Wednesday was a bit of a chill day. Nana brought lunch over and he played with her for a while, then we just hung out. We needed a day home after all of the craziness.
Thursday we went out to Scottsdale to have lunch with Aunt Teene. We ended up at Sweet Tomatoes which was nice because the kids eat free there. It was also nice to go out and not eat something greasy. I’m afraid to see what the scale has to say about my vacation. I can already see it in my belly. Yikes.
Friday we went down to Mesa again. Yes, I know, we were out there a lot. This time we went to a park to meet up with our friends from MO who moved to AZ a few months ago. The whole way there, Claire was asking if it was the choo choo park. I kept telling her no it wasn’t, then we get there and there is a big train engine in the middle of the park. IT used to be a display but it was closed off. As we approached the train (which was the main attraction as we waited for our friends), I notice a few cats hanging around. Then a few more. Then a few more. By the time we get to the train, I’ve counted at least 15. And then I realize, someone, who has a key to the train display, is FEEDING the cats. Seriously? Feral cats are a PROBLEM people. So Claire called it the “cat choo choo”. Other than that, it was an okay park. Megan and Brittany showed up and we played on the playground and caught up on life. I miss our weekly playdates that’s for sure. Then we went across the street to the Temple. Claire has been begging me every time we go by it to go inside. So this time, we went into the visitor’s center and walked all around the grounds. Claire fell and scraped her elbow so we had to find a bandaid. But overall it was a good experience. We sat and listened to the Jesus statue talk. There’s a giant statue of Jesus in the visitor’s center that the kids were just in awe of. They were sitting and we were talking about it a little bit and one of the missionaries turned it on. It has a little speech about who Jesus is. We also ate a picnic on the grass and then it was unfortunately time to say goodbye. Claire wanted to go with Megan, but we couldn’t do that. So we headed home.
Friday night, everyone came over for dinner. That was a lot of fun. Amy and I made dinner together and teene came over and Nana and Jim came over. We all visited together and hung out for a while. Alex refused to eat his dinner, both at dinner and later for a snack, so I put him to bed hungry. It’s tough love, but sometimes, you just have to do it. He had ample time and offers of dinner. He made a choice. He cried a few times during the night, and Claire started coughing and getting the plague, but overall it worked out.
Saturday Amy, Teene and I went to the zoo, with the kids of course. We walked all over and saw pretty much all the animals, except the dumb ones like the snakes and monkeys. I’m just not a fan of them. I never really have been. Alex was waving bye bye and blowing kisses to all the animals as we moved to a new one. Claire really enjoyed hanging out with her aunts and getting to leave my side during an outing. Several times she ran off with one of them. After the zoo, we ate a picnic lunch. We drove home for super-late naps. While Alex and Amy were napping, Claire and I ran to Walgreens. Amy was starting to feel sick and Claire and Alex were fighting something, so we loaded up on zinc and Vitamin C. I ended up buying some Zarbee’s Cough suppressant and immune booster. Basically, it’s several kinds of honey and vitamin c and zinc. I bought it because Claire has had a dry cough and I’ve been giving her honey which helps some (as I’ve heard it does) and I was hoping the C and Zinc would help too. I’m very impressed. If they actually had colds, they never developed. It could have been just dry noses and different stuff in the air, but they’ve been acting like they were getting colds. They still have runny noses, but have been sleeping pretty well so that helps. I will definitely try this stuff again next time they get sick. We had dinner with Amy and went to bed.
Sunday, we went to church again. I wasn’t sure if we were going to stay for nursery since the kids were kind of sick. Alex refused to go to nursery. Down right would not go in the room. So he went with me to Sunday School and then Relief Society. He asked to go in there for a few minutes, then Claire came to go potty a bit later and when I took her back he was standing in the middle of the room crying. So I took him with me again. He was pretty laid back. He colored and snacked and just hung out with me. After naps, we went back to the Woods for dinner. It was pretty hectic. The missionaries were over, plus two other families. Alex dropped my water, Claire dropped her milk, then I spilled water on myself later. We were a mess! We did get to hang out with the Woods a bit after all the craziness died down.
