Friday, August 31, 2012

Mount Munchmore!

On Monday morning Michael dropped Ella, Zeke, Ga-Ga & I off at my grandparents apartment. Then he and the boys set off on a 2 1/2 hour drive to go see Mount Rushmore...or as Owen calls it Mount Munchmore.
Look at these cute mugs!
Michael said that the drive was okay, but I would have never made it. That's why I didn't go!!! I can only handle being in the car with the kids for so long. I know my limits!
Michael loves how Owen is really checking out the monument. See Owen's cool hair cut...yeah that was actually an oops by Daddy. He cleaned the clippers and then forgot to put the attachment back on before he started shaving Owen's head. He ended up giving him an army crew cut to cover up his mistake...I think it turned out pretty nice!
Michael had never been to Mount Rushmore before...I have, but it was years ago. One of the things he commented on was how small it was in real life. He figured it would be much bigger.
This picture says it all...these are our crazy boys!
Handsome 4 year old boy!
You can absolutely see is young man look in this picture. He sure is a looker!
Us girls plus Zeke spent the whole day at my grandparents just catching up. My Uncle Clif was there too and he gave us a ride back to the hotel around 4pm. While we were there Ella napped in their bed and Zeke napped on the floor in the other room. I didn't take any other pictures grandparents aren't really ones for photos. After we got back to the hotel we walked to a store and shopped a bit, ate dinner at Applebee's and then went back to the hotel to swim some more.
After swimming we settled in for the night watching TV and eating popcorn! During the whole trip the earliest the kids went to bed was 9pm...most of the time they weren't asleep until 10pm. Needless to say they have still been recovering from the lack of sleep by sleeping in until 8:00 most days.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On The Road Again!

On Sunday we left Aunt Linda & Uncle Lee's and headed for Gillette, Wyoming. It's only about 2 hours away so it wasn't a long drive.
Jack, Ella and Zeke all took naps on the way there.
Gillette is where I was born and we still have family that lives there. My grandparents on my mom's side are there and we were getting together for a family BBQ to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. We were a little early for the BBQ so we decided to see if we could check in to our hotel room. The lady at the front desk that checked us in just moved to Gillette from Kent Wa...small world! Thankfully our room was ready so we were able to have some down time before the BBQ.
This was our first time staying in a hotel with all 4 kids. I was a bit concerned with how the sleep arrangement was going to go, but it worked out great. Owen and Jack slept together on the bed, Ella slept on the floor between the beds and Zeke slept in a pack and play. Thank you Kim for that piece of advice...I seriously didn't know that hotels had those for you to use.
The BBQ was at my cousin Marshall's house. It was a bit chaotic for them since his fiance was moving into the house and they were planning their wedding the next weekend. It was so nice of them to invite us all over during this time. The food was great and it was fun get to visit with family.
Ella Bean took a liking to Marshall's daughter Tiffany. They were so cute together. Unfortunately the night didn't end very well for Tiffany. She is highly allergic to peanuts and she ended up having a reaction which turned into a bad panic attack and she had to go to the ER. Scary!
After the BBQ we went back to the hotel for some fun in the pool.
We got to swim 3 times on this trip and it was so much fun. I LOVED swimming when I was younger, but haven't really enjoyed it much in recent years. It was awesome enjoying this with the kids.
Aunt Stephie even got in the pool too. It was nice having one adult to each kid.
Ella Grace rode around in her floatie toy...she normally hates this thing. Towards the end she wanted to get out and try swimming like a big girl. By the last time we swam she was literally jumping into the pool and she didn't want to be caught! We definitely need to get our kids into swimming lessons!
While we were swimming Zeke got to have a nap on Ga-Ga's lap. When it was time to get out Michael and I got the older three kids dried off and took them back to the room. It wasn't until we were in the room that I realized we didn't have Zeke. He was still with Ga-Ga & Pa! Poor 4th kid just gets left!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aunt Linda & Uncle Lee's!

