Last Friday we drove to WV to spend most of the week with Dan's parents. The plan was to stay at their house until Friday, when we'd drive to our hotel in PA, go to my brother Jeff's college graduation on Saturday, and drive back home late Saturday.
Our vacation started out great. We spent a wonderful weekend with Dan's parents, and ate Mother's Day lunch out at a fancy restaurant - and both girls were wonderfully behaved and ate well. It was surprising and refreshing to have an enjoyable meal out at a restaurant! Dan's mom took Monday off from work, and we went to eat lunch at Dan's absolute favorite Mexican restaurant, and shopped at Home Goods (!). While it was a bit frustrating to chase Arianna everywhere and keep her from getting into all their stuff, it was a fun few days!
Then Tuesday morning, I got a phone call from my mom, telling me my Grandpa, Papa, had died late the night before. It was not a surprise at all - we'd been saying "This could be his last..." for 10 years. But it was still sad. He was 80 and had been married to my Grandma for 56 years I think. She dedicated 50+ years to taking care of him and all his medical issues over the years. Everyone knew it was best for him to finally go and be healed in Heaven, but that doesn't change the fact that he will be missed.
So anyway, we changed our plans and decided to drive up to NY Wednesday, spend time with extended family who were coming into town, go to the funeral Friday, then finish with the rest of the original plans. We left to drive there right after lunch, so the girls could nap in the car. They did, but Arianna woke up after a short nap and screamed for the last 1.5 hours of the drive, unless one of us was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" - which you can only do for so long until you want to pull your hair out.
We got to NY around dinner time, and for the next few days spent time with every member of our family. Papa's 3 kids and their spouses, Brian's 2 kids (who I hadn't seen in years!), my Mom's 3 kids, and the 2 great-grandkids. We hadn't been to NY since last August, and it was fun to catch up with everyone. However, it was a little chaotic with all the new people for the girls to get used to, no familiar toys, no gated-off play areas, etc. Friday we all got up super early to get to the church for the calling hours and funeral. We asked a friend of ours to watch Marissa and Arianna in the church nursery (and she brought her own 2 little girls). They had a great time (I assume!) and it was such a relief not to worry about them at all throughout the morning. SO MANY people came by to pay their respects. My Grandma has so many good, close friends in her neighborhood and church. It was so sweet to see them all. Lots of them were people who we used to know from the church (we went there when I was LITTLE) and the rest of them were people from our old neighborhood where my Grandma still lives. They were all shocked to see how grown up we were, and even though it was a sad time, it was neat to see so many people I hadn't seen in probably 15+ years.
When we first got to the church, we all walked in and saw pictures, flowers, and an urn with my Grandpa's ashes in it. That was hard. It didn't really seem real to me until then. I was in there already when my Grandma got there, and I will never forget the look on her face when she first walked in.
After the funeral, the church provided a luncheon for everyone, and that was extremely chaotic. We got the girls out of the nursery, so people could see them too, and so we could all eat lunch. But Arianna decided she wanted to scream her guts out for no reason, and refused to eat anything or go to anyone except me. So I basically never ate...it was frustrating.
Afterwards, we said lots of goodbyes, and my parents, and Rach and Jeff, and me, Dan and the girls left a little early to pack and start driving down to PA. Jeff had some event the night before graduation, and we wanted to drive down during naptime again. They slept well in the car, but there was a freak storm, accidents, power outages at traffic lights, and who knows what else. So between all that, and a detour to avoid stopped traffic, it took us an extra 2 hours! We had to stop for dinner before we even got there, and then we finally crashed at the hotel just in time for bed. The girls slept great at the hotel, and we got up early to get ready, eat breakfast, and check out of the hotel.
Then we went to Jeff's graduation from Messiah! It was a beautiful day for it, but it was HOT in the sun, and FREEZING when it was windy. Graduation itself was LONG, and it was difficult holding Arianna still on high bleachers for so long. Dan ended up letting her and Marissa run around the grass behind the bleachers for a while. When it finally ended, we all found Jeff, and his fiancée Jenna, and took some pictures. I wore the most uncomfortable heels EVER, and almost died walking around the grounds in them.
Afterwards, we all changed clothes and went to a park for a big picnic with all of Jeff and Jenna's friends and families. Arianna fell asleep in the car on the way there, so Dan stayed in the car with her for a while, and almost missed getting any food! There was a playground and Marissa had a blast there. We all ate a big lunch, and then finished off our horrific sunburns. OUCH. I have the strangest looking one because I was wearing huge sunglasses to avoid a sun-headache! Marissa only got a tiny bit on her nose, Arianna got a little worse on her cheeks and head (she had a tiny ponytail, which made it worse), Rach had a pretty bad one too. No one even thought about sunscreen til it was too late! I felt like a horrible mother!
After the picnic was over, we went to another area of the park that was an even bigger playground. Marissa ran around and was the only person who still had energy left - well, besides Arianna. Lol. Dan put Arianna on a little zip-line and she gripped that thing so tightly, he was able to let go and she flew down the line (only about 10 feet) multiple times - she loved it!
