Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Utah! Day 4

Our first Sunday of the trip, we trekked across the valley to spend the day with the Andersons (my parents).  We spent the morning (and early afternoon) playing hide and seek with Grammie and Opa and moving all the stuffed animals from the giant dollhouse to the small closet under the stairs.  It was GREAT fun.  We also discovered their brand new DORA potty seat.  That makes noises.  Both girls were in 7th heaven, but Ella was especially happy, as she is our resident Dora lover.  (Personally?  I'm not a huge fan of Dora.  I feel like she's always yelling at me.  Luckily we don't watch Dora so much as we read Dora.  Thank goodness for the slew of Dora books from the library!)  We also got a chance to meet Dustan's family, and they are all delightful.  What a fun group of people.

At the late hour of 1:30pm we headed off to church.  Having church right during naptime was AWESOME.  But we powered through.  It turns out my parents' ward was reorganized a couple of weeks before we came to town, and this particular Sunday was their first real Sunday with all 3 hours of church.  So no one really knew where they were going, or who was who.  This was great because we fit right in!  Julia seemed to have a fabulous time in Primary, and Ella was all smiles after nursery (even though they thought her name was Darla).

After church we headed back across the valley to have dinner with Kim and Patrick.  We planned this kind of at the last minute, and I'm so glad we did.  We got to see Patrick's police car, and sample some of Kim's fantastic cooking (seriously, I need the recipe for that bread!), and the girls got to play with their Aunt and Uncle.  It was such great fun, and I was sad to see it end.  It really made me wish we lived closer.

Utah! Day 3

The big event of Saturday was Whitney's family Bridal Shower.  I had sent out the invitations from Michigan, which means Julia and I had talked about the shower.  I ended up taking just Julia and leaving Ella home with Dad for naptime.  But in the days leading up to the shower, Ella expressed her desperate desire to go. 

Julia: "The shower is tomorrow!  But just Mom and I are going, Ella.  You're staying with Dad."
Ella: "Ella come?  Too?"
Me: "No, Ella, just Julia and Mama."
Ella: "Ella come?  Too?  Ella come too??"

Tears from Ella

But despite the begging, she stayed home.  And it was probably a good thing, as I think Julia thought it was a bit boring.  I can't imagine what Ella would have thought.

Anyway.  It was a delightful chance to see everyone pre-wedding, and eat yummy food, and shower Whitney with presents and recipes! 

Saturday night Suzanne and Elliott brought the party to the Blockburgers and we went out for a late night Slurpee run.  And stayed up way later than we should have.  I was regretting that decision after only 4 hours of sleep, but once I was awake enough to think, the regrets were gone.  It's not every day you get to see family :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Utah! Day 2

Friday morning our kids woke up at 6am (which is 8am Eastern Time, and really, later than we had anticipated), and we were up and running.  We headed to the Natural History Museum of Utah so Julia could see some real dinosaur bones.  We have a family pass to our local museum, which is part of the ASTC Passport Program, which basically means we can get into science center/museums around the country for free.  It has paid for itself in vacation destinations alone.  I am so glad we bought that thing, even though our local museum is somewhat small.  It was money well spent.  

So, the museum.  We had built up these dinosaur bones for Julia, and I for one could not wait for her reaction to seeing them in person.  Unfortunately, I think the kid was a bit overwhelmed by everything.  We were on vacation, we'd done a fair amount of traveling the day before, we were with extended family, and we were at a museum with lots of things to see.  And then the "dinosaur sounds" started playing.  And she sort of flipped out.  She said the noises were scary and she didn't want to hear them anymore.  I think the noises scared her a bit, and it was the straw that broke the camels back.  The floodgates opened, and she was in full meltdown mode.  Thankfully we got away from the noises and calmed her down a bit by pointing out the skeletons.  Specifically, I asked her for the name of a nearby dinosaur skeleton, and she told me, "Parasaurolophus," like it was no big deal.  I then repeated it back with the incorrect pronunciation, for which I was scolded.  But the scolding seemed to bring her back down to earth, and she was happy the rest of the time, so I'll take it.

I had hoped for a lot more excitement and awe, but at that point, I was just grateful we weren't crying.  Julia quietly enjoyed discovering all the dinosaurs and guessing at their names.  I think she liked it a lot.  Ella found a window, so she was happy.  We eventually moved on and saw Native American ruins and gems and got to put together the parts of the cell.  Then Ella and I spied some ants, and I thought they were pretty amazing, all those little black creatures working together to dig tunnels.  I guess Ella thought they were neat, too, because she kept kissing the ant dome. 

To finish it off, the girls fed Al the Allosaurus some money (which brought back childhood memories for me), and headed home with Grandpa and Aunt Jessica (stopping at McDonalds for lunch on the way!).  We split ways at this point because my sister Whitney was going through the temple for the first time - hooray! 

