We arrived home from our Denver/Nebraska trip Thursday night. Chris hit the door running, but I have been taking it slow with the kids and easing our way back into normal life (I know...it is a privilege that I am extremely grateful for!). Our trip was a blast!! BUT, I did accumulate enough humiliating/crazy stories in one week to keep this blog rolling for the next 6 months. The only problem is, you would never believe me if I told you them all at once. So for the sake of my credibility, I will spread them amongst other more serious and profound posts (because I am sooo good at those kinds of posts!!).
Seriously, I found myself saying over and over, "Jesus, PLEASE, this cannot be happening...I have plenty of funny/humiliating stories to keep my friends laughing for awhile...Please don't make me go through this....OK...Jesus, I guess we are gonna go through this. Give me the strength to just laugh and not blow. Amen."
One of the worst times was the first flight home (Yes, there were 2). Here is how our morning started:
4:27(AM)--Wake up in hotel. Dress. Dress kids while Chris checks out.
5:20--Grab a bagel for each kid from the continental breakfast . Load kids and luggage into car.
5:22--Remind Chris that we need to stop on the way to the airport to spray off the it's been on the farm for a week, hunting and 4 wheeling and now is completely mud plastered stroller before we take it into the airport because it would be oh-so humiliating to be carrying 7 bags of luggage, 3 kids, 2 car seats, and a double stroller that is dropping clumps of mud as we parade our way through the airport.
5:32--Realize that not only is the windchill below zero outside and washing a stroller right now is going to really stink (I would use a stronger word there, but I am watching my slang :), but also most manual car washes are: A. not located near an airport. and B. not open at 5:45 am. Begin to second guess the stroller idea and and start worrying about the time. FYI: Our flight leaves at 7am.
5:35--Glance down at my left hand and see NOTHING. Realize I left my wedding rings back in the hotel room. Calmly ask Chris to whip the car around, fly back to the hotel room, and retrieve my wedding rings.
5:46--Retrieve wedding rings, ditch stroller cleaning, head to airport...FAST.
6:01--Arrive at airport. Park car. Begin hauling 7 bags, 3 kids, 2 car seats, and a mud plastered stroller in the frigid outdoors to the ticketing line. Give kids the, "We are in a HUGE hurry and you HAVE to obey mommy and daddy the FIRST time, otherwise we will be left outside in this freezing cold all day" lecture. (Something like that).
6:15--Begin feeling a little relief about our time predicament as we are searching for Air Tran's ticketing counter because their are no lines anywhere.....That is until we spot one line which is a mile long....Which, of course, is Air Tran's.
6:20--Race to the back of the mile long line. Chris and I drop both the luggage and the kids with a huge sigh.
6:20:30--Matter-of-factly instructed by a non-Air Tran ticketing dude that we cannot set our luggage down while we wait in line. Supposedly, the Air Tran line is too long and our luggage is overlapping into his line which has NO Customers (Whose ever heard of Great Lakes Airlines anyways?).
6:20:45--Give Chris the remember you're a Christ-follower look as he CALMLY picks up our luggage and together we begin playing tetris with 7 bags, 3 kids, 2 car seats, and a mud-plastered stroller.
6:25--Realize the ticketing line is not moving. Briefly informed by fellow Air Tran travelers that the computers are down. They are having to hand write everything.
6:45--Finally check-in and begin the race with 3 kids, 2 bags, and a stroller to security. Realize that 3 miles on a treadmill a few times a week is not enough training for this (Did I mention the DIA is huge?)
6:50 Arrive at security. Chris takes the kids; I grab the bag with the baby bottles and formula and head straight to the lady with white hair who begins to give me the, "Do you really need 3 baby bottles, 2 water bottles, and a can of formula for only one child?" spiel. I, in turn, give her the, "This is only the first of 2 flights, we have 3 preschoolers (I always throw that one in for some reason!), we will not be home until 12 hrs from now, and wouldn't you want to be prepared so your baby doesn't have to drink the for-hand washing-only water in the airplane lavatories?" spiel.
Remind myself that like Chris, I too, am a Christ-follower. Whoops.
6:55---Chris and the kids clear security. He immediately throws (literally) the kids onto the stroller, gathers their shoes in his arms, and instructs me to meet him at the gate as soon as I am finished with the white-haired lady. He plans to beg them to hold the plane for me.
6:57--White-haired lady does the official infrared inspection on the baby bottles, empties my water bottles, and curtly hands me back the empty water bottles..."Um, thanks." Begin my race to gate A48.
6:58--Chris and I both have an "Oh, please don't let anyone have seen that" moment in the same place as we separately race to Gate A48. The Place? The Moving walkway..
WARNING: If you are in a hurry to the point of frantic...DO. NOT. Attempt. A. Moving. Walkway.
Chris' moment: Runs full speed with all 3 kids and the stroller down the moving walkway....he abruptly hits a bump and Jack tumbles out of the stroller onto the walkway. Chris scoops Jack in his arms and begins whispering in his ear "Don't cry, don't cry. Be Tough. Don't cry."
Chris continues heading full speed to Gate A48 with Max and Annie now in the double stroller and Jack in his arms desperately trying not to cry.
Me: A minute or so behind Chris, spot the moving walkway and head straight for it as I am frantically searching to make sure I am headed correctly toward Gate A48. After at least 15 FRUSTRATING steps on the walkway (and beginning to think, "Surely I am more coordinated than this?"), I realize that I am on a walkway headed in the opposite direction! UGHH!!! I had just enough time as I turned around to catch a glimpse of about 5 people...laughing :).
7:03--Finally arrive at Gate A48 just as the attendant at the boarding ramp is telling Chris he can get on with the kids, but she will not wait for me. The captain is ready to take off.
7:05--Forsake our mud-plastered double stroller with the attendant, expecting never to see it again and run down the boarding ramp to the plane.
7:06 Chris and I arrive at the plane door with all 3 kids just as they are shutting the door...They graciously (sort-of) allow us on, but instruct us to quickly find a seat...Oh, and they mention that since the computers were down it is open seating and there are no 2 seats left together.
7:11--After we have thoroughly ticked off all the passengers and attendants because: 1.We were late and 2. 8 people had to switch seats so our kids wouldn't be left unattended, we calmly settle in for a 2 1/2 hr flight with 3 preschoolers.
7:12--Jack begins a 30 minute crying marathon over his tumble and resulting "4 boo boos".
What a morning...Sometimes, Chris and I bite off a little more than we can chew. The problem is, we never realize it is too much until we are neck deep and the only way out is to KEEP ON PUSHIN' through the chaos! I am so glad we are a team at this...I would still be in the DIA family bathroom crying if we weren't in this together!
9:45am--Arrive at ATL airport. Mud-plastered double stroller waiting for us as we exit the plane. :)
9:55--Eat at Moe's in the ATL Airport (It's 11:55 EST) and laugh until we cry over the past 6hrs!