Happy 4th of July!

In honor of the nation’s birthday, there will be no post today. Anyway, I know nobody would be here to read it, so what’s the point? No reason to keep the shop open for my own sake.

Instead, lets enjoy the outdoors, eat some wonderful food, and celebrate the only holiday that encourages you to blow things up.

-The Management

Holiday Weekend Wrapup

First off, happy belated 4th of July to everyone, and happy belated anniversary to Sara and I!

We continued the tradition we started last year, and headed up to Michigan for the 4th. We again stayed at Lisa and Orlan’s house, and Evie again had the time of her life. Sara and I had a good time too, but there’s something about watching your kid have a great time that just makes it impossible for you to not enjoy yourself. Evie loves playing with Kaycee, who never seems to get tired of playing with her (I hope…and if not, sorry Kaycee!). Randi, on the other hand, has to do practically nothing to gain her adoration.

Oliver was sort of terrified, sort of curious about their dogs. I would say he wasn’t as terrified as Evie used to be about them, because whenever they weren’t looking at him, he wanted to go investigate and keep an eye on them. So he was very interested in them. But if they showed an interest in him, he would run screaming and sobbing, as absolutely terrified as anybody could ever be about anything. 10 seconds later the dogs would be off somewhere else, and he’d be begging to get down again.

Evie warmed up to the dogs quite a bit. The turning point was after she got out of the pool and was shivering cold; “The dogs have very warm tongues!” After that she seemed to have no problem with the dogs at all, and she was only really scared of them when Oliver was getting a lot of attention for being scared of them. She even mentioned on the way home that she likes their warm tongues. This is a complete 180 reversal from her previous stance on dogs, which was that she wants no smooches from them under any circumstances.

We ended up at the lake both Sunday and Monday, which worked out good because there wouldn’t have been enough time on Monday alone to satisfy all of Evie’s lake demands. She had such a great time! We couldn’t keep her off the lake: if she wasn’t in the boat, she was on a tube. If she wasn’t on a tube, she was swimming in the water. This is all fairly surprising, since she freaks out if any water gets on her face or head (especially ears!). So I’m kind of impressed that she enjoyed the water so much.

Oliver thinks the boat is a magical sleeping machine. 3 rides on the boat, 3 naps. Every time, he was out almost as soon as we pulled away from the dock. He was sort of obsessed with the lake, and keeping him from running over and diving in was sort of a full time job. He did take some breaks to play in the wading pool, where he mostly enjoyed watching the water drip out of his swimming trunks.

Evie also insisted that Aunt Pat take her for a ride on the “other boat” (a.k.a. the wave runner). She enjoyed that just as much, taking the driver’s seat. She has no problem being in charge of driving either of the boats. The only mishap was that one time her hat blew off into the lake, but they were able to retrieve it before it sunk.

We spent a lot of time “tubing”, or foolishly being whipped around at high speeds behind a boat on a flimsy inter tube. Evie thought it was the best thing ever, even though the boat was going as slow as it was physically able to go while she was on there. Even Sara went, which really surprised me. That was probably the highlight of the weekend for me. It seemed somewhat out of character, but she was grinning her head in two the entire time, and it seemed like she was really enjoying herself. That makes me happy. 🙂

As for myself, I tried tubing as well. What I learned was that tubing is not for whiners. Well, guess what? It’s my blog and I can whine about whatever I want to. Tubing is harrrrrd! My arms huuuurt!

Look, in my defense, even though I wouldn’t consider myself old, I was at least twice as old as anybody who was out there tubing with me, and probably weigh twice as much as well. My arms are definitely not used to hauling that kind of weight around!

I was on the side of a 3 person tube, and I felt like I was practically falling off the tube to begin with. When we got out there and really started whipping around in the chop, I was holding myself on with sheer arm strength (what precious little I have) and will power. I can’t even count the number of times I thought to myself, “Oh, man, that’s it, I’m going off!” but I never did. At one point, towards the end, I slid almost all the way off the back of the tube. Orlan said he felt the boat slow down like he was dragging a big-fat-pasty-white anchor (those weren’t his exact words). I knew I had to pull myself back onto the tube, but my arms were so tired, I seriously considered just letting go. So maybe that final pull-up was when I pulled a muscle in my arm.

That night and the next day my right elbow was so sore that I had trouble shaving. They kept trying to get me to go again, but I’m telling you, I was physically unable. And I admit, I felt kind of silly complaining about it, since there were about 8 other people who went a lot more times than I did, and *they* weren’t complaining. I have to assume I was doing something wrong, though I’m not sure what. My arms are still sore today!

