va·ca·tion () Pronunciation Key (v-kshn, v-)
n. A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation
Yeah, that’s a vacation before kids. A vacation with kids is not so much about rest or relaxation. Pleasure maybe. Maybe.
We got home this afternoon from a three-day get-away to Cincinnati. We wanted to do something special with the girls before Gabe starts his new job on the 30th. It was our first trip with three kids. In a day or two, I will only remember the good parts, so I’ll share the not-so-hot moments while they’re fresh in my mind.
We left around 8 am on Thursday. I had so much fun (yes, I’m being sarcastic) packing everything we needed to 1. eat healthy 2. have enough clothing in case of accidents 3. be comfortable on our trip and 4. accommodate a little one.
We waited until the night before to make hotel reservations. BIG mistake. We really wanted an indoor pool for the girls, internet access for Gabe, a quick drive to and from the aquarium and zoo and an affordable price. Good luck with that. And we hadn’t counted on the fact that having 5 people in a room is considered a fire hazard. We finally secured a room around 1 am. I had to get up at 5:45 to pack.
Okay, I’m already forgetting how our trip to Cincy went. I know Livi said her belly hurt as soon as we left. I know that we tried to take a shortcut, only to find our exit closed. We added 30 minutes to our trip. The aquarium was fun. Not my favorite destination but fun. Nina liked her stroller for about 20 minutes. Then I held her and pushed it. Nice.
We were allowed to check in to the hotel early (1pm ish). Gabe went swimming with Livi and Ava. We kind of took naps. Livi complained off and on of not feeling well. Went to Ruby Tuesday for supper. Livi looked awful. Ordered our food. She came over to my side of the table and sat on my lap. Ten seconds later, she puked all over everything. Mmmm… We told our waitress, apologized profusely, went out to the car, stripped Livi’s jeans off, wrapped her in one of Nina’s blankets, she’s crying because she left her coloring book and crayons, I go back in, manager is cleaning up, I offer to do it, he says he has three sons and understands, back out to van, back in to Ruby’s to ask if we can get our food to go, go back to hotel, Gabe returns for food.
Livi sleeps in bed with me, Gabe with Ava, Nina (the fire hazard) on the floor. Livi tosses and turns all night with fever. Thankfully, Nina doesn’t wake up to nurse until 4:30 and goes back to sleep.
Friday–zoo. Fun except that Nina starts screaming in the middle of the rain forest. There are no restrooms in the rain forest. Make it out alive, run to restroom, feed her, change her. She does well in the stroller for half hour or so. Starts crying. Try to carry her while pushing stroller. She’s flinging herself backwards. I about drop her. Gabe pushes stroller. He is also pushing Livi and Ava in a rented double zoo stroller. He is strong. Gives me the keys. I walk as fast as I can to the zoo exit. She is screaming louder and louder and LOUDER. Finally get there. People probably thought I was kidnapping her.
Grab lunch at a gas station. We do not even attempt to eat out for dinner. Gabe goes to Bob Evans Carry Out. Livi has taken sips of water and eaten about 6 goldfish crackers at gunpoint all day long. Can’t stomach supper. She has diarrhea. I feel sick now. Make it through the night. About 20 bad dreams. Diarrhea all morning.
Trip home goes well. We make it to Springfield w/o Nina crying. Eat at Arby’s. Still good. Take stroller into Old Navy and buy jeans and flipflops for Livi. Flipflops for Ava. Make it home. Someone is looking at our house. Wait in van in front of neighbors’.
Unpack everything. Put it away. Fight nausea and exhaustion. Do laundry. Fix supper. Play Uno. Ava wants to play “baby.” She goes up to Nina’s crib. Falls asleep. Livi falls asleep on couch. All before 7 pm. Gabe carries them to their bunkbeds. Nina in bed by 8ish.
Gabe told me not to make it sound like it was all bad. It really wasn’t. Here are some good things:
We saw polar bears and white lions–very cool. We saw fish that swim with their bulgy eyes above the water. Creepy but cool. Jellyfish gallery–beautiful. Nina slept beautifully on the floor. We didn’t get kicked out of the hotel for having too many kids. The pool was fun. The girls had a blast. Ava got out of the pool about once every 2 minutes to fix her wedgie. 🙂 Livi and Ava learned how to play Uno. Gabe was very disciplined with his Advocare shakes, exercise and eating habits. I love watching my girls when they see an animal for the first time–tigers, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes. I love watching them invent games and dramas with each other. I love my little family. Thank you, Lord.