Friday, July 18, 2008

Kristen's Visit Part 2 - The Trip

Well it's taken me long enough but here is Part 2:

It's early Friday morning and me and the kids pull up to my mother's house to load up the truck and the U-Haul. Brian and dad planned on flying over the next morning to meet us at the graduation party.

The loading actually was uneventful except that it took forever and it was abnormally warm for so early in the morning. We did change around the seating arrangement so that the twins were in the third row and my kids in the middle with Kristen. The twins are pretty good about just sitting in their seats and watching The Wiggles. Jamison can't keep a toy in his hands to save his life and Lily wanted to watch Peter Pan but needed someone to skip the scenes that involve pirates. Have you seen Peter Pan?! Basically the whole movie is pirates. So Lily watched the first scene, some random scenes in the middle, and the last scene. Kristen was in charge of skipping the scenes when Lily yelled (she had headphones on) PIRATES!
The headphones actually made us bust out laughing at one point. She is in love with The Little Mermaid. She wants to be Ariel very badly and talks about it constantly. Or at least 50% of the time. The other 50% is how she wants to be like Cinderella. At one point during the trip she decided to watch The Little Mermaid. Whenever she watches it, she sings along with the movie. Of course this time she had headphones on so unfortunately we only heard her and not Ariel. Let's just say that Lily has a lot of soul and plenty of passion for the music but not much else. She doesn't even get all the words right. I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell her that Ariel is saying the following: "What's a candle and why does it...what's the word? BURRRRRRRRRN?" Instead Lily sings: "What's a candle and why does it....what's the word? HURRRRRRRRRN?" So I ask her, "Lily, why does a candle hurn? Wouldn't it make more sense if the candle burned?" At that point I get a blank stare or she tells me that she needs to finish the song.

The first hour and a half was very peaceful. The twins watched the Wiggles, Lily watched a Pirate-free Peter Pan, and Jamison napped. Then they all stirred just east of Syracuse.

We decided pull into a rest area and have an early lunch and give the kids time to get rid of some energy. Unfortunately after lunch mom decided Lily needed some sugar. I thought this would offset the whole getting-rid-of-energy idea but what do I know? I'm just the driver of this crazed group.
After everyone was done eating we chose an idyllic spot outside. And that's only idyllic in the sense of a spot-of-greenery-next -to-tractor-trailers-driving-at-80mph.
It is incredibly difficult to get all four of these children to look at the camera at once. We have yet to get one picture in which they are all looking in the same direction. And believe me, I've tried. I've probably deleted up to 500 pictures of attempts to get that shot.

So picturesque with the tractors screeching by....

Ruthie found her match in Jamison. Ruthie is used to getting her way and pushing Maddie around. Jamison, though, is not so easily pushed around. It was quite amusing. We stopped short of putting money on which child would win.

This picture is funny to me because Lily is a mini-me and a Meeks through-and-through. But here she and Grrrman have identical looks. I believe they are both reacting to a "threat" that Auntie Kristen made. It probably involved the decapitation of princesses or the burning of all her "gowns" (Lily calls all dresses gowns).
More attempts of me getting all the girls to look in the same direction. The funny thing about these pictures is not the girls, but Jamison. As usual, Jamie has discovered something to get into. As the pictures progress you can see him taking off with the stroller (which probably had food in it, thus a motivator). What were my mother and Kristen doing at this point? I have no idea but they definitly weren't watching Jamie. Fortunately, as I was taking the pictures I saw him making a run for it, but I knew that he couldn't get far. Or at least in the way of the tractor trailers.

And the sugar from the gummy worms kicks in....Notice Jamie's head. Lily has just thrown herself over him in order to get her face into the picture. And he doesn't even care. That's what he deals with everyday. I'm waiting for the day when he is bigger than her and can bowl her over. Although he has such a sweet heart I don't know if he would even think of doing anything to upset her. Unless she had food. Then she should watch out.