Clark and I picked up my grandma and headed out to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  I was glad we could have grandma on the drive with us; it gave us a little extra time to visit with her.  And really, I was honored to help her get into the temple and get dressed.  It's one of the thousand little things that I wish I was around for more often, so I'm glad to do it when I get the chance. 

I was so grateful we got to do a session in the temple.  It's pretty tricky getting to a temple out here, and while we try, we don't get there as often as I'd like.  And to be there with all my siblings and my parents?  It was a tiny taste of what heaven will be like.  It was a great moment for the Anderson family.

Afterwards we met back at my parents' house and ate some delicious pizza from Mountain Mike's.  What a gift, we had an entire afternoon without children.  We owe Jessica big time.  Someday, we'll return the favor, I promise. 

*As an aside, you might notice that I have no pictures.  I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but I took very VERY few pictures our whole time out there.  Most of the time I saw someone else taking pictures, so I didn't even bother.  If you have any pictures of this trip, would you be a dear and send them my way?  It'd be ever so appreciated.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Utah! Day 1

We left for Utah on a beautiful Thursday afternoon (June 7th to be precise).  But let me back up a bit.  Give you a preamble of sorts.

On Monday night/Tuesday morning, Clark fell ill.  He claims it was due to copious amounts of Bugles consumed on Monday evening.  He asserts that they make him feel awful every time he eats them.  He awoke at about 2:30am and proceeded to spend the next 5 hours in and out of the bathroom (though it is uncertain whether he actually threw up).  This made for a fitful night of sleep for Shanny, so I ended up sleeping with Julia.  Clark continually assured me that it was the Bugles, and that it wasn't a bug.  And he is sticking with his story even now.

Tuesday night, Ella threw up.  Ella is a funny little barfer: if she is sick, she only throws up once per day, about an hour after we put her to bed.  It does make the clean up easier than if, say, she threw up in the toy bin or some other random place.  It does involve stripping a bed and bathing a child, but it could be much, much worse.  She seemed better the next day, and in fact didn't throw up again.  I was hoping this was another fluke puke.

Julia went to a friend's house Wednesday afternoon.  She seemed her happy, chipper self.  I got a call a few hours later informing me that she had thrown up.  The guilt I felt at giving my sick child to someone else, and thereby leaving someone else to clean up a giant mess and possibly infecting their children, was immeasurable. Oh, I felt so bad.  Julia came home and looked ILL.  Pale and weak and sad.  She sat on the couch for the rest of the day.

And then we were down to one.  By Wednesday afternoon, I was sort of freaking out about getting sick myself.  A) I hate being sick.  Hate, hate, hate it.  B) I couldn't afford to get sick.  Not when I had to spend all of Wednesday packing and preparing for a trip, and then all day Thursday traveling across the country!  Commence prayers.  Many, many prayers. 

I think the prayers were answered, just not in the way I had hoped.  I worked like a mad woman Wednesday afternoon and evening, packing and cleaning.  I finished sweeping the kitchen floor, the very last thing on my to-do list, at about 9pm, sat down, and felt sick.  I then spent most of the night throwing up.  It was reminiscent of my pregnant days.  It was also a good reminder that I hate being pregnant, and don't want to do that again anytime soon.  However, I finally got a few hours of sleep, and woke up Thursday feeling pretty good.  Not 100%, but pretty good.  What a blessing that I got everything done before I got sick, and then I was feeling better before I had to board a plane full of strangers.  What. A. Blessing.  Julia was still sick Thursday morning, but by the time we got on the road, she started perking up, and was feeling much better when we boarded the plane.  We all made it through the flight smashingly well, with no sickies at all.  Again: what a blessing.

I was unsure how the flight would go, and prepared with beaucoup treats and snacks and "presents" from the dollar store.  Seriously, wrapping them all up made it all the more exciting for the girls.  The thing that surprised me the most were the window clings.  I had heard those were great, but didn't expect them to entertain my kids for more than about 3 minutes.  But both of them, Ella especially, loved them.  Ella would go back and forth between the plastic sheet they came on and the tray, peeling and sticking over and over.  I think she did it for a solid 30 minutes.  She LOVED it.  She also got a princess puzzle (9 interlocking squares), that she played with quite a bit.  I had no idea she would like this kind of thing so much.

And after a few hours, we made it to Utah!  We crashed at the Blockburger home and spent the rest of the night recuperating and storing up our strength for the excitement yet to come. 

We also got to meet Dustan (my sister Whitney's fiance [now husband])on Thursday night, and discovered what a delight he is!  We are so glad he is part of our family.


We have returned from a very successful, long-yet-not-long-enough, dream-come-true trip to Utah.  Oh wow, it was a whirlwind.  There was so much to see and do, so much yummy food to eat (and pounds to gain!), and so many people to see that I can't believe we did it all.  But we did!

I've decided to update Ye Olde Blogge with a day by day rundown of the trip.  I fully understand that this might be boring for most readers.  So no one will take offense if you skim the blog these next few days :)

Hold on tight, cause here we go!!