"do you think Chick-fil-A sells shots?"

15 April 2015

... Simon asked two hours into our four hour drive to Kansas City and two hours into our drive listening to Phoebe cry and cry and cry (wolf) from her torture chamber formally known as a comfortable car seat last Thursday night.

In the four years that we've lived in St. Louis and made the (as the driver, Simon says it's 6-7 hours ... as the passenger and glorified flight attendant ready to serve all of our high maintenance passengers' needs, I say it's a million) drive to Wichita we've never had the luxury of time to break the trip up and make it a little less um, long. Until now! So after getting the house as presentable as it was going to get for the weekend's showings and open house we took Thursday afternoon/evening to drive to Kansas City on our way to Wichita for Simon's sister, Elizabeth's, wedding.


post-wedding cherubs.

We had promised the kids a "picnic party" (aka just a picnic to non-Patton children) once we got there but the weather wasn't cooperating so we hit up the finest dining establishment with an indoor playground that we could find ...


Chick-fil-A (no shots, sadly).

We rewarded the older kids' weirdly good road trip behavior with milkshakes (some might call it bribery ... I just call it sensible parenting) and Sebastian snuck the temporary black sheep some frozen refined sugar to fuel her final 30 minutes of ear drum ruining yodeling on the way to the hotel.

If you've ever traveled with smallish kids you'll join me in appreciating how incredibly lucky we got with our Hotwire gamble of a hotel room in Kansas City. It turned out to not only have a walk-in closet that fit Phoebe's crib perfectly but also a fold out chair bed situation that was fit for Princess Julia, a King Bed that Sebastian took the liberty of hogging half while Simon and I felt right at home in our usual sized quarters, and Theo lived large right outside the bathroom in a second pack and play. There was also an impressive continental breakfast ...


baby birds waiting for their yogurt because we trust the kids about 0% when it comes to food in an uncontrolled environment.

Yikes. Okay, as much as I'd love to punish you with a descriptive narrative essay of the entire weekend ... I won't. Let's just hit the highlights.


Our hotel in Wichita was super nice but had a small bed and recliner ...


which isn't terribly conducive to a family of six but I marketed the blanketed floor as "comfy nests!!" to the older kids and they totally bought it.

We took the older kids to the rehearsal dinner where they quickly sniffed out the "kid wine" table ...


two bottles in and Sebastian discovered his hidden talent for plastic glass architecture.

We were SO lucky that my mom and brother drove up from Albuquerque to go the wedding and my sister flew in from Chicago and stayed in the room next to ours ... Julia was Nana's little shadow the entire weekend and still doesn't understand why Nana can't just move to St. Louis ...


... (St. Louis being the name of our house, logically)

We stayed on top of our clean eating habits ...


(the neon icing and sprinkles were actually made with juice of kale, beets, and locally grown blueberries - believe it or not)

And we can't go to Wichita and not hit up the Donut Hole ...


... I don't care how cliché the maple/bacon donut is ... I go gaga for it every single time.

Let's get to the actual WEDDING, Grace. 


Bride, groom, and bride's siblings.

Theo passed out in the car three minutes after our Christmas card photo was snapped ...


... and I'd give the kids a collective C- for wedding Mass behavior that fell smack during their nap time. It could've been MUCH worse plus! room for improvement, always.

We were a little worried how Julia and Bash would fare going down the aisle ...


We've been talking up how Sebastian was going to "be the big exciting ring bearer!!!" for weeks and he finally confessed to Simon's dad that he didn't want, "to be a reindeer!!!!! I'm just a Bashy!!"

But even after complaining that his suspenders made him look like a farmer they still came down the aisle holding hands like pros with big smiles and only one wave to mom waiting at the pew in the front of the church ...


Post-wedding and inhaling my emergency ration of Cheez-its in the back of the church while watching the controlled chaos that is always wedding photos ...


Simon's new nickname for Julia is, "stone cold B" because she's started to inherit her mother's perma-scowl.

In a very un-Simon (more of a Grace-like) move - he promised the kids milkshakes, "that they wouldn't have to share" if they successfully walked down the aisle ...


... boom.

You see Julia's flowers? (Mary - maid of honor/ Simon's sister did ALL the flowers ... girl's got SERIOUS talent!) Well! During the wedding Julia told Sebastian that her flowers were "balls of honey" and convinced him to eat one. You can imagine how well that went over and JUST how loud his disgusted spitting sounds sounded during the ceremony. Thanks J!!

We owe our lives to the two wonderful sitters that volunteered (and flat out refused payment ... Emily and Ashlyn -- we will find you and repay you somehow! some way!) to watch the kids in our hotel room while we took Sebastian to the beginning of the reception ...


He inhaled so many Shirley Temples that he may or may not have gotten sick at dinner but as SOON as he recovered he got a worried look on his face and asked, "I can still have cake, right?!"

Proceed at your own risk, Bash.

(he proceeded and was fine)

A crystal clear snap of Simon and the bride ...


they don't look related at all.

Also, her wedding dress was to die for. If only I had a reason to purchase an identical gown and wear it out on the town.

