05 August 2013

The NE Preemie Pen Pal Convention

That makes it sound so official, right? Well, we're kind of a big deal. Preemie Pen Pals has been together for two years now! We formed during the midst of NICU shock and have become best friends...the forever-kind. We're pretty widespread, though. I mean there are a couple Canadians so one could say we're an international sensation. If something happens, we're virtually there for each other like I never knew possible. We have plans to buy an island but until then we just had our regional get-togethers (except for the west coast cuz they're so
slowlaid back).

NE Preemie Pen Pals
NE Preemie Pen Pals[

Here's how the Northeast Regional P3 went for me, Aly, and our littles:

It was one of those grey mornings meant to sleep in but instead you're up early herding absurd amounts of things you might need while away for one night. It's a lot! I even had to consider winter wardrobe accessories because hotels are always FREEZING and I chill easily to the point where my extremities turn blue and then go numb...so legwarmers and a scarf was a must. I took a light cardigan instead of a heavy sweater (mistake!) but also brought sunblock and swimsuits. Snacks. But like 10 different snacks because what will they be in the mood for? YOU NEVER KNOW!

Finally we were all in a sweet rented mini-van and cruising out to West Haven, Conn. Why there? Haven't you heard?? Well, of course not. It was the calculated equidistant point between everyone coming. However we forgot to include variables like traffic and major cities that needed to be passed. So the bulk of this tale is: Stephanie & Aly in traffic while Tristan and Paddy alternate losing their marbles and a happy baby blows bubbles and smiles in the back.

First stop: a museum in New Haven with themed rooms! Totally missed it. By hours.

First stop: DENNY'S!

I can't tell you the last time I went to a Denny's so it was pretty awesome. All these ladies and miracle babies and where do we meet for the first time? Under the slanted-roof and over the elegant green carpet of a chain-diner to order food items that contain the word SLAM in it. Perfect.

Next, we went across the street to Best Western where we used their POOL! What's funny (funnier?) is I already knew what everyone's swim suit would look like cuz we all check with each other before/after any purchase to be sure - like the sorority sisters we are. Does this suit make my butt look big? Should I get this in blue or green? I don't know we have to see and vote. BLUE!


We're a marketing goldmine. One chick found ant traps that really work! and another found ugly black soap but is good for your skin. skin pads that clear up blackheads. sippy cups. cars...CARS! strollers. baby carriers. sales. EVEN STATIONARY.

It's why I firmly believe that the best reviews come from people you trust. Those ant traps were AMAZING! Our ant problem was taken care of within 24 hours (Terro liquid traps in case you're curious).

So we had a cool pool party with the babes. It was Tristan's first time seeing a pool and he hasn't been into baths lately so I was skeptical. But I sang him some Aquabats to get pumped like any good punk mom would and while he was skeptical at first by the end he was laughing while he back-floated and I twirled him in circles.

It was a cool pool party!
It was a cool pool party!

Later (but not too much later) while our suits were all drip-drying in the showers we met in the hallway with our plastic room cups, wine, bottles of milk and formula, smartphones, and the stay-up late party kids. Tristan ran the hall like it was The Shining and made friends with the neighbors which was helpful because we might have been a little louder than we meant to be...but we're moms so we had our wine and got to bed by midnight.

Bottles and bottles...and Tristan with a plastic cup of bubble water. Class.

Disclaimer there were monitors or adults keeping watch in every room.

Oh my gosh - it was so fun. It was the ultimate dormitory experience. The Southern Girls were having their regional get together that same night so we sent videos back and forth. It was like we were all 13 and 21 at the same time.

Then it was bedtime. Tristan did a great job and just wanted to cuddle all night. I ate it up. Chance to cuddle with my boy? YES! also he was very warm and I was freezing! Even in my giant fluffy socks and thermal top!

Morning? Aw yeah, DENNY'S! YOU KNEW IT! I know you did.

We grand slammed some more and then got our sleepyheads on the road.

Buildings and bridges...theme song. But add traffic. and tunnels.
Buildings and bridges...what doesn't bend, breaks.

That is where Aly & Me Go Highway Crazy Part II begins...our dudes had a growling contest. The baby smiled and blew bubbles in the back. We talked...and yeah, we could even laugh about it. WE TOTALLY WENT TO WEST HAVEN CONNECTICUT TO GO TO DENNY'S AND A BEST WESTERN POOL! Hahahaha WHO DOES THAT?! Preemie Pen Pals do that and........................we'll do it again.

One day we'll have that international meet up but until then I know what everyone's had for dinner and have seen what's in the Look Book for fall outer wear. Trendsetters. Don't blink.

For another version of this gathering check out Hydrobabies! Joanna's writing all about it, too. Oh, and I bet one of those southerners will, too. I'll keep Y'ALL posted. LOVE TO MY BABES & BABES!

Wanna know how to start a cool preemie support group, too? Here you go! As our kids have grown so have we - it's not really preemie-focused now. It's P3-BFF-focused. We got through the scariest moments of our lives together and now we drink wine from plastic cups in motel hallways, have a book and fitness club, discuss our kids quirks, send surprise mail and yes, occasionally revisit and support each other through lingering preemie issues. I don't know where I'd be without them.

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