Whew! What a trip so far. Yesterday started out the first hour with a two-year-old throwing up in his sleep on the couch…not tons, but certainly not fun. Luckily we had Febreze with us. The kids were pretty good most of the afternoon with a few small fights. They mostly watched movies and colored/played games with the dry erase activity binders we’d made each of them. When it got dark we changed them into their pajamas and man, what a fight broke out! They were overtired and the hype and excitement around this trip for so many days made them unwilling to listen to reason. They all tried to get in the tiny bathroom at once to change and refused to take turns.
Once they were finally in bed and dropping off to sleep, around 10p.m., the adults started to really feel the tiredness. John drove till about 11 and got us through Utah and Wyoming and then I took over for 3 or so hours…I drove from Cheyenne, Wyoming to North Platte, Nebraska. I didn’t think I would make it that long but I had my mp3 player to listen to and Kaari and Kaatia talked to me to keep me awake, then when I crashed around 3a.m. Kaatia stayed up with John to keep him awake while he drove again. Ethan and Joshua screamed off and on throughout the night.
The night was very long.
John and I spent 45 minutes in the dark of Wyoming trying to guess, as we drove, what the huge, glowing, rocket-shaped light up in the sky was. We guessed serious and silly guesses from things like secret government projects and alien motherships to neon signs on a mountain. Finally, after we got close enough, we saw it was the moon! It was dark yellowish orange and so huge and low in the sky. We were not used to seeing it like that. Also, it was covered by clouds and only a half moon (or little more) anyway so it was extra hard to figure out.
I loved looking at Nebraska scenery, for once–normally its rolling gentle hills and green prairies/fields of corn all seem very commonplace, but everything was so GREEN and familiar that it made me ache with homesickness for Wisconsin. I just can’t wait to see the kids’ faces when they see the forests covering the land everywhere they look. And we get to run around and play in them! My sisters and I had the most fun childhood you could ever imagine and I am so excited to show my children what it was like for me.
I woke up as dawn was breaking and then got up at 6a.m. I’d gotten around 2.5 hours of sleep or so. I switched drivers with John at Lincoln, Nebraska and made it through the first 20 or so miles of Iowa before John took over again. I really had thought we’d get to Des Moines by 7 or earlier. I was surprised it took so long–we didn’t arrive at Kaari’s former college till nearly noon.
John, Kaatia and the kids dropped us off and went to a park, and Kaari and I spent an hour practicing. The recital began ten minutes late at 1:10 and took about a half hour instead of the 20 minutes we’d projected. When it was over it was such a great feeling of relief on my part and I’m sure it was a thousand times more for Kaari. What a great husband I have to do all this for us!
Well, we were famished so after a trip to Burger King and a wrong exit we were finally on our way. We also had our first experience dumping waste at a Rest Area dumping station and let’s just say…ewwwww. And I didn’t even have to do the gross part–poor John. 🙂 We’re now on I-35 northbound heading for Albert Lea at the bottom of Minnesota where we’ll turn east towards Wisconsin!! I can’t wait for my first glimpse of my beautiful home state!