Back from my trip, learned a few things along the way: (I was babysitting my 5-year old niece and 19 month old nephew)
1) Don't try and switch up the menu plan mom left. Bean Quesidillas? Ravioli?!? What is this stuff? Keep it simple, lady.
2) Abbey is bold. OK, I knew it before, but it's never been tested to this extent. Her cousin has three months, 12 pounds, and a good three inches on her, but she doesn't back down.
3) Which leads me to baby injuries. I didn't know they could be so vicious and inventive--where do they learn this? The most significant ones being a chomped finger, a purple nurple, and a good sized rock to the noggin.
4) A five year old misses her mommy. A one year old misses his mommy. A 24-year old misses her mommy. We all miss our mommies in a week like this.
5) Family rules are great but modification is sometimes necessary. I wasn't feeling well so went to take a bath (big jetted tub...couldn't help myself). After about three minutes of bliss came a kid fullspeed to open the door to find it, dun dun dun. Locked. "Hey! We don't lock doors in this family!" Kid, you don't want to see your aunt naked. I just saved you some emotional scarring, trust me. This led to insistent knocking for the next five minutes I lasted.
6) A house gets ten times messier, four times as fast with three times the kids. Explain that math to me.
7) And I'm glad I learned this late in the trip. I was walking home from the neighbors late one night and he asked if I would like a flashlight. I jokingly said "Oh, rough neighborhood?" and he, in all seriousness, said "Well, you've got coyotes, scorpions, tarantulas, hyenas, and lots of snakes this time of year." All right, I'll take the flashlight then. And a double enforced jeep, if you please.
8) I L.O.V.E., love Skype. OK, this is more of an endorsement than a lesson so take note. Skype is a free program you download on your computer and acts like instant message, except with video conferencing. We made all our family download it and buy cameras and it is awesome. J's parents are in Argentina and it still works great. (Barbs, you have an awesome camera and microphone built in to your imac, try it!) One night I was lonely and J called and just talked to me while I cleaned and sang Abbey 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider'. It was like he was sitting in the room...with his speech and movements a bit delayed :)
So when you DO download skype, and you know you should, let me know your username so I can say 'hi' when I see you on.