Sunday, September 18, 2016

Visiting Great Grandma

This weekend we finally bit the bullet and decided now was as good as time as any to go visit my grandma.  It's been something we have wanted to do since even before Mikey was born, but obviously had to wait a little bit until he was a little less "new" version of newborn.  My grandma is in hospice, so while the days are numbered, we prayed that we would get to make this visit and we are so happy, despite the challenges of traveling with a 4 yo, 2 yo and almost 2 month old, seeing her was worth it!

We set off on Friday morning because it's supposed to be around a 6 hour drive...but we knew it would be much longer than that.

With the addition of Mikey, all the kids took up the middle row in the van and I got the back seat.  We have so much stuff...but somehow we crammed all the luggage and people in there. #thankgodforminivans

On my road trip must do list??  Address Mikey's birth announcements (that I've now had for like a month- ahh!) and write thank you notes.

One thing that we were not short on this trip was constantly stripping down- the kids, not us, thank goodness.  Maddie was the first to pee on the side of the road, Mikey pooped on his outfit and had to be stripped down and Charlie had to make a roadside stop on the way back (along with Maddie on this one...).  If someone invented some sort of car seat pan (instead of a bed pan) for kids and road trips, they would be rich.  SO.MANY.STOPS.

But after many potty and feeding breaks, and some lunch at Panera in Council Bluffs...we were finally "almost" there!!!  Gotta love these Iowa views when there is nothing for miles but beautiful crops and sky.

Our first stop (btw, we didn't make it until 5pm...left at 9am so it was 8 hours versus the normal 6ish), was to see my grandma.  Maddie was hapoy to be out of the car at her nursing home, despite her ridiculous outfit and high pants.

Mikey and I went in first to see where her room was, while the big kids played on the playset that was out front to get some energy out.  She was SO surprised because I guess no one told her we were coming to visit.  My uncle told my dad that she has been constantly asking the nurses how the baby is and telling them that he's probably gotten so big.  They had no idea who the baby was or if she had even met the baby.  So you can imagine she was absolutely over the moon and crying when she saw Mikey.  What a special moment between these two.  She couldn't stop touching his little hands and feet.  It was amazing.

The older kids and Jimmy came in to say hi for a bit.  She had to eat and so did Mikey, so we hung out in the other room and when she was done eating we said our goodbyes so we could feed our clan.  Small town Iowa doesn't have the most options, so we order pizza while we were in the waiting room and picked it up on the 25 min drive to Okoboji where we were staying.  According to Jimmy, it was a momentous moment because it was the first time in his 32 years of life that he had ever eaten pizza in the car.  Bummer for mom because no dairy diet while breastfeeding = no pizza. Boooo.

We completely broke routine because all the kids were talking about since Thursday when we told them we were going to Iowa was SWIMMING! So even though it was late and way past bed times, we headed over to the awesome indoor water park at the resort we were at (we stayed in a vrbo house on the Bridges Bay was awesome and came with 6 daily water park passes).

The heater was broken (of course), but they were still happy to be there!

Extra bonus: I think I finally understand snap chat (I'm slow!!).  I had a lot a fun using it this weekend- way more than I thought I would!! So find me and I'll follow you!

Bedtime isn't easy in general, but for reals---- so much more complicated outside of your own house. My parents and sister weren't coming until the next day, so we had the whole place to ourselves...but let's just say we played revolving beds like all night.  Even Mikey moved from his quiet closet location to the upstairs loft with me in the middle of the night.  (PS I'm obsessed with dock a tot- post on that coming soon!). The biggest disaster was that I forgot Maddie's pull ups. I picked some up at the grocery store (went after kids in bed)...but it was too late as she had a poopy mess that poor Jimmy got to clean up. 😷💩

After an early 5am wake up for Charlie, I somehow convinced him to stay in bed playing iPad games until 6:30, I got up to make breakfast, make some coffee and hang with my boys while we waited for dad and Maddie to wake up.

The morning weather was AMAZING.  It was literally the perfect fall day.  I wish I would've brought some of the new sweaters I have been dying to wear.  We ventured out to explore the resort and the lake.  First stop was the playground right across from our house, then we made it down to the dock of the resort.  They had a cool water taxi thing that was like a ride--- even though they said only use once, we broke the rules and did twice! 

