Vacation –

July 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm (General Life Updates)

Wednesday evening, Mom picked the kids and I up so we could spend the night at her house and get an early start on Thursday. We had a hodge podge dinner of leftovers at her house and the kids played for a while before we put them to bed in one of the downstairs spare rooms. I ran on Mom’s treadmill for about 35 minutes – the first time I’d exercised since the race and the accident. The bruise didn’t bother me at all, but the treadmill did. I didn’t have any GIVE to it, and it made my saddle bags hurt. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to try their treadmill for a long time so it was good to finally discover that I prefer mine.

I slept (none too soundly) in the other spare room, on the bed that used to be mine when I lived at home before getting married. Dad woke up at about 6 and immediately started tromping around upstairs, which woke the kids up soon after that. I got K2 and brought him in and we laid in bed for a while, but then P came in and we gave up laying down and got up to get ready. Poor Dad loading up all the stuff I packed for the kids and I.

We got underway around 8 AM, which was the goal. The trip was pretty smooth; the kids were happy most the way and P didn’t get carsick thanks to the half-Dramamine that I gave her. K2 started to get fed up the last time we stopped and then put him back in his carseat. The last hour was a little rough. He’d fuss and then just talk loudly and pretty happily to himself, and then he’d fuss some more. He’d toss his blanket in frustration and then ask for it a second later, and he did it over and over. But he didn’t scream or cry and we got through it.

We arrived at the house address, guided by Dad’s GPS on his phone, at about 6. And we hoped and hoped we’d arrived at the wrong place. The outside of the house was so rundown, I made Mom check the address and then I checked it myself. But as we waited in the car for the person to meet us and let us in, we knew it was the right place, much to our chagrin. The clean-up crew was still finishing in the yard, mowing, trimming, and emptying the trash bin. Over the next hour, we discovered that we needed to vacuum up the dead bugs in the house, the live ants, mop the kitchen floor because of the sticky residue, and move the rug in the living room because it was a shaggy one that was shedding so badly and my sis’s baby was going to need to be able to be on the floor. Mom registered that her paperwork had said all along that there was only one bathroom, it just hadn’t sunk in. Basically, the place was kind of dumpy. Oh, and the swamp cooler was leaking water off the roof on the back of the house the ENTIRE time we were there. They told us someone would come to fix the bug problem (namely, ants), and the swamp cooler. No one came. The clean up crew filled the hot tub with the hose before they left.

A and D arrived with their three kids as we were finishing up our assessment of the place. It took A a while to not look like she’d just stepped in dog doo after she saw the house. The kids were overjoyed to see each other, and were super-excited about their bedroom with the two sets of bunk beds. They didn’t care if the place had bugs or sticky floors or only one bathroom, to them it was all great.

Our first night in the house was interesting. We were still experimenting with the swamp cooler. And I decided to try the mattress from one of the hide-a-beds on the floor rather than on the pull out. We tried it on the pullout first, though, and at one point my dad sat on it up by the back of the couch, and then I made the mistake of sitting up there with him, and the whole thing tried to fold us up into the couch. It was hilarious, but after that I moved the mattress to the floor. It was basically just thin mattress fabric over springs, and it was ridiculously uncomfortable. And that’s the first night my throat hurt. The nights are all a blur, so I’m not sure if that was one of the nights that K2 ended up crying and sleeping with me for the rest of the night or not. But he slept with me a couple of times, and I brought him out to lay with me for a short time on a couple other nights.

The next morning started a week of waking up way earlier than I’m used to, with the kids starting to get rowdy around 7:30 or so. As we all reluctantly got up, A and I decided that the rainy clouds outside boded ill for running (mosquitos) and we opted to stay in and do A’s TaeBo video. I haven’t done TaeBo in years, and it was a fun reminder to do it with my sister and remember how we used to do it together and laugh our heads off at certain parts. Trying not to kick the kids in the head as they ran around, especially K2, was particularly challenging.