Monday we went to hang out with Mom for a while in the morning and for lunch. We fed the horse and then Claire wanted to feed the chickens. She said she wanted to bring them home with her, that the black and white one was her favorite. It was a barred rock, which happens to be my favorite too. She fed the chickens a bunch of bread. Apparently later, Mom went back outside and both the horse and the chickens came running over. When Mom told them that Claire was gone, they all shuffled away downheartedly. Claire loves to feed the horse. She asked almost every day. Alex decided he was a horse and his favorite snack has become raw carrots. Monday night we went back to the Woods’ house for dinner and Family home Evening. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to make for dinner, I didn’t have any plans, Teene was working late, so it worked out perfectly. We had a good time over there. Angelique played with the kids and then we had a good lesson. The kids had a blast playing with Grandpa Rick too. They obviously have missed Daddy, because even Alex is willing to let men he doesn’t really know play with him and hug him, which is unusual. It was a late night, but lots of fun.
Tuesday morning started with a bath for the kids, and the floor. They usually get a bath Monday night, but since it was late, they didn’t. Then we went to see my Grandma with Nana. Claire and Alex had a good time and I think Grandma had a good time watching them. There was an unfortunate tragedy though. The kids were pulling toys out of their backpacks and playing with them and then leaving them. I was trying to pick them up as they discarded them. When we left, I didn’t double check just to make sure we had everything. I commented on it to Mom on the way home. But I thought I had done a good job. Later, as we were packing up the kids toys, we realized that one of Claire’s ponies was missing. I kept hoping that we were just missing it somewhere, but we looked all over the house and car and didn’t find it. Someone looked at Grandma’s house and didn’t find it. Since then, Claire has been telling everyone about her missing pony. I told Claire that aunt Teene would look for it, because it’s in her area. Aunt Teene came over for dinner and at the end of the night, Teene told Claire that she was going home. Claire said “No, I don’t want you to go home.” Teene asked why and Claire said “Because you need go Grandma’s house and find my pony!” Later Claire walked Teene to the car and told her again to find her pony. As Teene pulled away, she yelled again “bye bye, love you, see you later, Find my pony!” This has been tragic for her. It took a long time for me to convince her that someone would find the pony and Nana would mail it to us. Hopefully we can find it.
After visiting with Grandma, we went to lunch and met with Aunt Teene. After dropping Nana off at home, we drove over to check out the new Phoenix Temple site. It’s just a hole in the ground. We didn’t even get out. I was hoping it was farther along. But maybe next time there will be something to see. Claire was very excited to go see another temple. That makes me happy. She told me at the Mesa Temple that she needs to go to the temple, but first she needs “flowers and a dress and flowers and stuff.” We spent the rest of the day packing and getting ready to go. Aunt Amy came home and the kids were going nuts. They were way excited to see her and wouldn’t leave her alone. They made her read a book for bedtime and kept running around her and screaming at her. It made me laugh.
Wednesday, we went to the airport. The kids were pretty well behaved. Alex was very tired. Every time he calmed down, Claire started acting up again. They were quite happy to be home. They rediscovered all their toys. They had to touch everything. Claire said “look my strollers. Wow cool.” It was like Christmas. They also pet Mama Kitty for a good long time and wanted to go down to see the dogs. It was pretty funny. They both refused to go to bed. Claire came down because she had a booger in her nose. Alex kept trying to say he was hungry or needed juice. I think he really just missed sleeping with Claire. They ended up sleeping in the same room pretty well. He went in to give her another kiss after we read books.
Overall, we had a fun trip, but we are so glad to be home. Two weeks is just about the right amount of time. Maybe 10 or 12 days would be better. But that’s fine. I’m just glad that we got to go visit. I know the kids will be quite bored now that they don’t have Jade (the dog) to harass, or their aunts hanging around to play with them, or horses or chickens to feed or Nana to hang out with.