I was really dreading the drive up there and back. It was an 11 hour drive with 6 month old twins and a two year old. You can imagine my apprehension. It went surprisingly well. We decided to leave here Monday night and come back Friday night. We prefer to drive through the night because the babies sleep. It doesn't always work but it's great in theory. The reason we went during the week was Jim wanted time before and after the vacation to relax. So we didn't get home and he had to go right back to work.
We packed during the day ( I tried a new way to pack the kids clothes. I took each outfit - pants, shirt, socks, [bracelet and hairbow for Ellie] and put them in a gallon sized ziploc bag. I labeled each bag with the child's name [even though Ellie's was easy to identify - All pink lol] That way each day I could just grab the ziploc bags and have everything right there. It worked GREAT! when I unpacked I just left the ziploc bags in the suitcase for next time) and Jim took a nap, then he went to school and I put the babies to bed. I let Ben stay up while I made sure everything was ready. When Jim got home he loaded the car while I nursed the babies (I woke them up and nursed them just to "top them off") At about 9"30 we were all settled into the car ready to go.
All the kids were asleep within 10-15 mins of being in the car. No crying! Will woke up in Vegas when we stopped for gas. I nursed him and put him back in his car seat. Ben woke up then too. Will went right back to sleep. Ben took a little longer and couldn't seem to get comfortable. He kept getting upset because he couldn't turn over. Poor guy.
Ellie slept through until Nephi (about 6:00am) We stopped for gas in Nephi and everyone woke up. I nursed both babies (in the front seat of the car!!) They all stayed awake until we got to Layton. But no crying no screaming or anything!!
We had a blast on our trip. We stayed with our friends Alisha and Tony. They have a son named Cooper. He is a month younger than Ben. Ben and Cooper have been friends since they were about 6 months old. They have so much fun together. We met Alisha and Tony at church in California right after we moved back from Phoenix. Alisha and I instantly became really good friends. Our boys got along really well and our husband's did too. They moved to Utah about a year ago. :(
We went to a children's museum called the Treehouse. Ben and his friend Cooper had so much fun!! Here's some pics.
Ben and Cooper "painting" on the wall.
Putting together a fossil puzzle
Ben in the Oval Office.
Playing with the castle
Riding a Zebra
Will "enjoying" the museum. (He slept through most of it)
Fireman Ben and Firewoman Ellie
Ellie and Mommy
Ellie and a Doll in the "baby hospital"
close up of Ellie in the bassinet
Ellie in a pink chair because we had to take a picture of her in the pink chair. I mean, come on, it was PINK.
Then we went to Cabela's. It's this AWESOME camping store. It has a huge aquarium and these amazing scenes with wildlife. (It's hard to explain. But you can see photos of the store here. Here's some of our photos
In front of the aquarium
looking at the animals.
riding a quad
One of the exhibits.
Then we went to see my grandpa.
This is my grandpa Earl J, me, Will, Ellie, Ben and Grandma Alice.
I really hope this wasn't the last time I will get to see him.
The last day we were in Utah we visited my sister. She has three kids Catherine, Megan and Jonah. Ben had so much fun with them. They were so silly together.
Jonah, Catherine, Megan and Ben
Jim feeding Will
We left that night at about 7. Will woke up when we stopped for gas in Mesquite. I nursed him and put him back in the car seat. Ben woke up then too. We let him get out of his car seat while I was nursing Will. Unfortunately I bribed him back into his carseat with a dingdong, which helped to keep him up from 12 - 3. Will went back to sleep right away and slept until we were about 10 minutes away from home. Ellie slept the whole time and woke up about 10 minutes away from home. When Ben finally went back to sleep at 3 he slept until we were just about home.
Overall it was a really great trip. We had so much fun with Alisha and Tony. Thank you for letting us stay with you!!! It was so nice to see my sister. Next time I'd like to be able to spend more time with her. I still need to get her awesome potato soup recipe from her. I'm really glad I got to see my grandpa. I'm glad the twins got to meet him (not that they will ever remember it. But at least I have pictures) I really hope I get to see him again. I'm so glad we went.