Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 60 - Why two are better than one

Iowa City, Iowa

I have two on the brain.

Two friends, better than one, because when one came down sick last night, her sister was able to take us in.

Two babies, better than one, because together they made it through eight and a half months of breastfeeding. They took turns being the better eater, traded favorite sides, etc., each keeping the milk supply up for the other one. Never thought we'd make it that long, and now ready to moooo-ve on! Oh yeah, and two parents to take care of those two babies. Could not do life without John.

But the two that got me thinking are my dad and mom (the 2nd one). Two parents are better than one. Even two moms better than one! Thirteen years ago or so, my widowed dad met my widowed mom on the web. It felt very weird to us kids at the time. Fast forward all those years, and I see the two of them doing life together and it feels so much more right. He goes to work, she serves him coffee, breakfast, and dinner. He gets stressed, she listens. She gets stressed, he listens. He watches movies, but needs her to handle the remotes. She goes to an appointment, he drives and keeps her company. He plays catch outside with the grandkids, she plays school inside with them. He calls and sings happy birthday, she keeps the calendar and buys the birthday cards/presents and send them out. He holds Danny, she holds Jimmy. He drinks white wine with me, she drinks red with John. Together, they do more. Together, they are more. Home is different now than when I was a kid, but it's a good place to be because there are two people living there. We're glad that there are two of you to come home to.

Dad and Leslie, thanks so much for your example of loving each other. AND for taking care of us this summer!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 57 - Raindrops in the desert

Fruita, Colorado

Funny thing about California in the summer time. It doesn't rain! Unlike the mountains, the plains, or the gulf, there are no afternoon thunderstorms. Not even so much as a drop of rain fell during the last 5 weeks that we spent in California. And then, at our first rest stop out of town, in the desert a hundred miles or so south of Death Valley, it rained. Sure, it was just some tiny sprinkles. But we stood in it, smiled in it, let the tiny splashes fall on us. Whodathunk we'd find raindrops in the desert?! (That's the girls in the rain, up above.)

Raising lots of small kids (never mind while moving or with twins) can sometimes seem to be a desert. More sand than water, more hot than cool, more work than reward. Shoot, even being married while raising those kids can feel that way sometimes.

But even a desert, even in July, has its raindrops. And the plants soak them up and store them, eeking out of the drops enough to exist for decades.

And so here we find ourselves, soaking up the raindrops when they come. At times, wishing for a good ol' midwestern thunderstorm, but learning to at least catch the desert drops when they fall, and all the while making our final drive - from CA to Maryland!

Raindrops this week: small, few and FAR between, but raindrops. And as for the "desert", I will refrain from memorializing the miserable things!

Literal raindrops in the desert at our first rest stop out of town yesterday!
An enormous hotel room in Utah last night.
Afternoon naps at the hotels for the boys.
Scenic lunch spot today - Utah cliffs, mountain stream, pioneer cabin. Bonus after 20 minute morning naps forced us off the road early.
First twin tooth appeared yesterday (by Jimmy)! They are growing up. YAY! (Can you spy it below?)
Gorgeous scenery all day in the car today - Utah is one of my favorite states for outdoor beauty, I think.

Hoping you catch some raindrops today too. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 49 - Beach baby, beach baby....

Fullerton, California

Love the beach. Love the beach, even with four little kids. But it's a lot harder - especially with the babies! High on our priority list for beach trips is now easy parking (i.e. close to the sand and by the hour, not the day), grass and shade (what?!), and sidewalks for once the allure of eating sand wears off after an hour or so. Sheesh, what is this world coming to?!

Our first trip this year was a chilly near disaster a few weeks ago. Our next was a much better quick picnic. Yesterday was the best by far, once we figured out how to plan around all of the above requirements. I always wondered why we went to certain random beaches when I was a kid. Turns out they have parking, grass, and sidewalks. Funny how mom and dad make so much more sense once you're a mom or dad!

And though packing and bathing takes at least six times as long now that there are so many of us, the smiles and fun is at least six times as much. I plan on enjoying that for as long as everyone still wants to go to the beach together, which should be a while.

Here we are yesterday... (Danny and Daddy up on top, Jimmy the Sandman with a sunscreen mohawk below)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 6? or 7?

Fullerton, California

Funny how once we arrived at our destination, I've no longer found time to write. No more nap times stuck in a hotel room I guess! It has remained a vacation unlike any other - swapping national parks for local parks, beach trips for the sprinkler, hunting down long-missed family and friends for a heaping helping of grandpa and grandma. We've been blessed beyond measure to have extra hands to help, and also frustrated beyond measure that most days we are still as out-of-control feeling with the boys as we were when we arrived here weeks ago. Oh well! Figure that must just be vacationing with baby twins (+2). At least there are a lot of fun things to do right within our own city and county limits here!

Here's a few snapshots of the local stuff we've found to do... (Including some misplaced sports paraphenalia :) )
Cubs, in Orange County?! Celebrating the All Star Game in town, right outside a little zoo we visited.

I wish we had a mileage reader on this stroller. It would be in the hundreds, for this summer alone. Here, as a local arboretum.

Picnics at parks. And more picnics at parks.