Notes from a 12 Hour Car Ride

1.  Maybe I should have planned the trip a couple weeks earlier to coincide with the Obama’s Maine vacation.  I would happily have flown with the dog and maybe have saved the Obamas the flak over having a separate jet fly their dog to Bar Harbor.  It would have been the dog, Jack, Casey and me.  Much more fiscally responsible.

2.  I listened to Glenn Beck for 3 hours.  That might be a bit much, even for a conservative.

3.  On another talk radio show, I heard about a book wherein the author blames most of the world’s problems on air conditioning.  I just tried to search for it on the internet but didn’t find it.  It’s interesting to think about how things would be different without air conditioning, but I’m not quite ready to blame the world’s ills on it.

4.  Jack only asked how much longer about 4 times.  And he didn’t start until about 5 hours out. 

5.  Casey is not interested in a clipboard with a carrying case for crayons, markers, paper etc.  She took the stickers and markers out, gave the clipboard to me and then the crayons ended up all over the floor.  Poor move on my part to give her stickers that she couldn’t peel off the paper.  She kept handing them to me.

6.  Jack said that we would know we were in Maine when we saw the horses.  I still don’t know what horses he was talking about.  I was really hoping he’d surprise me and point out some horses that I had forgotten about.  As we got closer to the cottage he said he would show them to me, but all of a sudden (or 12 hours later) the trip was over.

7.   Jack thought it was always winter in Maine.  I was wishing for a globe or map to help explain how it’s still summer, but not Virginia summer.

8.  Hearing Casey try to pronounce Connecticut and Massachusetts helped pass a couple minutes of the trip more amusingly.

9.  Rice Krispie Squares are a good dinner…right? 

10.  Despite the fact that it’s 6 hours of driving once we reach the Maine border, it still feels like we’re on the home stretch once we cross the Piscataqua River.

My Little Artist

Yesterday as I was running in and out of the house to pack the car and dealing with a feverish Casey, Jack proclaimed that he would like to do a craft. Yes, that would be helpful…maybe you could include some glitter in that craft.

He proceeded to get a huge roll of white paper out and started trying to cut a piece off it for himself. I intervened and helped out with that while trying to convince Casey to take some Tylenol.
> The next thing I heard from Jack was, “Mommy! This paper is driving me crazy!”. It was rolling up on him while he was trying to color. We solved that problem with a little tape. The picture above is what he came up with.
> I love it! I think it's better than my stick figures. It's probably something only a parent can be proud of but I just love the little details. The five fingers on the ends of those stick arms, the little round ears on their heads (he told me he almost forgot them) and all that pretty hair on top of my head. I'm the pink one at the top and the smaller version of me (to the left) is when I was a baby. Jack drew himself in dark blue/purple, Casey in light blue and Pat is on the far left in a yellow color.
> I asked if he would leave it on the table for Daddy while we were gone so it would be like we were sitting there eating with him but he had already decided it was for Nana. It came up to the shore with us and is now proudly displayed on the fridge. It makes me smile just to look at it.
> And now I guess Pat can have his phone with him while he's eating and enjoy the electronic version instead. Yay for technology…for being able to write a blog on a phone about a picture of a picture that I took with a phone.

Heading North

Jack , Casey and I left Virginia this morning for the first leg of our trip that will eventually land (drive) us in Maine. This is what I left for Pat to eat…

(imagine picture of empty fridge that I don’t know how to upload from my iPhone)

We joined a crowd of similarly outfitted SUVs and minivans with bike racks, cargo racks and interiors filled to the brim as we drove up the eastern shore. 2 1/2 hours to Ocean City was short compared to our upcoming Philly to eastern Maine leg. Jack began asking the age old question of “How much longer?” but also included “I’m really not happy that we’re not there yet”. When I told him we could sing some songs to make it pass faster he all of a sudden found the movie interesting again.

We made it safely only to be seriously scared by some crazy wind as we left the pool this evening. The black clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up when we decided to head back to the condo. About 50 yards down the street from the pool we heard screaming, loud banging noises and felt the wind pick up. Looking back was like a scene from a movie where you can physically see the wind because of all the debris. Umbrellas
from the pool started flying through the air and we grabbed the kids off their bikes and started running. At one point we saw one of the umbrellas flying through the sky 3 stories up. I guess it was only a few rogue gusts that caused all the commotion but it was scary for a few minutes. But I survived to tell about it. And blogging from the iPhone is not for the faint hearted either.

Toy of the Month – July 2010

An empty box and a jump rope.  That’s all.  Oh, and a good helping of imagination.

We’ve had a white box similar to this since before Jack was born.  It has been great for storing toys.  It’s got wheels so I can throw all the toys in it and then wheel it back into the cabinet.  And then the kids can pull it out the next morning and dump everything back out.  The white one used to have cars and trucks in it until this year when it became the bin for all things girlie…9 pairs of high heeled princess shoes, 2 tutus and headbands, 7 baby dolls and all their accessories.

