Fiona is still a little sweet pea, smaller than most medium sized dogs and even some large turkeys so her babyhood is lasting a nice long time. There also isn’t anyone pushing the timeline so she can stay in the crib and the baby room for as long as she wants to. She has been very content to stay in the baby bucket and that is a good thing because you are not supposed to go front facing until 20lb – a point she really just hit a month or so ago. The seat would be fine for months more except for winter coat fluff, the buckles are just getting to hard to do with the coat so here she is, last time in the bucket.
And vola! A big girl seat that makes her look smaller than ever
Then there is Zoe who upgraded to a booster with a back. I vaguely regret this because she had mastered the 5 point harness and could completely buckle herself in but she has trouble with the normal seat belt. She is very happy with the change, and, she even moved locations so now she can ‘drive’ with me.
I can handle change at this pace, I don’t exactly get a choice but I’m glad to get just a tiny bit longer.
It is sad to say that Monday was 100X better then Sunday and Monday was not all that awesome a day. There was a ton of cleaning and getting back in the routine that involved many trips to time out but it did not compare to Sunday….
Sunday I was woken up not once, not twice but three times in the night by each of the children. Niamh declared that my room ‘stunk’ at 6am and while I did agree I did not want to hear about it. I had gone to bed Saturday knowing that there was some cat indiscretion somewhere in the room but after I checked my bed thoroughly I decided it could wait until morning.
Neither of us wanted to get up and somehow I lost the game of baby chicken because I actually got out of bed. The house had been shut up for a week and more importantly it had been inhabited by a BOY for the previous 2 weeks. There was a rancid cup of coffee on the table that Fiona spilled on the floor. There were dubiously clean dishes precariously stacked in the drainer (hey, he tried…). The one thing Lars decided to really clean was the coffee maker and it was disassembled and the parts where in 3 different locations including under the badly washed dishes. I touched one dish and the pile cascaded into the sink to smash 2 drinking glasses that were just hanging out in the sink. Lars did get out of bed when I was about to completely loose it because I could not find the last piece of the coffee maker and 3 children were shouting for different and opposing tasks to be completed immediately.
all this before 8am….
Then there was the bedroom situation. Lars went to investigate as I fed the children cereal because I had no patience for making any other breakfast item. My phone had refused to charge so I had no access to my recipe anyway so we ate month old cereal, but, to his credit, Lars got milk before we got home. The situation under the bed was bad… The cat sitter said she didn’t know the cat was locked in our room but he had to have been – maybe he got out himself? He was sitting pretty on the steps when we got home. Other then pee and poo and a bit of puke the cat had clawed under the door to the bathroom and caught 3 towels and they are badly shredded. Lars took care of the big bits but I had to mop so we moved the bed. ::aside:: Lars also took down the baby pack n play and that made me more sad then it should because it means our baby isn’t a baby anymore. We moved the bed to the other half of the room and I mopped while Lars washed Fiona who had decided to take a walk in the cat pee. Thankfully Niamh and Zoe were delightedly playing with all their toys that they had missed and not getting the way. The next issue was moving the bed back when the foot board fell off. We looked at beds online and in the end we just shoved the bed back together and we will deal with that another day.
Part of my overwhelming displeasure with the day was because I thought things would be more neat when I got back but there was a month worth of dust, cat fur and general grime on everything. The floor in the kitchen was the only thing that was cleaner then I left it and I was upset because of my own unmet expectations. Coupled with weeks of broken sleep and 2 days of driving it was a recipe for sadness disaster. To make things worse we took 3 cranky kids to wal-mart to get school stuff and that was a fresh hell all of its own. The day finally ended with a nice dinner and then I fell asleep on the sofa to wake up very disoriented at 1am.
Sunday night I still didn’t get the sleep I wanted and Monday was rough but today is going well. I cleaned non stop from morning to night and my room, the bathroom and the livingroom look great. Today I tackle the kitchen and tomorrow the play room and kids rooms. While we were busy Sunday the kids trashed their room but whatever, they didn’t step in cat pee and I even got a shower in peace when Fiona napped.
Counting my blessings – the cat is alive, we have a DVR full to the brim of shows we want to watch, the kids are getting back on schedule, I love my hot tub, Lars is a great cook, and I fit my smaller shorts now.
