|Noah & Isaac braving 60 degree temps|
Packing this crew to go away for a night or more is quite a bit less fabulous/enjoyable than you might think. I have a system in place but like most systems it lacks provision for the unknown and unexpected. (such as multiple pant-wetting, fevers, drastic weather changes, etc.)
When a cold front came in at about 5pm and Sea World went from 80+ and humid to 54 and windy in a nano-second all the people looked to me for warmth. I told them that the truck was their best option. As we ran (what seemed like) 7 miles barefoot uphill through the whipping wind back to the truck, more than a few children wondered aloud if they might actually perish from the extremely low temps. They call themselves Minnesota natives. Not impressed.
|All our "kids" on the River Walk|
Besides Sea World we spent time on the River Walk and hours and hours at a Children's Museum. We ate lots of delicious meals. We swam in hotel swimming pools. Troy attempted to go toe to toe with a man on the River Walk that would not let us walk past his restaurant with our stroller and tribe because he wanted to set up chairs, but we quickly reigned surly Troy in and cut through a bar instead. All of our children were scandalized by their short-cut through Coyote Ugly, enough so that their commentary provided much entertainment.
Saturday and Sunday we went to Sugar Land, TX and had a great day with the Bridge Fellowship Church. On the last leg of driving Noah complained "Hooowww much loooonger?" I said, "Only 30 minutes left to go buddy." Isaac, always the encourager said, "Thirty minutes is way better than a half an hour Noah!" We drove 10 hours total between the three cities with no car-vomits and only one person peeing their pants. That is how we spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
All things considered we had a really fun three days away together. In our minds it was going to be more epic than it was but as it turns out 3 and 4 year old children are not totally awesome at staying up late and partying into the night. What we had imagined as competitive games playing and many laughs late into the evening turned out to be turning the lights out and sitting in silence in our hotel rooms while praying the tired little monsters would sleep. :)
The day has finally come where I can no longer put off making lists of things that need to be purchased before we return home and going through the items we've accumulated and placing them into categories of donating, purging or packing. The amount of useless crap we've acquired disturbs me greatly.
The goal today is to go through Isaac, Hope, and Noah's things and determine who needs what and get rid of things that won't be needed in Haiti. While they are gone I will dispose of their odd collections of random things they stash all over the place. For example, Isaac saves toothpicks in his 'treasure' drawer, along with broken 'silly bands' and used chopsticks. Noah has been saving the 'special treasure' of hundreds of unpopped corn kernels. The high-drama of having the plastic checker set from Wendy's tossed out is anticipated, but I will not waver.
Making a couple shopping trips will be inevitable and totally dreaded but if Isaac is going to have shoes on his ginormous man-sized feet we are going to have to suck it up and head to the stores. This week will be mainly dedicated to those tasks.
So much more importantly though - we will be celebrating Paige's passage from the mundane age of 15 to the thrilling and fabulous age of 16. Paige's good friend Julia from MN is flying down to spend a few days with us. That was the best gift we could think to give Paige. We wanted to keep it a secret but that became impossible. The tears of happiness when she found out Julia was coming confirmed we'd picked exactly the right gift. In addition, a very important test involving four wheels and parallel parking is set to happen. Britt left Haiti at 16 to go test in Minnesota. Because Britt failed the first time around, the natural laws of sibling rivalry mean that Paige really wants to pass on her first try. The advantage that Paige has had spending these months prior to her test in a place she was allowed to practice often are being downplayed. As you can imagine, bragging rights are of the utmost importance. But either way - Texas drivers beware.
More on our beloved Birthday girl tomorrow. Now it is time to sort and toss.