A few times I looked for another one of those white bins but all I could find was the laundry sized one.  Then, a couple weeks ago in the mecca of Target, I found them in the kids storage aisle, but in pink and blue!  At the time, I had Casey with me and she swayed me to buy pink.  She wanted to get out of the shopping cart and pull that little bin all the way to the front of the store to checkout.  She would have pulled it out to the parking lot and sat with it on her lap if I had let her.

Now, Jack and Casey both had a bin to pull around and they quickly became cars…or trains…or beds with addition of some blankies…or intricate games requiring you to throw quarters through the holes.  They’ve spent hours playing in them.  The jump rope can pull the car or become a lasso when the cowboys come in town or be a seatbelt during car races.  It’s amazing to see what comes out of their minds.

Last night, on another trip to Target, I bought the blue one too.  I’m going to use them on our upcoming trip but then I have grand plans for organization when I get home.

Jack got up this morning and instead of coming into our bedroom, he headed downstairs.  Apparently after getting himself an apple, he went straight to the blue bin and transferred his “seat belt” from the old car to the new one.

The Beginning

I started my family blog Capturing the Days in Feb 2009 to try to document our family life and the funny (or not so funny) moments of being a mom.  Then, I started finding friends who had blogs.  From there, I clicked on links to blogs that they read and more links to more blogs and found a whole new world of interesting people and stories on the internet.

I discovered wonderful crafty and decorating blogs…very creative and inspirational people.  I found decorating tips and organizing tips and ways to decorate and be creative while still being thrifty.  And amazing tutorials for sewing just about anything.  I was inspired and decided to try a couple crafts and pulled out the sewing machine for the first time in 8 years.

Somehow, I stumbled across the Moda Bake Shop and found a whole new world of crafts – beautiful fabric and great tutorials for using that fabric.  I decided my next project would be a quilt.  I had a new niece about to be born and decided my first quilt would be for her.  I found out what the theme of her nursery was and found some fabric to match…and started creating my first quilt.

I blogged about the first quilt on my family blog but since then I have created a couple more, with plans for even more.  And now I will blog about my quilts from here.

I have a blogroll of quilting blogs that I read and what these women can create with more kids and jobs and  way more things to do than me, is amazing.  That’s just to say that progress on here may be a lot slower at times than other quilting blogs, but I will be enjoying the process and sharing what I’ve created when I’m ready.

Zoo Camp

Today Jack started Zoo Camp.  It’s a week long camp at the zoo from 9-12 every morning and the theme is A, B and on to Z:  From Antelopes to Zebras, the Zoo ABCs.

The day started off as poorly as it could, for Jack anyway.  He was up late last night and before he went to bed, he said, “I want to sleep in later than Casey tomorrow.  So don’t wake me up.  I want to sleep.”  I said okay and went along with this, figuring he’d be up at 6am.  He rarely sleeps later than Casey.  However,  I had to wake up both Jack and Casey in order to get to zoo camp by 9am.

I had already showered and prepared everything for camp.  I put their cereal in plastic bags for the car.  Water bottles, hats, suntan lotion, shoes…everything was in the car and ready to go.  Everything except Jack.  He didn’t want to get out of bed, he didn’t want to get dressed, he wanted to eat breakfast at home, he didn’t want to go to zoo camp.  I *patiently* got him dressed and into the car, even bringing the requested bowls so he could have his cereal in a bowl.  (They forgo the milk with their cereal anyway.)  But oh, I didn’t have a spoon for him and this was so traumatizing that he wanted me to go back to the house and get him one.  I did not.  Crying ensued.

I had an Odwalla Bar that interested him and he started eating that and then started eating his cereal.  Except he wasn’t finished with his cereal by the time we got to the zoo and he was soooo hungry.  We had a few minutes to spare so he was able to finish his cereal while I slathered on sunscreen.

We met Mr. Street, Jack’s teacher – that’s his first name and it’s his real name and he mentioned it a couple times.  Jack prefers, “the man.”   When it was time for me to leave and for Jack to go into the classroom, he didn’t want to let go of my hand.  I don’t know who felt more awkward, Jack or I, as I dragged him into the classroom.  The other boys and girls were introducing themselves.  I finally convinced Jack to go take a seat.  I heard him introduce himself – his name was Jack and it started with J.  And then he didn’t look back so Casey & I snuck out the door.  I felt horrible and wondered if I should stick around, but I figured he would be alright.

Casey and I went grocery shopping and it was so nice with only one child.  Normally she is the problem-causer in the grocery cart, but with no one else to hit or lay on or bite, she was delightful.  We zipped through the store in no time and it was a nice glimpse of the future, when Jack is in school.

I checked my phone more than I ever do, just in case there was a phone call about Jack but the lines were quiet.  We headed back to the zoo to see what the verdict was going to be about zoo camp.  I was so glad to see the big grin on his face when he saw me waiting for him…the big grin that meant he’d had a good time and had so many things to show me and tell me.  And he’s looking forward to going back tomorrow!