So I’m old and everyone, including my gyno, knows it. Most of the time I don’t have a problem with it, however I felt my age during an…”incident” this week.
It was an exhausting week. As a new Math Coach I was able to participate in our district’s process for writing math curriculum. It turned out to be much more intense mentally than I had anticipated. Considering this was my first time writing curriculum, that’s no surprise since I didn’t know what to expect in the first place. After our second day of writing, I went home for a couple of hours but had to leave for an evening meeting since I’ve recently become an Thirty-One independent sales consultant. I began my weary trek back home around 9 pm when I remembered I needed to stop for spray paint.
I figured I would just make a quick stop at my local Wal-Mart, pick up what I need and be on my way. I won’t even go into how I got “lost” in the school supply aisles…but somehow that constantly happens at this time of year…which is why I ended up finally checking out at nearly 10 pm.
There I was at 10 pm after an exhausting day in the check out line at Wal-Mart. I was in my summer mommy clothes, glasses instead of contacts, hair tangled and starting to look greasy…basically I was rocking my summer hobo look and probably should have been nominated for one of those “Women of Wal-Mart” calendars. You’re welcome for that image.
A teenage boy was the unfortunate cashier charged with ringing up my items. As he scanned my 4 spray paint bottles a series of beeps sounded. He smiled and explained that the beeps sound to alert him to make sure the person purchasing spray paint is 18 or older. I half jokingly replied, “Oh, I’m nowhere near 18 anymore.” He promptly replied, “Oh, yes, I can tell.”
SERIOUSLY!? I couldn’t let that one go. I used my mom voice, looked right at him and said, “Honey, the appropriate response is, ‘Ma’m you don’t look a day over 18. May I please see your ID?” I could tell he was super flustered as he mumbled and his face turned beet red. As he handed me my bags he said, “Actually, you look like you’re 21.” I thanked him, took my purchases, and went on my way. I think he learned a valuable lesson about women that night.
So, it turns out I apparently have a death wish. Ok, ok…not quite. However, I believe the phrase, “glutton for punishment” applies to me now. So remember how I went ahead and decided to become an
Olympian runner? I ran (and I use the term “ran” loosely) a 5K back in the beginning of June. Apparently insanity confidence is a side effect of running and I decided I could totally complete a Spartan Race. In fact, when my buddy over at Pink Runner decided to offer a giveaway for a free race, I was filled with insanity excitement and was the first to comment and enter the drawing for the race on her blog. Turns out…I won!
First, I was super excited that I won. I mean, everyone wants to be a winner, right? Then, I was overwhelmed by intense fear. I’m no athlete! What was I thinking?! Finally the intensity of the fear subsided (it’s still there…just not quite as intense) and I’m kind of looking forward to it. I mean, it’s forcing me to set some goals to train for it. (Note: By “train for it” I mean “come up with a plan to survive.”)
One thing I know for sure…I need some support! So first and foremost, I know I’ll be blogging about this adventure and hopefully you’ll be encouraging me along the way. Secondly, I’m hoping (praying, begging…) that there are a least a couple of you out there who want to
carry my body across the finish line run beside me and cross the finish line with me to show your support. Pretty please? With a cherry on top? Just think about it…you have some time…I’m thinking I’m going to do the July 12th, 2014 race in Palmerton, PA. We could even start budgeting now and make a weekend of it…celebrate our survival accomplishment! Won’t that be FUN!?!
In any case, be prepared for some updates of how this clumsy diva attempts to bring out her inner SPARTAN. ROAR!!! (Did that sound Spartan-y? Ah well…baby steps.)
