Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Generation Gap

Do you remember when you were little?  Your parents would make some obscure reference from their childhood, and you would look at your parents like they were from outer space.

That happened to me today.  Only I was the obscure one from outer space.

Emma had her pants hiked waaaaaay up.  I told her she looked like Urkel.  She didn't get it.  I had to google a picture of him to show her.
She looked at me like I was nuts.  But seriously, her pants totally looked like that, minus the suspenders.

Later on, the kids were all fussing over something.  I said something to the effect of, "Don't have a cow."

I think somehow I took a trip back to the '90s last night, and now I am verbally stuck there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camping, Day 3

Children who stay up late sometimes sleep in to make up for it.
 The older ones have even mastered the art of hiding from the morning rays of light.  I have to say that it perhaps wasn't quite as bright as it could have been.  It had rained most of the night, and was raining still when we left the campground.  Our stuff was a little soggy.  Ryan was a gentleman and braved the outdoors to procure breakfast for us so we could eat inside.
 Once we were off, we headed south to go home.  We stopped at another beach on the way.  Kahlaloch was a sandy one, with shells and sand dollars.  We parked on one of the pull-out parking spots and climbed down to the beach.
 I gave each girl a baggie to fill with shells, rocks, and other treasures.  Once it was filled, that was it.  Otherwise, if I didn't specify a limit, we could easily take a van load of special treasures that just couldn't be left....

A half hour into our playing at the beach, Annie and Maddie had to go potty.  Well.... there aren't any restrooms, or porta-potties, or anything.  So Ryan took them to a sheltered spot and dropped their drawers.  I was helping Elizabeth build a sand castle, and Emma went to go check on the others.  She came back and said, "Annie pooped!"  I looked over, and Ryan was still holding her, and said, "Oh.  Poor Ryan."  And went back to playing in the sand.  10 seconds later I hear Ryan shouting, "Well??"

"Well, what?"  I started walking toward him.

"Didn't Emma tell you?"

"That Annie pooped?"

"I need toilet paper.  Didn't Emma tell you I need something?"

"No.  Well, give me your keys then.  The toilet paper is in the van."

"Never mind."  Ryan stomped over to his backpack and I held the upset Annie.  He returned with a sock.

The sock was buried in the sand when all was said and done.  Next to the other mound in the sand.

FYI- Don't knock over mounds of sand.  You never can tell what might be underneath.

Hoh Rain Forest

The first objective of the day was to find a sleeping bag for my poor, frozen body.  So Ryan and I fixed some breakfast burritos, then we packed up and left for Port Angeles.  We found a Walmart, and bought a mummy-style sleeping bag and one of those skinny blue foam pads.  (It made all of the difference come night time!)

We headed out to the coast and decided on Rialto Beach for lunch.  The picnic benches looked ready for a flood-
 The driftwood on Rialto beach was amazing and huge.
We played "Hot Lava" where we couldn't touch the rocky beach.  We lasted a long time.

 The sand wasn't cooperative for making sand castles, so we made do- rocks and sand mounds.
Next we were off to find a new campground.  We passed some signs on the way:
 We had to stop and take pictures.  That's our van behind the no vampire sign, so I guess we were good. :)  (As soon as we hit the Olympic peninsula, Ryan started cracking the Edward/vampire/werewolf/Twilight jokes.  This totally cracked us up.)
We decided to camp in the Hoh Rain Forest, and had to look for a dry spot.  We (sorta) found one.  It is the rain forest, after all.  No worries, though.  The camp site was gravel, and wouldn't flood for a while.

Then we went on some walks.  First through the Hall of Mosses.  (Not Moses- mosses.  I had to do a double take.)
 Those mosses were long, and hairy, and huge.
 And then we checked out the other hike.  The kids walked the whole thing.  They did great.

But they were pretty tired when we were done.  So we went back to the campground for a foil dinner and s'mores.

We attended the campfire program that the campground put on at 8 pm.  I thought it would be stories and camp songs (a la girls camp), but it turned out to be a power point presentation and slide show on the cooperation of organisms in the rain forest.  Interesting, but not child friendly.  After about an hour (luckily a lady brought her two dogs that kept the kids' attention) we decided it was time for bed.

When we arrived at the camp ground in the afternoon, it appeared that the plumbing was undergoing some changes.  One of the campers told me that this was the first night there was running water in the bathrooms.  Yes, the water ran, but it didn't necessarily go down the sink very well.  If both sinks were running, not only would they retain a lot of water, but gunk started popping up through the sink drain.  It's really lovely to brush your teeth and spit into someone else's toothpaste water.  Also the spigot for drinking and dish washing water was gone, but there was a utility sink that looked like a Hagrid-sized toilet you could use.

