Holy CRAP am I ever tired. I had an UBER busy weekend~ uber fun, and uber busy.
Friday a.m. I had booty camp. Then ran home, rushed thru a shower, and sped to our friend's place for a Nerdette and mini nerd Mini Fest, picnic-and-playtime at the park. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, it was THAT GOOD to see my friend Dana, who lives in Mexico, and to get together with Louise and Torie, the other local Nerdettes.
Here is a short history of the Nerds.
There once were 6 men (this number fluctuates slightly, but there seem to be a solid core of 6).
Their names were Brent, Gary, Sam, Andrew, Andrey, and Dean.
Sam married Torie.
Dean married Caroline.
Andrey married Jen.
Brent married Melissa.
Andrew married Dana.
and Gary married Louise.
I think I got that in order.
Strangely enough, six men married six women who get along REALLY well. Isn't that weird? I find it amazing. And we get along with all the guys, too. So then,
Brent and Melissa had Ayden, Matthew, and Riley.
Sam and Torie had Bennett and Addison.
Dean and Caroline had Holly and Jillian.
Andrey and Jen are in the process of adopting one (maybe two!) baby from the Phillipines.
Gary and Louise had Kai and Koen.
Andrew and Dana had Eva, Micah, and (soon to be) Wee Wilms #3.
That was definitely not in order, though Ayden is the oldest and Wee 3 is the youngest.
Do you see how we are expanding exponentially? Getting together is getting ridiculous.
Brent and Melissa,
Gary and Louise,
and Sam and Torie are local.
Andrey and Jen live in the Phillipines.
Andrew and Dana live in Mexico.
Dean and Caroline live in Ontario.
And I really hope nobody minds that I publish all this info.
Anyways, our Mexican Nerd Contingent is visiting this month so we are enjoying as much Nerdtime as possible with them (True Nerdfest, a once a year event that tries to gather as many Nerds in one spot as possible, doesn't start til August, but Dana will be too close to full term to fly in August so they came early. Better early than never!)
We had a great playdate. It was actually kind of neat to sit back and let my oldest 2 do their thing and let Riley putter around close to me, and sit on a bench and relax a bit. The bulk of the kids are 2 and 3 so the other Nerdettes were sweaty from chasing...next summer I'll be at it again with Riley, but this year I'm getting a breather. Ayden and Matthew are easy now. And I'm getting more experienced so the CRAP days aren't quite as overwhelming as they used to be. Hah, I say that now but I'm positive that tomorrow will overwhelm me. AND I did smack Ayden's leg in frustration tonight in the car so I'm no SuperParent who never loses her Cool quite yet.
After we were done at the park I dashed home to throw our gear in the car for 2 nights' camping and drove to Barrier (about 4 hours without kids and potty breaks and breastfeeding babies) with Brent's sister Cherilyn. This camping trip was to celebrate Brent's grandmother's 80th birthday. We had a blast! Oh my gosh, Ayden and Matthew played free range ALL Friday evening and Saturday. They were the same colour at the end of the day~you couldn't tell who had brown or white skin, or black or blonde hair, they were so covered in dirt. They collected grasshoppers and frogs and leaves and rocks and flowers, they had nicknames and superpowers and tussles in the dust, they ate, they played, and they got DIRTY. I LOVED that they were this free and this dirty and this full of classic Huck Finn fun. I didn't see them from dawn til dusk, except for mealtimes. This kind of stuff is SO GOOD for kids, I think. Some free range fun in nature with minimal adult meddling to sort out who they are in the world, you know? Awesome.
(it helps that I'm reading Last Child in the Woods right now, and plan to read Free Range Parenting--or is it Free Range Kids? Can't remember; whatever it is, I plan to read it next. Kids + free play in nature=Good Things)
We camped 2 nights, celebrated great grandma's 80th with all 8 (or 7? I didn't count them but they were all there) of her kids, their spouses, and many of her grand and great grandkids. Tons of people. Tons of food, cake, photos, games, campfires, marshmallow roasts, bugs, stories, jokes, laughs, memories, gifts, cards, and fun.
I hiked to the top of a mountain with Brent's brother Brian and sister Cherilyn. Brian carried Riley for me in the Ergo so he was there, too. It was beautiful and I was glad I went, but it showed me how much more booty camp I really need to do (actually I need to get back out there running sometimes to get my endurance up again)....
This morning we packed up and drove back again the 4-hours-without-kids trip home, I threw the kids in the bath for a quick scrubdown and there has never been a bathtub filled with dirtier water in the history of mankind, had a shower myself, and threw them BACK in the car for another mini Nerdfest, with the guys this time, for dinner. It was awesome to see everyone. I wish, wish, wish there were no such thing as money and we just did what we wanted to for free, so we could visit with these friends all the time. It is good for the soul to be with such good people.
The lowlights of the Barrier trip were:
Riley poonamied a total of 6, yes hear me, SIX times in 36 hours.
Ayden played so hard and avoided the outhouse so hard he peed his pants once and pooped in his underwear a "tiny bit, mommy" once.
Matthew played so hard he forgot he had a bladder the whole 36 hours so by bedtime last night he had not a single article of clean clothing in his suitcase.
Riley got bit by some bug that made his ear bleed.
Matthew got bit by some bug that made his face bleed.
(joking. the drive wasn't that bad.)
The lowlights with the Nerds:
Leaving to go home after each mini fest.
I. Am. Exhausted.
Tomorrow is a lie low day. We're going to the water park to get a normal amount of dirty and tired; we need a break from all this extremity.
What a great way to start the summer.
[oh yes, and Brent had to work so he missed it all. Yes, you did hear me correctly: I DID take three children camping by myself. Well, there were relatives around, but I think this was closer to taking 3 kids camping alone than any of YOU have ever done. Pat, pat. Yes I deserve a medal. Thank you, thank you.]
photos to come.....