Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alive and kicking

I'm back from my trip to my Dad's. Actually, I've been back since Tuesday night, but I've been so exhausted from the drive and keeping the kids busy and the suck-your-will-to-live-ness that that entails that I just haven't had it in me to sit down and write a proper blog post.

Not that I'm feeling particularly inspired today, except that I hear that even Kate-the-Enabler's husband Chris is getting concerned that I haven't put up a post since my return. "She's been home 2 days already!, he says". Okay, okay, I get the hint.

Our plan to drive to Markdale at night worked brilliantly, and we were able to make really good time while the kids slept in the back (mostly) the entire way. We arrived at around 1:30 AM, transferred the kids to their respective beds, then hit the sack ourselves.

Saturday we woke up bright and early (oh Joy), and promptly woke everyone in the house by breaking a glass pitcher of juice on my parents' kitchen floor. "Hi! We're here!!!". :) Friggin' thing must have broken in about a zillion pieces, and I think we were still finding pieces of glass when we left, despite vacuuming repeatedly. Most of the day was spent around the house, without power no less due to a series of thunderstorms throughout the day, with the kids playing together. In the "Mother Nature has a sick sense of humour" category, it turns out that the secret to keeping kids happy and occupied is to have more kids, preferably older ones.

My nephew Keenan and Émilie

Yup, my nephews were visiting Dad and Margot while we were there. They live in Alberta, so we really only get to see them once a year, but they're phenomenal kids, and wonderful with little ones (they're 13, 11 and 8, respectively). If you can manage it, I highly recommend picking up some kick-ass older cousins to entertain your children during the summer holidays. Trust me, it works.

Sunday we all hopped into the cars and drove out to Sauble beach, a place which holds many a fond childhood memory for me. Unfortunately, it was absolutely FREEZING that day (probably due to Saturday's weather), with waves like I've rarely seen. Since MY kids are too small to bodysurf, this posed somewhat of a problem. I had spotted a sort of wading pond area (where water had collected during the previous tide, I expect), and thought this would be a suitable alternative. Unfortunately, Maxime just couldn't grasp the concept of sitting in the water, and kept trying to crawl around in it, getting in deeper and deeper and eventually getting a faceful of freezing water. Coupled with the high wind, it wasn't long before both kids were blue and shaking all over. Of course, I hadn't packed any warm clothing (because, you know, we were going to the BEACH!), so I was forced to submit to extortion at the local souvenir shop and buy 2 Sauble Beach sweat shirts for Émilie and Maxime. It was worth it though, because we wound up having a fun day.
Sunday night we also had a little birthday party for Émilie (she'll be 4 this coming Sunday), and she got some great presents from her Nana and Bumpy and her cousins (a deluxe art easel with accessories, a voice modulator mask thing, and a pack of foam beads to make necklaces and bracelets). Sunday night was also the night I taught 2 of my 3 nephews (Keenan and Nolan, the 2 eldest) how to knit! I think Nolan (the 11 year-old) got into it most, because he was still knitting away on Monday afternoon, and was actually a bit disappointed that I didn't buy him any yarn when I visited a yarn store in Owen Sound on Tusday (more on that later). I'm really glad he got into it, and I hope he keeps it up, despite the crapiness of the yarn I had at my disposal at the time (Estelle Mystik DK that I had brought along to cast on for Sizzle, which I'm now reconsidering, the yarn was so friggin' splitty).

Monday the boys met up with a friend in the morning, and Émilie spent pretty much the entire day doing this:
Catching frogs. Frogs, frogs, frogs!!! Look at the frog!!! My Dad has a little artificial pond/waterfall on his property, with an abundance of frogs. Seriously, it was all she wanted to do. And she certainly wasn't squeamish about holding them! I think she would have kissed them if we hadn't been there. Who knows, maybe she did!

Tuesday the boys were heading back to Alberta, and after much debating, Phil and I decided to head back home as well. It was really too short as far as visits go, but Dad and Margot were absolutely exhausted from having the kids for three weeks, so we decided to let them recuperate! (Not that they made us leave or anything! They wanted us to stay). Besides, they were predicting more rain for Wednesday, so we wouldn't have been able to go back to the beach anyway. Still, I was sad to go. They might be moving further East in the next few months, so I may not get to visit that property again, and I really love it there. If they DO end up moving, Phil and I are considering renting a cottage near Sauble beach next summer.

Before leaving however, the boys wanted to make one last visit to a hobby store they're partial to in Owen Sound (apparently the guy's got great hockey stuff), and I wanted to visit a LYS Margot had told me about. It was a really nice shop, and they had really nice stuff, but nothing was unique enough to tempt me into breaking my pre-Rhinebeck yarn fast, so I came out empty-handed (Yes! It IS possible to walk out of a yarn store without buying yarn!). We grabbed lunch at East Side Mario's (I hadn't been there in years!), then headed back to Markdale to pack. Here's a picture of my nephews Nolan and Sean drinking their "Monkey Business" (chocolate milk and bananas - eeeeewwwwwww!!!)

We left my Dad's at around 6 in the evening, and pulled into our driveway at just under 1 AM, making excellent time. Wednesday was spent around the house, and today we went to Funtropolis with the kids, which in retrospect turned out to be the easiest part of my day (and THAT'S saying something! The place is a madhouse).

OK! It's 8:45 and I've been hammering away at this post for an hour. I want to get some knitting done already, so I'm off.

Happy Knitting Everyone!


birana said...

So kids had a lot of fun with your nephews. I remember play with all my cousin when i was younger.. It was so easy and fun! Hope you'll now have time to enjoy some knitting ;)

Jennifer Lori said...

Happy early birthday to Emilie!

Amelah said...

Looks like you had fun!!! Glad everything went ok!

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

Sinéad said...

Sounds like you had a fun ( if busy) time! You are becoming a very strong willed woman, no yarn purchases?? I sincerely hope you're going to make up for it at Rhinebeck and do us all proud!

Enjoy Emilies birthday!

Sereknitty said...

I used to wish that I had cousins close by to play with, but mine live in Scotland! BTW, I'm heading over there on Sept. 10 for 2 weeks to visit my family, so won't be in touch during that time.

Anonymous said...

looks like you had a great holiday! & happy 4th to emilie!!
xo your SP

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Looks like a great trip.

Catching up on my blog reading while both boys nap :)

That's cool that he wanted to learn to knit! I think Jamie would freak if I tried (in the future) to teach my boys to knit. LOL.