And by "survived", I mean that we all made it back home in one piece with all limbs in tact.
That may sound a tad melodramatic. But, if I had to sum up our first trip as a family of four in two words, they would be whirlwind and exhausting.
We flew to San Francisco, which is one of our favorite cities. But when you add in two *very* sick kids, wedding festivities and packing your entire house for a four day trip which really only ends up being two days due to two full travel days, it tends to take the romanticism out of the idea of a "family vacation".
Aside from Lyla throwing up in the middle of the night our first night there and Addie waking every hour all three nights, we really did make the best of the little time we had to explore. We got to spend some quality time with family, and my brother-in-law's wedding was an exquisite affair complete with an oyster bar, orange grove-lined aisles and Lady GaGa's hairstylist.
Leading up to the event, I had been prepping Lyla for her very important role as flower girl. All she talked about for weeks was "riding the airplane to go to Uncle Zac's wedding". And she was so excited to wear and twirl in "Lyla's pretty sparkle dress"and couldn't wait to walk down that aisle with Bots (Gabe's dad, who was the only person allowed to look at or hold her on the day of the big event).
After all the prepping and excitement of getting her ready to walk down the aisle, I was pretty devastated when the wedding coordinator forgot about me, and I missed her big entrance. It still makes me tear up when I think about it. And because she was so crabby from being sick and being pushed a bit too much with all the hustle and bustle of travel, I don't really have any good pictures of her as flower girl. :(
But all things considered, the girls did a fantastic job overall. Poor Lyla girl has never been able to sleep in cars or planes, so that always gets interesting at the end of flights. But, she really did great. I imagine it wouldn't have been so great had we not had grandparents on our flights. Especially Bots.
They sure are lifesavers, those grandparents. My mom and stepdad really came through and helped prevent a nervous breakdown the day of the wedding. I was by myself tending to two terribly fussy kiddos. They both woke from their naps screaming, and I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to get the three of us ready and to the wedding venue on time. My mom came in and saved the day, rocking the baby, calming and dressing the toddler, and assuring me that it would all work out. And it did.
And my in-laws? They gave us the best gift we could have ever been given. They watched the girls the night we arrived in San Fran so we could have a date night and go out with my brother-in-law and his bride to be! This much needed treat couldn't have come at a better time, after two very long months of not leaving the house due to sick kids. We had so much fun getting to know their old hood in North Beach, including their pals and my bro's sweet coffee shop. Such a San Francisco treat.
The day we were able to get out a bit was so delightful. It made me remember how much I love city life - the walking, the sights (the smells? not so much), the energy. I love it. Unfortunately, due to crankiness and the mad-rush to get back to our hotel so the kids could squeeze in a nap before the rehearsal, we weren't able to get to the Golden Gate OR ride a trolley (momtographer devastation). But you know what? This trip only reassured me that it's really not wise to have expectations in parenthood, and by goodness, you better learn to be flexible. Especially when it comes to travel.
But we sure soaked up every little moment of that refreshing coastal breeze and sunshine.
The first time the sibs have been together since OUR WEDDING...in 2006!
The night of the actual wedding was a blur. I remember thinking I had never seen more beautiful flower arrangements, and that my steak was phenomenal. The bride was stunning, the venue was incredible. I drank some wine, danced with my sister in law, and felt so proud when Gabe gave his best man speech. Oh. And I had to take my entire dress completely off to nurse Adaline in the women's restroom. And the bench was nailed to the ground, so I had to sit in front of the door. So, that was awkward. And I was sure hoping Lyla would cut a rug on the dance floor, but she was more than done by that point of the night. Understandably so since it was really midnight "her time" by the time the dance started. So, I took the kiddos back to the hotel. And we somehow made it up the next morning to catch our flight.
Blur, I tell you.
This. This is the lone picture we got as a family of four at the wedding we had been prepping for for months. In the back dressing room. After I missed Lyla's grand entrance. After Adaline pooped all the way up her neck. #parenthood
It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I do wish we would have been able to stay longer.
But, we survived. And the first thing I said when we got home was "I need a vacation."