Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Living in the Deep End

Last week on vacation, the house we were staying at was in a community with a couple of pools. Isabelle has turned into quite the water child this summer so she was loving it. Water can be a struggle for me though given that I'm usually alone in the water with a 5, 4, and 3 year old none of whom can swim completely independently. Isabelle was close but she felt that she still needed a bubble. I knew that she could swim on her own if she gave it a chance but she hadn't mentally come to grips with it yet - until last week. I think extra time in the pool and my husband being in with us gave her the confidence that she needed. We arrived on vacation with her still wearing a bubble and left with her swimming alone in the deep end, jumping in the deep end, and swimming underwater. Once she realized she could do these things there was no stopping her. She was in her glory and loving every minute of it!

So proud in the deep end!

Like a fish!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Starting off Vacation at Urgent Care

Why is it that kids always manage to get sick on vacation? It's like their bodies know all the time, energy, and money you've invested in having the BEST VACATION EVER and their immune system gives you the middle finger.

The week before vacation Daniel had a minor cold - basically a runny nose for two days and that was it. It really didn't impact us at all although I did fear that the other kids would get sick from it. But what would it matter? It was a MINOR cold. Fast forward to last Friday when we are driving 8 hours away from home and he starts coughing. Still not really a big deal though. Fast forward to the following night though when he's up throughout the night coughing and wheezing like crazy. He has wheezed in the past with colds but nothing to that extent. By Sunday morning the poor kid couldn't even say a sentence without being out of breath and you could hear him breathing from across the room.

So Daniel and I headed out to check out Delaware's finest urgent care clinic. We were literally standing at the door when the nurse came out to unlock it so he was the first patient seen. When we got there his pulse ox was reading between 89-91 (normal should be around 98-100) so we spent a longggggg day there. He had several nebulizer treatments, steroids, and there was talk of admitting him to a local hospital. Ummm...can you say nightmare?!  

Luckily, Daniel was in great spirits even amongst his lack of oxygen. This worked to our advantage when hours later he was bouncing off the walls and singing and dancing in the hallway. His oxygen level was up to 95 and given his appearance (which I think was partially drug induced!) they felt comfortable releasing him. Thank God!

So we were then off to wait a couple of more hours at two different pharmacies to get the medicine and nebulizer machine that he needed. I was almost in tears when the first pharmacist said we would need to go somewhere else (after already waiting 45 minutes). Nothing is ever easy even on vacation. Daniel didn't seem to notice though since he was glued to my iPhone which he's usually not allowed to play with. 

When all was said and done though, a few days of treatment worked wonders for him and we were able to enjoy the rest of our vacation (more to come about it in later posts!). Also, he at least planned his urgent care trip to occur on a rainy day. He's considerate like that. 



Friday, August 16, 2013

Minivan Mamma

Two weeks ago my husband was in a car accident. He was actually in a parking lot and a woman (clearly going too fast) ran into him and totalled his car. He was fine (thank God) but we've been dealing with the annoyance of the accident ever since. We had both cars paid off and no intention of buying a new car anytime soon. So we went back and forth on what to buy. Should he get a small commuter car since the kids rarely go in his car? Should he get an SVU that could fit the kids in it if needed? Should he live out his dreams and get a truck and make his weekly Home Depot trips magical? I said (and honestly meant) that he could get anything that he wanted. 

I've made it no secret that my next car without a doubt will be a minivan. Knowing that I would need a new car in a few years, his practical side won out on his decision. What did he agree to do? He let me get a new minivan and he's going to drive my Mazda 5. Yup, he's not so bad.

So he picked up my new ride last night and brought it home. It's a 2013 Toyota Sienna and it's pretty amazing. I went outside to check it out while the kids finished dinner. I sat in it alone and in the quiet and debated if I would ever get out of it. Inside it was the kind of place that my dreams are made of. Shortly after, the kids came out half dressed with dirty hands and faces and jumped like crazy around in "their" new car. My magical moment was gone but it was pretty nice to see them so excited about it. People can say what they want about minivans but gosh darn it I love them. The doors, the space, I just can't get enough of it. I almost slept in it last night. 

