Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kick Start to Summer

We've been back from our trip to Canada for more than a week now, and I'm still no where near finished going through my pictures. I know if I don't just go ahead and start posting, it will never happen. There are so many ways I could categorize my pictures; I chose to go start with Jon's family/ Ontario first.

We had a great time. It has been nearly two years since our last visit, and when babies are being born, this seemed like an eternity. We had new nephews to meet on both sides of the family, and the meeting up of cousins was a long awaited event for all the kids. It was sweet to see them all together, and heartbreaking to know that crocodile tears flowed freely when it came time to load up and drive away.

Because of rain, the kids were housebound for the entire duration of their time with the cousins on Jon's side, so unfortunately I have few pictures to share. They mainly played in the basement, or rather, they spent hours sliding down the basement stairs on a foam mattress. Good times. And loud! Eight kids and five+  adults in one house for three days makes even the best of us go a little batty! The men could occasionally be found taking a breath of fresh air and quiet outside the front door. But my mother-in-law sure knows how to let her grand kids make good memories!

My kids had just a few simple things on their wish lists for our days in Canada. For my boys, frog catching was a close second to being with the cousins. Jon's mom knew this and had just the right place in mind. I don't think she expected the frog catching to be so intense though, or to consume the entire afternoon. She had bought some bubbles, a kite, frisbees, and styrofoam airplanes for their entertainment; all of it was returned to the store unused. Yep, give my boys some murky water and some frogs and they are beyond happy.

Olivia does a fine job with reptiles and amphibians, too! She's my girly-girl tom-boy!

The old crab apple tree in the back yard is a special place for the kids. Sometime my kids would opt out of other activities we thought would be more interesting just to spend time playing in that tree. I suspect their makeshift swing is still hanging...

One of the highlights for Jon was the time he spent with his uncles, his father's brothers. Jon lost his dad to cancer in 2004, and his two brothers were his life-long friends. It was sweet to hear their stories and to laugh at personality traits passed down the generations. The women who have lived with these men exchanged stories of their own, along with knowing looks of sympathy and exasperation!

Jon, Michael, and I spent some time downtown Ottawa on our last day. We took Michael to some of the spots that were meaningful to his Grandpa, places that hold lasting memories for Jon.

Below is a picture of the house where Jon's dad grew up, and where Jon spent a summer digging a deep trench along the foundation of the house. This was the place where, when Jon's dad was a kid, he fell off the roof in the winter and left a deep and perfectly formed imprint of his body in the snow bank. Then his brothers charged the neighborhood kids to have a look.

That entrepreneurial spirit has deep roots!

Our plane rides were so different this time around. We traveled light --three suitcases for the whole family-- and the need for packed snacks and endless airplane activities for the kids were no longer a necessity. In fact, it was just fine that we could not be seated together and I had little concern that my kids would be disrupting those around them. I read and even slept a little. What a difference compared to all our flights with the kids when they were little. Those flights were exhausting. Nightmarish even. I remember many flights delayed, some cancelled, and some overnight stays in connecting cities. We've had lost luggage and holdups at customs. I've had to nurse my babies while seated between two men. I've dealt with major diaper blowouts with no functional bathroom on commuter planes. I've flown hours with a "lap child" toddler bouncing around my pregnant belly. I would exhausted every mental capability trying to keep babies and toddlers occupied, and when other passengers would compliment me on my well behaved child, I would greedily think, "Yeah! It's because I've been killing myself to keep him from kicking your seat and whacking you on the head the entire time!"

But this time, I had peace and quiet.

They are growing up fast.

And because they are growing fast, I want to enjoy them to the max this summer.



  1. i fly in a week to California with my babies by myself. I've done it once before and thought I'd never do that again:) but i guess if flying with three little ones is my only problem than life is pretty good.

  2. Oh, I don't envy you! Plan, pray, and keep your head up! You can do it!


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