I feel like this week has been a blur… a busy, semi-stressful, hectic, and slightly “off” week. Maybe it’s the weather or something in the air, but I’m hoping to just unwind this weekend, breathe some air and decompress. These pictures have nothing to do with anything unless you consider how easily a cat is able to just relax and simply not care about anything. Ah, such a life.
Tomorrow we are taking a very excited preschooler and his completely oblivious sister camping. Enzo has been talking about it for about a week or so now, so we’re going to stay somewhat close to the cities and hope that camping lives up to his expectations. I think the campground we’re at should have plenty of trails to walk and we’ve got a couple of ideas to hopefully run them ragged so they sleep.
Based on previous experience I have stocked up on several methods to keep mosquitoes away, but worst case we do have the big tent we can play in… and even though I’m hoping to avoid electronics this weekend, if we’re trapped in a small space due to bugs I may just use them as a fall back. Fingers crossed we don’t get eaten alive and can actually introduce the kids to the wonders of roasted marshmallows around a campfire once the sun goes down. No childhood is complete without good camping memories.
You know what’s awesome? This summer. Maybe it’s just because the kids are older and have gotten more fun (babies are great, but kind of boring… just saying). I think it’s also because I’ve taken the pressure off of myself by putting away the To Do lists and anything else that I felt was overwhelming me. The result is that a lot of things haven’t necessarily gotten done, but I feel more relaxed and have been enjoying my free time more. Whereas before I felt rushed because I had to do such and such, lately I’ve just been playing it by ear and don’t feel as pressured to get something done. Already I feel like my motivation is coming back and like I actually want to tackle my To Do list, and have in fact done so.
It seems silly that I needed to give myself permission to take a step back not only from adult responsibility, but also from things that give me joy. I think I had too many things I was trying to give time to, though, and in turn they stopped being fun. I like pulling out my camera and taking photos (good or bad), but lately I haven’t even much felt like doing that and one thing I’d like to do is make time for that hobby so I can become better at it. I love learning about essential oils, but even that started to feel overwhelming with so much going on this summer. I could go on, but I won’t.
Instead of doing the many things on my to-do list (including ordering updated kiddo photos… whoops), we have rearranged the house making it much more enjoyable, but I’ve also been reading A LOT more and wasting time binge watching a bunch of shows. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing. This much needed break has given me lots of time to reflect and dream and plan and be inspired, and now I just need all the thoughts in my brain to settle and organize themselves and then take action.
Thankfully kids are experts when it comes to shirking adult responsibility, so we’ve also been doing some Pony rehab lately. Phoebe and I have a growing collection and some need more cleanup than others when they’re added to the herd. I have zero shame that I’m a Pony nerd, and love that Phoebe often picks out a different one each night to briefly play with. What can I say? They make me happy. 😉
I feel like Phoebe’s vocabulary has exploded and now she’s talking in short sentences a good deal of the time. She mimics just about everything and good grief it’s adorable. Like when she tries to get Enzo to chase her during dinner saying, “Come get me!” in her super sweet tiny voice that doesn’t quite have the pronunciation down yet.
Some other adorable things she’s saying:
- “Where ____ go?” For a while it was constantly “Where Aubee go?” (Aubrey is her cousin).
- “Ee you ater.” (See you later).
- “I got it” or “I did it”.
- “Chocolate milk”. Her version barely sounds like chocolate, but we unfortunately introduced her to the magical stuff and she’s addicted. Mind you, she prefers the super sweet bought from the store kind in the brown jug. If you try to pull out the white jug and add chocolate syrup expect a wee bit of a meltdown while you try to explain you are in fact getting her chocolate milk.
- “I farted!” The joys of having an older brother…
- Singing the ABC song. She misses some here and there, but loves to try and recite her ABC’s.
- And my favorite: “Uv Oo.” (Love you).
While Enzo already has a fairly big vocabulary it’s been fun watching him add to it and also use longer sentences as well as listen to how creative he can be. He’s also been talking more about emotions lately and we’ve been trying to encourage him to express how he’s feeling. Unfortunately, he’s been going through an “I’m scared” stage. Sometimes I think he’s just stalling because it comes up when it’s time to go to preschool or time to go to bed, but at times I do think he’s maybe a little anxious or nervous about things. When he’s not feeling scared, though, he’s usually very empathetic and if someone is sad he’ll try and think of something to make them “So much happy.”
- So much potty talk still… sigh. Especially “Poopy Butt or Pee-pee Butt.”
- “Watch this! Watch this!” His new favorite phrase.
- “Buitar.” He won an inflatable guitar at the fair.
- “Why?” My least favorite word. Ha ha.
Me: “Why are you guys yelling?”
Enzo: “Because we like you, Mommy!”
In the blink of an eye it was our last day in Colorado, so we took it kind of slow. The kids got up and ate and played and then we decided to go to the zoo.
As much as I’m always torn when it comes to zoos (I love seeing the animals, but hate seeing them in cages), it’s always a good way to get out, and the Colorado Springs zoo is a really nice zoo. Plus, it was cooler and clouds were coming in, so it was fantastic weather to be outside in. We fed giraffes, the kiddos got to pet a baby wallaby, and my niece Aubrey was the Dr. Dolittle of the group – one of the adult wallabies let her get close enough to pet it and a chipmunk as well (though I didn’t get photos). It’s a great zoo for walking as a work out, though, pack lightly as strollers and wagons can get heavy fast with all the hills.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to home base so Josh could get a nap in before his first shift of driving. We had some sad good-byes, but I see many more road trips in our future, and maybe we can get some visitors out our way as well. *Hint hint* The drive home was longer than the way there. The kids didn’t sleep quite as soundly and both Josh and I were a lot more tired than the first time around. We made a lot more stops on the way back and didn’t get home until late afternoon by which time we were all relieved to get out of the car. Schedules and routines were off for us all, but within a couple of weeks I think things were mostly back to normal. Traveling does indeed get easier as the kids get older! Hooray!
We had a couple of days set aside before it was time to make the long trek home, and it was nice to just relax and let the kiddos run around and play. There was some napping and quiet time mixed in as well, which was pretty nice too. I was even able to get a little reading in, which rarely happens during the day, and hardly ever on vacation.
We did end up getting out (because kids get stir-crazy) and went to an indoor bouncy house place. It was thankfully not very busy when we arrived and the kids had a lot of fun. It was also nice to see Enzo overcome his fear of the tall slide after watching his cousins. Needless to say, he thought it was awesome once he gave it a try.
The kids got some more much needed outside time that afternoon. It was still warm, but not uncomfortably so. Knowing we’d be headed out the next evening, it was nice to have a lazy day watching the cousins play together as it doesn’t get to happen often. Two years is a long time to go between visits, but even more so when you realize just how quickly kids change in that amount of time.