Without going into tons of detail about the day, we spent most of it shopping for groceries for the meals we had planned and lunches and breakfasts. Basically, overstocking the house for the week. We went to Sams, Walmart, and Costco before the day was done. P had a meltdown when we let A’s son sit in the double stroller with K2 at the first stop (Sams) and had to have some tough love. I don’t remember much of that evening at the house, so it must have been uneventful.

Saturday started out with a run. I tried to keep up with A but eventually fell behind to run my own pace. It didn’t help that by this time I was genuinely getting sick. But I decided if I wasn’t going to inflate like a balloon while we were there, I was going to have to exercise. Because I was eating everything, a lot of it. So I ran even though I didn’t feel good.

After our run, it was breakfast and getting everyone ready to go to the family reunion up in Kaysville. We got to the picnic grounds shortly after 11 and were some of the first to arrive. The reunion consisted of saying hello to people I haven’t seen in years that seem like total strangers to me other than some memories from 15 years or so ago. It was entertaining to see how everyone is aging (not in a mean way), to see the changes, people growing up, etc. I enjoyed talking with a couple of them. But for the most part it was just painful to try and connect with people that I have no connections with anymore. It was hot, too. Ugh. The kids had fun at the park, which was a convoluted wooden castle in a big sand pit surrounded by play houses and swings. As soon as you stepped off the grass into the sand, it got about 15 degrees hotter.

We stayed until shortly after 2. T, my youngest brother, met us there. He actually talked to more relatives than I did – he’s seen everyone more recently than I have and he’s something of a social butterfly (a trait I tease him for but not-so-secretly admire and envy). I am glad I went to the reunion, but to really have a relationship with any of my extended relatives I’d have to make more of an effort than going to a reunion every four years.

After we left the reunion, we stopped by my aunt’s house to borrow her clippers for K2’s intended hair cut, then we headed back to the house. After the kid slept a little, Uncle D gave him a haircut, which I got a lot of pictures of.

I found out that my friend, E’s, jewelry booth was at Herriman Days until 9 that night. I thought going to the carnival/fair would be a good activity for everyone to do Saturday evening, but as we arrived at the house I found out that D and A had decided to go to a soccer game. T had opted to go, too. They hadn’t actually asked if Mom and Dad would watch their kids. They invited me, but I didn’t want to go to a soccer game, plus I wanted to see my friend E. This left us stranded, though, since we couldn’t fit 3 adults and 5 carseats in our rental van. Long story short, I made sure Mom didn’t mind putting my kids to bed along with my sister’s and Dad drove me out to Herriman days and dropped me off on the agreement that my friend E could bring me home when the fair was over.

Seeing E was great, and seeing her happy with her husband was even better. They’ve gone through hell together over the past few years, and it was good to see things finally evening out a little for them. I got to see her brother, sister, dad and cousin, too, all of whom I was good friends with. So that was nice to catch up a little.

While all this was going on, I had found out mid-afternoon that K was here in CO in the ER with stomach pain and 3-days of diarhea. My MIL finally called me while I was on the way to the fair and told me that K was unconscious with morphine for the pain and he was on the end of his third bag of intravenous fluids, having been so dehydrated he couldn’t even give a urine sample. K finally called me shortly before 10 PM, right before the fireworks started at the fair, to tell me the pain meds were still working and that he was out of the hospital after taking 4 bags of intravenous fluid and finally being able to pee. He still had to take in a sample of stool, and was still feeling awful. I felt bad that I wasn’t there to take care of him, but I’m not sure there was anything I could have done.

E and her husband took me back to the rental house and we arrived around 11:30. It was fun to catch up with them a little, and it was nice to see such great fireworks and E’s beautiful jewelry. Mom and Dad and A were waiting up for me for updates on K’s status, so I filled them in on the info I had, and we all went to bed.

