Sunday, March 27, 2011

My day with the coolest person in the world.

So like I mentioned in my last post, we were flying to California for the day to visit our friend Nate Patten. 

it. was. awesome. 

The combination of comedy caused by Phil and Nate being together is by far the most entertaining thing you can experience. I literally love him. Just look at this adorable picture: 

The Nathans

So that morning we drove to the airport and parked our car there (since it's really not that expensive). We hopped on the flight to Long Beach and since it was only for a day we only took one carry on and two car seats. The Long Beach airport is really small (it's freaking awesomely small and not crowded!). The baggage carousel is literally 50 feet from the pick up area and it's outside. It's the easiest airport ever. So Nate drove by and picked us up easy peasy. 

Then we drove to a place called Shoreline Village, ate lunch and talked, joked, and laughed while following Nate who was running around, chasing birds, throwing rocks in the water, climbing on the little toddler rides (the ones that go if you enter a quarter). After that we drove to Seal Beach. I wanted to check it out because you can take a bus from the airport to this beach for only 1.50 per person so I wanted to see if it was good for a future day trip in the summer (and it was). It's funny I thought it was called Seal Beach because of the animal, but it's really because of the Navy Seals. haha! We walked down the pier and just talked and laughed some more. Where we took this second adorable picture (and the first): 

Are these not the two most adorable Nates you've ever seen in your life??? (yeah we put a diaper on Nate for the day...I wasn't about to stress about finding a potty every five minutes). 

When we left that morning the return flight was fine and our standby priority was fine....then when we were in California a bunch of people rolled over and got in front of us. Whatever, doesn't matter because lucky for us, Phil's mom lives in St. George so she picked us up from Las Vegas, stayed the night at her house and she drove us home today (she's so wonderful). It was so much fun!!!!! 

When we named Nate I hadn't met Nate Patten yet. Now that I know him I know why Phil loved the name. And if I had met him before hand I would have jumped right on the chance to name him after Nate. He is literally my favorite person in the world. This day trip, although we got to spend a lot of time with him, was definitely not enough!!!! I want to go to New York SOOOOOOO bad to go visit him! SO SO SO SO SO SO SO freaking bad it's not even funny. He was just in LA for his job (he is the musical director for the traveling broadway Beauty and the Beast production. He met Tom Cruise the other night haha how funny is that?). 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nate Nate Nate.

There is just something about the name Nate that rings awesomeness. Every Nate I ever met (at least before my Nate was born) has been awesome. Kind of like every Nick. I would love to name a boy Nick, but Phil's uncle and cousin have that name and it would be weird because we're close with his side. But that doesn't matter anyway cause I'm not sure I'll even have any more. Back to my original point, Nate's everywhere are awesome.
Trying to find a boy name for Nate was blech! I hate boy names. Mainly because every single boy name I love is a name of some sort of family member (Maxwell-Phil's cousin, James-Phil's brother, Nick-Cousin/uncle, Matt-my brother) and, I love all those names, but we can't name our kids after every family member there is. So we dabbled in non-family names. For a while it was going to be Miles, but then my MIL loved that name and wanted us to name him that so bad when I only kind of liked it that it made me hate it (it doesn't help that we had gotten in a big fight around that time and she wasn't on my good list at that moment)...it's actually kind of funny because when we told her we liked the name Audrey for a girl she hated it. I guess when we found out Audrey was a girl she forgot that she hated that name cause she only said she hated it when I was pregnant with Nate. Well moving along, I came to hate the name Miles. We had such a hard time finding a neutral name and although I loved the name Nate there was a girl at my work who had a son Nate and I didn't want her to think I was taking her name (oddly enough she never once asked me what I was going to name him...). At the time I was just switching from night shift to day shift and knew I wouldn't be seeing her at work anyway so I finally mentioned the name Nate to Phil and INSTANTLY he loved it. And this is why:




I chose this picture from his facebook because it made me laugh instantly.


So yeah technically we didn't name Nate after this Nate, but the more I get to know him the more I just want to say that we did. It was more of the inspiration for his name. The truth is if this Nate wasn't so frickin' awesome we wouldn't have chosen that name for our son.


Well, this fine specimen of a human being will be in LA this weekend (actually he's in LA right now) and we are flying to see him. I literally cannot be more excited. I think I'm more excited for this than I was to go to Florida! (Please please please flights don't fill up too much in the next three days! Pretty pretty please!!!).


Nate meets Nate for the first time. Aw! 

