Sunday, July 29, 2007

Road Trippin'

Sorry I haven't blogged for awhile, we have been busy on our Summer Adventure! I simply haven't made time to write, and perhaps I needed a bit of a brain break from all of the intensity of emotion that often comes out when I post. I just haven't had the urge, which surprised me as I figured I'd be blogging every day! However, in my own defense, we have been very busy and I haven't even taken that many photos while here which I just realized and which is very unusual for me! I'll have to remedy that during our remaining days here.

We got off to a rousing start Monday morning and were off at 6:30 AM. We had a bit of a difficult day with Kenny in the car, as he was stubborn and obstinate about several things, and mommy was really NOT in the mood for it at the beginning of a 10 day trip alone with 3 boys. After a couple of bottom chewings and a little moment of "attitude adjustment" he had finally gotten the idea that Mom's Law was exactly that, The Law, and he was not going to get away with acting up. None of it was very serious and he was mainly testing me at every opportunity to see if I really, really, really meant it when I said "Yes, you must use the headphones for the DVD player" or "No, for the final time, we are NOT going to the store so you can spend your $5 in the first 2 hours of our trip". You know, stupid stuff like that.

However, by the time we arrived in Las Vegas things had mellowed a bit and when we got to the beautiful room we both looked at each other and apologized for the challenging day and we started over with a smile and a HUGE jump on the big beds by all of us, including mom. All 3 boys' eyes bugged at the big screen TV in the room and the view from the 18th floor! Then we were off to visit friends, which we enjoyed tremendously. I had hoped Kenny would visit in Russian while he had the opportunity but he was too busy exploring the new environment to do too much chatting. Mom got to visit though and had a great time. We then drove up and down the strip viewing the lights and Kenny's "oohs" and "Ahhhs" were priceless. After a good nights sleep, we were on the road again to Destination California!!

We arrived here in California and all the boys were anxious to see their Grandmas, who in our family's case are good friends and live 5 minutes from one another. This makes it easy for all of us as my mother-in-law graciously invites my mom over to hang out all the time we are here staying with her so we don't have to feel torn between two households and moms. I'll bet the boys think that every family has both sides together all the time! Matthew hadn't seen his grandmas in 2 1/2 years so it was almost like meeting new people all over again. Josh had been here in October with me so all was fresh in his mind and for the first time it was as if he was not the rookie! Kenny, with his usual flair, showed no reticence and was very happy to meet his extended family. It seemed to be extremely important to him to understand these familial connections and piece it all together, to feel a part of a larger family. He met cousins and aunts and his only uncle as well as the myriad number of family friends who are always in and out of the house, including a kind young woman who is a friend of the family who speaks Russian and interpreted a few things for us! We spent the first couple of days with downtime, just hanging out, swimming, and seeing a couple of stores...and yes all 3 boys spent the $5 that Dominick had given them as spending money for the trip.

The Big Event thus far though, was yesterdays trip to Legoland, which honestly couldn't have been more perfect. We had the surprise pleasure of having Auntie Beth and cousins Jake and Bethany offer to come along and spend a hot, sweaty, busy day with us and we were so happy to have them! Matthew was living out his dream, and Legoland was the end result. This was Kenny's first trip to an amusment park like this and as if a sign from above, while we were standing in line to buy our tickets a couple of Russian woman with children were in line behind us and Kenny was very excited to hear Russian spoken. Josh and Kenny both rode their first roller coasters, much to their collective delight (and Mommy's joy that cousins could taker her place a time or two!). All three were entranced as they watched the live Pirate stage show, and the squeals and laughter at the waterpark area alone were worth the trip. Auntie Beth was the designated "Official Squatter" holding down park benches loaded with backpacks and bags while the rest of us wandered through various rides. Joshie got to drive a real car (kids have complete control, no track it follows!!) and even though it was only about 3 MPH he thought he was such a grown up!! I am certain Matthew could have remainded in the Lego Building Center the entire time, although there were no complaints when we said it was time to move along. Once Kenny got a taste of roller coasters there was no stopping him.

We have also visited the most amazing library I have ever seen, it is a brand new $26,000,000 library here and is just awesome, and I am jealous that I don't get to visit it more! Although for a small city our Montrose library is also something to be proud of. Our family is really into libraries and the boys consider it a treat to go.

One hard part of this trip is that a dear friend had emergency surgery while we have been away and I hate that we are not there to help in some way, so faily calls ahve been flying back and forth to keep us up to date on his condition, and thankfully he is doing well now.

It is a bit strange, being back to the place that for so many years was "home" to me. I lived in Camarillo from the time I was 5 until I was 30, and yet I have almost no close friends here at all, almost no one I want to visit other than family. The cost of housing here is so out of control almost no one who grew up here in my time still lives here, and I also realize with gratitude for Montrose that larger cities do not lend themselves to forming friendships more easily, despite the larger population. I am driving along streets I know like the back of my hand, pointing out various spots to the kids where we played ball, went to school, etc. And yet there is no strong feeling of nostalgia, no yearning for days gone by...it is all factual to me, and I discover I have no heart connection to this place where I spent 25 years of my life other than the presence of our mothers. I keep thinking I should feel something more, that reminiscing should bring about certain emotions and yet it doesn't and I wonder if there is something wrong with me that I don't feel more than I do.

The boys have all been outstanding with very few meltdowns or issues at all even though they are exhausted much of the time due to late bedtimes, tired out bodies due to sun and swimming, and being bombarded with new people. One thing I have realized on this trip is just how much I actually LIKE my sons...not just love them, They are good company, they are funny and smart, kind and generous, and even if I didn't have a piece of paper that said I was their mom I would think they were pretty cool cats :-)

A couple more days and then we are on our way home to Daddy and real life, whatever that may be. Still have a busy 3 weeks before school starts and I dread getting back to a real schedule. I love the laziness of summer, the spontaneity, the relaxed betime rules. I enjoy having the kids home and doing so many things together, but this summer I think it will take school starting for me to catch my breath!

I have pictures to post but will add them later when I have high speed access. Hope you all are enjoying the last part of your summer too!

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