Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacationing with Kids

n. A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation, especially one with pay granted to an employee.

Stay at Home Mom's Definition of Vacation:
Disregard all of the above . . . except for the pleasure part. Spending ten full days away with your family can surely have some pleasurable moments. It can also have some far less than pleasurable moments as well.

The Quirky Trip to Story Land ~
We spent the last week and a half vacationing in Bridgton, Maine. My in-laws own a cozy cottage on a quiet pond there. (I'm sure it was quiet before we arrived.) They were kind enough to open their doors to our entire extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and a big black lab. We decided to change our initial plan of making the car ride up on the 4th, and instead left on the night of the 3rd when my husband arrived home from work. The kids will sleep in the car, right? Wrong. The kids were wired on excitement, and fell asleep in the last 15 minutes of the three hour drive, at 10:45 pm. We can just move them to their beds when we get there. No big deal, right? Wrong. My now overtired children, who both at times can have difficulties with transitions, were woken up despite our ever so gentle attempts at removing them from their car seats. So now you mix overtired, with a new atmosphere, and BOOM . . . Just like that chaos kicks in.

The Quirky Kids on Vacation ~
While my oldest is like a rock star who can seem to function on very little sleep, she was in her glory and ready to party. A crowd, a dog, bring it. My youngest, however, went into an immediate state of panic. A crowd, a "cow" I mean dog . . . *ear piercing screams*. She really just needed her crib, and unfortunately that was at home. And no, I did not bring her pack and play/portable crib. She jumps out of it. A queen sized bed is a much safer option for her. Our tremendous efforts at trying to get her to sleep, and not scream, in an unfamiliar place were unsuccessful. Not only the first night, but the second night too. That's where the "rest" and "relaxation" gets thrown out the window in my definition of vacation.

After two days, and a total of six hours of sleep, I started to question if there was something more than just the change of environment that was troubling her. I had noticed she had been pulling a bit at her ears. Vacation wouldn't be vacation without a trip to the ER. Her ears were fine, her throat was fine . . . diagnosis - a rash. Treatment - Benadryl. The ER doctor said, "If anything the Benadryl wont hurt her, it will knock her out. I'm not telling you this from a physicians point of view, I'm telling you this from a father of six daughters point of view. You guys look like you could use a break. Good luck." Allrighty then, next stop - the local drug store.

When we finally got back, my father in law suggested that my husband and I go out to dinner . . . take a kid free break. As tired as we were, that's just what we did. I had two full hours of freedom, a lobster roll and two White Russians. One word . . .  fan-friggen-tastic! Although part of me felt guilty for leaving, I was glad to come home to good reports. Things turned around from that point on. We enjoyed the company of our family and the great weather. My girls were like fish enjoying the beachfront. They would spend all day in the sand and water, and I loved watching them smile.


The Quirky Kids at Story Land ~
Unlike us, our extended family didn't have the following week off. We were sad to see them go. We were also sad to see the sun go. Four straight days of rain. Let me tell you, entertaining two small children indoors in a place that is not yours, for that amount of time, is NO cup of tea. This is a time that I really wish my kids would watch TV. Seriously, I thought kids begged to watch TV?! Not mine. Instead they hunt down remotes to electric fireplaces and figure out how to turn them on, or remove doors from their hinges. (Don't worry Nanny and Grandpi. We have become masters at fixing things.) We have also accepted the fact that over time having two "busy" girls like ours, will most likely result in spending a small fortune in hardware stores.

The Quirky Kids Swimming ~
The next few days I watched the weather like a hawk. I was looking for a short, four hour, rain-free window that we could take a trip to Glenn, New Hampshire. Someone was on my side, cause we got it. We ventured off to Story Land. A tad bit pricey, kids theme park about an hour away. Let me tell you, that was the best $110 spent all week. It's no Disney World, but just like anything you pay to play. It even beat out my lobster roll and cocktails. It rained most of the trip over and immediately started down pouring just as we left, but the sun shined the entire time we were there. It was pretty gloomy the rest of our vacation. We didn't let it stop us from having fun though. We caught fish, frogs and swam in the rain. My oldest would randomly yell out "HAPPY"! My youngest who had a rough start, ended the week by taking several jumps off the dock and into the water. She's my dare devil who constantly keeps me on my toes. This is the girl who loves water, but would barely put her toes in it the beginning of the week. Baby steps I guess. All and all a great time. Vacation from vacation is good too. I'm glad to be home and not have to wrestle my kids to bed. I'm also glad to walk away with some good memories. Until next time, Maine!

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