Monday, August 18, 2008

And We're Back!

Y'all. I am wore OUT!

We had so much fun in Michigan and in Tennessee that I can't possibly list everything that we did. It was just wonderful to see all of our family again (and meet my sweet little baby niece Madison), but I wish we'd had more time to spend with everyone. Ethan, too. He didn't want to come home to Texas. He wanted to stay in Tennessee for "40,000 days until it's time to go to Michigan again."

We bought two PeaPod beds for Ethan and Aidan, and they worked wonderfully. It felt positively luxurious to not have to worry about where the boys would sleep. Before, it was THE major stressor about traveling - where would they sleep, and would they stay put? This totally removed that worry. The kids LOVED them. It was so great.

As far as the actual driving part goes, here is what I learned about traveling with the 4-and-under set:

You wouldn't think it, because he's so easy-going in everyday life, but Dylan does not travel well. He gets FED UP around mile 5 and continues FED UP for the remaining 800 miles. He will also drop all three pacis into a black hole from which they cannot be retrieved, with the added bonus of doing it before we even make it through Alabama. He will then be even more FED UP with you offering him alternatives. I didn't know it until this trip, but Dylan's got quite a temper. And he can scream with the best of them. It was an eye-opening glimpse at a facet of my youngest that I had not yet seen.

Aidan sits like me, with one foot tucked under his other leg. Except that I have the wherewithal to think, " foot feels a little tingly. Perhaps I should stretch a bit." Aidan, sadly, does not, and refuses to sit normally, yet is highly disturbed by the sleeping-foot sensation, and has to let us know. At top volume. Because we can't possibly hear him when we're all crammed into such a small enclosed space as the van.

In his angst he will vehemently turn down book after book after book, his AquaDoodle, and the MagnaDoodle. He will accept a kinesthetic learning board but then get frustrated because the buttons (that are supposed to run along three different tracks) don't pull off.

Finally, out of desperation, I offer him an empty cereal bar box and a handful of Duplos and that keeps him busy for nearly an hour, putting all the blocks into the box, and then dumping them out, and putting them back, and dumping them out, etc., etc.

And Ethan, my most outgoing, wild, hyper, active, on-the-go child.....Ethan travels beautifully. He looks at books, he loves both of the Doodles (Aqua and Magna), he builds with his blocks, drives his little cars, and even said to me, "I LOVE riding in the van! Can we ride in the van forever??" No, seriously. He really did actually say that. And last night, a little way into Louisiana, I padded the shoulder part of his seatbelt in his quilt, and he leaned over and went right to sleep. Before the other two. And kept sleeping even after the other two woke up.

So we made it home safely and we're working on resting up and slowly unpacking. I am patting myself on the back for freezing some things before we left, so there will be no trip to the store and no need to cook dinner this week.

Oh, and I have GOT to show you pictures of the garden. Two weeks made a huge difference. Literally huge. I think the zucchini wants to actually eat our house.


Claire said...

Yay, Welcome Back! I still checked in daily to see if there any new updates...Tee Hee!

Glad to hear the visiting was nice...I think we may have to invest in those PeaPod beds. LoL! I've seen something similar, but it was more like a tent to protect from the sun and such.

Ty'Lain is my better traveler, always has been. But Mathyn has slooowly gotten better.

Can't wait to see the pictures. I may send Ty'Lain down for some zucchini; he saw some in a book, couldn't wait to try it, and now I think he'd live off of it possible. ;oP

Jamie said...

Glad you are back. I also kept checking in, waiting for an update.

Those peapod beds are cool! We are deciding on what to take with us on our beach trip for John.

I think traveling with children will always be an adventure...but I'm glad your trip was so enjoyable!

Mommy said...

I bet these would be perfect for your kids. Ethan and Aidan LOVED sleeping in them. :)

( can find them way cheaper - we got ours from eBay. ;))