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Disney day and night flight

V woke up at 3 am that “morning” so it’s a good thing we had the kids separated.  I tried to ignore her in the hopes that she’d just go back to sleep, but after what seemed like an eternity of listening to her wail, I went out and got her.  She doesn’t snuggle so bringing her into our bed wasn’t an option. Instead I carried her and walked around the separate TV area of the suite hoping she’d fall back asleep or something in my arms.  No luck.  I was a walking zombie though and I knew I had to do something because the next day was going to be LONGGGGG if she (WE!) didn’t get some rest.  We had an overnight flight about 16 hours in our future, something I’ve never attempted with kids because it sounds horrible.  P and V both go to bed at 7 pm with naps, so flying through the night was a huge gamble.  And since we had to check out of the hotel by 1 pm, naps were big question marks…these are the things going through my head in the wee hours.  Thank goodness I was still half asleep or my anxiety would have kicked in big time and then I would have been unable to rest because my brain would have been reeling.  After a few minutes I remembered the couch folded out to a bed so I opened it and HOORAY it was already made up and ready for me to climb in.  I pulled V under the covers with me thinking it was such a joke, but she and I both fell asleep instantly!  Arm in arm.  I could have died I was so happy – both because it meant extra sleep for us, but also because she NEVER snuggles!!!!  Silver lining to being up at that hour.

She was out for another hour and a half or so, at which point she woke me up and not long after she was so noisy she woke Kyle up too.  It was still dark and cold out so running wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but I was also very ready to unload V on someone else so I just did it.  All I had was a tank top so I was pretty cold, but I warmed up a little bit in.  I pooped out after a rather pathetic 20 minutes but whatever, but than nothing.

When I got back Kyle got ready and went and got breakfast so he could get on the road to Tampa.  He had work there all day so he was taking the rental car and was just meeting us at the Airport gate that night.

He brought back dairy free scrambled eggs for me and P (I totally trust Disney with how allergy conscious they are).  But then he didn’t even want any, so I ended up eating them all myself.  I also had some leftover scone and the last of the nut butter.

Once the kids had eaten, we ventured out of the hotel room to scope out the scene.  I had done some exploring on my run so I knew where I could take the kids.

P immediately started dancing to the music from the pool so I knew right away he was feeling better.  PHEW.  I kept thinking he had to have hit the worst of his cold, but then it kept getting worse and worse.  Finally I felt good that he wasn’t going to need a more aggressive intervention and he was recovering on his own…even if ever so slowly.

The Disney hotel we stayed at was music themed, but the one next to us was sports themed.

We roamed the football field, pretend dribbled at the huge basketball hoop, and peeked in on the baseball diamond pool.

Their favorite was Donald and his nephews playing baseball/tennis.

After a lot of wandering, I had to go pack up to send our bags to the airport.  Disney hotels have this FANTASTIC function of having airport agents AT THE HOTEL.  They will give you a free ride to the airport AND check all your bags all the way to the airport for you.  Seriously stellar.  The only caveat is you have to do it by noon on the day of your flight.  So that meant I had to get us all packed up and had no more access to our suitcases after noon.  It also meant I didn’t have to lug 2 car seats and 2 suitcases (and all our carry-ons) to the airport by myself.  SUCH A LIFESAVER.  Disney, you rock.

I tried to get them to nap after checking our bags, but they didn’t go for it.  P rested in his bed for 45 minutes but V started crying to get out after 20 minutes of thumb sucking.  Oh well!  I tried!

Instead we ate the last scraps in the fridge (calling it lunch?) and then went to check out of our hotel room.

Another amazing thing Disney hotels have are (free) shuttles that take you anywhere.  I still had 4 hours to kill until leaving for our flight, and we were checked out of the hotel with no car, soooo I had to do something.  Obviously I wasn’t going to a park because $$$$.  Not worth it for a few hours.  But I discovered a place called Disney Springs (which was free) and so off we went.

