Saturday was a crazy day of packing, mostly because it was the first time I had the kids pack themselves. It was time. The day would have been much easier and gone far more quickly if I had packed them, but the triplets are old enough to start learning how, and the twins are old enough to “help” – mostly.
We finally got on the road in the afternoon, which always makes for an easier road trip while everyone sleeps. We listened to Moby Dick, and managed to make it as far as Joplin before the baby woke for a diaper change and bottle. We love stopping at the rest stop in Joplin because it has the very best playground! After getting the baby fed and back to sleep in her fancy car seat, we made it to Springfield for our traditional Korean meal that always kicks off our vacations here. The kids love it, and it always makes me smile to watch them listen to him teach them about his mission experiences. We only had one toddler meltdown, and he fixed it and did better, so that was great!
We checked in late to our condo, and again I said a grateful prayer in my heart for these free getaways. My mother so wanted to give us the world, and inheriting this place to be able to stay for free anytime has given me family memories from my childhood to the childhoods of my own children. That may be the most important world of all, and I love to feel her near and tell them stories of her, and me and my brother, and my father, especially while we are here in a place so rich in history for us. They even know where Nathan and I stayed on our honeymoon, and always point it out, shouting “Thats where our family started!” Then I always remind them our family started in the temple.
We went to my brother’s ward yesterday, and enjoyed spending time with them.
Everyone was so glad and relieved to see the baby, and Nathan and I were glad for the extra hands to help with the kids. My nephew Cobie, who I can’t believe will be Sixteen this week, wasn’t even seated after passing sacrament before both our boys had their fingers up his nose. My nieces Billie and Jessica fought over the little ones, and took the older ones to primary with them. It has been an amazing thing to watch them become cousins. My brother’s family – and also Nathan’s family – have been so gracious to all our foster children these three years, and so welcoming to these who are staying for adoption. I am so grateful, and do not think these kids could be loved more.
We brought food with us, so our only money spent for the week was Nathan’s Korean meal. With what was in our freezer and fridge, plus food storage, I can make simple meals that feed us with good nutrition without us having to go to town and spend lots of money while we are here.
They were not very well-behaved yesterday, though, but we thought maybe they were just tired from the travel and afternoon church.
So last night we had a family meeting about the kind of week we wanted to experience, and what choices and interactions would create that week. We started working on the Love at Home song, and all of us went to bed early in hopes that would help.
This morning I fed the baby her early bottle, and then caught the first waking child before he woke the others. There is an extra bedroom they weren’t using, so I laid down in there with him, and enjoyed the glorious morning of them piling on me as they woke up. We snuggled for nearly two hours, me and all those kids, which let Nathan sleep late, and I soaked in every minute.
But I was concerned about it lasting so long, and why my crazy kids were all so willing to stay snuggled for so long.
When they had all gotten up to go play except for Alex and Seven, the two most active kids, I knew something was wrong.
Sure enough, before we could get breakfast on the table, they were throwing up.
I got them tucked into sleeping bags in the bathroom after their stomachs settled, and made toast and hot chocolate for the other three.
Nathan and the baby stayed in the other room, while I cleaned up after the kids. It was not too bad comparatively, and I hope just a quick bug that will pass, or those two being too hungry from playing so hard and waiting so long to eat this morning.
We will see.
But it wouldn’t be a real vacation without some extra body fluids from somebody, right?