Our first family vacation to Mackinaw City was great, even if it was a bit short. Jason came up to Elkhart to meet us and we traveled on from there. The trip was about 5.5 hours and I couldn't believe that we could make the trip with only 1 stop. It helps when I can sit in the back seat with Alexis and help her get to sleep and stay asleep using a pacifier. She slept the whole way with the exception of a 1 hour pit stop. Incredible! As a kid, when my family would make twice monthly trips from Elkhart to Indy to visit my grandparents, we'd stop once an hour!
We hadn't told the boys that my folks were meeting us in Mackinaw City. It was a sort of last minute idea. Dad had never been there and Mom hadn't been since she was a kid. We had to drive separately due to Dad's teaching schedule. It was a nice surprise when we got to our hotel room, openned the door to the adjoining room and there sat Jo Jo and Pop Pop!
Friday was a bit gloomy, but we risked it and took the ferry over to Mackinac Island. Last summer when we went to Mackinac for the first time, we rented bikes and took the 8-mile ride around the island. The boys had wanted to take a carriage ride last year, but by the time we got off the bikes, it was too late. This year we went on the carriage tour. It was an easy activity to do with a 3-month old. It sprinkled on and off, but luckily it only seemed to do so when we were indoors or under the awning of the carriage. Lexi slept through most of the ride and even Blake fit in short snooze on Jason. We did a bit of window shopping, had some ice cream, and headed back to Mackinaw City.
Because of the gloomy weather, we never spent any time on the beach which was very unfortunate seeing as how the hotel was directly on the beach and the boys had so much fun playing with their sand toys last year. But luckily the hotel had a very nice indoor pool and hot tub. Jason took the boys to the pool every day and they loved it. Nicholas learned to doggy paddle and is quite proud of the fact that he doesn't need to wear his water wings. (I, of course, am a bit paranoid that he doesn't wear them any more, but if I had my way, he'd wear a floatation device until he was on Medicare.)
Saturday night was the wedding of my dear friend Christy. It was an outdoor, evening wedding. COLD! The temperature was in the 50's with 20 mph winds. The skirt and flip flops that I wore were not ideal. We were all thankful though that it wasn't raining. Christy, Eric, and the wedding party stood out on the dock and I was worried about a Funniest Home Video moment: a dress flying up, a person falling in the water, the rings getting dropped into the lake...but thank goodness, other than the fact that we couldn't hear anything due to the wind, the ceremony was beautiful.
We returned to Christy's cabin the following day for a cookout while my folks headed back to Elkhart. The weather was cool, but sunny and everyone had a good time. There were many kids, which is always a relief to a parent. No parent wants to have the only kids in a large, full room of adults, no matter how well behaved your kids are. On Monday we drove home to Noblesville. Another long trip (7.5 hours) and again we only had to make one pit stop. My kids are amazing!! And what did our parents do without car DVD players?
I haven't done this in a while, but here's the gripe du jour:
Spray tans. My dear friend Jeanne was raving to me about them one day. When I think of spray tans, I think of the Friends episode when Ross gets a spray tan, asked to be tanned to the darkness of a "2", forgets to turn around, and gets double the tan on one side and no tan on the other. By the end of the episode he's an "8" and only on his front. But Jeanne swore by it and seeing as how I spent most of the summer in the NICU and the weather hasn't been ideal for tanning, I wanted a tan before heading to Mackinaw. I had looked up Mystic Tan on-line and watched the instructional video: you stand in front of a machine that sprays you head to toe with a fine mist, turn around to get your back, towel off and go home. Easy. I knew my sister-in-law had done it in Elkhart so she offered to make me an appointment while I was in town before going to Mackinaw.
I walked into the tanning salon and they took me to the room to get the spray tan. Ummmm, no machine. A person sprays you with the air brush tanning gun thingy. What?!?!?! How humiliating! So I'm feeling quite....errrr...uncomfortable in the paper disposable bikini. She asked how dark I wanted to go. I told her I didn't want to be terribly dark, but I wanted to look like I had a good tan. She sprayed me, and sprayed, and sprayed. Back, front, face... She told me that the tan would get darker throughout the day, not to shower until the next morning and not be startled if I woke up in the morning looking splotchy and green. Green??? She had me look in the mirror when she was done. WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me??? I looked darker--literally--than anyone on Dancing with the Stars! Not one to complain, I kind of laughed it off, convinced myself that I had been this tan before when I was in the Carribean, and cringed quietly when I saw the areas of white skin causing the most horrific tan lines I've ever seen.
As the day wore on, I did in fact get darker. Mom, bless her heart, tried to convince me that it looked nice. Dad couldn't cover up the gasp that erupted when he saw me. Sister-in-law laughed. The boys, surprisingly, didn't say a word. I took my picture on my cell phone and sent it to Jeanne with the message, "I'm an 8!" Just like Ross. Jeanne insisted I looked more like a 7. Thanks Jeanne! I would have showered immediately but was afraid I would end up with tan streaks. I couldn't bring myself to wait until the next morning to shower, so after about 5 hours I hopped in. Someone should have warned me that all this dye would just wash off leaving me with a nice golden tan. Soooo much better. Thank goodness. Next time--if there ever is a next time--I will clarify that I will be tanned by a machine and will request a "3".
Okay, as for a Lexi report. (Finally, right? Isn't she the whole reason you're reading this blog?) She is officially on the waiting list for services through the Developmental Disability Waiver. This is a program that can provide services like therapies, and the waiting list is currently about 10 years long. She has been approved for First Steps and we'll have a meeting in 2 weeks to discuss exactly which services she will receive (PT and OT) and how often. Tomorrow we have our first appointment at the Down Syndrome Clinic at St. Vincent Hospital. My understanding is that we'll be there for several hours while Lexi has several evaluations, tests, blood work, etc. I'll keep you posted and maybe by next time, this blog will have a new title. I'm thinking: A Pickle, A Beezle, and a little Something Extra.