She's a thing of beauty

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Boy And His Ties

For Henry's last day of school ceremony he insisted on being "fancy" and wearing a tie. No problem except that he doesn't own a tie. How many four year olds do? I assumed he would forget about it but when he didn't I borrowed a tie from a friend. He proudly wore it (while sporting Spider-Man flip flops) at his ceremony. But the tie obsession didn't stop there. He continued to ask to wear them long after I returned the borrowed tie. After spending some time on YouTube researching how to tie a tie, I then let him wear my husband's ties for a  while. But alas, the phase didn't end so I gave in and bought him a couple of ties of his own. He loves them and wears them all the time. I'm not gonna lie - it's a pretty cute phase!

Cool dude wearing one of his dad's ties!

Looking fancy on the way to the grocery store

Ties add sophistication to our day
Anyone else have a tie lover out there? What about another "odd" accessory?

Monday, August 12, 2013

King Richard's Faire: Ticket Giveaway!

King Richard's Faire will soon be open weekends from August 31, 2013 through October 20, 2013 (including Labor Day Monday and Columbus Day Monday) in Carver, MA. Have you been to the Faire before? Last year was our first year going and if you're a newbie or need a refresher be sure to check out my post "Things to Know Before Bringing Your Family to King Richard's Faire." It's filled with tips to make your trip a success!

Isabelle and Henry checking out the Cyclops last year. You never know what you'll see there!
Not familiar with the Faire? Well here's some more information for you! 

Entertainment, exciting rides and skilled games abound on the enchanting 80-acre site of King Richard’s Faire. Hundreds of talented entertainers perform non-stop throughout the day. Visit any of the eight vibrant stages and be enthralled by acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, minstrels, dancers, fire eaters, puppeteers and exotic tigers. Witness the rare liger, beautiful white lion and cute tiger cubs. You’ll gasp as the King’s mounted knights battle on horseback, and laugh as bawdy beggars compete in mud. Strolling performers will engage you all day long as you frolic in our forest and try your skill at the Gaming Glen. Epicurean pleasures will tantalize your taste buds with the Faire’s unbelievable choices of truly scrumptious treats. Satiate your palate with spit-roasted giant turkey legs, boules of chowder and stew, ringlets of fryes, champagne, wine and brew! Discover over 100 talented artisans who journey from all over the country to display and hawk their magnificent wares. You will be delighted and intrigued by the fantastic glass blowing, portrait painting, hand-spun pottery, sword making, fabulous jewelry, leather and armor, period clothing, moccasins, perfumes and scented oils, face painting, and psychic readings.

They also have lots of great contests to enter as well such as these great kid pleasing ones: “Children’s Fairies & Pirate’s Costume Contest” Saturday, October 12th at 4:00 PM on the King’s Stage and “Prince & Princess Costume Contest” on Saturday, September 28th at 4:00 PM. You can check out all the special events and contests by clicking HERE

Sound like fun? Well one lucky Dollops reader will win two adult tickets to the Faire (a $56 value). Enter with the Rafflecopter form below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: My family receives free tickets to the Faire. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Compare Yourself to Others

It's a saying I repeat to myself frequently now - Don't compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you used to be.

As many of you know, in April I started working out which was something I hadn't done since before I had kids. Truth be told though I never really did it much before then anyway. I've never been athletic. I've never been someone who loves the gym. I actually pretty much hate working out. Exercise, running, all of it does not come easy for me. I am not one of those people who just naturally picks it up. Just about every minute that I spend doing strenuous activity feels like the worst moment of my life. That's the truth. But a new truth I've also discovered over the last few months is that although I don't love the workouts when they are happening I do love how I feel afterwards.
For me each day of exercising is a struggle both physically and mentally. As I am virtually dying on the side of the road while attempting to run and someone whizzes by me with not a drop of sweat on them I think "How do they do that? Why can't I be like that?" When people at boot camp easily complete the exercises with time to spare and I barely finish I want to know why they are so much better than I am. When someone posts their race times on Facebook I wonder why I'm not as fast as them. Also, in the moment I'm not graced with encouraging thoughts for others. I'm not sending them virtual high fives - I'm refraining from punching them in the face for making it look so easy. Why can't I be happy for their success? I just find it so hard not to compare myself and my stats to others. Jealousy can be ugly. I also find it hard to sing my own praises. When people congratulated me for completing my first 5K I was quick to point out that I had to walk parts of it. Why can't I just accept the compliment? Why do I have to be so down on something that is indeed a great accomplishment?

