Thursday. We woke up around 6 am and chilled in our room getting ready until we heard Auntie Fast and her girlies in their room (we had adjoining ones). Once we heard them up, we opened up our doors and planned out the morning. We decided to go grab some breakfast stuff at Walgreens that we could keep in our rooms for the week that didn’t require refrigeration or microwaving, but once we walked there we realized that Walgreens wouldn’t open for another hour. So we decided to go eat some McD’s breakfast while we waited for the store to open. Once we finally finished up all of our errands, we walked back to the hotel and took another swim.
We laid Eze down for a short nap after swimming b/c we were going to eat lunch out for a belated Mother’s Day for my mom. He slept for about 20 minutes before we had to wake him up and bring him down. I was a bit leery of how he’d do with being woke up, but he was super cheerful! We all ate lunch together, and then headed back to the hotel to put the kiddos down for longer naps. Eze took another nap – 2 hours this time. Woot! Once he woke up, it was time to head to the rehearsal, and then to dinner afterwards. During the rehearsal, we ran through walking up and down the aisle a couple of times and Eze did a great job. My Aunt L was a huge help with the kiddos during the rehearsal, so we recruited her help for the wedding as well. Her new name is Auntie More – the way she won Eze over was by offering him M&Ms every once in a while. Everytime he saw her for the rest of the weekend he would ask, “More?” and sign with his hands for more.
At the rehearsal dinner, we sat at a table near the pastor’s family. They have a daughter who is two months older than Eze, and she thought I was my sister E. We do look a lot alike. She was super cute, and she and Eze shared their toys together while her older brother played with cousin M since they were the same age. We got to eat a relaxing supper b/c Nana took over giving Eze supper so that he could spend some time getting to know my uncles and aunts at my parents’ table. It was nice 🙂 He got spoiled by my Uncle J with cookies, and spent time looking out the window at the choo choos. A good time was had by all. I do not remember what we did that night. I must have gone to bed with Eze, I guess!
Friday. Wedding Day!! We woke up early again with Ezekiel, and headed down to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant with my parents when they called to offer us breakfast. Then it was off to get my wedding hair done with my sis-in-law A. I love getting my hair done, but does anyone else feel awkward with the small talk attempts with a hair stylist you’ll never see again? I know I do. Once our hair was looking fabulous, we headed over to the mall to find the nail color sister E requested, and A and I did some sleuthing with my dad before finally finding it. Then our hubbies and Eze picked us up and we went to get their tuxes, then headed back to the hotel. After a quick lunch, we laid Eze down for a nap in hopes that he’d fall asleep fast and sleep well since we had to be to the church early for pictures.
Once Eze was up, we headed over to the church to get dressed. Eze did a great job chilling out with us, and stayed happy through pictures. I kept waiting for him to get grumpy, but it never really happened! He was one chillaxed boy that day. We spent some sweet time snuggling before the ceremony for about 15 minutes – it was probably one of my favorite moments with Eze. The photographers could not get enough of him. There are probably as many pictures of Eze as there are of E and J from the wedding day.
At last, wedding time was upon us, and we headed to the back of the church to line up. I was not very anxious about how Eze would do, but more curious about it. Eze, M and G were big hits walking up the aisle and Eze held M’s hand the whole way up the aisle. They did a great job! My sister asked for a memorable ceremony from the kiddos, and that’s what she got! During the “giving away of the bride” part, my niece G suddenly walked over to the couple during the prayer with candy in her hand and said loudly, “J do you want a Smartie??” She really loves her new uncle J. A few different times, Eze came up the stairs wanting to stand with Dave and me up at the front of the church. We finally convinced him to sit with Nana and Bampa, and once he started getting a little antsy, Dave tossed a pack of Smarties down to my parents from the stage. In front of the whole congregation. G also dumped out a whole bottle of water during the middle of the ceremony. And both G and Eze spent some time chattering loudly with Nana and Bampa during the quiet parts. It was definitely entertaining.
We took more pictures after the wedding, and then headed on over to the reception. We got some food into a tantrummy Eze (I think a mix of hunger, being overwhelmed with all of the activity of the day and it being 9 pm our time), and then I had to give a speech. I made it without crying until the very end. Yay! I’m notorious for crying as soon as a microphone is placed in my hands. Once it was time for the dance to start, we ended up taking turns rocking Eze in our arms outside of the reception hall, in the hallway and extra room.