And that covers it! Sort of. I won't exhaust you with more details other than that Phoebe cried the vast majority of the drive home, we hit a nasty traffic jam and after crawling a whopping seven miles in over 40 minutes Simon took charge and crossed the median in our badass 2004 Honda Odyssey and took an alternate route while we both swore we would never ever ever get in the car with Phoebe ever again.

So! the drive down to Florida should be interesting with the addition of a newborn in June but we might have to do some night driving or something? And to the kind reader that emailed on Sunday asking for road trip tips with kids?

My only tip is: don't do it. Get the kids an Uber.

;)

kidding.

kind of.

50 comments:

  1. Her dress is gorgeous! Sounds like a pretty good trip overall if you factor out the drive there and back. And "milkshakes of your own" are you new go-to kid bribe. Whatever works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! I know. so terrible. But! good to have in our back pocket for big trips!!!

      Delete
  2. Great wedding. Now I want a donut. And the kids' outfits? So awesome. You're amazing that you pulled that off. Brutal--hate road trips with my own resident screamer. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bah! This is so great. Congrats to Simon's sister (how stunning!) and Bash is SO SO cute in his little ringbearer get up! And I'd love to know where your dress/shoes are from!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats to Elizabeth! LOVE her dress!!! ♡ Also, Donut Hole is one of our favorite Wichita treats, too. Dave used to do shows there and we got free donuts...it was way more exciting for me than it should have been. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kids look adorable! And you do too! I really hope to travel with my future kids--let's see how much I'll be able to handle. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This just terrified me right out of any vacation I was contemplating with my 15 month old this summer. Single mom, toddler that hates being in the car....NOPE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha but does she like screens? I've done a few solo trips with two kids but they were happy to watch movies. Phoebe has no interest, sadly!

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, we have the DVD player. And it HAS to be on, even for the minute and a half car ride to daycare every morning. Or she will scream.

      Delete
  7. This is why we became big homebodies after kid #1 (and more so with kid #2). Props for getting out there. Looks like it was a beautiful wedding!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My best friend is a road trip champion, with a toddler and newborn, and recently discovered that those dog bed's you can get at costco? Double as amazing toddler beds on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  9. When we had a screamer-- we didn't lose him, he grew out of it-- we'd do night driving. Take off at 7 or so after dinner, bath and pj's and put contented kids into car seats with books and small toys. The downside was that at 10pm or whenever we got to where we were going, he never slept for the trip inside so we'd have an hour of trying to unwind back to bed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a pretty flower girl and she's a girl after my own heart reaching for the "champagne" already :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Donut Whole is my absolute weakness! Every time I'm in Wichita, I schedule a pit stop (even if it's completely inconvenient). And the maple bacon has my heart as well!

    ReplyDelete
  12. We made a 12 hour drive to Oklahoma City in August with five children, ages 4,3,2,15 months, and 2 months. The trip there wasn't too bad because we left around 9pm and got there around 9am, so the kids mostly slept. We tried doing the same thing to go home, and it just didn't work the same at all. Almost all of them were upset, probably also because they didn't have enough down time for the time we were actually there. We ended up staying in a hotel on the way home and the trip home was more like 18+ hours because of all the breaks we had to take just to keep our sanity :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fruit snacks are our bribery around here. Amazing how well kids can whip in to shape when they are offered a sugary snack! Looks like a fun trip overall!
    'Tis Our Life Blog

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bacon on a doughnut...This "girl off the farm" (sorry central Minnesota people don't get out much) never heard or seen one! I must have!!!

    Best blog I have read all week!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish Chick-fil-a served shots or delivered for that matter.....that would be perfection! I listen to screaming children all day long and usually I can ignore them but this one is driving me nuts as I'm trying to finish this last chart and get some quick blogging done. You definitely did hit the jackpot with that room!

    ReplyDelete
  16. CFA totally needs to get on board with selling shots!! :) And I, too, drive a 2004 Honda Odyssey. Don't you love all the recall notices on the airbags we keep getting?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yay! Was stalking Facebook for wedding pics (did I tell you Francis roomed with Joe for a bit?).
    I love weddings but hate that they're always inevitably during crucial nap time, and immediately preceding the sugar rushes+crashes at the reception.
    I'm sure your kale topped donuts were made of flax and bran, right?

    ReplyDelete
  18. You say everything so perfectly and you never fail to make me laugh! We drive 12 hours with the kids and although have had bad experiences with crying kids, driving part of the way at night works the best. A few hours of daylight, a dinner stop and then bedtime in the car for a few more hours always does the trick! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness. I love your blogging abilities! I was laughing so hard I cried after this post. Maybe it was the "badass Honda Odyssey" or your optimistic outlook of your upcoming drive to Florida that did me in ;) Having six kids under 10, I am eyeing our 10 hour road trip to Yellowstone in early June with some major anxiety. Yes, let's drive 10 hours to a National Park, only to follow it up with two days in the car of touring around. Brilliant plan! Here's to hoping that our toddlers and baby will appreciate what a fun and educational homeschool vacation it will be ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. First off, Simon and his siblings all look SO much alike. It's crazy. Reminds me of my siblings and I.

