From rain soaked Columbus, Ohio.
We had a lovely day at a local park with my brother, sister-in-law and niece before the deluge. My uncle and aunt even drove down from Louisville, Ohio to see us. I hadn't seen my uncle and aunt since Peter's baptism (they are his godparents), but I have been happiest to see my brother and his family. The last time I saw them was over three years ago when their daughter and Jenny were infants.
Our time here in Ohio is too short. We leave tomorrow for St. Louis, where we plan to spend four nights. I'm not sure if we'll make it there with our sanity still intact. Jenny and Petey have been most out of sorts, and even the older kids are a bit...touchy. It's a bit rough, emotionally, to be homeless, to not have your stuff, to not be able to run around like a lunatic since you're living in a hotel and your parents think you ought to be respectful of other people who just might not be interested in your antics.
As for me, I miss my mattress terribly. I never sleep well on other beds. And it's possible, with all the packing and hauling around of boxes and other things, that I pulled something in my back. I'm just not comfortable.
But despite the short tempers, the achy back, the clingy little ones, and the bickering older ones, I am enjoying this time together. I'm loving this adventure, where I have no forwarding address (yet), no schedule to keep, and minimal guilt about late bedtimes, late wakeups, and poor nutrition on the part of us all. It's just one week, and we'll be back to a new state of normal soon enough.
And as for all the little highlights of my life in the last three days - and there have been many interesting goings-on - I'll never get all the details down, and won't even try. We did manage to leave town without too much trouble (just a last minute discovery of two kitchen cupboards the packers overlooked!), and our drive to Ohio through that narrow section of Maryland between Pennsylvania and Virginia/West Virginia was picturesque and blessedly uneventful, although quite slow given that our van is towing our other car. Besides just hanging out with family, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours on Sarah's farm, which just happens to be a kids' paradise: big yard, trampoline, toys, barn, livestock, minimal traffic, and bologna in the fridge. What more could a kid need?
It's a top priority of mine to get Pete some naps while we're in St. Louis. Hopefully, this will also give me a chance to do some blogging. We'll see. Another top priority is actually using my camera. I want to kick myself that I didn't get it out even once while seeing my family and have no pictures to prove that we actually spent time with my niece during her childhood. Of course, having a cranky toddler or a clingy preschooler constantly in my lap or pulling on my leg might have had something to do with distracting me from photo-journalistic opportunities.
And now, with all the kids and even the dog asleep, I head to bed myself.