{Weekend Recap} First Family Road Trip, My ER Visit & Saying Goodbye to Snowball


That's about the right word to reflect how I felt coming off this past weekend. A doozy! I knew it'd be a lot of work, but had no idea things would wind up the way they did. But not to get ahead of myself...

The time had come for our first family road trip. With the help of my mom and my nanny, I got about six bags worth of food, toys, clothes, diapers and supplies all neatly packed for the quad squad and ready for the husband to load into the suburban. We headed to Houston Friday after lunch to visit good friends of ours for the weekend. We hauled both twin strollers and four pack-and-plays along with us, as well as our own bags for the trip, and everything fit! We had a trailer hitch we attached to the back that held the pack-and-plays wrapped in a tarp for rain-proofing, and still had a tiny bit of room to spare inside the vehicle. Pretty damn impressive, if you ask me.

The kids did very well on the four hour drive down to H-Town. Which is exactly how long it took us, with only one bathroom break for the husband and I. The babies slept on and off, read books and played with their new Fisher Price mini doodle pads I picked up at Target specifically for the trip. They love them and now look forward to playing with them during nap time as well! I packed a lot of other little odds and ends to help our trip go smoothly and used a few organization techniques to help me be as prepared as possible for traveling with toddler quadruplets, and will be covering all that in another post!

Soon as we arrived, the babies were off and running and exploring every nook and cranny of our friend's spacious home and playing with their kids—who loved every minute with the quads! It was awesome to see them all together. For dinner, the babies actually sat at the table in big adult chairs and ate their Spring Creek barbecue like champs. Then we dressed them for bed and put them down in their pack-and-plays, which we'd padded with a foam bedding topper cut to size and a pack-and-play sheet. They cried on and off for a little while but eventually went to sleep and no one climbed out, not once! We got to enjoy a movie night with our friends and their kids before climbing into bed ourselves. I was so tired!

Saturday we hung out at the house and went for a walk around the pond across the street, where the babies learned how to feed ducks for the first time. Even if Kailey still ate nearly every piece of bread that was handed to her! Little girl acted like she was starving! Harrison got the hang of it pretty quick and was launching bread pieces into the water and all the quads imitated duck sounds and got a kick out of watching them swim around.

Lunch was at Buffalo Wild Wings and the babies enjoyed playing with the electronic games the restaurant had on hand. Our friend's kids were so sweet and helped all the quads pull up the games on their screens and showed them how to play. Then we all dug into wings and chicken strips and lots of potato wedges! A quick round of diaper changes in the back of the 'burb and the husband and I loaded up our crew then drove around for about an hour so they'd nap in the car. It worked like a charm and we didn't have to fight them to sleep in their pack-and-plays at the house, which probably wouldn't have gone very well. This way we knew they at least got a little rest in an otherwise active day!

The afternoon was spent outside in the backyard, the babies ran around all over the place, spent time in the swing, took rides in the mini coupe and chowed down on snacks. Apparently the snacking and heat didn't go well with Harrison, who stopped running long enough to walk by and puke all over the patio! We had to go inside and cool him off, but he was back at it later on and the weather had cooled off. (It was over 80 degrees that afternoon!)

Saturday evening, we dined on fajitas and all the trimmings and got to say hello to several friends of ours that came over to visit. It was nice to see everyone after leaving Houston nearly a year ago to move to Dallas! The husband and his brother, who lives in Houston, fed the babies in their strollers so I could actually sit down and eat my own dinner. A little while later, in between a cold beer or two, we gave the quads baths and got them ready for bed. They were laughing hysterically and chasing the older kids around the house when Harrison threw up part of his dinner. He just gets too excited! It was time for them to call it a night so we piled all six of them into bed with us so they would calm down and drift off to sleep, then gently put each of them in their pack-and-play for the night. The husband went back out to socialize, but I was beyond exhausted and opted to get a good night's rest.

