We traveled with two small children and lived to tell about it

south-padre-islandWe just returned from a week in Texas. We swam in the Gulf. We played in the sand. We ate Mexican, BBQ, and burgers. We visited friends and family. And we managed all of this with two small children. Oh, and there was that part about spending a full day traveling to get down there and a full day traveling to get back. A few things I learned about traveling with a three-year old and one-year old:

  • Expect your one-year old to curl up sweetly in your lap and nap the entire flight to Houston
  • Expect her to simply smile at other passengers.
  • Expect no poopy diapers
  • Expect a relaxing time picking a place to eat while waiting for the next flight in the Houston airport
  • Expect that your one-year old will sleep sweetly in a storage closet at the beach house
  • Expect that your three-year old will be kind and not try to abuse others
  • Be happy that your three-year old has his Kindle to play on the flights
  • Be happy that you filled a backpack full of snacks and books
  • Be happy that your three-year old never has accidents
  • Be happy that your three-year old slept sweetly at his grandparents’ and with cousins at the beach house
  • Be happy that the water temperature was as mild as the sun
  • Be happy that the sand was perfect for building castles, moats, and crocodiles
  • Be happy that grandparents hooked us up with places to stay, driving us around, food to eat, diapers, wipes, toiletries, even a little potty for the one-year old
  • Be happy that your kids visited their great grandparents while they’re still happy to see them
  • Be happy about all of the delicious food (because Texas and Mexican combined)
  • Expect your one-year old to slip back into your daily routine once you’re back home
  • Be happy that you don’t have to sit in a cramped airplane again for another year or two

Now, I get to enjoy the memories and pictures of our vacation. It’s exhausting to take small children far from home so coming home means recovery, but the trade off was worth it. They’ve been to the beach and loved it. They spent time with family and didn’t want to leave them. And in the end, none of the other passengers said anything rude to our faces and a few nice folks even told us our children were good travelers. Kind people.

That time I swiped an Amazon package off of my neighbor’s front porch

I left the car running, Gabbi and Dom waiting for me, and ran up the steps to my neighbors’ front door. I rang the doorbell. I waited. The dog barked inside. The wind blew their fake cobwebs around. I stood sideways. I always stand sideways on doorsteps. I was trained that way. Thanks, door-to-door sales. Nobody answered. The dog stopped barking. I grabbed the box from the porch, carried it down the steps, opened the back of the car and put it in.

It had my name on it, after all. UPS messed up and I knew they did. Earlier in the day, my phone had buzzed, telling me that my Amazon package had been delivered. I opened the front door to grab the box, but the porch was empty. I walked down the long deck to check by the garage. No box. I glanced at neighbors’ porches: not at the Koller’s; not the Richburg’s; not Barbara’s. Nobody stole my box. I knew that. If anybody walks up our deck, we can hear it inside. We don’t need the doorbell fixed because you can’t sneak up that deck.

I contacted Amazon during afternoon nap/quiet time. The man with the accent told me (after I asked “what did you say?” half a dozen times) that he couldn’t take further action until the package was still missing for at least 24 hours. But I knew. I knew that UPS had messed up. I tried the UPS website. It said to contact the shipper. So it goes. I waited. I waited for Dom to come down from quiet time. I waited for him to play on his Kindle. I waited for Gabbi to finish her nap. I waited for her to pee on the potty. I waited for her to eat her snack. I waited for Dom to eat his snack. Then I loaded them up in the car with the enticement of buying snacks and toys to take with us on the airplane (when we fly to Texas). Once buckled in, I backed down the driveway, closing the garage behind us, and drove slowly down the hill, surveying front porches as we went, until I spotted it. There was a long, narrow shipping box sitting on the front porch of one of our new neighbors. I met them once when I was out walking around with my kids. Another day, I took a Starbucks gift card to a baby shower for the expecting wife. They live in Bountiful, but they don’t come to church on Sunday with 99.7654% of their neighbors. Of course UPS had left it on their porch. If anyone saw me, I was the mean Mormon neighbor stealing their packages.

Anyway, I had to tell somebody.

