Well, we just got back last Sunday from our week off in Mexico. That's right. We took two 2 1/2 year-olds (one with cerebral palsy) and one 10-month-old on a vacation to another country. I was actually very anxious about this whole vacation. But one of my friends said, "it is not going to be a vacation - it will be a trip. You will make memories." This helped me put things in perspective. Yes, it was not a vacation where I layed around by the pool as Gerardo brought me tropical drinks with fruit in them. I did not walk in the moonlight with my husband on the sandy beach while the waves rolled in. I did not get a tan, I barely read a book - but I did have fun! This may be a long post but I really want to document this trip. I think I may turn this blog into a way that I can keep track of our lives since I have done a HORRIBLE job at baby books or journals.
Let me start by saying that I made a concerted effort and decision before we left that on this trip that I was going to be relaxed and go with the flow without stressing. I have always been a very serious (my husband might say stressful) traveler. I want everything to go as planned, because I have taken a lot of time to plan them correctly. I want to be places early (not on time), and I don't want to be rushed! Even before we had kids, I tended to get very stressed (I mean serious) about vacations. So you can imagine how I might be with 3 babies. I am on the phone with my sister as I am driving to work to print off my boarding passes and I tell her that this trip is going to be different. I am going to be so chill and laid back, no one will even recognize me!
And so it begins....I am not stressing. I am not stressing. I am not stressing.
I am a list lady. I have lists upon lists upon lists. So I started a packing list about 2 months ago. I revised it often throughout the weeks as I saw things that I used that hadn't been on the "list". I should preface by saying that traveling with kids, especially babies who need bottles and formula, and especially a child with special needs, is not easy. There are MANY things to pack. With Parker, there are things that if I forget them could be detrimental to his health, including his main source of nutrition which is his very expensive formula that can only be purchased through a medical supply company. It is not in the stores and you need a prescription for it. It comes in a can and he needs 4 cans a day. Sooooo...we had a suitcase that just carried 32 cans of his formula. So there is that and his meds, feeding supplies, bottles, and food. He eats blended food. My mom makes him amazing meals (he eats better than all of us), blends them up and freezes them. So we always have a great supply of food for him. Packaged baby food is not only bland, but it is mostly water and therefore not nutritious enough for a toddler. Soooo...that means we needed to take frozen meals (enough for 8 days) to Mexico as well. Then there are the other basic necessities like clothes, some toys, books, music, borrowed DVD player, blow-up toys for pool, sheets and blankets for the portable cribs from the hotel, some diapers (we bought most of them when we got there), wipes, Parker's high chair (he has to be well supported while eating), a car seat for Parker on the airplane, snacks/food for travel day, Ryder's formula and bottles, really the list goes on and on.
TSA security was amazing! They let us go in the employee/first class line which was much faster. However, we slowed it down for sure! (sorry employees) The 32 cans of formula were worrisome to them. Apparently, they only wanted us to take what we would need for the day on our carry on. We quickly explained that it is a prescription and if it was checked baggage and lost we would have no way of replacing it. They understood, but we had to be screened more seriously. No problem. I wasn't stressing. (really I wasn't) I stood there and let them pat me down. I let them take out every single item from all 3 of our carry-ons that I had so painstakenly packed and mess up my organization. I let them take apart our stroller and even quickly pat down my baby, all with a smile on my face.
I am not stressing. I am not stressing.
Here is where some of the comedy starts. We get all settled at the gate. My mom is feeding Parker his bottle, Jimmy is trying to get Brady to eat some fruit and drink his milk, and I sit down to feed Ryder his bottle. I quickly take the cap off of it and go to tip it into his mouth and BOOOSH! His little face and body gets flooded with formula. Somehow I forgot to put the nipple in the bottle and didn't even notice until it was too late. Good job, mom. Sigh...I am not stressing. I am not stressing. So I quickly take off his coat which luckily took the majority of the formula and wipe him down.
Now, all the people at the gate who gave each other the "oh crap" looks as we walked up to join them with our 3 babies are saying to themselves "not only does she have 3 babies, but she is not so bright either." I know they are dreading getting on a flight with us. That is ok.
We actually had a great first flight to San Fransisco. No one cried, and I wanted to say to all of the people, "See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" But I didn't. We landed in San Fransisco, did quick diaper changes and bottle feedings, and we departed from the exact same gate an hour later - very easy! This flight however was longer and a little more challenging. But with books and the DVD player, we pulled it off pretty well!
|Brady watching Cars with "B"|
We finally got to the hotel (Cabo is about a 45 minute drive from the airport) and the boys were just starting to have a little meltdown. Keep in mind that they were up at 4 AM and only Ryder has had any sleep. But we get to the resort and get checked in. We finally settled on a room on the ground floor approximately 20 steps from the pool. (after making Jimmy and our friend carry out luggage back and forth between 2 rooms)
Our dear friends, Scott and Jenn, had already been there for a day and they scooped up the boys, got swim diapers on them and said "let's go to the pool!" Thank God for them (for many reasons) but at that moment the last thing I was going to do was go to the pool. I was thinking we should feed the kids or possibly put them down for a cat nap...but, hey - we are in Mexico. It is sunny and warm. So, we followed suit and joined everyone at the pool. And the boys loved it! We hung out, had a drink or two and sat in the warm pool soaking up the much needed sun and Vitamin D.
|Parker loving the water!|
|Our good friend Jenn with Ryder|
|Brady getting water on his face for the first time.|