    Second, I relate so much to Julia tricking Bash into eating the flowers. I was the oldest and I convinced my sister that some bath salts (not the drugs!!) were candy more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this. And CFA...let's just say I love Costco as much as you do. I also love CFA as much as I love Costco. You see where I'm going with this? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. We have a Phoebe (named Maria). She once cried 13-14 hours straight on a drive home from New Jersey. I invested in earplugs after that. And they live permanently in our car. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. We have a Phoebe (named Maria). She once cried 13-14 hours straight on a drive home from New Jersey. I invested in earplugs after that. And they live permanently in our car. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. We live in Montana, where everything is a long drive away. A friend in another town asked when we were coming to visit. I laughed and laughed. I don't even like driving to *my* town (we live in the country - about 20 minutes from town). The thought of driving to another town? 3 kids, aged 5, 1 and 8 months? Hahahahaha. Hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  25. We just made a 1400 mile round trip with 5 kids. 6 months ago we moved 900 miles. My traveling tip: leave early. We found that waking up at 3 or 4 am with the van already fully loaded and ready to go is the way to travel. The kids sleep in their "day clothes", wake up and use the bathroom, then go straight to the car. The DVD player in the van is only allowed on once the sun comes up. It's been a traveling life saver once we figures this little gem out. We didn't take our own advice on our way home from our recent trip and paid for it dearly with the cries of the 2 year old. Mini vans should TOTALLY come with those little glass partition thingies that limo's have.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Simon, ever hear of something called a flask? Grace, perhpas you should invest in one- early birthday present, perhaps... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love the donut hole...it takes some real self control not to go there more often! And I am impressed with your ingenuity with your sleeping arrangements in hotels with four kids!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love her wedding dress! So beautiful! And we are big fans of Chick-Fil-A and their indoor play place...somehow it seems much more K-lassier than McDonalds play place, which I refuse to go to for fear someone I know will see me there. McDonalds stigma...it's a real thing ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I keep pondering whether we can turn the suburban in for a limo that has one of those roll up windows. Sound(scream)proof, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If you come via Atlanta on your way down to FL, the best places to stop are towns with old-fashioned courthouse squares: Marietta, Decatur, LaGrange, Macon, Valdosta. There are others, of course, but those are the ones we took on a drive south with littles. There's always a green lawn around the courthouse for the kids to play on, and the good restaurants are right there as well, so the judges and lawyers can get a good lunch! These towns also have colleges nearby, so if you need a larger area to run around, you can find it easily (Valdosta U has a huge shady playground practically on campus). I used to do a ton of food & travel writing (with my kids in tow) for various mags, so if you're looking for places/routes/fun stuff for little ones... feel free to email me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love, loved seeing these pictures! Hope you had a wonderful time in the 'Ta (and WHY have I not been to The Donut Hole yet?? You are wiser than I in my hometown!). Congrats to your wonderful family and the gorgeous bride too!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your blog always makes me laugh! No, really, it's a *good* thing. :-) Bash doesn't want to be a reindeer! LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ha! I'm the second oldest of nine...so I have some experience with child management...and there is no shame is junk food bribery. It's basically my go-to child rearing tool. Just saying!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Greatest wedding recap everrrr. Also, she is a STUNNING bride. That dress, GIMME!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sebastian's posing KILLS me. Boy's got style

    ReplyDelete
  36. This was absolutely hilarious! I have to do a 14hr car ride to the beach on our family vacation with my 16mo. next month. I am already stressing over that... I don't know HOW you do with even on a 4-5hr. with four kids. I bow down to you!

    ReplyDelete
  37. okay, number one: this was hilarious and such a true portrait of traveling with kids...we went on a roadtrip this past weekend as well and i totally hear you...hotel breakfast and bribes and sleeping arrangements and all.
    number two: my daughter has the same dress old navy dress as j and my son has the green checkered shirt, so i am feeling super accomplished that we are moving toward being as fashionable as the patton family.
    number three: good luck with florida. :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. "get the kids an Uber."

    Best thing I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete
  39. HA! I love these kind of posts, hands down my favorite laugh out loud. Night driving for the WIN woman! Seriously do it you won't regret it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Haha I just love everything about this post! You guys are serious rock stars for doing that trip with four kids!

    ReplyDelete
  41. If you have the chance to go to CFA again get the frosted lemonade! It is UH-MAZING!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Funny how some trips end up going great with the children and others are just absolute torture. The screaming would never be fun, but in a confined space? Oh man.

    ReplyDelete
  43. One thing that was great about this place (and that allowed us to plan it in a short timeframe without losing our minds) was that food, alcohol and rentals are all in house so no extra vendors to deal with. Also the view from wedding location venue was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  44. We're getting ready to go on 'vacation' (said with a smirk, because taking a 3, 2, and 1 year old on a trip will be sure to be relaxing yes?) and I have spent so much money on things for the older two to do in the car, for after they get sick of their (constantly going) movies and start screaming about being stuck. Sadly for Lucy, I have not figured out good things for her to do yet. And she's our screamer. It's sure to be a good time!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Is it weird that I am jealous of how stylish Theo is?

    ReplyDelete

 

Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger