Yep, that is my husband, one hour in, already exhausted. Had to pull over and let me finish the drive.
We made it to the airport and the dreaded trip to the check-in counter. This is sometimes the most challenging because not only do you have all the kids, strollers, etc, but you also have all your luggage. Although we had it all worked out, a sweet couple who was watching us pull kids out of the car, asked us if we could use some help. Right away, I was encouraged at the kindness of strangers!
We took a bathroom break before getting in the security line. A lady in the restroom saw that we had twins and gave me a "Thing One" and "Thing Two" set of onesies for the boys! She had just purchased them in the airport gift shop and didn't have time to take them back before catching her flight and, by her words, she "didn't want her husband to see them." I was touched she was giving them to me and happy to prevent a domestic squabble.
We dropped off our stuff and got in the security line. This lady's head almost exploded.
Traveling with 5 kids is so fun because of the reactions of people. Sometimes humorous, sometimes rude, sometimes baffled. It's a lottery of emotions really! But HOW can you not think this is adorable?
On the plane and headed to Salt Lake City to get our connection to Fresno. We took up two rows!
We made is to California in one piece with really only a couple of hiccups, mostly poop related. I'll spare you.
Every Christmas Eve, the kids and I make sugar cookies for Santa. I use a recipe that my best friend gave me and these cookies never last long! Madison was really into the process this year and helped me every step of the way!
Noah showed up here and there during the process... I believe only checking to see when he could sample the goods!
Christmas Eve at the California Pedreiro's is always a lot of fun! The tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve. This year we got a special visitor:
Santa had picked up a Portuguese accent along in his travels, and my mother-in-law was really fresh with him! I really admire my in-law's spunk and determination to make their grandkids smile!
Poor Jaxson. The boy just wasn't himself on this trip. I'm not sure if it was just being out of his element or what, but he was cranky the whole trip, which broke my heart. I hate that he was so out of sorts and that the extended family didn't get to see he awesome little personality. He is my best sleeper, but he likes to sleep by himself, in his own room. Madison and Noah will sleep anywhere, because they are usually crawling in bed with us, something we do battle with every night! But my Jax, my good sleeper was out of his bed and couldn't get much sleep at night, making for cranky days. Here he is on Christmas Eve, right before bed:
Poor baby. Traveling is hard on the little ones sometimes. I love this picture because it is complete reality.
Christmas Day we all got together for lots of fellowship and eating of course! A special moment was when Michael's only living grandparent took a picture with all of her great grandchildren from Michael's parents union:
Priceless I think. Note Jax's expression.
We stayed for a week and despite the non-ideal situation of Michael's heavy traveling due to work, that travel throughout the year provided enough airline miles for us to go see our family for FREE. What a blessing!
We had one big snafu on the way home. Due to a slow de-icer in Fresno, we missed our connection to Orlando in Salt Lake City. They then re-routed us through Detroit and ultimately to Orlando. An extra plane with 5 kids, sure. Only issue is on the last flight our seats were not together. Noah had to sit in a row behind me by himself and Michael and Hudson were a few rows up. At one point Noah said, "I want to sit with you Momma." So sad. I explained he couldn't but I was right here if he needed me. I looked back after take off and he had laid in the woman's lap next to him and fallen asleep. That young woman was a saint. Assured me it was perfectly fine and he was welcome to her lap. I am so thankful for her kindness! He slept on her for the whole 2 hour flight! I looked back once and she was asleep as well. The kids were such troopers. They like riding on planes, which I'm grateful for!
It took us 14ish hours to get home, but it was a wonderful trip. I can tell you, now, going anywhere with all five seems like no big deal compared to flying with them!
We got home on December 30th and rang in the New Year with my family celebrating my brother's birthday and welcoming 2014! So far this new year we have had lots happen. Michael's brother AJ and his wife Jillian welcomed a son, Cristiano! He is so precious, and makes me want to have another! Really. I'm not going to, but I so loved being pregnant every time and LOVED those magical moments when they were so brand new.
Jaxson has lost his best friend... his pacifier. We knew it was about that time. I wasn't planning on weaning him the day it happened, but we were down to two pacifiers and he lost one and the dog chewed up the other. SO... we said good-bye and to my astonishment, he transitioned smoothly. Such a big boy! Mastering the potty will be next.
Michael and I started a workout/diet program together. We are following Shaun T of Insanity fame. His new program is called T25 and it's 25 minutes a day/six days a week of sheer torture. We are managing though! It's fun to workout with him when he's home!
So, in a very big nutshell, that is how we wrapped up 2013 and how we are doing in 2014. Last year will always be memorable. We had a very big storm blow in with the twins arrival, and through it all, God carried us and proved His great love for us. I realized again that I can't do anything without Him. That He is my strength. I know He has wonderful things ahead for this year. We are looking forward to our 10 year wedding anniversary, the arrival of some very special babies (not ours), some visits from friends who live far away, and a wedding! God has blessed us in ways we don't even know. I'm so thankful for Him.
Happy New Year!