Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Nebraska

Well, I'd hoped to have gotten more Nebraska chronicles done by now but real life has prevented that. Here are more pictures from the rest of our time in Gothenburg.

We visited the Sod House Museum. I used to go here all the time when I was little and it's where I got my very first rabbit skin. I loved that thing. Weird. I know.

This morning was quite chilly and before we got out of the car I told little miss "run from the camera" that you ARE going to act happy and you ARE going to smile for me when I take pictures. Mommy's threatening looks and mean voice do work on occasion. Sweet victory!

It was shortlived, they were just worn down for the long drive. They were back to ignoring me within hours.

The little sod house is located behind the museum and is an original house. Sue Peeden (the lady who runs the museum) offered to give us a tour but it was muddy and chilly and really - old people like to talk and talk and talk and little ones like to destroy so I figured it best if we just had a little looksee and then got the heck outta dodge.

I did get to chat for a few minutes with Sue in the gift shop as I tried to keep Avery's grimy little hands from breaking EVERY SINGLE THING in the shop. She was sweet as could be (Sue - not Avery - come on!) and when I told her who I was she said "Oh I knew your dad! He used to fly in and out of our airport all the time." (note to myself for posterity sake - I believe she said that she and her husband ran the airport, they weren't the owners). Where was I? Ah yes, it was neat to meet someone who normally would be just a random person, but in a small farm town of 3,000 there are no chance meetings - especially with the old people! Ahem, older people.

This is my grandparents farmhouse. My Aunt Shirley has lived there for a while and it's had many people through it doors - doesn't every farmhouse? My grandparents lived in town for a long time but we lease the farmland out. The rest of the family hunts on the land, burns stuff, looks for dead carcasses (Jules & Vicki) know...the usual. As soon as we arrived the girls started in on the hundreds of dandelions. It's a shock they weren't passed out in minutes with all the huffing and puffing going on.

Just a little behind...

As in only 5 months 3 weeks late on blogging about Avery's birthday. I'd be flat out lying if I told you it just slipped my mind. It didn't. It's been haunting me for 5 long months. As in true second child form I didn't even take Avery to her well-visit until a month after her birthday. A month and one week to be exact. She'd had a lot of ear infections and I just didn't want to anty up that copay again. Not too mention the dreaded shots, but no - mainly the copay. I wanted to wait and see if she'd get another ear infection so that we could just get it all done in one fail swoop but she was suddenly the spitting image of health and I didn't want the government questioning me about her immunizations so I gave in and took her.

Her stats for 2 years, 5 weeks old were 29 pounds (75%) and 35.5 inches (82%).

For the party, it was more of a playdate party. I figure that Avery's not really going to remember anyway and so far she still gets a little overwhelmed by all the hub-bub. Well, she used to. But she's becoming more and more of a ham so we may have to do a little something more next year.
I used leftover cake from Kendall's birthday and made cake balls. My first attempt and they were really good! And despite only having a few people over I totally did it up with some Elmo decor and spent way too much time on it but I guess it was my guilt from not having a big party. After a whole evening in the kitchen Mike threw in the comment "I thought you weren't having a party?" I was sweating it out running around staying up late like I WAS having a full blown party. At the end of the day she had fun and we are so glad for the sweet friends that came to play!
I didn't get as many pictures as I'd hoped but those that were able to stop by were: our neighbors the Simanks (Leslie, Gracie, Mikah, Luke and Eli), the Ellis family (Melanie, Keifer, Cooper and Spencer), the Hare family (Ashley, Matthew and Audrey) and the Mitchell family (Marsha, Jackson and Jameson). I think that is everyone. It's been 5 months and the brain is a bit rusty!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nebraska - Day 2

We finally arrived in Gothenburg on Friday. It definitely seemed like day 2's "brief" 6 hour drive took a lot longer....and it did...I think we stopped 4 times and Avery kept saying "my's bottoms huts" [translation: my bottom hurts]. I'm assuming it was going numb...

But we made it...without anymore puking.


The day was filled with reminiscing over the house...the memories...the smells. The goal was for all of the kids (my aunts and uncles) to clean out the house of what they would like to have and then auction off the rest and ultimately sell the house in town. My grandparents have both passed away. It was a very bittersweet trip. It was, as always, so fulfilling to see my family but so deeply saddening knowing it would be the last time in the house.

The girls had a great time, but as is every Grandma's house it is FULL of breakable things!!!! Precious valuable things. We tried to sort out a few things for Avery to play with that, if broken, would not be mourned. She affixed herself to a small table in the kitchen next to the sliding door that was just her size and covered in small glass salt and pepper shakers. She proceeding to prepare "tea" for all of us over the next 3 days anytime we were there. I should have taken a picture.

