But also good to be gone!
We just got back from Maine, where we spent 6 days with family and friends either lazing around or going out and spending too much money to do really fun stuff. Like Funtown! And Jokers! And Crescent Beach! And... um, other stuff!
So, before I forget our fun vacay, let me go ahead and bullet point it all....
Friday: Nik took off work, P went to Summer Camp, Nik took A to the kid's museum while I packed, then we all headed to the airport that night. Plane left at 8:16pm from Raleigh to Dulles, got a coffee at Dunkin Donuts, another planeride from 10:30 to midnight. Both kids traveled well. Ambrose fell asleep at 12:30 at the baggage claim in Portland, P conked out an hour later once we were at my sister's house.
Saturday: Kids up at 6am. OMG. I complained a bit but since my sister, a nurse, was just getting in at 8am and wasn't getting a chance to sleep.... um, yeah, that shut me up right quick! We met my newest nephew, S, 7 months and said hey to my BIL and older nephew. Took my niece and our boys to Portland's kids museum and played there, got lunch, went home. Kids got some rest and then we just hung around that caught up while P and B played video games.
Sunday: Went to a bounce house, Amato's for lunch, home for a rest, then Drive in that night. It was a double feature, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America. I saw about half of both movies since there was a lot of chasing A and buying ice cream and realizing the Chinese place messed up our order and eating a jumbo popcorn for dinner. Oh, and yeah, I did take my 1.5 and 5.5 year olds to see violent movies late at night. And they had a blast. As did we. Now I'll be searching for drive ins. (I should note that A finally fell asleep around 11 and P around 1:30.
Monday: Slept in a bit I think, 7am maybe? Decided to hit my two childhood nostalgia places this day. Went to Smiling Hill Farm in the morning to stare at animals in dirty cages that hissed at us (the animals, not the cages silly!). Got lunch there from the pissiest person ever and had great ice cream and local soda. Then on to FunTown, which was AAAWWWESSSOOOOMEEE!!! beyond all reason and I was totally tempted to just go back the next day until my sister, being older and wiser and knowing how ridiculous I am, pointed out that it's always nice to leave wanting more instead of being there all day and getting miserable and sick of it. I agreed. I also promised P we're going back next year. Seriously, I will fly up there just for that... and family of course!
Tuesday: Beach day! Also, melt down day! P hasn't had melt down that bad in a loooong time! Exhaustion and emotional stuff caught up to him and he was just gone. It was pretty bad. But we were able to wrangle him to get to the beach and he was happy. On the way there in the car Ambrose fell asleep and a totally exhausted P saw him and cried out "Ambrose took my naaaap!" I kind of chuckled and handed him A's baby blanket and said "well, why don't you cuddle up under this and see if there's any nap left in it?" He couldn't find any, poor thing, and mumbled about how Ambrose had taken all of the nap out of the whole world just for himself. We had fun at the beach, not much swimming but lots of splashing and playing and once the snacks were out P and A refused to budge until the bags were empty. A can be a picky eater sometimes, but on other occasions he's like P: He'll stuff himself silly and still ask for more. We headed off to Macaroni Grill after that, then went home and swam and showered. P had another meltdown so Nik cuddled him to sleep at 6:30pm. A went down an hour later and Nik and I had a great evening with the BIL and my older nephew and niece playing Apples to Apples, both kids and adult editions.
Wednesday: Kids woke up around 6:30 and P was in a MUCH better mood. We had met some old friends, travel companions from our Ethiopian pick up trip, at FunTown just by chance and we decided to head out there on this day since my sister was working both an 11-7am shift and a 3-12 shift (and she has a little baby, AND two other kids, AND pets, AND houseguests, OMG!). We took my niece again since my older nephew said he needed a break from his sister :) Also the family has an almost 9 year old. We went to a mall and to a Joker's in the mall, which is like a Chuck E Cheese only more expensive and with more rides and a bigger jungle gym. P and B had fun there and A had fun just running around after a 3 hour nap in the car/stroller/arms. We headed over to the O family's house and got to spend the afternoon with them. Paxton played with their two sons, both from Ethiopia, and B ran off with their daughter and her friend making lots of loud girly squeals. A hung around us for a long time at first being shy and then just enjoying being the center of attention. P had another brief meltdown and I went and did some pretty drastic "counseling," basically telling him "I think that seeing this family again and seeing their son again reminds you of the orphanage and of that scary time when we came and took you home and how scared and angry you were." P told me he was trying to think if I was right or not but his head just hurt and he couldn't even think. I hugged him tightly and told him that it was okay to feel this way but he couldn't hide or growl or make angry faces, though he could always come and talk to me about it or we could sit together and cuddle. That calmed him down and he went to have a really fun time. We went to dinner later at a Margaritas in Auburn and I'm pretty sure everyone there hated us! Three squealing preteen girls, 4 little boys including a toddler who was running all over the place, grabbing balloons and having them fly off, laughing and being loud, the kids stuffing their pockets with afterdinner mints, etc. But our waitress was actually extremely upbeat even if we got a lot of dirty looks from the other patrons (should I mention how white this town is?). We left for home after that and had another night where the kids went to bed at a good time and where N and I stayed up and played Apples to Apples with family.
Thursday: Last day :-( We decided to just go play at the mall, keep it low key. I packed, said good bye to the dogs and to BIL, and headed out with my family. I almost lost it when we drove away from the house... We had fun at the mall, but I was certainly a mix of emotions. Nik told me he wasn't really sad, just having fun on vacation, knowing we'd be back again sometime to do it all again. A didn't care. P was a little grumpy. And I was somewhere between manic and weepy. We spent too much money trying to fit a bunch in and it was over too quickly. I took a ton of pictures of the good bye hugs with the kids. I feel bad that P and A can't live closer to their beloved older cousins or the new baby. They left and we spent some time at their Chuck E Cheese, just chilling. Then we went to the airport, ate, and left. Kids conked out on the plane this time (P on the first flight, A on the second having made a "friend" out of a nice businessman on the first flight). Got home a little after 1am.
And just like I started this out... I'm so, so happy to be home! But at the same time, I miss my family so much :( I think we're going to have to find a way to do this more than once a year, if only to keep the cousins growing up "together".
Okay, time to be done with computer time and get back to real life. There's laundry to put away and still more to do to "set up" our house again. Shopping is done, chickens are out and happy and will return to a clean coop with fresh food and water, dinner planned and ready to go when I start cooking in an hour, carseats are all situated in the right cars, etc. But the lawn needs mowing and the kids need a good long soak and even with a nice long nap they may still need a bit of an earlier bedtime just to catch up so we're not off all weekend. And I think I just need to get my mind back to North Carolina after a week of "going home" to Maine. Gotta get all this fresh air and cool weather out of my system I guess :-)
Until next year...
Lily in a loafing barn
4 days ago