Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Boston, teeth, speech, and all that jazz.

Grab your coffee and sit a spell; this could get long.

So, since my wonderful husband forgot to ask for the day off last week, we didn't hit the road for Boston until 3:00. Really, we should probably have waited, but I wanted to get on the road. Well, on the road we got...and on that road we sat. And sat. And, ooh we moved an inch. Then, we sat. Traffic in Baltimore is a nightmare. And the worst part? The people who get in the EZ-Pass lane because it's moving, but they want to drive 25 miles per hour, smoke their cigarette, drink their soda AND TEXT ON THEIR CELL PHONE AT THE SAME TIME! Gah! The best part, though, was that he didn't have an EZ-Pass and we had to sit and wait for him to get the all clear from someone in the lane next to us that would allow him to cut them off before we could pass around him and sail through the express lane. I was a nervous wreck by the time we stopped for dinner. The kids didn't sleep, either. We got them changed into their p.j.'s after dinner and gave them their milk, expecting them to doze off at 7:30. Sure enough, they did, and we relaxed and prepared ourselves for a nice, quiet trip to Boston.


They both woke up 20 minutes later and never did really go back to sleep. We'd have cat naps here and there, but nothing solid. We pulled into our hotel at 2:30 in the morning. I went and checked in, getting our room key, and we unloaded the car and headed to the room. We got up to our room only to find a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and our keys not working. The kids are all wound up and squealing with delight, as their voices echo down the hallway. I throw my hands up and tell my husband to let 'em down and run. At this point, I'm tired, frustrated, and really not caring about the people in the rooms around us. After all, it was the hotel's fault that we weren't actually *in* our room by now. As he watches the kids, I head back down to the front desk and try really, really hard to maintain my pleasant demeanor. A quick computer check shows the room is *supposed* to be empty.

No extra rooms available. Wait a second, let me get someone else in here. I'm in training. The only other person on staff at this hour of the morning is outside on her smoke break, just wait a moment.

No, see, you don't understand; I have two 17 month olds upstairs that are running up and down your hallway. It's probably in your best interest to get us a room and do it quickly.

Smoke break woman heads back in and unblocks some rooms and reassigns us. Everything seems to be okay, minus the fridge, which they're getting for us. We get everything unpacked and try to get the kids settled down for the night. By the time we get to sleep, it's 5:00 a.m. The air-conditioner doesn't work right.

The next few days are a miserable combinataion of exhaustion and temper tantrums mixed with teething (Ethan popping in four molars at once). We boarded a boat for the day on Thursday, went to the New England Aquarium and had a bite to eat. The kids played in the public fountain and ran around in the park. We boarded the boat back to Salem and had dinner and crashed for the night. The kids would not sleep in the pack-n-plays, so we all four climbed into the king bed. Yay.

My cousin's wedding was beautiful. It was outside at Brooksby Farms in Peabody, MA and it was a glorious day. I haven't seen a lot of that side of the family in *years* and it felt like coming home, again. I'm so fortunate to have family like that (even if I'm not related by blood - long story!), to have had the opportunity at a young age to understand that sort of love. They're a wonderful group of people.

We spent Saturday in Boston as my husband wanted to see Fenway Park and then we took the kids down to Boston Common. We were thrilled! I wish we had something similar here in Washington D.C.; I understand we have the Mall, but it's just not the same. The kids decompressed, hugged dogs, chased birds, and took a much needed rest as they watched the other sunbathers around them:

Sunday, we got up and packed the car, then had breakfast in hotel. We met a really nice Boston native who lost his home in the big Peabody fire a few weeks ago and he had a really great attitude about it all. We got a good start and I was really cruising along before we stopped for lunch with the kids. Ethan had a major meltdown in Friendly's and I sat there realizing we were "those" parents who brought their kid into a restaurant and let him fuss. We left with our tails between our legs, thoroughly embarassed, and I passed out while Jason drove. We hit NYC and it took us over an hour and a half just to get a few miles and across the GW bridge. Great. Then, we hit bumper to bumper traffic in Jersey. Great. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel because it was the only place I could think that would have a big grassy area for the kids to run. Then, we headed inside to let the kids play in the toy area (didn't eat there). We pulled into our driveway at 9:30 - exactly 11 hours (AGAIN!) after leaving Boston. *sigh*

The kids, surprisingly, have adjusted back into their routine fairly quickly. Ethan is still having issues with going to sleep and staying asleep, but I really think it's just a phase. He screams for a good 30-45 minutes before finally giving in and going to sleep. In the middle of the night, however, he won't go back to sleep. I'm going to try putting a nightlight in their room tonight, hopefully that will work. I can't (won't) do the co-sleeping thing much longer. I don't know how anyone is able to do that - more power to ya. I don't sleep well, at all, when the kids are in the bed.

We've added a few new words to our ever growing vocabulary (Ethan will only repeat these words when he hears them). Ethan can repeat: poop, mom, dad, dog, cat. He can say (and knows what they are), "shoes." He goes to the container that we keep their shoes in and he tries to pull it out to open it, all while frantically saying, "shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes." He is also quite the pro at asking, "Whassat?" Ellie is fond of saying, "oh no!" and "ohhhh!" She has recently added, "Wow!" and "no, no, no" to her vocabulary. Of course, they both know the dog's name. They won't refer to me by name, but they call the dog every morning. Nice.

I have to tell you guys, I'm really struggling with weight loss. I know, I know...muscle weighs more than fat, but that's not the case for me this time. My clothes aren't fitting differently, so I know it's not that I'm toning up. I'm going to buy a pack of Alli this week and see if that will help jumpstart something. Otherwise, I'm so frustrated that I'm going to give up the gym. My meals so far today:
  • 1 container of low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup of coffee w/ 4T light vanilla creamer
  • 4 strawberries
I think I'm going to make 1 cup of brussel sprouts and 1/2 whole wheat english muffin for lunch. I'm not sure, though. Of course, I've gotten in my 32 oz of water for the morning and I'll make another 32 oz for the afternoon. I'll have another 32 oz in the evening.

I have to share a few sites with you all, of course.
- a GREAT site for those with young children before going on a road trip. Awesome musical instruments (such as the cricket) made from wood for a great price! (for family resources in your area)
(because I'm all about taking care of ourselves BEFORE we take care of everyone else)

I'm sure there's more, but I'm zoning out! :)

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