Baby Boy is 18 months old!

Big guy turned 18 months a week ago!  ‘Bout time I get the update rolling, eh?  I’ll blame it on the craziness of having a garage sale this past weekend with four kids 4 and under.  That clears me for being late, right?!

He is weighing 23 lb 6 oz, which is a few ounces down since last time….  I’m pretty worried about his weight gain.  The doctors noticed he wasn’t gaining well last time but in spite of my concern, they assured me he was doing fine.  This is actually a weight loss though.  He has an appointment soon, so we’ll hopefully get some answers!  He still gets alllllllll the comments on his red hair and a few have started noticing his big brown eyes. ❤

We made it all the way to 1 1/2 years old with this fella.  Always so many ups and downs.  Good thing God is constant and also in complete control of the outcome of all of this!  I have had so much peace with that in mind these past few months – praise the Lord!  Praying His will is done (as I know it will be) in this situation.

This past Wednesday, there was court to set a court (oooooh, government!  Only you could be this efficient!) for a termination hearing.  Bud’s DHS worker came to visit the following Thursday and informed me that date is September 28th.  After talking with her, I think it makes sense for me to go in case of questions from the judge, so we will see how that ends up!  Should be interesting as always….

I have had a name picked out in my head for our little fella pretty much since the day I brought him home.  However, Caleb doesn’t think we should discuss a name for him unless the rights are actually terminated, so I’m not sure if he will like the name too or want to think through other options.  It’s definitely a name off of our mutual favorite boys names list, but we’ll see.  I’ve tried asking for an earlier discussion of names (just last night to be honest…. haha), but he is sure we need to wait until we hear that termination goes through.  It’s a good lesson in patience for me I suppose.

I think I mentioned in the last update that I was trying to get physical therapy set up.  Well, it finally all came together!  It is so complicated and time consuming trying to get things going when a child is still in foster care.  Phew!  After a lot of passing papers back and forth and sending things to get signed by birth parents and calls here and there and everywhere…. it is actually happening now.  Of course, his physical therapist is now on vacation for 2 weeks, but at least it is all in place now!!  He had his first couple visits last week.

His therapist told me he has hypotonia, commonly known as floppy baby syndrome.  It is basically really low muscle tone or under developed muscles.  He has it globally, meaning all of his muscles are affected.  She said there can be a reason for it, but in his case it seems likely to be genetic.  This explains pretty much all of his issues we have been bringing up at doctor appointments, etc. for the last 10 months.  This is why he was so incredibly slow to crawl, pull up, etc.  This is why he doesn’t generally have a lot of facial expression.  This is why he often chokes on food, even when it’s diced.  This is why he struggles to feed himself, why his lips don’t shape well for speech, why everything he does is extremely gross motor, why he goes limp when picked up, why he plunks down ungracefully hard from a standing position to his bum, why his limbs are all too flexible for this age, etc.  Finally, some answers!!

She told me that while he will have this and deal with this his entire life, with therapy and muscle use/training, he will hopefully get to the point that it’s not noticeable to people other than therapists.  She said not to expect him to walk for another six months, so close to 2 years old.  She also mentioned it will probably look a little awkward when he learns to run and stuff, but he will get there.  I now have different little exercises and such to practice with him, which is great!  He is supposed to wear shoes all the time during day hours now to help him move without using his toe curl thing he does.  He pretty much comes up with new ways to power up and do things rather than using the appropriate muscles and we’re going to work on retraining him to do things correctly.

So, let’s see….. since Bud learned how to crawl in early May, he has been working on fine tuning that skill.  His crawl still looks fairly awkward compared to a baby with normal muscle development, but he can really move when he wants to (generally when I bribe him with food).

He learned how to pull himself up to his knees sometime in June.  He was really into that for a while!

