Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer vacation...

This last weekend I took the kids down to St. George. 

My knitting buddies Myra and Candice invited us to join them on their fun get away. Candice's parents have a house down there where we stayed, and oh my goodness! It is absolutely beautiful. (I am kicking myself because the one thing I forgot to pack was the camera...)  Anyway, three moms, eight kids, and a couple of totes of yarn. It made for one exhausting but still super fun weekend. There was a pool in the back yard, so the kids swam for three days while the moms lounged pool side and knit. The weather was beautiful, the kids well behaved (for the most part), and the company was fabulous. We can't wait to go again... and leave the children at home! :)

The most awesome moment for me came at the end of the one meal we ate out. We were sitting and chatting, waiting for the children to finish eating. Lila had been playing at the end of the table, going from one side to the other, when all of the sudden I realized I couldn't see her anywhere! I jumped up, feeling mildly frantic and rushed towards the bathrooms. I heard her crying and charged in to find her standing in a stall in the middle of a puddle and bawling her poor little heart out. I hadn't heard her say that she needed to go to the potty and so she went by herself, but didn't quite make it. I felt so horrible. I dashed to the door of the restroom and tossed my keys to Jake and told him to go grab me a package of wipes and a Walmart sack from the car. Then I went back in to the bathroom and started cleaning up Lila and the floor as best as I could. After several minutes I stuck my head out to see if Jake was back and found Myra and Candice practically rolling on the floor of the restaurant they were laughing so hard, and Candice trying to take my picture by the bathroom door. I couldn't figure out what about this situation was so hysterical until I turned around and saw that it was the men's room. In my defense I didn't notice anything that would have clued me into the fact that I was in the men's room. There were no urinals and there was a diaper changing station on the wall! Jake got back and I hurried to finish cleaning up Lila. (I also admit that I was much less worried about cleaning up the mess on the floor once I realized that it was the men's room...) I had nothing with me to  change her into so I borrowed Brian's brilliant idea and cut a couple of leg holes into a Walmart sack and turned them into a pair of plastic overalls to protect the car seat on the way home. We definitely gave our section of the restaurant a good show as we walked out to the car. Once we were in the parking lot Lila started model walking her awesome new outfit and sashaying her little behind all over the place. 

It takes a great deal of confidence to pull off a look like this, don't you think?

Sunday, July 8, 2012


One of Brian's favorite activities is to drive. He loves to go for long drives with no destination, just to get out and drive. I do not enjoy long drives unless there is something at the other end, a reason to drive there. Today we had a wonderful family outing to Promontory Point and the Golden Spike reenactment.
Brian enjoyed that it involved a significant amount of driving. I enjoyed the historically significant destination. The kids enjoyed going on an adventure to some place new.

Something very cool was that because this is a National Park we were able to fill out the form that gets Brian a special card that gives him lifelong free access to National Parks. There aren't many perks to having a permanent disability, but so far he's pretty happy with this one and the lifetime free fishing licence... now we just have to get him out there using them!

The trains were so beautiful and colorful, and check out that sky! Those clouds look like they are painted on.

The Central Pacific R.R.

The Union Pacific R.R.

Placing one of the golden spikes

Driving home the actual last spike, which was an ordinary iron one.

Lila thinks that because Brian brings his own seat where ever we go, she should get to use it too...

Jake and Lila holding a spike.

Kids and trains.

They liked the displays in the museum too.

We drove the auto tour where you get to drive along a section of where the railroad used to be and see how they graded and dug out the path. (Because Brian likes to drive.)

Cool dude.

Still having fun?

A marker commemorating exactly what it says. 
The two railroads were racing to see who could lay the rails the furthest and the fastest. The Central Pacific laid the most with 10 miles in a single day.

After sightseeing we took sleepy back roads until we got to Logan. We ate dinner at a yummy, little pizza place and then went to the USU campus and got some famous Aggie Ice Cream.

We also had a very nice gentleman take a family picture for us.

It was a fun, full day. 
We can't wait to plan some more day trips to visit places of interest close to home.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Independance Day!

One of my favorite traditions is going see fireworks on the night before. We go up to Eaglewood Golf Course with half of Bountiful and take a picnic dinner and some games and just hang out for three or four hours before. 

Sisters hanging out in the shade.

Jake tried to "taste test" almost every cookie!

Evie prefers the rice krispie treats.
(It's genetic, she gets it from Grandpa T.)

