What a week...We made it home from the Outer Banks! What a whirlwind trip...Next year, I'm going for 2 weeks. For all the packing, unpacking, packing, and unpacking again that I did, I feel that 2 weeks is a much more reasonable amount of time to be away for. For all who are wondering, the kids did spectacularly. Jon and I were both in awe of how well they behaved. I was losing massive amounts of sleep prior to leaving, thinking about exactly what was going to go wrong, how wrong it would go, and how helpless I would feel while it was all going wrong. All that lost sleep for nothing. :)
There were a few things that we did that made the trip so much more tolerable. First off (and probably the most important thing) we rented full size cribs for the boys to sleep in. We originally had planned on having them sleep in Pack n Plays. Have you ever tried to put a 30lb toddler in a PNP? It's not pretty. Just days earlier, William, in a fit of rage, put his entire foot through the bottom of one of our PNP's that we use for time outs. I could only imagine the damage that they would do to a crib over the course of a week. So the rental cribs were a delight. I will rent from them again next year when the girls are in need of a crib for the beach. Also, my parents were awesome enough to have a DVD Player installed in my van, a few days before we left for the beach. It was a GODSEND. The boys were amazed that there was TV in the car, and were absolute angels on the ride down. We rotated through a million DVD's on the ride down, and they loved being able to see everything from their seats. I was in electronics heaven.
The girls on the ride, were hellish. Noelle screamed for a good 4.5 hours, when she wasn't screaming she was hollering, grunting, squawking, and/or screeching. I have no idea what was wrong with her, but it ingrained it into my head just a bit more that 2 weeks vacation would be far more reasonable. I needed at least 2 weeks to forget the experience. Lilley was good on the way down, terrible on the way back. I just couldn't win. They could've cared less about the DVD's, books, music, snacks, etc that I had prepared for them. They hurled most toys directly back into the front seat, which really cut down on scrambling for missing toys. I won't be doing another ride with the girls for quite sometime, right now I'm emotionally, mentally, and physically scarred from the experience.
The vacation itself was nice, it wasn't over the top fabulous, it was a vacation with five kids aged two and under. Our expectations were really fairly low, so anything would've pleased us. The kids had NO issues sleeping, they slept awesomely through the night from the night we arrived until the night we left. They also slept great for naptimes... Those times of day were our downtime. This was our main concern, the sleep. It was good, so really the trip was good. We did battle a bit of a cold/virus issue while down there, but the kids did far better than I did and handled it like troopers.
All in all the trip was good... We were able to have a family photo done for our Christmas cards, and that in itself was a major accomplishment. It's good to be home, but it was nice to be away...
Before I left, my very good friend Karen had her babies. She was very patiently expecting triplets, and had been admitted to the hospital about a week before I left. On the 19th Karen, at 33 weeks gestation, gave birth to some of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. The whole time she was carrying her trio, she had decided to not know the sexes of the babies. I was befuddled by this decision, and while I was so excited for her, I DESPERATELY wanted to know what she was having. I thought for sure she was having 2 boys and a girl... I was wrong, she had a gorgeous boy, and 2 beautiful girls... The excitement that I felt on the afternoon of the 19th, talking to her DH Seth, was indescribable. It was amazing to hear how wonderful the babies were doing, and how beautiful they were. Karen, Seth, J, Mr. Smiley, Ellie, & Abby are doing amazingly fabulous. I have yet to meet them, and I'm anxious to do so this week sometime... I'm hoping that by the time I make my way out to her house, some of the babies will be home. Please go, visit her site, see her gorgeous babes, and wish her well...