Sunday morning we all woke up and had breakfast and got ready to go to church at a local building where we’d found an 11 AM meeting. It turned out to be a branch with only a few toddlers and babies and no older children or teenagers. Mostly young couples with no kids and some older folks. It was kind of weird. Anyway, K2 didn’t really allow me to hear a thing – he was the worst he’s ever been for being restless, loud, and irreverant. I spent most of the meeting either wrestling with him or taking him out in the hallway. We left after sacrament meeting and headed back to the house where we had lunch and the kids had naps. In the late afternoon we headed north to Tremonton where we met up with Dad’s sisters and one BIL. The kids played at the park, and the adults sat around and ate brownies and fruit for a couple hours. Then we headed back to the house for bed time.

Monday, A and D went to an early morning session at a nearby temple. When they got back, A and I went running. By this time I was feeling pretty entrenched in my cold, but I still went running on the hopes that I could burn off some of the massive amounts of food I was eating. 🙂 I didn’t go as far as I’d gone on Saturday, but it was still a good workout.

Monday’s main activity was going to a local recreation center with a huge pool, waterslides, and kiddie pool. It was the first time I’d been in a pool with P (she’s been twice in her life, both times with my sister while I was at work), and the first time K2 had been in a pool bigger than our bathtub. We had a blast, even with the almost-hour we had to spend waiting in the grass while they let the filters clean out someone’s barf. I went down the slides three times, once with A right before we left, and twice with T. Trying to get K2 to move in the water was hard – he spent most of the time blue faced and shivering even though it was super hot out and the water was warm. Mom and I tried to get him warmed up by having him walk between us in the really shallow part – it only came to his little waist. Getting the rhythm of the water was challenging for him, but he had fun walking and it stopped his shivering. Eventually, it got so crowded that we didn’t really have room anymore. P had a blast floating on her tummy with Grandma helping her, and by the time we were ready to leave she was ready to stay for the rest of the day. She was dipping her face in the water, and “not freaking out” as she proudly reported. Makes me sad I didn’t manage to get her registered for beginning swimming lessons at the community center where she went to preschool. As we were walking away from the pool, we were some of the first to discover a little pile of kids poo on the concrete, and some following drips of poo like it was continuing to fall out, or someone had stepped in it and left a trail. So gross. So we were glad we were on our way out, because they once again pulled everyone out of the pool while they made sure there was no poo in it. Who knows how long everyone was beached after we left. Yuck.

For the last little stretch of pool-time, K2 had been on a towel with Grandpa and had fallen asleep. He slept to the car, slept in his carseat, and slept as I put him shirtless in his portacrib. What a pooped little boy. A, Mom, and I walked to Old Navy down the street that night after dinner and did a little shopping for the kids and I got a pair of black pants. I’m going to have to have about a week of eating well and exercising again before I feel comfortable wearing them, though.

Tuesday we went to Liberty Park. K2 and I rode the ferris wheel together; I didn’t like it much more than he did. The drop was the part we both had a problem with, but I pretended like I wasn’t bothered to try and get him to relax a little. The first drop, I swear he vibrated he was so scared, clutching the bar in front of us with all his might. I couldn’t see his face, but I have a feeling I know what it looked like. P refused to ride the ferris wheel and I didn’t force her because I knew I was going to force her to ride the carousel. Both the kids rode the little airplaines and then the cars. The cars were in the sun so the metal was a little hot for their little bums and hands. Then D, A, T, and I rode the cable seats that swung us out over the crowd and totally freaked A and I out. I kept thinking – what if I exceed the weight limit? What if my seat is too high because of my higher weight? What if my seat snaps off and I go sailing out into the tops of these trees????? But we came down safe and sound, if a little tense and dizzy. Then we took the kids over to the carousel. K2 cried a little, mostly because P wouldn’t calm down. He’d done if before at the zoo, but she was totally freaking out. I finally got her to calm down and then she enjoyed the rest. By the end she was waving at Grandma and Grandpa on the sidelines. T was holding onto K2 while I held on to P, and he calmed down when she stopped screaming her head off. After the rides, we headed off to find a table in the shade and D and T went and bought some Arbies nearby and brought us lunch. We ate, the kids played in the grass, and we waited for the little water wading park to open up. It was under maintenance, but it finally opened at about 2:50, just as the hot sky was clouding over. Sothe kids played in the canyons, rivers, streams, waterfalls, and lakes of the little replica of the Seven Canyons. K2 fell in love with one spot with a sprinkler, while Z and P ran all over to try and experience everything. Luckily, K2 had already gone to most of the areas before he found the sprinkler because he didn’t want to leave that spot after he found it. I had Dad come over and take some pictures and video of him since I couldn’t chase after him and make sure he didn’t fall or drown in the water while carrying a camera.

