Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tales from a Road Trip...

I don't even know where to start!  My blog has sat idly by the last couple of weeks because I squeezed a little road trip with my mom (Gigi) and the boys into last week.  I had intentions of updating this thing as we had our fun, but it turned out that I was occupied from sun-up to sundown (and much beyond) with two little boys who wore themselves out daily and felt pretty far from home when bedtime rolled around each night.  Our travels took us to Colorful Colorado where a little piece of my heart resides.  The main objective was to visit my Grandparents who live in itty bitty Bailey, but after living in Denver for over 2 years (and being away for more than 4) we had a lot of catching up to do there as well!  J and I have discussed making the trip on many occasions, but our uncertainty at how the boys would handle 9+ hours in the car and working around his work schedule (whether it be layoffs or overtime) had hindered the process.  I finally suggested that the boys and I go it alone, since I was starting to feel a severe Colorado tug and my momma graciously offered to join us so she could help with the munchkins.  So, our road-trip ensued...and it was the first of such trips for the boys who had never been car and seatbelt-bound for more than 2 or 3 hours up to this point.  My first discovery was that the days of one tiny bag for myself for such a trip were long gone.  We literally stacked the Buick Enclave belonging to beloved Papa (whom we left behind...thank you, Papa) to the brim with necessities of appeared we were packing for a month's worth of heavy adventures or planning on taking up residence at our planned destination!  Along the way, I also learned a lot about the two little beings that I spend so much time with on a daily basis.

Lunch on the road--McD's Playplace
I made him wear his flip flops over
his socks to the bathroom :)

Day one...Monday.  We left our house at 8:30 a.m. armed with healthy, low sugar snacks (for obvious reasons), lots of water, diapers, a bin full of toys and a bag full of treasures to surprise wiggly boys with when impatience set in...we knew it would!  The trip went much better than I expected!  X-man was phenomenal and exceptionally patient from the time we left to the time we pulled into GG'ma's and GG'pa's driveway.  He giggled his way through much of the trip, took a nap or two here and there and played his little heart out when we stopped to allow such activities.  Gokey did very well also, especially considering his difficult age.  Seventeen months is an age of very little patience and gigantic communication hurdles, and though there was a little fussing, there was more sleep than anything else and it worked for everybody.  The trip took about 2 hours longer than it would have in my single days, but that allowed for some great playtime and running along the way.  Eleven hours of happiness beats nine hours of restless crabbiness any day!

C'mon GG'pa!
After the surprise of having two relatively fabulous travelers I was extremely pleased with how quickly they settled in with GG'ma and GG'pa.  We only get to see them once or twice a year which is equivalent to decades when you are dealing with a one and two year old, so I was worried that they would be standoffish with them and clingy with me.  Instead, by the end of dinner, Gokey was tugging GG'pa's hand to accompany him into the kitchen to raid the utensil drawer and X-man eagerly crawled into GG'ma's lap after dinner so she could recite my favorite childhood story to him in fantastic GG'ma fashion! :)

Nighttime brought the monsters out, however.  Gokey is known to be a crappy sleeper at home...what did I expect after inflated naps in the car, GG'ma's sugary chocolate cake for dessert, the excitement of a new place, the strangeness of a new place and absence of Daddy?  I guess I was hoping for exhaustion.  It was a rough couple of hours trying to get them both down and Gigi was finally able to convince X-man to sleep in her room and with his absence came a little cooperation from Gokey, and finally...sleep...only to be interrupted a short hour and a half later by the altitude's nasty effects on my little X-man who, I believe, suffered from a good ol' fashioned headache.  After some tears and ibuprofen, it all worked out, though and we slept...until 4:45 a.m.  Ugh.  Darn frickin' reliable internal clocks on these boys...just not adjusted for the time change.  We survived, though and that was the start of our mountainous adventures!!!!

There is nothing like the peace of a still, crisp mountain appreciation I couldn't quite instill in my two little beasts.  They reveled in the boyness of the mountains, though.  There almost weren't enough sticks on the hillside to be broken ("just like Papa says"), rocks to be moved and pinecones to be gathered.  It was magical all over again, as it was when I was a kid.  We went to our favorite childhood picnic spot on Guanella Pass, let them wade in an ice cold stream and drove to the summit and breathed in the cool, clean mountain air, marveling at how blue the sky is when you are up that high.  And there was DIRT...a true sign of a marvelous time! :)
Love this...he was talking GG'ma's ear off!

After two too short days in our mountainous bliss we drove down into Denver and took up residence in a hotel room and visited extended family, and long lost friends from my time living there.  We had mounds of fun, lots of laughs and very little sleep, but memories were made for me and for the boys, so the trip was an immense success.  My discoveries?  They are as follows:

  • For those who wonder how to relive childhood...have a kid!  Things that I have done over and over again, places I have been to, beauty I have begun to take for granted...all was renewed in the presence of my little men.  
  • X-man continues to grow's not that I didn't realize that this would happen, but it is just the pace at which it has occurred!  I am amazed at how patient he has become (sometimes), how adaptable he is and how in tune to his little brother he is.  I keep replaying moments during Gokey's giant struggles with sleep on 2 separate occasions when X-man stated so simply, "Gokey needs Daddy."  He was right...I think we all needed him.  We love you, Daddy!  And there was one moment on both the trip to and from Colorado that Gokey had a bit of a meltdown about being trapped in his seat.  X-man gladly yielded all of his treasures to his little brother in an attempt to make him happy, if only for a fleeting moment.  His maturity and sweetness left me in a bit of awe both times.  I love how he loves...
  • Gokey is exceedingly stubborn...I am sure that is a trait credited to his daddy's side (I can hear J saying, "he gets that from his momma," as I type this).  This piece of information almost comes as a surprise to me.  I guess it kind of sneaked up on me.  He was such a chill, laid-back baby and seemed to just go with the flow.  Maybe it's just that lovely toddler phase he is in right now, but after my nightly struggles with him while away (and having my mom as a witness to this stubbornness) I now know that  he will be a that I look forward to molding! :) 

He's a natural rock-climber!

Dirt...evidence of a good time!
Didn't seem to bother them!

Breaking sticks and sword fighting with Gigi

GG'ma educating the boys on pinecones...

Svetlana (Gigi's cousin's wife) helping Gokey

Steve (another of Gigi's cousins) snagging Gokey on the way down

Uncle Bob and Aunt Karol

Gokey & X-man making a birthday cake out of woodchips with
Logan and Ilyn belonging to some of my long lost Denver friends!

Gigi teaching the boys how to roll down a hill

Unfortunately Gokey found the muck at the bottom of the hill

One of my BFF's, Becky with her momma, Barb

Gokey was a fan of Grandma Barb :)

This was waiting for us at home when we arrived...I think he missed us! :) 


  1. Titia you're a great writer!!!!!!!!!!!! Felt like I was right there with you all. Love ya!!!!!

  2. Great memories, T. Dave's right, you are quite the writing talent. Good to see that storytelling trait is still alive and well. Love you lots.