Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day #1: The Unexpected Tour

Before I even get started on blogging about my trip, let me say that there will be excessive pictures, long-winded commentary and details that are preserved primarily for an audience of five. This trip was amazing, and I really don't want to forget the details. Feel free to skim.

So, after months of counting down to our cruise, the weather forecasted for the day of our flight was 10-16 inches of snow. We were sick at the thought of missing our flight. But lucky us, the airline let us change all 12 tickets and we were able to catch a morning flight, instead of the red-eye we were scheduled on (bonus #1). This change left us spending the night in Washington DC, with enough time to take the older kids on a quick night tour of our nation's capital (bonus #2).

We started at the Lincoln Memorial, probably my favorite of all the monuments. I was able to tell the kids about Lincoln, the Civil War and Martin Luther King Jr. famous speech. There is a palpable power in that memorial, and we all could feel it. Having taught US history for several years, taken a student group to DC, and getting married in that city, I have a real tender spot for our capital. It brought me to tears just being there with my own children.

My mom with my big boys and my niece and nephew:

The kids were overwhelmed with the innate sadness that comes with visiting the Vietnam Memorial. It's such a graphic representation of loss that it was almost too much. I pray and pray and pray that my boys never have to fight in a war.

We weren't able to get too close to the Capital building, but it was fun to quiz my niece on how a bill becomes a law. (Sorry, but I was in full -on history teacher mode.)

The WWII monument was new to me since the last time I had been in DC. It's beautiful, and I loved all the quotes engraved throughout.

I was thrilled with the changes in our flight. When else could my kids have seen the capital for nothing more than the cost of one night's hotel? While we didn't have too long, and could have easily spent several more days, it was great to let the boys have evening at the Mall.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So it Continues

My BFF and I have a long and tangled history of practical jokes. Unfortunately, I didn't think of that when, on our way out of town, we gave her our keys - (so the car could be driven to a pick up location before we got home.)
I got this text before we even got to the airport: "You realize you just gave me ALL of your keys. This should be fun."
But, hey, I was on my way to the Caribbean - so I promptly forgot all about it until we got home last night.
Here's a copy of Vern's blog post:

Dear Ganelle:
I sure hope you had fun on your cruise. Now when people ask you where you got your tan you can say, “I’ve been in the Caribbean!” instead of, “You know that little booth with the cancer beds off of Main Street?” While you’ve been gone you missed a few things like THREE FREAKIN’ SNOW STORMS. I imagine that’s what Christmas feels like in Hell; at first you’re all, “How nice, I think I’ll just take it easy, have some hot chocolate and read a book.” But then on day seven you’re like, “Where’s that ice pick?! I swear I heard someone smile!” Then again, I felt bad because I thought if it was Christmas then you and your whole family were missing it! And with three young boys, how would you possibly be able to stand missing Christmas, even if it was in Hell?


I have good news and bad news.

Good news: Your house is still standing.
Bad news: It’s FREEZING in there!! Did you completely turn off the heat while you were gone? What if your pipes froze?!Good news: We didn’t see any flooding, so I think you’re good.
Bad news: Your Diet Coke looked really lonely sitting in your fridge all by itself.
Good news: As your friend and a woman who had been fasting since 7am, I jumped in to help.

More good news: When I take pictures with my head tilted back it smooths out my double chin. Bonus!
Bad news: You left a puzzle undone.
Good news: That Cory is such a helper!

Bad news: After being cooped up in a frigid house with closed blinds for a solid week your plants were looking forlorn.
Good news: Forlorn is Drew’s specialty! Here he is giving them a little TLC.

Bad news: Your candlesticks had no candles on them. What do you think they are there for anyway?
Good news: Riiiight. Now I remember.

Bad news: The other 33 cans that we hid around your house are not as easy to find.

Bad news: Holy crap, it’s Christmas and we didn’t bring any presents!
Good news: You had some stuff in your fridge. Situation UNDER CONTROL.

Bad news: We got on a roll.

Good news: When you get back if someone complains that you weren’t answering your phone you could be like, “Sorry, I had to unwrap it first.” And then you’ll realize that it’s just easier to say you were going to the bathroom.
Bad news: You’re no longer on vacation.
More bad news: This also means that nobody will be delivering you croissants and orange juice to your room just because you picked up the phone and told them to.To reiterate: Gopher no longer works for you.

Good news: Look at all the pretty colors!

Yours Truly,Vern

p.s. I told Facebook you were expecting and having a girl. Everyone’s really excited for you!
The kids have had a great time unwrapping all the oranges this morning. And they are enjoying hunting for diet Coke (BTW: thanks for those!) You actually held yourself in great restrait! And as for the baby, well, I know I've added a few pounds lately, but really? I don't need everyone checking out my waistline thankyouverymuch!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fabulous Four

The Caboose is FOUR!

Likes: Spiderman, his blankie, coloring, Wii (especially Mario Kart,) being read to, puzzles, McDonald's, playing ball with his brothers, playdates, preschool, Webkinz, wrestling, eating just the frosting off of a donut, playing "letters", cuddling, and sucking his thumb (yeah, that one has gotta end!)

Dislikes: going to bed, eating his entire dinner, scary masks, being kissed or hugged when he doesn't feel like it, when I help him do things he wants to do on his own, and cutting with scissors.

I realize I'm his mom and all, but this little boy has SO much personality, I just LOVE it!!! He is feisty, energetic, loving, and when he gets that twinkle in his eye, watch out!

The Caboose is most definitely the baby of the family. He has his big brothers totally under his spell, with mom and dad not far behind. He's our own little mascot, our clown and our buddy. Oh baby, we are just so glad you are part of our family!

Spiderman Party!

This little boy LOVES Spiderman! So, of course, he opted for a Spiderman birthday party.

When the Caboose woke up the morning of his party, he was thrilled to find that Spiderman had actually been to our house! He had even left a web while he was here:

Once the Caboose was convinced that Spiderman had come to our house, he began to give credit to the Superhero for everything that had been done while he was sleeping, including all the decorations and this Spiderman cake. (The chocolate bars are supposed to make up a city skyline.)

After the kids showed up, they all put on their Spiderman masks to play Make A Web, by tossing some white yarn around while sitting in a circle.

Then they went outside where they took turns being Spiderman and Bad Guys. Spiderman had a can of Silly String to "catch" the bad guys.

The Caboose loved it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tub Time

My mom asked the boys to practice their snorkeling in the bathtub to prepare for our upcoming trip.

Which got Big Boy #2 to thinking: Snorkeling in the tub? That would be fun and all, but if I put some of the seashells I collected when we in Florida in the bottom of the tub, why, that would make it MUCH more interesting!

A pretty clever idea to be sure, but I don't think he realized how much sand was still in those old shells. THIS is what I found in the tub after his little adventure was done:

Ewww! All that sand!

Umm, new rule: No snorkeling with seashells in the tub.

(Hard to believe that rule wasn't already in place, I know!)