Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Solo Parenting

Last week, Tony got asked to go on a mission trip through his work. He was asked on Wednesday and he left on Saturday. It was so last minute because someone else had been lined up to go, but then had to back out. It's a huge honor to be asked to go on these trips. What his company is doing is amazing. They are literally helping thousands of people to hear that have never heard before in their life.

When Tony told me he was asked to go, I was already feeling a little worn down emotionally. I mean, we had been gone from home every weekend for three weekends in a row, one of which was our trip to Brookings. Being in limbo for so long over our decision to relocate had been hanging over our heads for awhile, and I was just feeling DONE with toddler whining. The idea of solo parenting for 6 days was overwhelming to say the least, especially with such short notice.

Then I think of the people I know that do this all the time, like Non Sequitur Chica, whose husband travels for work WEEKS at a time, all the time. And I know there's many who are single parents and do it all the time! And here I was, feeling overwhelmed with the thought of just 6 days.

As it turned out, my AMAZING Aunt D was able to come for a visit and stay with us for 3 of the 5 nights he's away. She arrived the day Tony left, and left this morning. Now I only have 2 nights and 2.5 days flying solo. I can do this!

My sister and her family were able to come for dinner and a visit on Saturday, the first day he was gone. That helped Ayden and Rylee be distracted enough not to miss their daddy too much. They got to play with their cousins and our house was in glorious chaos.

Family is everything.

Ayden and Rylee have asked for their daddy several times over the last few days, but have accepted that he will be gone for a few more days. Now that Aunt D has gone home, we'll see how bedtime goes tonight.

For myself, I can at least say that I feel somewhat mentally refreshed after having her visit for a few days, despite us staying up way too late talking every night. I'm not feeling quite as overwhelmed and am ready to tackle this solo parenting thing head on, even with the colds that the kids have managed to come down with!

I'm hoping for an early and easy bedtime tonight and that the next few days go by quickly!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Easter Recap

On one of our trips to the library when we were in Brookings, I read a book to Rylee called Honey Bunny Funnybunny. I also mentioned something about the Easter bunny coming that weekend, which she didn't think much about at the time. Then when we checked out of our hotel, the gal at the front desk asked the kids if they were going to get to see the Easter bunny and if it would be coming to their house. Rylee really latched on the idea of the Easter bunny after that and started asking when the Easter bunny would be coming.

We made it a point to take the kids to the local Easter egg hunt, specifically because the Easter bunny would be there. When Rylee saw the Easter bunny roll in on a firetruck, she started jumping up and down, pointing, and screaming, "the Easter bunny is here! The Easter bunny! Mommy, look! The Easter bunny!" She was beyond adorable!!!! Ayden thought it was pretty cool too, but Rylee's reaction was like it was the best thing that she'd ever seen in her (short) life.

The Easter bunny had just arrived.

So excited to meet the Easter bunny.


After the egg hunt, we went to my sister's to celebrate Easter with my family. Normally, we do it on actual Easter Sunday, but this year my brother wouldn't have his kids that day, so we did it a day early. We hadn't had all the cousins together for a very long time. It was so much fun watching them play together!

My favorite picture from the day

Hunting eggs

All the cousins, plus a friend of my oldest niece.

With my brother, my mom, and Sis.

My family!

From there, we headed to the in-laws house. Tony's brother, wife, and kids would be spending the night there as well. I think Grandma and Grandpa's house is pretty much Ayden and Rylee's favorite place in the entire world. They got to see the cows, pet the pigs, and best of all, see their horse Lucy.

Grandpa showing them how to feed grass to Lucy with an open palm.

Bil and family didn't arrive until 7:30, so the kids didn't get to bed until really late. They had so much fun playing with their cousins! Because of the late bedtime and no nap, the next day ended up being a bit rough, especially for Ayden. It was still a fun day though. We just had to fun between the meltdowns. lol

We all went to church together, and then went back out to the farm to have a brunch with a few other family members that joined us. The highlight was the kids getting to ride Lucy.

Easter Sunday

Going out to round up Lucy for a ride.

