Sunday, September 25, 2016


It was one of those weekends that is just me & the kids. I confess that I had BIG dreams for this weekend. There were three painting projects, a construction project, and a fantastic cake slated for completion. Jim gets home in about three hours and oh, none of them have even been started. I could blame it on my mildly fractured fingers (smashed in an extension ladder), or two sick kids, but really, it's just that I had ridiculous expectations. Clearly I am not in single-parent mode any longer (thankfully!!) and grossly overestimated my productivity in a couple naptime hours each day (which I didn't actually end up with anyhow). 

We spent a lot of energy working through some emotional stuff Friday, then on Saturday we all needed a break. I told the kids (ok, just the one old enough to have super-strong opinions about family time) that we were going on an adventure whether they liked it or not, I would be taking pictures, and they were going even if I had to cram them into the car with bed head and pajamas still on. The threat of bed-head pictures posted on the blog for all to see did the trick. Happily, I can report that no force was necessary and they all came along joyfully. 

There is a nice little natural area we chose to check out. Honestly, I had no clue what to expect when we headed out and my gps couldn't locate it, so I was happy as can be to find clearly marked signs on the highway. 

There were really neat mushrooms growing all over the place, and we saw a turtle and a crane in the lake. My plan was to hike, but there was a wide mud bog at the start of the trail that Aeryn could leap quite easily, but was too big for T to maneuver and I had visions of myself knee deep in goo if I tried to traverse it with him while wearing the baby on my back. In a split moment I chose the easy (read: dry) option and we skipped hiking for the day. 

As we were walking along, one of Jim's coworkers saw us as she drove by. It caught me completely off guard to hear our names because we still know about four people in town. 

Aeryn did a reasonably good job of pretending to be interested. I'm sure she knew that her mom is a sucker and if she's nice just long enough she'll get her phone back before unleashing the teenage tyranny once more. What can I say, she knows me well. This time however I gave her a photo scavenger hunt and it seemed to keep her interest for more than a few moments. I'm sure it's hard to be a teenager stuck with the preschool age crowd all the time. Once in a while I succeed at being compassionate. 

Tate just loves everything.  He's at that super fun inquisitive, curious, and mostly cooperative age. I don't want it to change, though when he decides he's done with diapers I will welcome a little change gladly. 

I'm thrilled to have found a little place to escape from daily life and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. We all felt a little refreshed and it gave me the mental strength to make it through the rest of the weekend. Yay nature! We will be coming back here for sure, if only to look for more turtles. 

Labor Day

As part of our Indy adventure, we looked up some places worth stopping. Our first stop was to the Canal Walk. I was really impressed with the wide sidewalks and pleasant landscaping. There are apartments along part of the way and it ended at a medical campus. Jim and I agreed that if you were in a hospital long term it's the kind of view and walk opportunity that you would cherish. 

Aeryn started the day great but wasn't feeling well once we started walking. The little kids and I were on the other side of the canal and I had to snap this, although when she sees this later I will be in the doghouse for a while. She laid there for quite some time until we were ready to go. 

The babies and I took a selfie stop. I am making an effort to be in more pictures with my family if only to prove that I was here and involved! I'd hate for them to look back and not know that I was present. 

The walk didn't turn out like we planned, with sick/grumpy/stubborn moments, but it was a start. 

Jim had found a highly recommended pizza place that we drove around for a while to find, and then when we got there it was closed. As we looked around, suddenly we noticed several places were closed. It didn't even occur to us that may be the case, so we came up with plan B on the fly. End result: Stake & Shake and a park. 

The littles did really well in the car but I think they were excited for some time to roam. We found a cute little park attached to a fire station. It had a small creek with a few bridges and a fun emergency response themed playground. 

Dropping sticks off bridges has probably entertained countless children over the years. Who needs toys?

There really isn't much to say here - this is 100% accurate as to how the teenager was feeling about family time.

This playground was fairly new and I think once the trees mature a bit it will be quite incredible.

Labor Day didn't quite turn out the way we envisioned, but the smallest among us had a great time. The humidity and heat haven't clobbered us yet (but check out those pink cheeks!), and it's nice to realize that we can take something that is mostly just normal and make it a fun day.


One great thing about moving to the Midwest is that we are close to many cities/states/parks/places that we have never been to. This is going to give Aeryn and Jim a chance to add many new places to their state capitol visits! For Labor Day we spent the day in Indy and stopped by the capitol to add one to their list. 

We got there early in the day and the sun was already crazy intense. There wasn't much free parking available - or so we thought - so we quite literally parked on the side of the road at an intersection so Jim and Aeryn could hop out and I could snap a pic. I was standing in the middle of the road while the car was idling in park, so a sense of haste trumped artful aesthetic in the photo department. Although, that's sort of my life lately.

I haven't even taken the time to straighten the pics, which bugs me to no end, and more so now that I have pointed it out.

I really, really, want to claim this guy Oliver P. Morton was connected to Morton salt, but he wasn't, at least not directly.

The capitol square was rather nice, with interesting architecture and cafes. I'm sure at some point we will make it there again to explore further.