Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Deerhunt

Ever think, "I wonder what Kacy's doing this weekend?" My kids had Thursday and Friday off from school this week. It used to be called, ominously, "The Deerhunt" when I was growing up. I personally never hunted deer or knew anyone who hunted deer so to me it was a holiday celebrating and pointing to an event from the far past--like how Thanksgiving celebrates the pilgrim's first feast. Apparently, a lot of people did and do really hunt deer. It is like, a thing.

And then for years of college and having little babies The Deerhunt meant nothing to me. By the time I had kids in grade school the name of the vacation had been changed to UEA (Utah Educators Something?).  Because--you know Utah--we would never stick with anything outdated or with a slight negative stigma!

This year it is called, simply, "Fall Break." I like it. And the best thing about it is that if you still want to kill deer[s] during your fall break, you can.

At first I started planning an actual trip for Fall Break. But staying in a hotel with 4 kids is not as fun as it used to be [when we had no kids]. Everything seemed so expensive and not that fun. Plus, my oldest son had to go to a scout camp. Plus, my husband doesn't really have (and by "have" I mean "take" since he is, technically, his own boss) Fall Break off. So I decided to let the kids plan our break. I gave them each an index card and told them they could each plan a complete day. I told them we could do anything in Utah. Here are their lists:

Maggie's List
Go to IHOP for Breakfast
See Ramona and Beezus
Eat lunch at Costa Vida
Go to Baskin Robbins for dessert
Go to the River with Frances
Bajios for Dinner
Park City (maybe)
Sleepover at Granny's (hot tub)

Ben's List
See a Movie
Get Ice Cream
Have a Water Balloon Fight
Eat Spaghetti
Buy Water Guns
Have a Feast
Watch TV
Visit Bubble Tea
Get a Manicure
Get Presents.
Got to Granny's House
Go Rafting

Since Sam would be here for only half of the first day and half of the last day, we had to mix up the schedule  a bit and let him choose some things before he left. So far, we are having a lot of fun. A word about Bubble Tea: In our family we call "passing gas" "having a bubble." I don't know why or where it came from. It's just what we do. Once we saw a coffee shop called "Bubble Tea." As you can imagine, the prospect of bubble tea is very hilarious to Ben. But there aren't any Bubble Teas in Utah. So that was just a pipe dream.

The genius of Ben really shows in his request, "Get Presents." It was a pretty good request. Thursday morning felt just like Christmas.  Everyone woke up early to open their presents.  I got them each a small toy and a video so we could "watch a movie" and "watch TV." Ben's toy was the water guns he had requested. Maggie got a Webkinz. Ellen got a small plastic Super Why, and Sam got a tiny skateboard with working parts. (Did you know that's a thing? It is. So are tiny bikes.) Ellen made everyone cards and Ben gave Maggie a plastic hanger. It was thrilling to get presents on a non-traditional present day. I think the kids were totally blown away, even though the presents were small. Ellen got Bee Movie, which we watched the first night with homemade caramel corn. Ben got Phineas and Ferb Christmas, which we watched in the car while driving from place to place and which lent an air of of Christmas break to the whole thing. Sam got a collection of Underdog cartoons and Maggie got She-Ra. I love to give them old cartoons that I grew up with but to tell you the truth, they are never as great as I remember (with the exception of Danger Mouse which is greatER).

Sam wanted to go to Maglebys Fresh for breakfast. They have delicious french toast. At Maglebys we saw the Orem High track team, the Timpview Ballroom team, and the BYU Golf team. It occurred to me that Maglebys Fresh is exactly the kind of place I would NEVER have eaten breakfast at as a teenager or young adult. Winchells/Gas Station/McDonalds was much more my speed. But whatever. Now I eat there whenever I like. It was 40 dollars! I about died. I hate paying for food for my whole family. Christian usually pays the bill, which is why it is so shocking for me to handle the transaction. Which is why a gas station breakfast is more my speed. Sam wanted to go to the mall. He bought a Coca-Cola case for his cell phone with his own money. Ben bought Lotso from Toy Story 3 with his own money. I figured it was like how you let your kids get dumb, wasteful souvenirs when you go on vacation. They were excited. Sam taught us how to get a lot of gumballs out of a gumball machine. I was so impressed. Then I realized it was stealing. I felt conflicted. Sam left for his camp out and we went to the river with the dog. We had a spaghetti feast for dinner.