It was basically a really nice mall but since it’s Disney they threw in some stuff to occupy kids while parents want to shop.  Fine by me.  At this point I was a total sherpa, carrying 50 pounds of crap, so whatever they had for the kids to do I was going to sell hard core.

When healthy, they need very little to entertain them.  For P, a stick is good enough.  They weren’t in top form though, so it was on and off.  V was demanding I carry her at all times, BUT refusing the ergo.  That was a challenge for sure because I already had so much stuff.

But then this fence around a fountain occupied them for an hour.  Like, an actual hour.  So that was a score.

Eventually we made our way further along…oh how badly I wanted to even window shop there were so many awesome stores.  The only stores in Davis are Target and Gap so now you know where 99% of my wardrobe comes from.

The lego store had a super cool set up outside their store for kids to build things and play with all the blocks they wanted.  There was even a station to build a car and then race them against cars other people built.  P made one and came in second in his race.  V “made” one and it didn’t even get past the starting line.  Ha.

This kept them occupied for another large chunk of time and before long it was time to wander back to the shuttle pick up spot.

I was a mega balancing act on the walk out.  I was carrying V and P was upset that I was making him leave before he finished the house he was building (despite so many countdowns to prepare him to go) and was giving me a lecture to know it.  We had to stop for a few hugging sessions and for me to readjust my baggage, etc.

But eventually we got back to the shuttle, which took us to the hotel, where we caught another bus to the airport.  TA DA!!

Miracle of miracle the bus ride was faster than I expected although the driver was giving me the side eye with all their coughing (he actually asked me to move when we first got on).  We were in the front row, so I understand his concern but what was I supposed to do!  At least his row had a baricade in front of it.  Let’s be real, they were spreading germs everywhere they went but sometimes you have no choice.  I wouldn’t choose to expose flights worth of people to their cold unless I had to, and we obviously needed to get home!  But how cute are they leaning on each other (as they watch the TV screen above us show off highlights of Orlando’s Disney scene).  TV is a drug, man.

Airport security was standard, but at least it didn’t take forever.  And at long last, we were at our gate waiting for Kyle to join us.  Like I said, MIRACLE.

The first leg of the trip to LA was so good.  We each had personal TVs so I just gave in to the mind numbing screen time.  P was in heaven.  He watched Mickey Mouse clubhouse over and over and over.  V passed out on my lap before we even took off so Kyle ate dinner before I transferred her to his lap and ate my own meal.  We both watched movies and just transferred her back and forth for the next 5 hours.  P eventually told me he was tired and fell asleep literally under a minute from laying his head on my lap.  And then we landed and had to wake them up.

They were total grumps, but who could blame them!?  We had to transfer terminals in under 30 minutes, which had me nervous going in to it, but we landed early, and found a vehicle to take us so we wouldn’t have to go through security again.  Easy peasy.  The whining and whimpering stopped ever so briefly when I busted out the popcorn (such a treat!), and then once we boarded they fell back asleep.  Actually we all did.  Kyle and I weren’t together on this flight because he was booked separately through his work, but we still got to preboard because we have to go in and wipe everything down (#peanutallergylife).  P fell asleep on my lap and V was on my chest, but they were both uncomfortable and kept trying to edge each other out, so once V was asleep enough to not realize she wasn’t with me, I passed her off to Kyle.  She’s a total mama’s girl when she’s sick and won’t tolerate anyone. At. All.  Then I fell asleep, too.  Then we landed.

The wait for luggage was torture for P, and therefore us too, but it was 4 am for his internal clock so I kept telling myself that to excuse his irrational and INSANE behavior.  Meltdowns the whole way home.  But here we are back in Davis, safe and sound, and we missed the storm of the season!  So all in all, a wonderfully impulsive adventure!