He called the other night to talk about our (hopeful) trip down there and I literally busted a gut talking to him for only 5 minutes. I don't think I ever stopped laughing! He is SO FREAKING HILARIOUS! The minute I hung up I said to Phil "I want to marry him and have plural husbands". 

Pretty much, I love this guy! I want to fly to New York every day to see him...except that most of the year he's not even in New York because he is a conductor/director for traveling broadway shows (yeah he is also an amazing musician). 

Phil and Nate hahaha! 

Not only is he one of my favorite people, he is also by far my favorite facebook friend. Mainly because he finds pictures of the FUNNIEST things and posts them (he does travel all over so you're bound to see some funny crap). Here are some of my favorites (his captions are below each picture. They're what makes them so funny): 

"This theatre may need to do some proofreadin' in the rain"

"How ironic that these two groups are sharing a room. What a waste."
(BTW Nate's gay...not that it's important)

"Coming soon...the Gonorrhea Blanket!"

"Don't let that ghost convince you to eat a donut..."

"Kazoozles: Helping your kids tell the difference between candy and power cables since 1986"

"'If you want more information about the urinals, talk to Jim--the most boring person alive'"


And for my personal favorite: 
"In an effort to improve cross cultural relations, Macy's has released this new mannequin that is both black AND gay."

And lastly I must post the Barb G videos for your viewing pleasure. We actually hung out with him the day he made this first one. We were in Toms River while he was there (lucky right?!) and I remember him telling us about this. Enjoy! 





A side note for the last one: Phil and Nate grew up where Jersey Shore was filmed. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

In the Bloggin' mood.

Life is good.

I used to hate to read "life is good" status updates on Facebook because I was so stressed over so many things that I was envious that I couldn't put that as my status. But now the stress is gone (for the most part...now if I could just deal with the stupid flex spending account people who want a specific receipt that I have given them and they still claim is not written correctly...ugh). So now I can actually be happy for people who's statuses read "life is good" hahaha! Ok I'm exaggerating a little. I wasn't really mad, I'm just glad that I can actually say that and mean it!

We finally sold our lease. That was the main stress. That was the stress that was causing all the other stresses. It is done. They're moved in, papers signed, done. Done done done. And I am so done with that place and happy to be done. Now we can put that all behind us and start saving money.

On top of that we are getting our tax return. Now we can fix our cars, save up for our down payment on our future house, and breath again. Aaaahhhhhh feels so good to breath again. It feels so good to not constantly have a knot in my stomach.

Everything seems to be coming together at once. One of those things being warmer weather! Oh those little bits of sunshine heating up this awful Utah air gives me little glimpses of hope that soon we'll be riding tricycles, swimming outside, going for jogs with the jogging stroller, playing at the park, and going to the zoo.

In other great news, Phil's dad is coming to visit us April 7th-11th. And hopefully Phil's brother will be too!! I offered James a buddy pass to fly down when Neal will be out. James hasn't met Audrey so that would be SO AWESOME!!! I love James. And Neal hasn't seen Audrey since she was a month old.

And one more good news moment: Phil's best friend growing up Nate Patten (the inspiration for our son's name...more like I suggested the name and Phil liked it because of his friend) is going to be in LA this week so we are going to go visit him on Saturday hopefully :D

Aaaaand lastly for those who may not have seen it on facebook, we took this picture of my dad and Audrey just for fun because it's funny. He's wearing the same jacket and we even did a shower as the background. The angles are a little off, but Audrey wasn't in the best mood and wasn't really up for picture taking. She kept looking in the mirror. It was hard to get her to look at the camera haha! She's such a cutie! And yes. She is a mini-me! Nate is a mini-phil and Audrey is a mini-krista. But I think she is prettier. Phil added just the right touch to her cuteness!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The only parenting advice you'll EVER need!!!!

There is literally not one parent that parents exactly the same as another. Not one. I'm not even the same parent to Audrey as I was to Nate. So I am here to give you the only parenting advice you will ever need ever, right here! Just read this and you will never have to read a thread of parents (let's just admit it, a thread of MOM's!) fight about what is the best way to parent:


LOVE YOUR KIDS!

I know! It's s a huge break through!


Fact: If you love your kids you will make the best decisions for them.


Lie: If you don't listen to every other parent and do exactly what they say, your kids will never be happy or healthy.


In fact research shows that the best way to be a parent is to not abuse your kids. Not abusing them will allow them to grow up the happiest and healthiest. So in order to be a good parent turns out all you have to do is to literally love them. I am definitely not about to define abuse! Holy crap if I did that I'd get a thread of angry mob mom's trying to say that spanking is good or bad. AGH!


