Friday, June 28, 2013

Jellystone

Wednesday and Thursday Brian, Dakota and I spent our time at Jellystone Park Campground in Hagerstown, MD.  We had a nice little cabin where we hung out together some, made a fire and roasted hot dogs and burgers and watched a Thursday afternoon rainstorm.  Out and about, we played mini golf, swam in the pool, or layed around the pool for me!  Koda did the water slides, played lazer tag, did the slipping slide, played even more mini golf and played catch with Dad.  We had Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast and on Thursday we celebrated Brian's birthday with an excellent dinner at Red Lobster.  It was a wonderful little getaway, but it sure did feel good to get back home today and get on pjs early and relax together here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Break - Week 4

Sunday was an at home day after a busy weekend.  Except for a quick trip to Walmart, Koda and I hung out at the house, me working and Dakota endlessly jumping rope and hula hooping in the livingroom.  We had a "tv dinner", meaning we ate our dinner in front of the TV, and then we came in to my room and watched Imagine That together in my bed.  We paused the movie and took time to read The Babe and I to tie in with our Babe Ruth lessons of the week.  It was a great book that left room for plenty of discussion on the Great Depression and some of the customary practices of the times.  The second time we paused the movie we read a few chapters of Danny, Champion of the World for our book club.  By the time the movie was finally finished (and it definitely wasn't very good), it was after ten and we were both ready for bed.

Monday I had all three day campers, Dakota and Natalie and once we had breakfast we all packed into the car and headed to Michaels for the kids' craft class.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the class was a drop off and got to spend an hour walking the aisles of the store while Nat happily sat in her stroller.  My friend Jeanette and her two littlest boys met us for shopping while her older kids took the craft class and around eleven we strolled the kids down to Starbucks and I got a caramel frappaccino that was to die for.  After the kids finished the class, we walked through PetSmart until Kris got off to get Natalie and then I took the older kids home for lunch and swimming.  They played badmitton, swam for hours and then played some more badmitton.  After they had left, my husband and I had an appointment, I came home to work and then it was time to do it all again.

Tuesday I had all all three day campers once again, but only Dakota and no Natalie. We went to the Hollywood in Arbutus to see Rise of the Guardians and had the nice surprise of meeting up with my friend, Kathy and her daughters.  We sat together and enjoyed the show.  I swung by the library to order more copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for our next book club and then brought the kids home for lunch and had our very first Roald Dahl book club on Danny,Champion of the World.  We read a biography for the author, filled out a timeline and answered some oral questions about the story.  Then we took a "quiz" and made our own plaques with medals, ribbons and stars and they painted their name.  Each of the three kids who made an attempt to read the book got a certificate of completion.  Afterward, they played Sorry at the table, badmitton in the side yard and then finished the day swimming.

That's the end of the regular "work week" for me.  We leave for Jellystone in Hagerstown tomorrow.  I am looking forward to some time with Brian and Dakota and the smell of the campfire and some roasted marshmallows.  Wishing it wasn't going to be in the high 90's, but at least our cabin has air conditioning!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Week 3 of Summer

After a tough Monday, I decided to let Tuesday be a day for Dakota and his summer camp friend to unwind and be free.  Dakota has been off for a few weeks now and he was ready for the routine, but the other little boy had just finished school on Friday and wanted a little time to do his own thing.  Tuesday was for video games, kindles and fun.  There were storms in the evening so they postponed our All Star game.

Wednesday was a new day and we started off the day in the right way. There was structure along with the fun and the boys went with the flow with minimal fussing.  We did our packets in the morning and then went to Homeschool Homeroom in Brooklyn Park where the boys got to do several Minute To Win It Challenges and play with other kids and I got to visit with old friends and sit and talk with Jeanette and some other homeschool moms.  After lunch the boys and I spread a blanket under the big tree on the side of the house and read our books, then I read them a book called Becoming Babe Ruth to go along with our baseball theme.  I was surprised at how well they listened and they asked great questions.  I am going to take them to the Babe Ruth Museum downtown coming up soon.  I think they will enjoy it.

