Vacation Should Be A Four Letter Word

Vacation. The word sounds relaxing and exciting, right? When you think of vacation, you think of a warm beach, a crystal clear pool, a snowy ski slope and of course oceans of wine. Am I right?

As a kid I always remembered our vacations as a fun escape from school and fun with the family. It was a time to go somewhere fun and new and exciting. We always had great ones like Washington DC, Myrtle Beach, Skyline Drive, Disney, Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, and a million other ones in between. I guess that they were such a blast in my memory book because I was the kid and not the parent. I didn’t have to plan entertainment, plan for car rides, traffic, book hotels and figure out ways to pay for everything. Everything just always seemed to flow seamlessly as a kid. Now that we are adults and we have to plan these vacations with our own kids, vacations might as well be a four letter word. Because I have used a ton of them during the past few vacations. Vacations are tough.

When my husband and I start planning out our next vacation will be, we go into it with as much excitement as a kid waking up on Christmas morning.  It’s fun trying to decide where we are going to blow our money each year. We used to take annual trips to Avalon, NJ but now we have been trying out a few new places. We have done Hershey Park, Rehoboth Beach and we were even going to attempt Disney.  We had the trip 75% booked, but then we ended up buying a house and couldn’t do the trip.  And as I look back I am probably happy that we didn’t go, who the hell wants to spend a 10 days in Disney with their kids?? Oh yeah, I guess a lot of people! We were definitely sad to give up the trip but we couldn’t pass up on upgrading to a new house.

This summer we did get to enjoy a few days in Lake George (with 2 out of 3 kids) and then Rehoboth Beach with all 3 boys. Lake George was awesome and so relaxing.  Then spending a few days at Rehoboth Beach boardwalk with all of the cheap rides, arcades, the beach and the hotel pool was great. I always like to take pictures of our trip and post them online. But not everything I post is as pretty as it seems. Yes, of course I post the fun, sweet pictures, but we all know that vacations can be pure hell with kids — especially 3 boys!  Does anyone else feel this way? Or is it just me? Why is vacationing with kids the most difficult thing in the world? I mean look at these sweet little faces from the summer, how could they cause so much trouble and drama?

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What you don’t see in the pictures that I post (and what everyone in the world posts online) is that 4 minutes before this one of them was screaming about sunscreen in their eyes and the other one was fighting with his brother because he splashed him.   It may look like we had a picture perfect trip, but trust me, we didn’t.  That’s the thing with online social media.  Everything seems perfect in everyone’s lives…. but it’s not. And that’s okay. I get it that no one wants to talk about the fighting that goes on before and after the perfect shot. But I don’t mind talking about it. Here’s our little story of our last vacation!

Lake George October 2016

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The boys had a four day weekend from school and we thought that it would be a great time to go on another trip. Four days away sounded nice. Like I said when we booked it, we were happy and thrilled to get away. We decided that we loved Lake George so much this summer  that we would go back again in the fall — with all three boys.

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Ben missed it over the summer because, well to put it nicely, we all needed a break. He definitely needed a break from us and his brothers.  Don’t get me wrong, mom guilt was with me the entire time we were away, but it was necessary and we all ended up having a great time. He wasn’t in 1/2 of our pictures because he wasn’t even with us for half of our trip.  Like I said, vacation is not always fun and exciting. It’s just like life but in a very expensive location.  Hey, he enjoyed time with his grandparents and we enjoyed some time with a little less fighting.  It was a win-win situation. Would I do that again, probably not but at the time in our lives, we all needed to regroup.

Well as this fall mini vacation got closer, I was becoming very nervous for a variety of reasons. The main being that the boys had lost their iPads the week before for bad behavior and there was no way that we were going to cave and give them back. We had done that one too many times and this time we had to stick to our punishment. So this meant 5 hours in a car (each way) with three kids and no electronics. This mommy had to plan. So when did I plan their in car entertainment???? ummmm 11pm two nights before our trip. Thank goodness for some great ideas from friends and for Amazon same day delivery.

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Well the day arrived, we were set to head up to Lake George! I was so sick to my stomach. Wasn’t vacation supposed to be exciting? Why was it such a hassle this time? But after we got on the road, something strange happened on the way up to New York – the kids were good. Sean read his book for almost three hours. And if you know this kid it’s not easy to get him to sit and read. He finally finished his very first chapter book! I was practically in tears. Owen watched some tv and then took a very long nap. And Ben worked on a Road Trip Journal and a few other mini activity books. He also spent a lot of time drawing pictures. It was strange but for almost 5 hours the car was silent. It was amazing. Of course I knew that this wouldn’t last the entire trip. So I sat there in silence and savored every moment of it.

