I am ready for things to get back to normal- normal schedule, normal sleep, Alann being home. It's been a stressful few weeks.
Last week, the kids and I took a trip to Indiana with Grandma for her family reunion. Alann couldn't come with us because he had to work. I had fun when I was able to enjoy myself, but it was so stressful dealing with the kids that I wasn't able to enjoy myself too much. I started a conversation with one of Alann's aunts and never got to finish it. I just always felt like I was being pulled away from everything. It was good, but it was one of those vacations that was so short and yet SO incredibly long.
Tuesday we went to pick Grandma up at the airport. Claire was so excited. But the trip started out bad. Some days, the kids want to eat lunch at 11:30. This was not one of those days. So we left the house at noon with empty bellies. I gave them snacks en-route, which necessitated a stop at the rest stop 3 miles from town to wipe chocolate off of Alex (chocolate chip granola bar). As we were pulling into the pick up area the first time, Claire suddenly says "suitcase! I don't have my suitcase!" She apparently thought we were going on the airplane. It was pretty funny. We got to the garage and it was closed. Again. This is the second time I've been to the airport and the garage at the terminal is closed. They expect you to go park far away and ride the shuttle back. We did it when we were the ones leaving, but since we were just picking up, we drove down to the cell phone lot (like 10 minutes away!). By then, the kids were getting cranky. Alex had about a 30 minute nap on the drive over, but that was it. So I looked up a close food place and went over and grabbed some lunch while we waited for Debbie. As we started heading back, she texted to say she had landed and was getting baggage, so we went back to the pick up area and got her. The kids still had only eaten a few fries. So Debbie fed them a little but Claire was too excited to eat and Alex was just cranky from lack of sleep. We got home and tried for naps. It was a failure. Alex flat out refused and since he was up, Claire decided she needed to be up. We also had a late night to bed because of the over-tiredness on Alex's part and excitedness on Claire's.
Wednesday, we had to go pick up the car. I dropped the van off to get the thermostat replaced because I figured a 5-hour car trip was probably a good reason for it to overheat. With the thermostat broken, it doesn't tell me when it overheats, it just does. So now that is fixed and I don't have to see "maintenance required" every time I get in the car. So we loaded up and left after lunch. I was hoping the kids would nap in the car. Ha. What a joke. Alex fell asleep shortly after we left, but we needed to get gas, so when we stopped, he woke up. And was up. Claire never fell asleep. (Day 2- bad or no naps). We drove out to Grandma Dodson's house and visited for a bit. The last part of the trip, Alex kept grabbing at his ear and crying. So we stopped to get some ibuprofen because this was the only trip I haven't packed medicine for, and of course wind up wanting it. I never actually gave it to him because it stopped bothering him after we got out of the car, but I was glad we had it when Claire got hurt. So we hung out with "GG" for a while and chatted. Claire made an instant friend with her cousin Shannon. Okay, technically, she's Alann's cousin, but she is closer to Claire's age. So the kids played and had fun for a while. Then we went over to Deb's cousin's house where we were staying. The kids were pretty tired, but hung in there while we got settled in. Our sleeping choices were a twin bed, a crib, a cot, and two pack and plays. The crib was set too high for either child, so I pulled the mattress out and made it up on the floor for Claire. I brought her pillow and sheet and of course her blanket. I hoped she would just lay down and pass out. Alex got the pack and play. We all went to bed at the same time (pretty late). Claire was up ALL NIGHT. She bounced around from her bed to Grandma to me. Finally she fell asleep in my bed in the wee hours of the morning. I'm pretty sure the sun was already up. It was a long long night.
Thursday we went to the Children's Museum. The kids had a ton of fun. Claire ran around with Shannon all day. Alex's favorite part was the water table in the "5 and under" room. He would have stayed there all day if I had let him. I pulled him away and took him to another part of the room so I wouldn't have to deal with the screams when we just left the room entirely. Then we rode the carousel. Claire was disappointed because the horse didn't jump. Only about a third of the animals jumped (went up and down), and they were all filled. And then we headed back to the house. I was hoping for naps in the car again. They were too wound up and stayed awake the whole drive back to the house. It was about 45 minutes or an hour I think (long enough for a decent nap). So we put them to bed late and thus commenced the trip to the hospital episode. (Claire's staples are doing pretty good. They actually feel loose, like I might brush them out when I wash her hair. We have an appt Monday to get them out.) So, day 3 without naps. The kids slept hard that night, thankfully. Claire wouldn't go to sleep in her bed again, so I let her sleep in my bed until we went to bed, and then I moved her to the pack and play (which was set farther from the dangerous object so if she climbed out, she wouldn't get hurt again). She looked a little confused when she woke up, but was okay with it.
