A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Whistler

It was inevitable. Everything had gone relatively smoothly up until we set foot on the plane. We were on our way to Whistler to cheer Mike on at Ironman Canada. We had left the house on time, didn’t have to rush to unload the suitcases and car seats at the RTD station and parking was easy. Some things were out of our hands though. The RTD driver was very slow and methodical while loading luggage into the storage area (or perhaps it was resentment) so right off the bat we were running 15 minutes behind schedule. We had to cross the entire terminal to get to our airline’s counter to check our luggage in. Still, we made it with minutes to spare and no real problems arose. Until we made it to our seats on the plane.

Cooper already had one of his coughs in progress. He had a fever a couple of days before and anytime this kid gets sick, a cough ensues and lasts the next 5-7 days. Expecting this chain of events to occur during our travel out of the country, we started the usual nebulizer treatment right away and brought enough medication to last throughout our trip. As we got settled into our seats, the kids demanded their morning snack. Just as the cabin doors were getting ready to close for take-off, Cooper started in on a coughing fit. A pretty bad one. So bad, in fact, he caught the attention of the flight attendants (and everyone else on board, I assume) as he began to gag and cough out his food. Out came the air sickness bag. Out came the huge plastic cover they put on seats when a bad mess has occurred. Concerned flight attendants decided to call for the Customer Service Representative where they assessed our situation and deemed us as too risky to fly. We were asked to deplane and told we would not be able to fly together until we returned with a note from a doctor giving Cooper the all-clear.

While waiting for the paramedic, Mike and I tried to determine our next course of action. Which overbooked flight should we attempt to get on? Should Mike go on without us? What if Cooper actually required a hospital stay? What if the kids and I did not go at all? None of these questions had good answers. The biggest hurdle was that we were not flying anywhere near Whistler. Our flight was to Seattle (originally arriving nice and early) and then we were going to drive the 4+ hours up to Whistler. Separating onto different flights would actually create more hassle.

The airport paramedic finally arrived and called off the firefighters (!) once he could see we were not requiring their emergency services. I’m fairly certain NO one wants to see a team of firefighters burst through a set of authorized personnel-only doors at an airport but it’s even more alarming when you know they were called because of you. This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I’m not entirely sure what the paramedic’s role was in this whole scenario but ultimately, he served as a strong proponent of having an ambulance take us to Children’s Hospital in case there was a more serious situation we were not aware of yet. In all fairness, Cooper had stopped his coughing fit but he still had not bounced back and looked a little peaked so there was still some concern for his health in our since-it’s-Cooper experienced eyes. Since we did not drive our own car to the airport and our car seats were in the belly of a plane that had long departed towards Seattle, we all hitched a ride in the ambulance.

I do have to say that in the event you should ever require ambulatory service from the airport, be prepared to receive admittance through all of the authorized personnel-only doors. If there was a ever a high point of the day, this was it!

I’ll fast forward through the rest of the day and just give the highlights. Cooper was checked out, his oxygen levels were good, and the doctors rolled their eyes at everyone from the airline personnel to the airport paramedic but thankfully took us seriously enough to give Cooper the next level of treatment, an oral steroid, to take with us to Canada. As we were to find out, it would take completing that entire steroid treatment regimen until he got noticeably better. We would have been on pins and needles the entire time we were out of the country so perhaps the universe was telling us something.

Free to fly!

Free to fly!

With doctor’s note in hand, we took a taxi back to the airport later that afternoon and caught an evening flight to Seattle. We resigned to stay in Seattle that night instead of trying to push through but it was still midnight by the time we got to the hotel. We had a restless night’s sleep in the tenth hotel that I called that had the only vacancy in town and we started anew the next morning.

At the end of a terrible, no-good, very bad travel day

At the end of a terrible, no-good, very bad travel day

The rest of the trip was mostly without drama and turned out to be a pretty amazing trip. We were able to catch up with some old Boulder friends in Vancouver after the race although we did not nearly have as much time together as we thought. This was such a unique journey in so many different ways but I think we’ll keep our feet on the ground for the rest of the year!

May Photo Highlight

Welcoming Winter

It started off a little like this:

And then it got a little bit more interesting:

Oh yeah, and then there was Christmas:

Introduction to Disneyland

I don’t even know how we made it happen. It started off as a half-joking invitation from one of my best friends who was planning to take her daughter (and Maxon’s dear friend) back to Disneyland as a last hurrah before their international move. Of course, my knee-jerk reaction was “no” but slowly turned to the reply, “why not?” We could keep it super easy by leaving our too-young, higher-maintenance, second-born children at home with their very capable fathers. We could split a room to reduce lodging costs. And the big kids would have a fabulous time together, as they always do. And so we did.

It was not without several obstacles. The first being a mental one for me. Neither Mike nor I had ever been to Disneyland and Mike and I are very gung-ho about family trips. We have also had our fair share of travel this past year, both as a family and on our own. This was not in the budget and the whole family was not going to be together for what is probably considered a milestone. The second was that we managed to miss our outgoing flight because neither adult was paying attention to the clock or the layout of the concourse. We missed it by mere minutes [insert expletive]. We booked ourselves on another flight and tried to move forward. However, the missed flight had a domino effect and ended up creating a headache for the return flight home [insert at least two expletives]. Luckily, it all got resolved before we even set foot back in the airport. Of course, as we were merrily rolling our way home from the airport, patting ourselves on a well-executed Disney vacation, a tire went flat at 70 mph. Of course it did [expletives: many]. Let’s just say we were able to get roadside assistance not long after we had pulled over and got home safe and sound shortly after.

And we all lived happily ever after.

Halloween 2014

I actually had a lot of fun doing Halloween this year. Both kids were into the whole costume thing, the weather was fantastic, and it was on a Friday to boot! Granted, Maxon and I had to be up at 5:30am the next morning to head out to this little place called Disneyland… but that’s a whole other story.

The first part of the Halloween festivities was trolling Pearl Street’s Munchkin Masquerade. In short, they invite the entire town of Boulder’s children to trick-or-treat at participating stores and restaurants along 3 city blocks. It’s chaos. Hordes of people, way too many wide strollers, and loads of candy-grubbers, some being adults sending their toddlers into the fray for specific candy. We spent our 30 minutes at the least busy part of the madness and when their purposely-tiny Halloween bags were full, we headed home.

We got home in time to ready the house for potential trick-or-treaters. We live in a kid-friendly area but we don’t usually see very many trick-or-treaters at our house yet we are ready for an onslaught at any time (read: I buy way too much candy. And I only buy what I like. Win-win.) We invited some friends over to trick-or-treat with us and armed with flashlights and glow sticks, we headed out to storm the neighborhood. At least, one block on either side of our house.

I didn’t have to carry a single kid. The children remembered their “trick-or-treats” and “thank yous”. Costumes stayed intact. The flashlights were a hit. Let’s do it again next year!

The aftermath

The aftermath

At the Dentist

It was Maxon’s third visit and Cooper’s very first visit. Cooper actually held it together very well. He was very cooperative and didn’t cry at all. He had the benefit of watching Maxon go first so he knew what to expect. Maxon actually had a tougher time this time but I think it was due to getting X-rays done before his cleaning which made him hit his limit early. The poor thing was also by himself with the hygienist during the X-rays since a certain little brother required a smelly diaper change. I still think they were both brave little boys!

End of Summer Days

It’s been great having you here. See you next time!

And in case we forgot how coordinated Maxon can be, check this new trick out: