Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three in a Tub

Yesterday was full of u-turns, a temperamental GPS, and traffic.
We left our little attic to conquer Denver and failed miserably!
The day ended on a good note as we met up with family and had dinner at John's Uncle Michael and Aunt Shannon's house.
It was a fun night and Caity was in heaven playing with John's cousin, Alyssa, who is 7.
Playing dress-up. I love Johnny's face in "Really, I have to stand here with this hat on?"
They were inseparable and clicked right away, I was so relieved as Caity was feeling pretty homesick for her friends she left behind.  Alyssa was like water to my thirsty child, and I felt so grateful to see that satisfied smile on Caity's face as we piled into our goldfish-littered mini van.
In less than five minutes all the children were fast asleep.
John and I talked about nothing I can remember, I only remember feeling completely content that we could just sit together and talk.
We pulled into our lot around 8:00pm and three sleepy children woke up chipper and ready for menacing.
I looked at there dirty, smiling faces and knew a bath was in order.  They willingly agreed with me wholeheartedly...well, after I bribed them with fruit snacks, anyway.
The Attic (as we have named our Denver Oasis) has a large old fashioned claw-foot bath tub.
(These were actually from Sunday morning, not Friday night, but still cute!) 

The three of them looked so cute sitting in the large tub all covered in soap giggling.
While they played in the water, I set out some water, pretzels, and fruit snacks for the kids and laid out their pajamas.
First to come out was Master William. He loves being wrapped in a warm towel, he smiles really big and crunches himself in a ball and cuddles into you- I love it. And last night was no exception. It's like I suddenly forgot all the hair he literally and emotionally pulled out from my head throughout the day.
While I got Wills ready for bed, Cate and Johnny shivered their way into their pajamas.
(Johnny was struggling getting his underwear on and at one point said, "My rude! Come on underwear, I'm getting...ugh....angry. MOM!" haha)
William was so excited to get in his bed he flapped his arms and buried his face into his blankies, gasping and giggling.  By the time I came back with this bottle, he was standing in his pack and play marching left-right, left-right, on his face was a huge toothless grin.
He flopped himself down and reached up for me....
just kidding
....he reached for the bottle, when I am holding that thing, I just don't even exist!
While the kids ate their snack I cleaned the "bath mess." I overheard them trading fruit snacks, "I'll gi-gi-gi-give you a Ma-Ma-Ma-Mater for y-y-y-your ummm, y-y-y-your, umm- that one." (johnny)  "Only if you give me two." (Caity) (No, it didn't work- Johnny is a smart one.)
Then we brushed teeth.  Then I blew dry Caity's hair.
Then I checked on Will, took his bottle and gave him a toy to play with.
I found the kids waiting for me on my bed with a book on their laps.
I asked them where I would sit and they scooted opposite ways so I could fit in the middle, then they squeezed in close, and Caity told me I should probably take a bath too, in the nicest way possible.
She was right- it was a long, hot day!
We read. Then we found dad and had family prayer and then the kids were tucked into bed.
I found them a few minutes later, cuddling-fast asleep in the same bed.
Then I sat on the futon with John, who had been setting up internet all night, looked up my work load due by midnight on Saturday and freaked out for about 30 minutes before I decided I was too tired and would work on it in the morning.
9:30pm and we were in bed.
I looked at the dead spider swinging from my ceiling and debated if I should clean it up right away or wait until morning. (It's still there. Gross.)
I thought about us all sitting around the table eating breakfast this morning, I thought about the smell of baby shampoo in my kids' hair, I thought of how good it felt to brush shoulders with John while we sat on the couch looking at my homework,
Sometimes it takes a chaotic run-around couple of weeks full of moving and vacation for me to really appreciate an average night.
Last night I went to sleep feeling beyond grateful for this little family that despite the chaos of life- bring me quiet peace and joy.

John just sent this to me. Caity saw her first rainbow!


John took the kids to the park so I could blog get some homework done. John said the kids both had a pretty big fall. Johnny was going down a hill and threw his feet to the side, showing off, then he stumbled on the grass.  Caity was weaving in and out of the dirt and lost balance, then Johnny ran over her.  The way John described it, I couldn't help but laugh- they are always showing off on their bikes! When they got home, Johnny opened the door and shouted, "MOOOOOM!" He ran into my room and exclaimed, "Mom! We saw LOTS of ants! Outside!" Then he just sat there looking at me with wide eyes, so I said, "No way!" and he said in the most solemn voice, "Yes way, mom."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 26: Splash Pad

Last night my mom and I took the kids to the splash park by her house.
I loved how nervous these two were: they had to hold hands approaching "the unkown"

Caity took the first leap:
She kept shouting "I'm crazy! I'm crazy! I'm crazy cold!"
And singing a song about Jesus being baptized in the River Jordan
John said, "Mom! I'm going to go through the BIG splash! Can't go under it, can't go over it...Gotta go through it!"
Yes.  That is the "splash" right there. It was about 6 inches tall.
He was thrilled and terrified at the same time.

