Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our First Trip Home (to FL) With The Babies

Our first trip home went great!!!

Our plan was to load what we could the night before, wake up for the boys 2am feed and get on the road by 4am. Well of all nights... the boys decided to sleep all night and not wake until 5:30am, not to mention Donna didn't get home from work until 9pm the night before. So needless to say we got a late start, lol...

Once we got going everyone was good. The boys slept until they were ready to eat, the dogs hung out on the floor in the back seat, Donna drove & I navigated. Our first stop to feed the boys was good. We found a Starbucks with a patio, I took the boys inside & fed them while Donna walked the dogs & then hung out on the patio with them. The boys were very patient (quiet) and ate quickly (all 3 in 1 hour.) The next stop didn't go quite so well. The boys were a bit demanding that time & didn't want to wait for an exit, we got off where there was only a Wendy's, but all 3 boys were crying so there was no way I was taking them inside. Donna let the pups potty real quick & we fed & changed the boys in the van. Our last stop wasn't really a feeding time stop, but we were only 2 hours from my dad's and the boys were going to want to eat in an hour, so while Donna fueled up & walked the dogs I gave the babies enough to hold them over, but not too much that they would spit up the rest of the way. It worked out perfect & the boys held off until we arrived. Not bad right :) The boys did great, but I will admit, it is hard traveling with 3 infants... making bottles, finding a place to heat them, changing diapers (not all places have changing tables) & keeping them cool, but not too cool in those hot car seats. Not to mention walking the dogs. Overall we cannot complain & our trip only took 2 1/2 hours longer than usual.

Our visit, although for not a great reason, was a lot of fun. It was the first time all 4 of us girls were home  at the same time (My sister, myself, & my 2 bonus sisters. We refer to step family as bonus family) And we all had our children in tow. It was great seeing my dad & Marie with ALL their grandkids and it was nice to be able to spend time with everyone. We took advantage of the opportunity & had pictures done.

Meggan, Autumn, Mindy, Me, Marie & Dad 
front row: Meggan & Clark, Marie & Aliyah, Dad & Garren, & Mindy
back row: Aaron & Tucker, Donna & Caden, Me & Kellan, Autumn & Chandler
back: Clark, Tucker & Chandler
middle: Kellan, Garren & Caden
front: Aliyah
Dad, Marie & all the grandkids
It was also fun to see all the kids interact. The oldest is 2 1/2 years, the youngest is 1 month old. Clark, Chandler & especially Tucker were all interested in the babies.

Clark meeting Kellan for the first time 
Tucker loved to kiss the babies
Tucker giving Garren a kiss
Chandler & Clark playing
Clark holding Caden
Tucker offering Chandler his drool back, lol...
Meggan & Tucker holding Caden
Chandler checking out Caden, he can say baby
Chandler not sure about his mom holding baby Aliyah
The whole crew went to the hospital the day of my dads surgery. My Uncle Richard also flew in for it. We took over a section of the family waiting area, blocking it off with strollers to keep the mobile kids contained and creating a play area with a blanket & plenty of toys. Meg & Aaron also brought a cooler stocked with drinks and snacks. We were well prepared!!! Some of the photos above are from the hospital, here are a few more...

Chandler & his Great Uncle Richard 
Meggan keeping the kids from escaping through the opening between strollers
Clark & Chandler trying to escape
Donna & Marie
Me & the boys
Meg & Clark & Mindy & Aliyah
Dads surgery went well. They did have to open him up all the way. They were going to try to do it through 2 small incisions, but his liver was in the way. They took out the upper lobe of his right lung and a couple lymph-nodes. The pathology report came back the next day and showed that they got it all and the cancer had not spread anywhere else. Which means NO CHEMO or RADIATION :o)

We did get to visit with a few friends while we were in town. I wish we would have had more time to see everyone, but our visit was short and semi-unplanned. We stopped by to see Camie, our nurse practitioner that made these beautiful boys possible, and introduce her to them. Cheryl stopped by late Friday evening to meet the boys and spend some time with Donna. And my childhood friends/family came up from Bradenton to meet the boys and spend some time with us. I cannot believe Sydney is starting High School this year. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that we were all hanging out in Amanda's hospital room waiting for her to arrive. Man I feel old, lol...

Cheryl & Kellan 
Caden, Sue, Amanda, Sydney & Garren
Sue & Caden
Sydney & Garren
It really was a great trip and it was wonderful to see and spend time with those we did. We are hoping to make it back down around Christmas or New Years, but we will have to see how quick we are to load up three 8 month olds and make the trip again.

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