Sunday, March 1, 2009


We finally made it to Lincoln last weekend and surprised Abby by bringing Leslie and the kids along with us. Nine hours in a vehicle with a 5, 3 and 1.5 year old is a completely different experience than the trips Dean and I take alone. It didn't take long to remember why we used to travel at night while the girls slept. I became an instant supporter of portable dvd players and was thankful it was Leslie's minivan, not our car, that suffered the consequences of the myriad selection of treats we'd brought along. Pierce's favorite treat was the little bags of round fruit-flavored snacks. He would stuff his cheeks with them and then let them melt slowly away with an occasional small drip of reddish juice running out of the corner of his mouth. I never figured out if he couldn't chew them because they were sticky or if he just loved the feel of round lumps in his cheeks. Whatever it was, he probably ate six or eight little packages of them himself. Other than "eating" the melting fruit snacks, his other favorite activity was dropping his sippy cup into the area between carseat and cardoor where nobody can reach it without opening the door (which nobody was interested in doing at 75 mph) and then expecting somebody to get it for him.

The plan was for us to pull up to Abby's apartment, I'd call her saying we were approximately 15 minutes away as a distraction, while Leslie and the kids creeped up and knocked on her door. As it turned out, Abby happened to be indisposed at the time so I was calling, getting voice mail, calling again, getting voice mail, Leslie was knocking on the door, I'm still calling, getting voice mail, Abby (she tells us later) is yelling, "I'm coming, I'm coming,", phone is still ringing, Leslie is now beating on the door and trying to open it when finally Abby makes it to the door. We provided sufficient distraction and she was definitely surprised.

My dad and Dean's mom stopped by the first night.

We visited the Henry Doorly zoo in Omaha where Pierce got to see his middle name, the Kestrel....

and visited some family. My sister, Shelly, told Myra she should come and live on the farm with her. Myra informed her that she could not do that. Her dad would miss her and she was a human so she couldn't live on a farm.

Then it was another nine hours in the minivan back home. The only sound during the first three hours was the radio and the gentle snoring of exhausted children. Abby had bought Emerson and Myra one of the little animated animals you often see in front of toy stores. One was the weasel rolling around on a ball and the other was a little hamster rolling in his ball. The girls were concerned most of the trip home that one of the little "animals" was in a box with no holes for breathing and they were worried for the animal's well-being. Otherwise, the trip was uneventful and very similar to the trip out. Pierce once again stuffed his cheeks with fruit-flavored snacks, once again it dripped out the corner of his mouth and once again I was thankful for portable dvd players.◦

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