Two sweet girlsI grew up very close to my mom's sister Cakie and her kids Joy, Angie and Joey. We were really more like brothers and sisters - both my mom and my aunt worked in schools so we would load up the station wagon when summer came around and head to our family home near lake Michigan for a few weeks at a time. I have the fondest memories of my summers at Poppy's house. There was never a dull moment. We'd walk to the beach, hang out in town or make up our own games to play outside until dark. We'd cry when we had to leave each other at the end of vacation and couldn't wait until the next reason to be together, whatever it may have been (birthday party, first communion, etc.)
My sister and I are very close. Even though a 5 year age gap didn't always prove to be the easiest thing for us to endure. When she was putting on makeup with her friends for a Friday night football game, I was peeking my pig-tailed head in to spy on them and wishing they'd let me play with their makeup too - ha - not a chance!
But as we've gotten older, and have more in common as adults, there is no doubt that our relationship has come full circle. We now compare ourselves to "the moms" (what we call my mom and my aunt Cakie) and I want to make it a priority for our kids to be just as close as we were to our cousins. With a move to Texas in our future I wanted to do something fun with my sister's two girls, Lilly (5) and Avery (2). I invited them down for a few nights to have a slumber party with their cousins and to give my hard-working sister and her husband a few nights of kid-free time.
Ethan and Aiden were both ecstatic to pick up their cousins on Thursday evening. Although I was definitely looking forward to it as well, I was also realistic in my thinking and I knew that taking care of 4 kids ages 5 and younger was going to be a challenge. Being the planner that I am I laid out a detailed schedule well in advance. And again, being realistic, I knew that those plans may not all happen as I'd intended but I also felt comfort in having something to look to if I ran out of ideas on the spot.
I'm happy to report that the weekend was a success! I borrowed my mom's van so that I was able to venture out with all 4 kids in car seats/boosters. We had "movie night" Thursday evening where they spread out their sleeping bags in the family room and had popcorn and drinks. We played outside in the grueling heat on Friday - sidewalk chalk, bubbles and bikes...until the pesky horse-flies scared
On Saturday, we headed to the Louisville Science Center, followed by a picnic lunch in the park and play-time at the splash park on the waterfront. The kids were all so good and honestly I was surprised at how easy it was to take care of all of them. There were a few moments of whining and toy-taking, but in general, things were smooth. They definitely enjoyed having the extra playmates around and boredom was never an issue. As for myself, I felt on top of my game. I think the threat of chaos gave me a boost of motivation to keep things under control. In the end, I think it was a boost to my confidence as well!
I absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, loved having my two sweet nieces here for the last 3 nights. I miss them already and will have them back any time.
See Ricky (honey...sweetie pie...) 4 kids wouldn't be so bad now would it??? Maybe our next will turn out to be twins! That would be awesome! (Right honey?) :)
PS - no, I'm not pregnant in case you're wondering.
PPS - I have pics from this weekend, but once again I didn't have my camera so they are all on my cell phone. Have to upload sometime soon...