Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hooray for Labor Day! Now Please Pass the Advil...

We spent a beautiful Labor Day weekend up at Mohonk Mountain House with friends from our church in Manhattan. This was our 4th Labor Day spent here, and the boys absolutely LOVE it. Between miles and miles of hiking trails, and daily afternoon tea complete with all-your-parents-will-allow-you-to-eat cookies, it's a veritable kids' paradise.

We started out at the lake. The pedal boats were all checked out, so we tried a row boat. Jon and Jordan, who insisted on being the rowers, couldn't do anything but go in circles, so I took over. I am just barely more skilled at rowing, but let's face it--struggling to row in a straight line while 2 of your boys whine about not being able to row is not exactly fun holiday fare.

We abandoned the row boat and waited our turn for a pedal boat. And I didn't have to pedal at all. Nice.

While we boated, Josiah fed the fish.

...while Joanna ate the fish food.

Then we were off to The Labyrinth.

The Labyrinth is a rock scramble that is a big favorite of the bigger boys. Joseph, who had never been allowed to try it, got to go for the first time this year. And since I didn't want him falling off any cliffs without an adult present to call 911, I had the privilege of going along as well. Jeremy had already graciously offered to watch the littles, so off we went.

Yes, I stopped to take a photo of the entrance sign, but apparently didn't bother to heed it. Somehow or another I confused being no longer pregnant and miserable with "excellent physical condition." Ha! Well, at least I qualify for the "not afraid of heights" part.

Here are the boys at "Pancake Rock," after patiently waiting for me to hoist myself over, under, and through countless rock formations, which, by the way, were also very wet and slippery. The boys, of course, scrambled nimbly over all of them with hardly a pause, except when they had to stop and wait for the 40-year-old, 8 weeks postpartum lady who thought she was in "excellent physical condition" to gingerly pick out the safest route.

I wouldn't let Joey on Pancake Rock, since it's pretty cliff-like all the way around, and I really didn't want to have to make that 911 call.

Here's a snapshot of what he thought of that decision:

Towards the end of the hike we had to navigate "The Crevice," which is a tall, narrow fissure in the rock navigable by narrow wooden ladders. Here are some of the boys waiting to get on the bottom ladder. It's a one-at-a-time-type thing.

Courtesy of all the rain generously brought to us by Irene, the bottom of The Crevice was several inches deep in mud, and the rock walls were slick.

And the air was full of the lovely aroma of wet bat poo. I was, of course, at the back of the line. Those boys couldn't get up those ladders fast enough for me. And I spent the rest of the day and evening trying not to think about what was all over my clothes.

(Note to self: Next year, bring a change of clothing. And perhaps some soap.)

When we finally emerged on top, I tortured the poor boys by making them pose for photos.

By this point we were late for dinner, but fortunately the way back down the mountain is easier (and faster!) than the trip up.

Jeremy and the little guys were waiting for us at the playground further down the mountain. And since I happened to have my camera...

Sunday, it was Jeremy's turn to go boating. Unfortunately for him, the big boys were off on another hike, so HE had to do all the pedaling himself. Ha!

I think Josiah really wanted to go in for a swim--he couldn't keep his hands out of the water.

And I just relaxed in a rocking chair on the porch and visited with friends, while a content Jeremiah was passed around and doted on.

A good time was had by all...

Which is why I am currently sitting here so sore I can barely move.

In other extremely exciting news, Jeremiah has slept 7-8 hours at night for the past 5 nights now. Woo hoo!! Sleep for Mommy is a wonderful thing! I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy it.

Since I'm all rested now (Ha!) I'm taking any extra time I have during the day to completely reorganize my kitchen. Stay tuned...the big reveal will be coming soon! Aren't you just completely overcome with anticipation?
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