Spring Break killed me. I LOVED having my babies home every day. Loved that we could just run around and play and relax and not have to worry about being anywhere or doing anything we didn’t want to do. It was only 2 days, really, since I had to work on the other days, but I wanted to devour those days, wanted to wrap myself up in them and pretend they would last forever.
Today it is back to school for everyone. For a while, anyway. It won’t be long now until we pack up and jet off for more exotic locals, and I can not wait!!!! If anyone doesn’t know yet, we will be heading first to London (to visit the Queen. Oh wait! Not that Queen! My sister, Boo. 🙂 ) and then on to Rome for a month while R. teaches a summer course. Then back to London once more before finally heading home. Can you stand it??
52 days and counting! I’ve been thinking about it obsessively (the build up to these trips is almost as much fun as the actual thing, don’t you agree?) Shoes seem to be my top priority right now, both for myself and the kids. We all will be doing a lot more walking than we are used to, and on age old uneven cobblestone streets to boot, so we need comfy shoes.
Maybe these for the Lola Gray?
I don’t really know . . . I want something that will be comfy, give them lots of support, dry quickly (just in case) and not be hideously ugly or horribly expensive. Is this a pipe dream? If anyone has advice on the subject I would LOVE to hear it!
And then, of course, there is the issue of what to pack for the kiddos. Not clothes. Clothes are going to be easy (for the kids at least – thank goodness for hand-me-downs!!) I’m talking entertainment. For close to 6 weeks we are going to be away from home, away from the buckets and buckets and buckets of toys and Legos and puzzles and dolls – and away from the television!
I have loaded my iPhone with e-books to read to them – everything from Pinocchio to Alice in Wonderland to Rudyard Kipling and Kate DiCamillo. No pictures, which is sometimes an issue for Lola, but soooo much easier than lugging a dozen books around with us! We also have DVDs to watch on the computer and a few TV episodes for the iPhone, plus the Leapsters if we decide to take them (I’m leaning towards not, but could change my mind), so we obviously won’t be completely unplugged. But I’m hoping that we will settle into a routine where we gather our stimulation and entertainment from the environment around us rather than artificial input. Journals/sketchbooks and a camera for each child, a favorite lovey to snuggle with, a few comic books, and perhaps a very small bag of Legos . . . do we really need to take anything else?
I want to start getting us ready for the experience (and I do mean us – I know I’m guilty of feeding the kids bad habits from time to time) by practicing a few things:
• Walking – Lola Gray is the worst about this. If she is bored, after 30 seconds she says her legs are tired and she can’t walk any more. But she is way too big to be carried. We need to try walking to school more often and other little things to build endurance.
• Table manners – We are going to be eating out a lot more, and when we are in Italy the kids will be joining us from time to time with groups of other adults. I’m not expecting them to carry on adult conversation for 4 hours, as meals in Italy are want to drag on a bit, but they do need to be able to sit quietly and eat or entertain themselves. At the very least, they need to learn to stay in their seats and keep their feet off the table, right? Fortunately they are both good about trying new foods, and it will be easy to find vegetarian options in Italy. The food is maybe my favorite part of travel, so I really hope the kids will be as excited about meals each day as I am!
• Gallery/Museum conduct – Conduct. That sounds strict, doesn’t it? Are you picturing forced marches through stuffy museums with no talking or touching allowed? Don’t. I know this trip is not going to be filled with hour after hour in museums and churches the way past trips have been. Honestly, even I get tired of that after a (very short) while! The kids are only 4 and 6 after all. But I do want to take them to as many churches and museums as possible, even if only for short visits. They are pretty good about this already, but I think we will be doing some practice runs with visits to local museums and gallery openings just to reinforce the issue.
There are probably a million things I should be thinking about and planning for that have not even crossed my mind . . . Oh well! 52 days and counting!!