Friday, June 22, 2012

Blogging at 30,000 feet

I'm on the last leg of my trip home. We're about two hours out, and I am ready to be home. In case you were wondering, I did start missing the kids by Thursday morning. Apparently 5 days of sleeping and peeing alone was what I needed to recharge :) I realized in the Detroit airport today that it was my 7th unique airport in a 4 month period of time (Seattle, Rekyjavik, Charlotte, Lynchburg, Los Angeles, Detroit and Ottawa- in case you're curious). Given that I'm a stay-at-home mom, that's a lot of airports! I plan to stay put for a while now. Seriously, how totally cool is it to have Internet on the plane? I love technology!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In which I will prove that I am the worst mother ever

Confession- I've been away from home since Sunday morning and I don't really miss my kids.  This fact is largely due to the existence of Skype and every time I start missing them, we end up video chatting and the kids are either fighting or flooding the bathroom with bath water or peeing on the floor or something. Then I shut off Skype and sit in my quiet hotel room and sleep alone in the bed with no 3-year-old feet in my face.  And I contemplate running away to hide when it's time to go to the airport on Friday.

I will be glad to see them though once I get home and get back into "mommy mode"- they are my loves and I adore them.  But it's been awfully nice to be a plain old human being for a few days.  To zipline and climb walls and do things out of my comfort zone and briefly be an adventurous woman and not be identified by the little people that I have in tow.

I do miss Daniel though, because he's a great travel partner.  And I think he may run away from home when I get back. His mom has been a huge help, but it's still been a lot of pressure on him to juggle work and getting Ethan on his special bus and off his bus and keep the kids from damaging his mom.

This week I've definitely been able to see why people are always encouraging moms to take breaks and time for themselves. I rarely listen to that, and I can feel the difference.  So that's my take-away and my message to other moms- take breaks. It will make you a better mom.  I know that I'm going to be more patient and loving and more willing to cuddle instead of "accomplishing things on my to-do list" when I get home Friday night because I have had a break from cooking and laundry and wiping bums.  Which is good, because tomorrow is Ethan's last day of school until mid-September and I have to be ready to go with summer activities!

In other news, I have alternately sweated more than I have in my life (this area is experiencing an unusual heat wave and the temperature + humidity today resulted in a "real-feel" temp of 105. And it's supposed to be hotter tomorrow. Whee!) and eaten more than any human should in just a few days. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

From Quebec

I'm only vaguely awake at this point, after a day of travel yesterday and an incredibly busy day today.  This chubby city girl paddled around a water maze, climbed an aerial obstacle course (wearing a harness and using carabiners), ziplined off three platforms across water and trees, and toured a cave.  I looked like a sweaty mess by the end (my two travel partners are in incredibly good shape and didn't even vaguely sweat or get out of breath), but it was a great experience and I am SO glad I did it.

I'm really glad that my 35th year is one of adventure. Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mom who prefers to never leave the city limits of Seattle, but this year I've traveled to Iceland and Quebec and done so many things out of my comfort zone.  I'm a little proud of myself.

Tomorrow we have free time and I will be exploring museums for a few hours before going to an indoor rock climbing course.  Again, that should be interesting, as I was 17 years younger and about 50 pounds lighter last time I climbed!

The family is apparently surviving without me. Skype is such a handy tool- I was able to watch bathtime and bedtime from the other side of the continent. Helps me not feel so far away. And then I can go to the bathroom without little people banging on the door and watch TV and sleep alone in a giant bed. This is a win-win, in my book :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I realized at the grocery store today

I'm leaving for Quebec on Sunday morning (happy Father's Day, Daniel- have fun with your kids!). And I'm really looking forward to the trip. Even though it's going to be 90 degrees there and I'm going to be doing all sorts of non-Carrie activities. Like rock climbing (that one is indoors, thankfully) and paddleboating and going through caves and over suspension bridges and hiking and biking.  I haven't done any of those things since my late teenage years and I am in my mid-30s now, so it's been a while. 

