Wednesday, July 24

Moving Along

We've been to Utah every month for the last four months!  On our first trip I was venturing out of state on my own with five kids for the first time.  I'd been looking forward to it for a while, since I missed going up for Christmas. I'd also been a little anxious about driving up on my own with an infant.

When we moved to Vegas in the first place, I didn't dare drive down on my own with four kids!  I had my brother drive tandem with us.  Granted- I had a lot of packed boxes and luggage I needed help with once we arrived, and I'd never seen the apartment we were headed to.  But I think it takes a lot more to daunt me two years later.

We ended up fine.  The weather was nice, so I could nurse in the car while the kids watched a movie and ate their lunch.

 Dealing with the baby only added an hour to the drive.  That, and stopping to get a speeding ticket. :b  I'd been going down a hill and pointing out  Mount Timpanogos to Mia.  I didn't even notice how fast I had gotten until I noticed the lights behind me.  In my get-a-warning attempt I told the officer what I'd been up to.  He looked at the mountain closest to us and said "Actually, that's Mount Nebo."

 "Oh, is this big one Nebo?! I didn't know that." And here's where I really earned my ticket:  "I was actually pointing to the one off in the distance- isn't that Timp?"  DOH! Broke cardinal rule #1 of dealing with a police officer:  You know nothing, they know everything.

Four months later, I drove everyone up alone again without blinking an eye.  My peace of mind no doubt amplified by the fact that my dad had given us his much newer mini-van which wasn't going to overheat even in the 104 degree weather.  (Thanks, Dad!!)

It was perfect, and uneventful. We stopped to grab burgers and bathroom in Saint George, and at the Maverick in Fillmore where the kids played on the shaded playground and I sat in the air-conditioned car and fed the baby.  After that we went straight to Sandy without any stopping for cops.

During our visit I went to run an errand downtown and the kids all saw the Salt Lake Temple down the street.  We'd pointed it out from the freeway during our Utah visit the month before, and said we'd go there some day to look around.  Of course "someday" to them, meant the next time we saw it- regardless of the fact that I was the only adult in the car.  I told them we could drive around to see it up close, but we probably wouldn't get out.  I decided if I could find street parking near the entrance, I'd take them in.  There's a parking spot for every public destination that my side of the family, for good reason, jokingly refers to as "Dad's spot."  He gets the closest one every time.  It's uncanny.  Well, Dad's spot was open.  So we went in.

We went to the visitor's center.  While I fed the baby, Kael took his shoes off and took a lap around the foyer by the restrooms.  The girls all giggled and took off after him.  I wondered for a minute if I was in over my head and was just in denial.  Some sister missionaries walked toward them and effectively herded them toward me.  When I was done with the baby we actually had fun!

For the last six months or so, I've been acting the same way I have about every eight years.   I sense the end of an era and I get this premature nostalgia.  The last day of fifth grade, I knew that I was about to lose being able to plop down and read whatever I wanted, as long as I wanted. I was baptized and accountable for my actions... I knew I wasn't a little kid anymore.    
My sister, Megan, posted this photo of my sibs and me on Facebook and labeled it "Back in the day." 
 Ten years later I spent the last half of my senior year fretting how I'd never be in a place where I'd see so many of my amazing friends every single day once I left high school.  During the last trimester of my pregnancy with Mia, I knew nothing would be the same once I became a mother.  Every time the end of an era nears,  I get wistful and don't look forward to the next step because I'm sure I'll miss what I've enjoyed so much about the current one.   

I can't say I regret giving myself a few months to grieve every time I knew a life-change was coming.  I think it's just something I needed.  But this time around I'm not just trying to console myself with the hypothesis that the next change will be just as enjoyable.  I really believe it now... and it makes the change a little easier.

I was studying this picture of the kids and realized it is going to be just as reminiscent for them someday as Megan's is for me.  

Just since I took this about a week ago, Anya has lost both her front teeth.

Kael has stopped wearing diapers during the day, Declan has grown his second tooth, started speed-creeping and trying puffs.  I've made invitations for his first birthday, and Mia's impending baptism- both in November.

 Four months or so, and the baby era will be over.  This has been the hardest one by far.  The hardest, the worst, and undoubtedly, the best.