Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two poops and a lie

I had just finished changing Joci's SECOND poopy diaper of the afternoon and sat down to do some work. A few minutes later a familiar scent wafted through the air. "Who pooped??" I asked. Joci took one look at me, pointed to the dog, and said "Ya-yer!" Fortunately for him, Jäger was not the guilty party. And this is how things went down our first day back from vacation.

So yeah, since my blog is always about 10 steps behind Instagram and Facebook, you probably already know--Jon and I spent 5 days in West Palm Beach, Florida this past week. It was something we've been discussing for a while for "whenever Joci got older."

She hates the snow, but she loves snow boots!

He hasn't managed to jump over the railing yet!

Jack's spaceship.

Jude working on a snowman.
It's funny, for the first time in over 7 years, I'm neither pregnant nor breastfeeding. I've thought about this day for a long time and what I would do to celebrate that MOMENT when my body was back to being all mine. But it wasn't nearly as exciting as I anticipated. I can't even tell you the day it happened, much less how it was celebrated. But I will say, that I was able to spend 5 days away from my 19 month old and do so without wearing a maternity swimsuit. So that's an advancement. 

Jon had a nice stash of airline miles at his disposal. So while our original thought was to visit California or Aruba, we decided to try to swing this getaway on a slim budget. We settled on West Palm Beach so we could get some time with Jon's grandparents (who winter down there) and save some money on lodging while staying with them.

My only two "big camera" pictures from Florida.

Of course, that opened up some finances for our rental car. Jon had reserved some sort of sporty auto but when we arrived, they had already given it to someone who had been there earlier. The rental rep told us to take a seat and enjoy some coffee while they cleaned up a Mustang and brought it off their other lot. But five minutes later a Mercedes convertible pulled up and they told us it was ours for the week at no extra charge.

Don't worry, we're were at a stoplight.
Sa-weet. Suffice it to say, Jon's vacation was MADE within an hour of arriving in Florida.

Why they call it Palm Beach ...

I think having such posh transportation helped lessen the pain of attending the Moscow City Ballet's performance of "Swan Lake." It was HIS idea, but once I saw it on the list of potential "things to do" I wasn't going to let it drop. We didn't buy tickets until the day before and there weren't many seats available so we ended up in row F--prime spots!! And perhaps a little too close when it comes to men in white tights, but it was still an amazing experience. I only had to nudge Jon awake once.

Not the greatest pictures ... but you weren't allowed to take photos anyway.

Other than the ballet, there's not much else to report. No paddle boarding or manatee attempts on my life this year. We spent most of our time catching up with Nana and Papa, trying out new restaurants, or sitting on the beach. Oh, and we got to meet our newest first cousin once removed and get in some of those newborn snuggles I've been missing lately!

It was relaxing and restful and rejuvenating, and on the flight home I kept thinking to myself, wow, I've got my motivation back! But then I spent a day with four kids, one of which is cutting some canine teeth--up three times in the night, pooping three times in a day, and rubbing snot all over my shoulder--and I'm all like, yeah, right back where we left off.

Speaking of the offspring, I was extra-nervous to leave them this time around. Not that I worry about them, kids are super resilient. But Marmie and Poppa graciously volunteered to spend Wednesday night through Tuesday with our brood, and I knew that was no small task! It didn't help that Joci started waking up in the night again about a week before we left, and climbing out of bed during naps ... and there was school and preschool, church and Sunday School, Jack's friend's birthday party ... in addition to all the usual effort it takes to keep a family thriving.

He's still trying to get over the fact that we left him at a kennel for 6 days.
We did put Jäger in a kennel while we were gone to remove at least one challenge. And of course, then I worried about him. (Silly, I know, but we're totally attached to this dog now!)

Naturally, the kids did great (or so Marmie and Poppa said). Joci slept through every night. School was cancelled for snow two days in a row. Jack and Jude loved their birthday party. Everyone survived Daylight Saving Time AND made it to church on time. Dinners went off without a hitch. And I came home to a stocked freezer and clean house. So we celebrated with Legos and seashells for the good listeners and the grandparents headed back to PA to catch up on some much needed sleep before we require their services again in a few weeks.

Nana made the girls they're own seashell necklaces.

They like to pair them with some shades for the full beach experience.
You all know I love those little beings like crazy! And that achy-miss-my-kids feeling that started soon after takeoff never really went away. But I know it was good to get a break. I mean, just sitting on the plane was a blessed relief! No one trying to steal my snacks, asking me to take them to the bathroom, falling asleep and drooling on my shoulder ... Plus, can I just say how easy it was to get around this past week? When Jon and I decided we wanted to go to the beach, we just did. Threw a few sandwiches in a cooler, grabbed our towels, and out the driveway in 5 minutes. No gazillion snacks and drinks, no buckling into carseats, no awkward potty breaks, no using up an entire bottle of sun lotion in one afternoon ... hello, FREEDOM!

It was nice to get that little taste--a tiny reminder of what was and what will be ... someday. Now it's back to the grind. Back to being woken up by tiny voices asking if it's morning yet. Back to wandering around the backyard with a dog until he's ready to do his business. Back to the thrill of getting one kid to preschool and one kid on the bus and two kids to the doctor for check-ups (one of whom decided to barf on the way there) all within a 30 minute window. Back to Coast Guard weigh-in month, attempts to adjust to this non-nursing (non-burning-a-gazillion-calories) lifestyle, and a whole lot of paleo meals on the menu plan.

And since we started this post with poop and have now reached a segment on barf and meal planning, I'd say we've come full circle. My work here is done. Back to reality.

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