Monday, June 20, 2011

Michigan 2011!

After weeks of planning, preparing and packing for 6, we loaded up and headed north to Michigan to visit family and friends as well as to celebrate my cousin Peri's high school graduation! We left right before the quads' bedtime on Wednesday evening, prepared to drive straight through until we reached our destination 1005 loonng miles away. Stopping only for gas and breakfast we reached Kalamazoo at 10:15am Thursday morning. Although the trip wasn't as smooth as last year's over night drive to Kentucky, it wasn't horrible. Here's us loaded up and ready to head out...

...aaannnd here's me about 9 hours later trying to block out Kylee's "Daddy hode you!" and Brody's "Daddy, get you hambone?!" from the back seat (Bret tickles his inner thigh, also known as the hambone in our house).

Bret's a trooper for driving 95% of the way by himself but sitting in the passenger seat taking on the job of picking up dropped blankets and passing out water every 12 seconds is not easy either! They slept about 80% of the trip only waking up once or twice once they finally fell asleep. We stopped at a McDonalds early in the morning and were planning on eating and then letting the kids play (yes I-slight-germaphobe-Heather was gonna let them play in a McDonalds playplace...filthy mcnasty) while bret got a power nap in the car. That DID NOT HAPPEN. AT ALL. The moment Korbin and Baxlyn's feet hit the ground I swear they turned in to someone else's children who I had never seen before...screaming, crying, absolute fits! We ended up inhaling our food and getting back on the road so we could get to the hotel, allowing them some freedom and a good solid nap, surely that's all they needed, right?!

After researching local hotels we ended up staying at a Staybridge Suites. We reserved a two bedroom, full kitchen, handicapped suite. The hotel was a closed rectangle shape and in the center was a HUGE yard with patios, trees, grills and flowers. It was nice to let the quads roam and explore a big open area without worrying about losing one. The hotel staff was AWESOME in accommodating us and fulfilling our requests. We had been in touch weeks before arriving figuring out details like the sizes of suites they offered, the cribs they had as well as how we were going to fit them all in a room. I am SO glad I was in contact with them because it ends up, they only had three cribs and they were on the small side, NICU size, for those of you familiar. Bret and I knew we couldn't use pack and plays knowing Korbin and Baxlyn can climb out of them as well as not having the room in the van to transport them. I've heard a lot of talk about KidCo Peapods from other moms. They're a tent, basically, that kids can sleep in. They come in an easy to carry bag that can easily slide between or under car seats when traveling and simply pop right into place requiring NO assembly at all. Each have an air mattress too! They arrived at our door step just days before leaving for Michigan...

What was a spare bedroom going to do for us in a hotel suite if we couldn't fit the quads' bedding in it due to two full sized beds? I had asked the manager in advance if there was any way we could completely take out the beds and furniture leaving an empty "toddler-proofed" room when we arrived, she said it was a request they'd never gotten but they were happy to do it! A little strange looking, I'm sure the daily maids were taken back a bit by the site, but it worked for us :]

We were a little worried at how they would do with the new tents, which they call "Tunnels", but all four did well. They were all excited to get in to get their new toy I bribed them with (gotta love the dollar store!) The peapods have zippers on both sides as well as screened windows on all four sides which can be opened, allowing them to see out, or closed. We zipped them in, left their screens open, so they could all see each other, and they were good to go. Peapods plus heavy hotel curtains equals darkness which equals 4 babies sleeping 12-14 hours a night....ahhhhh...perfection!

Another reason we chose Staybridge was the fact that they offered a full free breakfast every morning as well as free dinner Tues-Thurs. Although we were with family every evening, we did take advantage of the hot breakfast they offered.

Unfortunately, even after a days rest, Korbin and Baxlyn were still not acting themselves. We headed to see the family Friday morning and they two of them wanted nothing to do with anybody but Bret. The word got out that we would be in Michigan so people came from all over to meet the the quads and having the two act the way they did was not fun and very frustrating. After several doses of meds and lots of ambesol for teething, it continued so we ended up taking them to see a doc. Anytime they act like this at home, I take them in and it's always ear infection, strep, sore throat, sommmeething. We went, we waited, they were evaluated and nothing....nada. Diagnosis, terrible twos! UGH! Brody & Kylee on the other hand, so well behaved. So glad all four are not going through the same stage at once!

Below, Brody on Uncle Brian's Harley!

Our attempt at a group picture with the graduate, Peri!!! CONGRATS GIRL!!!

Despite the fits, I was able to snap some good pics of each of them!

Brody & Cousin Alicia

Baxlyn - she really can be an absolute doll!