After collecting our luggage, picking up our rental van, going the wrong way on the highway, stopping at Burger King for milkshakes (where the lady looked at me like I had grown 17 heads when I asked for a small milkshake split up into 3 cups) and getting held up by a train and construction we were FINALLY on our way to Sheridan, Wyoming.
Our rental was a brand new (only had 500 miles on it) Dodge Caravan. In ways it was nice, but mostly it irritated me. The automatic doors chose to work sometimes and others not so much. Also the 3rd row bench wasn't wide enough for all 3 car seats to fit. We have the super skinny car seats too so this just boggled my mind. It did serve it's purpose though!
Going to Aunt Linda & Uncle Lee's house is a lot like going to Ga-Ga & Pa's. They have plenty of toys, snacks and movies to keep kids happy as clams.
I would say the boys favorite thing to play with was Aunt Linda's Water Rocket Sprinkler. They shot this thing up in the air over and over again.
I tried to find this exact one online while we were there and it's actually retired now and if you want to get it off Ebay it will cost you $50. I did find a Buzz Lightyear Rocket Sprinkler online for $13, but of course now when I try to find that same deal I can't...I should have ordered it then. Argh!
Ella got to swing and swing and swing in Aunt Linda's grand daughter Alli's swing.
Zeke is thinking, "Sure you give me a pink paci and now you stick me in a pink swing....give me a break!"
Jack loved riding on the scooter...
and wrestling around with Aunt Linda.
Zeke catchin' some Z's on Daddy!
Aunt Linda with her newest Sugar Bear!
While in Sheridan Aunt Linda, Zeke and I went to Wal-Mart to get a few things and Michael took the older kids on a nature walk. After shopping Aunt Linda drove me around and showed me the sights. She had mentioned a park that would be fun to take the kids to so we drove by it to check it out and see if it was busy. While driving around we ran into Uncle Lee, Michael and the kids playing at the park. I LOVE small towns!
There was a garage sale across the street from Aunt Linda's house...she bought Ella Bean this cute sunhat. Look at those Angeline Jolie lips!
Owen has some pretty nice puckery lips too!
Climbing high...Jack was freaked out right now!
Doing some hard manual labor!
On Saturday night Ga-Ga, Pa, Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie arrived...they left on Friday and drove so it took them longer. We had a really nice dinner and then settled in for the night. After breaking out some wine and Mike's Hard Lemonade us ladies decided to snuggle on the couch.
We stayed at Aunt Linda's two nights before moving on to our next destination. I have no idea how many times during the rest of the trip I heard, "Can we go back to Aunt Linda's?" from Owen. I'm thinking we are going to need to plan a trip where we just stay there for a whole week. Are you ready for us to come back Aunt Linda??? ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Leavin' On A Jet Plane!

Last Friday morning we left on our first flying family vacation. We had flown once with Owen when he was 3 1/2 months old, but nothing since then. I had been planning and planning for this trip for so long that it was kind of surreal that it was actually here.
Our flight didn't leave until 12:15, but I wanted to be sure we were at the airport early so we left our house just before 9am. Of course I had to dress the kids all cute so I had them wear their 4th of July clothes that Aunt Stephie got them.
All dressed and ready to go!
Thankfully our friend Al was nice enough to drive us to the airport and keep our van at his house so we didn't have to pay for a week of parking. Unloading the van and checking our luggage was part of the trip I was nervous about. We ended up doing the curbside check in and it was absolutely without a doubt worth the $2 per bag that we paid.
Kids did great wearing their new backpacks!
Once inside we headed to security and let me say that the family line ROCKS!!! We were the second people in line. This was the part of the trip that had me REALLY nervous, but it ended up going SO smoothly. We did have to put a ton of stuff on the belt, but it was fine. Also since I was wearing Zeke I had to have my hands swabbed, but that was better than taking him out and waking him up.
I had heard that they had a nice play area for the kids so we went over there so the kids could burn off some energy. Leave it to my kids to get the whole play area growling and screaming. All the kids were having fun so that was good.
They also had a really nice nursing room so Zeke was able to have a preflight meal in peace. After playing around for a bit we decided it would be a good idea to get something to eat. We got Wendy's and were able to sit right at the new big windows and watch the planes land and takeoff. It was fun for the kids to get a visual of what we were going to be doing.
After eating we walked to our gate and sat around for a bit. Thankfully Michael and I made the best decision ever in purchasing smart phones prior to our trip. They came in handy SO many times on this trip.
Zeke got to spend some time on the floor kicking around for a bit.
Ella was already driving us crazy by wanting in and out of the stroller.
When it got closer to our flight leaving I did go up and warn the attendant that we were traveling with small children. Since we were flying to Billings, MT. we were taking a prop plane and would need to go down stairs to get to the plane. Since we had the stroller we got to board early and go down an least that's how it's supposed to work. In fact we got about a 2 minute head start...not much when you have to install a car seat and wrangle 4 kids. This was the part of the trip that ended up being the most stressful. I had planned this part out in my head and talked about it a lot, but I guess I had never really explained the seating arrangements to Michael. He ended up having to move Ella's car seat around in a plane crowded with people and the a/c hadn't been turned on yet...oh yeah and it was the hottest day of the year so it was cookin' in that plane. He's an awesome man!
Ella, Mama & Zeke all ready for the flight. Oh and if you didn't know you have to unstrap your child for takeoff and landing so you have actually remove him from your body. Not quite sure the reasoning behind this since in the case of an emergency I think it would be better for me to have my hands free to help my other kiddos, but whatever!
Owen was all cheeses because he found his camera I had stashed in his .50 I ever spent!
Jack was already checking out his quiet book.
Daddy sat across the aisle from Owen and Jack so he could help them out.
Ella checking out her quiet book.
Zeke sleeping peacefully which was pretty much how the whole flight was. We did hit a little turbulence coming into Billings, but Michael told the boys it was like a roller coaster so they thought that was pretty fun!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Photo Wall!

