Four and a Dog

A blog about family life

Archive for the category “holidays”

Beach

I’ve always loved the beach. I especially love swimming in a warm sea and building sandcastles. Diva also loves these things. She equally likes getting to eat ice-cream as it rapidly melts over her face and hands.

Bruiser loves kicking his feet in the sand and filling his chubby fists with sticky, wet sand. He also likes ramming big fistfuls of sand in to his mouth before anyone can stop him.

I do not like changing nappies full of sandy poos.

Le Village des Automates

If ever you find yourselves in Provence with children under the age of ten, or you just fancy going somewhere fabulously bizarre, take yourselves to Le Village des Automates. Here you will find an entire park of moving characters, dancing to an eclectic mix of music, alongside a superb array of adventure playground equipment.

The playground equipment really is in very good condition and includes zip wires, climbing frames, slides, tunnels, ball pit etc. There is also a lovely shaded cafe next to a child sized train that can be ridden for 1 euro. Everything else in the park is deliciously run down with some of the older exhibits housing puppets whose hands now lie decaying on the floor. Much like The Small World Ride in Disney, there are also some fantastic displays of racial stereotyping. All you need do is press a button to watch racially inappropriate puppets dance to strange songs that explain stories about pandas that eat too much bamboo…or something…my French isn’t great. Also, like Disney, there are some interesting liberties taken with traditional stories. Gulliver lounges in the forest whilst being fed by the seven dwarves and Pinocchio meets some unusual characters including a couple of people with dog faces… or maybe they were dogs with human hands…

There were also a couple of displays that I doubt Disney, even on his darkest day, would have thought to include in a Small World. My favourite was a set of elves/gnomes extracting another elf/gnome’s tooth with a piece of string. They all look very happy about the whole thing, even though they are stood next to a bucket of cotton wool stained with, what I hope is, fake blood. If that isn’t enough, there’s also an equally jolly set of elves/gnomes elbow deep in a surgical procedure.

I am not telling you any of this to put you off- far from it! I think this place is perfect for the whole family. Diva and Bruiser absolutely loved it! Bruiser’s favourite was a large furry dragon in Santa’s castle (you remember Santa’s castle right? It’s next to a four legged ant riding the Loch Ness Monster) and Diva pretty much loved it all. She travelled around the park in a Little Tikes car in which the owners had considerately added a floor for her feet and a handle for Grandad and Daddy to push with. She got to eat ice cream and run in a motion activated fountain. My Diva daughter, who regularly declares, “I can’t”, whenever she is faced with any kind of climbing (including stairs), climbed ropes, whizzed around on zip wires and scrambled through tunnels. The adults got to laugh, a lot, eat ice cream and enjoy the enjoyment of the children.

Diva has thanked me for her “adventure” every day and can not wait to go back. For those of you still not sure, look what you could be missing…

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More Tales of Car Woe

For the Easter weekend we decided to head up to Sunderland to visit my grandparents. Like the Queen they are in their eighties and have just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. My Grandma has also been mistaken for the Queen on a few occasions, including once at Buckingham Palace. Sadly, unlike the Queen, they don’t have a private jet and so we have to drive to go and visit them.

Several generations of my family have lived in Sunderland and the surrounding areas and a number of them are still there. My aunt even owns a fabulous B&B right down on the seafront that celebrates the history of Sunderland. We always stay with her whenever we visit.

We have been planning to make the trip since before Christmas but illness and non-sleeping baby have prevented it. The long Easter weekend, and a slightly more sleeping baby, meant it was time to give it a try.

Planned Trip
Hubby will arrive home from work slightly earlier and load pre-packed bags, buggy, steriliser, toys, bouncy chair, selection of coats, dog, children and wife in to car.
Family will drive approximately one and a half hour to Hubby’s parents’ house to deliver Uncle M for his stay and pause for quick meal before continuing journey. Children to sleep in car.
Drive will continue for a further two hours. Bruiser to sleep. Diva to watch movie on iPad.
Stop for coffee and feed Bruiser.
Continue drive to Sunderland. Bruiser and Diva to sleep.
Arrive at B&B safely. Unload car and sleeping children. Quick drink and everyone in bed by 11pm.

