On Saturday, August 2, my little troopers and I took off on a midwest tour. In the course of 11 days, we were in 4 states with 24 hours worth of driving, covering 1,498 miles (plus some), multiple tanks of gas, who knows how many bathroom/nursing stops and I should have just had a coffee IV hooked up the entire time. We are of course thrilled to be home, but I'm so glad we were able to go on our adventure and participate in all we did.
You likely were able to keep track of us via Instagram and Facebook- thank you social media- but a quick summary of what we thought would be happening:
August 4- baby niece due to arrive to Matt and Erin in northern Michigan
August 7- baby nephew due to arrive to Richard and Jessica in Fishers, IN (near Indianapolis)
August 9- wedding of Emily and Matthew in Indianapolis, IN
August 13- scheduled departure date to head home to WV.
So what really happened? I'm glad you decided to read on to find out. Let's be honest, you want to know the amounts of crazy and stress I went through, doing this absurd trip by myself with 3 little girls, 3 and under.
Jess decided to go ahead and get the party started early and had my nephew on 7/31! Little Cameron Alan Wayman weighed in at a decent 8 pounds, 13 ounces and (I think) 21 inches long! He's of course adorable, just like his favorite auntie (sorry Hannah, I called dibs first on this title), and my first thought when I saw his picture was "he's so skinny!" He isn't of course, he's a healthy little guy and from what I gather, Jessica and Richard are adjusting to the joys of parenthood and already dreaming of how soon they can hope for him to sleep through the night.
The girls and I didn't arrive to Findlay until a few days later, and spent some time with my dad and grandmother adjusting to being in a new place. Mom had darted off as soon as she heard we were coming (KIDDING, she went to go meet her first grandson!), so the girls and I kept the house nice and noisy for Dad and Mama until she came home on Wednesday. Feel free to get some paper and take notes with a timeline to keep track of how crazy we were.
|my parents got some great swings for the girls!|
We went a little bit north to Toledo to see Jesse's cousin's family on Tuesday for an entirely too short dinner visit. Unfortunately, bedtimes rule and we had to leave so I could get my little munchkins to bed. We had a nice visit with Rick, Nikki, Noah, Bri and "Avocado" the dog, who's real name is Dakota. Lily gave a valiant effort at remembering her name. Lily and Emma always look forward to seeing Brennan's, and were so excited to be able to spend some time with them, as short of a time as it was, and I always enjoy getting a chance to talk to Nikki and Rick.
Mom came home on Wednesday, and we gave her no sympathy for being tired, as Lily and Emma zapped her remaining energy in no time flat.
All this time, we were waiting with bated breath for the announcement from Erin that she was in labor, ready to bring another beautiful girl to the world, so my days were very on edge and excited. And a pathetic attempt to not harass poor Erin for minute by minute details of her life and obsess over when my niece would arrive. Sorry, Erin.
Friday finally showed up and the girls and I loaded up for a jaunt to Indy to meet Cameron. Lily was in heaven with getting to hold a baby, and of course wanted to hold him the entire time. Not only was there a baby to love on, Uncle Richard and Aunt Jess had a playground right across the street from their house and Lily and Emma were over joyed. They got a break from Momma and Momma got a slight breather when Uncle Richard and Aunt Jess took the girls to play. It was glorious, in case you were wondering.
Saturday morning, I was able to convince my sister and brother in law that doughnuts were a necessity, so we trekked off to what turned out to be the most popular doughnut shop in the world. Not really, but it sure was busy. Of course, it was smack bang in the middle of a race, football games and a farmer's market...
We got back to Wayman's house in time to have a bite for lunch with Mom and Dad, who had come for the wedding, before Megan and Jordan showed up to meet little Cameron! When the time came, we headed off to Emily and Matthew's wedding! Due to navigational error, we arrived a little late, but we arrived and were able to witness a beautiful ceremony.
