Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Washington Times 2012...

Please forgive me as I am trying to write this post during and after our trip...

At the beginning of the month, the boys and I visited "home" for a few weeks. We originally planned a trip around my 10 year HS reunion, but most of the planned events have been cancelled due to lack of ticket sales. Pretty lame with a graduating class of 450+ that only 3 tickets were sold.

The boys and I had an awful time just getting to WA. We flew out of Nashville, and after our plane was delayed twice, we were told to make other arrangements because if we missed our connection in MN, that we wouldn't arrive in Pasco until three days later... A lot of fun THAT was with two kids flying solo. Thankfully our pilot flew like I drove, and got us there with literally minutes to spare. Had it not been for Jax screaming the gate number and running far ahead of Liam and I, we would have definitely missed our plane. We finally arrived in Tri-Cities around 11:30 pm, which was so hard on the boys and me being three hours behind.

After about two days, we were somewhat on Pacific time, which is probably the fastest we've all adjusted. I do think the more we travel the more the boys just put up with their schedules being whack! The boys adjusted really well and had a blast rediscovering Gramma's house, cats, toys and testing the limits of what they could get away with. They spent a lot of time outside which was really nice, and had so much fun with Gramma! Mom only had to work a few days while we were there, so it was good to get a lot of visiting in with her and the boys. We spent most days at the house, just playing outside, swimming, helping Gramma do chores and bringing lots of smiles! I think we must have gone through three or four boxes of Popsicles!! During the time we were there, I FINALLY got Jax to go under water by himself, Liam successfully learned to go up and down the stairs to the slide, and also mimicked big brother and learned how to hold his nose and go under water. It's amazing how fast they learn things when they have an older sibling around. Jax loved mowing the lawn with Gramma, and following Cinder Loo around every time she braved the noise to come out!!

During our visits to WA, the first thing I usually do after getting the boys and myself comfortable, is to swing in to visit with Grandpa!! Now typically I can show up unannounced and he's always up and ready for visit. NOT the case this time! I was quite surprised to walk into Gramps house the morning after we flew in, and not find him sitting in his chair. After checking the yard, kitchen and a cautious walk to the bathroom, I finally came across him curled up in a ball STILL asleep! Needless to say I was shocked. After giving him the surprise of a lifetime "the cute blonde waking him up" as he said... haha, I ran a few errands with the promise to come back once he was up and ready!! So glad that we were able to have so many dates and visits in the first week we were there. I always look forward to seeing my Gpa, and listening to the stories I love so much. On our date night, I learned all of his near death experiences as a boy and growing up... Grandpa, it's a wonder how you lived past 30!!!
We also got in a lot of visiting with the my brother brain, sister in law, and my sweet, beautiful niece! As much as I love living in TN, and traveling with Dean, it pains me to be so far away from family, with the visits getting fewer and farther in between based on the price of tickets for our family, but it really hurts having the boys only close cousin (age wise) being so far away. I feel like I am hurting the potential relationship they may have, but hope when all are a little older, to at least live a more reasonable distance away.

Kenley has gotten so big, or rather Liam hasn't gotten much bigger lol. Her and Liam are just about the same height and size, and according to the family, she is up and walking around now!!! The looks she was giving Liam trying to figure out "how he was doing it on his own" were priceless! :)
I also got to see my brother coach a few baseball games!! It was really neat to see him in the coaches role after so many years of being a player!!! He let Jax come in and sit with him and the players in the dugout, spoiled him with gum, and so it was just a cool thing to finally get to see!
Of course we visited with family friends as well. Jax and Liam got to be the first swimmers in Carolyn and John's pool, and more than spoiled like every visit to see them with snacks, and juice and lots of love! We also had several much needed playdates with some of my friends and their kids! Jax loves playdates, and I love getting to catch up with other mom's on how they do things, and overall how they are doing! I wish a lot of them lived closer so we could do it all the time!

The boys and I got to experience (their) first 4th of July on the Columbia River. Before we had flown out, mom had done some holiday planning and figured out a fun filled day for the boys and us. We started off early at the Pasco Memorial Park with an all you can eat Pancake Breakfast, then followed that up with a less than fun parade. Mom told me to keep my opinions to myself so I wouldn't ruin it for the boys, but it was pretty much a failed attempt at anything patriotic like the parades used to be. I'm sorry, but other than getting to see clasic cars that I missed at Cool Dessert Nights, I can pretty much sum that parade up with two hours of mine, Jaxon's, Liam's and mom's life we'll never get back. That evening we planned on going out to the Pasco side of the river to enjoy the fireworks. Of course leaving behind schedule, which is my usual, we just barely got down he dike in time for the show. To me, there is no place better than watching fireworks on the river, so I was happy to be able to make some memories with my boys. Being that the show started at 10pm, and we had only been in WA for three days, Liam was out the entire time, and Jax had his eyes open just long enough to watch the fireworks before he too was out! We had great seats that were offered up by a sweet family, and other than the run to make it in time, it was perfect!!

The weather was hotter than I was prepared for. I thought I was going to be getting a break from the brutal summer days started in the south. The first few days were great! I think I even had goosebumps a few times, however after the first weekend, it got HOT! It was up in the 100's with just as much humidity if not MORE than what we have in TN! It's funny to hear Grandpa talk about the Tri-Cities weather now a days, and just how much it has changed since the 50's! Definitely not the same Tri-Cities I grew up in!!

The first weekend that we were there, Dean flew in as we got ready for my HS Reunion. I had no idea what to expect, since the only other reunion I've ever been to was Dean's with a whopping twenty-something of a graduating class, and previous to that, I had attended one with my Aunt and Uncle and only went to be the entertainment!! It was a lot of fun though, and a better turnout than I anticipated. I got to catch up with several girls that had moved away prior to graduation, and some that I really never talked with in school, so it was good just to see how everyone was doing, ooh and ahh over each others kids, and just have fun. Needless to say a reunion at a bar with drink specials, haha... it's been TOO long since I had a few mixed drinks, and I'm pretty sure Dean got a good laugh at my lack of tolerance these days!!

I also decided to get my "last" tattoo while we were there, and have got to brag, that it was my easiest, and fastest tattoo yet!!! I have been wanting to get something meaningful to being a mother since Jax was born, and only more so after Liam was born. So after almost a year and a half of thinking about it, finally got it done. I kept with the Chinese Kanji symbols that my other tattoos are in, and had the symbol for "Mother and Son" done! It's definitely my most special one now!

All in all, it was a great visit. It was much shorter than I would have liked, but my next visit will be a longer visit where we can see all those we seem to always miss.
Flying back home was just as "fun" as flying in... After flying out of Pasco and into Minneapolis, we once again were delayed. This time, it was delay after delay, then we finally boarded, only to sit on a hot airplane for two hours before they decided we weren't flying out just yet. Thankfully, one of the flight attendants gave the boys a break from sitting still and quiet, and brought them up to the cockpit where the captain showed Jax everything there is to flying. That was so much fun for Jax, and this woman really saved a lot of us from a lot of screaming! After another 30 minutes, we de-boarded the plane and after another round of delays, food vouchers, tears and tantrums, we were finally allowed to re-board and were on our way. That only meant a whole lot longer day for me, as we had originally planned to land around 4pm, then drive home and be in our beds by "bedtime". We finally landed in Nashville around 6:45, and after getting our damaged luggage, food and coffee, then the tedious drive home, we were all safe and sound and in bed by 2am!!!
Very glad to be home of course and the puppies are glad that we are home too! Now to enjoy the rest of our time in our spacious home with all of our belongings before our next to trip back to MI!!! :)