Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break in the Yukon

I have become a bit of a homebody in the last few years and my desire to go places (other than Disney World) is gone. I like my house, I like my 40 acres, I like my routine. But....I also miss my sister like mad, so I threw my wanna-be-agorophobia aside and we planned a trip. Since Paul now works week days he wasn't going to be able to go and that was another issue for me entirely - being away from him. I kinda like him, too.

I spent all day Tuesday fretting and fussing and packing and fussing and cleaning and fretting. I did so much fretting that I forgot to eat. Like all day. I used to say you had to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat and apparently Tuesday I was that special kind of stupid. By the time Mom got here at 6:15 I was nearly fit to be tied, on the verge of tears from the overwhelming thought of being away from home and Paul for three. whole. days. THREE!

When we were loaded and ready I hugged him way longer than he was comfortable with - okay, let me rephrase, it was probably my bawling on his shoulder that he was the most uncomfortable with. He didn't mind the hugging so much. He said so. And then we took off. We got about seven miles from home when I remembered I hadn't put gas in the van, so we detoured at Buffalo Ranch to fill up. Mom told me to go buy some chicken strips or something to eat, otherwise I'd be sick before we got to Yukon. I bought some popcorn chicken which was apparently made from Mexican chickens because they were HOT! I do not like hot, spicy food. I like having feeling in my tongue and spicy food makes my face hurt. Seriously. I popped one in my mouth and took off. By the time we made it to the turnpike entrance and my face was on fire. So much for eating.

The kids were angels. I always said I'd never allow my kids to watch DVDs in the car. Highway Bingo, ISpy, 20 Questions and poking each other to the point of making my father's ears steam was good enough for Sis and I and I said it was good enough for my kids. Yeah. Apparently I am a weenie because each of my kids has their own DVD player now and I have a seemingly eternal supply of ear phones and ear buds in case they lose theirs. Mom and I chatted and listened to the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and I occasionally complained that that dang popcorn chicken gave me tongue cancer. When we saw the sign for the Stroud McDonald's in the middle of the highway Mom said she needed coffee. Abby said she needed ice cream. (Abby always needs ice cream, by the way. Not wants, needs. She seriously believes this.) And even though no one said they needed a bathroom stop I made everyone try. The girls and I headed to the restroom while Sam and Mom stood in line to order me a burger to test whether my tongue still had the ability to taste. As we were leaving the restroom a woman came in. We did that little shuck and jive where I go right and she steps in front of me so I step the other way and so does she. It's always uncomfortable, isn't it? Especially in a restroom. Igh. When she and I finally finished our awkward dance we managed to get to the door and she headed on in the restroom. As we were passing her she loudly exclaimed, "OOH! It smells like COOKIES!"

Uh.....wha....?

Abby, Kady and I made it about four paces out of the bathroom before we all three busted out into  hysterical laughter. When we could all breathe again Abby said, "And lady, you are obviously on CRACK!" which sent us all into gales of laughter again. I have no idea why that poor woman thought the restroom smelled like cookies. Unless maybe she, too, had eaten some spicy popcorn chicken and it messed up her olfactory abilities worse than mine.

We joined Mom and Sam in line just as they were about to order and were informed they had no ice cream. THE STROUD MCDONALD'S HAD NO ICE CREAM. Abby nearly fainted. Sam settled for fries, Kady, who had a wicked sore throat and was crying, settled for a burger and Mom got her coffee. Abby just pouted. And y'all will also be glad to know that my burger tasted fine and apparently my taste buds were unharmed by the pollo caliente.

We called Sis to let her know we were about an hour away, got back on the turnpike and by then all three kids had finished a movie and were restless/excited/bored. Abby whined she was bored. Kady cried her throat hurt and she exclaimed she was sure she was going to die. Sam farted. See why they need DVD players? After all the declarations of boredom and flatulence Mom happily suggested we all sing. Abby groaned and said, "Ohhhhhh great" which prompted Mom to begin "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and I joined in a round. This FREAKED my kids out. How have they lived 8, 11 and 13 years and have never heard a song sung in a round??? Abby said it was sensory overload. Kady said it ruined the song. Sam giggled and farted again.

We got to Sis' apartment a hair after 10 and after lugging our van load of luggage up three flights of stairs we  hugged and all that. We let the kids stay up til nearly 2am because all five of them were together and so were we grownup girls.

The next morning we got around, met Sis for lunch and then did some shopping on Garth Brooks Boulevard. My mom is absolutely fascinated with Garth Brooks Boulevard. Maybe because it's named after GB himself, maybe because it's just a mouthful to say or maybe because it has a Big Lots AND a Hancock Fabric AND a Tuesday Morning. We bought the girls some Pixos and Sam a "spy kit" at Tuesday Morning, scored major patterns at Hancock (NINETY NINE CENTS MCCALLS PATTERNS, PEOPLE) and well, Big Lots was a disappointment, but the boys got X-Men bobbleheads and did I mention NINETY NINE CENT MCCALLS PATTERNS AT HANCOCK? By the time we left Big Lots Kady was bawling her throat hurt REALLY REALLY BAD and her ear was going to explode and her head was going to cave in and she just wanted to go to bed.

