Literally the day after we got back from NE, less than 24 hours after we drove into our driveway, we were repacked and on our way to the Lake House up North. We were looking forward to this week away, if nothing else to replace some of the negative memories from last year. However, we walked into the house to find it exceptionally sauna-like. After some investigating, I found this:
I'm not sure if you can tell that the rug is floating, but it was. Their whole basement was full of scalding hot water. After figuring out the problem and stopping the water (with the help of a neighbor), Lucas and I were up to the wee hours of the morning attempting to clean out their basement. We dried out all of the standing water, left some fans to dry it all out more, and went up to take showers before crawling into bed...only to discover that, in the process of turning off the scalding hot water flowing out of their pipes, we had turned off the hot water heater. Long story short, neither we nor the homeowners could figure out how to turn the water heater back on. So there were no hot showers during our week there (we boiled water to add to the cold to do baths for the twins). We also had let a million mosquitoes into the house in the process of removing their soaked carpet, and while we slept the mosquitoes bit us like crazy. So 48 hours after arrival we left for a short trip to Nana & Poppy's tired, needing baths, covered in mosquito bites, and wondering if the lake house was rejecting us, yet again.
At Nana's we met up with ALL the cousins! And got a few pictures of the whole gang together.
We were there to celebrate H's birthday.
They had light-up balloons and I took the kids all to the basement to get some fun pictures in the dark.
We ended up spending a couple days at Nana & Poppy's hanging out with the cousins before we went back to the Lake House. It was exactly what was needed to reset the trip. When we returned, the mosquitoes had all died, the basement was still dry, and we were well-rested and ready to try again. The rest of our time there was practically perfect. It would have been perfectly perfect if there had been hot water.
We went into town one morning and saw a parade of these. They drove on the railroad. They were amazing. Does anyone know what they are?
We took the kids to the park to get our annual pictures. They were somewhat less cooperative this year...These were the best I could get!
In addition to our usual swimming, hiking, and playing we did a few extra things this year. Like fishing.
We caught tons of fish. Even I caught one! Next year, the twins want to have a night where we eat what we catch.
We also had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.
A few days after we returned, Ryan had surgery to put tubes in his ears and remove his adenoids. Since the fall, I had been noticing that he wasn't hearing things. It never was a problem at school since everything they did with teachers was one-on-one and everything else was independent. The teachers told me he had remarkable focus and was never distracted by noisy students in other parts of the classroom. Then I realized it was because he didn't hear them! After months of doctor appointments and treatment for an incessant ear infection, we were referred to an ENT, who immediately confirmed that 1) he DID have marked hearing impairment in both ears 2) his ears were full of fluid but it wasn't infected 3) his adenoids needed to be removed (he had been snoring, loudly). We got it on the books, and showed up for the surgery bright and early.
Seeing him in his surgery gown, with his hospital bracelet, in the hospital bed almost makes me cry every time.
He was very brave. Just as they were taking us back, they were also wheeling a screaming toddler to the O.R. The sight was a little jarring, and when we were alone in the bathroom (changing into the hospital gown), he started to cry because he was scared. This, of course, made me cry. We stayed in there and I held him until he had calmed down. After that, he didn't cry again. I might have. Something about watching them wheel my baby away just made me choke up. I waited until he couldn't see me though. If you asked him now, it was an amazing adventure that was kind of fun. Maybe because he got all kinds of cool get well presents.
The "recovery" set up in our living room. A cozy place to rest, unlimited Popsicles, and a constant source of fluids.
Once it was over (the surgery went perfectly), I was looking forward to the recovery. They said he would recover quickly, but I was still imagining a few days of snuggling and watching movies. Instead I got about an hour before he was begging to be up and playing. I never really got him to snuggle with me again, and people who stopped by all remarked that he looked as though nothing had happened.
Which was great because it wasn't long before we were off again. This time to Chicago!
While we were there, we went with my family (my entire family except Lucas) to the Brookfield Zoo.
My brother and his wife know one of the dolphin trainers there, so it was a must to see the dolphin show. Sadly, their friend didn't do the show we saw, but we were able to go back and visit with him after his show. My kids thought that was pretty amazing. Allie is also obsessed with the fact that one of the dolphins was also named Allie.
While in Chicago, we also had a ball (dance) at Nic & Ariel's apartment. I wish I had videos - especially of the new hit dance "The Dolphin!"
The main reason we went was for Ariel's grad school graduation. My children are fairly convinced that a graduation and wedding are pretty much the same thing...maybe because of the number of pictures we took...
We spent the rest of June resting up and getting ready for the rest of our summer travels in July!