Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Running on Empty!!

About a week ago, i woke up on the wrong side of the bed...i was doomed from the beginning.  I woke up late to get the kiddos off to school...not so late that they would in fact be marked tardy...and I'm NOT claiming that never happens...just late enough that the chances were excellent that before they were dropped off at school that "mother with a loud voice" would make an appearance.  And then, to make matters worse, i had the impression in the back of my mind that i remembered something about having a doctors appointment that morning.  I call the office...it is 8:41 a.m....and i hear, "Oh yes, there you are on our schedule, at 9:50 am today"...which maybe wouldn't be a big deal, except that i am still in my jammies, as are Faith and Lily, and my three older kids need to be dropped off at school at 9:10 am...AND my appointment is 40 minutes from our house.
So, we are hustling around...."Grace, stop piddling around!! Get your shoes on!"...."Savannah, please go upstairs and get Lily dressed"...."Lily, PLEASE....please let Savannah help you...mommy can't right now, i have to get myself dressed!!" and on and on until i look at the clock and it is 9:04 am.  CRAP!
Okay, "Savannah, y'all get out to the car, help the little girls into their car seats...don't forget your bag...ill grab my purse and be out in a second"...."Grace, please put Tank on his chain so he can go potty before we have to leave..." but it's too late, as i hear all the girls yell, "NO, Tank!!"...followed by, "Mom, Tank got out!"  Ugh!! REally?!!
OK...breathe..."Grace, take the leash and get Tank...Savannah get the girls loaded in the car please."
It's 9:10.  The kids will be marked tardy in 5 more minutes.  At this point i am gathering my purse, phone, and the basics...binkys, snuggles, etc. when Savannah comes back in the house and says, "mom, the car is locked", to which i respond, "OK, well, this is an easy fix Savannah, get the keys off the hook."  At which point she rolls her eyes at me and says, "yeah, mom...they aren't there."  So i tell her to try all the doors of the car, and see if they were left in the car. Tank is back, and I'm heading out to the car, and Grace says, "Mom, the keys are locked in the car...i can see them down by the front seat!"  I turn around and head back inside to tear drawers apart, looking for a spare key...which i know full well, does not exist...but, i don't know what else to do, so this is what i do.  Its 9:16...the kids are now late.  I text my husband, asking if he has any idea where an extra key is (even though we both know there isn't one...we learned this last summer when we lost the keys in Jackson Hole).  There is no response, 1, 3, 5 minutes...and i am texting, texting, texting.  Finally, he texts me from an appointment he is in and says, "I put them in your purse last night".  My purse?! How could they be in my purse?! Grace just said she saw them inside the locked car....but, i dump out my purse anyway, because i don't know what else to do...and there they are...my keys! So, i am physically running out towards my car, and telling my kids to hurry and get in.  I turn to Grace and say, "Grace? I thought you said you saw my keys in the car by the seat?"  to which she responds, "Well, i saw something shiny mom"...REally?! i mean, REally?!!
So, we pull into the school, and it is now 9:23, and now i have to go in with them to the front office and check them in...we are running.  Check in, run back to the car, buckle the girls, and head to the doctor.  I know there is no way that i will make my appointment on time...if i speed, we will be 10-12 minutes late, if we are lucky.  I call my sister...i just need to vent about my morning.   She is patiently listening, inserting the occasional, "Oh, you gotta be kidding me!"  that she is required as my "person" to say.  Then, i notice my gas light is on...but, there is no time to stop...I'm pretty sure we can make it there.  So, I'm chatting away with my sis, and I'm almost to the exit that the doctor's office is off of, and suddenly, my car steering just stops working.  I'm panicking now...."Oh my gosh" i say, "my steering wheel wont turn....seriously, my whole car is just like, turning off!  Brooke, what do i do?!"  To which she calmly says, "Um, you are out of gas"...followed by, "are you at the exit yet?  You need to try to coast as far as you can and get off the freeway". 
She is right...i have run out of gas - in more ways than one at this point.  So, we coast as far as we can onto the shoulder of the road in the middle of the exit ramp.  I look around.  We are probably about a mile and a half from the chevron i can see in the distance.  I turn around and look at my two girls.  Neither one of them has a coat, and Faith made it out of the house without shoes today...and it is winter.  I just put my head on the steering wheel and cry and have my own little pity party. 
Luckily for me, my brother-in-law lives right off this exit too.  I call his wife, and in between embarrassment and tears, i explain where i am and what has happened, and can one of them go fill up a gas can and come help me?  Thankfully, she says her husband is home, and she will send him. 
So, we sit waiting, and my girls are starting to lose it, and Faith needs to go potty.  We get out and go potty on the side of the road.  We get back in.  My girls want to go...."Why are we just SITTING here, mom?!!"  they want to listen to music, and for me to turn the heat on...the no gas thing isn't making much sense to them.
I call the doctor's office, and explain what has happened and ask if there is any way they could still squeeze me in?  but, alas, they can't...not until 2:20 pm that day.  And i think, "of course not!  Why would it be any different than that?!!"
So, my brother in-law appears, gas can in hand, and saves me.  I chug on down the rest of the exit to the Chevron to fill up my car.  After getting gas, i get back in the car and start the drive home...it's now 11:20, and Lily has school in an hour.  When my girls realize we are just driving back home now, they fall apart...and i feel like falling apart too...because i realize i will arrive home just in time to feed the girls lunch, and get Lily dropped off at school...only to get back in the car, and head back to the doctor's office...and on the way home, I'll probably have to fill up the car again so we don't repeat the events of this glorious day, in the very same afternoon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Didn't Your Mother Teach You Manners?!

