This post is my final post in my CAPPA re-cap series.
In addition to going to the CAPPA conference while in Kansas City, we did several other things for family fun—some with only marginal fun-success. Looking back at our trip, I see that we had good times, did fun things, and overall had a successful trip. While we there it felt a lot more stressful and much less fun. Why? Mostly because we had to do a ton of driving and most of our plans each day got messed up in some way—turning on the wrong roads over and over again, getting to the store when it was closed, etc., etc.
On Friday afternoon we went to Kaleidoscope a free kid’s art center offered by Hallmark. I lost track of the boys (they were with Mark and my mom), but had tons of fun watching Alaina step right up to work on a project. She was serious about it!
There was a free dinosaur exhibit at Crown Center also (the same mall where the art room was).
On Sunday, we went to the American Girl store in Overland Park.
After buying a set of Bitty Twins, we headed out to lunch with my brother, his fiancé, and my sister and her husband (who I’d never met before!). Alaina enjoyed eating the gravy off of Daddy’s chicken fried steak.
On Monday, we went to the Legoland Discovery Center, which was our only reason for staying over an extra day past conference’s end. I tried really, really hard not to remain preoccupied with the fact that it cost SIXTY-FIVE dollars to go to this place.
My annoyance at the cost was mediated by seeing Lann’s hands in these two pictures.
The Miniville part was cool (so was the “4-D” movie). Alaina developed a fever and conked out in the Ergo most of the time we were there (this is an example of one of the kinds of thing that made the trip trend towards the stressful, rather than pleasant).
On the five hour drive home, I spent much of the time nursing feverish Alaina in the car seat like this. My mom reports that antics like this are part of what caused her to eventually have back surgery! Notice my strategically placed iPad so that I can read books and send emails while contorted.
Luckily, we have a fabulous set of Bitty Twins to ease our sorrows.
You can pick any combo of Twins you want. Mine has the curly hair, Alaina’s has the straight hair. I like both of them and have trouble letting her play with them. Perhaps they need to live with just me for a little while longer.
Can you tell that I’m on a three week break from teaching? I’m possessed with blog post ideas and trying to keep this flurry of posting activity somewhat restrained via post scheduling so I don’t overwhelm my readers!
(It’s over now, so there’s no point in retroactive complaining/stressing about how the school session ended DURING our trip, and so I actually graded final exams in the car on the way to the conference and stayed up until 1:00 on Saturday night entering final grades for my online class so I could then be “off” for the rest of our trip. If anyone wants to compliment me on my skillful managing of my life that enables me to meet all these needs during one trip–my own need for continuing ed and birth peep networking, my kids’ need to go to Legoland, the needs of my 30 students for prompt grading and attention/teaching, my mom’s need to visit her other kids, and my feverish baby’s need for carseat nursing, I’ll accept them. Instead of beating myself up for the parts that didn’t go well and for crabby episodes and bad directions, I think I’ll take a couple of minutes to feel impressed at how I managed to do it!)
Good for you for finding the positive parts of that trip! I’m still reeling…..
It looks like you guys had fun among the stressful parts. I figured out a while back that one of the reasons I would get so stressed on vacation is because I was preoccupied with the idea of what it was *supposed* to be like instead of what it really was. I finally realized that even on trips (whether day trips, weekends or full blown vacations) we are still *ourselves*. If we get tired mid-day at home, start to get on each others nerves if we don’t have some sort of separation, have trouble getting out the door to get places on time, get sick sometimes, etc. at home then guess what- we’ll do all of those things when we’re out too! I know that seems so obvious but it was a real eye-opener for me. Once I relaxed and realized that it was *okay* to have these moments and that trips don’t have to be fun-a-minute then suddenly the trips became less stressful.
I love the pics of Lann at Legoland. When he is a teenager you will remember that moment much more clearly than you remember the stressful bits. 🙂
While I was there, I actually thought to myself several times, “Hope has a better attitude and is more flexible about things like this!” I thought that mainly as we were turning around on all these different streets and I remembered how you were all calm and reasonable when I was driving back to Illinois on our trip to Michelle’s together!
Only because once you’ve been lost in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and can’t read the road signs everything else seems easy by comparison, lol! Honestly though- I’ve lost my cool in those tense situations SO many times and it’s only because I’ve had those experiences that I can be calm now. 🙂
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