On Friday, the kids and I made the trek up to see Auntie E and her kids. We spent several hours playing at a McDonald's playland. It took Steven a while to warm up to his siblings. . .I would too if I had four strangers in my face! (He seems to be going through some stranger anxiety as well--he doesn't like going in the nursery at church.) Eventually, though, he let them play with him, but he generally stayed near me.
I ended up taking him through the playland--climbing up, going through tunnels, before finally going through the slide. After two times through, I told him he was on his own :) It was so sweet because he was asking about Auntie E the whole time and liked to look out the windows at her.
After a few hours there, we all packed up and headed to JC Penney's to get pictures taken. We got ones of all eight of us, of the six kids, of the three girls, of the three boys, and of the three youngest (full siblings). It was crazy, and Steven was several hours past his nap, but they did well. (We originally had a noon appointment but were running late and had to move it all the way back to 5:00 since that was the next hour-long time block.)
As soon as we walked into the photo area, Steven saw an Elmo doll. I'm sure that they use it to get kids to look at the camera since it wasn't in the greatest condition, but there was no way that Steven was giving it up. So, every picture has Elmo in it--including one of the ones of the three girls! He wanted to be in the picture too :)
Afterwards, we went shopping for a little while. I was ready before Auntie E was, and I was absolutely exhausted. The four older kids wanted to "help" with the babies the entire time, and as you can imagine, it was not easy to push a stroller with four other people "helping" you.
We came home tired and worn out, but it was worth it since everyone had such a great time. I know that it means a lot to Auntie E when we visit, and the older kids had been asking her when they were going to see "the babies" again. Steven has repeatedly asked for Auntie E since we got home, and of course, Auntie E loved hearing that.
The pictures will be ready in two weeks, and I know she's looking forward to seeing the kids again. However, I don't know if I'm up to another big trip like that. I'm debating going up by myself and seeing if she and I could hang out on our own. Maybe I'll have more energy by then, but I need a nap just thinking about it!