And the Craziness Continues

We got home late Saturday night from grandma and grandpa’s house, and Monday morning Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer started preschool for the first time. My dear friend, who also happens to be their nursery leader, started a preschool. Our kids absolutely adore Sharon, and I knew they would love the change of pace, learning new things and making friends. However, 36 hours after a very long trip and a long flight, it was just a lot. Fortunately, the kids were very excited and had a great time. I stayed in there for about three minutes, and when they didn’t give me a second glance, I gave them each a quick kiss and left with Caisen. Monday and Wednesday mornings are now mommy and Caisen together. We usually run errands, but sometimes we go home for the morning.
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/First day of preschool. They were so excited. Caisen thought he was staying. He gets very sad every time they get out of the car and he doesn’t.
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/This is day two of preschool. They were a little calmer and willing to pose for a picture with their cute little backpacks.
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/The weekend after we got home, uncle Matt, aunt Alyssa and their kids Caleb, Elsie and Keegan came to visit us for the first time. We haven’t seen them in 2.5 years. we had a lot of fun, and the kids were excited to meet their cousins for the first time. Kimball especially enjoyed teasing Elsie. She was such an easy and entertaining target that the others joined in. On Saturday we all went to the aquarium. Caleb especially loves sea creatures. We hadn’t gone there in almost two years. All the kids loved it. It was pouring rain, so everyone in town decided to go. It was so crowded. Unfortunately, no one remembered to bring a camera, so no group pictures. It was a really nice visit, and we hope they come again soon.
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/All the cousins having dinner.
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/It didn’t just rain that Saturday, it rained and rained all weekend. Monday morning it was pouring when I loaded the kids up to go to preschool. A few hours later I headed to pick them up. I crossed a bridge where the water was pouring over the sides. I drove three more blocks and came to another bridge that was completely submerged. Everything as far as I could see was under water. I turned around and headed back the way I came, but when I got back to the first bridge, the police had blocked it off because the water was rising. I was trapped between the two bridges. There was one road to turn on, and I hoped it didn’t lead to more water. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to my kids and worried I wouldn’t be able to get home. I eventually made it to them and to the house. The water continued to rise, and the houses in the area by those bridges were covered up to the rooftops. Everything was destroyed just a few miles away from us. Adam was out of town, and that was a scary week as it rained and every major interstate flooded. We were very blessed not to have any damage, but we know several people from church who were affected.
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/The next weekend we headed to Chattanooga. We drive through there every time we visit my family, and there are all these billboards about the local attractions. We planned a weekend there to see what the city has to offer. When we arrived on Saturday we went to Ruby Falls. It’s the tallest underground waterfall in the country. It’s 1120 feet underground in a cavern. It was an easy walk through the cavern, maybe a mile round-trip. When you walk into the chamber with the waterfall, it’s dark. The intense music comes on and then the lights. They change the lighting to different colors. There is a path that goes behind the waterfall. You have to duck not to hit your head on the overhang. Kimball didn’t want to go around, so Adam decided to take the other three by himself. It was quite a sight to see him hunched over, carrying Caisen, guiding the other two along behind him. When he got back Kimball decided he wanted to go, so we started around. Sawyer wanted to come and came running down the ramp and slipped and fell on his back. I stopped to pick him up and our guide told me to come back. Right when I walked back the ten feet to the beginning of the ramp, the lights were OFF. Apparently they are on a timer, and we would have been in the back of the waterfall in the dark.
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/Waiting so sweetly to tour Ruby Falls.
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/I’m touching it! That’s what they announce when they think maybe they shouldn’t be touching. It’s ok this time guys.
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/It’s hard to see because my flash reflected off the water, but in the back you can see Adam ducking, holding Caisen and leading Brinlee and Sawyer behind the waterfall. Such a daddy moment, leading his kids.
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/A good time was had by all.
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/Sitting in time out patiently while daddy ran through the rain to get the car.
