Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Great Christmas Adventure Part I


The packages were mailed last week--Kelly’s to a secret location in Las Vegas so she can’t peek. Larry vacuumed the house, I emptied the dishwasher, the refrigerator is stocked with food, and the cat and dog also have a supply of food, litter, and treats. The dog is looking forlorn, the cat is fretting, and we are on our way. Grandma and grandpa are going to spend Christmas with Kelly, Kyle and baby Kyler. Michael is staying home to take care of the animals--our babies.

It’s been 2 ½ months since I have seen Kyler and he is no longer a tiny fragile baby in the hospital NICU unit. He is thriving, growing, gaining weight, very precious and his pictures don’t do him justice. We are hours away from Las Vegas--Christmas lights like only Vegas can do.

Trying to think healthy as we begin our two week vacation, I bought sandwiches to eat on the plane and avoided all the snacks and candy. Arriving days before Christmas will mean more than enough of eating out, over-eating, or both. Larry read one of his book he downloaded on his Kindle and I cat napped for most of the airplane ride. I couldn’t really drop off to sleep because I was so excited to see my daughter, my son-in-law, and grandbaby. Kelly is such a good mom and has become an expert on what a preemie needs to stay healthy. Kyle is working 12 hour days so having him get us through the security gate at the Nellis Air Force Base may be the extent of visiting with him until Christmas.

We were on the tarmac, taxing to the terminal, luggage, and rental car: we had reserved a full size but they gave us an upgrade to a Mercury grand marquis. This is a huge car, but so much space for the luggage in the trunk and a baby seat if we needed to use it. Next stop the Stratosphere to check in, drop off our luggage and head north. We have a room with a view of the strip, well sort of, with all the building going on, new condo tower blocks the old view, but it is a nice room.

Kelly met us at the gate to sign for our passes and then back to the house. Kyle was asleep but got up to give us hugs and kisses before we sent him back to bed. Baby Kyler had been sleeping with dad so he was drowsy so I held him for the very first time, gave him a kiss, and then we went back to our hotel.


Kelly called about 8:00 AM to say she was on her way to the hotel. Kelly and baby Kyler arrived with everything Larry and I would need to care of Kyler while Kelly went to her hair appointment. Larry went to get Starbucks coffee downstairs and the moment Kelly closed the door to our hotel room, Kyler snuggled up on my shoulder, closed his eyes, and went to sleep. I propped myself up on the bed with lots of pillows behind me and pulled up a blanket and enjoyed holding my grandson. Larry returned and we drank coffee, talked, and watched the news all the while baby Kyler slept on. Kelly came back about 11:00 AM to find Kyler still asleep. We packed up a few things and headed to NAFB.

Larry and I spent the afternoon at Kelly and Kyle’s home. Kelly fixed lunch and Kyle came home to join us on his break. Then it was back to work for Kyle and Kelly took a nap. I fed Kyler and then he napped on my shoulder. This was a luxury for Kelly and something we could do for her. Larry and I spent the afternoon reading, talking, watching T.V. as we took turns holding a sleeping baby.

Kelly fixed dinner and I held Kyler. Someone needed to hold him, and it should be me! Kyle was off duty and arrived home to visit before Kelly took us back to the hotel. The base is on drill and tonight there was only one way in and one way out. The puzzle was to figure out what maze of streets we needed to maneuver around to find that entrance and exit.

For most of the day I held a baby, my grandson, on my shoulder, or in my arms. Sleeping peacefully and loved more than he will ever know. So tiny and yet almost 6 pounds bigger than the last time I saw him in the hospital 2 ½ months ago. From 2 pounds 15 ½ pound on 9-1-09 to almost 10 pounds today.


7:30 AM wide awake and ready to go. Breakfast: Starbucks coffee, scones, oatmeal, and bananas. I am the room service delivery person for Larry.

Off to Bass Pro for Santa pictures with Kelly, Kyle, and Kyler. We went through the Silverton Lodge, watched the divers feed the fish in the floor to ceiling aquarium. We got our time slot for pictures with Santa and then Kelly, Kyle and Larry had a little competition at the shooting gallery. We did some window shopping and then it was time for pictures. Kelly and Kyle also sat on Santa and Mrs. Clauses lap.

Back to the house where we left baby Kyler with Kyle and we went grocery shopping. This was one very full shopping cart when we finally checked out. Good thing we had the oversized trunk to put it all in.

Kelly and Kyle went out for dinner and Larry and I babysat while the kids had date night. Kyler slept on.


7:30 AM wake up call. Kelly is sick and needs to go to the doctor so I left Larry asleep and went to take care of Kyler.

 Baby asleep

 Laundry started

 Dishwasher started

 Laundry folded

 Baby awake

 Baby changed

Kelly came home and she napped with baby Kyler while I went back to get Larry to do some shopping. Larry and I stopped at Sunrise Hospital NICU to leave a thank you card from us and the kids, and a box of chocolates as a thank you for caring for baby Kyler and helping his parents through a very stressful three months.

We stopped in at H-D Vegas to do a little shopping, more grocery shopping, and then back to Kelly’s. I snuck over to Marissa’s house to pick up the Christmas Eve presents. Larry fixed prime rib, salad, shrimp, and French bread; Marissa and Brian joined us for dinner. While Larry cooked, I held Kyler and the bigger kids decorated Christmas cookies that I had previously made and shipped.

With dinner done, Kelly and Marissa had a surprise planned for us. We took two cars to go and see the Christmas lights in the North West part of the city. We tuned the radio to 94.9, backed in the vehicles and listened to the music and watched the light show on a very well decorated house. This was an unexpected treat and I am glad Kelly knew about it.

Back to the house to open Christmas Eve presents. What could they be? Pajamas! Surprise!

Time for Larry and me to go home to our hotel.


9:00 AM Kelly called and by 9:30 AM we were on our way. First we made a stop at Marissa and Brian’s house to pick up the rest of the packages where they had been stored for a week without Kelly knowing. Sorry Marissa, I’ll find a new place next year so Kelly won’t bug you. It was fun to spoil Kyle, Kelly, and Kyler. There were some personal items, things for the house, lots of clothes for Mr. Kyler, and books, board games, and things for the “man cave”.

The kids gave Larry and me a frame filled with photos of baby Kyler. There could not have been a more perfect present.

Kelly had bought a ham and Larry had the cooking duties. The menu was ham, biscuits, yams, green bean casserole, shrimp, salad, olives, Boston cream pie, Banana cream pie (when you are told you are buying Boston and find out when you get home it is Banana, we have to buy the right one, even if you have way too much desert for 7 people), and a birthday cake for Jesus, since this is the reason for the season to celebrate.

Kelly and Kyle took a mid-afternoon nap while Larry worked in the kitchen and I held Kyler. Okay I didn’t hold him all day because he was no longer sleeping at night because he wanted someone to hold him. I put Kyler in his bouncy seat and did laundry.

Marissa, Brian, and another friend of Kyle’s from work, Thise, joined us for dinner. There was so much food leftover! Split pea soup with ham, broccoli and ham casserole, egg and ham omelets, they may have to freeze some. The boys retired to the “man cave” to play poker, the girls played monopoly in the dining room, and I snuggled up on the sofa with Kyler.

It’s a wonderful life!

Michael called this morning and opened his last present while we talked on the speaker phone. It was the black bowler hat he had wanted and he seemed pleased. Michael was going to spend the day and have dinner with friends.

Jim called and we had a nice visit; he will drive down to my moms and spend a day with us when we get to California. Christmas again!

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