I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cousins, Friends and Countrymen

 Blog? What blog? With the warm weather, sewing projects, summer vacation, gardening and subsequent large quantities of zucchini to cook - my writing has taken a literal 50th seat behind all of my other priorities. It's not that I don't want to write, it's just that I seem to run out of time (and energy) every day. (Case in point: during the course of writing this first paragraph, my kids fought and bit over Legos, fell and scraped a forehead and screamed bloody murder instead of taking a nap.)

 And after a month of internet silence: where does one begin again? I can't just write about an ordinary day of weeding. Although, when I think about it, I have devoted posts to that very thing in the past.

 So I shall begin with our recent road trip to and from Minnesota, with stops in Chicago to visit friends from college. I was first inspired to take this trip out to Rosemount, MN to party with my brother in celebration of his 40th birthday! Before last month, Ayla and Jackson had not seen their cousins for almost three years. Then.... knowing that I would be driving through Chicago, I was graciously hosted by Sara and Shane on our way out, and then Amy and Phil on our way back. In one trip, I managed to catch up with three different families (and meet their newest additions).

 What makes me totally insane is that Gregory was not able to take this trip with us. Four days of driving with three little kids in the car? No amount of highway bingo, library books, snacks or movies can keep roadtrip insanity away while logging 32 hours in the car. Thankfully, my sister was with us for 3 days of driving: my only solo stint was from Buffalo to Chicago on the first day.

 We celebrated my brother's 40th in frat-party style - beer pong, quarters, the "ice luge" and some fake mustaches. Needless to say, the kids had their own party downstairs with pizza and movies. Not only was it fun for me to spend time catching up with my family and friends - my kids really loved playing with "new" friends at every stop.


When one mustache isn't good enough...

 Adding three kids to any household is always a literal madhouse, but they managed well (enough). Sure, Jackson spent some time being kicked out of girl-time and crying his eyes out - but it's no different than at home! It was absolutely adorable to watch Ayla, Jackson and Elliot bond with their cousins and friends.
In the stunning botanical room at Chicago's Navy Pier - with Evie, one of our gracious hosts!

The minivan at nearly full capacity with five kids!

Cute cousins.

 The most quotable moment was at my brother's house, while all of the kids were swinging together and hanging out in the backyard. Ayla and Troy (who are only 2 months apart in age) seemed to be connecting. They were swinging side by side, and then Troy started pushing Ayla in her swing. Then we all heard in his cute, little voice, "Does your bike have twaining (training) wheels?". This is what six year olds would talk about at dinner parties!

 Now we have returned safely to Buffalo and are surviving every day of intense heat. I hope to keep you updated with posts about the garden, summer festivals, blueberry picking and trips to the wading pool.

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