Monday, September 18, 2006

A Surprise Trip

On Saturday I was reading the paper and saw and add for A Day Out With Thomas in Strasburg. Usually I don't find out about those kinds of things until it's too late, unless I plan ahead for them. This time I noticed in time to decide to go on Sunday. I didn't tell any of the kids until Sunday morning, though, because I didn't want to take all of them. Last year I did plan ahead, and I took 4 of them (the oldest 2 were at Grandma's for the week), which meant driving the van. We had a great time, but parking was nasty (at least for me, since I hate having to back up in it). This year I was determined to take the car instead, which meant choosing only 3 to go. All morning I deliberated; I knew I'd take Levi and Micah, and it seemed that I would obviously take Caleb, because he's 6 and a good age for that sort of trip. But Caleb had not behaved well this week (really all summer!) and on the other hand, Troyer had been especially helpful and had not fought me or his brothers all week, and it would be nice to reward him. Also, Troyer is very good at helping me out with Levi, whereas the others are not as good yet at dealing with him. I was actually leaning toward taking Caleb, but he spent the whole time during breakfast whining about wanting to go and stomping his foot when his brothers would taunt him that I would't pick him, so that I hated to reward him for that kind of behavior.

All that to say, in the end I took Troyer, Micah, and Levi in the car, and we drove over. It's about an hour away from here, and I wish we would have gotten an earlier start. We got there about 11:15, but it starts at 9. I hadn't bought tickets ahead of time, which I knew was risky, but worked out ok last year. Well, last year we got there just after it opened and we were able to get tickets for the train ride for 11:15. This year the earliest I could get tickets for was 3:15, which I think was the last ride of the day! Holy cow, it wasn't even 12 yet. I knew there was no way I could last 4 hours waiting for that ride, and neither would the boys. Levi was going to miss his nap altogether, and Micah would be bored way before that. So we ended up not buying the tickets. The boys were a little disappointed but were really very good about it. I know Caleb would have had a fit, so I was glad I hadn't brought him!

We had lemonade and funnel cake for lunch, then Micah and Levi got Thomas tatoos on their arms. They are both really thrilled with those. After that we walked through the play tent where they have tables set up for the kids to play with the wooden track sets. Since we were late this year, most of the tables were already missing the trains, and again, the boys were disappointed. Also, Micah got bumped in the arm while standing at one of the tables, and his tatoo wasn't quite dry, so it smeared a bit. He was very upset about that. I felt really bad for him.

We walked through all the toy store tents, and Levi had a hard time keeping his hands off of everything! He especially liked the books that had noise buttons. At least there was enough to distract him so when he had to put one thing down he was ready to walk over and pick up something else. LOL

The kids got to ride on 2 of the little rides they have set up there: the "Cranky Cars" which is a small car on a track that you propel by cranking, kind of like pedaling but with your hands, and a mini-steam train ride. We got on line for the freight car ride (which was kind of like riding in hay wagons pulled by an engine) but it was out in the sun and while standing there I started to feel like I would pass out. It was the weirdest thing, as I have never felt like that while pregnant before. I never felt hot, and I didn't think I was hungry, but I got light headed and dizzy, and started to blank out. I had to tell the kids that we couldn't stay in line, I needed to find a place to sit. Even odder, as soon as we started walking again, I was fine. I found a place to stand in the shade while Troyer took Micah on a different ride, and after that I was ok.

We went through another tent that had clothing and I picked out a t-shirt for Micah and Levi. I think Troyer would have liked one too, but they don't come in that large of a size, LOL. By that time it was only 1:15, but I knew I was done, and Micah was getting bored, so we decided to go home. I'm glad I hadn't bought tickets for the 3:15 train! The event is set up with the train track running between the station and the tents, with a crossing for pedestrians, so every 15 minutes or so the train would pass by and everyone could wave to the passengers and see Thomas pulling the train. I was glad that at least Levi got to see Thomas, even if he couldn't ride on the train.

One penalty I had to pay for deciding to make this trip at the last minute was that I forgot many things in my hurry to get out the door. I forgot a stroller, and I can't believe how good Levi was about walking everywhere. He never complained! I also forgot my camera, so I have no pictures. I am sad about that. I also would have liked to have along a few extra bottles of water, which might have helped with the dizziness, even though I didn't feel thirsty.

Here are some pictures of the boys with their tatoos and new shirts :
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Levi is having some leftover chicken nuggets for breakfast

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Once we got home, I found that Chris had had the other 3 boys clean out the van, including vacuuming it! Woohoo! They made many remarks about how much nasty food they found. Maybe that means they will eat less in the van? Well, I can hope anyway, LOL.

I decided that since it was a nice day I should take advantage and cut their hair! Wow, it was many weeks overdue, and I was starting to be embarrassed taking them to church. I was so glad to have the opportunity to do it! I would have done it the last two weekends, but it had rained. I did 4 haircuts; Caleb didn't really need one yet, and Levi isn't ready for clippers yet.

So here they are looking human again (except maybe for Samuel, who didn't want to have his picture taken lol):
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Now Micah is having some chicken nuggets


Audrey said...

One of the boys still looks a little upset, I'm assuming he didnt get to go; guessing a long shot that he is Caleb and wondering if he is your challenging child and perhaps the third born? LOL

Lisa said...

Sounds exhausting but fun. They look cute in their shirts.