Friday, August 6, 2010

Park City/Salt Lake City

The Linford family reunion was that weekend in Park City. We had missed out on the last 2 years and Travis really wanted to make it to this one. I sadly did not get many pictures to document our time there, but here are the few that I do have...

We all went on the Alpine slide. You can control your speed. I went slow. Really slow. I heard the person behind me come up. I was embarrassed of how slow I was going. I bowed my head in shame and sped up a little. At the end I avoided eye contact with the person. Then I realized that it was a lady in her 60's. Then I was really, really embarrassed.

We had a great time. It was fun to see most of Trav's extended family. On the last night there myself, Janae, Heather, and Ryan were playing Settlers. Trav, Jared, and Jason set up their laptops in the same room and played Starcraft. It was fun. But Travis ate too much candy and he drank too much soda. He had the worst toothache of his life that night. I felt so bad. I kept my hand on his arm all night so that he would know I was there. He said a prayer, I said a prayer, and the pain went away (he said that he heard of that happening, excruciating pain, then the tooth stops hurting because it died...let's hope that is not what happened). The next day we said our goodbyes. Travis and Phoenix flew out on Sunday afternoon. I tried to get me and Audrey on the flight, but the man at the desk rudely told me it was full. And so was the one at 4:55. So I asked if he could give me a pass to help Travis with Phoenix to the gate. He asked me if Travis could manage the "infant son" on his own. I said probably. Then he nodded his head like he was talking to the dumbest idiot on the planet (aka me). I turned and walked away and blinked back tears till me and Audrey got to our car. Why are some people so nice, and other people not? So then I took Audrey to a restaurant with a good chicken wrap. When I walked outside I saw that the car lights were turned on. Dang it! Of course the battery was dead. So me and Audrey waited, like it was our job, for the owners one of the cars parked next to us to come out. A nice family came out and the guy helped us (and he did not have to tell me where to stick the charger cord things thank you very much). Then me and Audrey went to the Salt Lake. And we went swimming. I think we were the only people there that spoke English. There are millions and billions of brine shrimp in the water. But the water is so warm and it is so awesome to float in it. After that I called Delta to see if there were any seats open for the midnight flight (I was kinda ready for the trip to be over by that time), and of course it was full. So we went to John's apartment and spent the night with them. It was fun. The next morning we flew out and after a long trip we were home. You know the Ikea commercials where the people come back from vacation and they lay on their bed with their faces in their bed and say "I missed you so much!" to their mattress? Well, that is exactly how I felt about our bed, our camry, the kid's beds, etc. It is so nice to be home. And might I add that Phoenix has been the perfect angel since we have come home. Like, no whining! Trust me, I am enjoying it.


Jason is the man to thank for all of the fish caught..

Can you believe how big this fish is that Audrey caught? Jason caught an even bigger one later on!

This is my catch (keeping my distance from the fish)

So there is an unfortunate, but laughable (because Diane wasn't hurt too badly) story. Me, Trav, Heather and Ryan were playing Settlers and Jason came up and told Heather he had a bite on a line. She hadn't reeled in a fish yet, so she jumped at the opportunity, but she wanted a photographer and Diane, being the nice Mother that she is, volunteered. Earlier that day the guy in charge of deciding how much to adjust the dock pushed it out far enough so that you had to leap from the stairs to the dock. It was tricky because wet wood is slippery. Especially when you are wearing crocs. Diane found out the hard way.

Nothing like a moonlight dip in the lake!

I have a hilarious sequence of pictures with Heather, I will post them on facebook. Her, me, and Audrey all reacted the same way to the wriggling fish. Heather's face says it all.

Floating at Mack's Inn

Most everyone else did other things (go to Yellowstone, look out points, etc) but I stayed around the cabin for the most part (Phoenix was taking 3-4 hour naps during the day and if he wasn't napping he was crying so there was no way I was going to push him). It was so nice and pleasant at the cabin that I really did not mind just taking it easy. I could seriously just stare out at the lake all day (there were boats, jet skis etc, not to mention to beautiful scenery). Every night I would rock Phoenix to sleep and try to put him in his little bed, and he would wake up. It was an exhausting cycle that lasted way too long. During the day Phoenix was pretty much attached to me (if I hid from him he would stop whining I did sometimes hide from him). Travis flew out on Wednesday night and got into the SLC airport at 11:30pm, he rented a car and started the drive up to Idaho. The plan was for him to stop and sleep in the car, and then continue driving so that he could get to Island Park Thursday morning. At 5:15 am (with a fussy baby in arm) I texted Travis to see where he was (hoping the answer was "pulling up right now"). He was in Blackfoot...aka 2 plus hours away. By this point I was pretty much emotionally and mentally spent (all thanks to the lil fella). I was literally counting down each minute till Travis got to the cabin. At around 8:30 I figured that Trav should be almost to the cabin so I walked out to meet him (Phoenix had been up since 5 and there was literally NOTHING I could do with him except walk). After a 15 minute walk I called Travis. He was stuck in Traffic. Road construction. He said that there was a guy holding a stop sign. I asked him to explain the situation to the stop sign holding guy...that I was going to die if he didn't get there soon. He (Travis) didn't...OK, so maybe I wasn't on my death bed...but I was at least well on my way to the crazy house. So I walked back to the cabin, and somehow managed to survive the next 30 minutes (by this point I was counting down each second!). Travis finally arrived. Relief!!! Travis gallantly offered to stay with the little guy while the rest of us floated the river. It really was nice of him because this was his vacation to, but who was I to say no to an offer like that? Anyway, that is the long, unabridged version of how I came to float the river.

