07 September 2016

When Mommy Plays


Toadstool Geological Park

Justin was gone Sunday, Monday, and half of Tuesday for a business trip. We enjoyed Skyping him Sunday before bed. We looked like a crazy house with everyone yelling, talking, crying, and etc. We missed Justin while he was gone. He does not enjoy traveling alone so was relieved to be back home. Monday morning I went shopping with Josie, Evelyn, and her sandwich. Anytime we get ready to leave the house she drags along a sandwich! Makes me laugh. We enjoyed a lunch date with Sheena since Justin was not home. I found a set of pretend makeup, it was so entertaining that the allure of lunch did not reach Evelyn. She smeared the stuff on every inch of her face, knees, elbows, and neck. The makeup was gone in under a day. Well, that was "fun."

We spent a couple lovely hours at the park Tuesday morning...with the sandwich box. A couple other moms were also there so Evelyn had kids to play with. She generally plays around other kids but it will still more fun to be around other kids. Justin arrived home early afternoon before the kids got home from school. They were quite excited to find Justin waiting for them. Phillip outgrew his underwear, needed socks, and I needed some storage bins. After dinner Phillip, Evelyn, and I made a quick trip to Walmart for the above items. Evelyn was a bit tired, Phillip let her rest her head on his shoulder. He wrapped an arm around her to keep her safe and sound. I could hear him whispering every so often, "I love you sis!" Melt me. Josie finally rolled from back to tummy and tummy to back! Finally! She was quite proud of her feat so fake laughed until we all laughed. She is also babbling these days. Last Sunday she out and said Da-da clear as clear can be. Now she babbles ba-ba, baaaaaaa, da-da, bo-bo, etc. She is learning to love baby as well. So far she really enjoys apples/squash, pears, oatmeal, prunes, and other blends.

Phillip and homework. Homework and Phillip. I hate homework, why homework after a full day of school? It is crazy to torture kids even more after school. Phillip now has spelling words. He has to write the words each 5-10 times depending on how many he missed. Wednesday it took us 4 hours to write out his words, fighting, yelling, crying between each letter he wrote. It was insane. He did better this week with his words, surprising me by finishing the second half of his work after dinner without prompting. That boy does not enjoy writing repetitive words and phrases that seem redundant to him (and me). He loved completing a math lesson that came home on a huge sheet of paper. The novelty appealed to him. I might need to get creative with his homework, like setting up games and rewards to get it done quickly.

I had to get some work done Thursday morning. Evelyn got to paint while I worked, she loves to paint! She made a cute picture of Justin that actually resembled a human. Seems like most mornings are gray and foggy. Blech, makes it hard to get going. For PT this week we tried a new idea. I parked outside the PT area so Amelia could see the van. The other kids and I stayed in the van working on homework and playing in the grass. We still made 1-2 trips inside to use the facilities but overall that arrangement worked better than trying to contain 4 active kids. Phillip managed to dump a box of crumbly crackers all over the van dash, there are crumbs stuck in the smallest spaces now. I finally got all of Everett's Kindergarten paperwork completed. I somehow lost all the forms after I spent the summer getting the necessary appointments made and completed. I probably put the stack of forms in a safe location.

Saturday we celebrated Labor Day with another hike, last year we hiked Martin's Cove. Seems like a new family tradition! I am totally down with child torture. Justin wanted to take the kids to Toadstool Geological Park, a 3 hour drive in the middle of nowhere. He and I visited the park when I was 7 months along with Everett. This time we hiked the loop with our whine-os. We found all the attachments needed to turn out single bike trailer into a jogging stroller. The larger wheels worked really well. Amelia and Evelyn took turns riding the trail. I lugged Josie along in the Ergo carrier. I have a soft spot in my heart for rocks. In a different life I would have studied to be a geologist. Justin found a patch of crusted rocks, agate in the center with sand stone lining the agate. The Toadstools formed by first a layer of softer sandstone, then a thick layer of heavy agate, followed by a layer of sandstone. As the softer layers eroded the agate was left supported in large chunks on skinnier stalks of sandstone. The effects are quite lunar! It looks like we traveled to Texas or Arizona instead of Nebraska! It was hotter than Hades that day, close to 100 degrees. Thank goodness the stroller could easily haul tons of water. Several sections of the hike were not stroller friendly, either Phillip or I handled the stroller with Justin doing the heavy work. Phillip and Everett raced up and down the cool rock formations like Mountain Goats! They kept slipping on the soft, crumbly rock and scraping their legs. Phillip found a gigantic rock he nicknamed: "The Millipede Buffalo." I am not certain we were admiring the same rock. At one point I told Everett he was the only kid who ever visited Toadstool before. He said, "I know mom...I recognize that trash can!" After I explained he was still in my tummy at the time, he went over to the trash can and gave it a good inspection then declared, "Nah! I don't recognize it after all!" After the hike the kids got to experience a real Prairie Sod House. I was surprised the interior was quite cool in spite of the heat, granted the walls were 3 feet thick slabs of prairie sod. We tried out a BBQ joint in Alliance for dinner. It was bland, much to our disappointment. The kids enjoyed their pig curls, aka mac n'cheese. For a BBQ joint to serve dry and unsalted meat is a travesty. Mother Nature treated us to quite the lightening show on the drive home. Reminded me of the dry storms that race across Arizona.

Justin set up the tent after dinner down in the basement. The older kids spent the night in the tent. Guess that is our camping trip this year!

Monday we drove out to Sterling to play at the park there. Justin wanted to check out a store so that was another excuse to visit the town. We bumped into a family with 3 boys from Sidney. The kids played for a good long while together. Our friends are originally from Sudan! They came from Lincoln NE where he got his PA and moved to work at the regional hospital. I enjoyed getting to know Biella a bit more.