Florida road trip

Kyle had work on Monday so I took the kids to WF for our last brekkie in West Palm.  Well actually I got breakfast for me.  The kids had odds and ends to finish off.  I planned their food out pretty perfectly.  I’m VERY anti food waste and don’t throw nary a scrap out.  It’s an obsession slash illness, but sometimes it works out for the best when you have no meal planned (and are cheap!) but you do have a dozen little containers with 3 bites of pancakes, or french toast, or yogurt left in each.  I brought my eats back to the hotel because I had made coffee back in the room.

I was really missing nut butters so I got some from the fresh grinder, which I added to a vegan scone.

Right after, we went to a park because I was trying to tire them out excessively so they would nap earlier than usual because we had to check out of the hotel by 1 pm (and obviously I wanted them to nap!).

While they “slept” I packed up everything and loaded up the luggage cart so I would be able to wait until the very last second to wake them up.  At 12:50 V woke up and then I kinda made a bunch of noise with her so P could “wake” up on his own.  He is like his mama in that he is a sleep diva and DOES NOT like to be woken up.

Since I was kinda running around packing the whole time I hadn’t eaten yet, so after checking out I drove to WF for hummus and then ate that with Kyle’s veggie burger leftovers.  WHAT A STELLAR SANDO!  I am way into hummus at the moment, so I basically ate the whole tub of it with the sandwich.

Kyle still wasn’t done with his work call, so I decided to go back to the Turtle Rescue from the day before.  P had been talking about it nonstop and how he wanted to come back to Florida so we could go there so I decided why not!?

Plus V had hardly gotten any time there the day before!

We were only there about 10 minutes when Kyle texted and said he was done with work and could I come pick him up (his work colleagues had left the day before and I had the car so he was dependent on me for a ride) so they each got to do “one more thing” and then we headed off to grab Kyle.

Then it was time to ROAD TRIP!

Due to the aforementioned drama, we were no longer flying out of Fort Lauderdale…instead we were going to Orlando!  The kids weren’t thrilled about the long car ride, but V fell asleep for most of it. And P was finally starting to get a big healthier, so the promise of a Mickey Mouse hotel was the perfect light at the end of the tunnel.  The toll road situation on that stretch of Florida’s coast is super annoying.  A little warning would have been nice!  What a miracle that I had so much change in my wallet.

We picked up some sushi to go just before entering Disneymania.  I think Disney must own half of Orlando!  Wow.

The hotel was amazing.  I was sad that we were only going to be there 10 hours because it was SUPER family friendly and obviously very kid focused.  What a treat!  For such an unexpected hiccup in our adventure, it certainly worked out well.

We had a suite so there was one room with another TV area, two full (large) bathrooms, and a kitchen with a fridge and microwave.  And this was the “budget” hotel!  Disney knows what they are doing.  Because there were two bathrooms, we put V in one so as to separate the two coughing people.

I fed the kids, while Kyle unpacked and set up the pack n play (the hotel provided).  Then Kyle showered with them (to help with congestion) and we read some books (they were still way into the same 5!).  And they were off to bed!  We enjoyed our sushi with the college football game until the fireworks went off and freaked P out.  I snuggled with him for a bit until he was good to go and warned him that they may go off again and promised I’d come back if/when they did.  They did go off one more time and we laid in bed together, but after that he was fine.  Here I was thinking we would come to Disney for every vacation from now on….hmmmm…

Turtles and recovery

I don’t have many photos of the kids today because we didn’t do too much.  P had another rough night, so we all had a rough night.  On top of that we were still scrambling with flight changes and hotel reservations.

Kyle and I alternated going to the gym in the morning.  The rain had kinda taken a rest so we could have run outside, but it was still dark because that’s how early we were up.  I totally phoned in my work out…don’t tell on me.

We got breakfast from the hotel buffet.  I sent Kyle down to get a little bit of everything for us all to share while I spoon fed P (yes, literally) cheerios with almond milk.  He actually ate a little bit!  Then Kyle came back with two massive plates of every single thing you could ever want for breakfast.  V was in heaven.  She sat on Kyle’s lap and they went to town.