So, I don't know why it is this way...but, i literally cannot stand it when my kids say "no" to me.  Not "no thank you, mom", not "in a minute mom"- which, in all honesty, drives me bananas anyway...but just a flat, all out "NO".  Let me give some examples....
Me:  "Lily, please go let Tank (the dog) out"
Lily:  "No".
And then i have that moment of disbelief, followed by shock and awe, followed by You gotta be kidding me that my four year old just turned to me after a very simple request and said, "NO".
Me:  "Mason, please go get your sister from so-and-so's house for dinner"
Mason:  "No".
Me:  "Savannah, please put your pile of clothes...that i just washed and folded for you...away in your drawers..."
Savannah:  "No."
Now, if we are being fair, Savannah says "no" less often than any of my other kids...she will say something like, "Ok, Mom, in just one sec"...which i have learned in Savannah-ese,  is in fact, "no".

or, the sneaky no:
Me:  "Gracie, please put your dish in the sink"
Grace: "Ok, mom" ...at which point she immediately gets up and walks out of the room, and the dish remains exactly where it was.  Almost like, she thinks i wont notice when i look back at the table and see her dish still there...almost like, as long as the words "ok mom" escape her lips all will be well...because really, I'm not her mom, I'm the maid, too...or, in her little perfect world,  i  can just fling open the window and sing to invite creatures in to clean up after her.

In these moments, i think to myself, "Seriously?! How did i get here?"....which, is almost always followed by some sort of "Well, that's it...I'm done cleaning up after everyone.  They can all just live in their filth until they are all so disgusted, they will learn to help out.  If no one lets the dog out, we know what will happen.  If dishes don't get put in the sink to be cleaned, well then, they will eventually run out of dishes to eat on, and room at the table to eat,  and can eat on the floor for all i care!"  The problem here, is that they all know what i knew as a child too..."Mom will do it."
Mom ALWAYS does it...no matter how much, or how awful the clean up of any situation really is...they are right...mom will do it.
As i think about this sometimes i reflect on the perfect vision i had for myself as a mother...
I would have perfect little children who all had the cutest, clean, ironed clothes, whose shoes never looked worn, whose faces were always clean and filled with smiles.  They would be beautiful and perfect in every way, and their sweet little voices would be like angels with a case of the giggles....(Side note: ever wonder how laughter can go from priceless noise to the most aggravating sound in the world just because you are in a small car together?! I remember my dad yelling at us from the front seat as children during those long Sunday drives of aimless house hunting , saying, " this car is just too small for all this noise!!"  And, i remember thinking, "How could continuous, loud laughter and teasing from children ever be annoying???"...no worries, Dad, i get it now!)
Any whoooo.....I had this vision of motherhood that i had created for myself....and somehow, my sweet children, turning to me after a simple request and saying, "no"...was not part of that dream.  Yet hear i sit, writing this entry, because in this moment, i have HAD IT with "NO".  I'm filing a complaint with "NO".
Dear "NO",
I am normally a really kind person.  I don't fuss about all that much.  But, recently, i have noticed that you have been coming around a little too much.  Not that I'm saying that i don't expect to ever hear from or see you again, but, honestly, "NO", you really are wearing out your welcome around my ears...and it's just plain rude to take it to this very un neccessary  point.  Didn't your mother teach you anything about manners?!
What?....What is that you just said?....Did you just say, "no"?!!!  Forget it, "NO"...i knew in my heart of hearts this was a hopeless cause.  I guess i just wanted you to know that i personally am not a fan, and i would like you to stay away from my kids from here on out.
p.s....I removed you from my friends on Facebook...AND, i clicked "Like" on "Yes's" page.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shopping Just Got Tipsy...