Wednesday evening was Dakota's 7-8 All Star game.  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  There were a couple of kids from our past teams, as well as Dakota and Aiden from the Pirates.  Brian coached and I was an assistant.  The teams were pretty even, but our NL team was on top from the first inning and won by a score of 17-12.  It was so much fun and there were lots of fans to cheer everyone on.  There was good sportsmanship and good baseball. My son played very well and I think he had a great experience.  Afterward we had dinner and ice cream at Friendly's to celebrate. Congratulations, Kodaman.  I am SO proud of your baseball accomplishments this year!

Thursday brought a busier day than I had anticipated.  No daycare was the plan and Koda and I got our hair cut and visited with Ms. Dawn in the morning.  I dropped him here at home and then went into work, where I ended up staying for over an hour helping out.  I had errands to run on the way home and by the time I got here Brian had to go out to get ready for the men's weekend camping trip in the morning and I had to get things ready here at home for Dakota and I to go to Kings Dominion.  The night went quickly and I fell into bed later than I wanted.  

Friday morning dawned beautiful and clear.  I was out of the house with Dakota by 8am and heading down 295 at a good clip.  The GPS took us through Washington, but thankfully we didn't hit too much traffic.  We got to the park around 10:45 and went right in with no lines.  Koda was impressed by the fountain on the main drag and we headed right in to Planet Snoopy, looking for characters.  We had a great day, seeing Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Peppermint Patty and yes, the most important one of all, Snoopy.  I didn't realize how much Koda was still in love with all of them and it warmed my heart to see my tough little guy turn to mush seeing the Peanuts Gang.  He became a fan at the tender age of 10 months old when we visited the Mall of America and he saw a show there.  Now, eight years later, he's still in love.  It is great that some things never change!

I am not much of a thrill ride person anymore and Dakota never has been.  He had never ridden on a regular sized roller coaster and I was determined to get him on one.  I chose the Rebel Yell because it is really as harmless as it gets.  He was very nervous, but we were laughing our way through it and thankfully there was no line.  When we started up that hill though he was holding me for dear life and then when we crested and started our first drop he started screaming and he didn't stop until we pulled into the station.  He was terrified, but it was so funny and I couldn't stop laughing.  When he stopped screaming he actually started laughing too and he even admitted that, while he didn't want to get back on, it had been kind of fun.  

We rode a few rides, took in a show, visited the water park for awhile and then got some pizza and took in another show. I won him a Despicable Me stuffed animal at a game and then we went back to the water park where I enjoyed sitting in a chair and taking pictures while he played under the huge bucket of water, ran around the play area and slid down the water slides.  They closed it at 8pm and we went back into the park where he rode the bumper cars a few more times and then we walked around seeing the lights at night and headed out at 9pm.  Dakota was a bit of a bear at times in the car, but the 2 1/2 hour drive home wasn't half as bad as I had imagined.  My bed never felt so good, however, when I crawled into it at almost midnight. 

Saturday was for sleeping late and being lazy until I headed out to the grocery store and to visit Kris around 5.  I find I really miss my little Natty Bug when I don't have her every day!  I thought I would fall into bed early tonight, but I enjoyed some time in a quiet house watching It's Complicated, my very favorite movie, and playing on my computer.

I hope my Brians are having fun in St. Mary's City.  I had hoped my husband would call me tonight to say Good Night and he loved me, but he didn't.  I miss him when he's away.  I hope he misses me too.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Not a Great Day

Today was a tough one.  I thought it would be easy because I only had Dakota and one daycare boy who has come for years, but both of them had a pretty rotten attitude that seemed to grow worse throughout the day, which in turn made my mood turn south.  They played and had breakfast and at 9:45 we left for what I thought was a drop in craft time at Michaels.  We met our friends there and realized that it was a class and we missed it.  Oh well.  We got back in the car and headed to Lake Waterford, where the kids, all eight of them! were able to get some sun and fresh air, although they each spent some time whining and sitting with us.  My daughter and granddaughter joined in the fun and even the hubby dropped by.  When we got home, things really went poorly when I told the boys it was time to read while I made lunch.  My own son threw a tantrum and the daycare friend refused to read for the first 20 minutes.  After that, they didn't want to go swimming and argued with me because I said no video games.  Finally, at 3:00, they did their baseball themed packets and played a baseball math game that went well...after a huge fight about the rules.  They built a collaboration Lego project for their Lego Quest and then Dakota threw another fit about getting dressed for All Stars and then again about what he was eating for dinner. His dad was displeased with his behavior at practice and there was alot of nonsense going back and forth.  Then the dog escaped yet again and then there was more arguing from the son before I finally got him to bed and then had to work til 11pm.  UGH.  Long day.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The End of Summer's Week 2

