Over the River and Through the Woods…

…to grandmother’s house we went, and now we’re back. It was a wild ride.
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/Day One:
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/The kids got to go on their third flight. They had no nap because we had to leave for the airport when they should have been falling asleep. They did pretty well. Sawyer fell asleep for 45 minutes, but his car seat sits forward on the airplane, so his head was hanging funny. By the time we landed, got the car seats into Grandpa’s minivan, got to their house and got settled, the kids went to bed at 11:30 our time. They were exhausted, but they did really well. Brinlee and Sawyer enjoyed everything and liked having their windows open. Kimball loved the taxi down the runway, but once we took off, her announced he was, “All done!!” over and over again. He had to have his window shut until we landed. Once we were in the air, he was fine (with the window shut) except when there was turbulence. He was very distressed. At the very end when the turbulence was pretty bad, Adam had to get him out of his car seat and hold him (I had Caisen in my lap). We left 75 degree weather and arrived in 35 degree weather. Brr!
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/Day Two:
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/Thanks to the late arrival the night before, we didn’t suffer early wakings that would ordinarily accompany time zone changes. They woke up at 7:30. They quickly adjusted to being in a new place once they saw the new landscape and the damage they could cause. We put them down for a nap, and they chattered and laughed like they usually do, but after a while, Kimball began to cry. And he didn’t stop crying, so Adam went to the door to listen. The doorknob was rattling from the inside. He opened the door to find Brinlee running around the room, sans shirt, shoes and socks, and she had somehow gotten Kimball’s shirt from him and was taunting him with it. And that was why he was crying. Needless to say, there was no nap that day. Several of Adam’s cousins came over with their families for a nice visit. It was great to see everyone.
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/Day Three:
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/On Sunday we woke up to 4 inches of snow. It continued to snow lightly off and on all day. We turned their high chairs around to look out the windows during meals. The kids chattered during nap time and fell asleep about 5 minutes before we had to leave for church, so we woke them up and that made the third day in a row that the kids had no nap. After church, Great Grandpa, Bob and family, Lisa and family and Serena and family came over for a family birthday party. Bob’s son Wyatt had a birthday and so did Serena. We had a family dinner and cake. Lots of people were there and the kids loved playing with everyone.
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/We’re missing Matt and Alyssa’s kids: Caleb, Elsie, and Keegan, but we still had quite a crew.
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/Great Grandpa with the kids (while they ate wheat-free Oreos since they couldn’t have any birthday pie).
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/Sierra is inspecting Caisen.
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/Day Four:
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/Bob and Tricia just moved back and bought a beautiful home. We drove up to see it and visit with the cousins: Brooke, Wyatt, Garrett and their brand new baby, Parker. Fortunately they have a basement with a play room, because when we were upstairs, there were too many tempting goodies around like a laptop, picture frames, kitchen cabinets and a piano. The grownups had a nice time catching up, and the cousins got to play. The kids got a short nap in the car on the way back to grandma’s house. Later that afternoon we all went out to play in the backyard. While kicking balls on the basketball court, Sawyer missed the ball and fell face-first on the concrete. He bit through his lip and scraped up his face. His upper lip was huge, bless his heart. He didn’t fuss nearly as much as I would expect with all that damage.
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/Day Five:
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/On Tuesday we went to the dinosaur museum with Cheri, Juliette, Tiger, Naomi, Serena, Jamie, Ben and Grandma. We were quite a crew. It’s a really fun museum with lots of things for the kids to do. There was a cave tunnel (our kids love tunnels), lots of puzzle pieces, a giant dinosaur that has interchangeable parts, a sand and water table, and an excavation site (a giant sandbox). After the museum we went out for burgers. The kids fell asleep in the car, so we took a drive up one of the many beautiful canyons to give them an opportunity to sleep.
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/Playing in the cave at the Dinosaur museum.
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/This is the best I could do getting all 3 in the same shot at the water table.
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/Lunch at Carl’s Jr. The cousins loved the play area. Sawyer mysteriously developed a black eye after playing in there, but he never cried, so we’re not sure what happened.
