Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vacation with a Toddler: 1 Day

After four days of vacationing with a monkey,
 I was finally able to enjoy one day of vacation with a toddler. 
The type of vacation I had expected to have. 

For the most part, Adalyn is an easy-going, content and happy toddler. 
So "vacationing with a toddler" isn't a negative in this situation.
Vacationing with a baby monkey...now that is a different story. 

As luck would have it, she seemed to be feeling almost 100% our last day there.  
It was frusturating that she would be almost better as we were about to go home, but I was thankful that the family got to enjoy her for one day and that she would be better for the long drive home the following day. 

Wednesday was the low key day on the schedule. 
Some people were staying home, some were going to the shops and some...
were going to the Aquarium. 

And let me tell you....everyone else missed out on a good time at the Aquarium. 
We ended up just going with Auntie Ali and it was so nice to have that special time with just her. 
I highly recommend this aquarium {as does TripAdvisor}, we had read some reviews and saw it was ranked in the top 10 in the US so we decided we had to take advantage while we were in town. 
I'm so glad we did! 
This was the first day it actually felt like vacation.
It felt great to no longer be a zoo exhibit, but to just enjoy the aquarium.
{Okay, last monkey comparison, I promise...}
It was super toddler friendly and she had a blast.
      We were thankful for the wonderful and fun Auntie Ali....
and this is one of the many big ol' fat reasons....
so we didn't have have to see mommy's big ol' fat, high butt-cracked booty crawling through the little tunnel. 
Can I get an Amen?
You better believe I was praising the Lord for my slim 16 year old sister. 
It wasn't busy.
She could walk everywhere and see everything.
The penguins swam right up the the window.
I loved her expression- she was pretty much in disbelief that that really just happened. 

We finished off our date with a few goodies from the gift shop and her first taste of dippin' dots.
She was a fan.
She made it through the day without her paci or in my arms...
I was beyond thankful to have my sweet girl back!!

We returned to the cabin, she took a nap and we were off to the Dixie Stampede.
Another local attraction that I highly recommend- everyone loved it!
Unfortunately, I had to wake her up from her nap so we could get there in time.
::Cue the negatives of life with a toddler::
Waking from a nap is bound to be a disaster- through sickness and through health- it's just a sad scary fact.

::Cue bi-polar toddler/you are so incredibly hard to figure out::
She was happy with the seeing the horses.
Meltdown city during the ticket line.
Enjoyed a little snack.
Followed by a squirmy wormy whine fest. 
Danced through some pre-show entertainment.
Followed by throwing things and ripping menus while entering the main venue.
Laughed and shouted "hi" to the horses from our front row seats.
Cried and grabbed on for dear life when the lights went out and the rings of fire appeared.
The show in the front row went downhill from there.
I thought the night would be a bust and I was supper bummed. 

She was losing it and I was getting frustrated.
I enjoy shows like this and I was most definitely not enjoying this one.
I left right as a mouth-watering delicious chicken was put on my plate.
I went to the car and got her carrier thinking she might fall asleep.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear when we get to the parking lot??

A happy toddler.
Talking to the horses.
Not a care in the world.

You've got to be kidding me.

Once I figured that she was a good enough actor to be in the show, I quickly made my way back into the auditorium, grabbed my bag, grabbed my dinner {oh you better believe I did} and made our way to the top row where we enjoyed the rest of the show.

She was free to roam.
Or she could sit on the table and watch.
We were both SO much happier in the top row. 
And by the way, one of the best darn chickens I ever had. 
Totally worth the sweat and near tears to retrieve it. 
I'm not even kidding.

That night we finally had a good night's sleep.
We woke early early to drive back home.
And of course, I wouldn't expect anything other than for her to be better the day we left. 
She still wasn't 100%, since it had turned into a little cold, but she was definitely much more her normal happy self. 
Except when she realized I didn't have the colored stars to go with her book.
::Cue overtired irrational toddler::

We drove through the beautiful country and took some breaks along the way. 

We even made it home in one {longggg} day, but we were so glad we did.

We were happy to be home and resume life as normal.
Breakfast with our babies.
There's no better way. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vacation with a Monkey: Pt 2

After my brother's graduation I bought a new {cool} thermometer and some new meds. 
I only had Motrin with me, so I bought some Tylenol to switch it up.
At first I grabbed the cheapo $2 thermometer, and then I grabbed the $10 color reading thermometer and then I decided Adalyn and I have earned our way to a more advanced thermometer and I splurged.
A bit of retail therapy, if you will. 
It goes behind the ear and only takes ONE second.

