I was having a good kid day and then I found an amazing deal on airplane tickets, so I decided I could totally handle flying alone with the 4 kids to visit my family. :)
I had some serious regret and anxiety a few days later, but it was for nothing, because everything went about as smooth as it could flying with 4 kids alone.
My mom and Paul were both able to go back with us to the gate, which was life saving. I loaded the ipads up with new games and shows. And the newish rule of being able to use small electronics the ENTIRE flight, pretty much saved my life as well.
If I didn't have Miles with me, I would of even been able to take a nap or read a book. Other than an incidence in the airplane bathroom with Miles though, things really couldn't of gone smoother. And once again, everyone we flew with was as friendly as could be, offering me smiles and words of encouragement along the way.
It was a short trip with the main objective being to play with cousins, Nana & Pop-Pop, and The Great Grandmas.
The 3 two year olds were quite hilarious and adorable the entire weekend.
One of my favorite moments was when Shaunna and I taught them how to play Ring Around the Rosie.
Crew and Mason together have proved to equal trouble. Anytime it was quiet in the basement someone had to go down to investigate.
They emptied my purse, locked themselves in the furnace room, were caught with metal baseball bats and a hockey stick, and even did some terrorizing of Ashton and Ruby.
There was also lots of pretend fighting.
Pretty much they kept us entertained the entire weekend.
Ruby once again was her happy social self.
She spent lots of time with Nana, exploring the entire upstairs, playing with her favorite toy (a small basketball), and watching the chaos.
She also learned to wave while we were there, which we all thought was the cutest thing any of us had ever seen.
T-Rex got to make the trip with us too. He loved the airplane ride and pretty much everything about Nana and Pop-Pop's.
Due to the sleeping arrangements there were some early mornings.
So, my dad and I took advantage and hauled the girls to my favorite local donut shop, Lafeen's.
Almost made being woken up at 6:00 am worth it. And it was just a happy coincidence they all packed their Elsa nightgowns. Best Cousins.
Since they would go crazy in the house if left contained for too long, we made sure they had plenty of time to run around and get their energy out.
A favorite spot is ALWAYS the trail that runs behind my parent's house.
I'm sure we frightened some other trail walkers with our numbers and loudness, but no one seemed to mind too much.
One of my most favorite places.
A new park just opened in Bellingham, so the moment it stopped raining we ventured there.
Pop-Pop was a saint and pushed Miles for at least 30 min on the swing. And I was very happy for the break.
We also had another entertaining cousin photo session while there.
Macey also made sure there was LOTS of game playing happening.
It was very obvious that my kid missed Uncle and Shaunna and were very happy to have some of their favorite playmates back.
It was a great trip and it feels good to have accomplished traveling alone with the 4 kids and actually surviving it well!
Poor little Macey though, cried herself to sleep the first night we were home because she missed Nana and Pop-Pop so much. Thank goodness they will be here in a month to ease all our pain.
An Actual Vacation
Before January gets away from me, I have to record the rest of our awesome Christmas Vacation with Paul.
Paul's office was closed for the break, so it was pretty much his first real vacation where he didn't work at all. T
here was no one else at the office to call him with issues or questions...it was amazing. Plus, not traveling and being on our own schedule, made for a very restful break.
Paul took advantage of being home and got a lot of projects
down around the house. The main one being finishing the closet under the stairs in the basement, that my dad and him started last year. Or "The Hideout", as the kids refer to it.
All 3 are in love with The Hideout and have already spent many hours playing in it.
And I am happy to have gained an extra 30 square feet to help us get through winter in our tiny (but loved) house.
- After Paul finished his work around the house, we had lots of time left over to play
. We went swimming, to the Bean Museum, SLC, byu basketball games, sledding, lots of playing out front, braved public restaurants, and ran lots of errands.
One particular snowy day we took the kids down to Rock Canyon
to sled on some bigger hills. It was snowing hard, so there was lots of powder. I took Crew down after Paul and M&M had made a track, thinking he wouldn't get too much snow in his face.
