Oregon Trails (Finally, the Finale)

It’s finally here, the last post about my cursed trip to visit family in Oregon.  At the end of yesterday’s post, I had turned in early at a hotel near the airport in Portland, ready to wake up at an ungodly hour to drag my kids onto a 6 a.m. cross-country flight.

Day 5: Tuesday, May 15

My alarm went off at 3:00 a.m., and I jumped out of bed and started getting ready.  I had a long day ahead of me.  I had booked the kids and I on the hotel’s 4:00 a.m. shuttle to the airport, where we would hopefully have plenty of time to make our 6:00 a.m. flight to Newark.  It was going to be a 5-hour flight, and then we would have a 4-hour layover (gross) in Newark before our final flight home to Upstate NY.

When the clock struck 3:30 a.m., I made my way over to the beds to start waking K-Man and Ell-Bell.  They are slow movers, and I wanted them to be dressed and ready so we could head down to the shuttle by 3:45 a.m.

I whispered K-Man’s name and started to gently shake his shoulder.  But then I was distracted by my phone buzzing.  Who could be texting me at this hour?

I checked my phone and saw the following text:

Your flight to Upstate NY is canceled due to air traffic control.  We’ve rebooked you on an alternate itinerary.  We’ve rebooked you today on our 11:25 p.m. flight via Chicago, arriving in Upstate NY at 9:37 a.m.

I blinked at my phone, completely dumbfounded.  If I’m being honest I had expected some kind of problem with the flights.  That’s just the way this trip was going.  What I wasn’t expecting was a full 17-hour delay in my itinerary, followed by a redeye.  Were they kidding me with this shit? Was there really no faster way to Upstate NY?  Was I really going to have to spend all day at the Portland airport with my two travel-weary children?  Was I really going to have to keep them up until 11:30 at night, and then wake them up again 4 hours later to make a transfer in Chicago?

I couldn’t bear the thought.  I started frantically searching the internet for alternate itineraries, all while dialing the airline’s customer service.  I was finding nothing good online, but I was hopeful that when I got on the phone with an actual person, they could pull some strings and find me something to get me even remotely close to Upstate NY before the day was over.

After 30 minutes on hold, I finally got on with a representative.  He was way less than helpful.  Which, I guess, is not his fault, there just weren’t a lot of ways to get to Upstate NY that day.  When I discovered that it was only the Newark-to-Upstate NY flight that was canceled, I asked if I could still get on the flight from Portland to Newark, and then figure things out from there.  I was hoping that maybe once in Newark I could get on standby or something.  Or worst case scenario, I could rent a car and drive home from Newark, it was only a 4-hour trip.  I just knew I needed to get the FUCK out of Oregon.  ASAP.

The representative on the phone assured me that he had restored my Portland-to-Newark reservation, so I quickly hung up and got my things together.  I woke the kids up and we went downstairs and caught the 4:30 a.m. shuttle to the airport.

We got to the airport at 4:45 a.m., and I felt like we had a comfortable amount of time to get through check-in and security.  We waited in line for a kiosk, and then I swiped my credit card and told the machine I was headed to Newark.  The machine could not find my reservation on the flight to Newark.

“Fuuuuuuckkkk,” I moaned audibly.  I entered my itinerary number and the kiosk told me I was still booked on a flight to Chicago at 11:25 p.m.  So the representative on the phone had just been dicking me around, and he had not, in fact, restored my reservation on the Portland-to-Newark flight.

I needed to speak to someone, and quickly, but it was a free-for-all.  There was no line you could stand in to wait for an agent.  The agents were just free-floating from kiosk to kiosk, helping whoever was the squeakiest wheel.  I kept trying to flag someone down while keeping my kids close by,  but I was having a bitch of a time.  Time was getting tight. Finally, at about 5:15 a.m., I was able to get an agent to tell me that she would help me right after she was finished talking to the travelers she was currently helping.

Relieved, I waited patiently at my kiosk.  But I watched her like a hawk.  I watched her finish with the travelers she was currently helping.  And then I watched her walk in the complete opposite direction to go handle something else.  Quickly, I hoped.  And then I watched some other traveler walk up to the agent and start peppering her with questions.  “Get on with it!” I grumbled to myself, but instead, the agent hunkered down and started having a full-blown conversation with this other traveler.

