Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #419 (April 10-16)-- Holy Week in New York

This was our first full week in Brooklyn. It was also Holy Week, which was one of the two reasons I wanted to go in April. Easter Sunday ended up being tough, but overall it was a wonderful fun week in the city and we had a really great time.

Monday was a fun, low key day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up a while later. We all had breakfast and did some school and I attempted to get Sallie to sleep, but she wouldn't take a nap. I got my bath and got ready and cleaned up the apartment some after I did some English and math with Annie. Peyton took Sallie to Trader Joe's and the big kids had media time and I did a few other things around the apartment. I took the big kids to the park and we had a great time and then met Peyton back at the apartment.

 Beautiful day in Bed-Stuy. 

We had snacks and then went to the library for a bit.

 Family stroll to the neighborhood library.

 Only took Peyton a hot second to get back in Brooklyn Dad mode. LOLOL.

We met a little friend at the library. Sallie is such a magnet (not surprising to me but I'm super biased) and even more so here. My hypothesis is that it's a because people don't have as many kids and therefore babies are less common. I love that she's number three and I know (or Graves has proven to me) that she's not super fragile. She's already licked the subway pole a la three year old Graves, so I'm letting go of germ worries, too. The cute little girl's momma was on a library computer and as best I could tell, searching for housing. They rushed out when she found a great deal. One of my favorite parts of being here- getting little glimpses intoother people's stories.

Man on his stoop to Graves: "Hey, Shorty!"....loving the everyday street things here so very much.

 We went by another grocery store and came home and the big kids had baths and then we had supper. I read to the kids- the Bible, a read aloud chapter book, and history. I did an ethics lesson with them and P and I discussed the religion book we got for them. We got them settled for bed and I got Sallie to sleep after a long time. P and I watched TV and I uploaded pictures and worked on a blog post and then went to bed.

Tuesday was another nice, relaxing day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up shortly after them and got my bath. I did a bit of school with Annie and Peyton did some with Graves and Sallie took a short nap. When she woke up, we all got ready and went for a walk. We got a snack at a coffee shop and headed to our old neighborhood. We spent a long time at a park and then got a hotdog and headed home.

Another day, another park. (This time in our old neighborhood.)

 And no way was Spunky Little Sallie going to miss out on the action!

 Nursing break at the park. These little sneakers are on their last leg (no pun intended), but gosh I still love them.

We stopped at Walgreens and P took Sallie and Graves to the grocery store to get Graves a cake and pick up a few other things. Annie and I came home and I texted a friend and worked on a blog post. Everyone else got home and Sallie took a nap and Peyton fixed a snack supper. We all ate and then got the big kids settled. I started a blog post. Sallie got up and Peyton and I with her awhile and then all went to bed.

Wednesday was Graves's birthday and we had his special day. He wanted to go to a new park and do "jedi training". Peyton picked out a fun park they he had taken the big kids to once when I was at a writing class. We weren't doing any school that day, so we had a slow morning. We all had breakfast and I made the bed and then got ready. I took Graves's monthly pictures and we headed to Central Park. We found the playground and the kids had the best time. We stayed for hours.

 A bit of "jedi training" in Central Park, per the birthday boy's request. 


We finally headed back to the apartment late that afternoon. The big kids had media time and Peyton went to pick up some groceries. Sallie took a nap and the big kids took baths and then we all had supper. Sallie woke up and I fed her some sweet potatoes and bathed her. I took her monthly pictures and we played with her some and then got her to bed.

 Somebunny ready for Easter.

Peyton and I watched some TV and went to bed ourselves.

We all got up and got going at the same time on Thursday. It was around eight. We had breakfast and I made the beds and swept the floor. Peyton had done the supper dishes from the night before and I washed breakfast dishes. Peyton did school with Graves and Annie had media time and I got my shower. Annie and I took her math and went to the laundry mat to do the wash. We got it done more quickly that I had thought and came home and regrouped.

Laundry day in BK. Pretty sure we were the only ones there doing Singapore math and had the only machine with Peter Rabbit jams in it.

