Wowza! Why is it that you think you'll be able to relax during summer, yet it winds up being the busiest time of year? Is it just me?? It's taken me three days to get this blog post done. So you better enjoy it!!
We got there really late on the 10th and right from the get-go it was all fun and smiles. Anthony and Molly slept camping style in sleeping bags on the floor and their laughter could be heard long after it was declared bed time, lol.
We did a lot of fun things while there. The kids enjoyed playing outside and making a fort out of a phone booth turned on its side. Naturally there were many falls and a few boo-boos. Anthony stepped on a cactus and got literally a hundred barbs in his foot. I wasn't there to witness (so no photos!), but Sam said it took a long time to get them all out and Anthony took it like a champ. There were tears of course, but he was a real big boy about it and he STILL tells everyone he stepped on a cactus in Montana, haha. Anthony and Sam got a hair cut. I got some real nice photos of Anthony in the barber chair and one of a sweet little Molly who wanted her picture taken in the barber chair as well. :) We went out to eat a few times and also went to this great candy shop that served the most delicious ice cream! We went to a concert being held at one of the parks there in Dillon. Right as we got out of the car it started to rain so we had to take cover under the awning of a bank. The kids thought it was the most fun EVER being caught in the rain so it warranted a picture! Once the rain let up we were able to make it to the park. There was a craft booth there and the kids enjoyed making paper bag puppets. They turned out so cute! Nothing like a free outdoor concert on a rainy summer evening to put you in a good mood. Hmmmm, what else.....Sammy did some driveway work with a bobcat and helped Uncle Tim with other projects around the house. Timothy and I did a lot of rocking on the porch rocker, enjoying the Montana scenery. At the end of our stay we made sure to take a few group photos and I think they turned out awesome. The last night we were there we had birthday cake (for me!) and I received a pretty necklace and earring set from Aunt Connie. :) After singing happy birthday to me, Anthony was on a singing roll and had a good time making up tons of songs about anything and everything. Sam was so impressed he got in on the singing too....I WISH I had a photo of him performing "I'm a little tea pot." HAHAHAHA!! The kids had an absolute blast during our stay.
We woke up early on Saturday, July 14th (my birthday!!) and drove 17 looooooooooong hours. Our next destination? Coon Rapids, Minnesota! I can't say it was the ideal way to spend my birthday....cooped up in a car for 17 hours with 3 kids, but they were fairly well behaved and sang me happy birthday a few times. Aunt Connie had also packaged me up some cake so I was able to eat cake on my birthday, even while on the road. Win!
We arrived at Sam's mom's place (Grandma Hauck) at 1:30 in the morning on Sunday. We were all so dang tired, but our excitement kept us up a bit after we got there and got all unpacked. The kids were excited to be at Grandma's house! When we woke up Sunday, we busied ourselves getting ready to have lots of family over. Sam's sister and her kiddos, 3 cousins and their wives and kiddos, as well as an aunt and uncle showed up to spend some time with us. We all had a great time! It was nice to pig out on yummy food and play catch up with people while everyone ohh'd and ahh'd over Timothy. :) And something extra special happened that day too....Anthony went to the park nearby Grandma's house with all the big kids.....sans Mama and Papa! Oh my did that make me nervous! But I was reassured all would be well and I needed to let him go and have this big boy adventure. You should have seen his grin! Haha! Later on the guys all went to the park with the kids because Molly wanted to go and I didn't want her to go without a grown up around. Who doesn't love the park? The night ended with Anthony and Molly playing with glow-sticks with their cousins Aleah and Elijah. How fun!
Monday we went out to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. YUM! We went to a few stores and Sammy got me a new laptop for my birthday! YAY!! I also got Anthony a lunch box and a few other goodies for school. We capped off the day with another trip to the park....this time all of us!....and then we ordered pizza. It was nice to have pizza delivered to the house! Our house is too far out to get delivery, so it was fun to do it at Grandmas!
On Tuesday we did some more shopping. It can be hard buying clothing for the kids because I need to make sure to try the clothing on them. There are only a few places to get the kids clothing where I live and I hate ordering stuff online for them because I usually wind up returning it due to poor fit. Pants are the worst. Definitely need to try pants on the kids before buying, my kiddos are so small! It was a treat to see a Carters and Osh Kosh by Grandma's house so we had to go. We filled the kids' need list for school clothing and it feels great! They both got a lot of good loot and I'm excited to play dress up with them when school time comes, lol.
