I probably say this every month, but July was a complete and total blur. Mostly because we were gone for the majority of the month, but also because it was BUSY. I was going to write a post about vacation and a post about the rest of July … until I realized that the July post would go something like this: we packed, we left, we came back, we were all sick, we unpacked (kinda), we were all still sick, the end.
So in an effort not to bore anyone to the point of poking themselves in the eyeballs and sleeping on their desk in a pile of drool, I'm just putting them both together. One nice, long post. You're welcome.
The first week of July consisted of laundry, packing, laundry, cleaning, packing, laundry … you get the idea. My uncle passed away fairly unexpectedly, so we decided to leave on Thursday night instead of Friday night as originally planned so that we could make it for the funeral. Brian went into work for a bit on the 4th so that he could get some work done before leaving. And I packed.
I will say that I enjoyed packing for a road trip much more than a plane flight. We packed fairly lightly, especially for the boys, because I knew that there were a bunch of brand new clothes waiting for them in Michigan. It's also nice to know that things are accessible during travel, especially when your kid projectile vomits the french fries and formula all over himself and your crotch. So even though it's crappy to have to dig through the back of the car to get to the suitcases, it's nice to be able to have access to clean clothes so that you and your child don't have to smell like vomit the rest of the day. Although through that process I did learn to pack an emergency go-to bag of an extra change of clothes for everyone that we left toward the top of the pile-o-stuff.
On Thursday, I made sure to get a nap while the boys napped so I was well rested. Before we left, while Brian was loading the car, I hopped on the treadmill and got a nice run in. This always gets me a bit hyped up, so I was wide awake for the first shift of driving. The boys slept very well in the car that night and Brian and I were each able to take a nice long night shift so that the other could get some good sleep. The next day, we stopped frequently for bathroom breaks and diaper changes, and stopped for each meal. We decided that fast food would be the best option as it's fairly quick, but allowed for us to sport our not-so-fancy PJs and road-trip-stank. And of course fast food restaurants have germ-infested play places so that Brennan could burn some energy and pick up all sorts of fun germs. Overall the trip was great, except for pretty much Ohio in its entirety. Between the terrible drivers, the traffic jams for no reason, and the stench, our opinion that it's pretty much the armpit of the nation were confirmed. Sorry, Ohio friends and relatives. We still love you.
We arrived to a house full of my relatives on Friday night. It was nice to see everyone and spend time with them on Saturday. Sunday we headed to Brian's parents' house to spend time with them until they had to leave to take Brian to the airport and the boys and I headed back to my parents' house.
The first week was glorious. We relaxed, spent time in the pool, and enjoyed lots of family time. I love being at my parents' house because I have plenty of help and I know I don't have to worry about anything. They're attentive with the boys and always ask before they feed the babies anything or offer Brennan anything. It's so nice to be able to just relax! And my Uncle Joe is perhaps the best cook on the planet, so my waistline appreciated that quite a bit. I went shopping with my sister Teresa, got pedicures with my Mom, and enjoyed a nap or 5 as well! My Grama spent a few days with us as well. It's always nice to get to spend time with her and to see her spend time with my boys. Those are priceless memories for me.
We had a play date with my dear friend and college roommate Heather and her son and a play date with my best friend Jessica and her kids. It was a blast to see them and to see our kids play together. My youngest sister, Michelle, and her boyfriend Andrew came for a visit at the end of the week. I hadn't met Andrew yet and I immediately knew I liked him. The poor kid just needs to get used to our crazy family. I have no doubt that he'll be able to adjust in time. "Uncle" Cory, Brennan's godfather and one of Brian's best friends, also stopped by a few times to spend some time with the boys. He fits right in with our family and spoils the boys rotten.
On Saturday, Brian flew back to Michigan from Florida, but went straight to bachelor party festivities that he had to attend to. My Mom, my sisters and I took the boys to mass, which was quite the adventure. Then we headed to dinner with my Dad and Andrew and my family got a first hand look at the reason why Brian and I don't take the boys out to eat much anymore. As they get older, it becomes more chaotic and I think that they proved that fact very well. Michelle repeated over and over that she is never having kids. (She'll be the one with five kids. Girls. You can quote me on it.) Brian arrived at my parents' house nice and hung over on Sunday. We enjoyed a delicious 20-course dinner compliments of Uncle Joe and relaxed in the pool. Monday morning we had to say goodbye to Michelle and Andrew and laid low for the rest of the day.
Tuesday morning, we headed to Dearborn to have lunch with some of Brian's former coworkers, then headed to the Henry Ford Museum. If you're ever in Dearborn, Michigan, I highly recommend stopping in to the Henry Ford. We've been several times in the past, but it's interesting which exhibits we skipped all together this time and which ones we spent more time exploring simply because Brennan was old enough to be interested. OK, obsessed might be a better word. He loved seeing the tractors, airplanes, and cars, but the trains were definitely the biggest hit. That night, we headed back to Brian's parents' house to set up camp.