Actual Trip
Hubby arrived home from work slightly earlier to mostly packed bags etc. family sat in traffic at Banbury while children slept. Bruiser woke up and screamed for final 20 minutes to Hubby’s parents’ house. Very quick meal before getting back in to the car. Bruiser continued to scream for a further 30 minutes. Mummy tried to calm him down by giving him a bottle. Bruiser became enraged. Mummy realised she’d forgotten to put anything on to the iPad for Diva to watch so Diva watched a few old episodes of Alphablocks and asked for a movie every couple of minutes. Realised we needed petrol so tried to do it as quickly as possible to avoid waking Bruiser. It didn’t work. Thankfully he did fall back asleep. Continued driving until coffee was needed. Bruiser very jolly and offered milk but refused (confirming suspicions that he really doesn’t need all the milk he has at home every evening). Finally arrived at B&B at midnight. Diva was still very much awake. Unloaded car and paced with Bruiser to settle him for bed. Had to turn off all lights and ignore excited Diva who kept asking if everyone was still awake.

The weekend was hectic to say the least. We managed to catch up with various friends and family; visited Beamish; arranged and carried out a successful Easter egg hunt; and even managed to get a small amount of sleep.

Beamish is a living museum set in the Victorian era. It includes a mine, pit village, town, farm, small steam railway, small fairground and manor house. You can travel around the site on trams and old buses. Diva was beyond excited about it all. She particularly loved sitting on the open top tram. When we turned the corner to the fairground and she saw the carousel I thought she would explode, “I want to go on that right now! I want to go on that. On that, Mummy. I want to go on that! I’m so excited, Mummy.” Once we had bought our ticket and were finally on a horse (underneath delightful pictures of animals killing each other), Diva was even more excited, “Daddy! Daddy! I’m on here with Mummy! Look, Daddy! I’m on here with Mummy!”

If ever you are visiting the NE of England, I can highly recommend a trip to Beamish. There is so much to do that we didn’t manage to get around everything, even though we were there for a full day. Everybody who worked there were very friendly and helpful. I even learnt about HP sauce.

Our favourite thing to do all weekend was to just spend time with family and friends. Living so far away gets hard and even with the joys of Skype and FaceTime, it’s not the same as real face to face time. Responsibilities, petrol costs and life have a dreadful habit of getting in the way of such simple pleasures. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can make it back up again.

Unfortunately, the journey home was even more stressful than the one coming. Bruiser screamed a lot more and the traffic was horrendous. Travelling with children is certainly not the most fun, but seeing the joy it gave my grandparents to spend time with them more than made up for it.

Stairlift

Today Diva discovered Great Grandma’s stairlift. Great Grandma used it to go upstairs to find some books for Diva. Diva now thinks this is the criteria for its use and keeps asking to go upstairs to find books for everyone else. Sadly the stairlifts batteries have run out and all the shops are shut. Shame.

The Journey Home

I wrote about our holiday to Devon the other day but I did not include the tale of our journey home. This may be because it has taken a few days to become funny. There was nobody laughing at the time.

On the Friday morning we packed up ready to leave before they came to kick us out at ten o’clock. We had originally thought that this would not be a problem. Four adults and two kids all awake by seven o’clock and only packing up what we brought with us- what could possibly go wrong?

Of course we’d failed to factor in all the food that had been left and our ability to spread clothes, toys, electronics, toiletries and towelseverywhere!. We’d also forgotten our children’s ability to sense moments of stress, and their superhero power to magnify it. Bruiser wailed every time he was put down and Diva decided to refuse to do anything except run around shouting. Needless to say, we finally left the house just after ten with a very patient cleaner at the door.

Instead of heading straight home we thought it would be a good idea to visit Clarks Village and get Diva some new shoes at a bargain discount. Unfortunately we hadn’t realised how far off the motorway this place is and how many great shops there are. I had to assume an ‘eyes front’ attitude and focus on shoes or we would never have made it out. I’m not going to lie, it did hurt a little. Our brief detour was as brief as possible when trying to buy shoes for a three year old and resulted in an hour delay.

Next stop was Bath to visit Hubby’s aunts. We usually love Bath. It’s pretty, full of history (especially Jane Austen history) and the shops are great. As a bonus, Hubby’s very lovely aunts live there. However, on this particular day we discovered a hatred of Bath like no other. Don’t worry, the lovely aunts were not to blame- we still like them, just not the roads around them. From the second we crossed in to the place traffic stood still. At one point a set of traffic lights turned green three times and only one car managed to make it half way through. In every car window there was a face of anger and frustration. Ours was no exception.