I had some French toast with Nutella!  I was so excited they had Nutella packets, like the little jam or syrup containers you usually see.  Nothing like starting your Sunday with chocolate 🙂

Without much of an agenda, we set out for a farmer’s market that I had heard about, but (of course!) the kids fell asleep on the way there.  Crappy night’s sleep + car ride = us sitting in the parked car twiddling our thumbs and wondering what to do.  Blah.

We got takeout for lunch from a vegan (and mostly raw) place called Christopher’s Kitchen.  I got the superfood salad and added candied walnuts to it because more fat please.  It was exactly what I was craving.  So happy.

Kyle got a veggie burger which turned out to be huge and a side of spicy almond slaw.  He only had half of his sando (because he was still full from breakfast) and so I got to enjoy the second half of his sando the next day.  I finished off his slaw too.  Yummy yummy.

Being in the same room doesn’t lend itself to optimum napping so unsurprisingly they didn’t sleep well (V was just starting to get the cough so they were both coughing and waking themselves and each other up over and over again).  The meds were finally starting to work their magic with P so he napped well, but V didn’t get more than 20 minutes.   Womp womp.

Can you guess what happened later?

Of.  Course.

We went to the Loggerhead Marinelife Rescue in the afternoon…well…some of us went.  Some of us stayed in the car with a napping child.

Look at how much better he looks!  Meds and sleep can do miracles.  Thank goodness.

V and I made it in eventually.  Turtle stare down.  They loved learning about how they rescue the turtles and help them get back to their ocean home.  I wish we could have stayed longer but it closed at 5, so V only got ~5 minutes there.

In a total glutton move, we both got fish ‘n chips for dinner from a place Kyle found called Waterway Cafe.  We both finished all of it.  We are like the opposite of everyone else with their New Years Resolutions and healthy goals.  Fried food for meeee.

I don’t remember what I fed the kids, probably hard boiled eggs and bread with jam because we didn’t have much left in the way of groceries and I wasn’t about to buy more on our last night in Palm Beach when they both had a mere 2% of their appetite in working order.

Kyle went to WF on his way to get the dinner and look what he came home with!  Heaps of chocolate for us!

Went to bed optimistic about the health of the kiddos…and with new flights and a game plan for the next day!  To Orlando!

Hotel time in Palm Beach

On our first weekend day in Palm Beach we decided to go out to breakfast as a family since Kyle was free from his work stuff.

But first we had to deal with a bit of drama with our flights.  The terminal we were supposed to fly out of was closed because of the shootings the day before so they wanted to switch our flight (which was supposed to be the next day) so we were on the phone back and forth with the agents and Kyle’s work peeps to try to figure out a solution.  To make a long story short, all of Kyle’s work stuff got switched around and he ended up having a meeting in Tampa on Monday, and since our flight was not happening, we decided to try to get flights home together and just add a few extra days to our trip.  We were scrambling all weekend to figure out a way to make it all work because there were no hotels available in Tampa (we later realized it was because the college football championship was in Tampa that night) so we ended up getting a hotel and flights in Orlando for Tuesday evening.  Yep, that’s the abbreviated version!!

Anyway, we went to Another Broken Egg in Harbourside Plaza after super delirious gym workouts.  I took this horrible picture of my gluten free jumbo pancake, which I shared with V (along with some of Kyle’s eggs).

She also ate the orange – peel and all – which P found hilarious.