I have too much fun with it and I'm kind of obsessed with taking her everyone's temp.
The only downfall is it's not 100% accurate on the first try.
 I usually have to do it a few times to get an average temp while I panic and pray to the Lord that when it reads 105.5 it's not right. 
And it's not.
::Cue major relief::

Sunday we were leaving Cabin 1, traveling 2 hours and settling into Cabin 2 in Pigeon Forge. 
An area surrounded by more civilization....aka more opportunities to take her to a Dr. 

The plan was to have lunch and walk around Gatlinburg, get situation into our new home and then find an Urgent Care to bring her in.
Plans quickly changed when she continue was miserable as we were out for lunch. 
Her temp was 103.6, I gave her another dose of tylenol and we decided it was time to bring her in. 
Unfortunately, she seemed to be getting worse- not better. 

After a stressful, but thankfully short, wait in the waiting room she was finally checked.
She even fell asleep on me while the nurse was checking her vitals. 
Who is this girl?!

A quick check-up was all it took for her to be diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears AND a throat infection. The Dr. prescribed her an antibiotic and told me to start them as soon as possible.
Ummmm don't you worry, I was about ready to sprint to the pharmacy. 
But not really because my sprint is more like an ugly jog and my dad's truck would be much faster and efficient.
You get the point...

When we picked up the prescription I also I also purchased a baby carrier.
I thought about bringing one, but purposely didn't because she would be fine in the stroller and running around.

Wrong. Wrong. And wrong. 

My arms needed a break.
 Thanking Walmart for having carriers in stock.
Thanking the inventor of a baby carrier. 

I couldn't wait to get my baby back. Within hours of the antibiotic there it was...
a glimpse of hope.
But I was too happy and in shock that I didn't take any pictures of this moment.
A taste of my long lost girl.
Family could look at her.
Wave at her. 
And even... talk to her. 

I was hopeful for the next day.
But it would have been nice to make it through a night first.
Just one night.
Her fever lingered.
She wasn't taking her medicine {which she is normally so good at}.
She gagged on her medicine and threw up on me yet again.
It became a nightly ritual. 

In the morning, I quickly gave her another dose of antibiotics hoping that the magic would happen in time for our trip to Dollywood.

There were moments of happiness quickly followed by moments of baby monkey-ness.
She was so hard to figure out.
But Praise the Lord, it was clear she was getting better.

Slowly, but surely.
We only had one more day left of vacation, so it was only fitting that she would be getting better. 

The key to vacationing with a monkey is to have no expectations.

Unfortunately, I went into this with high expectations and I tried my best to stay strong and face the facts of what it had become.
Some tips-
Don't expect to eat.
Don't expect to sleep.
Don't expect pictures.

I didn't get one picture with her and any of her great-grandparents, grandparents, the graduate....
And it kills me.

But they got pictures of this.

In the grand scheme of things, I am so thankful that they were treatable infections.
In those unknown moments you question what it could be with a million different fears running through your head {and I didn't even google- I can go worst case all on my own}. 
You cry out to God for healing,
and feel defeated when it's another day with a high fever and the clingiest toddler you've ever known.
This sickness also happened to fall on Mother's Day-and you better believe I text Ben saying I need a make-up Mother's Day when we get back- but having the emphasis on the gift of being a mom helped me get through this long week.
She only wanted me.
Her mom.
 It was the "mother's touch" I always dreamed of having.
Regardless of the fact that she was overusing its power,
I know these moments of being needed are fleeting and I tried my best to soak them in.
There is so much joy in being a mom.
So much love.
A complete dream come true for me, 
and that was outweighing my exhaustion and disappointment. 

Our final day she was 90% better. Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
I will save that post for tomorrow.
The day she transformed from a baby monkey back to a little girl.
It was even filled with multiple smiles.

PS. I probably didn't blog about it because I have been a terrible blogger, but she was sick last summer for a different family vacation. It's like she saves them up?!?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vacation with a Monkey: Pt. 1

I'd like to document the time I went on vacation with a monkey.

I was contemplating the correct animal to associate this with.
I felt as though a monkey might be a little too wild for my experience.
via But when I saw this picture, it confirmed that-much to my surprise- I did indeed go on vacation with a baby monkey.

I had been looking forward to this vacation for months, maybe even close to a year.
Uncle Ry Ry was graduating from Western Carolina, we were taking a roadtrip with my family and meeting our extended family to enjoy a few days in a cabin in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. 
I was extra excited because was a rare event that we would get to be on vacation with 3 sets of Adalyn's great-grandparents.
 Some that don't get to see her very much. 
I couldn't wait for the pictures and the memories that would be shared.

