Wednesday, July 10, 2013

11pm bedtime

That's been pretty standard for the whole family since arriving in the US. If Liam's family was hands off, man has my family been hands on. We were at my aunt-in-laws parents house for dinner last night that they try and invite us to every time we're back. It was delicious as usual and gave the kids yet another chance to play. There are 10 little cousins 10 years old and under, which means that Z and Boo are having a fabulous time. Z has learned everyone's names and how to tear up when they are about to leave the house close to 10pm and squeeze a bit more time out of them.

We've been to the local zoo, aquarium, 2 children's museum an OUTLETS!!! I've gotten a new work wardrobe for under $200, Liam has gotten new work shirts and pants, we've purchased clothes/shoes that should get Z well into late 2014 and gotten a few pieces for Boo to supplement her Z provided wardrobe. The only things we need to buy now are bits and pieces for the house and my vanilla extract!

One thing I'll say about this trip, beside being seriously draining in a great way, is that it's making us both feel really guilty that we don't live here. Our trips anywhere are with at least 2 minivans and sometimes 3. Between my grandparent's anniversary party, which required me to do the big ask for lunch to my grandfather because the fam was sure he would miss his own surprise party with another case of the "I don't want to go outs." The family from near and far was there and it gave us a chance to dress up the girls and watch them climb under tables, roll all over the floor and bust a move on the dance floor. We also had Boo baptised in the church basement where they had to hold service because the sanctuary's newly refinished floors weren't ready yet. And we still have a lot more to cram in, especially since we probably won't be back until maybe Christmas 2014.

 Z's language is already great, but it's been growing by leaps and bounds around all of the family. She's also playing so well with her little cousin just a couple of days older, Maggie. I mean they are like two peas in a pod and just running around everywhere and the bigger kids are great at watching over them and taking care of them. We had a BBQ for the 4th and while all the grownups were inside getting things ready to go on the grill all of the kids were in the back yard on their own ranging in age from 12-1 just playing and having fun. They were checking out turtles, frogs and ants, sword fighting with sticks and playing tag. It was all of the things I remembered loving about growing up with a big family. It's going to be super sad when we leave and I definitely think that Z might freak out a little.

This trip has pushed us to replicate this feeling back home as much as possible. We've been trying, but by seeing how much fun she's having we know we need to try harder. The biggest thing for next visit is that I don't think we're going to be able to stay at my grandparent's house like we are this time. The room we are in is fine, but the rest of the house is approaching hoarder territory, which is bad considering how much better it is according to everyone in preparation for our visit. There is just so much stuff! A lot of it is from my aunt who passed away unexpectedly at 34 about 10 years ago. My grandmother doesn't want to get rid of things because she thinks she's holding onto it for my aunt's sons, but they have already said they don't want it. I think part of it is she doesn't want them to come to her in a few years and ask for the stuff if they change their minds and she just really can't let go of it. Our dream would be to hire a huge dumpster and some dudes and just have them help clean everything out. I think that Liam and I are probably the only people she would do it for. Maybe next winter we'll be able to save enough to make it happen.

All in all a great trip so far, we have 3 full days left and leave on Saturday evening for the glorious 22 hour trip back home. We've stocked up at Target on $1 toys for the trip and I'm definitely not as nervous as I was before. It's a night flight so they should be good to go and sleep well.

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