About a month later, in July, he finally figured out how to pull himself to his feet!  It’s really more of a power up, almost completely relying on his upper body strength.  His therapist wishes he wouldn’t have figured that out, because she wants him to use his leg muscles and such, which he now does not want to do, but it is what it is.  He pulls up all over the house, although he generally doesn’t stay on his feet long at all and will PLUNK down hard on his bum after a few seconds.  Once in a while I will find something interesting to keep him standing up longer.

This guy’s most recent “trick” has been to lift his hiney up in the air as pictured below.  Not sure this is a crowd pleaser, but in his case any movement progression is a good thing. haha  The talent is real, folks.

Because our big guy isn’t anywhere near walking yet, he is pretty used to the stroller.  We have a LOT of stroller pictures of him from when we’re out and about. haha  He definitely is getting to live it up sitting on his bum a lot longer than the other kids ever got to. haha

This kid loooooooooooves being a photo bomber creeper.  This is what he was doing when I was trying to get a picture of Elly the other day.  Maybe it’s just me, but I can not stop laughing when I look at these.  Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

While our girls tend to be a bit shy at first (at least for the most part), he is usually pretty quick to ham it up with any and every one.  It’s always a hit with the great grandparents. 🙂

Although it’s tricky for Bud to make all the correct mouth shapes to speak, he sure tries his best!  He will try to copy almost everything we say and does pretty well with it!  Because he is so physically behind, it’s easy for us to underestimate him or think of him as younger than he really is.  He is small for his age too, which doesn’t help.  People are often surprised by how old he is.  The other day I was practicing some letters and sounds with Evie and he got so excited and chimed right in, saying his sounds and letters.  It reminded me that I should work more with him on stuff like that.  Mentally, he seems ready to go!  The therapist was quite impressed with how many words he knows and says already.  She said they want 50 by two years old (our girls have always been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond that by 2 unfortunately hahahahaha) and he is well on track to be beyond that himself.

He says and signs a lot of words now, but some of my favorites are when he says, “Un-uh!” “Uh boy” (oh boy) “I know” (he slurs it all together like it’s one word and uses this to self soothe when he’s waiting for something…. generally food. haha  Because I’ll say that to him.  I know, Bud.  Be patient, etc.)  “All pull” (all full, accompanied by the sign), “I uv oo!” (I love you), and his new favorite, “Ut?” (what).  His version of “what” is typically accompanied by his raised hands in the what expression.  It cracks me up every time.  Of course, when I tried to get a picture of him doing it he wasn’t having it.  Together, you can get the idea though.  The first picture is his normal “what” expression.  The second picture is how he usually holds his hands while saying it.  So hilarious.

This guy REALLY likes to eat.  He is ALWAYS ready for meal times.  He still can tend to be pretty screamy and ridiculous at meal times, especially when we are out or have company.  If it’s a normal meal at home with just us, he is usually decently calm.  In the first picture, he is angrily signing “more” because I’m not shoveling food in his mouth at the speed of light.

Picnic mealtimes on the deck are my favorite way to roll when it’s warm enough.  All crumbs outside = AWESOME!  Notice Bud’s meal is almost annihilated while every else is still in the midst.  Typical.

Snack time!!

All dressed up for Cow Day at Chick-fil-A.  Ready to get our free food.  Bud was feeling a little moooooooody about waiting so long to eat.

Evie has enjoyed loving on Bud for a long time now.  I’ll often find her hugging and holding him.  They have a special humor bond too.  They’re often laughing at who knows what together. haha

Speaking of relationships, nothing is quite as cute and troublesome as the “twins” together.  They have such an interesting thing going. haha

Sometimes they’ll be sitting together and share whatever they’re doing quite sweetly.  The next minute, they’re screaming over the same toy.  Other times they’ll be doing their own thing, but right next to each other.

They’re also the best at plotting mischief.

There’s always an abundance of hugs, lovings, and general goofiness amidst rolling around on the floor.

Also, I will probably never get over how completely polar opposite these two are in looks (annnnd, pretty much everything to be honest).

