Friday, July 30, 2010
Family Vacation...we are back
Well, over the past couple of weeks we went on our first long-distance family vacation. And as every new adventure...there is the twisted mix of excitement and sadness. We are vacationing and creating memories together...and without Zac a part of any of the photos or memories. And I found it really...strange. There were sooooooooooooooo many moments of such fun and joy and awe watching Evan exploring and figuring everything out. Yet...this mommy-heart felt the ache as well. Watching Evan venturing out without his brother. Watching how enthralled he is with other children and how much he loves to interact and play with others. And it's hard...because he was not meant to grow up alone. So throughout our vacation and laughs and adventures...I struggled. Silently, but struggled. However, I did not miss a beat to share a hug, a kiss, a snuggle, a giggle, a "one-two-three...SWING" moment with Evan and Brett. This was a special time. A time to wrap ourselves in Evan and each other and to just enjoy being away from the reality of life. And although we were able to "escape"...reality was never more than a heart beat away from me. My sweet Zac was with me in every moment and thought and smile. So in a way...he was very much a part and present on our vacation! And that makes me smile. Our adventure started on July 17th. We began our journey out to Kelowna, B.C. The first night we drove to Canmore and stayed the night there. We really enjoyed our suite! And it was a nice stop! We then headed to Revelstoke, B.C. OK...sorry to anyone from Revelstoke...but...UGH! Except...our hotel room was very nice! I booked us in a brand new resort hotel on a mountain...so brand new that some of the long-time locals didn't even know what we were talking about when asking for directions!! Although...there was no restraunt service so we headed in to town for dinner...where after over an hour we walked out without eating!! Ya...we were NOT impressed...especially with a frustrated and hungry Evan! Thank goodness for the hords of snacks I brought in his bag!! From Revelstoke we made it to our destination. Kelowna, B.C. We stayed at a resort called Playa Del Sol, and rented a condo there. It was nice! We ended up with a 2 bdrm loft condo. And just down the hall from the friends who got us to come out there to join up with them on their vacation!!! It was perfect!!! The hotel had a pool which was really nice! Especially for a preemie mommy like me!! This trip encouraged me to become more brave and more free with what Evan does. We made use of that pool EVERY day we were there!! The first time in he was a bit unsure, but after that...he was right at home! The weather was amazing!!! I soaked up as much sun as possible!! And it only rained once! AND...we never saw ANY mosquitoes!!!!! That in itself was enough to make us want to move there! hee hee hee. While on our vacation Evan's routine and schedule went right out the window!!! He started doing only one nap a day, but sleeping f0r 2, and sometimes 3 hours. And then he wouldn't go down until 9 or 10pm!!!! BUT he would then sleep anywhere from 10-13 hours!!!! So, he still got good sleep! He was SUCH a trooper with all the driving!!! It was a LOT of driving! Thank goodness for Veggie Tales!!!!!! We only had one meltdown on the way there, and it was short lived after we all got out for a stretch and some fun. HOWEVER, on the way back...that was a different story. He still did GREAT, but you could see his patience was running thin! On our way back we cut out the stay in Revelstoke and drove straight to Canmore. That was just over 7 hours in that stretch. We stayed in Canmore for 2 nights in a WONDERFUL 2 bdrm suite. And then puttered around town for those two days. Then we travelled to Calgary for 2 more nights to visit family. Calgary was just over an hour, so that was okay. And we had fun shopping and visiting. Evan ADORES his cousin Jacob!! Brett and I were able to sneak off for a few hours one night to check out a new mall, and when we got back Evan and Jacob were as tight as tight could be! It was ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We drove home yesterday, and that was another 7'ish hours in the car...and Evan had HAD ENOUGH!! At one point while he was sleeping I took over driving (lets just say my foot is a bit heavier than Brett's, so time can be "made up"), but Evan woke up and MELTED DOWN!!! Eventually I just had to pull over to the side of the road and take Evan out to calm him down. Then I curled up in the back beside his seat and sang him songs until he calmed down. He was SO happy when he saw the house!! He was happy to be home!!! The only things missing were our dogs!! And he knew it! My dogs had stayed with my parents on their own "vacation"! They