Even though I was getting ready for vacation I was still trying to finish up a few things in regards to decorating. Since Zeke came I needed to move the belly pictures of our kids to a bigger wall. I also decided it was time to put Brayden's memorial with those pictures as well.

As for Kyan's memorial I had never actually gotten around to making it yet. It was not something I was looking forward to at all. With Brayden making his memorial really helped me heal, but when it came to Kyan the only thing I have to remember him is his ultrasound picture. It's really hard for me to look at that picture knowing that just a few days after it was taken his heart stop beating. It brings up all sorts of emotions that I don't like feeling.

It's been over a year so I have been feeling better, but I would say since Zeke was born it's almost been harder. Knowing that Kyan was a boy and seeing how precious and wonderful Zeke is it's hard not to think that Kyan would be just as cute as Zeke and wishing I was holding both of them. I am a mom to 6 babies, but I can only hold 4 of them right now. My heart hurts for the two I never got to hold and I long for the day when I will get to!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

MOPS Playdate!

My MOPS group had planned play dates every Tuesday this summer, but since you know I had a baby at the beginning of summer we had only made it to one. On Tuesday I remedied that and took the kids to Coulon Beach Park.

The weather has been positively perfect for water fun and we need to take advantage of it before the rain comes back.

I was the first MOPS Mom there, but shortly afterwards Kim, Andrew & Josiah showed up.

Thanks to Kim I learned how to zoom with my new phone so I could take closer pictures. About a week ago Michael and I both finally joined the modern age and got smart phones. I will not admit that the first time I got a phone call I didn't actually know how to answer it, but I am still trying to figure out certain things.

When Miss Heather got to the beach she brought Logan along with her. Logan was very excited about seeing Ella. She's so precious and I miss her to pieces. Her and Ella are just so cute together.

Seriously...adorable girl friends!

MOPS Moms hanging out!

This is only the second time Logan's seen Zeke. She is talking up a storm and she even called me Miss Lyndsay.

After the kids played in the water for almost 3 hours it was time to come home and wait for the Comcast guy to show up. I was sure I had packed both the boys a pair of shorts, but sadly for Owen I didn't. I did however have an extra pair of shorts for Ella so....

he wore purple girl shorts home! I'm not sure what's more surprising the fact that he wore girly shorts or the fact that my 5 1/2 year old can fit into 2T shorts!

The kids were covered in sand so I got them all in the tub to remove the remnants of our fun. I had laid the towel over the sink and it occurred to me that it looked pretty comfortable so I stuck Zeke in there so he could hang out while I washed the kids up. Just another fun summer day!