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/Day Six:
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/On Wednesday we decided to ride the train downtown and destroy grandpa’s office visit grandpa at his office. I was not in the mood to wrangle four crazy kids, so I insisted we bring the two double strollers (not ours, the ones we borrowed while we were there). We got there a few minutes before the train came. When it arrived, grandma and I helped the kids up the stairs onto the train. While Adam was wrestling the strollers closed, THE TRAIN LEFT!!! That’s right. Daddy and our tickets and the strollers were left on the platform. That conductor saw him and left anyway. Jerk. Other than their missing father, the kids enjoyed the train ride. Fortunately for grandma and me, the kids were so enraptured that they didn’t move much. Adam had to drive down to grandpa’s office. The kids had a great time running up and down the offices, slamming doors and pulling things down. Brinlee ran into an office and nearly slammed shut a door that would have locked…and no one had the key. Wouldn’t that have been fun? After the visit we went to an outdoor mall to walk around and go to lunch. Once again the kids fell asleep in the car, so we drove up yet another canyon to enjoy the beauty.
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/Grandma took all the pictures, but I can’t get them until her camera is back from the repair shop.
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/Day Seven:
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/After dragging the kids all over town for nearly a week, we decided to stay home and play for a day. We invited Cheri and crew over to play, but they weren’t feeling so great, so we played solo. It was nice to have a lowkey day and let the kids nap in a bed. We spent a lot of time playing in the basement, which was fun, but having to climb two flights of stairs to take them to time out was punishing. Call it my workout for the day. The kids love playing outside in the yard and running up and down the hills.
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/After the kids were in bed, Adam and I went out to dinner with our friends Ryan and Emily.
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/Day Eight:
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/The weather got warmer and warmer all week long, so we went to the zoo. We went with Lisa, Sierra, Cheri, Juliette, Tiger and grandma. It was a beautiful day, with weather in the 60s. We saw lots of animals: monkeys, giraffes, bears, elephants, etc. We skipped the reptile house. The kids got a big kick out of it, especially the monkeys and elephants. They hadn’t been to the zoo since they were 7 months old. We’ll have to try our local zoo again since they liked it so well.
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/Late that afternoon, Uncle Clark and family came over to visit. We all played out in the backyard and enjoyed the beautiful weather. The kids just loved their cousins, and we were glad to visit with Uncle Clark and Aunt Cathy. So not only did I not get the kids in bed early, as planned, they went to bed late. But it was worth it to have so much fun.
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/After the kids were in bed, we went out to dinner to celebrate Adam’s birthday with his parents and Lisa and Karl. It was a very nice evening and a great meal. We enjoyed all the QUIET adult conversation.
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/Our group at the zoo.
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/This giant elephant makes noises and apparently shoots water out of its trunk without warning. Sierra hates it since being a victim of a spraying. The kids wouldn’t look at the camera because they were too busy trying to see where the sound was coming from.
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/Playing with the giant granite ball that floats on water so you can rotate it.
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/Kimball likes the water more than the ball.
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/Caisen loved the zoo. Can you tell?
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/Day Nine:
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/Saturday morning we woke up to the most beautiful, perfect weather. It was about 75 degrees, sunny, the leaves were changing, there was a light breeze. It was positively gorgeous, and it was the day of Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer’s birthday party! It was family and a few close friends and some cake and ice cream. It was absolutely perfect. It could only have been better if more of the people we love had been able to come. We played out in the yard, chased kids, used the swings, ate cake and chatted. Grandma brought out the play Jeep and cousin Alex drove the kids around the yard. That was a huge hit, but sorry kids, that’s not coming to our house! I made wheat-free cupcakes for the kids, and grandma made a cake for the adults.
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/Adam’s parents were kind enough to offer their babysitting services for 24 hours. We left as soon as the kids were down for a nap. We went to my favorite Mexican cafe for a late lunch. Then we went back to the outdoor mall and walked around for a while. We went to check in at our hotel and relax for a bit. I wasn’t very hungry, but it was starting to get late, and we wanted to go to this great pizza place, so we went out. I ate some, and it was good, but it increased my uncomfortably full feeling. As the night went on I felt worse and worse. I was up for a few hours in the night before I finally got sick. I felt a lot better, but the nausea stayed with me. At least I was able to sleep. I’m not sure which place gave me food poisoning. I don’t think I want to know.
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/Caisen and great grandpa
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/The cake and cupcakes.
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/When grandma brought out the Jeep, there was a stampede.
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/Alex and Kimball go for a ride.
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/Alex and Sawyer
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/Brinlee’s turn
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/Mommy and Sawyer swinging
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/I can see those cupcakes, mommy! I want one!
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/Kimball’s cupcake never lost contact with his mouth. He just continued to slowly bite, chew and swallow. He had just enough room by his nose to breathe.
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/I think the cupcakes were a hit. The cute redhead is Andrew, Ryan and Emily’s son.
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/Juliette liked her cupcake.
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/Caisen and great grandpa are sharing secrets.