The other day i was having one of "those" days....I seemed to have an absolute cloud of chaos following me. I entered a room, picked it up, moved to another room to do the basics of picking up and what not, only to re-enter the previous room and find it had met with the destruction that only two Tasmanian devils could accomplish...aka...my four year old and two year old. After repeating this process a few times, i remembered the wise words i had heard in high school at some point: "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results"...well, mama was reaching insanity!

So, we took the dogs out to go potty, put them in their crates, and buckled up kiddos in car seats and headed into town....where oh where should we go?....Well, to get a diet coke with lime of course...that's just a given...but then where? As i drove aimlessly, sipping on my much deserved D.C., i found myself pulling into none other than the Ross parking lot. Ross...of course. This would be an easy fix...I could wander up and down the kid isles, and let my girls ooh and aah at the shelves filled with tea sets and puzzles and Bratz and princess everything...this would be exciting for them and give me an easy mental break...recipe for perfection...right?

What could go wrong ? the unseasoned mother might ask...(aka, me, a week ago).

So, i buckle Faith (my 2 year old) into the cart, and tell Lily to stay with me, and we head to the kid section. It's perfect, and easy for the first fifteen minutes . We find a few gifts for some friends who have birthday parties coming up...I'm feeling accomplished...there are some great deals nestled in my cart that are perfect. Then, Lily notices something on a shelf...a shelf higher than her little arm reaches, (can you feel it coming?...i could too...and looking back on it, I'm thinking how convenient "go-go gadget arms" really would be for a mother...), and i see her climbing up the side of the cart to reach the toy...it's all happening so fast...i reach to grab her, but it's too late! The cart is tipping! I grab the front of the cart and Faith with one hand and reach to grab Lily with the other hand..it's no good, we are going down. I'm out of hands...my leg is up like a kung fu master attempting to push the cart back up...and if you have ever been to Ross, you know that they have those five foot metal bars sticking up from the cart so that you can't take the carts outside the store. Well, those bars really cause a problem if your cart is going down! The bar catches the top shelf of the toys, and an avalanche of toys, puzzles, and tea sets come crashing down...Oh My GOOD GRAVY!! Is this really happening right now?!! I'm stuck...there is seriously nothing i can do...we are two feet...at most...from the cart hitting the floor, and lily being crushed by the cart, and who knows about Faith...i mean, its not like those buckles in shopping carts are really made for shopping cart accidents....and I'm twisted in all sorts of positions trying to keep this all from happening...and then, out of nowhere...a fellow mother comes running down the isle to help me upright the cart and my daughters....we are saved...from everything but humiliation...and this sweet mother...my friend in combat, turns to me and says, "these silly carts tip SO easily"...and smiles and walks away. "Thank you", i say, breathlessly...but, she is already gone, because, she is a mother too.

I assess the damage around me...literally all around me...and decide this particular trip to Ross has quickly slid into the "abort the mission" category. I quickly pick up the toys and put them on the shelves...i pull Faith out of the cart, grab Lily's hand and my purse and walk right out those doors to my car. And i have thought about that cart, left in the middle of an isle, filled with a few bargain treasures that will no longer find their way into the hands of those upcoming birthday party holders...and while it would have been nice to have those gifts wrapped and ready to go, it would have been, in no way, worth it to push that cart to the front of the store and stand in line and feel like the crazy cart lady for one second longer...that may come later in life...but, I'm not there yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

You pick the place. . . I'll bring the CHAOS!!! (Part 1 - in its entirety!))

