Buckle up for a long ride!
Just a little heron:
Basically we’re going to do a big photo dump.
I watched that little guy for like five minutes as he wrestled this crawdad:
It’s hard to see, but basically things weren’t going well. The crawdad was still alive. The heron either couldn’t eat him, or couldn’t subdue him enough to fly off with him.
I love this outfit:
Rascal, after having an accident:
Me: Where are your pants?
Rascal, pointing to them: Over there. They got pee on them. I’m going to miss those cutie little guys.
Years ago, I pledged that I would never force myself to write anything that bored me. I feared that if this blog turned into a slog, I would cease to write. So in the name of blog fatigue prevention, I vowed never to obligate myself to recount life events.
Then I had kids and the blog evolved into its current weekly-diary format. To what extent am I honoring that pledge of tedium-avoidance? Who can say. Not this week!
(But, it’s been an unusually busy week, see.)
Farm monster doodz, blocking all your cars.
This is just the kind of corporate name I love:
Utilatub, I-tilatub, we-all-tilatub for Utilatub.
Ace got one hell of a goose-egg:
Look at the curve of that lump, below the bandaid! It was one hell of a grapefruit.
She also scraped her knees, elbows, and side of her belly, all pretty significantly. She’d been running and stepped on her shoelaces and ate it. They were even tied!
Hawaii worked very hard on this. It does not mean she’ll grow up to listen to pop country music.
See my paws:
They’re my daintiest.
We celebrated Hawaii’s 10th birthday early.
“This is a drum set. I hope you enjoy it. Please flip it over.”
One of Ace’s many presents for Hawaii. Ace put the drum set in a box, and taped the note on it:
And then when you flip it over:
(Ace explained that she didn’t know how to spell Hawaii’s name.)
This was Thursday, even though Hawaii’s birthday was Friday.
Geebie Family Day fell on Hawaii’s birthday this year. So she opened presents on Thursday, before we left to go camping.
“Doesn’t this ribbon make me look like Matilda?”
She’s not wrong!
Look who is on our porch!!
Four sweet baby kittens. I feel you, mama. (They were gone when we got back from camping.)
In the past, we’ve always rented a house for Geebie Family Day Weekend.
But in my mind, it was always temporary. Since we’re on one salary right now, it seemed like a good moment to end that tradition and switch to camping.
Palmetto State Park is just a little southeast of us.
They’re known for their lack of Ws in the cabinet of letters:
but they manage to improvise.
I don’t even know what caused this moment of bliss, but let’s savor it:
Four Geebies swinging!
Tick tock, tick tock.
Creepy little fuzzy dude:
The internet tells me this will be a white-marked tussock moth.
Thursday night: magic word were said, cheerios were planted.
we grew our breakfast.
and harvested it on Friday morning.
Then we went out for ice cream, since it was Hawaii’s actual birthday,
in the nearby town of Luling. It is impossible to say “Luling” without sounding like you’re making fun of dumb hicks. It’s just the most yokel name possible for a town.
We all got a little chilly, from the ice cream.
especially this little extra terrestrial.
I did take a moment to feel a swell of pride. Ten years ago, we’d been sitting around twiddling our thumbs, wonder if our baby would ever make her appearance. There were contractions. Our doula made us stay home far longer than we expected. She made us walk around the neighborhood, as the sun rose. I had to pause in front of our neighbor’s house, and wait out some contractions.
Around 9 or 10 am, we headed to the hospital, and Hawaii was born around 2 that afternoon.
And now she’s a big, competent ten year old, and we’re big competent parents. What on earth.
“Now that I’m double digits, I’m a TWEEN,” she said to the other kids, tossing it out grandly like she’d said queen. Qween indeed.
We were at this same campground about three years ago. Back then, this was a low-water crossing:
It was a side-walk with some clear water gently running maybe an inch deep. On either side of the sidewalk was a perfect wading area for small children.
(Times have changed. They said it was erosion due to flooding, plus recent rains.)
Storing nuts for the winter:
When we were here before, a girl got bit by a water moccasin. It was awful. Our friend’s kids were right next to her when it happened.
The girl was camping with her dad, and after the snake bite, the dad got in a big fight on the phone with the girl’s mom, and was totally ignoring the girl. When the ambulance came, one of our friends ended up riding to the hospital with the girl, so she wouldn’t be alone, because the dad was being such a dick.
People do swim in the water – there’s a dock and a second floating dock to swim to. Other kids were swimming all weekend long. But there are definitely a lot of snakes in those waters, and we were too spooked, and we nixed it for our kids.
Our friends all came out for the day on Friday.
Cupcakes for all!
This state park feels a lot like the Gulf swamp ecology, like Gainesville.
Home sweet muck.
They’re not kidding.
Here is a flyer:
see, plenty of swimming in those infested waters.
Also note the large, cartoon breast, which displays camp dates.
Old timey, hydro-powered non-electrical water tower.
These little guys were swarming everywhere:
The internet tells me they turn into Tiger Moths.
On Saturday we took the kids here:
It’s a very tiny amusement park.
There’s really only three traditional carnival rides, some go-karts, a few water slides, and those indoor attractions.
But it was perfect.
We got the kids wristbands,. All the arcade games are free if you’re wearing a wristband. So when the kids are hot and tired from the rides, they can self-regulate and go play video games in the air conditioning, and not feel like they’re missing out. I think that is so, so important. It still feels special, but calmer and solo.
Also not really any lines.
It used to be an old grain station.
These silos have a climbing wall on the outside of them.
The kids played their hearts out.
and we returned to camp.
Hawaii said to me, “We did so much fun stuff today. But I can’t help but look around the campsite and think we wasted the day.” MMMHMMM.
And then today was Easter:
(And Passover, but we’re punting on that until next weekend.)
Jammies put some eggs out around the campsite.
…and we packed it up, packed it in, and drove back home.
But WAIT. There’s MORE!
After we bathed the children and decompressed, we headed to a friend’s Easter thing:
Maybe I really am just documenting for the sheer tedium of it at this point.
But it was beautiful out, and the treadmill of life felt distant.
Before the Easter Egg hunt, Pokey said to me, “I hope there’s no Golden Egg with some really big special thing inside it.”
“Because then you get focused on that, and it’s not as fun?” I asked.
“Yeah,” said Pokey, “it’s more fun if we’re all just looking for little things.”
I thought that was so insightful of him, and so interesting, for him to recognize how tense and anxious he gets when the stakes of the competition are raised.
This little guy just laughed and laughed so hard, when he opened an egg and found that orange little guy.
Isn’t this building a pretty shade of green?
Tomorrow is Ace’s 6th birthday!
(I am so goddamn excited to sleep in our beautiful enchanted bed tonight.)