A Long Day Became a Long Night

Around 12a, on Sunday, January 15, I heard Damon get out of bed and start breathing heavily. Scared he was having a heart attack, I followed him. While it wasn’t a heart attack, Damon wasn’t well. He ran outside the RV and proceeded to throw up.

Once he was done and tried to drink something, we tried to go back to bed. An hour later, he was up again and running outside. This happened almost every hour. And every time he left, I was awake, worried about him.

By morning, we were both exhausted and Damon felt horrible. We made the decision for him to go to the hospital. I’d rather he get better, faster, then try to tough it out.

I spent the day worried out of my mind. On the bright side, the kids were ok. Mini-man watched Curious George, while I played with little-dude and waited for updates.

By early afternoon, we’d learned that he had food poisoning. He was able to get some medication and come back to us, but feeling really weak and fragile.

As we transitioned to evening, Damon told me that we were expecting 70 mph winds in a few hours. So while he watched little-dude, I ran around in the dark with a flashlight trying to collect our stuff and put it away.

Just as everyone was finally asleep and I could try to go to bed, the winds picked up and began to shake the whole RV. I remember my mom telling me once that a tornado sounds like a train coming. I could hear very similar sounds rushing all around us.

Needless to say, I couldn’t fall asleep. My mama-bear instincts kicked in and all I wanted to do was protect my family. I’d rather they be safe than get sleep. Besides, all the noise and rocking made me so nervous. It’s almost like your body knows that you’d wake up at any moment so it won’t let you go to sleep.

I’ve never been more grateful for stabilizers. I don’t think I could have handled this kind of weather in our old unit.

The wind finally subsided around 1a. At this point, I’d been up for more than 24 hours. Just as I was just about to fall asleep, mini-man woke up little-dude.

So instead of sleeping, Damon and I were trying to get the kids to go back to sleep. I finally got little-dude asleep around 2:30a and just collapsed. Unfortunately, an hour later, mini-man woke little-dude up again. I spent the rest of my night trying to keep little-dude asleep.

By morning, I was cold and cranky. It’s hard to stay positive and not feel resentful when you’ve had no sleep or help.

Our original plan was to leave our current campsite and head to our last stop in Texas. However, it would be insane to try to pack and travel after the day we had. Instead, we extended our stay and moved around our next stops.

This turned out to be a very wise decision because, somehow, the rest of us got sick.

It’s been a long few days – being sick with sick kids is no picnic. I can’t wait for all of us to get better. And I REALLY can’t wait to be able to eat again.

First Official Day on the Road in our New RV

Beautiful sunset

Ok, so you’d think wed learn our lesson by now and not try to do a lot in one day … Ya.

After a week of being at the RV repair shop, we were more than ready to hit the road. We’d been told that everything would be done by Monday, after thinking it’s all be done the previous Thursday – all we had left was the trim work and the cooktop.

The missing cooktop finally arrived!

Unfortunately, our cooktop hadn’t been delivered yet, but was due at some point on Monday. Of course, it didn’t arrive until 2p. As promised, it installed quickly and by 3p we were all set.

However, while I thought this meant we could just go, it didn’t. Apparently, we still had to dump our tanks, hook up the car, and refill our propane tanks.

Love cuddling with my boys ❤️

This happened to coincide with the kids naptime and both were melting down. Mini-man desperately wanted his daddy, but Damon had been busy all morning trying to get us ready to leave – something mini-man didn’t understand.

The usually shy mini-man is happy to help when tools are involved 😄

At this point, I was very unhappy with the repair shop. While they were nice and did a nice job repairing everything, not once did they give us a time estimate. They just kept saying it would get done. What really got me was we asked them to order everything ahead of time so it was ready. They didn’t, stating it would only take a day for everything to arrive. Instead, our cooktop took a week and we waited most of the last day for it to be delivered. If they’d ordered when we asked, the delay wouldn’t have happened.

By 4p, we finally hit the road but we didn’t finish our prep work for the inside of the RV. On our first big turn, the fridge door came flying open and food spilled out. Damon stopped to fix it since I’d finally gotten the kids down for naps.

You’d think it be smooth sailing at this point. Unfortunately not. The kids naps last only 30 minutes and both were very cranky for the rest of the trip, which was hard on me since I was going on very little sleep at this point.

Then, as we’re driving, the bunk above the drivers area slowly starts to fall down. We had to stop several times to raise it back up. We later learned we had too much weight on it.

Then, at about 8:30p, we pulled into our campground. We we’re all tired and hungry but we needed to hookup, cook dinner (unfortunately we were 40 minutes from the closest take-out place), and wind down the kids for bed.