You pick the place. . . I'll bring the CHAOS!!! (Part 1 - in its entirety!))
So, for spring break this year, i decided, last minute, (literately - at 3:30 pm
on Monday afternoon, and we were in the car on our way at 5 pm) to join three of my friends and their kids in Vegas. That's right - 4 moms, no husbands, and 16 kids (nearly a third of them being mine!). It is also important to mention that before we decided to join up with this fab group of ladies, the youngest child in the group was 6. Enter, Heather. Enter, Chaos.
So, we are on our merry way, and about an hour into the drive i realize that i have forgotten the pac n' play for Faith. Crudola!. . . and the stroller. . . and my camera. . . and a life jacket for Lily for the pool. Ugh. Looks like we will be making an emergency stop to Walmart somewhere en route.
Three hours into the trip, and we are hauling. When i am pretty sure we are at our last chance to hit Walmart, we pull off. Now, mind you - in my mad rush to exit the house, Lily, at some point changed her clothes. . . into one of Faith's dresses. size 6-12 months. Lily is almost three. She also found time to remove her panties and replace them with a pair of bloomers - also faiths - but, to a different dress. Also important to note - the last 45 minutes in the car before pulling over were complete and utter chaos. Lily and Faith were both done being in carseats. Both screaming at the top of their lungs - i did what any honorable mother would do - i handed back dum dums and licorice. . . repeatedly. Hmm. Not smart. So, when we pull up to Walmart, i realize that both lily and faith have sticky gunk all over their face and hair - which now looks slightly punk rock - and are completely covered in red. Sticky red hands, sticky red legs, sticky red streaked hair, sticky red clothes. . . and, we are outta wipes. Hmm. Its just Walmart, i think to myself - and then announce to my brood - ok - shoes on, lets go. So, we throw shoes on everyone and take everyone into Walmart. the list is short: portable crib, camera, wipes, stroller - and a few snacks to keep in the room in Vegas. We should be in and out in 20, 25 minutes - Max! . . . or not!
We go walking into Walmart, and head straight to the bathroom - and i think to myself again, that Lily looks, in one word - awesome. I think to myself - Oh my good gravy - we could not be anymore W.H.I.T.E. T.R.A.S.H. if we were going to a costume party as "White Trash". So, we use the restroom - wash off the girls as best i can, and head out to shop for our list. As we make our way thru the store, several things happen. Mason and Grace find incredible "caves" to hide from me in. Awesome. Lily, at some point, loses her shoes (never to be recovered, by the way) and now has BLACK bottoms of feet. Awesome-er. (im pretty sure that is not even a word - but, it seems to work here!) So she is running around (no more room in the cart because of the stroller and pac n play and Faith) with a Navy and Red dress - that looks more like a very tiny maternity shirt (i should also tell you that the dress is so small infact that it does not button all the way up the back, so it is pulled in an open "V" across Lily's shoulders.) so, she is in the navy and red dress, with hot pink and white habiskus flower bloomers - and disgustingly filthy feet. Awesom-ist. (again, pretty sure its not a word - but, whatever!) So, miracle beyond all miracles - we make it out of Walmart - one hour and 18 minutes later. Ok. Get gas, get back on the road - three and a half more hours to Vegas. We can do this.
Fast forward - and we are pulling into Vegas. Its midnight, and all my kiddos are passed out. Find Excalibur (where we stayed). My friends had told me to pull through to Valet Parking to make things easier (they had all arrived earlier that day). But, as luck would have it - the sign under the Valet Parking says "FULL". Hmm. ok, no big deal. Look for parking. Find a place to park - that is maybe as far away from the entrance as it could possibly be without being at the next hotel - it appears Excalibur is hopping tonight. Lucky us! So, i park and wake up all the kids. "Wake up guys, we are here! c'mon, everyone has to help" as i load up each groggy child with their pillows and little rolling suitcases. I am holding Faith in one arm (because the stoller is still in the box) and in my other arm, my purse, a backpack, and two overnight bags on my shoulder - and i tell my kids to stay close and follow me. You really have to get this picture right - and remember - lily is still in the dress, bloomers, and no shoes - and is carrying her sippy cup, snuggle, and book. I am leading the group - me and Faith, then Grace, Mason, Lily, and Savannah. We are easily a 20 foot long parade. We have to cross two roads. Taxi's are honking - people are pointing and whispering. I can see people using their finger to physically count us. Which brings me to my next point - Honestly - we are in Vegas - a shmorgusborg of visually stimulating and appalling things to look at - and we are the center of attention? I just wanted to look at everyone and say, "Yes. there are FIVE!" followed by, "Really?!"
Moving on. . . we head into the casino to check in. We get our key card and the man at the desk explains to me that we are in Tower 1. Where is Tower 1? Just down the stairs, past the slots, down the hill - take a left at the elevators. We are on the 12th floor. Room 12151 (Which is all the way down the hall). Awesome, again.
We get to the room, and i look at my oldest, Savannah, who is 9, and say, "Okay honey - mommy needs your help big time. I have to run back out to the car and get the pac n' play, the diaper bag, and formula for Faiths' bottle. I am turning on a show on the Tv. Do your best to keep everyone happy. I will be right back - i will run!" And then i tell all of them to look me in the eyes, and i say, "DO NOT - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, OPEN THIS DOOR FOR ANYONE. . . ANYONE, DO YOU HEAR ME?" they all nod, and i take off running. I sprint to the car. Now that i know where our room is, i think to myself - surely, there is closer parking to Tower 1. I hop in the car and drive to the other side of the hotel. I cant find anything. I call my husband. It is midnight - and i am questioning my spontaneous trip.
"Hello?" he answers groggily. "What in the "H" am i doing in Satan's' Armpit with 5small children?!" i shout. We go through the whole situation and he tells me to calm down. "Calm down?! I have 5 babies sitting on the 12th floor in Vegas!!!" I have a call coming in - it is one of my friends that is staying in Vegas, too. I answer.
"Hi", she says. "I am in your room with your kids. . . Lily was freaking out and screaming so loud that i could hear her through the wall. I thought i better come see what was going on." Wow. Crap. and then, "how did you get in?", followed by, "i just knocked, and the kids opened the door." Hmm. Maybe one of my worst plans ever! i think! I tell her that i will park and be right up. So, i get some courage, and pull up to Valet (the sign still says "FULL"), get out of my car and look at the guy straight in the eye and say, "Listen. its 12:30. i have driven the last 7 hours with 5 kids, 9 years old and younger, to get here. They are all currently on the 12th floor in our room - BY THEMSELVES. I realize your space is "full", but you're gonna find me a parking space in that lot, and get me a bell hop, so i can go back up to my kids!" And the guy looks at me, shrugs his shoulders, and says, "ok." "Victory!" I think to myself! Until the guy follows his "ok" with, "the sign is broken. . . ". Hmm. Again. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You pick the place. . . I'll bring the CHAOS!!! Part 2