We had an especially nice three days here at the Baublitz residence :-)  On Friday, we had our baseball game and the boys were so much fun and played so well that all we could do was smile.  Afterward, we were invited to Coach Jeff's house for dinner, where he and his wife grilled out and fed us steak and hamburgers and hot dogs, sweet potato fries and salad with watermelon for dessert.  It was wonderful and we sat outside on a perfect June night and had adult conversation while the boys played upstairs.  One really couldn't ask for a nicer evening.

Saturday morning was for cleaning and working on the computer while my husband worked, but by 12:30 we were headed back out the door for our last regular season baseball game and it too was a pleasure.  The kids played very well and they got their trophies after the game.  We have been so blessed with nice families and easy kids.  Afterward, we all headed to Opies for ice cream, as is the tradition, and we got to hang out and talk to the parents while the boys ran around and played.  From there, Brian and Dakota and I headed home to change and were back out the door by 5:45 for our concert at Pier Six in downtown Baltimore.  It was again a perfect June night and we sat in our lawn chairs on the lawn and waited for the performers to begin.  Our other son joined us after work and my husband's nephew and his wife and some friends joined us, as well.  We listened to Jana Kramer first, then Rodney Atkins, and the headliner was Darius Rucker, one of mine and Brian's favorite performers since his Hootie and the Blowfish days.  He is so smooth with such a great voice and he is just Mr. Cool.  He put on a great show and the best part for me was knowing how much my husband was enjoying it.

Today was Father's Day and I had gotten two Oriole's tickets so Dakota could treat dad to a baseball game.  First, though, he gave his dad the most thoughtful of gifts. Brian had been telling Dakota about a baseball card game he had played as a child and Dakota remembered and made the game up for his father and they played today, father telling son how it used to be and son telling father how it was going to be now lol.  I left to run errands and they left for the game, which our other son was working at.  I bought some great steaks and some fresh veggies and fruit, stopped at the thrift store and then came home to work until the game was over and it was time to cook dinner.  The four of us and our daughter, Keri had a nice steak and pasta dinner with fresh corn on the cob and while dad took a well deserved cat nap, Dakota and I watched Thunderstruck on TV and then Brian and I watched Game Plan in the livingroom while Dakota watched it in his room.  Now it's tiime for bed and tomorrow starts our first day of "summer camp".  Summer really kicks into high gear now!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wasn't Too Bad

So the impending weather didn't turn out to be all that bad after all, thank goodness.  It was wet and we had a morning storm and afternoon storm, but although we got alot of rain, the winds weren't awful and we kept our power.  It was still all in all a very wet day and we were inside once again until the evening when things finally cleared out.  Brian, Dakota and I took the dogs for a walk and there was a nice breeze blowing.  We didn't see any wildlife, but it was pleasant and we all got in some fresh air and exercise.

Today started wet, but it looks like it's clearing up nicely.  I have my great niece and nephew, as well as my granddaughter this morning and I think we are going to head down to the park across from our house shortly to get in a little energy burning time so they can settle and have lunch.  We are supposed to have baseball this evening if they can get the fields ready and then go over to Coach Jeff's house for a cook out and for the boys to play. This sounds like a very pleasant way to spend the evening and I am looking forward to it.  The weekend promises to be fun and the weather is supposed to be good, so it seems that we have finally put this stormy week behind us.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Weather, Weather Everywhere

Monday evening saw soaking downpours and when I went to pick up my daycare child from school I drovethrough rapidly rising water in places I would have never expected.  It rained long into the night and our son didn't get home from his job at the Oriole game until 2am after reporting to work at 9am the previous morning.

