It’s Spring Break, people! As Atlantans, we drove south a few hours so we could spend the break in Florida; now living in Salt Lake City, a four-hour drive south takes us to sunny St. George. We’re near Zion National Park and surrounded by world-class hiking among alien red rock formations.
The weather here isn’t super hot yet, so we’re spending our days hiking when it’s cool and swimming in the heated pool in the afternoon when it warms up. So far, my big ol’ belly is handling the activity just fine. Baby gets an extra thrill ride as he gets jostled climbing up and down rocks and chasing 3-year-old Graham as he persistently puts his life in danger (at least he gets my heart rate up?).
With the dads left behind to work, this trip involves two mom-friends, six kids—ages 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10—and a minivan. Freedom, I tell you! We haven’t figured out yet whether Shawn will have any paternity leave (and when I say we, I actually mean that he hasn’t asked about it), but he took his break early with our Hawaii trip, and I’m hoping he can at least take off a couple days when baby arrives. It completely blows my mind when I hear about the generous paternity leave being offered now at some large companies. My brother had 6 weeks of paid leave from his accounting firm when his baby arrived. Six weeks! That’s how much leave I had when my first baby came, and I’m the mom!
Nowadays, my “leave” will last until I leave the hospital and come home as a mom of four! But really, I will have the best help in the world for the first two weeks. My mom is flying out from Pittsburgh, and she is the best person to have around when you’re in need. With every baby, she has come out to help with cooking, cleaning and shopping while I recover. This time around, I’ll especially need help with the other kids. They’ll be out of school, and I don’t have other activities or camps planned for them for the end of June, but I don’t want them sitting around feeling bored and ignored. That’s when fights break out and stuff gets broken. So I’ve asked my mom to make it her main job to pay attention to the kiddos, let them know they haven’t been forgotten, and take them to the pool and playgrounds—so they don’t go stir-crazy and lose their minds!
Meanwhile, we’re off to eat Veyo Pies and hike Snow Canyon, with the melodic sounds of the fourth grade program resounding from the rear of the van.
Tip: If you ever find yourself hungry in St. George, try Twisted Noodle for zoodles, quinoa and all kinds of fresh veggies and meat. Delish.