We arrived in MN about 36 or so hours after we left NY. We hit some less then great traffic leaving NY, who knew 2pm was a prime time for travel? PA was fine, sometimes it has traffic but this time it didn’t. We slept in possibly the worst hotel in Ohio. I won’t dwell on that sucktastic experience but it was even worse because all 3 kids were awake at 11:30 when we checked in. By 1:30 am when Fiona was nearly asleep Zoe woke everyone (but Niamh) up. Travel tip: get the King suite – then when 1 kid needs to be with you all night in your bed, this is far better then if you are in a double. The hotel continued to disappoint with a lackluster breakfast that had no protein because the only protein was boiled eggs and a big fat guy took 5 or 6, far more then anyone should eat at any weight.
Driving that second day was tedious but fine. I took the role of keeping Lars awake and the kids happy and the one time I drove for 2 hours it was not great because Lars can’t make the kids happy because he can’t yoga himself into the back seats (nor can he lactate). I invented a twist on a car game that kept us interested – it is a twist on the alphabet game but with scoring so it gets interesting. The alphabet game, if you don’t know, is played by one person saying a word and the next person has to say a word that begins with the last letter of that word. A different version is if you are playing with people you use the first letter of their last name.
+ 1 point for correctly carrying on the game in the same theme
- 1 point if you have to change themes (like from place names to animals)
+0 points if you change back to a previously used themes (like going back to place names)
+1 point for a very creative answer – this is awarded by the other person
+1 point for a ‘special’ condition in the category. This actually is the most fun part and got Lars really playing because he loved finding double point answers.
A special condition is something unique to that category but obviously not for 100% of the answers. For us we had the category of animals and the special point was for animals that you have personally eaten. As much as I am a picky eater I have eaten a very wide variety of animals including Tiger, snake, snail, pigeon, horse etc. Travel in foreign countries is great for this category. Who knows if any of you are interested but here are our categories and their special points;
SCA related words (people and stuff) – Special Ultra Cool people and extra grouchy people.
Animals – personally eaten
Game of Thrones – someone/thing who killed someone personally (ordering their death does not count) *we added thing because we feel the sword Ice did plenty of killing
Harry Potter – people who have had a known romantic relationships
Lars did end up winning by 5 points because he in the middle of reading Game of Thrones and I had to remember back 6 months to when I read it. The real win was that it kept us active and alert for nearly 4 hours. Feel free to spread the game far and wide and let me know if you come up with any other good special points.
As always when we finally get to Chicago we felt far better about actually getting home and like every other time we actually talk ourselves into just pushing through. We were home in our nice house by 10:30 local time. Yesterday I tweeted and posted some of the fail of the first day home, I’ll cover that tomorrow. I am proud of us for driving so far with relatively few problems. For the record we kept a 1, 3, and 5 year old entered by;
5 year old – she was easy to keep happy because she had lots of little dolls to play with. Kindle to play her pony game on. A few movies and a coloring book with stickers.
3 year old – I give her a B+ because there were times she was just bored but the kindle time worked well for her too as did playing with a few little dolls. She also took special glee in telling us she had to go to the bathroom because she knew we would stop. You don’t’ want to push that issue much but I did notice she had to go potty just as a Dora episode was wrapping up and didn’t need to anymore if the next Dora promptly started…..
1 year old – we put a phone in a ziplock and hung it where she could see (rear facing still) and she was moderately amused by some baby Einstein. Most of the time she slept or ate or stared out the window. Oh, there was also plenty of protesting from her but mostly when she was tired.
We stopped every 2 or 3 hours to do something and Niamh got it in her head that you were only allowed to go to the bathroom once per state. I figured that out when she kept asking if we were in the next state yet. All in all the trip was not bad but it is not something I want to do again for a long time.
Wow, we are entering our 3rd week away from home and our 2nd week in NY. We are nearly at the normal stage where we have a schedule to our day and we are getting into the NY grove. The notable exception is that we are also cramming as much fun and social stuff into our days and nights as we can.
This weekend we journey down to NJ to see two friends in their respective houses. Both are divorced ladies and both are settled into their first solo living arrangement and it was awesome to see each of them decorated in their own style and embracing what they want in life. It was a long day but fun, and, it also reminded me that I hate driving on and off longIsland and why everyone in the world hates NJ drivers. For the first visit there were a bunch of cats and cat toys to play with and amuse the children and for the second stop there was an ocean and Fiona loves the beach even more then Niamh and Zoe (who love the beach). I didn’t get any pictures in stop one but a good bunch from stop 2.
Sunday I started a photo project that might take a little while. I want to make the alphabet out of motorcycle parts and a friend here traded some ‘beauty’ pictures of him with his bike for free access to his bike and another one. There are some easy letter and some very hard ones but I will have to sift through everything to see what I actually got Sunday. The photo outing was also nice because it was the only few hour stretch that I was not on duty parent in a week. My parents help and it is nice to have company while I parent but they just want me to get/do/give/wipe/mediate over anyone else. The picture below is a cool sort of portrait – his dad died in a motorcycle accident and the skull cover is from his bike and if you look closely you can see my friend reflected in the crome of a cover right below it. Not your standard shot but I think it is my favorite of that set.