So, i get back up to the room, and the bell hop is a few minutes behind me with all the remaining luggage. When he gets there, I pull out the pac n' play, and set it up for Faith. I make her a bottle. I help all the kids into their jammies. Mason, Lily, and Gracie will share one queen bed - and Savannah and I will share the other - and Faith will sleep in the portable crib next to my side of the bed. Its 1 a.m. and i am exhausted! Luckily for me, it appears that my kiddos are spent, too. i tuck everyone in, say prayers with them, and give kisses, and climb into my side of the bed. Mason and Savannah are out in 2 minutes flat. Gracie is right behind them - and i am awfully close. Faith finishes her bottle and stands up and chucks it out of the crib. It hits me in the head. Faith can see me, and starts crying. She wants to get out and come lay with me. "Shhh!" i whisper to her as i think, "please don't wake everyone!". I pull her up with me and snuggle her. She can't settle. Lily wakes up and decides that it is not fair that Faith gets to sleep with me, and she doesn't - so, she makes her way over Mason (who stirs), slides off the bed, pulls herself up onto my bed using Savannah's leg (who shouts), and wriggles in between me and Savannah. So, now in this little bed, lie Savannah, Lily, me and Faith - its a little crowded - but, I'm too tired to care. Obviously, the night of "sleep" is almost non-existent. I hold Faith on my chest all night because i am worried she will get sandwiched in between all of us. Every time she falls asleep, i try again to move her to the pac n' play (for a total of 4 times) at which point she immediately wakes and starts crying, and i pull her back up with me so she doesn't wake everyone. Last time i look at the clock, it is 4:48 a.m.

my next moment of awareness comes from my 7 year old son, Mason. Now, if you have read any of my previous posts than you know that Mason has one level of volume control: LOUD.

(Now, to really get this right, you need to use almost a "shout" volume.)

"Oh my gosh, mom, I cant believe we are in Vegas!" to which i immediately respond, "Shh! Mason! If you wake everyone, so help me. . . "! And he continues, "I know mom - but I'm just so excited that i can't sleep!" as he flings open the black out drapes and in pours the sunshine which is met with painful protest from everyone else in the room. I look at the clock. Oh My Hell. It's only 6:23 a.m. - someone shoot me now. Every one is awake now, and all clamoring at the window saying, "wow - look at that" and "oh my gosh - look over there" - and i am thinking to myself as rub my eyes - i can only imagine what they are looking at! I go turn on the shower, and thank my lucky stars that there is an ice cold Red Bull in the cooler in our room (Hey! Don't judge mama, love mama!). And so, our day begins at 6:30 in the morning. . . and we are not meeting up with all the others until 9 a.m.. Have you ever tried to entertain and keep quiet 5 young children in a hotel room in Vegas for 2 and a half hours?! Take it from me. . DON'T!