We tried to stay positive. We tried a different route, but Bath doesn’t let you try different routes. It has a one way system that must be obeyed. Even our Sat Nav, Patricia, tried to warn us, but we wouldn’t listen. Patricia kept urging us to turn around but we just switched to Google maps and defied her. Twenty minutes later we were forced to apologise to Patricia- Google maps didn’t know about the one way system- and allow her to guide us back in to the traffic once more. I swear her voice became more smug the second time around and there was definitely a hint of, ‘I told you so’, when we returned to the same queue of traffic fifteen minutes later.

For well over an hour we did battle and only moved metres. Bruiser was screaming for food; Diva was screaming because Bruiser was screaming and she doesn’t like to be left out; Hubby was ranting about poor Internet connections and ridiculous traffic systems and idiots panic buying petrol; and I was slowly going insane whilst trying not to stall the car. Things really began to escalate and melt downs were imminent. Then, at the height of Hubby’s frustration, Diva suddenly pipes up from the back, “You need to let it go, Daddy.”

She had a point. We made a random turn and looked for any route out of Bath. Eventually we found ourselves on a road to Bristol and stopped at the nearest pub with a kids play area. We all had some food while Diva played. We felt awful about not going to visit Hubby’s aunts but we just couldn’t take anymore, and we needed to get home to collect Uncle M from the dog sitter.

The rest of the journey home was bearable. After a further half an hour of screaming from Bruiser he went to sleep, and Diva entertained herself with her new Wonderpets toys. We finally made it home around five pm. Hubby then had the enjoyable task of driving in to Oxford during peak traffic to collect Uncle M…who had been rolling in poo.

14 in a House With no Wifi

Well it’s been awhile- sorry.

We’ve just got back from a holiday in Devon where Wifi was weak and free time was non-existent. However, the weather was unbelievably good, the company was wonderful and Bruiser even slept… sometimes.

My parents will be celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary next week and decided that a holiday with the whole family would be the best way to celebrate. These days the whole family consists of two grandparents, three children and their partners, six grandchildren and a dog. On this occasion the house we were staying in did not allow dogs and so Uncle M got to go on a holiday of his own with a lovely lady who actually seems to like all his idiosyncrasies. The rest of us got to stay in a fabulous house in South Devon for a whole week.

It has been a very busy week during which Hubby had to leave and “talk to people about stars” according to Diva. What he was actually doing was attending the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester- same difference. Thankfully that was only for three days and he was back in time to help pack up and drive home.

I could write in great detail about everything we did but I’m sure you would soon become bored and switch to another channel. Instead I will regale you with some of my favourite moments of stress, hilarity and sentimentality.

Family
It is very rare for us all to get together anymore. Everyone lives hours apart and has a multitude of responsibilities that take precedence over fun holidays in the countryside. It’s about time we all became independently wealthy so that our only responsibility was to attend village fetes, buy stuff and have a cause. Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely so we will have to settle for normal life with an occasional get together.

Amazingly we all managed very well during the week. There were the occasional disagreements but nothing that required a Jerry Springer intervention. At some time or another, everyone found that they had missed out on some vital piece of information about what was happening, but I spend a lot of my time being confused about what’s going on so am fairly used to this.

Mostly it was a fantastic opportunity to catch up and to see what wonderful little people all of our children are becoming. I only had one cousin growing up and we didn’t get to see each other very often. I love the fact that Diva and Bruiser have all these other cousins and that they all get on so well.

Jumpoline
Or the trampoline if you want to be exact. There was one in the garden of the house and all the kids LOVED it. Usually there were four children, an adult and a whole heap of static electricity inside. Cousins I and G leapt about like crazy, performing some impressive falls and tackles. Cousin T had great fun crawling about, practising his balance and pinning the resident adult to the floor. Diva jumped a little bit and then performed a variety of elaborate falls followed by a selection of dramatic wails. These were normally the result of her cousins not doing as they were told.