I packed a sunbutter and jam sando for my big boy, but his appetite was still nonexistent.  Poor guy was up ALLLLLL night coughing.  And whenever he wasn’t coughing, he could barely stay asleep due to the insane fevers he was running.  Kyle and I took turns with him in the attached room so as not to wake V.  It was a really long night.  He was restless and I was worried like crazy that his cold was in the process of turning into pneumonia.  It was scary being so far from home and we just switched insurances so I couldn’t even email our MD because we hadn’t chosen a new one yet!  Kyle took three showers with him over the course of the night which helped dramatically, but only last about an hour until the steamy effect wore off and he was all congested again.  Needless to say, we had no major plans for Saturday.  We did swing by CVS though, so I could get a whole new arsenal of meds.  P isn’t yet four but desperate times call for desperate measures and so I got him guaifenesin.  He just needed an expectorant so badly to help him get that gunk out and he was refusing to let me do any chest PT on him anymore.  I also needed more Tylenol.  We were dosing around the clock at this point.

Storms hit on and off all day, so it was basically a sick day.  Lots of indoor time in that hotel room…

I felt so bad for Kyle that he didn’t get the fun beach time with the kids that I got but V was still relatively healthy so we went to the pool during a break in the rain, so the two of them could play.  It wasn’t super warm, but it was still nice enough for us.

After some really terrible naps and (gasp!) Disney channel for the kids, we decided to get out of the hotel room.  I had researched some indoor options in case of rain so I had the Playmobil Fun Park all queued up for us.  It is only $1 per person and is basically a room with a ton of legos.  Or whatever their brand of those blocks is called.  There were about 20 tables with different themes and all the corresponding people/figures/vehicles/etc to play with and both kids loved it.

I made this super fancy (NOT!) brown rice, pea, black bean, and chicken combo.  Thanks to a little tamari it was actually eaten rather eagerly!  When the meds were working, he seemed decent, but otherwise things were not good.

Kyle and I got take out from The Cooper that night.  We shared braised short ribs with smashed fingerling potatoes and a crazy good jus and spaghetti squash with scallops and pepitas.  Both were so good.  I’d go back there over and over to try everything on the menu.

Our chocolate was interrupted by this little guy’s sickness.  🙁  🙁  🙁

Another long long night.  We slept with him in our bed so we could keep calming him down when he started shouting and crying out (fever dreams, man!!).  Not much sleeping happened.  Lots more ice packs and showers though.

Winter Quinoa Bowl recipe

Guys, it’s been 4 days since we’ve returned from our Florida trip and I still haven’t been shopping. I’m pretty impressed with my ingenuity.  This is partially because we left town so rashly, I had pretty much just gone to the grocery store when we decided to go.  Woops!  Luckily I was able to throw most things in the freezer and postpone the meal plan.  But still…it’s been a project on getting crafty with pantry stuffs.

This bowl is hearty and homey, but also light and clean.  The combo of pecans and beans gives it staying power and the quinoa means it’s a complete protein packed entree.  And the herby sweet lemon dressing is the perfect compliment.  It’s especially good when you’ve been eating rich indulgent restaurant meals for a week straight and you need to transition your body back to ingredients that make your body feel top notch.  The kids devoured this faster than any meal they’ve had in front of them in the last 10 days and that is saying something for sure because usually that means pork is involved.  No meat here!  No leftovers either!

Winter Quinoa Bowls [vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free]

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s ACV
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook quinoa per package instructions. I use my rice cooker so it’s super hands off.

In a medium mixing bowl, add olive oil, maple syrup, salt and carrots (if using large carrots, chop them to bite sized pieces first).   Stir until well coated and use a slotted spoon to scoop onto a greased baking sheet, making sure to leave the extra oil in the bowl.  Then add the pecans and toss in the remaining oil.  Add the pecans to another greased baking sheet.

Roast the carrots at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.  Add the pecans for the last 10 minutes (watch carefully so you don’t burn them).

While they are in the oven make the dressing.  Combine everything in a small jar and shake until emulsified.

Once the carrots and pecans are done add to a large bowl with the drained can of white beans and the cooked quinoa.  Add dressing and serve.

Optional: add steamed greens for an extra oomph in the greens department.  We added a small handful of chopped collards to ours.

I wasn’t sure if they would like the dressing, but they totally did.  I can’t emphasize it enough, they loved this dish.