While we wait (happily hoping it will be a long time, but always on alert) for other things to happen with my brain, we’ve been out living our lives. Traveling always produces some anxiety – remembering medications and calculating any needed adjustments, packing for kids and dog, locating the closest hospital at our destination, did I remember my bathing suit. Managing that anxiety while staying enthusiastic about a trip is a balancing act that requires list making and delegation of responsibility. For instance, the kids packed their own bags with guidance from a list I made for them on what to pack. I did a quick check to make sure they packed underwear and more than one shirt, then moved on to other things.
We took a trip to Southern California to have Thanksgiving with my family. It was the first time we’ve been there in over a year. My brother and his family were there as well, so it was good family time. We ate too much and had some much needed Sauna time. For those of you who don’t know, I’m half Finnish and Sauna (pronounced Sow-na, not Saw-na) time is essential to keep our Finnish genes happy. The kids earned their provisional Finnish cards this trip by staying in the Sauna for more than 2 minutes and then getting into the freezing cold pool. With 6 adults and 5 kids in the house, the noise and chaos was exhausting at times – I needed a nap every day to rest my brain and avoid the possible triggering of a seizure. It’s amazing how aware you become of your level of energy, the over-stimulation, a regular eating schedule when you know you could have a seizure and ruin everyone’s day.
Legoland has been on our son’s wish list for some time, so we took the opportunity to pay it a visit. The models made of Legos were amazing. That’s all I’ll say other than our son was happy – which was the whole point of going.
We also picked up our newest family member – a tortoise. Thank you to my parents for being foster parents until we could pick him/her up. Much debate was had about what to name him/her – made challenging due to the fact that we won’t know if it’s a him or a her for some time yet. Ultimately, we agreed that his/her name is Charlie. Other names that were in the running were Olie, Tomato Jack, Bob, Tumu (which is a Native American name that means ‘Deer who is thinking about eating wild onions’) and Mr. T (my dad’s vote and he swore he could find gold chains small enough for a tiny tortoise.) His/her name is really ‘Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die’, but we call him/her Charlie for short. He’s settled in and managing to stay warm in this cold front moving through California.
We realized as we drove the 6.5 hours down and 6.5 hours back (a good time, by the way, requiring only a slight amount of exceeding the speed limit) that our children’s limit in the car is about 4.5 – 5 hours max, even with snacks and entertainment options provided. Those last couple hours were brutal for us all. We will plan accordingly before the next road trip.
Ultimately, it was a good trip and passed more quickly than we expected. We look forward to more family time soon.