Sunday morning was met with a big breakfast courtesy of our gracious hosts and the quads sat in adult chairs at the table again and wolfed down sausage, bacon, eggs and hot-out-of-the-oven monkey bread (a lot like cinnamon rolls!). We got everyone dressed then made about 15 passes through the house to gather up all our stuff and re-pack our 81 bags then stuff them in the car. It was time to bid our goodbyes and make a run through Sonic for an easy in-the-car lunch of grilled cheeses and French fries. (Yes, we really outdid it with the fried food this weekend!)

The drive home wasn't quite as pleasant as the one getting there. The kids napped on and off the first hour or two, but afterward they were pretty unhappy with being stuck in their car seats. Finally we turned on the DVD player, which helped, but when we stopped for a bathroom break, Harrison threw up all over himself. Third time in two days, poor boy! He is such a good kiddo though, he never gets upset about it and just held his hands out and stayed still while he waited for me to climb into the back and clean him up. I grabbed a handy pair of clean clothes and got him all changed and wiped his car seat out then refilled everyone's sippy cups of water and doled out animal cookies for snacks. Logan and Kailey took turns wailing and screaming the rest of the way home, until we hit the outskirts of Dallas and they passed out until we pulled into our driveway. Whenever I'm coming back in town, there's nothing sweeter than the sight of that Dallas skyline...

Unfortunately, I ran inside to check on my cat, Snowball, to discover she had passed away just hours ago in her bed. Our nanny had been coming by the house to feed and water all the pets and had noticed Snowball seemed a little off that same morning. Snowball must've passed not long after, and I was pretty distraught at the loss. She was 17 years old and, just like my other older cat, July, who passed away last spring, Snowball has been with me throughout every major event in my life. I got her when I was 12 and she grew up with me and made every move to every apartment and house with me, nearly died while the husband and I were living in Scotland, but my mom and step-dad helped nurse her back to health, and she lived four more wonderful years with us. She loved our current house, too. Her bed sat at the landing mid-way up the stairs, where she could watch the ongoings of the house but have her own space. She'd often sneak down to sun herself in the afternoon rays that stream through our front door and she'd begun coming into the play room frequently and enjoying lots of petting and hugs from the quads.

The husband got the kids unloaded and changed, then finished unloading the car, while I mourned Snowball's passing and moved her bed to a spot where the babies couldn't see her. (They kept saying "cat" and wanted her to come into the play room.) I take solace in the fact that Snowball was very happy those last few months of her life, and that I found her curled up in her bed as though she'd gone to sleep and just never woke up. It gives me a bit of peace about losing her. My mom and step-dad came to the house a few hours later to pick up Snowball and bury her next to July, where my step-dad also planted a second rosebush in their memory. It was such a sweet gesture and I can't thank both of them enough.

However, we would be seeing them again in the wee hours as the migraine I got from crying and being upset (likely aggravated by already being stressed out and worn down) kept escalating the rest of the evening. By 11pm, I could barely lift my head, couldn't look at any light and was getting sick over and over no matter why type of medicine I tried to take. The husband had taken a Benadryl earlier, but was fighting the grogginess to take care of me and was becoming increasingly concerned. After four hours of getting sick from the relentless pounding headache that made my skull feel like it was splitting open, he called my mom for advice and they agreed I needed a doctor. So she and my step-dad immediately came back over (it was about 1:30am) to sleep in the guest room so the husband could take me to the ER. I was sick on the way there and walked in with my hand over my eyes and my face buried in a wastebasket I was carrying in the other hand. Fortunately, no one else was there so I was seen pretty quickly and had the nicest nurses and doctor. I received a bag and a half of IV fluids—I was pretty dehydrated, which was also beginning to contribute to my sickness—and some nausea and pain meds. I didn't have my Cheap Ass Easter Bunny with me for when they had to start the IV, but I did pretty well and less than two hours later, I was sitting up and eating gold fish. I only saw the face of one nurse while there, the one that discharged me, since I couldn't even open my eyes when I arrived. It was AWFUL!