A happy moment in the car vs. the moment his brother started to annoy him at the end of the trip by resting his feet up around his seat. See I can post the nice pictures vs. the reality.

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We finally arrived at our hotel (which is awesome by the way – The Holiday Inn) and then all hell broke loose. There’s just something about hotels that makes kids lose their shit. It must be the beds that they can jump across. Or the fancy bath soaps, or maybe it’s the key cards that they all fight over using. Who the hell knows but whatever air they pump into the rooms makes these boys turn into wild animals.  So after we unpacked and rested for a short time, we walked a bit around the hotel to show Ben all of the fun things.  Then we hopped in the car and headed to dinner.  This crew was hungry! We headed to one of our favorite spots in town Adirondack Pub and Brewery.  They have great beers and great food. We have hit this spot several times over the past few trips to Lake George. The kids were pretty good at dinner, and we still enjoyed some good old fashioned entertainment (Mad Libs, Word Searches, etc).  Thankfully the food was quick and we had a decent dinner! There was minimal fighting and we survived without the iPads. It was a Christmas miracle!

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The next morning we woke up and went down to the hotel for breakfast. So we ordered our yummy buffet while the kids devoured pancakes and chocolate milk! We decided to spend the day walking around in downtown Lake George. There are tons of stores, arcades, restaurants, etc. It’s a bit touristy but it’s fun. Our first stop of course was for mommy at the winery.  There’s a cute little tasting room for Adirondack Winery right on the main street. Over the summer we stopped in there for a quick tasting about bought a few bottles of wine.  This time around we found a front row parking spot so I got to run in without any children and do my sampling.  Delish!!! After a few samples, I purchased a bunch of wine for vacation and to take home. If you are ever in Lake George, stop by the winery! The barrel aged chardonnay is my favorite!

So now I was happy and ready to take on the day with these clowns.  Our next stop was the arcade. The boys were dying to go all morning long.  So we finally strolled in and I knew right away that a meltdown from Ben was on the horizon.  One of the prizes was a Five Nights at Freddy’s toy. Well it was at least 750 tickets and after all four of us playing for an hour we still weren’t close even if we combined our tickets. Ugh! Finally after 20 minutes of convincing him that he would never have enough tickets, he settled on candy. Yes we spent an hour in the arcade and at least $50 so he could buy $3 worth of candy! Fun times. But Sean picked out a few small things and was a happy camper. That kid is easy to please. It was a fun time. I was happy that I could play skee-ball and the boys were happy running around just throwing quarters into random games. I would have snapped pictures of the meltdown but I couldn’t get out my camera in between talking Ben down from his breakdown on why he just couldn’t play for more tickets.

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After the arcade mommy and daddy needed some refreshments, so we stopped off at a nice little bar called the 163 Tap Room for a quick beer.  It was nice to sit outside on the main street and have a cold glass of some IPA. The kids were being good at this point – mainly because Ben spent 45 minutes eating all of his candy (thankfully he shared some with his brother).  After our beer we headed over to Adirondack Brewing for a late lunch. Probably not the smartest move after two of your kids just ate a ton of candy. But we were hungry.

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This is where the second of the major meltdowns occurred.  We sat outside since it wasn’t too crowded and I was hoping we could have another nice meal like our dinner the night before. I was wrong, very, very wrong. This is one of the meals where I never sat down, Owen wouldn’t sit in a chair, Sean wasn’t hungry and Ben was yelling because he didn’t have enough fries. I was crying of embarrassment. Let’s just say that the young couple that was seated next to us won’t be having kids anytime soon.  I don’t know if they were just tired or having a meltdown from the sugar overload. So we scarfed down our delicious meals and I took off for the car.  Back to the hotel so the kids could explore the hotel and pool again and to work off their wild behavior.

The hotel has so much to offer for kids – that’s why we decided to go back to this one instead of trying something new.  We just spent an hour or so walking around playing on the playground, the putting green, basketball and shuffleboard.  Ben even attempted chess. I think he was just trying to make patterns with the pieces but he was having fun outside!

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After playing outside for awhile, we decided to go to the pool for a little bit before dinner. The boys were in heaven, they now had Sean’s new ball from the arcade to play with and thankfully they all got along.  They made a friend or two in the hot tub, which quickly became their favorite spot. Even I got into the hot tub. It was outside and since it was in the 50s, it felt wonderful. I think Owen enjoyed it the most since it wasn’t as intimidating as the pool.  The meltdowns stopped and we had a great time.