What a day! I was more than happy to get to be. And we did learn a few lessons from our first trip

  • We cannot start this late in the day. We need time to set up, play with kids, and eat.
  • We tried to do too much in one day – repairs, breakdown, driving, and setups is too much for one day
  • Be firmer with repair shop on time expectations.
  • It’s much harder to manage both kids at once by myself. In the suburban, Damon could help, at times, with mini-man.

San Antonio – Wrapping Things Up

Dinner with Damon’s parents

Once Phil and Sue left, our time in San Antonio flew by – there was so much we had to get done before we continued our trip. Here’s some of the things we did:

I think he likes the new setup
  • Cleaned the RV
Bye bye Suburban
  • Sold the Suburban
Cleanings a lot harder with kids
  • Organized the trailer
Mini-man was not happy he had to share with little-dude
  • Lots of shopping for supplies!
All ready for Christmas
    • Decorated the RV for Christmas
    Getting in some last minute Christmas lights
      • Visited Elf Acres for their lights
      Rare picture of my boys together
      • Rang in 2018 with a New Year’s Day tradition – watching the Rose Parade

      And all of this had to get done while taking care of an active toddler and a teething baby.

      Gotta swim when you can

      But, it wasn’t all work – we took time to enjoy ourselves, which is a big part of why we are doing things.

      Not feeling well

      By the end of the week, I’d barely gotten any sleep and my headaches we’re getting pretty bad. Unfortunately, for me, we were running out of time and needed to get these things done so we could move on. Just one of the few downfalls of full-time RVing with little kids. 

      Enjoying the RV ❤️

      Hopefully, all of our hard work and new RV will all be worth it in the end and it’ll be the start of a great next leg. Where are we going? Stay tuned!

      San Antonio – Week 3, Part II

      As we headed into the middle of the week, we were all starting to feel better. During our illness, Damon and I started something exciting.

      Our new ride!

      Tuesday: After some research, we found a new RV! A Thor Challenger 37KT. Unlike our travel trailer, this is a class A, which allows us to travel much more comfortably and has much better storage. 

      I like it!

      Excited to be feeling better, we jumped in the car and drove four hours in a small rental car to pick her up. It was a lot of work to to get her, but we did it.

      Playing with the grandparents

      Wednesday: Moving is always a challenge. Add in two kids and a short timeline and it moves to a whole new level. To make things easier, we invited Damon’s parents to visit us and help us move.

      The RiverWalk is beautiful during the holidays

      We met up with them at the San Antonio RiverWalk for som food and discuss what we planned to do the next day.

      So even when we’re sick, we don’t slow down. Now we gotta move.

      San Antonio – Week 2, Part I

      As busy as week 1 was, week 2 seemed even more eventful.

      Hello from the Alamo

      Thursday: another good night’s rest enabled us to do some more exploring. We spent the morning at the playground to give the boys some play time. Then we headed for the famous Alamo.

      Did you know this was originally a church? 

      I have to say, for a city that promotes this fort so much, it really was a let down.  First off, we’d been passing it all week and I had no idea. Second, for all the talk of the Alamo, it was actually a huge defeat for the city, which they try to gloss over.

      What happens when you can’t get any sleep during the night

      After our visit, we headed to the store  to get some stuff for dinner, which turned into a very long walk. While it was tiring, the days activities helped tire out the boys and get them to bed early that night. However, we were met with an unpleasant surprise. Apparently, Thursday night is music night at a nearby restaurant. And. They. We’re. LOUD!

      Keeping him asleep was difficult, to say the least

      I’m all for music but not at 9p on a Thursday night near an neighborhood!! When we complained, they basically said ‘well they’re booked til 11. There’s nothing we can do’. So we called the police to complain. However, we have no idea if it worked as they did stop after 11p. (Not great for my sleep).

      According to a neighbor we met during all this, this happens every week and Fridays are worse, since more restaurants hosts their music nights. Definitely not information that was included on Airbnb when we rented the house.

      So happy to have our baby back

      Friday: Thank goodness our car and RV were ready – I was NOT going to try to get my kids to sleep with so much loud music planned for the evening. So while I spent the morning with the boys (mini-man fell asleep), Damon picked up and delivered our RV back to our RV resort. I’ve never been so happy to see my RV in a long time. 

      Saturday: Even though we just got the RV back to the RV resort, this was our final day. Due to availability, we booked ourselves at two different sites while were in San Antonio. 

      Having fun at Walmart

      So after some morning errands, we spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying our resort.

      We got some cascarones, or confetti eggs, at a local store, which mini-man loved destroying

      Enjoying the pool

      Then we went to the pool, which mini-man adored and little-dude, not so much (he preferred to nap).

