In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately (or even if you haven’t) – Grandma has helped us get one last little vacation before baby arrives.  We were going to head to New York, but decided not to do that, thank goodness.  Admittedly, the gas prices were the original deterrent, so then we explored taking a Greyhound bus there, but in my huge condition, I didn’t see any opportunity for good rest on a long bus trip.  I am really glad we declined the big trip, though, because my feet have been killing me, just from everyday tasks, like cleaning or shopping.  I would have had to cut short all of our sight-seeing in New York or rent a wheelchair for the week.  And staying home had afforded us time to do much needed catch-up work around the house.  We’ve been making landscaping plans, and I will be very excited to see how that turns out in a few weeks when it’s finished.  We cleaned out the famous closet o’ games, and we didn’t even need to knock down the wall to expand the closet as I was talking about in another post.  We found enough room for all of our games by sending all the kids’ games upstairs to their room.  Our house has lots of built-in shelving and drawers, and the kids had a huge cabinet in their closet that wasn’t even being used.  So, up went all the kids’ games.  I am a little concerned that they will tear apart their game collection and scatter pieces and whatnot, but they will have to be taught somehow that this is not going to be tolerated.  Most importantly on our vacation without the kids, we acheived the cleaning of their room.  It is a huge bedroom, and we have all 3 of our girls sharing it, but until we cleaned it, they could barely fit in there because they had so many toys.  Whenever we’d make them clean it, we noticed that they would play in there for such a long time afterward because they actually liked having all the open space.  So we donated about 90% of their toys to charity while they were visiting with Grandma.  It might sound mean, but we kept the important stuff, and like I said, they actually enjoy their room and the things in it much more when everything is picked up and they have fewer thins to appreciate.  I will keep you posted on how well (or not) this is received when they get home.  They will probably forget exactly what toys they once had, and by donating everything, more kids can enjoy them.

Even though it took an entire day of cleaning to reach the bottom of the toy pile in their room, we have managed to fit in lots of fun for just hubby and me.  We’ve gone shopping several times, and yesterday we were in Toledo all day getting good food, seeing a movie, and taking in a Toledo MudHens game.  If you’re not familiar, the MudHens are minor league baseball.  I’ve been wanting to get to a Chicago Cubs game last year or this year, but with the baby coming, I’ve ruled it out until at least next year.  So, minor league baseball it was, and we had a blast – I got my live baseball game fix for awhile…  there’s just something about hearing the crack of the bat, the slap of the ball in the glove and the other sounds of a baseball game in the beautiful summer night air.  And it was a great game.  Seems a player from the Detroit Tigers was rehabbing with the MudHens, so we got to see a major-leaguer pitch for a few innings.  The Hens were up 3-0 early in the game, then they let Indianapolis tie it up, only to hit a walk-off homer in the 9th with 2 outs to win the game – awesome!  And if you’re not from the area and want to experience food that is uniquely Toledo, I recommend a restaurant called Tony Packo’s to you.  Their menu is somewhat limited; there aren’t very many choices, so pass on it if you’re a picky eater.  But if you’re like me and you like to try all different kinds of ethnic food, give it a whirl.  They serve Hungarian food, namely sausage, cabbage rolls, and chili mac over dumplings.  It’s really good and a unique dining experience.  It’s also really interesting how we heard of the restaurant in the first place.  We were in a thrift store and I saw this stuffed baby in a diaper with a tomato head.  I thought it was really cute, even though it creeped my husband out, but it was only 5¢ so I bought it.  Turns out, it’s a character from Tony Packo’s as labeled on the rear end of the baby tomato.  I googled Tony Packo’s, found out it was a restaurant an hour away from us in Toledo, looked at the menu, and we decided to give it a try.  The guy who works their marketing in the gift shop really liked that story.  What’s weird though, is that while gutting my kids’ room this week, the baby tomato never surfaced.  Hmmm, I wonder what happened to it?

Sometimes you get more of what you want from a vacation by staying home.  In this age of the horribly high gas prices, the media has even coined a new word for the ‘vacation taken at home’, but I can’t recall what it is.  If you know, post it in my comments – it’s bugging me that I can’t think of it.  Anyway, by staying home, we saved a ton of money on gas alone, and we got some things done around the house that we will appreciate for months or even years to come, all while having a great time with just each other, no kids!  Thank you, Grandma!

5 thoughts on “Vacation!”

  1. We’ve all been having a wonderful time with the girls. All the kids had their picture taken today – it was interesting trying to get 5 kids to sit still AND smile! I think you’ll like the pose I chose, and I’ll email it once JC Penny’s sends it to me. We pick up the pictures on June 24th, and then I’ll send them to you.

    I know what you mean about staying home on vacation / days off. In our busy society, it is so tempting to just be go go going all of the time. I am often on fast forward, trying to fit as much as I can into each day, and often I forget to just BREATHE and take everything in! I am trying to learn to slow down and maintain balance in my life (although it isn’t always easy, especially with a new baby in the house!). I like to schedule “catch up” days into my week during which we stay home. Then I can catch up on items from my to do list that didn’t get done earlier in the week, and I also try to focus on just hanging out with my kids.

    That’s great that you were able to do so much around the house and use it as quality time together at the same time! Hope you enjoy your last day of “vacation”.


  2. a “stuffed baby in a diaper with a tomato head” would freak me out, too. Tony Packo’s is the restaurant Toledo native Jamie Farr (as Corporal Klinger)would mention on M*A*S*H from time to time as well as the MudHens.

  3. I could go for a Packo Dog right now… It has been awhile since I have been there. Which Packo’s did you go to? The one right near the ball park? I haven’t been to that one yet. I’ve been to the one in Sylvania, and the one in East Toledo. I haven’t stopped at the Packo’s in the Anderson Stores yet.

  4. Went to Packo’s at the park both times. Since it was right before a game, it was PACKO-ed. We were a little rushed, but they did manage to get us fed and out before the game started. I like the stuffed cabbage, though I was thinking about trying the chili mac. I like their chili, and I wanted to try it on dumplings… next time.

  5. Going away for vacation can be stressful too, besides the gas prices. Staying home, or at least in the area, sounds like it was a good idea.

    And sorry, I think Packo’s is too far of a drive for me… 😛

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