Five children and two adults in a full-sized Chevy seven-seater van. It was pretty stressful. The greatest concern was probably our awareness of others' and the climate of decreasing parental rights in this country. We were very mindful of everything. Hyper-vigilant is definitely an appropriate way to describe that time.
I started to lose my hair big time. It was so super thin on top that I could see my scalp readily when I parted my hair in the middle (so I didn't) and I had a bald-spot at either side of my head where I could've had bangs except that there wasn't enough hair for them. I'm relatively sure the combo of post-partum hormones and stress from our circumstances contributed to the hair loss.
Jessie wasn't sleeping well toward the end of our van living experience.
But it was good in lots of ways. Being together was good. The children were so happy to have us all together all the time. After all the time Jessie was busy with cheffing... it was definitely a good change to them! We emjoyed being able to pick up and go whenever and wherever. No prep, load, and depart... just figure out a general idea of where and head in that direction... figuring out the details as we went.
One of the difficulties was how to spend down time... when you have a house, you just kind of hang out there when you don't have anything else you have to do. But when you don't have a house... what do you do? We spent time in libraries all over East Texas. We stopped in shops to walk around. We ate in restaurants (that was a big time consumer when we did it and that was an added benefit to that choice). We spent time in various parks and at many playgrounds. The children loved that, of course.
There was so much good in those three months. Lots of difficult. And, if I'm honest, maybe I have a tendency to focus on the negative so that's why that part of that time stands out in high relief in my mind. There really was lots of good in it, too.