Monday, September 24, 2007

Rest & Relaxation!











Is there anything better than a little R&R away with your family?
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You can click on the photo collage to enlarge...



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We went to an apple orchid, the beach, the playgound, we made sandcastles, had a family picnic, went bike riding, bought a pumpkin and just hung out around the grill cooking up wonderful food and visited with friends in the area (yup, my favorite get-away so that we are actually getting to know the neighbors!). I guess I am a creature of habit - once I find a place I like - I just keep going back. Because at least I know where the grocery store is, right? Not that I don't love exploring new places, because I do. But for me, this trip was all about getting a little bit of a rest and not playing tourist.

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My son loves the playground at the beach - although I must wonder - whoever thought to put a playground right at the entrance to the beach? Hello! really, Momma wants to go to the BEACH (which is just right over this little path behind the playground), but no, that slide is just too much temptation and we must stop. At least I go prepared now - I keep a book in my bag and can sit on the bench and actually READ while he is sliding. Ah yes, there is a reward for getting all the way to FOUR years old - you no longer are required to be the anxious Momma at the bottom of these things, coaxing them along and making sure they don't stand at the edge of some drop off that for sure will be a bone breaker if they mis-step.
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All relaxing. Except the clothes shopping bit...

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*Long description of shopping bit follows here...*
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I think I've mentioned before, my son does NOT like shopping. Not only does he not like shopping, but he has absolutely no problem making his views fully known to anyone within earshot. Truly, a child such as he, is probably one reason why American mail-order companies do so well. Except we are in Canada. And by the time you pay the postage, import fee, tax, duty and customs agent - well, let's just say that the lovely luxury of internet shopping and having a nice little parcel delivered to your door a few days later isn't really an option for me. Canada still has Sears catalog service, and it will do in a pinch, but not my first choice.

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So, since we were away, and seeing that we live FIVE hours from the mall, we did bite the bullet and quickly, oh so very quickly, rushed through the stores in order to get the Growing Boy some clothes. Because - well, the fashion statement for pre-schoolers is NOT the Jackie O look with 3/4 length sleeves! I suppose it could be a good thing that I've learned to be a quick shopper under the circumstances. One sure fire way to feel instantly frumpy (a-hem, I mean outdoorsy in a wholesome way?) is to enter the mall, with store windows full of the very latest fashion and teens with nothing better to do than parade back in forth in their own sort 0f fashion contest, eyeing you up and down as they pass you by. Obviously they don't shop where I do. You see, I prefer the outdoorsy type of stores with clothes that you don't have to spend hours ironing. And it is all mix and match. And stands up through vigourous mud-puddle testing. That would be including the shoes! Nothing like a good pair of solid walking shoes, waterproof (well, waterproof to an extent). But anyway - this is how the mall trip works with us, with Boy Who Hates Shopping in tow - basically it works like this - go into the mall, buy a soft pretzel for him and when he is done eating it - our shopping trip is over!

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HE got 3 new turtlenecks, 2 pairs of cordoroys, 1 nice sweater, 3 pairs of socks, winter hat, mittens, winter neck band, 3 pull-over shirts and 2 fall weight jackets. Momma got 3 new pairs of socks which I happened to throw in the cart as we careened by, sigh. Such a fashionable Momma! I was a bit wistfull when I looked at the rack of turtleneck onsies and realized they stopped making them in size 3T. My boy. Growing up. NOT that I miss the sleepless nights of his infancy (I'm talking about the wonderboy who nursed every 2 hours for 9 months straight and then started to cut a tooth so abandened me - cold turkey - with no warning, no thanks, and certainly no last cuddle - nope, when he was done it was all over. But then again, I know people who had real struggles weaning their kids so I won't complain, at least not too much!). I don't miss the sleepless nights, heck - I don't even really remember them - too sleep deprived back then for my brain to fully function - which is of course, the main reason why everyone takes so many photos of newborns - so Momma's can look at the photos 4 years after the fact and say - oh what a cute baby! But you have to admit - those tiny clothes sure can pull on your heartstrings.

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I still need to get him an orange sweatsuit - or at least I am hoping to get him one. He always gets at least 1 sweatsuit a year and this year he has announced that he wants to be a bunny rabbit for Halloween - an orange one. Yeah, need an orange sweatsuit for that costume - something he can wear well after Trick-or-Treating is over. And, of course, he needs more than 3 pairs of socks, but they only had 3 pairs in his size that weren't white or red. And - with growing legs, what Momma buys bright socks - I mean, doesn't that just scream - look at my pant hems that are now 2" too short? And 1 pair of each color is absolutely out of the question because that is a sure guantee that the washing machine will eat 1 of every color.