Lila loved to run up and down this hill by where we set up.

I took bubbles and it entertained them for quite awhile. Some of my cousins (Jon and Hilary) who's kids are pretty close in age to ours showed up after we'd been there for awhile and sat by us. It was a lot of fun because the kids ran around and played and entertained each other and the grown ups (and the boys, who think they are grown-ups) played Apples to Apples. 

The fireworks were great as always. The traffic is crazy afterwards, but we always come prepared for it. A movie for the kids and left over picnic treats to snack on and we had no complaints, even though it was almost midnight by the time we got home and people in bed!

The next morning Caite and I took my kids to the Centerville Parade. We haven't gone to a parade for a couple of years, but the kids really enjoyed it. And Brian really enjoyed that I let him stay home and sleep in...

The rest of the day we spent at my dad's. Swimming, bbq-ing, playing cards and watching Independence Day... because nothing says patriotic like alien invasions and cool fight scenes! The kids were all for finding another fireworks show to go to, but Mommy was too tired to face another big crowd. So we watched the Macy's fireworks extravaganza on t.v. in our pajamas instead. A perfect end to a busy holiday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Condescending much?

The kids were playing downstairs by me while I was working on a sewing project. After the third time one of them asked me something I snapped back, "What?!"

"Um, are you annoyed with us Mom?" Jake asked.

"I'm sorry, I'm just trying to work out some math right now," I replied.

"Oh. So you need my help."

It wouldn't sting so much if it was a question instead of a statement....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Going to the Zoo...

The last reward on Lila's potty chart was going to the zoo.  Since it was my turn for a special day out with her this month that is what we did. (On the hottest day ever! I still get sweaty just thinking about it....) This was our first outing without a pull-up on or a backup outfit, and she did great!

My favorite thing about having special one on one outings with my children is how laid back and fun the time is. I'm not stressing about meeting time constraints or trying to make sure everyone's needs are met. I just set back and let the child dictate the pace of our day. 

Our first stop was the elephants. This is the baby elephant that was born last year and we got to watch the trainer work with her a little bit.

You can see the mommy elephant in the background there, next to the wall. 

We went to the bird show next, which she enjoyed until we got buzzed by a low flying eagle and after that she just wanted to leave. I convinced her to stick it out but I don't think birds rank very high on her favorite animals list.

We rode the carousel and she was so happy that she got to ride on a giraffe (which does happen to be her favorite animal.)

We splurged on a lion shaped water bottle filled with cherry lemonade. She downed hers and half of my can of lemonade in about ten minutes! (Did I mention it was HOT!)

From there we went to see all the big cats, who were sleeping in whatever shade they could find. I don't blame them, I would have been happy to curl up in a shady spot and take a cat nap myself. 

We didn't stay there long before she got bored with watching sleeping cats.

But next was the giraffe house! We stayed in here for a long time, both because giraffes are her favorite animal and because it was slightly cooler inside.

We were pretty hungry by this point so we split an outrageously overpriced hamburger and a bottle of apple juice. Her day, her choice...

Then we wandered around the new Rocky Shores exhibit which houses grizzly bears and a polar bear. They were a lot of fun to watch because they were all quite active and playing in the water to keep cool.

Right after getting out of the water the polar bear turned his back on us and did what bears do in the woods. Lila was quite (loudly) grossed out. 

"Hey Mom! Take a picture of me being a bear!"

By the polar bear tank.

All the monkeys and gorillas were sleeping in the afternoon heat, we only saw a few. 

I think she was just thrilled to have all of my attention for herself. 

We rode the train and by this point I decided that I was not going to last walking for much longer. It's funny how you don't notice how bad your legs and feet hurt from walking a lot until you stop and rest them for a minute.

Our last stop was the gift shop to pick out a souvenir of our day. I was sure she'd go for a stuffed animal of some sort but after a really long time hemming and hawing she found the giraffe umbrella. She walked with it like that all the way back to the car. 

The heat was so unbearable that when we left the zoo we still had several more hours before I had told Brian we would be home. So we went to see Madagascar 3 to round our animal themed special day, and to cool off in the nice air conditioned theater. Lila enjoyed the movie, and even more I think she enjoyed not having to share the popcorn with her brother and sister. 

As we walked back to our car after the movie she threw her arms around my leg and squeezed as tight as she could, "Thanks for going to the zoo with me today Mommy!" 

Awww. Thanks for being potty-trained Lila.