And I have to be away from the kids from Sunday morning all the way until late Friday night, which was making me a little sad when I thought about it.  Fortunately they've been in rare 3 and 4 year old form lately and I did just get back last week from traveling alone with them cross-country, so I think I'll be okay with that.

But what made me really excited for the trip was when I was in the middle of the grocery store today and it dawned on me that being gone from Sunday-Friday means I don't have to cook for anyone for a solid week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And it's a win-win for everyone, because Daniel's mom is going to be here and she is a good cook of Chinese food and (as I already confessed) I neither cook nor often eat Chinese food. So Daniel and the kids will be happy without my cooking and I will be even happier without having to do the cooking.

I am a bit sad about missing the last day of school for the year, but Ethan will have the same teacher next year and his closest friends will be in the class again next year, so I am okay with that too. On that note, mostly trying to not think about the summer too much yet (because it brings on panic) and especially trying not to think about how on earth I'm going to get through the first month of grad school with Ethan underfoot (my school starts mid-August and he doesn't go to school until mid-September).

Anyway, not thinking about that. Focusing on no cooking for a week! Hurray!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What not to forget on a cross-country trip

When I was packing for our trip to Virginia, I had this feeling at the back of my mind that I'd forgotten something. But I couldn't figure out what it was, and I figured I was just being paranoid.

I was not just being paranoid.

After arriving early to the Seattle airport and spending some time playing in the playarea and eating breakfast, the kids and I boarded our plane to Charlotte.  Seattle to Charlotte is a 5+ hour flight, but I had bags full of DVDs, toys, coloring books, you name it.  Ethan was particularly excited about playing a new game on his LeapPad. He'd been looking forward to it for days- it was something special that he only got to do on the airplane and he could not wait.

We took off, I turned on the LeapPad, it flickered and went dark.  I tried again.  And then I realized that I hadn't gotten around to changing the batteries after the last time they played it.  And I also realized that the first thing I had forgotten was the GIANT BOX OF BATTERIES THAT I BOUGHT FOR THIS EXACT PURPOSE.

I confessed to Ethan what I had done and he began to sob.  I apologized and apologized and tried to explain that we were currently 20,000 feet above the ground and there was nothing I could do. He continued to sob brokenheartedly, as only a disappointed 4-year-old can do.

Thankfully, that's when the dad in the row behind me spoke up from between the seats and asked what size batteries I needed and how many. This man is on my list of favorite people, close to the anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural when I was in labor with Ethan.

In a really weird twist, we were on the plane from Seattle to Charlotte with that family (the battery providing one) and then they were on our tiny flight to the tiny airport in Virginia.  Which I thought was kind of unusual.  Until I turned around in the security line a week later at the beginning of our trip home and saw them behind me. :) Ethan was in heaven, as he had decided on our out-going trip that their little blonde daughter was his new best friend, and there she was again!

The other thing I forgot?  My anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pills. And my sleeping pills. Yeah, I don't recommend that.  Again, I'd packed these in my pill case, along with my vitamins, but then I only grabbed two of the three cases. 

I could have called the doctor or the pharmacy, but it sounded like it was just too complicated and besides, I would be home in a week and I'd be fine, right?  I don't even notice the difference when I'm off my meds. Usually.

Let's just say that when one is traveling alone, cross-country with two preschoolers, one should be taking extra anti-anxiety medications, not less.  I was fine during our visit, but on our trip home, when I was going on 36 hours with nearly no sleep, and was traversing large airports/sitting for hours on the plane with the kids, I could have really used some pharmaceutical help.

But we made it. And there really is no place like home. We had a great time with my parents and it's always good to see them, but I missed home. Ethan kept asking when we could go back to "our country, Seattle".  We do love this city and our little condo and all the activity going on outside.  And there's nothing as great as falling asleep in my own bed with my husband next to me. 

It's good to be back.