We have gotten to spend LOTS of time with Ms. McCullor...not only because she and I are such good friends, but also because she LOVES kiddies and we have had a BLAST on our little field trips with the kids. In July, in addition to our lake treks, we also went to the zoo and took the kids (minus the Rose, sorry Katy-Kate... next time!) to D.C. Of course, we have learned, the hard way, that the best time to catch up on "stuff", is not in the car or we are likely to end up somewhere other than where we intended to go! ;) In any event, we battled traffic to make it to the zoo! It was a great day to go. It was pretty warm, so the crowds weren't as big as we have seen them. Plus, they have these really cool "mist"ers that the kids LOVED!
As for our trip to D.C., we thought we would integrate the metro into the experience. We took the metro to the mall-- first stop? Showing Patrick (with Ryan in tow) one of the monuments he'd just learned about in 1st gradeup close and personal--the Washington Monument! And, because of my recent obsession with Pinterest, we played around with seeing if we could make it look like he was holding the monument in the palm of his hand! Not bad for a first try, huh? Our second stop was a bit of a walk on a hot, humid day, but totally worth it-- the Museum of Natural History. Finally, a bonus stop (thanks Ms. McCullor!) was the Old Post Office Building where we got ice cream (another thing on our bucket list... too bad the coupon we tore off our map happened to have the metro stops on the back that we'd later need... Ms. McCullor learned, first hand, why ooooooops! is really a Lennox family mantra) and then were able to take the elevator to the top of the tower and look out over the city, seeing the capitol and the monuments from a bird's eye view!
Okay, so that didn't make the kids' bucket list, but that, I think, is simply because they didn't know it should be ON the list. This summer is our first summer since John became a detective. We are lucky that he not only has weekends OFF (and holidays, but I'm on my way off topic), unless on call, but he also works 4 day weeks (10 hour days). It is Mon-Th one week and then Tu-Fri the next. That gives him a four day weekend every other weekend-- YIPPEEEEEEEE! So, we talked about taking advantage of the schedule to do mini-getaways. Of course, our first one we hit NY... the third was while we were on vacation... the fourth (and final!) was right when we got back from THE road trip of the summer, so I figured the 2nd, in reality, was the only one in which we'd actually be able to get away. So, we pricelined (my FAVORITE!) a swanky hotel in Baltimore and went up there to explore the Inner Harbor and hit Port Discovery. Although the Inner Harbor is a favorite of ours, we'd only been to PD once--during Patrick's "babymoon" about 6 weeks before Ryan came along. In any event, the kids had a BLAST!! Minus, of course, the Mr. Potato Head Incident of 2012. See, sweet Ryan is DEATHLY afraid of characters. So, when a life-sized Mr. Potato Head came waltzing through the Spaceland exhibit we were in, Ryan went for cover. John, on the other hand, who has been likened by co-workers as a bit of a Potato Head himself, was DYING for a picture with him. Luckily, Katy did not inherit the same gene as Ryan and is the PERFECT excuse for a picture (and, DUH!, who WOULDN'T stop the ho-hum moseying through the museum for a picture with the most BEAUTIFUL little Rose out there??!)... While that was the highlight of the day for SOME, the kids had a blast throughout the museum--most especially climbing and sliding... or, maybe it was "squeegeeing" (John liked that he could teach them proper technique on someone else's window!) in waterworks... or, serving mommy a nicely cooked meal (just like I do for them! ;) in the diner... whatever the favorite, Patrick was excited to hear that Port Discovery is the BIG field trip for 2nd grade and is already planning on having me chaperone! ;)
8. Go on Vacation with LIIIIIIAAAAAAMMMMMM!!
Of course I have to give a quick shout out to my sweet little Godson, Nathan, who was born two years ago while we were at Massanutten. Last year, we celebrated his first birthday there. This year, his birthday was BEFORE our week, but we haven't been together in FOREVER (that's according to Ryan and Patrick) since Ali is staying with the boys at her parents' while their new house is being build. In any event, HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN! ;)
This year our week was a little quieter than most. My parents decided to stay back (except for water park day!) to continue caring for my grandfather. So, it was just our two little families for the first part of the week and then our little family for the second part. We enjoyed just hanging out-- it is incredibly cool to see how WELL our kids get along and truly enjoy just being together... whether it's hanging out back at our villa or swimming in the pool or mini-golfing or riding the go-carts, they really look out for each other! There is a definite divide at this point-- the "older" three and then Katy-Kate and Nathan. It will be interesting to see as the years go on and the age divide, which is big when you are 1 or 2 versus 4 or 5 (or 7, YIKES!), feels smaller! In the meantime, they are all just happy little clams who are content just to be with one another and that's great to see when you're from a close-knit family! :)
9. Go to the Waterpark
One of our favorite stops on our annual vacation is the Massanutten Waterpark. The kids REALLY look forward to it! This year, Ryan had been having Grandma Sue measure him regularly as he was DYING to be the required 42" to ride the BIG water slides. We all held our breaths-- especially since Liam, 11 months his junior, at times, seems like he is taller and both boys are right around the 42" mark... how would they measure up to the official Massanutten measuring stick? Liam missed the mark (no big deal, he is still working up to the excitement of the BIG slides and feels no pressure to keep up with Patrick) by a hair, while Ryan made it, wahooooooooooooo (and thank GOD for John and I!)!!!! :) So, you can guess what Ryan and I, pretty much, spent the day doing... riding the BIG water slides (well, 1/3 of the time was spend riding the slides, 1/2 the time was spent CLIMBING the stairs- my poor body was BEAT by the day's end, and 1/3 of the time was spent by me hiding from Ryan while floating on the lazy river so that Katy could nap! ;) We usually stay from when the park opens to about 2 when the kids conk out... this time?! The old fuddy-duddies were DRAGGING the kids out as the clock neared 5-- they had SUCH a blast!
10. Another Annual Trek
Another trip we make annually while we are down at Massanutten, is a trip to the Children's Museum of Harrisonburg. It is, I think, our favorite Children's Museum to date (and we are becoming quite proficient at them! ;) It is a smaller museum, but we have watched it really blossom over the years we've been coming (think we are up to 4, maybe 5!). It has moved to a little larger location and has exhibits the kids LOVE... most notably, for Ryan, is the ambulance shell... he LOVES to "drive" like a madman to the next emergency. Patrick, on the other hand, LOVES the theater. He has always been passionate about costumes and dressing up and, of course, DIRECTING others in his productions! ;) Katy's favorite, this year, was the HUGE cow (umm, that you can MILK... interesting addition)! She would just stand looking up at it in awe and be downright gleeful when it would spontaneously "moooooo!" at her!
So, it seems, another entry in our lives is done! That, pretty much, encompasses our month of July! It was QUITE a busy month. Of course, August started with a BANG as we probably squeezed more action in the first week of August than we did in the entire month of July and are now trying to decompress here at home as the end-of-the-summer crunch time is upon us (well, me, the kids are oblivious!)! One more trip left! The boys are heading to NY on Sunday for their now annual week with NY Grandma and Grandpa... we are not sure who is more excited... the grands or the kids (or the parents who suddenly find themselves with "just" one kid)! ;) In any event, stay tuned! I hope to get one more entry in to cover our East Coast trek before school is upon me... I think I can, I think I can...
|Ryan is not one to be "directed"|