My mom recently had a quadruple bypass surgery. I was planning on heading to Michigan to help her out at the tail end of August. Things quickly changed and I was heading to Grand Rapids on a few days notice.
Meanwhile, I stayed behind. I'm back to working a few days in the office and after spending the last few months together we needed a little break.
We stopped in Chicago at my brother and sister-in-law's place to split up the nine hour drive.
I am jealous, Chicago in the summer is the best.
They treated us to a grill out and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Of course the kids picked hot dogs.
After dinner we finished up The Rise of Skywalker. Despite the reviews I thought it was pretty dang good.
The kids were still sleeping in the morning. We had to get to Grand Rapids at a reasonable time and would lose an hour due to time zones.
The kids were just warming up to their aunt and uncle. But, alas, we had to drive on.
After a quick drive I arrived in Grand Rapids and ended up watching my sister's kids. We played at the pool while my sister got some groceries and a prescription.
Theo couldn't go in the water.
The big kids took care of themselves, but I had to watch Theo like a hawk. I had forgotten his swim diapers.
We ended up making spaghetti and meat sauce with what was in the fridge and pantry after my sister and the kiddo cousins left.
I spent the rest of the night getting acclimated to my mom's medicine and general regimen.
While my mom had in-home nurse visits, I'd take the kids swimming.
Meadow quickly found all of Nana's scrapbooking supplies. We always give my mom a hard time for buying things she doesn't use. In the end the kiddos love to you use all of those crafting supplies while visiting.
It's really nice having green space and patio right outside my mom's apartment. She'll be moving into a condo soon, but she's had a really nice place to live since she moved to Michigan.
My siblings and I are trying to get my mom out of bed, sitting up and taking walks. It's really hard for my mom, but she needs to become more active.
On our second night we made a makeshift meal with Italian sausage, spinach, cherry tomatoes and ravioli.
I tried having my mom either prep the kids lunches plus hers or help me make dinner. Tonight we had corn and cauliflower tacos.
This is one of our favorite meals and my mom loved it too. Just throw some chopped cauliflower and corn on a cookie sheet with chili powder, salt and garlic powder. Cook for 20 or 30 minutes. Serve on tortillas with sour cream and feta (or queso fresco).
After dinner my sister and the kids came over.
These kids sure love their cousins.
Other times when Nana had a nurse over I got them out of the way.
They spent a lot time on the patio.
We talked my mom into doing a little grill out at my sister's place.
I brought over some corn on the cob, beans and fixings for shish kebabs.
Cameron showed Theo the ropes with his squirt guns.
Then it was time to eat.
It was yumy.
After dinner, my sis showed me their garden and all the new trails that Dennis has been making.
Theo loves his big kid cousins. Well, bigger than him.
We had to get Nana back so we could do her nightly meds.
The kids had a lot of fun with our old toys that my mom has on hand.
Meadow was super helpful while we were there.
We had to do my mom's and our laundry before heading back.
The kids loved the see-through lid.
They just kept watching and watching. Better than TV, I guess.
We got in our last swim on Friday morning.
I told you Meadow was being a good helper. I wish they were always this well behaved.
I had to run over to my sisters after we crossed wires. I was taking the kids over to her house for a sleepover.
I stuck around while we had some ice cream from a local creamery.
Theo was back to chasing the big kids around.
My sister asked if Theo needed more clothing. We never say no to some good hand-me-downs.
Looks like Theo was good at this squirt gun.
After hanging out and getting some old iPhones setup for the Wrobleski's, I went home for the night.
In the morning my mom and I had black beans and rice for breakfast. She complained about the smell while it was cooking, but then loved it.
After saying goodbye to my mom after a long, but rewarding week, I had to pick up the kiddos at my sister's.
Before we knew it we were heading home.
I had to drive back to Minneapolis for our North Dakota backcountry camping adventure. So, besides a stop in Chicago for a snack at Jen and Colin's, I drove on through.