The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Jersey, The Big Apple, and a tummy bug...

  After two days on the road with two little ones, our friend's home was a very welcome sight.  As we pulled into Chris and Emily's driveway, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Home away from home, at least for four to five days.  We had a lovely evening briefly catching up, and making plans for the next day.  We decided to take it easy, hit a few local sights, and save the big city for Friday and Saturday.  The Bryan family retired to the upstairs of the home, and all attempted to get a little sleep before our big vacation really got started.

   The next day was spent outside at Van Saun Park.  Sandra had already informed me that it was a great family friendly sight in NJ, and luckily, it was only 15 minutes from where we were staying.  Chris had graciously taken a few days off from work to be our tour guide and was ready to head out first thing.  I was still in shock, looking for a coffee pot.  Molly and Colin do not make great sleeping buddies to say the least.  If I get out with only a few bruises and a concussion after sharing a bed with them, I count myself lucky.  Of course, for some  reason, we traveled 900 miles north, but the Georgia heat followed us.  The temp outside was expected to reach triple digits while we were in town.  Awesome, perfect sight seeing weather.  We load into the car, and I pry myself between the two car seats in the back.  I am unable to get to the seat belt, but sadly, I think I will be fine.  If we are in an accident, there is no way that I will be thrown from the vehicle.  My shoulder and right breast are wedged behind Molly's car seat so tightly, I am wondering if I will be able to get back out.  Our first stop was an awesome playground.  Of course, due to the temp, the kids only played for a few minutes before complaining that the slides and bars were "too hot."  We decide to head into the Bergen County Zoo.  The kids had a blast checking out the animals, playing in the sprinklers, and simply chasing each other around.
   That evening, we visited a local restaurant famous for their giant pancakes.  The food was indeed giant and yummy.  That was actually the child sized pancake that Colin was attempting to eat in the above photograph.
  By the end of the day, Molly was starting to get kind of fussy, but I didn't think too much about it.  By that night, she had a fever of 103. I gave her Motrin, and hoped that our day in the city would not be ruined by a sick child.  In the morning, Molly still was not herself, but I thought we could give NYC a shot.  With a drugged Molly, 95+degree temps, and our fabulous tour guides in tow, we hit the city.  We drove about 20 minutes to a train station, caught a train into the city, and then used the subway and our feet to get around the rest of the day.  We grabbed some New York Pizza on the run, made our way to Times Square, ventured into a giant Toys R Us, and we were marveled by all of the sights and sounds around us.  The kids looked overwhelmed to say the least.  Neither one of them made a single attempt to get out of the stroller. We all know that is highly unusual at the age of 3 and 4 y/o.  For once, Molly seemed to have an appropriate fear of her surroundings...or maybe it was just the lingering fever and the illness still to come.  We took the subway over to The Museum of Natural History and Central Park, but a huge thunderstorm came out of no where.  The storm passed relatively quickly, but Molly had hit her breaking point.  She was snuggly, and getting warmer by the minute.  I decided we needed to call it a day.  We had plans to return to Central Park the next day to meet friends that live in the city, so I consoled myself with the fact that we would be back soon enough.
   That night, the vomiting started.  Molly was sick as a dog, and Colin had a very mild temp as well.  I spent the entire night huddled in a "sick bed" with my pitiful daughter.  When I asked her if anything hurt, she said "yes Mommy, everything...just be with me please."  My heart broke for sweet little girl.  Tummy bugs are the worst. I attempted to keep our sick, contaminated children away from Chris and Emily's two small babies.  They have twins.  Quinn and Avery, who are 11 month old girls.  It was bad enough my daughter was throwing up all over their towels, the last thing they needed was for me to share the viral love with their little ones.  Luckily, Molly was more than happy to stay upstairs, hug pink wankie, and watch TV.  Colin's fever seemed to pass without much fanfare at all.  I was incredibly grateful that the vomiting was limited to one child.  We had to cancel our second day in NYC, but by the evening, Molly perked up enough to have few bites of dinner, and then she went back upstairs to "rest" some more.  It was her quickest recovery from a stomach bug ever.  Only 24 hours of vomiting...not bad for my professional puker.  And, she only managed to yarf on their carpet one time. new favorite word for vomiting.  Combination of barf and yak.  I think I made it up myself, but I am sure someone else has used it before.  Colin and the babies spent time playing in the water outside while Molly hung back and took it easy.  Something tells me the girls would like for Colin to get out of their pool :)  Not sure there was nearly enough room for him to join in the water play time.
  After a brief side trip to Nyack to see some extended family, it was time to think about heading home.  We seriously considered heading into the city to see some more sights, but due to a massive parade for PRIDE weekend, we decided it was just better to leave NYC for the next trip.  I just couldn't imagine attempting to navigate the city in those kinds of crowds.  Not to mention the inappropriate costumes and floats that I might have to explain to the kids...Sadly, it was nearing time to go back to Atlanta.  Of course, now that the temp had dropped back into the 70's and 80's.  I am still confused by some of the strange laws in NJ...For instance, it is against the law to pump your own gas.  When I asked Emily, a NJ native, "Why can't you pump your own gas?"  Her response "Well, because it is against the law." Again I ask "No, I get that it is against the law, but why is it against the law?"  Emily "Well, I don't know, it just is. It has been that way forever."  Strange...I asked Sandra when I got back to Georgia about it as well.  I got the exact same I was the one that said something odd.  Oh well.  I am just going with that this southern girl just doesn't get it...I suppose I should be glad to let someone else pump my gas, but it just seemed odd.  Other than that, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by people in the city.  I have lived in the South the majority of my life.  I have always been told to expect people to be rude, and unwilling to help, that Southern hospitality should not be expected up North, especially in NYC.  Not only did I find that people were willing to hold the doors on the train for my family, they offered helping hands to my kids, and frequently helped us lug our stroller onto the subway or train we were attempting to board.  More than once, some one put out a protective arm to keep my child or our stroller from crossing the street when it was unsafe.  This kind of stuff was not at all what I was expecting.  Just goes to show you that not everything you hear is true.
   We left Monday morning planning to drive the 900 miles straight through.  Needless to say, we stopped overnight in Blacksburg to see our friends Dave and Paul again.  It was just too much togetherness for this family.  We needed a break, and the boys had adopted a new puppy while we were in New Jersey.  After some puppy snuggles, a six pack of beer for the men, some chocolate for me, yet another "poop labor session" with Colin, and a slap happy Molly, we were able to get a little rest, and hit the road first thing in the morning.  The second  half of the trip was slightly better than the first half of the return trip.  At least we managed to avoid any "Code Browns" on the way home.  As I walked through my front door, I enjoyed the sights and smells of a fabulously clean home.  I had Anne come and clean while we were gone.  Best...Treat...Ever.  Sadly, it only lasted for a few hours with my crew around.  Today, I have already cooked two meals and messed up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher and washed dishes twice, and the washer and dryer have been running since we came home.  The carpet is covered in toys and dog fur all over again.  But for a few brief was clean.  Now, it is time to head back into work for the weekend :( Actually, a shift at the hospital with an angry, laboring woman sounds much easier than 900 miles in the car with my kids...

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