Thursday, September 10, 2009

7 blogs in 7 days...day 1

Our sweet family of 5!


I saw this on another mom's blog and I thought it was also a great idea for my blogging. I have A LOT I am behind on blogging. Probably more than 7. But right now I'm going to commit to writing a blog a day for 7 days. Let's see how this goes, even if it doesn't catch me up, it does get 7 of the most important blogs out there. Comments might help motivate me (hint, hint!). All you lurkers out there who have never left a comment, now is your chance. Also if you are behind on your blogs, I challenge you to do 7 blogs for 7 days. Let's get caught up on our blogs together! :)

First up, our trip to NJ - longest blog ever!

We left at the crack of dawn on Saturday, 9/5 to get to the airport in time for our 7:30am flight which arrived at Newark at 4pmish. Sabine drove us and we were relieved to get a text from her at 7:05am saying she had arrived home. It is funny how we often feel like we have another child, and adult child to worry about. But in a good way.

First Lawrence and I decided to TRY and scam the system. We have done this before and it has worked out wonderful. We book our flights for the aisle and window seat on both sides of the plane, then if someone gets seated between us, we ask that person to trade the MIDDLE seat for the aisle. Great. Then we have more seats than people which sounded like it could be very helpful when traveling with 2 small children, a man with big shoulders who will fight to the death over an arm rest, and a 6 mth pregnant lady. Well, both flights were oversold so no chance on getting lucky with an extra seat, or two. Boo. Oh well, I traded with the middle so I could keep trapped in by the window and Lawrence opted for the aisle to guarantee both armrests were his. I sat next to Addie because she would have wanted me anyway and would try to crawl across strangers laps to get there. Screaming "mama" full force. Both kids wanted to sit with me.
The flight was relatively uneventful, besides somehow almost missing the boarding while slowly eating our breakfast at PDX. Addie shrieked a few times before her 45 nap and she also watched Elmo loves you on my laptop (aka heaviest portable dvd player ever without the password for wireless internet at my in-laws) for 45 minutes. Since that flight is 5 hrs long it left me 3.5 hrs to entertain her doing different things in 5 minute (at best) increments. It also meant me bending over my stomach 7 million times to the "backpack of tricks". The landing was pretty rough so at one point the plane totally dropped and Addie looked at me terrified and said "DOWN!". I was actually a little scared too, it was a rough landing. All in all she was pretty good, just a typical 2 year old. If you asked Lawrence, the kids were "awesome" on the first flight, as he colored with Lil watched the in flight movie and read 2 magazines cover to cover (repeat on the way home minus the in flight movie since it cost $6 this time).

When we got to Lawrence's parents house, the kids were happy to explore the grounds, find out what toys were what, learn the rules of "touch" or "no-touch", etc." I was dying to get out of my velour sweatsuit since it was an unexpected 86 degrees, hoping a friendly neighbor wasn't watching out the window wating to say hello as I knocked them over on my way in to the house stripping my sweaty sweatpants and hoodie. I got lucky and was in a tank top and skirt before the first guest arrived.
The cousins arrived shortly and the kids had a great time getting reaquainted. Addie was mostly loving her cousing Tyler ("Ty-ty"), much to the chagrin of her older cousin, Jayme. Lily on the other hand was so thrilled to see Jayme, and that she could show off Addie, often dragging her around. We ate a yummy dinner made by my mother-in-law ("Grandma, how did you make these YUMMY carrots?" "I bought them at Shop-Rite, Peeled them, Cut them, Cooked them") Lily ate all her carrots and Addie made all the kids laugh by turning her chair backwards to eat. It was especially great to see Laureen and the kids again (everyone else we've seen since April), and I felt a little teary eyed saying hello to them all. Time passes so quickly and lives are so busy that sometimes it takes seeing someone to realize how much you miss them.

