Monday, September 20, 2010

Traveling with TWO...

This weekend we successfully completed our first roadtrip as a family of FOUR. We have really only taken one other long roadtrip and that was when Rosemary was about 11 months old and we drove primarily through the night to get where we were going. This time was different, we pretty much traveled all day. All things considered, it went GREAT! We traveled via caravan with my two brothers, one sister-in-law, 3 nieces and 1 nephew...and not to be forgotten...2 DVD players, endless Dora and Bob the Builder episodes, popcorn, Sprees, goldfish crackers and anything else we could think of to cram in the kids mouths to keep them occupied and quiet.

In a lot of ways, the trip was nostalgic...bringing back SO many memories of traveling out West with my parents and brothers on family vacations, traveling to Chicago with my mom when I was young to visit our relatives while my brothers and dad were gone in the Boundary Waters, etc. It also gave me and my brothers an incredible appreciation for the work my parents did to make those trips and experiences happen for us.

Rosemary and Gloria both did notably well - only melting down when the perfect storm had aligned (no nap + no food + 11pm bedtime...what did we expect?) That being said, we did learn a thing or two for future reference...allow me to save you the hassle:

1) NEVER GET A ONE ROOM HOTEL ROOM! Trying to get kids to sleep in the same room you want to relax and unwind in doesn't work. Not to mention their snotty, runny noses make noise all night that makes it impossible to sleep!

2) Never travel a long distance without a DVD player and an artillery of movies. My parents would disagree on this one because "we did it when we were young"...but it sure buys you a few moments of silence and a break from the "I WANNA GET OUTTTTTTTTTTT!"

3) The only way to make it easier is to keep on doing it. It's easy to just avoid putting yourself in these situations, but I truly believe the more you get out there and do it, the easier it is for everyone.

4) Screw the schedules and have fun. Although it ultimately leads to the inevitable meltdown, you went on the trip to have fun, so don't compromise fun for a schedule. Everyone will survive and you'll have a lot more fun if you quit tip-toeing around and just get to it!

Aside from our weekend escapade to Chicago for my cousin's wedding, we also made some progress on the house front. We met with the architect on Thursday and had a great meeting. Fortunately, we were able to get her in the house for an hour to tour it and give us the direction we were looking for. Ultimately, our remodeling plans will include the addition of a main floor powder room, remodeling the kitchen and reconfiguring the main floor living space a bit, adding a large bathroom in the basement and finishing the basement off, re-siding and roofing the house and adding some sort of cover over the front door so our guests aren't quite as exposed to the elements. Although it sounds like quite a bit, it pales in comparison to what we did on our last house. At this point, it looks as though we will spend a few months preparing, planning and bidding the remodel and ultimately will start it after the 1st of the year.

Highlights of this week include Rosemary's second swimming lesson tonight (hopefully she doesn't cry through the entire thing again;-), Rosemary's first "big kid" birthday party where we drop her off and pick her up when it's over and also a trip to Houston for me to visit my dear friend Jaime. How DREAMMMMMMMMMMY! The kids will spend the weekend up at the cabin with Jeff and all their cousins for dock removal. Last but not least, only 25 more days until we close on the house...yippee!

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