Vegas Baby! (or maybe Vegas with 4 Kids!): February 8, 2011

18th Stories High in Vegas for 3 nights!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

We went to bed last night with the slight possibility that we could get on a flight out of Little Rock today and avoid the 6-12 inches of snow which had been forecasted. We were told that we had to wait for Southwest to issue a weather advisory for Little Rock. So we called them late last night, in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning but nothing. We were becoming convinced that we were going to be out of luck because when they finally said we could switch flights it would be too late or the flight would be booked.

Robby suggested that I just skip work this morning and take Campbell to the doctor because of her little cold and cough. I said I should probably take Graham too because his runny nose hadn’t gotten much better after the last round of medicine. But my main job during the day was to be the “call girl” and that I was. I started calling Southwest every hour but then one lady told me she was getting updates every few minutes and to keep calling back. So that is just what I did. About 10 this morning, I finally got the good news-we could reschedule. That sent me running around like a mad woman throwing all of the last minute stuff into bags before time to pick up Graham and Campbell for the doctor.

Back to the morning-as we lay in bed talking about the day and calling Southwest, Graham woke up a little after 6. He laid with us for awhile and then started telling us how a penguin walks. He tried to show us while lying in the bed but then decided that he needed to get up and show us. Back in the bed for a few more minutes and then he was up looking under the covers at Robby’s toe (the one he stumped on the bathtub but had told the kids that Mom bit him). As he climbed back into bed, Graham said “I didn’t see Daddy’s toe, I didn’t. Why did you bite him Momma?”

Anderson, then Reagan and then Campbell were up next. Everyone got dressed without too much of a fuss and headed downstairs to eat. I asked Graham if he wanted to go to school or go to the doctor with me and he picked the doctor over school. Dad fixed breakfast and soon we were all loaded up to take Reagan and Anderson to school. They were excited about taking their Valentines to their class. Reagan passed hers out to her friends and Anderson’s sub was going to save them for the party.

Also at their school today, they saw and were able to pet a rooster. This is a few things they learned: a boy bird gets a girlfriend, a boy bird has prettier feathers than the girls so he can get a girlfriend, the girlfriend had to build the nest, a hummingbird can sit on a pencil, and an ostrich has a bigger egg than a hummingbird. They really got all tickled when talking about the girl and boyfriend birds.

Pops came out to the car when I dropped off Reagan and Anderson. He made sure Graham didn’t drive the car off-highly possible. On the way home, I called Grannymom to see if she would want some company for an hour or two and she took me up. I dropped of Graham and Campbell who were both so happy-Campbell was happy to see Grannymom and Graham was happy to see me go!

Before long, it was time to pick up those two to take them to see the doctor. (It never fails - you can predict when a Dennie kid will be sick - just see when our next vacation is scheduled.)The waiting room was packed-absolutely packed. Surprisingly though, we were only there about an hour so it wasn’t too bad. Graham’s ear infections from a week ago hadn't gotten any better and Campbell might possibly have RSV along with ear infections. Martin got us medicated up and we headed out-leaving Campbell’s sippy cup, which we had to return to get.

Since I had a few minutes before the medicines would be ready, we drove to the library to drop off a few books and then to Graham and Campbell’s school to drop off their Valentines. On the way there, I asked Graham if he wanted me to take him to school. He replied “Nah, I don’t have my lunch box.” That was very true so I kept him with me. I called the school and they came out to pick up the Valentines so I wouldn’t have to get sleeping Campbell out of the car. I did have the check too-so that was an added incentive to come and help me!

The next stop was the Sam’s pharmacy. They rung up 2 of my medicines but not the other one-I asked and they said that hadn’t gotten it. So I called my doctor’s office and tried to explain that I needed to speak to someone and not just leave a message since I was at the pharmacy and about to get on an airplane. That didn’t get me very far-I had to leave a message. And then I had to call again later on-there must be a better way.

Back at home, Dad arrived and shortly after Nonna brought Reagan and Anderson home. They were pretty excited to hear that we were leaving today. I had mentioned that we might but in the same breath I had tried to explain that if the snow was too bad, we may not get to go anywhere at all. Anyway, there were pretty excited and after a quick clothing change and a short movie we were loaded and waving bye to Nonna.