Ryan and I got the kids in their sleeping bags and laid our weary bones down.  Although all of the kids looked and exhibited signs of being very tired, they giggled, wiggled, and quarreled until past 10 pm.  At last they went to sleep.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Camp Elwha

Friday morning we were off about 7 am.  We woke the kids up, took them to the bathroom, and were off.  About the time we were turning onto the freeway on ramp, we realized that Elizabeth didn't have her glasses.

At about 7:25 we actually hit the freeway.

Our first order of business was to find a campground.  Once we were secure in having a place to sleep, we could go explore.  We passed Port Angeles and started looking for one.  We chose Camp Elwha, and then drove around until we found a site we liked.  There was one right next to a creek that we liked.  

We put together our new tent from Costco for the first time.  It took us a while.  The directions were not terribly explicit, and with kids helping us, we didn't figure out that all of the sections of poles were different lengths until we thought the tent was mostly put together.  
It was really big once it was all together.  So, so nice!
There were trails leading out from the campground that we explored.
And a waterfall.

Elizabeth found some awesome slugs.  I still can't believe she picked one up.  Yuck..

After we explored what Elwha had to offer, we drove over to Hurricane Ridge.  It was a 45 minute drive to get there, but it was only about 6 miles (as the crow flies) from our campground.  There was a major change in elevation, so it was really cold up there.
There were some nice views of the Olympic mountains, even with the clouds.
We saw a momma deer and two fawns prancing around.  The fawns got really close to us.

Afterwards, we headed back to our tent for dinner time.  It was kind of late, so Ryan cooked our hot dogs on the propane burner we brought.  (I forgot the mustard though.  Bad mommy moment.)
While we were waiting for our fire to burn down a little for roasting marshmallows, the kids put on a little show for us.

Time for s'mores!
Then it was time for pjs and bed.  We spread the sleeping bags and blankets out, hoping the kids wouldn't keep each other awake (ha!  nice try...) and climbed into bed.  And waited for the kids to fall asleep.

And waited.

And waited.

Sometime after 10 pm I think they finally stopped giggling and squirming.

We own 3 sleeping bags and a whole lot of blankets.  Rather than buy more sleeping bags, we were going to make do with what we had.  We brought 3 blankets for Ryan and I to share- 1 to put under and two above. Easy peasy.

About the time the kids went to sleep, I started noticing the cold creeping through the first blanket.  I put another blanket under me.  The cold came back.  Uh oh.  Now what?  I was wearing fleece sweat pants, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt.  I got up and put on my coat.  Still cold.  This is not good.

Some ideas ran through my head as I lay there shivering.  I could put on all the clothes I brought with me.  I could put Ryan's on top of mine.  I could steal all of the blankets so Ryan had none and I was cocooned in them all.  I could make the Emma and Elizabeth share a sleeping bag and then I could have one.

I listened to Ryan sleeping.  I knew he was cold too, but how could he sleep anyway?

In the end, I just laid there.  Cold.  I think I got a couple hours of sleep.  When I finally got up, I vowed I was going to be warmer the next night.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Somewhere to go

I've been really kind of bummed and depressed about this whole house selling fiasco.  Our summer is getting away from us.  It's past the middle of July and all we have to show for our summer is a house full of boxes and a grumpy family.  Last Wednesday was bad.  Ryan was still going to his GLAD training conference, the kids were not the happiest, and I just wanted to sit and cry.

So I got online to see if we could do something.  Anything.  Maybe go camping?  Camping can be cheap.

Most of the camping places with websites had filled up.  I guess most people plan ahead for their vacations.  There was a KOA available, but not where I really wanted to go.  This left flying by the seat of our pants and finding a campsite in the Olympic National Park.  It is first come- first served, and $12 a night.  Hopefully we could get there early enough to get a spot.

When Ryan got home, I showed him what I'd found.  He was game.  So Thursday was spent trying to find the boxes with our warm coats and camping gear in the piles of taped up boxes, and a trip to the grocery store for everything else.

It ended up being a really fun trip.  For $12 a night, we got a fire pit, a place for our gargantuan tent (it's for 10 people, so there's room for four squirmy children, two adults, and a pile of gear), and flushing toilets.  No showers, but I can manage camping with flushing toilets for a couple of nights.

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Waiting Game

It is two more days until the day we were supposed to close on our house.  We were supposed to move out last night to the rental place.

We are still here.  We won't be closing on Friday.

After pestering our realtor for a week, he finally had a face to face meeting with the buyer's agent.  And, finally, we have some kind of answer on what is the hold up.

