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Family Vacation, A Comedy of Errors

If you know my husband, you know he’s an overachiever.  Chris never does anything half way.  He doesn’t even do things 100%.  He goes above and beyond, every time.  Of course I should remember that this applies to family vacations as well.

We had a few days off and I wanted to go see my best friend and her new baby.  So Chris paired this with a visit to another family we’re friends with and a trip to DC.   This still sounded manageable, but a couple days before we left he called up our friends in NYC and added the Big Apple onto our trip as well.  Now, I should have been alarmed, but that man can talk me into anything.

(To preface this trip, all of us had been sick with some kind of stomach bug the week before.  But it seemed to clear up in 24 hours, so it shouldn’t have affected our trip in anyway.)

We set off with great excitement on what Isaiah dubbed a “Family Adventure”.  First stop was New York.  We did a whirlwind drive through tour of the city and caught up with our friends.  The next morning, as we were about to hop in the car, my son developed a bought of diarrhea.  Mind you, this is a good 4 days after his “24 hour bug” had been all cleared up. We got that situation as under control as possible and set out on the next leg of our journey.

I had already nixed DC from our trip, since I wanted to relax and didn’t think two major cities in two days counted as relaxing.  So all we had to do was get to our hotel in Maryland, where we could rest, swim, hit the mall, etc.

Chris had specifically chosen a hotel with an indoor pool… which turned out to be closed.  Four-year-olds only have two emotions: elated and devastated. So it took awhile to calm Isaiah down, but we promised him that we would make sure the hotel for the next night had a pool.

At least we still had the mall, right?  Yeah… no.  This was what we call a “po’dunk mall”.  I have no idea what that means, but you get the idea.  Still, there was a play place and pet store.  We were finishing up with the Thomas Trains in Barnes and Noble when the diarrhea hit again.

We made it back to the hotel in sort of one piece.  Chris got on the phone with the friends who were supposed to be our next stop and it turned out their whole family was sick in bed too.  So they weren’t so sure about a visit.  And then Leah decided to stay up all night with an upset stomach.

After our sleepless night, I started to think bringing my children around my friend’s baby was not a great plan.  All we wanted to do was pack the kids in the car and head home.  But we had promised Isaiah a pool.  So we loaded our apparently sick children into the car and set off for a hotel Chris had booked outside of Pittsburgh.

And it was fun!  Surprise, surprise, something started to go right!  Not only did the hotel have a working pool, they also had an indoor jungle gym and game area.  The kids actually slept through the night.  The hotel breakfast wasn’t too bad.  And kid Imodium?  It works!

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Quick Trip to DC

I wanted to write a brilliant blog entry about our little one day trip to DC with our Pastor’s family, but I’m just not feeling it. The further away from the trip we get, the less I’m feeling it. So I’ll just give a brief overview.

We started out very early Monday AM and drove until the start of the Metro, which we rode that into DC.

First we went to the Smithsonian… I think it was the Museum of Natural History and Science or something like that. It looked a lot like the museum in the movie Night At the Museum, if that helps. Anyway, it was very cool, but the kids got tired quick.

After the Smithsonian, we wanted to see the sights of DC. Unfortunately it was lots colder in DC than in Pittsburgh. We all froze! But we got some fun pictures and I saw some things up close that I’d only seen from a distance before. I’ve been in DC a couple times, but never for sightseeing.

The squirrels in DC are very friendly, especially when you feed them cereal. Chris actually got one to eat out of his hand! He has a video of it on his blog.

For the pictures, go to our kid’s site,!

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Arkansas Visit

We just got back from visiting Chris’ family in Arkansas. Besides the obvious enjoyment of seeing family we don’t get to see that often, here are some highlights from my trip:

I ate at the same restaurant as Mike Huckabee’s wife! Yes, for true. We were sitting at lunch after church and Chris saw her walk in and told me, “That’s Mike Huckabee’s wife!” I said, “No it’s not.” After a little arguing, he had me convinced. I shouldn’t have been so faithless, since both the Huckabees are from Chris’ home town. What fully convinced me was that every time a new person joined their table, Chris’ mom said something like, “And that’s her sister-in-law. That’s her brother-in-law.” I guess I just didn’t believe former presidential candidates’ spouses ate at restaurants like normal people. We kept hoping that Mike Huckabee would walk in, but no such luck. Celebrity sightings in Hope, AR! Who knew?

The second most exciting thing that happened to me is that we found out that Leah takes after her Mommy. She HATES the out of doors! Chris’ parents have a miniature pony for the kids, so we took Leah outside to give it a try. She wanted no part of sitting on that horse! At first we thought she was just scared of the horse, but long after we took her off, she was whining and asking everyone to hold her. Chris put her down on the grass and that really freaked her out. My daughter was literally scared of being outside! I love it!

She also learned to say, “Praise Jesus!” on the trip. Gran had a little book where you pushed buttons and it played Sunday school songs. Isaiah would sing them to Leah and Leah would end the songs by saying, “Pws Jsus!”

