2019 Summer Week 3

Day 18 Fight & Make Up

Today was the reset day.  The plan was to unpack from our camping trip, clean a little, pack again, and head to Grandma’s house for a few days in Richmond.  I knew I needed help, so I did what any desperate mom would do….I hit both kids with a great bribe.  They each had a list of chores to do, all afternoon and evening to do them, and a trip to MayLynn’s for ice cream waiting on the other side.  Well, Chica bit, but Bubba not so much.  Here’s an accurate summary of how it went down:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exasperated, I asked Chica if she had any suggestions.  And she did.  She said I should extend the deadline by 30 minutes and let him know that we were going to Grandma’s tonight, instead of tomorrow.  Whadayaknow?!?  It worked, the chores got done, apologies were said, and they stuffed themselves with ice cream before setting out for two more hours on the road.

 

 

Day 19 Pocahontas State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we were camping last week, Becky encouraged me to check out Pocahontas State Park.  I realized just how close it was to Grandma’s house, so I talked her into taking us there on our first day in RVA.  The kids played by/in the water while I ran a few miles.  (What’s with that muddy trails sign, BTW??)  I made a firm plan to come back with my bike the following week when I would be in town again for a meeting.  They have the most well-maintained and marked bike trails I have ever seen…which I fully realize might not be saying too much because this (early) mid-life crisis hobby of mine is still fairly new.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 20 Kings Dominion

Keeping with our summer tradition, we visited KD today and did all the things.  We were waiting in line for the Avalanche, and Bubba looks over and asks, “Is that my cousin?”  Sure enough, their cousin was in line too!  What a fantastic surprise.

 

I was able to talk Bubba into a few more rides this time.  We rode the Racer 75 (also known as the Rebel Yell to old people), Grizzly, and Flight of Fear.  Right before the FoF took off he asked, “Does this go upside down?”  I honestly replied, “I don’t think so…”, then BOOM!  We flew out of the start and immediately went upside down.  LOL.  As soon as the ride was over, I started apologizing:  “Bubba, I’m so sorry!  I didn’t know it went upside down.”  He replied with a funny “Wait…what?”  That kid had kept his eyes closed the entire time, and he had no idea we had even gone upside down.  We ended up riding it 2 or 3 more times until he could keep his eyes open long enough to see the whole thing.  Fingers crossed for Anaconda and Twisted Timbers with him next year!

Day 21 Dressing Room Selfies

I don’t go shopping often, but losing a few pounds and attending a friend’s wedding definitely call for something new.  Jay and I were not only guests, but Lori asked him to take her photos, and I was planning to help as his second shooter.  I was feeling pretty particular about what I wanted, including nothing that needed a new bra, something other than black, and a high enough neckline and long enough hemline that I could bend and squat without flashing anybody.  After trying on lots of things and admitting just how embarrassingly bad I am at mirror selfies, I finally settled on a navy & white polka-dotted jump suit.  Thanks to Rachel’s suggestions, I followed that up with flip flops from Old Navy and a clearance rack necklace from Kohl’s.  Looking at these pics again now, I still wish I bought that one with the orange top, but the jump suit was definitely the best choice for working a wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 22 Wedding!

Here are just a few of my favorite shots, but you can see many more on Jay’s site.  It was a beautiful and joy-filled day.

Day 23 VT

 

 

 

 

 

Jay and I spent the morning walking around Tech before we met Justine for breakfast at Gillie’s.  I feel sad thinking about this day because it’s probably the last time I’ll see her for a long while.  She and Kyle are moving to Charlotte where she’s taken a new teaching job.  Working as her partner this past year was such a privilege.  She’s smart, funny, caring, organized, and flexible…all the things you could want when working with somebody.  I’m going miss her like crazy, but I’ll attempt to keep up with her life in NC through her dog & cat Insta posts.  Also…why the heck didn’t we take a picture at breakfast?  This picture of them from the night before will have to do!

 

Summer Week 5

I’m way behind, y’all.  I gave up on daily chores for the kids after 6 days in, but I’m still not giving up on my pic-a-day idea.  So here’s what I can remember from the last week and a half!

Day 29 Homework

 

 

 

I spent the morning riding the trails at New London again.  It’s sort of refreshing to be so new at something that you experience noticeable growth every time you try again.  Most days I feel like I’m stuck at the same speed when I run, but it’s obvious that I’m getting faster on the bike.  I’m guessing most of that, though, is from the fear subsiding and not really from gaining much fitness.  I’ll take it anyways.

I spent the rest of the day working on homework.  I chose these pictures to remind myself that I really do enjoy the work that I’m doing.  Sure, a few more days at the pool with no deadlines would be great, but I know all of this will be worth it when I eventually step into a full-time role helping teachers teach math better.