Friday, we went to the "big pool!" It was a pretty nice pool actually. It had lots of slides and a great shallow area with lots of stuff to play with for little kids. (Much better than the Warrenton pool, that's for sure.) We spent a few hours there, and Claire didn't get sick this time. We were really careful about hydrating though. It helped that the lifeguards cleared the pool every hour or so, so we would go back to our stuff, get a snack, a drink. I gave her whatever she wanted- Capri Sun, gatorade, juice, water. And Alex didn't get a sunburn. So it was a win all around. We had a lot of fun there. Then we headed back to the house and cleaned up. We all showered and washed the nasty pool water off. Then finished packing up. The kids and I left to come home because Alann was leaving for Chicago on Monday and the kids get crazy if they don't see Daddy for too long. I knew it would be a disaster to try to be gone much longer and then have him leave. So I drove all the way home by myself. It wasn't too bad. The kids passed out in the car (thankfully!). They slept for about an hour and a half. I was getting sleepy, so I pulled over to nap a bit while they did. I only got about 10 minutes before Alex woke up, but it did help. Then we hit the road and drove for another half hour or so until Claire woke up. We stopped to get dinner and the kids would not eat. By the time dinner was over, I felt like a total failure mom. Looking back, there wasn't even anything really wrong with the dinner. The kids didn't want to sit. They had been sitting for several hours already. I knew that going in. I think what really got to me was this one lady in the restaurant. Claire ran into her several times, and each time I would tell her to say sorry and she wouldn't and she just kept running around and the lady just kept looking at me with this sympathetic smile and it just made me feel really down for some reason. Like I had the bad crazy kids and everyone felt sorry for me. So then we go out to the car (and it's a thousand degrees out there!) and try to get the kids buckled in and Claire starts swinging on the back of the driver's chair like a monkey. I tell her to get down, she doesn't, I tell her again, she doesn't, so I reach over (I'm trying to fight Alex into his seat) and swat her butt and she lets go and falls down. So then she looks at me with tears in her eyes and looks so sad and says "Mom, no hit me." And I just lose it and start crying and she's crying and Alex is crying. And I just felt awful. So I apologize and tell her I'm sorry and I shouldn't have hit her (it wasn't hard, just enough to get her attention), and we finally load up to go and then they decide they want milk and it was seriously a 20 minute endeavor just to leave the parking lot. So most of the rest of the trip home I'm feeling pretty awful. We stop at another rest stop and I let them run around and play a bit before we leave and I get two bug bites. I haven't had any all summer. It was just insult to injury. And we get home and it's late and the kids are excited and have a hard time falling asleep, again. (Day 4 of short naps and rocking Alex to sleep because he is overtired.)
Saturday, Alann and I ended up running errands with the kids. So no naps, again. Day 5. I'm trying to get my lesson ready and Alex will not got to sleep unless I hold him and I was just so frustrated. Then Sunday we get to church and at the end of Sacrament meeting, the Bishop announces that we are all meeting combined for the third hour, so I don't have to teach. Apparently, the other YW teacher didn't know either. Luckily, Alex napped in his stroller during Sunday School, so he wasn't terrible. What is it about Sundays that always make kids crazy?
Monday, Alann left for Chicago for a week. He's working a filler job for his dad's company. During naps I made a big mess getting ready for my lotion class on Tuesday. After naps, we went out to go shopping and eat out so we wouldn't have to deal with the mess. We were out really late. The kids were pretty good, but the last stop they were pretty out of control. So another night of holding Alex until he fell asleep. At least Grandma was here to read books to Claire.
Tuesday we took Grandma back to the airport. Luckily it was after naps. We left late and I was worried that Deb wouldn't make her flight. So I said a prayer. And her flight got delayed. And apparently later canceled. Sorry about that Debbie! I just didn't want you to miss it! After we dropped off Debbie, we hit the mall and I let the kids play in the play place for a while. It is still sweltering out here. So air-conditioned play area was great. Then we rode the elevator to go back up stairs. Claire really really really wanted to ride the escalator. But we had the stroller, so we couldn't unless we left the stroller and I didn't really like that idea. Every time we passed it she said "please mom, ride that. Me, Mom, Ai (Alex) please Mom." It was pretty cute. Next time we will have to ride the escalator. (She is starting to use sentences more, but when she does, she says the same thing several times. Usually it's along the line of "please mom have juice in see-cu (sippy cup) juice please mom please." I guess she's afraid I don't understand? Or maybe she is imitating the fact that I have to ask her 10 times to do something?) Then we hit the grocery store because we were out of things like milk and eggs and produce. And so another late night drew to a close with me holding Alex as he fell asleep.
Wednesday we actually got naps and to bed on time, and today has been good too. Of course tomorrow, we are going to playdate to pick blackberries and then swim. I'm guessing late or no naps. And Daddy should be home sometime tomorrow. So late to bed. Someday, the kids will catch up on their sleep and stop being so grouchy. So yeah, I am looking forward to a more normal schedule.