I’d had it.  I stomped over to the agent and, as politely as I could, reminded her that she had promised to help us next, emphasizing that I was about to miss my flight.  The agent got huffy, told me she was doing the best she could and that she had no control over who walked up to her and asked for help.  And then she told me to go wait back at my kiosk, and that she’d be with me when she could.

I sulked back to my kiosk, fighting back tears.  I knew I had been rude, and I hate confrontation, but I was beyond frustrated with this situation!  I just wanted to get back on the fucking flight that I had made a fucking reservation for.

A minute later, the agent walked over to me and said, “Now, how can I help you?”

I tearfully (ugh) explained what was going on, and the agent hopped on her computer to see if she could help me.  It turned out, the “computer” wouldn’t let me get on the flight to Newark without having a connecting flight out of Newark also reserved.  After 10 minutes of typing and making phone calls, the agent had ironed everything out, and we were on our way to security at about 5:35 a.m.  For the second time this trip, I walked up to an empty gate and boarded my flight under the judge-y and watchful eye of the Final Boarding screen.

I quickly texted Hubby an update of our situation, letting him know I would figure things out once we got to Newark.  Then I put away my phone and hunkered down for our five hour flight.

The flight went by quickly.  K-Man was totally engrossed in his tablet.  Ell-Bell slept on and off for at least half the time.  I mean, Ell-Bell did throw up twice, but we somehow survived it.  The first time she threw up, I had an empty drink cup in my hand, so I managed to catch almost all of her vomit in the cup.  It was super awkward walking her back to the restroom whilst holding a chunky vomit cup in the air, but most of the passengers seemed oblivious.  As for Ell-Bell’s second vomit, well, it all just kind of disappeared into the folds of her neck.  So I let it slide.  Because I had been doing this for four days and I just didn’t care anymore.

As we began our descent, I started to worry about the task ahead of me.  How, exactly, was I going to get home from Newark?  There were like three flights a day from Newark to Upstate NY, and they were all canceled or booked for the rest of the day.  I could try and get on standby.  I could take an hour-and-a-half taxi to another NYC airport for a flight out of there.  I could take a bus back to Upstate NY.  I could rent a car … but wait, what were the chances that I could find a rental company with two car seats available for rent?  It all sounded so overwhelming, but I knew I had to figure it out.

When we were on the ground I turned on my phone and saw a message from Hubby asking me to let him know when I landed.  I sent him a quick text and then started to pack everything up.  Hubby immediately called me and when I picked up, he sounded way too cheerful.  “Hi! How was your flight?  So I’m here in Newark, waiting to pick you guys up and drive you home.”

Oh. my. god.  You guys.  It took everything in me to not burst into tears as relief washed over me.  I love that man so much.  It’s not just that he volunteered to drive 4 hours to Newark to pick us up and then drive another 4 hours home.  This day was his ONLY day off in a stretch of 12 days.  And he had just come off 6 night shifts in a row.  And he had 27 patients notes to do.  And instead of enjoying his single day off or getting his work done, he opted to spend 8+ hours in the car for us.  My hero.

I hugged Hubby tightly when we got to the luggage carousel, and then we headed out for our 4-hour drive back to Upstate NY.  Well, it was supposed to be 4 hours.   You know how driving with small kids can be — numerous stops for potty time and food needs.  And then there was the apocalypse storm that we had to drive through (the reason that my flight had been canceled in the first place).  We hit a few bits of traffic where people were slowly navigating around downed trees in the road.

About two hours away from home, Ell-Bell threw up in the back seat.  Surprise, surprise.  We had just gotten back on the road and were not about to pull over, so I did something stupid.  Something that I’ve done more times than I care to admit.  I climbed into the back seat of our sedan and wedged myself between the two kids’ car seats.  I sat there for several minutes wiping up vomit and then, without thinking much, started to climb back into the front seat.  As I was making the climb, I had a brief inkling that I shouldn’t be doing this.  We were in weird fast but also start-stop traffic and it’s just really not a safe practice.  That inkling made me look up quickly right as I was standing on the divider between the two front seats.  When I looked up, I saw that we were speeding towards the brake lights of the car in front of us.  “Stop!!” I screamed to Hubby, and he slammed on the brakes.  And I flew through the air, face first into the windshield.

