Category Archives: Family Fun

“I Love My Family”

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We headed to a fun bowling alley this morning before lunch with Great Grammy. They have $5 tot bowling every day from 10-noon but you gotta get there a little early to make sure you get a lane. It can get pretty packed in there. My kids were worried we’d be late again and not get a lane but those worries were for naught. They happily hugged each other as they stood at the front of the line, my boy giggling, “I love my family!” over and over again.

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Then his sister bashed his finger and the moment ended just add quickly as it began.

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This bowling alley rocks for so many reasons like the plush leather couches, lane-side service for all your drink and snack needs and the kid movie playing on the screens next to the scoring screens to ensure your minions don’t get bored and wander off between turns.

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It was a great hour together and as it turns out my youngest is the most enthusiastic bowler of our group. She ended up bowling for everyone at the end.

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We obviously need a sticker near the camera lense so we know where to look!

Tomorrow we’re tackling something a bit more involved than bowling…Six Flags Great America! Wish me luck!

Classic Summer Fun-County Fair Style

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Despite only getting a handful of hours of sleep after my 10 year reunion it was off to the county fair with the family yesterday but first we stopped at a dear friend’s house to meet her new little nugget before they move. It’s exhausting being so cute!

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Luckily we had quite the crew with us at the fair since I can’t ride any rides and was not eager to carry any tired kids around.

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Auntie Kelly is in town and her appearance at the fair had my daughter delighted.

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We played games

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and won prizes.

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Corn dogs were devoured

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and rides were ridden.

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My husband and our buddy spun the kids so much on one ride that my girl almost vomited.

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She recovered quickly with the help of some furry friends.

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You know, we did all the basic fair things. It was exhausting and fun. We tried for a family picture by the ferris wheel…. My husband and I are the only ones smiling but that’s probably because we’re both being groped, me by my husband and him by his buddy! Good times.

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As soon as we got home I collapsed on the couch.  Luckily mommy clone (Auntie Kelly) came over, fed my kids cereal for dinner and bounced with them on the trampoline before bed. By the time Kelly was ready to needle my husband’s problem spots I was feeling much better and gleefully watched her stick him like a pin cushion.

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It was quite the day and after some stellar sleep I am feeling like myself again. Time to get this household back in order!

Beach Bums and Backyard Sleepers

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Yesterday we picked up Grandma and went to the beach. 2014-07-10 13.31.09We spent a glorious few hours soaking up the sun, playing Monkey in the Middle in the water, doing cartwheels and summersaults down the huge sand pile and failing miserably at building a sand castle worthy of any respect. It was great!

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She looks angry but was really just on a mission to get her goggles! Phew!

 

Then after piano lessons and dinner followed by more snow cones I tucked my minions into their tent for a second night of backyard camping.

This kid was bouncing off the walls but some how I finally got him settled down and ready to sleep.

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The longer you look at this picture the more it looks like I photo-shopped his head onto his body. Give it a second… See what I mean? Cracks me up.

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His sister was equally as squirrely so I issued a few threats about noise and getting out from under their covers and marching them up to their own beds which eventually got their attention.

With their lovies by their side they snuggled in.

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I kissed their faces and made a hasty exit, admiring the full moon above their tent, into the house and2014-07-10 20.55.01 upstairs to my comfy bed where I slept peacefully and uninterrupted all night long! I think their busy day at the beach must have worn them out since no one woke up with nightmares… at least none that I’m aware of, and that’s a win in my book!

Now it’s time to intervene and stop the arguing I hear outside as I type this. The kids are suppose to be cleaning out all their gear from the tent so we can put it away but this seems to be a herculean task for some reason… probably since they’re 4 and 6 year old punks.

Happy Friday, friends!

 

 

My Lodging Tonight

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Well, I woke up this morning from a crappy night of sleep (three kids woke me up 4 times between 11pm and 5:30 am) and I decided if I’m not going to get good sleep then there might as well be a solid reason for it! Thus the tent.

It only took me and the kids 45 minutes our so to get it up and by then we needed a little pick-me-up. Thus the snow cones.

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We’ll see how this goes tonight. I suspect it won’t be too bad butt I’d better get my air mattress blown up after dinner since there is no way this 6 month preggo chick is sleeping on the ground.

Woo hoo!

Spoils of Summer – Wild Berry Picking

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My guys went out for hair cuts this morning and when they came home they already had a plan set in2014-07-05 11.22.24 motion to go hunting for wild black raspberries that grow in the undeveloped land behind our house. They rallied us girls and we quickly set off with a couple neighbors to see how many we could find.

If you’re unaware, this is what wild black raspberries look like:

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It was quite a hike for the wee ones given the sleep deprivation they were rocking due to some major at-home pyrotechnics last night but with a few piggy-back rides, a healthy dose of competition and a bunch of hand holding we made it through an hour long journey with lots of berries, and some stained fingers of course!

