Travel and other adventures

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The Cave

Don’t look how long it has been since I posted.  Just don’t. Life just seems to be too full to do much reflection these days. However, one thing I really want to do someday is put together the stories I wrote here about the kids. I didn’t do baby books (couldn’t summon the energy), but I think stories about them are better anyway.  And this needs to be recorded.

Some kids have imaginary friends.  Drake has a cave. I’m not sure exactly when the cave first made an appearance.  Probably about a year ago, we started noticing that he was talking about “his cave” repeatedly. He keeps everything cool in his cave, and he’s always bringing up the cool stuff in his cave at random moments. You’ll just be going along and all of a sudden he’s like ” I have a Darth Vader in my cave. He’s a little bit bad and a little bit good.” Or he’ll be talking about something he did and when you ask him when he did that, he’s like “In my cave.” This morning it was “My cave is harder than it used to be. It used to be soft, but it was too bouncy so I made it harder.”

It’s obviously a very rich imaginary world for him. I keep wondering, though, why a cave?  I mean my 4-year-old has an imaginary man-cave. Is this really that instinctual of a desire? It’s so prevalent that the other kids will just bring it in to conversation as well. ”Oh, Drake, is that in your cave?” I really need to get a video of him talking about it some day. He’s so earnest, it’s really quite charming.

August 21, 2014   No Comments

To Do

Yesterday, Carina asked me if I wanted to paint our nails.  I said sure.  She asked what else I wanted to do.  I replied that we needed to go to the store.  And then what?  Well, we could play a game, and then catch, and then…

She made a list in a little notebook of all the things that we wanted to do.  And then we executed (the first 5).  She kept us on task for the rest of the day with that list.  It was pretty impressive.

Our game was memory.  The twins played too, which was the first time all three kids have played the same game together.  Drake was frustrated with the taking turns part, but we managed to play three rounds.

February 26, 2013   No Comments

Kauai 2013

February 17, 2013   No Comments


About a week ago, Carina came downstairs and announced she had a loose tooth.  And she was right, one of her lower front teeth is definitely wiggling.  I responded by almost crying.  Sometimes these milestones take me completely unaware.  So, what’s the going rate for a tooth these days anyway?  I’m thinking a couple bucks for a first tooth?  Or am I way too cheap?  she can get a lot at the school store for a couple dollars.

January 3, 2013   1 Comment

Birthday x 2

Saturday was Drake and Eleanor’s third birthday.  I must sheepishly admit that Gavin and I both forgot to take photos.  I have a couple from before and after the party on my iPhone, but nothing with a real camera.  Oops.  This is what happens to you when you have twins!!!

Anyway, they had a great time in the bounce house that we rented for the occasion.  They were definitely aware that it was their special day this year.  When they got up from nap and saw the balloons Drake immediately yelled “PIRATE BALLOONS FOR MY BIRTHDAY PARTY!”  So, yeah, go me on picking a theme.  Everyone had a great time.

We also had an after-party with our friends.  Becca managed to fall out of the bounce house three times.  I experienced that my moment of inertia when rolling down a bounce house slide results in some pretty good angular acceleration.  And Emma got to experience her first Mendeck house party, which I’m sure will be the first of many.

December 5, 2012   No Comments

Animal Print

I’ve never been a very animal print kind of girl.  It’s just not part of my style.  (Although I’m still regretting this orange and tan zebra-inspired blouse that I decided was too expensive last spring…  That’s another story.)

Carina, however, loves it.  If that girl knew anything about reincarnation, she’d want to be a cheetah in her next life. We’ve had to declare “no-cheetah” time before when it has gotten too out of hand.

Anyway, it all started with a stop into a local kids clothing boutique.  I was looking for a birthday present for my nephew, but Carina saw this leopard print nightgown trimmed in hot pink and HAD to have it.  So I bought it.  and then I saw this purple and green leopard print shirt with sparkles on.  And I knew she’d love it, so I bought that.  And then I was at a second hand store and saw these pants…

As it turns out, she’d probably be more fashionable in the animal print clothes than I generally am (should have bought that blouse), only I always have trouble getting her to wear things together properly.