The resort was awesome but it was also dead because a lot of stuff closed down Labor Day weekend, but it was still awesome and kind of nice because it wasn't crowded!

Our best find? The doughnut and coffee shop in the resort!! Maddie and Charlie were thrilled!

While we were going to visit my grandma after the rest of the family got there, we knew she was more alert in the mornings, so we packed up our crew, got some flowers and headed back to visit her before *attempted* naps.

Maddie and Charlie were so excited to see her again AND bring her flowers!

It was a quick but good visit because we still had to get everyone fed, but she was feeling more alert and lots of smiles!!!

Poor Jimmy. He attempted nap time with the big kids; they requested to sleep together in the loft bed.  Well...that didn't really go well.  I'm pretty sure they went back and forth (while I fed/held Mikey) for an hour. I even suggested that my parents and sister and her husband go on a drive because Maddie was going to flip out if she saw them.  Charlie finally went to sleep while Maddie didn't.  Eventually, we gave up and just say outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while Maddie entertained herself. That girl.

When Charlie woke up, we all went to visit her again and got this awesome picture.  Seriously so thankful for this visit and these people.

When it was time to say our "so long for now" (as my grandpa would say, instead of goodbye), the kids gave her a kiss and she didn't want to let go of Mikey.  It was just amazing to see her interact and dote on them.

We went to an interesting bar on the water for dinner. It was outside and fun- awesome because there was a playset and toys right next to our table- but the food was concession stand food- which we weren't expecting at all.  Or the fact that the bathroom for women was called an "Octo-pussy".  Ewwww.  But I did get a Bloody Mary, the kids were entertained and it was a super fast dinner...

And watch out, the Barefoot Bar had signs like this. Hahahha!

After dinner, we went swimming again. No pictures because I left my phone at the house.  But I will say, the easiest (but possibly grossest) way to get your kids out of the pool when they really don't want to is have someone poop in the water. Long story, but some lady told me she saw someone doing it, so I told Jimmy immediately to get out...and the lady's husband told the worker...who eventually closed the pool.  Duh. Gross.

So after baths and major scrubbing...we didn't operate on normal bedtime in hopes for a) good night of sleep and b) some car naps for Sunday.  We were all 5 going to attempt to sleep upstairs in the open loft area that had 3 full sized beds.  Charlie was in one, Maddie and Jimmy in another and then I was in the third and close to Mikey (who was sleeping in the dock a tot on the bathroom floor...again, this thing is amazing).  It wasn't as horrible as I thought...but when I said that to Jimmy he rolled his eyes because apparently our children like to sleep perpendicularly...sorry Jimmy.

While we thought it would be a super early morning, everyone slept until after 6:30...which was nice. After we packed up, it was around 8 when we left.  The kids did awesome for the first 2.5 hours (after a road side pit stop for Maddie 3 minutes after we left the resort).  And then Charlie didn't want to wake up when we got home.  He kept napping while I unloaded the car and then I was still asleep so I just took him to go get gas with me. Silly kid!!

Of course at the very end of the drive all kids were asleep and we could barely believe it!! (Charlie put that blanket over his head- weirdo!!)

However, this kid gets the best traveler award.  Never once did we have to stop specifically for him.  He would start to cry and then calm down.  No blow outs in the car seat!!  And he slept so well in the car and at the house.  Seriously love him.  Can't believe he's going to be 2 months tomorrow.

So so glad we got to make this trip and that my parents and sister and husband came too.  While it wasn't long, it was fun to be together and most importantly, I think it's safe to say seeing Charlie and Maddie and meeting Mikey sure put a smile on my sweet Grandma's face. 

Now it's back to reality with two month shots tomorrow!!! Hope you had a great weekend!!!


  1. Girl, we made that drive to Okoboji earlier this summer and its brutal! But so so worth it! And the barefoot bar might be my favorite place on earth... ;) so glad you were able to visit your grandma - I bet she was in cloud 9!

  2. I love that you just roll with it. I'm a hot mess with just 1 yet you have mastered being a Momma of 3. Go you!

  3. What a sweet trip!! Your grandma looks like she was in heaven holding Mikey.
    And, all your photos and talks of home make me miss it so much!! Small town Iowa is pretty amazing, even with all it's crazy quirks (like bathroom names and such). ;)

  4. What a sweet, memorable trip! I'm sure it made your grandma's day.