Growing Out On A Limb


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A week!

On Friday, hubby and I will be leaving for vacation.  For a week.

A whole week!  We’ve had a night or two here and there but we have never taken a whole week away from the kids.  I’m not even sure what that will be like!  Oh wait, yes I do … quiet, relaxing, leisurely, at our own pace.  Did I mention quiet?  

I struggled with this in the beginning.  I originally looked for vacations for all of us because I know the kids would enjoy a beach vacation and I know we would all have fun playing together in the waves and sand.  But let’s face it … taking care of two kids every day, especially when you’re away from home base, is difficult.  And it’s exhausting.  And we would come home more wiped out than when we left so would not be much of a vacation for us.

I know lots of people that do it (and hats off, that’s great for you) but … I need a break.  I need a break from the monotony of the same routine day in and day out.  I need a break from work.  I need a break from potty training.  I need a break from the constant arguing back and forth.  I need a break from runny noses and noisy cars and “mommy!”s and being walked in on when I’m on the toilet.

There, I said it – I need a break.  Does needing a break make me a worse mom?  Some might think so and others would tell me to suck it up and I honestly struggled with it myself at first (a LOT), leaving them behind and how it would look to some people.  But in the end I decided it is the right thing for our family (so who cares what anyone else might think) and a really great thing to realize and then admit when you need to step away, take a breath, and recharge.

And rebuild.  Because I also think it is essential for mommy and daddy to get away by themselves sometimes, with only each other to focus on.  With a third child on the way, this is the last chance we’ll have for a few years to take a vacation like this and have time like this, so we’re jumping on the chance to spend that time together.

The kids will be fine without us for a few days and it will be great for them to have a change of scenery and spend some time with Nana and Papa.  I know routine is really critical for kids but I also think they need a little vacation from the routine every now and then too.

So we’re going solo.  My guilt-ridden moments are gone.  We’ll have skype and e-mail to fall back on when we need to see the kids’ faces but other than that, we are unplugged (because I also need a break from technology and don’t understand why some people need to update their facebook status while on vacation!).

The kids are so excited to stay with Nana and Papa but I’m sure they will be missing us by the end of the week.  So I came up with this page to hang on Nana’s refrigerator, so the kids can check off the days and know exactly when we are coming back.

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Oliver has told me a couple of times, “If Emery misses you and daddy, I just have to tell him that you will be back soon”.  What a good big brother.

I can already imagine how glad I’ll be able to see them at the end of the week!


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Art by Oliver

There’s no doubt I’m biased but Oliver’s come home with artwork lately that I thought was really great or it made me chuckle.

I asked Oliver who was in this picture and he said, “That’s you and me, mommy!”.  Aww.  This one impressed me because his stick men were the best I’ve seen him do.  I don’t think he’s ever put them into a scene like this before either.

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This one is a tractor – see the big wheel and the little wheel?  And the “plantings” and the dirt?  I was told the circle up top is not the driver but the “window they see the plants from”.  When I asked him if the green lines in the front are the tractor’s grill, he said no:  it’s the wind.   The pieces up front and on the top are “the steam and honking”.

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I love his imagination.


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Banana Muffins

These are good, good, good and a great way to use the bananas that I’ve thrown into the freezer for another day.  It’s a pretty forgiving recipe too and can easily be modified (spiced up, chocolate chips, dried cranberries).  Today I added raisins and the boys loved it.  

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2/ tsp salt

3 bananas, mashed

3/4 cups white sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat muffin pans with spray or add paper liners.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl.  Fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.  Spoon into muffin pans.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Extreme Sliding

When you live in a tree house there’s a good chance you live on a hill and that makes for really good sliding.  It’s too much hill when you’re 2 and 4 but when you’re the older cousins (and aunt and uncle), it’s perfect.

And when uncle Brian builds a sweet jump in the middle, it makes for GREAT pictures.

Go Wendy…

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Ha … this face cracks me up every time!  IMG_1042

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Misfire by Rob!
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Graham looks a little worried about this landing… IMG_1102

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Oooh.  This does not look like it’s going to end well, Megan… IMG_1088

Still all smiles!IMG_1090

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Saving the best for last.  I might get in trouble for posting these ones!  

He’s riding that sled like a bronco bull!  IMG_1124

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And a little ATV fun after sliding.  IMG_1136

It was such a fun afternoon.  We love winter!