Grandma’s Visit.

I would like to announce that my mom wins the 2012 Bravest Woman Alive Award. She drove back from Arkansas to Chicago with the babies and me (Justin flew back early to get back to work). Folks, never in a million years would I volunteer for such a task were these children not biologically attached to me. First of all, an 11-hour car trip is a daunting task if you’re traveling alone, or with another adult. But add two time bombs in the back seat and it becomes an endless, tense prospect where, at any minute, the entire car could blow in a fusillade of flying graham crackers, screaming toddler, and projectile vomit.  (You heard me. We have added car sickness to our charming roster of travelling issues. First it was Emme: she never said anything; you would just hear a tiny, strange sound, and think nothing of it until the unpleasant smell of vomit would waft underneath your nostrils. There she would sit, quietly, marinating in her own bile. It doesn’t seem to upset her, but HELLO, it can’t be pleasant sitting in vomit. When we took mom to the airport on Tuesday, first she threw up and then Jack did as well. We reallyreallyreally want to try and keep them rear-facing as long as possible — AT LEAST until they were two but Justin was aiming for as close to the 40-pound weight limit as possible — but neither of us can take thinking of how uncomfortable car sickness is for them. We’re trying to  decide what to do and when to do it.) Thankfully, although the trip was long, it was fairly uneventful. Here’s a weird thing: my kids won’t eat Chicken McNuggets. What the what? What good is a car trip if your kids won’t take advantage of road food??

It is so nice having someone around the house with me (and of course even nicer that is my sweet southern mommy). We went on walks, played in the side yard, and I didn’t have to face meltdowns every time I dared leave the room they were in. We also went to the park: I have discovered the best tiny little park through a Facebook group I joined. It’s only about three or four blocks away, is fully fenced in, and it is almost always empty. It’s actually a park I can take them to myself! Which is wonderful.

The kids were feeling awfully adventurous this particular day — they both climbed up and went down the slides all by themselves!

So indicative of their personalities. Emme is all uncalculated, gleeful risk; Jack is hesitant, nervous yearning. I am slowly but surely getting more comfortable with them at the park, around other kids, but it’s not easy. I can’t figure out if I’m more afraid that they’re going to hurt some other child or the other way around.

We took advantage of having a third person and walked to the lake while Big G was here. I’ve been wanting to take pictures near the water but it’s impossible to do that with just two of us. Mom was shocked at how close we live to the lake — about four blocks — when you’ve lived here for as long as we have you kind of forget how great it is to have that feature so nearby.   Unfortunately, it was bright sunlight (middle of the day) so the photos I got aren’t that great.

Jack LOVED the water. If Justin hadn’t been holding on to him every second we were there, he would have dived in like a dolphin. I have to give Grandma mad props for going with us — she hates three things in life: rice, sand, and water. This trip could have only been more nightmarish for her if we had flung pots full of boiled rice at her head. We all got absolutely soaked and our tennis shoes looked like pieces of chicken ready to be fried with the sand as bread crumbs — and we had to walk four blocks, squishing the whole way. It’s the power of grandchildren that got her though that, I’m sure.

She’s been gone three days and we miss her an awful lot! Between her visit here and our visit to Arkansas, we’re reminded of why we want to live nearer to family…if only we could talk them all into moving to Chicago.

Shannon - July 21, 2012 - 9:13 am

I’m all for the family moving to Chicago! 🙂

That dress on Emme is sooo adorable! And your mom rocks that cute hat in a way I wish I could!

Janie Hightower - July 21, 2012 - 10:47 am

Now saving up for a plane ticket!

Robert M. Hightower - July 21, 2012 - 3:53 pm

Another set of great pictures and a wonderful story. The children are so beautiful and are certainly having great times.

Katie - July 30, 2012 - 9:43 am

Put a price on Emme’s dress, I WANT IT NEXT!

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