My trip was delayed when Christian ended up getting a fever the night before we were to leave. We were up a few times during the night, and he moped around and laid on the couch the next day (SOOO unlike him, I sort of enjoyed it!).
Christian still wasn't feeling great that night and greeted Kaelyn with a soft punch in the face. Yeah. That pretty much set his tone for the entire trip: how is it that he chooses to be the most defiant and selfish child the week that I'm visiting people?! Honestly, it was such a challenge with him. He probably got more whallops on this trip than all his previous ones combined. But I didn't want to give up and let him have his own way, he will not beat me, I am in charge. My hosts were all gracious and understanding enough, even through decapitated snowmen, unshared toys, and uneaten food. Many thanks to each of you.
I stayed at Judith's the whole time, and each day visited a different friend. I thought they all lived closer to each other, but after getting directions, it turned out that they each lived about an hour from my starting point. What little troopers my children are... 2 hours each day in the car, for 4 days straight. Surprisingly though, car-time was when they were the best and I was just hauling three sleeping bodies around Pennsylvania.
First I got to visit the lovely Rachel (Carr) McGlynn, whom I had not seen since 2007! How refreshing to catch up! You also served up some awesome Cheeseburger Soup (which I made a few days ago!). Unfortunately, I have yet to meet your husband. Someday...
Second, I visited Melissa (Davis) Koonce, a friend from church during high school, and I got to meet her husband, Mike. You guys were so sweet to let me barge in on your work (and sleep)(Melissa is a nurse)! You get the award for creative children's food: cookie cutters to cut Christians sandwich into fun shapes! [Not even his mom does that]. So good to see you!
Finally, I stopped in Harrisburg on my way home and had a super sweet visit with Annie (Miller) Phillips, also a friend from high school and college. Her new little dog Flynn must've had enough after five minutes, because he departed to his crate and slept for the remainder of our visit. I was so glad you had off work and could let us come to see you, you were such a laid back and joyous host!
Judith and I (and our kids) got to spend a lot of fun time together doing the "mom thing." It's always good to see other mommy tricks and have playmates for your kids. Christian finally got a little nicer the last day we were there, and wasn't bad the entire time. I'm glad he had the interaction (he obviously needs to learn more about it!). In addition to rearranging their sleeping conditions, Judith also made us some yummy meatballs and fed us, well, me in particular, some delicious peppermint cookies and brownies. Thanks so much for your hospitality! It was crazy fun!
Oh yeah, and even with all the challenges of traveling with 3 children, one of whom is a 2 year old that is probably making your hair gray, I would totally do it all again. Don't you want me to come visit YOU?