Thursday, April 16, 2009

No child left behind.

No, I'm not talking about the Act.. I'm talking about our trip. I'm happy to report that no child was left behind on our journey home. Carson's screaming and throwing of items was frustrating.. but it's kind of like labor. Already I have forgotten just how bad it was and I'm trying to figure out when I can return.

Now, for your warning. Because it pains me deeply to post without pictures.. I have had to include some. Ok, a lot. Feel free to leave for a bit while they all download so you can get the full experience. Really, it's worth it, I'm sure.

Moving on. We had SUCH a great time! Easy going.. relaxing.. Great food and family.. my kind of vacation!

First, I have to share something from that first day at the hotel. I was the special guest of the day! ME! How did I forget to tell you??? They called all of the front end employees up as I was checking in.. raised their arms and cheered.. I was just as excited, I never win anything! The manager had one employee get "the basket" where I was to choose a prize from. I was grinning from the excitement (oh, and I noticed when I got to our room that I had oreo in my teeth. Nice.)

And then... and then, I saw the basked. Oh, the let down. There was a Post It note cube with dolphins on it. Or a cookie tin with Kittens on the front (playing with yarn). which I'm pretty sure came from someone's grandmother. Or the mystery item with the $1.50 price tag still on it. Oh gee, how ever would I choose. :-S Luckily, at the bottom of the basket, there was a metal back scratcher. It became mine.. and also my personal connection with the hotel staff. I was asked about 5 times during our stay how I was enjoying it. And another 3 times when we returned on our way home.

Because I wasn't able to upload pictures while on vacation, this is our swimming picture. Not sure what was going on with my camera and some of the picture is blurred.. Drew's convinced my kids must have smudged the lens. I'll have to look into that.

The following day went well.. we only had two stops during the 7 hour drive. The first was for lunch at Wendy's. The kids were SO excited to see: SQUIRLS! There was a cemetary just behind our parked car.. or "squirl land" as they deemed it.

I took several pictures and this was the best. Yeah..

The second stop was because I was pretty sure I was going to pee my pants and we would run out of gas. I know, you're welcome for me sharing that. Turns out we stopped like 5 minutes before my dad's house.. but how was I supposed to know that?

It was sooo wonderful to see my dad and step-mom. They are just wonderful people.. and I have missed my dad's sense of humor so much!

The kids had a great time blowing bubbles. Aubrey spent a lot of "girl time" with my step-mom talking about animals and listening to stories. They went to the store together.. sat together during outings.. She was in *heaven* to have that much one-on-one time.

Hayden was Mr. Project Man. A coloring fool. See, my dad has a little R2-D2 that my sister gave him as a present. You talk to him and he responds.. you ask about Darth Vadar and he screams. He dances. It was fantastic. So of course Hade had to color an R2-D2. And then he was lonely so Hade made him a friend, R3. He's currently still in WA so my dad doesn't get lonely. He also created Darth Vadar out of 4 or 5 pieces of paper and tape. And I think there was also a pet turtle at some point during the stay.

Carson loved R2 and played with him a lot.. and in typical fashion, just ran around being crazy. (you people know that "crazy" is an endearing term, right?) He kept us all entertained.. the stuff that kid does!

Kaitlyn did pretty well.. she slept for the most part. She did seem to have an allergic reaction though, her eczema totally flared up and she got red little dots all over her. The first night we were there, she was up crying for an hour in the middle of the night because she was itching so much. :o( I think it was from all of the milk she had.. i don't usually give her as much as she had. (another story) I gave her benedryl and it seemed to help which was good.

Wow, this is going to be long. SORRY!

Our first outing was to Snoqualmie Falls, which was soo neat! It's 100 feet talled than Niagra Falls.

I love that my step-mom, Barbara, was wearing a loong Parka. And we're wearing jackets. Yay for NO SNOW!

It was funny to watch the other people at the falls.. at least half of them paid zero attention to the scenery. They were all too busy watching Kaitlyn. Not that I blame them... And of course there was the comments about if "all these kids were all mine??" and how I must be busy and had my hands full (especially after Carson caught their eye). I smiled and nodded in agreement..

Look! My entire family! And we're all looking!! *gasp*
After the falls, we stopped by the house and picked up my dad. My step-mom had a great idea to surprise the kids and see a movie. We never go to movies! I think the last one we went to was Meet the Robinsons.. so it's been awhile. Drew was super lucky and got to take the boys (by himself) to see Monsters Vs. Aliens. But the man is smart.. he gave each boy their own popcorn and they stayed in their seats the entire time. I should have done the same for Kaitlyn.

I had the pleasure of seeing... Hannah Montana and on opening day! Aubrey's eyes were THIS BIG when she found out what was chosen for her to see. And of course she sat by Barbara.. that was one happy little girl with a great memory of that day. As the mom of a 9 year old, I of course didn't hold back in singing the opening song.. Best of Both Worlds. Here eyes got THISBIG as she hissed, "Stop, you're embarrassing me!" hehehe :-D

What made it even better was that Kaitlyn also loudly "sang" as well. Sooo funny. But after that, it went downhill. I had to leave part way through and change an explosive diaper. And of course I had forgotten the diaper bag.. so I had to lay her out in the back of the van.. use tissues and leftover water from the cooler that was still in there. May I NEVER forget it again. And the only other clothing option was the swimsuits.. so she had to wear those bottoms. And then I spent the last hour in the back of the theater chasing her around. This is why we don't see movies. haha

After the movie, we stopped at the PetCo (where my step-mom works). The kids loved seeing everything. Carson played with my dad in the dog toy area for most of the time.

For dinner, we had really yummy food. Fantastic root beer in tall frosted glasses. Huge servings with the best curly fries.. mmmm. And the name of the place just makes me laugh.

This meal was definitley not part of my "lifestyle change". And they compleatly embrace that, so I did too.

The entire store was covered in pictures and parts of old cars.. Drew's kind of place.

It was really nice at the end when the manager was talking to Drew and told him to send a picture of his mustang in and they might put it up. And then he turned to me and told me that he gave my son (Carson) a bouncy ball and hoped it was ok.. he wouldn't come out from under a table on the other side of the resteraunt. Oops.

And I think that's all I'll share for tonight.. hopefully I didn't crash your computer while you waited for the pictures to upload. Or cause you to fall asleep while reading. Cause there's going to be more tomorrow!!! :-D

And I'll give you a shiny gold sticker if you read everything.. two if you leave a comment!!


  1. You could get a book deal, I love your writing style. I love the part about the movie . . .
    1.) I think that was both a while ago and a couple of kids ago for you.
    2.)I LOL when you said you sang out loud-great mom!
    Soudan like an awesome trip, what great memories for the kids and a (kind of) break for you.
    BTW, this post alone has more words than Jon & Kate's new book, so I know you could get that book deal!

  2. Okay so I want my gold stickers!! LOL j/k That sounds like a fun trip!! I am jealous....we like road trips. That is awesome you were able to go visit your dad!

  3. I was just checking in for an update and read this again, you are freaking hilarious! I want to move by you!
    ...but it's kind of like labor. Already I have forgotten just how bad it was and I'm trying to figure out when I can return.