We left for our trip around 3pm on October 12th around when we'd expect both children would nap. We figured this would work well since Ty usually gets a nice 2.5 - 3 hour nap, but he only napped an hour in the car and then made lots of noise intentionally trying to wake up Allison (in spite of our continuous attempts to stop him and threaten punishments. Unfortunately Allison didn't fall asleep until about 10 minutes before Tyler woke up, so she got very little sleep and spent most of the drive screaming miserably. We stopped at Burger King to give them a little break. At first she was still unhappy there, but eventually she and Tyler started playing around. She and Tyler crawled around the dirty floor together and she LOVED the chicken nuggets and fries. Her skills at feeding herself started really coming along in those days leading up to our departure.We hoped the energy they spent at BK would be enough to knock them both out again, but no such luck. Tyler was wired and Allison screamed for the rest of the trip. We made it to Chris and Cambria’s around 8:30pm and immediately got the kids to bed where they went down instantly and slept until after 7:00am, a record for sleep while traveling). We had an excellent chicken gnocchi soup dinner with them and thoroughly enjoyed their company. I say this every time we go, but we seriously could not custom design a better stop for our road trips.
Stopping here did help wear the kids out enough to get their naps, so we finished off the drive and made it into Layton around 9:00pm. We got settled in and explored Marcus and Martha's new home. Allison learned some caution around the open stairs since they didn’t have baby gates put up yet (Oscar had to figure out how to attach them with zipties). Each of the kids had their own room and Marcus and Martha had lots of toys. Ty had some potty accidents soon after our Utah arrival, so he ended up in pullups for the entire stay and never pooped on the potty the entire time we were gone. I was a bit worried we would have to potty train all over again when we got home, and he did REALLY fight me when I'd tell him it was time to use the potty, but he didn't have any accidents and soon got back into his usual routine.
I couldn't believe mom was already on her feet so soon after her surgery, but she'd quickly need a break. She fed Allison yogurt and bread while Tyler watched Halloween Bubble Guppies on her bed. She let him eat his grilled cheese there, which I knew would be messy, but she wanted him to be nearby for the limited amount of time she had with the kids. Hopefully there weren't too many crumbs. I told Tyler not to get used to eating in bed.
Afterwards we went back up to Layton to meet Oscar's sisters and their kids at a pumpkin patch. Unfortunately we got back later than expected and the line for the hayride out was way too long. We wanted to see the family though, and get pictures of Oscar and his three sisters with all of their class of 2034 babies, so we had some fun inside looking at the fish. We were lucky to be inside when an enormous gust of wind came. We were actually just about to walk out the door to meet back up with the family when we saw it happen. It was like a mini tornado.
We went back to the house with Emily and family while Martha and Melissa went to grab donuts. Unfortunately Martha had the only key, so we all hung outside for awhile. Allison loved playing with her cousins through the screen door. "It's a mirror and Dillan's behind it!" She was actually laughing way more than I got in this video. Ethan, Emma, Sophie and dad joined us and they all had fun playing in the play room and in the leaves in the backyard. Tyler started calling my dad "cousin grandpa," which makes sense since he always sees him with cousin Ethan, cousin Sophie, and cousin Emma. I didn’t bother putting Tyler down for nap with so many cousins there. He'd never have slept with all the excitement going on.
Martha made the entire group spaghetti before we drove down to Lagoon for Frightmares.
The kids rode a few rides until we met up with Mike and Ethan's friend from Centerville. I wanted to first do everything all of the kids could do together, so we did the trick or treating in the bumper cars and pioneer village areas.
Ty insisted on putting his whole head in the wanted posters and the guillotine before we picked up some cookies and drinks at Sweets.
We all went on Tidal Wave, and Tyler really enjoyed sitting across from and giggling at silly Uncle Mike. Mike took a selfie with him and his kids, so I tried to take one with Ty, but this is the best I got.
Mike and the kids wanted to go on Cannibal and other big rides, so dad and I took Tyler on a couple kids rides before my friend Kara met up with us at the boats.