I am so sick and tired of seeing moms tear each other apart because other mom's don't have the same ideas and philosophies! It is ok to give people advice, but it is NOT OK to tell someone or imply that they are a bad parent because they don't parent the same way as you. So yes I am being judgmental of judgmental parents. Guilty as charged, but I am working on it. I have my own opinions and beliefs and just like my religion I don't want to push those opinions or beliefs on anyone else.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It can't possibly get any better than this!!

I have really been noticing lately that my kids are both in the best possible stages...and at the same time!! How does that happen????? I've been thinking about it so much lately that I just want to talk about it all the time. Allow me to elaborate:

Nathan

He has FINALLY passed through the terrible twos stage. I'm sure this stage is different for every toddler, but for Nate specifically, what made them so unbearable is that he wanted to be so independent and he is extremely curious at the same time so he was getting into everything and I can't even tell you the damage caused. Furniture artwork, loose change inside the guitar, broken window coverings, broken nose (mine), stained carpet, the list goes on. Although many of those problems still persist, he understands me now. I can talk to him and explain why I don't want him destroying the house. He also doesnt run away from me in the store or run into the street...it truly is a miracle that he is still in one piece...I deserve an award. Best of all, he is potty trained!!
That being said, not only has he gotten through the terrible twos, but he hasn't reached, what I hear, as the terrible 3's. He doesn't talk back to me, he doesn't fight with his little sister, he isn't too awfully possessive (just of blankets...not sure why. Not one special blanket, but all blankets). He doesn't lie, he doesn't have an attitude, nothing....yet. So he is right in between two difficult stages and I'm just loving this little break!

Audrey

She is in the golden age of baby-hood. She isn't old enough to crawl around, she doesn't need to eat real food, her diapers still don't have much of a smell, but she is smiley, she laughs, and she is just plain cute! She doesn't taunt her brother, she doesn't get into anything, and I'm loving that I can put her in one spot and know she'll be there when I come back!

I'm going to enjoy this as long as it lasts and hope the next stages aren't too difficult to handle! :D

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 things I wish I knew before I had a baby

This post was inspired for my friend Gisselle. 3 years ago this month she suffered from a traumatic pregnancy loss due to an ectopic pregnancy. I still remember when it happened I was pregnant with Nate and it was really hard to see her go through it. Anyway in honor of her I'm making a post of all the things I wish I would have known before I had a baby because one day soon I know she will have her chance and since she has waited this long for her angel, she deserves to know the things I wish I would have. Haha make sense?? So here we go. (these are based on MY own experiences and everyone will have a different experience, this is MINE. I know every kid is different). 

1-No matter how hard, inconvenient, annoying, etc it is to pump, it is not worth giving up breast feeding for. Formula is an unnecessary expense that is not worth it not only because it is expensive, but it's just not near as healthy.

2-You don't have to buy baby food from the store. You never know what preservatives are in it. It has a shelf life for one...healthy food rots. Ok yeah it's canned, but it still has preservatives in it. If you make your own (which can be as simple as mushing a banana) it's far less expensive and it's healthier. But sometimes canned baby food is convenient. 

3-Home birth is way way way better. It's less expensive even though insurance doesn't cover it, it's comfortable, no birth plan needed, you're respected, you can have as many visitors as you want, and you and your husband get to sleep in the same bed that night instead of just you in the hospital bed. It's not messy like people think it is too. Your midwife cleans up and if you have a water birth then everything stays in the little swimming pool which is covered with a giant garbage bag so they just take that out and voila! it's clean. 

4-You get more sleep when you let the baby sleep in the bed with you. They feel more secure, you only wake up in the middle of the night enough to roll over and start feeding baby so you get better sleep, you get in lots of snuggle time. A lot of people are against co-sleeping, but if you and your husband don't mind doing it, why go through the hassle of putting them in a different room?? We also have her bed set up right next to ours if we decide to put her in there. 

5-You can change anything in the first year and the baby doesn't care. For example, if you think co-sleeping is bad because they get used to it (which I don't agree with) then move them out sometime within the first year and they'll hardly notice. When Nate turned 1 I took away the bottle and he didn't even think twice. At 6 months he stopped using a binky and didn't look back. 

6-Only feed baby vegetables at first because then they won't get used to sweet stuff and they'll learn to like vegetables....ok so I failed miserably with Nate, but we'll give it a try with Audrey and see how it goes. 

