Wednesday, February 13th, departure“D” day.

The girls are half way done with their respective antibiotics at this point (if you are just tuning in, they were both recovering from previous yuckiness)…however, I’m feeling confident that it should be smooth sailing flying from here on out.

We board. All is good…we lift off…and my confidence tanks.

MSP to PHX equated to three of the longest hours of my life. There was no making friends on this flight. I spent the majority of the time trying to comfort Vivianne who was clearly dying or so she felt anyways. I wore a path in the carpet to the rear lavatory, carrying a 40 pound five year old, trying not to bump into every person on our way up and down, but failing miserably. Never choose an aisle seat, people.

The dude sitting behind me says in an attempt to comfort me (I think??), “Don’t you wish there was a room on here {plane} where you could just put your kids and let them deal with it themselves.”

“Oh, yea, well, she hasn’t been feeling well. She’s 5. She normally wouldn’t act like this.” I have no clue why I am trying to justify her actions or why her age is of any relevance, like he gives a crap, but whatever.

We FINALLY land.

I, then, proceed to carry V, plus all of our carry-on’s, including that extra huge pillow pet that I am SO (inserting sarcasm here) glad we brought , all-the-while miraculously managing to hold Lilah’s hand as we trek through the airport at snail speed to baggage claim.

If I had ever needed a break from reality in all my life, it is at this very moment.

We get our bags. Jess is parked outside, waiting for us and, what feels like the first time in three hours, I breathe…awwwwwwwwwwww…goodbye, nightmare!

Thursday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day

I am awake most of the night, listening to Vivianne’s constant cough, I wonder how it is possible that she doesn’t wake herself up. In the morning, I decide to bring her to the nearest Urgent Care, for peace of mind mostly. According to the physician on staff, the drama discomfort on the flight was caused by the combination of the altitude and the fluid/mucus buildup (that she already had going on from Strep). Some major pressure was put on her little ear drums. Ugh. Poor girl. He prescribed some over the counter meds to compliment the antibiotic she was already taking and we were out of there and grateful both ear drums were still intact. Phew!

We (Jess and I) get the kids home, administer some medicine and everyone takes a much needed nap.

Everyone wakes up happy.

It turns into a crafting, painting, candy-necklace making kind of afternoon. The festivities seem to cheer everyone up. Laughter and cookie crumbs fill the room. It ends up being a very Happy Valentines Day after all.

Let the vacation begin!

Cousins Deep concentration
Ta-Da! Painting

Friday, February 15th. Sun worshipping.

We start our day by visiting Jess at work. Her second graders were celebrating Valentine’s Day. They play a lot of minute-to-win it games. Lilah and Vivianne join in for a couple, but mostly just watch. There is an abundance of snacks that we all enjoy. As the students pass out their Valentines, some of them hand one to us. The girls beam. They feel big and cool.

Vivianne and I go for a bike ride up and down the block outside Jess’s house. The weather is amazing. It feels so good just being outside. Later, we all go to the neighborhood park and play until we can’t play anymore. I am thinking, to myself, how wonderful it must be to be a snowbird.

Go Lilah Vivianne at the park

Saturday, February 16th, A trip to Tucson.

We pack up the kids and drive to Tucson to visit the Sonoran Desert Museum. The kids enjoy looking for fossils, exploring the outdoors, watching a dozen different reptile species through glass cages. We make plans to meet some old friends for lunch. It was fun catching up, we want to stay longer and visit, but the kids are teetering on melt downs, so we get back in the car and head back to Phoenix. We get home and spend the evening hanging out in the backyard. Life is good.

Sonoran Desert Museum Jess, Ben and April
Having fun! Hoops with Auntie Jess
Bubble blowing Cousins

Sunday, February 17th, Kiwanis Park

We get up and drive to Tempe to Kiwanis Park, have a quick picnic before the kids hurry off to play at the park. We rent these bikes that are built like a gulf cart only with pedals. They are called “Big Wheels”. We attempt to bike around the pond, twice. The little hills feel like mountains. Jess and April take turns getting out to push us up to the top. We laugh so hard, we cry, but we keep going anyway, we have no choice. We turn the bikes in thirty minutes early. We’re all spent. We decide to buy some seeds to feed the ducks and birds instead. The kids love it, so do the adults…we aren’t sweating anymore ;-)

Big Wheels Arizona!
Lilah at Kiwanis Pak Ben at Kiwanis Park
Arizona Playing outside in Feb!

Monday, February 18th, Back to the Airport.

As we are getting ready to leave, Lilah lets me know that she would like to live with April & Jess. She says she will miss me, but that it is ok for me to go and for her to stay and play with Ben :-) Although, the thought was tempting…I decide to bring her back with us ;-)

The flight home is perfectly uneventful. My little travelers scored an A+!

my little travelers Lilah on the way home!

Now we are home and dreaming of sunshine and warmer days ahead. Spring fever has hit!