Day 30 Carcassonne
After the morning teaching two year old Sunday School, the kids and I headed to Richmond for our yearly staycation at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Chica snapped this picture when we were teaching them how to play Carcassonne.  Bubba pouted through this first game because Grandpa stole his great big ol’ city, but he came back to beat us by one point in the rematch.

Day 31  Bike Riding
On Monday morning Grandma, Bubba, and I left the other two sleeping while we went to Rockwood Park.  They played Pokemon while I ran….and I also happened upon a bunch of RVA rocks.

Later we rode bikes around Grandma’s lake in order to check out the July 4th parade route.   I still pinch myself every time we go out on a bike ride now.  No baby seat, no buggy, no trailer, no training wheels, (almost) no fighting….it’s pretty great.

 

Day 32  Bowling

 

 

 

 

It was crazy hot in Richmond in the beginning of the week, so bowling was at the top of our list of indoor fun things to do.

I chose the second and third pictures here to remind me of Chica’s growth lately.  At one point she got upset during bowling thanks to a brief argument with Bubba and being pretty far behind in points.  She pouted for a short while and then articulated, “I don’t want you to cheer for me unless I look excited”.  In other words, our attempt to encourage her even when she had a mediocre turn was just annoying to her.  That seemed like reasonable request, so we honored it.  And guess what?  She recovered.  Almost instantly.  There was so much joy in the moment I snapped that second picture.  Can you see that Bubba was doing a celebration dance?  🙂  I’m so proud of her for figuring out what she needed and communicating that to us so clearly.  #progress

She nearly lost it again trying to spend her arcade tickets at the junk counter.  Mom-math-teacher was expecting her to do her own mental subtraction to see how much she had left, but she was feeling frantic and refused to think through it.  I tried really hard to stay calm and remind her there was no rush, and she eventually got there….without the phone or paper & pencil.  On another day her overly emotional response would have escalated to the point of me choosing to throw the tickets away and making her walk out without anything.  This time we recovered together, and it didn’t have to come to that.  *Mental note….we need to work on thinking about adding up for subtraction!

Day 33  Independence Day

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve decided it’s more fun to be in a parade than to watch one.  In preparation for my parents’ neighborhood parade, we went to the Dollar Tree and bought every tacky red-white-&-blue decoration imaginable for Jay’s Jeep.  I think the results were pretty awesome.  

I spent the afternoon trying to convince everyone that going to watch fireworks at the fairgrounds would be worth enduring the mobs of people, traffic, and heat.  I was right.  Also, I haven’t figured out any good way to photograph fireworks with an iPhone, but glow sticks look pretty cool!

Day 34 Rock Climbing

In case you missed it, a few months ago I wrote about the disaster that was rock climbing on Chica’s overnight field trip.  She has asked repeatedly since then if we could give it another try, and our RVA Stay-cay seemed like a good time to go.  As anticipated, she got a little weepy when both Bubba and I got higher than her, but she so held it together.  I’m proud of her for trying again!  Bubba actually got stuck at the top and had to be “rescued” on his last climb.  We had lunch at Bottom’s Up after climbing, and Grandma wowed the kids with stories about the time the restaurant was flooded.


Day 35  Bonus Beach Day

 

 

 

 

 

The plan was to go to Kings Dominion on Friday, but the weather forecast just stunk, so we postponed it one day.  Instead we visited Yorktown Beach, a place Grandma had taken them before, but I had never been.  Sand and water without the fear of kids getting swept away by the ocean current is my jam, as Chica would say.

Day 36  Kings Dominion

 

 

 

 

 

Our annual trip to Kings Dominion is easily the most anticipated day of the summer.  However, this trip was super extra special because the kids got to spend the day with their cousin who we haven’t seen in a long time.  They picked up right where they left off and had all the fun.  We were there when the park opened and didn’t leave until it closed!

Day 37 Back to Reality

The transition back to Mom’s rules after a week of Grandma’s rules was a little hard for Bubba this time.  He was convinced I should let him eat the melty Peppermint Patty he found in my van at 10:00 am on the way home, but I was determined that was a no-go.  He preceded to moan and whine like he might die of starvation, even after having two other snacks.  So in desperation (and with quite a bit of sarcasm), I handed him an entire English cucumber that Grandma sent home with us.  “Here.  If you’re really starving, chew on this.”  And he did.  He ate the entire thing, and we’ve been laughing about it ever since.

That night we drove to Nana’s house for dinner with the top down.  Yep….I’m that person wearing a hoodie in the middle of the summer.

We had a great time in Richmond, but man, it was also good to be home!