This post is looooooong overdue, which pretty much sums up my life these days. Several weeks ago we made a trip to farm country to visit the kids' great grandmother and great aunts and uncles. We don't travel much. At all, really. This is probably because I hate to travel, and traveling with kids causes me to twitch uncontrollably. Nonetheless, it had been three years since the kids saw their great grandmother. More importantly, in some ways, it had been three years since my grandmother saw her great grandkids. Since this is the only grandparent I have left and we did not get to see my other grandmother before she passed away last spring, I thought it was important to make this trip.
Just in case it wasn't a hard enough commitment to make already, I was faced with a really bad cold that should have landed me in bed for several days. It hit me the day after I let Grandma know we were coming for sure, and I didn't have the heart to let her down. If I'd have started my Vitamin D3 regime a bit sooner, I probably wouldn't have gotten sick at all. At least it helped me get well a lot quicker.
I had ten therapy appointments scheduled the day before we were supposed to leave for the trip. And I was sick. But that's not all. We also got 6 1/2 inches of rain the day before we were to leave. Yes, SIX and ONE HALF inches of rain. In one day. I was driving home from work in the dark around 8:30 pm with my eyeballs swimming in snot, and I was having trouble finding a road to travel that was not flooded. I nearly didn't make it home that night, and I still had to pack for departure in the morning...AFTER getting the kids to bed. I expected a late night despite the fact that I already couldn't keep my eyes open and it was only 8:30 pm.
Right after we got the kids to bed, the power went out. And it didn't come back on. And it was STILL raining. So Dear Husband and I decided there really wasn't anything else to do but go to bed. We would leave in the morning whenever we were ready, and there was no point in stressing more about it.
We made to farm country the next evening, and it was a good thing the kids managed the 9 hour car trip so well. Better than I did, actually. I was twitching a bit by the time we made it in that night, but it could have gone much worse. Not only did we make this trip with kids, but also with two dogs. Baby is our new Boston Terrier. We decided it would be less stressful for all of us to just bring the dogs than to leave them with a boarder. Baby had just joined the family, and Cooper has major separation anxiety and a history of abuse before we got him, and it just seemed less stressful to bring them. Cooper loves to come with us places in the car. Actually, I don't think he loves to go in the family mobile, I just think he loves the part about being with us.
Cooper actually traveled well. He didn't shake or hyperventilate. Only a few weeks before he was riding in the family mobile with us and Dear Daughter called to me from the middle row to tell me, "Cooper is vibrating." I looked behind to see what she was talking about, and sure enough, Cooper was trembling and shaking like a leaf. Vibrating was actually a pretty accurate description.
Baby "vibrated" and hyperventilated for the first 30 miles. Fortunately she got a grip after that since we had 8 1/2 more hours of travel ahead of us. By the time we arrived, both dogs were seasoned travelers with nary an ounce of doggy-anxiety to show for it.
And the kids did amazingly well. We have not traveled with the kids that far in three years, and I was very skeptical. The last time we made this trip, neither one of the kids would nap in the car, and both of them needed to. We had to stop a lot more that time, so the trip became 11 or 12 hours long. And neither one of the kids slept at all the entire 12 hour car ride. Not. a. wink. I was REALLY twitching by the end of that trip!
We clearly made it. Grandma just turned 91, and she still does pretty well in assited living. I think our visit was the highlight of the year for her.
The kids also got to see their "cousins" (which are my cousins' kids). I have to do my research on family relationships to find out what that makes our kids. Second cousins, perhaps? Regardless, the kids (and I) enjoyed a leaf fight. Aunt Pat even joined us for awhile. I particularly like this picture--you can see a cloud of leaves directly over Dear Daughter's head.
These pics are on the property where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up. It was originally my grandparent's and now it is my Aunt and Uncle's. I haven't been there much in the past 24 years, but each visit brings back lots of old family memories. The landscape has changed a bit. Grandpa and Grandma's house is no longer there. A big row of pine trees that used to border the driveway and divide the space from the field behind are gone. But some of the outbuildings are still the same.
The kids also got to see my uncles' farm equipment and even go out in the equipment to the field. Dear Daughter couldn't believe how big the wheels were on the equipment. The kids each got to ride in the tractor and combine. Dear Daughter even got to drive the combine a bit. They had a lot of fun. Then they got to see the 2,500 pigs that my Uncle Randy and cousin Nick manage. I couldn't believe it later when I realized I didn't even get a picture of all the pigs. I guess I was too mesmerized by the sea of 2,500 pig faces and grunting, stinky critters all crammed together to remember to take a picture.
I'm not sure if the farm or the hotel experience was more fun for the kids. The kids had never stayed in a hotel before, and they seemed to think this was great fun. Of course, we couldn't get them to sleep together in one of the two queen beds in the room. They would just giggle and jabber the whole time. So, as predicted, Dear Husband and I had to split up in order to split up the kids so we could all get some sleep.
All in all, the trip went pretty well and hopefully I'll stop twitching before we take on a trip to Oregon next.