Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Impromptu Visit to Wisconsin

Last Monday I was thinking about my nephew, realizing that I hadn't seen him since he was six months old, and wishing there was a way to see him before our planned annual family vacation at the end of June when he will be over a year old. 

I know from personal experience that kids grow quickly, but they seem to grow at lightening speed when you are only able to see them every few months.  Granted, my sister shares many pictures of Drew and I hear him "talking" in the background as I chat with my her on the phone, but that just isn't the same as spending time together in person. 

So, after consulting our calendar and realizing that Allie had Friday off of school, I decided to call my sister to see if she would mind if the kids and I came to visit at the end of the week (Yes, I basically just invited the four of us to her house, but fortunately she seemed a-OK with it!). 

Early Thursday morning, after Ben helped us pack up the car and made sure I had correct driving directions, the kids and I made the 5-hour trip to Wisconsin, stopping at Subway for lunch where the sandwich-artist-lady discovered I was road-tripping alone with three kids, had pity on me, and gave the kids all a free cookie.  I really wanted to ask her why she didn't think I deserved a free cookie too, but I thought it better not to push her generosity. 

After a couple movies and only one stop, we made it to my sister and brother-in-law's house where this little guy had no idea what he was in for.

My three extremely talkative and loud lively children definitely made their presence known in his normally quiet home.  They invaded his space, played with all of his toys, hugged him, kissed him, monopolized time with his Mommy, but yet he still seemed to have a smile for them when they entered the room! 

We had a fun time visiting and kept the kids pretty busy.  The weather when we arrived was almost 50 degrees so the kids enjoyed playing outside and meeting my sister and brother-in-law's neighbor kids.  We also tackled some shopping at the local outlet mall, had lunch at McDonald's where we let the kids go crazy in the indoor play land, went swimming at the local YMCA, and enjoyed plenty of cartoons together.

The kids loved using my sister's leftover preschool supplies to bead their own necklaces.

I especially enjoyed visiting a local cake shop (the same bakery that made my sister and brother-in-law's wedding cake) that had amazing cupcakes.  Allie and Zach picked cotton candy cupcakes, Olivia chose a princess glitter cupcake with bubblegum flavored frosting, and after much debate (and coming to the sad conclusion that I couldn't justify eating one of every cupcake in the store) I chose a cherry cheesecake cupcake while my sister snagged a salted caramel filled chocolate cupcake.  Truly...the best cupcakes I've ever had!

Drew and Olivia especially bonded...over reading books together with Uncle Chris at bedtime, joint bath time, and coloring together. 

We all had a great time, but we did miss Ben.  Although the kids were sad to leave this morning, they were especially excited to see Daddy when we got home today.

The only traveling snag we ran into was this morning when Zach got carsick and tossed his cookies all over the back seat.  I learned very quickly that a paper McDonald's bag isn't durable enough to hold throw-up and that a gas station supplies everything needed to clean up after such an unfortunate incident:  paper towel, disinfectant spray, and air freshener (in addition to a whole role of free plastic shopping bags thanks to the grossed-out teenage clerk who saw Zach covered in upchuck).  Needless to say, after today's road trip, I am happy to be home.

The kids are already planning their next visit with Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Chris, and Drew.  I am excited for these four as they grow up together...I'm sure there will be many more memorable visits to come!

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