      Im ready to drive

      All of these activities added up to early bedtimes for the boys. Good thing, too, since we’re moving in the morning. 

      Sunday: although we had a slow start, we managed to get out of our campsite on time. However, we didn’t realize that most of our path would be blocked by the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon. Slightly annoyed, we had to figure out where we could go while the marathon finished.

      Hanging out while we wait

      Thank goodness for Walmart. There was one accessible and close to our campsite with plenty of parking. We were able to pickup something’s and have lunch while we waited for the roads to clear up.

      Christmas decorations up!

      After setting up and Naptime, we decided to decorate the RV for Christmas.

      While this was happening, little-dude achieved a major milestone – he started crawling!!!

      And, if you can believe it, even more happened during the rest of the week. 

      Visiting SeaWorld San Antonio

      Mini-man’s first visit to SeaWorld San Diego

      SeaWorld has a special place in my heart. I grew up going to the park in San Diego and worked for the Orlando park marketing for many years. So I was very excited to have the opportunity to visit the San Antonio park.

      Some of my favorite SeaWorld memories

      Now before I talk about our visit, I want to make something clear – I support Seaworld. They aren’t perfect, but no company is. As a whole, their efforts help marine animals around the world is incredible. I don’t care if you’ve seen that film. Seeing a 90 minute documentary doesn’t make you an expert. Educating yourself, helping animals, dedicating your life to conservation – that makes you an expert. Which is what SeaWorld is all about – teaching the public how to care for our oceans. Because if we don’t, then we’re in danger of losing a whole, valuable eco-system. Now I will step off my soap box and tell you about our wonderful trip!

      Main entrance to the park

      Unlike her sister parks, SeaWorld San Antonio is a seasonal park. Right now, they are only open on weekends and start letting people in at 1p. Another difference is their entrance plaza. Unlike San Diego and Orlando, all of San Antonio’s parks are next to each other.

      Entrance to SeaWorld

      So when we arrived, we were greeted by a nice, albeit slightly confusing, entrance plaza. 

      Both boys enjoyed the Bay of Play area

      Once we entered the park, the first thing we see is Bay of Play, the kids play area. This is great for us, as we could get the kids out instantly and start playing.

      The comedy styling of Clyde and Seamore

      Next we headed to see everyones favorite sea lions – Clyde and Seamore. I’ve always loved them since I was a child. However, the jokes in the show only made sense to locals, which I guess is their primary audience.

      I. ❤️. 🐧!

      Afterwards we headed to see the penguins, one of the few animal exhibits in the park. I love penguins and felt giddy going through the exhibit. Mini-man even enjoyed seeing the penguins!

      The area outside of Shamu Stadium was beautiful

      At this point, the sun is setting and the Christmas lights are starting to come one. The park was absolutely beautiful covered in 8 million lights. 

      Im super proud of this picture. I’m no photographer, so the fact that this came out makes me really happy.

      Next up, was an impromptu stop to see Shamu’s Christmas Miracle. I’m so glad we stopped. It’s a beautiful show filled with Wonder music. Plus, their staduim wraps around their killer whale pool, giving everyone a nice view of the show. 

      Loved all the lights

      At this point, we we’re all tired, so we started to head towards the front of the park. This worked out well as most of the pathway was lined with Christmas lights. 

      We had a great time and highly recommend visiting the park if you ever get the chance.

      San Antonio – Week 1, Part II

      Our temporary home while the RV was in the shop

      Since our RV was in the shop, we spent the second half of the week in a rental house, near downtown. 

      The famous San Antonio RiverWalk

      Monday: After relaxing in the morning, we decided to take advantage of our proximity to downtown and headed to the RiverWalk. I’ve heard wonderful stories about the RiverWalk, and it did not disappoint – it was beautiful and really lovely place to walk around (although I could imagine it’s not so nice when it’s busy). 

      Happy to get some good Mexican food. Not the greatest I’ve ever had, but still satisfying

      Mini-man fell asleep, so we decided to stop and have some food. It was enjoyable to eat and drink by the river front. The food was good but the service was terrible – we ordered just appetizers, which hadn’t come when I saw another table receive their entree’s, which were ordered after ours. We didn’t get anything until we complained. Super annoying

      Mini-man made himself at home in the rental house. Nice layout, but too big for us

      Tuesday: What. A. Rough. Day. Little-dude hit the peak of teething, so I was up most of the night nursing him. I was exhausted. When I finally got him to sleep, mini-man woke up and started making tons of noise. Resigned to no sleep, Damon and I traded kids – I played with mini-man and he carried little-dude. 