We all had lunch and headed to the Children's Museum. After that, we came home and I nursed Sallie and then went to the Maudy Thursday church service by myself. I got home pretty late and only Annie was up. We talked and then she went to bed. Peyton and I watched the news and Sallie woke up and I fed her. We got her back to bed and I worked on a blog post and went to bed myself.

I've had this picture for months and for obvious reasons, it seemed like the perfect Holy Week throwback. I didn't share it then in part because I didn't want to hurt anyone with the accompanying thoughts (that I saved as a "note" on my phone)...Graves put a crown of thorns on Luke Skywalker and crucified him and we had lots of good (and exhausting) conversations. I really felt like he had a better grasp on this stuff when we lived here in New Yorl. Lots of factors- he had this reality whispered in his own tiny ear every Sunday when he took communion, I was better at getting him to focus during services (which were shorter), and to be honest the theology was more cross heavy at Calvary than at Northside (hopefully it goes without saying we LOVE Northside, it is what it is, and honestly it's my working assumption that the theology at Calvary is more cross heavy than just about anywhere and while that was, and is, deeply important to me, I've had to keep my expectations within the realms of reality and I've found myself deeply grateful for what we HAVE found at Northside). Back when I took this picture, Annie asked how Jesus really defeated death if Granny had died (it was weeks after that happened) and I explained that death just meant her life here was over and I'm as certain that Granny is in heaven as I've ever been of anything in my life. If I'm honest, I often struggle with if I'm doing enough in this area. Graves loves to tell me that Heaven will be "awfully fun" but he also told me this week that he thought the pagan gods ancient people believed in were real; so it's REAL touch and go with him. Annie will say frequently (often when *I* need to hear it the most) that she knows that God will never stop loving her no matter what she does and that she knows Peyton and I will never stop loving her either. There's a lot more I hope she understands one day but her (and Graves) feeling secure in that love is what I most care about right now.

Friday was Good Friday and we woke up and got moving. Peyton helped both the big kids get baths and then he got his and I took my shower. We all got ready and had breakfast and then headed to St. George's for a children's Good Friday service. We realized halfway to the train that Annie had left her backpack. Peyton and Sallie turned around to get it and the big kids and I headed on. Peyton told me later that he saw us getting on the train but he couldn't make it in time so they had to wait for the next one. Anyway, we were a little late, but we made it! It was a beautiful, special service. After that, we visited with some friends and I fed Sallie and then Annie and Graves played on the church playground a bit. We headed to lunch at Chipotle. We realized we had lost Graves's stuffed frog so we went back and checked the church and the restaurant. We never did find him and then we headed to Strand. We couldn't find any books we wanted and Peyton got SO stressed out. It was kind of huge and overwhelming and Graves kept getting away from us and wanting everything. Anyway, we started to head home and popped in a Goodwill on the way. Peyton really wanted to get the kids a couple of books to read at night/during down time. They didn't have much of a selection but we got a couple. I nursed Sallie and we headed home.

Sallie had been SO tired on the train but refused to nap at home. We tried for awhile and I took a nap and the big kids had media time. We ended up just letting her play and have a snack while Peyton did school with Graves and I did school with Annie. We got a lot of phonics and spelling done and then some math. Peyton fixed the big kids some supper and I got Sallie to bed. She woke up twice the next two hours but went back to sleep. Graves talked to Cookie on the phone and then I read to him and Annie- we did the Bible, Trumpet of the Swan, an ethics lesson, and history.

Saturday was so much fun. We got up and had a slow morning. I made the beds and got my bath and had breakfast. Annie did her independent work, Sallie played, and P and Graves did some school. I finished up a blog post and started drafting a new one. Sallie had a snack and I swept and then we all got ready and headed over to the TGC Easter festival. It was so much fun. The big kids had a blast and Peyton and I got to visit with a lot of old friends.

The kids were big fans of the petting zoo at the Easter celebration at Trinity Grace Crown Heights (we also went to church there when we lived in Brooklyn). So much fun getting to visit with old friends!

 This one ain't scared of much.

 I never thought I'd see the day I said this, but I think he's SO cute in his little Levi's. 

 And of course this girl just had the best time being around a bunch of people...

...and being doted on by her brother! Nothing like having your best friend bounce you. 

 Love their matching shoes...And faces. 

We came home and Sallie took a nap and we all relaxed a bit.

