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Tension Headache

18 Aug

Whine: My shower and I had an altercation yesterday. I’ve got a pair of goose eggs and a big ol’ scrape on my forehead to show for it.

Cheese: You should see the other guy.

Well now my head hurts and the only 60 minutes of the last 10,080 that I’ve had alone I spent scraping my dizzy and crying self off the floor of my shower. Go ahead and laugh, I know you’re going to.  It IS a little funny.

After I called and scared the you-know-what out of Mr. Dad “Hey honey, I’m home alone and I blacked out in the shower and hit my head and I’m bleeding [sob] but don’t worry about me I’ll be ok [sniff] I pulled myself together. OK, fine, I called My Mommy, too. But then after she came and kissed it and made it all better, I was really, really mad. I wasted all my kid-free time icing my stupid lumpy head.

I was really mad about those precious 60 minutes because I don’t have any to spare. I love having my kids at home with me all day every day for summer vacation even though I still have to work at an actual job that does not have a summer vacation. It’s very hard to plan lessons and stamp out playdoh at the same time. Not impossible, but difficult. And messy.  So can you see my problem?

That’s good. Because my vision is still a little blurry.

I’ve spent the summer negotiating, bargaining and just plain making-it-work. I’m working at home, working at night, working while small people are climbing on me like a jungle gym. I’m not sure this was what my boss had in mind when she said I could work Flextime.

But we also went camping yesterday. We pitched our tent between the foot of my bed and the dresser and waited for the bear attack to come. It did eventually come, but it was a very polite if not somewhat distracted, bear, followed by a bear cub who just wanted to tackle everybody on the floor. Then we caught and fried up some fish for snack–our stream spawns the orange whole wheat kind. I cooled off with some refreshing water from my sippy canteen.

Then I slipped away from camp to a place where there was good cell reception (South Living Room) and made a few calls. I had just enough time to shoot off a few important emails before they found me and dragged me back to the woods.

And that has been my summer in a nutshell. Play, work, lock myself in the bathroom, repeat. One minute I’m racing my kids around the house inside my suitcase and laughing my head off, thinking I’m a pretty fun mom with really fun kids and hoping summer will never end. The next minute I’m breathing into a paper bag because I have about ten deadlines and the stacks of unwashed dishes are  mocking me from the kitchen counter and there’s no space or alone time in sight and school doesn’t start for another three weeks how in the blue blazes am I going to survive three more weeks????

And when that day finally arrives and I ship Brother Bear off to his first day of preschool don’t you think I am going to feel really sad and have second thoughts because he’s so fun and just a little guy, after all? And when Lil’ Sis run straight into her classroom with her friends and forgets to kiss me goodbye, don’t you know that I’m going to be imagining that this is how it’ll be more and more every year until it’s college and she won’t need me at all?? And when I walk Big Sis in that door and I suddenly realize that I am sending my baby to kindergarten, don’t you think I am going to ABSOLUTELY FREAK THE HECK OUT AND POSSIBLY MAKE A SCENE IN FRONT OF ALL THE OTHER PARENTS?

Then I will wipe off my splotchy face, pull myself together and head to the first staff meeting in months where none of the agenda involves turning on Veggie Tales or distributing animal crackers. (Although my boss does get cranky around snack time. Oops, that’s me, not her.) I’ll sit at my desk and complete actual tasks without too much juvenile interruption.  And then I’ll feel really, really guilty because for the first time in a long time I’ll feel like the non-Mommy version of myself. And I’ll like it.

But then I’ll pick them up and see their faces and hear their stories and squeeze them as hard as I can and be really glad they’re home. Until tomorrow.

This whole I’m-a-mom-and-also-still-a-person thing is a real pain. When I’m not 100% mom 100% of the time I feel guilty. When I’m not getting my work done the way I want when I want, I feel guilty. When I’m sitting on the couch watching DVR and sipping a glass of red wine, I feel guilty (but a very relaxed guilty.)

It’s a hard balancing act. One that requires dedication and flexibility. Skill and grace. Whine and Cheese. No wonder I have a headache.

Recovered, part III

19 May

Whine: It’s official. Brother Bear is walking. And with each small step he breaks a little piece of my heart and (probably soon) my china.

Cheese: He may have also finally called me Mama today, although it may have been an accident since he reverted to calling me Dada five minutes later. That’s ok, I’ll take it.

