The flurry of activity that happens as we move through life

We went to an indoor Jungle gym sort of place. It’s about 45 minutes from our house. We have been there before, certainly. But this was summer vacation. It was a spontaneous decision to take the trip! We were going to have a blast!

Little #1, #2, #3, and I piled in the car and headed down the road with my sister and her kids close behind. In the short 45 minute ride there were approximately ten lane changes, one toll, eight name calling episodes, five toys flung, 20 “are we there yets” uttered, and one stop for gas. Let’s just say I was happy to be out of the car.

Upon arrival we checked in and got settled. The kids immediately took off and they played for a solid three hours. On their frequent stops at the table, I noticed that they were really hot and sweaty. Hopefully they were getting all that energy out so the ride home would be less eventful than the ride there.

As the three hours of constant climbing and movement came to an end we prepared to say goodbye to family and get in the car for the journey home.

First, there was a bit of the same bickering and loudness that we had on the ride to the play place . However, as the noise of the tires humming along the ground took hold, the kids started to drift off. I began to realize that although it is very amusing to watch the kids having fun….there is nothing quite like the quiet on the way home.

totally not my kids...but looks exactly like what would happen in the backseat after a trip to the junglegym soft play place!

Today was a rainy day. We were going to the beach but, alas, the rain changed our plans.

Instead we decided to stay home and have a party! An ice cream sundae party, that is! We got all the requisite ice cream fixings and went to town. We had marshmallows, gummi bears, chocolate chips, strawberries, bananas, caramel, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, cherries and sprinkles. We really had fun choosing and makking our sundaes. The kids eyes were definitely bigger than their stomachs! They really enoyed the festivities and laughter that accompanied it.
On a deeper note, I think that everyone enjoys letting go once in a while. We had a plethora of things on that table and I decided that I would let each of them have free reign and to absolutely make up their own sundaes..as long as they left some for the next person! We spend so much time telling our kids and others all the things that we can’t do..what we are not allowed..that this small time for excess was healthy and calming for everyone!

Well, at least until all that sugar hit our bloodstream!

Few things elicit a response the way fireworks do, for most people. Feelings of excitement, wonder, and happiness pervade at any firework spectacle. Watching the faces of children and adults while watching fireworks is enough to make anyones spirit feel lighter.

Very spontaneously, my sister and I decided to take the kids to the local celebration with fireworks yesterday. We usually don’t go because little #2 was afraid of the sounds. They are set off very close to where the watching occurs. So, consequently, it is so loud that the booming vibrates everything..even your clothes. So, we decided to try this year, as we haven’t been for quite a while.

We all piled into two cars and began our journey to this super small town that becomes invaded by thousands on this day. Parking becomes a exercise in patience and fortitude. We circled and circled, and circled again. Eventually we found two very small corners that we could just fit into. It seemed these were the last two remaining parking spots left anywhere in the area. Finally.

We climbed out and began our not so short walk to the viewing area. We walked for quite a while although the night was pleasant and the kids were staying relatively close at the moment. Dark was approaching. Fireworks wouldn’t be too far off now.

On our journey we managed to walk right past our brother’s car..amidst the overwhelming sea of cars in the area. A quick text and the opportunity materialized for us to meet up and watch the fireworks together. 🙂

All of the walking was totally worth the looks of amazement and wonder on the childrens’ faces as they watched the colorful explosions in the sky. I think, at one point, everyone was holding their hands over their ears. The Mosquitos we biting a little but no one was going to move out of their seats until the very last firework had displayed it’s aura of color. We all proclaimed our favorites. Giant circles, swirly loud gold ones, super loud flash bangs…we all had a favorite. We talked about it all the way back to the car.

If I had second thoughts about going or had not driven around just one more time, we would have missed this completely amazing experience that happens every year..almost in our backyard. I think people have a tendency to think they can only have “real” fun if they go further away from their homes. Sometimes fun can really be had very close, you just have to be ready to seize it. I know next year, we will definitely be there!

Dance Recital

Today marks the culmination of a year long dance class for little #2. She is so excited.

This little girl has been dancing and happy for as long as I can remember. The first year she started dancing she liked it so much, she asked to add two more classes the following year. Not that I enjoy sitting at the dance studio for two hours on a Saturday….but she is doing what she loves.

This year, she has three dance costumes. Ballet looks identical to a Cinderella dress, tap is a hoppy little red and black sequined number with a frilly skirt, and jazz, her fave, is a short black skiff with mirror polka dots. It’s also got funky little fingerless gloves to go with.

The recital was great. A little long but worth watching. Little #2’s dances were spectacular! She loves jazz so much. At one point she spotted all of her family in the audience and her whole face lit up with excitement! She couldn’t stop smiling then. Here’s to another sucessful dance year!

You know, I realized something…

Every summer we join a local pool. It has taken me a few summers to get to know the cast of characters that is ever present at said pool. It’s never very crowded, so it is easy to take in all the situations around me.
After the, what seems like, never-ending winter filled with cold, snow, frigid wind and other inconveniences associated with the otherwise lovley season, it becomes a welcome distraction to begin thinking about the upcoming summer months and the lazy days ahead of us. As always, the pool is one of these activities we can’t wait for! The smell of sunblock permeates the air, my children turn from light mocha to the unmistakable tan that can only be had from spending so much time outside.

So, we get to the pool and I take my requisite position at the picnic table. I begin to survey my surroundings and I realize that nothing changed. It’s just one year later.

Two older ladies have reclaimed their spots near the fence, firmly planted in their pool chairs. It’s as if they never left, just froze and thawed with the winter season. The children of the pool are decidedly bigger and more grown up. However, they all find their old friends from the summer before and begin enjoying the pool like they never left…parents bring their children, and maybe new siblings, to the pool and begin chatting with other parents about the previous school year and upcoming summer plans.

Taking a minute to realize this and let it sink in, I start to think. In the blink of an eye we have gone from layers, bulky clothes, itchy sweaters, gloves, scarves and hats, and grey days to decidedly less clothing and happier days. Everything seems alive and ready. The circle of the seasons has taken another revolution.

So, one afternoon I sat down with little #1, #2, and #3 and my sister and we made a list of all the things we wanted to accomplish this summer. No matter how big or small…on the list it went. This list is the result of that brainstorming session.

1. Swim a lot!!

2. Local children’s museum

3. Dollar movies

4. Free bowling

5. Library summer reading program

6. Potato chip factory

7. Take the train to a big city

8. Crayola factory

9. Take a ferry

10. Geocaching

11. Have a pool party

12. Beach at least one time a month

13. Visit family

14. Sundae party with homemade ice cream

15. Lazy train ride with picnic

16. have a water fight

17. BBQ

18. Fishing

19. Fireworks for the 4th

20. Canoeing

21. Camping

22. Ice skating

23. Paint pottery

24. Make a book

25. Have a funnel cake

26. Go to the state fair

27. Museum of natural history

28. Amusement park
29. Xbos

I’m sure as the summer goes on the list may grow. Hopefully by the end of summer there will be many things crossed off and we will have lots of fun memories to remember from this awesome summer.

The inaugural post

When I set about creating my blog, I had a hard time coming up with a name. The majority of my postings will center Around the things our family does for the summer months. However, I didn’t want to back myself into a Blogging corner by giving my blog a name only to do with summer..And flip the pillow was born.

Ever been in bed and realized that your neck is hot because you spent too much time sleeping on one side of the pillow? Desperately looking for relief, you flip the pillow and find the other side cold and refreshing…only to settle back down for your next adventure in dreamland. My blog name pays homage to that very feeling. Content, calm, and a feeling of triumph. 🙂