I know Kara from my undergrad at the University of Utah, and since we both moved out of the state we've somehow managed to see each other every three years. First I flew to Chicago for auditions and stayed with her, then she came to Utah at the same time I was there for Julia's wedding, and now we were both in Utah at the same time again. It was super cool hanging out with her and catching up. Her four kids were recovering from a stomach bug, so she left them home with her mom that evening. We did the Dinosaur Drop and Bombora before it was becoming pretty clear that Tyler needed to get home for bed (which was unsurprising since he'd just had an incredibly full, exciting day and didn't get his nap). Kara helped me move the car seat out of Mike's Infinity and Oscar came down to meet us and take Tyler home. Oscar took Ty right to bed (glad he was already in a pull up which was barely wet the next morning). He slept in his coat and slept all night long.
Brandon Mull. First the Lagoon employee recognized him and told a coworker, then I said "I though that was you." Inadvertently we ended up following him and his wife to a drink stand where I got up the guts to ask for a picture with him. He was super cool, and we had a great chat about his upcoming books. He obviously likes his fans.
I was sad to have had such a short visit with Kara, but thrilled we got to have one at all. We'll have to plan something longer for the next one. Maybe she can come to Seattle (hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
Julia came over with Baby Jane the next morning where Allison quickly discovered her. Again, the pics and video only capture a small glimpse of the cuteness we beheld. "Cousin Jane is the best toy!"
We brought our coats to Lagoon, but then it got really warm, over 70 degrees. I took Ty's hood off his head just before we went on Bulgy the Whale, and he missed it so much he held his head the entire ride.
My boy's already driving. Sniff. Sniff.
He couldn’t figure out how to get his elephant up on this ride though he did fine with it on the helicopters, and it's the same concept (out for up/in for down). He was really excited to ride on "Dumbo."
During the cruise I asked Martha to send me a picture a day of each child (or one with both kids). Here are her pictures with comments.
"Pretty baby doing circles in her Sunday dress. She prefers Legos of coordinating colors."
"Tyler last night playing with marshmallows"
"Having fun in the backyard!"
Dad drove mom and Ethan up to the play with the kids the Saturday before we got back. Mom couldn't do much with her surgery, so she mostly stayed and played with Allison while dad and Ethan played out back with Tyler.
"The box monster" and "Tyler and his yummy robot cake. :) "
While we were dining at a restaurant in Puerto Rico, they were celebrating Melissa's birthday and having fun with cousins.
We had a decent drive home, definitely better than the way there. It took us awhile to get going though, because Oscar and I got back after 1:00am and still needed to do the final packing in the morning. We weren't able to get on the road until about 11am. Tyler was still awful about trying to wake up Allison, and we actually had to pull over and give him a time out on the side of the road, but Allison was able to sleep in spite of his interruption. She had been sick with a stomach bug just before we left, but her tummy seemed fine on the drive. We made our first major rest stop for lunch at a Burger King in Burley, ID where the kids played for over an hour.
Ty does well sleeping in their play room because he wakes up and plays instead of waking us up at 5:00am like last time. Tayla came in to play with them and the two of them were really cute to watch. She seems to like him more too now that he's a bit older and can respond better to direction.
Allison woke up ravenous the next morning at Cambria's house. When Oscar held her she immediately tried sucking his face and neck off. I decided to try and nurse her since she was really fussy, and it was going to take us some time to get food for her out of the car. That was a bad idea! I'm not even counting it as her last nursing session because she basically rejected it. It was maybe 45 seconds total, and she seemed really displeased and underwhelmed by it. It was as if she were saying "Ew! Why isn't it grape juice?" After she bit me three times, the last one being particularly hard, I pulled her off and decided we were done for good. She wailed, of course, but it wasn't worth the work of trying to teach her not to bite me when she was already over a year old and she hadn't been enjoying it much anyway. In a way her reaction made me glad because now I felt less guilty about forcefully weaning her for the trip.
Ty didn't sleep on the 4 hour drive back since he'd had plenty of overnight sleep, so he got pretty restless and wanted to get out of the car. Unfortunately for him it was very rainy and very cloudy. To give you some perspective, this picture on the right is actually a beautiful lookout we've stopped at many times. We did have to stop at a gas station in Cle Elum, WA where Ty wanted to help Oscar pump the gas. Here's how the conversation went down.
T: I wanna help daddy get the gas.
Me: We'd love to let you help, but it's pouring rain right now. You'd get wet and cold and be very, very sad.
T: I wanna be wet! I wanna be cold! I wanna be sad!
Needless to say, we were happy to get home and get everyone down for a good nap!