Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vacation Part 1

The fourteen hour car ride proved to go smoother than expected, thanks to the stops made to allow every one to get out and stretch their legs. There is a reason that the super amazing play ground at the park in Amarillo, Texas was empty at 12:30 in the afternoon on September first. Once we got the kids out, after hyping it up for an hour and begging them to hold the crying just a little longer, we realized it was like 110 degrees. The slides were on fire and you couldn't touch the railings, but we tried to let them play as long as it was humanely tolerable to break up the trip and allow all of us to stretch our legs out. The last two hours of the trip through the mountain pass was crazy with both kids alternating from whining to screaming repetitively in a sort of symphonic competition to see who could be the loudest. But, we made it. After pretending to spot about 100 bears, 100 trains, and 100 'I promise we are almost there' sayings. We did actually make it  and with time to get checked in to our condo and go eat. Even though we did have to twist their arms to get back into the car seat to drive to the restaurant. That first night we met up with Jason's brother Justin and his girlfriend Erica. The kids did ok that night because they were so exhausted. And we allowed Cruz to just sleep in between us, he was in heaven. Let me be clear that I was not. Especially after getting rolled over, kicked, and chicken chested every thirty minutes all night long. The next morning we got up and ate at Michael's Kitchen! Jason's mom Rachel joined us for breakfast and had a chance to see the kids for the first time in almost a whole year. Once we finished up, we went to the park and hung out all day with family. That night was a different story. We aren't really sure what happened but Cruz fell asleep around 8:30 after a day of no naps. Then he woke up screaming at 9:30, 11:30, and 1:30 each time screaming at the top of his lungs for like 20 minutes. There was nothing we could do. I honestly thought the first time that he was having a seizure as his body was flailing and he wouldn't look at us. There was nothing that would stop the crying. Each time it would wake wren, needless to say, we were exhausted by morning. Sunday morning Jason spoke at church and I tried to corral the kids and keep them quiet. Which was near impossible in the one room church building so we sat in the car and watched a video until daddy was done. The rest of the day was a family filled day and the kids had a blast. I tried to soak up as much knowledge as possible from Jason's aunt Martha, who has her master's in Special Ed. Two of Martha's three children are deaf, so she has learned first hand and professionally the best ways to improve language skills. She definitely gave us some new concepts and ideas to work on and think about. Her excitement to engage Cruz and play with him was refreshing and allowed  me the opportunity to not feel the need to step in constantly before something is broken, before he falls, etc. Normally in a new environment I'm constantly having to make sure that the kids are not destroying things, not eating rocks, etc. Yesterday was like a lesson for mama to just chill out and not constantly watch them. I didnt grow up in a large family and I am used to having to police them myself. Yesterday I would turn around and see a cousin, an aunt or an uncle holding the kids or playing with them. It was so awesome to know that with so much family around that there were always eyes on them, besides mine. I had truly planned to make multiple posts through the trip but that didn't happen. Over the next couple of days we visited lots of family. We played with cousins. We got ice cream. We went up to the ski valley and although the lift was closed we did find some horses to feed. We took a family music class at Twirl. Which was a darling enchanted kids play place. We went swimming at our condo. We ate tons of good Mexican food. We even managed to squeeze sushi in one night. I'm pretty sure it was the only meal  all week that didn't include green chili. Jason, and Aaron and I even managed to do our fantasy football draft from our condo (which I feel really confident about my team). I was able to squeeze in a few workouts, but for the most part it was a relaxing time with family... until we packed up and drove 6 hours to Denver...
Our drive into the back side of Taos

Walking the same path dad used to walk when he was a kid to go to the bus stop

Beautiful patios and courtyards are hiding everywhere in Taos

Taos plaza

Cruz trying to keep up with a couple of the girl cousins

Cruz stretching out his arm

storm rolling in

Blast from the past... the boy cousins picking up a game of football. I'm pretty sure they are all laughing because someone got popped in the face by a ball

team huddle

teaching Cruz how to play center

Cruz honestly thinks he is just as big and running just as fast

Cruz is getting ready to chop block his uncle Justin

girls will be girls.

After the storm. There was a double rainbow but it faded before we got the shot

view from Jason's backyard

ready to swim!

The kids had a blast on our back patio playing with all the pebbles and stones

so happy to be swimming
Nick teaching Layandria how to dive in off of the side

driving up to the ski valley

Jason's grandpa was a lift operator for over 30 years

The kids loved feeding the horses

Jason rode this a time or two when he was younger
Cruz is about the same age that Jason was when he started skiing

the kids with cousin Xailey, who is two weeks older than Cruz

The drive back down from the Ski valley

The Chocolate Factory

Ring around the rosey.... trying to burn some of that sugar down

early morning fog on the mountains
The kids at Twirl

After our music class

Dinner at Ranchos Plaza Grill with Grammie

Cruz was screaming at breakfast and was totally distracted by the shiny motorcycle outside. They were so nice to let Cruz sit on it. He was in heaven.
Xailey and Wren at the Park

We hung out a lot with Xailey and her family... it was awesome.

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