LOVE "grandma and grandpa"!!!! We picked them up today, and Evan was happy to see them...and they are pretty content back home. Until they realize they once again have no yard!! Ugh!! All in all, the vacation was wonderful. It was wonderful to "escape" life and people. It was wonderful to cut the ties from the computer for a while. It was wonderful to feel like the "old" "us" for a while...even though we knew there was always someone missing. And like I say, I had such a good time, yet struggled through my heart ache and sadness. I know that THIS IS life...and this life truly is precious thanks to Evan...but life hurts as well. I'm glad that I was able to create special moments with Evan and Brett. Glad that we could finally take a step to vacation. To feel the tensions and stresses slowly slip away. To connect together once again. There was one day where Evan was walking between Brett and I and hanging on to each of our hands and we would count to three and swing him...and tears instantly found their way down my cheeks. It was a precious, and painful moment. Precious, because I never thought I'd EVER get to experience the famous "swinging" of our own child...yet painful because Zac was not swinging with us. Then one afternoon while Evan napped, I snuck down to the pool to catch some more sun time, and a mother and her two children set up beside me...and wouldn't you know it...her sons name was Zac. And thank goodness for sunglasses...because yes, tears...those infamous tears, once again travelled down my face. I just kept thinking over and over "PLEASE move!!! Please go sit somewhere else!!" Fortunately, they did! But I kept looking at this Zac and wondering what MY Zac would look like today, and what he would be doing. I was able to include Zac anyhow. While in Kelowna I found a beautiful blue butterfly that I will be able to put out at his gravesite. I was able to purchase something for Zac too! And that was very special for me. On our trip home, and as we were in Calgary a very difficult realization hit me...hard. I realized that the last time we were in Calgary was for our IVF retrieval and transfer. We arrived as two...left as a hopeful, and then realized foursome...and almost 2 years later...returned as three. The last time I was in Calgary, Zac and Evan were being created. They were both transfered back to me. We came home with both our sons, and 6 weeks later confirmed that both my sons were with us. The last time I was in Calgary...I carried both my sons. We had stayed with Brett's sister and her family during the last half of our time out there for our retrieval and transfer. And this is where we were staying on our way home from Kelowna. At first things didn't really hit me until later that evening when I was setting up Evan's playpen in the bedroom we stayed in 2 years ago. And then every memory of every hope and emotion came crashing in on me. And although those memories held sweetness...this return held not just that same sweetness, but also the pain. And it was really hard for me to be there for the first time since both my sons were first replaced within me. It was precious to be there with Evan. Precious to have this sweet little boy, who was a product of such a precious procedure...it was a big moment for me. But I also hurt, and at one point just could not stop sobbing with sorrow. Ah yes...I'm realizing that will never end. It will always be a part of my life. But I'm grateful that I am able to revel in the joy of Evan, and that Evan has and will ALWAYS know of my love for HIM. All in all, our trip was wonderful, and VERY needed!!!!! THEN when I got home, I was blessed beyond BLESSED by a PRECIOUS gift that my mom did for me. She cleaned my house top to bottom...and lifted SUCH a looming cloud that had been following over me knowing the state my house was left in before vacation. I swear I have the most amazing, most selfless, most loving and precious mother in the world! I can not even begin to list all the things she has done for me in the past years...especially this past year. Ahhhh mom....you are beyond words, and there are no thank you's enough to say to you!!! You have once again lifted my spirits in a special way!!!! Well, I just wanted to give the "quick" update version of our vacation, and moments of my mind. There are more, but it is late and I am beyond tired now. So I think for tonight...well, looking at the clock I guess it is this morning...I think this is enough sharing. Now it is time for me to crawl in to bed and sleep!! I will post some pictures of our vacation, but my time away has helped me realize what a slave I was becoming to my computer...and I want to change that. So in the next day or two I will share some fun photos :) But for now it is time to say goodnight! So, goodnight for now! Sleep tight!!