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/We headed for the aquarium. The weekend before we had been to the largest aquarium in the world. I wasn’t too excited to go to the Chattanooga aquarium. I mean, we live in a city of 6 million, and Chattanooga is something like 250,000. How good could it be? It was excellent. It was totally different than the Georgia aquarium and had completely different exhibits. We really enjoyed it. Gran and granddad met us while we were there. After a great time at the aquarium, we headed to dinner and then the hotel.
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/Climbing on the bridge in front of the aquarium.
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/Look mom! We’re swimming with the fish!
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/One of the cool things the Chattanooga aquarium has is a butterfly room. The butterflies are very friendly. You have to be careful not to step on them or let one leave on your clothes.
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/One of them landed on my leg and wouldn’t leave. If you slide your finger under their bodies, they are supposed to fly away, but instead it just stayed on Adam’s finger. It was so friendly that he put it on Kimball’s finger.
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/Brinlee had a turn next. She loved holding a butterfly.
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/Caisen thought they said splash pool instead of touch pool. He was pounding on the water, and strangely, no fish came over. Weird.
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/Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer loved touching the fish.
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/Let’s play a game. Instead of Where’s Waldo? let’s play Where’s Sawyer? His body is missing! It turns out his shirt was the exact same color as the background we stood in front of, so he disappeared! We thought it was so funny that we bought it.
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/We had breakfast at the hotel brunch buffet, which had lots of fresh fruit, juices and things. Since we have to avoid wheat for Kimball, he ate pineapple, strawberries and orange juice. Only. That’s what he wanted to eat. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Adam sat at the table with the kids while I filled a plate for them. Our table wasn’t visible from the buffet. You should have seen the looks people were giving me like, “You know you can come back to the buffet right? It’s not a one-time shot.” “You know that whole eating for two thing isn’t literal.” I had piles of fruit and a stack of bacon teetering on my plate. Then I went back for glass after glass of juice. I probably made five trips to fill plates, and they stares just kept coming. It’s a good thing I just don’t care. Stare on people.
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/We had left their cups in the car, which was valet parked. The closest thing they had to a child cup was Starbucks coffee cups with little holes in the lid. They felt SOOO BIG.
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/Even Caisen got a big boy cup. Ours were the only kids in the restaurant. I’m sure people were wondering how we could be such awful parents giving our kids coffee.
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/We headed over to Coolidge Park to let the kids run around. It was a beautiful day, and we thought they might enjoy the splash pad since they did so well at the splash pad in SLC. Wrong. Way too much moving water. They wouldn’t go near it. They mostly climbed on the benches and things. There is a carousel there, but it didn’t open until 1:30, and we had an appointment with a train, so we missed that.
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/Brinlee and Granddad at Coolidge Park.
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/Just because they didn’t get in the water doesn’t mean they didn’t strip down. Caisen was the bravest of the bunch and actually touched the water with his hands several times.
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/Flirting with danger. Such wild kids.
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/We headed to get some lunch, and when we were almost there, Kimball threw up. Not a ton, but enough. We got out of the car, cleaned him up, changed his clothes, let him walk around for a few minutes and got back in the car. He didn’t want any lunch (the boy turned down fries). After not eating lunch, he threw up again. So we changed his clothes again.
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/We hurried over to the train station. Our kids are obsessed with trains, and there is a great train ride that you get to ride in actual coach cars with a real steam engine pulling. The ride takes you to the round house where you get to watch them turn the engine around and tour the repair shop. The kids loved it, and so did granddad.
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/All aboard!
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/It’s pretty obvious that Kimball was not feeling great that day. The sun was too much for Brinlee, so she grabbed Caisen’s glasses.
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/Riding the train with granddad!
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/The kids loved this bright red train, so we decided to take a picture in front of it. There was something very fascinating about the ground, though, because every picture we took they were all staring at it.
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/After the train ride, gran and granddad had to take off to make it back to teach a special class at church. We headed home too so we could get the kids in bed at a good time. About ten minutes from home, Kimball threw up one more time. This was the big one. I think it was because he had all acid for breakfast and it was too much for him. It would be too much for a lot of people. After a good night of sleep, Kimball was still feeling rotten and now had a fever, so they missed a whole week of preschool (which is only two mornings).
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