Parenting and palm trees

Last Saturday, we flew with four kids for the first time. Fortunately, Sassy was with us! We planned on swimming in the morning so they were tired, but life happened. Like packing for four kids and two adults! The kids were not tired, and didn’t want to sleep. It could have gone better. It could have gone worse. But we survived our first flight with the whole crew.

Dave and I were working from Florida without Joy, which we will not do again. Still, the kids were pretty good at playing quietly while we work our way through the to-do lists, calls and emails that make up our days. The kids being there forced us to get outside and let them enjoy the beach and pool – while we luxuriated in a midday break in the sunshine! Working early mornings and nights made us tired, but was worth it.

We took the kids to work with me Monday night, when my parents threw a lovely symphony event. Watching them get a taste of what I love most was awesome. The kids were amazing, engrossed in the music and sitting quietly at dinner. They made it through the whole evening without losing it. We marveled.

Wednesday, we crossed the state to catch up with Kerna. Seeing her again, without the hospital setting, was beautiful. She’s smart, gorgeous, fun, and a great mom. Sharing our son and stories about the whole family felt so natural. As we wandered through the Museum of Discovery and Science, chasing one kid then another, we couldn’t get over how similar Remy is to his sister in some ways.

Remy was having a stubborn day, and said things to Kerna I could’ve killed him for.

I don’t like Kerna.

He didn’t mean them, but he came off mean. And he’s our sweet child! On the way home and over the next few days, he kept asking for her.

Where is Kerna? Is she going to bed now too?

We’re hoping she’s more real to him than just a picture now, and that he’ll be as excited to see her next time as we were this time. Thanks Kerna. We love ya! We found out too late that Kat’s down here too. Next time!

The week flew by, a blur of family dinners and swimming lessons with Sassy. We saw friends from New York – yay! And friends from Milwaukee. We listened to the waves and talked about politics, kids, and nothing in particular. We did laundry and planned the kids’ rooms out now that the babies are getting bigger. And we enjoyed being altogether.

Sassy and Poppi did laundry, cooked amazing meals, snuggled the kids and changed diapers. Having an extra set of hands to hold babies, push strollers and run the bigs to the bathroom was so helpful. We almost feel rested! Even Caela jumped in, wrangling kids and throwing breakfast together. Time with family is so hard to organize but invaluable. This trip was just a reminder of how awesome our family is and how important trips like this are.

No profound philosophy to share this week; just a quiet appreciation for the people in our lives who make it so special. Our summer preview in Florida should make it easier to get through the rest of our winter. And we’ll start dreaming about our next Florida adventure immediately!