Then we decided to go to dinner with my parents and Rach before we left to drive back to Ohio. We went to a Friendly's, which was chaotic enough without us there! I was NOT feeling very well, but managed to eat a small dinner anyways. Arianna crammed her face with anything she could get her hands on, since she refused to eat lunch at the picnic. It was a ridiculous meal - my dad spilled an entire cup full of water all over the table and my mom, he squirted ketchup all over his new white shirt, I knocked over only a half cup of water, and Arianna of course always makes a huge mess! We all got ice cream after (of course), then said our goodbyes. We finally got on the road around 8:30pm.
The beginning of the drive was great! We were making good time, the girls played for a bit, then fell asleep. I even fell asleep around 9:30, I was so tired! Then Arianna started waking up around 10:30, and kinda just crying one cry every 10 minutes. Then around 1am, we stopped at a Sheetz for gas, and Dan got his favorite snack there (buffalo chicken sub). Just before we got there, I was starting to wake up and feel REALLY awful. When we pulled in, I went into the bathroom and knew it was about to get a lot worse! But nothing was happening, I just felt like I was gonna die. So we left and got a mile down the road, when I realized I finally needed to throw up. Dan pulled over and I made it into the grass on the side of the highway, as it was starting to rain. When I got back in the car, I knew I needed a bathroom next, so we got off the next exit, but of course there wasn't ANYTHING there, so we turned around to go back to Sheetz. While I was in the bathroom at Sheetz, Dan called my phone, only I didn't pick up. When I got back to the car, he told me Marissa was crying that she had to "poop so bad!" so I took her in to the bathroom. But when we got in there, and she saw that they were the toilets that flush automatically, she REFUSED to even sit down. I even got a paper towel, and put it over the sensor, and put a tp roll on top of it. But she started crying and just wouldn't. So we left, and already I felt TONS better. Almost normal. About 30 minutes later, as I had just started to doze off again, I heard the most horrid sound I have ever heard. I jumped out of my buckle, turned the back light on, and saw vomit spewing ALLLLL over Marissa's lap, shirt, pants, buckles, the baby she sleeps with, and a few other things below her car seat. I was helpless to stop it, and even though I tried to get a plastic bag in front of her, it was useless. We stopped at the next exit, and even though I'd rather not recount what happened next, I think it's important to get it down in history. With my still sensitive stomach, I attempted to clean her up. Between all the chunks, we realized it was just not going to happen. So we just bit through it, and unbuckled her, then stripped all her clothes off in the parking lot. Thankfully we had some clothes easily accessible in the trunk, so she got some pj's on and I took her into the bathroom to clean a little better. Dan attempted to clean her car seat, but you have no idea how bad it was. The baby she sleeps with - it's in the trash at that gas station. There was no hope for it! The entire way home, we still smelled vomit in the car, and I just kept waiting for Arianna to be next, or Dan to start too. But no one else did! Sunday I spent an hour taking the seat apart, then put as much as I could in the washer, and handwashed the rest. Then I spent another hour putting it back together. If we hadn't spent $170 on her car seat, that would have gone in the trash too! So between me getting sick, Marissa getting sick, and then the attempted clean-up at 2am, that added another 2 hours onto that drive. We didn't get home until 4:30 Sunday morning!
We spent all Sunday doing NOTHING and trying to recover from our vacation-gone-bad. It started out great, slowly got worse, and ended with a bang! I don't think it's one we will forget soon, though we would certainly like to!
On an unrelated note, Monday Arianna had her 15-month check-up. She is 32 inches tall (which is the 95%!) and weighs 18 pounds, 10 ounces (which isn't even on the chart, it's so low!). She is certainly our skinny-mini, just like Marissa was at this age. The pediatrician wasn't concerned though, and I'm not really either. She also got a few shots, but she was fine the rest of the day. I was soooooooo ticked though. Her appointment was at 10:30. We got there at 10:25, and went back to the exam room at 10:30. We then waited until 11:00 for the doctor to come in (the nurse came in to weigh her, etc in between then), then after the doctor was there for 5 minutes, we had to wait another 15 minutes for the nurse to come back with the shots! I was soo frustrated, and Arianna was screaming the entire time we were waiting. Several times I opened the door so they could hear her screaming, because HELLO WE HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TIME! It didn't even seem like there were that many people there, because the halls were always empty and not all the rooms were full. I suppose since it was a Monday morning, that might have something to do with it. It just really made me mad that they couldn't freaking honor an appointment time, even though they called to confirm it a few days before!
Well, I guess that's all for now. We have a family from our church staying in our basement for a little while. They had some housing issues, we had the extra space, plus a full bathroom down there, and so there they are! I'm not really sure what we're doing about meals with them here - they were here while we were out of town, so now we have to figure stuff out. But I should probably start thinking about that. Arianna has been asleep since 1:45, and it's a miracle! Usually she only sleeps for 1.5 hours! Her sleep was perfect right before vacation (of course) and it's still pretty good now (sleeping through the night), but she's suddenly a stinker about GOING to sleep. She has to see one of us, or else she just lets out these one-syllable yells, like "hey, I'm in here and not happy about it!" It's frustrating, but if that's the only thing that got worse about her sleep from vacation, I suppose we can handle it! I've enjoyed the silence of this naptime, since Marissa is obviously sleeping today too. But I'm sure it will end shortly - Marissa always gets up right at 4!