The next day Ben suggested that I make pancakes instead of going to IHOP. I was glad. And here's where never making my kids a special breakfast comes in handy--when I do, it really is special. I made the Pioneer Woman's sour cream pancakes. They really are good. We went to the river again and then I gave everyone manicures. (Ben's was a no-polish manicure.) I was actually excited for a chance to clip their nails. We got ice cream and went to the dollar movie. Ramona and Beezus isn't playing here anymore so we saw Toy Story 3 again. I'll tell you what--I have to fight hard not to cry in that movie. I'm so mom. We had dinner at Bajios. I'm more than a little happy that my kids' fantasy day revolves around eating meals at different restaurants. Because that is my fantasy. Christian met us and took Ben and Maggie on a Halloween Cruise on the Provo River. I had to get creative with "go rafting" because I didn't, oh what's the word, want to "go rafting." They tell ghost stories and pretend to get attacked by pirates on the Halloween Cruise. Classic. I, being stalwart and selfless, took Ellen home to bed. I read in bed. Have I mentioned that I find solitude restorative?

Today we've got the big water balloon fight, lunch at Costa Vida,  a trip to Park City (MAYBE--probably not), and then we're going to sleep over at my mom's and go in her hot tub. It's been pretty fun. And since we are home and not at Disneyland or Mesa Verde (some of my original ideas), I can fold laundry and check e-mail in between our fun excursions. I like it much better this way. When it comes right down to it, I have no desire to "get away from it all." But that's just me. There you have it. That's what I'm doing right now. Also, later I might kill a deer. I'll do it, too! Don't test me, deer.


  1. I almost cried when you said you have no desire to "get away from it all." It was better than Toy Story 3.

  2. Do you ever make it down to Provo? The Rooster Dumpling and Noodle Bar on main street has bubble tea, if they are still there. The same owners used to own a place directly south of campus called Dew but I think it closed. Food is not so great, but BUBBLE TEA IS TO BE HAD!

  3. Wait. In case you've never tried it, bubble tea is a smoothie with large tapioca balls in it (kinda like mochi). So it's Mormon-approved.

  4. If I lived in Utah I would still refer to it as the Deerhunt.

    BTW if it makes you feel even better I heard that Disneyland was super busy last week due to The Deerhunt. I wonder if they all went looking for an easy target, like Bambi.

  5. Fantastic. Your children have excellent taste. Sounds like my ideal day as well. . .presents, movie, eating out. I'm glad you bagged anything that would involve physical activity. BOO to physical activity!!!

  6. Anonymous3:36 PM

    That little dig at Utah made me literally laugh out loud.

    Ben is my favorite because he wanted a manicure.

  7. Anonymous3:39 PM

    I also wanted to add, as much as you make fun of yourself for being a slacker mom, this is something your kids will always remember. I think you're pretty great.

  8. You are SO ambitious! We couldn't have done anything like that this year because we all were dealing with flu shot side effects.

  9. Well your daughter obviously has a thing for Mexican food and your son appreciates the luxuriousness of an awesome mani/pedi. Those are my kind of kids!

  10. I loved everything about this and our fall break is next weekend so I am totally copying you.

    Another way we are twinners: I, too, have no desire to get away from it all. Travel = tired. I like it all. Just maybe with a nanny or a housekeeper once in a while.

  11. My first year in Utah - as a BYU freshman from California, who had no idea that people even shot deer - my other ignorant California roommates and I decided to hike to the Y - on deer hunt weekend!! We were terrified - shots were ringing out all around us and we didn't know what to do - so we sang hymns at the tops of our voices! We got lost coming back down and ended up behind the state hospital - about which we had already heard countless unfounded rumors - so we were sure we were going to get attacked by a crazy person. We were not a pretty sight. I was ready to go back to California. Then our older roommate - who was from Kaysville and had gone home for the weekend - maybe to shoot deer, who knows? - told us the truth and we stayed.

