Brave. Adventurous. Crazy. However you want to label me, it all comes out the same. I have always been the kind of person that does what I want, even when it isn't very convenient to do so. And having a 3rd child hasn't exactly changed that.
Earlier this year, Justin found out he would be going to a computer conference in Denver in June. And since that just happens to be the city that my best friend was moving to, naturally I planned on taking the whole family. Never mind the fact that my 3 baby was due the end of May. I figured I had taken a 6 week old on a plane before - what could be different. Mmm, maybe the 3 year old and 2 year old that would also be tagging along?
I used to be able to just go somewhere without much planning or thought. Boy am I glad I took some time to prepare for this trip. Our carry-ons were filled with books, crafts, and of course, the computer and mp3 player with all their favorite songs. Clearly the music helped them both take a good nap on that first flight.
As we were planning the trip, I kept reminding my friend that I have 3 kids. I repeat, 3 kids. There were others visiting as well. Each couple with their 1, very manageable, child. Everything is complicated when you have multiple children. Going out to eat (thank you Jesus for booths!), getting around (that $110 upgrade to the minivan was SO worth it,) and sightseeing (Mmm, unless that Museum has the word "Children's" in front of it, I think we'll pass.)
But really, I had a great time. I may have spent a lot of my time chasing kids around, feeding children, telling stories and initiating new activities to keep everyone entertained, but I also learned that the best times are often had when all the other plans go to pot. Like when we had to duck out early while the other checked out downtown Denver, we stumbled upon a Butterfly Pavilion on our way home (score!). Or when Miriam came to pick us up from the airport and we somehow shoved 2 large suitcases, 3 kids and us (me holding another carseat on my lap) into her 94 Toyota Carolla. And, of course, there are the things you do despite having children, like going to the 12:01am opening of Eclipse, praying that Xander will take the bottle (first time) with formula (because I forgot my pump.)
There have been plenty of activities over the past few years that I have opted out of because I thought it would be too much of a hassle dragging my kids along. And I am sorry for missing almost every one of them. Last night I took Annalia and Naomi to the carnival. At the last minute, I decided to take Xander too. (Justin had a lot of work so I felt bad leaving him with a crying baby.) I admit, I started with a bad attitude - I knew it would be a disaster. And for the most part, it was. It was packed, we had to park a half a mile down the street (beyond the end of the sidewalk.) When we finally arrived, I learned that both girls were too small for any of the rides. So we spent $10 for them to throw a dart and pick up a ducky, and finished off our trip with an ice cream cone for each girl.
But as they held hands and licked their melting ice cream on the hike back to our car, I was glad I took them. Not because it was a "successful" trip, but simply because we did it. Call me crazy, but I LIKE it when things aren't perfect. Probably because it makes for a better story :)
Next crazy adventure - planning on taking my 3 kids (probably by myself) to Dutch Wonderland to meet up with my friend and her 3 kids. Watch out!