So, 9 a.m. finally rolls around, and i am on the floor, screwing in the wheels on my new stroller (did i mention that i have 3 at home?) so that we can head out. On the agenda today? We are going to walk down the strip and head over to the M&M Factory, then to the Coca-Cola Factory, then to lunch, then back to the hotel to change into swim suits and head out to the pool (Did i mention that it is only 56 degrees, and windy?!). Here's a quick look at us heading out - shoving all 16 kids into one elevator. . . because this is not the right city to lose a small child in. .. but, don't worry, that's coming in part 3 of this blog!

Now, anyone who has ever walked the strip in Vegas is well aware that in order to cross the streets you must basically go through a maze of escalators, bridges, and crosswalks. And, this "maze" becomes so much less appealing when you do it with 16 kids, including one in a stroller! But, on we go. I am pretty sure that i have never counted to 16 so many times in my life as i did that one day in the space of 4 hours!

So, we head to the M&M Factory. Pure delight for eyes of all ages. By the time we get to the 2nd floor of the factory, both Mason and Lily have already have escalator accidents - nothing serious. . . but enough that now Lily does not want to get on the escalators. Awesome. We spend about an hour at the factory, and leave there to head to the Coca Cola factory. (side note: Did you know that you can get a bag filled with all the "special" (hot pink, aqua, lime green etc.)colors of M&M's for the bargain price of $11.99. . . PER POUND?!!! And i almost got sucked in to this "fun" purchase until i realized that after all my kids got their bags filled. . . we would be the proud owners of about $100 BUCKAROOS of M&Ms. MADNESS!!)

So, we visit the Coca Cola Factory, and now it is time for lunch. We Decide to hit the Food Court on the strip so that there are lots of options for everyone. By the time we get to lunch - my kids are awnry and tired. They are falling apart. Everyone wants something different. There is crying and, yes, EVEN talking in whinese (a language in which my kids are fluent)! I have reached the end of my rope. I announce to my kids, that, although all the other kids and moms that we are with are in fact going to the swimming pool when we get back to the hotel - my kids are not. They are going to the room for a much needed nap. They are devastated. How could i do this to them?! I'm the meanest mom in the world! No other mom would make them stay in the room instead of go to the pool!! I look them all in the eye, and just say (in my "here comes mother with a loud voice tone") "Really?" And they are quiet. . . for about 13 seconds, and then it starts all over again. So, i tell the ladies that i am with to go ahead - and we will meet them down there. We get everyone in swimsuits and head back out of the room. Where - pray tell - where is the pool, you might ask?! Well, it is up the hill, past the slots, through the heart of the casino, past "Dick's Last Stop" bar (pure trash), back past more slots, down the little hill, through one set of doors, through another set of doors, down the hall, and out the back doors of the hotel. We finally make it, Mother Duck, and her 5 baby ducks . . . and as we are walking out to the actual pool, i realize that i forgot to buy Lily a lifejacket when we made our infamous stop at Walmart the day before. Seriously?! Seriously.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

You pick the place. . . I'll bring the CHAOS!!! Part 3

The saga continues. . .

We head out to the pool to meet up with with other moms and kids that we are with. Faith has, luckily, fallen asleep in the stroller during our trek thru the casino. Now the task at hand is to find Lily some sort of flotation device for the pool. We find a little shop on the other side of the pool. They have water wings! And they are for sale for the bargain price of $17.99. They look no different than the ones available at the Dollar Store. . . but, i am in no position to be picky, so we buy them. Off the the pool to take pics and catch up with the ladies. We sit on the chairs that are pool side and watch the kids enjoy the water. I don't know how they are enjoying themselves because we are not wet, and we are freezing. We are wrapped up in towels that are performing the act of blankets. But, then we see the cute gals bringing drinks around, and decide that even though it is basically WINTER in Vegas - those drinks DO look pretty good! So, we all order one. Virgins, of course. (Side note: did you know that even if you order a "virgin" daquiri in Vegas, that it is still $7? amazing, since i know that the non-alcoholic mixer from the grocery store is like $2 for a huge bottle - the ice in Vegas must be pretty stinkin' expensive...cause the "free" alcohol in that town flows like water!! Lol!)