By 4am, the husband and I were back home and getting into our bed at last. My mom and step-dad graciously took the breakfast shift with the quads so we could both get some sleep and I don't think I made it out of bed until 11am. What a great support system I have! I couldn't feel more blessed with having such wonderful family in my life that is there when I need them, never complain for a second or hesitate to do whatever it takes. I think my mom was pretty concerned, as she mentioned in her own recent blog post, and she didn't leave my house until she saw me walking around and feeling better with her own two eyes! That's a mother's love, and one I now completely understand!

Now that it's Tuesday, I'm happy to say I'm feeling better and more like myself. I've had the babies all on my own today and it's been going pretty well. I think we're all happy to be back home and back into the groove of our daily routine. I'm happy with no major changes for a little while, normal is good. ;)

While I miss my Snowball every day and wince every time I see the empty spot on the stairs where she's normally sleeping, I know she's in a happy place and that she and July are reunited. It was a hard loss for myself and all my family, as she's a part of so many hearts, and it's even more difficult since for the first time in my life, I don't have a cat. I've always had cats, and for most of my life it's been those two! So it's a pretty major adjustment and one that will take some time to heal. I appreciate all the sweet comments and support and even the gorgeous flowers that my friend Lisa took the time to send, even though she's living all the way in Malaysia. I love that the card is signed, Lisa of Labuan....thank you!

So that was our weekend and I hope I have no more ER stories or throw-up tales to report for awhile! Stay tuned for some new posts this week and don't forget to shop Origami Owl jewelry, where you can get 10% off your order. Check out my current giveaway for all the details!
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  1. Oh, Amber. What a weekend! I am glad the trip was successful and that you are better. That video of the kids was hilarious!

  2. Amber I know that trip to Houston was fun but, had to be exhausting w/ toddlers all the same age. Sorry about Snowball & your terrible migraine. I know what it's like to see someone suffer that enormous amount pain! Trish has a history with them & I hope you don't have to go through that again!
    So sorry but, I had to laugh when you mentioned " The Cheap Ass Easter Bunny"':) I remember it well & I'm sure treasure him because he went through a LOT with you! I wish for you a great rest of the week:) Lovz

  3. So sorry about Snowball! I lost my own beloved cat last year just months after our move from NY to CO, so I know how sad you feel. We have to remember that their lives are naturally short and we gave them the best care and made them happy for all their years!

    Your Quads are so adorable -- God bless!

  4. Sorry about your cat. That is very rough.

    Your kids are so cute and your blog is one of the highlights of my day :)
    Looks like all of their carseat harness straps need to be bumped up a notch. They have to come from above their shoulders while they are forward facing. They grow so fast so I know this is easy to overlook with everything else you have going on.

    Love from Missouri!

  5. Coming over from your Mom's blog, and fb. Feel like I know you....So sorry for your horrible night a ER and the loss of snowball. Have lost pets in the past, and it's the hardest thing ever. My heart goes out to you. Have come to love your Mom and DL through blogging. Sending Love, hugs and prayers.

  6. Amber, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved fur-baby Snowball. I just loved seeing her with the quads when they reached through the gates to bet her. Please know that I offer my prayers and hugs to your family during this time of loss. Having pets all my life I know all to well the pain of loosing a fur-baby. Please take comfort in remembering and sharing her memories and the funny things she would do. She is in a much better place and being reuinted with her friend July makes for great snuggle times at the Rainbow Bridge for them both. Sherri

  7. So sorry for your loss :( Pets are our family and it's so hard to lose one. My cat was 19 years old and passed in 2012 and I had her since I was 5 years old. They are there by our side for everything and love unconditionally. I hope you are feeling better! Migraines are terrible. It's so great that you have the support system that you do!

  8. Losing a pet is one of the most painful experiences ever ~ I am so very sorry. Also, I hope that you are feeling much better! Migraines are just miserable. I used to have them a lot worse than I do now and would throw up for hours. I hope the Dr can give you something to help in the future.

    Glad you had a fun trip! Made me exhausted just reading about it ~ :)



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