Tuesday dawned much brighter, with times of sunny skies and bright sun mixed with clouds and a bit of wind. We had our field day with Arundel Homeschoolers and I am glad we went.  Our friends the Lovars and the Newlands were there, along with several other homeschooling families.  The kids played on the playground, played volleyball and basketball, ran relay races, had popsicles and played capture the flag.  They were all filthy, but happy, which is all that matters when you are a kid, right?!  Dakota and I ran some errands before going home, picked up Mandy and then he and his dad went to football workouts while I took care of the folders from my PCA job here at the house.  I have been home alot lately and I am very much in my element here.  I can spend days, sometimes weeks at home, should my schedule ever allow anymore, and be perfectly content.

Wednesday we were at home and I have been trying to go through our homeschooling stuff to get ready for the fall and the summer camp kids coming.  It was one of those days that flew by!  I was watching the noon news and reading Facebook when I became aware of another impending set of storms that are supposed to be especially bad and effect our area tonight and tomorrow.  I am thankful that I don't have anywhere I need to be and won't have to go out, but I worry about my husband and three older kids who will need to go to work in this and then be there when things may be dangerous.  I will be responsible for Dakota and Natalie here alone, as well, which I know can sometimes get a bit scary when there is no other adult to "talk you down" when you begin to worry too much.  I hope that we all stay safe and that the weather isn't as bad as they expect, although no one seems to be saying IF, but only WHEN.

Monday, June 10, 2013

And on to Week #2

We finished off week one of summer with alot of rain.  It threatened all day on Thursday, but it didn't really start until just after we began our baseball game on Thursday night with the little league kids.  It didn't pour then, so lucky for us (NOT), we got to play in it.  Nothing like water dripping from your bangs into your eyes for 90 minutes while you are trying to act interested in the game and coach first base!  The kids had fun, though and Dakota made an unassisted triple play, something even his big brother can't lay claim to!  We ended up ordering pizza that night and stayed in on Friday, having a family movie night watching Parental Guidance.  This movie starring Bette Midler and Billy Crystal was a heartwarmer and very funny, a great family movie because I think Dakota enjoyed it just as much as Brian and I.  Saturday had games cancelled for baseball, but our party we had, which was thrown by Brian's supervisor, was on and fortunately the weather cleared up nicely so we could enjoy the company of his co-workers while we ate crabs, Koda swam and we enjoyed the spacious grounds and the pretty day.

Sunday ended or started the week, depending on how you look at it.  Brian took Dakota to another laser tag birthday party at Ultrazone for Felicia's son Nick and I took Kris to register for new baby Becca's shower.  It's hard to get into this pregnancy and be dreamy about my new little granddaughter like I was with Natalie because Natalie is right here, still demanding lots of time and attention and I feel guilty about the fact that I spent almost every waking minute thinking of Natalie's arrival and have barely given Becca a second thought.  I will love her with a passion, I am sure, but I guess that's the way with second grandchildren, just like with second children.  Life is too busy with the one you have to slow down enough to ponder the second.

Sunday evening saw the four of us at Down's Park listening to the U.S. Air Force Band.  Ms. Kathy and Aunt Charlotte and John were there and we took our chairs and our snacks, a football and a baseball and gloves and parked ourselves on the grass where we could see the water and enjoyed the music.  The band was good, playing mostly Foreigner and other bands from that era and I enjoyed people watching and pet watching.  It was a gorgeous night, overcast and not too hot.  We took our time getting home and the chicken I had on a timer in the oven was scrumptious, even though dinner wasn't until 9pm.

