Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cali-Fornia Here I Come!!



... Right back where I started from! (not really)




As many of you know I claim Maryland as my home, as I spent a majority of my life there. However, the summer I got home from my mission (to Northern California) my family re-located to the Sacramento area. Even though we were so sad to leave our East coast world. It has been beneficial for my children having them closer to both sets of family as we are a days drive from ANYONE!




So once a year my mom does what we call "Grandma/Grandpa Camp". As with everything, my mom goes ALL OUT. She chooses themes each year and goes crazy!!!!




Because we are the farthest away from my parents, and because gas is so expensive, and because it is a pretty traumatic drive, even in one day w/ 4 kiddos.--We only make it out to there about once a year. It becomes a summer priority for us to visit my family.




This years Camp theme was "Discovery" and the kids were IN heaven. Colton Sterling and Ryland attended w/ their 2 other boy cousins-my parents are CRAZY!!!

Since it is a LONG drive (I had to fly my Dad out to PHX to drive with me on top of the gas, since Dan had to work), and since parents are NOT ALLOWED at Grandma's camp-- I always have to find alternative sleeping arrangements for that week. My older sister is in Sac. w/ her hubby installing security systems for my brother this summer, their apartment became Dacie and I's 'pad' for that week. Since I only get out there once a year as well, I stretched the trip out for another week hoping to get in some quality family time as well!



From what I gathered about Grandma's camp the boys went to about every museum in the area, made PB play dough, home made strawberry ice cream, did fireworks, went to six flags discovery kingdom, went to the river to swim, did about every science and craft experiment possible....and you get my drift!




The next couple of posts will re-cap some of the fun we had (including my sweet Colton's 7th birthday).



BUT before we do that, here are some things I learned on this trip:
1. I really appreciate having a working car. As our minivan's fly wheels separated, located right by the transmission, the car was in the dealership for a majority of our trip (getting the transmission out and in) AND my poor family had to drag, borrow and steal MY family around in a variety of cars. Try driving a car without power steering-I got some SERIOUS muscles-- it is not the turning radius on the steering wheel that is the problem, it is how stiff the stinker is! The Hutchings are well known for driving around 'ghetto' cars! Thank goodness we have a great warranty too-
2. Vacations CAN be a good time to 'wean' your kids. Ryland lost his extra pacifier and I found it right before we left, BUT I let him believe that it was still lost. He had a hard night the first night BUT did not ask for it the rest of the 2 weeks...until he got home to his bed (we are sticking to our guns). Because we were running around with so much fun in the evenings Dacie fell asleep most nights without a bottle-so I stuck to that routine, even when we were not busy. There has been no bad side affects! We are now PACIFIER and BOTTLE-LESS! It felt liberating to pack these items away when we got home!
3. I now know what happens IF you do not pull over for a police officer. While dropping my car off at the shop my BIL and I were driving right next to a guy that would not pull over. He was not speeding away or anything...BUT I learned that does not matter. Within a few seconds US and that other car were surrounded by officers in all directions with guns pulled (we just happened to be in the wrong place, they were able to cut off all the other cars) on a major street. I scream and drove off as fast as I could (with help from the BIL as I was frozen in fear)! Just PULL OVER next time!

4. As if 12 hour car rides are NOT traumatic enough with four kids, getting stuck in traffic (in the HOV lane in LA ) with a boy who has to go to the bathroom-- and NO DVD player (it broke somehere before the return trip) is HORRIFIC. I am sad to say that I think LA is the WORST place to drive (granted it was my fault for arriving there around 5pm), and that the results of the boy having to go to the bathhroom did not end pretty (the back of our car taking the brunt of the 'accident'). If someone invents a quick way to help little boys in the car while continuing to drive I will buy the car for that very reason, AND how on EARTH does anyone drive now-a-days without a DVD player...for the LOVE!
This is just the tip of the ice burg on adventures! Stay tuned....

6 comments:

Allison Barry said...

that sounds terrifying about the police having their guns drawn!

thanks for saying i have a small belly:)

The Thompson Family said...

Three words... empty water bottle!! Boys have outdoor plumbing... that's what my family used when my brothers had to go during long car trips... I have been known to use one with Dean once or twice... although I could have used one tonight!! And I agree, how does anyone with small children or children of any age for that matter w/out a DVD player in the car... Ours gets lots of milage.
How fun is that trip!! Glad you were able to make it to visit your family.

The Thompson Family said...

Three words... empty water bottle!! Boys have outdoor plumbing... that's what my family used when my brothers had to go during long car trips... I have been known to use one with Dean once or twice... although I could have used one tonight!! And I agree, how does anyone with small children or children of any age for that matter go w/out a DVD player in the car... Ours gets lots of milage.
How fun is that trip!! Glad you were able to make it to visit your family.

Us said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendi said...

Such a stinkin' cute blog! So glad I found it so we can keep in touch when we leave for UT! And it sounds like you guys were super busy in cali. Glad you're back for softball this weekend!

Tara said...

Wow! I know this isn't really any consolation to you - but it's so nice to know that freak things like that happen to other people too!!!! :)
p.s. I totally concur with the empty bottle suggestion. :)