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After the pool, we cleaned ourselves up for some dinner. Dinner didn’t go as smoothly tonight, but we survived.  Thankfully the restaurant was dead (since we spent a lot of time swimming and had a late dinner) and we didn’t scare away too many people.  That’s the thing about traveling with kids.  No matter how much you have planned, no matter how much you spend or where you go, there will be meltdowns.  It’s inevitable with three boys who don’t get along in the real world, so why would they get along on vacation.  Dinner took a lot longer than expected and we had a few impatient kids.  The massive amounts of question games and Mad Libs that we played while waiting just wasn’t enough.  By the time dinner was over we were all ready for bed.  But it was such a nice night and the fire pit was going so we tried to sit by it for a few minutes.  Over the summer Joey, Sean, Owen and myself sat there for at least two hours.  I think this time around we got 2 minutes.  Owen was running all over the place and Joey and I just couldn’t relax and deal with chasing them around.  Ben was screaming he wanted to go to bed, so off we went.  It was pretty for the two minutes that we were there.

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We all crashed that night and were ready for our next and final full day of vacation. Joey and I decided to drive down to Saratoga, which is only about a 30 minute drive away from the hotel.  During the car ride and once we arrived, Ben was being very rude and had a horrible attitude about walking around town. We went into a nice toy store and he had a meltdown because he couldn’t get a book.  I was going to buy it but Joey reminded me about his attitude that morning and we agreed it wasn’t right to reward him for his behavior.  Well you can see what happened next.  I spent the next 15 minutes trying to calm an out of control kid on the side of a gorgeous downtown main street while in front of a wine store!!!!! Why was it too early to drink???? AHHHHHH

After walking around for a bit we needed some lunch.  And since Ben was hangry and only wanted pizza so of course we had to stop into a pizza shop to feed him. I knew if he didn’t get pizza the day would just go downhill, especially since we were headed into a nice restaurant for lunch. I mean look how happy the kid was now that he had a few slices of pizza.

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The rest of us found a nice Mexican restaurant to enjoy our lunch and mommy finally got her glass of wine! AHHHHH The kids did well here (mainly because hangry Ben was full).  He spent our lunch drawing pictures in his notebook.

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On the ride back to Lake George, we decided to stop and visit this mountain drive that was right outside our hotel.  It’s called Prospect Mountain and was a great spot to see gorgeous views of the lake.  We were going to do it that morning but it was too foggy out.  It was mid afternoon so the perfect time to check out this spot. Now of course we had the typical Callaway boy reactions – Sean was all into it and Ben complained. At Prospect Mountain, you can either hike the trail or drive up to the top and then walk the last 1/4 mile up the trail or road.  We of course decided to drive up.  We are not hikers, Joey’s legs and back are still killing him and were not dressed to hike. Oh and from what I have read it’s steep in a few spots and not recommended for kids. Especially our kids who can barely walk to the car without complaining how far away it is.   The mountain is about 2030 feet above sea level and has the most gorgeous view of the bottom of Lake George.  There are three lookout spots to park your car and then you park at the summit. We walked up the road for the last viewpoint. Whew! Just getting up that hill was a hike. But we made it to the top and it was worth it.  Ben cried every step up the hill but he was in heaven when he saw the lookout viewer. Thank goodness I had a few quarters in my pocket to keep him entertained while we actually admired the view (and made sure that Owen didn’t walk off the cliff). Definitely worth a visit during the fall months.

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After Prospect Mountain we hit the pool and hot tub one last time.  You spend all of this money to go to a nice fun town and all the kids ever care about is the hotel pool. Oh well, I’ll take it. It’s one of the very few times where Sean and Ben get along so it was worth it.

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This time Joey took the kids to the pool so I could have a few minutes of quiet in the hotel room. And by quiet, I mean drink two glasses of wine without having to entertain the kids.

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Ahhhh just mommy and her wine which only lasted about 8 minutes until I was asked to bring Sean’s ball down to the pool! DOH!

Dinner that night was pure hell. The boys would not settle down. I thought that after a day walking around town, doing a mini hike and spending an hour in the pool that they would be a little tired! NOPE! Dinner was a disaster. We tried Mad Libs again but this time everyone had run out of adjectives. Well Joey and I had a few that we could use but probably not ones that were appropriate for the kids to hear.  Owen again wouldn’t sit still.  Next time no matter if the kids eat free or not, I might do room service! Worth the extra $15 in meals – haha!

I wanted to do the fire pit again but that lasted about 8 seconds. It was time to go back to the room again. After an episode of some kids show, they all fell asleep! FINALLY!

