After a very interesting Christmas Eve Eve and a very snowy Christmas we were ready for our vacation to Colorado. I was right, 5 a.m. showed up way too early for me, but we got up and packed the car with everything we needed, including Brenden, and headed out around 6 a.m. I'm really good at sleeping in the car so I only saw the snowy roads in Tulsa. I think the fastest Tim was able to go for about an hour and a half was 30 m.p.h. When I finally woke up we were already to Wichita, KS. The snowy roads were so much better and we were actually doing the speed limit. From there on it was smooth sailing.
Brenden was a shocker. Not only did he amuse himself very well in the back of the car, but he only had one major meltdown and that was when we were roughly 30 minutes from Karen and Rick's house. Not only were we relieved to be out of the car, but we were all super excited to see grandma Karen, grandpa Rick, and great grandpa Ralph, who we hadn't seen since Brenden was 6 weeks old.
The first order of business was food, which is when we realized what a big difference sitting at the table makes. Ham, potatoes, rolls, veggies, sweet potato casserole...we had the works. Then it was present time! Brenden was spoiled silly, of course. A tent, an electric race car track, clothes, a matchbox car garage, Mickey Mouse bowling pins...he was set for the week. Lauren was spoiled, too and got a ton of adorable clothes, including these super cute ballet socks. Tim and I weren't left out. I can't remember everything we got but I do remember Tim laughing because he received even more underwear. He's set for at least a year. HA!
He was VERY excited to see his Lightning McQueen plate and cup again.
Opening his tent!
Gonna get you!
We thought sleep would be a problem for Brenden. Being in a new place, in a different bed with different temperatures throws me off so I thought for sure he'd be a mess. I was only half right. Every night he went down easier than he does at home. No crying, no getting out of bed to bang on the door, no whining. I think he was probably only awake for 5 minutes before passing out exactly how we laid him down. Nap time...that was a different story. We didn't have one easy nap time the entire time we were there. He screamed, he cried, he opened the door and snuck into grandpa Ralph's bedroom. It always took him at least an hour and a half to fall asleep, which is ridiculous. It really threw our schedules off.
Our first outing was supposed to be to a big indoor fun place, much like where we had Tim's holiday party. It wasn't our first choice, we had actually wanted to go to the Denver Children's Museum or the Wildlife Experience, but both of those were closed on Mondays. We drove all the way over to check it out only to find that it was ALSO closed on Mondays during the winter. Frustrating! Luckily someone suggested Chuck E Cheese and, after calling to check that they were open, we headed that way. We had a great time playing all the games. Brenden especially liked air hockey, which he played with everyone, including a little girl that looked very lost. There were a few of those kids wandering around, many of whom looked to be under the age of 3. SCARY.
I think grandpa let him win.
After Chuck E Cheese we headed to Magianno's, which I loooove. Brenden was ready to eat, in the "I'm going to scream at you until you feed me" way, so when we found out there was almost an hour wait we decided to head elsewhere. Somehow I found some crackers in my purse to make Brenden happy while we drove to Carinos. After a big family style dinner we were ready to go home. It was a long and slightly frustrating night at times but we had a great time.
Most of our excursions for the rest of the week ended up not happening. Brenden's random napping habits kept us at home more than once. We did spend a day in Colorado Springs visiting with my friends. We had lunch with Anne-Marie, visited with Leigh and Rachel (due with Luke in March...congrats Rachel!), and had dinner with Michelle at my favorite place, Jason's Deli. We also drove by our old house and wow...they did a ton of work in the yard! It looks great and I hope they are enjoying it as much as we did. Much of the rest of the time was spent playing with Brenden's new toys or teaching Karen and Rick how to play the Wii, which was a GREAT time. We spent one night playing our new Raving Rabbits game, which was hilarious.
His other favorite thing...the slot machine! "Look! I got 4 blue ones!" (and a sweet shirt!)
We had a few bumps in the road that had nothing to do with Brenden's sleeping habits. On our way back from Colorado Springs we noticed a rattling noise that made us nervous. The next morning Tim woke up early to take the car to Midas only to find that someone took advantage of our unlocked doors (bad habit, Tim!) and had gone through all of our stuff. The only thing we could see that was missing was the converter we used to charge our phone in the car. I'm glad the computer was inside! We also found out that the car was ok, that a piece of the catalytic converter that we already knew was broken had made it's way into the muffler and was banging around.
Sometime during the week Brenden came down with an awful case of diaper rash. We did our best to get rid of it before our long trip back to Oklahoma but we weren't successful. I think it was the insane amounts of oatmeal that he kept demanding in combination with his allergies to dogs, which is just something that we deal with every day. The lack of humidity didn't help his skin, or mine for that matter.
We loaded up the car and left by 5 a.m. and both Brenden and I slept for awhile. Somehow we made it all the way to Hays, KS, our halfway point, in 4 1/2 hours with no stops. That is unheard of. We thought Brenden would enjoy the McDonald's play area so we headed in and poor Tim found the worst diaper combined with diaper rash that you could imagine. It was in his shoes! Not only did he have to change all his clothes but he had to listen to him scream for 15 minutes. I'm sure everyone thought he was being beaten. It was awful for me to listen to so I can't imagine what Tim felt like. A stop at Walgreen's for some Desitin made life easier for all of us and the rest of the trip was uneventful. Brenden actually fell asleep while we were still in Kansas and didn't wake up until we were about 5 minutes from the house. Seriously...he's the best travelling toddler EVER.