Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Break--Part 1

When people find out that I have quintuplets plus two older kids, I often get comments like "I don't know how you do it...if I was in your shoes I would go CRAZY!" They say it in a way that assumes that I haven't gone crazy, which makes me want to laugh, because I think being a little crazy is one of the survival skills of having quintuplets, or even having a lot of kids. For example, Riley and Kaiya (and me) had the week of of school for spring break. Jayson is trying to save up vacation days for a family reunion this summer, so he couldn't take any time off of work. A normal, sane person would have found some fun things to do with the kids around town and called it good. Not me---my "little bit of crazy" kicked in and I thought why let seven kids and a home-bound hubby stop me from going on vacation for spring break? I carried five babies to 34 weeks gestation, I survived an entire year with five two-year-olds who had to skip their nap to attend 1 pm church, I potty-trained five kiddos all at once (ok, mostly potty-trained), I CAN DO HARD THINGS! So why not take five three-year-olds and two older kids on a 16-hour road trip by myself? In fact, why stop there, why not throw in an extra kid just to make it a REAL challenge?? Yep, it's true...having seven kids really DOES make you crazy.

We left bright and early on Friday morning (the kids missed one day of school so we could be in Arizona for the weekend). In addition to my seven kids, I also took Roger, one of Riley's friends, who wanted to hitch a ride to Arizona to visit his cousins. I made sure he knew ahead of time that he would have to work to earn his way, but I don't think he was quite prepared for how demanding the job would be!

We're off! Sleepy, but excited for the trip!

The drive there actually went pretty smoothly. Riley and Roger changed out movies and passed out snacks while I drove. We made three stops for potty and gas. This was the first road trip we have taken with the quints since they were potty trained, and I worried that it would take forever to take everyone to the bathroom at each rest stop. To help, I brought three little pottys in the car, along with some sanitizing wipes (to clean the pottys) so all the girls could go potty at the same time. It definitely helped, but it still took a minimum of 30 minutes each time we stopped.

By our last stop, the kids were going crazy being cooped up in the car, so I let them get out to eat and play in the playplace for a few minutes. We were soooo happy to get to Mimi's house!

The next day, Saturday, we must have REALLY been crazy because we decided to take seven over-tired children to Kohl's. (We had a 30% off coupon and it's hard to pass up a good deal!) The demographics of Mesa, Arizona are a lot different from the demographics in Austin, Texas. In Austin, having a big family is kind of a novelty. In Mesa, there are a lot more big families, and at this time of year there are a lot of "snowbirds" (retired couples who live in Arizona during the winter). In Austin, when we go places, we tend to stand out and people look at us with Mesa, we are just another large family and I am pretty sure (given the looks we got) that we were a big annoyance to many of the snowbirds shopping in Kohl's that day. On the upside, I did find some great deals!

Saturday night we met up with aunts, uncles and cousins that all live in the area for a picnic at the park. We went to a park in Gilbert called Freestone Park. It was awesome! It is a beautiful park (and beautiful is not a word I use often when referring to Arizona!). There was a large pond with ducks, waterfalls, playground, a train and some kiddie carnival rides. The kids loved it! It was so much fun to watch their faces on the mini-Ferris wheel--pure joy!

Watching the ducks

Ryder & Rustin

Kassidy, Kaydence & Kyndall

Riding the train

Sunday we all went to church. The quints are in the "Sunbeams" class at church. When we showed up to my mom's ward, we doubled the size of their Sunbeam class (we did call ahead to warn them).

Ready for church: Kaydence, Rustin, Kassidy, Ryder and Kyndall

To be continued...



Tracey's Life said...

Oh I just love the expressions on Ryder and Rustin's faces on the Ferris Wheel!!!

You have some major guts Mama!! Kudos to you!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

You CAN do hard things! Way to go! Btw, LOVE the pictures. :)

Buggles said...

I love your family. I love that you just take things in your stride and don't complain (on your blog, anyway) of how hard it is. You just get on with it because you have to. Your kids are going to thank you for that when you are older. They will have had a normal (ish!). I've been following your blog since before the quints were born. I can't believe they will be 4 this year. Wow!

Anonymous said...

I believe you are a rare breed of crazy and brave! There is NO WAY I would take a road trip without back-up. =) I get nervous just driving 8 hours with Princess and Dude.

I'm so glad you went and that it all worked out though! Good for you Rachelle!

Crazy Granny said...

You are amazingly crazy but I love your fearless attitude. As usual the kids are adorable.