From Chicago, where the greatest change in elevation from point A to point B is five feet, it's your host, the woman who single-handedly drove across the country with six kids and lived to tell the tale, Dawn Meehan!
Dawn---you know 6 + 6 = 12. Doncha?
Seriously? You're asking me a math question? You must be new around here, aren't you?
I do have a SSO one about this- When and how did you come across him? [Spuds]
LOL! Well, he'd stalked my blog for some time. He'd sent me a friend request on Facebook and since my Facebook page is really kinda like a fan page, I accept pretty much anyone. I think he'd written a note like "I'm a single parent of six kids too. I feel your pain." We should have bonded instantly, right? Nope. I thought, Who is this weirdo? I bet he doesn't have six kids. Whatever. So, months pass and I don't give him a second thought. Then I'm out to lunch with some blogger friends one day. I check my phone and see that this "weirdo", Spuds, has mentioned me on Twitter again. I said aloud, "Does anyone know who this guy is? Some weird guy named Spuds keeps mentioning me on Twitter." Barb and Melisa both pipe up and say, "Yeah, we know Spuds! He's a good guy! He's for real. He's really nice!" (I don't remember, did you know him too Steph?) So, I send a direct message to him via Twitter saying, "I have it on good authority that you're not, in fact, a weirdo, like I originally thought." I kept checking my phone, just certain that he'd write back, confirming his non-weirdo status. But he didn't. He didn't write a word. (Later I learned that he couldn't send me a direct message back because I wasn't following him on Twitter.)
So, once again, weeks go by and I don't think anything about it. Then, one day, I was at the pool with my kids and I was lying there, looking at my phone and he popped into my mind. I have no idea why. NO clue. But I thought to myself, Hey, that guy never wrote back to me when I told him I'd been assured he wasn't a weirdo. What's up with that?! If someone wrote to me and told me I wasn't a weirdo, I'd answer. And really, I'm a cute girl. Why wouldn't he answer based on the cuteness factor alone? That ticked me off. So, I decided to send him an email. But I didn't want to send an email directly TO HIM. That would put ME in the weird category. So I accidentally sent him an email that was intended for someone else. Accidentally. On purpose. I don't know! It seemed like a good idea at the time. I'd been drinking. Leave me alone. It worked, didn't it?
He wrote back right away. He was funny. I wrote back to him. He wrote back to me. I wrote back to him. And then nothing. He stopped. I kept checking my phone, but nothing. I hate to admit it, but I was bummed out. I figured I wasn't nearly as witty as I thought I was. Later that night, I checked my spam folder and lo and behold, there was mail from him. It had suddenly started going to my spam folder. He HAD written back after all!
And that's how I came across him. You know, after he came across me. He's since overcome his "weirdo" status. Just in case you were wondering.
Do you 7 live far from your extended families...well grandparents? Do Joe's parents at least see the kids?
Nope, we live minutes away from both my parents and Joe's parents. And no, Joe's family doesn't see the kids. They hardly ever did before the divorce, so that's not really a change.
ROFLMBO!! Clay is TOO cute for words! How old was he there? [climbing the fridge]
He was almost 4 in that video.
Where at the Outer Banks are you?? Now that you've been, do you think you want to stay, I mean move there??
We stayed in Corolla. Although I'd love to live on the coast, it would be too expensive to live so close to the ocean. Maybe some day. In the meantime, I'm checking out areas with less expensive housing. Yes, yes, Beej, Kentuckiana is still at the top of the list. Primarily because it's just fun to say Kentuckiana.
I have to ask, did Jackson get a haircut? The 6th picture down doesn't really look like him, but it looks a bit young to be Austin.
Yep. Right before we left, he told me he wanted a hair cut. I agreed because it's HIS hair and I don't really care about hair. I don't care how my kids wear their hair or clothes. It's all temporary. Let them experiment with stuff like that. They can always change their hair or clothes. No big deal. Anyway, he wanted it cut. Then afterwards, he was really sad. He cried for over an hour about it. I felt sick. The lady cut it shorter than he'd wanted and he didn't speak up. :( And while we were at the beach, his ears got sunburned badly. I just wasn't thinking. His ears haven't seen sun in YEARS! I hope he lets it grow out again. I like it long on him.
Were you stuck on the Corolla beach? We got our Odyssey stuck out there and ruined the transmission with all the sand after being towed from 3/4 of our tires buried!
Yes! I felt like an idiot. About halfway down the beach, I realized that driving into that sand was a bad idea so I started to turn around and go back. Bad plan. By turning, I got out of the packed ruts and well, let's just say, there's still sand in my van and under the van and in the spare tire and in the hitch...