Robby dropped me off at the pharmacy to get our one last medicine while we ran to pick up his Dad. It didn’t take anytime and we were at the airport. We have started using a Sky Cap just because with 9 checked bags (1 pack n play, 4 car seats, 4 suitcases) and the rest of our carry on stuff (2 strollers, 6 backpacks and the 4 kids) it just makes things easier. Next stop was security and this might possibly have been the easiest one. The kids did great. The only problem was Reagan and Anderson fighting over who would push the stuff down the line but with as much stuff as we had it wasn’t too big of a deal. They take their shoes off, know to put their bags on the conveyer belt, know to walk through one at a time-they are just pros.

We had to wait a bit for our plane so we watched out the window and even had a few bathroom breaks. Our plane was a few minutes late but we only took off about 10 minutes behind schedule. We boarded after group A so there were few seats together. The flight attendant was saving us 2 rows in the back-the very back. The boys sat with Robby and the girls sat with me. It was a full flight so we eventually had to have someone else sit beside me and Reagan.

Campbell and Anderson were asleep pretty quickly and Anderson slept for a very long time. Graham was going strong-very strong. He and Robby played cars, played playdoh, ate the snacks (yummy crackers shaped like planes and honey roasted peanuts) and drank their drinks. Reagan and I also played with playdoh, played My Little Ponies and read a book. Most of my time was spent wrestling with Campbell. She was a trooper but you could tell that her ears didn’t feel good at all. She kept putting her hands to her ears but never fussed. I got pretty concerned about her at one time-she was acting so tired and then I looked at the clock and realized that it was way, way past her bedtime. She did enjoy coloring with Reagan and “colored” for probably 15 minutes.

This was the flight that would never end. The flight was a whole 3 and a half hours-and it was a long 3 and a half hours. Graham had had enough when he started staying “get me out of here” over and over. By then, the bathroom line had formed well into our area and plenty of people were stopping and talking to us. We couldn’t have been any prouder because we were complimented by many passengers and by the flight attendants about how well behaved the kids were. And they were that-I never even heard a peep from Anderson, Reagan was a great help to me and stayed busy, Graham did excellent for the noisy little boy that he usually is and you would have never known that Campbell had 2 ear infections.

Soon, well it wasn’t soon, but after the whole 3 and a half hours, we started seeing the lights of Vegas. We landed and even rode a tram-we could have turned around right then and gone home and the kids would have been happy. During a bathroom stop, Campbell figured out that the bathroom echoed and she had a big time talking and squealing. We collected our luggage-well, actually the Sky Cap did and Robby went to get the car. The Sky Cap pushed us out to the van when Robby pulled up and we started the mad dash unpacking, installing and putting kids in car seats. Again, the kids are pros-they just stood on the white line and waited (semi) patiently.

The GPS was packed so we just winged it finding the hotel. This was fine because we passed a McDonalds and swung by to pick up food. Reagan and Anderson had nuggets, Graham had a hamburger and Campbell (who I thought wouldn’t eat anything) had some of hamburger and as many fries as I gave her. She would smack her lips to request more-she was probably signing more but since I couldn’t see her she just smacked.

The kids enjoyed seeing the lights and all of the building-Statue of Liberty, pirate ship, big motorcycle. Robby enjoyed seeing the Walgreens so he could run in a buy a bit of milk for the morning. We are in the Stratosphere so it was easy to spot and we were in the parking garage in no time at all. Robby checked in and then came to get us. Our room is on the 18th floor.

While I unpacked like a mad woman, Robby finished unloading the car and the kids enjoyed being free from seats. The boys played with their cars, Reagan colored and Campbell just crawled around. When Robby came back, we finished unpacking, gave out medicine, put on pajamas and laid everyone down. This is the first time for Graham to be sleeping in a sleeping bag and not in the pack n play on a trip. Robby has him laying in a corner behind a chair-it is a cozy little cage like spot. It worked perfectly-or maybe it worked perfectly because it was nearly 12 when he laid down. Everyone fell asleep fairly quickly and we are looking forward to an exciting (warm and not snowy) day ahead.

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