You know the feeling you get when you come back from a really good vacation? Your heart is full, your cheeks are sore and you’re just wishing it could’ve lasted longer. That’s kind of how I’m feeling now that we’re back from our trip to Iowa.
My college girl friend, Cassie lives there with her husband, TJ and their adorable kiddos, Ashlinn (5) and Baby Tommy (aka T4, aka Quatro). Cassie and I were pregnant at the same time and our due dates were within days of each other. Despite daydreaming about this exact situation in years past, we didn’t even plan it! We’d been wanting to get out to Iowa to visit for years now and I’m glad we finally got our butts out there.
I had been stressing about traveling with the boys for weeks now. They’ve been on two other flights before, but they’re so much more active now and it was a near certainty that they wouldn’t sleep a wink. Traveling with non-walking babies is hard, really really hard, but there are always lots of people who are willing to help us out and for that we are so thankful. The TSA employees wheeled our stroller over to us after inspection, various passengers offered to switch seats to better accomodate us and flight attendants made silly faces at the boys to coax a smile or giggle. The only bummer was when a ticketing agent pointed at Caleb and asked, “What’s wrong with him? Why is he wearing glasses?” Mind you, she was wearing glasses as well. I replied, “He needs glasses to see, just like you. There’s nothing wrong with him.” Kind of annoying and I’m sure she didn’t mean for it to sound so ignorant, but I was feeling quite defensive from such a small comment.
All in all our flight out to Iowa was easy peasy and drama free. We were in our rental car by 2pm and on our way to Cassie’s home, which is about 20 minutes outside of Cedar Rapids.
When we got there, we were greeted with lots of hugs and Cassie and I picked up right where we left off, like only best friends can do. Our hosts were so generous and had borrowed lots of baby gear for the boys so we just had to show up with clothes and diapers and we were set. It made packing so much easier and allowed us to share one (yes, ONE) suitcase for the four of us. Granted it was only a long weekend, and summer clothes take up no space, but I was seriously impressed with our organizational skillz.
The ‘triplets’ played really well together, although at first, Tommy was a bit overwhelmed with these two tiny strangers. Wyatt can be a bit of a handful…
Gradually, he warmed up and didn’t mind sharing all of his toys. Three adorable boys playing together led to LOTS of picture taking. I just couldn’t help myself! It was great to spend quality time with Ash too. She’s such a good big sister and loves to play with the babies! What a sweet little girl; Cassie and TJ have done a phenomenal job raising her.
We had the most amazing day on Saturday. The weather was a little iffy earlier in the day but then it warmed up and turned into a picture perfect day. There was a Blues Fest in a nearby town and I’m so glad we decided to check it out. There was lots of delicious BBQ, great bands, tons of activities for Ashlinn and best of all, a huge beer garden under a shady tent.
We spent most of the afternoon there, but then succumbed to the heat and set up shop poolside at the county club that Cassie & TJ belong to. It was the first outdoor pool experience for the boys and they were a little freaked by the cold temperature at first, but within minutes they were splashing around and trying to drink the chlorinated water! It was the perfect introduction to what will surely be a long summer spent at the pool.
Saturday night we put the kids to bed, hired a babysitter and hit the town! It felt so great to get out, knock back
a couple several cocktails and enjoy a long leisurely dinner and adult conversation. We joked about asking the babysitter to come back at 6am so she could handle the babies and let us sleep in but ultimately decided to suck it up. Wow, it was a rough morning to say the least.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2, which includes practice birthday cake, the shortest (but cutest) parade in history and the return trip from hell.