My handsome Korbin. Notice he's in his "let's take jackets just in case" jacket. It was a cool 50-70degrees the whole time we were there. Not freezing, but definitely chilly for us Texans!

My Smiley Kylee. This girl stole the entire state of Michigan's heart. She's always been our super duper happy one and in no time at all everyone up north knew it too. Each time we got off the elevator at the hotel we would hear people whisper and say "Hold on, where is she....awww there she is! Just look at herrrr!" I seriously lost count of how many times people mentioned her being so happy and always smiling. Sweet baby girl!

We had another special visit while in Michigan. Some of you may recognize this pretty lady! Jenn King, her husband Mike and their quads live a few hours from where we were staying. You can't be THAT close to one of your special Quad Mommas and NOT see her! Bret and I, with my cousin Alicia and the quads drove and met Jenn, her mother in law and her quads at a kids museum! Not only did I get to hug Jenn's neck, I got to love on her sweet babies too!! So so many things I love about Jenn, I am constantly in awe of her as a friend and mother, she inspires me everyday when I see the amazing things she does with and for her kids. Seriously, inspiring Jenn, thank you for being you!

A group picture...

So neat seeing all 8 together. One of those sit back and take it all in moments...

Jenn & Kylee Addison & I

2 Moms and 8 two year olds! 16 eyes and not one looks at the camera!

Thanks again, Jenn and Gayle for driving to meet us! Can't wait to see you again soon!!

Love these of Kylee & Rachel...

How do you get quadruplets to sit for a picture....popsicles! With Isaac, Rachel & Sarah.

...or cookies! With Uncle Brian, I love it!

90% of the time we were there, you could bet on at least one of them sweeping or "bacuuming" the driveway with Becky's garage full of cool brooms! I can only pray their cleaning habits stay with them as they grow :]

Thanks to our wonderful family, Bret and I went out on a little date night, just the two of us, while the quads stayed back at the house. THANKS AGAIN GUYS! It had been a while since we had any kind of Mexican food (we loovve some good Mexican food!) and as we drove looking for something to catch our eye, not expecting to see any Mexican restaurants, we saw "Pappy's Mexican Restaurant". We both looked at each other, knowing it would be a gamble, but decided to give it a try. It could be could be really good right?! WOW. Although the salsa they had wasn't horrible, I think it fell under the ketchup category. When I asked for queso on my enchiladas the lady informed me they didn't have queso. I asked if they put chili con carne on top of them, and she looked at me as if I spoke a foreign language then told me they had, I quote, "brown sauce". I explained we were from Texas to which she quickly replied with eyes wide open and in a quiet voice "Oh. It's MUCH better there!" Basically translates to "Get ready, your meal is gonna suck." She told the cooks they had Texans and they hooked us up with their "SUPER HOT" salsa! Not exactly the Mexican we were used to but we were thankful none the less just to get away!

Before heading home the following Friday, we had to stop by one of our all time favorites, Brunos Pizza. I have many memories growing up and going to Brunos each time we went to Michigan. As a little girl I kept the juke box rockin' and stood on the steps to watch the men make pizza and through the dough up in the air... awesome to now see my babies stand on the same steps, watching the same man throw the pizza!

Another attempt at a group photo, this time with Aunt Nancy & Uncle Richard...maybe next time!

Brody & Alicia both wearing some of her 27 pairs of sunglasses she keeps in her purse ;)

The drive home went well. We were again able to drive straight through only stopping for gas and this time, the babies slept nearly the whole way. We were welcomed back to Texas with 100 degree heat and humidity just in time for Father's Day...kinda makes me wish that teeth chattering 60 degree weather up north ;)

Brody & Kylee on the way home. It's little moments like this that keep me going :]

Thanks again to everyone in Michigan for making our visit everything it was! We love you all and can't wait til' next time!


  1. Great blog, glad you had a good time.

  2. So happy that your kiddos "travel well!" Gives me some hope for the future! Also, the SOLE reason I will never again live up north...BAD mexican food! ;-) Glad you're all home safe and sound!

  3. Well, you did it again Sis! Great blog! And you made me cry! Yes, it was a sweet time in Michigan!

    Love, Sis/Aunt Beth

  4. Aww, such a nice blog! It was awesome having them up there with us. :)

    - John

  5. What a nice blog. I agree with you that Jenn is the sweetest. Jenn, her mom & the babies are coming to my house for some homemade ice cream this week. Can't wait to see them all again.
    BTW I read your blog all the time and enjoy it a lot. My favorite was "4 two year olds and a fly". I laughed so hard has I was reading it to my family. We all kept saying, who is going to put the fly in their mouth first?


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