Those two alone, however, are no match for all four kids together!  Here’s a few snapshots of life with four tiny humans with nonstop energy.  Couch cleaning day turns into this:

In spite of the overall poor facial expressions, this turns into a GREAT PHOTO!  They were all looking and no one was bawling!!  WIN!

Trying to shower in the morning is never (never, never, never, never) a good idea.

This next picture should be titled “Impossible.”  Because, I have yet to get one really good picture of the four kids together.  And yes, it drives me crazy. haha  The problem is, I can get SOME of them to laugh at the right moment, but not all of them will find the same things funny.  Bud doesn’t smile nice too easily, because of his muscle deficiency thing, but there are specific things that will work on him (fake burping for one) that don’t get good smiles out of the others.  So, these didn’t turn out well, but it’s my usual fare, so what can I do?  I put two here, because in the first one Elly looks like an amazon baby compared to Bud, which isn’t actually true.  They are both on the small side, but he is decidedly bigger than her.  She was almost standing in this pic which threw it off visually. haha  The second picture shows more accurate scales. 😉

The final picture I’ll share here is what you might call a bummer.  On grocery/shopping days, it’s normally me manning all the children solo.  Usually, it goes quite smoothly.  The kids are used to it, and I am generally a very efficient shopper so we move through pretty quickly.  It doesn’t turn crazy difficult unless I attempt to shop for clothes (DISASTROUS) or when someone needs to use the bathroom.  Now, we usually are moving so quickly that no one thinks about the bathroom until we’re either in the van or home, but it has happened on rare occasion.  The instance this picture depicts was an extremely frustrating time, because I was the unfortunate soul who had to use the can.  In the middle of our shopping trip at Wal-mart nonetheless.  ARGH!  Why?!  I tried to ignore it, but that wasn’t happening.  Finally, I made a beeline for the restrooms, dragging my four kids, and our cart half full of stuff. *sigh*  There was no way I was leaving our cart outside the bathroom.  There would be no way to contain the babies from all the gross bathroom germs and I didn’t want to risk an employee putting all our items away.  In we all crowded.  Thank goodness the big stall was available!  Sitting on the toilet, trying to keep the babies from bawling and the big girls from touching, licking and dropping our stuff all over the nasty bathroom, it was one of those laugh or cry moments.  This time, I laughed and snapped this pic.  Because, I obviously want to remember this moment for the rest of my life.  Er….

Bugs used to moan or even cry most of the time we were outside in the yard playing, but he’s getting a little more chipper as he can do more.  I think his bad mood was mostly due to his sensitivity to the sun.  When it’s hot enough, he has been really enjoying “swimming” with the girls.  When it’s cooler, he often enjoys hanging out on his stair spot.

Crazy driver on the loose!  Take cover!

Starting to explore a little when we go to the parks!

Swinging is this guy’s FAV!  He busts out laughing and would do it all day. haha

Little worker man. ❤






Abby’s First Mama Time!

Abigail Joy got her much anticipated first “Mama Time” today!  She was on such an emotional high over it that when I took longer than she anticipated to call her out of her room, she broke down in tears thinking it wasn’t going to happen after all.  After consoling her, the fun began.  (Thankfully, Evie decided to make this a nap day.)

To start our time, I was gifted with a beaded necklace Abby had made for me.  Drop dead gorgeous, guys.

Abs had wanted to help me prepare afternoon snack, so I gave her a few options to choose from.  She was quick to pick the popsicles!  Wise choice for an extremely hot and humid day like today.  I think this was the hottest day this summer actually!  First, Abby washed some strawberries and attempted to cut them up with “a sharp knife!”  It was a little tricky for her, so she wanted me to finish.  She told me, “I’m still a yittle too yittle to do this part, so you better do it!”

While I finished the strawberries, Abby peeled and mushed up a couple bananas.