They didn't want to leave their grandparent's house that afternoon. Rylee was upset because she wanted to ride Lucy again, and cried because she didn't understand why Lucy couldn't come home with us. I convinced them it was a good idea to go home so we could see if the Easter bunny had come to our house. On the way home, they were still upset that we couldn't have stayed at the grandparents. We talked about how we had to go home so we could eat dinner and sleep in our own beds. Rylee asked if the Easter bunny would be joining us for dinner! We explained that the Easter bunny probably wouldn't still be at our house, but he (she?) might have left a surprise for them. Before we had left home Saturday, I had set out their Easter baskets so they'd be ready for the kids when we got home.

It was so fun to see how excited they got over their Easter baskets! A week later, they are still talking about each item they got:

"The bucket that the Easter bunny brought me."
"The Easter bunny gave me this book!"
"The Easter bunny brought me these bubbles!"
"The Easter bunny gave me these slippers, and Santa gave me this water bottle."

We had our last Easter party the Tuesday after, at our Community Playgroup. This was egg hunt #3, so the kids racked up quite a bit of Easter candy! That is not good news for Tony and I, as we are the ones that end up eating most of it! The kids are very good about getting only one piece of Easter candy at a time every once in awhile after meals.

Digging into the goods.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Day in the Life: Spring 2017

Once again, I'm cutting it close to the deadline to join Julia's DITL link up on her blog, My Life in Transition. For some reason, my computer suddenly decided tonight that it wouldn't recognize any new pics on my phone, so I had to download them from a round about way through iCloud instead.

Tony saw my scribbled notes yesterday, documenting our day and questioned what I was doing. Even though we've had the same conversation with past DITL posts, he still didn't quite get it. He teased me about how detailed I was. Eh, I don't care. I love these posts! I enjoy going back and reading the past DITL posts and comparing how much things have changed in such a short period of time. I also enjoy reading about how other people spend their days, too. It's fun to see similarities and also get new ideas from other mommy's.

Wednesday, April 19th

Tony: 44 years old
Me: 42 years old
Rylee: 3 years, 4 months old
Ayden: 3 years, 4 months old

This is how the day went down...

10:45pm the night before - fast asleep.

12:30am - Ayden wakes up crying. Turns out it's because he can't find his toy turtle. We find said turtle (on his pillow!) and he goes back to sleep. While I'm up anyway, I go in to see if Rylee needs to go potty. She does. After getting her tucked back into bed, I also go potty.

12:38 - Back in bed, but Tony is snoring. I nudge him a few times, but after about 10 minutes I decide to move out to the couch.

4:30 - Ayden cries out again. I wait to see if he will go back to sleep. Instead, he walks out with his blanket in hand and crawls onto the couch with me. I briefly think about putting him back in his own bed, but decide not to and we both go to sleep.

5:38 - Rylee wakes up fussing. I'm pretty sure she has to go potty and hope she will get up and go on her own, because I don't want to disturb Ayden, knowing he would never go back to sleep. Instead, she falls back to sleep.

6:10 - Tony's alarm goes off and it's the loudest I've ever heard it! He doesn't turn it off and I am blowing steam out my ears. Ayden starts stirring and is awake after 5 minutes of the alarm going off, but is content to just lay with me for a bit. The stupid alarm continues to sound for a full 15 minutes. How the F can he not hear his alarm!??!?

6:26 - I take Ayden into the bathroom to take his pull-up off and he goes potty. Then he goes into our bedroom and wake his daddy up. I hear Tony say, "you're the best alarm clock ever!" Ayden comes back out to the living room and I turn Super Why on Netflix for him to watch on the tv.

6:35 - Tony is still in bed. I go in and tell him his alarm went off 25 minutes ago! Then I went back out to the kitchen to get (watered down) juice for Ayden and a cup ready for Rylee when she wakes up. I discover Tony's phone sitting on the kitchen counter and realize why it had been so loud and why he never turned it off. Ugh.

I start making my notes of how the night went, knowing I planned for this to be the day I document my Day in the Life.

6:45 - I send Ayden in to tell his daddy to get out of bed. He finally gets up and jumps in the shower.

7:00 - Rylee wakes up. Tony's alarm goes off AGAIN!! I turn it off and then take Rylee in to go potty. She's still dry. Yay! Then I get both Ayden and Rylee some dry cereal. Rylee sucks down her juice in about 45 seconds and then I refill both their cups with water.

 7:25 - Tony leaves for work. Lots of handshakes, knuckles, and high fives get passed around before he heads out the door.

7:35 - Rylee spills her cereal on the floor. Ayden helps her pick it up by eating it, which she complains about.

