Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunny LA

This past weekend we drove down to LA to see Jon's family and to celebrate his youngest sister (Sarah)'s 21st birthday, as well as our niece (Stella)'s 1st birthday. Jon's three younger sisters and two older brothers were there, not to mention his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles! It was a large family gathering for sure.

Happy 21st Sarah!

Happy 1st Stella!

The drive down wasn't horrible at first - Callum slept for the first half, but when he woke he was PISSED to be stuck in his car seat for so long. So, I climbed back in the back, squished between the two car seats and tried to maintain eye contact with Callum the entire time, talking and smiling and cooing with him until he fell back asleep for a second nap. Logan was pretty awesome the entire time - content with watching trucks out the window, watching a movie, and napping for the duration of the trip. Even with a couple of stops and leaving later than planned, we made great time, arriving about 6:30pm or so.

Once we checked into our hotel, unloaded all of our CRAP, and fed/changed Callum, we piled back into the car and headed to Curtis's house (Jon's brother) to see Jon's parents and siblings for a couple of hours before calling it a night. Both Callum and Logan were pretty beat from the day, as were their parents!, and we knew we'd have a big day the next day with family.

Our first night at the hotel wasn't great - Callum woke up every few hours - I think from a combination of being in a new and different place and from bumping his head against the metal bars of the hotel's crib, since he moves so much in his sleep. I tried rolling up towels and blankets along the sides to provide a bit of a bumper but it didn't really work out. While I was up and down with Callum, Jon was up and down with Logan, since he also woke up a few times throughout the night - groggy and sleepy and disoriented. Jon spent most of the night sleeping in Logan's bed with him (we had two queens in the room).

Much happier kids in the morning.

We had breakfast delivered and I'm glad we did. It was extremely expensive and not worth the cost but so worth the convenience. It allowed us some time to laze around a little bit in the morning without starving. We snacked on fresh fruit, croissants, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, toast and coffee. LOTS and LOTS of coffee.

After a few hours, we started getting antsy from cabin fever, so we ventured out to a nearby mall, where we spent a couple of hours hunting down a black dress shirt, tie and belt for Jon (and a strapless bra for me). Callum was really fussy - not liking his car seat (snapped in the stroller) one bit and begging to be held. We were up against his morning naptime and he was tired and wanted to fall asleep in my arms. This is usually par for the course, but what we didn't expect nor were we equipped to handle, was the meltdown from our other son! Logan was a wreck. We're not sure why he was having such a hard time - bored perhaps? or still tired from a restless night? or hungry since I forgot to bring snacks with us to the mall? or all of the above.

He whined and screamed and threw himself on the floor of Macy's more times than I could count. He was upset that anytime he asked me to pick him up, hold him and put Callum down, I'd refuse. I finally had us sit on some couches near the dressing rooms to see if he'd sit down next to me and lay his head on my lap since he was clearly getting tired.... he was fine doing that, as long as I agreed to put Callum in the stroller. I told him (several times) that I had to hold Callum too but that we could share my lap with Callum. He wasn't having any of it. He wanted his mama all to himself.


We quickly picked out the best shirt, tie and belt for Jon, paid and scooped our two kids up, racing out the doors. We took off for the food court since we thought Logan might just need something in his belly - and we were right. He eased up and was in a MUCH better mood after eating. Because it was getting close to party-time, and because Logan fell asleep in the car once we loaded up, we decided to head straight for Curtis and Renee's house (where the birthday parties were happening) from the mall, to see if we could put both boys down for their naps there.

One of the first things I saw at Curtis and Renee's house. Hilarious! :)

Unfortunately, Logan was not happy about napping in a new place, and wouldn't stay down - insisting he had to pee (which he did), and then claiming he wasn't tired and wanted to play. Jon didn't fight him on it since he was pretty wide awake, so Logan took off playing with his cousin's toys, having virtually no nap for the day. I, on the other hand, had Callum and was busy nursing him to sleep. We laid him down in Stella's crib and he proceeded to sleep for the next 3-4 hours! Basically, the entire birthday party and afternoon! Still, I knew he needed it so I was just glad he was able to sleep.

You'd never know this kid was sleep deprived!

Playing games with Aunt Catherine.

Uncle Kai was there too!

