We're back!! We had the best time visiting our friends in Kansas City for the weekend. Our friends' house, where we stayed, had lots of room and lots of adults and kids and tons of toys and it was so much fun. I thought it would be tiring to have the kids away from home but it really wasn't. It is amazing how much easier it is when there are so many adults around to keep an eye on them and I really enjoyed visiting with my friend, her parents and her brother visiting from CA. Her brother and his wife home schooled their four children, the youngest of whom is now 18 years old, so it was very interesting and educational to talk with him about their experiences with home schooling.
My friend borrowed two pack n plays for us and the boys had their own room so we all had very good sleep. The boys had a little trouble falling asleep at first but I kept going back in and making them lay down and, the longer we stayed, the easier it got.
My friend has two daughters adopted from Russia, a four year old and 22 month old. Ben is 20 months old now and Nick is 18.5 months old, so we had a lot of fun watching them all play. Nick and Ben were especially interested in what the four year old did and watched her a lot. They loved pushing her baby carriage and would also drag around her doll, if they could get away with it. It was very funny. They were easily entertained, since there were lots of new toys for them to play with.
Another highlight of our trip was that we watched, for the first time, the video we took during our first trip to Russia to adopt our boys. My friend was there at the same time to bring home her second daughter and they were frequently in the background of our video, which was really neat. It was amazing to see how much our boys had changed in 5 months, most especially Ben. We had forgotten how very far behind developmentally he was when we first met him. Anyone meeting him today would never know he had ever been behind developmentally.
On Sunday we all went to church and then out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum! My husband did a great job of keeping the boys entertained until the food came (peak-a-boo with napkins on their heads:). On our way back to the house, we stopped at an Einstein's Bagels because I was really looking forward to having some REAL bagels again. That is one of the things I missed most since we moved to Oklahoma. We had an Einstein's Bagels in Houston but where we live in Oklahoma, we only have Panera Bread and they only make sourdough bagels, which I don't really care for. I had a blueberry bagel snack that afternoon and oh was it good! Later that evening, we had grilled hamburgers with all the fixin's and we even had homemade ice cream! I had not had homemade ice cream since I was a kid. It tasted so good and the boys really enjoyed it too.
Yesterday we went to a farm that is just the most awesome place for kids. We all had a great time. They have all of the typical farm animals and baby animals, up close and personal, with petting areas and food/bottles to feed them, along with pony rides, fishing and little tractor rides (the kind kids pedal). It was really a wonderful place for kids and it is FREE, if you can believe that!! Absolutely amazing! We ate in their picnic area afterwards and then we started our journey home.
The boys were so tired from the farm that they fell asleep almost immediately. Nick had actually fallen asleep in the stroller while we were ordering our food but he woke up to eat with us. That was the first time either of our boys had ever fallen asleep in a stroller....but then, this was the first time we have ever taken them away from home for an overnight stay and to a busy, fun place like the farm for half a day, missing their nap.
They both took nice, long naps and we were in a perfect place to stop for a bite and change of diapers when they woke up. At that point, we were about half way home. We got out the double DVD player and set it up and they watched that at times, while also playing with toys. I had packed a bunch of smaller toys in a large bag and put it between their car seats so they could reach them. It really worked out well.
We made great time until we came to an area where there is a bunch of construction and the road goes down to one lane. Miles before this, the traffic came to a halt and we inched forward for about 45 minutes. I was a bit concerned about how the boys would handle this, since being stopped or going very very slow for long periods of time makes them think we should be getting out of the car. But we were very impressed with how they handled it. We heard a couple of whines to begin with from Ben but really, for the most part, that was about it. We would just ignore them (the whines) because it seems that paying attention to them only makes them worse. So we ignored them and very soon he stopped whining and accepted the situation.
Our car trip was about 4 to 5 hours there and 5 to 6 back and we never heard any crying from the boys at all, other than a little whining when they were fighting sleep or not happy with sitting still in traffic, but that didn't last long. My husband and I were both very impressed with how well they handled the long car rides. We only made one stop on the way there and one on the way back and, in both directions, they took pretty good naps and then played with toys and watched their DVD's the rest of the time.
They were happy to get home though. We came in the house and immediately took them for a bath because they had sunscreen on from being outside at the farm. They love their bath so they were running to get to the stairs and very excited for their bath. After bath, we ended up bringing them back downstairs for a bite to eat, as they had not eaten a whole lot when we had stopped. They each ate half of a chicken pot pie and then played for a few minutes before finally going down to bed around 9:00 pm ish. My husband unloaded the car and clean up our car messes while I was feeding the boys, which was great. We really make a good team. We are both hard workers and we try to do things to help each other and make things easier for the other, which is nice.
Today, my husband is back at work and the boys and I are back on our old schedule of two naps, since they are a bit fussy from having longer days and less sleep while we were gone. Today will be a quiet, relaxing day for us...as much as it can be with two little toddler boys:).