We arrived home last night a bit before 9 pm. Dave was still at work (his dad got us from the airport) but he soon returned home and a joyful reunion ensued. We are so glad to be back.
It was a really great trip. I loved staying at Beccah and Craig’s spacious four-bedroom apartment with Christina while my other 3 kids stayed at my mom’s. And Leah was only a few doors down in a beautiful three bedroom of her own (with really great toilet paper) so I saw her every day, too. It really was almost like a vacation! After a week or so Beccah and I finally got around to doing some stuff in her apartment (going through lots of papers, cleaning out closets and setting up the baby room). There’s still more to do but at least she feels like she is almost done and ready for the baby to come. She was disappointed not to give birth while I was there, and though I would have liked the chance to meet my new (and really, first) niece immediately, for the baby’s sake I am glad she did not deliver so prematurely. I was actually more psyched to see my trim sister 9 months pregnant (yet with all her abdominal muscles still intact and operating at 100% effectiveness. Go figure.).
For those who wish to know, taking a two-way plane trip with four children ages 0 to 4 is, well, not for the faint-hearted, but it can be done. It takes a lot of energy and hands-on management to maintain peace and harmony (would you believe I didn’t get to read much of the book I hopefully brought on board). I had two children on my lap for a lot of the flight (guess who the second one was) and I couldn’t have done it at all, if it hadn’t been for strapping Soren into his five point harness car seat while onboard. Sweet tempered as he is, he’s actually the hardest to control chiefly due to his massive size. I had only 2 carry-on items besides the car seat: a diaper bag and a bag with a couple of activities (notebooks, pencils, talking Lily doll, and cheese crackers). Making silly faces actually gave me quite a lot of mileage on this trip, believe it or not. The shocked face got the best results. I also learned that I get nauseated while nursing in the air which added another layer of challenge to the feat. However, I actually got compliments on how well behaved the kids were (they weren’t perfect by any means, but I suppose the sight of my brood scared people into being easily impressed).
The unfortunate part is that the fact that I survived this merely sets the bar that much higher. (**grumbling**) What will they expect me to be able to handle next? Unpacking!!? Surely not…