The other day I stopped to pick up a few groceries. As I waited in line, I noticed the lady in front of me place a box of those frozen peanut butter and jelly crustless sandwiches on the check out belt. You know the ones I’m talking about…
As she piled her other groceries around that purple box, I smiled to myself. She had given up. I’ve been there. Haven’t we all? I mean, she was paying over $2.00 for 4 small crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I am not judging her by any means. If we were able to allot more money to our budgeted “food money” then I’d probably stock up on those babies. I get it. I’ve given up too. Thankfully my kids are still unable to tell you exactly how many nights they’ve eaten frozen waffles (yes, I toasted them…slightly…) and pretzels for dinner. The Gorilla watches videos on the iPad more than I care to admit right now. (We had to find a way to sleep in past 5:30 am!) And Binxy may or may not be learning to count…thanks to Sesame Street and Sesame Street alone. (*gasp* But she’s a TEACHER! – you) (Oh calm down…I’m a human mother too! – me)
How have you given up as a parent?
Thankfully when I broke the news to the Gorilla and the rest of my family that Pop Pop was demanding dinner before shopping, they were only mildly irritated and there were no earth-shattering meltdowns. The Gorilla refused to sit still or eat his dinner, but we made it and finally at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time) we found a Target and purchased the Thomas Shark Exhibit. Success!
The next few days were a whirlwind of activities…
…dressing up (Big Daddy Byron & me)…
…attending a wedding…
Though we really did have a lot of fun, doing these things was far from easy. Our toddlers didn’t care that we were in Arizona, at a hotel, or trying to chat with family we hadn’t seen in years. They wanted what they wanted NOW. But we survived and on the 15th, we began the long trip home.
I woke up and did not feel well at all. I was focused on not vomiting anywhere in public so I didn’t look very nice as I really didn’t care what I looked like as long as there were no bodily fluids spewing from me. (Vomiting after waking up? Is she PREGNANT?! – you) (ABSOLUTELY NOT. No, I am not pregnant! – me) After we returned the rental cars and made it through security we headed to our gate. I was feeling slightly better but still weak when another female passenger caught my eye, looked me up and down, made a face and rolled her eyes at me. She clearly conveyed her message that my hobo look was not welcome in her presence. Thankfully (for her) I was weak and not in the mood to put her in her place. Thankfully (for me) another stranger would do an act of kindness that completely cancelled this out near the end of our trip!
The two flights home were a little easier than the first two since the Gorilla and Binxy knew what to expect. They weren’t happy about having to sit in one spot for 2-3 hours at a time, but they were a little less vocal about their displeasure. By the time we reached Baltimore at 11:00 p.m. Pennsylvania time, we were all tired, grouchy, and not looking forward to the hour and a half drive from the airport to our home.
During the last 15 minutes of the flight, Binxy had fallen asleep in my arms. I carried her off the plane and to the baggage claim area where I found a bench to settle down on while everyone else went to collect our luggage.
I was really cherishing this time with my sleeping angel. You see, since she is such a good sleeper and has never slept with us, only in her crib, I never really get to see her sleep…especially not in a well lit area where I can really look at her. She. Is. Gorgeous. I was relishing in the fact that the little angel in my arms was my baby when I felt a hand on my knee. I looked up and there was another mom, unknown to me, though I recognized her from our flight as we had made eye contact and smiled as we were boarding a few hours before. She was maybe 5 or 10 years older than me, and she was smiling yet again. I saw her little (and big) ones walk past with her husband and she said, “You’re a trooper mom. You’re doing a great job. I know how it is traveling with kids and you’re doing fine. Go home and get some rest, you deserve it.” And then she walked away.
I am not someone who cries easily so I did not cry. But I did have tears in my eyes which is significant. This total stranger from our flight took the time to stop by and tell a haggard looking mom (me) that she’s doing a good job. I was really touched and grateful that God sent this woman my way with this particular message at a time when I really needed it.
Before I knew it my family was ready to go with our bags. We hopped on the wrong bus and headed to the daily parking garage instead of the long-term parking lot. Finally we got on the right bus which was PACKED. The driver was a tough lady who was not taking anyone’s crap even though there were some rude people on the bus who were making comments about her. (Apparently everyone was irritated and ready to get home.) As we entered and couldn’t find seats she demanded that someone give their seat up for me since I was still holding a sleeping Binxy (who was beginning to wake), and a very nice lady did so immediately. By the time we reached our stop, Binxy had fully woken and peed through her diaper all over me and no one could remember exactly where the van was. Needless to say there was some
yelling and profanity discussion about where the van was and what we were doing. At long last, my dad located the van, Big Daddy Byron changed Binxy, we loaded up and took off. And hour and a half later, we were home, sweet home. By 2 a.m. I had changed out of my urine soaked clothes (thanks Binxy!) and we finally fell asleep in our bed. AMEN!