I think her favorite part of the process was spooning the mushed and cut up fruit into the popsicle molds.  She took it very seriously and was trying to make sure they were all nice and even.  I thought it was sweet how she kept chatting about how excited Evie was going to be when she woke up. ❤

I poured a tiny bit of 100% fruit juice (I think it was Strawberry Kiwi) into each section, Abs poked the handles in, and we popped them in the freezer for later!

After snack prep, it was craft time!  Abby was excited to do some q-tip paintings.  The idea is to use dots to make a picture but, as you can see, Abigail got a bit excited about just painting with them and her art went wild from there! haha  She was really excited about making a painting with a lot of blue (Evie’s favorite color) for Evelyn, but I’m not sure if she ever did end up giving it to her or not.

My non artsy self attempted to make a sunrise (or sunset, whatever really….) picture with mountains and Bear Lake where Caleb and I spent part of our honeymoon.  Oh ya.  Four kids later and the romance is still not dead over this way, people. ❤

I had a great time with my oldest daughter. ❤  Love spending time with her!!

Oh, also, in case you were wondering….. the popsicles were a decided hit all ’round!  Even Daddy had one when he got home from work and gave it a thumbs up! 🙂


Rustic Run 2017 & More Fun on the Bike Path!

We signed the girls up for the Rustic Run again this year.  I take the kids out for a mile walk/jog almost every single morning and again after they get up from quiet time.  If we have time we’ll do a third mile after supper with Daddy.  Sometimes they’ll ride bikes for the later walk.  As a result, our big girls are pretty in shape and used to lots of exercise!

It’s always interesting to see how a race actually turns out for the kids.  This was Evelyn’s very first race at 2 years old.  We expected her to be whiny off and on and need a ton of strong encouragement to keep going.  We figured Abby would love it and run strong the entire time.  She can easily run a whole mile and had been looking forward to race day for some time.

Never fear.  Kids love throwing you for a loop!  We had decided Caleb would run with Abby (and my little brother, Johnny) since she would be faster and my knees still hurt quite a bit.

I knew things weren’t going well when me and Evie stayed well in sight of them for most of the race.  Turns out, Abby was being clingy, wanting Caleb to hold her hand the entire time and whining about her stomach etc. because he wasn’t going to do that.  Basically, she majorly dogged the entire thing and even walked the last stretch.  She ended up with a time of 13:35 which is rough, considering she ran a mile race at 3 years old last year with a time that was 1 1/2 minutes better than that.  Oh well.  There’s always next year, right? haha

Evelyn, on the other hand, surprised us in a good way!  She saw a playground and snacks set up when we got there and I told her she could play on it and eat some snacks if she did a good job running.  Apparently that was some pretty great motivation for her, because she ran her little heart out!  It was so adorable! haha  She can easily walk/jog a mile, but she has a hard time running consistently without stopping.  But, she ran almost the whole entire way!!  She took two brief walk breaks, but even then she kept briskly moving.  She was all flushed and really working it!  The only time she started whining a bit was right before the finish line stretch and she wasn’t too bad about it.  Her time was 15:47.

Elly and Bud were good cheerleaders. 🙂 haha

Ahhhhhhhh, snacks for the participants!

We headed back home after the race.

It was yet another completely beautiful July day, so as soon as we got home we set to work packing a picnic, reorganizing the kids, and hopped back in the van to drive to the bike path!  We decided to try a new starting spot, since it’s such an awesome, long trail.  It was so much fun!

Our walk/bike ride started out great!  We enjoyed spotting this little waterfall off the trail.

Followed by an exciting new park!  Of course, we had to stop and play a while.

Another fun exploring spot – where we got a little muddy….  It was a steepish bank down to the water and rocks and Abby slipped while climbing back up.

My attempt at a group selfie. haha

One of my little biker babes. ❤

Picnic time back where we parked the van!

