For Philip's birthday we were in Phoenix. I had a work conference to attend, so Phil and both kids came along. We flew down on Sunday and stayed through Thursday. We stayed at the Arizona Biltmore, which was a very nice hotel. We didn't see many other kids or families the entire time we were there, even though the hotel was sold out. The weather was nice enough that Phil and the kids were able to swim almost every day, wear shorts and no jackets and play on the playground outside! Coming from the freezing cold to the sort of warm was very nice - especially for Natalie who has been cooped up inside.
The first day we arrived, we checked in, got sort of unpacked in the room and went for lunch (got to love the $16 small salad). After lunch, Phil watched a little football in the bar and I took the kids back to the room and put them down for a nap. By the time Phil got to the room, I had to leave to meet a colleague, so I tried to keep Philip asleep, but didn't work. Unfortunately he woke up and would not take a nap for Phil. I came back to the room for a little while before having to leave again for the evening festivities. I finally made it back to the room around 8:30 (which was over an hour later than I was expecting), Philip was only mildly upset and Natalie was quietly watching a movie in the corner. We decided to push one bed against the wall and Philip and I would sleep there and Phil and Natalie would take the other one. Well, that was what we wanted, what Natalie wanted was both beds pushed together against the wall - so she got what she wanted. We moved the nightstand, pushed the beds together and all crashed at 9:30.
I was up early on Monday to attend some conference activities, only stopping back in on the kids and Phil every few hours to feed Philip and say hi. Monday night, Phil and the kids ate left overs for dinner and went evening-swimming and I went to an off-site event. I returned to a sleeping Philip (on Phil's shoulder) and a happy Natalie. I got ready for bed and again - we all crashed in the giant bed.
Tuesday was Philip's birthday and I had arranged to stick with the family for most of the day to celebrate. Best laid plans...I ended up having to attend another off-site event for most of the morning, followed by an afternoon presentation. I finally made it back to the room at 3:00, just in time for Natalie and Philip to have a nap. When Philip woke up, I took him on a walk and had some mommy and me time with him. At 5:00 we all caught the shuttle to the local mall. We needed more water, beer and lottery tickets, so we left the mall and walked a few blocks to the 7-11. We walked back to the mall so we could catch the 6:00 shuttle ride to the hotel. When we got back, I quickly changed into my party dress, fed Philip and left again for the last evening event. Just as I was getting ready to pass Philip over to Phil, the alarm on Phil's phone went off reminding us of the exact minute that one year prior we welcomed Philip to this world. I guess you could say that me leaving at that moment was my reward for a year of hard work! I went the work party and stayed way too late! I finally got to the room around midnight, and found Phil had both kids sound asleep in their own beds. Yea!
Wednesday Phil decided to get a nanny service for a few hours so he could go golfing. She came to the room at 9:00 am and the kids weren't too sure about it. Everyone got ready and went for breakfast, I left them at 10:00, and Phil shortly after. Phil decided he wouldn't pay over $200 to golf, so he just enjoyed some time to himself after a few days of daddy time, it was deserved! I met him at noon in the bar and we ordered some lunch. We met the kids back in the room a little while later and relaxed, took a nap, went swimming and went back to the mall for dinner. Dinner that night was the best of the entire trip, we went to True Food and it was AWESOME! Philip fell asleep at dinner and didn't wake up when we left, during the drive back to the hotel, or walk to the room.
Thursday was our last day, we got up, packed the suitcases and had some breakfast. After that, we walked the grounds, played a round of championship miniature golf and left for the airport at noon. The flight home was uneventful, and after being picked up and brought home, we enjoyed a mini family party for Philip's birthday. My mom brought a small cake, we sang, blew out the candle and went to bed early.
It is hard to travel for work, hard to be away and hard to have babies with you; but for this trip, at this time, I'm so thankful that we were able to bring everyone, that Phil was able (and willing) to take care of the kids full time and make this all possible.
on the flight down to Phoenix
The kids taking a stroller nap.
Phil put them in the stroller and walked them around the hotel room until they both fell asleep
In the evenings when I was at work events, Phil would take the kids to the Wright Bar. On the patio, they had large fire pits and Natalie would get a hot chocolate and Phil would get a vodka tonic and enjoy some fire time. She looked forward to it every day (and I'm sure he did to)!
Classy Bathroom Glamour Shots...Me prior to the final event at the conference
Natalie at the playground
There were orange and lemon trees all over the property - so here I am stealing some oranges
Party with the family
For his third party for his one year birthday, Natalie and I baked a cake and we invited Melinda, Darin and Kai over for dinner. Although the cake was slightly dry (we made it the day before), it was so much fun to celebrate again with friends and Philip even got a chance to touch the cake this time.
Wow, Philip, I can't believe it has been a year since you joined our family. I joke that this year has been the longest and shortest of my life. You were a complete shock to our system and a total change to our routine, but don't know what we would do without you now.
For the first 10 months of your life, mama and you didn't sleep very well - you better than me, but still not great. Because of that, I feel like I spent a lot of those early months in a fog and honestly, wishing you older. I would imagine that if only we could make it to six months, you would start crawling and things would be easier, and then six months came and you were happy to stick close to mom and not crawl, so I thought, if only we could make it to seven months, eight months, nine months, or, or, or...things would be easier. The longest and shortest year of my life. It was easy at times and hard at others, but in the long scope of things what a short year it has been.
It feels like just yesterday that you were born, that we were in the hospital, that I held you close to my chest after we welcomed you to the world. It seems like yesterday that we came home to a welcome home baby brother sign from your very excited big sister, that we were greeted by family dinner at our house for days and days to make the transition from one to two easier. Seems like yesterday that you fit comfortably on my chest, like it was a shelf made for you, that you slept almost all day, only waking to eat and look for mama. Seems like yesterday that I thought I might pass out from exhaustion - oh, wait, that was yesterday!
In this short year of your life, you have made many trips with mom, traveled many miles in cars and planes. Seen many new places, met new faces, seen the cottage for the first time and visited the castle a few more times. We have found what you like and what you don't. What makes you smile and what makes you cry. We have found how to work our routine and your routine together and how you are SO much different than your big sister.
This next year will bring many more firsts and we are so excited to welcome them together. I miss you being small, but can't wait for what being bigger brings. I love you more than you know.