Once last summer, desperate for some new, air-conditioned haunts, Mr. Dad and I hauled all three kids to the downtown library. The library itself is a wonder to behold–one of the few attractively-designed libraries in our fair city (the rest seemed to have been initially designed as brick fortresses and/or prisons). We wandered around and looked at books, shushed Brother Bear (who was a wee, tiny thing at the time) and utilized the arts and crafts table (all-you-can-squeeze glue!!).

At some point Mr. Dad and I went our separate ways and when we regrouped and did a quick head count we realized that Lil’ Sis had gone AWOL. There was a brief round of “I-thought-you-had-her” tag, with no clear winner and off we ran, calling her name and straining our necks around each set of shelves to no avail. We got the librarians involved, much to my humiliation. (Was this before or after I’d had to call them to clean up someone’s potty accident? I can’t remember.) Eventually we found our little red-haired runaway closed in one of the study rooms. We scooped her up and kissed her and told her to always stay with her Mommy and Daddy.

Little did I know this was going become A Thing. Lil’ Sis, while terrified of thunder and automatic toilets, has no fear of being lost. And also, once she’s lost, she tends to totally and completely lose her common sense.

So then a few weeks ago, I was frantically running around trying to get some dinner made so I could take it over to a friend who needed a meal and I was totally in that Mommy zone where you no longer register outside information. Lil’ Sis had been bugging me all day to go to her cousin LizzieBear’s house and I’d been putting her off. I told her we couldn’t go right now and that settled that, or so I thought. (Hint: Foreshadowing)

So as I made dinner, I was running inside and out because I was Being All Healthy and using the grill (which, incidentally, I am not afraid of anymore. Yay, Me!). And Lil’ Sis was going back and forth between outside and inside as well, so I knew that she was possibly outside.  The next time I went out, I looked in the playhouse for her and she wasn’t there. So I checked to make sure she hadn’t buckled herself into the baby swing and gotten stuck. No luck. I figured she had snuck next door onto the neighbors trampoline, but my neighbor Dora was outside and said she wasn’t there.

My heart rate started to pick up and I’ll be honest, I said some words to myself that were less than lovely. I ran back in the house and starting opening and slamming doors in search for her. Brother Bear started hollering (probably related to the door slamming) Mr. Dad stared at me bleary-eyed from his nap (he’d worked a late shift the night before) when I told him I couldn’t find her. We ran around in and outside yelling her name.

Panic set in. We live four houses away from a major interstate. My mind was flipping through it’s catalog of Horrible Things I’ve Seen on After-School Specials. I thought I might vomit. Instead I prayed. Hard.

Mr. Dad grabbed screaming Brother Bear and started walking down the street while I headed the other way with Dora. Finally, she pointed me in the direction of Mr. Dad and I saw the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life: Mr. Dad walking up the street with Brother Bear in one arm and Lil’ Sis in the other. I tell you, Martin Scorcese couldn’t have set up a more poignant shot.

I ran to my sweet, crying little angel and squeezed the oxygen right out of her. Our other neighbors had been driving home from work and spotted her in a yard some TEN houses down, just standing there crying. The  had driven on, seen Mr. Dad and pointed him in the right direction. I was so thankful, I ambushed those construction workers in a hug that only a Mama Bear can give.

Once we all settled down, we got the full story. Since I had denied her request, Lil’ Sis had decided to walk to LizzieBear’s house alone. Granted, they only live about six blocks away and she WAS headed in the right direction. . .  But Mr. Dad and Lil’ Sis went into the other room and had a long talk. I poked my head in a few minutes later and she was fast asleep–worn completely out by her misadventures.

I love my little middle-child, and sometimes she gets overlooked or lost in the shuffle. Those terrifying ten minutes have taught me a lesson I won’t soon forget: Beware of the quiet ones, they’re usually up to something.

Precious


Recovered, part I

2 May

Whine: Big Sis has decided the (pre)school year should end in April. What started with a simple case of I-forgot-to-give-Mommy-a-goodbye-kiss tears last week in class has blossomed into a full scale meltdown. Her crying jag this morning started before she even got out of bed.

Cheese: She actually likes school. So as much as it causes me physical pain to drop her off with those red, puffy eyes dolefully stabbing tiny daggers into my heart, I know that as soon as I round the corner out of sight, she’ll be ok. Her sweet teachers will give her as many hugs as it takes. Her friends will wave excitedly and draft her into the playground battle against the Evil Boys. Plus, I’ve got an ace up my sleeve–I put chocolate pudding in her lunch. It’s hard to be melancholy while eating chocolate pudding (trust me.)