Emma went with my parents, so Lily and I had a heartfelt and emotional conversation in the car about what it meant to get married. Poor thing had an absolute meltdown when she found out that she wouldn't be getting married that day and that it was my friend Emily's turn. Lily was just sure that it should be her turn and didn't want to wait. I may have done a bad job explaining what was happening in there, but I think I got across to her what the bottom line was. She was very concerned we wouldn't know which one was Emily, and she loved the idea that Emily would be in the beautiful dress. Then, Lily started crying and made me tear up because she was really worried that since she wasn't big enough, she wouldn't be able to make the long walk down the aisle, and wanted to make sure that I would be there to hold her hand and help her walk when she couldn't. I, of course, took off with that thought and about holding her hand through life and helping my little girl grow up. And really, I'm just not ready to think about my little 3 year old gem being old enough to get married! Needless to say, I was a mess already when we made it to the ceremony and the waterworks were strong when I watched Emily marry her best friend.
deep breath. I'm ok. The reception was lovely and I'm so thankful that I had an aunt, an uncle, a grandma, a grandpa, Megan and Jordan to help me with my girls because they were just everywhere. Lily loved the dance floor and was just enthralled with the whole thing. I wish we could have stayed longer because after watching Emily and Matthew's first dance, Lily was begging to have a special dance with Emily. Emma just did her typical Emma thing and fortunately for me, Megan is quick and at one point asked, "do you want me to go get Emma?" who had decided to wander off after my dad and was halfway across the reception hall. Forget having enough hands for 3 girls, I'd like a second set of eyes. And a quicker brain.
We drove back to Findlay that night, arriving after midnight, and crashed hard. don't remember Sunday, no surprise, except that Joel and Kimmy were there for a bit and we went for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. They had been up to Michigan to another wedding of a friend we knew from dancing. We were glad to be able to see them, even briefly, on Sunday, and Emma and Uncle Joel watched some hot air balloons from Findlay's balloon festival fly around.
Monday was a bit more relaxing. I was trying hard to not pester Erin at this point, but I reorganized and repacked the van to be ready for anything.
On Tuesday, after a restless night for Kaylee and me, Mom suggested that I just see if Matt and Erin would be available for me to just drive up and see them for a little bit, and so I could also deliver some boxes of clothes I had for them. I thought that sounded good and text Erin to see if she'd be available for a short visit. Let me tell you, if I labored like she did, I'd have a bunch more kids. I got a "oh, I might be in labor, but sure!" response (basically), so off Kaylee and I went, with Lily and Emma staying with Mimi. When I was about an hour away from the hospital, I got a happy text from Matt announcing that Anna Jade had finally decided to show up to the party and was a tiny little 7 pound, 1 oz girl. I was able to spend a bit of time with the happy family and cuddle my nieces before turning around and going back to Findlay. What a long day, but so worth it. Anna is by far the smallest baby I have ever held.
|Anna and Koleen|
We got up and headed home Wednesday morning. The girls were absolutely exhausted from all our traveling and fun, so they slept off and on the majority of the morning and we made it to a pitstop at Grandma and Grandpa Hildebrand's house around 1 for some some bathroom/diapering/feeding/wiggle time. Lily and Emma had a great time playing with Grandpa and Kaylee was thrilled to be free for a couple hours before we finally made for the final push to get home, which happened around 5.
A huge sigh of relief, an early night sleep and all was well. We were all very excited to see Jesse when he got home from work, and even more excited that he had decided to surprise us (me) with a cookie cake! Best day ever. I was nice and shared with everyone, for those of you who were wondering. Have I ever explained the importance of a cookie cake to me? Someone remind me another time and I will.
I really enjoyed our trip, as hard as it was. While I had a ton of help, which I'm really grateful for, it's difficult to relax as a mom. Even when other people are watching your kids, you still have a paranoid concern and eye out to make sure they are behaving, cooperating, doing ok, not getting hurt, not fighting, eating their vegetables, not having accidents...the list is endless. There is no such thing as "relax" if your kids are around, at least so far in my parenting venture.
I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures I posted...and if not, too bad. I wanted to document to remember our busy and exciting trip. We are happy to have gone, happy to be home, and I will be happier still when the laundry is done and everything is put away! Ah, returning home from trips and finding your routine again...
|happy to be home|
Sorry for all the cell phone pictures, I didn't always have my camera handy or fast enough, so I threw some cell pictures in also. Please try and forgive me.