This will be the first in a series of REWIND posts, to catch up on almost everything that has happened in our house since I started daycare. I feel like I don't have much time anymore to do anything, and the blog is always the first to go. BUT...now I feel like I'm forgetting stuff already! So i just want to have these things documented, even if it's not fresh in my memory.
so, without further ado...REWIND: OHIO
It's hard to live far away from family. I only SORT OF know that. I live 'close enough' to lots of family, but often still find myself wishing there was SOMEONE right here. Because as awesome as friends are, they just aren't family.
Well, Angela, my oldest sister, has lived the farthest away since college. She lived in Chicago for a while, but that was actually awesome. We could get 34 dollar one way tickets and take a weekend to be there, hanging out in Chicago, and it was just really fun. Well, nothing against the Buckeye state, but Ohio just isn't quite the same. Actually, there's still lots of fun stuff to do, but mostly it's just WAY TOO FREAKING FAR AWAY.
Unfortunately for them, they spend about a gazillion dollars a year traveling to visit our family in Iowa, and Insoo's family in Florida. They are always traveling to be with us, and rarely get to have family there with them. I got to go out there (with no kids!) while we waited for Isaiah to arrive (and missed it by one day, which also happened with Griffin, by the way...grrr...), but other than that, I hadn't been there at all. And my kids had never been to their cousins' house, which was a major deal to all four of them old enough to care.
So planning began for the great minivanapalooza of 2010. Basically, that just means that my two other sisters and I crammed my minivan FULL of luggage, kids, tires, toys, snacks, and PILLOWS to drive through the night to have a few days in Ohio. Every single seat was taken by a person, plus one in Maria's belly, and a whole lot of stuff. I mean a LOT. I wish I had taken a picture, but we had DRIVING on the brain.
We left in the evening so that the kids could maybe watch one movie before it got late and dark and then they could fall asleep and sleep blissfully through the night til we magically arrive at their cousins' house! Okay, we knew it PROBABLY wouldn't go that wonderfully, but how bad could it be? BAD. that's the answer.
Poor Hazel cried the entire way there, except for about two hours (maybe) between midnight and about 2:00. There was absolutely NOTHING we could do to calm her down, and oddly enough, instead of driving us totally crazy, we all just really wanted to cry with her we felt so bad. It was that thing, you know, where they're trying to sleep, but crying out in thier sleep, and something is so clearly bothering them, but they can't tell you, so they just cry and cry and cry and cry, and even mommy sitting there with her big belly in the way trying to calm her down, and even Auntie A blowing in her face and stroking her cheek and singing songs, and even Auntie Mel doing whatever she tried to do didn't work, so she just cried and cried and cried. It was awful. My kids were troopers and slept though most of it, or if they woke up, just kind of looked around and figured out that "oh, THAT'S the noise that I keep hearing in my dreams" and went back to sleep.
We finally made it to McDonalds, just an hour or so out of Columbus, and got some breakfast. I was able to sleep for an hour or so before that, but we were all pretty exhausted. We finally made it to 7727 and were ready for a whirlwind of a time together. :)
We spent our time doing a variety of things. I'll do my best to document some of it in pictures. I tried so hard to remember to take pictures, since so often we find ourselves so busy that the time goes by without a single photo to document it.
We had lots of fun eating together, in a variety of settings: outside on the lawn, inside on the carpet, wherever you could find a spot at the tables, at Chic-Fil-A, and even a couple picnics at the park! And mmm....looking at that awesome summer food makes me wish summer had lasted a little longer...
It was so fun to watch the kids play together. It's been a process, ya know? There always seems to be a "phase" that the kids are going through, whether it's hitting, biting, not sharing, screaming, you name it. But this time, I think it's safe to say that there wasn't a whole lot of fighting! Not that there wasn't a challenge sharing two boys' toys among six kids, but I don't really remember anything major! (but maybe that's just how brains work...we remember the good stuff) :)
We got to see lots of family while we were there too! Angela lives about two hours from my mom's two brothers, so we got to see each of them and their families! It was great! (oh rats, I don't have any pictures from when Verlyn, Barb, Ashley, Cassi, and Nate were there...ugh...)
We also got to celebrate two special days! Even though Elliot's bday wasn't til August, he had an awesome early bday party so we could be there to celebrate! It was a CARS theme at the bouncy house, and man did the kids (and grown ups) have fun! :)
We also got to celebrate the 4th of July. Nothin better than popsicles and sparklers! (We actually left on the 4th, so we did sparklers on the 3rd)
And, one of the very best moments of our whole time together was our sisters' night out. I don't actually have any pictures of that, but we just went to hang out and talk and eat avocado rolls and cheesecake and coffee/cocoa. We sat and talked and laughed and remembered and just enjoyed each other's company, without the interruptions of our wonderful children. It was truly a memorable night. In fact, when we got home, we went up to Ang's bed and continued the talking, laughing, and maybe even crying. These girls are my best friends. forever.
So the fact that we drove many hours with a crying baby (Hazel did better with the crying on the way home, but definitely traded it for puking- nothin a couple moms can't handle though-) and stayed in a hot little two bedroom townhouse and put four kids ages 5 and under to sleep in the same room and argued over who got to ride the trike, and what kind of pizza to order, and who got to kick the ball, it was all worth it. just like we knew it would be.
Sadly, the great minivanapalooza of 2010 cannot be an annual event, since we already don't all fit in my minivan! We knew it would be a one shot thing, so we did it, with no regrets....except maybe we'd stay just ONE day longer.... :)