7-Don't circumcise. You can't take it back once you do it and you might change your mind later. If they end up needing one later in life, it's harder for them, but it's not likely that it will happen and it's better to let them make that decision if they do want to be circumcised (although I don't know a man that would make that decision). There's just no reason for it. It's a tradition not a necessity. I wish I would have left Nate be. And now I hate that I made that decision for him. 

8-Read Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood BEFORE your child becomes a toddler. You'll save yourself a lot of anger, frustration, and feeling hopeless. You'll still go through all those things, but it won't be as bad if you read that book I promise. But take it with a grain of salt. You don't have to do it exactly the way it says. Some people find it harsh, but personally I think it's the best method out there. 

9-get a baby wrap. Not a baby carrier, but a wrap. It's versatile and it works REALLY well! Babies love it because they can fall right asleep in it. I had this awful carrier with Nate that didn't distribute the weight evenly then I had a carrier that put all the pressure on my shoulders. The wrap is awesome! Best thing ever and it's just a really long piece of fabric. 

10-Don't get to wrapped up in everyone's advice. Do what is the best for YOU not anyone else. I decided from day one I was doing it MY way with Audrey and not listening to everyone else. It's ok to listen to people's advice, but don't try to follow it if it doesn't work for you. Pick and choose what you feel in your heart is best and don't get set on one thing because that thing can change. I wouldn't say I'm a "natural" parent where I co-sleep and breast feed into toddler hood, cloth diaper, constantly wear my baby, etc. But I wouldn't consider myself a mother that follows our cultural norms either. For me personally I'm going to take it one day at a time. Right now how long I'm going to breast feed Audrey isn't set. I might stop at one year, but if I don't want to stop, I might continue. I'll reach that decision when I get to it, but not before. I don't know how long I'm going to keep her sleeping next to me, I'll do it until I feel comfortable. Right now I do use a binky because it helps her calm down when she gets tired, but probably won't past 6 months, but we'll see how it goes (definitely not past 1 year though). I'm just parenting the way I want to not the way anyone else tells me to. And it's great. I'm happy with it, Phil's happy with it, Audrey's happy with it so why have it any other way? Even with Nate. If he comes into our room in the middle of the night sometimes I let him stay because that's what he needs that night. Sometimes it makes it so I can't sleep so I move him back to his bed. Just parent the way YOU want to parent. 

Also here is a list of things I learned along the way that I feel are worth mentioning: 

1-Breast feeding is hard and awkward at first, but SOOOOOOOOOOOO worth the effort put into it! 

2-You can never give too many hugs or kisses.

3-Worrying about folding kids clothes is a waste of time and effort. Just separate them by shirts and pants and you'll be good to go. They're so small that they don't wrinkle easily anyway and you can just lay them flat if you are worried about that.

4-Take lots of pictures

5-Kids are not your property. You just have the privilege of teaching them and taking care of them so enjoy it don't manage it. 

6-You get to see the world for the first time all over again every time you have a kid. The light and excitement in their eyes when they do something new is priceless. 

7-Using your money to buy them things and new experiences is well worth the money and more fulfilling than using it for yourself! Plus using it for them feels like you're using it for yourself. 

Ok that's all I can think of for now. Plus I've been writing this for way too long haha!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A parenting breakthrough

This is yet another parenting post. You can study all you want about parenting, child development, etc, but you never really figure it out until you are a parent. I have learned so much and I know I have so much more yet to learn.

I've posted here before about Love and Logic parenting. Well...even though I think it is a great parenting style (for the most part. There are a few things here and there that I add my own twist to) I'm not the model of what a love and logic parent should be like. The thing is, I get frustrated. I yell, I get upset, I whine, I get lazy, yeah I'm not perfect. The thing that makes me the maddest is yelling at Nate constantly every day for the same things over and over and I can even make a list of things I am constantly telling him to not do: don't walk on the guitar (which is doubly irritating because I always put that darn thing away and yet find myself constantly yelling at him to not sit, stand, or walk on the stupid thing!), stop throwing things in the house, shut the fridge, turn off the water, stop climbing in the cabinets, stop walking on the top of the couch, don't jump off that, eat that in the kitchen, look out for Audrey, etc.

Well, one day I decided that yelling at Nate does absolutely nothing. I knew the reasons why, and I knew why yelling would make parenting easier, but I couldn't shake the habit. But one day I did. And now I must tell you that when you stop yelling at your kids THEY LISTEN!!!!!!!

