I know we are well beyond the 4th by now but things have been a little hectic at home. I have been trying to catch up from being gone, the kids have off and on not been sleeping well, and we've snuck a few days of running fevers in there, too. Of course now the computer that has the 4th of July pictures on it isn't working so you will just have to keep your attention with just words and then I'll add a few photos later. They are posted on the Picasa site so you can jump over there and see the candids of everything we did.
After the kids had their 15 month pediatrician appointment on the 1st, we packed up the car and the 3 of us headed to my aunt's house in Lake Geneva, WI for a vacation. They slept the entire way there except the last 20 minutes of the 3 hour drive AND I didn't have to stop for a bathroom break...2 bonuses in one car trip!
Friday we just chilled and got used to our new surroundings.
Saturday morning we got dressed in our party clothes and headed to my cousin Beth's house. Her youngest daughter, Clara, was celebrating her 2nd birthday. The ride was long enough to sneak in a nap plus a little extra when we parked in the drive and left the door open to snooze a little longer. A breeze flowing through the car and outdoor noises make for some restful slumber. Lots of people to see, good food to eat, swingsets to play on, and a bouncy house to explore. We borrowed Grama and Grampa Mollenhauer's travel high chairs from Iowa and they were a big help holding down curious 15 month olds during mealtime numerous times.
After Saturday afternoon nap, we packed up for the short drive down to the beach for their annual pig roast. The kids got a front row seat in front of the DJ and were able to get in some good people watching. Fortunately, the music was just the right volume and Sara, especially, liked bobbing and weaving during dinner time. The kids dipped their toes in the lake for the first time, and then we said what the heck and took their clothes off so they could play a little. Adam stole a cupcake when I couldn't get to him fast enough and shoved as much of it in his mouth as he could fit. That's my boy!
Sunday brought a fun excursion to the Sharon 4th of July parade. I think the kids thought it was a little more exciting than I did. Tractors, fire trucks, 1 band, more tractors, more fire trucks, and the Walworth County Cloggers. I was pretty tractor and fire-trucked out! Most of my cousin Beth's and Emily's kids dance with the Cloggers so they were walking in the parade throwing candy while the older cloggers (who have more balance to clog on a moving platform and not fall off) did their thing. We also sat with my uncle Bob, Robyn's twin. None of us were very happy when one of the trucks in the parade decided to absolutely soak us with water. Usually past a certain age no one wants to sit drenched in their underwear looking like a drowned rat no matter how warm of a day it is but I guess the people running the hose thought otherwise.
Sunday evening Emily came over with her clan and they lit off a bunch of fireworks in the road. Adam and Sara heard the commotion and wanted to climb on the couch to see the action. Of course there was only 1 night out of the 6 we were there that they went right down to sleep at night and stayed asleep. That portion of the trip was pretty exhausting. It is quite hilarious sleeping in the same room with them, though, as they are "praire dogging" up out of their pack n play. When they stand up, they are only tall enough that you can see their head. So when they are supposed to be laying down to sleep, they would rather pop up and down and laugh. And the nights that it seemed like they went to sleep a little earlier, then one of them would get up at 5 or 6 the next morning.
Let's see...we're up to Monday of our vacation. Emily's oldest, Jordyn spent the night Sunday night so she could help me with my twins while Robyn went to work at the Lake Geneva Pie Company (yum!) in the morning. We all had breakfast together, went for a walk, and then Jordyn and I did a fun project taping wild flowers onto a piece of paper while the kids had a morning nap. In the afternoon, we all hopped in the car and drove to Barrington to roam the LLBean store. Mama got a new pair of shoes and a bright orange shirt. Sara got a couple $3 tank tops for next summer. Adam had to settle for a ride on a big red tri-cycle while he was there.
Tuesday we laid low during the day and then went swimming in the lake after dinner. Emily and her three joined us, as well as Emily's brother Jason, his wife Amber, and their daughter Alisha. Afterwards we roasted THE biggest s'mores you have ever seen in your life! The swim must have worn the kids out because they were down for the count by 7:30.
Wednesday I packed up to head home a day earlier than planned so I could attend a funeral. We were going to join Jordyn, Peyton, and Morgan for a little pre-dinner swim and their swim lessons and then head home. Unfortunately, the thunderstorms had a different idea. So we had dinner at Emily's house, put on pajamas, and headed back to Peoria around 7. Got home at 10. Adam had no problem transitioning from his car seat to bed. Sara was a little confused after being gone for a week and couldn't figure out where she was. We spent until midnight getting her settled back in.
I thought the kids did great while we were away from home and they stayed flexible with the various things we did. I'm not sure how many times I picked up the same bowls they kept pulling out of the kitchen cupboards! I did miss Shannon and the break he provides for me at times, especially with washing dishes! But it had been a long time since I had a long stay at my aunt's house. It really made me appreciate not working full time and having a job that is flexible enough that I can run away and enjoy fun with my extended family.