Monday, April 13, 2009

A Whale, A Wedding, A Beach and A Whole Lotta Fun

Brace yourself, this is going to be a long one.

It has been a busy few days for us. Fun, but busy. The chaos started Wednesday night and ended Sunday night with the kids crashing as soon as their tired little bodies hit their beds. I've never actually seen Ava's eyes red from exhaustion... until yesterday. Thursday to Sunday we were in San Diego for Uncle Eric and Karly's (now Aunt Karly) wedding, which was actually Saturday, but we decided to make a little vacation out of it. And boy, did we jam pack our schedule!

It all actually started Wednesday morning, when my wonderful friend Joni surprised me with a birthday brunch (my birthday was Thursday) of crepes with several delicious fillings, juice and Easter goodies. It was such a lovely and unexpected (and delicious) treat and a great way to start off what was gearing up to be an insane next few days! That night Andy and I went to dinner at Tucano's. YUMMY! We sometimes forget how nice it is to have uninterrupted conversation, thank goodness for waiters coming to our table and creating a sense of normalcy for us! :)

Thursday, the kids, Uncle Dusty and I left for San Diego (Andy didn't fly in until Friday because of school). I, of course, did not finish packing until right before we were leaving, but hey, it just wouldn't be normal if I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off. What's the fun in preparation?! Anyway, I braced myself for potential meltdowns on the plane, but the kids were GREAT! Ava freaked out a little because she was thirsty and couldn't understand what was taking the flight attendants so long to get to us. But, once she had her water and airplane snack, all was right in the friendly skies. I gave her the seat next to the window (for so many reasons). She couldn't believe we were actually as high as the clouds. She loved it. I began giving her gum last week so she could practice chewing it for the plane. By the time we took off, she was chomping the gum as obnoxiously as any kid! However, on the way home (actually, on the shuttle to the car after landing in SLC) she got some gum stuck in her hair and I had to cut it out. Fortunately, it was only a small piece in an inconspicuous spot. Anyway, back to the flight, Jax, has his binky to keep his ears from popping. Once we were in the air, I popped it out, and he just played, ate and entertained the passengers the rest of the flight. Pretty par for Jax's course. Thursday night we landed, hung out and went to bed early.

Flying the friendly skies

Friday --- SEA WORLD!!! The park was just a few minutes from our hotel, and the entire few minutes, this is what I heard: "Mommy, are we there yet?" "Is this Sea World?" "Have we parked, yet?" "Mama, where's Sea World?" Excited much? Ava, Jax and I joined Dusty, Grandma, Grandpa, Curtis, Courtney, Nathan, Brian, Emily & Konrad for a fun-filled day with Shamu. The kids were AWESOME! All of them! No one had a nap (except Jax, who fell asleep in the stroller) and no one had a meltdown (until close to dinner time).

The boy cousins

I love this picture because it really represents all of them: Ava being the little mother, Nathan looking right at his mom, Konrad just being laid back and ralaxed and Jax trying to figure out how to climb up the darn thing.

Jax was jabbering, yelling at and singing to passerbys and was just mesmerized by all the animals. He was in some sort of trance during the Shamu show, he just sat on Grandpa's lap staring. I didn't even exist. Ava, was in HEAVEN! She love, love, loves animals... especially the sea-dwelling type. She held starfish, pet a stingray, saw penguins and sharks and was absolutely fascinated by the most disgusting sea creature --- the eel! Those freaky ocean snakes grossed me out, but Ava was enamored.

Ava showing Jax the starfish (he has a shirt on, he's just lifting it up).

Petting a stingray (she said it felt like a tongue)

Her only issue at Sea World was getting wet. Before every show they announce that if you're in the first 10 rows you'll get soaked. Ava, not quite comprehending that we were well above those 10 rows, became nervous each time this announcement was made. "Mama, I want to go. I don't want to get wet." "Honey, we won't get wet, that's just for the people way down there." "Okay, do you promise I won't get wet?" During one show, she asked me if "I promise" about 30 times. We actually had to leave a 4-D Elmo show in the Sea World theater because we were unexpectedly sprayed with water. 3-D glasses before the Elmo show... ahhh, happier times.

She didn't mind when the stingray splashed her, she actually thought it was funny, but for some reason any other splashing was simply not acceptable. But, I can't blame her, I'm not a fan of being splashed with sea water that, I can only assume, is three parts water, one part whale pee.