Time stood still for a few seconds as I peeled my body off the dashboard, crawled back into my seat, and put my seat belt on.  My whole forehead and nose were numb, and the bridge of my nose was stinging.  I looked up and realized with disgust that my face had put a huge spiderweb crack all over the right side of the windshield.  Holy shit.

Hubby was horrified.  “Oh my god, are you ok?”

“Um, I think so,” I stammered, blinking through the tears that were quickly falling down my face.  “Um, I don’t know, I think maybe I broke my nose.  And my forehead hurts.”  When we could, we pulled off at a gas station and Hubby examined me.  I had a split on the bridge of my nose that he said needed to be glued up — but not stitched.  He couldn’t say for sure whether my nose was broken, but it wasn’t disfigured.  There were no other cuts or notable symptoms, so Hubby (who I will remind you is an ER doctor) didn’t think I needed to go in to the hospital.

So we hit the road again and finished our ride home.  Hubby with his hands clenched tightly around the steering wheel, me obsessively pulling on the seat belt and engaging the automatic lock.  I honestly felt like there was some sort of Final Destination-esque plot on my life at this point.  I lowered my standards significantly and just hoped we would all make it home alive.

Well, after one final hiccup (K-Man pooped in his pants in the car again), we were finally home at about 9:00 p.m.  We went inside, and Hubby cleaned up my cut and glued it back together.  Somehow, magically, we convinced the kids to go to bed, even though they had been sitting all day and were operating on Pacific Time.  Hubby and I ordered a pizza, which I ate with difficulty since my nose was nice and swollen.

And then we went to bed.  And that was the very morbid end to my fucking trip to Oregon.

Thank you so much to all who indulged me and read through my entire 5-day bitch fest.  I really, truly, never want to leave the house again.

Until next time,

Vee


Post Scripts:

  1. I developed a really classy looking double black eye.  It was purple, and then it was purple and yellow, now it is a dull brown.  Nobody has dared ask me where it came from because it looks very sinister.
  2. Two days after we got back, K-Man woke up and promptly threw up all over me.  He would go on to be sick for a full three days.
  3. Three days after we got back, I learned that my beloved 92-year-old grandpa’s health is rapidly declining, and that my entire family is descending upon him in a month to spend some final moments with him.  So I have reluctantly purchased tickets for me and the kids to fly to Missouri — again, sans Hubby — in the middle of June.  Am I crazy?

 

 

We Scarred Him For Life

So this is embarrassing.

Disclaimer:  Things are about to get real personal.

It was a Friday.  Hubby had a rare early exit from work, and so was miraculously home before nap time.  And you know, Spring was in the air, so things were feeling a little –shall we say — frisky? between Hubby and I as we started to get the kids ready to go down for the afternoon.

(Did I mention that this is embarrassing?)

So I rocked Ell-Bell into sweet dreamland.  Baby girl is a piece of cake to put to sleep these days, thank god.  Meanwhile, Hubby set K-Man up in his own room with some Paw Patrol.  (Little dude has “quiet time” because he officially really truly doesn’t nap anymore.  I don’t want to talk about it ok?)

When K-Man is in his room for quiet time, he almost never comes out.  I mean, he’s watching TV, so he’s pretty much dead to the world, right?

Which, I guess, is why Hubby and I felt ok about acting on our adult urges in that moment.  I gave him my “meet me in the bedroom” eyes and he certainly wasted no time in following my lead.  We’ve got two young kids and he works 80-hour weeks, he wasn’t about to say no to a little mid-day love sesh!

So there we were, getting pretty tangled up in the sheets — and holy cow my face is burning as I type this — when we heard a noise.  A very distinct noise.  The sound of K-Man’s door knob turning.

Did I mention the door to K-Man’s room is approximately two feet away from the door to our master suite?

