Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Vacation


3 weeks gone
8 different car trips
2,491 miles traveled
4 states traveled through/in
2 sick kids with fevers
6 cousins played with
Many naps missed
And fun too numerous to count.....


The kids and I drove to Burley the last day of June, by ourselves for the first time ever.  I was very nervous about making the trip alone with the kids, as Ben is usually with us- he drives and I take care of the kids for the 10 hour drive.  But this time, I was both driver and care taker.  Fortunately (miraculously, perhaps), the drive went really well.  We got to break the trip up into 2 parts: We drove to Tri-Cities Sunday night, then woke up and drove the last 6 hours on Monday.  We only had to stop 1 1/2 times.  The half time was a quick side of the rode potty trip (Chloe, of course, had to pee an hour outside of Tri-Cities, no where near a rest stop), and then the other time was for a quick lunch and gas stop.  It was a long trip (I felt every minute of the 10 hour drive) but the kids did pretty well.  I was so glad to be done and to be in Burley, though!

We had a wonderful time at my parent's house.  They took such great care of us, as always, and it was so nice for me to have company and someone to visit with everyday.  That is one of the hardest things for me about being a stay-at-home Mom- not having an adult to chit chat with during the day.

After being in Burley for just 2 days, Mitchell and I took off on another road trip to Logan, UT to visit my sister Amanda who just had her first baby the middle of June.  Chloe stayed home with Grandma, Papa and Catherine (she was not sad at all to see me leave) so I could enjoy some fun, quiet time with Amanda and baby Carter and Mitchell, 3-year old free.  Chloe, not wanting to break usual "Burley Trip" tradition, got sick the day after I left.  I cannot remember a time when we have went to visit my parents that Chloe has not gotten sick (along with another one of us, as well sometimes).  We were glad that at least this time we didn't have to visit the Burley Emergency Room, as has been the case the last 2 visits.  Her bug was just a 24 hour thing, but Mitchell decided not to be out done by his sister and he got sick as well.  Both kids ran fevers and Mitch was CRANKY for a good week.  The curse of Burley.......

Mitchell LOVED baby Carter.  I know Mitch is big for his age, but let's be honest- it looks like David and Goliath here!  Next to Carter, Mitchell didn't seem like my baby anymore......
Check out the difference in leg size......
These 2 little guys are almost exactly 8 months apart.

And Mitchell got really good at standing while we were gone.  He still doesn't crawl, even at 9 months, but he LOVES to stand.

My mom, little sis Cath and Chloe came up to Logan to spend the 4th of July with us.  I had to do the matching shirts.  I wouldn't be a good Mom if I didn't do corny stuff sometimes.......  Still cute.

We had a great 4th of July and a great time in Logan!

We spent LOTS of time jumping on the tramp!  Chloe could jump ALL DAY LONG and enlisted anyone to jump with her that she could find.
This was Mitch's first time on a trampoline.....

Our baby prodigy picked up playing the  piano while we were away...... Watch out Beethoven!

We LOVED all the heat and sunshine in Burley.
We wore lots of hats and lots of sunscreen.

All the heat made for perfect swimming weather.  Chloe loves water and enjoyed some swimming with her cousins Paige and Jace.

The kids had a wonderful time together.  Here they are at Storybook Park.  We went their last year too and they all love this park.  Here they are 2008.
Storybook Park, 2007.

We were fortunate enough to be in town for the new Twin Falls Temple open house.  The temple is beautiful and I was so glad we were able to walk through it.  The kids behaved wonderfully- Mitch slept the whole tour.  Chloe refused to wear the shoe coverings so one of us had to hold her then entire tour, but she was very quiet and sweet in the temple.  While we were watching the preview video, she asked quite loudly if the baptismal font was a swimming pool.....  
My parents are very excited for this temple- now instead of driving 2+ hours to the Logan temple, they will have just a short 40 minute drive to Twin.

For part 2 of our trip, my entire family (my parents and all my siblings) went to Park City for a week.  Ben flew in and joined us and we had a great time.  We all stayed in a very nice, large condo.

