Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ohio or Bust: My First Solo Trip with the Kids

Happy (belated) August!

O-H-I-O with my mama the fair!
I'm slowly emerging from the whirlwind that was my 1st solo trip with the kids to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. 

Despite a few tears at the airport, it went really well!

We were there to celebrate my Grandma Mary's 80th birthday and while I knew I'd be heading to Ohio solo, Uka was originally supposed to join me the following day but he had to cancel his trip last minute. The good news is that he was able to step away from his meetings and met me and the kids at the airport. That's the hardest part: getting all the gear + the kids into the airport and checking in. Babywearing Grayson on my back definitely helps and once I drop off the luggage, stroller and Nia's booster seat I'm all set (we rent a car seat for Grayson at our destination when we travel!). 

I get asked a lot what it's like traveling with kids (hint: it doesn't involve bribing my fellow passengers), and this time was a bit different since besides being solo, it was Grayson's first time having his own seat on a plane. He was a bit unsure at first and asked to sit in my lap, but he settled in his own seat once I explained that he's a big boy and had to sit on his own. He entertained himself looking out the window exclaiming, "Oooooooh, woooooow!" as we moved through the clouds. There was also some serious turbulence and he's still talking about, "Bum-pee plane!" and bounces about re-enacting it. He's such a silly kid! Here's a quick video I made of how Nia and Grayson play together on the plane - they get along like this about 95% of the time:


We arrived Thursday night and got settled into the hotel after dinner at Chik-fil-A. I always plan to read and do other leisurely things in the hotel, but I always end up falling asleep! 

Nia and my BFF Julie's girls - we met when we were 10!
The kids had a bit of a rough time getting up for Friday breakfast with my BFF Julie's family, then after we met my parents who flew in from Dallas before making our way to the fair. My dad left to bring my Grandma Mary to the fair, and I was a bit concerned cause it was a scorcher - 90+ degrees but we stayed in the shade best we could, hydrated and took full advantage of the misters. 

Here's a little recap video I made using Magisto:

That night I met up with my cousin Grace and her adorable 3 boys for pizza. It had been so hot at the fair that it was nice to chill out and catch up while the kids watched a movie. Hooray for cousin time!

Saturday was my Grandma Mary's 80th birthday party and we kicked the day off with an early breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my Columbus School for Girls schoolmate, JoVonna, and her adorable daughter. I love how this attempt at an ussie blurrily captured the circus it can be eating out with kids:

I need to cop one of the school motto "Forte et Gratum "shirts JoVonna was rockin'!
Next, I ran a few errands for my Grandma's party which my Aunt Angela hosted it at her lovely home and tons of friends and family showed up to support - it was so well done! What I love about my family is how all the in-laws get along and support each other. Family is family. 

My Grandma Mary surrounded by her children
We kept in touch throughout the weekend with Mr. Lovebird who reunited with us back at the airport when we arrived late Sunday. Earlier that day the kids wore their crocheted outfits my talented mom lovingly made (Nia's dress took 2 months to make!). Grayson usually immediately rips off any hat you put on his head, but he kept on the cap my mom made to complement his 2nd birthday outfit she made before while he was in the church's nursery, however the moment I picked him up and attempted to take pictures in the sanctuary then outside he wouldn't keep it on and fought me tooth and nail!

I was able to snag this shot in the hotel room though:

Before church I took the kids swimming in our hotel pool (they had fallen asleep quickly the night before so we missed going). It made me a bit late to church - sorry Mom - but it was a fun morning play date to have the pool all to ourselves:

What I love about visiting Ohio is being able to see so many people who have made me who I am and introducing my children to them. I was thrilled to see my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Hayes at church - I explained to Nia that she's my favorite teacher and I'm so thankful that we keep in touch.

After lunch with my childhood friend Tanisha and her son, we made our way to the airport with my parents who helped me immensely with all our stuff before scurrying to their flight. We had an uneventful flight back to Boston and made our way up to New Hampshire around midnight Sunday. We're slowly re-acclimating (ummmm I still need to fully unpack my bag!). Although the next 4 weeks are a bit crazed for us, I look forward to sharing all the excitement that's going on and in the interim soaking up the last few weeks of summer vacation. 

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