Zip It Up

So, that is me.  See, there’s my fanny pack! – So, how did I get here??

The summer traditions keep coming!

Cousin Week

picture 024

It’s just a good natured competition with my sister-in-law to pull out all the stops and create the Best Week Ever!  We get to spoil our kiddos and promote some good old extended family bonding all at the same time.

IMG_0330.JPG

This goes all the way back to at least preschool.  I think it started with my son staying with my nephew for vbs and moved right along to 4 kids here and 4 kids there, each summer.

It is so key for the kids to be able to spend time with family… otherwise, if they end up on Dateline, YOU, PARENTS, alone will be blamed for whatever lands them in the hot seat with Lester Holt.  You gotta cover those bases!

I digress,

so,

Cousin Week

As their summers got busier it became a little harder to find the time.  We made it just one week alternating here one summer and there the next.

picture with flower 1076
they all have goggles on because the fire pit was smoky.

Currently, we split.  Last summer I got two 5th grade girls, my sister-in-law had two 6th grade boys.  This summer I get two 7th grade boys and she gets two 6th grade girls.

IMG_0070.JPG
Salina 2016

I feel like it was easier to wow them as preschoolers; Kaleidoscope, camp at The Nelson, a different pool every day, bike rides, etc…

These days it’s a little tougher, but coming up with things to do with the girls isn’t too bad.  Last year they hosted the grand parents for a multi-course dinner party.

They planned the menu, did the baking and cooking, made centerpieces and everything.  We went to the fabric store to get materials for travel toiletry bags, got pedicures, painted at Grapes and Paints.  I braided my nieces hair… which I rule at!  It was all Totes Adorbz!

This summer, with the last week in June set aside and my daughter (thrilled beyond all get out to be) headed out for Cousin Week in Salina, I was wracking my brain for ideas to fill the week with my son and nephew here in KC.

That place where trains bring your food, not going to cut it anymore.

I gotta kick it up a notch.  I took them to a bar.

20170630_145625_1498852657645_14991943682101.jpg

Desperate times

Did I say bar?  I’m sorry, barcade.  Classic games, all ages ’til 8pm, unlimited play for 5 bucks.  This is at Tapcade, you should go, plus the food is good and I read a book the whole time.

Other big hit of the week and definite crowd favorite:

Image result for zip kc
zipkc.com

 

This isn’t cheap, but compared to 60 seconds of ifly it’s a great deal.  If you’re between 70 and 300 pounds, I would highly recommend it.  We all loved it, and I am a huge chicken!

Let the kids go first, so that they don’t have to witness your prayer swear breakdown… I kid, it wasn’t as bad as canoeing into a tree.  Although I thought hitting another one might put my jaw back where it goes.  Not a scratch from this though, but that first step off the platform takes a second of bravery for sure.

Here’s their video of somebody doing the one we did.  Our pics aren’t great, it was tough to focus on.

I’m totally counting this toward my midlife crisis!

DSC00120.JPG

We had the best time and all three of us would totally go again.

Oh, and since it’s the 4th! Happy 4th of July!

 

Just Around the River Bend

I spent last weekend on a boy scout canoe trip.  Hub got to stay home alone, kind of a late Father’s Day gift.

population 5 to 500, huh

I wasn’t worried about taking both kids rolling on the river, since I had previous canoe training that involved going around buoys, getting flipped and swimming in clothes… when I was an 11 year old.

Image result for girl scout canoe(Scout)

Unfortunately, since then most of my canoe experience has come from the viewing of cartoons.  I was ready to sing my heart out and avoid picking up any sort of raccoon or cebu hop ons.

Image result for song of the cebu Image result for disney pocahontas canoeing

My daughter and I were the 1st canoe that capsized,

Image result for capsize badge  (we’re probably going to need 2 of these,  demeritwear.com)

But we were far from the last, which was oddly comforting.

I got some tough looking bruises and scrapes out of it though and a new phrase, prayer swear, that describes a paradoxical combination of words that may fly from your mouth involuntarily in the face of imminent doom!:)

We were actually mugged by THIS harmless looking, evil tree:

It punched me in the jaw and took both our sunglasses, a paddle and the kid’s water bottle.  Thankfully the camera, advil, etc… where in a ziploc belted to the boat, so I was still able to get this after picture: 

Fortunately, we were rescued by Eagle Scouts.  I tell ya, nothing beats travelling with an entourage of Boy Scouts.

You know, because they’re just so trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, er… sneezy, happy, gassy… well, no one’s perfect

Image result for boy scouts

The rest of the day went a little smoother… after I grabbed somebody who actually knew what they were doing to tell me everything they know about canoeing.

Still, if we got close to anything, my daughter would just yell, “help!  my mom doesn’t know what she’s doing!!”

I told her to stop attracting attention…

when you float trip, there are just some strange rangers out there

Pretty sure I saw a small child being towed behind a tube in an inflatable cooler.

Also, we had a group of young ladies/river sirens, with very colorful vocabulary, that got started right around the same time we did, (9a.m. / Happy Hour).  They had an impressive array of patriotic bikinis, which was perfect since we were rolling with a bunch of 11 to 17 year old boys.

So, moving right along…

My son had opted out of co-canoeing with me and sis and went with other canoe buddies (that didn’t capsize immediately).  Probably a good thing in the end.  I think our kids, right now, sharing a canoe might have been a bad idea at best… at worst degenerated pretty quickly into a full on Dr. Seuss situation… kind of a paddle battle, puddle muddle.  Although, if I remember right, that one took place in a bottle.

Image result for dr. seuss paddle battle

My girl in a very cold spring.

Oh, she’s so cute!  It wasn’t easy all day trying to line her up with all those low hanging trees.

The canoeing definitely wears them right out though.  Most of the kids end up looking like this:

IMG_2569
So Tired… Zzzzzzz…

Of course, I ended up looking a little more like this:

 

This might need a better story   …  I cut off the Haskin’s Canoe provoking Nanette’s River Rage.  That and all the hot sun and moonshine of the day precipitated the yelling of some heavily accented challenges, “Kiss My Country …”  Things quickly escalated, gauntlets (I mean coozies) were thrown and  I blacked out after she hit me with a banjo.  Yeah, that’s why you should always  keep your life jacket on Image result for smile colon parenthesis