Yes, friends, I know, I know. April was my last post. I'm well aware. I'd like to say I didn't have much of anything of significance to say between then and now but I teeter on whether much anything we say holds any great significance or on whether every moment is so significant I get tired of writing it all out.
I guess it depends on whether you are an optimist or pessimist which side you prefer.
Anywho - after another eventful trip to the mainland, so to speak (since Texans tend to think they are their own little island down here, and I'm somewhat starting to believe it), I couldn't help but put a few lines down. For those of you who have been here before, you know that is entirely sarcastic. For me to put a few lines down would be for a sports editor to only report a score.
And so I digress.
Anyway. Back to said trip.
For anyone new here let me briefly catch you up. Our families live 10+ hours away, on our last journey to visit our 'new to us' minivan broke down not once, but three times, and never exactly made us to our destination. A rental car did. Once repaired, it again 'broke' on our way home, though we were able to get it here. Did I mention it was Christmas day? In an ice storm. Yeah. Fun.
I distinctly remember on this journey stating, "barring a wedding or a funeral, I'll be back no time soon." On New Year's Eve two great friends of ours - from 'the mainland' - got engaged and set a wedding for June. Ironic, isn't it?
Undoubtedly, we wouldn't have missed it for the world, but when 75% of our family was asked to be a part of the wedding itself, we started weighing our options on how to best get there.
Remember - van is still not 'right', but drivable.
After much debate and number crunching, it was decided we would drive. It was then decided that our van would be the most practical choice to drive, after being fixed, of course.
Fast forward to two weeks prior to departure. Van is looked over, said problem is said to be 'no problem' and 'won't hurt to drive that way.' We decide to wait until after the three week excursion (for kids and I) to fix the problem.
So when the day came myself, two children (4 and 2), lots of dvds and already prepackaged snacks set off for a ten hour trek north.
The first five hours went on without a hitch. I was even surprised about how well the kids had behaved. At their ages now, it seems like even short car rides can be a struggle. Forbid B may stare at A, one would have thought a third world war had started. But all in all, we were good.
Minus a slight panic that we may get stranded out in no-mans land with an empty gas tank, we made it to our first stop 5.5 hours in with happy riders and a little less anxiety for mom. I was feeling better about the whole situation.
And we rode the two hours or so without a hitch as well.
It was about the 8 hour, 8 minute mark that changed everything. I'm quite certain that at exactly the same time both kids had had enough of being in the car, B was asking every three seconds how much farther it was and stating how long we'd been driving, A was fussing for, well, probably anything that required her to get out of her car seat... and our transmission gave out. In the hills in MO, on the interstate. With cars all around me going 80.
I don't know if any of you have had this happen before, but let me just say this. When the transmission goes out, you go no where. As in, no acceleration. As in, "UH OH!"
So here I am, two hours from being there, two crying kids, one lame van, stuck on an exit ramp in the sticks of MO, calling my husband who is 8+ hours away saying, "We're stuck on the side of the road."
And that's just how the trip STARTED.
From there it was laced with worry about what to do / how to deal with the van issue, how we were to get around / get home, a sick family member who became a live in at one of the places that should have been one of our accommodations, ending up in a hotel with two kids, alone, one of which doesn't fit in a pack n play but still sleeps in a crib, meaning lots of sleeping with a two year old, which means little sleeping for mom, sub-par family time on a lot of levels, more family drama than a person could expect in a lifetime, let alone one trip, a baseball game that we'd already purchased tickets for that rained to the point of not being able to take the kids, only to buy tickets to the next game and to have bought the worst seats ever. And they lost. To their rivals. We then ended up on air mattresses in a friends basement (which the part about staying at the friends house was a perk), to which we found the Hubs apparently does not do air mattresses well, and spent both mornings nauseous, dizzy and the morning of the wedding, that he was officiating, throwing up (bet you didn't know that Marks' ;) ), all to end the trip with one snotty sick kid, then the ride home with myself sick, and the next morning with a little boy throwing up. Did I mention that our two year old (who needs potty trained!) won't poop in the car anymore, and so during both the trip there and the trip back we had to stop to let her walk around to 'do her business'. Yeesh. Oh, and we scrapped the van for $150. Did I mention we just got it in December?
Yikes. Yikes. And triple yikes.
But was it worth it? Yes. To be a part of a fantastic wedding, great friends, and family... it was worth it. Would I have changed some things, yes.
But to say that I'm tired would be an understatement. And now we've began tackling the transition to the toddler bed for said two year old, which resulted in about an hour of putting her back into bed at bedtime last night, and then again for 2.5 hours in the very wee hours of the morning...
Bad timing. Yeah, probably.
And so I dare say it - barring major illness, death or marriage, we'll be residing in lovely Texas for as long as possible, with the next major trip hopefully being a VACATION rather than a trip...
Until the next long catch up blog