Now for someone who lives in the UK and failed miserably at geography - how about a map of your travels and how many miles did you drive? It sounds like loads!
It was over 2200 miles. Yikes!
Have you always lived in the midwest?
Yup, I was born in Chicago.
SSO ? Did you get a new van? I thought you had a bit smaller one that was white or maybe green? This one looks like you have tons of room for everyone!
Uh nope. Same one. And nope, there's not much room for everyone. There's a ton of room in the back, but there are only 2 bench seats that seat 3 people each. It's a tight fit for everyone especially with car seats taking up space.
You take great pictures! Can I ask what camera you have
Yes, you can ask.
OK I gotta know, how do you handle car trips with all your children without having a nervous breakdown? I only have 3 kids and we just took a trip 3.5 hours away and I about lost it. And that's with DVD and snacks and at least 2 stops on the way for potty breaks. Any tips for the next time I have amnesia and think trips with the family are fun?
First of all, I never said I didn't have a nervous breakdown. Actually, it really wasn't that bad. I mean, I hated all that driving. I was very tense and sore and was kinda freaked out about all the sitting because of my clotting disorder. But the kids were awesome. I had to yell at Jackson a few times to knock it off and keep his hands to himself, but other than that, the kids were really very good. We had DVDs, snacks, some coloring books, and games. The older kids had their iPods. If the kids got a little loud and goofy, I just turned up my iPod to tune them out. Ta da!
Are you for real or just jokinng about having to stay 500 feet away from Paula Deen? I'm sure you are joking but you just never know! Maybe in the "court documents" you also can't blog about it.......or I missed the post about you having a restraining order. LOL
What do you think?
I wanted to say thank you for posting about vitiligo. You have no idea how much it helped us :-)
I'm so glad! I mean, I'm not glad your daughter has it, but I'm glad my post helped you out some. Vitiligo in itself is not a horrible thing to have (all things considered), but the thing about autoimmune diseases is that people who have one, oftentimes develop others at the same time. For those of you who don't know, Jackson has Vitiligo. He's losing pigment in patches of skin all over his body. Eventually, all the color will go away. It's hard because as time goes on, he's starting to look more and more patchy. Plus these non-pigmented areas have no protection from the sun and burn in a matter of a few minutes, increasing risks for skin cancer.
Dear Dawn, when you guys are on this trip, do you stay in a hotel? How do you divide up rooms, is there one for girls and one for boys? If so, how do you get all the boys to be good without you being in there?
On the way down and back, we got adjoining hotel rooms. That way, we all fit and I didn't have to leave anyone on their own in a room. While we were there, we rented a house which was great because we had almost all our meals there and I was able to do laundry every day. Yeah, I know that sounds sick saying I got to do laundry every day on vacation, but when you have six kids, you realize that it's a very good thing not having to pack that much or come home with 20 loads of dirty laundry.
All of that's important and all... but did anyone get peed on?
I will not admit to any peeing on jellyfish stings. (Those things hurt though!)
How many times did you threaten to pull the car over if they didn't knock it off?
Not once. I did threaten to abandon the car on the side of the road and fly home but that wasn't because of the kids. I was just tired of driving.
No,no,no! You can't do that...DO TELL ALL about your visit with Spuds!!! :)
I'm not one to kiss and tell. That's just a figure of speech, of course. :)
We met up when the kids and I stopped for the night while driving home from NC. We all had dinner at Cracker Barrel (one of my kids' faves!) and then we hung out in the hallway right outside the hotel rooms and talked for a few hours while my kids watched TV and settled down to sleep. It was nice. :)
I am SO glad you had a good vacation. Doesn't Austin have his permit yet? Here in MO the kids get a permit at 15.
You can get a permit at 15 here too, but I didn't have the money at the time I had to sign him up for summer school. By the time I did, it was too late and the class was filled. He'll be taking driver's ed later this year.
You look absolutely stunning in the white shirt and totally diminutive next to Spuds.
Ha! I am definitely not diminutive. He's just a really big guy. But if he makes me look small, I think I should stand next to him as much as possible.
Your kids are so "creative"! Do they also put all the creativity away after they're done with it?
Ha ha ha ha! Hee hee! Ho! Hoooo boy!
If you took Spud's purple shower and your red shower, what would you get?
Two exasperated parents.
Take a page out of Spuds book and make him clean it [shower] up. :)
Oh, I did. And you want to know what happened? The whole "be very careful with this cleaner because it has bleach in it" speech didn't sink in.
I present Exhibit A...