So that was pretty much it. I can only think of three things that were even remotely bad:

  1. There was a lot of construction both ways that added some significant time onto our trip,
  2. We bought hamburger buns from the bakery on Friday and they were moldy by Monday, so that was a big fat waste of money,
  3. My phone fell out of my pocket, and we left Lisa’s house without it. Luckily I realized this and we were able to stop by and get it on the way home (it was in between the couch cushions, under the giant stuffed frog of course)
If those are the only things that went wrong, then I think it was a fairly successful trip!

The Big Trip, Part II – 4th of July, Now with More Daddy!

Finally, I came up to meet everyone in Michigan on Friday. I didn’t arrive until after Evie was in bed, so I think she was a little surprised to see me sleeping next to her when she woke up in the morning! (Even though she was told I would be there)

We were staying with Sara’s cousins and Evie had a blast there. By the end Evie was begging to “stay here forever and ever” and even offered to stay there without us. She particularly liked playing with 2nd cousins Kaycee and later Randi (and all of their old toys).

The one part she didn’t like about the whole thing was their dogs. It was kind of funny because they were three tiny long haired dachshunds, much, much smaller than Evie. Even still, she did NOT like them licking her or really being around her at all. She demanded to be picked up and carried any time they came close to her at all. She would say things to them which really cracked me up like, “calm down boys, shhh! shhh!” She also described one of the dogs as “sitting solemnly”. Anyway, this isn’t a Mouth of Babes post, so I won’t get side tracked.

Some of the other highlights:

  • Watching the Little Mermaid – She loves all of the songs, but as soon as the movie started she got very nervous about seeing the sea witch. She started yelling, “Turn it off! Turn it off!” and then eventually just ran away screaming, “I’m going upstairs!” So we ended up just watching a few scenes to see the songs. She did like that though, at one point she said with wonder, “I’m hearing it with my ears and I’m seeing it with my eyes!”
  • Going swimming, and cooking hot dogs and smores – she was quite the daredevil in the pool; she kept asking me to let go of her so she could swim by herself.
  • Playing in the tree house with Kaycee and making Bean Pudding – There was real, actual food in there to play with. Evie was a little confused if we were just playing, or if we were really going to eat the food. Bean Pudding is mostly cold, uncooked beans, crushed up chicken-in-a-biscuit crackers, cut up apples, and a lot of seasoning including lemon zest, pepper, and Louisiana hot sauce.
  • Laying in a hammock for the first time

For the 4th of July, we went to Sara’s Aunt and Uncle’s house, which is on a lake. It was a really hot day, but there was a breeze and it wasn’t too bad in the shade. Good food, family, swimming, boat rides (we didn’t do any tubing)…basically, everything the 4th of July is for!

Once again Evie was very adventurous with the swimming. My favorite part of the whole week was seeing her jump in the water from the dock. (She was wearing a life jacket) When she was standing on the edge, I think my heart was pounding faster than hers! Ultimately she cried and didn’t like it much, because the water went in her ears. I’m sure this was quite a surprise, because on the 3 or 4 practice jumps, Uncle Ben held her and her head didn’t go under.

I think her favorite part was the boat rides. Orlan even let her drive! She liked sitting in the very front of the boat, where it goes up out of the water, with the wind blowing her hair.

She also enjoyed playing with her 2nd cousins Justin and Trevor. I was very impressed that they seemed to enjoy her company. I figured a couple of boys their age wouldn’t want to hang out with a “baby” but they actually seemed to enjoy playing with her (this was mostly the next day at Lisa and Orlan’s, though they did interact a little bit at the lake).

Oliver again enjoyed the great outdoors. He was somehow the only one not to get a little “color” from the sun. He enjoyed rocking in the porch swing and laying on a blanket looking up at the trees. He was a little young for the boat and we didn’t take him swimming. I think pretty much everybody got a chance to hold him.

Unfortunately, the kids had to be in bed pretty early, so we didn’t catch any fireworks or anything. Maybe someday. I’m hopeful, because I really like fireworks!

So, it was a great trip, a great 4th, and a great vacation overall. Evie had a lot of fun. She will be talking about it for a long, long time.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

Happy 5th of July!

Okay, I know its the day after the holiday, but hey! I don’t have to go to work! So that means I don’t have to write a blog post either!

Happy holiday!

Happy 4th

Enjoy the weekend with the American tradition this country was founded on…blowing things up.