K-Man yelled, “Hey mom and dad!” as he started to push open our door.  And at honest-to-god-super-hero-speed, Hubby jumped out of bed and threw our comforter over my entire naked body.  Covered me from head to toe in one fell swoop.  (Pretty talented, no?)

So yeah, my son walked in to our room and encountered … my Hubby … standing seemingly alone in our room … naked.

K-Man said, “I need to pee.”

“Um, okay.”  Hubby said back.

“I need help taking my pants off,” said K-Man.

“Um, okay.”  Hubby said again.

Hubby then proceeded to help K-Man take his pants off.  Because, you know, he needed to pee.  Even though every other day of the week he took his own damned pants off when he needed to pee.

“I’m just going to leave these here.” K-man said, gesturing to his pants as he threw them in a heap on our bedroom floor. (Why tho?)

“Okay.” – Hubby.

“I’m just going to close the door now.” – K-Man

“Okay.” – Hubby.

And then K-Man disappeared back into the obscurity of his own Paw-Patrolled room.

So yeah, that happened.

He’s only three, and I don’t even know if he knew I was in the room.  But he was super awkward and insisted on closing the door when he left.  So maybe he felt a weird vibe.

I actually still remember walking in on my parents having sex during nap time when I was 3 or 4.  So that’s good news, right?

Did we scar him for life?

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

Good Friday (Grateful Friday)

I’ve been super grouchy lately.  It could have something to do with the fact that we are still very much in the endless throes of winter here in Upstate NY — is it too much to ask for the thermometer to break 40F on Easter Sunday?  It could also have something to do with the fact that I got trolled hard in a mommy group on Facebook yesterday — why are virtual peeps so mean?  Or it could have everything to do with the fact that, after four years of sweet bliss, I am finally suffering from the girl flu again.  (But can I really complain about a four-year break?  Prolly not.  Thank you, back-to-back pregnancies and breastfeeding gods).

Regardless of my grump, today is Good Friday.  Now, I’m no religious scholar, but I’m pretty sure the “good” in Good Friday doesn’t have to do with good feels (because I googled it).  But, hey, I can take some creative liberties.  So, in the spirit of good-ness, and in an effort to boost my crappy mood, here are 5 things that I’m grateful for today:

  1. Easter is upon us.  Which means Easter candy is upon us.  Now, I told Hubby the same thing I tell him every year: all I want is a freaking peanut-butter-filled chocolate bunny.  Every year he forgets.  Every year I let it go, because come on, I have 32-year-old metabolism.  But this year … this year I was cleaning out some kitchen cabinets and stumbled upon it.  A peanut-butter-filled chocolate bunny that he must have purchased behind my back, and is hopefully saving to give to me on Easter morning.  I know it’s only March, so is it too early to award him Hubby of the Year?  (Please, for both our sakes, let the bunny actually be for me.)
  2. Zzzzzzz.  Because I have no regard for my well-being, I am going to go ahead and disrespect the sleep gods here:  Ever since last week’s bitch fest about Ell-Bell’s atrocious sleep habits, baby girl has been sleeping much better at night.  I mean you guys, last night honeyboo didn’t even wake up for the first time until 5:30 in the morning! What? Of course she’s just trolling me, lulling me into a false sense of security so that I fall that much harder when she wakes up 5 times tonight.  But still, I’ll take a few nights in a row of good sleep!
  3. Things are about to get romantical.  The in-laws are coming for a visit next week.  Ugh, I know, there’s nothing romantic about that.  But of course, the silver lining is that they provide free and relatively safe-ish child care, which means Hubby and I are about to go on our first date in four months!  I am way excited, and I don’t know if I’ve ever spent so much mental energy planning a 3-4 hour block of time in my life.  I’m thinking sushi and a movie, but my god, the possibilities are endless!  (Side note: can somebody teach me how to hire a real babysitter?  I’m guessing it would be a good thing to not wait four months between dates).
  4. I’m basically an Olympian.  Okay, I’m not, at all.  I am actually that mushy-armed person at the gym who only ever runs on the treadmill — the one who everyone looks at and says, “girlfriend, you need to get off that treadmill and do some actual push-ups.”  But hey, I’ve been back to running pretty consistently for the better part of a year now and I am feeling really good about it.  I’m getting faster, I’m running longer, and gosh darnit, I might even get brave enough to run outside one of these days.  I just need a babysitter real quick.
  5. I get to spectate all the sports.  I don’t care what you say, I like to watch golf on TV, ok?  It’s relaxing.  For me, April (snow) showers mean only one thing:  it’s time to watch some golf hotties navigate the Augusta greens at the Masters.  Of course, my in-laws will be in town during coverage because OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO COME during the Masters basically EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  But whatever.  I’m also giddy for NBA playoffs and more golf and tennis tourneys on the horizon, for those keeping track.  (Holler at me if you are also secretly in love with at least half of the men’s tennis field, we might have to be besties).