It definitely wasn’t our most relaxing vacation but it was memorable. And that’s what vacations are all about…making memories!
(If you’re just tuning in and need to read Part 1 of our Vacation with Toddlers, you can find it here.)
So we left the Tucson airport feeling relieved that we survived (barely) the 2 flights there. We hopped in our Dodge Charger, cranked up the AC, and began the journey to our hotel which was a resort. Our relief was short-lived though as I had to follow my mother and father in their rental car to our destination.
(Forgive me mom for the next part…) So, my mom is a nervous driver/passenger. And I use “nervous” lightly. Because I actually mean she’s bat sh*t crazy when she’s in a car. It was like following a drunk race car driver. All the while we could see my parents’ arms flailing as they yelled at each other in the vehicle in front of us, arguing over how to get to the hotel and when we would call to beg them to slow down or at least use a turn signal occasionally, we could hear the
shrill screams and profanity respectful, loving disagreement, promptly hung up, and prayed that we ended up at a hotel…any hotel at this point.
Thankfully, we did make it. The kids, the adults, the tons of luggage…we made it. Again, we felt some relief as we were greeted by bellhops (is that what they’re called? I’m too lazy to check) who held the doors for us as we entered to check in. We gave our names at the front desk and then the panic that I was so familiar with by this time set in again when the hotel personnel at the desk informed us that we were 3 hours early to check in to our 3 rooms…
WHAT?! Ok, so we completely forgot to calculate the time difference when we all agreed during the reservation process that 4 pm was a check in time that would work for us…because it was almost 4 pm…in PENNSYLVANIA. We could work with that though. What we could not work with was paying for THREE rooms. Who booked us 3 rooms? Not I! In fact, none of us had. It was a mistake on the hotel’s end and of course it took nearly 20 minutes for the hotel people to figure out how to cancel one of the rooms in our names. 20 minutes was more than enough time for the Gorilla to realize that we were not shopping for his promised Thomas the Tank toys. Constant whining ensued from our 3 year old who HAD TO GO SHOPPING NOW as we impatiently tried to figure out the reservation snafu so we could get our
junk luggage into our rooms. I began to feel the all too familiar irritated stare from the beady eyes of the annoyed patrons and employees in the lobby who were witness to our 2 toddlers who had barely slept since midnight (their time!). It was time to haul ass and get out of there so Big Daddy Byron and I took our little living hurricanes out to the car where they calmed slightly in the dry heat of the parking lot while my parents dealt with the reservation mess at the desk.
Finally, we were granted key cards and the fact that there was NO PARKING WHATSOEVER near the building where our rooms were located couldn’t stop us. We took advantage of the valet services and of the bellhop who offered to deliver our bags. At this point, we could not have cared less about the ridiculous charges for these services because we were exhausted. Well, the Gorilla and Binxy were’t exhausted but the adults were.
We arrived in our rooms.
Peace…sweet peace at last…or not. Because the Gorilla had still not forgotten that we were not perusing Thomas items for him to purchase with our money. Thankfully we were all pretty exhausted by this time and we convinced the Gorilla that after we unpacked and took a nap, we would go, first thing, to the nearest Wal-Mart or Target and buy him whatever his little greedy 3 year old heart desired.
