In case you have been wondering why I've been so quiet lately, here is the reason. I have been running ragged trying to prepare 4 people for a trans-continental flight to Detroit for my brother-in-laws wedding. We've had to patiently (or not patiently) await the arrival of Caitlin's flower girl dress, drive way across town to have it altered, take suits to the dry cleaners, find suitable clothes for the mother of the flower girl and then attempt to pack our family of 4. Let me give you some of the highlights.
--Finding a "formal" dress when you've not been blessed with a model's body has been nearly impossible. I have been to store upon store and resorted to ordering from JCPenney (thanks for the gifts cards Mom & Dad). What a mistake that was. First, did you know that you really can't pay with gift cards on JCP's website? Well, you can't. Especially if you have more than one. You have to pre-pay in the store, wait for them to receive the payment to "release" the order to be shipped, then wait for the order to arrive in the store. To make a very long story short, let's just say that JCP's right hand doesn't know what it's left hand is doing, or saying. They told me the order was shipped one day via the 1-800 number and when I arrive in store to pick it up, I'm told another date, four days later. Umm, hello...I'm on a deadline here! Grr! Thankfully, in my running about today, I found a cute outfit from Catherine's. Granted, it cost me about twice what JCPenney was charging but hey, it's in my hands and it looks good. No guessing if JCP's periwinkle will be more purple than blue.
--Having a dress altered is a royal pain in the arse. Caitlin's dress for the wedding is beautiful. It is kind of an antique ivory almost a sheer with lots of layers, a petticoat, the works. Well, turns out, that in order to take up a hem off the length, one has to take it up from the bodice due to the delicate ruffle on the bottom. The seamstress made it look simple enough even if there were pins every 1/2 inch along the bottom. The dress was promised to be ready to go today. Well, we get in there, Caitlin tries on the dress for the final fitting and what do I immediately notice, despite my naive eyes? That the ruffle along the bottom is not the same length all the way around. OMG, are you serious?! I momentarily panic because in exactly three days, we are to be mid-air. I politely (don't ask me how) point out the problem to the head seamstress who promptly comes over with her pin cushion and begins to make the adjustments. She asks me, again, when I need the dress back by and when I tell her, you can just see the color drain from her face (that makes two of us). "Umm, our plane leave bright & early Thursday morning, so I'll need it by Wednesday". So, we are due back in Lakewood, about 40 minutes away again at 4pm on Wednesday--lovely, with the price of gas being what it is.
--Coordinating and packing for 4 people is a gigantic undertaking. You'd think, enough said, right? Not quite. It's not just doing the laundry, folding clothes and packing them into a suitcase...oh no, it's more complicated than that. Here's a sampling of my internal monologue: "What is (insert family members name here) going to where to the family portrait? To the rehearsal?...Do we have tights and shoes to go with it? What about if there's a pool at the hotel? Better pack a bathing suit. Oh wait, since we're not going to be at the wedding/rehearsal all day, I've got to pack casual clothes for everyone too. And, let's not forget that every one's beauty care products must fit comfortably into a quart size Ziplock bag...how are we going to pack Caitlin's pink hair lotion? Shoot, gotta remember to pack diapers, wipes and Pull-ups". Once that is accomplished (sometime Wednesday). I still have to put together carry-on bags for the girls and Ben & I, figure out how best to carry-on Caitlin's flower girl dress, arrange for off-site airport parking and pick up Ben's suits.
That said, I will be so glad when we finally board the plane on Thursday morning. It will feel good to sit back and try to convince two kids to behave somewhat like humans for three hours. That seems like a piece of cake compared to the past couple of days and the days yet to come. Just writing this post has made me tired. Traveling as a family of four is bound to be an adventure, I'll let you know how it goes. I'll tell you all about the journey and the wedding when we get back.