It's something I'm working on though - every day. I'm working on not thinking about other people and their stories but focusing on my own path. I'm comparing myself to the Diane I was six months ago. Don't compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you used to be. Old Diane would never have even tried to go for a run. Old Diane would not be getting up at 4:45am a couple of times a week to exercise. Old Diane would not have had a salad for lunch. Old Diane would not care how many steps she took each day. Old Diane was not really a healthy role model for her kids. Old Diane is not around anymore. New Diane kicked her to the curb. If New Diane can continue to focus on these positives (and stop hating on others) there will be no stopping her!

Isabelle never drew super cute pictures of Old Diane running

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Museum of Science: Giveaway!

On Saturday we took a family trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. It was the kids first time there and I personally hadn't been there since I was a kid. We had a great time checking out all the exhibits. Well we had a great time until Daniel hit his internal wall at about two hours in and turned into a beast. I do look forward to the day that we can have a full day out without complete meltdowns but for now we just do the best we can!

Aaaaaa, it's a huge dinosaur!

Fly Henry

What are you talking about? I'm totally well behaved.
Want to have some fun of your own? One lucky Dollops reader is going to get the chance to visit the museum (hopefully tantrum free) with a family four pack to the Exhibit Halls and to the Omni Theatre. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rexhame, MA Beach Review

The kids and I are working on expanding the list of beaches that we go to this summer.  I had heard good things about Rexhame Beach in Marshfield so we headed there on Monday to check it out. We had a great day and will most likely be heading back. Here is my take on the beach -


Plenty of parking - You do have to pay for it though ($10/weekdays and $15/weekends). I'll gladly pay it though to not have to deal with finding parking and walking forever with the kids and all our gear. The walk from the parking lot to the actual sand where you sit is not too far. 

Food and Drinks Available - We didn't take advantage of it but they do have a snack shack that sells typical beach food, drinks, snacks, ice cream, etc. 

Bathrooms - They have real bathrooms located in the parking lot as well as portapotties located at the beginning of the walk ways to the beach. If you're like my family you'll frequent both of them multiple times. The real bathrooms do only have 2 stalls so they're small but clean. 


No Showers - They don't have a shower area to rinse sand off (unless I just totally missed it and someone please correct me). I just brushed the kids off and changed them in the parking lot so it wasn't a huge deal for us. 

Pro or Con? You Decide.

Rocks - The beach is rocky both on the beach and in the water. We wore our shoes most of the time and it wasn't an issue for us. The kids also enjoyed looking through and collecting the rocks. 

Lots of rocks to explore
Location - Marshfield is not super convenient for me personally to get to. We would have stayed longer but I left at 3:15 to avoid traffic. For us it's route 3, to 93, to 95 which frequently is a nightmare. We hit some stop and go traffic on the trip back so I'm glad we left when we did. The boys were passed out anyway so they didn't care.

Can you find Henry?

A girl could get used to life at the beach
What's your favorite local beach?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Purgatory Chasm, Sutton, MA Review

A few people have mentioned to me how much they like Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton, MA. I checked the website and it said that hikers should be sure footed and aged 6+. So like any great parents would do, my husband and I packed up our 5, 4, and 3 year olds and headed off to the wilderness!

We had a great time and the kids LOVED it. However, it was definitely challenging for us at some points. The first 1/4 of a mile is through the actual chasm which has granite walls 70 feet tall at some points. It is full of enormous rocks that you need to climb over or around. At multiple points we were pretty sure that one of the kids would break a leg or smash their head on a rock, but we made it out injury free! We did have to pick Daniel up a couple of times to place him over large boulders that he couldn't make it over on his own. All in all though all the kids did a great job. The second quarter of a mile is still rocky but no where near as difficult as the first which was nice. 

After we finished our hike,we headed over to the playground that the kids loved. We played there for a while before we started feeling raindrops which was a great excuse to get the kids in the car. They never would have wanted to leave! 

Other park info: There are several trails in the park so you can make your experience as easy or difficult as you choose based on your skill level. There is an information center with indoor bathrooms and portapotties outside as well. There are plenty of picnic tables and outdoor grill areas for people to take advantage of. Parking is free.

Just hanging out under an enormous rock

About to tackle climbing the rocks behind Henry

Little hikers
Have you been to Purgatory Chasm before? It's definitely a place we'll explore more as the kids get older!
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