We ended up covered in snow, he was completely white from head to toe and screaming about how a big snowball
got him. I could not stop laughing and screaming (due to all the snow that went down my clothes).
Crew and Miles spent 75% of the time crying and pouting. Paul, Macey, and I spent 100% of our time laughing at them and having a blast in the crazy snow storm. I was just glad we had dropped Ruby off at Holly's.
While Crew was crying in the car afterward we asked him if he'd want to go sledding again and he answered between sobs, "Maybe Later". We were rolling. :)
-We had New Year's Eve
with The Browns and the kids all behaved exceptionally well...meaning they played in the basement and left us alone. :) We even had time to learn and play a new card game while the 6 big kids entertained themselves downstairs.
Crew and Liam were pretty hilarious all night playing together. They only got in "trouble" one time, when they locked themselves in Michelle's cold storage to build and then knock over towers of soup cans.
We put on a fake countdown just after 9:00 and then had all our kids tucked in bed and fast asleep by 10:00. It was a perfect evening.
-There were also lots of movie nights
. The favorite being the introduction to The Princess Bride. All the kids loved it. Crew would hop up and sword fight right along with them.
We were sick with the flu the Sunday before Christmas, so I tried to take a picture of the kids in their Sunday Christmas Clothes the next week.
This is all I could get. Typical.
We also got babysitters, a lot.
We are back to real life now and I am actually ready to face it.
We decided to be brave/stupid and drive straight from Orem to Bellingham with a newborn, toddler, and a Miles. There was lots of throw up and stops, but much less whining then anticipated. It took us just less than 17 hours. Paul and I pretty much felt like we'd just been through a hard fought battle when we arrived.
The main reason for the trip was a Reid Family Reunion
. It was busy, crazy, and fun. There were a few moments where I didn't know if my anti social hormonal postpartum self was going to survive but, thanks to Paul's help and lots of cousins to entertain, I made it through.
On the 4th we just hung around in my parents backyard playing games and catching up.
The water balloon launcher
always provides plenty of entertainment. Even GiGi had to get in on the action.
Ruby loved being the only baby around and soaked up all the attention.
The next evening we got together to play games
. This proved to be extremely entertaining.
I loved watching the four toddlers run around together.
We also had time to visit a few of Bellingham's amazing parks
The density of the trees always catches me off guard. Macey had her tree obsession year when she was about 3. That was this visit for Miles. He finally noticed the difference between Utah trees and Bellingham trees. He kept referring to the trees as a jungle. Many times we had to explain that this was what a real forest looked like.
Miles' was thrilled his favorite destination, The Touch Tank
, was on the agenda. He made best friends with the worker, Katie, and followed her around asking question after question. She was extremely patient and answered them all. He even had to run back in and give her a hug when we left.
To ease the pain of skipping Pearrygin we got to spend an afternoon on Lake Whatcom
. I wish we would spent all day there. My kids are always best entertained and well behaved when a beach and water sports are involved.
We of course had to do a family GTX ride, minus Ruby.
GiGi got all the great grandkids these adorable towels and I am pretty sure there was always at least one kid wearing one at all times.
My favorite part of the day was when Miles "fell" (jumped) in.
When the boat drove by him he yelled up to us with the biggest grin on his face, "That my first time falling in! Me love it! Me want to do it again!"
. When we tried to just make him swim to shore, he yelled, "No! You have to rescue me!"
Love this kid. And so we spent the next 10 min. watching Christopher try to get all 3 kids onto the GTX, only to have them jump off again.
There was of course lots of time spent just hanging out.
Macey was thrilled to be reunited with Rio and is certain she is his favorite of the grandkids.
have enough time to do and see everything and everyone I would like when I visit. So, I guess that means I'll just have to visit again soon.
The Most wonderful time of the year
We decided to be brave/stupid and make the 15 hour drive to Lake Pearrygin to camp in tents for a week with our crazies.
On the way there we took a few detours to ease the pain of driving. Shoshone Falls being one of them.
