Tomorrow will be my last day at work for 10 days, meaning it will be the longest break I’ve had in approximately forever. Even when each of my 3 kids was born I didn’t have this much time off work, and we’ve been planning this trip for about 8 months, so it’s safe to say that excitement levels are steadily rising. The 5 days and 4 nights that we’ll be gone will be the longest stretch that we’ve ever been away from the kids, and honestly that part kinda bums me out, but I know they will be having tons of fun with Grandma and Grandpa, so it’s all good.
Speaking of the grandparents, they arrived yesterday afternoon after driving through the night all the way from Colorado. They were originally supposed to fly their plane up here, but the weather has been so bad that driving was basically their only option. I can’t believe how quickly they got here, and certainly we appreciate the fact that they’re here to allow Jessica and I to go on vacation. They’re going to be taking the kids to see Santa Claus while we’re gone, and Grandma even had two cute Christmas dresses for the girls to wear in the photo, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Yesterday we had a crazy storm here in the Seattle area that was causing all kinds of power outages and ridiculous traffic. I was supposed to have a dentist appointment at 5:30, so I left my office at 4:25 thinking I had more than enough time to make it. I chose to take the back roads rather than the freeway, which is my normal route home anyway, but what I didn’t know was that most of the stop lights on my way home weren’t working because of the power outage, meaning traffic was a nightmare. By the time 5:30 came around I wasn’t even halfway to the office, so I called them to tell them that I wouldn’t make it. I ended up calling several times but there was never an answer, or even an answering machine for me to leave a message on. I (correctly) assumed that they also had lost power, so I just did my best to get home.
As I entered our neighborhood I was instantly saddened to see that every house was pitch black. It was obvious that the neighborhood was without power. By this point I had been in the car for an hour and 45 minutes, I had to pee about as bad as a person can have to pee, and I realized that I only had one small flashlight and no candles readily available at home. As I drove through the neighborhood it appeared that all hope for electricity was lost, but then I turned onto my street and saw the most beautiful sight – every house was fully lit up. As it turns out, our street (and only our street) is part of Unincorporated Snohomish County, while the rest of the streets in the neighborhood are part of Everett. Because of this, our street is on a different power grid, and apparently the power on our street never goes out!
Amy and Tom were already there when I got home, so it was nice to catch up with them before Jessica and the kids got home from the gym. Obviously the kids were super excited to see Grandma and Grandpa when they got home, so the rest of the evening was spent hanging out, eating dinner, and catching up. Jessica recently joined a local gym that provides child care while you’re working out. So far the kids seem to really enjoy going there to play with other kids, and Jessica is really enjoying it, so I’m glad it’s working out.
Tonight Jessica and Amy are taking Ava and Elise to see Disney’s ‘Frozen on Ice’ at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Last year they took Ava to see ‘Disney on Ice’ for her birthday while Elise stayed home with Grandpa and me. I guess Ava had the time of her life, so this year all the girls will be going to the show while the boys stay home. When I said goodbye to Ava this morning she was already talking about tonight’s show, so I’m sure their excitement is virtually bubbling over by now.
Regarding our trip to Austin, we don’t have any plans set in stone. We’re just going to play it by ear and see what happens. I definitely want to check out Zilker Park and get my picture taken at the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue. I’m also really looking forward to eating some traditional Texas BBQ and seeing some good live music, but beyond that I have no idea what to expect. We’re staying at the downtown Hyatt, and we’re not even renting a car. Maybe I’ll finally get to experience Uber while we’re there.
It occurred to me while talking to my Mom on the way home from work yesterday that someday the kids may read some of the stories I share on the family blog and be less than thrilled with me for sharing some of the things I share. For example I’ve written about the trials and tribulations Ava experienced during potty training that she may not want everyone to know, and I’m sure there will be plenty more comparable stories about each of the kids in the future, but I hope that they understand that it only comes from a place of love; not just from me who’s writing it, but also from those who care enough to read it. Hopefully they will see it as a very small price to pay for having a documented history of the lives they lead before they were old enough to remember.
Speaking of the kids, all 3 of them are doing excellent. Ava is fully potty trained and hasn’t had an accident in a long time. She seems to have grown up a lot over the last couple months but she’s still as sweet as ever. Elise is going through the terrible two’s but she’s still such a sweetheart. She’s definitely the cuddliest of the three, and still frequently crawls into bed with us in the wee hours of the morning. She gets easily frustrated with Ava, particularly because Ava knows better than anyone how to push her buttons, but she’s also usually pretty easy to calm down, so it’s a fair trade.
Enzo is on the verge of walking, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he took his first steps while we’re out of town. I thought he was going to do it the other night, but even though he definitely has the balance, he doesn’t quite have the confidence to take a step without holding onto something. Regardless, he will certainly be our earliest walker, and as I’ve said all along, I think he just wants to keep up with his sisters. He’s getting so big now it’s crazy. Even Amy said last night that she couldn’t believe how much he has grown since she last saw him 2 months ago. It probably won’t be long before he outweighs Elise.
Jessica and I will be returning from Texas on Tuesday evening, then on Wednesday Ava will turn 4! We’re going to take her to lunch, then to see a 3D cartoon movie about dinosaurs while Elise and Enzo do something with Amy and Tom. We like the idea of doing something like this for each kid on their birthday, so that they get to have a fun experience with just Mommy and Daddy. Thursday of course will be Thanksgiving, but we’re going to keep it really low key this year. Amy and Tom will be leaving on Saturday so they can get home in time for their trip to London, then on Sunday we’ll be holding a small family birthday party for Ava.
Guess that’s about all for now. I’m sure there will be plenty to write about next week once we get back from our trip.