Friday, November 14, 2014

Back in the USA!

We returned to the U.S. to have a baby. The hospitals in Laos are not what you would call... sterile. There are literally dogs and cats walking around... it's not good. (People have told me they allow the cats because they take care of the cockroaches.) So, we had a few options. We could go to Bangkok where the hospitals are great and most everyone speaks good enough English to get by. We could go to Singapore, which is a little more expensive but similar, except the surrounding areas have better sidewalks and are a little easier to navigate with a stroller and such. Or, we could go back home to America. I considered these options and while I think it would have been easier on Matt if we had stayed in Asia, I really had no idea how I would manage my two boys in a foreign city at 36 weeks pregnant without my husband for most of it. (He would have visited on weekends, most likely.) So, I thought it would be nicer for me and the boys to be at my sister's house in Idaho Falls where there are toys and cousins and libraries and parks and movie theaters with movies in English, etc. My sister graciously agreed and so we made the exodus in June. We stayed for 10 days in Los Angeles with my other sister so that it would be easy for Matt to fly in and out of America quickly. Then, I flew the 2 hours or so on a direct flight to Idaho Falls alone with the boys. All went off without a hiccup.

While in Los Angeles, I got to go to Pismo Beach with my kids and catch up with a dear friend from college who met us there from San Francisco. The beach was super windy, which was a shame, but the kids enjoyed the park and the hotel and the donuts, so it was a fun trip.

They also enjoyed going to my sister's ward for church because it was in English and they got lollipops!

Now get ready for a photo dump of our time in Idaho before Marie was born...

The first day I arrived, I happened to have a friend passing through with her three kids, so we met up with my sister and her kids and my kids at a park. It was so fun catching up! (In fact, they stayed at my sister's house for one night on their way home so we got to see them twice!)

We celebrated the 4th of July with my sister and her kids. Idaho Falls has an impressive Firework show every year. They are all watching a movie on the iPad waiting for the fireworks to start. Scott was whining the whole time waiting for the next snack from our bag. And he only remembers seeing one firework before he fell asleep. Oh well...
Due to unfortunate circumstances, Matt's sister and brother-in-law were in town, which worked out for us to fit in some family time with them. We hadn't seen them for a long time, so it was good to see them.
Scott fell and hit his head...
And got a nice black eye.
We made lots of gluten free treats! (which made this preggo very happy!)
and got messy!
and bought some flipflops.
Bobby found out it was easier to wear a blanket than it was to wear sunglasses.
We drove to Boise to visit my Grandpa!! Seriously a highlight of my trip. I actually got to visit with him because my sister's kids entertained my kids! Last time I went to visit, I was chasing after them and didn't really feel like I was part of the conversation. So, this was much more fun.
We stopped at the stunning Shoshone Falls on the way home.

I used my sister's vast library of homeschooling materials to my advantage and did some reading lessons with Scott. He liked to draw out the letters, although it was not required, and he even drew a picture of a fan there in the middle. (F is if for ffff in fff, fff Fan.)
I have driven between Pocatello and Idaho Falls MANY times over the years and I always wonder about the Potato Museum that's marked on one of those brown historical landmark signs on the side of the road in Blackfoot. So, I made a date to visit there with Matt's sister who lives in Pocatello. It was just an old converted train depot so it was very small. They had some farm equipment and various potato related things (like the biggest Pringle ever), and it wasn't super engaging for my kids, so I didn't get a chance to read everything, but now I can say I've been there!
Here's Bobby in front of their display of Mr. Potato Heads
Darth Tater

Scott and Bobby with Matt's sister and her family. We actually got to visit with them about once a week while we were there and it was so great to be close for a while. I hope we'll be able to live near them again someday.
The kids begged me for a souvenir, so I got them temporary tattoos for about 25 cents each. ;)

Another of my good friends (who I met while we lived in Santa Fe) happened to be in Blackfoot for one night, so I went to visit her. Her husband took my boys on a couple of rides on the ATV and they LOVED it.

We had a great time back in the USA just generally enjoying the Idaho summer and waiting for our baby to come along... Stay tuned for the details of her debut...

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