This weekend we loaded all 4 kids in the mini van for the 3+ hour drive to Springfield, MO. My adorable niece was turning 1 and we were ready to party!
Sort of. We hadn’t really done anything like this before and although I was super excited to see my family I was also really nervous about how everything would go down. Funny how an otherwise easy trip gets so complicated when there are multiple kids involved. Pre-trip I stocked up on library DVDs and snacks and told the kids we would be in the car for a “big big BIG time.” About 12 minutes into the drive the first kid asked “How many minutes?” and I really started to get nervous. But, my worries were totally unfounded! All together we were in the car for close to 8 hours this weekend. A kid was screaming for only about 30 minutes of that time (those 30 minutes DID seem to last longer than any other 30 minutes, though) and we only got asked that “how many minutes” question about 15 times. Overall I consider this a great success though I do wonder how my parents’ generation ever lasted without DVD players and iPads. All of our screen time limits are totally out the window on travel days!
My niece’s party was at a cute little farm and it was great. There were snack foods, banana bread cupcakes, and LOTS of adorable kids.
This farm had everything you could ever want to do. Petting zoo, tractor rides, hay bales to climb on, you name it they had it. They had pedal tractors for the kids:
And for the moms to pick up big kids’ slack when they quit in the middle of the ride while the 2-year-old is screaming.
They brought a few animals into the party and the kids mauled them. One cute little baby pig was squealing like it was being butchered and I felt so sad for it. This sheep was much more friendly. My niece called each animal “puppy” and hugged it, and she even ate horse hair to celebrate.
Seriously, how cute is my sister’s fam?
When we traveled with just Wiggles we tried to keep him on his schedule, but now we pretty much throw all routines out the window and run them hard until they crash. The boys share a bed and the girls share a bed, but Wiggles wanted to tell his early bird big sister good night. In a few years I wonder if stickers and markers will replace these sweet hugs?
The best part for the husband and I was after the kids went to bed, when we stayed up for another 2 hours in the bathroom doing this:
Oh and just in case I need to preface this, please don’t think for one second that our kids were all perfectly behaved and smiling and we enjoyed every second of each other’s company all weekend. Because these things also happened…
- My sister had family over to her house after the party. She got her sweet 1-year-old a ball pit, which my kids used to turn her living room into a missile launching war zone. Her house looked like a tornado but every time I tried to help pick up my kids destroyed new areas so finally I decided it was best we just leave her with a tornado house.
- The husband was supposed to pack while we swam in the morning, but when he was done he just sat in the room playing on his phone instead of coming to get us. Apparently I was supposed to know when he was done? He also was the only reason we made a pit stop on the way there. And he missed a scheduled pit stop on the way back while I was sleeping. Apparently we need to work on communication?
- The hotel had free breakfast. Sunday morning LOTS of hotel guests, average age of 76, enjoy free breakfast. The breakfast area was right by the pool. Wiggles pressed himself against the pool door, yelled, “WANNA GO POOL MOM!” and then ripped off his shorts and diaper. I guess he wanted to skinny dip?
- Wiggles called the doctor to report Monk-monks jumping on the bed approximately 81,284 times.
- I packed the wrong clothes for the big kids which made them cry (Diva) and yell at me (Smiles).
- I did Diva’s hair wrong which also resulted in tears.
- When The Baby cries in the car Wiggles decides to empathize with her by also cry-screaming, while the older kids say her name over and over and over again to try to calm her down.
- On the way home we stopped at Arbys and Wiggles basically had french fries for lunch
Anyways, pre-kids the husband and I loved to travel, but the thought of traveling with all these kids has been totally overwhelming. This weekend wasn’t a big trip by any means, but I feel like there are definitely more trips in our future….monk-monks and nakedness and miscommunications and all!