A Quick Trip-Following Up

Click HERE to see the first post about the fly-by-night (literally) trip we took to KS and back last week.

We are home now and have actually had a full night's sleep, so I feel okay to post about the trip.  Ultimately, it was a huge success, but I promise the kids and I will never road-trip that way when Dad is deployed!  He is such a trooper.

On Monday, Allan took a shot of NyQuil and took a few hours of a nap.  While he was sleeping, I finished loading the Suburban and getting the kids fed, bathed and in jammies.  We took off at around 7:30p.

The kids were amped up and excited, so they didn't fall asleep until much later than usual, but they slept well in the car that night. 

Allan and I swapped out around 6am and he got a few winks in.  While I'm grateful the kids sleep well in the car, I tend not to.  Allan made a lot of fun of me because everytime we'd hit a bump in the road I would shoot straight up out of the reclined seat and look around to figure out what was happening.  When I saw we were still on the road, I'd lay back down and roll over.  Evidently I provided a lot of entertainment to him on that long, dark drive.

But-it would seem Allan sleeps well in the car, too.
Despite excited kiddies fussing and chatting in the car.  They were pretty close to his ears, too, since they all 3 started off in the middle row.  We had the back loaded down with all the things we were taking back to storage...everything is a preparation for deployment now.

The kids and I stopped in Illinois to get some breakfast and one practice I have so that they can work out some wiggles and Allan can rest is I take them on a walk.  We parked in a local McDonald's parking lot and walked about a 1/4 mile to the closest WalMart, where we picked up some gluten-free breakfast items.  They were able to jump and run and work out some anxiety that way and Allan got some rest.  He took over the wheel again when we left and I napped, (pensively, haha) between there and Missouri.
We opted for no-screens on this trip.  Typically they have their Nintendo DS, Nook HD+ and my old iPhone loaded with games, but this time we just took books and coloring stuff.  It still worked out very well.  The kids are versatile and I'm grateful for that.

We had made tentative plans to stay in St Louis Tuesday afternoon and evening, but ended up feeling good enough to get all the way to Kansas without stopping.  It worked out great for us because we got to unload our cargo into storage and meet up with a friend and her kids at a playland.  Thankfully, we were able to stay with another friend while we were there and didn't incur hotel costs this time.  Since we got there early, the 2 days we stayed felt pretty relaxed, despite being jam-packed.

The kids saw their Primary Care Manager on Wednesday and we accomplished everything we had been hoping to accomplish.

Since Violet had a really bad reaction to her very first bee-sting this summer, we had hoped to be referred to an allergist when we go back.  The Dr did us one better and sent in the referral as well as prescribed an epi-pen since we will be traveling so much.  She read my mind, I was nervous she'd be stung again and we'd be in a new-to-us place far from doctors.  In the research we did, we found that if a child is allergic, the first sting is a moderate reaction and the subsequent sting can be up to 60% worse.  It's a relief to have the epi-pens with us in case she experiences anaphylaxis next time.

We were also able to get Corbin and GraceAnne's physicals done and we got another referral to behavioral health to see if what we've been dealing with in Violet is actually Autism as we suspect.   It was a very productive doctor visit and the kids and I will be very busy when we go back in November. 
Again, since we had gotten a lot of what we needed to get done accomplished the day before, we got to actually rest and have some fun with our friends Wednesday night.  They live on a nice sized parcel of land with gardens, cats, a dog and quails (they raise them to release into the wild) so everyone was in heaven.
It really is such a relief to have friends who love our kids like we do.  Everyone got lawn mower AND tractor rides, petted baby quails and made kitties purr (and scratch), ran and jumped and played.  It was a great trip.  Super bonus, while were there we asked our lovely hosts if they knew of anyone with a guest house or mother-in-law apartment we could use for when we have to come back in November.  They had actually just stayed at a camp resort with a 4 season cabin and suggested we look around.  We did and hit the jackpot!  We struck a great deal with the manager and now the kids and I have a "base of operations" for while Allan is deployed.  I can't tell you what a relief that is.  

On Thursday morning our hostess made us an amazing breakfast of bacon, Scrapple (her husband is from PA like Allan's mom's family and they send him homemade goodies.  Allan was in 7th heaven, I'm pretty sure) and gluten-free cereal and then we took off to see Corbin's surgeon.  For our new readers, Corbin has suffered from a condition called Dacryocystis since he was 4 months old.  It's basically a really hellacious clogged tear duct.  To date, he has had 5 surgeries (he is 3) and will have at least one more spring of next year to remove the plastic tubing he had placed last March.  THIS is an earlier post about one of his previous surgeries.  I don't actually have any posts from his big surgery because we were fostering a 16-year-old and her 4-month-old son at the time and we couldn't talk in public about them.  Since they were a big part of the week Corbin was in the hospital, I just stayed quiet.  

Dacryocystitis is a fairly rare condition made even more rare by his young age and persistant problems with it.  In March they performed a "last-straw" emergency-type surgery to hopefully cure the problem.  They don't like to do these surgeries (a DCR surgery) on children under 5, but so far he has healed and recovered beautifully.  We have to see the surgeon every 3 months until the next surgery, hence our trips back to KS. 

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