So there you have it.  What’s on your grateful list this Good Friday?  Wishing everyone a happy passover, Easter, or whatever else you may be celebrating in the next few days.

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

I Almost Started a War

I think I have gift PTSD.  As I’ve documented here over and over again, my mother-in-law’s gift-giving leaves a little something to be desired.  I’ve realized over the past few weeks, as my son’s third birthday approaches, that I am starting to dread present-receiving opportunities.  How sad is that?

Lately, the in-laws have developed a habit of sending Amazon gifts for birthdays, without any gift receipt included to identify who the package is from.  No shame in the Amazon game, obviously, but the gifts they choose to send are just weird and inappropriate.  Case in point, my poor sister-in-law (whose Amazon wish list is abundant with cute ideas, by the way) received a stuffed Teddy Bear from her parents via Amazon for her 35th birthday.  Oy.

So for weeks, I’ve been steeling myself for the inevitable Amazon package containing some random present for K-Man’s third birthday.  And yesterday, when I opened the mailbox, there it was.  A big fluffy Amazon envelope addressed to my son.  I groaned as I carried it inside, groping it all over in an attempt to decipher its contents.

After a few deep breaths and a shot of tequila (just kidding), I ripped open the package.  And pulled out … a pair of pruning shears.  And a thirteenth-century theological treatise written in the form of “a dialogue among allegorical figures who represent the nature of the relation between the soul and God.”  No receipt of any kind.

My blood ran cold.  And then very, very hot.  I couldn’t be sure who the package was from, but come on.  Obviously it was some kind of sick joke from the in-laws, because my father-in-law loves to garden, and my mother-in-law is a classicist.  Some kind of sick joke, or they were going senile.

I honestly felt sick to my stomach.  This was a new low for them.  My sweet little son is turning three and actually understands what it means and is excited about presents, and they send something that I literally can’t even give to him? What the fuck? Do they secretly hate him?

I shot off some angry texts to Hubby and my sister-in-law, looking to commiserate.  Hubby groaned along with me, though he was excited about keeping the pruning shears for himself.  We briefly discussed instituting a “no more presents” rule that only applied to his parents.  And we agreed that we would go out and buy K-Man one more present to replace this mess.

My sister-in-law expressed genuine confusion, and couldn’t believe that her parents would actually send this garbage to a child.  She suggested we check with them and confirm that they sent the present, since there was no receipt.  Fair enough, I guess, but who else would possibly stoop so low?

So when Hubby got home from work, we called the in-laws.  My heart was racing as he dialed the number, but of course as soon as we got on the line, my mother-in-law dominated the conversation for 10 minutes straight.  When Hubby finally was able to ask whether they sent K-Man a pair of pruning shears and a philosophical text for his birthday, my MIL burst out laughing.

“I knew it,” I thought to myself.  “She thinks this shit is funny.  It’s not fucking funny.”

More laughter.  “That went to your house?” She asked.  And then more laughter.  And then it slowly dawned on me, just as she was eking out her own explanation.  Yes, the in-laws had purchased these items.  No, they had not intended to send them to my son.  Their Amazon default address was apparently set to K-Man from a long-ago purchase, and they forgot to change the default before ordering themselves some gardening tools and what sounds like the worst book I will never read.

Holy heck.  Was this some crazy conspiracy to give me a heart attack?