We got to ride up in a van...for some reason Audrey loves vans. I can assure you that I get no thrill from riding in a van.

Janae and Jared (or Janared as I sometimes refer to them), Diane, and Addie were in one canoe. Jason, Jeff, and Audrey and Brighton were in another. And Janae suggested that I join Heather and Ryan in their canoe (no kids). At the beginning everyone was decently nice. I once had the opportunity to get Jared really wet, and I didn't take it. It haunts me now. Jeff and Jason pretty much soaked out entire canoe (I'm talking an inch of water at the bottom!). Then Jared threw a water bottle across the river and it landed right in front of us, splashing us. Then either him or Janae said "pick it up" and being the nice people that we are, all three of us reached for the the the same time...yeah, we came about 2 inches to tipping the canoe over before we realized it was a trick. I must admit, I was impressed. Me, Heather, and Ryan made it our mission to get revenge, on both canoes. Let's just say we failed miserably. But we had fun.

Addie just wanted to play in the water. The water was maybe 60 degrees. I do not know how she could stand the cool temperature, but she loved it!

There were TONS of fish in the river. It was a very fun excursion. Many thanks to my wonderful hubby for making this very enjoyable experience possible!

Island Park

Grandpa Linford was kind enough to let us stay in his cabin in Island Park for a few days. It is breathtakingly beautiful there. On the first day there we saw not 1, not 2, but 3 Mooses (just kidding, I know it's Moose). One mother with her two babies. Moose are so tall! We had a canoe to play around with, Jason, or should I call him Dr. Fisherman? had 4 fishing poles set up at all times during the day. He shared the excitement of catching a fish with all of us by generously letting us take turns of who reeled the fish in. More pictures to come of that. By the time we got to the cabin Phoenix had been getting about 8 hours of sleep per day...compared to his usual 16. It was not pretty. And by "not pretty" I mean...let's just say whenever Addie saw Phoenix she said "baby crying" and 90%...maybe 95% of the time she was right. And why is it that the more tired the baby the harder it is to get them to sleep? WHY?!?!? Everyone helped out, so that made everything much easier.

Trav's Dad picked out a pink life jacket especially for Audrey. She loved it, I mean LOVED. Her and Brighton both wore their life jackets as much as possible, and we did not discourage it.

On one of the first night there Audrey and Grandpa were sitting out on the deck and talking. It was so cute I had to get a picture. After they had posed Audrey said "Mommy, can you leave?" I asked her if she wanted to have Grandpa all to herself and she said "Yes". I thought it was so sweet that she valued the one-on-one time with her Grandpa.

Another thing about kids...why is it impossible to keep dirt/sand/rocks out of their mouth, but if you try to feed them certain kinds of food they spit it out immediately?

These two missed each other soo much! They were so excited to be together and surprisingly they didn't fight that much.

Here is Jason's set up I was telling you about...


Sometimes I call Rexburg Flexburg. When me and Travis were dating he once referred to Rexburg as Flexburg, while flexing his rippling bicep (he is a genius at finding opportunities to flex). After two days in SLC we drove to Rexburg for two days. I was really glad that we were going to be there because I have a special place in my heart for Rexburg, ID. We stayed with Trav's Grandpa. I walked around barefoot for the whole time. The soft green grass is not something I take for granted. I have tried to go commando (without shoes that is) in Raleigh, but it was very painful. I had Sunday morning in Rexburg all to myself. Everyone went to church except for me and the little man (if I have learned one thing it is "never wake a sleeping baby"). I ate a banana outside, and walked around the beautiful apples trees (I think Travis helped plant them). It was so relaxing and peaceful. I also talked to my hunny for a while on the phone.

Sunday afternoon we got together on a blanket behind Aunt Jan's house. Once again, so peaceful and enjoyable.

Grandpa Linford has this toy room in his basement and the kids LOVED it. There is something so enticing about old (in a good way) toys.

I think Addie and Phoenix are going to be buddies in a few months.
So I hadn't seen Janae for a few months, she must have gotten extensions because nobody's hair grows this fast! No offence, but it totally felt like horse hair.

In reality she took a horse tail hair thingy (not sure of the technical term) and we carefully incorporated it into her hair. It kinda looks legit, right? Jared thought it was crazy.