My Aunt Janet took the girls downstairs for a pretend tea party with one of Grandma's real tea sets. Of course Avery is like a bull in a china shop and I was waiting for an explosion of shards of very valuable teapot parts. We managed to keep it all in one piece and then found "alternate" means of a tea party - paper plates, cups and really old dusty plastic fruit.

Kendall asked if my "grandma" (she was talking about my Aunt Janet) could do another tea party with us the next day. I guess since I kept saying "my grandma's house" and Aunt Janet was one of the pre-dominant people in the house, she assumed that she was my grandma.

Then I explained that actually Janet is my aunt, and her Great-Aunt, and that my grandma and grandpa died. Well, that really confused her and she called Janet her Great-great Grandma. Poor Janet! But "from the mouths of babes." She definitely doesn't look old, it's all just terminology to Kendall - not age association.

So all in all, Friday was a long day but short on extraordinary festivities. We made it to the house for a quick dinner and a little play time (the neighbors were gracious enough to let the girls play on their swingset). After it all we headed back to the hotel for some rest and I snapped possibly my favorite photo ever.

The Chronicles of Nebraska

It's that time of year again--summer and that means it's time for a...road trip. Is there anything better than traveling with 2 young children for 17 hours confined in a vehicle?! Yes, there is and it includes a beach, a blended beverage and neither of the aforementioned. But enough day dreaming already.

Our journey takes us to the great state of Nebraska. What's in Nebraska you ask?! What isn't in Nebraska I say! Corn, endless amounts of farmland, 2 large cities, a big ol river and of course, the Cornhuskers! MY cornhuskers. My mom's family and my dad's family that is. My mom grew up in Omaha and Lincoln and my dad grew up in Gothenburg. As I get older I find that exotic vacations are nice, but family brings fulfillment and ultimate happiness to me. I adore my family. We live so far apart but when we are together we are thick as thieves. My heart is full when I am with them.

So off we go. First stop - Gothenburg to the family farm. Well, technically, Wichita, KS. The first day of traveling was very much a success. It went quickly with only 2 stops, or maybe 3. There was a brief incident of vomit so I guess it could have gone better but luckily the vomit was in a restaurant and not in the car. Hallelujah for that. We think it was just a bought of car sickness. I took the girls to the bathroom before we ordered and I noticed that Avery kept walking a little crooked. No really - she kept walking diagonally but I didn't really think anything of it. Then we ordered and got our drinks. I took the girls to the table and then got halfway to the salad bar before I heard "Moooommyyyy!!! Avery just threw up!"

Yeah. Every mom loves hearing that. My kids puke about as much as they poop these days it seems. Just ask my best friend - she agrees. Luckily it wasn't too much and it only happened once. She freaked out but we got her cleaned up and then she started to stuff her face with food. I looked at Mike with panic and could tell we were both thinking "do we let her stuff her face and possibly get projectile vomited on at the table?!" Too late. We just set an empty bowl to the side, crossed our fingers. By that time I'd lost my appetite.

After dinner we went directly to the gas station across the street and got trash bags and paper towels "just in case" and for the next 2 hours every time Avery burped, farted, coughed and cried I spun around in my seat so fast I'm surprised the car didn't veer off the road. I wouldn't have been shocked to hear Avery spout out "duuuude. mom I'm NOT going to throw up. SIT DOWN already" because that's exactly what her face said. I think I asked her at least 30 times "Does your tummy hurt? Are you going to throw up?" Eventually she just gave me those blank teenage stares that I know are coming all too soon as she tried to drown out my repetitive questioning with TV.

Luckily there were no more puking incidents but don't think I wasn't ready for it.

We pulled into Wichita around 10:30 pm (we'd left Houston about 10:30 am). So the timing wasn't bad. We stayed at the awesome Hotel at Old Town. Mike found it years ago when we were first married. Actually, I think he may have stayed there once when we were dating and he had driven up to Nebraska to visit my family. You know that boys was smitten if he did that drive and he didn't have too. There was no family obligation! We always try to stay there now.

So this is our spot and every time we go we swear that we are going to someday spend an extra day because it is in a great spot with lots to do around it. But really, who plans to spend a family getaway in Wichita, KS? The manager of the hotel said they have a really great zoo and botanical gardens though. Who woulda thunk? Next time! Next time.

So that's day one. This picture was an absolute FAIL by the way. We walked out and it was a bit chilly! I had to get a picture of the sign though. And I need to see if I can find the old one of Mike and I when we were young and newly married.