Sunday, 26 May 2013


Just before Peanut was born, Marty started suggesting that we take a road trip to Vancouver for the May long weekend.  He was thinking it would be a good opportunity to show off our brand new baby and our happy little two year old. (Almost all of Marty's extended Family lives in the Vancouver area.)  I was skeptical.  Marty insisted it would be, "fun!" Fun? This was not the adjective that popped into my mind when I considered 12 hours in a minivan with a two year old and a 7 week old...however he was insistent!  All I could think about was how little sleep I was going to get, how I'd probably be riding most of the way hung over the passenger seat entertaining those in the back, how there'd be poo blowouts, how there'd be crying and yelling and boredom...I was not looking forward to the adventure, though, an adventure, I knew it was going to be.  Not one to miss out on adventure, I agreed, though half heartedly.  I knew it was important we get to Vancouver to see the relatives, I just wished we could fly....

Thursday, Ryder woke up pumped for our "road trip!!"  He kept telling Peanut, "We are going on a road trip! A road trip!"

We took him to the Day Home so Peanut and I could pack...we really didn't need his help. LOL

When I knocked on the door at the Day Home at 4:30pm I heard Ryder's footsteps as he ran to the door. Instead of hollering, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" like he normally does, he cried out, "Road trip, road trip road trip!" He was pumped!!  We had to go home first, before the road trip could start cause Daddy wasn't home from work yet and we couldn't leave without him!
By the time we got everything and everyone in the van and got the DVD player working properly, it was time to feed Peanut, soo....before we even left the driveway, we all piled out of the van and went back into the house so Peanut could eat. NOt off to a speedy start, but we had agreed all along, that this wasn't gonna be a speedy trip. We were going to take our time, take lots of breaks and have FUN on this trip. :)
Ryder had not seen the movie Cars, so we figured this 12 hour trip would be the perfect opportunity to show it to him.  He's not a big TV guy yet, he just doesn't have the attention span for it, though, he does love Dora the Explorer.  (We brought some of those DVDs too.)  Marty figured he should use headphones.  We found some cheap ones, but they didn't fit very well and a couple hours into the trip, he broke them..but he sure looked cute!
We stopped in Golden, BC at McDonalds for a late supper. It was way past Ryder's bed time, and I had already fed him a peanut butter sandwhich, but he was still fired up about being on the road trip.  I mean it, he was wired!! He was running around the tiny restaurant, squealing with delight.  At one point, the song, "This Girl is on Fire" came on the speakers.  Ryder and I used to sing that song all the time, he heard the words and began singing it LOUD, repeatedly even after the song was over.  This was the first time I'd seen him be egged on by a stranger's reaction. The other patrons were in stitches watching Ryder and the more they laughed, the louder he sang!  Before we left McDonalds, Ryder needed a diaper change. This is something he hates more than anything else in the world. He doesn't just quietly hate diaper changes, he resists them with the enthusiasm, strength and determination of an Olympic wrestler and the sound that sound that comes out of him during a diaper change matches that of a of a jack hammer!  I dread every diaper change, but since I lost the "rock, paper, scissors" match, I had to be the one to do it. I drug him kicking and screaming into the tiny McDonald's bathroom, took one look at the flimsy change table and made the executive decision not to risk putting my 35pound son up on that table. I am sure they have a weight rating, and I doubted that  35 pounds of kicking and screaming qualified!  While I rifled through the diaper bag, trying to get organized, Ryder made a break for it. To my horror, the latch on the door didn't work and Ryder had escaped!! I located him strutting like a proud Peacock between the tables looking for Daddy.  After much dragging, and wailing, we left the restaurant with two kids in clean diapers.  Once back in the car, Ryder calmed down.  Dusk fell and he began saying, "Goodnight Trees. Goodnight, Mountains. Goodnight cars. Goodnight Trucks. Goodnight Vans...."this went on and on, Marty and I giggling to ourselves, but anxiously waiting for him to fall asleep. When he started commenting that it was, "dark, can't see" we knew he must be close to falling asleep. It was 11pm when he finally wound down enough to find slumber.  At 2am we arrived in Kelowna.  Marty's folks were not home, (they are in Europe for the month) but they graciously, said we could crash at their condo for the night.  Marty and Ryder slept in one bed and Peanut and I slept in the other. We all woke up refreshed, ready to continue our adventure. After a tubby time in the kitchen sink for Peanut, we headed to City Park, to give Ryder some play time before the next long leg of our road trip. 