The next day we had bagels for breakfast and talked about how they don't know how to make bagels on the West Coast. We had a BBQ had Lawrence's brother's hous and we invited everyone over. It was awesome, we saw some friends and family that we were expecting to see and several that we didn't know for sure if they would make it. Besides, Mark, Laureen, & Kids, and Carol and Steve, we saw the Curtis's, the Schwartzbergs, the Mirros, the Dutka, the Levines, the Finkelsteins, Eric Moon Daniels, the Kleins, Morgan & Elliot, and Weslowskis. I know I have butchered the spelling in those names, but listen, do you want this blog to get published or not? Also sorry if I forgot someone. Hey, I know, leave that as a comment!! It was really so much fun, more fun than I was expecting - and I was expecting fun. Many of those people we haven't seen in 3+ years and a few even longer. It was really great. Again, I didn't realize how happy it would make me to see everyone until I saw them. And the kids are all HUGE. Really, most of the "oldest" kids in the family were born while we lived in NJ over 7 years ago and most we haven't seen for 3-4+ years. They are all big kids. Mine are the youngest, except for Stacy and Rich's little girl Ava (10 mths old).
Monday we played at Grandma and Grandpa's house in the morning and met more of their friends while Mark and Laureen ran errands and then decided to BBQ again at Mark and Laureen's and invited friends who had a wedding the night before and couldn't make it, the Gawrons. About half way through the afternoon we all decided to go to Jersey Freeze, one of Lawrence's favorite Ice Cream places from childhood which has rumored to be shutting down. Did you know they don't know how to make Ice Cream on the West...OH COME ON, Ice Cream we can do!!! :) We got a quick family photo there, and said good byes to the cousins who had shopping to do, work and school the next day. Jayme and Lily couldn't let go of each other, and again it was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes.Our kids with their Aunt Laureen and Uncle Mark and Jayme and Lily never ever wanting to let go of each other promising to skype every day. Which we realistically promised to them Fridays.
Addie was mad when we got back to Grandma and Granpas house because they had told her to tell Tyler that she was going on an airplane (in hopes to wake him up from his car ride nap), so she did and said good bye. She thought that meant we'd be going directly to the airport. She was NOT happy to be back at G&Gs when she said her goodbyes to Ty-Ty and was giong to go on the Airplane. We ordered pizza, and talked about how people on the West Coast do not know how to eat. Lily thought it tasted the same, but liked learning to fold her pizza and the fact that she got pizza RIGHT before bedtime.

To quote Addie before bedtime "MY WANT TO AIRPANE, NOW!"

Tuesday our flight was not until 6 pm so we decided to go to the Jersey Shore Lawrence and Addie at Martell's
and play on the boardwalk and the sand for a while. Lily said that it was better than our beach because it has rides, AND sand. And really what more can you ask for in life. The kids enjoyed playing games and claiming tickets and earning prizzes. They went on the carousel and an alligator ride and Lily went on a caravan ride while Addie headed back for another trip on the Carousel. Lily looked upset during her Caravan ride and I was annoyed at her for spending her last ride acting like a brat. Then. I found out that the little boy next to her had spit in her face. Then. I was the guiltiest mom ever and I wanted to kill that kid! This is the boy who spit in her face, look how happy she was before that. Damn kids!
Then I couldn't find him and we decided to play in the sand. Normally NJ beaches cost to get on them to play in the sand, but not today. Free! After we built a sandcastle and had lunch at Martell's Tiki Bar (a place, I noticed on the way out, I had never before left sober...oh the memories), and after my 6th trip to the bathroom since we arrived in Point Pleasant without anything to drink, Lily got 1500 tickets from a lady at one of the arcades.Showing me the sand on their toes and VERY happy about it!Seeing that YAY Addie is old enoughOn the carousel (see video below to hear the belly laughs!)Lily and Dad on his old stompin grounds - Jenkinsons
Lawrence wanted to get me a mug, no thanks, my bag was heavy enough thanks to the heaviest 10-key DVD player on earth. I traded that in for a whoopie cushion. Now for those of you who know me that probably doesn't sound very typical. But I just saw a FaceBook post recently where someone wrote that they couldn't believe the amount of fun a whoopie cushion was for a 3 year old, and I thought, why not?

This was by far the funniest part of our trip.

First off, Lily called it a a whooshie cushie. Secondly, after Lawrence blew it up for her and told her to squeeze it, she did and then said "It makes an elephant noise". Then things like "What do you think the elephants at the zoo would do if I brought my whooshie cushie to the zoo?" She laughed her head off each time and then thought it was still an elephant noise. We laughed so hard. On the plane ride home, I had it in my purse folded up. I mouthed accross the aisle and 2 strangers to Lawrence, "We have only been on this plane for 4 hrs, and that means 2.5hrs left, do you want the whooshie cushie for Lily?" For some reason both of us thought that was so funny that we laughted and laughed and laughed until tears rolled down our faces.

So that brings us to the worst part of the trip. 6.5 hrs on the plane home. Seriously tailwinds, an HOUR AND A HALF LONGER???? Why? I had Addie again and Lily begged Lawrence to get a window like Addie. Lily got the bright idea that maybe she could trade with Addie and Lawrence quickly (seeing the prospect of getting stuck with Addie) decided they would also trade MIDDLE seat for aisle rather than window. A BIG mistake the guy on the aisle did not know he was getting into.