The next day it was time to head home.  We went down for a quick breakfast – which wasn’t so bad this time around.  The kids were happy to have their pancakes again and by this point we just wanted to get on the road.  So we loaded up the car and took a short drive to the west side of the lake to check out the views and the drive.  Then we jumped on that interstate and booked it home!

Vacationing with kids is so exhausting. Kids fight, people cry, someone doesn’t get their way but in the end, you do it all over again.  You do it because you do have those few moments where everyone gets along, where the view is absolutely amazing or you find a restaurant that everyone enjoys. Or maybe you just drink enough wine to get through the trip!  I guess in a way it’s just like childbirth…. it’s horrific at the time but you forget about all of the bad parts when you decide to have another child.  So when Joey and I start planning our next vacation, I pray that we forget all about the horrible dinners, the fighting in the hotel room, the bratty behavior when God forbid I force a kid to walk 1/4 mile and I remember that one special moment, that was captured in one picture, that showed me why we do this to ourselves as parents…….

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Vacation Part I: Bethany Beach

So the last two weeks of summer we spent it traveling around Delaware for a mini vacation! We had no camps, no doctor appointments and no schedules. Just some good old fashion summertime fun.  We started off the two weeks by celebrating Sean’s 5th birthday at the bowling alley. He had a small group of friends and his family there to celebrate.  His actual birthday was still a few days away but it was the best time for everyone to come together and celebrate.

The next day we headed on down to Bethany Beach Delaware to crash my sister’s vacation!  Her family had a townhouse with a ton of space so I brought the three boys down for some beach and pool time with family. Unfortunately, Joey still had to work so he missed out.  The first day we all did our ice bucket challenges on the deck before chowing down on Grotto’s pizza.

My boys were in absolute heaven.  All of their cousins were down at the house as well.  They had their baseball gloves and soccer balls and 3 other boys to play with! They were awesome with my guys.  And Ben only fell down in the swamp by the lake once!  Poor kid was all cut up but he didn’t complain {much}.  It was quite funny.

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Tuesday was a gorgeous, hot, beach day.  The kids were so excited to get in the water.  I was a nervous wreck.  The ocean was angry that day and the rip currents were very strong.  The boys both wiped out under the same wave and I thought they were going to get swept away.  Thankfully I was able to grab Ben while my brother-in-law grabbed Sean.  It was the scariest 10 seconds of my life.  Ben was pretty nervous the rest of the day.  Sean, yeah not so much.   After a few hours my anxiety couldn’t take it and Owen was a little fussy so we headed back to the house.

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On Wednesday, we decided to skip the ocean.  My sister and brother-in-law took most of their kids to Bethany Beach for the day but my mom, my niece Molly and I took the boys to the community pool.  That was much better for my anxiety!  The boys were so happy that they could swim without swimmies.  The lessons were a hit this summer.  They were doing cannonballs all afternoon long and they actually let me throw them across the pool.  It was a blast. I had such a great time that day.  That night we had a nice family dinner and celebrated Sean’s birthday again!  This time with a Ninja Turtle Cake from his aunt Tara and uncle Matt.

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Now it was Thursday morning and this part of our vacation was coming to an end!  We had an awesome few days with the Rahe/Thuer crew!  Thanks again Tara & Matt for inviting the Callaways down to invade your vacation! We all had a wonderful time!

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Now onto the next part! It was time to head up to my in-laws house.  They were going to watch the boys for a few days until Joey and I came back down to start our week of vacation.  Today was also Sean’s actual birthday! He had birthday cake for breakfast, Chick-Fil-A for lunch and his grandparents attention for 3 days!  He was thrilled.

Owen and I headed back home to New Jersey to clean the house, do some laundry and pack for round 2 of vacation!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Summer Vacation!

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Owen Thomas – 8 Months Old

Only 4 more months of formula! WAHOO {I am typing this as tears stream down my face}. My baby boy is growing up way too quickly. I cannot believe that he is 8 months. 4 more and he is going to be 1. I just can’t even think about that right now or I will be curled up in a ball on the floor crying hysterically. There’s just something about knowing that this is going to be the last of everything. No more babies so I am trying to savor and enjoy every moment with this guy.

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Seriously, I still think of little Owen like this:

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oh and this:

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Photo Credit: Photography by Jen Davis

But now that he is 8 months old, he looks a lot more like this

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So what has this little man been up to the past few weeks? Well let’s see. He now has two bottom teeth and a few more are trying to come through. He has a few grumpy days when his teeth hurt but other than that he has no issues. The drooling has slowed down a bit thank goodness because he was a soggy mess all day long.