So this time, I must admit, I was wrong.  My in-laws did not give the worst imaginable gift.  Not yet, anyway.  And as much as I’m still reeling from that emotional roller coaster, I am relieved to know that their gift-giving awfulness knows some bounds.  Thank the Lord.

Until next time,

Vee

Thursday Thoughts (on a Wednesday)

It’s Wednesday, and I’m having some thoughts.

Like, why does Hubby refuse to rinse out whatever bowl or cup he uses to scramble eggs in? Is it because he enjoys my gagging sounds when I’m loading the dishwasher?  Is there anything grosser than raw egg yolk dripping all over everything? *Vomit*

Also, why are the people waiting to use the family restroom I’m already using so impatient?  Do they not know what kinds of things go on in the family restroom?  Do their kids not need to take all manner of shoes and clothes off to go potty? Have they never changed a 20-wipe blowout? Do they think that trying the handle every 30 seconds is going to make my potty-training son poop any faster?

I’ve noticed that my kids have turned me into a human garbage disposal. They never finish any of their food and I ultimately end up playing clean up with my mouth.  Hey, it’s closer than the trash can.  (Floor noodles, anyone? No? Too far?)

Yesterday we had an epic snow here in Upstate New York and I felt like freaking Wonder Woman as I shoveled the driveway with two kids in tow.  I also felt like my neighbors were staring at me out their windows, thinking to themselves that I have no fucking clue what I am doing.  Maybe YouTube can teach me how to shovel snow?

Tomorrow, my in-laws are descending upon us for a few days.  You guys know how I feel about that.  I can’t wait to see what my Mother-in-Law got us all for Christmas this year.  We sent an Amazon Wish List for the kids that went completely unacknowledged, so I’m sure we totally won’t be disappointed or offended at all.  Blurgh.

The Star Wars release date is upon us, and the in-laws have volunteered to watch the munchkins so Hubby and I can have a day date and go see it.  I’m kind of a Star Wars poser, but I get excited because it is fun to see Hubby excited.  I will totally fall asleep halfway through the movie, for about 10 minutes, like I always do.  I will wake up to Hubby glaring at me over his popcorn, like I always do. Hopefully somewhere deep down, he thinks it is a little bit adorable?

Until next time,

Vee

 

A Series of Wildly Unfortunate Events

A few days ago, I had one of those days. You know, the ones where nothing goes right? Where you literally can’t believe the ridiculous series of events that is unfolding before your eyes?

The bad day was actually a few days in the making.  It started, as most things do, with a rough night of sleep.  I’m trying to wean Ell-Bell from her night nursing, but she has other plans. She doesn’t want to cut back, in fact, she’s been trying to wake up for an earlier feed.  I know things will never get better if I give in, so we’ve been butting heads.  Two nights before “The Day,” Ell-Bell woke up ridiculously early to eat, and it took me half an hour to distract her enough to get her back to sleep.  Before I could fall back to sleep myself, though, K-Man was awake and crying hysterically.  I still don’t know what was wrong, maybe a bad dream?  But it took me another half hour to get him back down.  Then I drifted to sleep for … two … glorious hours, before Ell-Bell was awake and demanding to eat for real this time.  I gave in and nursed her, because I was SO TIRED OMG.  Only, after I finished nursing her, she was not ready to go back to sleep.  I finally got her down and returned to my room, but before my head could hit the pillow, she was crying again.  She had pooped herself.  Ugh.

When I woke up for the day, I was not happy.  Hubby and I had a major fight, obviously inspired by the fact that I had had a terrible night with the kids, and he was awake for zero percent of it.  Hubby got pissed with my attitude and left for work early, which enraged me.  Seriously, when he punishes me by peacing out, I lose my mind.

Anyway, we exchanged apologies by text a few hours later, like we pretty much always do.  And that evening, Hubby felt super guilty and treated me to Chipotle.  And then after the kids went to bed, he went out and got me Sonic mozzarella sticks and ice cream.  Yep, we’re gluttons.  Come at me.  But my tummy wasn’t feeling that great and I actually wasn’t very interested in even more food, but I stuffed it down anyway because (a) I have no self control and (b) I wanted to accept Hubby’s peace offering.