Crealy
On the Saturday we went to visit Crealy Adventure Park where apparently you are expected to have a, “Really, Crealy perfect day.” Diva has only been to a theme park once when she was one and there was nothing for her to do. She LOVED Crealy. It was absolutely perfect for her. There were a variety of indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a merry-go-round, animals, ice-cream, a child size village to terrorise and cars to drive. She didn’t stop talking from the second we arrived, “Wahoo! I want to go on that one, Mummy. I’m really, really excited, Daddy! Let’s do it!”

Birthdays
On the Sunday it was Cousin G’s 3rd birthday. There were presents and cake and picnics in the garden. Diva received some belated birthday presents too. It was a good day.

Old Friends
On the Monday we deserted the family to go and visit one of my old college friends. We haven’t seen each other in about twelve years and it was wonderful to see her and her lovely family. They have three gorgeous boys who were all very patient and kind to Diva. She thought she had died and gone to heaven with all their toys (I think Hubby did too). A perfect afternoon ended with fish & chips in a sun filled garden- bliss.

Sidmouth
Is full of retired people, impressive buildings and pretty pebbles. I loved it.

Cot Sleeping
Not all night, but Bruiser has been sleeping in a cot. Hooray!

Easter Egg Fun
We made cards, decorated eggs and beat up a piƱata egg for treats. We also had an Easter egg hunt. In the morning we got all the kids to make an Easter head band with stickers, gems, pom-poms and eggs. Aunty J and Cousin I had made baskets for everyone to fill and Aunty C went to hide a selection of treat filled eggs all around the garden.

The children all responded differently to the hunt. Cousin T went with his daddy to the far end of the garden where he could manoeuvre his wheelchair a bit better and began filling his basket as it hung around his neck. Cousin G went off, Bruce Willis style in his blue vest, crashing through undergrowth and throwing eggs in to his basket. Once he felt the area was clear, he ran off back in to the house to devour his spoils before anyone could take them off him. Cousin I was systematic and thorough. She scoured all the surrounding area and hoovered up every treat in sight. Soon her basket was quite literally overflowing. Thankfully she is also very kind and started adding eggs to all her cousins’ baskets. Diva was late starting, due to a momentary lapse in good behaviour, found one egg and announced she was done. She then proceeded to find herself a comfortable spot to sit down and eat her egg. It took a lot of persuading to get her to join back in.

Throughout the commotion Cousin A looked on with bemusement and Bruiser tried to eat his socks.

Lyme Regis
Another scorching day on Thursday so we headed to the beach. I am in love with Lyme Regis. I have always loved the beach and it would seem that Diva has very much inherited that bug. She couldn’t wait to get in the absolutely freezing water and had no issue with being covered in sand. In fact, she spent a good fifteen minutes practising comedy falls on to the sand.

When it was time to leave she flatly refused. We packed everything up, literally left the beach and she still wouldn’t come. I stood on the promenade watching her and waiting for her to realise I was no longer there. When she eventually did, there was about five seconds of wailing before she sat down in the sand and began playing again.

Grandma and Grandad
They haven’t stopped all week. They must be completely exhausted from being in such high demand. On the plus side, it must be very nice to know you’re in such high demand.

There are many other lovely things that happened but I need to go to bed now.

Thank you my lovely family for a lovely holiday.

Bath Time

Four cousins in a bath that ended with an untimely poo.

This may become the title of my first book.

Happy Birthday Diva

This weekend was Diva’s third birthday. On Friday we travelled up to the Midlands for a birthday weekend with Hubby’s family. Diva was excited all week about the prospect of presents and cake. However, she promised that I could share her birthday- very generous considering she already shares her birthday with Uncle D.

We had debated having a party for Diva, but we still don’t have many friends where we live and I am mostly too tired to organise anything. Thankfully Hubby’s parents were willing to help out and Diva was having far too much fun to judge me on my lack of party planning.

Benefits of spending a birthday with Nana and Grampy:
1. Nana can make a much better cake.
2. Nana and Grampy have a very nice house with a very big garden.
3. Uncle M really likes going for adventures in the very big garden.
4. Diva likes taking Grampy on adventures in the very big garden while Mummy enjoys a cup of tea.
5. Uncle M has two other dog friends to torment and two cat friends to be confused and intrigued by.
6. Bruiser sometimes sleeps in a cot.
7. Cousin L and family can stay too.
8. Diva can play endlessly with her uncles and Cousin L.
9. The ratio of adults to children means that occasionally everyone gets a break.
10. Great food.