I found my Amazon package. It was on the neighbor’s front porch. I went and grabbed it so now, it has indeed, been safely delivered to my home. Somebody tell UPS that they messed things up. They should be held accountable.

Somehow, we then went on to Target to spend over 70 bucks on snacks and toys for upcoming flights.

Behold the beauty of the FEASTMASTER


When we purchased our home two years ago, there was this random patio in the backyard that the previous owners didn’t seem to use for things other than random-crap-from-the-yard-and-house. Nathan “hired” the Young Men from our Salt Lake ward to clear out the things left behind. They devoured their pizza dinner. In that patio was this old, built-in grill, that looked like it had been untouched for at least a decade. I took a few pictures of it and showed some of the guys at work who thought, yeah, that could be saved. Sure, why not? I asked Reddit for advice (because that’s my go-to advice group), and got some direction for this DIY attempt. I had never done anything like this before, let alone used a wire wheel (because POWER TOOLS!!!), so I was embarking on some new territory.

Nothing progressed during the first year of home ownership, because duh: pregnancy. Eventually, though, I was able to find time in between diaper changes and feeding children to work on the FEASTMASTER.

How cool is that name? How sad are you that Feastmasters are no longer sold at the nearest Lowe’s? Have you ever seen the movie, Beastmaster? Tangent…

Anyway, I finished. I actually finished a project. Or at least, mostly finished. The vent still needs some high-heat paint as well, but check it out. I posted all of the images to an imgur album. WordPress doesn’t embed the album so I have to individually embed each picture, but let’s not get into the technical mumbo jumbo. I already shared this via instagram because I was pretty excited about how it turned out.

And remember how I finished a project? BAM! Go me!

Time for some grillin’!

hypocritical mom statements

In honor of the one-year anniversary of my new career as a SAHM, here’s a list of hypocritical statements by me or some of my mom friends. Do you have one to add?

  • Don’t pick your nose.
  • No candy before lunch.
  • Stop yelling.
  • Stop reading and go to bed.
  • Don’t get naked.
  • People don’t like to hug when they’re naked.
  • You have to comb your hair every day.
  • No electronics before 10 a.m.
  • Don’t just step over it, pick it up!
  • No swearing.
  • Make your bed.
  • Go to bed on time.
  • Get off the computer and do something else.
  • Put away your laundry.
  • You need a healthy breakfast before eating a cupcake.
  • Stop whining.
  • Don’t say that word.

Angry mommy needs a reset

I was buckling my three-year old into his car seat when he asked, “Are you angry, mommy?”

My body language, expression, and silence all told him I was mad.

I paused. I didn’t realize I was so easy to read.

Being patient and calm is beyond hard. I failed miserably this morning when breast milk spilled across the counter. It’s liquid good, you know. Don’t spill that stuff.

But my three-year old should still be more important than a few ounces.

I really do think that I have improved my temper now that I’m nearing the one year mark of becoming a SAHM. But I still have a long way to go.

On the flip side, Dom is a very thoughtful kid, quick to give a hug, say sorry, tells me how much he loves me, dotes on his baby sister, adores his dad, talks on and on about cousins and grandparents, and when he feels grateful, that kid is full of thank yous.

“Oh mom! Thank you! Thank you for making the water sooooo warm in the bath. Thank you!”

This kid.

Quick note about family

In about a week, I imagine that Dom will ask me what we’re going to do that day and when I tell him we don’t have plans, he will be quite bummed. He’ll probably inform me that I am not interesting, Gabbi doesn’t talk, and Pogi is a one trick pony/cat. And it’s true because we simply cannot compare to all of his cousins.

He must be on the biggest cousin high he’s experienced so far in his life, what with trips to the Aviary, birthday parties, swimming, hotel bed jumping, hotel bed falling and bumping of heads, and the giant table of trains.

Gabbi on the other hand is not on a cousin high. One day, she will realize the life long friendships of all of her cousins. Today is not that day.

To be so surrounded by family is a mighty blessing. Gabbi prefers to enjoy this blessing in her momma’s arms. And she is Miss Fussbucket so she gets her way!

Tonight, I hope they are having pleasant dreams of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Sleep children. Sleep well. I could use it.