Friday, July 24, 2009

Camp Hunt

Camp Hunt: Where Friendships Begin. It is also where complete exhaustion kicks in. That isnt on their t-shirt for some reason!
We just returned from our 5 days up at Camp Hunt and we leave tomorrow for our family vacation. Nothing says vacation like running around like a mad woman with two toddlers! You may be wondering what it looks like to pack for 5 days at a camp with toddlers. Something like this.

You cant see the 4 suitcases behind all of this junk, but they are there. Along with the two pack n plays. Oh, and this was before I had to put the portable high chairs in there. I think you get the point.

My nephew, Jamison, posing by the old Camp Hunt sign. Camp Hunt is the summer church camp that I have gone to my entire life. Now that I am obviously too old to be a camper, I go back and teach Bible class for a week with my sister. We come with baggage, otherwise known as our combined four children. We were very fortunate this year that the entire kitchen staff was camping out in campers down by Grindley Auditorium, so Diehl Lodge was pretty empty. We were able to let the girls have their own room, Jamison his own room and Lily bunked in with Katie and I in our room. We could not have asked for better sleeping arrangements.

This year was VERY different than last year. When I took the girls up last year (
http://simplysullivan.blogspot.com/2008/08/camping-we-will-go.html ) they were barely crawling. This year they could run around all over the place. We set up Kiddie Central right in front of Diehl Lodge, which is where we sleep.


You can see the trail of disaster that they left in their path every day. Their play area had such a great location because we could see them if we went into the Lodge, if we went to the Mess Hall or if we went to the new Dorthy Page Health Center.

So what did they do all day? Alot of swinging.


And a lot of climbing.

But not nearly as much as they wandered aimlessly around camp grounds.

Ruthie's big thing was to push whatever she could find as far away as she could.



Here she is pushing her stroller with her sister in the Jean Wiebe Memorial Garden. They LOVED playing over there and smelling the flowers. I know Jean would have gotton a kick out of them.

She took Jaime's truck for a walk also.

When I say that she wondered far away, I feel as if you need perspective. For example, Ruthie is actually in the picture below. She is to the left of the tree on the other side of the drive.

Thanks to the power of my zoom lens I could keep an eye on her.

We also hung out quite a bit at the new Dorthy Page Health Care Center.

Oh! And apparently it looks as if Ruthie has wandered her way over to the porch. I wasnt joking about the roaming aimlessly. Both of the girls enjoyed walking over there and hanging out with every one on the porch. Ruthie just made herself at home.



For a little change in activities Katie brought up a slip and slide for the kids to play on. They were more interesting in the pool at the end of the slip and slide than in the slip and slide itself.




Any one that knew me when I went to camp knows that I always seemed to befriend the guys there, and usually dated some one new every year. So, why was I not surprised when I saw this.


Looks like the apple doesnt fall too far from the tree. This was completely unstaged, which makes it even cuter! They walked all the way from the Mess Hall to the Lodge holding hands. So sweet!

The worst part about the whole week was the fact that Maddie had some horrible diarrhea and an even worse diaper rash. She cried constantly from being in pain. We tried everything on that rash and couldnt get her any relief except for when we let her walk around in buff. So, part of our week looked like this.

Nothing says camping like a naked bottom!
Overall we had a great week, despite the diaper rash and pure exhaustion. I am so glad that my girls are beginning their camp memories now! Cant wait to make some more next year!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

May I Have This Dance?

I know, I know. You are probably thinking, "We get it! Your kids like the Wiggles! They can dance like them! Big deal!" But! Have you seen them dance together to the Wiggles! A-ha!


video

It never gets old to me and I see it almost every day.

We'll be MIA for the next two weeks or so as we go on vacation! A week of camping at Camp Hunt, which I am sure will bring lots of exciting posts, and then a week up at Sacandaga Lake with my family. Let the packing begin!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Cant Hear You!

There are things that I work hard at to train my children to do. I dedicate a lot of time to teaching them not to hit each other, to share, to not throw their food, etc. When they were younger I worked with them on rolling over, crawling and walking. Now we are working daily on trying to learn more words. I would say the majority of my day is teaching and training my kids.

I have added a new task to the list of things I feel that they should be able to accomplish. The aforementioned activities and abilities are probably on every mom's list in order to raise a healthy, well mannered child. This new task is purely selfish for me. My children will learn to wear a set of headphones. No if's, and's or but's. I think for the next 2 weeks I may actually be spending more time on this skill instead of an important life skill, like increasing their vocabulary. Maybe I will teach them the word headphones in the process. Kill two birds with one stone there.