So now we move on to Week #2. Monday was dreary and wet, but we managed to get in 45 minutes at the library early so that we had books to get us through.  We found a great Lego Quest on a blog (http://legoquestkids.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-is-lego-quest.html) that I highly recommend and this has kept Dakota busy all afternoon thinking and creating Lego pieces in accordance with the quest directions.  Out to get Mandy, my daycare child on Mondays and Tuesdays, and then in for the night.  Sounds perfect to me.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First Week of our Summer

Since Friday was our last day of school, I suppose that Saturday started our first day of summer break.  Dakota had a football camp from 10-4 at Lake Waterford that his dad was running.  It was in the high 90's, but they had a turnout of 136 kids.  Afterward, he and his friends Bryce and Tyler came back to the house for swimming and a few hours of play.  They had a great time, but the heat had worn them out and we called it quits by 7 so Dakota could relax.  Sunday we went to the Oriole game and while rain threatened the whole time, the storms held off and it was a great game.

The week officially started Monday and we have a new daycare child who is Dakota's age and comes Monday and Tuesday before and after school.  We just hung out during the day, enjoying our first day that we were really off.  Tuesday we went on our first park quest at Sandy Point State Park.  We had alot of fun finding the boxes of puzzles, putting them together and finding out what the message was that pertained to Leave No Trace.  After a stop for lunch and picking up Mandy, she and Dakota got in the pool and then he and his dad went to the park to play ball before a late dinner on the grill.  Wednesday has been another slower day, hanging out here and then he has baseball tonight.  I did have plans for a movie and maybe a quest tomorrow, but I have heard rumor that we were in for alot of rain.  We shall see.







Saturday, June 1, 2013

Leaping into Third Grade....Literally!

Thursday was our last work day of second grade and to our surprise and delight, Dad brought home a bucketful of tadpoles Wednesday evening!  I decided, as any true homeschooler would, of course, to use this as a stepping stone for a day spent learning about frogs.  We finished our math book for the year and Dakota got his reading done on his chapter book and then we set up the aquarium for the tadpoles.  We learned about what they need to survive and why.  We read books, did cloze activities, looked at an anatomy model, did a lifecycle puzzle, made a craft tadpole with a template and brads and watched two magic school bus videos, one about swamps and one about cold blooded animals.  By days end, we were frog aficionados!

Friday saw us at our county review early in the morning. It went smoothly, as always, but Natalie was a beast and I was feeling stressed by the time we left.  We dropped our frog learning things off to a friend who was also gifted tadpoles by my husband and then met MomMom for breakfast at Bob Evans to celebrate the end of second grade and the beginning of third grade.  I thought, silly me, that since Natalie was now two we could use a booster seat instead of a high chair.  Disaster!  She didn't want to sit, wanted to escape, wanted to drop the crayons, didn't want to eat anything but blueberries....Whew!  But every time I would start to get angry she would snuggle up to me and give me sweet hugs and melt my heart.  This girl knows how to work her Nana!

We managed to get her home to nap for about an hour while Dakota and I soaked up the cool air conditioning and then back out we went to swim lessons.  Natalie ran and ran and ran there too, but it's kid friendly and she can't really get into much.  Dakota's coming along so well in swimming!  He's most likely going to pass level 6 and be ready in the fall for level 7!  Back home for a quick rest and a fabulous shrimp salad sub brought home by my husband and then off to Columbia for a birthday party at Shadowland....a laser tag place.  Lots of the football kids were there and Dakota was having a great time even before they told him to pick a code name (Captain Arsenal) and suited him up with a light pack, a laser gun and sent them into the play area for the first 15 minute session.  He, of course, loved every minute.  Back out to eat pizza and back in to play round 2 of laser tag.  Back out to eat cake and have fun with the boys and then off to Toys R Us in Glen Burnie to get the gift card Dad forgot earlier in the day.  We finally made it home about 9:00 so Dakota could grab a bath, a bowl of ice cream and drop into bed.

The very best part of the day, however, came as a surprise.  Laying in our bed, comfy and cool, Brian and I watched the O's game, as is our routine.  They were losing by 2 going into the last inning.  Still down by 1 with 2 outs and the last batter up and Chris Dickerson hit a monster home run to end the game with a walk off!  Whoops and cheers here.  The stadium went wild!  Our son came home from work with hugs and excited words for both of us.  We are truly a sports family from top to bottom.  That's not such a bad thing...most of the time :-p