I got a phone call from my dad on Monday, March 20th. He told me he was just diagnosed with cancer. I called Allan and we immediately got to planning and packing, and we left for Washington the next day. (Tuesday, March 21)
I didn’t overbuy for this trip because I knew we’d be going back there often this year to see my dad, but what I did get was well received by the kids. I got them Trolls coloring books and Allan got them each a new Trolls toy.
We stopped at Burger King for lunch and Everett got a DJ Suki toy. He was really excited about it the whole trip. It’s kind of his and Allan’s “thing.” Everett says “DJ Suki” really cute so Allan loves that he likes DJ Suki and got the toy because then Everett talks about his DJ Suki more often and it’s cute!
I got a cheeseburger and nursed Lyla while I ate it!
We forgot to order water in the drive thru at Burger King. We’d drive to a different parking lot to eat because there was more privacy there for me to breastfeed Lyla and there was a McDonald’s there. So Allan got water for everyone in McDonald’s and also got me and him a mcflurry! Yes, I approve!
I gave Lyla some time out of her carseat and sitting upright to burp.
Water!! Most times they do get milk or apple juice but we really wanted water cups to refill for the rest of the trip so water it was!
Breastfeeding Lyla again in Ellensburg.
Because we knew how difficult this sudden trip and hearing about their grandpa would be on the kids we had made new CDs of music for the road trip and we played songs (the soundtrack to Moana was the biggest hit with them) and sang along and danced in the car and were really silly and upbeat.
Some of the views!
We got to Everett (the city I was born in and what Everett is named after!) which is where out hotel was and needed to get dinner. We decided to go get french bread, meat, and cheese at Fred Meyer for dinner instead of restaurant food. While there I got toothbrushes and toothpaste. I didn’t forget them, I just thought we were about due for new stuff anyway and it’d be easy to grab them while in Washington.
Made it to the hotel! Everett spotted this giant mirror and told me he met his new best friend, Everett. haha
Happy group! The road trip had gone so freaking well and we were all happy and excited!
Oh yeah, I’ll just throw this anecdote in here: Allan told Everett we were in Everett, that the place was called Everett. We were standing outside the hotel at the time so he thought Allan meant the hotel and every time we’d talk about the hotel Everett would say “Everett hotel” and get a huge kick out of it. It was really fun!
One of the things I did forget was socks for everyone! haha. The next morning we went to Fred Meyer before going to see my dad and I got everyone new socks. Fred Meyer is expensive, I know why I never shop there. I spent twice as much getting socks than I usually do. (Wednesday, March 22)
We went over to my dad’s house. My sister and her daughter were there, and my brother and his wife and their three kids live there. I introduced Lyla to everyone for the first time. Lyla was not excited about meeting her family. She’s SO shy!!
Months and months ago I’d asked my dad if he had any pictures from my childhood because I don’t have hardly any and he had put together a big stack of all the photos he has. This was the first time I’d visited since he’d gathered them so he gave me them while I was there. I was so excited to look through them with everyone! Wow, so many pictures I’d never seen or didn’t remember! I scanned them all before returning the stack to him so I’ll post some sometime.
I asked Jeena if she wanted to hold Lyla, thinking maybe Lyla would be okay, but no. haha. Poor Jeena! Lyla doesn’t like anyone new! She DID warm up to her later, though!! Which we’ll get to in a second 🙂
I got to meet my nephew, Elex. He is two months younger than Lyla but much taller and weighs probably ten pounds more! haha. It’s funny because most of my babies have been super chunky but Lyla is my teeny baby, at the bottom of the charts small! Holding them at the same time was so fun! I love my nephew!
I told Allan he should hold them together. Oh and Elex and Lyla LOVED each other!! Elex was the only new person Lyla met and liked right away. She must’ve understood they were both babies and peers because they were smiling and grabbing at each other any time they were near each other!
We decided to go out for dinner. I breastfed Lyla in the car before we left.
I have no idea what this restaurant is called. I wasn’t paying attention, we just followed my dad there and I was so busy wrangling my kids I didn’t even look up at the sign. haha. It was GOOOOOOOD, though!!
(We googled it and it’s called Conto’s)
Deciding what to order! We ended up getting two large pizzas for my family and Jeena and Ava (her daughter, my niece) to share and a gluten-free pizza for Payson!
When we were sitting in the restaurant Lyla kept staring at Jeena. Lyla was getting used to her and after not very long she smiled at Jeena and reached out to touch her face!! That’s what Lyla does when she likes you so it touched my heart! Especially that she did that all on her own. She developed a brand new relationship with her auntie 🙂
I breastfed her again in the car after dinner before heading back to our hotel.
