This year, we've had a lot of transitions, like a whole lot. Ryan started a new job. I resigned from my job of seven years. I got a new job and a second new job. I'll be wrapping up graduate school in about a week. The kids started a new daycare. Bella started first grade. Yeah so we've had a few transitions. I'm now home every evening and get to spend the evenings with our little family. Remember that saying "the days are long but the years are short"? It's SO true. It was a really long day just the other day when we did a ton of yard work, cleaned out the garage and Luca flooded the bathroom... yeah that's an entirely different story.
I've opted to take the kids to Kansas City on my own... without Ryan... on a train...that takes 12 hours... shoot me now? Wine? Drink and ride? Baby leashes? Sedatives? Benadryl? Whiskey gums? Oh wait... all my kids have teeth and I don't drink whiskey. Yeah so I may have just lost my mind... or was it gone long ago? Yep, I'm pretty sure that's the case.
Let's be real there is no *easy* way to travel when you have three kids that are 6, 4 and 2. Let me talk you through my though my thought process. We've driven (all 5 of us) many, many times. Like, twice a year or more since we've been in Wisconsin (7 years in case anyone is counting). So with Ryan's new job, he can't leave when any snow fall is predicted. Did I mention we live in Wisconsin and it's like butt cold and snows forever?! Okay maybe not forever but you get the idea, a really long time! So yeah, he can't go at all.
This is the first year in the history of our relationship that I'll have several weeks off for the holidays and be home without work to do. *Side note- I still can't believe I get holidays off, it's like Christmas came early for me! For 13 years, I've worked holidays.* While thinking all of this over, I still want to spend part of the holidays with my family in Kansas City. We usually go every year for Thanksgiving, however because of timing with Bella's school, I figured if we went later we could stay longer and really have a great time visiting and vacationing. This prevents complete stress from running place to place to see everyone in a three short days.
What about me driving? It takes 10 hours from here to there without weather coming into play. I traveled 6 hours to a family reunion this summer alone and the thought of 10 hours makes me want to seek therapy. Traffic, construction, yelling, fighting, boredom, constraint, hunger, weather... are we done yet? Ok so that was nixed.
Flying? Have you taken 3 kids on a plane? Yeah I have and it's tough with Ryan there. Without him? yeah not happening. Three hours in the airport (checking in, security, screaming, crying, fighting, luggage, did I mention security with 3 kids?) then a flight with the kids being trapped in a teeny weeny space without car seats (because no way could I lug 3 car seats and 3 kids on a plane). Did I mention it cost $1800 for us all to fly to KC from Milwaukee? Uh yeah, not so much. That's out.
So how COULD it happen? Ryan and I just took the train alone to Chicago. It was dreamy, relaxing, wifi, plug in, space to move. Could anything be relaxing with 3 kids in tow? Likely not but could I make it work? I checked costs, less than 1/4 the cost of airfare. Score! I checked travel times, 11.5 hours. Yes it's long but not that much longer than the car and we could move around. No stopping to eat or refill gas, no weather to worry about while driving, no construction or traffic. Will the kids be bored? Probably but I can pack snacks and the train serves food. There's no crazy security to go through with all 3 kids. There's plenty of room to walk around and move about. You can sight see along the way and actually enjoy the time with my babies. Did I say enjoy? Wait, I may have seriously lost it! Do I dare say that I'm actually looking forward to it? I am, honest. I'm planning ideas of snacks and things to do. I'm excited for this new adventure, a first for my babies. I'm sad Ryan will miss it and miss KC. I'm thrilled that we have found a budget friendly way to make this still happen for the rest of us to go. I'll keep you posted on my plans of activities and snacks too. I'll even blog about it when we are done!
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