We had a great time at the party - there were plenty of activities for all the visiting kids. Logan spent a lot of the time playing with Luke's toys indoors, since the A/C was running in the house and the warm LA sun was getting to him outside. Luke had the right idea and had stripped down to just his diaper, but Logan insisted (no matter how many times I asked him to join everyone outside) that it was better to just stay inside. The food and cakes were yummy and it was fun to see all the family together.

The theme was butterflies (and ladybugs and caterpillars, etc.)!

Pretty cupcakes made by Aunt Catherine.

At the end of the party (when Callum finally woke up!), we gathered all of Jon's family together for a big group picture. We got a couple decent shots that should be keepers!

Callum meets his Great Aunt Diana.

Unfortunately, we stayed later than planned, and soon realized that it was nearing 7pm. We had dinner reservations (for Sarah's 21st birthday dinner) at 8:30pm but still needed to drop the kids off at Jon's parent's house, get back to the hotel to change into nicer clothes, and then drive (in LA traffic) over to the restaurant. Yikes!

So, instead of going back to the hotel first, we headed straight for Jon's parent's place to leave the kids there. Luckily, we had most everything we needed to put them down for the night. We said our good byes and then raced over to the hotel. We got ready as fast as we could then headed out to meet all the siblings at La Velvet Margarita.

The instructions were to dress the boys in all black and the girls in all red. Our group looked great! Everyone was done up and looking their best. I didn't bring my camera, but I got copies of a few pics that Catherine took with her phone (since she, Kai and I were sandwiched in the corner, I only have pics of me/Jon and Kai). The food was yummy and the company was fun as always - Jon and I headed out about midnight to pick up the boys but I hear the rest of the crew walked around Hollywood before heading to Catherine and Danny's hotel to continue the party for a few more hours. Hopefully, Sarah had a fun and memorable 21st! :)

Kai was lookin' HOT - total GQ!

LA Paparazzi shot.

My impersonation of Posh Spice. ;-)


Stop the paparazzi!

Ok ok, here's just a normal shot of me.

And a rare shot of me (alone with) and my hubby (squinty eyes and all).

We didn't have as rough a night with the boys on our second night thank goodness, because I'm not sure I could have lasted two nights in a row like that, especially with a long road trip the following day. Callum still woke up a couple of times but Logan was a much better sleeper the entire night (it makes all the difference when at least one is doing fine!). I tried to sleep in a little bit on Sunday morning but there's only so much you can ignore in a small confined hotel room. ;-) So we finally all got up, got ready to go and packed up our stuff.

We hit the road pretty soon after. We stopped by both Jon's parent's house and Curtis and Renee's house (but they weren't home) to say one last goodbye. Callum was shrieking the minute we got into the car, so we didn't get out of the car with the kids but just said goodbye from the car/street. We stopped by Starbucks for some much needed caffeine and then, thankfully, Callum fell asleep. He slept a good two hours I think (and Logan slept about one hour), before he woke up again. Unfortunately, this time, he stayed awake the entire rest of the drive home - which made for a MUCH longer and MUCH more painful ride home. :( I climbed back to sit between the boys again and stayed with them for about 2.5 hours before we finally reached Casa de Fruta.

The most interesting part of I-5? Neatly stacked blocks of hay. Lots and lots of hay.

A rare non-crying moment.

Engrossed in his movie.

I was at my wit's end and really needed a break from the car and I had heard from Kim that they had a pretty nice playground for the kids at Casa de Fruta. She was right! They've really built the place up over the years - it's a wonderful area for kids to play and run around. Unfortunately, it also means it was so wonderful that Logan was very upset when we had to leave. He was really wanting to ride the "choo-choo train" and when he realized he wasn't going to, he threw a massive fit. We finally had to take his lollipop away from him since he wouldn't stop the screaming (that was his punishment) and miraculously, he not only stopped screaming, but fell asleep. :)

We four were BEAT when we finally arrived home last night. Jon was worried that with Logan falling asleep so early, it'd mess up his night time schedule, but the minute we got home he caught a second wind and proceeded to race up and down the halls of the house with his "Superman bug" (one of the party favors) crashing into walls and taunting the dogs. Jon kept asking what the hell had gotten into him - but I reminded him that he was probably just happy to be home, and tired from being cooped up in a car all day. I know I was. :)

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