You know those people who are at significant family events and just as the action is getting good and the camera lenses start snapping, they are in the corner furiously making room on their memory cards and missing the actual event?

Those people drive me crazy.

But a few weeks ago I was one of  Those People. I blame my new computer, it’s photo storage-thing-a-ma-bobby is very confusing and so I had not been erasing pictures as I went along. And for our family, March is birthday season, so there were cakes, cakes, cakes and parties and presents and whatnot to photograph. I’m a little bit of a Memory Hoarder, which means that I had approximately 1, 374 pictures of Brother Bear eating his first bites of chocolate birthday cake. (So sweet, yet so disgusting.) Finally, I decided to get it over with and unload my pictures/memory card.

Well, due to a very scientific process called User Error, I managed to swipe that card clean. Except that the pictures I had swiped off hadn’t actually been moved to the computer yet, and therefore no longer existed in the history of the world. Which means that none of it ever happened. Lil’ Sis had never had a Rapunzel party and turned three. Brother Bear certainly hadn’t turned one. Because without the pictures, there’s no proof. No memory.

My stomach lurched, and I started spewing incoherent epithets at the evil trolls who live in my computer waiting for me do dumb stuff (it’s not a long wait). Big Sis was hovering nearby and trying to distract me by pecking me to death with questions and requests. I can honestly say that I regarded her with calm composure as I told her to GIVE MOMMY A MINUTE PLEASE BECAUSE I AM THE STUPIDEST PERSON ON EARTH SO PLEASE STOP ASKING FOR CHOCOLATE MILK RIGHT NOW. (SOB)

In that moment, I did the smartest thing I could do. I put the camera away. Didn’t touch it, didn’t use it. But banished it to the top bookshelf so it could think about what it had done.

I spent the day berating myself (and the  evil trolls, of course), but managed to come back to my senses by day’s end. The thought of never getting to revisit those precious birthday faces (and the cakes, oh, the cakes!) made me sad, but I realized that mourning over memories to the exclusion of the actual, living people in the pictures was somehow ironic. And kinda stupid.

So I moved on.

But then, a few weeks later, I had an idea. (Cue lightbulb.) Call it denial, call it genius, it doesn’t matter. I googled my little fingers off and discovered that there are really briliant, benevolent people in the world who expect people like me to do really dumb stuff, and they have designed good trolls, who can go root around and find your lost/erased/destroyed pictures and bring them back. Oh how I love benevolent geeks.

I got my precious pictures back. And what kills me with gratitude is that I didn’t just get the big moments back. The chocolate-smeared hair, the twinkly princess festivities. I got back the ones I didn’t even remember were there. Like Big Sis’ first (successful) ride on her bike. And Mr. Dad giving Valentine’s roses to his girls amidst an avalanche of smooches.

When I had kids, everybody warned me how fast they grow up, and this is true. But what no one prepared me for was the forgetting.

As my little sweeties jump at warp-speed to the next stage, I barely remember the one we just left. It’s hard to focus my minds-eye on what they looked like then, what little things they did to crack us up, how much they’ve changed. And I think that’s why I hold so tightly to my pictures (as poorly-focused and full of accidental thumbs as they are) and to this blog, because as young as my kids still are, I’ve already forgotten so much.

But I comfort myself in the idea that even the memories that seem ‘forgotten’ have woven themselves into the patchwork of our family story. That most of the memories are good ones. And when my kids and I look back, we’ll see ourselves, albeit through a somewhat-fuzzy lens, as a family that loved. So I guess if there’s a sequel to this movie (Evil Trolls II: Revenge of the Hungry Trolls) and I lose all my pictures (and heaven forbid, blog posts) I can grieve my losses and move on. Right after I kick some serious troll booty.

I will post two of the recovered pictures today. But come back on Thursday for the follow-up picture post. (Hint: there will be pictures of cake! And chocolate-covered baby!)

Every thorn has its rose(s).

Brother Bear's Get Out of Jail Free Card. Because who can resist a baby in a tie?

Drum Roll, Please

15 Dec

Whine: I’ve had several inquiries as to the true identity of Sophie’s boot intruder. Inquiries phrased in such a way as to imply a lack of timeliness on my part. And so I offer my apologies for making you wait, but you know at Christmas that Mommies turn into crazy-eyed elves. We can’t help it–the banana bread is not going to bake itself.

Cheese: I didn’t realize that you all cared quite so much. Sniff.