November 13, 2012   No Comments


Halloween was great.  I love the first year that the kids start to “get” Halloween.  They were so excited.  Carina is a Nightfury from “How to train your dragon”, Eleanor was a very enthusiastic Tinkerbell, and Drake was Peter Pan.  Eleanor enjoyed helping me clean out the pumpkin.  She even stuck her hand in and pulled out some strings – and then immediately went to wash her hand.  Carina drew the face on the jack-o-lantern and carved the eyes herself.  Gavin was going to be a viking to go with Carina’s dragon. His costume didn’t come in time, so he improvised with a fleece vest.  I couldn’t stop laughing all night.

Halloween Album

November 4, 2012   No Comments

Texas State Railroad

We went camping last weekend at the Texas State Railraod in Rusk, TX.  I highly recommend this for anyone with kids that like trains (and what kid doesn’t).  Even if you don’t have kids, it’s a great place.  We went on the Great Pumpkin Patch Express (short train ride followed by a couple hours in a pumpkin patch).  They also have scenic rides that go all the way between Rusk and Palestine, which I think would be lovely.  The campground at Rusk Depot was nice (very nice, clean bathrooms) and at least last weekend it was uncrowded.  Only three of the dozen or so tent sites were occupied, including ours.  I don’t know if it is normally that way or if we were just unique in not being scared off by the lows dipping into the 40s.  There’s also a great old-fashioned tall metal slide, which the kids could not get enough of.

Camping was great, but I got behind on laundry.  Getting behind on laundry is a big deal these days.  I think this is the household chore that increased the most noticably after the twins’ birth.  I have to do laundry 5 days a week.  If I don’t, it is very hard to catch up.  My friend Stacey has 7 kids, and when she blogs about laundry I wince.  The photo below is what I need to fold and put away and there are still 4 full laundry baskets of dirty clothes.

November 1, 2012   No Comments

Eleanor Dancing

I am resolved to try to start updating the blog again.  It will probably not be with long posts.  But at least I can put up video from time to time.

We had dinner at the park this evening.  Eleanor really liked the drum beats. And look at the hip action.


October 15, 2012   No Comments

One of those days

Yesterday was… interesting.

Drake told me Wednesday night that his ear hurt.  So Thursday I tried to call the doctor, but couldn’t get through.  So I took him to our friend Liz that works in a pharmacy clinic.  She confirmed the ear infection and prescribed antibiotics.  I said no to the numbing drops since he’d been pretty happyso far.

Mistake #1.

I returned Drake to daycare before lunch.  It was not quite late enough to give him more ibuprofin. I didn’t leave any with the daycare.

Mistake #2.

The daycare called me a few hours later to say that Drake woke early from his nap crying and hadn’t  stopped for an hour.  So I went and gave him some more, and he was reported to be happy soon after.

Started him on the antibiotics that night.  He was pretty fussy.  I went out to Cari’s birthday dinner anyway.  Poor babysitter – I paid her well.

Friday Drake woke crying and didn’t stop until I got him into his car seat.  It was pretty obvious I was going to have to bring him home.  He managed pretty happily in my office for half an hour while I picked up my laptop and took care of a few things.  We got home around 10am.  Drake fell asleep in the car, and I didn’t want to wake him up.  So, I sat in the driveway reading e-mail on my phone.  He woke up half an hour later and immediately started screaming.  I got him into the house.

Mistake #3 happened at this time, but I didn’t know it.

Drake was miserable.  In spite of alternating tylenol and ibuprofin every 4 hours, he screamed every time he wasn’t being held.  All. Day.  He fell asleep on top of me for another hour or so, but I couldn’t put him down without him waking and screaming.  Ever tried to get anything done with a 35 lb toddler on your chest?  Not really possible.

At the end of the day, I got everything ready to go pick up the other kids.  But couldn’t find my car keys.  Drake is following me around the entire house screaming.  I finally decide maybe I left them in the car.  Can’t find them out there either.  Until I look in the ignition.  Oops.  Plus, the ignition was still on.  So I turn the key – nothing.

Fortunately, I was able to quickly find a neighbor to give me a jump.  Could have been worse.  But still.  I slept well last night.

I spent the next 9 hours with him either draped all over me or

February 25, 2012   1 Comment