Now that it's not Thursday, I can comfortably say the day was fun for the kids. We went to the California Living Museum, the Mall, Rite-Aid for Easter Egg supplies, and then to the grocery store. I never cried! It was a success! Mostly.
My sister Kendra and I met at opening time. The museum was running their Spring Fling special- kids admitted free with a paying adult. So, for $14.00, all 11 of us were in. We were the only ones there for the first hour. It was great. In the above picture, you can see Ed wearing a blue on blue striped sweater, running out of the picture on the right. He kept going, and I had to use my "emergency" voice. My emergency voice is the one that sounds like "if what you are doing doesn't kill you, I might." If you to only hear it, that's what you would think. If you were to look and see what was going on at the time, you would see my little Edsel running in front of a moving car, or as was the case in this instance, running to the edge of the cliff so he could "see the ribber." Thus started the "Stay on the path" reminders.
These boys will be the death of me. I don't know how Jocelyn, Melissa, or Cori do it- those three all have four boys, and bucket loads more patience than I do. This shot was right before they started to crouch down with their arms out, looking like they were going to jump the fence. No joke. Ed went first, and when I yelled across the way for him not to jump, I got the "But I just want to see them closer!" reply. I tell him to get down, which he does (Yay, Ed!), when Will scoots to the edge and tries the SAME THING. Really? Besides hearing me just tell the other one not to do it, do you really have the desire to jump over the fence sail down into the pelican and duck pond?
Okay, this is just gross. In the reptile house they have the "Al Robbins" wall, with a timeline of great reptilian feats by said Mr. Robbins. This jar just grosses me out. I've never been one much for biology, so preserving this basilisk lizard in a jar? Eeew. The kids loved it though, and I was fascinated, too.
The ramp and tunnel that went around the tortoise enclosure was way more fun than the actual tortoise and road runners. Kendra stayed at one end of the tunnel, while I was stationed at the other. We both have similar attitudes in parenting, although she is more calm than I am. We let the kids run through the tunnel a couple of times, thinking the novelty of the thing would wear off. It didn't.
If you look real closely at the glove, just under this turkey vulture, you can see where it threw-up when the kids exited the ramp/tunnel for the last time. You could say it scared the crap out of the bird... but that a little vulgar and technically incorrect. They scared the bird and it vomited. Of course that was fascinating in and of itself. Will had problems with the smell of it. He learned that day that decaying meat spewed from the innards of a "decomposer" (go Benjamin for remembering that one!) actually stinks.
We took the kids on the little train ride they had, which made their day. We also went into the indoor education center, which I had never been in before. They had a craft, and both hands-on and hands-off displays. I learned that there is a fault line right by my house. I had no idea.
After the museum, the kids and I went to the mall. The boys needed shoes, and I needed their feet to try on the shoes. I usually buy the shoes too big, thinking they'll get a lot of use out of them, but they end up wearing out before they grow out of them. They aren't cheap shoes; the boys are just really hard on their shoes. I tried to make it as sane as possible. We got the shoes first, in case we had to abort the mission. At least we'd have the footwear. We then ventured to Bath and Body Works for some more hand soap. I find my kids wash their hands more with a foamy, smelly soap than regular soap. Next it was the food court, where I spent way too much money on food that wasn't really eaten. Except for Kacy, who was a cheap date AND ate all of her food. As we made our way back through the mall, we stopped at See's candy for a free sample of chocolate and some Easter eggs. This was where both Ed and Jessie left the store while I was paying near the exit. She went one way, and Ed went the other. I sent my minions to go after them: Kacy went to get Ed, and Will ran towards Jessie (who started running away...). I saw what needed to be done, but since I couldn't tie up my children (lack of rope), I went to help Will. I got Jessie, and was relieved to see Kacy holding Ed's hand and just standing there. We manage to make it out of the mall with the kids thinking it was the coolest thing EVER, and me surprised I didn't need to call security.
Next up? Rite Aid. A small store with Easter supplies in the front. In, out, and with no anxiety attacks, lost children, or broken objects that I hadn't planned on buying.
Last stop of the "I can't believe I'm doing this" day... Winco. That was a mistake. We went in the afternoon. Mistake one. I had the whole crew. Mistake two. You know, the kids themselves were not bad. Ed had some problems with walking backwards the whole time, and Will and Jessie kept picking at each other, but nothing bad. The bad thing is this: as a group of five (one of us walking backwards), we take up a lot of room. I absolutely hate when my children make other people move out of the way because my kids are walking backwards or looking up at the ceiling instead of where they are going. I don't want to be an inconvenience to anyone, and I really don't want to have to keep apologizing to everyone in the isle. I won't do it again. I noticed that NO ONE in the ENTIRE store had four kids with them. I saw one family with three kids, but the oldest was pushing the cart, with the youngest in it. The trip may not have been THAT BAD, but after the zoo and the mall, it was all I could do not to just quit. At one point I was pondering whom I should ask for a recommendation to a psychiatrist because I'm pretty sure I was losing it. (Like on Sunday when I couldn't find my shoe... same thing.)
Ah, well. All's well that ends well, no? And we all made it home (with groceries!) and the kids had a good time, and that's what counts, right? RIGHT?
And, Ryan and I are leaving the state for our tenth anniversary. Keeping that in mind helped me whenever I had the thought "I need a vacation!" I get one! We are going on a trip to Oregon. I can't wait to drive up the east side of California. I'm bringing my camera!