Saturday, April 18, 2009

Devil's Lake

The kids have all been on spring break this past week, which of course meant that I had all 7 home with me all week long. We had a blast! You know it's funny, but when the twins were born I received a good deal of advice from women and families and dr's and well all sorts of people, but no matter who I was talking to, whether it was the receptionist at my OB's office or the lactation specialist at the hospital or even just a friendly neighbor out walking their dog, a common theme I encountered was that everyone told me just how much "help" I would have once they learned about our large family. Now at the time, I was already well into the newborn sleepless night stage and was feeling a wee bit overwhelmed what with all the crying and nursing and not sleeping. I was even beginning to feel as if my adept and very wonderful partner couldn't even truly "help" me (forgive me honey, I have NOT in fact forgotten all those long nights you spent cradling one screaming baby in the glider while I fed another) since he, through no fault of his own, was unable to feed our hungry newborns. I've hinted to this in the past, and have even thought about devoting an entire post to the topic, but learning to breast feed Nuala and Oscar was a rather challenging task that took weeks and weeks for me to really feel comfortable with. There was even a point at around day 10 or so that I finally broke down and told Brendan that I was ready to quit and it was time to get some formula. Ironically that also happened to be the same night that Nuala gave me a 3 hour stretch of sleep and oddly that was all it took to rejuvenate my spirit and stubborn determination. At any rate, whenever people would tell me how much help I had at home, well I just didn't GET it. All I could understand was just how physically dependent the twins were and how much of that dependence was placed solely on me, the milk maid. Don't get me wrong, I grew to love nursing them just like I knew I would, and when they weaned this past winter I had a hard time with it, but I digress....somehow this spring break story is turning into the breast feeding story I have been mulling over in my head. Ok, ok, let's see, everyone told me that I would have a lot of help at home and BOY WERE THEY RIGHT!!!!!
So, having the kids home from school all week has been a wonderful treat for a lot of different reasons, I mean they are after all wonderful and extremely lovable people, not to mention very funny, but I must admit it was rather nice to have some extra hands around here during the daily rigamarole. Our kids are fantastic older siblings, seriously going to make a lot of money babysitting some day, and I can't say this enough, but I feel like the twins are incredibly, INCREDIBLY lucky to have Finn, Sidhe, Maija, Ruari and Micah around and vice versa. All seven children benefit exponentially from having one another in their lives, in their hearts, as part of their family and part of their fabric, past, present and future. As a part of the bigger picture we are all lending a hand in building together.

Ok, getting off track once again.....hmmmm, what to do?

Originally we planned on going camping over spring break, but unfortunately nature did not cooperate with us as we had hoped it might and spending our nights in 25 degree north woods weather did not seem overly appealing to us once all was said and done. So instead the kids and I took many short day trips to museums and parks and basically had a good time goofing off around the home front. Our final event, the piece de resistance if you will, took place yesterday when Brendan played hooky from work and we took a mini road trip to one of the most beautiful State parks the midwest has to offer, Devil's Lake. We left the babies behind with Sarah, which had me feeling a little torn, but really it was hard enough wrangling June8ug up the side of the east bluff, I really don't see how we would have managed it with 2 fearless toddlers in tow. Although we did come across a young couple carrying their 30 pound Bull dog up the boulders (ummm...honestly!?!), so I suppose it COULD have been done, but I guess we just weren't feeling ambitious enough for it! Don't worry the babies had a great time staying back in the city, and even got to take their first trip to the library. As for the rest of us, well THIS is what we were up to.....

By the time we reached the top and made our way to Devil's Doorway, everyone was pretty much exhausted. I tried to stay as upbeat as possible, but I have to admit that I had a hard time imagining the long climb down!

Once we landed back on solid ground the kids were more than happy to play by the lake before our drive home....

Well this has gotten about as photo saturated as possible, but I still have pictures from the ferry ride we took to get to the park. They can wait until next time, today is the final day of spring break and I have some kids to take swimming (indoors of course) and a neglected house to tidy. You can only imagine what our house looks like at the moment.....

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