I am back and rearing to go. You would be so proud of me. I went four whole days without Internet access…without my laptop…and I was just fine. My Dad and WSM live up in the sticks so it was a perfect time to sloooow done and unplug for a little while.
Ryan (brother), Janice (SIL), and Harry (nephew) spent the night on Thursday. That was really fun. Kelly and Ryan went golfing with our friend Potter and his wife Marie came over and hung out with us. The kiddos just loved Marie. She got some great shots of Zoë and Harry in the tub, but I won’t post those since I don’t want to get arrested for posting naked baby pictures.
Despite the fact that we had to be up and out the door at 7am, Friday morning went really smoothly. The Escalade limo turned out to be just a plain old boring Escalade. What is so fun about that? I was pretty bummed, but it did fit all of our luggage and us without an inch to spare. The driver told us that the Escalade limo doesn’t have a trunk, only seating, which is why we didn’t get it. Lame.
Are you wondering what Zoë is sitting in in the picture? It is our carseat/stroller and it was an absolute lifesaver. If you don’t have one
for traveling, I highly recommend it. Zoë got strapped in it in the
Escalade, Kelly pulled her and the carseat out at the airport and
converted it into a stroller, we wheeled her through the airport (had
to remove her for security though dangit), used it as a booster seat
when we had breakfast, strolled her to the plane, hooked her into her
seat, again popped her out and strolled her through the airport,
converted it back to a carseat for the rental car, and voila.
The kids were great on the plane. Zoë and Harrison both slept and were absolute angels. I brought some new toys to keep Zoë occupied but I barely needed them. I did find a super cool new toy for you mom’s out there. It was an Aqua Doodle coloring pad. They have four pictures that your little one "colors" with the Aqua Doodle pen (the pictures are in very vibrant colors) and then they disappear when the water is dry and you can do it again. I bought Dora and Elmo ones. How cool is that? They never had anything that fun when I was little.
Our trip to California was for some quality family time. Victoria’s (step mom) dad past away last year and in her family they have a memorial service on Memorial Day for the person that past. We went down along with both my brothers and some more of Victoria’s family.
Catching up with everyone was so much fun. This was the first time my Grandpa Carpenter, Jerry (brother), Kelli (future SIL), and Eva (niece) had met Harry. All the parents watched the kids together. Dad and Victoria’s house isn’t even close to child proofed. My Grandpa was quick to point out that HIS children never touched anything in people’s homes. He would just smack their hands. (Thanks Grandpa). Ryan responded by saying, "Grandpa didn’t you know you aren’t supposed to beat your kids anymore?" HA! I just love my brother. The favorite activity of all the kids seemed to be throwing rocks into the pond which was pretty harmless so we let them do that quite a lot. I will post some pictures of the yard later. My Dad has an AMAZING backyard. It is like an oasis. It is simply gorgeous. Like something you would see in a magazine.
Now it is time for me to brag a bit. Most parents think that their children are geniuses. It is our jobs. But I think that MY child actually is exceptionally brilliant. We were coming back from Oroville on Sunday (that is where the memorial service was held) and Kelly and Ryan stopped at a gas station to get something to drink. Kelly got back in the car with a slurpy and I said, "Oh my gosh, I completely forgot slurpies existed!" Then from the back we hear Zoë say, "ICEE!" Kelly shushed everyone and asked Zoë, "What did you say?" She again said, "ICEE!" and pointed at Kelly’s cup. On his slurpy cup it said ICEE. Holy crap! She isn’t even two years old yet. Ryan’s comment was the best though. He said, "If she says thirst quencher I am going to loose it."
That was pretty much the weekend. There was a bit of confusion with the motel rooms and Kelly had horrendous trouble with his allergies, but other than that it was good. For two of the nights we stayed at the same motel as my brothers. In the evening after the kids went to sleep we would sit outside and visit for hours. That is the most time I have spent talking with Jerry and Ryan in years and years, and was probably my favorite part of the trip. We also got some family photos which is awesome. You know how I love the pictures. I am going to need to do a bit of Photoshopping on them but that is OK.