Saturday, December 28, 2013

Night #1

Christmas time in our household = travel. Every year. Unless I have just had a baby or am about to have a baby, which will never be the case again. So yep, travel. Every year. With 3 kids. Lots of Mommy-bloggers and Daddy-bloggers have written about this topic, so here is my latest tale to add to the pile.

We usually make our Kansas City - Chicago drive in one day, but with an impending KC ice storm, we needed to get on the road ASAP. This led to us splitting the drive and spending the night in St. Louis.

We arrived at the hotel at around 11 pm. All 3 kids were blessedly sound asleep, so my husband went in to check in and set up the room with bags, pack and play, etc. As it was late, dark, and a sketchy man was wandering the parking lot asking for change, I locked the doors while we waited in the car. About 3 minutes later, our 5-year old awoke screaming that he needed to go potty RIGHT NOW. Ummmm.... your sister and brother are still asleep and Daddy is somewhere in the hotel. It is almost the middle of the night, and freezing rain is pouring down. Options?? Not many. Not sure yet how I am going to manage this, I know that at least I need to get him out of the car. Maybe Daddy will come out to get him, maybe he will pee on the sidewalk, who knows. I hop out, run around to his side of the van, and.... oh crap, I had locked the doors. The keys are in the ignition because we are keeping the car running for the heat. So Mommy is standing outside in the rain yelling to my hysterical son through the window.

"Try to open the door! Can you open it? Try! Try again!"
Fail. Damn safety locks!

"Mommy!!! I reeeeeeeeeally need to go potty!"

Crap. I did happen to have my phone so I texted my husband: "Come outside. Now."

Next course of action -- I told him to climb over the seat (please don't pee on it!) into the driver seat to hit the unlock button.

"See the button with the lock on it? Hit the unlock button. No, not that one. That one. Not that one. That one. The one above it. The other one. No, the OTHER ONE."

Other people are entering the hotel watching this frantic mother standing outside her mini-van in the rain at 11 pm yelling "The UNLOCK button! UNLOCK!"

Finally, he gets it. Success!! No pee yet! As he emerges from the car, my terrified husband comes running out of the hotel thinking I am being car-jacked due to my frantic text. I push my son towards him and yell, "POTTY!!!"

15 minutes later, we are in the hotel room. Son has peed, other kids are wide awake. Over an hour later, however, everyone is settled and in bed. But baby is not happy. Baby wants Mommy, not this random pack and play in a strange hotel room. I warn everyone that he is going to cry for a bit, and we all need to deal and lay down quietly. The pack and play is RIGHT NEXT to our bed. I lay him down, climb into bed, and he screams. After a few minutes, he is quiet. But I have to pee. I slowly start to pull the covers back and WAAAA! again. SHIT. No pee for Mom. 5 minutes later, he is calm again. But now I have to cough (and still pee). I try like hell to hold it in (the cough, and well, also the pee). Tears are streaming down my face. After about 5 more minutes, I let out a quick cough as quietly as possible into a pillow.


This was night 1 of a 2-week trip.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Out with the old...

I was recently lamenting the dusty box in my basement full of my pre-child holiday decorations. Each year for the past 5 years, fewer and fewer items emerge from it. This year, I barely tried. I have 3 kids this Christmas -- one of whom wants to eat any and all objects he can get to, and the other two are bringing home lovely "creations" that usually resemble Christmas (well, at least they are green and red) on a weekly basis. Also, we are traveling this year and won't even be home for the week before or after the actual holiday. So, for all of these reasons, I did not put much effort into Christmas decorations. Where would I put anything anyway? Fancy Christmas towels? Ha! For sticky little syrupy hands to wipe on?? Linen napkins with Christmas napkin rings?? Haven't seen 'em in years. Santa candlesticks?? Right... for my dining room table -- which my son now officially calls the "Lego table"?? We did put up a tree, but even the ornaments are feeling abandoned. Nothing breakable down low, where little hands can reach them = lots of expensive ornaments staying in their boxes in recent years.

As I pine for years past when I used all of my beautiful decorations, and as I peruse Pinterest and pin (for some silly reason) decorating ideas that I will use who knows when, I look around my house. I realized something today. My house is more festive, more Christmas-y than ever before. There is a holiday decoration in every nook and cranny. Where there used to be a porcelain antique Santa, there is now this snowman:

To replace my lush green holly wreath, I now have this wreath:

On my mantle, there are no Santa candlesticks. They have been replaced with this Christmas tree masterpiece and the accompanying card we received:

And the window clings... This is what happened when my 3-year old got a hold of the individual pieces to make a snowman and Santa, after which she exclaimed, "What a beautiful job I did!"

I am not sure when the old box of decorations will get re-visited, if ever. But I think my house is plenty festive these days without them. And yes, kids, a beautiful job you did.