 Brooklyn's blooming.

One of my most favorite things about Brooklyn is the murals. They are everywhere and when we lived here I loved finding new ones. I just think they're amazing and add so much color to an already beautifully vibrant place. I think ones depicting famous people are interesting but I'm often more drawn to the murals that represent the ordinary humans who together make a community. And I love that those two folks at the front of the truck got to be part of it again for a month.

 Sammy the Owl and this castle in the middle of Bed-Stuy.

Graves and Annie played and I got on IG for awhile and ate some lunch. Annie and I did a bunch of school work (mostly grammar) and Graves had media time and Peyton went to the grocery store. Sallie woke up and Peyton got home. Annie and I finished up and Peyton cooked some supper. We all ate and got the big kids settled. Annie had her media time and then they played a little more and went to sleep. Peyton and I talked and played with Sallie and then got her to sleep. We watched TV and Peyton worked on pool stuff.

Minnie texted P at one in the morning, texted us both at six am, and called me twice at eight...Because there were no Instagrams the day before and she was worried. Ironically, I posted ELEVEN on Saturday. This was the last one.
Sunday was Easter and we all got up pretty early and got going. I took my bath and made our bed and got everyone's clothes out. I wrapped up Easter presents and ironed and Annie had a meltdown because he dress was too tight. Peyton bathed the big kids and then I bathed Sallie and fed her. We finally got out the door and were late, despite us all getting up early. There were train delays, but we finally made it there.

 Pretty much the way I felt most of the morning. I woke up in tears for reasons I can't even articulate. I think I was tired and it also partly had to do with Peyton mentioning that it's been almost a year since Sallie was born and it might be time to think about getting off anti-depressants, which sort of terrified me. (Aside: I'm a big fan of an SSRI when necessary. A BIG fan. But I'm also just as convinced as I've ever been that we are a culture that pathologizes and medicates way too much- normal, low risk births; neuro-typical little boys who function absolutely appropriately for their ages and developmental level; and so much more. And I would like to push back against it when and where I can.) Then Annie cried because the dress I tried on her a month ago was too snug and uncomfortable. I was particularly frustrated because I DID try everything on because I knew I wouldn't have a closet full of backups, because I don't buy the girls a ton of matching stuff, and because Annie and I had made a very clear agreement that she'd wear the Easter dress I picked and could wear her bird and bunny dresses the other Sundays we're here. I know this kid and I know she just wouldn't even think to tell me something was uncomfortable when she just wanted to wear something else. She's blunt and she tells things like they are. She literally told someone at church today "sometimes I do; sometimes a I don't" who asked if she liked having a sister. She don't care. And yet...I raised my voice and asked if she was lying to get out of wearing the dress I wanted her to. And then I cried more because I decided I didn't blame them if they didn't like me much. And then Graves ran I to a bodega and tried to hide from me when we were already running late and Peyton had ran back to get my phone. And then a bird popped on my dress I was wearing for the first time. But He WILL wipe away every tear and everything sad and terrifying is becoming undone and He's making all things new and that day and everyday I remind myself of that. 

Re: them not like me. That week Annie said, without realizing at all that it could bother me "well, I like Momma's rules the best, but Papa is my favorite". We discussed why this was (the former is because I don't make them get up as early as Peyton the task-master does and the latter has a lot to do with his knowledge of Star Wars and how he plays rough with them) and Peyton later talked to her about how we love how honest she is and it wasn't a big deal in this case but it could hurt other people's (e.g. grandparents, friends, ect.) if she talked about who was her favorite. And then Graves told me how he thought Peyton was a better cook than I was and explained that it shouldn't hurt my feelings; I just wasn't as "skilled". When I asked if I was more skilled at anything, he replied, very earnestly, that I had the squishiest tummy of anybody in our family. When he realized maybe that wasn't the response I was hoping for, he tried to redeem himself by saying I had the most "glittery eyes" (you know, because none of the other four people in our family wear eye shadow). I kind of let it go at that point. None of it devastated me, which I'm really proud of, but both interactions did sting a little. And Sallie is becoming more and more of a papa's girl by the day. Peyton reminded me that their preferences will change a lot over the years and Minnie did the same- I think there were plenty of phases where Cookie and I preferred one of them and also many phases where they preferred one of us and I'm so glad that was a normal thing and not something any of us obsessed about. But Sallie is SUCH a momma's girl and if I'm honest, she's kind of my security blanket in some ways, too. So I'm gonna be real sad when she discovers that I'm not the fun parent. I'm just holding out hope for when the hormones hit and they need a sweet, sensitive parent more than a fun parent again. Cause I'm that one.

