Friday, February 21, 2014

Leaving Colorado

Nothing says "I Love you" like starting a new adventure together - Happy Moving/Valentine's Day to us!

As you might expect, we spent our Valentine's Day packing up all our Colorado possessions in preparation for leaving at 4am the next morning. Cameron's supervisor was fabulous and took us all out to lunch. I had a very large salad because I figured that with an upcoming four-day roadtrip I probably wouldn't get much greenery.

We listened for the last time to "Retreat" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" play on the loudspeaker at 4:45, and said goodbye to our housekeeping ladies. And then the especially romantic part: Wes woke up from his nap puking.

A few notes about his timing:
  1. After our lunch with Cam's supervisor we came home and realized that our electronic keys to our house hotel had stopped working (we were able to extend our stay an extra day so that we could start the trip Saturday, but apparently they forgot to put that in our keys). Luckily the cleaning ladies were still going around knew us quite well, so they let us in. But we couldn't leave again or we wouldn't be able to get back in.
  2. Earlier in the week that we had enough laundry soap for two loads, so I decided to wait until that morning to do a load of whites and a load of colors. The last load was in the drier when he woke up, so I poured a little water into the empty laundry soap and swished it around to get whatever was left and dumped it all in.
  3. We had carefully and methodically been eating all our food that was left so we wouldn't have any waste. All we had to fed Wes was pancakes for dinner and wheat thins for the trip. Luckily I had gotten him an apple juice to drink for breakfast the next day.
  4. My friend Stacey, who we were going to stay with the first night of our trip had called me just a few hours earlier that her son had thrown up. So I called her back and said not to worry about infecting us, we already had sickies as well. 
  5. Wes has only thrown up two other times in his life, so as you can imagine it's pretty traumatic. 
It wasn't long before Wes was bouncing around like his usual self. So we decided to continue our plan of leaving at 4am the next morning. We got the kids to bed, finished packing up the car, and made it to bed at 10.

So when Daws woke up to eat in the middle of the night to eat (as he usually does) I was thinking, "Um, I'm exhausted and I wish we didn't have to leave so early." And then my wish was granted, but unfortunately not in a way that got me any more sleep. At 3:55 Wes woke up throwing up in his bed  (again).

A few notes about his timing:

  1. He only threw up twice, and they were 12 hours apart. But both times were when he woke up, so managed to hit his entire bed. 
  2. As you remember, we scraped bottom last time for laundry detergent. This time we had to get a little creative, in the form of dishwasher tabs.
  3. He was a bit shaken up, and decided to call it a morning. So that was the end of our night.
By 7:00 Wes was back to his cheery self and our laundry was done. We had 9 hours of drive time to Stacey's so we knew we had to get out early. So we snatched the extra garbage bags and paper towels and hit the pink Colorado highway. 

As Cam put it, sometimes he thinks that if we could put a sign on top of the car that explained our situation, the drivers around us would just part the way and let us through. Wes finally crashed an hour into the drive, just before we hit traffic. At that moment, the sign on top of my car would have been something like, "Look, we have 8 hours of driving ahead of us with a toddler who has thrown up the last 2 times he woke up... PLEASE we just want to get as far as possible before he wakes up again." And that's not to mention the baby that needs to stop and eat every three hours. 

Luckily it only slowed us down about half an hour, and our kids were super troopers all morning in fact. Wes entertained himself for at least an hour looking out the window and narrating his stream of consciousness, " There are rocks on the mountain and trees on them..." etc.

With two hours to go we had two kids waking up from nice long naps, so we took a stop at a scenic overlook for snacks all around. Cam and Wes took a little walk outside, and then as we were just about to pull away Wes started freaking out that his stomach hurt. Cam ran around and pulled him out of his seat... which only freaked Wes out more. He said he felt okay so we got back in the car, but this time the pack n' play got to ride shotgun to make room for me in the back with a garbage bag in hand.

We made it maybe two minutes before he started freaking out again. We pulled over and pulled him out. Cam held Wes outside and tried to convince him that it's okay to throw up if he has to. We were amazed and impressed with the people of Southern Utah, as 4 different cars pulled over to see if we needed help (one turned around from the other direction). "No we don't need help thanks, he's just... sick."

He struggled with his internals for a bit before deciding it was a bowel problem after all. With that out he was feeling much better. Luckily we had him in a diaper for the trip or we would have been in a world of hurt.

We would have made it without stopping from that point on... except that he worked things out again an hour later. And oh, again less than a mile away. And that one was a little more unruly.

So we limped into Stacey's but luckily she had laundry detergent on hand so we didn't have to resort to washer fluid. We took a whole day to rest, but after that our two remaining 6-hour drive days felt like nothing. We picked up our stuff as we headed through Portland.

And tomorrow it's hello Seattle. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fair Weather Fans

I realized after titling this post that people may be confused and think I'm referring to a certain big game today. I'm not. But while I'm thinking about it I just want to get on the record beforehand that our move this month from Colorado to Seattle has nothing whatsoever to do with how this thing goes down.

Now to my story:

In the spirit of adventure and checking out cool things here in Colorado we took a little excursion to Dinosaur Ridge near Lakewood CO. Wes has been into dinosaurs lately thanks to a book he got for Christmas from his great-grandma.

So I guess the story is that they were blasting this ridge to make a highway and discovered fields of dinosaur tracks and some bones. Now the highway is closed to the traffic so you can walk up the ridge.

It was a sunnyish and not to chilly day when we left home, but by the time we got to the ridge it was quite windy. Daws, who had slept in the car all the way there, quickly assessed the situation and decided to do what he does whenever he is chilly/hungry/mildly perturbed and went to sleep. Wes thought the dinosaur statue at the entrance was cool, but failed to grasp the coolness of seeing the ripple patterns in the rocks that showed the area used to be underwater, and I think was altogether disappointed not to see any real dinosaurs. 

About half the way up the ridge he was a little chilly and quite wind-blown and said something that I've never heard out of his mouth before, "I want to go home and take a nap in my bed." So we drug him up the ridge backwards in his stroller so the wind wasn't in his face, and tucked Dawson's extra blanket around him.

The bones were pretty cool, but I don't think I would have picked them out without the help of not-so-subtle signs. Do you think you could have?

On the way back down Wes gave up... pretty much on life. So Cam tipped the stroller on it's back wheels and put his hat down over his face and Wes fell asleep. So after both our boys gave up on our adventure Cam and I had a nice look at the cool geological features. 

So this last weekend was much sunnier, but we didn't want to go somewhere just to have our fair weather fans give up on us again. We decided to stay close to home and go on a hike around the base. Our building is the very last outcropping of civilization up on the side of the mountain, so we just took off the other direction. 

We have a lot of wildlife out here, so we would follow the service trail for awhile and then wander off following animal tracks left in the dirt and snow, or to check out cool things we could see off the trail. 

Cam packed up a backpack of water bottles and spare warm things just in case. Wes saw it and packed up his own backpack of fruit snacks, granola bars, and cookies. 

We were hiking along Wes stopped and pointed to a rock and said, "Oh. This looks like a good spot for lunch." And so we sat down to enjoy the snack he packed. After we finished the snacks he pulled out his little toy sheep that he packed as well and said, "Oh. Time to play with this toy." I promise he's never had a Happy Meal, so I'm not sure where this idea came from, but it was hilarious nonetheless.

Even Daws had a good time. He stayed awake facing out for the whole first hour. Then he wanted to turn around and go to sleep... like he always does. I've started calling him my little bear for his hibernating habits.