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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Robbins Reunion '13 Part 1: There and...

      Moving to Utah has been very interesting.  It's really been a good move for Ty's work and he has been enjoying it more now that he goes into the office.  Though on occasion, he'll work from home and we get a little glimpse of what it used to be like back in Richland. As for me, I miss Washington.  A lot.  I miss our family and the place we used to live.  The analogy I've used is it's like breaking up with someone who you still love, but know you need to move on from.  We knew that we'd be able to only come back to Washington a few times a year considering how expensive travel is.  As for this year, we opted for the Robbins Reunion and then Thanksgiving with my family.  So, since moving, I've been really looking forward to the reunion!

      After the move and driving through the night with the hope and expectation that Anna would sleep, not working out quite as we planned, we decided to drive during the day.  I was a little nervous.  Regardless of the time of day or situation, Anna just doesn't sleep in her carseat for very long. Not only that, but a toddler sitting in a carseat, restricting her movement, can only mean a fussy toddler throughout the trip.  So I did my best to do as much research on Pinterest and such to get a bunch of ideas for things for her to do.  It's actually kind of tough because there weren't very many things for her age.  So I took what they gave and kind of improvised a little.  Overall, she did amazing.

      We woke up pretty early to get a good start.  I wanted to leave pretty soon after she woke up, but then she decided that she wanted to wake up earlier than usual too so that kinda threw me off, but it all worked out and she was happy.  Please note that it was Independence Day, so we all dressed appropriately. Doesn't she just look so excited to see her Grandma & Grandpa Robbins!

      For weeks, we made sure to talk to her about what was going to happen so she could, even in her young way, understand and have realistic expectations of what would take place.  We've had a lot of success with doing this and really recommend it.  It might seem silly to talk to a toddler about anything other than toys and teaching them the basics, but they really do pick up and understand more than we give them credit for.

      We got on the road about 8:30 or 9:00 and I realized that I still hadn't had anything for breakfast.  Luckily, there's a McDonald's on the road out and we made a quick stop. So glad we did.  Anna definitely enjoyed the majority of a hashbrown and I was pretty happy with my McGriddle.  Those are so good!!


      I highly recommend sitting in the back with your little ones if you can.  It helps you get things to them quicker and just having you close gives them a sense of security.  We spent the first few hours playing and just being silly.  At some point I gave her a "Road Trip Surprise" of a plush Mickey Mouse.  He is her all time favorite thing ever! I knew that he would be a great hit. 


      Yeah, they're besties.  After awhile, we could tell, though, that even a plush Mickey Mouse wasn't gonna cut it. We decided to stop in Burley, ID and let her run around for awhile and get out as much energy as she could.


      We stayed at this little park by the lake for about 30-35 minutes when we got back in the car.  She was none too pleased about giving up her outside time, but we really needed to be getting back on the road. We knew that was when we needed to pull out the big guns.  The DVD player playing nothing, but her favorite of all shows.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Or as Mommy and Daddy have to call it around her, MMCH.  By far, the best investment we made for this trip. She will just sit there and watch and occasionally ask for a snack.  LOVE IT!

      We made Boise our next stop.  This was also our halfway point so we needed to gas up and then find a park for Anna to run around in.  Trying to find a park was kind of a nightmare.  We found one we thought was supposed to be a park, but it was mostly for athletics and there were barely any trees.  Needless to say, we didn't stay long.  Long enough to change her diaper, go to the bathroom, and let her run around for a bit.


      At that point, we knew she was going to need to try to take a nap.  Ty moved things around and made a makeshift partition with a blanket and we put up black garbage bags in the back window to keep it as dark as we could.  He then took her in the backseat and tried to do her naptime routine as closely as possible.  We always sing a few songs, put her down with her elephant and dolly, and then cover her with her blanket and leave the room.  He was able to do this pretty much exactly, except strapping her in her carseat instead of putting her crib. I took over driving for about 45 minutes, which is all I could last before my anxiety took over.  The grooves in the roads that make the tires of the car swerve left and right really freaks me out.  It was about this time that Anna woke up and we did a quick driver switch.


      I packed a lunch and some snacks for us all to eat and that helped in never needing to stop for too long.  I also made sure to pack a small cutting board and knife to cut up apples and pears.  After she woke up I had her basket full of toys and books to play with and she kept pretty preoccupied.  The biggest hit was the MMCH book that Ty found at ROSS.  Seriously, we love this book.  She loves to flip through its huge pages and just look at everything.  I still can't believe he found it. I also found a little magnadoodle at Walmart for like $5.  I'm really glad we looked at Savers and found some cheap dinosaurs, cars, and books too.  It was all new to her, but we didn't have to break the bank getting anything.  A lot of the time she would just empty it out and I'd put it back in so that she could do it again.  As long as she's happy right?


      Our last stop before getting to Othello, was at a rest stop close to Pendleton.  She loved this area and ran around everywhere.  Her favorite thing? The rocks.  This girl loves rocks.  She loves to pick up and collect them and put them together. I'm not sure why, but she just does.  It's pretty amusing.


      It was such a hot day and we decided to make a really short pit stop and get ice cream.  It was definitely a good idea.  We tried to keep the DVD player off as much as we could and keep her playing and she did a pretty good job of just looking through her books and playing with toys.  We also have a couple of CD's that she enjoys.  One is a little more calm and the other is a bit more lively.  I think we might have enjoyed the livelier one more than she did. 


      Once we got to the Tri-cities, I really felt how much I missed the place.  Sigh.  Rex, Ty's dad, called us and asked when we'd be arriving because they were getting ready to do dinner.  We were so happy to know that we were so close and would still be able to make a little bit late of a dinner.  Though, little Miss Anna couldn't wait that long and needed a yogurt packet.  Those things save my life!

      Finally, we arrived and were no worse for wear.  Anna enjoyed snacking off of Grandma Robbins's plate at dinner.  Apparently, she likes olives, of all things.  I'm not really sure we're related anymore ; ).  It was so nice to be done driving and I was soooo glad we made it there before it was really late.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously great planning for the car trip! I'm impressed! Bummer we'll miss you when we're there for Christmas. We need to plan this better. ;) Very cute family pictures, too!


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