William was a trooper and tagged along in the stroller.
He watched from the sidelines with my mom and me.

It was so fun enjoying the cool night air and spending time with my mom and watching the kids play in water that was probably full of backwash and other unmentionable accidents.
 Such a great end to a busy, busy day.
I'll have to write about everything else once the pictures are uploaded.
Until then....tomorrow we are Denver bound!
With no A/C!
This shall be an adventure!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 25: Trains, Hair, and Sleeping Babies.

Today we got to go to church with the entire Brassell Clan. 
This is a typical Sunday after church:
Everyone sitting at the island, eating Mac and Cheese.

Caity hates when I french braid her hair- probably because I am still not good at it and pull her hair super tight. Last time I did it, I was getting frustrated and said, "Errrr!" then realized Caity probably thought it was her fault so I quickly said, "Sorry, Caity I am just not good at this and it is frustrating." 
Then Caity said, "I know what you mean, I'm like that with my pony's hair all the time."
I'd be lying if I didn't say my first internal reaction was "Ummm, except pony hair is easy." Then I gave myself reality check and realized how sweet that was!

Today when I was braiding her hair I said, "Caity everyone will think you look just like a pioneer!"
She said:
"I just wish I had a dress that said, 'If you like my hair, just tell me- because I really want to know."
Haha! That made me smile.

Then there was Johnny.
Yesterday, he grabbed a bat for the first time and hit a softball over and over again- that's my boy!
He is so coordinated and athletic, it is fun watching him run and play.

"Mom! What if there was a train in the sky, Mom? Would that be crazy?"
Yep, it sure would be crazy.  And I would probably believe in Harry Potter or something.

When William got done pulling all my hair out, he crashed for an afternoon nap.

Then he woke up and played with Caity.

And then we spent the afternoon talking religion, politics, and all sorts of other things you shouldn't discuss with family but always do anyway.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 24: Dinosaurs and Toads

We have had the best time visiting John's family. Everyone was there so it was like a big 'ole family reunion.  We went to the Dinosaur park in the morning, then Forrest grilled some steaks, then we headed to Toad's Family Fun Center and played arcade games, some mini-golf, laser tag and go-karting.  It was so much fun. 
Some highlights:
  • Johnny's reaction to the dinosaurs
  • Caity's obsession with Skii Ball- my favorite too!
  • Laser tag with the kids- Johnny reminded me of Wreck it Ralph in Hero's Duty, I didn't leave his side, but he was pretty scared!  Caity just smiled big and said "Mom- I'm killing EVERYONE!"
  • Go-karting with Johnny, he thought I was so fast even though we were in last place the whole time!  John said his favorite part was when I screamed when they turned on the go-karts- yes, I am that person- haha.
  • We all had to split up for mini-golf and John and I got to have mini date (with William) and play together.  John insists we tied, which is crazy because on some holes I got like 10 when he got 2.  Mini golf hates me, good thing John loves me. :)
  • Playing "Deal or No Deal" with John.
  • We went to Forrest's house after Toads and William was just crawling after his dog, Jackson the whole time.

So excited to see everyone!

Playing with "The Car Circus" with Grandpa Brassell

Digging for Fossils

Master William got carted around the entire time.

John with the Dinosaur whose fossils were discovered in Utah. I just couldn't resist.

The kids and Ma'ama

John, Forrest and Papa John

Jordan is such a sweet and loving Uncle.

I think Caity is a little nervous.

Johnny was thrilled with every dinosaur he saw! This Land Before Time fan was in his element!

He would run from exhibit to exhibit with his Uncle's just wrapped around his finger!

Helping Dad out!
John's parents. They are so cute!
A family picture! I love everyone's face in this picture.

Jordan was getting Johnny to walk like a dinosaur all over the park.

They were so terrified to go in this cave!


Now, that is even scarier!

John and me. It was so fun spending a day together after our whole day in separate cars!

On our way to Toads Family Fun Center- we utilized our van!  Kristen and Jordan are in the back and Kevin and Shaylee next to William

Johnny was quite the racer! Except he lost. I was sorely disappointed in him. (kidding)

I loved this picture! Johnny and Papa golfing with Caity holding Ma'ama's hand- they were inseparable!

Forrest got a jack pot of tickets! Look at Caity's face!

