Jul 27, 2008

I need a vacation!

I am finally back from my 3 week long vacation in Spokane and I totally need a vacation! The short version

  • 3 weeks away from home

  • 4 kids- ages 12, 10, 3, and 1 month

  • Just me, Bobby did not come

  • 3400 miles driven total

  • Four 12 hour days of driving

Every year I try to send Austin & Christopher to see my parents, either by flying them up to Washington alone, or by flying or driving with them. Last year we flew them up first, then Bobby, Matthew and I drove up together and then the five of us drove back together. The trip from Colorado to Washington is about 1200 miles each way.

This year Bobby did not have enough vacation time and it was even more important for me to go because my dad is having some health issues and because I wanted my family to meet Sophia. I knew it would not be easy to drive that far with a 4 week old and a 3 year old, but they were actually very good. My van has a DVD player in the back and all the jacks necessary to hook up a game system, so the three boys brought their Gamecube and kept themselves entertained while the baby slept through most of the drive. We made a point to stop once or twice a day at parks along the way to get the kids out of the car. In Billings the hotel we stayed at had a pool with a water slide and the five of us unwound in the pool, which was heavenly after the long drive.

My dad looked amazing, we don't know what is causing his health problems, but he has to be on oxygen and we are all pretty bummed about that because my dad leads such an active lifestyle and the oxygen pretty much keeps him tied down. My dad is a non-smoker, and the doctors had no answers to why he is having breathing problems, despite spending a week in the ICU.

While we were there we visited with Bobby's nieces and nephew who we met last year for the first time. To make a long story short, Bobby and his brother had a falling out. We have always liked ex-SIL, but lost contact with her when we moved away. I met her back in 1997 when she introduced us to her oldest daughter, R., despite her husband's (Bobby's brother) wishes. I found BIL on myspace, contacted his girlfriend who gave me his ex-wife's number, and we have been in frequent contact since.

Here is a picture of her youngest daughter with my youngest daughter. Click to see a larger image.

And here is a picture of her three and my four.

From Left to right is Austin -12, B. - 9, and Matthew - 3
Christopher - 10, A. - 6, R. - 11, and Sophie - 5 weeks.

In addition to spending time with my parents and his family, we also got to go to Faragut National Park in Idaho for a family reunion. My mom and her sisters and their families get together once a year for a long weekend campout. Since my dad could not stay the night and I did not want to camp with a baby, we drove back and forth each day (1 hour drive each way). My sister kept Austin and Christopher with her so they were able to stay the night. Matthew loved playing in the dirt as you can see.

It was so nice to spend the weekend with my sisters, Aunts and uncles, cousins, and all their kids. My oldest sister made me the nicest gifts ever, she is so talented. She scrapbooked a little brag book, and hand painted Sophia's name on wooden letters, she also got her the most darling little outfit. All three were in Sophie's colors, pink and brown, which I did not know were also my sister's colors. I need to take and share some pictures, the scrapbook has got to be about the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen, I wish I had an ounce of her talent.

We also spent a lot of time up at their cabin in Priest Lake Idaho. The older boys stayed a little over a week up there with my parents, where the little ones and I drove back and forth a couple times (2 hour drive) since the cabin is unsafe with exposed electrical and a loft without rails. They are building it themselves, so they are waiting for inspections and such, and with my dad's health issues, they did not expect the process to take so long. Since they are only a couple miles from the lake, we spent almost all our time at the lake. Click on the pictures below to see larger images.

Time flew by so fast, I only got to spend a couple hours with my best friend of 28 years, and my best friend of 14 years.

My mom started the potty for penny campaign with Matthew, and now he is almost potty trained, I am so proud! He is now peeing in the potty with maybe one or two accidents a day, and rarely needs reminding. Even more shocking is that he is pooping in the potty, something we could not get him to do when we almost had him trained a few months ago!

Leaving was bittersweet, I was so homesick and missed Bobby so much, but I did not want to leave either. I had such a wonderful time with my parents, and the boys were ready to leave me forever and live with their grandparents forever. My 11 year anniversary is tomorrow, and school starts in 2 weeks, so it was necessary to return. On the drive home, I did get some amazing pictures of Sophie, you can't tell in the pictures, but her eyes almost looked violet in the light.

She was so good in the car, she only cried when she wanted to nurse. The rest of the time she either slept or just looked around contently, or smiling at her brothers.


Pattie said...

oh. my. GAWD, woman!!! you go girl!! seriously, and i have anxiety taking the twins to the PARK?!?! LOL...I loved seeing all your pictures, you're a fantastic photographer!! and, of course, your kids are DOLL ;-)

Dana said...

Sometimes it's good to be home, isn't it? As you know, I'll be making this trip a week from Friday - 1,747 miles each way (according to GoogleMaps). I'll only have one child with me - hopefully we'll have as uneventful a trip as you had!

Keri said...

Wow you are truely an amazing woman/mom. I coulndn't fathem making a car trip with 4 kids. I am glad that everyone had a great time. Sophie is beautiful.

Amy said...

I'm far too chicken to drive that far with the girls. Fly, yes... drive, no thanks. You did well. :) And I totally understand that bittersweet feeling.