 Back to the day, though. It was a beautiful service and afterwards we went to brunch at Jake and Mel's and then there was an Easter egg hunt. We got home around four and the big kids had media time. Peyton and I relaxed and Sallie napped. Annie and Graves ate their Easter candy and played and then had supper. Graves took a second bath and Sallie got up and played awhile. We got the big kids settled and P and I talked. I got Sallie to sleep and we watched TV.

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! 
The best shot of the lot. I had a plethora of "not my finest" moments that morning but I realized this was my first Easter ever spent at Calvary-St. George's (the first year we lived here I had JUST discovered it and the second year I had sick babies and P was working). Reminiscent of those days, it took just about everything in me to get there and equally reminiscent of them, it was worth it ten times over to gather with friends, come to the Table, and hear the Gospel boldly proclaimed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #418 (April 3-9)-- Making It Back to the Big Apple (Third Time's the Charm)

So...this was the week we tried multiple times to get on a plane to New York. Whew. I had decided not to do any school or cleaning that week before we left and I ended up having time to get a couple of "projects" completed. I managed to get so much checked off my lists on Monday and Tuesday- all the laundry and packing, a wonderful date with Peyton, uploading and backing up ALL my pictures (which I was getting close to finishing, but which had been a project YEARS in the making), and even getting some stuff ready to drop off at the consignment store since I wanted to get it there before it legit felt like summer in Mississippi. With so many things in order, we left with me feeling much better than I ordinarily do for a trip. Which was such a gift to myself, since it was such a long one.

Peyton was off on Monday and I had been up several times with Sallie, but the kids and I all slept until nine. I got up and got my bath and dried my hair. I made some lists and ate breakfast and then started working on getting ready for the trip.

 I was legit drinking a Coke for breakfast. There was SO much to do in the next (less than) forty eight hours. I did cancel school until we got to Brooklyn and I planned to skip my regular house cleaning the week.

I got some laundry started and Graves did dishes and Annie folded. I got her clothes together, organized some books in their closet, and hung up clothes. We tried a jacket from the attic on Graves and then I got started packing up Sallie and Graves's stuff.

I changed over laundry and then took a break and read some blogs. Peyton made lunch and I ate it.

Peyton was doing a clean out the fridge/cabinets project before the trip and sometimes those suck so hard but this time he knocked it out of the park. As excited as I wasabout our adventure, I was also so over the moon that he wasn't going to work for FOUR WEEKS.

Baby's first time to try sweet potatoes and Pensive Little Sallie having a thoughtful moment. She goobled them up!

I put up some more laundry and then ran to Hobby Lobby to grab something and make a return and to Target for some diapers and pillows I had seen during my last trip. They didn't have the pillows and I was so disappointed. I came home and Peyton was getting ready to go look at the pool with our friend Rob to see what needed to be done before Summer. I was sort of stressed out and I thought Sallie was going to take another nap, but she didn't. I got the kids settled playing and found the pillows online and ordered them. The big kids rode bikes and I changed Sallie and did a few other things. Our neighbor came over and Peyton got home and then he took the big kids to my parents' storage unit and I fed Sallie a snack, bathed her, nursed her and put her to sleep. I got on the computer for a bit and Peyton and the big kids got home. They cleaned up their room and then had media time and went to bed. Sallie woke up during that and she played with them a bit and I ate some supper. I got more stuff packed and went to bed pretty late.

