Florida and Cleveland

It’s time to recap MDA camp / Mama Papa week 2022! It’s the best week of the year as far as Tony and I are concerned. Thankfully, the boys had a good week too. But in all honesty, I sincerely hope that the MDA camp outside Philadelphia takes place next year as neither Tony or I want to do a drive to Florida three years in a row.

We did not get any calls from camp which was unusual. Usually I get at least one call with a question. Tony and I front-loaded our week with activities since I had a fear that someone would get sick and need to leave early. I’d been hoping to see manatees but the best locations for that were too far of a drive for us. After two 8 hour days of driving, we don’t like to travel more than 30 minutes in any direction. Thankfully, there was a great location for kayaking, and we spent Monday swimming, paddling, and anticipating muscle soreness in the days to come.

Tuesday we got German food at the Bavarian Haus in Mt. Dora. Most of the shops were closed that evening, so we went back the next day to walk around and eat gourmet chocolates and ice cream. I even managed to score a homeschooling Christmas tree ornament at St. Nick’s Holiday Shop – my first!

We also found this game store packed with Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer stuff; two games Tony has been playing with all the boys recently. I just sat and stared at my phone for an hour while he enjoyed himself like a kid in a candy store.

We spent the rest of the week relaxing, reading, watching movies, trying local restaurants and going for walks as the heat allowed. I learned that when I get uninterrupted sleep, and aren’t caring for others or doing household tasks non-stop I actually have lots of energy. I could only sit and read or type for so long before I had to get up and move around. It was a good reminder that when I’m tired and sit down to take a break on a regular day, it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I’m actually worn out from everything on my plate. I’m definitely one of those who wants to make even my resting “efficient and productive” so being in an environment when I can truly relax and rest proved how valuable taking a break actually is to my physical health and mental well-being. Had we been at home I would’ve not only got some rest but probably also finished all the home projects that have been sitting half completed for the last three years. I had so much energy!

We picked the boys up Friday morning after attending daily Mass, and both admitted to having a good week. We didn’t get many pictures from the camp, so unfortunately I have none to share with you but Fulton brought home a squid hat and Teddy a water gun he can shoot independently so those were the only souvenirs that mattered.

We also got a surprising text from my sister early Friday that she was being induced a couple weeks early due to high blood pressure and by Friday evening, my niece Sade was born! Both mom and baby were doing well from the get go. I’m so excited to make my first trip to the west coast to visit them in October.

On the way home we stopped at South of the Border and yes, in case you’re wondering there was a cockroach in our room again. Thankfully, I didn’t step on it with my bare foot. The giant sombrero was closed, but we did tour the reptile house which was actually really good, even though most of the alligators laid so still we thought they were stuffed. Fulton, a Slytherin, loved their collection of venomous and deadly snakes. Teddy made me take a picture of him with the pig-nosed turtle.

Once again we got home and I had barely unpacked and got the house in order when I was pulling out the driveway again with Addie on the road to Cleveland. We did manage to squeeze in a fireworks send-off / Feast of St. Lawrence celebration with some South of the Border fireworks the night before we left.

Addie’s an RA this year and needed to arrive a couple of weeks before the rest of the students. She gets her own room and it’s HUGE and much nicer than anywhere I lived as a student. It was easier saying goodbye this time, not because I won’t miss her, but because she loves CSU and is really thriving there. I’m not sure when she’ll be home again, but she’s humoring me by replying to all my texts in a pretty timely manner.

Mandatory stop at the Cleveland Hofbräuhaus for dinner….and beer.

Now I’ve got a little less than two weeks until Byron leaves, and three weeks until we start back to school. And that will be a major change because Fulton and Teddy are heading back into our local public school district; Teddy at the middle school and Fulton as the high school as a freshman!! I will only be homeschooling Edie (a junior), and outsourcing quite a few of her classes to Homeschool Connections. But those details will be in another post entitled something like ‘No One Is Hanging On Me Anymore’.


  1. So happy you had a nice week off!! And wow your upcoming homeschool year sounds (dare I say) so much easier than what you’ve done in the past. You made it! Ha!

  2. Love that you had such a great week away, and love that you’re not going to have many kids home, and I love you!

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