Monday, June 21, 2010

Vacation: Part II

Here you are, back for more of the gory details of our recent vacation. I'll try to shorten this installment up a bit, because believe it or not, there are other things I'd rather write about. Like, for instance, why I started crying in Ikea, the funny stuff Ben has been saying lately, Adam's recent developments, and what I did with my kid-free afternoon (the first of FOUR!)

So here we go.

On Friday I met my friend Kristen at the Minnesota Children's Museum. Thanks to her handy membership card, and also the fact that she only had one of her 3 kids with her, we all got in free. My total cost for the five hours we were there? Lunch at Subway and $8 for parking. Not too shabby!

This Museum rocks, and I would gladly pay the entrance fee if I knew we had a half day to kill. There was more than enough to keep all 3 of my kids entertained, and that was with a couple exhibits closed for transitions.

Adam liked the water tables best, because they were just the right height for him to stand against and splash in. Yes, he got a little damp. But look at that face! How could I say no?

Ben loves to pretend to be a dog. Why? I'm not sure. But whenever Leah plays dress-up, his only request is to be the dog. Maybe he need a doghouse of his own? Hmmm....

Leah spent an extraordinary amount of time sorting & delivering mail. Not helping were the several other kids doing the same thing, but not as methodically. I sat on a bench with Adam and watched, although it was tempting to nap like the fellow next to me. (!!!)

A few awesome things about the Museum: Each exhibit is totally hands-on, of course, but each only has ONE entrance, so as long as you keep your eyes there, the kids can pretty much run free. Also, there are a couple of family bathrooms on each floor, stocked with diaper, wipes and changing pad covers, and there are also a couple of nursing rooms in a separate gated play area for the really little ones. I think we spent about an hour in various bathrooms throughout the day.

Then came one of my proudest moments from the whole trip: I left the museum, made my way back to the University campus to our hotel, found a metered parking spot directly in front, and was there 5 minutes before Aaron was done. He hopped in, and we took off for my brother's house and the Familypalooza that was to be the weekend.


Now begins the family section. I'm going to do this in bullets and leave out the photos, since those who really care about them can see them on Facebook! You readers who aren't my family, well...there will be lots more photos of the kids to come. I promise.

Main points of the Familypalooza:

*14 of us, all together: 4 in-laws, 2 parents, 4 kids, plus 4 under the age of 7.

* 1 brand-spankin' new house big enough for us all.

* 3 air mattresses, 1 foam mattress pad

* 1 deflated air mattress

* 2 expectant mommies; 1 with her second, 1 with her first!

* 4 over-indulgent evening meals

* 1 visit from a cousin and 2 cute little boys

* 3 days of rain

* 2 nights out for the boys - 1 at local watering holes, and 1 at Dave & Buster's

* 2 nights in for the girls - 1 with birthing stories providing 3 years birth control for the non-mommy, 1 with mocktails for us all!

* 1 trip each to SuperTarget and BabiesRUs

* 1 round each (between downpours) of Frisbee golf and regular golf - well, as regular as it gets with 3 of 4 being novices

* Many of the following: movies on TV, rounds of Bananagrams, rolls of toilet paper, and baby gifts exchanged

* 8 Aunties & Uncles to cuddle the neices & nephews

* 1 baby dancer

* 1 sick baby who kept his parents (& most of the house) up all night. Fortunately this was the LAST night.

Does that sum it up? It was a fun time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the girls-only time that we don't get very often. The boys were okay, too, I guess.:) Looking forward to the next time...wait, is that going to be at MY house?!


What are your tips for surviving family get-togethers? Or reunions in general, as my 15th high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks.

Worst night away from home EVER? Give me some details.

1 comment:

Noel said...

So how did the two engineers handle all the time and energy exposure to the twelve non-engineers?
- - -

As for worst nights...I wouldn't say worst, but memorable:

* The night we had 7+ inches of rain in town (10th anniversary was last week): non-working (for a while) floor drain, flooded window wells, dealing with water until the wee hours of the morning.

* Departing from O'Hare airport in a taxi with four strangers at 3:30 AM for the Milwaukee airport where we arrived about 5:00 AM. Hundreds of people were stranded when thunderstorms hit both Minneapolis and Chicago on a Friday night and flights on Northwest, United, and American were all cancelled. To Northwest's credit, they noted open seats out of Milwaukee and got us there.

* Any night when the new flood crest prediction is above the current dike height.