I went to bed early because exhaustion plus tummy ache, and I couldn’t wait to feel better after a good night’s sleep.  Only, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep.  At all.  Ell-Bell was awake from 12:30am to 3:00am, sparring with me about eating.  I held strong for hours, you guys, but every time I would get her back to sleep, she would wake up again only 10-15 minutes later.  It was torture. In the middle of it all, K-Man woke up again (what the heck) and needed attention, all while Ell-Bell was screaming her head off in the room next door.  At least this time, Hubby woke up to help out.  I finally gave up and fed Ell-Bell at 3am because I NEEDED sleep.  Then K-Man woke up again at 5am and wanted me to “sing songs.”

Two hours later, I was awake for the The Day and not feeling it AT ALL.  I had no idea how I was going to make it through the next 12 hours.  And stupidly, I weighed myself.  I was three pounds heavier than the day before.  Fack.  Who knew eating two dinners and dessert would pack on the pounds so quickly?

I spent all morning just trying to power through, all the while day dreaming about nap time.  I couldn’t wait to put the kids down, turn on the fire, sip some tea, and watch my YouTube videos.  And maybe fall asleep for a bit.

When 1:00pm rolled around, Ell-Bell went down for her nap like an angel.  My mouth watered as I was one step closer to my glorious anticipated break.  Only, K-Man had no visions of napping.  He. was. fucking. wired.  Like, I can’t remember the last time he was so awake at nap time.  He wouldn’t lie still.  He actually wouldn’t even lie down.  He was jumping on the bed, flailing his body around wildly, asking for milk, asking for water, demanding to go potty for the one zillionth time.  Every time I left his room and went downstairs to make my tea, I would hear him jumping down out of bed and opening his door.  We played this game for an hour and a half.  I watched about 10 total minutes of YouTube (in two minute increments), and sipped cold tea between visits back upstairs.  When K-Man started screaming at the top of his lungs, I gave up and brought him downstairs.  I couldn’t have him waking up Ell-Bell.

Ell-Bell woke up after 20 more minutes or so, anyway.  I threw some goldfish and milk in her direction, set K-Man up with some paint and paper, and opened my laptop on the floor to cyber shop for a bit (#therapy).  I was doing some deep breathing, trying to figure out how to turn the day around despite being unbelievably bummed that I got no break at nap time.

And then, as K-Man was putting away his paint, he failed to screw the lid on tightly for one of the containers, and he dropped it on the rug.  I watched horrified, in true slow motion, as green paint splattered across my light-colored rug, onto the adjacent wood floor, and up onto the brick hearth.  Holy. fucking. shit, I thought to myself.  Is this really happening right now?  (As an aside, if you have any idea how to get paint out of brick crevices, please enlighten me.)

As I was crouched down with my face in the rug, pep-talking to myself and vigorously scrubbing the green paint-affected areas with a soap-and-vinegar mix, my son–who insisted on playing with his cars basically on top of me as I worked–accidentally lost control of one car and smashed it right into my eye socket.  And I lost it.  Not in an angry way, no, I started sobbing.  Crying big fat heaving snotty tears into my newly-green rug.

While K-Man is a total butthead, he’s also a softie and a sweetheart, a total empath. So he launched into a series of efforts to make me feel better. “Don’t cwy, mommy. Isss okayyy, mommy. I give you a hug and kiss and you feel better, okay mommy? You need a toy mommy? Here, ha’ dis car mommy. You want another toy mommy? You want dis one?” It was so cute and ridiculous that I started laughing between sobs.

“You feel better mommy?” K-Man asked.

Just then, Ell-Bell crawled over and showed interest in K-Man’s toys. So I said, “I would feel better if you shared your toys with Ell-Bell.”

K-Man’s face changed as he pulled all of his toys closer. “No, you be sad mommy.”  Major eye roll.

A few minutes later, K-man squatted down and took a ginormous piss through his undies, right there on the family room floor, even though he had peed twice already in the potty in the last hour.  At least he missed the rug, right?