So, the kids swim for a couple hours, and then it is back to the room to shower and get ready for dinner. Location: Rainforest Cafe. Here we go - all 20 of us, back onto the elevator, back thru the maze of bridges, escalators, and crosswalks. The kids are excited. They are everywhere. Looking at the fish, the snakes and gorillas hanging from the trees. The birds and elephants. It is nearly impossible to keep everyone seated during dinner - but, we are here for the kids. . . this is fun. (Probably not nearly as fun for the people seated all around us. . .Lol!)
We finish dinner and head back to the hotel. We need a good nights' sleep...big day tomorrow - we will be heading to Circus Circus to the Fun Dome for the day, and then to Tournament of Kings for dinner and a show in the evening.
We (the moms) meet in the hall after getting the kids settled to make our plans for the next day. We decide to meet at 9 am to grab breakfast and then head out to Circus Circus.
Luckily, my kiddos are all exhausted and sleep comes relatively easy tonight...until 3 am, when Faith wakes up and wants to come into my bed...which already contains me, Lily, and Grace. So, I pull her in and try to sleep...on the very edge of the bed..it's a long night. The morning comes early at 7 am, when Mason, my early riser, decides he is done sleeping, and that we all should be done too. We wake and begin the showers and baths to get ready for Circus Circus.
We arrive at Circus Circus at about 9:30 that morning and the the kids are all thrilled to be there. Ofcourse, we have to divide the mothers and children because we have a significant age gap amongst us...some to the huge roller coasters, some to the kiddie land. We play and play, and it is finally time to gather everyone and head back to the hotel to get ready for the dinner and show. Where is everyone? The Texting begins...lets all meet at the entrance we decide. So, everyone starts to arrive, and i begin to realize the Grace, my five year old, has since dissappeared. Hmmmmm. Don't panic, i think...she was just right here. We begin looking for her...ten minutes pass...still no Grace. Now, one thing you should know about Grace is that she is friendly...overly friendly. We find the security guard and tell him we have lost one of our many children. The search is on. We look another ten minutes, still no Grace, and i am panicking. Finally, one of the kids in our group spots her on a ride, laughing, having a great time...oblivious to the fact that she is missing. I could kill her and smother her with kisses all at the same time. Crisis averted, but we are now running half an hour behind. The rush is on to get back to the hotel for the show.
We arrive back at the hotel, and as everyone pulls out there tickets, i reach for mine...i know i put them in my diaper bag last night when i purchased them...they were right in the zipped pocket in the front of the bag...but, amazingly, no dice. I think to myself, "really?! Am i honestly, yet again, another hold up for my group?"...apparently i am. My friends want to help, but i can tell they are frustrated - and for the life of me, i cannot IMAGINE why!! Lol. I tell them to go ahead to the show, i will head back to the ticket desk, explain my situation, and we will be right behind them. Not likely, you say? right you are.
So, my kiddos and i head to the desk, in the middle of the casino, and realize there is one heck of a line. We wait. Ten minutes pass, then fifteen. I check my watch...the show starts in ten minutes. We wait a few more minutes - while my kids slowly start to inch away from my place in line - until finally i think, "I gotta take the bull by the horns, and be that rude woman who cuts to the front of the line " (you know, the one that slides in the front, off to the side, and says, "I'm sorry, i just have a quick question?...")when in all reality, it is not at all just a quick question! So, i do this, holding Faith in my arms because she is done being in the stroller, and Grace and Lily are getting restless, and i can tell i don't have much time before they all but disappear on me. So, i do the rude lady thing, which is met with many the eye-roll, which i ignore, and explain my situation to the woman behind the desk. Yes, i lost the tickets...no, i don't have a confirmation number...yes, i realize the show started ten minutes ago...no, not two adults, just one and five kids...oh, and can you make sure im seated by my group?...no, i don't know who the reservation was made under for their group...maybe try under this name...no? that's not it? ok, how about this name?...and on and on until i realize the Grace and Lily are no longer with me. Oh my goodness! I look at Savannah and Mason and ask if they have seen them, do they know where they are?! Both look at me blankly...Panic, again. The Casino is packed. Lines all over for people checking in, picking up show tickets, slot machines...and the front doors that exit into the wonderful world of Vegas are right behind us. If i was directing this in a movie, it would have been to the sound of a million slot machines, blinking lights, loud talking and laughter everywhere, and me spinning in circles trying to zone in on two missing little girls. I Grab the tickets the lady has printed, and tell Mason and Savannah to stay with me, and the search begins. I try to text my friends...phones have been turned off. I'm not wasting time, i look straight for the security desk...and there they are...my little girls. Huge sigh of relief. I begin walking that direction, with overwhelming gratitude in my heart for the workers that they are with, until, as i get a little closer, i hear one say to the other, "What kind of mother do you have to be to lose your kids in a Vegas casino?"...and right or wrong...i'm pissed, and say, "this kind of mother. The kind with five little kids, trying to give her babies a fun spring break...and i'm not perfect...but, you'll learn, one day when you are old enough to have kids, and i hope no one judges you when you little ones run off!" Abrasive? Yeah. A little much? Pretty sure. Proud of it? No. But in that very small moment, it felt pretty dang freeing!
So, we finally head down the stairs to the show...we are thirty minutes late. We are seated the second section from the opposite side that we entered in the middle. Great. We make our way in, apologizing to people the whole way. My kiddos are in a trance at the show...i have to keep going back to move them along. Dinner is being served already, so we are trying to make our way thru the dark, avoiding the waiters with trays full of food and drinks, its an effort, to say the least. We finally make it to our seats, and as we are served our meal, my kids are disgusted. We are at one of those medieval shows, and the meal is an entire chicken and a broth you drink out of a bowl...for each person. Im trying to quietly de-bone the chicken for my kids and keep everyone happy, and i can tell everyone around us is pissed that we have been seated by them...by the way, my friends are two sections over...so, im apologizing all over myself for my kids and hushing them...not exactly how i saw this going! Everyone is finally eating and watching the show. PEACE. Oh happy day! For two minutes...and then, Faith knocks a full glass of rootbeer into my lap. I am wearing white capris...ugh! I know, not my smartest wardrobe choice, but, remember, i planned and packed for all six of us for this trip all in one hour! Lesson learned.
The show ends, and everyone is happy, and i meet up with my friends and relay the evenings events to them, and we all laugh, because, it's finally hitting the funny stage...and i'm thinking to myself, "Good Glory...thank heavens we leave in the morning!" And usually, What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...but, lucky or unlucky for all of us involved, this didn't, because i blog about the chaos that comes with being a mother of five...and i never run out of stories, because i never out-run the chaos! AWESOME.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kids say the darndest things - First Installment

