Camping with a Religious Cult.

In an effort to really experience it all, we decided to stay at a religious cult campground. Well, sort of. Koreshan State Park is north of Naples, south of Fort Myers, in Estero, Florida. Cyrus (in Hebrew: Koresh) Teed brought his followers from New York to Florida in 1894 to start this self-sustaining “New Jerusalem” community and expand his religion…which believed that the earth was hollow and contained the entire universe with the sun at the center (as well as other interesting beliefs). After Teed’s death in 1908, membership steadily declined until the last 4 Koreshans deeded the village and acreage to the state of Florida and the State Park was born. The property still has many of the original buildings to tour including an impressive machine shop, the bakery, the stunning art hall and more.

The campground has two sandy loops loops with water and electric. It was closed for many months while they upgraded both and had only just recently reopened (we were so persistent—called once a week during the closure—that we snagged 2 weeks here in high season!). The sites still needed some regrading as the fill used to cover the upgrades sunk a bit in the middle. But they were working on it. The bathhouses were old and not pretty, but very clean (and even conducive to a hair dying session). There’s some Estero River frontage with kayak and canoe rentals, a playground in the woods, a wooded walking path and of course the very interesting Koreshan Village that hosts reenactments, guided tours, a farmers market and many other activities. This is a VERY active Florida State Park!

While we were at Koreshan we spent lots of time with Grammy and Pop since they winter at the gorgeous resort: Cypress Trails in Fort Meyers right up the road. We spent a glorious afternoon on Sanibel Island and even got a close up with a dolphin who swam into shallow waters to check us out. Shannon and I got not one, but TWO date nights when the boys had sleepovers at Gram and Pop’s RV! It was so nice for the boys (and for us) to have that time with them before we head West for more adventures. There was blogging, screen time and a trip to Bass Pro where my little “campers” were fascinated by…tents. We also were lucky enough to cross paths with more full timing, Airstream Instafriends (I swear, Instagram has made us SO social!). Very thankful we had two weeks at Koreshan. I definitely recommend. It’s so important to teach your children about bizarre religious cults. (-_-)  Or, you know, to spend quality time with family close by.

 

Disney Baby!!

Ready to go to the airport!

So, we went.

I thought, “I’m sure it’ll be cool and all, but Disney Schmisney”.  I didn’t grow up on Disney movies or characters (I grew up on Meuslix and other tree-hugger stuff).  I knew we would take the boys…seems like a little kid rite of passage these days. So, when my boss said, “we’re going on a teambuilding retreat, you pick the spot” how could I resist!!??  Luckily our board of directors was good with it!
We woke the boys up at some ungodly hour and surprised them with matching Disney t-shirts and Mickey backbacks full of “quiet on the plane” goodies.  We picked up my in-laws (who are total Disney-philes) and headed to the airport.  A teeny bit of nerves from Quinny on take-off, but otherwise flying was a BREEZE and very fun for them (and ME–whereas I’m usually toss-my-cookies-anxious).
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Ready to roll!
We checked in to the Port Orleans French Quarter and loved it there.  I HIGHLY recommend as it’s the smallest resort that’s sort-of affordable, so everything you want to do is close, close, close!  And it was just a great place.  We did pool time, a day at Magic Kingdom, a day at Animal Kingdom, a half day at Typhoon Lagoon water park and some time in Downtown Disney too.  I spent a half day doing the Keys to the Kingdom Tour with my work peeps…VERY cool tour!!!
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After kind of poo-pooing the money-marketing-monster that is Disney, I was SOLD.  Seriously, hook, line and sinker.  It is TRULY magical.  I should clarify…it is TRULY magical to experience Disney with 3 and 5 year olds.  Shan and I went with my job 10 years ago and we were both very “eh” about it.  But with kids??  Fuggedaboudit!!

The week we got back we started planning our next trip down.  Soon kids, soon!

5 year old miracle…

Five years ago at 11:15am I was taking my sweet time getting ready to go the hospital.  I had been in early labor for about 24+ hours by that time but since I had braxton-hicks since week 12 (no lie), I didn’t really know the difference.  I thought my water might have broken a little that morning so I called the hospital and they wanted me to come in to get checked since it was only one day before my due date.  Called my doula and she said, “wait…slow down…eat, take a long, hot shower, rest, eat again, watch some TV, read, eat and get to the hospital when you’re ready…and I’ll meet you there.”  Called Shan and he said, “Go! Now! Hurry! Meet ya there!”  I listened to my doula and left poor Shan pacing the grounds of GBMC.

By 3pm I was admitted and set up in my fancy room sans IV…just a hep lock.  How freeing not to be tied to stuff!  Shan and my doula, Holly, were with me.  Soft music, dim lights, snacks, massages, walking the halls, bouncing on the birthing ball.  By about 9:30pm I was fully dilated and ready to rock.  What I find funny is when the nurses tell someone who’s having an unmedicated birth to not push.  Like, “Not yet, let us get set up!”  That argument doesn’t hold up when nature takes over…which it did.  Fairly certain I said, “I hope someone’s going to catch this baby!!!!” as I gave in and let my body take over.  It was incredible, insane, amazing.  My OB said to me at one point, “you know, you’re allowed to make noise.”  I suppose I was just concentrating so hard, I never made noise.  45-ish minutes of pushing and I hear the OB say, “his heart rate’s dropping, he needs to come out now”.  One push and one minute later, out he came.  Blue.  He had the cord wrapped around his neck twice.  I never saw it (thank goodness) but Shan did and paled.  But after some rubbing and some oxygen, he was squealing.

Our perfect, hard-fought-for miracle boy.  3 rounds of clomid (useless stuff), 4 IUIs and 3 IVFs and my little ICSI pixie was here.

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Quinn Patrick.

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Our introspective, thoughtful, perfectionist, wildly imaginative, analytical, structured, reflective and innovative little engineer-to-be.

My sweet, 5 year old INTJ…giving his ENFP Mama a run for her money.

We love you Quinny…more than you will ever know.

Baby’s First Halloween

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Yeah! Baby’s first Halloween! Unfortunately, Shan and I are missing most/all of it. Shan will pick him up just in time to drop him in a bath and put him to bed and I’m working late. But I dropped off his hysterical peacock costume at my in-laws and they’ll do show and tell with him today. Next year we’ll head back to the old neighborhood for Halloween…they REALLY do it right!