Alan’s parents came last week and helped us with the first two days of school. I always get used to having extra hands around and then get bug-eyed when they leave and I realize again just how much work I have to do here. We all enjoyed their visit, and they were so kind as to take some family photos for us.
And then we took some of the boys and their grandparents:
We told them to all look “super happy.” : )
We told them to all look super serious…which seemed to mean different things to different people.
Taking family photos involving four little boys is no easy task.
So Nonna and DaddyO left on Wednesday, and Friday we planned to head out for our biggest family vacation yet: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Jellystone Park. The boys were so excited. Alan and I were so exhausted, but somehow we pulled it off –sort of….
We called it our Williamsburg trip, and we totally thought we’d get to see Melody while we were there, but we knew we couldn’t commit, our tribe being what it is… And we were right, we never even made it to Williamsburg.
We were staying at Jellystone Park, and the boys loved it so incredibly much that we had a really hard time pulling them away long enough to do anything else. All we managed was a glimpse at Yorktown Saturday night for dinner. Then we pulled out early Sunday and squeezed in Jamestown. Maybe Williamsburg next year???
Something very new happened on this vaca though. First, of all, yes, it was an insane amount of work and a lot of “tag teaming”. I spent a lot of the time with JD, while Alan spent a lot of it with the three oldest.
I asked Alan which he thought was more difficult, and we agreed, that one baby is still probably harder than three little boys. With the baby, we just felt a little more stuck at the cabin, and crying babies can be unnerving at times.
I didn’t mind being stuck at the cabin. I finally got a little more sleep! OH! And JD decided to give me two bonus nights of returning to sleeping through the night. It was like a Christmas miracle!!!
Oh! The something new that happened!
Everywhere we went we attracted a lot of attention. I mean once you get pregnant, you are accepting your role as public spectacle for quite a few years. People love to watch babies, toddlers, preschoolers, even big boys can be hilarious, so we’ve always attracted a little attention…not all of it positive probably…but THIS year we got……compliments!
It was so exciting. I know this may be the norm for some of you, but to take four little boys out in public and get lots of compliments, well, it was rather exciting for us.
We also heard a lot of, “Well, is that one…*glance at baby*… Oh…..yes, he’s a boy too.” *chuckles*
Saturday night we chose a swanky looking, white tablecloth kind of place, a seafood restaurant, on the water, in Yorktown. Alan and I looked at each other like, “Are we completely crazy to try this???” Joshua and Caleb, believe it or not, were….dare I say it…perfect little gentlemen.
Joshua said, “Ooo, I like these cool glasses.” (stemware)
Caleb said, “Can we clink our glasses together?” They wanted to do “cheers” over and over again, but don’t worry, we only let them do it two or three times.
Dan was great too, until right at the end, when he started trying to wander….
JD was super fab until…..the food came, of course!
Alan and I were on our game and remained calm though.
Alan handled Dan’s bathroom break, and we took turns eating and holding the baby.
Alan said, “You know you could just feed him right here. You have your blanket, and you don’t know these people.”
The thing was we were, thankfully, in a corner of the outside patio, but the three tables beside us had no children. There was one very chatty middle-aged couple, clearly on a Match.com date. There was one retired couple, and then behind us was a whole family of folks, but all older people.
For a while, I had no idea what they thought of this big family of little boys invading their quiet dinner night out on the water. We were behaving, but let’s face it, we were still kind of different.
I told Alan, as I stood there rocking JD back and forth, “Nah, I know I could just feed him here, but I feel as though I’ve made enough spectacle of myself without adding that.”
As we got ready to leave, one by one, someone from every single one of those tables made it a point to tell us how good our children were and marvel at the size of our two month old (gigantic, but cute).
Isn’t it wonderful when people are nice?
This was a very good weekend for us. I finally got a little more sleep. We all spent lots of time together, and we absolutely loved seeing Jamestown. Alan and I share an interest in American history, so I guess for us this was like a theme park is for some people–really fun!
JD now finds fist-sucking to be a rewarding daily activity.
Welcome to Jellystone Campgrounds!
We love the jumping pillow! It was a little too difficult for Dan, maybe next year.
I call this activity “turtle necking.”
Our boys LOVE Yogi and Boo-Boo, but “not Cindy, b/c she’s a girl.” Boo-Boo is their favorite.
Dan loved all the bears, and he talked about the bears constantly all weekend. He even owns a stuffed Yogi, and he had me carry him to Yogi so that he could show Yogi his Yogi bear. Yogi was impressed.
When Dan says bear it comes out as “beer,” so all weekend he said, “Beer. Beer. I want beer!”
JD did a lot of this.
We let Dan sleep with us, and it was still the most restful night I’d had in about 8 days.
Don’t worry. It did not have a motor.
I love our bassinet: one of the best purchases we made for this baby. It takes up so much less space than a pack and play.
Jellystone Gloucester activity room:
Ice cream time!
Dan arranged the chess pieces in a nice row.
Caleb set up an actual chess board, but I didn’t get a picture. I thought this was cute, though.
For Jamestown, I just handed Caleb the camera, and he took all the pics for the day. Sure, I had to sort through a few pictures of feet and dirt. It turns out that Caleb is a very creative little photographer. All of these that follow, unless they are of Caleb, were taken by Caleb.
I had to coach him on always photographing faces, so then he took this one below, but I would like to proudly proclaim, thanks to this picture (I love you, Caleb) that I finally no longer look pregnant. WHoo-hoo!
Joshua didn’t seem to enjoy Jamestown as much as we did. He hates having the sun in his eyes, but he won’t keep up with his sunglasses anymore. He was overjoyed when Alan bought himself a hat at the souvenir shop. Alan has yet to get to wear that hat, as Joshua seemed to think it was meant for him.
unearthed portion of original Jamestown bricks
The boys seemed really impressed with this church, part of the Jamestown Fort, rebuilt several times, most recently in 1906.
Caleb chased this goose, photographing it several times. The goose finally made a dash for the water.
model of the fort
Jamestown residents had to live in the fort a lot of the time due to constant Indian attacks. I bought a book written by the archaeologist who studied Jamestown, and it is fascinating.
Joshua, wearing Alan’s new hat, is always helping us to shepherd little Dan.
Jamestown is actually an island now. You have to cross this foot bridge to view it.
Now if I ever get any time, I’d love to research more to see if I had any ancestors around Jamestown! But let’s face it, I’m barely keeping my head above ground here, so that is highly unlikely!