(If you are reading this far, God Bless you, and also I'm either about to make you laugh hysterically or puke...not sure which one, I haven't written the events that followed yet).

About 5 minutes (or so we thought) to take off, Addie said, "poo poo mama". I checked her and sure enough, she'd gone. We were already pulled back from the gate so there was no way I was going to the bathroom. I didn't want to get in trouble for taking her seat belt off, and when I peaked in, it was already seeping up her back, past the diaper line. I put an airline pillow on her back and buckled her up tight, trying to ensure that she didn't kick her leg which sent wafting stink air around the plane. I tried to cover it up by opening a package of fruity fruit snacks. No go. The guy sitting next to me had already introducted himself, and he smelled of liquor. His name was John and he was moving to Portland for a job in Health Care Reform. He was originally from Point Pleasant and had never been West of Ohio, even for a visit. He went to Momouth University in Long Branch and was half way through his masters. He would be living near Lloyd Center with his new boss and wanted to know what I thought of that area and why. All this I learned before take off, while I was holding Addie'd legs down and feeding her fruit snacks, and keeping the poopy pillow which was soaking up the seepage into place. He was cute and single. He didn't notice I was pregnant. Or apparently that my daughter was leaking d-rea in our row. FINALLY cruising altitude, and I promised Lawrence anything, ANYTHING he wanted if he would take care of this. When he changed her she had a terrible diaper rash. This happened TWO more times. He changed them all. I still can't imagine the favors I'm in for over the next few days. He also took Lily potty once. Oh, and each time, the guy next to him (the aisle guy) was asleep. AND he was hogging the armreast. The other guy, so Lawrence actually had the nerve to complain about this guy. Once we were all in line for the bathroom and Lily was still in the seat and she started to cry and this poor guys wasn't sure what to do! Except help Lawrence and I hand snacks and toys back and forth to each other! :) Finally after bouncing off the walls, Addie fell asleep with an hour and a half left in the flight, Stinking but sleeping...finally
but she kept waking up in 10 minute increments because her diaper area was so red and painful. And of course I had no diaper cream on the plane. So was dilerious and asleep and inconsolable so once I'd get her back to sleep, I'd try hard not to move. When we landed my feet and legs were so swollen and painful I couldn't get my shoes back on. Somehow we convinced our sleepy children, both crying to walk to the front of the plane so we could regroup with a stroller. Again, Lawrence was my hero carrying way more than 2 arms should be able, leaving me with only the heaviest back pack on the planet.
Sabine was so happy to see us. And Lily and Addie were so happy to see her, they talked her ear off the whole ride home. When Addie got home, she went straight to her room and got her "nammies" (PJs) out of the drawer. We changed her diaper and wiped her down with water and put cream on. She walked bow-legged to brush her teeth and didn't want her milk for bedtime. I felt so bad for her that I gave her Tylenol to try to ease the pain. She seemed so happy to crawl into her own bed with her princess blankie and two bear bears. Neither girl made a peep. Of course it was 11pm by this point, or 2am in NJ and with only a 4 day trip including flights who knows what time zone they were on. It didn't really matter. This morning she was really red again when she got up at 6:30a.

And that is the long detailed story of our trip to NJ. We had a blast, and are glad we don't have to do that flight again tomorrow. People talk about how hard it is to travel with out kids. Yes, it is difficult to sit cramped for 6 hrs on a plane no matter who you are, but it is not AS HARD. I looked around at all the people annoyed and complaining kidless on the flight and thought, you know EXACTLY what this flight has in store for you and it is entirely in your control. You knew before you got in which seating arrangement you'd want, you picked it, you brought what you wanted to read, you read it, you went pee when you had to, you slept when you wanted to, and you watched the $6 in flight tv/sitcoms/movies and it was worth every penny, because you saw 6.5 HOURS worth of TV. So while I wouldn't make the flight every day kidless, I'd definitely make it more often. We shudder at the thought of doing it next time with 3 kids, and there is no way we are leaving Sabine behind when that time comes! Of course it's only one day later, up for work bright and early, but you forget how hard it is as time passes. No matter how hard, it's all worth it to see those cousins hug or the smile of a friend or sister or brother you haven't seen in far to long. Thanks Mom and Dad and to Mark and Laureen for a really wonderful trip! :)
video

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo sister, if your next 6 are that long, you might get hand cramps! I love the blog though, that story is HILARIOUS! We've yet to brave a plane...so I honor you. As for the convertible shot, definitely a favorite.

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