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He said his first word a few weeks ago! Thankfully I recorded it!  Of course it was dada.  You know the guy who isn’t getting up with the kid twice a night?! Dads always get the first word! But that’s okay Owen calls me dada all day long so the word really doesn’t connect yet!

 

He has been doing awesome with his rolling and sitting up. He doesn’t really fall over anymore when he’s sitting — except if he reaches too far for a toy. He hasn’t started crawling yet but I know that it’s coming soon. The past two days he has been getting up on all fours and rocking. Oh he definitely has the backwards scoot down now. I will set him on the floor with his toys to play while I clean or cook and I will look over and the kid is half way across the room. It’s almost time for baby gates and baby proofing! AHHHH I am so not ready for that. I feel like I finally just got all of that stuff put away from Sean and it’s already coming back out. So just a warning if you are coming to my house. I apologize if you have to go through 2 gates, a door knob lock and a toliet lock just to get to the bathroom!

Owen also had his first beach day last weekend.  We drove to Avalon for the day and he enjoyed every minute of it.  It was his first time in the sand and ocean.  It was the first time he ate sand too!  He loved the beach and smiled the entire time!

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He also had his first taste of ice cream at Springers in Stone Harbor and sat in a high chair for the first time!

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Then it was off to the park in Avalon for some swing time.  He loved it of course! Seriously this kid is ALWAYS SMILING!!!

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So we have had some wonderful times with this kid! He truly is a blessing to our family. I didn’t think that I was going to have a third kid and now I cannot imagine my life without him.  He just warms my heart up each and every day.

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Let’s Play Catch Up {While the Boys Play Catch}

Alrighty, I know that it’s been a few weeks since I had a personal post.  As you can imagine life with 3 boys is a little bit hectic.  They keep me very busy each and every day.  Now that the weather is warming up we have been trying to do some fun family things.  We have spent a lot of time outside playing in the yard, riding bikes and had a trip to the Crayola Factory a few weekends ago.   We have also been trying to do some minor house repairs. I am trying to update Ben & Sean’s bedroom.  A long, long time ago — actually 6 years ago tomorrow — we moved into this place with just Ben.  So their room was the guest bedroom and I had painted it a light green to match my fancy Restoration Hardware bedding.  Fast forward 6 years {and two more kids later} and we no longer have that guest bedroom and that bedding is in a tote somewhere in our basement.  So I wanted to update the room a bit to make it their own.  I painted it a nice tan and I can’t wait to buy some wall name decals from Etsy for above their beds.   I also plan on finally hanging the curtains {the ones that Sean ripped down two years ago} and add a few shelves.  One of these days I will finish it and post some pictures.  But I did get the painting done one morning so that’s a start!

Last week my dryer broke — it just stopped heating.  So I waited around today for the GE repair man to show up and tell me what’s wrong with the thing.  Of course it wasn’t the dryer.  He said that I am getting no airflow so my ducts are probably in need of a good cleaning!  Now having your dryer break when you have 3 kids is not fun.  I have been hanging up my clothes all over the place.  It’s not fun washing boys socks and hanging them over the shower rod.  Then your shower rod falls down at night and scares the living daylights out of you.  Oh and during this time, Sean had an accident over night and Ben had a bloody nose.  So I had two comforters and a set of sheets to wash.  Thankfully we spent some time in Delaware this past weekend so our laundry made the trip with us.  Thanks to our moms for helping us wash our clothes! It’s just like when we brought them home over Christmas break in college!  I really wished that it could have been fixed today because I need to do some more laundry ASAP!

So I can’t believe that Owen is almost six months old and that summer is just around the corner.  The past six months have been crazy and hectic but it really has flown by.  My little guy is getting so big and I want to stop the clock and slow it down.  Owen is rolling over, trying to sit up and already eating a ton of food!  Here are some recent pictures of him.

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I mean come on, how freaking cute is this kid.  Just six months ago he was this “tiny” little 10lb chunky monkey!!

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Photography Credit: Photography by Jen Davis

Ben has been doing pretty well at school. He loves going (even though he is home sick today with a “sore throat”). He loves reading books and doing his homework. The kid has handwriting like his father…. Messy. But he is such a hard worker.  We are also working on some of his behavior issues and hopefully we can get them under control soon!  Ben has an exciting summer coming up.  He will be going to 2 weeks of CCD camp right after school ends and then he has a few other weeks of Rec Camp.  I can’t wait for him to get out there this summer and enjoy himself.  He is always so anxious when he is trying new things {hmmm not sure where he gets that one from} so I really hope that he has a fun time at his camps.