The mortgage broker ordered the appraisal of our house about 3 1/2 weeks ago.  Days later, the appraiser died.  Which we knew about.  Getting around to ordering another appraisal with a live body took until yesterday.

I've packed up most of the house.  We are essentially camping now.  I'm waiting on the word that we will actually need to move out before I finish.  I think to finish packing and to clean will take probably 2 days.  That doesn't include the moving process.

Our realtor thinks once the appraisal is done, it will be about a week before we close.  But we don't know when the appraisal will be done.  Still.

I'm tired of the waiting.  Would someone please make a schedule and stick to it?  Would someone please tell me that there is an actual light at the end of this tunnel?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Secrets From the Closet

We've packed up most of the house.  I've gone through all of the boxes and bags in all of the closets.  In the process, I've found quite a lot of interesting things.  Books and toys that we thought we'd lost were actually bagged up in time-out bags, and forgotten.  On occasion my children don't actually clean up their room when I asked them to, and after a couple of days I will do it for them.  Those items go in a time out spot, and apparently my memory ain't what it used to be.  I blame the children.

I wasn't expecting to find a lot of forgotten things in my closet.  I have a couple of plastic tubs stacked on one side that I keep the adult off-season clothing in, so I go through the closet twice a year.  My wedding dress, two old formals, and some old costumes are hung up behind those tubs, but it's not like I use those.  Ever.

So Saturday I'm digging out the closet, putting those plastic tubs in the toy room with all the other boxes, and packing up the formals and costumes so they are out of the way.  That's when I notice a stack of addressed envelopes scattered back in the corner.  I opened one.

It was a thank you card from the baby shower before the twins were born.  A whole stack of them.  Written and addressed.

And they got in the very back of my closet... how?  I have absolutely no idea.

I think I got some kind of sleep deprivation-induced amnesia that caused me to be stupid.

I threw the cards away.  It's been almost 4 years.  I couldn't very well crumple them up a little, throw a little rain water on them, drive over them twice and then pretend that the post office lost all of them.  

So I apologized on facebook, and I will apologize to those of you reading my blog.  Thank you, all of you, who gave to the giant collection of diapers, wipes, clothing, blankets, high chairs, and everything else the twins have needed and used.  I'm sorry I'm so lame.

I think I may have Ryan apologize to everyone at church too.  Next testimony meeting. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mount Rainier

Ryan noticed a certain something in my eye over the last few days.  It may have been all that time I've spent with the kids without a break.  It could be all the boxes we've been packing.  It could also be the fact that at this point in time, it doesn't look like our house (the one we are in) is going to close on time.  I am in a state of limbo. 

I do not like being in limbo.  Uncertainty drives me crazy.  If I know the facts, I can plan and work.  Otherwise I obsess and lose sleep creating "what if" scenarios.

Ryan described the look in my eye as looking like a "caged animal."  He decided I needed to get away.  So this morning we drove to Mount Rainier for the day.

I was excited to go walk around at Paradise.  Even as we were driving up there, I could see the fields of flowers and was envisioning a lovely walk.

So imagine my feelings when Paradise was covered in snow.
The walkways around the visitors were clear, but the trails were covered in snow.  There were markers in the snow, but we were not equipped for winter walking. 
The kids enjoyed throwing snow and slush balls at their parents.

But seriously, there was a lot of snow.
So we drove back down the mountain to where there were clear hiking trails.  (This picture below I took on the road.  I got Ryan to stop in the middle of the road so I could get it.  Not bad, eh?)
 We took the Box Canyon trail.

Then we took the Grove of the Patriarchs trail.  To get there, we had to go over this suspension bridge.  It was a one person at a time kind, so we sent Emma and Elizabeth over by themselves.  Emma isn't keen on bridges, but she did it.

At the halfway point, we stopped for a snack.  Angry bird graham crackers.
Afterwards, we took a trail to Silver Falls. 

 The kids did amazing.  They did all that walking, and we didn't get the stroller out once.  We had to carry the twins over the worst of the uphill walking on the last trail back to the car (whew, I'm not in that good of shape...).  It was a great day.

We drove a little ways before stopping for a picnic dinner.  While I was assembling sandwiches, the camera was slung over one of my shoulders.  I thought Emma was knocking the lens cap off and putting it back on.  Turns out, she was taking pictures.
While we were eating dinner, a friend of ours drove past, recognised our van and turned around.  I'm impressed they knew it was our Kia on the side of White Pass when they didn't know we would be there.  They were headed to Mount Rainier to camp.  Luckily for them they found us.  They forgot bug spray, and we gave them ours.