I wrote a blogpost a few weeks ago. And didn’t publish it. Imagine that, *me* forgetting to wrap up a post? Crazy, I’m sure.

It was originally entitled, “We’re Leavin'”

Yep. Road Trip.

How come I want to type “Road Trip From Hell?” there? I hope it will be fantastic. But there are just so many unknowns!

FIRST road trip (more than 2 hours) in our van (by the way, we named her Ruth).

FIRST road trip with FOUR children.

FIRST road trip to take Baby anywhere, really.

We are going to my folks’ for Thanksgiving.

Oh, would you like to hear something funny? That doesn’t really have to do with this story? My brother made arrangements to take his wife and darling baby girl to our folks’ for Thanksgiving. So my mom got all nostalgic about the idea of having *all* the grandkids/kids there for the holiday, and called me up all excited to invite us too. I was, shall we say, less excited than she at the prospect of taking four children through mountain passes in late November. However, I agreed to talk it over with Hubby, who sounded almost like he wanted to do it. So we agreed, albeit weather permitting. My mom is thrilled, of course. My bro? Notsomuch. He calls me the next day to say, “Hey, what’s with inviting yourselves to Thanksgiving? You have, like, FOUR kids, and it’s going to be chaos and what the heck?” (my brother, he loves me). I laughed at first, and then asked him to think it through (and walked him through it), and he realized *I* hadn’t invited us *anywhere*. So I told him to complain to Mom, and pray for bad weather (and that Mom would be praying for good weather and we could see who God loved more). 🙂

So anyways, weather permitting, we’re going not just to my folks, but adding a hint of ‘vacation’ into the trip too. We’ll take a long route, and spend a night where we ‘vacation’ when we ‘vacation’. Why is it, do you suppose, that I can only type ‘vacation’ with those semi-quotes around it? Perhaps I don’t really believe in ‘vacations’ any more… 🙂 We did go there 5 years ago (we ‘vacation’ but rarely, see) when Big Sister was 3, and Little Artist was about 4 months old. Anyways, we’re planning to drive all day, maybe stop and see an old friend, stay 1 night, enjoy our ‘vacation’ for half a day, and then get to my folks’ by bedtime or so.

Of course, googlemaps doesn’t necessarily factor in a potty-trained 2-year-old and a nursing baby on their time estimates, so…

The good news is that we’ll arrive a day or two ahead of my accommodating brother, and leave a day before he does too, giving him ONE WHOLE DAY without the chaos that is our family. 😛

So I’m filling up the outside of the fridge with “to do” lists and “to take” lists and all that, trying to get ready in the time we have. I excavated the toy/clothes/shoe/trash bin that our van had become, removed carseats, un-did all the straps and latches and upholstery – laundered the appropriate stuff, aired it dry, and did my best to reassemble the right parts to the right seats in the right manner. I vacuumed and windexed and spit-shined the inside of the van – right down to the rear cargo area – I even removed and laundered some of the long floor mats.

Of course, THEN I went to the feed store, where for the FIRST TIME EVER a bag of OVERLY-MOLASSESED grain BURST open and spilled all over the cargo area, bumper, and loading area of the mill. *sigh* Does MOLASSESED have another S, do you suppose? Will the heavy-handed molassifier come re-vacuum my van, do you suppose?

I have re-vamped the seating chart (keep Organique away from Baby, lest she poke out her eyes, keep those who need it within reaching distance of Mama, etc etc), upgraded Little
Artist from carseat to booster seat, reinstalled everything, and now need to figure out how and where to stash everything we’ll need (reading material and knitting for the road? snacks? drinks? baby’s crib and jammies handy for our ‘vacation’ night?), and whether or not to take the stroller, whether or not to leave the cloth diapers at home.

There’s still the homefront to consider. How to keep the chickens fed and watered (they’re not laying, so that’s not an issue)? What about the cats? Hubby will deposit the dog and her house at a coworker’s – he’ll hardly notice the extra canine in the backyard I’m sure.

I’m cautiously excited; there’s no such thing as “simple” in this scenario, and I’m so afraid I’ll forget to take something or do something and wreck the whole deal. We’ll see how it goes! :]

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