For Diva’s actual birthday we visited Ash End House Farm. This place is fantastic. On one side there is a great indoor play barn with excellent slides- I may have gone on once or twice. On the other side is a children’s farm with a schedule of fun farm events. We got to hold a chick, feed a lamb, pet an assortment of sheep and goats, hunt for an egg and sit on a pony. There was even a performance of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, but we had to leave that one early due to the scary troll.

We ended our visit with some time on the outdoor playground eating ice creams. Diva then used her birthday money to buy a hobby horse that resembled the pony she’d brushed and sat on. She proudly galloped said hobby horse out of the farm and back to the car. Her neighs were very authentic.

Once we had returned to Nana and Grampy’s house, Diva got to open her presents. Excited barely describes her reaction… apart from when she opened the educational calendar we got her. Give her time and she’ll grow to appreciate the joy of changing a fabric Monday to a fabric Tuesday. Plus, it’s reversible and the other side is in French! What’s not to love?

We also got her a toy medical kit. Foolish. As soon as she opened it, Nana and I had to lie on the floor to be cured by Diva and Cousin L. The cure involves being prodded with every plastic implement, having your pulse checked, receiving an injection, taking some pills and having a ten second rest. Since getting home, all the toys have been injured or sick. Due to the increase of patients, and the variety of conditions, we have had to introduce bandages to the game (a nice gingham ribbon) and make Uncle M a doctor. NHS bill be warned- this could be the future.

Diva loves all her gifts and has really enjoyed putting all her cards up. We all had such a fun weekend and are really grateful to our lovely family for making Diva’s third birthday so special. Thank you.

Home

I am lucky that there are many places that I get to call home. This week I have been staying in the home I grew up in. My very kind parents offered to take me in while Hubby was cruising away under the Northern Lights. We have managed to pack a lot in to this week and although we are very excited to be returning to Hubby tomorrow, we are very sad to be leaving.

Here is a synopsis of our week.

Wednesday
Drive one and a half hours while Bruiser sleeps and Diva asks, “Why?”, a lot. Unload car and exchange greetings with parents. Spend day organising huge amount of stuff brought ‘just in case’ most of which will return home unused. Visit supermarket and try not to make eye contact with anyone just in case they know me but I don’t remember them. Eat lovely food prepared by lovely Grandma. Convince Diva that there are no monsters in bedroom and that Grandad will still be available for games in the morning. Bath. Stories. Songs. Diva down. Pace with Bruiser until he falls asleep.

Thursday
Drive through to brothers house to visit. Try to explain to Diva that she really does not need to tell her cousins what to do all the time. Entertain cousins by reading the same book fourteen times until it is conveniently lost. Try to avoid eye contact with Bruiser to stop strange grunting noise he has developed whenever he sees me. Eventually convince Diva it is time to leave with bribery. Repeat nighttime routine. Get interrupted mid lullaby by Diva with request that I leave.

Friday
Try to convince Bruiser to go back to sleep during early morning wake up. Try to convince Diva to use a whisper voice during early morning wake up. Try to convince Uncle M not to bark during early morning wake up. Return to town centre to buy clothes for children that have suddenly grown overnight. Be amazed that Bruiser has rolled over and can sit independently for a few seconds. Who is this child? Sneak off and leave Grandad to entertain Diva. Let Uncle M off of his lead in a field and instantly regret it. Return from field covered in mud. Repeat nighttime routine. Juggle baby feeding and toddler nightmares at uncivilised hour.

Saturday
Visit Community Farm where I used to work as a teenager. Try to stop Diva putting whole hand in to the mouths of every animal. Stop Diva from stealing a guinea pig. Take it in turns to walk screaming Bruiser around until he falls asleep. Enjoy sunshine for the first time in months. Visit friend where eldest daughter looks after Diva and youngest daughter entertains Bruiser. Drink whole cup of tea. Probably out stay welcome. Repeat nighttime routine with additional Bruiser pacing.

Sunday
Work up energy to get dressed. Go for walk around boating lake that seems much smaller than when a child. Push Diva on her scooter for five minutes and then carry it for the duration of visit. Allow Diva to have ice cream. Use several wipes to remove ice cream from Diva’s hair and face. Meet cousins and swap scooter for trike. Convince Diva that cousins are coming back to Grandma and Grandad’s house too and therefore meltdown is unnecessary. Entertain with puppets until puppet is conveniently lost. Attempt nighttime routine with four children including hair washing.

