Monday, April 5, 2010

Charlotte Trip-- part I (preparation)

Oh my,much goes into preparing for a trip for 9 people.  Doesn't matter if you're going a few hours or a few days away, plenty of planning is necessary for a smooth trip. However, we now have it down to a science so it literally only takes a little bit of time now.  Everyone has their tasks to do of checking and rechecking.  The only thing we really care about is kids' gear(prosthetics & ear stuff) and meds.  Anything else, you can always stop by Walmart wherever you are.  Put it this way, we stopped by there twice this go around.  Yep, going hiking and two of the kids forgot socks.  URGHH.  Anyhow, onto pictures and our first real trip of the year w/ many more to come.  To make things even more great, one of our girls' birthdays that we are going to be adopting, was this past weekend.  Just reassuring to know next year, she will be celebrating w/ her family.  Now, for some pictures. 

Okay, this is the MAIN reason we have a checker go behind the little kids to see if something was accidentally put in the bags.  Sure enough, Nik was trying to stuff this recorder in his backpack for the trip.  Umm, no.  I don't think so son.  That is NOT going with us in a hotel room.  

Part of our pre-trip ritual is also making sure the house is clean before we leave.  Knowing we'll have a huge mess to clean up when we return w/ all our stuff, we try to make sure the house itself is clean before we leave.  Irina is always cleaning the kitchen so who better to make sure this task is done.  We've slowly begun our switch to more natural chemicals in this house.  Can't say I'll get rid of comet but we are making quite a switch on cleaning products.  Many times stores will have them on clearance.  The kids and I used to have quite a reaction on our skin when using harsh chemicals.  I figured that can't be good over time so made the switch.  Like I said, can't get rid of the comet but the rest we are okay with.  When going to more natural products, it truly is about trial and error.  Sidetracked, I know.  Kids are fantastic about cleaning before we go b/c they know I won't let them leave until it is clean.  

Alright, not the most gorgeous Easter Basket in town.  LOL.  I won't even go into the story of why there are no Easter Baskets in the house this year.  We needed a storage bin anyhow so told Warren to go pick one out.  He picks boring grey.  Lovely color for Easter dear.  Men.  Since this was Easter Weekend and I knew I'd be beat to do anything Sunday evening, I decided to hav the Easter Bunny come early.  A group gift was the way to go.  And remember, my kids live for the outdoors.  It's filled w/ baseball bat & ball, badmitton, 2 soccer balls, basketball, card games, Wii nunchuck thing, rubiks cube, 2 whoopie cushions, 7 chocolate bunnies, 7 reeces eggs and some other stuff they'd enjoy.  HUGE hit!  I know I did not bask them in chocolate but with many of hteir disorders, they really do not need any more sugar.  They did not mind one bit.  Hard part was getting them to realize we need to leave for the trip and play wiht this stuff when we get home.  

Alright, before any trip, we line the kids up after they wake up.  We do this to remind them of where we are going and what the rules are on this trip.  With FAS kids, they have to be reminded frequently so this helps.  Yana looks like death warmed over, Nik is not going to be wearing that though he is proud he picked it out, Bojan is actually dressed, Alex is trying to wake up and I have no earthly idea why Alyona is in her bathing suit that morning.  This is all just part of the pre-trip routine. 

I think they enjoyed a pre-trip surprise bin full of goodies.  Yes, they had chocolate for breakfast that morning.  Figured what the heck, they'll be contained in a car.  How bad can it be??  LOL-- that part later.  Second pic is Yana blowing up the all time favorite whoopie cushion.  I have no idea way kids love to make fart sounds but it is always a hit.  Seriously, my kids laugh at this thing all day long.  Don't get it.  

Okay, so this is the cake I decided to make.  Never had made this one before but looked and sounded good.  This is what it was supposed to look like.  And this is how it turned out:

Umm, not quite as pretty as the picture.  No photoshopping here.  I make homemade icing anyhow so that is what I used.  Maybe I should have used the store bought kind.  Don't know.  But, being that I was doing this Friday morning and we were leaving shortly, I just went with it.  Bit of advice for others though, do NOT let your child(even if she is 14) hold the cake.  It will be tilted sideways and crammed against the side of the container.  Amazingly, it made it in one piece that day for the cookout that evening.  And, it was enjoyed so I guess that is what counts.  Have to work on that presentation though for sure.  Plus, next time I'm altering the recipe I think.  More into a summer cake.  We'll see.  

After this, we were ready to go and we were off.  Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure.  Part II coming up.  It will be titled "on the road."  Now, I have to get some more chores done so we can get this place back to normal this week.  Kids are out all week so I'm here.  Have a wonderful week and more to come!  Oh, for bigger views of the pictures, I think you can click on the pic itself and will show up larger. 

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