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Ben is starting to enjoy sports a little bit more.  He has started to play basketball a little bit more and wants to play for our rec league.  He also spent the weekend in Milton playing baseball with his daddy!  Both kids had some great hits.  I’m still trying to explain the game to them but tonight they did go outside together and to have a catch!  It was quite amusing watching them play.  I think between the two of them they caught the ball 3 times but they didn’t care.  They had a blast.  Ben even told me tonight that it’s not about catching the ball, it’s about having fun.  A quote that he just picked up from watching the movie The Sandlot this week.

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Sean is also enjoying school. He loves his friends and he definitely can’t wait for September. He cannot wait for kindergarten and the bus ride! I can’t wait either.  Sean also has a few weeks of camp this summer as well.  He has Kindergarten camp.  Ben went for one week last year and loved it so I decided to sign Sean up for 3 weeks.

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Between the camps, visits to Milton and my mom’s pool I plan on keeping the kids super busy this summer.  Less time for trouble and lots of time for fun.  I hope that they both learn to ride their bikes without their training wheels too.  Sean rides his bike a lot more than Ben so I have a feeling that he will be the first to get it.  But fingers crossed for both of them.

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This past weekend we took a trip down to my in-laws for some rest and relaxation!  It was nice to just hang out all weekend.  We didn’t make it into Rehoboth because Sean got sick but we did have a lot of fun cooking Smore’s on the firepit and swinging in the trees!

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So that’s the latest with our crew.  I am busy every day running to the bus stop, school, karate, grocery stores, painting bedrooms and scheduling dryer repair men!  In a few weeks school will end and the schedules will be all over the place.  I hope that it’s not too crazy and we all have a fun and exciting summer!  We hope to make it up to Hershey Park, take the boys camping for the first time and get to the Jersey Shore as much as possible!

What are you summer plans for the kids? Pool? Camps?

Have a good weekend!!!!!

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Wordless Wednesday

It’s time for a photo dump from my iPhone.  I couldn’t just pick one picture for today’s Wordless Wednesday post so I thought I would post some pictures of our weekend in Hershey Park!  We had a great day visiting with my college friend Janelle and her family.  It was so nice getting together and my kids actually behaved!  All the kids got along and played nicely. It was a great time.

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Saturday night Joey headed off to the Dave Matthews Concert and I stuck around the hotel with the boys.  It was bedtime and after a day of playing I figured that they would pass out! Nope, I was wrong.  Ben passed out around 9pm and Sean followed around 10pm.  It wasn’t too bad though because they had some new McDonald’s toys to annoy me play with.

The next day we headed to Hershey Park in the horrible heat.  It was an extremely hot and humid day but we still had a blast.  It started off a little slow because Ben doesn’t like to walk.  So I had to run back and rent a stroller for him.  Then he was too hot to get on a few rides.  Finally after some water and a slushy he bounced back and had a great time.   The kids enjoyed a ton of rides, the sea lion show skee-ball and of course french fries!

Everything went pretty smoothly that day.  Then we stopped back into Chocolate World for a delicious snack and it happened.  The meltdown of all meltdowns. The one where everyone looks at you like you are trying to kidnap your own child.  The one where other parents are giving you dirty looks and judging because your kid is screaming his head off and there’s nothing that you can do.  Yeah it was that kind of meltdown.   Joey had to hold one of his hands and I held the other and we basically carried him out of the massive store and back to the car.   The entire time he was screaming his head off and was trying everything in his power to annoy us.  It was a long day and everyone was hot and tired so I know it wasn’t all of his fault.

Here are some pictures of the fun times at the park!

Chocolate World Tour – Yes I will take that whole thing of Reese’s please!

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Now it’s time for the park!

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The boys found the giant Hershey bar.  For the first time ever, Ben wasn’t shy or afraid of a character! Yeah!!!  Maybe he will sit on Santa’s lap this year.

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Sean loved having this ride all to himself.  I think he went on it 3 or 4 times.  I lost track.

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Our view from the kissing tower.

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Sean was really into the sea lion show!

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Sean’s last day of camp is tomorrow and then we are off for a pool play date with friends!  It’s going to be another hot one out there. I know I am having trouble breathing when I am outside so make sure that you all take care of yourself if you are spending any time out in this heat wave!!!!!  Is it too early to put up my Fall decorations? I can dream right? My favorite season has to be coming up soon, because this heat is pure torture!

Well that’s all for now! I’ll be back tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!