The cousins and Grandma relaxing after a LOOONG day!

Saturday -- Eric and Karly's wedding at the San Diego Temple. This was by far the coldest day of our trip... and bloody windy I might add. My best friend Jaime was supposed to watch the kids so I could go into the temple for the sealing, however, she came down with the flu, so I just waited with the kiddos in the foyer and outside, along with Emily, Konrad and Nathan. The sealing took a lot longer than expected and the kids began to get antsy, however, as soon as Ava saw Aunty Karly walk out of the temple in her beautiful dress she was fine. Actually, Ava was the flower girl. I apparently did not explain her flower girl duties very well, because she assumed it meant she was in charge of holding all flowers. So, as soon as Eric and Karly came out of the temple, Ava raced down and took Karly's bouquet. So, in every photo shot of Eric and Karly emerging as a newly married couple, they look like they have a kid. Ooops.

My little beauty on the beautiful San Diego Temple grounds
E & K being the wonderful and patient people they are, just let Ava have her fun with the bouquet. It was very sweet. Oh, Jax slept through it all.

The brothers. You don't even want to know what they were doing to each other with the hands you can't see.
The sisters-in-law (from me to the right). The two girls on the left are Karly's longtime friends.

Later that day, we attended the ring ceremony and reception at Karly's parent's house where Ava actually got to be a flower girl. Karly made her a cute little basket and picked fresh flowers from her parents' garden. We told Ava to sprinkle the petals as she walked. However, we regretted to remind her to leave them there. Her walk down the aisle went a little something like this: sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle, pick up and put back in basket... repeat. She's such a character.

Tossing petals....

Picking up said petals.

The ring ceremony was beautiful, and Karly's sister, Kensie, got to "attend" all the way from China, via Skype. We are so happy to see Eric so in love... and I gotta say, I am soooo excited to have Karly as a sister-in-law... and the kids adore her!

That evening we all just hung out at the hotel, ate pizza and relaxed.

Sunday (Easter), the adults went to church while Grandma and Grandpa watched the kiddos. It's amazing how much faster we get ready for church without children to feed, bathe, dress, etc. After church, we loaded up checked out and took the kids to the beach to dip their toes in the water, dig in the sand, fly a kite and hunt for Easter eggs. This was Jax's first time at the beach and, of course, he loved it. He squealed and giggled as Andy helped him walk his fat little barefeet into the water. He was just amazed by the feel of the wet sand as we dug, and, as always, he had to taste it. Little weirdo!
Mmmmm.... sand.

I LOVE this picture of my little man and me!

Ava, our little beach bunny, told me we should live at the beach. As soon as we were on the sand her shoes were off and she was in the water. Not realizing how brave she would be, I only rolled her pants up a little. Big mistake! Within a few second her pants were soaked and she had sand in her crack. She didn't seem to mind, however, and kept running down the shore like a wild woman. She and I searched for shells, dug a hole (which she let Uncle Dusty bury her in) and went on an egg hunt. It was the perfect end to our mini-vacation.
Running down the beach!

Finding eggs. She opened each one before putting it in her basket and moving on to the next.

Found one!
Hmmm... what's in here?

I've got to say. I wasn't sure how the kids would do running on little sleep and with so many people around. It was a little overwhelming for the adults, so I can't imagine what it was like for the kids. But, I was so impressed by them. Ava was such a good example and so helpful with her baby brother and cousins. She was sure to say "please" and "thank you" when necessary and was so sweet to say kind things whenever they popped in her head, "Cousin Nate, I like your hairdo," "Grandma, you make the best jelly..." and more like that. She's such a sweet little thing. Jax was friendly and playful... just his usual self, despite note napping much the whole trip. I HAD to post this! This is what Jax looked like right after he woke up one in the hotel one morning. Check out the bedhead!

And especially since, when I looked in his mouth today, he has SIX teeth coming in! What a trooper!


Leilani said...

your family is beautiful! and you look fantastic! i can't believe that jax is almost seems like you were just posting hospital pics on myspace. where does the time go?

Laun and Catherine said...

Becky- I love your hair short, it is so cute. you look great! The dresser turned out cute- you always have been creative. I think that temple is so pretty, it looks like a castle.