Sunday, August 29, 2010

Backyard Camping

So, my girls were having some petty little issues with their neighborhood friends yesterday. You know, "so and so is being mean and won't let us play with them" kind of stuff. So after a brief "kids can be mean" talk, I decided that they needed something to do here at home. I decided to pitch the habitually neglected tent in the backyard and let them have their very first solo backyard camp out. Their rules were very simple:
1. Do not, under any circumstances, leave our backyard.
2. No one, under any circumstance, is allowed in the backyard with you.
3. No running in and out of the house all night.
4. Please turn off the flashlights before you go to sleep.
5. If you get scared or nervous for ANY reason, come back in the house!
They gathered their sleeping bag, pillow, blankets, books and water bottle and headed out before sunset. By the time the sun went down it looked like they were throwing a rave in the tent. To my surprise, they were asleep by 10 o'clock or so. We considered bringing them in before we went to bed (the hubby's a little more cautious than I am), but we left a light on for them and they were really only 20 or 30 feet from our bedroom window, so we just let them stay. We were awakened at 6:45 this morning by Ashni letting us know that the hubby accidentally locked the backdoor and she couldn't get in the house. They had a great time and I'm sure backyard camping will be requested again and again and again....and again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm still here...

I feel like a terrible blog owner. It has been more than a week since I posted anything, but the whole Wii internet business is a pain in the...Anyway, I really just need a $50 part to be back up and running. But money around here is tighter than my pre-bab(ies) jeans, so the computer is pretty far down on the list priorities. BUT life continues at a normal pace around here. I roasted my first chicken while in Philly. It turned out perfect (and cookbook photo worthy). My oldest is turning nine on Friday and she's having a masquerade party. My three year old is starting ballet today. We are getting back into the swing of things and finishing the second half of second and third grade (our year goes from January to December). I'm planning an apartment style dollhouse from a three tier shelf that's currently holding baby toys. I'm in the early (early) stages of potty training the baby. She can't say potty, but she can say bathroom (go figure). So, don't give up on me yet. I promise fun things are in the works.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to our own little piece of the world

So we made the 16 hour journey back home yesterday. We were all ready to be back in our own home. This trip was epic! We had a really great time in all of the places that we visited and we are so appreciative of everyone's hospitality. I know that our family travels like a caravan, so we can definitely invade a space. Now it's time to deprogram the kids and get them back into the old routine. I will post more pictures from the trip as soon as I can (back home means back to Wii internet. Blah...)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where in the world....back to Philadelphia

Well, it's time to officially wind down our whirlwind vacation. It has been epic, but unless we want to be stranded somewhere on the east coast with four kids and no money, we should probably head back home. So we cut our stay in Massachusetts short snd headed back to Philly. Massachusetts was alright. It's definitely not the place for us. On the surface, it seemed like a place that we could fit in, but alas... I did learn a valuable lesson during our stay there. Just because a kid has all the earthy, natural, organic "stuff" (food, toys, parents) it doesn't mean that they are going to be any more respectful, polite or well behaved. It definitely made me appreciate my parenting style and children for who they are.

Now, I think I am finally in a position to add pictures from the last couple of weeks, so I will be going back and updating some older posts. Feel free to look back!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where in the world...

Guess what happens when you put six kids together in a backyard garden in Massachusetts with free reign on the ripe vegetables. Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.....
Well, when if it's my four kids and our friends' two kids, they make a.....wait for it.....SALAD! Yep, our kids gathered cucumbers, green tomatoes, fresh basil and carrots from the garden, raisins, pickles (yeah pickles) and salad dressing from the fridge and made a big vinegary salad. Then they all sat around a table in the backyard (barefoot and in a slight drizzle) and ate it voraciously with forks, hands and chopsticks.

On a side note. Today is my husband's 34th birthday. Happy Birthday, hun. Someday we will have money on your birthday and we'll do something awesome. I guess being in Massachusetts instead of Mississippi could be considered awesome. I guess we'll just have to see what the day brings.

UPDATE: SO we spent the morning at the river with the kids. It was SO hot and river was so nice. This was one of the highlights of our trip. I'd go back there every day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bijou-isms hit the road...