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One Crazy Busy Week

I feel like I haven’t typed a post in ages! I mean a real post, not a baby update or a Wordless Wednesday post.  I finally have a few minutes a day while Sean is at camp to type up some posts. Of course Ben has been sick the past few days so my time is limited.  Let’s see what’s been going on with us.
Last Saturday my in-laws came up to our house so I could go to a Dave Matthews concert with Joey and some of our friends.  It was the first DMB concert that I have been to since I had Ben. I honestly think that my last DMB concert was back in 2006.  I couldn’t believe that it has been that long but lately I have been sending Joey to concerts with his friends. It’s too hard to get a babysitter all of the time so I pick and choose the shows wisely.  So it was nice to finally get out on the town and bar hop {oh wait, bar hopping sucks when you can’t drink beer}! But it was still fun hanging out with friends in Philly.  The concert was a lot of fun but I must admit that I didn’t know a lot of the songs.  I really haven’t been following Dave’s new songs over the past few years so I was a bit lost.  Thankfully I had good company!!!!

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Sunday we spent the day packing up Ben’s stuff for his trip to southern Delaware with my in-laws.  It was his first time away without mommy and daddy!  We have gone away for a night here or there but never for this long.  He was so excited to go and I think that he packed up almost every single toy in our basement to take with him.  He just wanted to pack everything up so Sean couldn’t touch it.

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From what I hear, he had a great week!  He played outside, spent a lot of time in his swing, got his haircut, and even played “bop the can”.  I’m still trying to figure that one out!  But he had fun and was well behaved so I am thankful. I missed him so much but it was nice to Facetime with him while he was away. I just love technology.  I remember spending a week or two at my grandparents house when I was little and waiting for that rotary dial phone {the only phone in their house} to ring so I could talk to my parents.  Times sure have changed.

Sunday night after Ben left we went out to dinner with daddy!  He was craving some ribs so we popped into Texas Roadhouse for some food!   Some of my best pictures of Joey and the boys are sitting in a booth at a restaurant.

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While Ben is away, Sean and I will play.  And by play I mean we just moved in with my mom in northern Delaware.  She has a big pool in her backyard so we decided to spend our time there since it was so freaking hot outside.  We went down Monday afternoon and swam all week long.  We did take a break to run some errands on Tuesday.  We hit up Newark to full fill my Grotto Pizza craving {twice}.

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On Wednesday we met up with my sister to do a tour of the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory!  I love a tour that gives out fresh chips at the end! We wrapped up that day by stopping by the mall to do some retail therapy {and Sean had some play time}.

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We also went to a friends house for their annual July 4th picnic.  What did Sean do at the picnic? Well he swam for 4 hours straight. I could not get him out of that pool to eat.

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While we were at the July 4th picnic, Joey went down state to pick up Ben from his parents house.   He spent the day visiting with them and drove back up that evening.  I was so happy to see Ben, but I think that Sean was a little more excited!  Despite all of their fighting he really did miss his brother. Oh and they had a fight within 10 minutes of reuniting!

On Friday we said goodbye to daddy so he could go off on his 4 day Phish tour in Saratoga Springs, NY.  I spent two more days at my moms with the boys and then headed back to New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.  We managed to squeeze in two more days of pool time. I don’t think that my mom has been in the pool that much since they put it in.  I know that she has never been in it this early in the season {or that early in the morning}.  She was a trooper with the boys!

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So here we are on Wednesday.  I have my 20 week OBGYN appointment this afternoon and Joey is off to another Phish show tonight.  Sean started his first week of camp ever at his preschool.  HE LOVES IT!  This week they are celebrating all of the holidays.  Monday was Halloween and Tuesday was Christmas.  Sean told me Tuesday was Easter so I put him in an Easter shirt, only to find out it was Christmas! AHHH.  That kid loves to mess with me.

Ben has been sick now for a few days with a headache {and a fever at night}.  The boy refuses to take any kind of medicine other than his seizure meds.  The poor little guy, I hope he starts feeling better soon.  He was supposed to start karate last night but  I had to reschedule his orientation because he was sick.  I am so excited for him to start, I just hope that he enjoys it.  I can’t get this boy to commit to anything.  He wasn’t a fan of soccer and refused to do t-ball.  Let’s hope karate does it.  I want him to be active in something other than his angry bird games!

Well I guess that’s it for now.  Nothing else to report here in New Jersey other than it’s hot and humid! Happy Summer!

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Wordless Wednesday – Avalon Edition

I finally uploaded the rest of my iPhone pictures to my computer so get ready for a photo dump here!  If you want to see some of the other beach pictures that I snapped of the boys, then click here to view my post from yesterday!

We have arrived!

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Sunday – Checking out the beach for the first time this summer.  Ahhh, I finally got my feet in the sand {yes, I know that I am pale}.