    That was 1963 - before Deliverance - so we really were unprepared!!

    But your break sounds lovely. The teachers had to go to meetings though, didn't they??

  12. I guess you can still claim to be a sub-par homemaker, but when it comes to being a mom, you make me feel evil in comparison. Will you be my mom next Fall Break?

  13. Anonymous12:12 AM

    I confess that I haven't read this post yet, because I really came here just because I had to share that my friend and her son actually found a legitimate use for blue painter's tape:

    (Legitimate if you're legitimately willing to spend that much time on painting one bedroom, anyway.)

  14. That sounds like a lot of fun. You are such a great mom. You inspire me.

  15. Anonymous12:54 PM

    *Now* I have read this fabulous post. And it was fabulous.

    And I am NOT going to let my kids read it. But I *might* copy you next Yooweeyay.

    Dean doesn't get/take UEA off, either, so we were in similar shoes, and we actually had a similarly fabulous weekend, even if my 6-year-old hasn't forgiven me for not taking her to a corn maze. (It would have been very crowded, so I told her we could go another time. But probably I will forget and then it will snow.) Thursday we went to a playground and then a craft store, where I told them I'd buy them each $4 worth of loot. (They chose Silly Bandz and Japanese erasers. I guess those are craft supplies.) Friday we went to the (very crowded) Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy with cousins, Saturday we hiked the Timpooneke trail to Scout Falls and then went for an early dinner at the Golden Corral.

    Wow, reading all that, I realize that Rose (the 6yo) really should forgive me.

    My word verification is dentenex, and for a second I really thought it was an ad for an oral hygiene product.

  16. Sounds awesome. Out here in the NY, I'm amazed to find that I actually want my kids home all the time and get kind of bummed when they have to go to school. Of course, this feeling comes and goes. Today, on Ben's first day of work, I think it might go more quickly than it comes.

  17. People involved with UVU have been calling us(BYU Info) and asking if we are on Fall Break right now. My response is "No, we are not an elementary school."

  18. I think you will enjoy the humor in this costume.

    Let me know what you think!

  19. Our Fall Break is next week - I'm so stealing this idea!

  20. Completely. Rocking. Mom. Seriously. Why don't the rest of us ever think of these things? I've started to realize that my kids would rather hang out (mostly with their friends!) than be dragged far away in the car....except of course for when we have the chance to spend one last weekend at Lake Powell - that they are up for :)

  21. This summer my friend (mom of 3 kids) picked a day when her kids could decide everything they did that day. They took turns deciding what to do next. Eating ice cream for breakfast, going to the toy store, watching movies, etc. She said it was one of the best days she'd ever had as a mom.

    I too enjoy the small and novel things that mean I have a break from the small and everyday things. I am always up for a movie, eating out, presents, etc.

    Then again I would never say no to a lazy week at the beach. I just wouldn't. Especially if it's a warm beach in the middle of winter. My favorite family vacation ever was Florida in February. We went to the beach during the day and ate at Sweet Tomatoes at night. That was pretty much it and we all came home warm and rested.

  22. When I got to participate in this break it was still called UEA and we called it one of two things: Utahns Exterminate Animals, or Utahns Escape to Anaheim. So that explains the crowds at Disneyland.

  23. I especially like your present idea! Great job on a fun week, Kacy.

  24. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Oh I hear you about cartoons from childhood not standing up to adulthood scrutiny. I bought She-Ra for my kids a few years ago; it was going to be awesome, because He-Man and She-Ra are brother and sister, and my kids could totally act it out!

    Ahem. I have since buried those crappy DVDs at the bottom of our pile of watchable movies, and will be "losing" them when we move in a few weeks....

  25. WHat a cool idea to let your kids plan. When mine are older imma try it.


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