As you can see it’s been a while since my last post. Truth be told I have been completely unmotivated to write anything with all this great weather we have been having. We have also been traveling off and on over the past couple of months which has kept me away from my computer.
In the end of April we took a planned trip to Disneyland to celebrate our son’s 3rd birthday. Squeaking in one last free trip before we have to pay for his tickets into the park. This year we decided to go for 4 days and give ourselves more time to enjoy the park. Well thank goodness we did because the trip didn’t go as planned (just like life never does). On the descent of our flight into Orange County our son started having terrible ear pain, which happens every time we fly but nothing like this time. He was screaming and crying so bad he lost his voice. We went to Disneyland that afternoon and he seemed fine and was having fun. That night he had a night terror (which he had been having nightly for a few weeks at this point) and started having trouble breathing. I called our on call pediatrician and I will never forget the sentence she uttered, “I am hanging up right now and you are going to call 911.” As a parent this is never something you want to hear from a doctor/nurse. So I quickly hung up with her and got on the phone with the front desk clerk at the Disneyland Hotel (where we were staying). Thank god for Disneyland. They immediately sent up a certified on call nurse to our room and had paramedics on standby right outside for us. The nurse checked our son’s oxygen levels and listened to his breathing and said that he was getting enough air but the night terror was just making it all seem a lot worse. She said she would stay with us and wait out the night terror to make sure he was ok or that we could go with the paramedics, that it was up to us. We decided to have her stay with us. His night terrors typically last around 3-5 minutes, this one lasted an hour. It was so hard to watch our son struggle to breath and feel helpless. Night terrors are no joke but for a kid struggling to get air its even worse. His night terror finally stopped and he calmed down and so did his breathing. He was still super wheezy so the nurse recommended that we bring him into the bathroom and steam it up to encourage better breathing. At this point he seemed ok so we let the poor nurse go (it was 2am at this point) and called off the paramedics. It was a very long night but he hung in there and finally got a little bit of rest.
Over the next couple of days he was super lethargic and battling Spring allergies which didn’t help. My husband, bless his heart carried him on his shoulders for two days straight around Disneyland. I did some carrying but nothing like what my husband did for him. He didn’t want to be in a stroller he just wanted to be held, so we both did our part to help him feel better. By our last day after his afternoon nap he finally snapped out of it and was a completely different kid, running, smiling and dragging us all around the park. Gosh, at the beginning of the trip I was wishing to go home and by the end I was wishing we had just one more day.
Before our flight home I read into different methods of handling children’s ears on flights. I gave him Motrin about an hour before our flight, pumped him full of water and gave him lots of different stuff to chew on during the descent. This flight he tugged at his ears during the last 20 minutes and complained a little but nothing like the last flight. Even though this flight was better than the last it was enough to scare me off of flying for a while.
So fast forward three weeks later. We have some good friends of ours that have a son the same age as our son. They were heading to Disneyland for the week. Earlier in the year they had asked us to go at the same time as them so we could all hang out. We really wanted to go in April so we did. I was chatting with my husband on the Sunday before their trip and mentioned how cool it would be to surprise them and drive down while they are there at Disneyland. His response “Let’s do it!” Mind you I was talking completely hypothetically (it’s a 10 hour drive from where we live) and my husband was dead serious. We mulled over it for a day and decided YOLO lets just do it! We texted our friends to let them know what we were thinking (they said we were crazy of course) and they were totally up for the company. So I quickly packed up our stuff and booked a hotel, got tickets to Disneyland and off we went the next morning. Insane I know!
It was such a long drive but our son was a trooper and was happy the entire ride there. We got into Disneyland around dinner time and set off to meet our friends for dinner. It was so much fun because we never told our son what we were doing or who we were going to see. So the drive into Anaheim was great as he was finally realizing where we were and where we were going. When we got to dinner and he saw his buddy, it was like a whole second surprise he wasn’t expecting. All of which he will never remember later in life I know, but it made our hearts so happy to see how happy he was in that moment.
We had a great two days at Disneyland and California Adventure, nothing like our trip three weeks prior. It was worth every minute of the drive to see how happy he was and what a great time he had. It really made up for our previous crappy trip. On our drive home a couple of hours into the drive, I told my husband that it would be great if we could stop half way somewhere since we wouldn’t be home until around 1am. He was on board for anything, so he asked where I would want to stop. I said how about Monterey? And then we could surprise our son in the morning and take him to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. So the YOLO train continued onto Monterey! I quickly got on my phone and reserved a hotel for the night. We rolled in around 10pm and quickly unloaded and went to bed.
The next morning we got up, had room service breakfast, which was fabulous and set off for the Aquarium. We were driving by the coast and I told our son, “Look buddy, the open ocean!” He quickly replied, “Are we going to see Hank and Dory?!” I said, “I don’t know I guess you’ll have to wait and find out.” I grew up going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium so I have been dying to take him there since the day he was born. When we walked into the entrance of the Aquarium and he realized where we were, I just beamed with happiness. He was in awe of everything he saw and had such an amazing time there. His favorite exhibit was the octopuses because of his obsession with Hank from Finding Dory. The coolest thing happened while we were there looking at them. As you probably know octopuses are nocturnal and blend in with their surroundings. When we walked over to the tank where “Hank” was he was up against a white rock in the back of the tank and was blended right in with the rock. I held our son up against the glass and to our shock and surprise “Hank” floated right over to our son against the glass and turned red just like the shirt our son was wearing. There was an aquarium employee standing there and she was just as shocked, she said she had never seen anything like that happen before. I told our son that “Hank” must have known that he was there and wanted to look just like him. He was grinning ear to ear. What a great end to such a fun and spontaneous trip.
We are very blessed that we are able to work from home and have the means to take off and do wild adventures like these as a family. If I seem absent online this summer it’s because I’m out there enjoying life with my family because, well, YOLO!
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