We all got up pretty early on Tuesday. I fed Sallie and Peyton and I chatted and then he got up with the kids and I dozed a little more. I got up and took my bath but didn't dry my hair and changed and fed Sallie and got her down for a nap. Peyton and Annie and Graves went for a bike ride and I started a load of laundry and got some stuff together to pack and then I texted a friend, went through my reader, looked up something about a recall, and started uploading and editing pictures. I had a bunch to upload and it took awhile. Peyton and the big kids got home and I changed over the laundry and got back to work on the pictures and had some lunch. We pretty much spent all afternoon folding laundry and packing and I took a bunch of stuff to the consignment store around three. I ran by Target and came home and did more of the same until it was time to get ready. I got a quick bath and got dressed and we went by some guy's house to pick up a bike for Annie that Peyton had found on Craigslist.

We dropped the kids off with my parents and went to dinner at Strawberry Cafe. We dropped off a house key with P's parents and then ran by Krispe Kreme. We picked up the kids and came home and got them to bed and then did a lot more laundry and packing. We finished everything and went to bed around midnight.

Beautiful dreams, Dear Heart. Sallie wore her heart jams for the last time and it seemed appropriate to match her.

Everything we'd need for a month, packed and ready to go!

Wednesday ended up being the craziest, longest day. Sallie slept so well but I woke up a bunch and was just so restless. I guess I was sort of anxious about the trip. Anyway, I got up for the day at four am, which is like five hours earlier than I normally do. Peyton woke up a little after me and he helped the big kids get baths and get ready and I woke up Sallie and fed and dressed her. We left the house around five thirty to get to the airport before six. We got checked in and boarded the plane and the pilot said the flight was delayed by half an hour because of bad storms in Atlanta. We were a bit nervous about our connection but thought it would be fine. Well, about four hours later...we had a decision to make.

Our flight had only been delayed by an hour but we knew there was there was no way we'd make our connection in Atlanta. We had already boarded and Babes wanted to crawl up and down the aisle of the plane so bad.

Not a bad flight delay, honestly. We had the SWEETEST pilots and flight attendants.

 We literally sat in the plane, on the ground, in Jackson, from seven in the morning until close to noon (we were allowed to get off but with the babies and all the stuff and you had to go through this whole "reboarding" process that seemed like a bad idea). The flight kept getting pushed back more and more and we realized that with all the delays there was no guarantee there would be a flight into JFK and we might end up stuck in Atlanta over night. I'm pretty stubborn, especially with Sallie, about car seats, and it would going to mess up our car service booking, too. So, we called Peyton's parents to come get us, got our millions of bags "unchecked", and came home and set back up the Pack N Play. I'd been up since four that morning, which, as I said, is like five hours earlier than my normal, and I was sort of exhausted. BUT, we were safe. And I can't say enough about the Delta crew. A flight attendant got Sallie two little pouches of baby food which she loved, even though we told her she'd be fine just nursing two or ten times (which she also loved). And I heard another one offer a guy oatmeal from her own bag when he was complaining about not getting a "real" breakfast. One of the pilots was such a ham and they were both so sweet. And these children! They are NOT always well behaved but I made the comment to Peyton that Graves does how to hold it together when it really matters (which may be an indictment on our parenting and does show he has more self-control than we give him credit for). Annie did so well but by the end she was in tears and that was a determining factor in not risking getting stuck in Atlanta (P thought we could just sleep in the airport over night if we had to and WE could have- we rode a Greyhound to a Save Darfur rally, for crying out loud- but we have to think about these little people and I think that would be pushing too hard). Anyway, I was just SO proud of how well they did and they are not kids who are used to sitting in chairs much of the day.

And this girl! She didn't cry the whole time. We let her enjoy her own seat for a bit when they plane started clearing and we still hadn't made a decision.

 If you have be stuck on a grounded airplane for four hours, at least it's nice when you can be stuck with someone who adores you.  

When we got home, we set back up the PnP and I got Sallie down for a nap. The big kids played outside and P and I took turns napping ourselves. I sent a FB message and a couple of emails and did a small load of laundry and went to the attic to hunt some shoes I was kind of stressed about. I opened a package that came in the mail and when Sallie woke up, we all got ready and headed to Chick Fil A. We ate and then went to Walmart because they were having a sale on bike tires. After that we came home and took a family walk to the park. When we got home, Peyton fixed the big kids something to eat and I got Sallie to sleep. I hung up a TON of laundry I had just left in a big pile in our room and put the seat cushions I had washed back on the kitchen chairs.

