I just can't seem to keep still lately.
While I was in Idaho last weekend my mom texted me to ask if I would like to come up to Canada with her and Josie (and my big girls, who they were already planning on taking). Hmmmm...let me think...is ice cold?
Rosie had been planning to go with them but ended up staying home to work some extra hours which freed up her space in the van, so I could come with the baby (who, I'm learning, I should call by his name—Alexander—more often rather than simply calling him "the baby" because everyone I came across complained that they knew all my other children's names, but not the baby's name because I always refer to him as the baby)* and "one other child."
But which one?!
Such a hard decision to make! But Andrew and I had a thirty second conversation about it and decided that he and Benjamin could have a boys' weekend at home while the rest of us had a girls' (+ baby) weekend abroad and that would be fine. They'd go to McDonald's and watch Star Wars and he'd have the time of his life. So that was the decision.
But then my mom started worrying that Benjamin would feel left out (and, frankly, I'd worried about this, as well) so we decided that if we took our van instead of my dad's van we could fit all of my children in. It would be a tight squeeze on the way up there with all eight seats filled, but Josie was planning on riding back to Utah with Patrick, who decided that northern BC wasn't for him right now. That meant we wouldn't be too too crowded on the way home.
So Andrew started planning a bachelor weekend for himself.
But then I began having second thoughts. Considering how dreadful the ride up to Idaho last weekend had been (Zoë wetting her pants, wanting to stop to use the potty every half hour, all the screaming Alexander did, all the poking and name-calling from the children who were all sitting too close together). Plus the idea of taking care of all five of them on my own (with the help of my family, but still...that's not the same as having Daddy with us) was daunting, especially the thought of trying to get all of them to behave like quiet, tidy, respectful houseguests. And then it wasn't a terribly long trip—I couldn't imagine dragging them all the way up there only to turn around and come back.
It would be miserable.
"I'm not so sure about taking all four kids up with me..." I remarked to Andrew.
"Five," he responded gravely (but jokingly, holding up five fingers). "We have five kids. Suddenly I'm not so sure about you taking all the kids up there, either. I would want five kids to come back..."
In my defence, I don't think I was counting the baby (ALEXANDER) as a kid. The baby was always a given—if I was going, he was going. It was the other four who were in question.
My mom had begun to have second thoughts as well, for many of the same reasons I had been worried, and even Reid was arguing strongly against taking all the kids with me. After much deliberation (obviously) we (the parents and grandparents) settled on leaving both Benjamin and Zoë at home for a weekend with Daddy. I would take Rachel, Miriam, and Alexander with me.
Benjamin and Zoë were fine with this. Daddy said he'd take them to McDonald's (yay!) and on Friday they could have a Star Wars party (May the 4th be with you!) so they were thrilled to be left behind.
Those headed to Canada left on Thursday afternoon. We drove up to Raymond to spend the night.
Those left behind in Utah went to McDonald's for dinner on Thursday. They spent some time at the play place.
Those of us in Canada on Friday woke up to visit with Janet and Shawn Navratil (my mom's cousin's wife and son), who put us up for the night. Then we visited the museum at Fort Macleod, which was fun, before pressing onward to High River. We attended Piper's play that evening.
Those of us in Utah went to kindergarten, spent the afternoon playing at home, and then started our Star Wars party. Unfortunately, the Star Wars party ended early when Benjamin threw up all over the place. Sad day.
Those of us in Canada on Saturday went to a waffle breakfast at the church before heading up to Calgary to meet/visit with my niece Amy and her daughter Scarlett. Then we went to Okotoks to visit my cousin Heather and her kids. We played at Big Rock. And then we returned to High River for another viewing of Piper's play (we had to split up our party so that someone was available to watch the baby).
Those of us in Utah spent the day cleaning up sick messes. Benjamin experienced what Andrew dubbed diarromit—when you have diarrhea and need to vomit at the same time. Poor Benjamin walked into the bathroom and pulled down his pants to go diarrhea but then decided that throwing up was more urgent. So he turned around to put his head in the toilet and started throwing up, but his diarrhea couldn't wait and he sprayed all over the bathroom. Poor Andrew had to clean that up. Fun times.
Those of us in Canada on Sunday bid farewell to friends and family and embarked on the long journey south. We stayed the night in Idaho at my mom's cousin Burt's house.
Those of us in Utah on Sunday either stayed home from church with sick Benny or attended church with Grandma and Grandpa (you can probably guess who did what). Benjamin seemed to be feeling better so Andrew gave him breakfast, but then Benjamin crashed and wanted a nap. With Benjamin sequestered in his bed, Andrew took the opportunity to use the bathroom, which was a mistake. While Andrew was sitting on the toilet, Benjamin burst into the bathroom. He saw Daddy on the toilet and clapped his hand over his mouth in an absolute panic.
"The sink! The sink!" Andrew cried, but he was too late.
Benjamin's stomach unleashed its contents all over the bathroom floor...and Daddy.
So that was fun for them.
Those of us in Idaho on Monday visited with Burt and Kathi. We drove to Idaho Falls, enjoyed the temple grounds, and walked along the Snake River to enjoy the falls. Then we visited with Auntie Emily and her family before hopping in the car to finish up our drive home.
Those of us in Utah spent the day recuperating. Benjamin did not go to school (he didn't go to school today, either). Daddy did not go to campus (as he had hoped to do).
We were all very glad to be reunited.
We were also very glad that we decided to leave Benjamin at home.
And Zoë. She's rather a forgotten figure in this story. She spent a lot of time alone this weekend (or alone with Grandma/Grandpa/Daddy) and loved being an "only child" for a while (since her sisters and the baby were gone and Benjamin was out of commission there was no one to fight with and, from what I hear, she was an absolutely gem of a child all weekend).
So, that's the brief overview of the past few days, but I have plenty of pictures and more detailed stories coming soon (assuming, that is, I can hammer out a few blog posts before we leave for Durham...tomorrow night)!