We have never taken a family vacation before and decided now would be the time to go. Life for us has been stressful to say the least. Over the past year and a half we had a baby, I was in a severe car accident that has changed my life and effected our lives forever, doctors appointments consume my life. Our house in Oswego was rented, then we decided to sell, no one wanted to buy (market is not so swell for the seller), we decided to rent again, hired a property manger things were looking great, our tenant was paying, however our property manager wasn't paying us.....not so swell, yet again. More stress. We fired the property managers, hired new ones, are in a lawsuit with the old ones, Chris's job has him working overtime, we bought a house in the midst of all of this (which is GORGEOUS and is beyond my wildest dreams of everything I have wanted in a house, the only thing it doesn't have that Chris and I wanted was land with it, but it is AMAZING). My friend is pregnant with twins and went into pre-term labor so we have taken her nearly two year old on as a third child for us since she was 26 weeks pregnant (as of today she's 36 weeks pregnant and is in the hospital to be induced, unfortunately the induction failed - didn't know that could happen, but hey you learned something new everyday), I am watching another child on the side when I'm free and one on a regular basis to earn extra money and on top of all of that I'm trying to not go sane, make it to my doctors appointments, still heal from my accident and be mother of the year and wife of the year which I feel like I am failing at tremendously.
My stress levels have been at an all time high and I needed a release. I needed a break. I needed to runaway for a little bit. I needed a vacation. I am well aware there are a lot of sentences with I and me, me, me. If Chris was writing, I am sure he would be writing how much he needed a break as well. He's been working overtime and dealing with a lot of stresses too. Extra kids in the house effects our entire family, our kids included. His working overtime effects all of us. We both were running on empty and there were days we would look at each other and just say we just need to make it one more week until vacation, kind of like running a race or for those who are parents might say, "Only fifteen more minutes until bedtime." You all know what I'm talking about.
Chris and I have talked about the "someday" dream of going on vacation with our kids and "someday" dream of taking them to the beach. So I decided my aunts and uncles live close enough to the ocean we should just go, if not then we are going to just keep talking about it and never do it. So we planned it. Since it's our first actual vacation with kids, meaning we would rent a hotel room for two nights, it would be intimidating and we would need a vacation from our vacation, right? I mean picture this, kids whining and crying, tantrums and meltdowns, that's the way it goes. I had it all pictured and so didn't Chris. We were bracing ourselves for it and we were ready. Our kids were going to be out of their element and quite frankly we kind of were too.
Our first night we would go to Palmer, Massachusetts and spend one day visiting family and then stay at my aunt and uncle's house. Now Palmer is about a two and a half hour drive from Rome, so it's not too bad and our SUV has a DVD player in it. Bradley was quite entertained and with coloring books for both kids and some activities in back, I felt the ride down went well. Of course I was the one driving and Chris was the one dealing with Amelia crying because she wanted a snack.
We first went to my Aunt Diane's house. She is my mom's sister. I haven't seen her in nearly two years, since Bradley's second birthday party. She has never met Amelia (who was named after her and my mother's mom). She and my Uncle Dicky filled my kids up with all sorts of junk food (us too). We had buffalo wing dip (a favorite of ours), soda (rare for Bradley to have any), ice-cream, jello, cupcakes, hotdogs, hamburgers, cheese, crackers, pasta salads. It was WAY too much food but so delicious you cannot help but to stuff yourself. She is an amazing cook and someone I have always admired for her cooking talent.
She lives behind a railroad track and wouldn't you know we listened all day for a train and once we heard one Bradley went crazy looking out the window for it. He LOVED it. Trains are by far still one of his favorite things in the world.
Amelia got so messy eating an ice-cream sandwich we had to change her but that was not before she used my cousin's dog, Gilly as a table. She put her ice-cream sandwich on his head. I think that was on of the funniest moments with her. She really is a character.
After spending time with my Aunt Diane we headed to my Aunt Claire's house (my dad's sister). We had dinner there. We ate a ton again. This time we had hamburgers, hot dogs, kielbasa, pierogis and maybe coleslaw or something else. I can't quite remember. I just remember I was very full but kept trying to eat.
We sat around and watched the news for a bit. I took a a nap in Grammy's chair (she passed away several years ago), but before falling asleep I tried to inhale deeply to see if I could still smell her scent, but it had vanished over the years, which made me sad. I wanted to remember and experience Grammy or her presence one more time.
About twenty minutes later we packed into our SUV one more time and headed to the creamery. We bought some special cones and fed the billy goats. The kids enjoyed it for a few seconds and then they were more interested in playing in the toddler area. Chris and I were ok with that because we were more interested in feeding the animals. It entertained us. One was the alpha and kept pushing another away, I kept thinking it was unfair and chased the little billy goat and made sure he got some feed.
After spending a little time at the creamery we headed to a store and picked up a few things for our weekend adventure at Cape Cod, which would include sandwich meat, jelly, breads, cheese and some other snacks. We also got some coolant for my air conditioner to recharge it and then it was back to my Aunt Diane's house to meet up with my cousin Christina and hang out with her for about an hour and a half, where my kids were filled up on soda and more sugar. Christina doesn't have kids but she got a little awakening when they challenged her to climbing the stairs several times, especially when we told them to run up the stairs and she chased them. It was entertaining. They were pushing their boundaries with her and seeing how far they could go.
It was an exhausting day and after all the visiting we went back to my Aunt Claire's house, gave the kids a much needed bath and headed to bed. The day was filled and our kids were very polite and so far well behaved. We were pleased and proud parents.