Counting Down the Days

days couting

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

Plastic ~ Grandpa ~ Humming ~ Behind ~ Exchange ~ Lessor

They were submitted by:

I can’t wait to go on vacation, seriously, I need to get away. I don’t want to do laundry, cook, or clean. I love where we go, as all the meals are included and there is always something fun for AJ to do. In fact, there is always a nighttime event for kids, so AJ is exhausted at night and sleeps late the next morning…which is a heaven.

I might just start humming as the days get closer and  I know I can just enjoy this time. When are we going? Sorry, can’t tell you that. I don’t think it’s safe at all to tell ANYONE when we are going on vacation. I don’t care if someone is staying behind watching our house or not. I just don’t believe it’s safe in letting the internet know you are out of town and basically inviting criminals to break in and rob us blind.

Some say it’s an expensive vacation and we could find a place to go that would be a lessor cost. The fact that we don’t have worry about meals or finding daily activities is a blessing. We do bring a snacks and plastic water bottles, in case we get the munchies in the early morning or late nights.

Though perhaps next summer we might exchange our normal plans for a different place, We’ll have to see what AJ thinks, since the vacations are all about him, right?

We would like to invite our parents, but it can be quite expensive for Grandmas and Grandpas. Though, it would be nice to have extra people to watch Anthony so mommy and daddy can get some quiet time for dinner or to just sleep!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts

Fly on the Wall August



Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


  • Mommy: AKA Karen, me…the wife and mom 
  • Daddy: AKA Tony, husband and dad
  • AJ – our only child, a 6 year old boy who thinks he knows it all and is the one in charge


Once in our hotel room, Tony made a phone call I heard him talking to staff about the safe. 

I looked at him thinking something was wrong with the safe. “I called, the safe is not working. I have to call back and get someone hear. The guy on the phone said it’s difficult to set.” 

I walked over, thinking that hotel safe’s are all pretty much the same. I was correct and set it up in less than a minute. 

“It’s all done. The combination number is ####.”

“You did it? You figured it out? How?”

“Ummmm, I followed the directions.”

After being too scared, then trying it once, AJ rocked the outdoor slide. In the video he asks us to catch him, but the other times he just wanted us to stand there. 

On the way home from vacation I had to stop by the local store to get food for tonight’s dinner. AJ got very mad, he wanted to go home immediately, therefore he had a major meltdown in the. He was screaming, crying, kicking and pulling my hair all from the backseat. Pulling over did nothing, he was in an irrational mood at this point (and over tired). 

“I want to go home now. It’s not fair. Take me home or I’ll have an attitude.” on repeat 

Mind you I got back in the car, in less than five minutes since it’s a small organic market. AJ was screaming the entire time I was in the store, kicking, and hitting everything in his reach. 

“You lied. You were longer than five minutes. I’m tired and I’m mad.” on repeat


AJ wanted to watch cartoons that looked like they were for kids, but it really was for adults. He was naturally upset. After complaining for twenty minutes he settled on Doozers on Hulu Plus. “I’m mad and I don’t like this.”

“Then watch another show.”

“Stop talking, I can’t hear the TV.”


text conversation

FYI: I’m the brown speech bubble and Tony is the blue

If you never see or hear from Tony again, it’s probably because he made one of these comments again…

  • “Another meal got away from you Karen?” 
  • “Oh, I get it. It’s that time again.”
  • “Yup, you’re being your hormonal self.”
  • “Why does he get to do that?” (pointing to AJ…the 6 year old)   
  • “Just because he’s six and I’m forty is not a good enough reason.”

Life with AJ:

AJ earned his blue stripe belt, after remember his three moves. The next step is green. This is going to be long stretch as he has to remember all the moves from previous levels. In addition to that he has to do an hour of cardio before he even begins his test.

A sensei that assists was checking in kids and said to AJ. “I remember you. You always say thank you sir. I like that.” 

He was tested by different sensei than has been at previous tests. 

“Hi, you are new and don’t know me. My name is AJ, it’s hard to remember, but you’ll get it.”

karate collage

AJ and I made new crayons from melted ones. We tried to use bright and light colors. They came out great. For a week straight he had to show them to everyone we met. AJ LOVES to talk, so he gave a detailed explanation of how we made them.

crayon collage

I created a garden using an old plastic pool. I cut holes in the bottom and planted tomatoes, dill, basil, peppermint, and parsley. We also planted peppers, but they didn’t grow. Going to get two pools next time. Most of the soil was from my compost!!!!

