Today is Sunday, which we naturally assume to be a day of rest. And except for a brief trip to the emergency room, it was.
It wasn't a big deal, really. Noah (of course it was Noah, Noah is the one most likely to be injured so it had to be him that injures himself on our trip) and Brad were on a see-saw and somehow Noah cracked his chin. I think he had come off of the thing, and then after it hit the ground it bounced back up. When Zack hit his chin falling off the sink, he just got a major goose egg. Noah got a tiny split in his chin.
It was bulgy and kind of hung open, and we had heard (over our many trips to get stitches for these kids) that when the edges don't meet, that's when you need stitches. Ryan was the parent on duty, and it was his call that it needed stitches. I lost all credibility on the stitches-yea-or-nay front when I slapped a band-aid on Brad's chin when he split it open on the driveway. It was so bad it still had pebbles in it, and he needed internal and external stitches to sew him together. So I defer to Ryan on these matters.
It's too bad that I never put "authentic British hospital" or "use the National Health Service" on my list of things to see in England, because now I don't even have anything to cross off. But we had a lovely half hour in the waiting room as they wheeled the ambulance arrivals on gurneys right past us. I averted my eyes - I don't like the tv show ER because it is too graphic, and I didn't want to live that show on my vacation.
After 30 minutes, we were called into triage, where a nurse looked at his wound and decided that it did not need stitches. They would just put a bandage on it and send us home. In three hours. It would be at least three hours before they could slap a band-aid on my kid's chin. Well, free health care or no, I figured this was something I could handle myself, so we left. Noah thought it meant that it would take them three hours to put the bandage on, which left him an amusing picture of how slowly they'd have to move in order to take so long. Even with his chin bleeding, he's still a funny kid.
So that was our not-so-adventurous trip to the ER. It sounds a lot scarier and more interesting than it actually was. But I had to put it in there. Noah wouldn't let me take a picture of his chin, or else you know I would have.
We went to church in the morning, and it was pretty standard. Darcey was wiggly and loud, so we took turns with her out in the hallway. Sunday school got a little interesting when they started talking about government and politics, but I'm all for a controversy when it's not my ward. The worst part was that I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open. They'd close, and then I'd wrestle them back open, and the room would be blurry and spin while my brain fought to focus. Oh, it hurt to be awake! I was actually contemplating how embarrassed I'd be if I fell asleep - old guys do it all the time, surely it wouldn't be that bad, right? Ryan pointed out that you never see young mothers randomly falling asleep in church, but you know what? Why not? We have every reason in the world to fall asleep in public. That should be one more mark of our sacrifice - that we don't.
After the ER visit and dinner, all interested parties were taken to Knaresborough to visit a castle ruins. I was interested, but soooo tired plus I had a lot of repacking to do, so I stayed behind with Darcey, Zack, and Noah, all of whom were similarly bushed and were put to bed early. Drew and Kim took Ryan and Brad, and they came back with some beautiful pictures. I'm sorry to have missed it, but as my mom and I keep saying, we'll have to do it next time I come!
I stayed home and re-packed, and of course the amount of clothing I had to squish into my suitcases somehow multiplied so that all of a sudden there was no room for it all. More precisely, there was room for it, but Ryanair's weigh allowance per bag is only 15 kg, which is roughly 30 pounds. My biggest bag was 48 pounds in Salt Lake, but my smallest was only 12, so I figured with enough shuffling I could get it to work.
No dice. After what seemed like eternity of packing, zipping up the bags, hoisting them (and myself) onto the scale over and over and realizing that either the bags or me had to lose 15 pounds right now, I finally got the spare duffel bag out and shoved stuff in it, willy-nilly. Bingo, each bag was light enough, although now I had to pay an extra $16 to check another bag. (That was better than the $20 per kilo fee if the bags were overweight.)
I also repacked our carry-ons. On our first flight, I started making a list of what I wish I had packed now that I was actually on the plane.
What I Wished I Had Packed:
A spare change of clothes (or two) for Darcey - for when her diaper leaked, twice
A spare pair of pants for me
Way more diapers
More real food for Darcey, not just snacks
Benadryl, or maybe Xanax
What I Packed That Was A Complete Waste:
My backup ipod, just in case of the first ipod's failure (or more likely, so one of the kids could use it if bored)
My crossword puzzle book
Books to read with Noah or Zack
My jacket - it was about a thousand degrees on the plane
My inflatable neck pillow
Pretty much anything meant to entertain me, since I was nothing but entertainment for Darcey
When we put Brad and Noah to bed, we said See you on Thursday, because they were leaving tomorrow too, to go to Berlin with my parents and Tim. While I love being independent and I love the idea of having independent children, it still hurts to let them leave. I had a thousand ideas of what could go drastically wrong while we are separated. I think that comes with being a mother, though, and being a grown-up means letting them go. I'm hoping to get the boys to do a guest blog about Berlin while they are gone, we'll see.
And that was it. My parents and I watched an episode of Top Chef then I finished throwing the last few things in the duffel bag and went to bed. It was too quick, this leg of the trip. It was too brief, I didn't eat fish and chips or see a bobby or try yorkshire pudding or attempt to drive on the wrong side of the road. I saw no heather, no moors, I didn't figure out what a "mews" is or go in a British food market. I'm regretting not staying longer. My parents always talk about where they live as being no big deal, just a pit stop on your way to the real fun in the rest of Europe. But there's something about seeing regular life in such a charming small town that I just love. Maybe I wouldn't want to live here, but I definitely thought it was a great place to visit.