Why is this so important, you may be wondering. When we are up in NY I have a trip to NH planned. We are meeting a group of twins and their families there that I am on a message board with. I am so excited! So excited that I am even willing to drive the 5 hours to NH, by myself, with the girls. That is how dedicated I am to these ladies and their twins. Upon discussion of this trip with my father he said, "You know that is only a 40 minute flight in my plane." My father's plane is 4 seater that has a propeller that is pretty loud. When you are flying, you need to wear a headset. Are you seeing the importance of this now? 5 hours in the car driving by myself with two toddlers OR 40 minutes in a plane. If it kills me they will wear this headset! Like I said, a completely selfish reason.

Now, plane headsets are a little larger than your standard headphones, so we have been practicing with the Bose noise cancelling headsets. We have two sets that I plug into the portable DVD player and we all sit down and watch it. It is exactly what they will do when they get in the plane. To be honest with you, I am a little concerned about if Ruthie will tolerate the headset or not. She just looks so unhappy and uncomfortable in it.

OK, not so much. The child loves this thing. She just fluffs herself up some pillows and settles in for a nice DVD experience.

Don't work too hard there, Ruthie. Part of me thinks she is so mesmerized because she can finally see the DVD player screen for the first time since she has her glasses! Whatever works though!

Maddie actually does ok with the headphones also. The problem is she wants to walk around with the headset and it is plugged into the DVD player. You can see how this would be an issue. I think once we get in the confined area of the plane where she cant go anywhere, she will sit still and watch better. Of course we'll do a test run with them before heading up into the friendly skies!

Once they master this skill, not only can we fly in my dad's plane, but I will actually be able to listen to the radio in the van while they watch their DVD with headsets on! I have almost forgotten that there is a radio that plays things other than Elmo and Wiggles! The selfish possibilities are endless!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bounce!

In my attempt to keep my children entertained, and more importantly worn out, we visited a place called Bounce U. I had never been there before, but that was the location of choice for our twins playgroup today. It was basically two huge rooms of inflatables for the kids to run, jump and climb on. Basically a toddlers dream! The fact that it was air conditioned, contained AND entertained them was my dream come true!

They covered all of the bases. They climbed OVER....

and THROUGH....
and IN BETWEEN.....

and UP....

and DOWN....

and UNDER.


Did I mention the bouncing? LOTS of bouncing. But, my camera sucks at action shots, so you will just have to imagine the bouncing.

Of course, their favorite thing was this bad boy.


In order to get up to the top of the slide you need to be able to master the "stairs", which are not really stairs, but more of a rock climbing skill.

This picture shows about as far up as the girls could get before they began yelling for me. I some how managed to hoist them up there, but any attempt to explain it in words would be futile. It involved a lot of knee work, some excellent balance and pretty much defying gravity. We made it up there several times. And all so we could do this!


Dont zoom in too closely to that picture. I have a really scary look on my face for some reason.

The girls came home and crashed into bed, which is always the sign of a successful morning to me!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good Morning!

I am not a morning person. That is probably an understatement. I am miserable in the morning. But, every morning, I crack a smile when I walk in and see this.




These girls have got some crazy hair in the morning! Ruthie slightly resembles Cousin It from the Adams Family usually. Maddie, on the other hand, has such fine hair that tangles so easily. So, she usually looks like some creature has burrowed a nest in her hair. She gets some amazing height with those knots! It is a complete nightmare to comb out.

Just wanted to pass my morning smiles on to you guys!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Safety First

Some may call this floatie-over-kill. I call it being safe. It really is all a matter of terminology.

You only need 3 inches of water to drown, and this kiddie pool is at least 6 inches. You never can be too cautious. That is my motto.

Ok, so I dont make them wear a life-jacket and arm floaties in the kiddie pool. But, I do make them wear all that gear in the big pool. Because my daughters do this...




and go from this...



to this....

in the blink of an eye. They truly are fearless when it comes to swimming. A good thing and a bad thing, all at the same time!

Now, if you really want floatie-over-load, check this out!

Now, for the depressing one year ago comparison....

Amazing what a year (and enough floaties for them to swim from Florida to Cuba) can do!

Friday, July 3, 2009

R.I.P. Ball Pit


We got the girls an inside ball pit for Christmas. They played in it all of the time until recently. To make room for different toys I had planned on putting the ball pit away. Then, all of a sudden, they were interested in the ball pit again, of course. I kept it up primiarily because they were playing in it together now and it was so cute. I would just hear them giggling in there, like in the video I posted last week.

If you watch the video again, you will see that Maddie has figured out that the ball pit is flexible. That is how she was doing peek-a-boo with Ruthie. Well, that was apparently the beginning of the end for the ball pit. The other day I walked into see this progression of events.









The ball pit has officially been retired in this house! It was a great 6 months while it lasted!