We set up my laptop and watched Moana. Moana and Trolls are my family’s current favorite movies.
These photos of everyone sleeping were from the next morning. (Thursday, March 23)
Breastfeeding Lyla before we go!
I didn’t take pictures of this but I had to go back to the store because I’d also forgot nursing pads and I’d already totally soaked through one of my bras. I nurse my babies for a few years and literally never stop needing nursing pads. I just pour milk all day every day. haha
After the store I nursed Lyla again. I was holding her so she could burp before going in her carseat and she was watching, with great interest, all the cars driving on the road and the birds flying around. She developed a huge love of bird watching that week and still whenever she sees birds outside she just sits still watching them with laser focus!
We went to my mom’s house to visit! Everett was really into all the new, fun things to play with! Like these magnets on the fridge.
My mom made us tater tot casserole. She really wanted us to have a home cooked meal since we ate so much restaurant food while traveling. It was so good!
Then she’d bought these wooden Easter frames and all the kids painted a frame!
Later that night, back at the hotel, the kids colored in their coloring books.
The next day we met up with my mom and Jeena and Ava at Costco for lunch before heading back to her house. (Friday, March 24)
We went back to my mom’s house since my dad had some errands to run. Jeena and Ava came over too, and we all hung out!
Ava was taught how to give kisses and it’s something she does a lot and it’s SO CUTE!! This was the first time I met my niece, and it’s my sister’s first daughter so you know, she’s pretty special and I just freaking adore her! I can’t wait to go back and visit again!
The littlest three kids played together a lot.
And I got a picture of my kids with grandma to put in those new frames they made! 🙂
After hanging out with my mom we went to Jeena’s house. My dad came over and Jeena made us all dinner! With no notice, either! She’s amazing! And she’s pregnant and she works and basically is amazing. I’m so lucky to have her for my sister.
And Lyla by this time loved her auntie and let her hold her 🙂
We took a picture of us girls with our dad 🙂
And we hung out and talked for a couple hours. It was so nice!
After that we went back to our hotel and hung out. I spent time cuddling with the kids. I was super aware of how stressful this could all be on them and wanted time to just hug and have down time together.
The bigger kids were coloring. Always trolls stuff 🙂
Sleeping in the hotel was an interesting experience. My younger three all like to cosleep and five in a queen sized bed wasn’t the easiest arrangement. I slept as straight as possible in probably less than a foot of width the whole time. haha!
One awesome thing we did is buy two cots and some new blankets just for hotel stays. Payson slept on a cot this trip and Ember was supposed to, and she did sometimes, but mostly she’d wake up after an hour or two and climb into bed with me and Allan.
The next day we were heading home but we wanted to get to say goodbye to my dad first. We met up in a parking lot after we got breakfast. Our hotel was too small to visit in and we didn’t want to bring my whole crew to swarm his house where my brother and sister-in-law and their kids live too, so parking lot it was! Kids love parking lots, anyway. haha (Saturday, March 25)
I asked everyone to get a group shot with grandpa.
And Lyla decided she liked her grandpa, too! 🙂
Allan took these without me or my dad knowing while we talked outside the car alone for a bit. I love them 🙂
My dad had stopped at a store to get us donuts before we left. I wanted to remember that so I took this picture. I’m sentimental and I imagined him waking up early to go shop for donuts before meeting us. Thinking about him doing that made me feel special and loved. I’m thankful for my dad.
We stopped after a few hours of driving to eat lunch at Burger King. We actually let the kids eat their donuts first! haha. You only live once.
My dad knows Payson is allergic to gluten so he went searching for a gluten-free treat for him and got him fruit roll ups! Payson was excited. I think he’ll always remember that grandpa did that, or at least he’ll have this picture to remember it! Or at least I’ll always remember it ♥
I ordered onion rings for me and Everett saw them and not realizing they were something he’d never had said, “Oh me want some! Me want mine chicken nuggets!” I gave him one thinking when he took a bite he’d be surprised and spit it out but he didn’t! He ate several, calling them chicken nuggets the whole time! It was cute. I told him afterward those were called onion rings and he said, “Me liked those!”
Payson wearing a crown pretended to be King Simon again. It’s been a loooong time since his King Simon character came out and we were happy to see it again!
I think seeing me hold Lyla up front so many times during the trip made Everett feel jealous because he asked if he could sit in my seat. I let him, of course, and you can tell how happy he was about it!
I gave Everett his Trolls coloring set.
This was another breastfeeding stop.
The kids in the far back! I loved that Ember had hooked her travel bag up above her head.
The first thing we did when we got home that night was take showers and baths!