On Friday, when temperatures jumped from frigid to 55, we ventured to Garden of the Gods. It felt like the right-sized adventure: more exciting than the park but less work than the zoo. Zach objected rather forcefully to the outing, so he stayed home and fumed, but the rest of us had a great time. Mostly the kids just climbed and jumped and ran. Kate was on a leash and still made me really nervous, but she loved every minute. So did the other kids, especially the boys.
I felt really scattered and stretched, but I held it together. Haha. We stayed about ten minutes too long, so when we got back to the van all of the children's good behavior had been spent. Then I couldn't find my keys. When first arrived, Tyler had used them to run back for his water bottle. He didn't put the keys back in the same pocket (and left the original pocket open), so for about 10 minutes we thought we were locked out of the car and stuck at the park. We all sat down in the parking lot and laughed/cried. (The kids cried and I laughed hysterically.) We had seen my friend Mindy while navigating through the park, so I called her for a rescue. Fortunately, we didn't end up needing it; eventually we found the keys in a different pocket in the backpack and were able to go home.
After we got home, I told the kids I needed a time-out. For one hour, while Kate napped, there was peace in the house. Hopefully our next outing doesn't end with Mom hiding in her bedroom. I'm glad for these pictures that remind me that lots of fun was had before it all ended. P.S. I really need to clean around my doorknobs. Wow.