once upon a time, not too far from here...

 in fact, in this very house...there was chaos.  Mom and Dad don't like noise, which should be #1 on the prerequisite list for having children.  Our kids were raised that screaming is only if something is REALLY WRONG.  Yelling is something for outside, and screeching, um, nope.  We've worked to instill the No-Interrupting courtesy, a whole slew of kids just talking over each other, um, another NOPE.  

They could sing and play and have fun, but at acceptable sound levels, ha.  

We also taught them to be respectful of the house.  You don't just go jump PLOP down on the couch, no, you sit down gently.  You don't lean back in a kitchen chair, and you don't put your hands on the walls.  You don't slam doors, you simply close the door.  If there is a toy on the floor, don't step on it, pick it up!

My thought has always been:  these kids are not just OUR kids, they have to grow up and assimilate into society, and it's a gift to society to raise kids who are respectful.  If they can go out into the world listening politely and not interrupting, treating other people's stuff with respect, then, well, we've done a good job.

Now this doesn't mean we didn't have fun!  I was the first person to move the couch away from the wall and make a fort, or drape blankets over the table, or decide to eat dinner on the living room floor as a picnic.  We let them ride their ride-ons around in the house, and even use rollerblades, until it got too crazy, then they were done "for now", ha.  They had markers and clay and paint, and an abundance of play dough, but at the kitchen table.  I SAY this, but in reality, those little stinkers left so many markers in their rooms with the tops off...ugh.  

We did try.  It was kind of controlled chaos.   I wanted them to grow up as individuals, too, able to choose as much as the wanted, how to spend their time.   Joseph always liked to make things.  We saved plastic packaging, and cardboard, and bought that kid elastic, feathers, paint, fabric...he was always making things.  You have to LIVE in the house, too, when you have kids, it doesn't have to look like a furniture showroom.  The girls went through bead phases, every time I vacuumed for YEARS, they clinked up the hose.  Aaron had a rock tumbler, and Ben had one of those little plug in creep crawly makers:  that stuff stains carpets!  We had an Easy Bake oven, but that was only used at the kitchen table.  The kitchen table was CRAZY CENTRAL, we had to clean it off before we ate, as we always ate meals together at the table...homework, projects, always at that table.

This was seven years ago, at a parade in town, with the youngest six.  Evelyn would have been 14, Suzanne 13, Sonja 12, Jonathan 10, Charlotte Claire 8, and Camille 6.    

We did have fun!

Anyway, here's the current news:  Paul is getting better, but he got the thing the kids had last week, and was feeling awful yesterday.  I felt bad for him, but shh, I couldn't help but be freaked out:  I thought we were out of the woods with that sickness, that I had dodged a bullet, and was good to go on my trip.  I feel fine, but you know when someone is throwing up, you always feel nauseous.  He's much better today, but oh dear, will I get it in the airport, or on the plane, or at Kathryn's house?  Or will my immune system keep me well and healthy?  I thought, as I said, that after so many days, were all good, and I was in the clear, now I have this niggling wonder...ugh.  

The truth is, I do get traveling anxiety.  This is the sixth trip I've taken since last March (California, then Florida in September, October, January, and March), and even though I've flown so many times, I always get jittery and nauseous.  I am not afraid of flying, I enjoy it.  I just don't like all the seriousness surrounding it, the official-ness.  Going through security, and making sure the water bottle is empty, and the very real fear of getting that unwanted, bordering-on-abusive pat-down, forgetting I have a hair tie in my pocket, and making the scanner BEEP.  (My mother had a bobby pin in her pocket when we went through security in Amsterdam once, and she got a whole body pat down, it was awful!)

I get all lose-y with my stuff, my passport, my phone, headphones, glasses...I don't have enough pockets, and try hard to keep things organized, but I'm always rumpling and losing stuff, and somehow I LOVE traveling.

I never know what to wear for the trip.  It's hot out, but can be freezing on the plane, but also can be sweltering on the plane.  Jeans are too restrictive, I'd unbutton them and then forget they're unbuttoned.  Leggings are good with a dress, because I am not, nor will ever be, at the place where leggings will be pants for me.  No, ain't nobody want to see that.  The dress would have to be a print, because a long day in a solid color means I'd have to be extra careful not to drip or slop, and well...my print dresses don't have pockets, and you HAVE to have pockets when you travel, so I have a dilemma.  

No, I am not packed yet.  Last night I dreamed that I checked my phone, and OH NO, it was THREE O'CLOCK, the time we were to leave for the airport, and I wasn't even home, and I still hadn't packed!  In my dream, I figured out the time it would take to get home, throw stuff in the suitcase, and get to the airport, and if my dream math was correct, we would almost make it.

My suitcase does have some outfits for little Achilles, and a few things for newborn baby girl, but none of my clothes yet, because I don't know what to bring!  

Ah well, first world probs, right?  I also need to get my rear end in gear and get moving because I want to go to the store and get some good traveling snacks.  I am not the type of person to hand over the credit card for a nine dollar snack box on the plane, and am rather fascinated by those who do.  Are they stupid, or just really hungry, or really rich?  I'm sort of kidding.   Some flights don't even give out water these days, the cheap flights, and even if they give out snacks, they're not the kind I usually like eat,  but if they're free...I take them, and bring them home to the kids, yes of course I do.  

See how good I am at procrastinating?  

I'll be bringing the laptop, and blogging in the mornings.  When you travel to the west coast, the time difference is wonderful...you can sleep to a lazy and unheard of 9:00 am, and it's only six there!  So you can lie in bed and blog while the house is still quiet....I just wish I had a coffee maker in the room ha..

I cannot wait to see my Kathryn Grace, Miss Kappy-Sue...

Bye for now...

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