After a while, my parents offered to take Eze and G back to the hotel to put them down for the night so that Dave and I could party on with E and J and all of their friends. G was not too happy that her big sister M got to stay at the dance until Nana and Bampa convinced her that she got to be the big cousin and help put Eze to bed. She was very excited about that. Eze cried as we said goodbye to him and my mom walked him out of the reception, but was happy as a clam once they got him in the van and headed toward the hotel. He chattered on and on about what he saw during the drive. They got to the hotel, and my dad went through our night night routine with Ez. Before he could get through the whole thing, Eze sat up in his lap, pointed to his crib and said, “Nigh nigh peez?” LOVE that boy. My dad chuckled and laid him down where he promptly passed out. Such a trooper!
Side note: I sang a little karaoke at the reception. I love karaoke. But my favorite part of the reception was when my Aunt N got up with two of E and J’s friends and sang the hard rock song, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. I almost peed my pants laughing when I saw that.
Saturday. I got up with Eze b/c I came back to the hotel from the reception earlier than Dave. We headed down for brunch with the rest of my family and friends from the wedding. Eze was once again taken from me so that I could eat in peace. That was one of the best parts of family vacation!! I got to eat almost all of my meals without wolfing it down and/or guarding it from Ezekiel. After brunch, we headed out to the Portland Saturday Market (one of my fave places) where I planned on meeting up with my friend Luuky and his girlfriend Flo. (She hopes to be someone’s Aunt Flo someday, which cracks me up) While at the Saturday Market, Eze fell off of a curb and skinned his forehead. Poor baby. I felt so bad for him. One of the vendors gave us some ice to put on his head (gotta love Portland Nice, definitely rivals Minnesota Nice). We spent a couple of hours on a grassy knoll playing with Eze and the girlies and chatting with our friends. It was a gorgeous day, and after a while the rest of my family joined us as well.
We spent the afternoon napping and swimming at the hotel pool before saying goodbye to E and J, wishing them a happy honeymoon in Hawaii. We laid Eze down, and sat in the hallway with my mom and dad, and sister C (after she put her girlies down) drinking the complimentary champagne the hotel gave my parents and joking with the people passing us in the hallway. We always have a good time together. At last the kiddos were asleep enough for us to pack up our bags and we all got a good night’s sleep.
Sunday. We bid adieu to our hotel and packed into the vans to go to the airport. My dad and Dave dropped the rest of us off, and I felt stressed with checking in most of our bags and keeping track of Eze and all of our carry-ons. However, I have discovered something about traveling with Eze. There is something about him that makes people want to stop and smile, or stop and help, or stop and give us things. It’s very random and strange, but when it helps us out, I’m not going to pass it up. I had decided that bringing the car seat on the plane was more of a hindrance than a help, so I decided to check the car seat. When I went to go check it in, the Northwest Airlines employees behind the counter just couldn’t get enough of Eze (and he was even a little grumpier than normal). I got my credit card out to pay for the extra bag, and the woman just waved it away and checked it for free. Woot. Then as we were standing in the security line later, the TSA agents were cooing over Eze and gave him a sticker to wear, which the rest of the agents that we passed commented about, telling Eze that now he was a part of their team, and what a big help he was being. Strange but fun.
When I had checked us all in on Saturday morning, I noticed that NWA had bumped me up to first class. I had NEVER flown first class before, and this was one time that I would rather have flown in coach with Dave and Eze. But (of course) Dave being the awesome husband he is wouldn’t hear of me passing up the opportunity to fly first class and told me that he and Eze would be just fine with the rest of my family back in coach. First class was lots of fun, and I felt super refreshed once we got off of the plane. Dave joked and said, “Mama’s always flying first class, Eze! This is so nice!” Maybe I’m a grump when I get off of airplanes?? Eze and Dave did great back in coach, and my dad switched with the guy who ended up sitting where I was supposed to be, and the 3 of them had a grand old time together.
When we got home, Eze was super psyched. He pulled out all of his toys one by one like he was greeting them, and played hard until it was bedtime. We kept him up in hopes that we’d get him back on MN time, and it was a success. As I rocked him and sang him our night night song, he fell asleep in my arms (he hasn’t done that since the first couple of weeks that we came home!!), it felt so nice. I laid him down and he just stretched his little arms out and felt his crib rails, then slept peacefully through the night. He slept so well, in fact, that Dave had to wake him up at 9 AM the next morning!!! And every morning since then, we’ve had to wake him up at 9. It’s been very nice.
So that’s our trip. Maybe boring for other people reading it, but I’m glad I wrote it down, since this is pretty much Eze’s baby book. Our first (very) successful family vacation. I’m excited to see where our vacations take us in years to come!!