In case you missed it, last week I posted a contest to determine the obstacle that was hidden in the toe of Sophie’s boot. I wanted to share the answers I got because they made me giggle.

1) Baby Jesus, to keep him warm. (Posted by Rachelle) Because what better place for the Savior of the World to stay warm than in the bottom of a stinky, dark boot? Probably beats the manger, though. And it is right along Big Sis’ line of thinking.

2)Red Tens. (Posted by Laura via Facebook) One year on our annual Labor Day Weekend to Kansas and back trek, Sophie “borrowed” all of the red 10 game pieces from Cousin Laura’s Rummikub game. Because for her, every episode of Sesame Street should be brought to you by the Color Red and the Number Ten.

3) Mindinator. (Posted by Aunt Lisa) The Mindinator is one of Sophie’s inventions. Basically it is a basket on her head that has some sort of undefined scientific powers. I’d be careful around that thing.

4) Hardened Halloween candy, stashed away in a moment of lucidity after a mad trick-or-treating frolic. (Posted by Jeanne) Hey, we’ve run out of candy, perhaps I’ll check all the shoes next time I need a candy fix.

5) A chicken nugget, hard enough to play baseball with. (Posted by Debbie)  I don’t know what kind of house you live in, but that kind of thing does NOT happen around here. Ewwwww.

6) Little Brother. (Posted by Uncle Paul and Karen) DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!

7) A tampon. (Posted by Mandy) Well, I guess you never know when you might need one. . .

8) This is not an actual entry, but I thought it deemed repeating:  (Posted on Facebook by Karla) My district blocked your blog. Says something about bodyart. Excuse me, it says ADULT BODYART. Oh dear. I realize we do frequently discuss the fact that my children hate wearing clothes, I did not think we were quite THAT scandalous.

In my estimation, you are ALL winners. So gold stars all around. But I can’t buy Starbucks for everyone, so I’ll let Big Sis tell you herself. (Note: She dressed herself today, including the beret and western vest. What? She’s a French poet cowgirl.)

It WAS a hotdog and it WAS nasty. It was about an inch of petrified meat product. I have no explanation for it’s presence in her footwear, but suffice it to say based on my kids and their “creative abilities” I was not all that surprised.

I am going to declare Debbie the winner of our first Whine and Cheese contest!! With an honorable mention to Jeanne, seeing as how she was pretty darn close, just not quite disgusting enough. Thanks for playing, y’all.

The Writing on the Wall

3 Nov

Whine: It was a multi-drive-thru kind of day. I’m not proud of it, but it just was.

Cheese: The dishes were pretty easy to do tonight. . .

Recently people have asked me how I do it all. As if I am an icon of productivity. Which, judging by the way my socks stick to the not-recently-mopped kitchen floor on my way to eat ice cream out of the carton while I watch reruns on the Disney channel, I am not.

But because on occasion I have churned out a cake or a blog post or a human or two (or three), people assume that I get lots of stuff done. And so I would like to take this opportunity to answer that question once and for all.

How do I do it?

I prioritize.

For the sake of clarity, here are a few examples of how I rate tasks on my priority scale.

CASE STUDY #1

Making a batch of Sneaky Snake Suckers with Big Sis for her to take for “S” day at school: HIGH to URGENT

Cleaning up resulting chocolate-covered floor/counter/walls: MODERATE to LOW

See? It was imperative that we make these.

CASE STUDY #2

Finishing that last chapter of whatever book I am trying to read: URGENT, URGENT, URGENT

Remembering that I have children and a family: WHAT?

At least it was a good book.

I would like you to use your best forensic work to notice several key elements to the above photo.

1) The Artwork. On the door. Signed by the artist.

2) The tell-tale ring of donut powder around someone’s mouth.

3) The unrepentant smirk beneath the donut powder peeking out from the defaced door.

CASE STUDY #3

Talking on the phone to my sister: MODERATE TO HIGH

Supervising the demon twins who are being eerily quiet: ALMOST NONEXISTENT AS A PRIORITY

Since we don't get a lot of autumn leaf piles around here. . .

And as you can see, our choices have consequences, both positive and negative. Although I do not have photographic evidence of the positive consequence of talking on the phone to my sister, as it she is not as destructive demonstrative as my daughters, I am sure it was worth it. To her. 😉

In this case, the other consequence of that conversation was that while I was chatting away in relative peace, Certain People were emptying my laundry baskets and my dresser drawers  and mixing together all the clean and dirty clothes. Ironically, neither of them were actually wearing any. I caught them carousing in the clothes pile and eating cupcakes. Actually, I didn’t catch them eating cupcakes, I just found the smudges of orange frosting on the carpet later on. Because of course if there was going to be frosting on my carpet it was going to be orange.