7:40 - Ayden goes potty and I help him wash his hands. They both want more cereal, but I bribe them by saying I need to take a picture first.

They did NOT want me to take a picture. Ayden held his book up just to block me, the little stinker.
This was the best they'd let me get for my bribe.
7:45 - After getting them more cereal, I go to the garage to get bagels and a loaf of bread out of the freezer. Then I make our bed and put a load of dirty clothes in the washing machine. And I steal some Easter chocolate from the kids' egg hunt stash.

8:00 - I start making some scrambled eggs and cut up a mango.

8:10 - The tv gets turned off.

8:23 - While the kids sit down for breakfast, I clean up the kitchen. After they've eaten most of their food, I pour them some milk.

8:41 - They finish breakfast and I wipe their hands and faces clean. Then I get their dishes in the dishwasher. They run off to play and I take the clothes out of the dryer so that the fresh load can go in when it's done. I start folding the clothes, but have to take a break when motherhood calls and I need to go wipe a poopy bottom. I finish folding clothes and get the next load ready to go in. Every once in awhile I have to stop because I need to mediate toddler arguments.

There was a mountain of horse hair that needed to be picked off their clothes from riding Lucy on Easter. Rylee "helped" me do that.

Ayden "racing" around the house on his scooter.

Pretending that she is riding her horse, Lucy.

9:20 - The kids helped pick up the living room and I got the vacuum cleaner out.

My helper.

9:51 - Put the vacuum away and got us all dressed.

10:20 - I give Ayden and Rylee a kid's Clif ZBar for snack. While they eat that, I get the clothes out of the dryer and folded.

10:25 - I fill their water bottles and then get their hands and faces wiped clean.

They're about to outgrow this zebra! I mean, Lucy.

10:35 - Move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and hang up the wet clothes that need to air dry.

Ready to head out the door!

10:50 - We're all loaded in the car and ready to head to the library for story time.

10:52 - Arrive at the library. We live only a half mile from the library so usually we walk, but I have to run a few errands afterward today. We have time enough for just a few minutes in the children's section. Ayden picked a book for me to read to them. Usually they like to play with the toys instead, so this was a change.

11:00 - We go in the designated room for story time. Rylee is in full form and shouting out all the answers to the teacher's questions, and pointing out all the animals loudly that are in the book. Ayden goes back and forth between being enthused and then not thrilled to be there. The theme for the day is how plants/flowers grow, in honor of Earth day this weekend. Class always ends with a craft of some sort, and today's activity is planting seeds. Ayden and Rylee both really enjoy this part, although they really don't understand the concept of having to wait for the seeds to grow. They want their carrots now!

11:45 - We leave the library and I make a few stops around town to pay some bills.

12:05 - Arrive back home. We all go potty, wash our hands, and then sit down at the table for lunch. It's a very uninspired meal of hot dogs, applesauce, and milk for them. I'm not actually eating yet.

12:25 - They each get to pick one piece of Easter candy and they both choose a tootsie roll. They are mad when I bite each one into two pieces for them, which ends up being futile since they put both halves in their mouths at the same time anyway.

12:32 - Get them cleaned up from lunch.

12:35 - They reenact Dory searching for her parents with little Nemo and Dory "eggs" they got from an Easter egg hunt. Ayden gets his stuffed Hank to complete the reenactment. While they are busy with this, I put the clothes away that are still on my bed.

12:50 - I help them both get their teeth brushed, then let them play Dory and Nemo for a few more minutes.

1:00 - We say some prayers and sing a few songs together.

Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Dory's parents, and the toy turtle Ayden couldn't find in the middle of the night last night, are all going to sleep for nap time as well (according to Ayden).

1:10 - Both kids are tucked in bed for naps. Rylee goes to sleep within minutes. Ayden plays and sings loudly for a long time. I lay on the couch, playing on my phone and fight falling asleep myself.

1:40 - Ayden finally falls asleep. Hallelujah!

1:50 - I force myself to get up and reheat some leftover veggies. Then I get on the computer and check to see if any new houses have come on the market in Brookings. I spend way to much time doing this. Tony calls to give me a heads up that he's been asked to go on a mission trip. He'll be leaving Saturday and coming home on Wednesday. It's very short notice because they had someone back out at the last minute.

2:35 - I start working on a blog post that I had started a few days earlier. I had hoped to finish it during nap time, but now I'm not sure I'll have enough time.

