. All us ladies got a pedicure and manicure for the wedding. I was happy that Gwen was pacified until we were done. Either watching us or getting her nails done.

We then had to run back to the mall to pick up a few missing pieces of Trevor's tux. While I know Russ could have picked them up Saturday morning, I didn't want to add to his to-do list because we were getting up early on Saturday and they got to sleep in. Gwen was still pumped up to get onto the next thing, so she stayed awake through both car rides to Kyrsten's house. We headed over to the church for the rehearsal shortly. We had a pretty clean practice where Gwen and Trevor did their practicing with their practice pieces....fabric petals and no rings on the pillow.

Then we headed off to the rehearsal dinner. So, this happened to be at the same place the guys played golf at, and Trevor was at the point where if he thinks he knows where he is, he should have complete run of the place. That, or he simply is going through a phase. He didn't have any interest in eating, or hanging around the inside. He wanted to be outside with some boys, putting or whatever else they could do not around parents. Yikes. Gwen found a few girls her age and loved to show her dolls around and play with them. I could not believe how well Gwen handled herself. Even in comparison to Trevor.....NOT that a parent should compare kids, because every kid is different and unique :-) But COME ON!!! Anyway...I digress. The food was wonderful, the conversation was great, the toasts were awesome! I knew I had to bring the kids home early because the next day was going to be full. I was proud that I kept both kids awake all the way home because I knew Gwen needed a shower before she went to bed. As I gave Gwen a shower, Trevor fell asleep on his bed.

That leads me to the day of the wedding. I didn't even get to talk to Russ much because he stayed behind to chat with the relatives, and there were things I needed to explain and write out for him to do. Namely, because the kids were going home with my parents the night of the wedding, he needed to grab Trevor's pillow (sleeping, not ring bearing). So I explained how the morning was going to go, and wrote down a to-do list for when they woke up. I was up before 7 and I had to wake Gwen up around 7. She wasn't too happy with me, but warmed up to the idea that this was the big day for her! I again packed a cooler full of snacks and water for her, and headed out. We met Kyrsten and Libby at the hotel so that I could leave a car there for Sunday morning. We then were driven to the hair and makeup salon to get our hair done. Again, Gwen was pacified by watching all that was going on and sat still for 95% of her hair getting done as well. I helped a little because I waited to get my make-up done for most of the time her hair was getting done. She also had a bit of play dough from her gift bag from the night before. After hair and make-up was done, we had a little breakfast and headed over to the church to get ready.

We hung around the church, took some pictures, eventually met up with the guys because they had some more food, and waited for the ceremony to start. Pictures were a little tough on Gwen as I think by 12:30 she was already starting to fade. I know they got a handful of pictures but after the first set, she really needed prodding to even step into the pictures.

The ceremony was at 2:00 and the kids did great. Gwen had a little difficulty with the aisle runner, but she didn't show it on her face. Trevor tried his best to look all serious with his "job" of having the real rings and presenting them to the priest.

We all got to blow bubbles to present the couple into their horse and carriage ride. Then there were more pictures. The wedding party got to ride in the limo to more pictures. Gwen and Trevor too. After these pictures, I sent the kids with grandma to hopefully have Gwen take a nap in the car. From what I understand, she did take a nap. Unfortunately, she woke up disoriented and having to go to the bathroom. After some quick thinking by Lee, she got all situated and was ready for the rest of the evening. As soon as dinner was served Trevor was off like a bolt of lightning with some of the family he knew but were helping him get out of his rules that we had set for him. Trevor being Trevor.... We told him that unless he asked either his dad or I to go out, he could not. So he said he asked Grandpa. He was telling everyone that he was going to breakdance, and that he was a really good dancer. Didn't last more than 5 minutes on the dance floor before wanting to go outside again.

It was a lot of fun for everyone involved. The happy couple is now off on their honeymoon and we are the lucky family that gets to watch their kitten while they are gone. If anyone has gotten this far in their reading, I also wanted to thank Derek and Kyrsten for making us a part of their special day and their special events. I know Trevor will remember it for many years, and Gwen has found some new favorites....favorite hairstyle, favorite nail activities....favorite was a wonderful time for us all. Thank you!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beautiful weekend

Thinking back, I cannot remember the last time where we went to the lake and had a perfect weather weekend. Well, Russ was going to be out of town last weekend, so after the kids' golf banquet, we drove to the lake. Right away we put on our suits, rode up the creek and jumped off the boat. That is quick becoming a tradition with the kids and I. The creek is usually much warmer than the lake because the water is more stationary and absorbs the heat of the sun faster because it is shallow compared to the lake. After a little over an hour of this, we went back to the cabin to have our dinner at the Stone's Throw. Yum. We got to eat on their porch. Heaven. We grabbed some ice cream at the camp grounds. They actually had a brownie treat that I could buy for Gwen because unless it is DQ chocolate soft serve, she doesn't care for ice cream. So when I just asked for the brownie, they gave it to me in a wrapper. Gwen ate most of it after having a pretty filling dinner. Trevor got his favorite - Blue Moon.

We got back and hung out before heading to bed. Gwen had taken a nap in the car because Friday morning was pretty early for the kids. We had to be out of the house by 7:45 for golf. But when Gwen naps, she doesn't go to bed much before 11pm. So after that night, I was rushing to get back into the water. Gwen was game as soon as I was, and Trevor wanted to play baseball. After a while, with the bugs and the heat, he too came down to the lake. Gwen rotated between swimming and playing in the sand. Although there isn't much sand on the beach, she still was able to shovel wet sand into the bucket and dump it out.

We came back from lunch and Gwen and I hit the water again. This time I was on a raft. I was determined to get a strapless tan for the wedding this weekend. There were plenty of waves so I took an anchor and tied myself to it. Gwen jumped off, or rolled off more accurately, to both sides of the raft. Somewhere around 3pm my dad, Brian, Kelly, and I all rode up to the Tiki Bar to have our yummy VooDoo drinks. We were back around 5, or maybe 5:30? And then my dad took both kids back up the creek. It didn't take them more than two seconds to decide. My mom threw some burgers and hot dogs on the grill and had a yummy dinner ready when the kids got back. I heard they got to touch the bridge, were good listeners, and got to go really fast for a bit. Gwen was screaming in glee, Trevor was screaming in terror. I guess that's why he won't go tubing, he doesn't like the extreme speed unless he has some sort of seat belt or similar safety device on. He loves rollercoasters and going fast, but I guess the thought of flying out is too much for him to enjoy a fast boat ride.

The kids enjoyed a movie and crashed pretty early that night. Mom and I went to the casino and both of us came back even money. Sunday, we woke up and went swimming one more time, ate some lunch and headed home. I think the temperature all three days was somewhere in the mid 80's. On Saturday I didn't get hot enough to jump into the lake. It was pretty windy which cut down on the humidity. But for me, it was perfect. Lots of sun. Lots of swimming for the kids. It is how the lake weekends should be. We definitely missed Russ, but hope to have many more of these trips with him in the future.