I was nervous about the 17 hour car ride, but I brought and bought everything I could think of to keep her busy. 
She ended up watching more Mickey, Dora and George than I'd like to admit.
So I won't. 
But it kept her quiet and content, so I'm not too ashamed. 

Turns out the road trip ended up being the easiest part of the whole trip.
And it wasn't because of the juice boxes, peanut butter and crackers, yogurt, yogurt melts, puffs, goldfish, nutrigrain bars, chex mix, cheez-its, sammies, banana chips, dried strawberries, dried mangos, raisins or applesauce.
{Okay, maybe I went a little overboard in the snack department}
She slept.
She ate.
She colored.
She read books.
She played games.
She watched her shows.
She talked.
She laughed.
She was sweet.
She was funny.
She made it through part one.
She went out for dinner.
She played in the pool.
She had adorable post-pool hair.
She went to sleep.
She woke up.
She threw up.
She was burning up.
She threw up.
She cried. 
She threw up.
On me. 
Down my shirt. 
In my bra.
She slept.
She coughed.
She threw up.

She had her first stomach bug.
The night of Day 1 of the highly anticipated family vacation.

We were up all.night.long.

I just prayed and prayed that she would be better by the morning for the second leg of the car ride.
Thankfully, she was no longer getting sick by the time we hit the road.

Unfortunately, I had only packed us a mini bag for the night at the hotel and had no extra bra.
Can you say loosey goosey and paranoid all day??

Extra unfortunately {possibly made that phrase up}, she continued to burn up. 
And extra extra unfortunately, during this period of time she transformed into a baby monkey. 
Or now that I think of it, she could also be defined as a leech. 

Those scenic pictures that we had planned to stop at on the way?
Not gonna happen. 
And that's pretty much how this "vacation" went.
Everyone else...

and the two of us. 
It was the start to a very long week. 

We arrived to cabin #1 and the great-grandparents were so excited to see Little Miss A.
Little Miss A was not very excited to see the GGs. 
By this point she was still burning up with temps ranging from 101-102. 
We were in the middle of no where. 
Literally in a mountain. 
She came out of her shell a tiny tiny, but when she was with just me.
But with other people there wasn't even a glimpse. 
So maybe she's a turtle or a hermit crab....

Where did my sweet little girl go?
We seemed to have left her happy healthy self back home. 

She slept for about an hour and I was able to have a little fun with my siblings. 
I continued to give her some medicine.
She continued to burn up.
She was miserable all night. 
The thermometer I had brought read: ERR.
Talk about panic...
thankfully, it said ERR for me too. 
I tried to give baths, but she screamed. 
She just wanted me.
I just wanted her to be better.
She got sick again after choking on some water. 
While I was wearing my sister's bra.
{And yes, my sister is 10 years younger than me...we won't even go there}
And you'd think I would've learned my lesson by now. 

After another rough night, my mom suggested I stay home and skip out on lunch and the graduation.
Umm....let's see....
Cabin in the woods,
45 minutes from the college,
30 minutes to true civilization aka a Walmart,
6+ hours alone,
I'm going.
"She's fine when I'm holding her, we are going."
Well, she's fine when I'm holding her.... except when we are at a restaurant.
I'll take my delicious meal to go and meet you guys outside.

The only time this sickness came in handy was at the actual graduation ceremony.
She slept on me almost the entire time.
If she wasn't sleeping then she was dazing. 
She hasn't done this since she was a newborn.
It would have been more of a nightmare if she was actually herself in this situation. 
It would have been even more of a nightmare if she had a seizure because her fever was too high. 
I'm an optimist, can you tell?

Her sunglasses were key in hiding the pitifulness. 
Mine were too.

She slept for a few hours that night when I put her down so I was able to celebrate a little which I was so thankful for!

I was also thankful that girlfriend was all about chugging the water.
I would have been freaking out even more if she was really lethargic.
She didn't have an appetite, but she wasn't getting sick or having diarrhea.
Of course, paranoid Daddy-who had to stay back and work- thought I should've brought her to the hospital after night one.
I'm more laid back about these kind of things and wanted to give it a little bit of time.

But by Day 3 of a high fever with no sign of getting better,
it was time to take this monkey to Urgent Care to see if we could turn her back into a happy independent girl.

Tomorrow I'll finish up part two of vacationing with a monkey kangaroo.