No, my children have not killed me…yet

Well hello my loyal followers! How are the seven of you this hot July day? I am so sorry for my extended absence. I never understood why other, more professional bloggers took the summer off, until now. It is really hard to sit down to write with someone pulling on you all the time. The boys are not in any consistent school and the different schedules have thrown us all off.

So, to catch everyone up, I will do what I like to do when I take these extended breaks (like here and here, oh and here). A summary post; catching everyone up on our actions.
I created a hashtag for the summer: #wallsummer2014 I was reading somewhere that you should have a hashtag for your summer photos, so you can easily find them at the end of the summer. I can put that above hashtag into Instagram or Facebook and quickly pull all the photos. You know, for the summer photo album I will never create.

Zach attended Rice Soccer Camp and Zoo camp, in back to back weeks while James went to school Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

So my days looked like this:
8:50 park at Rice University to hike across the soccer field, with James to drop Zach in a pack of kids around a soccer ball.
9:00 race back to the car with James to drive him to school
9:20 – 11:15 exercise/grocery shop/dry cleaners/bill pay, etc.
11:15 – drive back to Rice to pick up Zach. That is sweaty hat below. Gross right? He totally got my sweat genes vs. Alex. It works much better on a boy.

11:30 – 1:45 Quality time with my first born (OK, this part was nice)
2:00 pick up James and let the wrestling/arguing/punching begin!

We all went down to Galveston for Father’s Day weekend with my sister and her family, plus my parents. It was a lot of kids but luckily my sweet aunts (Hi Vickie and Laura!) let us stay at their condos so we had some room to spread out. Plus my parents stayed at a hotel, where it was very, very quiet, I assume.

James said he did not like the ocean “trying to get him” and the dirty water getting into his mouth. True on both counts. Luckily, the Galveston Country Club has a giant baby pool that everyone enjoyed. Especially the adults, as they serve you beverages. The did not have Bud Light Lime (see photo above), but I made do.

As of June 14th, I have been retired for a full year. You guys, I had lots of thoughts about that which I will be sharing later, but mainly I was busy packing for our next trip – a 12 hour drive to Seaside, Florida.

We stopped on the way, in Pascagoula, MS to see the Gator Boys. If you don’t know what the Gator Boys are, they are a group of guys who go to people’s homes throughout the South, wrestling alligators out of their back yards and taking them to the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch. That was our destination.

My brother in law told us not to stop in Mississippi under any circumstances, but I don’t think he realized we got the last room at the Hampton Inn….with a hot tub.

The boys were super perplexed why we made them take a shower after playing in the hot tub. We just told them it was a family rule.

 Alex was the only one of us actually willing to touch the alligator. A bunch of wimps we are.

Then it was on to the beach! Seaside was beautiful, so much better than Galveston. James still did not like the ocean “trying to get him” and the dirty water getting into his mouth. I finally realized he was talking about the salt taste to the water and had to explain that was what an ocean tasted like. AKA get over it already.

We went with Ashley and her family and stayed in this great house. We rode bikes and took a golf cart everywhere. I had never been to Seaside and I see now why everyone loves it.

We were back for about a week, then we left again to head to the river for the 4th of July. After two 12 hour trips with my children, one 3 hour jaunt felt like nothing. Until we had to stop to let the dog use the restroom in the middle of nowhere.

And then we all had to go at Buckee’s.

My parents bought Zach his own little kayak and he took right to it. He was not the least bit scared and by the third day, he could turn and go straight for a while. He loved it!

Two skinny cousins rinsing after brushing their teeth with toothbrushes their Granny Marsh put their names on.

This was the first time that Zach actually toobed the river. He made it all the way to the dam at the end of the street. Technically Lauren and I were in the paddle boat pulling them and James was in the back. He did not last long in the river. Shocking.

And last but not least, James turned three!

We spent his actual birthday night at Chuck-e-Cheese, complete with the birthday crown he made in school. I guess that is one perk of going to preschool on your birthday. The other is that your mother is not driven batty by being with you for three weeks + one day. 

We had his party this past weekend, complete with giant water slide and homemade pinata.

You will note that Alex had to hold the pinata as the string ripped completely out. My suggestion was to just put it down on the ground for them to beat on, but I was overruled.

I just had to check my calendar to make sure that was all. Isn’t that enough? Hopefully now that they are back in school a few days here and there I can be back to a better blogging schedule. Hopefully. But the summer is not yet halfway over and it is getting hot people. Really, really hot.

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