Well, we're one leg of the trip down, and wow. Some experiences leave you speechless, but not this one. No, not this one. But let's bullet point it, because while this time zone says it's an hour plus until bed time, my other time zone does not.
- No matter how much you congratulate yourself for getting out the door on time, there will come a moment, about two hours in, when you have someone else's poop on you and your husband has someone else's pee on him, and you wish that you'd delayed your departure just long enough to tie all four kids to the roof of the car.
- Not throwing into the cooler what was left of the bag of chocolate chips was a mistake I may never live down.
- At some point during a PCS (permanent change of station) it is perfectly acceptable to reach the point where you're all funned out and you'd like to stop the ride and get off. At least, that's what I tell myself. I hit that point yesterday when Trigs escaped twice in a 24 hour period and Littles accidentally locked us out of TLF during the 100+ degree afternoon heat.
- Going anywhere with four kids four and under requires well thought through logistics. Travelling 1500 miles with said four kids and two pets is capable of logistically breaking even the best minds. Let's just say that sharing a tube of toothpaste with my husband is no longer (logistically) the best option when fire safety rules dictate that we split up two kids and one adult per room.
- The Man is doing some serious heavy lifting this trip pulling the trailer and wrangling the pets. I got the easier job of driving the van, but my ear drums are being systematically shattered by our lovely children.
- Tiny is about to experience the conundrum of the true TCK (third culture kid). The last two hours of today's drive he declared emphatically (and repetitively) that he wanted to go home. Define home, buddy, define home…
- The great thing about this move is that if I screw everything up, we're just moving again in 15 months, so I can get it right that time!
- New Mexico is a cruel, cruel land with wide open spaces and closed down rest areas and the promise of a Dairy Queen (with a much needed bathroom) that turned out to be completely and totally burnt down.
- I forgot what true hills looked like. I forgot what real green looked like. I forgot what actual mountains looked like. Stunning. Seriously.
- Driving across the U.S. is helping me learn my American geography the hard way. It would seem that Manhattan Transfer led me sadly astray with their song "Route 66". Amarillo is in Texas, not New Mexico. Evidently, as a child when I thought learning geography from American jazz singers was a good idea, I missed the "Gallup" inserted between "Amarillo" and "New Mexico". Yes, I recognize that this is not their fault. I'm still blaming them.
- Full confession (and I'm hiding this low on the list in hopes that most people will miss it): the movers may or may not have packed up a bag of onions that I accidentally left in the pantry. No comment.
- While my kids may have access to DVDs while traveling, they still indulged in classic road trip entertainment: playing trains, coloring, making paper airplanes, and picking on each other.
- There will come a day when getting back on the road is worth more than getting a blizzard at Dairy Queen. Check for signs of insanity and resign yourself to the inevitable damages caused to your psyche by PCSing.
Let's close with a couple pilfered photos (thanks, Holly!) of the Defender Mobile and it's Very Owen Travelling Circus as we peeled out of TLF this morning. Oklahoma, you made us look good.