Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Internet Down July 17, 2015

So, shortly after my last post, the internet went down at my parents’ house. That’s a bummer, because I’ll have a hard time chronicling the trip as I’d like to do. Looks like it’ll have to be highlights, with pictures to come in a future post:

  • Visits with family (Aunt, Granny, Brother, and Parents) and friends (many of whom I had not seen in quite a while…let me tell you, kids grow up fast!).
  • Seamus played Monopoly until his hands were sore from rolling the dice. We also had an epic game of LIFE with Pat & Kathleen that made for a lot of conversation later. Seamus was a physicist (and thank goodness we have a friend who’s a physicist so that he can understand what they do).
  • A visit to a couple of state parks for various playgrounds, picnics, and activities. I will say that we went to a certain park that made me feel pretty guilty for going, especially in light of recent events, but they keep the bathrooms so clean there that I had to stop.
  • We visited the fountain spray park in Bowling Green, and Seamus sat on one of the jets and sprayed a woman who was sitting on the edge. At first, I was upset with him, but then I though, Why on earth would you sit on the spray area if you didn’t want to get wet?! So we all laughed it off. Not in public, but in the car on the way home.
  • We explored the Bowling Green Skate Park. It’s really nice. But it was uncomfortably hot that day, and we only stayed a little while.
  • Tye-dying t-shirts and underwear was fun. The boys had a blast. Unfortunately, I should have washed the clothes in vinegar or something because they bled a little.
  • Swimming (and jumping off the diving board) at my friend’s house was idyllic. There was a tractor in the fields in the background, and the boys just went off the diving board over and over. Her daughter is 16 and caught the boys as they jumped. They liked playing with her and were braver than they would have been with me.
  • Snakey the cat sat in the Monopoly box, laid on the Monopoly money and swatted at anyone who tried to steal her money. She played with Porter and was far more patient with him than she is with anyone. She is a sassy cat, and we all love her. If the chair footrest is popped down, she’ll wake up and bolt under a piece of furniture so she doesn’t have to go out at night!
  • Gilbert found a giant snakeskin. Gilbert dug “hundreds” of potatoes. He declared it more fun than an Easter Egg hunt. I think he washed the potatoes for an hour.
  • The Russell Sims Aquatic Center was a hit for a morning. Lots of zero depth area for Porter to play, a little slide for Gilbert to enjoy, and a larger slide and diving board for Seamus to play in. We wore ourselves out in two hours there. Bret went with us, which was a big help, because I could not have supervised three kids with very different wants, needs, and abilities, in that environment. Bret did the diving and big slides with Seamus, and took Gilbert on a trip to Hawai’i in the play area. He held Porter while I checked out the water slide.
  • We ate about 50 lbs of peaches.
  • Porter took his first step and learned to climb down the stairs.
  • One of Seamus’s friend’s dad was on our flight back! He was a big help with getting the kids and their bags on the shuttle from the puddle jumper back to the terminal. I got lucky on both of those flights!

All in all, it was an action packed trip. There were some challenges, as always–often bathroom and tantrum related, but we had a great time. The kids are glad to be home though–when Seamus got in the parking lot at DCA, he sighed, and said happily, “Look at all the Virginia stuff around us!” I think he meant license plates, but it’s a good metaphor for being home.

Don’t worry about us slowing down, though. We took the kids to the Post Office this morning to apply for their passports….to be continued!

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