Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcome to the Madness- The Cousins Convention

Posted by Heather at Monday, July 16, 2012

"Five little cousins, bouncing on the sofa..."

The rest of the trip's pictures can be viewed here:

Week three, and the final stop of our summer vacation, was with the Tinkey side of the family to meet new baby cousin, Luke Coyle, and spend some time with both my brother and sister's families in Pittsburgh.

Our flight arrived home to Charlotte late Sunday, July 14. I spent the next day doing laundry, sorting pictures from our first part of the trip, packing and then Katy and I were on the road first thing Monday morning. I was DRIVING with Katy by myself, to Pittsburgh- eeek!! Along the way, I dubbed it, our "Mommy Katy adventure." Adventure, for sure!

Katy did great on the drive. My saving grace was that I stopped midway in Beckley, WV, to spend the night. I had to know there was an end in sight and it helped to break the drive up a bit so we weren't driving for seven and a half hours straight. I made sure to have plenty of snacks (already portioned into bags) and drinks handy to toss back at Katy while I was driving and minding the road. Katy had lots toys and books beside her to keep her busy. Whenever she got too whiney or crazy, I reached into my special stash and pulled out old, plastic Easter Eggs filled with random toys and candy- Katy loved that!

Because of the recent storms that hit WV, finding a hotel room was a bit tricky. Between the power outages and visiting power crews, hotel rooms were scarce. Who knew WV was such a popular place to stay?!

We made it to Hope's Tuesday, right around lunchtime. Garmin was my friend and guide along the way- what did we ever do without GPS??! Right away, we got to hold and cuddle baby Luke. He was just as soft and smooshie as his pictures. Katy LOVED her newest cousin. She kept wanting to hold him and take care of him. Anytime he would cry, she would run over to wherever he was laying and proclaim what he needed. "Luke needs a bottle!", "Lukie needs his pacifier!", "Luke has a stinky diaper!" She was quite the "Little Mommy" with him. Katy even managed to get Luke to all asleep a couple of times in her lap.

The next morning, I decided to take the girls out for a walk in Hope's new double stroller. 60 pounds of kids, 15 pounds of stroller and several large hills.... let me tell you, I got my workout! Afterwards, we settled for some playtime in the front yard.

On Thursday, Katy and I drove up to Grove City, PA, to visit with my Grandma Tinkey, Katy's great-grandma. Katy spent the morning exploring Grandma's house and looking at her many pictures. She was very interested in knowing who everybody was in each picture. Katy even managed to take a good nap on Grandma's bed, that afternoon. Uncle Jeff was visiting for the week, so we got to have dinner with him, as well.

Josh, Delinda and the kids arrived at Hope's late Thursday night. Of course, my child was still up and going strong by the time they pulled into the driveway (what a night owl!). We said our "Hellos" and then promptly went to bed.

The next morning, Josh, Delinda and I took Kayla, Katy, Molly and Joel on a (less hilly) walk to the local elementary school where we played on the playground. The girls had a blast climbing and swinging and jumping and sliding!

After our time at the playground, we rounded the troops and took them all to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. It was "Cow Appreciation Day," where you could get a free meal by dressing up like a cow. Katy and Molly looked adorable in their matching cow pillowcase dresses. Lunch was chaotic, to say the least.

Learning our lesson at lunch, we decided to order in from Pittsburgh staple, Primanti Brothers, for dinner. We all enjoyed our humongous sandwiches filled with meat, cheese, slaw and fries. The sandwich was definitely worthy of Food Network  spotlight!

Saturday dawned after a very long night for myself and Katy. She was up all night with a fever and just not feeling herself. She was clingy and whiney- not a good day. While the other cousins played outside with Molly's pool and water balloons, Katy and I hovered inside. She ended up getting sick several times, making me very nervous for our ride home the next day. Luckily, though, I was at my sister's house and not stuck by myself in some hotel room with a sick toddler- thank goodness for small miracles!

In between Katy's sickness, I did get to sit down with the gang and enjoy Hope's delicious Chicken Caccitoire for dinner. After we ate, we said good-bye to Josh and Family as they had to leave and go home to Philly.

Two AM on Sunday morning, Katy sat straight up and clearly informed me that she was hungry. Her fever was all gone and she was talking and chatting away. Granted it was two in the morning, but I was happy to have a healthy toddler on my hands! So, we literally had a very late night snack!

We left Hope's house Sunday morning and made it back to Beckley, WV, for a  midway stop. Katy was a little more antsy and needy on the way to Beckley, but on last and final leg of our journey Monday morning, she did GREAT!

It's GREAT to finally be home but was had a WONDERFUL time meeting the newest Tinkey and spending time with the siblings and co.


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