Wednesday, July 13, 2016

One a Day from Utah, Week 2

Our recent vacation to see our family in Utah was non-stop fun, especially for the kids.

In retrospect it may not have been a good idea to pack in so much fun stuff every day, because now the rest of their lives are going to be an incredible disappointment.

However, here's how Week 2 went. (If you missed Week 1, click here to read about it!)

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

This was probably the most uneventful day of our entire two-week trip, partly because our regular plans were interrupted.

Phillip and I were on an overnight trip to celebrate our anniversary, but had to cut it short because someone rear-ended his sister at a red light and his mom (who was watching the kids) needed to go drive her to work. Her car got towed, which also meant we were short a car (we'd been borrowing one of theirs) and we were homebound for the day.

Grandpa did take out this nifty race track for the kids and I had to laugh at how they looked like spectators at a tennis match with their heads all going left and right watching the cars go around the track.

And then one of the remotes started smoking. Apparently it has three settings: low, medium, and on fire. Use at your own risk.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

In the morning we took everyone to the Museum of Church History in Salt Lake City. We'd meant to do it when we visited Temple Square the week before, but my kids were too busy touring all the public restrooms and we ran out of time.

We spent a lot of time checking out the religious art and playing at the hands-on children's exhibit on the second floor. And then visited the restroom before leaving, just so we didn't miss any in the city.

That evening, the boys left for an overnight camping trip in the Uinta National Forest (and come to think of it, I haven't seen a single picture from that) and the girls learned to make cute tote bags with Grandma.

I made all the curtains in our house by measuring and sewing straight lines, but I don't think I could sew with a pattern to save my life. So I'm glad Grandma could help them check that life skill off their bucket list.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Phillip's dad raises rabbits, and the day after we arrived the mama rabbit started nesting. She literally rips out a bunch of her own fur with her teeth to make a nest for the babies, and a few days later there was a litter of three little baby rabbits. Unfortunately, the runt died today but thankfully one of my girls and their cousin were able to give it a decent burial.

We did have many happy moments holding and playing with the remaining two babies over the course of the week, though. My younger kids didn't give a thought in the world to what Grandpa Bob does with the rabbits when they're full-grown because yay! fluffy bunnies! But my older kids were under no illusions and named them Dinner and Roasty.

Other members of our extended family started to arrive today, and we went to Seven Peaks waterpark. I have no idea what any of the kids did, as I essentially just nursed the baby in our cabana and farmed each of the kids out to a different uncle or aunt to take them on the waterslides. They went home happy and sunburnt, though, so they must've had a good time.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Now that everybody was here for the family reunion, it was family picture time. And I mean family picture.There were 12 adults and 14 kids (including a newborn, a 1-year-old, and a 2-year-old.) You can imagine the impossibility of getting everyone to look and smile at the same time.

But look at us all trying, though! That photographer (the one running around in khakis and the green shirt) was really earning his living that day, I tell you.

I'd like to insert a note to photographers here: no matter what, my kids aren't going to smile at someone they don't know. And if you get all up in my 2-year-old's face making duck noises and trying to get him to give you a high-five...? Maybe that kind of thing works with some kids. But you know how people during a traumatic event sort of leave their bodies as a mental coping mechanism? That's what mine do when photographers try to be their buddies. Sorry.

After pictures I took the little ones home for a nap, but I'm told that everyone had a fantastic time cooling off with water games like Drip, Drip, Drop and then divided up into teams for a scavenger hunt on the campus of Brigham Young University, where their dad and I went to school about a billion years ago.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Another Sunday, and we even got to church on time this week. After we got home, Phillip's sister organized something for the kids to do.

The cousins rarely see each other because we all live in different states, so they first played a get-to-know-you game (I learned that my daughter isn't the only weirdo in the world whose most hated thing is cotton  she refuses to touch cottonballs because of the way they feel.)