      Little-dude loves playing with the other baby

      But of course, when mini-man got tired, we switched back – mini-man went down for a nap with Damon and little-dude woke up wanting to play. Don’t know how I ended up with the awake child all day. By the end of the day, I was tired and very cranky. Fortunately, Damon and I stopped and talked, which always helps. We eventually got both kids to bed and I managed to catch up on sleep.

      This playground was just a short walk from our rental and was great for mini-man

      Wednesday: This time, everyone got great sleep, which means energy. We took advantage and headed out to play. We found this amazing playground the mini-man loved. Lots of things to touch, splash, climb, and play on. And it was empty! It also gave Damon and me some ideas for a future project. 

      Huge slide!

      Interesting story: while mini-man was playing on the splash pad, some people come by with their dogs and were high on something. They start letting their dogs go into the water (which isn’t allowed), intentionally scaring them, and let them drink the water. I’m an animal person and hate seeing animals harmed, so I mentioned that the dogs could get sick from drinking the water. Two of the group were nice about it, but the third (obviously the dumbest of the group), took offense and started arguing that I was accusing him of mistreating his dog. 

      The playground was so amazing, Damon couldn’t resist playing on it himself

      Luckily, the other two pulled him away before anything could happen, but I really couldn’t believe what was happening and got very upset. I was trying to help and get attacked. I truly feel sorry for the dogs. 
      Fortunately, we didn’t let that little episode ruin our day. We spent the rest of the morning, enjoying the playground. 

      Lovin’ my new clothes

      After a lunch break, we head to the mall for a much needed shopping trip for me. My body’s changed since having two kids and many of my clothes are either maternity or nursing tops. I was ready for some new clothes that fit better but still allowed me to nurse. I feel so much better with my new clothes!

      One week down, four to go and so many more things that we want to do.

      San Antonio – Week 1, Part I

      Welcome to San Antonio

      We’ve been in San Antonio for a full week and a lot has happened. 

      Mini-man didnt care that the water was cold, he went straight in

      Thursday: This is the first stop in a long time that’s had an opened pool. So once we set up, we had to visit, much to mini-man’s delight.

      Watching big brother, who’s almost ready for a bicycle, is fun!

      Friday: A much needed shopping day. After weeks of small towns with small grocery stores, it was wonderful to get back into a Costco and Sam’s Club to stock up on some basic supplies.

      Saturday: We met up with my Uncle Sherif and Aunt Coral for lunch at In-and-Out Burger and enjoyed catching up. 

      Then we took our kids to SeaWorld. With this visit, I’ve officially visited all the SeaWorld parks. Although it’s the smallest, that worked for us since we had two small kids. We enjoyed seeing the lights but wished  there were more animal exhibits. See more in our Visiting SeaWorld San Antonio blog post.

      We love our trailer, but she needed some help

      Sunday: As you may recall, we’ve had some issues with our RV for a while (electrical, water, just a couple of small things) and FINALLY got it into a repair place. The day was rough as both kids had horrible nights and we were all tired and cranky. Luckily, Damon and I regrouped and managed to get our things together and move into a rental house. 

      Fun fact: my dad and Uncle Sherif, one of his best childhood friends, were born on the same day 😄

      After a quick drop off, we headed to my Uncle and Aunt’s house for dinner. It was fun to see them for a few hours and have a delicious meal, prepared by my Uncle. 

      Not quite done!

      All that in just half a week! See what we did during the second half, in our San Antonio, Week 1, part II blog post. 

      Thanksgiving in an RV

      Dinner time

      Since we are traveling to San Antonio in Thanksgiving Day, we decided to have our meal a day early.

      Less space and less time than previous years

      This year is a little different than past Thanksgivings – 1. I have two kids, including a baby 2. My kitchen is much smaller. With these things in mind, I tried to streamline our dinner as much as possible.

      • Turkey: found a 3lb Butterball, pre-seasoned and only takes three hours to cook!
      • Potatoes: found some wonderful instant mash potatoes. Not as good as fresh, but fast and easy to make and still taste.
      • Cranberry sauce: canned, of course!
      • Vegetable: Freah Asparagus
      • Bread: premade from the bakery
      Little-dude loved it!

      In total, I spent about an hour making dinner and the result was an delicious dinner.

      Having fun making ornaments outside while dinner cooks

      With the extra time, I was able to spend time doing arts and crafts with the kids. Nothing amazing was made but we had fun and mini-man discovered an affinity for glitter. 

      Lesson learned: work smarter, not harder.

      Texas Stop #2 – Land of Lights

      During our walk through downtown Corsicana, I learned of a local Christmas light attraction, The Land of Lights. So after our time in Waco, we decided to visit. What we found blew us away – almost two miles of lights, music and vignettes. It was very well done and we all had a great time.