On Sunday we started the long journey home from Los Angeles. I was beyond miserable because I had made an interesting choice the night before. We all went out to dinner to Mastro’s in Thousand Oaks to celebrate Greg’s (Chris’s brothers) 40th birthday party. We had a wonderful time celebrating and eating delicious food and drinking spectacular wine.
We got home at 11:30pm and were heading back to Sacramento the next morning leaving at 6:30am. At dinner I had about four glasses of wine, two lobster tails, creamed corn, gorgonzola macaroni and cheese, jumbo shrimp and mozzarella and tomato salad. For dessert we had a gigantic butter cake with ice cream. By the time I got home I was beyond full and slightly drunk. Chris collected some Ambien from his mom for when we go to France so we could sleep on the plane. I thought it would just be a genius idea to pop one of those so I could actually sleep before our big trip home. You see, when I eat too much food too late into the night, I tend to not be able to sleep at all that night. I needed a good sleep for our labor intensive trip home the next day. So I swallowed one of those little purple pills and the next thing I remember is that I was being woken up by Chris at 6:30am telling me we had to get going. I could barely move. I popped out of bed but then I was walking like a drunk and every word I tried to say was a huge effort. I barely could get my clothes on. I walked around in a stupor, worthless to the packing process. I think I may have done some concentric circles around the house before Chris said “Megan, the kids have been sitting in the car for 40 minutes —we have to go!” Sherri poured me some ginger ale in a to-go cup and I went to the car to get the kids organized. I told Sherri I have to throw up now so I hopped out of the car and threw up in the bushes next to where Dick seemed to be teaching one of the kids something about the plants or flowers or nature. Baarrrrffff. To save myself further humiliation I made it into the bathroom for a little more barfing. Of course Ava followed me in to watch my misery because she would never miss out on a moment like this.
“What are you doing mommy?” asked Ava. I am throwing up. I feel horrible. “Why are you throwing up?”asked Ava. Because mommy ate too much food, drank too much wine and in a moment of extreme poor judgment, took a sleeping pill. That’s why. I’m a disaster. And now I get to sit in the car for seven hours trying to make four kids happy while I risk my life climbing all over the moving vehicle.
At one point on this drive as we stopped at Denny’s for lunch I was so tired and drugged up from my one little Ambien that I just started laughing and couldn’t stop. Ava had her headphones on and was singing so annoyingly loud and out of key, and from time to time she yelled out “I see the McDonald’s sign!” really loudly waving her arms enthusiastically. Violet would laugh at that enthusiastically from the back seat. Chris would say, “they really got you,” referring to the golden arches advertising reeling in our 4 year old. The babies were telling us that they needed a break from their car seat so we pulled up to Denny’s and had a disgusting meal with all the kids. The mess on the table and the floor warranted an extra big tip at the end of it all.
After our awesome lunch we all got loaded back into the car and on the road I was actually able to keep my eyes open and carry on somewhat intelligible conversation.
Our trip was a big success. Ava had a very fun time playing with her cousins the entire week and the babies loved being in a different environment and they adjusted to their new surroundings immediately. Violet decided to walk full time while she was at grandma and pappa’s house. They played outside everyday in buckets and with paintbrushes, went on many walks, had many visitors and even went to the beach.
We loaded everyone up to go to the beach and dragged Dick and Sherri along and my nieces Briana and Sophia also went with us. The babies weren’t so sure about having sand all over their bodies and in between every finger. They went into the water just a bit but the waves and currents were really big that day. We could not have asked for more beautiful beach weather. It was sunny and warm and we got to take lots of pictures of the kids in the sand. We only stayed a couple of hours and then we de-sanded everyone which was a huge job and headed back for naps. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep in the car also. Ava and I slept together in the car long after the car was home. Chris said I was like a three year old he had to leave behind in the car to sleep. I don’t care though, because my nice little nap left me feeling refreshed the rest of the day.
On a scale of 1 to 10 on the success of the trip with four small kids driving the minivan down to Los Angeles and spending the week at a house other than our own, which is quite a task when you have three 17 month old babies, I give it a 10. Dick and Sherri’s house is pleasingly equipped for small children with cribs, strollers, high chair booster seats, toys, etc. The kids were great on the drives . . . as good as they could be. The babies were extremely adaptable and well behaved the entire trip . . . Ava was a pain in the tookie half the trip and good the other half. We got to do fun activities like go to the Skirball Museum with Ava and Elsa and the beach, and see friends and family. We enjoyed a very nice dinner out which can never be undervalued in my life. And the trip to Southern California granted us all a change of scenery which was much needed.
Ava-ism for the trip:
Uncle Ron, who is a pretty strict guy, was taking Ava for the day to go swimming at Uncle Greg’s house with all the cousins. Chris and I were staying home with the babies. Chris, Ron and Ava went outside to go over the rules. Ron says in his most serious stern voice, “okay Ava, rule #1 is you will listen to me at all times. And rule #2 is that you will listen to me at all times.” Chris says, “Ava, please repeat the rules back to Uncle Ron.” Ava sat there for about 30 seconds thinking and then she looked up at Uncle Ron and said very seriously, “I’m going to make up my own rules.” I think Uncle Ron was a little scared since he was used to his super easy, very sweet and accommodating nine and 11 year old girls.
I will send tons of great pictures of the past week through very soon.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.