Today ended up more restful then planned since our morning playdate fell through but we rescheduled. I did a 5k run with Josie (nothing official) in the early evening and it was nice to really get out and run after 2 weeks of not really exercising. Our time was good too, basically 9min miles and that was with a jogging stroller and I feel like I could have gone faster. I’m glad to get the 5k distance done because I’ve only been running 2 miles at the gym and I was starting to get a complex about longer distances. I can really only do the 2miles in the time I have at the gym but I am very glad that my more distance stamina still exists. I popped over to my cousins house after a tortuous bedtime and we hung out for a bit. I like seeing my family one on one, it is much more like a visit when it isn’t 35 people all at once. I also like the big party too but there is a place for both and too often the one on one gets skipped.
Tomorrow plans are not totally firm but Wednesday I’m thinking of driving out east so that should be a fun photo opp. Friday Sinead is flying in and this weekend we are braving the world of bridesmaid dresses. I’m sure I’ll pop on again this week and I hope you are all enjoying your august too.
At home I have a routine that I try not to deviate from – I leave the house EVERY DAY. At home there is some magic to leaving the house because if we stay home all day by the end of the day the kids are cranky and annoying and I don’t think I’m much better. Usually our outing is first thing in the morning and I try to be home for nap and the afternoon is spent around the house and when Lars gets done with work we do a variety of things depending on the day but that is the pattern.
Here, in NY, specifically at my parents my routine is tipped upside down and sideways but it seems to work. We have no ‘things’ to do daily like story time or a play group. The parks around here are less cool (or maybe I just don’t know them). Even with these negatives the mornings fly by without ever leaving the house. We end up going out in the afternoon and getting home in time for dinner and bath and bed. I think I figured out the secret of NY – my parents house is like grand central for visitors. Every day starts more interesting because we have Grandma and Grandad right there so there are more adults to talk to and the adult to kid ratio is equal again. Today my grandmother came over at 10 for coffee, my sister and her son came over around noon, and my cousins came over at 3 to play with the girls. This amount of visiting is equal to what we do in a normal week and it was all in one day without even leaving the house. Other then the cousins visiting, the rest is just how a day is here. I think if people dropped by at my MN house I may feel less compelled to go out daily.
With 3 weeks here it is not exactly a vacation, it is living somewhere else. I am working on setting up the daily routine as similar to home as possible in respect to sleeping and eating at least. I’m completely giving in on the morning outing and just going with the flow of afternoon outings since that is just the way of life here. On the other hand, it is still a vacation so we plan on doing a bunch of fun stuff and seeing as many friends as possible.
If you are in my Long Island friend group and want to visit or do something let me know. I know from past experience that 3 weeks here flies by far faster then 3 weeks in my normal life.
Nice, two ‘air quotes’ in the title, this will be a good one!
By ‘back’ I mean we are no longer at pennsic but I’m not exactly home either. We continued to travel east and we are now at my parents for a few weeks. By we I mean the kids and me, Lars was sent airmail back to MN and will hold down the fort. I believe he has plans such as sleep late, eat bad food, and play lots of video games for the 2 weeks we are gone. I talked to him and he says he misses us already despite the allure of sleep and games.
By ‘wilds’ I mean poor cell reception and limited internet. We were not roughing it really, our tents are grand, our food is refrigerated and prepared as part of a meal plan. Yes we have to walk to everything and there are more bugs then I would like but on the whole Pennsic hardly counts as camping. Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures because my cell was claiming to be full because it could not talk to the cloud and I forgot a bit of my good camera rendering it useless. Other people took pictures so when I get them I’ll post some.
It was very nice to leave the technology world for a week but I’m glad to be back now. Plans for the next few weeks are not quite firm but today we did many loads of laundry, saw Miss Math, and went to a summerfest in town where the girls suffered through the craft venders with the promise of rides and I managed to do 5 rides each without Lars (but with Josie for the first 3). Fiona even got to go on a ride, I was intending to just hold her on the merry-go-round like normal but the ride monitor insisted she be buckled to a horse. She was already tired so this didn’t really please her so I think Josie has a video of Fiona madly trying to climb into my arms while attached to a moving horse so I had to go up and down with the horse to keep a hold of her. I’m sure is was very funny, but, to Fiona’s credit she didn’t squawk, just tried to climb.
I plan to be back to blogging daily again, I missed over sharing.