5:30am- Finished packing for our trip home. There was lake stuff, clothes for 7 people for 7 nights, portable chairs and tons of blankets, enough food to feed 7 people for 7 nights 3 times a day, toys, car seats, and a lot more. Wren and the kids were fast asleep in the living room where they had fell asleep watching 101 Dalmatians.
7:00am- Wake up the children... and Wren who was as difficult to wake up as Violet, my oldest. Wren and I piled them in the bath, in hopes that the water would wake them up. Wren bathed Adelaide and Connor; I bathed Violet, Mila, and Seraphina. Then we worked as a team in an assembly line to get the kids dressed. I put on the kids underwear, shirts, and shorts; Wren put on their socks and shoes. Wren then took the kids to feed the ducks and skip rocks while I cooked breakfast. I decided on scrambled eggs and cantaloupe slices. Easy, quick, and
8:30am- Hit the road with five kids, one husband, and a dog in tow. Five minutes into the drive(yes, LITERALLY five minutes) Mila and Seraphina decided they needed to use the bathroom. We asked them if they could wait a little while but they said no. Mila even exclaimed that she felt like a "waterfall is going to erupt out of her if she doesn't make it to a bathroom soon." Oh my little drama queen! So we finally stopped, experienced a tantrum because my 3-year-old wanted a chocolate bar she saw at the gas station even though it was only 8:40am, drove for twenty minutes, got stuck in horrible traffic due to a horrendous accident, and THEN Wren got pulled over by the police for going 53 in a 50-mile zone. What?! Don't worry, he did not get ticketed, just received a warning. After all that
10:35am- ...Seraphina threw up. Why? Because Wren gave her the chocolate bar she wanted at 8-in-the-morning. I just about lost it, considering she vomited in the car, but remained calm and kept my composure for our children. I know Wren couldn't help it though. He has a soft spot for his children and loves to make them happy, even if that means giving our daughter, who gets car sick very easily, chocolate in the morning. We pulled off to a park that was (thankfully) to the right of us when Seraphina got sick, unloaded all the children, and let them play while Wren watched them. Then I wiped up Seraphina, changed her clothes, let her go play, clean the car, and air it out before it was...
12:05pm- ...lunch time! My children work like clock work and know exactly when it's time to eat. So when noon hit, they all came running to me exclaiming they were hungry. We had decided to stop along the way for lunch, but since our plans changed, Wren and I decided to enjoy a picnic at the park. I watched the kids while Wren drove to Subway and picked up seven sandwiches, chips, and fruit for lunch. We had a blanket, layed it out, and sat for an hour eating lunch, laughing, and running around. I have to say, it was a beautiful and fun end to a crazy morning.
1:00pm- We hit the road again. By now all the kids are exhausted from running around and full from lunch, so they fall asleep very fast. This gives me an opportunity to talk to Wren about how we are a team and I don't appreciate him going behind my back to please our three-year-old. He agrees with me and tells me that he'll try to be more stern with his impulses and desire to always please his children. I then told him that as parents we try our hardest to make sure our kids are happy, but in the end we can't always please them. What matters most is that they're healthy, safe, and happy in a way that doesn't involve giving into their desire for chocolate. We then held hands and talked to each other until...
2:00pm- ...all five children woke up from their naps and became suddenly ancy and restless to sit in the car any longer. I try to make the last hour of the drive fun and distracting for them by putting on music and having a car dance party with them, which helps for twenty minutes. Then we played I Spy for twenty minutes and played "Would You Rather" for the last twenty minutes, before...
3:00pm- ...we arrive home! We were four hours late, but hey, at least we got home safely and happily... oh, and exhausted! We were all so exhausted that we left everything in the car and all took a rest!
4:05pm- I woke up after my one hour nap to find my husband unloading the car and the three oldest girls playing dress up while Adelaide and Connor slept. It made me smile to see my girls all bonding together, reminding me just how close they are and will always be. I ran to get my camera to try and sneak a picture, but then Mila, my camera shy daughter, caught me and wouldn't let me take a picture! I then went down stairs, helped Wren unload everything from the car, and realized that we needed to eat dinner in less than an hour in order for the kids to go to sleep on time. I pondered what we should eat for dinner because I didn't plan dinner for this day because I knew we'd be returning from vacation, so Wren and I decided to pile the kids back into the car and take them to Soup Plantation for dinner. It's my favorite soup restaurant and very kid friendly.
6:00pm- Baths for the kids. I don't usually give my children two baths in the same day, but considering we spent seven hours driving and traveling home, I figured I ought to give them a bath before bed. I did it in shifts this time, because Wren had to run off and pick his brother up from the mechanics after his car broke down. Adelaide and Connor were first. I bathed them, dressed them, kissed them on their cheeks, and then put them to bed. That way I knew they were asleep and couldn't get into any mischief while I was bathing the oldest three. Then I bathed Violet, Mila, and Seraphina, got them dressed, kissed them on their cheeks, and put them to bed. After bathing all five kids and managing to put them to bed in under an hour, I collapsed into my bed and relaxed until Wren came home from the mechanics.
8:00pm- Wren's home. We decide to tackle the loads of stuff we brought back from vacation and unpack everything. Food- check. Lake toys- check. Portables (chairs, tables, etc.)- check. Clothes- not quite. Can you imagine the amount of clothes I have to unpack and wash?? Seven days worth of clothes for seven people. That includes underwear, bathing suits, pajamas, EVERYTHING! The laundry is going to take me at least a couple of days, but I don't mind. All this laundry is not only a reminder of how blessed we are to afford so many nice clothes, but also how blessed we are to actually be able to take our children on seven night vacations.
11:00pm- Lights out! I was so exhausted that I hit the sack without showering, I just changed into sweats and a t-shirt and crawled into bed.