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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

July?! Check!

Happy August – ahh! It’s the last month of summer vacation already!  Good thing we have plans to make it a ridiculously fun (although busy) finale to this season.

July was over in a blink.  We had a wonderful time though.  We celebrated the 4th of July (slash a VERY belated birthday for Zachary) at Great Wolf Lodge water park. We had looked up height regulations before we left and saw that Kayliana was about .25-.5 inches shy of the required 48 inches for the biggest slides, so…we brought her ‘fake ID.’  I put a very festive like-fireworks-exploding-out-of-her-head ponytail at the top of her noggin and it did the trick.  The girl measuring her immediately put the coveted green bracelet on Kayli’s arm and off we went to the very biggest, freakiest, fastest waterslide of them all: The Howling Tornado.

Somehow, it was determined that Mike would take Kayli in a tube and I would take the boys.  Well, according to Mike, due to the huge imbalance in their weights, as soon as they hit the big dip/waterfall, Mike was tipped over backwards so much and Kayli was up so high, he was sure they were going to flip over.  Then, upon entering the huge funnel, where you go UP-and-down, UP-and-down  three times through the rapids, on the last UP, Kayli yelled, “I CAN’T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!”  Of course, they come out and Mike was a little traumatized.  He at Kayli to see if she’s OK, and nano-seconds later, she has a huge grin on her face and announced, “THAT WAS AWESOME!”  She ended up doing the Howling Tornado about 9 times throughout our 2 days in the park.

In addition to the waterslides, Zach got a ‘magic’ wand that could interact with ‘magic quest’ screens throughout the hotel.  He loved it.  Kayli and I joined a lobby dance party in the evening.  And we all watched in pseudo-fear as the lobby-display of freaky, creepy animatronics came to life and repeatedly sang, “There’s nothing to be scared of…here.”  (Matthew leaned over and said, “Uh, yeah, except to be scared of you guys.”)  The people-watching and the constant tattoos-on-parade were an equally fascinating and entertaining visual.  We all had a great time and even managed to watch some fireworks out of our hotel room window before collapsing in bed.
A couple of weeks later, the boys left for a week of sleep-away camp.  My calendar reads that the week they were gone, I was going to declutter and organize and catch up on a year’s worth of music class lesson planning.  I did get some lesson plans done, but that was about it. 

Kayli learned to ride her bike without training wheels – gasp! – the day before the boys left for camp, so that’s all she wanted to do.  Seeing as we live on the side of a pretty steep hill, the only safe(ish) place for her to ride is the bottom of our street.  I managed to take her out every day that the boys were away.  (So, yay mom-choice, boo-lack of visible ‘to-do’s’ accomplished.)  
We also had a few (smallish) trees taken down in our ravine and all of them trimmed up.  It looks so much better and thanks to the tree chips left behind from the work, we even have a level, cleared out play-space at the bottom now.  The kids have been having a great time playing down there and working on building a lean-to fort.  I’ve also been having landscape companies come in to give us bids on the huge project we need to do in the backyard.  (Excavate, level, terrace, put in drainage, remove railroad tie retaining walls, build garden brick walls, put in gravel for an outdoor kitchen and firepit spot, etc.  A HUGE project – and pricey-pricey – to say the least)!  We’re pretty sure we’ve decided which company will do the work and now it’s just a matter of saving up money for a couple more months before pulling the trigger.  (Ideally the work needs to get done before the super rainy late fall-early winter arrives).
I took both boys in for orthodontic consultation.  Zachary will be having oral surgery on 8/22.  He has to have a baby tooth extracted, a cyst removed and biopsied, and a gold chain attached to his permanent canine for pulling down in the future.  (Hopefully it will move in on its own but that’s doubtful and orthodontia will likely be required).   I think the gold gear in his mouth will really boost his hip-hop/rapping career.
And Matthew won the orthodontic lottery and will require everyone’s favorite: braces AND headgear.  (“At home-head gear” – cuz, you know, it’s all PC now, and they wouldn’t dream of subjecting a kid to wearing headgear out in public).   There’s no way we can afford to have both boys in fancy mouth-metal at the same time, so, we may just flip a coin or choose our favorite kid and that one gets the nice set ‘o teeth.
On the books, for this last month: a staycation with our besties (aka a “clancation”), our 15th wedding anniversary and family camping trip, and then Mike and I head to New Orleans for the National Engaged Encounter convention AND our anniversary get-away.  (Kids are ecstatic as they’ll be staying with the besties and then grandma too).   WHEW!

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