The diaper bin has never been so full. Truthfully, while I wouldn't CHOOSE this, I loved having a bonus day. As I mentioned, I got a bunch of clean laundry folded that was sitting in a big pile in our room and would have been waiting on us for a month, made a trip to the attic to hunt for some shoes (that I never found and will just have to turn up but I'm glad that's not on a list for when we get home), washed the high chair straps, and tidied Annie's unibrow. It reminds me SO much of when I was knocking stuff out when I was past my due date with Sallie. Not ideal but it sure has it's hidden blessings.

I picked up toys in the den and straightened the sunroom and got the stroller put up. I went to the van to get something out of my suitcase and it took awhile to find it. I read one short book and two Bible stories to the big kids, prayed with them, and turned out their lights right around nine. Peyton had fallen asleep and I got on the computer for a bit and then went to bed.

I was up a good bit with Sallie and it was sort of a long night. Thursday ended up being another strange, long day. We had our flight rescheduled for one o'clock and I got up around nine and took my bath and did a few things. I put up a bunch of laundry and Peyton cleaned up the kitchen and got stuff packed up. Peyton's parents came to follow us to the airport and drive the van back to our house. We got there, checked in again, and made our way to the gate.
 Trying this again.

A little Herrington Pro-Tip: when waiting for a flight, get near your gate but don't bother with the actual seating area. Just find a spot between two and flop yourself on the floor. Preferably where you have a great view of departing flights and a ledge for pulling up while watching them. Note: this is clearly for little tiny peanut airports like Jackson Evers or whatever they're calling it this year.

 More delays. Got some treats, decided we wouldn't wait to board to start media time, and moved closer to the gate to hear updates. I also scrubbed the stroller down with wipes, which we realized we needed to do the day before but I had forgotten. Annie said "I just wish we could get on the plane. Then I'd be more comfortable." I said "oh, is your seat not comfortable?" and she said "I mean I won't be worried about the plane leaving us." I love how she expressed herself. And I love that Graves told me "You may have a gummy worm. Even though you didn't share your M&Ms with me."

We waited a long time and the flight kept getting delayed and then got cancelled. Whew. Pretty disheartening.
 Found a quiet corner to nurse this girl, got her to sleep in the Tula, and our flight is cancelled completely (with, it sounded like, no options until the next day). Whew. So tired. I was wishing for someone to feed me and put me to bed!

We called Mickey and he came and got us and dropped us off at home. We sort of decompressed and then went to get Newks.
 AtNewks. In Flowood. In our pjs. Sigh.

 We came home and the big kids played outside and I did some laundry and played with Sallie. Annie and Graves came in and watched a movie and it took me awhile but I finally got Sallie to bed.

I Facebook messaged some friends and went through my reader and got out the laundry and went to bed myself around eleven.
 Sallie actually SLEPT in her crib. Huge accomplishment that occured somewhat spontaneously because we got to leave all our checked luggage, including the PnP, at the airport. The big kids watched a movie and fell asleep on a pallet in the den.

Friday was finally the day we made it to NYC. We got up super early and got ready and headed to the airport. We got on our plane on time and flew to Atlanta and I was so glad to be there.

Not quite six am and back at the airport. Peyton (and multiple strangers) said " third time's the charm" and Annie said "You don't know that. It's not like you can tell the future. You just hope that's the case." I was really, REALLY hoping it is. 

The boys had to sit in a separate area from us, Annie didn't get her coveted window seat, and I got super light headed and dizzy which is expected, but made me really anxious since I was caring for Sallie without Peyton. BUT the guys did fine, Annie was so sweet and adjusted well even though I know it was a deep disappointment. Sallie and I both fell asleep while I was nursing her during the pressure change and I felt much better when I woke up at a new altitude. Most importantly, we made it to Atlanta, which has been the tricky part of this. SO CLOSE.

Well....our second flight got delayed because they didn't have a crew (flight attendants).

 So grown.

We had two hour delay in Atlanta- another plane without a crew. We were just hoping it would work out but Peyton went ahead and got us into a backup flight out of Atlanta the next morning just in case. I was SO grateful it did and Sallie actually slept almost the entirety of both flights, which I highly doubt she'd have done if the second one had left when it was supposed to. 