You know that kids learn by copying adults. So if I'm constantly barking orders at Nate, he will constantly bark orders at me. I don't like it when Nate yells and screams at me, so why should I show him that example and do it to him? Well, it started with the extermination of yelling. That's been going on for a couple months now and the results have been marvelous! Nate has been happier and he listens a lot more. Well, for a few days now I've added a little bit to my no yelling campaign. Instead of telling him to stop doing things, I ask him the way I teach him to ask me for things. So instead of saying "Nate shut the fridge" I say "Nate I'd like you to shut the fridge please" and if he doesn't listen to that (which obviously it doesn't work every single time) then I start to give him the choice of whether to shut the fridge or go to time out, but at least I asked nicely first. This little experimentation has had improved results.

Now this is one that I have probably been the most frustrated with. I cannot get him to stop throwing things in the house. Seriously I always say "Nathan we don't throw things in the house" or "Nathan do we throw things in the house?" and he is a master ignorer (for a while I didn't realize that he was ignoring me, but now I know he is). So today I tried something different. When he throws something I call his name and ask him to come talk to me and I say "Nathan what did you just do?" and he tells me "throw it in the house" and I say "do we throw things in the house?" and he says no. And then he stops doing it and I ask him if he thinks he needs to go sit in his room and I tell him if I see him throw things I have to put him in time out.

Although I don't know how the results for this will improve his bad throwing habit, I feel good about this style of parenting. I feel like Nate will respect me more and listen to me more when I treat him the way I want him to treat me. I guess when I read the Love and Logic book it felt like I had a break through because I knew I could handle being a mother of two and teaching an active 2 year old how to behave yet still have independence and self worth. Now I feel like I'm having a break through because he is finally old enough for the principals to work correctly (before he didn't really understand the concept of it or respond to it very well). So I hope that I will continue to see improved results :D

Friday, March 4, 2011

Florida! (and a little California)

Finally! My whole life I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Florida. Always seriously.

This trip had been planned for several months. It was supposed to be a girls trip with me, my mom, my sister, my niece (Jaci because when I got married Shauna took Jordyn with her because Jaci was too little and her husband couldn't go with, so we were going to take Jaci to be even) and Audrey. But my sister has been taking too many trips with her friends so she decided not to go (which is actually a good thing because of the hoops we had to jump through with the flights...I'll explain). At first we were going to go to Puerto Rico, but I decided that it would be fun to go to California for a day, then fly to Fort Lauderdale, then fly up to Newark, New Jersey to see some family, then fly back home out of NYC. If we would have gone to Puerto Rico, we would have had to go through JFK only.
Anyway so because my sister was going to originally go, we planned the trip around her schedule because she had a wedding...well...tomorrow. So my mom wrote in that she was going to take that time off (she's the manager so she doesn't really ask for time off, she just writes in when she's going to take it). And I just switch shifts. Not important.

Ok so on Day One (Wednesday) we flew to Long Beach in the afternoon. I booked it as a connecting flight so we wouldn't have to take our luggage with us. I planned the day and thought it would be fun to surprise my mom with what I chose to do and bought tickets for the Aquarium of the Pacific. All this did is made me want to go to Sea World :D. It was a really cool Aquarium!

Audrey liked all the fish!

 A Sea Anemone. They also had a touch pool where you could touch the sea creatures (the starfish below were in the same little pool thingy) and you could touch one of these and it was really weird because they sting, but our skin is so thick that it just feels like velcro kind of, but it kills fish. I was really nervous to touch them, but now I wish I would have done it more. I only got scared because it startled my mom because she wasn't expecting it and I thought it hurt her! haha!


These starfish look like a pile of fat people haha!

And right across from the aquarium was this awesome light house (I LOVE lighthouses!)

And if you remember my post from November, we went and saw the Queen Mary...well it happened to be across the bay/marina/whatever you call it:


So that night we went back to the airport and caught the plane from Long Beach to Fort Lauderdale (there were only 4 seats left but we got on phew!). We rented a car and drove to our hotel and we were SO tired because it is pretty much impossible to sleep on an airplane (especially in the first row where you can't extend your feet under the seat in front of you!). So I went in to the front desk and said "when is the SOONEST we can check in" and they had a room with a king size bed available and we were just like SURE! We don't care! So took a nap (aaah it was SO nice!) Then we got up around noon and ventured out to to beach. We found this awesome little parking garage right next to the beach! Then they rented out these beach chairs with padding on them (pictured below).