AJ loved to eat the tomatoes, right off the vines.

watering plants2


CollageThis week’s Listicles: 10 THINGS I WILL REMEMBER THIS SUMMER BY

This summer came and went. It all just goes so fast, don’t you think? How many days till next summer vacation?

Hubby and I each gave five things we will remember this summer.


  1. Dinosaur’s 4th Birthday, sure it was at the beginning of June…but to me that means summer is coming here
  2. Our vacation to Rocking Horse Ranch…what a great all-inclusive resort for kids
  3. Dino playing in the pool on a beautiful summer day
  4. Dino finally getting the hang of it and riding his bike like a big boy
  5. Hubby being able to have dinner with us most nights.

 Collage            Collage    Collage2         preemie outfit2 BLOG                       


  1. All our day trips as a family
  2. Playing with Dino in the driveway after work or on the weekends.
  3. Grilling lunches and dinners
  4. Watching TV with Dino before bed
  5. Driving in the car with my family and laughing at all the things Dino says 

 linking up with

Mommy Monday Blog Hop



Linking up with

Super Sunday Sync   

Hubby and I LOVED it at the Rocking Horse Ranch…while it was a bit on the expensive side, all meals were included and there was an abundance of activities each day. So we feel the price was more than worth it. In addition, Dino loved it, so therefore we loved it. Dino explained why he loved it in yesterday’s post…you can read that here.

Rocking Horse Ranch

The cleaning staff did a fabulous job keeping our room clean…and our room was darn big, bigger than I expected. The bathroom did not have any mildew, grime, or stains…I was thoroughly impressed.

The staff was all helpful and courteous and next time we plan on taking advantage of the day camp so hubby and I can do our own things for a bit. I would love to go to the spa and Hubby would just love to sleep, LOL. At first I was leery of leaving Dino with strange people, but after speaking to all the day camp workers I was quite impressed with their knowledge and competence.

Pros of going on vacation with an only child:

  • Hubby and I took turns on rides/activities to give each other takes a break/breather
  • Hubby and I took turns dealing with a temper tantrum
  • Hubby and I took turns bringing Dino up to get food while the other one ate.
  • Hubby and I took turns bringing Dino to the bathroom
  • Dino didn’t have to share his parents or activities with a sibling
  • Dino would happily and easily join in with other kids on the playground as if they were long lost friends
  • Dino could do whatever activities he wanted, the schedule for the day was based on what HE  wanted.
  • Dino didn’t have to share his popcorn, drinks, snacks or food
  • Once Dino is asleep, no other kids to worry about

Cons of going on vacation with an only child:

  • Dino often relies on us for all their fun activities and play time
  • Dino would often be sad if the playground was empty 
  • Dino didn’t have a sibling to stick up for him or just keep him company

though the pros once again out weigh the cons, the cons still broke my heart at times. Perhaps when Dino is older (like in middle school) we can invite a friend along on vacation. Of course, he may prefer having his own vacations. We’ll have to see how he feels about it when he’s older. 


Cool Colors: the lake does look cool and refreshing…but I was also freaked out that Dino would tip over…luckily Hubby knows what he is doing. cool colors

Leaves: Love this pic of Dino riding the horse and the leaves in the background

Iced Beverage: It was supposed to hold a cool beverage, but instead they use it for holding popcorn….free popcorn for everyone at the resort.


iced beverage
Cooling Off: After running up and down the hill about twenty times, Dino decided to chill out and cool off

cooling off
Raw: It was amazing to watch the horses leave the barn, cross the road, and go back to their fields at night…but the smell of horses and the poop trail they left was like raw sewage, lolraw



