Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Catching Up On Life Week Part 2

We had quite the busy 10 days off (see previous blogs for more details on several of our special days: http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/backyard-summer-camp-out.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/4th-of-july-spectatcular.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-day-of-rest.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/sunday-family-fun-day.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/lets-go-berry-picking.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-dirtiest-kids-in-america.htmlhttp://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/catching-up-on-life-week-part-1.html). I refer to my annual July vacation as our Catching Up On Life Week because, well, that's what we do. The kids take swimming lessons, we all have our yearly physicals with our doctor's, go to the dentist, take care of anything needed for the upcoming school year (a month away now!), and do little projects that I never have time for but need doing. We got all of the important things out of the way and the only things left to do before the school year starts is buy school supplies and have fun! Here's a peek at our catch up week:

Swimming lessons. Harrison has been very unsure of swimming lessons and spent most of his days clinging to his teacher claiming he hates to swim (not true). Max, on the other hand, has done a fabulous job and is even swimming by himself a bit (we're going to overlook the fact that he looks like a drowning rat as he's moving forward, but it's progress). Max is a pro at the diving board and is super excited to try out his new strokes at Ashworth Pool.
Our tall (but incredibly skinny, weighing it at not quite 24 lbs.), blond, healthy, and happy girl at her two year old check up. The pedi gave her a clean bill of health and made comment that her two year molars aren't coming in yet.......but that changed later in the week. Yay, I just love teething children (sarcasm).
Matt (also known as the hubs or daddy) showed Max how to cook one evening. The result was a fantastic lasagna that we devoured! I was a nervous wreck watching my just turned 6 year old over a hot stove (browning meat no less), but he did a great job!
We tried out a new Aquatic Center/water park in Ankeny called Cascade Falls. The kids LOVED the kiddie area and hubs and I loved the water slides! We will definitely be visiting this place again this summer. It cost $29 for the five of us to go. There was so much to do that it was well worth the money and our time to drive up to Ankeny for the swim.
Max, just killing time during the pool check.
I finally got to visit all of my friend's babies that have been born the last couple of months! Elizabeth had to have one last swing before we said good bye to the baby swing for a few months.
Tuesday morning we went right from swimming lessons to berry picking. Read more about our picking adventure here: http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/lets-go-berry-picking.html
We finally got to try Topped Doughnuts! They're only open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday and I'm never in Ankeny during those times so I was uber excited to have some time to head there. My favorite doughnut: The Butterfinger. As yummy as they were, my tummy hurt for a couple of days from their yummy richness.

My lifesaver so I could get things semi-done: Kinetic Sand. I found small packages at Target for $4.80 and the kids loved playing with it! It is messier than I thought but much easier to clean up than regular sand since it sticks together. I'll definitely be purchasing this in larger quantities for playing this winter.

Goofin' off before lessons.
Harrison playing in the waiting room before his 4 year old school physical. Another tall, healthy, and happy kid!
Errand running was quite the adventure with all three kids in tow and only me to wrangle them all up! I typically run my errands in the evenings after the kids are in bed. This works out great since I'm home all day, I'm usually dying to get out of the house for a bit. However, last week was a different story. I quickly realized after being out and about all day with the kids that the last thing I wanted to do with my evenings was go out again and run the errands. So, I was forced to go during the day with the kids. It's amazing how much more money I spend when they're all with me (example: "hey mom! There's a hot wheel I don't have. Can I get one please? Please? Please!!?!" I'm a sucker).
The kids wanted to visit Aunt Cindi at her house....so we did. They were treated with grapes, juice boxes, popcorn and M & M's, crayons, feeding the birds, and the Disney channel. No wonder they tell me they want to come back soon!

We visited Aunt Jenny's new puppy Captain Jack (several times). The kids are a bit scared of him still (Harrison very scared of him!), but they're making progress. They even want Jack to make a daycare visit soon!
Scratch cupcakes to end the day!

Elizabeth really got into hers! She wasn't as upset about the frosting on her forehead as she was that it was on the carpet!
Up early and playing with the kinetic sand before lessons. Like I said, this was popular with my three.

Max at his 6 year check up. Another extremely tall, healthy minus all of his allergies that are causing him grief, and happy kid! His appointment took the longest because his allergies were so bad that day he could barely pass an eye exam (his eyes were really watery). Not only is he on his daily prescription allergy meds, but we've had to add eye drops and nasal spray to the mix to help him be more comfortable for the next several months. I'm happy to report that after only 5 days of the new regime, he's doing much better and can actually be outside comfortably!

We had a pudding party (according to Max). We made chocolate pudding and Oreo cookie pudding one evening before bed.
All week long I had projects that I needed and wanted to complete, however I kept getting interrupted by loud bangs and jumping from the living room....
Relaxing on the couch.
Friday evening we went to Colby Park for a movie in the park. The kids got in 2 hours of playtime before "Ratatouille" came on.

Snacking on popcorn, water, and trying to slap the mosquitoes away. We only stayed for about 20 minutes of the movie because a certain Lil Miss started wrestling her brother's and causing quite the ruckus.

Saturday morning we got a leisurely start to our day and then went to the Rose Garden near the Art Center and walked around Greenwood Park. We didn't stay long due to a bee stung for the hubs and LOTS of mosquito bites for the rest of us.

The boys claimed they didn't need a nap so we put them to work washing the van.

Puppy Jack LOVES the boys!
Aunt Jenny's a good sport and let the kids "help" take Jack on a walk. 
Elizabeth is super scared of the vacuum yet she likes to pretend to help me vacuum and clean the floors.
We ended our "vacation" with a trip to the zoo. I love that we have our zoo pass and can go when we have some spare time.
We're working on perfecting our family selfies.
We had a monkey teasing us.
The rhinos being outside are still a big deal this summer for all of the kids (this includes my husband).
Feeding the koi fish is one of our favorite things.....and I'm still waiting for the day one of my kids falls in the water while attempting to pet one.

Elizabeth trapped her brother who was resting on the floor.

My Catch Up On Life Week included fun things such as planning for the remainder of July daycare days, cleaning the cob webs off of ceilings (half assed this), scrubbing the bathroom and cleaning out the cabinets (didn't happen), organizing the basement (didn't happen, although I did throw a few broken boxes away. Points for that at least), cleaning scuff marks off the walls (didn't happen and pointless with 3+ kids anyway), cleaning the kid's rooms (semi happened, but I may have swept dust bunnies under the boy's bedroom rug. That may or may not have happened), cleaned the van (this quickly got done), yard work, and more here), but I threw away my list of things to get done so I didn't have to look at everything I never got to (out of sight, out of mind mentality here).

All in all we had a fun week. I have a newfound respect for working parents who are gone all day long and have very little time to get household things done and for stay at home moms (see http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/07/catching-up-on-life-week-part-1.html for a few more details on our week). It was fun to spend all of my time with my kids, but we were all more than ready to get back to our regular summer schedule!