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/Brinlee was the cleanest of the three after they each had 2 cupcakes, or the frosting from 2 cupcakes.
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/Sawyer after 1/2 a cupcake
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/The aftermath.
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/Happy Birthday Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer!
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/Opening presents.
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/Daddy helps with the tricky wrapping paper.
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/Taking those presents for a test drive.
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/Everybody climb in! Kimball and Sawyer figured out how to drive the Jeep and went joyriding, complete with babe in the backseat.
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/Day Ten:
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/We slept in until about 9 (seriously, that IS sleeping in). I still felt pretty queasy. We went to a beautiful brunch, and I could hardly eat. I had a crepe and a yogurt parfait, but there were so many other wonderful things to eat, and I missed it! I couldn’t even stand to be there. After brunch we decided to drive around and see all the beautiful foliage and how the city has grown and what is being developed. We came home to 4 very happy kids. They were laughing and wrestling and happy to see us. They love grandma and granpda, which is why we felt comfortable leaving. The kids had been crabby for a few days, and that afternoon we saw they had each cut an incisor. They were in much better moods.
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/Day Eleven:
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/Monday was another gorgeous day, so we went to the local botanical garden. It was really beautiful. It’s right at the base of a mountain, so some of the paved paths end, but continue into the hills as a dirt path for hikers. Brinlee fancies herself a hiker, so she booked it right up the dirt path. If we ever need to escape ala the VonTrapp family, I know where to go. There was a beautiful children’s garden that had a cute little maze made of mesh and had vines growing on it. There were lots of little exits and entries for the kids to come in and out, and we could see them the whole time. There were little hills to run up and down, a playhouse, a sandbox, table and chairs made of tree stumps and lots of cute things to look at. Aunt Cheri and Juliette and Tiger came to play, and Uncle Mark met us during his lunch time since he works right next door. We had a great time. Once again the kids had a short nap in the car while we drove around another canyon. Are you noticing a pattern here? I forgot to take my camera, and grandma’s camera malfunctioned, so we didn’t get any pictures at the gardens, which is such a shame. It was a beautiful day.
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/Day Twelve:
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/Tuesday Adam’s Aunt Cynthia brought lunch and came to see us at grandma’s house. That was her first time seeing any of our kids! After naps Aunt Jody came over with one of her triplet grandchildren, Courtney. Courtney and her siblings are Adam’s cousin’s kids. They are 10 months younger than Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer. They are just adorable. We haven’t met Audrey or Ryan yet, but we see pictures sometimes. When they’re that young, you still live and die by the napping and eating schedule, so only Courtney was available. We were excited to meet her and visit with Aunt Jody. We played some more in grandma’s backyard. It had cooled off quite a bit by Tuesday, so we were in coats again. Grandma’s yard has some hills in it, and the kids loved running up and down the hills. She also has a swingset, and they loved swinging!
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/Caisen loves his grandma.
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/Caisen does his airplane thing.
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/Grandma with Sawyer, Brinlee and Kimball.
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/Playing in the leaves in grandma and grandpa’s backyard.
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/Playing outside is our favorite!
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/Mommy joined us.
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/Caisen loves being outside too!
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/Day Thirteen:
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/Five a.m. came all too quickly on Wednesday, and it was COLD! 35 degrees. We got up and loaded the van before waking the kids up for a a wardrobe/diaper change and smoothies in the car. The flight home was even easier. They were really good. I couldn’t ask more from 2-year-olds. We put their carseats in rear-facing this time so they wouldn’t be tipped forward, and anything they dropped would be easier to retrieve. Those kids didn’t close their eyes even once! No naps. Caisen slept twice for 20 minutes each time, but was still really good. By the time we landed, installed the carseats and got on the road, it was 4:00 and 75 degrees. The kids conked out on the ride home, of course. This car wasn’t paying attention and came over in our lane. Adam swerved and honked, avoiding an accident. When he did that, Kimball’s eyes flew open and he shouted, “Whoa!” Then he closed his eyes and was asleep again. We got home and unloaded everything, fed the kids, let them run around and off to bed they went. We were home!
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/It’s great to travel and visit and see people we love, but it’s always nice to come home to our own house, our own beds and our own routine. The poor kids are worn out! We had a great time and got to see so many people we love. This was a great trip, and makes up for our horrible trip last Christmas (we got the flu right when we got there). While we were there Caisen chewed his thumb so much it actually bled. He got lots of love and attention and holding. He was one happy kid. Brinlee, Kimball and Sawyer had a blast playing with cousins, aunts and uncles. We miss everyone already and can’t wait to see them again!
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