3:37 - The kids still aren't awake, and it's waaaaaayy past time to get the kids up from nap. I still don't have the blog post done yet, but I really need to get them up if we have any hope of a decent bedtime. I wake Rylee first, then let her go in and wake Ayden up.

3:45 - They go out to the living room to wake up Nemo, Dory, and the turtle from their naps.

Ayden says he needs to go potty, so we go into the bathroom. I discover that he has already peed his pants. I clean him up and get him new pants and undies. I'm pretty sure he woke up dry, but I check his bed sheet just in case. Dry. I go back out to the living room, only to discover a puddle in the exact spot he was squatting in the above picture. WHY??? After months of no accidents? I am not a happy momma. I get the puddle cleaned up, then mop all the floors. They needed mopped anyway...

4:05 - I give them a G0-Gurt for a snack. This is a fairly new snack to them, so they need a little help eating them.

4:20 - Rylee is trying to tell me something she wants to do, but I cannot understand what it is she is wanting. She ends up having a meltdown. I tell her it's okay to be mad, but she needs to go to her bedroom until she can compose herself enough to talk to me in a big girl voice again without whining/crying.

4:30 - I finally figure out what she has been trying to tell me. She wants "animals on a paper." Meaning she wants ME to draw animals on her paper. This is a new request, which is why it took me awhile to figure out what she was telling me she wanted. We get the crayons out and draw/color for a bit. I draw them both some animals (I am not good at this). I help Ayden practice spelling and writing his name. Rylee colors in her Minnie Mouse coloring book.

It's a work in progress trying to get them to hold crayons/pencils the correct way.

He's drawing snakes.

She is really starting to love coloring, and doing it with purpose!

4:45 - Ayden goes back to playing with Dory and Nemo. Rylee continues coloring.

4:55 - I put another load of laundry in, and then get them a few animal crackers.

5:10 - We read the new Big Book of Big Dinosaurs that Ayden got for Easter. He LOVES this book! We have read it several times a day, every day since Sunday.

Matching their dinosaurs to the ones in the book.

5:30 - Start getting dinner ready. The kids decide they need to practice using their scissors, so now they are cutting up all the beautiful kidding! animals I drew them earlier. I take the garbage out while the leftovers are warming up.

5:40 - Ayden and Rylee go potty, then we all sit down for dinner. It's spaghetti, green beans, cottage cheese, and milk.

6:00 - They both pick one piece of Easter candy and I give them their vitamins. I work on doing the dishes while they eat their candy and vitamins.

6:10 - I get them cleaned up and they are off to play.

6:11 - Tony pulls into the driveway. He eats dinner really quick, then plays hide and seek with the kids. I take the opportunity to sneak off to our bedroom and be on Facebook for a few minutes.

6:30 - It's time to pick up the toys. Tony gives them a bath while I rotate the laundry, fold the clean clothes I just took out of the dryer, and put them away.

7:00 - Baths are done. I help Rylee get her pj's on and comb her hair. Tony gets Ayden in his pj's.

7:05 - I help the kids get their teeth brushed.

7:10 - Bedtime stories.

Ayden is not pictured because he is on the floor looking at his dinosaur book again. 

7:25 - The kids both go potty again. We all say bedtime prayers together, and then Rylee and Ayden do their crazy nighttime routine of chasing each other and wrestling around. Then Tony and I each say our goodnight's to each of them individually.

7:40 - Both kids are tucked in. We sit down to talk about Tony going on the mission trip, possibly moving to Brookings, and the kids.

7:55 - Rylee hollers out that she has to go potty. Tony takes her in to go potty. When she's done, she has to come out and give me kisses goodnight.

8:15 - Rylee hollers again, this time saying she has to go big poopy. She goes potty, but no poop. Get her tucked back in bed.

8:20 - Again, she says she has to go big poopy. She has lots of gas, but no poopy. I know she's not just playing games and stalling bedtime. The poor girl still just has some constipation issues.

I can still hear Ayden in his room singing, but he falls asleep shortly after.

8:45 - I take Rylee potty again, and get her tucked back in bed once again, telling her this is the last time.

8:50 - I get changed into pj's and put the clean towels away that are still sitting on our bed.

9:00 - I steal a few more pieces of Easter candy, and then sit down to finally finish my blog post about our trip to Brookings.

