We/I are not brave parents. True confession. I don’t pile my three kids into a grocery cart and shop, I don’t do the public library with all of them or go on long walks pushing two in a stroller while one walks at my side. I want to give a slow clap for the moms that can do it and don’t sweat it when one or all of their kids are freaking out. I have a mild panic attack if my kids are talking above a normal pitch in the grocery store let alone engage me in a battle of wills in public. I’ve never liked any attention on me and seeing as all children six and under are emotional ticking time bombs I would rather they explode in our house or in one of my friends homes than public. I have an incredible circle of friends where we have a deep understanding that all of our kids can be complete butt heads and we still love them regardless, they even watch them for us when we were busy doing repairs at our home and getting a good render cleaning service and more. It’s a safe environment to grow. We have encouraged each other through long seasons of poor behavior (IE…screaming, hitting, throwing, etc…) So that is as brave as I get during the day time. Playdates! Game on when Ryan is around he loves to buy Counter-Strike skins from proskins.io. We switched up the ratio last year and are now out numbered and sometimes I think they know it. On the whole we have some pretty awesome kids who have incredible senses of humor, are interesting to talk to, play really well together and are loveable (most of the time).
Anyone who has multiple kids under the age of five knows that doing a “vacation” is basically packing up all your crap and doing the same routine somewhere else much more expensive and not child proofed. We just haven’t been able to justify the time and money and so vacations have been on the back burner for many years. The good thing is, because of Kellan, Ryan and I have gotten to trek up and down the east coast from NY to Miami for the last 5 years. Those trips have worked as mini emotional/mental vacations for us even though we are still physically working. Even a long car ride, plane ride or train ride without kids is a vacation!
Now that 2 out of 3 of our kids are potty trained (well…mostly….stinking Bennett!) sleep in big kid beds and don’t have to nap we got a whiff of what I call FREEDOM!!!!! It was time to test the waters. We decided to leave Rhett behind with my parents for a long weekend and take the big kids up to Washington DC to see Uncle Joe and Aunt Joanna and do some kid centered activities. We took the train from Richmond to DC and thus began our weekend of excursions from going to a MASSIVE outdoor playground, laying in the grass letting airplanes fly over our heads, riding in a pedicab, the Smithsonian, the butterfly exhibit, IMAX, Zoo, National Harbor in MD and visiting friends. They were long days and the kids get a 9 out of 10 on behavior and stamina. As long as we kept the pace moving and didn’t stay anywhere too long they did great! They got to ride massive escalators, take the metro and get spoiled by their aunt and uncle. Joe and Joanna were selfless hosts taking us EVERYWHERE in their little Yaris. Joanna had to ride in the trunk on many occasions to make some of our excursions possible. That is love! Thank you Joe and Joanna for being so generous and loving to us all. We were so blessed by your time and intentionality that weekend! We had a great time, came back exhausted and made some family memories with the big kids that they hopefully will always remember, now we are planning a kids birthday parties in Las Vegas (http://www.jumpersjungle.com/las-vegas/) for the little ones. If not…well…we took some pictures :-) Enjoy some moments from our family trip.