Dino in Cooperstown

In this post, Names have been changed and faces covered up for privacy .
On our trip to Cooperstown was an adventure, yeah an adventure, I’ll go with that. Hubby played on Double Day Field and we went with him and it was exactly what I expected it to be, a disaster. While we went with Hubby’s sister and her husband and their three kids and nephew, it was NOT the place for my Dinosaur. 
They were all older, except for Cousin Judy who is only 18 months. Dinosaur needs constant activities to keep him busy or he will become destructive. Cooperstown, even though beautiful and historic, was not going to fulfill that need for Dinosaur. 
Watching daddy play was NOT fun for him, climbing up and down the bleachers was the fun part, but could not let him do that with a bunch of people around who were trying to watch the game.
watching daddy and Uncle T play on the field
T at bat!
T catching
I tried to keep him running from store walls to me at the sidewalk each time someone went into a store, which was not an easy task. He kept tyring to run in the street and continually bumped into people during his fits. All he wanted was to go back to Sesame Place, I felt so bad for him. 
SIL and her hubby did their best to show me all that Cooperstown had to offer. There was the Fly Creek Ceder Mill that had a small play area and Dinosaur loved it; and running around the store trying all the pretzel and chip samples. But that was good for about an hour and half, and then he was back to boring stuff.
Nephews and their cousin pretending to chase Dinosaur running around the play area.
They sure did a good job of keeping him busy.
Dinosaur with his Buddy, he always asks for Buddy. He LOVES Buddy
Dinosaur going down slide, Aunt Ada and cousin Judy watching
Dinosaur got a fever and sniffles Saturday night, so of course I got almost no sleep. I had to run off by myself Sunday morning to CVS to get son medicine. His temperature was temporarily lowered, but kept rising back up. Hubby didn’t get to go to the museum, but he as been there three times before so it’s really no loss. 
We had originally wanted to go without Dinosaur on Sunday night, so Hubby could shower after the game and relax. But BIL talked Hubby into going with Dinosaur Saturday into Sunday. If an opportunity like this pops up again, I am going WITHOUT Dinosaur, I need a freaking break and time to myself AND time alone with Hubby.
I know some people take their kids with thme and make the kids adjust, but with Dinosaur that doens’t work. 
Do you take your kids on adult vacations and make them adjust? Or do you leave them at home? Or perhaps only go on kid-friendly trips? 
run washing machine if full, put away dried clothes, clean up disaster areas from Hurricane Dinosaur
vacuum bedrooms
catch-up day/declutter—now I can clean the fridge and microwave)

What’s your cleaning agenda today? 

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Never again will I…

…let hubby plan and book a vacation, no matter how hard he pleads to help me. Hubby  meant well, but we are staying at the hotel in hell. He booked a package deal for Sesame Place and got the hotel in the worst part of town with NO pool. What was he thinking.. or rather NOT thinking? The first room didn’t have a working fridge and the second room was missing a desk. There bathroom was not cleaned well and there was hair on the floor. I spent half and hour cleaning that bathroom before I would let my boys step one foot in there. The people who work here are clueless, seriously. One person said she never heard of any diners in the area! Isn’t she supposed to know the area?

If we ever do this again, we are going to stay in a hotel closer to Philadelphia so we can visit both Sesame and Philly. I will plan it out and make sure its a great hotel and itinerary.

On the bright side, Dinosaur loved Sesame Place. He was in awe of the character breakfast and rocked all the water rides. I thought he would be scared but he was crying for more. Even though the heat was a killer, being soaked from the water rides helped us stay cool. When the heat got to be too much for dinosaur and he started to get tired we put him in his strolled and covered him with a wet blanket. That was his personal AC and he LOVED it. Soon he was off to dream land and we got to relax in the shade near our car.

The Crayola Facotry was an awesome place to visit but not for a wild dinosaur who wants to be constantly moving. That place is for kids who like to sit and focus on what they are doing, which is NOT my son. I will do a better job of researching a place before going to it based on its name. I want to make sure my son gets the most of his vacations.

Anyone ever learn from their vacation mistakes?

Taking a dinosaur on vacation

Packing last minute items and trying to load the car with a 3yr old dinosaur is NOT fun, at all. He spilled gold fish all over the rug three times and kept trying to leave the house in the rain. Then laid down in the middle of the floor, exhausted from his destruction.

Then I had to explain to him and answer thirty “whys?” as to why we can not bring ALL his toys on vacation.

When we finally left the house, we had a late breakfast at our local diner. Dinosaur loves to play with his cars, and drawing a road always keeps him busy.

After a few minutes on the road he thankfully fell asleep, but it only lasted an hour.

He DID NOT NAP the rest of the day. Instead he ran around the mall in PA screaming like a maniac and trying to run away form us. Are vacations fun for parents? Maybe I’ll feel different when we go to Sesame Place tomorrow.

This photo was taken only minutes after he got to the mall, exactly five minutes later his rampage of terror began. The rampage which left both my husband and I in a state of exhaustion, one that I don’t think we will ever recover from.

Now we sit in the hotel bed, playing with the horse and barn set daddy bought him at Cracker Barrel. You would have thought hubby bought him a real horse, he was beyond excited.This came in handy as we had to move hotel rooms since the fridge was NOT working. They moved us to another room with a working fridge, but an old AC and dirty bathroom. I WILL be leaving poor reviews when we leave and on the website. Yes, I will blog about their poor service, after I leave.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow will be a fun day with son at Sesame Place. I can’t wait to see his reaction to the character lunch and water parks. Every moment he is thrilled makes me excited, seeing it all through his eyes is a wonderful trip.

How do you all survive vacation with the kids?