11:25 - Finally finish the blog post!! I'm hungry again, so I toast a bagel and sit back down at the computer to eat it and read a blog post from one of my favorite blogger friends, Risa at Risa Kerslake Writes.

12:08am - I turn the computer off and go to bed after checking on the kids. I know it's way to lateeeee!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Our Trip to Brookings

The kids knew something was up when I dug out the suitcases and started packing on Friday. After our recent trip to Disneyland, they know those suitcases mean we are going somewhere! I just told them we were going on a surprise trip.


We left  at 6:45am, and the kids were so excited! We had a special stop planned for on our way to Brookings, but we didn't tell them about it until we were about 10 minutes away, otherwise they would have whined the entire 3 hours it took to get there! No thank you.

Our first surprise was a stop at Prehistoric Gardens. This was a special stop for me, because I grew up going there as a kid. My great-grandparents lived right across the road from it, so I have lots of memories of this place. As we got closer to it, we finally told the kids we were going to see some dinosaurs! They were both sooooo excited! Actually, Rylee was excited, but she was also a little nervous and kept saying she wanted to stay in the car to see the dinosaurs. She wanted to see them, but she wanted to also keep a safe distance. lol! Once we arrived, she realized she would be okay though.

Life size dinosaurs!

Rylee may have been nervous before we got there, but once she realized the dinosaurs weren't going to eat her, she wanted to pet them all!

The Brachiosaurus stands at 3 stories tall!

When we finished there, we continued our drive to Brookings, which was another hour away. Once we arrived in Brookings, we drove around checking out the neighborhoods and some of the houses we had seen online that were up for sale. What we quickly came to realize was that everyone had done a phenomenal job of taking pictures, because the curb appeal wasn't quite what we had hoped they would be. The lots were extremely close together and most had very little yard space. We met with a realtor that afternoon so we could officially become a client and he will keep us notified as houses become available. There are nicer neighborhoods (what we would consider more normal), but we are going to need to be willing to spend more money than what we had originally hoped. We also need to be okay with buying more of a fixer-upper, and then turning around and selling it in a few years to get into a house that we REALLY want. We kind of expected that going in, but now we KNOW we sort of have to. The cost of housing is just so much higher there versus here in the valley.

After we finished with the realtor, we got checked into the hotel and Tony took the kids swimming. I was extremely thankful when Tony volunteered to take them swimming himself, and said I could stay in the room and just relax!  Woo hoo for not having to put my swimsuit on!

The pool was heated, but they all froze to death when they got out! Another reason I was so happy not having to get in the water!

View from our hotel room

We went to Pizza Planet for dinner and discovered that Brookings at least has a good pizza place. That wasn't really the name of the restaurant, but the kids had been watching Toy Story in the car, so they wanted to go to Pizza Planet. haha! Ayden had reached his limit for the day and was extremely cranky, so it wasn't the most relaxing meal we'd ever eaten. He also peed his pants while we were there. Something that hadn't happened in months!


Sunday was a family day. Our plan was to play on the beach, but that didn't work out very well for us. The kids were not fans of getting sand on their feet, and both were afraid of the water. Ayden got a little too close trying to throw a rock into the water, and a wave came up jussssst far enough to get him a little wet. He was not a happy camper. I didn't really blame him. It was chilly outside and the Pacific Ocean is most definitely not warm!

We decided to pack it in and go find a park instead. We found a very nice park with a wooden playground and spent a few hours there. We chatted with a very nice older lady that had retired to Brookings four years ago with her husband. She absolutely loves the area, loves the weather and how safe the community is.

Taking a snack break.

After letting the kids play, we walked around and explored the park paths. There's a Frisbee golf course (which excites Tony), a small amphitheater, and a nice flower garden.

After that, we drove around exploring more neighborhoods and trying to find more parks. There's a really nice playground at the elementary school, but it is fenced in and locked so we weren't able to play there. We googled playgrounds for the area, and decided to head to Harris Beach. We didn't end up staying there very long because it was super windy and cold. Rylee was not happy that the wind kept blowing her hood off! lol. There's supposed to be a playground there, but we didn't stay long enough to find it.

Tony and Rylee went back to the car right after the above picture was taken. Ayden had found a few rocks that he wanted to throw into the water, so we walked down the path to the beach so he could throw them in. We stayed far, far away from the water and didn't actually step foot on the sand. The rocks didn't quite make the water, but he was happy.