 Playing trucks on GG and Grampa's counter while Peanut bathed.

Peanut was asleep when we put her in her carseat but just as we pulled away from the park, she woke up. I knew we should just feed her now, so once again, before we actually "got on the road" for the second time, we all piled out of the van so Peanut could eat.  

Once all tummies were full, we made another break for it.  To get to Vancouver from Kelowna you have to drive over a huge mountain pass.  There was still snow up on top, but most of it had melted from the rest stop we decided to have our lunch break at.  There was no playground, but Ryder was happy to just play trucks by the picnic table and Peanut was happy to be out of her seat, in her pea pod kicking and punching!

We all obviously enjoyed our time OUT of the van, however no one except me really complained about being IN the van. (I hate sitting still too long.) The only time Ryder really revolted was when it was time to change his diaper and diaper change time at this rest stop was no different!  WE attempted the "stand up" change, but as soon as his diaper and shorts were off he escaped! He was storming through the rest stop bottomless!! This time he was not as giddy about it as he had been in McDonalds. This time he was downright MAD! "No Mommy! No Mommy!" was what he yelled as he paraded in his bare butt among all the other travellers! Horrified, knowing what this probably looked like to others, I snatched him up, drug him kicking and screaming back to our picnic table where both Marty and I leaned over him to get the diaper back on. I am sure the whole scenario raised some eyebrows, and that is exactly why, as soon as we have a few days in a row at home, I am going to attempt to potty train him.  That and the fact that he kicked me so hard in the crotch the other day, while I carried him kicking and screaming, that I still have bruises! I am sooo over changing his diaper!!!
We arrived in Surrey, just in time for a "milk and cookie" visit with Marty's Granny and Papa. They hadn't seen Ryder since he was Peanut's age and they ofcorse hadn't met Peanut yet.  We had a lovely visit, that unfortunately had to end with another LOUD diaper change.  I know the whole scene alarmed Marty's Granny and she kept poking her head in the bathroom to check on things.  At any rate it was great to hug the Grandparents and share some cookies!  From their house, we headed to Marty's Uncle's house where his cousin and her two kids (ages 4 and almost 2) met us.  Ryder was stoked to have other kids to play with and he played hard. He ended up having to go to bed before the other set of cousins (ages 12 and 7) arrived, but the next day he soaked up all the cousin time he could!

Ryder with the Derksens
 Caden was amazingly patient with all the little cousins and Ryder hero worshiped him!!

 Brooklyn is almost two and Ryder adored her too!
 Peanut spent the entire visit, just being cute!

We left Surrey with enough time to get us to Vancouver for 6pm dinner with the other side of Marty's family.  We arrived at Grandma's house just in time to eat!  Marty's aunts and his cousin Alexis and her two kids (Helen, 6 and Maddoc 1) also met us there.  We had delicious burgers then walked down to Dairy Queen where the super friendly owner let Ryder make his own cone!!

After a great night's rest we hooked up with Alexis and her family and headed to Granville Island.  Helen had planned a whole day of adventure for us that included riding the sea taxi, playing at all the best parks, having a picnic, feeding ducks and watching her riding lessons.  This day would conclude with a BIG family dinner at Grandma's house with all the cousins and aunts!

Sea Taxi
 This plaground had the biggest sandbox and even had a water spout to make mud!! Awesome!
 Picnic. Helen packed it all herself and set it all up!
 There was a really great spray park. It wasn't really "spray park weather" but Ryder wanted to play anyway!

 Feeding the ducks!
 Balloon animals!
 Peanut hung out nice and snug and warm in her "peanut shell" all day!

