Friday, July 3, 2009


Well I cannot believe I survived the hellishly long trip in the car. I know, I know... so many of you warned me. And yet, I remained insanely cautiously optimistic. Let me tell you, optimism is HIGHLY overrated.

On the ride up, the baby was pretty good in the car on day 1. Day 2, not so much. While we were in St. Louis, we basically used my parents' house as a landing pad while we jumped from location to location: Florida, Northern IL, Southern rural IL, Six Flags, St. Louis city, etc. We were in the car a LOT. The older kids could handle it. But Baby Sally? Well, let's just say that she wasn't showing her usual happy lovely self every time we clicked that carseat restraint closed.

By the time we were headed home, I tried giving her pack after pack of fruit snacks. When I finally was afraid that her teeth would fall right out of her head from decay, I broke down and put my MP3 player on, and let her scream. The older 3 kids just turned the volume on the DVD player WAAAAYYY up. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

And, now that I'm home, I am shocked at what I've seen. I can't believe the huge difference in behavior from Linus, my 6-year-old. He's like a new kid. On our vacation, he was an unpredictable, uncontrollable wild animal. I was ready to leave him at the nearest rest stop. Now, he's back to behaving and showing remorse when he's been naughty. All I can say is, hallelujah. Also, my kids are loving reading. Maybe it was the overdose of Zack and Cody or Phinneas and Ferb, or maybe it's the incentives they can earn at the local library for completing 5 hours of reading, but since we've been home they've spent more time reading than even wanting to watch t.v. And, finally, the heat. Did you know it was 101 in Texas yesterday? And I thought it was... very pleasant. Yes, it was hot, but not like St. Louis. And definitely not like Florida. I'm not going to say "It was a dry heat" but at least I could walk around outside without feeling like I would faint. I don't know... maybe it's the pregnancy hormones playing a trick on my head, but it sure didn't feel like 101.

I'm so glad to be back to my same old house, same old bed, same old pillow, same old chores. I even missed the chores! Maybe because doing chores means familiarity, maybe because it gives me that sense of accomplishment in my day. Whatever it is, I know I am enjoying being back where I belong.

Oh, and if you're still reading this far, maybe you won't mind a few pictures from our trip

And Away We Go....

On the Beach in Ft. Myers.

Riding a Wave-Runner

Petting a Man-o-Ray (sp?) at the Imaginarium in Ft. Myers, FL.
No Explanation Necessary.

Six Flags St. Louis Hurricane Harbor

On the Carousel at Six Flags

OMG this car of people was STUCK AT THE TOP OF THE SUPERMAN RIDE AT SIX FLAGS. And LINUS WAS IN LINE TO GET ON!!!! (Major heart attack averted).

St. Louis Science Center - some Lego building class that we got into FREE with our museum membership - totally awesome.

The baby even enjoyed herself at the Science Center.

Family party for my niece's high school graduation. That's my sister on the left and my cousin on the right.
My niece in the center with her two friends.

A typical scene while I was in rural IL - being stuck behind a grain trailer, on its way to the grain silo, stopped while waiting for a train to pass. Life is slow in the country, but good.

At the Petting Zoo in northern IL while visiting Granny.


McVal said...

Looks like you had a great time! Sorry about the scream fest on the way home tho! bummer!
My sister has 13 kids and she stocks up on about 10 lbs of Brachs candies before she heads out on a long trip. She just tosses candy back when someone starts screaming. Shuts them up for a while...
Her husband is a Lutheran pastor too!

Sturgmom said...

I'm glad you made it back before you had to be committed! Looks like some fun memories were made!

Anna See said...

Welcome Back! It's good to be home, isn't it. Good job.

Jennifer said...

Looks like y'all had a great time. I'm glady you got safely back home.

Little kids in the car is just awful. Like one of the worst things ever.

Jen said...

So glad that you are back. But what a trip. After this, don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do anything.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

You make some gorgeous people, miss. And they all look polite & pleasant & super smart; well done! :D

Truly, what a whirlwind of activity for everyone. I hope you have a day [or three?] to yourself soon! (You're always welcome to run away to the Pacific NW - I'll house you!)

Wendy said...

You survived! Alriiiiight!

You know, I've been wondering what part of Texas you lived in. Since you said that you came back from St. Louis and were relieved to be in 101 degrees without the humidity...

I know you that you do NOT live in Houston! It was 101 here yesterday too, or close enough, but enough humidity to kill a person.

And the pictures are great! Your kids are so adorable.

J said...

It really looks fun from the pictures! Hopefully it will be one of those trips you look back on when you're old and say "oh, that wasn't so bad!"...

Scary Mommy said...

Well, in pictures at least it looks like a perfect, sunshiny few weeks! Ha.

Debbi said...

GREAT photos! Glad you survived, and missed ya!