We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

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So traveling with kids.  Let’s talk about it for minute.

I used to travel for work ALL the time.  I could pack in 10-15 minutes.  I could get from my house through the airport and to my gate in 90 minutes max.  I never checked luggage.  Oh, and I got to relax and read on the plane.

NOT ANYMORE! 🙂  Now I have to start packing weeks in advance to make sure I have everything I need for the upcoming trip and that it fits.  We have to schedule a car service if flying and if we do not have enough adults to hold all the babies, then we have to arrange for car seats.  When we went to Hawaii over Christmas, we needed an extra car for our 14 (yes 14) bags.  Four of those bags are just for the two strollers and extra seats.  Two were for my parents.  That leaves eight full of diapers, food, bottle, formula, toys, and extra everything.  We leave for the airport 2.5 hours before our flight and found a wonderful company that assists us through the airport to the lounge and then our gate.  It is a process.  Plus, we are their constant source of entertainment for the entire flight.  Forget enjoying a meal, reading, or taking a much needed nap.

Now I always said that my choice to have multiple kids would never take away from us being able to give them all the experiences I had growing up, especially traveling.  So we brave it.  And the kids are actually all really good travelers.  Except when it comes to sleeping.  At home, they sleep a solid 12 hours a night.  On vacation…not so much.  They were maybe 7 months old when we went to Hawaii and everyone ended up having to sleep with a baby the entire trip.  They refused to sleep in their portable cribs.  Fast forward to Easter in Santa Barbara.  Nope.  Almost 1 year old and Marcus and I have all 4 kids in the bed and did not get much sleep at all.  So, I decided that before heading to Cabo in August, we would take a little mini trip down to San Diego and see how they do now that they were almost 14 months.

We drove down to San Diego which is about a 3 hour drive and they all did fantastic in the car.   It was about 1pm when we arrived at the San Diego Zoo and they loved all the animals.  We got to our hotel, the U.S. Grant, around 6pm to give us time to rinse off, change and go downstairs for dinner.  Now they were wonderfully accommodating and set us all up in a private dining room and they kids all sat through an almost 2 hours dinner and ate very well.  So I thought, hey, super smooth so far and they have to be exhausted so we’re good!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Now I don’t know whether it’s a new environment or that they are all constantly teething now, but Quinn refuses to sleep in a portable crib but he also will wake up if you have him in the bed (I think he gets too warm) and then he lets loose a blood curdling scream.  When we just had Kai, there were two of us and one of him.  He always slept between us and if he got up, one of us would rock him back to sleep and that was it.  Now when Quinn lets loose, there are 3 other kids in the room.  It is instant panic mode.  You do not want the other babies to wake and cause a chain reaction.  In San Diego, he woke up Rowan (who does NOT like to be woken up…not sure where she gets that…lol) who in turn, lets out a scream of her own.  Vivi and Kai were angels and slept through all of it, but Daddy and Papa once again did not get much sleep.

We did SeaWorld on the way home the next day and again, the kids were fantastic and loved all of the sea animals.  We did not see the Orcas out of principle, but we pretty much saw everything else.  And I will say, not having to deal with formulas or bottles anymore is a game changer.  It’s one less suitcase to pack and they can eat packs on the go in between meals.

So…wish us luck for Cabo next month.  They are now able to walk so they will want to be up and down the aisles of the plane and don’t understand why they have to stay in their seats for takeoff and landing.  Bless my mother for getting them all Fire tablets on Prime Day.  It should be enough to distract them temporarily.

One last little tip or piece of advice to all the parents out there who think traveling is just too much.  When you (and your children) look back on their life, you are not going to remember your child throwing a fit on the plane.  You won’t remember the stress of losing one in the airport for a split second.  Lost or delayed bags will be a distant memory.  Even the lack of sleep for the entire week of vacation will not matter.  The memories you make on those trips though will be remembered forever and they will shape the adults your little humans end up becoming.  I know schedules are easier, monotony prevents chaos, but what kind of a life is that?  Push yourselves.  Teach your kids that sometimes, the most difficult things are the most rewarding.  And get out there and travel.  Expose them to other cultures, different ways of life, people who grew up drastically different from them.  They will be better for it.

 

Brotherly Love

These two 😍

So every morning now, if Quinn sees Kai and I leaving for school, he looks like the saddest kid in the world. So I end up just taking him to drop off and pick up Kai most days.

This morning, I had to put Quinn down for a moment and he walked right up to his big brother and put his arms around him. It lasted for a good 3-4 minutes before I picked him up and we said goodbye to Kai.

Growing up without a sibling close in age, this just warms my heart to see. All my kids are close and spend time playing together, but this relationship between big bro and little bro is pretty special.

Almost 2 months old!

Wow…sitting here with my oldest (and smallest) daughter in my Baby Bjorn staring up at me with the most beautiful brown eyes I’ve ever seen, I can’t believe it’s almost been 2 months.  And yes, I also can believe it.  I wish I had written more the last two months, but then again, there isn’t much to report just yet.  A friend once told me that for the first 4-6 months, babies are like little blobs that eat, sleep, and poop.  Well…for the most part, that’s true.  It’s been a LOT of eating, much more recently.  A LOT of sleeping, though only for 3 hours at a time so far.  And a LOT of pooping.  Actually, not that much pooping.  The triplets are lucky enough to be on mostly breast milk from our wonderful surrogate and my cousin’s wife was kind enough to send me a cooler full of her breastmilk all the way from Florida.  And little did I know, babies can go up to two weeks without pooping if they are on breastmilk because it’s such an efficient source of nutrition.  Just another reason why I am not a fan of formula and especially USA formula.  For anyone looking for a great formula, I use Holle (they have a new version called PRE which has DHA but I prefer to get the regular and add my own DHA from Nordic Naturals).  HiPP is also a good one, but that one isn’t always manufactured in Germany.  Holle is always produced in Germany.  When the triplets had to be on Enfacare, their poop was a dark green and smelled terrible.  There is just no way for us to replicate breastmilk.  Things like live cells cannot be replicated.  DHA even is not as effective in powder form.  And a lot of the components that can be replicated are actually harmful without their counterparts in breastmilk that cannot be replicated.  So…if you’re contemplating, pick breastmilk if you can.  Holle or HiPP if you cannot.  But I digress.

Two months in…it’s mostly routine.  And I’ve had to get used to letting one baby cry sometimes because I can only feed two at a time.  Luckily, there always seems to be someone here to lend a hand.  And Kai (their big brother) is always happy to run over and stick a pacifier in their mouth.  Sometimes gently, sometimes not as gently.  And his patience to hold it there until they start to suck just does not exist yet.

The thing though that makes everything so worth it is the littlest milestones.  The awareness that enters their eyes a little more each day.  The first smiles, even though it’s probably just gas 😉  Being able to lift their head, even if they look like a bobble-head (that thing that used to be a cool thing for car dashboards in the 90s).  I get excited when they start to eat an ounce more than they used to or when they go up a diaper size.  LOL.  Like I said, it’s the little things.  With four kids now, I won’t be going through this baby stage again so I’m trying to enjoy and memorize each and every minute of it.

The babies are calling, but I will definitely be back soon and as there is more and more to share each day.  I hope your days are wonderful and just a reminder with everything going on in the world today.  Be kind, choose to have a positive attitude, and appreciate your moments…don’t just let life fly by.

~Braden