So we began to unpack. The room seemed pretty nice. Two queen beds would work for us. The Gorilla and Big Daddy Byron could nap in one and Binxy and I could nap in the other. I was sure Binxy would be fine even though she’s never slept in anything but a crib or pack ‘n play before. Big Daddy Byron, the organizational master that he is, was swiftly unpacking our bags while I decided to check out the size of the mini-fridge so I could make a shopping list of snacks and such that could be kept in the room. It turns out, the fridge was a mini-bar. If this had been a romantic vacation for just Big Daddy Byron and me, I would have started uncapping bottles and guzzling the sweet nectar that stared back at me as I opened the fridge. But this was a family vacation. With toddlers. Who are CONSTANTLY HUNGRY AND THIRSTY. Where was I supposed to keep their food and beverages?! Oh and look at that…the nice hotel staff left a $3.00 Kit Kat, $3.00 pack of 2 Oreos, and a plethora of other over priced candy and junk food in plain view of anyone, including my toddlers, who could see inside of the fridge. I slammed the door shut before any tiny eyes could see those goodies and whispered to Big Daddy that we needed to bag up that sweet paraphernalia so that the kiddos couldn’t see it or taste it. No way in Hell was I going to pay $3.00 for a half eaten Kit Kat bar which is what would happen if they got their chubby little hands on it. He quickly reorganized the fridge so that we had hidden the contraband and made a few inches of extra space in what seemed to be the world’s smallest hotel mini-fridge.
So we barely had a fridge, no microwave, and it was time to sleep. The Gorilla, our 3 year old stage 5 clinger who hasn’t slept a full night through and has slept in bed with us for the past 18 months or so, cuddled in with Big Daddy. (Why did we wait 18 months and then let him in bed with us? That’s a whole separate blog post, but long story short, we should be given medals, not criticized, for hearing him scream all night in his crib for the first 18 months straight attempting the CIO [Cry It Out] method. Don’t believe that’s what happened? Ask our neighbor. She met with us to let us know her concerns of his constant screaming. He sleeps much more soundly when with us now.)
Binxy crawled into bed with me. However she seemed to have found her second wind and found it hilarious to be in a queen sized bed that was not her crib or pack ‘n play. I let her bounce around and test out all the pillows thinking she would wind down and fall asleep as soon as the novelty had worn off. WRONG. 15 minutes later and she was still at it. By this time I had slept 1 hour in almost 48 hours. Big Daddy had slept for 2 hours. We were on the edge. He snapped and called the front desk to request a pack ‘n play. 10 minutes later it had not yet arrived and Binxy was done playing on the bed and decided it was time to
walk run the halls. She screamed until I took her into the hall. We walked. Well, she ran and I stumbled from exhaustion. 20 minutes had passed and no pack ‘n play. Big Daddy called the front desk and explained our situation. We needed that pack n’ play NOW or one of us was going over the balcony outside of our room. As he relayed the severity of our situation, Binxy joyfully bounced up and down the hallway as I monitored her with a glassy-eyed stare. After 40 minutes, the pack ‘n play finally arrived and I came to the realization that no one who works at this hotel must have ever had a toddler because if they had, they would have sensed the desperation of our situation and sent the pack ‘n play up within the first 10 minutes.
Big Daddy set up the pack ‘n play and I laid Binxy inside. Within 60 seconds she was out. We all climbed back into bed and finally fell into a sweet, sweet slumber. Upon waking, as in the second the Gorilla woke, he reminded us that we owed him a shopping trip. NOW. We found my parents in their room next door and headed to the lobby. The valet brought our vehicles to us and as we climbed into the cars, my father announced that we were going to find something to eat before going shopping.
You have got to be kidding me. The Gorilla is going to lose it. I cannot put off this shopping trip one more time. We are going to see the meaning of “ape shit crazy” the minute I tell this kid we have to go eat before he gets something from the Thomas collection at the local Wal-Mart or Target. I argued with my dad but apparently the elderly outrank toddlers and he was dead set on eating first. I had to go along with him…he was paying for this meal! Oh, and I was starving since I (and Big Daddy) hadn’t eaten at all through the day or on the flights at any point. I tentatively sat inside the car…took a deep breath…and relayed the message to the Gorilla and the rest of my family that Pop pop was taking us to eat before we went shopping…
Check back for Vacation with Toddlers…Part 3 to find out what happened!