Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kid Friendly Day Trips In Central Kentucky. (Part 1) #Vacay #TravelBlogger #Kentucky #Kids #TravelWithKids

This is so sad to admit, but we have never been on a family vacation. EVER.

We took Tater camping for ONE night when he was two.

That was almost three years ago!

We never have any extra money, and we work separate shifts in order to keep the boys out of daycare, so we are hardly ever home at the same time as it is.

But I feel so guilty that we have never even stayed the night in a hotel.

So, I have been trying to think of things nearby that we could do as a family, kind of like a "staycation", or a day trip at the very least.

So, I have been researching, and I found a few kid friendly things in the Central Kentucky area that we might try to do soon:

Day Trips:

Explorium of Lexington- This is an awesome children's museum in Lexington. We have been a few times when Tater was younger, but I think we need to go back!There are tons of interactive exhibits for kids, and it is a really fun place!

Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort- This is one of my favorite places ever. I remember it from when I was a child. It is sponsored by the Dept of Fish and Wildlife, and is kind of like a "zoo", all with animals that are native to Kentucky. There are bears, buffalo, snakes, deer, etc. Tons and tons of great educational stuff about fish and wildlife in Kentucky, including a giant fishing area! This place also includes tons of great hiking!  And the best part of all, it's FREE!

Kentucky Horse Park- We go here every year at Christmas for Southern Lights, but we have never been any other time. I really want to take the boys here, there is so much great stuff! They have so much educational stuff about horses, and even a campground, if camping is your thing!  This would be an awesome staycation just a few minutes from our house!

Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge
in Nicholasville- I am ashamed to say that we have never been here, and it is literally less than five minutes away from our house. It's a fabulous no-kill animal sanctuary that houses tons of animals that have been neglected, abused, abandoned, etc. These people have some of the biggest hearts in the world. And, my boys can get to see some awesome animals like this one: 

Old Fort Harrod State Park
- One of the fondest memories of my childhood. My parents brought me here when I was a kid, and we went on TONS of field trips there when I was in school. I really think Tater would enjoy this, since it is kind of "cowboyish".
Fort Boonesborough State Park- Kentucky's second settlement, settled by Daniel Boone in 1775.  I really liked this one when I was a kid because it has a sand beach. I thought I was at the ocean LOL! This is probably one of my favorite things about living in Kentucky, is the fact that we have all of these wonderful state parks and things to do that are free or cheap!

These things will at least be a start, and we won't even have to stay in a hotel for them! We can just leave in the morning, and visit them, and then come back home.

I have a few more places that I would like to go, but they will all require at least a one night hotel stay, so I am going to save those for another post!

Anybody in the Lexington, Kentucky area, can you think of any place I forgot?

Anybody have tips for a great staycation? Leave them for us in the comments! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raising My Kids Without Grandparents #Parenting #Kids #Blogger #ParentingWithoutParents #ParentlessParents

How can I raise my kids without any grandparents? Is it possible for them to become well-adjusted, happy, successful young men without these relationships in their lives?
These are the questions that I ask myself over and over. I still have yet to find the answers.

My mom died in 2000, when I was just 14 years old. My dad passed in 2004, a month after my high school graduation. My husbands father died in 2005, and afterward, his mother moved to Texas, some 16 odd hours away. My oldest son is now 4 years old, and he has never got to meet her. So, pretty much, my babies don't know their grandparents, and quite possibly never will. They do have my husband's grandparents (their great-grandparents), which I am eternally grateful for, but they certainly don't get to see them as much as they should.

This certainly is not what I had envisioned when I was young and I thought about having babies. My babies would take their place behind their cousins at my parent's house, staying the weekend, eating popsicles and playing in the yard. They would bring home tons of unneeded toys and clothes, and stuff their bellies with cookies and chips and pop. I would buy tacky little "world's best grandma" mugs and tee shirts for holidays, and my parent's Christmas tree would be filled with popsicle stick reindeer and cotton ball snowmen. However, this is not how things turned out.

Instead, my boys have their aunts & uncles, who they love to no end, especially their aunt "Nanny", who I am pretty sure they would move in with if they could! "Nanny" has become kind of their surrogate grandparent, and Tater clings to her like no one else. I still can't help but feel that I'm giving my kids a raw deal. My brothers and sisters have lives, and kids, of their own, and we are all just too busy to see each other as much as I wish we could. I also hate to burden my brothers and sisters with my children, even though I know they don't mind. It's not their job to be my kid's grandparents.

I feel so guilty that my kids will have no memory of my parents. My nieces and nephews, they all were born before the deaths of my parents. Even the youngest one, was an infant when my mom died. She will have pictures of them together, and memories of her grandpa when she was a toddler. My kids will have none of that, not even a picture for me to show them and say "this is your grandma holding you when you were born." Sure, I can show them pictures, tell them stories, but really, will that be enough? Will their be a hole in their little hearts where their grandparents should be?

I feel in some way, that everything I do is overcompensating for the lack of family in my children's lives. Yes, I had my first baby when I was 20. I wanted to have my babies young, so they would have a better chance of growing up without anything happening to me. I don't want to leave them without their parents. We're all they have.I try to take them as many places, give them as many experiences as I can, things that my parents would have done. Birthday parties? they are a huge deal to me. Christmas? the presents are ridiculous. I'm subconsciously making up for them not having grandparents to buy them things and do things with them. I don't want them to feel like they are missing out on anything, but I know they really are.

Is there a way for me to make peace with this? I'm not really sure. I would love any suggestions or ideas that anyone may have to help me. I know that things could be much much worse for my boys, and that two parents, and aunts and uncles and cousins that love them are more than many kids have, and that's what I have to remember.


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