First things first: we made it to California safe and sound!
Secondly, since sharing a hotel room with our four kids, one of whom does not do time changes well, meant stealing as much sleep as I could from our nights, I didn't manage a single post from the road.
So this post is a mash up of everything that happened since we set off from Michigan last Wednesday and began driving across the country.
We drive because I would rather spend approximately forty hours in a car with my kids than spend six hours on a plane with them.
Okay not all of them. Mostly Patch. I would take Maggie on a plane in a heartbeat. She's so overwhelmed by the wonderfulness of flying that she seldom makes a sound. But I'm not quite over the traumatic experience that was our last flight across the country and I love driving cross country, so a road trip it was. With Nani and Grumpa (who Patch is now calling Bo-Pa) because Paul is staying back in Michigan being super busy.
He'll come out and drive back with us in August and we'll have another fun cross country road trip, again.
Maggie had done so well in Sadie's booster seat, so I let her try out her seat as a booster (while making sure we kept the five point harness in the car). She did awesome at first.
She lasted as far as Indiana. And then she decided it was hilarious (in her mind) to try to sneak out of the chest strap and we pulled over and I reassembled the car seat on the side of the road in something like fifty thousand percent humidity.
Then we were back on the road.
Before heading on to Illinois.
And I have to say. I love the narrow states when I'm driving east to west or west to east. It feels like you've accomplished so much in a cross country drive when you can quickly make your way across two states.
It was on this particular night that Patch, who has formerly loved Mickey Mouse (and who has been wearing a lot of Mickey Mouse t-shirts lately, which I'd happened to pack) saw him on television and decided he was terrifying, to the point where he was trembling after the TV was off and I had to promise him repeatedly that the TV wouldn't be coming back on.
Maggie had lots of firsts on the trip, trying on dresses that weren't pink, that she'd had for at least a year and refused to wear, that she suddenly realized she really liked. She also started talking a lot. And sang the Bubble Guppies theme song to herself, for much of the drive:
That first night in Iowa was wild. No one did all that well going to sleep in a new place. Patch was up from one to three and then Maggie woke up at four.
We were on the road by seven, but no one had gotten all that much sleep.
Still, before lunch time we were headed into Nebraska.
And after driving straight through, with a quick stop for lunch, we made it to Wyoming as the sun was sinking down out of the sky:
We stopped in Cheyenne for our second night on the road.
The kids were exhausted from their sleepless night in Iowa and crashed as soon as we made it up to our room. And this time they all slept until four am. Which meant we were on the road by six.
Driving across Wyoming with Patch was kind of hilarious. He was like the narrator of the trip in the back of the car and we heard this during most of the time he was awake:
"Look! Look! A rock! Look a rock. I see rock. I see rock. Look. I see cow. I see rock. Look! Look!"
And he was so excited every single time that he said it that it never got old.
We stopped for lunch in Salt Lake City.
But by bedtime that night we were tucking the kids in, in Elko, Nevada.
The fact that the kids slept in until 4:15 Pacific Time felt like a small victory and we were on the road again by six. Here's Maggie waiting by the door. She was so impatient to get back into the car each morning:
We drove straight on through Nevada.
And finally we crossed the border into California.
And before dinner time we were at Nani and Grumpa's house up in the mountains, which will be our home for summer while Paul is busy getting things done and working back in Michigan.
The kids almost slept in until 5 this morning, which is huge, because the last time we were here for two weeks she never slept past 3. Mae's internal clock is not easily reset.
We've already had a few adventures with the wildlife (involving a skunk and a buck), and we're enjoying the dry heat (I still haven't quite gotten used to the humidity back home) and lots of water fights on the porch!
Now to go get dressed. Sadie's already made me promise we'll have a water fight this morning!