We used my new gps ap on my phone (it was something free, Caleb found and downloaded for me – such fun!) to keep track of how far we went.  We did almost 3 and 1/2 miles (3.46)!!  I can’t wait to go back and try another new stretch! 🙂


Mama Time Play Dates

It may sound funny, but although I spend every waking second with my children, I often wish I had more time with them.  Let me explain as you scratch your head…. haha  Most of my moments are very child-filled and child-centered, it’s true.  However, it’s very rare that I have focused, one on one time with them – especially the older two girls.  This is something I’ve had a strong desire to change lately.  While I do plenty of things for my children, I want them to have my TIME and know I love and care about each one individually.  I want to make time to talk to them and listen to them without a hundred little interruptions and distractions.

I was trying to figure out where I could work on this.  The babies’ morning naps are fazing out or that would have been the obvious choice.  For a while, it seemed the only choice was to somehow escape the house with just one child.  But the only feasible option that wouldn’t interrupt bedtimes was taking a kid out for supper.  This just wasn’t going to happen for us, especially not as frequently as I wanted that time with them.  We almost never eat out as is and it would be at the expense of time with Daddy, which we never like doing.  It was kind of difficult for me to find an alternative plan.  Although I love my children so much, it’s easy to selfishly crave, and feel entitled to, those less constant high needs moments like afternoon Quiet Time.

After about a week of pondering this dilemma, I finally came up with my idea.  I’ll spend one hour of one Quiet Time once a week with one of my big girls.  Did you follow that? haha  One hour is about the amount of completely uninterrupted time I can typically count on.  Plus, there are often legit things I have to get done while the kids are in Quiet Time, so this leaves me a little wiggle room.  With visits and shopping days earlier in the week, I am thinking the Mama Time days will usually be Thursday or Friday depending what else is going on.

I told the girls about this plan and they were SO excited!!!  They started planning everything we would do together right away. haha  It was really cute and definitely made me want to start asap.  Abby and I decided Evelyn could have the first turn since she is littler.

Evie was SUPER giddy when her day came up!  She grabbed my hand, chattering a mile a minute, and we headed downstairs for Petshop of course!!

We were playing a camping game and decided to make some (really rough) makeshift tents.  They were a hit for Evie!  We also made some kleen-ex casts for all the broken legs that kept happening.  It was a rough day in Petshop land!

I do like Petshop, but after a half hour or so, it was time to switch things up a bit. haha  I suggested we do some crafting with GLUE and SCISSORS and Evie was instantly sold.  She doesn’t have access to those too frequently and was pretty pumped.  She did quite a bit of gluing while I worked on a card for Daddy.  He recently found out he passed yet another actuarial exam, and we are all super duper proud of him!!!  Only one more and a few other things left!!  WOO!

We had a great time together and Evelyn was beaming about it the rest of the day.  I’m excited for another special time with my Little Peanut in a couple weeks. 🙂  See Evie’s smuggest possible expression below. ❤

A once in a lifetime trip – followed by a delight next door

It was gorgeous out and we needed to go do something to enjoy it!  After Caleb got home from Bible study, we discussed options.  Zoo?  No… we didn’t get a pass this year, it’s pricey, and they’ll be doing their free days soon.  Go look for the tiny waterfall off the bike path?  No….  it’s way over in Bettendorf and lunch time is already looming.  The Nahant Marsh?  It’s decently close to us and we’ve never been before.  It might not be the most interesting, but it also might be a good option to try out.  Nahant Marsh it is!

We pulled in sometime around 10:40 a.m.  The sun was beating down and there wasn’t a whole lot of shade available, so we decided to head over to the visitor center first and scout out a map.

Although the center was undeniably stinky (reptile/fishy smell), it was a somewhat welcome surprise in that there were a few animals for the kids to look at.  Of course, the worker had to whip out a nasty snake first thing for the kids to touch.  Eeks!!  I tried to maintain calm.  Evie was all about it.  Abby refused to go near it at first, although we finally talked her into at least touching it once with a finger.  She did, but it was so fast I missed capturing the moment on camera. haha  I can’t say I blame her.  Snakes are….. er… not my favorite.

