Gage, Braeden and I spent almost a week in Rhinebeck with my parents. I still can't quite believe I drove up there and back by myself with just two kids and no Mat. But it was a lot easier than it sounds! It helped that I didn't have any time to prepare or psych myself out about the drive. I suggested the visit to my mom on Tuesday, packed Wednesday, and left the house Thursday at 4AM.
The boys were great! Braeden was amazing. I was so proud of him. He listened to me. Followed directions. And even helped out with Gage, helping me keep him entertained while we were driving. He also totally understood that when we stopped somewhere, the first thing I needed to do was nurse Gage.
I love that Braeden is such a good big brother. When Gage cries, Braeden will run over and give him a kiss and hug, or hand him a toy, or replace his pacifier. It's so sweet, and I'm just so proud that he wants to take care of Gage like that.
So, here's how our trip went. We left the house at 4:00. I got a little confused between 220 and business 220 which added about 45 minutes to our trip. Blah. Braeden and Gage were sleeping until I started swearing. Bray woke up and wanted to know what was wrong. All I could do was apologize to him for my rant and let him know we were doing okay. We stopped in Staunton for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Breakfast was fine, but then it was time to head into the bathroom. The three of us with Gage in his stroller fit nicely into the handicapped stall (since I'm sure everyone is wondering what we did!), but Braeden had a 10-minute screaming fit before finally agreeing to go to the bathroom. Before getting back in the car, I changed Gage on the fold-down tailgate of my trunk. He wore his bumGenius! diapers on the trip and they held up GREAT!
We stopped for lunch in WV (Martinsburg, I think) at a Chik-fil-A. And again with the screaming bathroom fit. Then back in the car. For our last stop, I knew we didn't need to stop somewhere to eat, so I picked a rest stop in PA near Hazleton. It had a big grassy area so Braeden could run around and a clean, family-size bathroom inside. Unfortunately, the toilet was an automatic flush which totally freaks Braeden out. He's terrified the thing will flush while he's sitting on it. He was yelling, "I'm scared!" over and over again until finally I just picked him and put him on the toilet. I held onto him, he peed as fast as possible, and I pulled him off. Mission accomplished. After his ordeal, I let him run around a while while Gage and I sat in the sun.
All told, with three (LONG) stops and one wrong turn in the morning, it took us 15+ hours to get to Rhinebeck. We rolled in to my parents driveway at 7:15PM! And Gage screamed for the last 45 minutes of the drive which made it feel much, much longer. I can't say I blame him, though, it was a long day!
But it was worth it. We had such a great time with MeMa and P-Pa! We had dinner at Del's, a local dairy queen like place where I worked while I was in college. Braeden was so excited because he got to have an ice cream cone after his dinner! And we ate at Foster's, my all-time favorite restaurant, one night. After Braeden finished his grilled cheese and potato chips, he fell asleep. Sitting up. :) My mom put her arm around him, and he snuggled up next to her. This was the second night he fell asleep sitting up at the table! I love that kids can do that.
And Braeden isn't the only one who fell asleep at the table...
Here's P-Pa with the boys on Father's Day. Braeden is asleep on the couch behind them. How cute is Gage?
My sister Abi and her husband Jeremy came down for Father's Day and we cooked out. She and mom made Abi's favorite potato salad, a hot salad with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and dressing. They were freaks about it, but it was funny to watch! Whenever we're all together, we always make way more food than we could eat in three days but it was all so good. Sausage and peppers, grilled chicken marinated in some kind of mango caribbean sauce, green beans (blanched then sauteed with bacon--I ate almost all of these by myself!!), hot potato salad, and a green salad plus mom's famous apple cake and chocolate pudding, a special treat just for dad. :)
We visited Nanny at the Baptist Home and introduced Gage to his great-grandmother. Braeden drew her pictures and sang her songs. It started to pour while we were there and he insisted on singing to the rain...Rain, rain, go away, come another, nother day! He was so sincere about it, I wanted to laugh. Or cry at how sweet he was. Just another of those moments where I want to smother him with kisses.
The night before we left, after dinner and a nap at Foster's, MeMa took Braeden for a ride down their street in her convertible. He LOVED it!
My parents got a blow-up pool for Braeden, so we spent time outside watching him splash around. He's picked up a new thing to say from my mom. "Let's go outside and enjoy this beautiful day." Of course, when he says it, it sounds more like boo-ti-ful making it even cuter!
Otherwise we just had good, silly fun! Every year, mom buys toys at a local church flea market. One year she bought alphabet apple toy Braeden's playing with. And this year she bought an exersaucer for Gage. Mom took some pictures of him in that, so I'll post one later.