I already had a stash of paper towels nearby, so thankfully I cleaned up the pee with little effort.  As K-Man resumed his car play, he taunted me: “Cwwwyy, mommy!”  I take back everything I said about him being a sweet softie.

At that point, I gave up. I scooped my two kiddos up and brought them into the living room and turned on Trolls.  Some days, you just gotta.  As I sat there and watched Trolls for the hundredth time, with K-Man sprinting back and forth on the couch, jabbing me in the spine with his elbows and knees as he passed, I thought to myself, this is really fucking hard.  I’m glad I’m doing it, I have zero regrets, I love my kids to the moon and back, but still, this is really. fucking. hard.

But, on the bright side, and in the words of the famous Princess Poppy, if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again.

Until next time,

Vee

I Want Sleep Parity and I Want It Now!

If you have small kids, how do you and your Sig O share the load when it comes to night time and early morning wakings?

For Hubby and me, it has never been even a little bit close to equal.  If one of the kids wakes during the night or before we’re up in the morning, I’m the default caretaker. This drives me nuts.  I know it’s not healthy to keep score, but it’s kind of hard not to when I’m basically batting one thousand.

Biology is part of the problem.  I breastfed both kids and so the assumption is that they are waking to eat, and I’m the food.  I’d be curious to know, though, what the division of labor is for families where there is not a breastfeeding parent.  Is it any more equal?  And, needless to say, it’s not like Hubby started taking half the K-Man wakings when I weaned him.

Another count against biology: I’m apparently wired to wake up to the sounds of baby cries, and Hubby is not.  Or at least that’s what he would like me to believe.  I’m not entirely convinced he hasn’t been pretending to be asleep all this time.  Either way, unless I roll over and physically wake him up to help out, I’m on my own.  It is exhausting — and feels selfish — to have to always beg him to do his share.

To be fair, Hubby’s work schedule makes it impossible for him to wake up with the kids most days.  That’s because on the days that he works, he’s usually leaving the house before they even get up.  (And this is the part where you lose all sympathy for me, right?  But the petty part of me has to point out that when I was working and Hubby was in school, I was still always the one getting up with K-Man, even on the weekends.)

I’m not asking for anything unreasonable.  Here’s what I want: on the days that Hubby gets off, I want an even split between who gets to sleep in.  And I don’t want to have to remind him or ask for it.  I want it to be the default.

These days, if I want the chance to sleep in, we have to discuss it the night before.  I have to make an appointment.  And sometimes, come morning, Hubby doesn’t honor the appointment.  Nothing makes me more grumpy than waking up with the kids when I was led to believe I was going to get an extra hour of glorious sleep.

Last week, Hubby randomly had three mornings off in a row.  Great, I thought, I’ll get to sleep in at least once this week!  We didn’t discuss anything before the first morning off, so Hubby slept in.  I was fine with that, he works hard and deserves his time off.  That night, though, we talked and Hubby volunteered that he would let me sleep in on the second morning.  However, when Ell-Bell woke for the day with her cranky cries, Hubby opened his eyes for a few seconds, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  After I gave him a thorough reaming when he finally did get up, Hubby promised I could sleep in on the third morning.  Well, needless to say, Ell-Bell woke up on Day 3 and Hubby wasn’t budging.  So I passive-aggressively brought her in to bed with us.  She grunted and screeched, but Hubby still snored on.  Finally, I swore loudly and stormed out of bed.  Hubby woke for a few seconds to ask “What’s wrong?” but he didn’t follow up when I didn’t answer and left the room.  I came back up a few minutes later to get K-Man’s monitor, and Hubby was like, “leave it, I got him.”  Seething, I told him it didn’t fucking matter and stomped away.  Another five minutes later, I heard Hubby coming down the stairs, and I instantly felt regret and guilt.  Why am I such a monster about this stuff?  Why can’t I just act like an adult and calmly resolve these issues with my Hubby? Halp!

So yeah, I have some work to do on coming to terms with my current sleep situation.  You know what else would solve this problem, though?  Kids who don’t wake up in the middle of the night!  And kids who don’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn!  Little turds.

Until next time,

Vee