We headed out right before it started to rain, got the kids changed into some dry clothes (not complely dry in my kids’ cases since I didn’t remember to bring whole outfits, just dry shorts and pants) and headed out. I think we just hung out at the house for the rest of the afternoon and made some dinner and relaxed.

Wednesday I didn’t exercise again. It was a rough rough night with K2 and I coughing up a storm. I went back into the kids room after Mom got up and slept a little more. Then we scrambled to get everyone showered, dressed, and loaded up since check-out was at 11. We had packed everything we could Tuesday night, and cleaning out the kitchen and loading up all the food was probably the hardest part. After we were all piled in, we went to Temple Square and walked around in the blistering heat – half of the square was blocked off for construction so we had to walk around barriers to get to the open parts. The kids enjoyed the fountains (though they couldn’t get in). I was mostly frustrated – my kids were difficult at best while we were there. Back at our parking spot on the side of a residential road, we ate lunch in the shade of a tree next to the vehicles on the grass. The kids cheered up with some food in them. Then we headed to the zoo for military appreciation days – where only P and I had to pay since everyone else was free under the umbrella of D’s and Dad’s military IDs.

With minimal meltdowns, we traipsed around the zoo, looking at monkeys, elephants, bears, cats, giraffes, etc. We were there until about 4:30. K2 didn’t have a nap at all. He fell asleep just moments before we arrived at Aunt P’s house for the evening. P passed out right away. After getting semi-settled at Aunt P’s and having some dinner, we went to Nielsen’s for some custard. It was so good! The kids all did great justice to their kiddie cups of ice cream, and I scarfed my raspberry oreo concrete. Mom had a strawberry carmel concrete, which I just couldn’t bring myself to try. Weird combo.

After baths and showers back at the house, the kids went to bed for the last time all in a room together. It took them hours to finally get to sleep, except K2 who fell asleep first within about 20 minutes. I was coughing really bad, so I opted to sleep out in the living room on a blow-up twin mattress rather than on the extra double in the room with A and D and their baby. I figured I’d keep the baby awake with my hacking. As it turned out, I slept better than they did since their baby decided to start getting my cold that night. I slept propped up on the couch next to me and slept better than all the nights on that horrible mattress at the rental house. But still I was excited to get home to my bed, my shower, my house. My husband.

Thursday morning, we went to Smith & Edwards before heading out to CO and I found out why my Mom and Dad love that store so much. They had a hard time getting me out of there, and we didn’t even see half the store. We got on the road by about 10:30 and the drive was pretty pleasant. The kids slept most of the first leg and were pretty happy when they woke up. It got a little rough toward the end; we were all tired and antsy. We stopped near my house at an IHOP to get dinner into the kids before MOm and Dad dropped us off, and the kids ate their breakfast at night pretty well. Then we were home. Home sweet home. I got the kids into bed as quickly as I could, took a shower, watched one of the twenty shows that recorded while I was away, and went to bed in my comfy wonderful bed. So glad to be home after some great fun adventures.

I took a lot of pictures, but I need to collect a lot of pictures from my brother T, my BIL, and my Dad.

I realize this post is really long and probably boring. But I had to get it all down and once I started I nixed the idea of doing this in parts and just wanted to get it all done.


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