We had one of the best and craziest weeks of our lives! We decided to pack up all our brood, drive down to California, and have the most insane Disney week ever! Why was it so insane, you ask? Why, because in true Natalie traditional fashion (I apparently did this to my own parents when I was a kid), one of our kids vomited ALL over two and a half hours into the trip that morning. I knew immediately that it wasn’t just carsickness. Graham had been looking peaky the night before with a low fever. He was very cranky, too, and his appetite was down. He had already had a doozy of a cold during the week (good, get it out, kid!) so I chalked it up to teething and put him down to bed. Oops.
After stopping on the side of the freeway to mop up as much vomit as possible, we decided the carseat was just simply unsalvageable at the moment. We covered it in wipes and put it in the front passenger seat. The puke had trickled down onto the captain’s chair, as well. We tried mopping that up with wipes, as well. Finally, Dovy decided to just hold Graham for a while, who, at this point, was exhausted and nearly inconsolable. AAAND the car smelled badly of vomit. 7 hours left to go on the road! *Blech* I booked it on ahead and drove as far as we could (we had to stop two more times on the side of the road to grab things and rearrange a little. Graham finally fell asleep on Dovy’s chest. Poor little guy. We had no choice but to keep going, really.
With about three hours to go, we decided the carseat was dry enough to stick Graham back in it. He seemed to be doing better, as well, so we put him in the back and brought Dovy back up front to drive. (I was exhausted at this point and the Diet Dr. Pepper had run out of my system – hey, no judgey-judgey, I had only slept four and a half hours.) We made it to the oasis that was the house we rented for the week in Anaheim, only 8 minutes away from Disneyland. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5914330 (You can see the house at the listing in the url.)
We scoured everywhere and everyone in the car, I went to the store and bought more Clorox Wipes and Lysol Disinfecting Spray, and we bombed everything all over again. I then went to the airport (had to turn around 3 times) to pick up my cousin, Allie, and we finally made it into bed, exhausted.
Sunday, we dinked around, made plans, and went to church at a nearby ward. Everyone was so friendly and incredibly kind to my kiddos. It was so fun to go to church somewhere other than Utah. It’s moments like these that make us wonder why we stayed, but that’s a discussion for another time. Glad we’re here for now. :)
Monday and Tuesday both went off without a hitch. With three adults, we were able to get ready for the parks SO much earlier, make things on time, get FastPasses with lightning speed and accuracy, and ride all the rides several time with Rider Switch Passes. It was AWESOME! I thought we had evaded the stomach bug that Graham had started, but on Wednesday, my poor cousin became very ill! She needed a full day to recover, poor thing. We put the twins down for naps in the afternoon, gave kids their Amazon Fires and headphones to watch Star Wars while we were gone, and went to Disneyland for a fun date lunch at the Blue Bayou (overlooks the lagoon on Pirates of the Caribbean). (Allie was still in bed resting; don’t worry – an adult was present!) We came back, grabbed all the kiddos, and went to D-land for another hour or so before Graham up-chucked all over again. It was a huge mess to clean up. He vomited on Calvin, but to this day, that strong little dude has still not gotten the bug! I often say that Calvin has this amazing immune system because he was exposed to so much by visiting the hospital while Graham was there (and with the help of all of his siblings), but poor G is still catching up. He was on antibiotics during a pivotal first year of immune system development, so he is often the first one to get sick. I was beside myself a little bit, but Dovy reigned me in. He told me it would be okay. With tears in my eyes (because I can be dramatically emotional like that) I begged the Silhouette Artist to do a quick silhouette portrait of my twins because we weren’t sure if we’d be able to come back and use the rest of our tickets. Dovy and I even discussed that we might need to head back home early. I really didn’t want it to end!
With many a prayer in my heart, we headed back home, bathed everyone, and went to sleep. The next morning was uneventful so we headed back to California Adventure. Link complained of a bit of a sour stomach the entire day, so we kept him in the stroller and fed him small meals. Allie felt well enough to come with us for a few hours, so we scared the pants off of our kids in the Haunted Mansion and then went our separate ways. Allie had to catch a flight back to Utah. We absolutely loved having her and couldn’t have done the week without her!
By the evening, Link was really upset about his tummy. I was starting to get very worried. We headed back home, Dovy picked us up the most amazing Chinese food while I finished up a ride with the girls, and we put our exhausted little people down for bed, secluding Link in a separate room. The kind, kind owner of the home we were renting was incredibly helpful. He dropped everything so he could give us access to more sheets and towels. He was so nice to talk to – the kind of person that you’d like to have as your neighbor. It was really a breath of fresh air to meet someone who could help us out and genuinely treat us with kindness and hospitality.
Link seemed fine the next morning, so off we went! One final day on our incredible Disneyland adventure! (Still, no one else has gotten sick. I guess Airborne really does work!)
I took the kids on a few rides they hadn’t done yet: Small World (it had been closed all week), Finding Nemo Submarines, and finally, at the end of the day, Dumbo. I finished it off with the one thing I remember from my youth. It’s crazy to realize where I am now, with five little kids of my own, enjoying the magic of a place that I hope we get to go back to many times after this!
Also, hurray for paying for a trip completely with cash! Even when things were looking grim, we saved and saved for years to go on this trip. It feels wonderful to come back home and not have that “buyer’s remorse” feeling.