Friday, January 22, 2010

So much to post, so little time . . .

Wow I've not been doing well AT ALL at keeping up to date on this blog have I? Little Bit's sleep has become non-existent except for a morning nap in the swing (I put her in the swing (in the bathroom) while I take a shower, the white noise of the shower & bathroom heater puts her to sleep and she generally stays asleep for an hour or more with the continued white noise of the bathroom heater) and that's the nap I've "promised" to the big girls for "big girls activities" so I don't get much blog writing done then either. So . . . here's abit of what's going on around here these days.

Little Bit is Walking!
She's been getting closer and closer and finally last weekend she started taking steps w/o holding onto anything. Hubby videod her walking to her sisters, I'll work on figuring out how to upload it, in the meantime those who are facebook friends, I linked to it there (hubby posted it) so you can see it from my profile. She hasn't had much chance to practice this week (more on that in a minute) but she does every chance she gets.

We Spent the Week in Philadelphia
I think I mentioned earlier that hubby recently changed jobs (within the same office) for a job that includes quite abit of travel within the state of PA. Often the travel will be planned in advance like "normal" travel, but other times, something will come up last minute that requires him to travel. This past week was kind of a combination. He mentioned to me on Sat. night that he might be staying a day or two in Philadelphia later in the week, probably leaving Tues morning, if we wanted to come along. So, we kind of planned that direction on Sunday, doing chores on Sunday that we normally do later in the week, BUT the one chore that REALLY needed doing before a trip was cleaning out the car, it was (is) a DISASTER. We'd have cleaned it on Sunday but it was raining, and scheduled to be nice on Monday so we figured we'd clean the car on Monday. But when hubby got home Sun. night there'd been a change of plans, he was heading to Philly the next morning, planning to be there through Wed or Thurs. So, we decided to see how well we did with a last minute trip. The girls got busy packing their clothes, and making sure their school supplies were in their school bags like they're supposed to be. I got busy packing for myself, hubby and Little Bit, as well as pulling together snacks to take along. I'd been working for the past month on pulling together a "car kit" of (mostly) educational activities to do in the car &/or hotels, etc. So I tossed what I had into a couple bags and brought them along, to organize while we were there. An additional challenge for this trip was that hubby doesn't currently have a working cell phone, so that complicated things with sharing a car & such. Because of that, and all the unknowns of the day, on Monday we opted to just hang out at the church where hubby was auditing. The girls and I set up "camp" on the floor in a corner and did school just like we do at home whole Little Bit crawled around and explored. After we'd finished school I read to them from the American Girl books we're currently reading. The next 2 days we dropped hubby off where he was working that day, and then headed into downtown Philadelphia and the Franklin Institute of Science. It's a great museum with lots of hands-on activities for the kids. They enjoyed climbing through a "heart", making paper, "flying" a plane, "surfing" etc. Little Bit tolerated being in the sling all day for 2 days straight surprisingly well. My back reminded me that I don't wear her for long periods as often as I did her sisters at this age. Though some of the back pain is, I think, the result of a less than ideal hotel mattress. We were disappointed to not get to see an actual STAR show at the planetarium, the first day we didn't get there early enough to attend the "Our Night Sky" show and the next day they didn't have it available (I believe a school group was viewing it, but that's just my guess). As it turned out, instead of going home Wed or Thurs, hubby ended up needing to meet with someone last night, but not during the day yesterday, so he came with us back to the Franklin Institute yesterday (we were planning to check in there to see about the planetarium show (wasn't available yesterday either) and then go to another museum nearby but once we were in there to check the Planetarium schedule, the girls wanted to show daddy all the things they'd seen/done the last 2 days, so we stayed there for a 3rd day. A2 LOVED the K'nex toys that were in the space exibit for building "moon buggies" I think she would have been perfectly happy to stay there ALL DAY.

The big girls did quite well at staying together (A2 tends to like to stay longer at exhibits (at museums and zoos and the like) than A1, which normally we accommodate by splitting up but with one adult that wasn't an option), and such. There was minor whining when I asked them to sing & otherwise entertain Little Bit on our drive back to the hotel but a brief reminder that she'd been stuck in a sling all day while they explored the museum which had NOTHING for her age range had them singing various songs, playing peek-a-boo and generally doing their best to keep her happy & entertained for the drive.

Needless to say, the big girls also fit in as much swim time as they could. I took Little Bit in the pool once but she wasn't overly impressed. Didn't disklike it, per se, but didn't seem to care much either way, so I didn't bother to take her in again. Yesterday when we got back from the museums hubby took the big girls to the pool while I ran to the grocery store to get supper fixings for us girls (since he'd be gone w/ the car at supper time, so going out wasn't an option). After verifying with him that being gone longer was ok with him, I also stopped by a large teacher supply store near our hotel that I'd seen several times and wanted to check out but never had time w/o wasting the whole family's time. Oh WOW!!! A very dangerous store! LOL but awesome, I found some great additions to our travel box (magnifying glasses, compasses, a small ball that looks like a globe . . . ) and wrote down prices for various other things that I may want in the future to see if the price is better there or elsewhere.

Today the big girls spent the morning in the pool while I packed & loaded the car (while hubby watched the girls0 and while hubby did some work stuff he needed to do (while I watched the girls), and then we headed home. We've had a quiet afternoon at home, catching up on laundry and such, and now I am VERY ready for Sabbath . . . ahhhhhhh!

As we were driving home, hubby asked if I'd do it again, and I said yes. It was exhausting (especially because Little Bit's sleep is less than ideal on a good day, and almost non-existent in a hotel, AND here at home when she's super restless, hubby often takes her and sleeps, holding her, in the recliner, but w/o a recliner in the hotel room, that wasn't an option), but the big girls had a blast & we all enjoyed extra time with Hubby/Daddy. There are things I'll do differently next time (like make sure to get/keep the car cleaned out & keep a good stock of good car/travel snacks), but all in all it went well & we had a good week.

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