Saturday, August 8, 2015

The New Normal

We aren’t really sure what the new normal is around here, because life has been a bit of a whirlwind since Maggie arrived back on June 13th. Alixa’s parents were in the process of moving out of their rental in preparation for their move to London, so Mario stayed in the guest room for a few days while Jenna moved back up to once again share Bo’s room. It was actually really great to have him around to help with things while Lix was recovering. Soon thereafter Mario got evicted for another houseguest, Jarom’s mom, who had been planning to come and stay for week whenever Maggie was born.

Believe it or not, Nancy is actually under those kids 
 From Maggie's first photo shoot
 We sold Carlotta last month. Jarom cried.

Mario was a great live-in babysitter, but Nancy kicked it up a notch, as only grandmas can. I’m not even sure Alixa saw the three older kids the entire week she was living here. Every day was swimming at the pool and playing at the museums and jumping at the trampoline place and whatever else they concocted each day. The kids had a blast, Nancy seemed to really enjoy herself and everybody was so exhausted at the end of each day that by 7:30 they were all unconscious. Jarom was able to go to work and Lix was able to hang out with Maggie, recover, and wrap up her refresher course of all 10 seasons of Friends on Netflix.

 Cow appreciation day at Chick-Fil-A
 These two love swimming with each other
 Emmy found a pool that fits her size
 Teaching Maggie the basics of wrestling
Face painting at the children's museum 

After a week Nancy did the unthinkable: she volunteered to take Jenna, Bo, and Emmy back with her to Delaware for a week, after which Alixa and Maggie would join them. It was really great. Everybody here missed the kids, but it was really great to have a lot of time to chill and get used to the new baby and not have to run around like a crazy person with all the others. There will be plenty of time for that down the road, I’m sure. But as much as the peace and quiet can be nice, you start to miss the crazy. So we packed up Alixa with the newborn and threw her on a flight to Delaware, where it isn’t brutally hot like it is in Texas. There she dove headfirst into single parenting of four children while Jarom sat around at home. Along with working and playing more golf than usual since he was free of other obligations, he did manage to make some fence repairs and take care of a few things around the house that had been on his list. But he missed his family, so he too flew off to Delaware to spend a week with them.

 This beautiful field is the kind of thing that makes Alixa want to go back to the east coast
 Safety first
 Catching fireflies
 I just thought this look was hilarious

Getting on the train 

Delaware has been a fun long term vacation destination. There is a good housing situation, with a variable number of rooms depending on who else is in town and a fleet of borrowable cars with amazing features like power tailgates and smartkeys. You would not believe the number of text messages that Jarom got complaining about how these features are not on any of the current vehicles in the Winn garage. As previously mentioned, the weather during July and August was mostly wonderful, with low humidity and highs that rarely reached 90. The pool at Winn Manor had recently been renovated and a cabana had been added, with a bathroom and fridge, so it was possible to spend upwards of 8 hours a day down there without coming back in, if one desired. Jenna has become a near-professional cannonballer and Bo has gone from a passable swimmer to a really good swimmer in a few short weeks. Maggie has a swingseat that she rocks in over in the shade whilst the otters frolic in the water.

The whole family on Maggie's blessing day

It’s been a revolving door of friends, some coming to the house to visit, others playing host. There were trips to museums and Longwood Gardens and the Strasburg Railroad and Amish Country and the beach, but mostly it has been lying by the pool. When Jarom was there the house was at max capacity, with a handful of Eckerys and everyone’s favorite West Virginians, Kip and Carolyn. Jarom got to play some golf with his dad, JD, and Kip. He went with the kids to the railroad. There were some very nice dinners at the house with old friends that he hadn’t seen in over 4 years. And of course lots of swimming. Now he’s back here in Texas with me and Jazz while the rest of the crew enjoys one more week up north. Soon everyone will be back here getting ready for school and we will have to figure out how to do this for real without any helpers and with some sort of regular schedule, but for at least a few more days we are all enjoying the vacation.

1 comment:

Mama Winn said...

Cute post and fun to read, Mitch. You have a pretty good memory and take great pictures of the kids! It was fun at your house, and I am glad that I am such a pleasant house guest that time fairly flew by while I was there! I was actually there for significantly longer than a week. 15 days to be exact. The Winn kids there are sure a lot of fun and very, very adorable. Miss Maggie fits just perfectly, and she is an amazing fourth kid - just hang out and wait patiently, which is what she does with a smile. Thanks for letting the kids come to Delaware this summer. We've loved it!