Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Value of Bubbles, Beanbags, and Baseball Cards

First off I want to say THANKS to my best friend the love of my life, Kevin. I know that this is a blog about our kids, but they would not be here if it weren't for him ;) The reason I'm bringing this up is because another awesome friend Stephanie put together a surprise for my birthday and Kev helped her pull it off extremely successfully (if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet I wouldn't be more surprised) and took the boys camping while I was a having a girls trip in Chicago. What a great guy!

Kevin's not usually good at keeping secrets so the fact that I didn't know about the trip until 10:30pm the night before we were leaving at 6:30am is absolutely amazing. Steph put together an amazing trip and I am so blessed to have her for a friend! We did really adult things like have this for dinner:

and spent hours on the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and even saw our beloved Reds at Wrigley Field. Kev held down the fort (with the help of my incredible Mom!), packed up for a camping weekend, and everyone was alive by the time I met up with them on Saturday night. I'm not saying for one minute that I doubted that he could do it, but I know that it is so much easier when you have two people corralling three crazy toddlers than one. I hope he knows how much I appreciate ALL he does!

On with the weekend: we've had plans for a while now to go camping with a group of our friends we play softball with and it happened to fall right after our family camp out--we even had the same spot!

The boys were throwing marshmallows at the raccoons. Not sure if that was doing the job of keeping the critters away, but at least no one was getting hurt ;)

As we're packing up to go home on Sunday. Louie is going through an awful phase of sticking out his tongue.

It was such a fun time with our friends that we don't see nearly as much as we'd like, and as a result of all this fun time we stayed up later than we probably should have. Sunday morning came way to soon. All three boys were up at 6:30am. Ben fell asleep with Kevin in our bed and my idea for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Lou and Charlie was to take them into the van and pop in a video while I caught some shut-eye for a few minutes.

The morning went on and after a great breakfast we started to clean up and pack up. We were moving at a very slow pace and all of our friends had left by the time we were completely loaded. The van wouldn't start. The battery was drained from the morning movie and this wouldn't be the end of the world except that the vehicle that I drove out to the campground wouldn't start either! Turns out that it had bigger problems than the van and we needed to tow it all the way back home. The park ranger came out to jump our van, but we had to wait quite a while for the tow truck. We were ready to go at noon and we ended up leaving the park at 4pm.

What do you do with three little ones at a muggy campground and all your things--including most of the toys--are packed up solid? You start scavenging the van for random things to do. This included:
  • A bottle of grape bubbles Louie got from his preschool! I'm so glad I tucked it away into a pocket and forgot about them. Note: they do not taste like grape, just overwhelmingly smell like it. The game of chasing bubbles and seeing how many you can break took up a good 20 minutes or so.
  • One of the first things I made when I learned to sew were beanbags and I kept them in the car in case we'd need them (a premonition of a disaster??). I could only find one at this point, but there was a baseball helmet that wasn't packed away. Lou, Ben and I sat down and took turns tossing the bag into the helmet. Once we all got it in we moved the helmet back.
  • I've been annoyed that baseball cards have been in the van lately. They've been multiplying and it seems like every time I pick some up there are fifteen more scattered elsewhere. This day I was overjoyed at finding them because we used them for another game. We each had a stack of cards and tossed them out in front of us. When one of our cards landed on top of another we could pick up those cards.
Charlie was running around during this time, just taking it all in, while Kev was on the phone talking to AAA and tow companies. With van recharged I took cranky Ben and Charlie to go through a drive-thru to get lunch. Not long after we finished the meal the tow truck showed up and our crazy weekend at the campground was over.

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