We found out last week that our video had been chosen as a finalist for the show. We only had that time to prepare for our trip, which was unfortunately scheduled for the same weekend as our Baton Rouge trip.
This is how our weekend went down:
On Friday morning we boarded our first of four flights. We had a connection in Dallas, so it was only about an hour flight. AFV bought seats for the 4 babies, Billy, myself and 2 extra adults. We asked Aunt Lainie (Billy's sister) and Ashlyn (good family friend that helps us out ALL the time with the kids) to be our helpers on the trip. The babies were AWESOME on the flights to L.A. and slept a good portion of the time.
Sleeping beauties, Aunt Lainie and Pius
The devilishly handsome Forrest and Billy. Or maybe they're just devilish.
The pretty princesses Ashlyn and Danna (sidenote: Ashlyn and I got asked alot if we were sisters on this trip. Must be the short, dark hair and sideswept bangs.)
Last but not least, Laineman and Mama
When we arrived in Los Angeles, we felt like rock stars because there were suited men in black holding "Graf" signs. Things started going downhill after the chauffeurs helped us with our luggage. I guess in California, they have some sort of law that states parents are responsible for latching in car seats. Well, they brought 4 very different (some older than me) car seats and pretty much said, "Have at it!" After buckets of sweat, curse words that would make a sailor blush and pure frustration, we finally got the kids (who were screaming and hungry by this point) loaded into the 2 vehicles. We arrived at the Manhattan Beach Marriott and got settled. The hotel provided 4 pack-n-play cribs for us, and the babies were ever so grateful. They had hit the proverbial wall and were SO ready for bed.
Saturday morning we lounged around, got the kids fed and bathed and ready to head to the studio by 1:30 p.m. Of course, it took 2 car rides to get all 8 of us there. After meeting the other contestants and the producers, they took us to hair and make-up for any necessary touch ups (Billy was totally not digging this). Then Lainie, Ashlyn and I headed out to the studio audience to watch the show while Billy hung out in the "green room" with the rugrats. He was glad to take baby duty because his brother, Ryno, was constantly sending text updates on the score and time of the Alabama/LSU game. While in the green room, Billy had lots of help from the producers and the other contestants (including their 6 year old daughter who sang to the babies). We weren't allowed out on the stage until all the voting was complete. When it was time, all the contestants marched out onto the set, where we were met with all sorts of oooooh's and aaaaaah's. The babies totally stole the show!
Back in the Green Room after the show (Moni holding Danna, Lainie holding Forrest, Billy holding Pius and Ashlyn holding Laine). Didn't they look so cute all pimped out in their dress, cords and sweater vests?!
We had to sign privacy agreements that will not allow us to reveal the outcome of the show. However, be sure to mark your calendars for Jan 11th so you can see the Graf Quad Squad in action on national T.V.
We finished up with the show around 4:30 p.m. and headed back to the hotel. We had to leave for the airport at 5:45 a.m. the next morning, so after walking around the neighborhood strip mall and eating at Johnny Rockets, we called it an early night.
Sunday went off basically without a hitch. Our flight from LAX to DFW was pretty uneventful. Our flight from DFW to Wichita went fairly smooth with the exception of Lucifer, uhhhh, I mean Forrest acting up. Ashlyn was the sucker that ended up holding him. Despite Forrest's fussiness at the end, the babies were SO good. We got comments from people on all the flights about how well they did and some said they didn't even know there were babies on the plane! They were such dolls at the show that the host, Tom Bergeron, told us they were the most well-behaved kids he's ever had on! How's that for a compliment. Good job, babies!
Gramma Vicki and GG Bucko picked us up from the airport. We came home to a delicious pot roast dinner from Bucko and a clean house with laundry done by my mom and dad. Those two even got my tulip bulbs planted while we were away! Thank you also to cousins Steph and Cole for bringing over lots of kick-a** baby books and a HUGE train table, complete with tracks and trains! I'm sure Eason had a hard time parting with it. Be sure to tell him that the babies were IN AWE over it!
I'm sure we missed a bunch of details, so feel free to ask questions and I'll try to get them answered (either in the comment section or a new post). I'm pooped.
Moni and Billy