Apparently I never posted this... So it is nearly 5 months old, but here it is nonetheless!
Shortly after my last post, I packed myself and the kids up and Eric drove us to my parents' for the weekend before he returned home and my mom and I ventured on a road trip with the kids, sans husbands to her family reunion in Rose Bud, AR. Haven't heard of it? That's a shame! It is a thriving metropolis that has quadrupled in size in my lifetime from 100+ to 400+ (I'm not sure if they started counting cows or what...) and to officially solidify its place on the map it now has a Dollar General! (still no traffic light or fast food chain, but they take what they can get). I jest. Rose Bud is where my mom grew up, most of her family is still in the vicinity, and is the place of my happiest childhood memories. This trip did not disappoint.
We got there Monday evening after the 8 hour drive that only required 2 stops, one for lunch/gas/potty and the last one was just 20 miles from our destination and Betsy had to potty again. I was thoroughly impressed with my kids! I dropped my mom off at my grandparents and the kids and I went to my cousin Valerie's house where we would stay.
She's awesome, so she took off work Tuesday and hung out with us. Tuesday night she had over some of my other favorite long lost cousins Janeen, Mandy (and her mom), and Emily and we stayed up late playing games and having a gay ole time! Wednesday, my sister, Becky, had arrived at my grandma's so we spent the day over there with Betsy's cousins. All this time, Jetson is not too sure of his constantly changing surroundings and was pretty clingy/whiny. Thursday, Becky and I (with our kids) drove into Searcy for lunch and some sister time, then back in time for a pool/snow cone party at Uncle Gary's for all the kids. Betsy had a blast with all her cousins! (After our visit to Arkansas in Nov, when I told her all the new kids she met were her cousins, she tends to think ALL kids her age are her cousins. So I've been working with her on the difference between "friends" and "cousins" so she spent the whole trip checking, "Mom, is she/he a friend or a cousin?" Poor little kid may never figure it out... ) Friday, I had scheduled a haircut for my mom, Amberly, and myself with the girl who cut my hair when I lived in Conway. She is my favorite EVER and is half the cost of a place in Laredo AND I don't have to worry about things getting lost in translation. So I got a MUCH OVERDO haircut and absolutely LOVE it! I'm sad I can't have access to April all the time!
After haircuts, the official reunion started and I got to see most of my mom's family. Out of 14 siblings, 10 were there, plus a lot of their offspring. We did do a count and as of present my grandparents have 70 grandchildren and 80 great grandchildren (of course there are a lot in the oven already, so that number increases pretty frequently!). I LOVE having such a big family! We have to hold it at the local high school cafeteria to accommodate us all. It was so good to see so many that it had been too long. The reunion lasted from Friday evening to Saturday evening and each night after everyone went their ways, a group would gather at Val's house and stay up WAY TOO LATE, WAY TOO many nights in a row. It was nonstop fun. We are a game playing family and Eric tends not to like to play games with me too often [he says he gets tired of losing ;)] so I got caught up on my game playing quota. Oh how I miss my family! We talked about it one night and really, we feel more like sisters than cousins. (After all they are all WAY closer in age to me than my actual sister.) We are extremely close.
Monday, the close cousins and I continued our little party up until I had to leave on Tuesday. I was ready to get back to some normalcy (more for Jetson than for me), but I did not want to leave all the fun.
I spent the rest of the week in Waco with my parents until Eric came up Friday night to spend the weekend up there. During the week there, Jetson finally became comfortable with his surroundings and took off walking EVERYWHERE. Sunday we drove home and it was so good to be back in my bed and have the kids back in theirs and have our whole family under one roof again! Time out of Laredo is nice, but I sure missed Eric! and single parenting is for the birds if you ask me!