It's been a while since I've written anything here. We've been really busy with birthday parties. Last weekend was my niece, Rose's 1st birthday. Hubby had to work, but I packed up Princess's diaper bag and hit the road with my parents, younger sister, older sister, her husband and their son, Maximus for the 3 hour trip.
We accidentally decided to take the scenic route to the party, but we made it in plenty of time anyways. Rose was an adorable 1 year old and seemed not to mind the loads of attention lavished on her or the mountain of gifts that awaited her. As my brother, the birthday girl's daddy, tried to feed Rose a piece of her Sesame Street themed cake without making too much of a mess, my younger sister stood behind him to take advantage of a 1 year old's natural propensity for imitation. Before he knew what had hit him, Rose had smeared bright blue and red frosting all over her face, in her hair and, yes, even in her ears. Snickering relatives were close by to catch the moment on tape as her parents groaned at the mess and went to run a bath. Someone apparently forgot to warn them that it's tradition to get the birthday boy or girl as messy as possible on their 1st birthday. When Princess turned one, I prepared for the cake portion of her party by covering the floor under her high chair with a plastic tablecloth, handing out protective gowns to the unfortunates who happened to be in the vicinity of her high chair, and stripping her down to her diaper. And then, when her eyes had glazed over in a sugar coma, I gingerly extracted my now chocolate covered daughter out of her high chair and finished the party with the birthday girl in the tub.
A week later, we hit the road again. This time, our travel time was doubled to 6 hours. My nephew on my husband's side was turning 5 and like usual, we spent the weekend. We left on Friday exactly 2 hours and 15 minutes after our projected departure time. When I say we, I mean me and Hubby, Princess, Hubby's parents, younger sister, older brother with his wife and 2 children, the birthday boy and his younger brother. The two boys had spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa at The Farm and we were returning them to their parents in Wisconsin. Because there were so many of us, we took 2 vehicles. The three boys and Princess rode in the van with three of the adults. I rode in the tahoe with the remainder of the adults and my 9-month-old niece who kindly obliged us by sleeping for most of the trip or playing happily with her toys. The trip out was uneventful and we arrived just in time for supper with five hungry, fidgety children. We celebrated my nephew's birthday that evening and then crashed wherever we could find room. I ended up sharing a room with Hubby, Princess, and my sister-in-law.
The next day we went to a nearby park with a photographer to have family pictures taken. The last time Hubby's family had a family picture taken, I wasn't a member of the family yet and there were only 8 people. This time, there were 15 people for the hapless photographer to work with.
The rest of the day was spent fighting over a coveted spot on the couch as all 15 of us spent quality time together at home. The next day, we experienced a Sunday miracle as nine adults and six children got out of bed, showered or bathed, got dressed, ate breakfast, and were all out the door in time for church at 9 am. After a quick lunch of grilled hamburgers at home, we packed our bags and headed back to Minnesota. The six hour drive home went pretty well although Princess did get a tad cranky during the last three hours, but her incessant whining and tantrums didn't bother me at all for the primary reason that she was in the van again while I rode in the tahoe.
When packing for a long trip, splurge and buy some disposable bibs so you don't have to bring a bagful of dirty sticky bibs home with you again.