We did some shopping at the Outlet malls and Chloe picked out this new swimming suit.  She was in love with the built in tutu and could not stop spinning and twirling in it when she tried it on in the store.  It took much coaxing to get her out of it so I could pay for it.

She wasted no time using it back at the condo in the outdoor hot tub. 

The highlight of the trip for Chloe was when we rode the Alpine Slide!  It is a huge slide that runs down the mountain.  You ride the ski lift to the top of the mountain, then sit on a cart and slide your way to the bottom.

She could not stop smiling.  We also rode the Coaster- a roller coaster that you ride up to the top, then it winds its way down the mountain and through the trees.  The fun part about both the slide and the roller coaster is that you get to control how fast you go (you can even make yourself come to a complete stop on both rides).  Chloe was not scared on either ride and just giggled and giggled.  

Steve, unfortunately, experienced the down side of the Alpine Slide- as it warns you at the top "You can fall off the Slide!"  Steve's slide cart dumped him off on a turn and he landed face down on the slide with his cart on top of him.  Here he shows his war wounds.
Somewhere on Alpine Slide is a huge piece of skin.......

One day, we drove to Salt Lake and went to Hogle Zoo.  It was so HOT that day, but we still had fun.

Blakeslee Family 2008

The day before we left, we got a family picture.  We haven't had one in 3 years.  We did these ourselves and I think they turned out great.
It took a lot of shots to get 16 people to look at the camera and smile at the same time.  In one of the shots, everyone, babies included, were looking at the camera.  Chloe was the only problem..... (at least she was looking at the camera while she did it.  And she's smiling too!)
When they're not screaming, crying or pooping, our kids can be cute!

On our last day in Park City, we went to the Olympic Park.  
Chloe carrying the torch.....

The exciting part of the day was when Dad decided he wanted to ride the Olympic Bobsled.  He rode the bobsled at the Olympic park in Calgary Canada, too, and was up for it again.  My sister Amanda decided to do it with him and at the last minute (after trying to get Ben to do it), I decided to do it too, for a "once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Step 1 was to watch the video about what we going to happen.
Step 2 was to sign our lives away, saying we won't sue the park for anything that happens on the ride......
Here was our fearless team: Amanda, Dad and Me.
After we had climbed into the Bobsled and got buckled, one of the employees quickly mentioned, as if it were no big deal, to try and keep your back and spine as straight as we possibly could and to try and keep your head up, as it would continuously want to fall over and whack the person in front of you (due to the speed and force of the ride).  He mentioned that we would have a hard time controlling our heads.  It was at that point, for the first time, that I got nervous...... what was I getting myself into?? 
Here we are at the start, being pushed off.  My older brother Matt helped push us off. 

I've watched the movie Cool Runnings many, many times ("Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, Come on Jamaicans, it's Bobsled time!") but I guess I forgot how scary it looks to ride in a bobsled.  As we started off, the first 7 or 8 seconds or so, and the first turn, were easy.  I had complete control of my head and back and I thought "Ok, this isn't so bad...."  But after that we picked up speed (close to 80 mph) and things got crazy!  My head thrashed around uncontrollably every turn after that and I can see now why they say anyone with back or neck problems should not ride!  By the end of the ride, I was hunched over with my helmet covering my eyes.  I was sweating (nerves and heat) and I was clenching my hand straps as hard as I could.  I was clenching my whole body the whole ride, actually, and I was clenching my legs and feet so tightly that I gave myself a Charlie Horse during the middle of the ride!

Here was our final time- 59.46 seconds- a very long 59 seconds, but it also felt short at the same time.  We ranked 3rd out of all the times for that day.  What a rush!  I'm glad I did it- now I can say I rode a Bobsled, but I think that may be the last time.  My back and neck were sore for about a week afterwards and I was nauseous for the rest of the afternoon.  But way to go Team Blakeslee!  For another recap of our historic bobsled ride, see Amanda's blog.  Dad did great and had no complaints, but he is a seasoned veteran of bobsled rides.  It was fun to do it with Dad and Amanda.  But rest assured, you will never see me in the Winter Olympics competing in the bobsled competition!

We had a wonderful vacation!  3 weeks is a long time to be gone, but we loved every minute of it!