Sunday, June 7, 2015

Part one of travels to Wisconsin: Wisconsin how I love thee!

Early in May I suddenly got a crazy idea in my head. Why not travel to Wisconsin by myself with all the boys. Yep, crazy I know. But there was logic present in my thought too.

Franz's little sister was getting married on May 23rd. So, we were already planning on going to Wisconsin anyway. I had not visited home for a year and a half and was very much in anticipation of seeing family and where I grew up. At first our idea was to all drive Thursday night (May 21st) all the way to Wisconsin. Arriving late Friday and going to the wedding on Saturday. Yeah, it was looking pretty scary. We would have all looked like road kill at the wedding.

Instead I brilliantly thought of why not just me and the boys driving ourselves to Wisconsin. Franz could finish the school year and fly in right before the wedding. This would give the boys and I two weeks with family ahead of time.

So, after making the decision just a few days before leaving. I frantically tried to get things done around home and to pack for all. Ufdah! I was cleaning late the night before leaving, and still did not accomplish all I meant too.

The morning of May 7th saw all of us off. Franz in his car to work, the boys and I off to Cleveland TN. We were going to spend the night with a friend of mine. The drive was not bad. I had a cooler and had packed snacks. The first bathroom stop we made I also bought a loaf of bread, as I had packed homemade strawberry jam and organic peanut butter. I had a colored bowl that was designated for each boy. We each had our own stainless steal water bottle. Each time we stopped I got everybody out. Even Chrysogonus, to give him a break from sitting in his carseat.

I love bathrooms that have big stalls and a child seat that folds down. I was able to place Chrysogonus securely with straps, so I could take my turn going to the bathroom. This was much preferable to holding a baby while trying to use the bathroom myself. Let me tell you, it gets pretty crowded in a stall with four boys. The boys were all good about turning towards the wall to allow each privacy while potting. Seriously, this is a huge part of travel so if this disgust you, just stop reading. A mother does what she has to, to make sure all are safe and taken care of.

The driving was probably the hardest on Cletus. Cletus has a hard time sitting still. Cyprian and Clement would complain but I could distract them with a game or just talking. Cletus was getting tired of being strapped in and started to cry. It became a necessity to have Cyprian and Clement help distract Cletus. This in turn helped pass the time. Chrysogonus slept a lot, thank God! The boys also kept themselves busy with their own sketchbooks and reading books.

The first leg of our journey was just over seven hours of driving time and just under 500 miles. We arrived at our destination around 4:30. Our host ordered pizzas from wear her son works. The boys had fun running around her large yard that had a nice woods behind. She brought out sidewalk chalk and the boys happily decorated the driveway. After getting thoroughly dirty from eating pizza and playing outside we brought the boys in and gave them a bath in a huge jet tub. Oh boy, that was a hit:') Once all were bathed, dressed in pj's and teeth brushed we prayed the rosary in the room that Cyprian and Clement were to sleep in. My boys were still wound up, but I was starting to have a pounding headache. I believe it was to do with traveling over the mountains and having some stuffy sinus, while also not drinking enough water. I seriously was starting to feel nauseous. So after blessing each boy and silently praying they would behave and go to sleep I settled Cletus, Chrysogonus, and myself in the room next to Cyprian and Clement. I know I drifted off after taking some Tylenol and briefly talking to Franz. The boys were not asleep, but when I woke up around midnight and checked, all were where they were suppose to be. I still had the headache and thought, oh my gosh I am not going to be able to go anywhere tomorrow. I kept drinking water throughout the night. Finally when I awoke at 4 am I did not have a headache.

Cletus was awake so I asked him, "should we get going." He replied, "yes." So I quickly started packing up and dressed Cletus and grabbed him a breakfast. I got Cletus in the car and all our stuff. Next Clement woke so I got him dressed and in the car. I went back in for Cyprian who was still sleeping. Cyprian did not wake up well. His throat hurt really bad and he sounded croupy. Cyprian was very upset. I gave him children's tylenol and got him dressed and grabbed him breakfast. I am not a huge fan of Tylenol, but again a mother does what she must. We were going out the door and I heard a child crying. It was Cletus who had got himself out of the van and was searching for me. Clement had stayed in the van and was happily eating his breakfast. It was still dark and the driveway is long. Cletus was crying in a flower garden beside the house. I was so thankful he had not wandered onto the road or into the woods. Once the three older boys were all settled and locked in the car I went back for Chrysogonus. I quickly nursed, changed him, and strapped him in his carseat. It was about 5 am and we managed to take off without waking our host. We had our longest stretch of driving. Ten hours to Chicago........

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