And so I think the moral of the story here (besides the fact that I am apparently a slow learner, seeing as how pictures 2 and 3 took place on consecutive days) is that I spend a lot of time paying the consequences for ignoring my kids. But then I get to eat the chocolate cheesecake with homemade chocolate and caramel drizzle that I made while they hid in their secret lair behind the chair and ate candy and giggled, and I figure it was worth it.

So worth it.

Also, here’s our Halloween scrapbook from this year. Thanks to Grandma Pam for the precious homemade fairy princess costumes.

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For My Sister

24 Sep

Whine:  Last night I stepped into my bedroom and into a large, slushy puddle of water simultaneously. After scanning the room for evidence of Tiny Terrorism and finding none, I shrugged and cleaned it up. When I returned to the scene an hour later and the slushy puddle had returned, with a vengeance, I called for back up. Turns out my air conditioner is disgruntled about having to work so late into September and is protesting by spewing water all over my carpet.

Cheese: Mr. Dad just earned his second “Fix the A/C” badge for his Handyman vest. He may have had to rip up the carpet and remove the bedroom door in the process, but at least I’m not borrowing from Big Sis’ college fund to pay for an emergency after-hours repair guy to come rip up my carpet and remove my bedroom door. Because that would be weird.

I want to dedicate today’s post to my sister Wren. Today is her birthday. And if you’ll excuse my language, it’s going to be a really craptastic birthday. Let’s just say it’s been a terribly hard week for her, and today will be no exception. And while I’m glad that she has a cute little house and cute little kids (and of course her hubby, “Uncle Steve”), I’m sad because they are all in sunny Florida. And that’s there and she’s there, and I’m precisely the opposite of that. I’m here.

And it just sucks to be so far away when she needs me to fan her and feed her grapes. (It’s what any good sister would do.) I mean I can’t even mail her a noodle casserole or anything because I’m pretty sure the UPS guy would scarf it all down before it got there because who can resist a noodle casserole??

And so the best I can do is try to make her laugh or at least entertain her. So I’ll probably spend the rest of this post telling stories about the good ol’ days and bore the pants off the rest of you, but I don’t really care because it’s not your birthday, unless it is, in which case you’re still probably not having quite as craptastic of a day as my sister so quit your whining already.

At some point in the early 90s Wren and I went to summer camp together. On the last night of camp there was an all-camp pizza party out on the grassy hill. We were all sitting around talking and hanging out. This apparently was really lame, so some of the boys started playing frisbee with the pizza boxes. Wren and I were ignoring them because we were deeply involved in a conversation in which we discussing our funerals. Looking back, I see how the pizza box frisbee may have broken out, as funeral arrangements are not that interesting to most eighth graders. Just as she was promising to bring flowers to my funeral, I felt something drop out of the sky right onto my head.

Upon further inspection and through choked back tears we discovered that I had just been hit with a full can of Sprite. Apparently the pizza boxes got boring and someone started throwing soda cans. I felt the Sprite spilling down my head, so Wren ran me up the hill to the nurse’s station. Except when we got there I realized it was most certainly not Sprite, but blood, trickling down my forehead. I looked like an extra in a bad axe-murderer movie. (As opposed to the good axe-murderer movie, which is one of mine and Wren’s favorites.)

In the end I was taken to the local middle-of-nowhere hospital, had a few stitches put in (it was merely a flesh wound) and went back to camp to milk my injury for all it was worth. But the thing I remember most was laughing so hard afterward with my sister about the irony of “almost dying” while discussing funeral plans. And the fact that there was someone else in the world with a sense of humor as morbid as mine.

Wren (far left) and I (far right) post soda can episode. Wish I could blame head trauma for my choice of shorts, or should I say jorts?

Wren and I, along with our other three sisters, have shared a lot of life together. School dances, breakups, vacations, and myriad bad style choices (see above). We have played dress up more than any teenagers probably should. We’ve had our fights, although fighting with Wren is pretty useless, as she will just argue until you are beaten down and give up.

A little too much time on our hands, I think.

