Almost Seven

We are now in the midst of the summer 2015 travel extravaganza. This started on May 20 when we left for Cincinnati and will continue for several more weeks. The plan for the next three weeks is that Melissa and the children will stay in Cincinnati while Chris travels back to Utah. This will be the longest that Chris has been away from Melissa or any of the children. It also means that Chris will miss Everett’s seventh birthday party. To make up for this, and to try to address Everett’s requests to have more time with Mom and Dad, we wanted to plan a trip with him just like in the olden times before the twins were born. It’s been a hard adjustment for him to share our attention with the twins. He has remarked often that he does not get as much attention as he used to, which we acknowledge and agree with. He has also started pointing out that “I asked for a brother OR a sister. You gave me a brother AND a sister. OR, not AND.” This is debatable – Melissa distinctly recalls him asking for AND. But it doesn’t really matter at this point because twins come as a pair.

Our trip with Everett was made possible because Cress and Amanda generously offered to watch the twins for a night. So on Tuesday morning we drove to King’s Island where we went on rides for a few hours in a park that was mostly empty.
First we went on the Beast, but Everett found this a bit overwhelming so we dialed it back a notch and rode White Water Canyon a couple times, followed by some rides in the kid park.

Later that afternoon we went next door to the Great Wolf Lodge where we swam until about 6:30pm. Up until that point we asked Everett many times if he was hungry and he always said no. But as soon as Chris talked him into getting out of the water he said he was starving. We dithered about where to eat and finally decided on a room picnic: Everett got two slices of pizza while Chris and Melissa ate carryout from the hotel restaurant. By this point we were all pretty tired. Story time was at 8pm and Chris thought that afterward we might be in for the night. Instead, Everett suddenly perked up and said he wanted to find out more about MagiQuest. We had seen children playing this on previous visits to the GWL, but never really looked into it before. The difference now was that Everett received a $50 gift from Gabby and Grandaddy to spend as he wanted, and that the MagiQuest objects are spread throughout the hotel – we passed many of them between the lobby and our room and they certainly caught Everett’s eye. So he used his birthday money to buy a magic wand and start the quest.
We found two runes before bedtime at around 10pm. He and Chris were both asleep within a couple minutes.

On Wednesday morning we got up a little after 8am and went to Waffle House. Everett had chocolate chip pancakes and bacon while drinking coffee creamers. Afterward we went back to the lodge and finished collecting the remaining seven runes for MagiQuest. Every magi has his own style and practices. Along these lines, Everett soon grew to believe that his spells would not work if his parents were standing too close. So for each spell he would first point the wand at Chris and Melissa to get them to back up a few steps, and then he would cast his spell.
Afterward we spent about three more hours at the waterpark.
One unanticipated consequence of visiting these parks when there are few people is that there are no built-in rest periods such as standing in line. Instead we were walking constantly at both King’s Island and the Great Wolf Lodge. And the addition of MagiQuest meant about three more hours of walking up and down among the different floors of the hotel. Everett was exhausted by the time we left the Great Wolf Lodge and was almost coming unglued the rest of the afternoon. This kind of behavior is a rarity for him, but a reminder for us as parents that we need to build in times to rest and eat. We were back at G&G’s house by around 3pm.

That night we had a family dinner of salmon and cabbage and put the children to bed. An hour later everyone got up again because Gwen pooped and Everett needed something from us about every 10 minutes and Teddy wanted to play on the couch (a.k.a the bed). So we changed diapers and sang some songs and put everyone to bed again. It was a great birthday celebration and we are thankful that we got to spend this time. Happy Birthday Everett!

Link to Great Wolf Lodge 2015 photo gallery

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