Johnny and Forrest with the mother-load of tickets

William rode the same ride the entire time.
And that was our Saturday in a nutshell!
(Two posts in one day! And you guys thought I abandoned this thing!)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Moving on Down...

OK, this one is preeeetty wordy.  And you thought I gave up on my blog! 

Well, we finally found our way on the road.

I'll admit, it all hit me while I was mopping the kitchen floor 11:00pm Wednesday night that we were really leaving, and I just cried and cried and thought about all the wonderful people that I have been able to know and rub shoulders with these last couple of years. Life-long friends.  Even if I never see or speak to any of them every again, I will always be a different person because of their impact.
I'm also going to miss the beauty of Moscow, ID. Oh! I am going to miss the variety of trees, the green, the blossoms, the "Narnia" winters...Thank you, Moscow for being so good to our family.

Now- moving on (a pun!)
Our move went so well and I feel so blessed that we were able to get where we needed to go safely.  I feel like the last couple of days were chalk-full of answered prayer after answered prayer. 

We woke up as planned at 4:00am and hit the road. Just kidding. We left at 10:30am! Oh well, it was a long shot anyhow- haha.

John was pulling the Land Cruiser, Sally, with a big 'ole trailer we got for $800 in Rexburg, and I drove Fran the Van with our little trailer full of stuff going to Denver.  We said a prayer that we would be safe, and were on our way.

We got to the BIG hill just outside Lewiston and made our way down into the valley.   Realizing he was carrying quite the load, John had me pull ahead of him so that if he ran into anyone- it could me.  He just values my life so much, I can tell through little moments like this.

As soon as I pulled ahead, John noticed the wheel baring was going out on my trailer. That made me a little nervous, but I had no idea what he was talking about so I kept on my way a happy camper, knowing we would pull off into Lewiston once we got to the bottom of the hill.

We finally get to the bottom of the hill, and pull over in front of a truck runaway ramp....Well, I pull over, John just keeps going- his brakes went out! A part of me was grateful the ramp was there because I knew John would be OK no matter what, but the other part of me prayed that he wouldn't hit it because we would have to get towed out, and it would just be a huge expense and hassle.  Well, he stopped inches- literally, inches in front of the runway gravel.  I am so grateful no one was hurt and John was able to get to the bottom of the hill safely- that could have been horrible.

John showed me the wheel baring and it was destroyed, completely eroded and I freaked out in my mind and said a thank you prayer in my heart that the wheel didn't completely pop off.  Since the part for our cheap-o trailer could only be purchased at Harbor Freight, we had to take the trailer to a fix it shop a few miles down the road.   We pulled it slowly about a mile and the baring busted-completely! I can't believe we were able to make it down that hill when it was so close to breaking.  The guys helped us get it to their shop.

We headed back to the Sally, so John could fix her breaks, that were still shot even though they had sat for an hour.  We pulled onto a safer part of the road.  And enjoyed the heat with no air conditioning while John enjoyed the hot gravel while performing intense manual labor- it was a special moment I will never cherish in my memories...ever. 

Changing the brakes took a little while. We were on a one way street and I didn't know my way around Lewiston so we just hung out with John eating candy and comparing who was sweating the most.  I felt pretty bad for John, but he was trooper. 

Did I mention the William finally had that post-surgery bowel movement we were waiting for?  It was a complete blowout.  He was just pleased as a peach as John tried to sanitize all his stitches and tubes that he volcanoed through, all while being pinned down by his gagging-weak-stomach Momma.  It was awesome! Like really. Like in a way that is really not awesome at all.  We were in good spirits though and I tried to be like the pioneer women Elder Uchtdorf talked about in conference who would sing and dance despite the trials and hardships.

The trailer was repaired and turns out the entire axel needed to be replaced as well as pretty much every part possible- oh my goodness, am I grateful we were able to get that all taken care of!  We have a basically new trailer now- so no more worries if the other baring will go out or something.  John needed about 20 more minutes (or so he said, haha- about an hour) on the breaks, so he dropped us off at the park and the kids had so much fun.

Caity also made a new friend which is one of her summer goals, so she was pretty proud of herself.
Then, John came and got us and we were on our way!
I put on Frozen for the kids and realized they were conked out by "Let it Go" because Caity wasn't singing along.  We drove to Grangeville and got there by midnight.  I had some trouble staying awake and found some old CDs to listen to under the seat.  I may or may not have been singing David Archeleta at the top of my lungs in order to fight off drowsiness!  I had fun, anyway.  We also pulled over to look at the stars at one point.  We always have to do that we when are road-tripping at night- it is so beautiful.
We pulled into a hotel and got a trucker discount because of my awesome husband, and Johnny first thought it was our new Denver home! Haha.  It was so nice to get showered and comfortable and we all just crashed!
The next morning, we grabbed some Raisen Bran and were on our way again!

