Hey donut people, I had to bribe my kids into the car this morning by promising to take them to Dunkin Donuts after school today for being so wonderfully behaved on the plane. They went to bed at one o'clock in the morning. So, yeah.
The late arrival home was so worth it, though. We went to the mountains in New Mexico to visit friends Ryan has known since he was a teenager. They've been like an extra set of grandparents to him and they've never met the kids, so we took advantage of one last weekend of free plane tickets for Wes and made the trip (and he ended up getting his own seat on all of our flights anyway, which made it nice for everyone).
We spent a lot of time relaxing and exploring the woods around the cabin (Every time I said "cabin" I thought of the song about the little cabin in the woods and the bunny and was in the middle of teaching it to the boys, hand motions and all, when I got to the part where the bunny says "hunter man will shoot me dead" and had to abruptly change the subject. What kind of sick people ran my summer camp anyway?).
When we arrived we had lunch and then Ralph immediately put the boys to work feeding the animals. There was bird seed to distribute, hummingbird feeders to fill, bird baths that needed water,
and enormous squirrels that needed to be hand-fed peanuts.
When we pulled in the driveway Charlie spotted one of these squirrels, which are at least three-times the size of any squirrel we have at home and began yelling "A SKUNK! I SEE A SKUNK! A SKUNK! A SKUNK! LOOK! IT HAS A BLACK BODY AND A WHITE TAIL IT'S A SKUNK!" We may need to start spending more time outside.
Every evening was Happy Hour on the deck. Wes got into the spirit.
It was in the forties when we woke up on Sunday morning and Ralph made a fire. The only fire these two have ever seen is the one used to smoke the meat at the breakfast taco place we frequent. They didn't quite know what to do with the cool temperatures either. Also? They were best friends on this trip. Lots of cooperation and almost no fighting. It was wonderful to watch Charlie soak up his big brother role as he led Wes around the woods near the cabin (...in the woods, little old man by the window stood, saw a rabbit hopping by, knocking at his door...).
We picnicked by a steep rock face and watched a group of Boy Scouts climbing. Charlie was fascinated and had to get in on the act. He's about three feet off the ground in this picture.
Then we went for a short hike (about a half-mile, which took over an hour, I'm sure you can imagine why) by a mountain stream. Wes found a cave and claimed it as his own. There was about to be a fight but then Charlie had to go potty so we told him to pick out any tree he wanted and everyone was happy.
Wes brought his blanket EVERYWHERE we went and he has it at school with him this morning, so I can't wash it even though it is GROSS. I guess that's why we call it "Smelly."
Before that Charlie fell into the water trying to grab a stick he liked. All we had to change him into was a Pull Up left over from the plane trip, so Ryan carried him back to the car wearing his soaking wet shirt, a Pull Up, and my pink and purple striped socks, pulled up to his knees.
I call this one: The Ergo, don't go hiking with your not-quite two-year-old without it.
The flight home was a total pain, but remarkably everyone behaved themselves (With the exception of me accidentally saying out loud "Mother of God!" when they turned off the engines for the SECOND TIME while we sat on the runway at the Denver airport waiting to take off (it took well over an hour). Charlie lightened the mood by yelling "We're never going to go to Texas!"). I was so proud of the kids, though. They picked out breakfast for dinner tonight as their "treat." And of course the donuts.
It was a fantastic weekend. I'm off to go smell my coffeemaker again, though. Because I am way close to the 200 mg of caffeine mark. And since I was able to cajole everyone into having a magical happy day at school I've been able to do the big grocery shopping, pick Rossby up, start the laundry, clean out the fridge, and think really hard about starting that list of materials I'll need for my lab in the spring, lest you think I spend my kid-free hours lolling around in my jammies, which is what I SHOULD be doing considering it's all going to come to an end in December.