(Of course, I had the best intentions to blog every week...but you know what they say about best intentions. And not to make excuses, but Jake was out of town off and on again for almost two weeks; I had sick boys; Jake and I were sick for like two weeks...no joke; I am pregnant (like enormous pregnant);...and I found a way to American TV online...with Turkish subtitles...so, my time has been wisely spent in lieu of blogging. But back to blogging now...in the past.)
We knew that Jake would be leaving before us to move to Switzerland...and most likely two months before us. As a mother of three young boys and being pregnant with a fourth baby, hearing your husband is going to be out of town for two months puts you into a dark place...like a place where you start shaking and dreading every minute of those two months. You see, Jake is a HUGE help...he is not a dad that ever checks out...ever. He is on the second he walks through the door at night and he is on every weekend, so the thought of managing every day, every meal, every bath time, every bed time...by myself was horrifying. So, I knew we would need to have some fun over the summer...honestly, I had a moment where I thought I would register the two older boys in almost daycare like setting for half days...yes, I was ready to do that, but Judah was too young...so, back to Mama they came. Luckily, we have some wonderful friends - we had some friends invite the boys and I to their cabin in Heber in June. My first solo road trip with my monkeys. It would be two moms and six boys five and under...yes, we are crazy. So, we start our road trip...Sam hates being in the car for more than thirty seconds...so, let's just say I knew it would be an amazing car trip. So, naturally Sam starts crying in the first minute of the trip...and we are all just going to manage...buck up. I have lots of random things to hand back to Sam to let him play with and most of the items kept him fairly entertained. We eventually got to point where nothing was keeping him entertained...and...I handed him a tampon to play with...yes, I did. It was either a tampon or a knife...an item to hold blood or an item to cause blood...pretty sure I made the right choice. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I don't believe he will be scarred for life by my choices...and it kept him happy. About twenty minutes outside of Heber, Hugh throws up in the car...he has never gotten car sick. Of course, he would get car sick while I am single parenting and on a road trip. It was nasty...but we powered through it all. And, I should mention that Hugh was completely able to not get a drop of puke on himself...just all over the car...truly gifted that child. We all made it in one piece. And, we had such a great time (except for when Judah destroyed the blinds in the guest room...oh, the damage a child can do so quickly). I felt bad for Ms. Heidi since Hugh was always badgering her to take him for nature walks...that is what you get Ms. Heidi for offering...that one time :). The boys all had a blast playing together and Sam slept like a champ (obviously, vacations are rated by how well my children sleep). We are so thankful for wonderful friends who can put up with our crazy. I wish I would have taken some pics of all our sweet boys playing together...but I didn't. Clearly, I was not all over Instagram this summer like I am now.
Our next road trip was for Fourth of July to Flagstaff to stay with Jake's brother and his wife...and only one pic from this trip...clearly, I was not all over Instagram this summer like I am now. I prepared myself in advance knowing the drive was going to be painful...but that we would all survive. Sam was Sam once again on the drive, but at least Hugh didn't throw up. So, I would consider it a win all around. The boys LOVE going to Uncle Jared and Aunt Julie's house so they were super excited about this trip. It was so nice escaping the Phoenix heat (I don't know if it is because I am pregnant or I am getting older, but the heat this summer was brutal...seriously, miserable.) and going to Flag...it was cool and rainy...so nice. We were able to enjoy the fire station, play outside, and go to the park...and not die of heat. We knew this would be the last time we would visit Flag before we left for Switzerland (and honestly, we don't know when we'll be back), so it was great to have the time with Jake's family.
Our third road trip came at the end of July. Melissa and Troy invited us to Melissa's family's cabin in Pinetop. Again, I knew the road trip would be brutal with Sam, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It is funny because our kids are so different in the car - at Sam's age, Judah would fall asleep within three minutes for every car ride...he still can easily fall asleep. Sam will eventually fall asleep, but it takes a LONG time...and sometimes, it doesn't happen at all. Anyway, on our way to Pinetop we go. My nephew, TJ, rode with us so Sam at least had a seatmate...poor TJ. However, Sam didn't cry as much with his seatmate friend and I am fairly certain TJ had enough of the throw and pick-up the pacifier game...for the rest of his life. I should note that I followed my brother on this drive...my brother has a few things to learn about people following him...like you don't wait until the last minute to pass people when you have two people following you...just throwing that tid bit out there. Moving on.
We had a BLAST at the cabin. It was pretty much the best trip in the world for my boys to stay with their cousins...they loved every minute of it...and Sam slept like a champ. It was super rainy, but the boys had so much fun exploring the lake, hiking, fishing (My brother is quite the trooper taking lots of kids fishing...and I am quite the trooper for driving super far to get to this fishing location...without any proper rain gear.), playing games, getting dirty, and just being with their cousins. Such a fun trip with great food (thank you to Troy and Melissa for cooking amazing food...all.the.time...I love it when other people are willing to cook for me...and even better when the food is awesome). We were so thankful to be able to spend this time with my family before our big move...even if I had to be forced to watch The Bachelor (I won't hold that against my family.). Sadly, the trip ended on a bad note with Eli when he had a nail go through his foot. I couldn't even look at it. He was one tough kid and this time, on the ride home, he got to be Sam's seatmate...and then, Eli threw-up in my car...seriously, what is it about kids throwing up in my car?!? Enough already! However, puke and all...the trip was great and one that we will remember for a long time!
So, that was the end of our summer road trips. I really thought about taking a road trip to California with the boys...and then, my sanity returned and I realized I am crazy, but I am not totally crazy. So, I didn't do California. I'm fairly certain that road trip would have put me over the edge. I know it would have been a blast, but my sanity won out. Overall, the trips this summer were great...puke and all. The boys and I enjoyed everyone's hospitality so much...we are very thankful for wonderful family and friends. We are going to miss being able to do all of those fun trips now that we live a million miles away, but we are so thankful for the memories!
Updates from the Noland 4.5
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