When we finally got to SLC it took at least another hour to get everything from baggage claim into our TINY rental car. (note to all parents...or people that pack more than a mid size suitcase, pay the extra $5 per day and get a mid size car). We got to our hotel room and the wonderful people at the Best Western had already set up the porta crib in our room, a small thing on their part, but it was a huge relief to not have to worry about it. We met my brother, John, and his beautiful wife Brooke for dinner at Wingers. It had been 3 years since my last sticky finger experience. Unfortunately, the chicken had been sitting around (I hate that you can tell/taste the difference!) and it was less than fulfilling. But the company was good at least. The next day I saw Heather (Trav's sister), Ryan (her beau), and my younger sister Michelle. It was good to see everyone.

This picture is at John's apartment, they have a dog named Oliver and Audrey was obsessed with the dog, and Phoenix was obsessed with Ollie's cage (hmm...this gives me and idea...)
On Saturday my wonderful Aunt Nancy organized a get together with my cousins Kristen and Jenny and my Aunt Donna and Uncle Dennis. I so grateful that Aunt Nancy did this, it was so much fun. When we were there my Aunt Donna introduced Audrey to me as Lydia (one of Kristen's girls). I found it funny because look at all of the blondes! All of the kids look alike!

Kristen, Michelle, yours truly, and Jenny
It was fun to have a day to spend with Michelle, me and her haven't had a lot of one on one time for way too long.
When we were in Utah I wore pants almost all the time. The reason? Because I could. It is so sticky hot here in Raleigh that some days it is too hot for shorts...let alone pants.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Plane Ride

I'm back! We (me and the kids) went to Utah on Thursday (July 22nd) and we are back in NC. I decided to bring the kids out to Utah/Idaho...a decision that was hard to make for the sole reason that I would have to fly with both kids by myself. I was not worried about Audrey at all, but Phoenix...I was terrified. We had to legs to the trip, Raleigh to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Salt Lake City. The first plane ride was perfect, for the first time in like 4 years there were a few extra seats on the plane, so a flight attendant gave us our own row (Awesome!!). Then the flight from started off badly with an announcement that the flight was full (I HATE HATE HATE 100% full flights...especially when you add children into the mix). Me and the kids got situated in our seats and there were only a few minutes left till departure. The seat next to me was empty (I always hope that whoever is supposed to be sitting next to me will miss their flight) and just as I started getting really hopeful that it would remain that way a mother and her teenage son walked onto the plane. When they realized that one of them would have to sit next to me the mother said "Oh my gosh!" in a way that said "kill me now". They proceeded to argue over who would have to sit next to me (I heard everything because they were right next to me) and apparently the teenage son lost, because he sat down. He warned his mother that if she got up to go to the bathroom that he was going to take her seat (they were both in the aisle seats next to each other). The plane took off and Phoenix started crying....and didn't stop. I tried everything, formula, gerber puffs, fruit snacks, wrapping him up in a blanket and rocking him, singing softly to him...nothing was working. A nice flight attendant walked by and the mother of the teenage son asked him (the flight attendant) if there was anything he could do to shut the baby up. The flight attendant got really mad at the lady and told her not to tell him how to do his job, and he informed her that she was riding on public transportation. He also told her in a condescending way that we were all babies once. Then he asked me if he could get me anything. I asked for some juice to put in Phoenix's bottle. That actually worked...for about 2 minutes. Then the crying started again. By this point I was totally turned away from the mother and her teenage son, and I was wiping back tears and trying to think of happy things...such as the plane ride being over. Audrey was trying to be so helpful and if she hadn't been with me I think I would have lost it. Seriously...who is that rude? The flight attendant came back and offered to hold Phoenix. It didn't go over very well with Phoenix. Then the flight attendant told me I could go in the back and hang out there for a while. Once we got to the back the flight attendant (sorry, I never found out his name) said that he couldn't believe that lady. Then I started to cry. He gave me a hug and told me that he couldn't have two crying people to worry about (Phoenix was still screaming). Then he left us alone and Phoenix fell asleep in about 5 minutes. Audrey had a blast playing around. I stayed in the back (where the flight attendants sit for take off and landing) until they had to bring the carts back. Of course as soon as I went back to my seat Phoenix woke up, but at least he had a little nap so he was ok. Although he did touch the teenage boys hair and the teenager acted as if Phoenix had burned a hole through his head. Then Phoenix pooped. And I didn't change his diaper...intentionally. (I know, I am so bad). The flight ended and as I was walking out another flight attendant came up to me and said "we're cool". Lol.
When I got to baggage claim I saw that lady and her son. I walked up behind her and gave her a little shove with the stroller. She fell onto the baggage belt and her long hair got stuck. It was awesome. The airport people had to come and cut her hair off. Sweet, sweet revenge.
Ok, the baggage claim part didn't really happen, but I wished it had. I am too nice to do something like that though.
More to come on my trip later, but here is a little teaser. One of Phoenix's nicknames is "lil fella". On this trip a fussy was inserted to make it "Lil fussy fella".