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Vacation Staycation

Michelle takes advantage of some fantastic local resources to make for a fun, busy school vacation week with her kids.

I've complained about the weather enough these past few weeks, so I won't go on and on about it here, but I do have to say - seriously?  Again?

Luckily, Saturday’s forecast was toned way down for South County, and didn’t interfere with my run planning for 20 miles. But I'm still sick of it. 

This will be my third 20-mile run - supposed to run this one at an 8:30 pace, which made me nervous when I looked at it a few weeks ago, but managing 18 miles at an 8:23 pace last weekend has definitely increased my confidence.

And knowing that there are 'only' two more 20-milers after this makes me happy, too. The countdown is on!

School vacation week is coming to an end, and we've had a mostly really busy week. We do much better that way - too much idle time makes us all antsy and cranky.

A visit to Connecticut on Monday was a nice way to start the break - and Carmine provided plenty of comic relief, yelling at Grampy for eating on the couch, and referring to Grammy and Grampy as "Grammy, and the other Grammy." 

We were back in Connecticut on Tuesday, just not as far south - we stopped at Mystic for a day at the Seaport, which we love. They had a lot of special activities planned for school vacation week, and the boys had a blast making music and decorating tiles for a mosaic, and operating an old-fashioned printing press. 

And, of course, lots of fun to be had just playing on and around the boats, both real and pretend.

Before we left for Mystic, the boys had their six-month dental cleanings, where we learned that it's time for Gabe to have a consult with an orthodontist - and Dante's first consult won't be far behind.

This isn't to say that they're both going to be wearing braces anytime in the immediate future, but it isn't the distant future anymore. Between the amount of food they're able to put away (it seems to increase exponentially on a daily basis), and now the looming prospect of orthodontia expenses, these kids are about to get a whole lot more expensive!

Wednesday morning we saw a great juggling show at our local library. (We LOVE our library - they have so, so many fabulous programs for the kids, and all the librarians are so nice - we spend a lot of time there!)

Carmine was, by far, the most enthusiastic audience member. He was literally sitting on the edge of his seat, completely mesmerized - except for when he clapped, hooted, hollered, and screamed every time they finished a routine.

Everyone sitting in front of us kept looking back and laughing - his enthusiasm is infectious. Two of his comments were "That's some GOOD juggling!" and "Wow - that was awesome!"

We weren't done, though - Wednesday afternoon we met up with some friends at Biomes Marine Biology Center, which recently moved into a much larger building, and is even more fun than it used to be!

The boys loved all the touch tanks, and after some initial trepidation, Carmine was happily reaching in and petting the skates. And Dante and his friend got to feed a horseshoe crab. Such a cool place, and we're so fortunate to have it close by!

Yesterday morning Gabe and Dante went to Pow! Science! for a Lego Crazy Contraptions workshop, which they loved - that store is another fantastic spot that we are so fortunate to have right in town. I sign the boys up for at least a few workshops every school vacation, and they always have a great time.

After that, though, we all ran out of steam. Carmine hadn't napped all week, and he didn't even fight me when I brought him upstairs after lunch.

And Gabe and Dante occupied their afternoon with video games, TV, and Legos. It was the laziest we've been all week, and we all enjoyed it.

After a more restful day yesterday, we were back out and about all day today. A good 90 minutes of running and screaming at Kids Gym for the boys, and a good 90 minutes of endorphin-generating exercise for me, followed by lunch and carousel rides at the mall, a quick stop at Target (where Dante tried on some very stylish sunglasses), and then back to Pow! Science! for their amazing Hot Wheels track setup.

We were there for about half an hour, but they could have easily stayed for several hours. I even sent a few cars around the track - it was pretty cool!

We've had a fun week, but overall, I'm not a fan of February vacation, and I wish they'd do away with it. It's a lot of work keeping three small children entertained for an entire week when being outside isn't usually an option, and I'm feeling kind of burned out. Gabe asked me what we were doing tomorrow, and I told him I have no idea - I'm fresh out of ideas.

And at the moment, all my brain can focus on is the 20 miles I need to cover tomorrow. The 20-milers loom over you as they approach, and I'll feel much better once I have it done and out of the way.

Here's hoping it's one of the good ones!

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