Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swimming, Trains, The Alpine Slide & A Throw Up Bug... Welcome Summer!

Dear Reader,

School is out for the Flegal children and I'm pretty thrilled about it. A few activities are set on the summer calendar, but for the most part it looks like this Mom will have many hours to fill for her four young Fleglets.
I've been itching to take a trip with our  family. For months, things were set to explore Bubba and Nanna Teresa's new cabin in Southern Utah over Memorial day weekend. Unfortunately those plans were put on hold due to unforeseen medical issues that needed immediate attention. We're thankful to say that our Bubba is in good hands and the outlook on his health is bright after a recent heart procedure (among other miserable tests he had to endure).

Earlier this week, I happily found myself in bed, scrolling through my email, during "quiet time" when a certain KSL deal caught my eye. A quick text to Andrew here and a few clicks of the mouse there and we suddenly had weekend plans to Park City!

"Can we surprise the kids?" I asked Andrew. "I mean, do you think that we should?"  Despite what he thinks, I really do value his opinion.

"Whatever you'd like." Was his perfect response. Suddenly giddy, I replied:

"Okay! Let's totally surprise them." Except then, real life happened. I had massive piles of clean laundry to fold along with the vacant suitcases that were waiting to be packed littering the main living room floor when Eliza came home from school on Thursday.

"Hey, Mom! What's all this?"

So there went that idea. Even so, the children and I enjoyed the anticipation of our little vacation while reminding Andrew on a daily basis that we were {all} preparing to go out of town.

Before summarizing what we did, I'd like to interject the important lesson learned (possibly a repeat lesson, if I'm being honest) during this trip. When planning family vacations, whether or not little ones are involved, go ahead and enjoy the anticipation as you imagine the happy bonding moments but, dear reader, keep in mind that with the possibility of exceptional highs comes the possibility of an assortment of low moments too.

Our weekend consisted of staying in a studio suite at the lodge at mountain village resort in Park City. The kids had access to a swimming pool that was actually filled for the first time this year the day we arrived (win). The bummer attached was that the water was F.R.E.E.Z.I.N.G. This didn't stop the kids from visiting the pool three times... and with each visit, it was reported, the water was a 'titch bit warmer' than the time before.
With a full kitchen, I brought Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner that first night. Having finished the first Harry Potter book, I promised Eliza we could watch the first movie as a family. The experience was made complete with popcorn. It was a cozy scene as I took in my sweet family piled onto the pull out bed.
photo taken minutes after rescuing Forrest (and the other guests at the hotel) 
from his pack and play 

And for background noise, just behind the divider that we were so pleased to discover that day when we first arrived, was Forrest's wails and protest to the pack and play we were asking him to sleep in. He's a champ sleeper when he's in his crib at home so the adjustment to the pack and play was less than awesome.

"I'll sleep by Forrest on that day bed." Andrew offered. "That way, if he needs a pacifier during the night, I can quickly help him find it." I could not believe my ears!! What a stud. The offer was unexpected which only added to my surprise and feelings of elation. To me, it was as if he was saying that first time in Forrest's young life, that he'd completely be Andrew's responsibility for the night.

Andrew's offer left an open spot next to Mom in the Queen sized bed. Eliza was thrilled when I extended the invite to her. And this is where the lesson comes in. Our second night there, Eliza suddenly sat up in the middle of the night and began violently throwing up. As a parent, I traded my nighttime responsibilities to our youngest child while inheriting the sweet eight year old whose belly was a vomit filled, ticking time bomb. That's life! Her sickness came out of nowhere. To be fair, we have gone a really long time without the throw up bug hitting our house. As for the clean up and comforting process, it's just like riding a bicycle friends. It's full of disgusting smells and fear as you go against the instinct to preserve your own health so you can cuddle and comfort your distraught child, but you proceed (with as much soap and hand sanitizer possible) as directed by parental instinct.

Not to mention, the studio suite had white carpet. Awesome! I'm sure we'll be invited back, oh I don't know, never. Andrew was amazing as he went straight to work scrubbing the carpet which left me to help direct (and redirect Eliza) to the bathroom for the next six hours, rinse and scrub bowls and plunge toilets. It was a dream! Speaking of dreams, somewhere during all this I managed to fall asleep and have a nightmare that I was actually at the Duggar's house (19 kids and counting, I LOVE that show... don't judge) and I was in their bathroom and it was their family that had the throw up bug and for some really awful reason it was MY job to clean up all of their vomit. Lovely, yes? It sure makes me feel better knowing that we still only have five potential tummy bug victims at our house, rather than their 19+.

So that was the low point.

Thankfully, the illness struck after having our fill of fun earlier that day. Saturday morning we woke to rain which really made me think this whole trip was a bad idea as we had plans to spend the day outside. After eating pancakes and fruit for breakfast, Andrew took the big kids to the pool to swim since Forrest had made it clear by then that he was ready for a morning nap.
The sun was up by the time he woke up. Hooray! So we walked a short, short way to the Alpine slide (which had just opened for the season). While we were there, I received word that our friends the Leffs were also in town and on their way to do the same thing. We met up with them and enjoyed a morning of visiting while our children played.
 It was great, especially when you consider their four kids are the same ages and genders (with the exception of Ava and Forrest) as our own (win!).
 Lunch and a trip with the Leffs to the swimming pool rounded out a very fun afternoon. After saying goodbye to our friends, we jumped in the car and headed into Heber where we enjoyed an evening train ride at Heber Valley's Wild West Days.
The train ride was complete with a train robbery (*gasp!) and dancing in the aisle to the song, "Happy." It made me happy; even if I was the only member of my family dancing in the walkway. My children are far more dignified, apparently.
Dinner and the eventual throw up chaos ensued. Nearly a full day has passed and so far, no one else has ended up as sick as Miss Eliza. That stat will probably look different in another 24 hours, but I can sure hope! Either way, our summer if off to a great start. I love my little family. I'm thankful for the fun trip we had together but even more for the sweet feelings attached to arriving back home.

Excuse me now as I head off to bed where thoughts of impending tummy bug attacks await my head. (Hey now, that rhyme was not intentional!) Goodnight.


Andrew Flegal said...

Thank you for keeping such a great history of our family. One of the goals I had even before I met you was to keep a photo journal. I have failed, but you are totally accomplishing it for me. I love you for it .

*Jess* said...

aw, I love all your pictures and adventures, but Andrew's comment really made me smile :)