Other than the snake, there were a few different varieties of turtles, some lizard thing, and a bunch of nasty stuffed dead animals creepily lining the wall in a back room.  I could be forgetting something, but I think that about covers it.  The kids enjoyed it somewhat, but no one was bawling when we said it was time to head out.

Turtles, turtles, and more turtles!

We didn’t pick up a map, because there weren’t really a lot of confusing hikes available.  Basically you could do a straightaway one direction or a straightaway + loop the other direction.  We chose the loop since it had an ever exciting “bird observatory look out” or some such thing. haha  The walk wasn’t long at all, but the first part went through some mowed grass.  We had the umbrella stroller and it pushed through ok.  We found the look out pretty quickly.  It was mostly an open, little hut that you could look out at the stale swamp water interesting wetlands from.

I plunked Evie out on the ledge, because she wasn’t tall enough to see out. haha

We walked back around the loop.  Well, one of us ran…. that is until she found an ever fascinating stick.  After that, forward motion was more optional as she stopped to jab and poke at every thing even mildly interesting. haha

Daddy mocking Elly. haha  Almost every time we address Elly lately, she will point off at something, furrow her brows, and jabber as if she found the most interesting thing in the world.  It’s pretty great.

We walked back towards the center, stopping briefly to walk out on the dock and view….. well….. this.  As we stood in the blazing sun, staring at this, we voiced our thoughts out loud. “Well, kids.  Try to really enjoy this adventure, because it is most definitely a once in a lifetime kind of trip!” (see blog title) haha

Abby’s highlight was getting to see some flowers on the way up to the play area.  Her downfall was that she couldn’t actually pick them.  She is our little nature child.  If someone would stand by her and tell her the name and info on every bug, plant, leaf, tree, flower, etc. etc. all day, she would be thrilled.

The play area.  The tree stumps were kinda cool and amused the kids for a bit.

Last little fling.  We decided to walk just a tad on the other trail.  It wasn’t too different, so I took the two big girls out on another quick viewing spot and then we headed home.

There it is!  I know, this was a bit negative sounding, so please don’t take offense if you’re really into marshes and that sort of thing.  We quickly realized it wasn’t really our thing.  I am glad we went though, because now we know what it is.  There were some kind of interesting things….. like, the turtles.  And there was like a 50 foot stretch of a cool trail on part of the loop.  Soooooo, that was neat. haha  It was good just to get the kids out of the house and wear them out, even if it wasn’t that spectacular.  To end our swampventure, we had planned on picnicking.  I had packed the whole meal, but most unfortunately we had forgotten the cooler at home.  Oops!!  It turned out for the best though.  There wasn’t really a reason to want to eat at the marsh and home was only a few minutes away.  The kids enjoyed their picnic on the deck instead. 🙂

After returning home, picnicking on the deck, and enjoying naps/quiet time, we decided to go with an early supper (always) and head to the bike path a few minutes from our house.  We have had some GORGEOUS July days and we knew we needed to get back outside and enjoy the weather before bedtime!  Of course, we had barely started when the first mulberry tree was spotted….  Abs is a mulberry fiend, while Evie doesn’t want anything to do with them.

After a few dozen mouthfuls, we finally cut her off and said it was time to hop back on the bikes.

Off we went!  Well… until the next mulberry tree.  *sigh*

Just look at that stained up little grin!

After this we made a “no more stopping for mulberries” rule so we could make a little distance progress. haha

Elly always “sees” something. haha

Our next stop had to be the bench swing of course!  There was no way we were going to sneak past that exciting point of interest.  “Mama!!!  DADDY!!  LOOK!  The swing!!  The swing!  Do you see it?!”

Little Elle was living it up out of the carrier. haha

Little Zoomer back on the road!

We went a bit further and then turned around and headed home.  Cabz usually has to be the one to decide it’s time to go back.  I always have a rough time deciding to stop and turn around if it isn’t the actual END of something.  I always think I’ll be happy to turn back after seeing what’s around “just one more corner,” but it turns out there’s always another corner and I want to go around that one too…..