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There are tons of berries that are still ripening so another adventure is sure to be in our future. Now I just need to figure out what I want to make with them although by the time I decide on something I’m sure we’ll have gobbled them up in their natural form which is just fine by me. I do think some French toast with black raspberries and fresh whipping cream will be on the breakfast menu tomorrow! For now, the house is quiet with everyone passed out. Maybe I’ll take a hint and close my eyes for a bit before our evening festivities begin.

Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday weekend!

Goofy Animals, Fantastic Friends and Wild Weather — Oh My!

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Zoos can be incredibly entertaining places to spend a few hours with the kids and today we visited the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI. I met one of my dearest girlfriends and her two lovely kiddos up there and we were not disappointed by the animals. We saw a pair of orangutans right off the bat that had the kids laughing as they taunted each other hiding in a large barrel and under a large sheet.

 

 

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What we realized an hour or so later was that their taunting behavior was actually foreplay because when we strolled by their enclosure before leaving they were putting on quite a show for everyone!

Also entertaining was the Harbor Seal that sounded like the kids’ fathers’ snoring when it came to the surface to breathe along with a kookaburra bird sitting in a tree tenderizing a mouse by vigorously shaking it into a limp, swallowable meal. My girlfriend, Amy, and I were much more interested in seeing this process play out than the kids but we forced them to stay in the exhibit while we subjected ourselves to the slightly nauseating albeit very intriguing food preparation procedure.

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We also saw a couple of frenemies (friends/enemies) that we thought were adorable but we’re also a bit bias. In true frenemy fashion this sweet moment only lasted about as long as it took to capture it on camera before the tides turned but we’ll take it.

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After our zoo trip the kids and I went to visit some friends, whom we use to live below in Chicago, at their new-ish house just a few minutes from the zoo. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, probably because I was too bust admiring their awesome home and catching up.

We finally headed home around rush hour and about 45 minutes into our drive, just after hitting a torrential down pour on the expressway my husband called to inform me that tornadic weather conditions were being reported in the direction I was headed. Luckily I was just about to pass the exit to Amy’s house so we crashed her place to wait out the storm. En route I saw paramedics performing CPR on the side of the road. It was a first for me and if I wasn’t’ already convinced that we needed to get somewhere safe that visual certainly sealed the deal.

Amy fed us a home-cooked meal, instigated some shenanigans involving boxes of tissue with our sugar-high, sleep-deprived children and then we once more hit the road for home hoping the weather would cooperate. DSC07220The weather has been really nuts the past 24 hours. Last night at 2am the tornado sirens went off and we ran to grab the kids and huddled together in the basement until the threat had passed. Needless to say my oldest was a little on edge (and tired from disturbed sleep) during the drive home tonight and didn’t like the look of the clouds but we eventually made it safe and sound and exhausted but happy.

We’re headed to Brookfield Zoo in a few days so no doubt we’ll be doing a little comparison as to which zoo has the most entertaining animals. I think Madison’s zoo will be hard to beat with all the performances we were witness to today but I’m just hoping the weather straightens out by then!

Time to fall asleep to the lull of thunder and the flash of lightening as this little minion in my belly kicks the crap out of me. Woo hoo!

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Conquering the High Dive

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Ahhh, there’s nothing like walking into the city pool, taking a look around at the droves of kids and parents and the piss-water pool and feeling quite at home. I grew up on the swim team and with my house right up the street from the pool I was naturally a pool rat. Chlorine essentially runs through my veins but before I start getting all nostalgic for my water-logged childhood I’ll jump right to the point of this post.

My mom and I took the kids to my hometown city pool yesterday. We try to go a few times throughout the summer since it’s got two large slides, a handful of kiddie structures, zero depth entry and a separate lap pool with diving boards not to mention a large sandbox with playground equipment and a kiddie pool. It’s pretty legit and quite the fun time as long as I bring along an extra adult.

So, after my 2 year old learned that if you don’t fight for your spot in line at the slide you’ll never get down it but before I enjoyed the low-key nature of the baby pool I was impressed by the ballsiness of my 6 and 4 year old children. Today was the day they tackled the high dive and by tackled I mean took it by storm, showed no signs of fear and jumped as high off the board before plunging into the depths of the water and returning to the surface with a smile of victory on their faces. Of course I cheered and snapped photos while expressing to my mother my surprise that I didn’t have to go retrieve my boy from 3 meters up.

My mom, though surprised as well, simply said, “They are your children, Colleen. You were the same way. You scared me to death constantly.”

Ahh, how life come full circle.

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  He’s making sure I know just how stoked he is to be jumping off something so high.

My little lady is happy to watch. No need for any extreme behavior yet, thank goodness!

My little lady is happy to watch. No need for any extreme behavior yet, thank goodness!

 

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First, my girl.

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Then little man. He made sure to jump as high as possible before plummeting.