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Ben was a little chilly on the beach but he still had a blast.  Sean, well he is just like a little old man sitting in his chair watching the waves roll in.  Love that kid.

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Sunday night we went to my Aunt & Uncle’s beach house on the bay of Stone Harbor for a wonderful dinner and great conversation. Oh and this was the same shore house that Taylor Swift used to spend her summers in and her dad still owns it.   Pretty cool.

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Ben is so silly and so freaking cute!

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Then it was time to catch some frogs!

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Monday we headed back to the beach and filled our buckets with tons of water & sand

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Tuesday was my belly shot day! Officially 14 weeks!

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Tuesday night we headed out to dinner at The Circle Tavern.  Always a great meal here!

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After dinner, Sean passed out on the car ride home. Ben was lucky and got a few minutes at the park with daddy.

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Wednesday morning we had a delicious breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House!  Yummy. Yes, Sean is wearing the same shirt that he wore at dinner the night before – don’t ask!

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Then it was back to the beach for a few hours of sunshine!

Sean was so cold but was determined to eat his snack! Silly boy!

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Just rolling around in the sand!

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We pretty much had the beach all to ourselves most of the week!

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A little selfie.  I never do this but I really liked my hair that day!

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Thursday was another wonderful beach day! The rain came in late in the afternoon but we were able to squeeze in a few hours under the sun before we decided it was a little too windy & chilly.

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Sean and I decided that just because neither one of us could drink wine we would toast our water in fancy plastic wine glasses! Cheers!! Oh and yes, I had to addt hat second picture in there! He looks trashed! He has the best facial expressions!

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Friday was a wash from the rain so we just went to Stone Harbor and did some shopping {after another great breakfast at Bill’s Pancase House of course}.

This is what washed us off the beach on Friday night.  New Jersey is under there somewhere!

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Saturday morning we packed up the van and said goodbye to Avalon.  We hope to visit a few times this summer but can’t wait to spend another week there next year! I just love this family tradition!!!

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When we got home I realized how much I missed my own shower! But I would do anything to spend my summers down the shore!  I’m still trying to find a way to make this happen!

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Avalon… In Pictures

I like to do my annual beach photo shoot but this year I could not get my good camera to work so I used my mom’s little camera. I also didn’t have good lighting this year. Due to the expected rain, we had to move it to the morning and the sun was just a little too bright for the boys. We have a lot of squinting and closed eyes. Oh and they were NOT in the mood for pictures {especially Ben}, so I couldn’t get as many shots as I wanted. Oh well, I was still able to get some cute pictures of the boys.

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Is he deep in thought or just mad at me for taking pictures?

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This one picture cracks me up. Ben was crying because of the sun and Sean was holding himself because he had to pee! Nice one boys!

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The one photo I have with me and the boys!

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Stay tuned this week for a few more pictures! I am trying to go through the ones on my iPhone.

Wordless Wednesday

AHHHHH relaxation! There’s nothing better than a little R&R down at the shore {yes, I am officially New Jersey now, I said the shore and not the beach}!!!

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Talk to you guys soon!

Baby Update: Week #14

Even though I am sitting here relaxing on a beach, I thought that I would give you guys the latest and greatest on baby #3.  I am having a great time with my family in Avalon and I do miss you all. I hope that you have enjoyed some of my picture updates on Instagram and Facebook page.  If you don’t follow me on those pages, be sure to head over there now!!!!

Number of Weeks: 14 Weeks

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Weight Gain / Changes: So I haven’t really gained a ton of weight.  During the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I actually lost about 6-7 pounds but I have been slowly gaining it back.  Not to say that I am not already HUGE.  I started showing with Ben right around 12 weeks and with Sean at about 8 weeks.  This little baby has been kind to mommy and I didn’t pop until I hit 12 weeks.  But when I popped, I popped! I already feel huge and I still have 26 weeks to go!

Cravings / Adversions:  I am still craving everything greasy right now.  Plus I want everything that I am not supposed to have during pregnancy.  I want a large turkey sandwich {can’t have lunchmeat}, with a hot dog on the side and I want to wash it all down with an ice cold pint of beer!  AHHHH! Hey if that’s my biggest complaint this pregnancy {not drinking} then I will be okay!

Sex of the Baby: Sooooo… You are all dying to know, right? Well I finally found out what we are having! But…. You will have to wait a little bit longer until I share the news with you.  Yes, I like to torture my loyal readers but giving them cliffhangers!  So keep checking back, I will be revealing it to you all this week!!!  Is it a boy? Is it a girl? You will just have to wait and see.

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