From there, we found another small playground for the kids to play at. It was a nice, completely fenced in park. I loved that both parks weren't a muddy mess, despite all the rain they had recently. Very unlike the parks in Veneta. There were a few other families there when we arrived, but we stayed long enough that we ended up having the park to ourselves for awhile.

We went to Subway for lunch, but ended up ordering to go when I discovered that Ayden had peed his pants again. Ugh! We took our lunch back to the hotel, where I could clean him up and change his clothes. After we finished eating, we all took a nice nap.

We found a Mexican restaurant for dinner. The food was good, but the kids thought the fountains at the entrance were the best part. After dinner, we took a drive across the state boarder to Crescent City, CA. It was pouring down rain, so it wasn't a pleasant drive, but we wanted to check it out and see if there would be anything there that would up the value to us moving. It's another pretty small coastal town. My grandparents and my mom, and her siblings actually lived there for several years when they were growing up. From what I understand, it's kind of a crappy area with a fairly high crime rate. We didn't see any magical beaches that we would want to go to, but they do have an aquarium that might be worth visiting every once or twice a year. We wouldn't be doing any shopping there, since they have sales tax, but Oregon doesn't.

We got back to the hotel at 7:45 and we all got ready for bed. Getting Ayden and Rylee to go to sleep in a hotel room, in the same bed, is a bit of a nightmare. They play, and play, and play. And talk, and giggle, and scream. It makes me go insane. But they finally fell asleep around 9:30pm.


Ayden woke up at 6:00am, which didn't bode well after staying up so late the night before. Tony went down to eat breakfast while I got the kids dressed for the day. Then we met him in the breakfast room. The hotel offered a very nice continental breakfast, which made things so much easier for us! The kids sat at the table with Tony while I dished up their plates. Then he went back to the room to shower and get ready for work. We had to drive him to work, since we only had one car with us.

After dropping Tony off at work, the kids and I drove around for a little bit. I planned to take the kids to check out the local library later, so we found where that was, which happened to be very close to Tony's office. Then we went back to the hotel to kill time before it opened. I really wanted to take them to the park or do something more adventurous with them, but it was still raining. We watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on tv. Thank you hotel for having the Disney Jr. channel! Then we made a trip back to the breakfast room to have a little snack while it was still open, before heading to the library.

The library opened at 10:00 and we arrived shortly after. I learned that they do story time on Wednesdays, so we wouldn't be able to do that on this trip, but I was happy to hear that they have children's activities. They also do a music class once a month. We hung out in the children's section of the library and the kids played with two other toddlers while we were there. I talked with the moms and learned more about the area. I learned about a program called Redwoods Nature School, that meets twice per month in different places around the county, letting kids explore and learn about nature. This is something I would LOVE to do with Ayden and Rylee!!! I also learned that one of the local gyms offers a tumbling class for toddlers once/week.

I took the kids to Dairy Queen for lunch, and let them have an ice cream treat when they finished eating. Then we went back to the hotel for naps. I put them in separate beds in the hopes that they would fall asleep easier. Ayden went to sleep fairly quick, but Rylee took so long to fall asleep that I didn't think she was going to. She ended up getting a short nap in, but then I had to wake her up. It had stopped raining and was actually nice outside, so I wanted to get them back to the park so they could play.

We went back to the small, fenced in park. There were a lot of parents and kids there when we arrived, but they slowly dwindled away as it got closer to dinner time. There was one mom left with an incredibly sweet 11 year old girl that played with Ayden and Rylee. I visited quite a bit with the mom. They had just moved to Brookings in December from Hawaii. They had yet to find a place to live and had been staying at a motel the whole time! They moved to the area because after doing research, they learned it was such a great place to raise a family and was basically the safest place to raise kids.

Tony sent me a text at 5:40 to let me know he was done with work. I loaded the kids up in the car and we went to pick him up. We went back to the hotel so Tony could change out of his work clothes, then we went to the restaurant across the street from the hotel. It was a pretty nice restaurant, although we didn't actually get to sit down for very long at a time. It didn't take long for Ayden to suck down his water. And boy, did we pay for that. I am not kidding when I say that between Tony and I, we took that kid to the bathroom a good 10 times. Throw in a few more times with Rylee, and we barely sat down at the table. It was exhausting and not an enjoyable dinner experience. And my clam chowder wasn't very good either. Boo!