Wednesday we made the journey to one of our favorite cities in the world, Ann Arbor. We toured Brian's old fraternity house that is almost finished being rebuilt after a devastating fire burned it almost to the ground. It was great to see a place that holds so many special memories for us being restored to its old charm. After the tour, we headed to Mongolian BBQ, which Brian has been craving for FOREVER. The city was pretty crazy since it was Art Fair week, so instead of walking around with the boys for a bit, we headed back to Brian's parents' house to spend some time with them.
On Thursday we awoke to see that Brian's sister Jen had arrived from Virginia. After spending a bit of time with her, we got on the road and headed to a get together with some of my former coworkers from Labor and Delivery. I haven't seen these girls in a year and a half, so it was awesome to see them. In some ways, I felt like we hadn't skipped a beat because of keeping up on Facebook, but it was nice to wrap my arms around them. It felt just like old times … minus the green hospital scrubs, amniotic fluid, and 3am "girl talk" discussions. They snuggled the twins and oohed and aahed over how big Brennan had gotten and I returned all of those feelings over their kiddos. We had to leave too soon, but I think anytime would have been too soon. I miss those girls so much.
Friday began the chaos. In the late morning, I left to attend my cousin Chad's wedding to his beautiful bride Laura. Then rushed home to help clean my in-law's house for Brian's grandma's upcoming party. Brian's poor Mom ripped one of the tendons in her leg in half … vertically. Ouch. So she was gimping around in a boot and stressing out over the fact that she couldn't get her house clean for the party. Brian, Jen, and I did all of the cleaning we could until Brian and I had to leave for the rehearsal dinner and Jen and Brian's parents were left on babysitting duty for the evening. The rehearsal went beautifully, until the end when Brian tiptoed up to me with his big-don't-be-mad-at-me-puppy-dog eyes and informed me that he forgot to pick up his tux. After a few frantic phone calls, his Mom saved the day and went to pick it up for him. The dinner was beautiful and we enjoyed spending time with friends that we haven't seen in awhile. We headed home, exhausted, but excited for the next day's events. When we got home, we were excited to see that Jen's husband Brian had arrived from Virginia to join the family fun weekend.
Saturday morning came too early. We packed up the kids and dropped them off at my parents' house for my sister to watch them, then headed to get a wedding gift … and maybe some new jewelry for me and some sandals for Brian. Damn Kohls and their clearance deals and coupons! After checking into the hotel, Brian got all tuxedo-ed up and I headed off to help Craig, Brian's other best friend and the groom, get ready and with a special errand. When the groom was ready to go, we headed to the church where I hung out with the Groom and his men. And tried to break up the weird silence with my Mom-bag full of snacks and my stellar jokes.
The wedding was beautiful, partly due to the Deacon who married them ::coughMyDadcough:: and mostly due to the gorgeous couple. Afterward, the bridal party and their spouses (that's me) loaded onto a trolley and began the drinkfest. We stopped a few times for the bridal party to go take pictures at some pretty locations, while we spouses kept the bus cool and the beer flowing. I did something I haven't done since college and peed behind a barn. (Hey, I've had 3 babies in less than 2 years. My bladder isn't what it used to be!) The reception was a ton of fun and I liked Brian's best man speech. Some of our friends had mixed reviews on it, so he got razzed a bit, but the bride and groom and I liked it, so we're calling it a hit. That night, we took the shuttle back to the hotel and it was glorious not to have to put anyone else to bed before climbing into bed myself.
What was even more glorious was to wake up Sunday morning at 8:30 without an alarm. We enjoyed a nice breakfast with the bride and groom and their families. It was hard to say goodbye to our sweet friends, but we knew we had a big day. We headed back to my parents' house to pick up the boys and then headed to Brian's parents' house for his Grandma's 100th birthday party. It was a costume party, so people dressed from their favorite decade of Grandma's life. I have to say that more people wore costumes than I expected, which was fun. A few of our friends - Kristin, Janelle (Kiernan's godmother), and Caitlyn & Larry (Beckett's godfather) - stopped by during the party to see us and the boys. At the end of a very long day, we packed up the car again, said our goodbyes, and got back on the road.
The trip home was crappy. Brennan was sick and we spent 45 minutes in a gas station parking lot at midnight trying to calm him down and get him to drink some milk. We were both exhausted and Brian was coming down with presumably the same thing that Brennan had. Nevertheless, we made it home.
Since then, we've all passed around one kind of illness or another. On the 26th, Beckett had an evaluation with his physical therapist and was declared "graduated". I spent the following Saturday at a baby shower/going away party with some of my girl friends. On the 31st, I took Kiernan to the ER because he came down with a weird rash and when I described it to the nurse at the pediatrician's office, she told me to go to the ER. Long story short, he's fine. It was just a side effect of a weird virus that we're all still passing around.
So there you have it. The LOOOOONG story of July. Is anyone still reading?!