Dinner at Grandma's that night was great! It was so awesome for Ryder to get to know his Daddy's Aunties better and to see where all of his red hair came from!! Peanut got lots of love and we all got to catch up! It's hard living so far away from everyone!  Our family was spoiled with good food and lots of love!  After one more comfy night, we had to get back on the road.  Before strapping ourselves in for a LONG drive, Alexis' family made us a huge pancake breakfast and took us to the beach!

Peanut getting some cousin love
 The Beach!

Eventually, it was inevitable. We had to get back on the road.  We headed back up the pass. This time instead of staying in Kelowna, we thought we'd try to make it to Kamloops.  This would be our first stay in a hotel as a Family since Ryder was born.  We arrived in the pouring rain, but it didn't matter. The hotel had an indoor waterslide and that is all Ryder could think about!  After a late dinner at the burger joint across the street, Marty and Ryder geared up in swim suit stuff and hit the pool!

Ryder loved the slide and we hoped he was tired enough to fall instantly asleep in that hotel room, so that Marty and I could just relax...he was, but he wasn't....Marty read him stories and cuddled him. I turned off all the lights and took Peanut into the bathroom to bath her.  When Marty was done tucking Ryder in, he joined us in the bathroom and there we all three hung out, waiting for Ryder to fall asleep in the dark room.  Three people can hang out in a hotel bathroom only so long and when we all emerged, Ryder was awake, waiting for us!  Marty climbed into the bed with him and Peanut and I headed back to the bathroom. This time I took a shower and she just hung out on the floor.  When we emerged, both Marty and Ryder were sound asleep. There was nothing we could do, except crawl into our bed and join them in slumberland!  I am sure Ryder was exhausted enough to sleep in the next morning, however we were all jolted out of bed when the hotel fire alarm started going off.  Have you ever been in a hotel when the fire alram goes off? It's LOUD!!!!  Marty and I were jumped out of bed, through on our pants, got a hoodie on Ryder, scooped up the baby and...the alarm stopped. False alarm, I guess! Glad there was no fire and because of the alarm, we had a nice early start to our day.  We finished dressing and hit up the Starbucks for a quick breakfast. It was here that Ryder ate a big yogurt and...half of the plastic spoon! does this even happen????

At our first rest stop, we hoped to find the spoon parts in Ryder's diaper...I think we was hard to tell....
I fed Peanut and Marty and Ryder explored the park we had stopped at.  At one point I looked around and was sure that I saw Marty with his shirt was fairly early in the morning, not really warm enough to be half naked yet...turns out, not only was his shirt off, but he was soaking wet too! I guess Ryder had kicked his shoe off over a bridge into the lake. Marty ended up jumping in the lake to save the shoe!! Oh Ryder!!! LOL
We made several stops on this last leg of the trip. It was gonna be a long one and we wanted to break it up. We stopped at some water falls where we tried to get a family pic...since I was wearing Peanut, we just couldn't hold the phone in a way that would get us all, though we tried several times...

To pass the time, we sang lots of songs and talked about everything under the sun. Inevitably, I had to go to the bathroom badly.  Because we'd been in the van so long, we were all a little giddy/crazy so I started singing: "Mommy has to poo poo poo" and from the back seat, unprompted came Ryder's voice, singing, "Daddy has to pee pee pee!" yep, as gross as the lyrics are, Ryder had made up his first song!!! WE sang our duet over and over until Daddy found us a place we could stop to poo and pee! LOL
Actually, I was amazed at all the things Ryder came up with on his own, unprompted from the back seat! He randomly announced, "I wuv Helen." which melted my heart as much as when he also announced, "Uncle Dirt my friend!" It made me laugh when he assured us that we are "almost there peeps!"  When we were just an hour from home, we stopped one last time at a park in Banff.  I needed to feed Peanut and we figured we might as well have one last play.

Our attempt at one last family pic to memoralize the trip....

This was our best one!

We made it home in one piece! Thank you, Marty for being an awesome driver.  I have to admit, for how worried I was about everything, the trip was awesome!! Everything about it, except the diaper changes, was fun!!!!  I am not very much looking forward to future road trips!

Kiss your babies, count your blessings and take a road trip with your family! You'd be surprised what you'd learn about eachother!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!! I am so impressed that you accomplished all that with a 2 year old and a new baby!! You are such an adventurous family, wow!