Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chapter Two

When I'm in Chico I feel home. I've never lived there, but I've spent plenty of time there and let's face it, they have great beer.

But seriously, I do love to go to Chico. My aunt and uncle's house is the only house from my childhood that is still around. I love that house. I remember playing in the dirt when they were getting their underground sprinklers put in (how long ago was that??), I remember my cousin Jesse's Michael Jackson poster and being afraid of the video for "Thriller", I remember riding my bike around that cul-de-sac with the neighbor kids, I remember my Aunt Bobbi with her plug in video camera. I really love that house. And my aunt and uncle and cousins are all totally awesome. Does your family drop everything to have cocktails every day at 5? Well, mine does.

Warning: Nekkid baybee ahead!

Bobbi and Jeff have the Ultimate Grandparents Backyard with toys and pools and popsicles and A Fan That Blows Mist At You (!!). It was a little slice of heaven. If only Sawyer could have figured out how to hold and eat his popsicle without freezing his poor little hand.

And who is crazy enough to take three small children to a restaurant for lunch? Good thing we were the only customers in the place and we just so happened to know the server...

Oh Jack! He is just so quirky. Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or scream. He got it in his head that he needed a scuba diver set for all of our trips to the pool. I blame Quentin for this, because allegedly he brought a snorkel and mask to preschool for Sharing one day and so now of course a snorkel and mask set is the hot ticket item of the season. So I broke down and bought the kid some pool gear including the coveted snorkel/mask combo plus some sweet crab goggles and inflatable water wings. Did he use all of this new gear for some underwater adventures in the pool? No. Instead he spent approximately one hour switching from mask to snorkel to goggles to goggles with mask to snorkel with mask to goggles with snorkel to HEY MOM CAN I WEAR THE GOGGLES AND SNORKEL AND MASK AT THE SAME TIME?

These kids drive me to drinking. Good thing it was close to five o'clock.

Chico has a really fun park and once it cooled down to a chilly 90 degrees we got to spend some time there. The park has this kind of medieval/castle sort of theme going on (someone explain this to me, please) and I remember going there when we were kids. It's so weird how everything shrinks as you get older 'cause I'm pretty sure that park was Disneyland sized when I was younger.

Then we busted out the BOB strollers and trekked around Chico State for awhile. We attempted to picnic and then just let the kids run around like crazy people. It's what they do best.

It's funny how my kids don't want to play in their own sandbox anymore, but somebody else's sandbox, now that's a different story. (Note Tim gardening in the background. What a champ!)

So overall the trip was a huge success. I was especially apprehensive about our sleeping arrangements, but it all ended up working out just fine. Jack is absolutely terrible about going to bed. This is my fault because I rocked him and nursed him to sleep for the first fourteen months of his life until I saw the light and finally put him in his own damn crib to go to bed on his own already. He has always fought going to bed and I know it's because of how I did the sleep thing. But you can't tell a new mother how to put her kid to bed and I just did what seemed right at the time. I know better now. Sawyer, on the other hand, who cried for the first four months of his life and had to learn how to sleep on his own will pull his blanky out of the crib and curl up on the floor waiting for someone to come along and put him to bed.

So Sawyer slept in a pack and play and Jack and I shared a queen sized bed together. I had to lie down with him each night until he fell asleep, which was kind of annoying because all I wanted to do was hang out with Lauren with all of the kids asleep and the faster I wanted him to fall asleep, the longer it took. Also, he squirms around and kicks a lot during the night. Family bed = not for me.

But we all managed to sleep and this experience furthered my conviction that Brent and I need to take back a part of the house that is rightfully ours (the third bedroom) and move the boys into a shared room.

The ride home was pretty miserable. I was sad to leave and it's always anticlimactic (adj.: not exciting, dull, disappointing- you're welcome, PB!) to come back home after a long anticipated trip to see loved ones. I was out of the enthusiasm needed to make a trip like this fun and had no more novelty toys or snacks to give. So we muscled through with the help of a mini DVD player and some Bob The Builder episodes. We stopped for a picnic lunch in Yreka and were almost attacked by a gaggle (?) of gigantic geese. The internet had promised a miniature gold mining town and we did stumble upon a pathetic set of ramshackle buildings purporting to be blacksmith shops and a trading post. Sawyer did not seem to mind the internet's deception.

At last we arrived in cold, rainy Eugene. We were all exhausted and the car was completely trashed (Lauren- Brent was out there vacuuming away the next day!). Jack has been on snack and Bob The Builder detox for the past week, Sawyer screams every time we get near the car, and I am JUST SO CRAZY that tomorrow I am loading them up once again and driving to see my friend Melanie in Bend.

I hear they have good beer there. I'm going to need one.

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