We left Donnelly, Idaho at 11am after two lovely nights there. It was seven degrees outside as we left (at almost noon!) which makes it officially the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced.
We spent the next three nights in Boise at Zach’s childhood home. There was, again, lots of playing of board and card games. We divided into two groups to go enjoy the new Star Wars movie, taking shifts to stay with the kids and babies too little for the movie.
Zach and I got to go to a New Year’s Eve party at the home of one of his friends. It was an early, family-friendly affair with many of us bringing our little minions along. Much to Zoey’s delight, she was the oldest and relished in her role of being the leader and teacher of all things fun and amazing.
We drove home on New Year’s Day and it was a much better drive than we had anticipated. On the way to Idaho, I’d been faced with the conundrum of what to do about nursing Alden. I knew I wouldn’t be able to nurse him to sleep for naps like I do at home because we’d be in the moving car. Even if we stopped, he refuses to nurse with other people around these days. I’d brought the breastpump along with me, thinking I’d just pump in the car and give him a bottle. Oops! Turns out our van doesn’t have a normal “wall” type plug for the pump – only cigarette lighter style and USB ports. We stopped at a Burger King in Othello, WA for lunch and I was able to plug in and pump at the table with a blanket for privacy. Yay for Burger King!
Later, at a gas station, Zach was able to buy an adapter that would plug into the cigarette lighter and give us three outlets for traditional three-prong plugs and two additional USB ports. So all the way home I was able to pump in the car as planned. Alden settled for snacks and bottles on the go.
Anyway, on the ride back to Seattle, Alden and Eleanor were coming down with a virus they had caught from their cousins and Zoey was just thoroughly worn out and over stimulated. So they all were really mellow and well behaved, sleeping a lot of the time and staring contently out the windows for the rest. We remembered to keep Zoey pre-medicated with Dramamine this time so there were no car sickness incidents like there had been on the trip to Idaho.
When it was time to stop for dinner, we wanted to reward the kids for being so great all day while cooped up in the car. So we sought out the only fast-food establishment with a children’s play place for running and climbing that we could find: McDonald’s. I hadn’t eaten at a McDonald’s in more than a decade, and the kids never had, but we decided to make an exception for their good behavior. They didn’t care much for the food, but they loved getting to climb and play and stretch their legs.
The trip was exhausting and chaotic, but full of good memories and family love.