I told her to smile, but she couldn't because her mouth was full of food. So polite, that one.

I forgot to mention: we couldn't go faster than 30 mph the entire time! Luckily we didn't run into too much traffic and never had more than a couple cars piled behind us at any time. Another blessing.
We got to Boise and besides a few glitches, we were able to pull the big trailer and the Land Cruiser into a cover storage lot and John joined the party in the van and we were on our way!  Well, first we wanted to be classy and eat at IHOP- haha, trucker discount, horse trailers and IHOP- haha, we know how to drive the open road like the regulars, people!  The kids thought it was so fun- we don't usually do the sit-down restaurant thing with them, so it was definitely a treat for them. With the hardest part over we all piled into Fran the Van and headed on our way and 8:30pm.
This next part was a blur, we finally pulled into North Ogden around 3:00am. Everyone in John's family woke up and trickled in to say hi to the kids and they felt so special and loved.  Ma'ama Brassell always leaves a little treat on their bed and Caity was just besides herself waiting to see what it was, she kept making sure Ma'ama knew she was coming!  Once everyone left and went back to bed, John's dad came in the room (he was MIA earlier) and said he had been waiting for us on the couch and fell asleep, I thought that was so sweet- and even sweeter that he slept through all the commotion of everyone being awake for 30 minutes!
I am just so glad we made it and can enjoy a couple days with John's family!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 23: William Crawled Today!

Well, Mr. William had a quick recovery!
The kids were taking a bath, and I set him down in the center of my bedroom floor.  I went to get pajamas ready for Cate and Johnny, and when I came back,Will was sitting in the hall- he just looked up at me and smiled and went on playing with the bathroom cleaner- ahem...I mean, a rattle or something.
Baffled, I asked Caity if she came and moved Wills.
She said, "No."
I said, "So he moved over here by himself? He CRAWLED?"
Caity said, "He does it all the time, Mom."
What does THAT even mean, he does it all the time!?
And sure enough, he crawled back to me- like it was nothing at all. He didn't wobble or face plant or anything.
Of course by the third time he did it, he was pretty tired and ate carpet a few times- and of course that is the only attempt we caught on video.
Anyway, exciting day for my little guy!
In other news, we are all packed up- we leave tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 22: Surgery Day

Mr. William had to get some surgical procedures done with a urologist today. Without going into too much detail, let's just say under Will's diaper is quite the battlefield! Poor guy.
This has been a long time coming.
As happy as I am to have it all over with, I am surprised that the surgery was just the beginning, I have one ornery little guy on my hands- hopefully he heals fast and feels better.
We got up at 4:00 am to get to Sacred Heart in Spokane by 6:00 am (OK- so we got there at like 6:30- whoops.)
Everyone pretty much conked out!
William was sure happy to have all the attention on him, as he usually plays the part of spectator to his ever-performing siblings. This morning, he just flapped his arms up and down and flashed that toothless grin at everyone we talked to.
He looked so cute in his surgical gown!

The highlight of the day had to be when the anesthesiologist gave him some "funny juice" to ease separation. He was became so relaxed and laughed lazily at everything.
As soon as he was gone, John left with the kids to run some errands and I sat down and the only thing running through my head were the lists of complications that were highly unlikely- but likely if they have to tell me right? 
Anyway, I was just beside myself and after about an hour, I looked at my watch realized it had been about 20 minutes...not even close to an hour!  My stomach was in knots and I felt so anxious.
I was so relieved when John popped his head in the waiting room.
While we waited for William (5+ hours!) The kids kept themselves busy playing Candyland, coloring, playing with legos...and then at one point I  couldn't find Johnny (this is becoming common, huh?) took me a minute, then there he was, sitting on a couch, reading the bible. I asked him what he was doing and he looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet. "Reading, mom."

Finally, we were able to go see Mr. Wills. I didn't recognize him at first, he was so swollen- which I had been warned about, but apparently didn't believe.

 They had a family specialist sit with the kids so John and I could sit with William together. We really didn't get a lot of alone time when he was born with the craziness of school, work and kids- so it kind of felt like we got a second chance to just hold our cuddly baby- though he as grown a little since then.

John though William's feet looked so small! And they did.
He was attached to John and just felt best when John was holding him, it was pretty sweet.
I'm a lucky girl!
All in all, it was a great day with how well the surgery went. I am keeping my fingers crossed William sleeps well tonight.
Well, tomorrow is our final day of packing!!

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