So the next few days are going to have a definite keeping-Daddy-updated flavor.
We're travelling to see my sister, and the sun. I miss the sun. I've heard it lives in Arizona for the winter, so we're going to find it. Yesterday we travelled all the way across the state of Utah - that's a long trip at any age, but at five (almost six!) and 1 (almost two!) and three (nowhere near four), it's a very long trip. They did amazingly well. Gray stayed dry until we got to where he could go on the toilet. He got cranky a few times, but a steady dose of Strawberry Shortcake kept him entertained. Five hours of Strawberry Shortcake. It was ... it kept Hannah and him content and that's what matters.
Right when they had all had about as much sitting in a seat belt as they could take, we found a restaurant with a play place. Fantastic. I had planned to stay there for thirty minutes, but it stretched to an hour. I was not about to put them back in the car until they had their energy all out. I was 'the best mom ever' because I got them kiddie ice cream cones - that was easy.
And life's always better when you find a table just your size.
I also got to haul my adult-sized body through the kiddie place equipment to get Gray who had followed his sisters into the big kids section of the play place, was too scared to come out on his own, and wouldn't let his sister help him. Luckily we were the only ones there right then. Screaming really echoes in those tunnels.
The girls were beyond excited to stay at a hotel for the first time that they could remember. There's something magical about hotels when you're a kid. That's straight from Hannah's mouth. "This is so magical!" So magical that she fell asleep ten minutes before we got to the hotel and slept right through me carrying her in and her sister and brother having a hard night. Grayson cried himself to sleep in my arms after a record hour long I-am-so-tired-and-I-sat-in-the-car-for-nine-hours meltdown. Luckily there was no-one in the room next to us. Ainsley had nightmares, I couldn't figure out what they were about. I had to wake her up three times to break her out of the scary place she was in.
This morning, Hannah woke up, looked around her, and smiled really big. We had to get up earlier than Ainsley would have liked so that we could get to breakfast in time. I had to remind Hannah five times to please.get.dressed. because she kept getting distracted exploring and telling me how fantastic hotels are and we really had to get going to get to breakfast. They were thrilled with the range of choices for breakfast. Ains got a danish ("I feel like Homer!" - thanks, Matt) and a *lot* of juice - you can see how tired she is in the picture below. Gray had about five tiny muffins, Hannah had a little bit of everything in Hannah style ("I feel like a princess!" - it helped that she was wearing her cape).
Then we came back to the room so that they could watch cartoons.
Now they're all in the bathtub. I can hear them talking in there.
H: "Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could live like this all the time, Ains? We could have enough money that we could pay people to do our cleaning and fix us fancy breakfasts and make us fancy clothes..."
A: "And we could drink watuh!!"
H: "Well, yes, we could drink water, but that's not so fancy. We could drink any kind of juice any time we wanted without waiting for mom to fix it. We could go to balls and meet princes and get fancy soaps beside our bathtubs."
A: "And we could drink watuh!!"
H: "Ains, I don't think you understand the importance of fancy."
Then they'll watch some cartoons (on TV - so much fancier than on dvds like at home) while I pack up for us to do our last -shorter - stretch of the trip. Hopefully it goes as well today as it did yesterday.