We leave for St. Louis tomorrow morning, early. I packed our large suitcase and gave it to my parents today when I dropped them off at the airport. I’m very thankful they are dealing with that for me.
Tuesday and Wednesday were whirlwinds spent entertaining my uncle and cousin. The Exploratorium was fun, but we skipped my son’s nap and he didn’t handle it well, which meant the afternoon was a challenge. He went to school on Wednesday so we weren’t subjected to an encore performance on Alcatraz. Because I waited too long to buy tickets (getting them only six weeks before we wanted to go instead of 8 or 10 weeks before – WTF?!) we had to visit Angel Island before we went to Alcatraz. Evidently it’s fairly common for people to buy that package out of desperation (it costs a lot more) because the tour guide on Angel Island asked how many of us were there because the direct trips to Alcatraz were all sold out and about half of us raised our hands. Anyway, the boat left at 9:45 and we didn’t get to Alcatraz until 1:30 so it was a long day. We all had a lot of fun though – the audio tour on Alcatraz always impresses and entertains.
Yesterday and today I spent running errands, and my daughter had to tag along because she wasn’t in camp this week. She actually did really well, rarely complaining and handling the many hours of monotony without ever melting down (she did lose it once we’d gotten home yesterday, but was fine for the six hours we were out and about). Yesterday we dropped off her brother at school, got my allergy shot at Kaiser (where we had to wait 30 minutes to make sure I didn’t have a reaction), drove across the bay to pick up some Spanish books I ordered from a distributor in Europe, stopped by Walgreens to get some stuff for our trip, had lunch at my favorite burrito place in Berkeley (where I had to move my car multiple times to avoid getting a ticket), stopped by a glasses place to pick up my old frames with new lenses, and then finally went home.
Today was similarly hectic, with lots of time in the car. She had to hang out with me while I got my legs waxed and we even braved a toy store while we waited for my appointment. She did awesome everywhere we went. We’ve been home for almost two hours and she’s kept herself busy reading and looking at books. She hasn’t even asked for screen time or a treat! It’s still so hard to get anything done with my son, I hadn’t realized how capable my daughter can be when it’s just her and me. The idea that it might be manageable to run a day’s worth of errands, or just spent a few quiet hours at home, with both of them in just three years is kind of mind-boggling, but I suppose that is where we are headed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel after all!
Of course when they are together it’s constant fighting and whining and crying. The mornings are driving me insane. I hope that they are better in St. Louis, or it’s going to be a long 10 days.
I’m also worried about the weather there. It’s supposed to be in the high 90’s (sometimes hitting the low 100’s) all week. My kids start to lose their shit when it hits the mid-80’s, and that is in a dry heat. The humidity index in St. Louis is always killer, and I really worry they will melt down when they step outside. The last three summers we got unseasonable cool weather, so they aren’t used to handling the heat even when we visit their cousins. We’ll see what happens. I’m planning on lots of swimming, and I’m okay skipping any outdoor activities we usually do, like the zoo or Grant’s Farm.
I can’t believe we leave tomorrow morning! It’s been an insane few days, but I’m ready to begin another adventure.
And I promise I’ll write more about Quito and Ecuador. I have a post in the works, but it’s slow going.