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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vacation vs Reality

Last Saturday night we came home from a week with family at Sunset Beach, California.  We arrived home missing family and tired out.  While helping unpack everything I literally felt a muscle start to twitch by my eye that I could not stop.  Something about little kids' whiny tired voices after a long day helped set it off.

It was an awesome vacation.  Photos to come when Jeremy has time.  We drove down to Las Vegas on a Friday afternoon/evening and then drove the rest of the way Saturday.  It made for a much easier, happy trip there.  The best part was from when we packed up to when we started driving home.  Taylor was happy.  I mean constantly giggling, laughing and smiling - the most we have seen from him in years.  It just made me truly heart deep happy to see him enjoying life so much.  We pushed heavy calories and fluids on him all week, walked him to and from the ocean every day and set up a tent on the sand for him to roll around in without getting a face full of sand.  He just had a great week and I was thrilled that my family got to interact with a happy Taylor, which often doesn't happen.

We stayed in a beach house that opened up right onto the beach which meant that kids could run to and from the house on little "errands" all day long.  Allison reunited with her cousin Lathan and I don't think they ever left each others' side the entire week.  It was awesome to see what good friends they have become.  They were just in their own little world.  Robyn decided after getting rolled in the surf her second day that she was more of a sand/shell girl and spent her days digging in the sand and eating nachos for lunch.  Spencer would ride his boogie board till his stomach was covered in scrapes and then read his new books.  It was just a relaxing week of hanging out, talking and being a family all together.  The only sad part is that due to work and illness my brother Peter's family couldn't be there.  The only sad note of the whole week.  Some of my favorite moments were watching the kids run around the beach in the dark with their glow in the dark bracelets on, howling like banshees and loving staying up late.  Running along the beach on the trail that runs down through Huntington.  Having a girls day exploring Santeen Alley and being taken to back rooms to look at off the back of the truck designer purses.  Watching the boys go out for a movie night.  Hitting up Trader Joe's for some goodies.  Collecting shells, shells and more shells (our deck is currently covered) and watching my kids become friends with their extended family.

But all good things have to come to an end so we left at 5 am Saturday to drive back.  Jeremy showed kids his favorite rest stop at Scipio that has a petting zoo.  A genius idea.  To celebrate coming back to reality on Monday we all hit the dentist except for Jeremy and Robyn.  Taylor had his teeth cleaned.  Spencer had his last baby tooth pulled (I cannot believe how many teeth he has had to have pulled) and Allison got her retainer fixed.  I got my two permanent crowns and kids just laughed at how I was going to have dentures soon at this rate.  Throw in loads of laundry and getting back to real life and Monday was a doozy of a day.  But it ended well as we went to see Fiddler on the Roof at the outdoor SCERA theater.  Kids liked it but at intermission it hit them that this was a looong play and that there wasn't really any happy or funny parts to it!  I could tell they were having a hard time paying attention for the last hour as dancing around the light pole or doing somersaults on the grass increased exponentially.

Tuesday we had cousins come spend the day and ended up doing a sleepover while Kelly went to Education Week.  And then Wednesday I packed everyone in the car at 7 and drove them to Kelly's house while I went to Education week.  A fabulous experience where you learn more than you can possibly ever remember.  Kids had really pleaded to have a sleep-over with cousins and the deal was that if they did they needed to get up in the morning cheerfully.  So at 6:55 they were all sitting in the van with their clothes packed up without me ever saying a word.  It was great.

To make-up for such a great vacation week Taylor had a really bad week.  He hasn't eaten voluntarily since Saturday night and only a few bites when we force it.  Tuesday I took everyone to the pool and he and I sat on a towel while I syringed fluids in his mouth trying to get him to swallow.  He goes down so fast and so quickly.  He had a fever of 103 Saturday but with lots of tylenol and motrin its staying down and he has drunk a few cup of milk on his own.  A week is a long time not to eat and to only drink sporadically.  Feel bad for him when he feels so badly.

Saturday night Taylor was supposed to go to our Stake Activity where they put on a special needs olympics for a special needs mutual.  That didn't happen.  But Spencer was there with Jeremy along to play photographer.  He said the activity was really well done and Spencer raved about it.  Maybe next year Taylor will be able to go.

And then Saturday morning was my big day:
I had a rocky start to the morning.  I was supposed to pick everyone up at 5:30 am to drive up.  We had a power outage and then had mistakenly set the back-up alarm for 5:59 instead of 5:00.  So I was woken up to my friends outside our house at 5:45 trying to wake me up.  Made for a panic dash as I grabbed everything!  You have to park 3 1/2 miles away and then bike and carry all your gear into the race.  It was a little inimidating there as it was a place of serious athletes.  Most of the time I can look around at race events and say, well she is doing it so I will be OK.  This time I was worried that I would be the last person to finish.  Thankfully I passed up a 62 year old man a few 20 somethings who looked like they were in pain.  So I wasn't dead last but I was definitely at the very end.  The swim felt great, I hung back at the start for 30 seconds so I was by myself and not in the pack.   1 mile open swim that involved wading through knee high mud to get to the starting point, 25 mile bike with only 1 really steep hill and then 6 mile run that involved several small steep hills and then 1 1/2 mile of straight climb that you had to do TWICE.  The running was hot, no shade, dusty, cement, gravel or loose dirt.  I was able to run the first loop but the second loop I had to walk a bunch or keel over.  More from the heat than anything else I think.  But I finished with 3:31 which I felt good about.  And most importantly I finished!

Another sad note as we left I run over a pipe in the dirt field that was in the parking lot.  Scraped up and dented the side of the truck.  Glad I have a husband who just shakes his head and says that stinks.  Nothing hurts today but everything just feels tired out.  I don't know if I would do it again but I really did enjoy the training part.

Thursday night was our back to school night.  Kids found out their teachers, schedules etc.  Allison was sad not to be in the class with her friend Andra and the teacher that she really liked.  But I think her teacher will challenge her which will be good.  Robyn is a little freaked out about 1st grade as it is "real school".  Spencer is taking Astronomy and German this semester which he is excited about.  On Thursday and Friday we did back to school shopping.  2 1/2 hours at walmart as everyone tried to pick out their perfect binders, pencils, note pads etc.  Each kids' teacher gives them a list of supplies they need to bring the first day.  Its quite lengthy.  I was good for the first hour but after that I really don't know or care much which binder is cuter or which high lighter will last longer.  But to my kids these are very important questions.  Throw in getting new shoes for everyone and trying to find pants for Spencer and everyone was shopped out.  I keep telling them that if they would stop growing my life would be so much easier.  Spencer was thrilled that he wearing regular pants this year.  No more huskies for him.  He has been going down every day to the work out room to do sit-ups and bench press etc.  We noticed how at back to school night he still can't participate in games or talk in conversations to his peers so we are working on that this year.  Any ideas?  Halving his meds seems to have woken him up quite a bit which I have mixed feelings about at times.  Having a kids be tired and feel sedated sometimes is a nice thing!  But he is in a happier place now.

This week is assessments and school starts.  Yipee!  I really wasn't ready for summer to be over and have loved having kids home.  But this week helped me get over that.  Now I am ready to ship them off!  And I think they are ready for me to do so.

love Heather


Bill & Lynda Skeehan said...

Wow. I am impressed that you finished, regardless of where in the pack you were. Kudos!