Sunday, October 30, 2011

In Which the No-Fun Mom Has Fun

We made it OUT OF THE HOUSE for a day of family fun. I think this is the FIRST actually fun day we’ve spent out of the house as a family since Lola was born. Gasp!!! I wasn’t sure it was possible (maybe it’s because I’m not a fun mom), but I was absolutely determined to give it a shot.

Our favorite aquarium was having a holiday event. It was only $2 + 2 cans of food per person for admission. Admission is usually over $60 for our whole family. I looked at the weather forecast. It has been rainy here, but the forecast said partly sunny and 62 degrees for Saturday at the coast (with rain Friday and Sunday, so I hoped they were right!!).

Now, I knew that spending the day driving to the coast and back was a considerable commitment in the effort department (because I’m not the fun mom). It also was a bit of a stretch considering this was a costume event, and, as of Saturday morning, the boys had no costumes (where is the fun mom when you need her?).  But we persevered.

Morning came and I dragged the costume bin out of the attic (where most of the boys’ toys live since they don’t like to pick them up—remember, I’m not the fun mom). I helped the younger boys put themselves together. Levi was all cloak and dagger. Without the dagger. And just a blanket for a cloak. But he was dressed in all black under that ‘cloak’ and felt good about it. I bought Lola’s costume weeks ago. Unfortunately, the tights didn’t really fit when we put them on her before heading out the door (and they got a hole in the knee a little later) and she wouldn’t allow the cute hood to stay on her head, but who’s complaining?

Speaking of heading out the door, we were on our way only two hours after I had hoped to get going. Not bad. Not bad.

Lola took a nap on the way (the upside of leaving late) while the rest of us listened to an audio retelling of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

We arrived at the aquarium right in the middle of the day. The weather was GLORIOUS. I was so afraid the crowds would be unpleasant on a cheap event day with beautiful weather, but it was just busy enough to feel like a party. We had a GREAT time.

Aquarium (3) Aquarium (2)  Fun and GamesAquarium (1) Lola Bug

We were all in need of a meal by the time we got out of the aquarium, so we headed down to Mo’s on the waterfront for some clam chowder. It was perfect timing. The restaurant wasn’t busy, and we had a great view. The kids each got a cute little shark toy with their meals. They all thought that was just terrific.

Mo's (1)@ Mo'sReady to OrderSweet Lola

After our late lunch wrapped up, we headed to the beach. Russ humored me and let me pick my favorite little spot. It is a secluded, gorgeous little beach. The sun was shining through an odd mist. The sky was lovely blue.

The boys played. Lola was quick to remind me that she hates sand. I distracted her with the blue beads she got as a prize at the aquarium (she’s a sucker for bling) just long enough to get her picture, sans smile. We watched the mist and clouds roll in.

into the mist Beach Play Beach DramaBeach in the MistBeachMore BeachBeach Baby 3Beach BabyBeach Baby 2Beach Baby 4into the wild blue yonderWater PlayLola and MommyBeach Joy

Then we loaded the kids back in the truck and had a lovely drive home through the changing autumn colors and occasional drops of rain. I read aloud a chapter of Treasure Island as soon as we were out of the curves. Lola sacked out almost immediately and did well until about the last 15 minutes.

And that is my account of a successful, lovely, FUN family outing.


Heasleye said...

Sounds fabulous! Well done, Scovel family! :) The pics are gorgeous. Looks like you had the place to yourselves!


Timi said...

My favorite photo when Lola reads the menu...:o)♥♥♥!!!

jeana said...

What a great day! I'm not a fun mom either. The other day our middle son Tristin told me when he becomes a daddy HE will buy "real" snacks for his family. Haha

April said...

Jealous! I love the beach! It was really fun to see the pics of you guys. Levi and I talked costumes the other day - looks like they turned out great. Tell him my son decided to dress as a girl cheerleader (makeup, nail polish and all). It was his sister's idea (and outfit)and she helped him. It was a little disturbing to look at but it made everyone laugh!

kate said...

Good for you! It can be so hard to get everyone out of the house, and even if it isn't completely worth the effort, it feels like an accomplishment. Glad your time WAS so worthwhile. And the weather, what a blessing!! Beautiful pictures.

Alyson said...

Exactly what Kate just wrote... Agreed. This is so inspiring! Makes me want a field trip, like tomorrow! Beautiful.

Hannah said...

I feel like it's really important for us, especially as homeschooling families, to get out and just have FUN together. As moms, we're responsible for so much, wear so many hats, and often feel like we have to be "the bad guy," swimming against resistance just to get everything done that needs to get down with the home, family, kids' education, etc. Like you, I have times of not feeling like a very fun mom (although I doubt you're as un-fun as you say! ;-)). But taking the occasional family vacation, without too much of an educational "angle," or day trip, where there's no hurry to get to the next thing or check off a to-do list, is wonderfully connecting and refreshing. Sometimes, it's nice to take off the teacher/manager hat and just be MOM.
Fun Mom, even.

P.S. Gorgeous photos, as always.

Anonymous said...

such great photos. they were all my favorite, but my favorite favorite was lola and her bling. what a fun day for your family. i would call myself an unfun mom, but i'm trying.


. said...

What a beach!!
In Belgium everything is just flat.
Not near as beautiful.
I still wonder where you live?

At the restaurant with four isn't an easy job. I've got five of my own. Soo I know...

Heidi said...

We live in Oregon on the west coast of the United States. We are in a valley between two mountain ranges. It is gorgeous here! Our weather is mild. It rains quite a bit, but it is green everywhere!! Agriculture is very important here. The Willamette Valley has orchards, vineyards, wheat and grass seed fields, and much more. We live in the country surrounded by grass fields and sheep, but only 2 miles outside of a city with a population of 43,000. The cities north and south of where I live (30-45 minutes away) are over 140,000, and there is a very large metropolitan area about an hour north of us (population of over 2 million). The Oregon coast is 70 miles from our home (we travel over the mountains to get there) and over the mountains to our east is high desert. Oregon has extensive forests and gorgeous waterfalls. We have a little bit of everything!!

Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker said...

Heidi, I thought you were the SUPER-fun mom!

We have never taken our children out to eat (I have to feed all 8 of us on $21 a week or less so going out to eat would mean starving for 2 weeks).

We live in the middle of a very flat desert for HOURS around. We dream of one day taking them to the beach, and to see real trees (they think tall trees are palm trees--seriously!) We've never taken a vacation. We want to come up your way for a vacation some day--to take the children to an actual zoo, to an aquarium, to see where trees really change colors and to know what real rain feels like (not a fleeting 60 second passing of raindrops that disappears as it hits the patio).

But for now, we are home. The fun things we do have to be done at home. (And our backyard is better than the park! We even have a merry-go-round, and taller swings than at the park.) We've let the children do some backyard camping. We have had sewing lessons and played lots and lots of dress-up (the costumes get used every day at our house). We paint and we dance (We need some good dance instruction dvds for classical dance instruction if anyone can recommend any!). We blow bubbles and draw with sidewalk chalk. We read (and read and read and read).

I love hearing about your field trips. I enjoy showing your pictures to my children so that they can see the beach in photos.

Jessica Stock said...

I don't know how you can think that you are not a fun mom- your blog is always so much fun to read! Love, love these photos!