Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We saw the sun! And it was warm. It was hard to get a taste of warmth only to come back to winter, but it was worth it for some vitamin D! (It's currently in the teens as I write this.) My parents have been in Scottsdale since January, so we got some plane tickets and joined them. My brother Jon, who lives in LA, made the drive to join us for most of the trip.

The actual airplane rides went really well as far as no cancellations, etc, but it's never easy flying with our crew. The girls were fabulous, actually, it was only Will that made it hard. I forgot how challenging his age can be! The way out, we had a late 9pm flight and the Phoenix airport/car rental was a zoo. We weren't in my parent's place until 3am MN time. Yikes! On the way back, we had a reasonable flight in the afternoon, but Will didn't succumb to a nap so it was a looooong 3 hours. The girls all took a nice nap and were well-behaved again, of course! (On a similar note, the girls are acting so much more like 4 year olds lately- that's a good thing, especially since Will is now a toddler and acting like it!)
We got to the Minneapolis airport with plenty of time to spare, so ice cream was on my mind!
Fun times watching everyone else's planes come and go! (Yes, we did get tons of comments/questions and stares.)
Will loved watching too!
The Scottsdale mornings are still pretty cool, so that is when we did our hikes. My parents are selling  the original condo because they bought a house in a location they like better. They have a beautiful view complete with a sunset show nightly. A short walk through the neighborhood brought us to a nature preserve hiking area. Our first morning we went on a slow hike that ended up being over an hour and the girls lasted the whole time! They were excited to see cacti and lizards. As four year olds, they did a good job listening to us to stay on the trail- otherwise those cacti could've been bad news. Will hung out in the baby backpack and was content. One of the short hikes, a short car ride took us to a trail area called the Gateway. It was busier, but the trails are marked better.
Starting out towards the hiking area...
Part of the crew
Sofia, Madeline, Josie
The hiking area by my parent's house
They were chanting "choo-choo-choo-choo" here (J, S, M). This is at the Gateway.
Josie and Sofia with grandma 
Mid-hike snack to recharge! (S, J, M)
After naps every day was reserved for the pool. The girls like us to hold them in the pool, but they seemed to get more comfortable each day. Like our trip in Florida last year, Sofia was our little fish! Madeline is still the most tentative of the girls. The first time we brought Will in the pool, he did not like it, but he warmed up to it the other days. Because of his eczema, his skin took a hit from the pool and I had to go out and buy some ointment, as the cream wasn't cutting it. Even though we had great sun, we did miss the humidity of Florida, but we won't complain.
Walking to the pool!!
YAY! Made it to the pool.
Well protected from the sun!
The kiddie pool (that was too cold!)
Hi, Miss Madeline!
Will and me!
Dan and I took two long hikes without kids. One at the Gateway, and one off of the nature preserve at my parent's house. On the second hike by parent's house, Dan spotted a Gila Monster lizard- the only venomous lizard in Arizona! Dan was happy, because we hadn't seen any rattlesnakes or tarantulas, etc, and he needed some excitement ;) . It was cool to see, though! Dan and I also got a date night out to dinner. We don't get to do that often enough!
Dan and me on one of our long hikes

The Gila Monster! Don't pick this guy up!
Date night!
We are back in life full swing, and the swimming lessons start/will start this week. We didn't think the girls were ready for lessons where the parents aren't in the pool, so we will trade off going on three separate nights a week. I went already with Sofia, and tonight will be the next girl. Sofia did well! I hope everyone is doing well! Here are the rest of the pics from our trip...

Our family :)
The crew!

Will probably thinks he can do what the girls can do!

This slide is so big, though, dad!

The girls were so happy to play on a snow-less playground again!
Jon took this pic with his phone.

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