And we just relaxed in the warm weather (it was a teeny bit chilly with the wind blowing. Just barely cold enough that I wasn't up for jumping in the water.) It was awesome to just lounge and listen to the ocean waves and watch the pelicans fish! 

Happy girl! Probably happy to feel some warm weather for once in her life! (literally!)

My mom was dipping her feet in the ocean and she lifted them up! It cracked me up!


Then that night we drove around looking for a place to eat, but couldn't find anywhere! Haha guess we were driving down the wrong road. We finally found a Denny's by the football stadium where the Miami Dolphins play (not that I care, just thought I'd note it). Then after dinner.....no....before dinner??? I think before actually....yeah before. We went swimming in the hotel swimming pool. I almost think that was my favorite part because the pool was heated and the air was SOOOOO warm!! It's weird! I swear the air was warmer at night than in the day! The humidity keeps it warm at night which I loved! It was SO relaxing and...well...just perfect! My mom and I literally want to go back to Fort Lauderdale just to stay in that same hotel and just relax by the pool again! hahahaha! It was funny because someone was walking by the outside of the pool and goes "you guys are from up north huh" and we laughed and she says "this is cold for us" WHAT??? How could that EVER be considered cold??????? It was perfection! 



The next morning we slept in. We just stayed in bed and talked for like two hours haha! The joy of not having your husbands around ;). We got ready to go to the beach again and when we were walking out the door I asked the front desk lady if we could get access to the internet (kind of long story don't feel like explaining). So I checked the flights for the first time since we were on the trip just to see. They had been REALLY open so I wasn't even worried at all. Not to mention there are like 30 flights between the New York/New Jersey area from the Miami area. But when I checked the flight it was completely full. My stomach just sank at that moment. I looked at all of them and they were all full! So we went back up to our room to use the computer instead of my ipod and I started to freak out. The flights from Orlando were more open so we decided to try to stick with our original plan to fly up to Newark so we drove to Orlando (3 1/2 hour drive). We decided that if we got stuck in Florida that we'd make the best of it and go to Disney World.

While we were looking for our impossible to find hotel I called Phil to ask him where the school he went to was and it turned out it was on the road we were on! So we drove to the end and took a picture by it!

The next morning we got up early to get on the first flight out. It was delayed and when we got to the airport there were 2 seats left. There was two people ahead of us on the standby list, but one was an employee and his wife so both of us employees could have flown the jumpseat and my mom and his wife take the two seats. Well, from the time we checked in and when the flight boarded, one person had booked a seat. But when the flight was done boarding, one person hadn't showed up. They were about to close the gate, but at the LAST minute he showed up and we couldn't get on that flight. So we thought ok whatever we'll go to Epcot. As we were walking out of the airport I decided to look at one other option just so we wouldn't have to worry about getting stuck even longer (we would have had to stay until Monday and my mom would have had to call in because she hadn't planned on taking off till then). So I looked up flights and there was a chance of us getting on a flight to Austin, TX then to Long Beach, then to SLC. So we decided we had nothing to lose and since we stayed in Florida as long as we were planning anyway (since our plans to go up to Jersey for a day were ruined) we thought we'd give it a shot and if we missed that flight that we would go to Epcot on Sunday and just hang out in Orlando that day (which was Saturday). So we went standby to Austin and that was the only one that was iffy and the rest were fine. And we got on!
View out of the window of the plane in Orlando

So we went to Austin, hung out for a couple hours, then flew in the best seats in the plane (literally the best seats) even had enough room to bring the car seat on so we wouldn't have to hold Audrey the whole time. Then got to Long Beach and made our last connection home. 

I was grateful to get home a little early. Once I saw that those flights booked up, I was STRESSED! They booked up because of the STUPID WEATHER RGGH!!!! Because flights had been cancelled the days before everyone rebooked for Saturday and Sunday. THEN for the heck of it on Monday I looked at the flights for Monday and they were all completely full with a billion standby passengers! PHEW!!!!! We would have been STUCK if we didn't come home!!!!!!! So we were REALLY grateful :D. 

Overall it was an amazing trip. It was stressful, but the entire trip (hotel, car, food, etc) cost us 600 together! That's even with an extra 100 to drop it off in a different location. Plus I am learning the bus system in each city so we can get around for even cheaper! :D I've already got Long Beach figured out and NYC...now I just need to figure out Orlando and Fort Lauderdale so we can go there for super cheap :D I love traveling!