Maddie is the drama queen of all drama queens. Lily is a shadow of drama queen-ness compared to this girl. Look at those eyes.
Luckily Grrrmam knows how to pacify her. Which is amazing since my mother equates handling babies to having a colonoscopy performed.

And now Grrmam doesn't know what to do. Maddie is obviously upset again but Jamison is eating a mystery substance. Should she investigate? No, just sit there and see if there is a fatal reaction.

We arrive in Rochester with no problems. Kristen and mom are in one room and the kids and I are in a room across the hall.
Obviously Lily is way too excited about her day as she starts to give me difficulties going to bed. She is normally very easy to put to bed. We put her to bed and she goes to sleep. Occasionally she gets up to tell us that the phone rang (thank you, I got it) or that she was going to wear a certain gown the next morning (we'll discuss it tomorrow, go back to bed).
But that night she is not going to sleep. I put on her lullaby music, I dim the lights, but she is everywhere on the bed and talking incessantly. She is up until 10:30 - that's almost 3 hours past her bedtime. This lack of sleep plus excitement over the trip plus a need for the attention that the twins and Jamison are getting doesn't equal an easy day for me the next day.
Here are most of us at Myria's graduation. The rest of the fmaily shows up at the party later that afternoon. For some reason I never got a good picture of us with Myria. The only shots I got of her are when she was crying and I don't think she'd appreciate me posting those.
Myria went to a small private Christian school and so it was a very informal graduation. We just sat at the end of the row and took turns lugging fussy babies to the foyer and back.
This was the largest graduation party I have ever been to. I have been to wedding receptions of this size. It was a pretty warm day and it had rained all morning. So not only was Lily hot but her gown was offended by the rain drops. As a result, she stripped down to her fancy-pants. Luckily no one cared.
She was allowed a frosted cookie at the party since she ate an acceptable lunch. For some reason beyond all understanding she decided to eat it without her hands. She never did get to the cookie part but just licked off all the frosting. At least it kept her somewhat mess-free.
I was determined to get a family picture of all the cousins. Denine though, did not want her picture taken but I could have cared less - we were going to get this picture taken. This is all of us yelling for Denine but apparently Kristen and I have inherited some weird gene in which we must bend over when we yell.

And the picture. I made us all stand in sibling order since I figured in 50 years I won't remember who's who. Back row: Greg, Kenny, Me, and Jessica. Front row: Denine, Lynn, Kristen, and Jill.
And now for the reason that we sent Lily home on the plane with dad and Brian:

This is my favorite because it shows the intensity of the event. Her desperate situation is evident by the outstretched hand and the grass that she has ripped from the earth and is throwing at me. And what did we say that caused this reaction? Did we break the news that the Little Mermaid is a Danish folk tale with no basis for fact? Did we disclose all the ingredients to those hot dogs she loves? No, all that we were asking her to do was take a picture with all the cousins. Unfortunately she was abruptly awoken from a nap and she does not to that. I can honestly say I've only seen her this out of control once before. I didn't have the camera on my for that one though.

And here is the final picture of all of the second cousins. Lily still hasn't recovered but Jamison is ready for the camera! Myria is posing beautifully for the picture while she restrains Lily from running back to the frosted cookie table.
I tried to get all the second cousins in order as well but Lily threw that idea out the window. Myria also kindly let me know that in 50 years I would remember who she no matter where she was since she was the only black one. Thank you for that reminder Myria.

Soon after that we shipped Lily home with Brian and dad. Our only concern was that if the plane went down we would feel really bad that we made her get on that plane. But then we considered having her strapped into her car seat for 4 hours in a very cramped car....and off into the plane she went.
Part 3 doesn't have nearly as many pictures and is a fairly short story consisting of only two issues. But they took up the entire 4 hour trip home. Hopefully, it will take me less than two weeks to post that one.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I love your stories!!! Glad you had a good graduation party!