Once we were done with dinner, Tony went back to the office. His plan was to count all the patient files so he could get a more accurate idea of what the income potential would be. While he did that, I took the kids back to the beach by our hotel. It was a really pleasant evening and the kids enjoyed it. This time we all kept our shoes on. Ayden had a lot of fun finding sticks and making a "castle," and Rylee enjoyed poking sticks into the sand, making holes for rocks. We also had fun throwing rocks toward the water, but weren't at all close enough to actually get them into the water. I was more than okay with them wanting to stay dry!

Ayden's castle.

We went back to our room around 8:00 and I got them ready and into bed. Did I mention how much I hate trying to get them to go to sleep in a hotel room? It wouldn't be so bad if they played and whispered quietly, but they are so loud! Ayden actually rolled over and went to sleep when I told him to, but Rylee didn't go to sleep. She was still awake when Tony got back to the room at 9:30pm. I was so frustrated. She finally fell asleep around 10:00pm.

Tony wasn't able to gather the information he wanted to in the files. Nobody had updated the files in years. He talked to his boss while at the office, and the company is going to run some numbers to find exactly the info Tony is looking for, which is the office potential.


Ayden woke up at 5:30 in the fricken morning. I brought him over to our bed so that he wouldn't wake up Rylee. I was hoping he would go back to sleep, but he of course didn't. He did do a pretty good job of keeping quite though. Tony woke up around 6:30 in a panic because he had to be to the office earlier that day, something he never told me! Otherwise I would have woken him up, since I was awake anyway! He had forgotten his phone at the office the night before, so didn't have an alarm set. He got dressed and went down for breakfast while I got the kids dressed and ready to go.

We dropped him off at the office then went back to the hotel for breakfast. The kids did a great job of sitting at the table while I got breakfast plates dished up for them. I finally got my breakfast dished up and joined them at the table, when wouldn't you know it, but Ayden had to go potty. I had stopped in the lobby bathroom before taking them in for breakfast, in the hopes of avoiding this very scenario! I shuffled them both to the bathroom again, and hoped that nobody cleared our table before we could get back. I also hoped nobody poisoned our food while we were gone.

After breakfast, we went back to our room and I turned on the Disney channel to keep them occupied while I packed everything up. Because Tony was in such a hurry before work, I had to pack all his stuff too. I wasn't very happy about that. It didn't take long before the kids got bored. I pulled out some new little travel coloring books with stickers and crayons to keep them occupied. It worked for a few minutes....

I had to make three trips to the car to get everything loaded. Of course it was pouring down rain again. Check out was at 11:00. From there, we went to the library again. Thank goodness they enjoyed playing there! We stayed for about 1.5 hours, and then went to Subway for lunch. After that, I took them to Dairy Queen again for ice cream to kill time while Tony was at work. His last appointment was scheduled for 2:00, so he thought he'd be done around 3:00. Once we finished our ice cream, I loaded them into the car and drove around looking at more neighborhoods and trying to get more of a feel for where we would want to live. The kids fell asleep and were sleeping hard! I ended up driving to the office and just parking. Tony finished up at 3:30. We got the kids out and all went in to use the bathroom one more time before hitting the road. They were not happy campers, but settled in to watch a movie once we were a ways down the road toward home.

Two hours into our drive home, we stopped for dinner. The kids were super excited about the big fish tanks and that there was Dory and Nemo fishes! We made sure to limit their water consumption so we wouldn't be stopping a million times the rest of the trip home.

We pulled into our driveway that night at 9:30. The kids, especially Ayden, were so happy to be home and sleeping in their own beds. They fell asleep instantly.


Our trip to Brookings ended up being inconclusive. Unfortunately, we still don't have answers. Tony's boss ended up in the hospital and needing surgery while we were gone, so the numbers still haven't been ran. There are things about the area that are exciting to us, and there are things we aren't so excited about.

I love that they have a great library and the nature school sounds amazing. I love that it's a safe community to live in. I could stand to wake up and see the ocean every single day. It's beautiful. 

However, the housing market stinks and there is no rental market other than vacation homes. And the obvious down side to moving is that we would be further away from family.

If it will be a lateral career move for Tony, then it's not worth it. If the increased income gets cancelled out by a higher mortgage payment, then it's not worth it. But if it means a substantial increase in income that allows us to raise our kids the way we want to, with a solid and secure future, then it most definitely is worth it.