Monday
Take Bruiser swimming for first time. Bruiser screams entire car journey until removed from car. Watch Cousin T walking in pool unaided (Cousin T has Cerebral Palsy so this was amazing). Both children sleep on way home. Visit school where I used to work and marvel that children also grow in my absence. Enjoy catch up with friends. Somehow Diva acquires a monster costume which she won’t take off. Try, without any luck, to keep children awake on journey home with songs and inane chatter. Much later nighttime routine followed by exhausted collapse.

Tuesday
Visit friend who provides lunch and toys. Diva plays nicely with E while I chat and pace with Bruiser. I become jealous that friends baby (month older than Bruiser) sleeps and plays without being attached to her mummy. Briefly fall asleep on sofa during Bruiser’s nap with Diva and Uncle M on top of me. Try to convince Diva she wants to watch CBeebies. Provide voices for selection of playmobil toys, He-man figures and farm animals. All are in need of being rescued. Get to drink another cup of tea while Grandma walks around the street with children- bliss! Nighttime routine including re-enactment of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Wednesday
Unsuccessful visit to town. Diva discusses tadpoles in the pond and tells Grandad how to rake up leaves in the garden. Return visit to cousins. Aunty C very much the favourite. Lovely walk in sunshine to collect Cousin T from school. Quick Bear Hunt and dinner. Spend return car journey trying to keep Diva awake. Nighttime routine including additional Bruiser pacing and tag team eating.

Thursday
Pack up car and try to convince Uncle M and Diva to leave. Resort to bribery. Very happy reunion with Hubby who is immediately required to provide voices for selection of animals and trains.

I have a great family and fabulous friends. Thank you all for making our holiday home so much fun.

Visiting the Grandparents

My family have lots of double birthdays. Diva shares her birthday with her uncle, and Bruiser shares his birthday with his daddy. This weekend was the joint birthday of my youngest brother and my mother. We decided that we would take a little trip to the Grandparents in order to help celebrate another year of life for two of my favourite family members. Unfortunately Hubby was working on Saturday so we would need to make the journey there without him. Thankfully he would catch the train on Sunday to join us so I wouldn’t have to manage the return journey alone.

In theory this seemed to make perfect sense. I would pack up the car with the help of Hubby before he left for work and then drive the one and half hours to my parents before lunch. Simple. Ha! Trying to coordinate getting a toilet trained toddler, a breast feeding baby and a high energy dog all fed and toileted and dressed (not the dog. We don’t go in for that sort of thing) and in to car seats ( not the dog. He has a harness) takes more skill and organisational skills than I possess. Once we were finally in the car- after various nappy changes, toilet trips, snacks, changes of clothes, trips in to the garden (this time it was the dog) and last minute packing emergencies- I remember that we have no petrol. Trying to get petrol with a demanding toddler, a screaming baby and an over excited dog is also not easy.

Eventually we were on the road and heading to the Grandparents. Thankfully the traffic was kind; the baby slept; the dog sniffed the air vents contentedly; and Diva found my game of ‘spot the evergreen tree’ entertaining enough to get us most of the way there. I really know how to put the fun back in to car journeys.

After a quick unpack we headed to my brothers house to see his lovely wife and my gorgeous nephews. It was great to see everyone and Diva and her cousin G spent many a happy hour pretending to be mice while Grandma tracked them down. Later on I managed to convince Diva that she was having far too much fun with Grandma and therefore had no need to come and sit in a coffee shop with me and some of my friends. Oh and how I enjoyed that brief hour of conversation and coffee. Thank you ladies and thank you Grandma and Grandad.

On Saturday we celebrated the birthdays with fish and chips and fancy champagne- we know how to live it up in our family. The kids had a fantastic time and entertained us all with some interesting interpretative dance on the landing. I blame the champagne.

Sunday involved a lovely trip to a farm with indoor play, rabbits to hold, ponies to ride and farm equipment to pose on. Boy was I glad to have Hubby back. All in all it was a really lovely weekend and reminded me of how much I miss living close to my family.

Apparently Diva and Uncle M feel the same way. When it came time to leave, Diva hid under the dining room table and Uncle M dashed straight in to Grandma’s arms for protection. Should I start to feel paranoid about this?

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