Let me just say here that I really thought she was just having allergy issues. And even after she started talking like she had a wad of bubblegum in her throat I still just thought it was allergy/drainage irritation, maybe some tonsilitis. Also let me just say that I am so going to win Mother of the Year this year.

We stopped at Walmart to get ear drops, decongestant, Motrin, Cepacol Fizzlers (which don't work, don't waste your money) and the salad stuff for dinner and some ice cream for Abby because she said she was near death because she hadn't had any in two whole days. The kids also got treats for being so good. I dropped $68 on Harumika sets for Addison and Kady, a Twilight t-shirt for Abby, a license plate for Gentry's bike and an apothecary of pain relief for my ill child.

We had Mom's homemade chicken casserole for dinner with Sis and her boyfriend and managed to get the kids in bed by 11 since we were headed to the round barn in Arcadia, Pops' Diner and Omniplex the next morning. After the kids went to be and we all decided we were really pretty exhausted from all the running we opted out of the round barn and Pops'. We'll hit it next time. Thursday morning we all got up and snacked around for breakfast, Kady looked like hell and ended up back in bed, taking a two hour nap from 8 to 10, bless her heart. (Still was in denial at that point.) We grabbed sandwiches for lunch, picked up Sis' boyfriend then drove toward the Omniplex which I think they just call the Oklahoma Science Museum now, but I'm all old school and stuff. Traffic was at a standstill miles away, but as we got closer we saw there had been a wreck and assumed that was the holdup. Turns out that no, every child in Oklahoma and their parents were all jonesin' for some science-y fun, too. As we sat waiting through green light after green light it was about 20 minutes in that my son, who was in my sister's car, puked. He's awesome like that. My kids are classic car pukers, especially that boy of mine.

A phone call from the gagging adults, one of which who doesn't have children, God love him, and a quick conversation where we all concurred that the museum wasn't going to be any fun with all those people, we pulled out into traffic and headed to the most ghetto KFC/Taco Bell I have ever seen. I got Sam out of the backseat, assessed the pukey damage while Sis ran across the street to a CVS to buy paper towels, Lysol and disinfecting wipes. Abby kept whispering she was quite certain we were going to be mugged, raped and/or murdered. While I held my breath and cleaned Sis' backseat the other adults figured out our next stop - Celebration Station. Abby whined that if it was like Chuck E. Cheese she wasn't going to have any fun no matter what and the other kids talked excitedly about ALL THE FUN they were going to have.

As we pulled out into traffic Kady saw two birds who were uhm.....twitterpated. She sat bolt upright, face pressed against the window and yelled, "SWEET! Two birds fighting! AWESOME!" Abby said, "Yeah, well, in this neighborhood they better be careful. Someone might bus' a cap in someone's...." and my mother rescued the conversation with the word "WING!". The rest of the trip we all threatened each other with busting caps in each other's wings.

Celebration Station was fun. We, of course, came home with oodles of craptastic junk.

We had leftovers for dinner that night, watched Hairspray and after the kids were in bed and the boyfriend had gone home we grownup girls sat at the table and drank sweet tea, ate Rice Krispie Treats and visited till we were yawning.

Sis had to go to work the next morning so Mom and I got the kids up, packed up, cleaned the apartment and loaded the van up to head home. Kady was still complaining of her throat and ear hurting and since it was Friday and the weekend was on us,threatening to bust a cap in our wing, I called the PA's office, explained we were in Yukon, described her symptoms and asked what I should do. I made the statement she hadn't run a fever the whole time so I was sure it wasn't strep. The nurse then said, "Uh, Kristin. She can have strep without a fever. Sounds like strep. Let me talk to David and I'll call you right back." Five minutes later she called me back to say that yeah, more than likely she had strep and they were calling her in antibiotics back home. Oy. Imagine how awesome that made me feel. Poor baby.

We had lunch with Sis, dreaded leaving and promised we'd be back over the summer. A quick stop at Walmart so Mom could buy all the kids inordinate amounts of candy and we were on the road with two more kids than we came with. They were so dang quiet, though, we kept asking if they were all okay. I have never traveled with five better kids. Thank you, Santa, for the DVD players. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We dropped the Tots off with their other grandparents, I picked up some laundry detergent, sugar and milk in Fairland in anticipation of Snownado 2010, then hotfooted it back here to the ranch. We pulled into the driveway to find my darling redneck husband and Pops, who was waiting with a couple bottles of Amoxil for Kady and a brand new 2010 Prius to show his bride. The kids attacked their daddy with hugs and kisses and stories. I caught my parents kissing and hugging and heard Abby say, "I think I just threw up in my  mouth a little."

All in all, it was a tremendously fun Spring Break. I nervously left the comfort of my home and couch and had no idea I'd find a different comfort at the teeny tiny dining room table in my sister's apartment talking about nothing in particular.

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