After our shopping adventure we went to Sam's cousin Jason's house. Jason's wife is Lori and Lori is one of my faithful blog readers who has been following me for some time now! I've talked about her on here before. Most recently in a thank you post because she sent us a beautiful blue and brown baby blanket for Timothy. :) Anyway, we had dinner at their place and the kids had a fun time running around outside playing soccer and stuff. We were spoiled with some gifts too! The kids got coloring books, Timothy got some bibs and cute little shoes, and I got a bottle of wine. Thanks Lori! It was super nice to finally meet up with Lori again (the last time was 4 years ago!) and let the kids run hog wild outside. What a great day!
Wednesday was also super fun! Sam took the kids, Timothy included, to go see an old friend. It was my first time without having Timothy! I gave Sam some pumped breast milk and sent him on his merry way while Grandma took me to get a pedicure. My first one ever! Ohhhh it was fantastic! We sat in these big massage chairs that vibrated and messaged your back while we got our feet and legs scrubbed and our toes all prettied up! It was awesome!
Afterwards we headed on back to the house to reunite with Sam and the kids before heading off to see Sam's best childhood friend, Tommy. The "Thomas" in Timothy Thomas comes from Tommy. And the last time we saw Tommy I was pregnant with Anthony, so he hadn't met any of the kids before. Our visit was just so dang awesome and special because of all of this. We went to Tommy's Grandma's house (Sophie) and not only was Tommy there, but so was his mom and sister. We had a super nice visit! It was really great to see Sam and Tommy together again. They've been friends for a really long time and you can just feel the bond they have. Tommy had a good time wrestling around with Anthony and Molly while we listened to Sophie tell us stories about her being forced to work in the factories for the Nazis during WWII and her and her husband's journey to America to escape fascism. Amazing. We had the most delicious steak and side salads and finished off the meal with an amazing snickers cake. It was hard when it came time to leave. It's never easy saying goodbye to such a great, long time friend.
Thursday we made it a point to relax all morning. When Sam was living in Minnesota, before he joined the Navy, he worked on a family owned sod farm. He has since stayed in contact with the entire family and we joined them all at Brad's house, one of the sons, for dinner. My oh my was it tasty!! I pigged out big time! Some of the women there were really interested in my home birth, so I told them all about it while the guys got caught up and all the kids played. At one point they were all down on the dock catching fish with a net! Anthony caught a few and he was so proud of himself! I was really nervous about letting them on the dock, but they were really careful and I couldn't help but think they were acting very grown up on this vacation!
Friday we had another relaxing morning. In the afternoon we set the tripod up and took some group photos with Grandma. They turned out fantastic! We had dinner and then headed over to Sam's cousin Justin's house for a visit and some dessert. We all devoured some cake and ice cream while the kids played. We called it an early night and spent the time before bed doing laundry and gathering our things together. I also had Sammy color my hair. I was sick of looking at my highlight grow-out so I picked up a box of dark brown and Sam so lovingly made my hair pretty, lol.
Saturday morning, the 21st, it was time to hit the road to head back home. We got up really early and finished loading up the car. It was hard to leave Grandma's house. The kids were upset and didn't want to leave, but our trip home was going to take 24 hours of driving split up between 2 days and Sammy had to work on Monday...so we had to say goodbye. :( We drove 12 hours before stopping at a hotel in Billings, Montana. This hotel had a pool so Sammy and the kids made a beeline for the pool while Timothy and I hung out in the hotel room and ate some diner. When the kids returned, we made them some dinner and spent the rest of the evening watching a little tv before going to bed.
We were up bright and early again Sunday morning and ate ourselves silly at the breakfast buffet the hotel offered. Another 12 hours in the car and we finally made it home. Home sweet home!!
I was really impressed with the kids' behavior during our trip. They behaved exceptionally well! Timothy was difficult and fussy a few times, but overall he was a happy little guy and to my surprise, his sleeping improved while on this trip! He began giving me 4-5 hour stretches of sleep each night and it was awesome! (Now he's up to giving me a 6-7 hour stretch of sleep.) All the kids were great travelers. I was really worried about how they would be being cooped up in the car for such a long time, but besides the typical, "he touched me, she hit me!" type of thing, Anthony and Molly did great. And Timothy was awesome! I hopped back in the back seat every 2 hours or so to feed him and keep him company and then he'd doze off, allowing me to hop back into the front. I have to admit though, it if weren't for all the car snacks, toys, music, and the couple movies the kids watched, the car rides might have been terrible!
What a fantastic trip we had!
With love,Mama Hauck