Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Work I Go

It was SO nice having Thursday and Friday off!  No particular reason, I have plenty of days and I need to just plan ahead and use them.  I know I will be taking another Thursday/Friday off in mid-July as we lead up to my BIL's wedding so I was trying to space it out a little bit.

Thursday - Initially, I was calling this "Mom's Day of Fun" but the weather had other plans.  I'd hoped to take the kids somewhere but when the weather was forecasted 100 degrees, I knew there was no other place we'd want to be than swimming.  Caroline's friend Sophia spent the night on Wednesday and they were all up by 7:30.  Sophia went home and accompanied her mom to the gym (her little sister behaves better in the gym's childcare if Sophia is there) and the four of us went to Target.  We were back by 10:30 and the kids did there chores while I cleaned up and got ready to go swimming.  Sophia came back down after lunch and I took all 4 kids to my mom's.  Whoooo-weee, it was HOT.  So glad to have a pool to go to!  The kids had a great time and we made it back home to my crock pot dinner by 5pm.  The kids were so tired from being up late the night before and the swimming that none of them even went back outside.  Plus, since we were planning on leaving early the next day, I made them all get in bed "early" (for summer) and everyone was passed out by 9pm - quite a feat in the days when it's not actually dark until 9pm.

Friday - Jason was up at 5am and was greeted by a colony of ants invading our kitchen.  When I got up at 6am, he was finishing up his fight and had the poison out to greet them.  (Combat Ant Gel always does the trick for us!)  Bryce and Piper followed soon after but it was pulling teeth to get Caroline out of bed.  We had hoped to leave by 7am, but 7:30 was a more realistic time.  (Kind of uncharacteristic for our family though, generally if we say we're leaving by a certain time, we leave by that time.)  But serendipity prevailed and our late departure actually proved to work out just fine for our timing.  With little to no traffic, we made it to Mount Vernon just after 9am.  Even though it was already warm and humid, there was a breeze blowing and the sun was in and out.  The crowds were light too.  Since our mansion time wasn't until 10:30am, we had plenty of time to check out the orientation center and movie and make our way around the grounds:



We checked out some of the surrounding buildings, the gardens, saw some farm animals, and took a few photos.  And then it was time for the mansion tour.  The kids were super excited about seeing George and Martha's house and even though they walked through the rooms much faster than I would have liked, they really seemed to be absorbing it.  They were particularly excited to see the room and bed where George Washington had died.  Caroline said she really liked looking at the old beds and was fascinated by the canopies on all of them.  Piper said she wanted to jump on the beds.  



With the mansion tour complete, it was after 11am and we decided to get a head start on lunch since we hoped to eat at the Mt. Vernon Inn instead of the food court (and we were hungry given our early start).  11:30am proved a perfect time and we were seated right away.  The kids devoured their food - it was a fun little meal.  I enjoyed the chestnut and peanut soup which was a classic dish from George and Martha's time apparently.  After some ice cream for dessert we went back outside in hopes of meeting "Martha" and seeing George's tomb.  Unfortunately the breeze and clouds were gone and it was HOT.  We made it to where "Martha" was supposed to be for a meet and greet but found that it was closed.  We made our way to the tomb which was quite interesting to the kids and then headed back to the air conditioning of the museum.  And boy did that a/c feel good!

The kids really liked the museum and the hands on nature of the entire exhibit.  


Here they are posing as the Washingtons in the children's room



It made me laugh that on the other side of the face cutouts there was a stern warning to parents that these were just for putting faces into and not the entire head.  I guess they've had some kids get their heads stuck - I can only imagine the drama!

All in all, it was a great day trip and even though the return traffic was rough, it was a good day.

Saturday: Bryce had a brief trophy ceremony at noon celebrating the end of T-Ball season.  While he liked it, he's not too keen on playing again next spring.  Jason is okay with that and understands.  Baseball is a little hard to keep kids focused on, especially when they are 4-6 year olds.  Maybe he'll be more interested in it when he gets older, or not.  He's already asking when soccer starts which Jason is very happy about.   Once the boys got home we headed down to a family birthday party in Columbia.  (Had to make a pit stop at Katie's house to retrieve Caroline's towel she left a few weeks ago - wish we could have attended both parties!)  

We had a great time at the party and the kids swam while the adults watched and relaxed (but I forgot my camera!).  It was a more subdued party than they usually have and it was delightful.  All the kids played so well together and I can't wait to go to the beach with Zoe, Taki and their parents in a few weeks!  We also got to meet Jackie and Jim's new dog - Beau.  This dog won my heart in a second and if I was considering getting a dog I would want to clone this dog!  He's only 5 months old but so calm and sweet.  He's a Labradoodle but he's 75% poodle and 25% lab - so maybe that's why he's so calm because NO lab puppy is ever that calm.  If I could guarantee that a dog would be so good natured, I'd be much closer to considering a dog.  We were all smitten and it was so cute to see Piper with him.  Can't wait to see him again.

We didn't extract the kids from the pool until almost 8pm and then rolled home with Caroline and Bryce balking at mine and Jason's choice of music (80's and 90's stations).  We ignored them though and rocked out - of course Caroline maintained that the ride was "torturous" and "horrible."  I was trying to get them to understand that that was the music we used to bother OUR parents with when we were their ages and that the music on the "Hits 1" station is annoying to us sometimes.  They didn't buy it.

Sunday:  After we all did some chores and had lunch, we decided to make our way over to my mom's for more swimming.  But our CSA had delivered SO much bounty in the way of summer veggies I had to use them.  I made a delicious summer vegetable chicken caccitore in the crock pot and two loaves of zucchini bread.  And there's barely a dent in my zucchini pile.  (It's not even peak zucchini time yet!)  We got to my mom's and swam - again I forgot my camera- and missed Jason throwing the kids around.  We had a nice dinner with my parents and Kevin (Aunt Kelly has departed for Chicago for summer 2 of her 3 summer master's program) and then made it home so the kids could watch a "big" episode of "Good Luck, Charlie" on the Disney Channel at 8pm.  Piper passed out on the way home (she won't nap anymore and swimming exhausts her) and the older two got super fast baths so they could watch their show.

It was a verrrrry nice long weekend and I am looking forward to another one soon.  I'm bummed that the 4th of July is on a Wednesday this year.  If I wasn't taking off the Thursday/Friday of the following week, I'd probably take off that Thursday/Friday of that week too, but alas, that's how it is and I'll just enjoy a mid-week break.

I love summer and this past weekend was a perfect example of why!

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