Elly thinks she’s escaping her carrier when she takes her arms out of the straps and has them on top like this.  Boy, is she ever proud of herself then! haha  What a smug little twerp!

Our little bikers!  We have regretted a lot of toys (junk) that has made its way into our home, but the bikes?  Never!!

And there you have it.  We had such an enjoyable time out on the bike path that we decided to take a picnic and do it again very soon, starting at a different point.  Stay tuned. 😉






Lake Macbride Hiking & Camping Day 2

The day started nice and early.  I was already awake, but the kids started stirring shortly after 6.  It’s rough to keep them asleep with the sun pouring into our tent.  Brief picture of “morning” in a tent with four little kids.

A “hello morning” selfie because, why not?!  We all experienced it a little differently.

I had to send the girls over to wake up the hammock sleepers, because in spite of Jake’s 5:30 a.m. claims the previous night, he was sawing logs like no tomorrow.  Maybe it was his late night conversations….  If only he hadn’t been interrupted with a flashlight beaming in his face from our tent. (I may have been the one to do it, but it was Caleb’s idea, not mine!)

Hammocks are really fun.  We need to buy one before next time!

The girls were ecstatic, chowing down on their choice sugar cereals from our stash!  The big girls both went the cocoa krispie route.  “We want the chocolate one!!!”  You can’t go wrong with chocolate, right?

We decided to do one longer hiking trail in the morning, and call it good.  It’s amazing how much more difficult hiking is with one year olds strapped to you.  We were searching for Field Campus Trail, but ended up doing Angler’s Point Trail first, which led to Field Campus.  Angler’s was probably a half mile or so long.  When we got to the end, it took a few minutes to find the start to Field Campus.  While the others were looking, some of the kids and I walked out on a mini trail to the lake.  The water was so beautiful!  I am constantly amazed at the work of God!

“O Lord, how manifold are Your works!  In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.  Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.” Psalm 104:24-25

Hiking on Field Campus Trail, we found this giant tree tipped over.  Jake was feeling extra ambitious for his audience and decided to walk it.  He most definitely regretted this decision about halfway out, but he made it happen.  It was a whole lot higher than it looks.  He’s a lanky thing, but Caleb was even telling him it was a poor choice and he should give it up.  According to Jake, he would “fall like a cat” if he went over.  Hmmm…

We hiked at least 2 miles out and back on Field Campus, along with the half mileish of Angler’s Point, making a morning hike close to 4.5 miles!  The end of this would have made it to the opposite side of the dam we had found yesterday, which would have been cool, but we knew we had the hike back and didn’t want to stretch the kids too thin.

The kids were overall significantly less whiny than yesterday and did some good walking!  Abby hiked almost the entire time all of the adults did, so we let her have a few piggy back rides towards the end of this hike.  She was being a stubborn smiler for most of the trip’s pictures, but she didn’t hold back here! haha!  Also, Abby is such a tense little tot.  This is how she opted to piggy back ride. hahaha!!

It was on the way back that Abby finally had the urge to poop.  She had been too hyper with all the excitement, but eventually nature takes over and she couldn’t wait until we got back.  Luckily, there happened to be this nice handy log laying alongside the trail at this point.  Pants down, butt hanging over, clutching onto the log, getting her business done.  Of course, seeing Abby going gave Evelyn the instant urge to join her.  Thankfully she just needed to pee.  Poor Marci got to experience what hiking with kids really looks like. hahaha  Although Abby took about ten minutes to wrap it up (this was like two days’ worth, from the kid who goes at least 3 times on a normal day), we weren’t caught by any other hikers.  Phew!  Don’t worry, I’m not posting a picture of this moment.  I probably would if I had thought to get one, butt….. (ha. ha. ha.) I was too distracted.

We finished our hike, drove to a nearby park, scarfed up lunch in the parking lot under a tree, let the kids play on the park for a bit and then headed for home!  It was definitely a fun trip!! ❤