Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20 - 26, 2016, MO, IA, MN

IMonday, June 20.  I was hooked up and heading north by 8:30, on the road for 7.5 hours with beautiful weather, a few sprinkles and a bit of wind, but not bad.  I talked to Ben this morning and he said the kids are getting  excited to see me. I got a text from Jill Sunday that said she heard Norah and Camille talking about Grandma Rose in their cribs.  She sent me this picture yesterday.    

I am so ready to see them all - the last 2 weeks with siblings have been great, but I'm ready to be with my sons and their families.

I drove as far as Clear Lake, IA and am settled in at Oakwood RV, relaxing on the patio, having a glass of wine, listening to music and enjoying the quiet and solitude - taking advantage since I will be in grandkid mode for the next couple of weeks.  Look what just landed on my foot - a visit from Mike's spirit and a reminder that he is always with me.

Tuesday, June 21.  I got my little house cleaned and the tanks all emptied and refreshed and then headed for Ben's house, only a 2.5 hour drive.  I picked Charlotte up from school and got the biggest smile and her first question was "did you bring your little camper"?  They love the new dresses that I brought for them.

Then, when Norah and Camille woke from their naps, they were all over me too.  At dinner, Ben asked Norah what the best part of her day was and she replied "Grandma Rose".  I now need to get back in their daily routine so life continues to run smoothly for all.  This is what bath/bedtime looks like around here.

When Jill got home from work, we talked through the night and caught up on things - 6 months is a long time.

Thursday, June 23.  I had the kids by myself today and all went well, so different from last year.  After walking Charlotte to school, Norah, Camille and I walked to the lake and spotted some ducks and a blue heron that was wading right close to the shore, made for some excited jumping and clapping of hands.  They are speaking so well now and the vocabulary has increased to where you can have conversations with them. They wore the new dresses that I bought for them and Norah kept telling me "I like my new pretty dress".

We all walked to Pershing Park for an ice cream social after dinner tonight and they all wanted chocolate - go figure, we should have taken off their pretty dresses ahead of time.  The sky started to look like rain, then it started to sprinkle and by the time we got back home, we were all soaked through.  The kids all thought it was pretty cool.

This morning, Charlotte and I got ready to go camping.  I was unable to get s site where we had gone in the past so we are going to the KOA in Jordan, MN this time.  Yesterday, we planned our menu - tomatoes, carrots, edamame, strawberries, and nuts for snacks; shrimp and rice and grilled cheese for dinners; and eggs in a hole, oatmeal or cereal for breakfast.  It seems like all we do is eat and find activities to keep busy with - oh, and lots of trips to the playground which is right across the way from us.

Friday, June 24.  What a day! Awake at 7:30. Get dressed. Breakfast - eggs in a hole were a great treat. Walk around the park. Playground. Drawing activities. Snack. Pool. Shower. Snack. Activities. Playground. Snack. iPad drawing. Dinner. Playground. Campfire. Snack. Brush teeth. Jammie's. Stories. Songs. Back rub. Sweet dreams. Pooped Grandma.

Saturday, June 25.  I had everything put away and ready to pull out of the campground by 8:30 this morning in order to get Charlotte to Jack's birthday party in time.  I got back to Ben's just as he, Norah, Camille, and Ruby were walking to Bruegger's for bagels.  I joined them and the bagel was welcome, as I didn't have time for breakfast before leaving the campground.  The nature center where the party was held looks like a great place to return to, and it really is pretty close by.

Camille woke up this morning and said to Jill, "no diapers, Mommy. I want to wear undies and go in the potty", so today is day one of potty training.  They both did well with lots of praise and celebration when it happens.

The day was full of activity.  Jill and her dad were working on installing new tiles on the fireplace. The finished product is going to look so nice once the insert is installed.

Lois and Dennis joined us for dinner and Ben made tacos with flank steak, Spanish rice, beans, and pickled onions. Yummy!

Sunday, June 26.  After bacon and egg frittata for breakfast, we packed a lunch, loaded up the van, and headed for the St. Louis Park aquatic center for an afternoon of swimming and play in a giant sandbox.  Ben and Jill left with the twins, so they could put them down for a nap, Jill did the grocery shopping, and I stayed with Charlotte.  She was like a little fish in the water, spending more time under water that above, jumping into the pool and doing belly flops and twirls.

Another delicious dinner of grilled BBQ chicken and sweet corn, made by Ben, topped off the evening.