Going back to the horse. His name was Porche and he was absolutely adorable. I hope my kids appreciate him better the next time they visit. Isaiah didn’t like him any better than Leah, but Isaiah’s concern was that he was too high up. Isaiah seems to have inherited my fear of heights, something I’m not so happy to bequeath to my child.

Plus, Isaiah just wanted to play in the dirt. Everyday! Papa had a big pile of dirt and Isaiah had a digger truck. What a perfect combo! Everyday he begged until he got to dig and he cried every time he had to come in.

Leah also learned to say Papa on the trip, although she never actually said it in front of Chris’ dad. We even got on the plane to go home and she started saying Papa… a little late!

More about the plane trip home, next time!

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It’s cold in Wisconsin!

Family is forever, but it’s a good thing vacations only last for a week. We’ve been visiting my family in WI for the past week and my son has been terrorizing their house. I’m sure my parents are glad that they have their home back to normal.We had a great trip! It was Leah’s first airplane ride, but it was something like Isaiah’s ninth time. He’s a pro! Leah slept the whole way there. Isaiah wiggled a lot, but we made it.

Of course, Wisconsin was freezing. We thought we’d be all tough, since it’s only been two years since we’d lived there, but I guess we’ve gotten used to our nice California weather. We were so cold! I actually bought gloves! The upside of the cold is that it snowed while we were there! Isaiah got to go outside and play in the snow a little and he thought that was great.

Isaiah loved being at his Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Aunt Emmy played with him and Grandma helped him build tunnels for his trains, but his favorite part was Grandpa. With Isaiah, Gran and Grandma and even Mommy are nice, but Daddy and Papa and Grandpa are the best! He really likes the men in his life. Before we left he said he wanted to take Grandpa home.

My mom made all my favorite meals and we went to all my favorite restaurants, so I probably gained a bajillion pounds. Food is never as good as you remember it. And, because every day I had one of my favorites, it kind of took away the impact. A favorite once in a while is a treat, but a favorite everyday makes them all not as special. But it was still fun… because I love food!!!

We visited our favorite WI Mexican restaurant. Of course it isn’t as authentic as the amazing taquerias we have out here in Cali, but everyone who works there is Mexican, which is an important criteria in our minds! One of the ladies that works there remembered us and couldn’t believe how much weight Chris has lost. She made her husband come out and see Chris, because he wanted to lose weight but didn’t believe in diet plans. Chris is such a walking Weight Watchers advertisement!

Everywhere we went, people didn’t recognize Chris. They’d say hi to me and then look around a little and realize Chris was with me and then they would figure out who he was. The funniest was when we stopped by the Wal-Mart where Chris had been personnel manager. His old boss walked right past him and even greeted him in a generic way, thinking he was a customer. Chris’ old assistant was with us and she had to stop the boss and make him look at Chris again before he realized who he was.

It was fun to see family and friends that we haven’t seen in a couple years. Isaiah went to a Children’s Museum. And we got to shop at Buckle. Buckle is our current favorite store and we don’t have one very close to us. It’s kind of sad that we live in California and we go to Wisconsin to shop!

I had a cold when we left for WI and I still have it! Isaiah caught it half way through the trip and now Leah has it too. Leah is the saddest, because she has this little baby girl cough that would melt your heart. She was feeling really yucky yesterday and she slept a lot to try to get over it. She started smiling again last night, so I think she’s feeling a little better.

Chester is glad to be home. Poor guy, he’s been staying at the puppy hotel. He’s nice and skinny again, because he doesn’t get people scraps at the puppy hotel. He was pretty excited when he came home, but now he’s happy to go to sleep on our couch.

Isaiah is starting to tell us when he has to go potty (thank the Lord!). Today he even went in the bathroom and went potty all by himself, of his own free will. There is hope in sight! My son will not be 14 and still wearing diapers!

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I think Leah may be starting to sleep through the night! A couple days before Christmas, she slept from 9 pm to 6 am, but I thought it was just a freak thing. Then, a couple nights ago, she slept from 10 pm to 7 am. The next night she did the same thing! Last night she woke up about 3 am, but I wrapped her back up in her blankets and put her nu-nu back in her mouth. She slept till 5:30 am! So I definitely think we’re headed in the right direction. I’m going to try to help her, because Isaiah didn’t sleep through the night until he was 10 months old, mainly because I always fed him when he got up. He got in the habit of getting up and it was hard to break.

Isaiah is working on his computer skills. We got him JumpStart Preschool for Christmas. Right now he’s just trying to figure out how to use the mouse. He’s got clicking down, but moving the mouse to the correct object is still a little hard for him. The games on it seem a little abstract for a kid his age, but hopefully he’ll get the hang of it soon, because right now we have to play it with him.

We’re busy packing our bags for our trip to WI. This will be a fun vacation, because my family hasn’t seen Leah yet. I just hope traveling with 2 kids won’t be too stressful. Leah shouldn’t be too bad, but Isaiah is a handful. He has a lot of wiggle! But he is really excited about going on an “ai’pane, up in the sky!”

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