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We actually lucked out with 2 pairs of boots (never mind that 1 pair is pink - he still likes pink and they DO fit him) and a wonderful snowsuit at the thrift shop a week ago - all that for $19! AND, he alerady has another snowsuit that was a hand-me-down from his cousin. Got to have 2 because 1 is always wet. I was beginning to dread the thought of snow boot shopping after last years drama at LL Bean. Ouch. One of my very favorit-ist stores! And I didn't get any clothes for myself that trip. Oh, I guess that is OK, I am still wearing the very same burnt orange down jacket that I've had for awhile now. Can't quite figure out if staying the same size for years is a blessing or not!? I never seem to realize how long I've had something for until I start looking at old photos, ha! Anyway a great thing about LL Bean is that their stuff is guanteed. Period. Did you see the period at the end of that sentence? My Mom bought me a great backpack there once and after ELEVEN years it started to shed all over my stuff - little flakes of... something? It must have been some sort 0f waterproof lining spray, but I didn't want it flaking all over my stuff. So, I sent it back - with a nice little note of course, detailing what a wonderful traveling companion the bag had made for the past eleven years, but could they please do something about the shedding part. And you know what? They sent me a brand new bag. Just like that. I WISH I had bought my sons snow pants there last year because 1/2 way through the winter the zipper busted - agh. And if it had been LL Bean they would have fixed it. We ended up having to make do and he has fully outgrown them now anyway, but still - that zipper was soooo fiddly and unreliable that I wouldn't hand them down to anyone else. And it wasn't the bib zipper - it was the zipper that zips all around the leg, from ankle to ankle. The bib zipper I could have dealt with a little better. But anyway - after our little shopping trip, that Growing Boy of mine is pretty much outfitted for another winter. Just watch us decide to go somewhere tropical for the winter this year, ha!

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But where was I? Oh the relaxing bit.
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Did I mention that the beach was deserted bit? Check out the difference a month makes (see photos below)... I just LOVE the beach this time of year - it is still warm enough to really enjoy it, which we did, fully! And, big relief - you aren't near 100 other families with kids who have sand toys which seem to be 101% more interesting than the sand toys your kid has. Or, someone else wants the one toy that your kid is really attached to and doesn't really want to share with a complete stranger anyway, thank you very much just the same - oh you didn't get the drift - I think I will just throw sand in your eyes then. Right. There always seems to be some sort of scuffle over beach toys. September beach days are just so much more relaxing - we bring 2 shovels, 1 big pail and 1 little pail. What more do you need to build a castle, complete with a moat? The only trick is to build the castle as the tide is coming IN so the moat will be filled with water. Otherwise your moat will be empty and how fun is that? Or rather, how fun is the temper tantrum that there is no water in the moat? Except you have to know enough to start far enough back from the shore so the tide doesn't come and eat your castle before your very eyes while you are still building it. Yeah, there is some sort of psychological science to building a simple sand castle. Is anyone wondering how I know all this stuff? OH - AND did I mention that I can actually relax a tiny bit about watching my boy (who just loves tearing around the beach as fast as his little legs will carry him) - because chances of him running 10 feet down the sandbar and getting hopelessly lost behind hords of people he can't see over- well that isn't an issue in September! He ran around and around and every time he turned around - guess what - he could see me! How novel is that? Told you - this trip was all about relaxing!

































Did I mention the price of gas bit? You know summer is at an end when gas prices spiral back down... all the way down to $102.1 a litre (that would be $4.084 a gallon for US conversion - 4 litres to a gallon). Considering we started the summer at $1.14 a litre... there must be some sort 0f gas company conspiracy to milk the summer vacation traveling season for all its worth because every Spring the price of gas is high and come Fall, it goes back down. Except maybe the price hasn't come down afterall, seeing that the Canadian $ is at a 30 year high so is actually worth more than it was this spring. But no matter - it does seem like it has gone down a bit when you look at the price board!

So I've had my annual end-of-summer rest, which believe me, with my schedule - I really look forward to. Time to shift into FALL gear! Wow, where did the summer go? I feel like I am racing along on the Audobon of Life! It is almost like sitting on a train and looking out the window and seeing the seasons flash by... Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall........ flash, flash, flash.
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Quick, someone take a photo! I want to remember.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Oh that family relaxing trip sounds wonderful! And yes, I think I would like that beach much more in Sept! I got the biggest laugh at the shopping story! Ahhh, I remember those days! Little Boy is just sooo cute!