The kids and I flew out early on November 1st. James drove us to the airport, helped us check all our bags, and then we hugged our goodbyes at the (long) security line. The kids did very well on the plane, which is always nice on a three to four hour flight. This was the first time Miss V was old enough to require her own ticket. Having her in her own seat was fantastic, because it meant we had all three seats in a row - no sitting in the middle seat with the J-bird by the window, a toddler on my lap (or trying to crawl onto my head), and a hopefully-kind stranger sitting next to me.
We spent the first couple weeks staying with my parents on their farm outside of Lawrence, KS. There's a lot to see and do, and it's an exciting place for a kid to be - even when a kid is five and has a hard time adjusting to any change at all, let alone being in a different place with a different time zone, withOUT his dad. If I'm going to keep it real, my J-bird took four or five very long days to settle down, stop freaking out, and start acting like himself. He eventually adjusted, and, when it was time to come home at the end of the month, he wanted to stay in Kansas. Kids, man. My go-with-the-flow Miss V, predictably, did fine with the changes. She had some trouble sleeping for the first several days, needing extra reassurance and trips back into her room from Mama, but that evened out too, and we all got into the new rhythm of being there.
The kids particularly loved going for walks with my dad (their Papa) and swinging on the swingset that overlooks the valley. We did lots of fun things - bowling, shopping, walking around the KU campus, seeing friends - but walking with Papa and playing on the swings were their steady favorites by far.
As always, we were all excited to see each other. The kids love to spend time with their grandparents, aunts and uncle, and since we live far away, we try to squeeze a lot in when we're together. We kept up a busy pace for almost all of the time we were there.