As we’ve grown up we’ve done everything at almost the same time: gone to college, gotten jobs, gotten married (three weeks apart), and had kids. All the while we’ve remained friends and partners in life.  Our neurotic fixations may have changed over the years, but we still understand each other pretty perfectly. And I’m so glad that when the sky is falling, either literally or figuratively, that we have each other.  Happy birthday, Sis.

Insufficient Memory

12 Jul

Whine: You are very fortunate to be hearing from me today. I am taking time out from my very busy schedule of making memories to write this post. Making memories is exhausting.

Cheese: I have Photoshop and I’m not afraid to use it. Faking memories is not nearly as exhausting.

If you are like me you have many happy vacation memories. And you want the best for your children, which means giving them some vacation (it’s pronounced buh-KAY-shin if you’re four years old) memories of their own that do not involve reruns of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Handy Manny. I’ve taken the time to outline the elements of a proper vacation.

For any proper vacation, there is always Travel. As in spending five hours packing up everything you own and shoving it into your vehicle. This is done by allowing your children to use the open vehicle as an amusement park, climbing over the seats and turning all the knobs. When you finally “have everything you might possibly need”  (i.e., no more room in the car) you strap them into their seats (with the car running, obviously, since it’s 100 degrees at your house). Twenty minutes and two screaming kiddos later, you hop in the car only to realize that they’ve been sitting in their seats under a vent blowing HEAT at FULL BLAST and talk radio BLARING out the back speakers for that twenty minutes. Hence the crying. When you finally get out of your driveway you will then realize that you forgot the collapsible bed rail which of course you cannot collapse after turning around and going home for it, so you shove it beneath your son’s infant seat which is reverberating with the sound of his fury at being strapped in without prior authorization.

If you’re really, really lucky, your Travel is Budget Travel, which involves lots of begging (please, please, stop hitting your sister and don’t vomit until we pull over), borrowing (minivans and dvd players to name a few) and stealing (ok, no actual stealing, unless you count stealing a glance in the back for the ten minutes the sisters were peacefully coexisting.) But, we tell ourselves over and over, Budget Travel is where it’s at. It may not be pretty, but we’re bonding. Listen to them sing over Puff, the Magic Dragon in perfect little girl harmony. I mean, memories must be made and not bought, right? Oh, now listen, they’re fighting over who gets to sing the chorus. Precious.

Budget Travel also requires a mid-journey stop to slap together a few ham and cheese sandwiches  from the cooler in the back seat that is jammed full of groceries so as to avoid the insanely high prices of whichever vacation locale one happens to frequent. Incidentally, a pound of frozen hamburger works well as an ice block, in case you were wondering. So you throw a couple of dry sandwiches (because of course you forgot the mayonnaise) back to the wolves, who half eat half smear them across the back seat of the [borrowed] minivan. But sandwiches are so much healthier than those deliciously greasy and temptingly convenient chicken nuggets. No more trans-fatty sludge for us, no way. You’d think after five days of limited rations, the number on the scale would have gone down instead of up. But you would be wrong.

And the linchpin of Budget Travel is, of course, the borrowed lodgings. Whether it be a condo with a pool or a house on the lake, knowing the right people is key to vacationing on a dime. Borrowed lodgings are fantastic if your children are the play-nicely-on-the-piano and put-away-their-toy-as-soon-as-they-are-finished-playing type. However, if you happen to be blessed with the peanut-butter-cookie-dough-slinging, spilled-milk-on-the-carpet, crushed-froot-loops-in-the-couch-cushions type, borrowed lodgings may actually cost you more than booking a room at the Hilton and hiring a babysitter.

Borrowed lodgings often involve water/outdoor activities as the primary (i.e., only) means of entertainment. So after wrestling your exhausted and disoriented children into bed after your Incredible Journey and having them awaken far too early the next morning while you are feeling every last ounce of strength leave your body because all you ate for dinner the night before at 10:30pm was a “well done” grilled cheese sandwich, if you wake up to cloudy skies and a side of drizzle, you may be quite tempted to lock yourself in the bathroom and order a pizza.

But these are the days that memories are made of.  Will they remember crying and whining most of the day because they had a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and freaking out when they hear the tiniest bit of thunder over the pool they were swimming in? Or will it be eating sandwiches and Froot Loops for almost every meal because Mommy says something about a budget? I sure hope it’s the having a picnic on the balcony and convincing Mommy to swim in the rain. Otherwise their next buh-KAY-shin, might just be a stay-KAY-shin.

Before they accidentally kicked their plates to the ground.

Stay tuned for part two of the Summer Vacation series later this week!