Then we played Faith Factor, a game that presumably came from the Internet that involved looking up scriptures, talking about them, and then choosing one of these bags with Minute To Win It-type challenges that cracked up all the kids.

Note to self: having two high-energy kids who hate to lose facing off against each other trying to blow a ping pong ball off their opponent's side of the table with a straw is just asking for someone to pass out.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

On Monday morning Phillip's parents reserved a shelter at a park for a BBQ. We ate, took turns supervising the little kids wading in the river, and organized a marshmallow-gun shooting game of some kind or other.

When I asked for clarification on the rules I was told that it was just like the Revolutionary War, but with marshmallows and everyone was having fun. So, there's our history lesson for the day.

Back at home, we all pulled out our camping chairs to watch a home fireworks show. Nothing too huge, but the kids were all impressed with the ones that shot up in the air and came down with a little parachute (everyone got a turn catching one.)

I'm mostly glad that we kept all toes intact and had no trips to the emergency room, since the uncle setting off the fireworks was barefoot.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

In researching before our trip, I found this Cascade Springs on a list of kid-friendly hikes in Utah and really wanted to go. It turned out to be more of a walk than a hike and a much longer drive than I anticipated, but I'm grateful to my family and my mother-in-law for humoring me and going along with it.

This was almost our last day here, so true to mom form I spent it doing laundry and other boring things in preparation to leave. Try not to be jealous of my glamorous life.

One a Day from Utah, Week 2 -- Week 2 of our family's Utah adventure... and my best tip for navigating the airport with a half-dozen kids in tow.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Somehow Delta removed our 4-year-old from our flight reservation and we were unable to check her in online, since she suddenly looked like an unaccompanied minor. I was pretty annoyed about that, but it didn't take too long to sort it out at the airport.

We'd learned a lot from our first flight and did everything a little smarter on the return trip. Even I was impressed with the well-oiled machine that was us getting through security. 

I can't speak for poor Phillip who was in charge of the very unhappy 2-year-old on the plane, but I actually enjoyed our flight because I was in charge of the baby who slept the entire time. My 12-year-old even taught me how to play backgammon on the touchscreens embedded in the backs of the seats ahead of us.

After landing, taking the shuttle to the place we'd parked our cars (and me freaking out because I momentarily couldn't find my keys) and the drive home, we dragged ourselves across the doorstep well after midnight. I think we're still adjusting to the time difference and catching up on sleep, but it's summer so who cares?


Also, a few people have requested advice for traveling with kids. My number one tip: never let them get in front of you. They have no idea where you're going. They have zero awareness that you're even going anywhere. They'll just stand there for infinity causing a massive traffic blockage and the airport version of road rage for everyone around you. Just keep moving and promise them snacks if they follow you.

You may not arrive at your destination with as many kids as you started out with, but on the plus side: more snacks for you.

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9 comments:

  1. What? The boys didn't want to learn how to sew? Don't they know they're missing out!

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  2. This trip sounds so great!!! I highly approve of marshmallow guns to celebrate Independence day :)

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    1. It was like a historical re-enactment of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Totally.

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  3. You went to BYU? I graduated in 98. Holy cow that seems forever ago. I am now looking forward to college applications for my teenaged daughter. How does it all go by so fast? Glad you had a fun time on your vacation!

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    1. Because I was baptized at 18, I went to a private Lutheran school (the only Mormon, obviously) for 2.5 years and then transferred to BYU for 2.5 years. Both were such amazing experiences and I wouldn't trade either of them for the world! So glad I got to do both.

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  4. Looks like you had a fun trip! My advice traveling with kids? Ear plugs.

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    1. Just bring extra for all the other passengers, too!

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  5. Jenny, so glad every one's appendages all survived the fireworks!!
    FAith FActor sounds so cool!
    That's the kind of history lesson I can get behind!!

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    1. We can get behind it, too. My 4-year-old was literally behind the shooters picking up the marshmallows and eating them!

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