The week before we had many flashbacks to the screaming sleepless nights we experienced on our previous 2 trips to the lake. We convinced ourselves that it would be better this year, and luckily we were right.
Our kids slept like champs and Macey and Miles even slept in their own tent this year. They slept through 2 rainstorms and even some crazy wind and thunder.
The GTX was once again a favorite. Miles especially fell in love with it this year and was constantly asking Pop-Pop for a ride and we were constantly prying his hands off the handles so other people could have a turn.
Knee Boarding also became quite popular. We had the brilliant idea to have Dave and Paul ride with Owen and Miles on the back on their boards. It turned out way better than we expected.
One of my favorite pictures from the trip. Thank goodness for Paul's GoPro.
I of course had to get in on the knee boarding action and ride with Paul and Miles. It was one of the best parts of the trip riding by Miles and watching him grin and scream the entire time. Even when he bit it on a big wave.
Macey could not be outdone by Miles and proved to be an awesome knee boarder herself. Even when Paul crashed, she held on until we made it back to him. She also got caught in the strap and had her handle get stuck on the camera, and she calmly solved both problems.
This was her first try getting up and I love everyone clapping and cheering in the background. This is what Pearrygin is all about.
Paul also showed off his skills and looked pretty hot doing so.
We made a few visits to Sheri's to enjoy some of our favorite ice cream.
Love these cute cousins.
There was of course lots of swimming, floating, watching babies, and just hanging out.
We invested in a giant play yard to keep the babies contained. It worked like a dream and it was hilarious watching Mason and Crew together.
We also brought a blow up pool for the babies for the times we were too lazy to deal with them in the lake. It proved to be a hit too.
My grandmas also camped with us, which was so fun to get to spend a whole week with them both.
Grandma B. took a few rides in the boat.
And I got to go on a 4 generation GTX ride with GiGi. Who gets to do that?
My grandma's are pretty awesome.
The boat was always full of kids, which worked nicely for babysitting. Although they weren't the best spotters.
Macey and Miles were not happy at all about leaving. Macey cried for the first 30 min of our drive and Miles constantly kept telling us to turn around and go back to the lake. I'm glad they love it, makes the long drive much more worth it.
A Novel about Nana and Pop-pop's visit
We were pretty excited to have my parents come stay with us for a week, but no one was more excited than Macey.
She could not contain herself when we pulled up at the airport and she saw Nana and Pop-Pop standing there. She could not get her seat belt off fast enough.
Directly from the airport we went to City Creek and did some shopping, since my mom is looking awesome and needed some new clothes. Macey is pretty in love with City Creek now (and Trina's condo there) and keeps asking to go back.
We of course spent lots of time enjoying the sunny moments, before the afternoon rain would hit.
Nana and Pop-Pop even got Crew an early birthday present, he was pretty happy to have a car whose buttons actually worked.
Nana was the designated story reader, she'd try to pass it off to Pop-Pop, but Miles wasn't having that. We just had to purge the books a few times, to get rid of those long ones and replace them with some nice short stories.
We treated Macey and Miles to their first ice cream from the ice cream man while we were up the canyon. They were pretty excited to say the least and are still talking about it 2 weeks later.
The highlight of the trip though was taking a trip down to Zion.
It rained on us about half the time, but luckily being from the Northwest helped us out on that one.
We hiked the Emerald Pools first and Macey was a champ. Miles on the other hand was "brave", meaning he didn't want to hold anyones hand. This caused a few moments of screaming and crying, but we managed to get him to obey, most of the time.
We went up to Weeping Rock next, but decided we needed to come back again the next day so my parents could see the awesome view without all the rain and clouds.
I think the highlight of Zion for Macey and Miles though was the squirrels on the River Walk trail. Miles would scream at the top of his lungs, "Mace, Mace, squirre! Mace! Mace!" everytime. Macey had acorns in her backpack from our last hike, so she was pretty excited when she found that the squirrels loved them. I wasn't a fan of the squirrels, especially when they stole my bag of cheese nips!
Despite Paul getting sick, Miles whining, and Crew being a stinker in the middle of the night...it was well worth the trip.