Saturday, June 02, 2012

Summer prelude

3 babies on a slide

With Tobin's last day of school on May 17 and Matt's last days of work passing quickly, our favorite time of year is almost here. Just having Tobin home has made our days feel more leisurely. There's no need for the dash to get out the door for school in the mornings. I often don't even get the boys dressed until after Lauren's morning nap, which is when we may or may not head out to run an errand, visit a playground or take a walk. Even our evenings are more relaxed and we're starting the inevitable summertime shift that makes bedtime gradually later and later.

sleepy swinger

Now that Lauren's older, we plan to roadtrip like the summer before last. Although we've traveled a lot with Lauren already, she had not visited her Mimi and Granpa in Florida until last week. She's seen Mimi and Granpa many times--in Georgia (Ashley's wedding), Louisiana (Memaw's funeral and Christmas) and here (Mimi's fall and spring visits)--but we hadn't been able to work in a trip to their house. Since Tobin was done with school and we still had a good month before hitting the road again, late May ended up being a great time to make the trip. We were sad to leave Matt behind as he headed into the busy end-of-year testing time at work but it was nice to be able to spend a whole week down there, instead of trying to squeeze a visit into the holiday weekend. Of course, that meant I had to fly with three kids by myself. Getting through security with the three kids, diaper bag and stroller and visiting the bathroom were the hard parts on the way down but not too bad. On the return trip, the airline gave my mom a special pass to accompany me to the gate so that was super helpful. Indeed, I felt like I was pretty much breezing through the whole trip up until the last 30 minutes of our flight home. That's when the inevitable poop situation--the one that always happens with kids while traveling--transpired.

florida day 2: morning snuggles

As noted, Evan is potty training and does well at home but to ease my anxiety about accidents while traveling, I've kept him in pull-ups. So he was wearing one on our flight home and stealthily pooped his pants. This really wouldn't have been a problem apart from the smell for my fellow passenger and fortunately, it was toward the end of the flight. But unfortunately, it became apparent that the pull-up had not contained the poop and it was perilously close to breaching his shorts. And this is when the reality of being by myself with three kids hit me hard. I simply couldn't do anything except wait until we got off the plane. I don't think Lauren, Evan and I could have fit in the airplane bathroom, assuming Tobin would be cool with me leaving him behind in the seat. And I couldn't think of what I would have done with her while I was trying to clean Evan up even if we did fit in the bathroom. So the worst part of it truly was waiting that last half hour of the flight: worrying that other passengers were gagging from the smell and fretting about whether I would be able to get Evan down the aisle and off the plane not trailing poop before I secured him in the stroller. Evan was kind of oblivious to it and actually napped for the last fifteen minutes of the flight--as did Lauren--so that made it a little easier. I avoided making eye contact with any of the other passengers, even the ones who had been smiling at the kids from across the aisle. I didn't want to know if their smiles had been wiped away by the stench. I waited until most the other passengers had exited so that we could quickly leave the plane and I got him to the stroller without incident. Of course, I still had to actually clean him up in a public restroom with two other kids in tow. I could have just high-tailed it to find Matt in baggage claim but I was so frazzled at that point and kind of obsessed with cleaning it up that I just went ahead to the first restroom I saw at our gate. In any case, that part really wasn't as stressful as the anticipation of it while still on the plane. We all survived, and I almost cried when I saw Matt at baggage claim out of pure exhaustion and relief. Nothing like poop to keep a mama humble, right?

bros. in wagon

Inauspicious ending to our travels aside, our week in Florida was wonderful. There's just so much for the kids to do all the time, any time. And my parents love being on the go with the kids too. Mom frequently told me to go back to bed or take a nap and then she disappeared with the baby. Dad took the boys fishing after breakfast and supper in the backyard pond and pulled them in a wagon to the neighborhood tennis courts, basketball court and putting green. There's the neighborhood pool that we visited almost every day. Add to that: kayaking, corn hole, ladder ball, slip'n'slide and special trips to a splash park, bowling alley and Playmobil fun park. And the beach. Our trip to the beach may be my favorite memory from the whole trip. We arrived around 10:00 on Memorial Day but somehow beat the crowds. We walked along the surf and splashed--just a little--in the foamy waves and played in the sand. Lauren and Mimi snuggled under an umbrella, where she took her morning nap in Mimi's arms. And did I mention that my sister drove all the way down from Atlanta to surprise all of us and spend the holiday weekend with us? So she was able to join us for that sweet morning at the beach too.

chattin' w/ashley

There were just a few dicey moments during week. Evan had a terrible no good very bad day in which he fell in the pool without his floatie (Granpa quickly to the rescue!), threw up his dinner (Overzealous burrito eating triggered his gag reflex? Never acted sick before or after.) and fell out of the hammock (The temptation to try to scale or rock the hammock was too great, apparently.). But other than that, he had such a great time that he actually whined we arrived home at RDU and Mimi and Granpa weren't there. He has told me many times since our return that he wants to see Mimi and Granpa and Ashley and--while we're at it--my aunts Louise and Bethany. Strangely, Tobin also threw up one morning (something he ate?) while we were at my parents' house and was touch-and-go for about half a day. But by the afternoon, he was enjoying the slip'n'slide at full strength. Lauren also loved her time in Florida and gave me the tremendous gift of sleeping soundly most nights, even when her napping schedule and bedtime routines were thrown off. Thankfully, she did not throw up.

thank you mimi & granpa!

Our week in Florida was the perfect prelude to what we expect to be an extra sweet summer, visiting family and friends. For now, we are missing Mimi, Granpa and Ashley but thankful for the memories of our fun visit and anticipating seeing them again before the end of the month. And we are most grateful to be home with Matt and look forward to him joining us on our next adventure.



Sewconsult said...

SUPERMOM! I think you get an award for making the trip with 3 little ones.

The poop saga reminded me of a day when our real estate agent was due to show our house (in Cincinnati). Twenty month old oldest daughter stunk up the house righteously and I couldn't get rid of the odor before the door bell rang!

allison said...

Thanks, Beckie. Poop is just a reality of parent life isn't it? :)