Monday, July 25, 2016

Much A Lot

I've been wanting to get back on here and update for several weeks now, but I always think, "I'll wait until _____ is over."  Then that's over, and another <blank> happens.  As my Granny says, "It's always something."  That has been particularly true for us this July.

I'll paraphrase:  In late April, we contracted a roofer to put a new roof on our house.  After telling us 5 different start dates and no one showing up (as I sat and waited on them each time), work finally began on July 5.  Also on July 5, a stray dog was hanging around our house all day.  Around 2:00, I brought her in when a storm was rolling in and started calling around to see if I could find her owner.  As I'm on the phone with animal control, Pax runs in to tell me it's raining.  I'm like, "Yeah bud, I know."  But then Xander runs in to tell me it's raining.  In our house.

The roofers didn't cover the part of the roof they'd torn off and the 15 minutes of heavy rain did a number on our ceilings and walls.  Long story short, last week we had 5 ceilings, several walls, and basically our entire kitchen ripped out.

Luckily, we have a pretty big bedroom so all of our furniture and appliances either fit in there, the spare room, or the dining room.  Unluckily, this means that for the next several weeks, if all 5 of us are home, we're pretty much stuck in our bedroom together.  I'm also bumming washing machines and meals from family and friends (thanks, guys!).

In the middle of all of that, the twins got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  The first day or two I thought, "Oh, this isn't that bad."  Just a fever and them feeling sluggish.  But then the blisters on their hands and feet got really bad.  And it took them a week or so to go away.  Not fun at all.

Paxton understands that hydration is key to recovery.  And rest, obviously.

BUT.  We're looking for silver linings here.  Such as - a fresh coat of paint on bunches of ceilings plus Xander's room and the kitchen.  A new countertop (since ours was broken during demo).  Some new light fixtures (since the water poured into and ruined our others).  A new summer haircut for Paxton.

The much-appreciated aforementioned friends and family that help us out.  And while we're doing laundry sometimes we get out the water hose and have some fun.

Xander got to go to a basketball/martial arts class all last week and he loved it!  (But I got no pictures of that obviously.)  He also ran in a 1-mile Fun Run (with Lucas) for the second year in a row and totally rocked it!

We had a July 4 celebration in our favorite place with lots of fun friends and family.

Our friends' kids loved the fireworks.  Look at Scout!

Friends have been amazing to share their pools and food with us (thanks again, guys!).

Sometimes friends have kitties and Piper is in heaven.

Strong boys!

I've taken the kids to a few movies.  And Lucas and I went to see one of my favorite singers, Ray Lamontagne, in concert.  (And he was magical and amazing.)

This weekend me and Xander went to Linville Caverns with his Boy Scout troop then did a little back-to-school shopping, just me and him.

Brown Mountain Overlook

He may have scored a video game as well.

And we had the annual giant slip-n-slide at our family's house and we got to see our sweet cousin Milah from Florida (and her rad parents and grandma, of course!).

And I still get to hang out with these cool kids and have some fun (in between driving each other crazy in a confined space).

So I think all that good stuff outweighs the bad, right?  It totally does. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beach Trip!

Xander's last day of school was a Friday.  The next morning we threw our bags in the van and went to the beach.  It was the first time we've gone so early, and the first time we've spent a whole week there since Xander was a baby.  One reason for this is that Paxton isn't a fan of the beach.  Every year before this one, he would cry when his feet touched the sand.  And he wouldn't dream of even getting near the ocean.  Pool was okay, but he'd sit on the steps for about 10 minutes then want to go inside.  Oh, and did I mention he's allergic to sunscreen?  So beach hasn't been the most fun destination.  Until this year.

We got there around 3:30 in the afternoon and instead of the usual grocery store run and settling in, we decided to hit the beach immediately. 

Piper and Xander ran straight into the ocean and Pax hung back just a bit.  He walked on sand with no problems but slowed down near the ocean.  He wasn't so sure at first. . .

But it didn't take long for him to love it!  He even got in and splashed around!

It was awesome.  Our first two days were this.  Beach, pool, beach, food, pool, beach, more food, more beach and even a quick nap by the kiddos.  Night walks and night swimming were the order of the evenings.

Our good friends came down to the beach and we also got to hang out with them for a few days.  They have a little girl who is the twins' age and another baby girl.

Our friend George loves to bet.  On anything.  I remember an intense bet started in the lobby of a movie theater in college.  We were all trying to throw wadded-up napkins into a trash can from farther and farther away.  I think I ended up being George's slave for a day over that.  Well, this beach trip Xander was introduced to George's bets.  

He initially lost the first several, but ended up coming back and George had to be HIS slave for an hour because Xander swam underwater the entire length of the pool and George (and everyone else) thought he couldn't do it.  Nice work, Xander.

We had a blast with our buddies, and all of the kids became fast friends.

We had just gotten outside.  Notice how they're all dry and clean - except Piper. 

After our friends left we had another day of just us 5 doing the beach, pool, food thing.

Then my mom came down on Thursday afternoon.  And it was a great day for her to come.  Paxton really let go this day and jumped in the BIG waves!  He also floated around the pool all "by himself" (with a puddle jumper on, of course).  This is huge for Pax - the first time he's been off the steps of the pool without clutching someone for dear life!  Xander also really got the hang of his diving this day.  And they all had fun on the giant turtle float she brought and exploring wild creatures (dragonflies) in the pool!

That evening we went to eat and ride rides.  Xander got on the huge make-you-puke rides and loved them!  Piper loved all the ones she was big enough for too.  Paxton loved the tame rides.

The last morning we did one last swim, ate some watermelon, and me, mom, Xander, and Piper (Paxton wanted to help Lucas pack up the van) did a last beach walk.

These were the faces I got when I told them it was time to go home.

Overall, this was seriously the best trip.  We had great weather, no one got sunburned, no major meltdowns, and just lots and lots of fun.  Oh, and Lucas and I even got a date night when mom came down!

Now I want to go back!  If anyone has a beach house, let me know.  ;)