We had a car service pick us up and only had to wait a few minutes.

I was cringing the whole time on the ride from the airport. Those straps. OMG. I pretty made an executive decision that in the foreseeable future any time we travel within the continental United States (which is anytime we travel in the foreseeable future), we're driving. The kids did SO well on our big camping trip last Fall and the big ones did great when we moved home from BK. I love flying in theory- it's cool and fun and as a bad a driver as I am, it's never scared me at all- but it does a number on me physically every time and today I realized how much it effects Graves (he and I are so similar in our sensitivity to pressure changes). He was squeezing his eyes so hard in so much pain on the descent and trying not to cry because his ears hurt so bad. And I took Annie to the bathroom in Atlanta and she was in the stall next to me...until she wasn't. She had gone to wash her hands but I had such a panicked moment. I was terrified someone had grabbed a her and she was about a to be human trafficked. I've mentioned it before but that's such a major anxiety trigger for me right now. And then those straps. I just feel so much more in control of the situation when we're driving. And yes, it's important to let go of control and God calls me to do it often. But in this stage of the game, I feel like I'm letting go of it in so many daily ways and this was too much.

We got dropped off and met the guy who we were renting the Airbnb from. After we got settled a bit, Peyton ran to get some groceries. I switched the sheets because the kids wanted the animal print ones in their room and then started unpacking. I ate a sandwich and Peyton took the big kids to the park and to get some more snacks and I finished unpacking.

We finally made it to our Airbnb about ten hours after leaving our house that morning. We made it!

I loved our Airbnb. Super bare bones and a little tacky in some places but it's really clean and basically baby-proofed. This is the room the big kids shared- so tidy because they each brought like six toys. I got everything unpacked and hung up/in drawer right when we got here and Peyton got groceries and it felt so cozy. It felt so good to get settled!

They got home and we all ate something and got to bed. P and I watched TV and went to sleep.

 Sweet babies. Annie was SO excited about those sheets. 

Saturday ended up being unexpectedly difficult. I woke up with a headache and laid down a few more minutes and then got my bath and dried my hair and got dressed for the day. I changed and fed Sallie and gave her some crackers and ate something myself. I swept in the den area and kept feeling worse and worse. Peyton took all three kids to Fort Greene Park and to Target and I just laid in bed all afternoon. They came home and relaxed some and I fed Sallie and then he took them to a playground near us. When they got home, they ate and got settled. I had fallen asleep for a good stretch and felt much better. Sallie was asleep and I talked to P and did some stuff on the computer and ate something.
 Transferred her from the Tula on Peyton's back. Big park day for Sleepy Little Sallie and her siblings.

Sallie woke up around four in the morning and I couldn't get her back to sleep. Since we're in an apartment building with neighbors, I wasn't going to let her fuss or anything, so I just got up with her and had a snack. I played with her a bit and got her back to sleep after an hour.

We all got up sort of late on Sunday. I talked to Peyton and did a few things and ate breakfast. Sallie took a nap- which she fought pretty hard- and I took my bath and dried my hair. I ate something and the big kids had baths. Peyton did a bit of school with Graves and we all got ready and headed to the Natural History Museum.
I promise she really is eight years old. Love her tiny sassy little peanut self. Short inaugural trip back to the Museum of Natural History!

We were planning to all go to church right after and the kids and I would go to the service while Peyton was on a conference call. Annie was having a meltdown at the museum, though, and I hadn't packed any activities or anything for Graves so I knew it would be tough to manage. He ended up taking the big kids back to the apartment and I took Sallie to church with me. It was a wonderful service and it felt so good to be back.

Sallie fell asleep on the train on the way home and I transferred her and then ate something and talked to P and the big kids.

Sleepy Little Sallie takking a train nap. First time to do the subway without Peyton in nearly two years and first time ever to worship with just this girl. Such a special treat!

They had media time and ate supper and we got them to bed. We talked about the week and got Sallie up for a bit so she'd sleep better. I talked to Minnie on the phone and cleared out my reader and then went to bed.

Whew, what a week! It sort of felt like a hundred and reading this over again makes me grateful to be on the other side of it. But I sure do love adventures with these folks!