So it wouldn't be a proper vacation without some choice Bijou-isms. Today's Bijou-ism is brought to us by waiting too long to go to the bathroom and a healthy obsession with dinosaurs. So, Bijou is doing the pee pee dance and running up the driveway this morning. It's obvious that she's too late to make it to the bathroom (there was a wet trail following her). "You're just going to have to finish. You can't pee all through the house." So, she "finishes" and comes in to get cleaned up and put on some dry clothes. When we go back out, she sees the puddle that she's left at the bottom of the back stairs.

Bijou: Mommy, my pee looks like a dinosaur!
Me: Um, yeah I guess it kinda does. Gross.
Bijou: Jena, look, I have dinosaur pee.
Jena: Ew, Bijou. You're stepping in it.
Bijou (laughing hysterically): I'm walking in my dinosaur pee, Mommy!

Yep, dinosaur pee. That's today's Bijou-ism. That kid....

Where in the world....Lenox and Greenfield, MA

I had to make a trip to the art museum here before we hit the road. You know, the one from Rocky? Yeah, I'm not a Rocky fan, so I avoided the long line of people waiting in line to take a picture with the Rocky statue. I did, however, get to see original Van Goghs which were well worth the hike uphill from the car.

So has anyone seen the movies Away We Go (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski)? Basically it's about a 30 something couple that find out that they are pregnant and head off to find the perfect place to live. They visit crazy friends and relatives and it's a sweet, sometimes emotional, very funny movie. It's a favorite right now for the hubby and I. Well, we've watched that movie about a thousand times over the course of this last two weeks. It's such a parallel to our lives right now. No, we aren't pregnant (again), but we are on a search for our home. A place that will feel right to us. Living in Mississippi has definitely had it's positive aspects, but it's really not the place for us. We stick out like a sore thumb, and as much as I enjoy being, well, off the beaten path, I don't like sticking out quite as much as we seem to. So the second goal of this trip has been scouting out locations that may work as our home. Ultimately we would like to keep heading north to Canada, but until we are in a position to do that, we need to find a home that makes us all happy. There are plenty of place that we know we don't want to be, but we are still figuring out where we'd be happy. So here are the places that we have visited so far on this trip: St. Louis, Columbus (OH), Washington DC, Leesburg VA, Philadelphia (actually Lafayette Hills) PA, and Atlantic City NJ. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Lenox, MA. It was actually a really nice town. It's one of those place where people ask you if you live there all year (several moms asked me that while we were at the playground). It was also one of those towns that I could just tell that we could never afford to live in. From Lenox, we headed to Greenfield. It's our first official day here, so I haven't had a chance to feel it out just yet. I have to say, I'm excited to be with friends who have kids and are raising them in a similar way. The kids have yard space to play, a garden to help tend, cats and chickens to feed and no TV, Barbie or Justin Beiber as far as the eye can see. Right now I am watching Zion, barefoot, in the backyard, waist deep in what I think is basil (but I could be wrong). It feels good. I keep waiting for the black screen to pop up saying "away to home", but life just isn't that simple. I don't necessarily think that Greenfield, Massachusetts is the place for us, but I know that place is out there and we have been having a blast trying to find it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Where in the world....Atlantic City

We took a short trip to Atlantic City yesterday to visit a family friend. We've never been to Atlantic City before, so it was a fun, new excursion. But, because we'd never been before we didn't foresee to horrendous Saturday traffic caused by the thousands of people flocking there for the weekend. Ugh, traffic makes me ill (one of the perks of small town living). I really enjoyed getting to the ocean again, though. I haven't seen the ocean since we left St. Croix. Granted the Atlantic Ocean is not nearly blue as the Caribbean Sea, but I'll take what I can get at this point. The kids had a blast, even though they could only put their feet in the water (it was an impromptu trip, so no swimsuits were packed). I realized halfway through the beach visit, that it was Zion's very first trip to the beach. I realized this as she was using my flip flop as a shovel and laying face down in the sand. I think I can safely say that she enjoyed her first trip to the beach (maybe she can feel the island blood coursing through her veins despite her Mississippi birth).

Zion's first steps on the beach. Her little toes were made for sand.