So, this installment comes from a mother (who shall remain nameless) - lets call her Brookalina and her daughter, who, for the purpose of this blog, will be named Califlower. (anyone who knows me, absolutely knows who this story is about - Lol!)

Moving on. . .
So, Califlower is three - and is absolutley adorable - you can't help but instantly love her. And - her story basically has three sections - over the course of a single weekend, on a trip to Las Vegas. Lets begin, - and if you pee when you laugh, hop up , Mabel, and go get your Depends!

1. Brookalina needs to use the bathroom - and miracle beyond all miracles - she enters the rest room ALONE! so, she sits down to pee, and they appear. Ten little fingers under the crack where the door almost meets the ground. To which, she chuckles a little. But then, her sweet little 3 year old says from behind the door, "Mommy, do you see all my wieners?!" Aren't we all so glad we spend the time to teach our children anatomy?!!

2. Brookalina takes Califlower into one of the very upscale bathrooms in one of Vegas's nicer establishments. You know, the ones where someone is waiting to hand you a hand towel and mint after you wash your hands? Any hoo, once they enter the rest room, Brookalina, realizes that she too, probably ought to go and survey the situation, because, Aunt Flow is in town this week. So, she has Califlower in the stall with her, and sits to use the rest room. As she does this, she sees that it is a good thing she is there, because, its time to make the switch - so much so, that there is a little evidence of Aunt Flow on her girlie laundry. When Califlower notices the small stain, she screams, "EWW! Mommy! You poopy in your panties!" to which Brookalina instantly hushes, saying, "no, honey, its just an owie. Shh!" and Califlower continues shouting, "no mommy, look! you have P-O-O-P-Y on your panties! Yucky mommy, yucky!" And, Brookalina, just sits there, and wonders how long she can possibly stay hidden in that stall. Can she stay there until every last woman has left? How about until the lady at the front changes shifts? No, she must exit now, before Califlower crawls out from under the stall from boredom, and makes another three year old scene! Kids say the darndest things! thanks for the laugh, Brookalina. We have all been there, on some level or another. . .
3. Brookalina and her husband and kids are walking through Caesars Palace, enjoying a weekend in Las Vegas. Brookalina's husband, Rudy, is carrying Califlower on his shoulders. They notice Califlower is pointing to several things as they walk along, until she finally shouts, "Oh my gosh, look at all these wieners!" as she points to the statues that line the top of Caesars Palace.