Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Shenanigans: Arizona and Mexico


We wasted no time this summer and jumped right in to the insanity! Just a week after school got out, me and four crazy darling kids hopped on a plane for AZ, I didn't even book the tickets until the night before because the prospect of flying alone with four small kids was enough to send me to an institution! Unfortunately, my intuition turned out to be accurate: that flight was THE WORST! Quincy pretty much screamed the entire time and when he wasn't "rarrrrrring," true story, he "roars" when he's extremely upset, he was hitting the attendant call button, and to add to the ambiance of it all, it was the bumpiest flight ever and jumped from a mere 1 hour in duration to almost 2 hours because of a failed attempt at landing, plus a big storm came in, plus the winds picked up to 40mph. I was feeling so good!

Once we landed, and after I kissed the ground and offered a sacrifice to the sky gods for keeping us alive, I grabbed my massive load, which included: 3 HEAVY car seats, a giant double jogging stroller, 3 suitcases, a diaper bag and a back pack. I always the love the comments and looks I get when I am hauling my load of junk and children through the airport. Two of the workers straight up started applauding me! "Shows not over, folks! We'll be back soon for round 2!" We headed towards the shuttle, where I once again got to unload all of my junk, wrangle up the kids onto the bus and make our way to the rental company, where I had to reload my stroller with everything, get the rental car and then unload it all again, but only until we made it to our hotel, where I would get the chance to do it one more time that day. 

Of course I got lost like 12 times on my way to the airport, that's what happens when you try and "simplify" your life by getting rid of your smartphone; you actually make your life very very unsimplified.....

Anyway, quick summary. Arizona was great. My sister's reception, which was the reason we came, was so much fun and it was awesome seeing all my family. I also got to see one of my best friends in the whole entire world and spend time with her and her kiddos. It was so wonderful catching up. We did lots of swimming and spent lots of time with family! It really was a great trip. The ride home was much less eventful than the ride there, except for the horrible awful woman who sat behind me and stopped me on my way to the restroom and warned me to keep my kids in line because she "couldn't be bothered with misbehaved children!" Bla bla bla. I asked her if maybe she would be willing to change seats but she gawked at me like I had asked her to babysit or something and said that she "would not move because I paid a thousand dollars for these seats!" to which I replied, "well, I will do my best but they are kids so I can't make any guarantees!" There were a few instances where Quincy got a little....upset and screamed out, which could have been because I sneakily told him that his brother ate his skittles, to which the lady behind me, unknowing that I was possibly the reason for Quincy's unhappiness, would throw herself back in her chair and swear! The whole plane heard her, by the way, and when we finally landed, everyone, I mean everyone, rallied for me and said things to me like, "Your kids were so well behaved. You are such a great mom!" and, "Your kids did fantastic! Don't worry about what OTHER people say or think!" It really touched my heart and made me remember that there are actually a lot more good people out there than awful ones.  


Less than a week later, we found ourselves, bright and early I might add, at the Denver International Airport taking the walk of shame back out to the parking lot where my car awaited our arrival. It's a great story and one I can't wait to tell. 

It all began the night before when I noticed Quincy eye was extremely red and goopy. We had just gotten over a bout of nasty illness in our house. Every single one of us had gotten it except the baby, and I thought we were on the mend. How wrong I was. Q's eye was looking NASTY, and we were leaving for Mexico in the morning, and it was late, so I decided to take him to the ER because I wouldn't have time in the morning to get him in to see his doctors. Sure enough, Q man had an ear infection and pink eye. Yes! I told the doctor that we had all been sick and that his brother's eye had also been goopy. The doctor insisted that I bring G man back in since we would be leaving. I drove all the way back home, switched kids, my sweet neighbor girl was watching them all for me, and went back. Grant didn't have pink eye, but he did have an ear infection. Antibiotics for everyone. Yay! During all of this, I noticed my voice was slowly disappearing and I was beginning to feel a little achy myself. Luckily, our night concluded finally and we all went to bed. The next morning everyone seemed to be fine. I still wasn't feeling my hottest, but after popping a little Tylenol, I was functional.

We make it to Denver late that night. Now it was time to get lost there about 900 times. By now, I'm ready to drive to the nearest Verizon store to get a smartphone but it's too late, so my poor husband will have to serve as my GPS. Did I mention he wasn't with us? He was working his booty off somewhere in Colorado. 

Another day survived. The next morning we woke up early, like 4am early. I get all of our junk together, load up my car and head to the airport. Nathan still isn't with us and, in fact, we had to change his flight to the midnight one, so the plan was that we would meet in Miami and fly out to Cancun the next morning together. Of course, nothing ever works out as planned, though.

We get to the check-in gate and, well, check-in, or at least try to. We have to go to the counter for some reason or another, luckily we were flying in first, so we didn't have to wait in line, which in retrospect, really would not have mattered. So the agent starts trying to get us our tickets and something is wrong. I still don't quite understand what was wrong with them, but all I know is it took her well over an hour to get the tickets, which by the time they were usable, it was too late to actually check-in for the flight! 

The attendant was apologetic even though it was not her fault and said she was so sorry but the only flight she could get us on was the flight at midnight! To her surprise, I yelled "perfect" ecstatically! That was the flight Nathan was going to be on. And let me tell you, after waiting there for over an hour with the kids, I was seriously doubting my ability to handle them all on a four hour flight. Q was running around not following directions, the baby was screaming and the older two were bickering over everything! Now back to the tickets. Did I mention that my voice was pretty much nil by now. I sounded like I had a plague or ebola or something. 

So, I round up the heathens, I do love my kids, really, and head allllll the way back out to the parking lot. When we get to the elevator, I realize I didn't remember setting my keys back in my diaper bag. I start digging through my stuff and they are nowhere to be found. I went from feeling optimistic all the way down to a low low place! After about 20 minutes of going through absolutely everything, I can't find them. Gone! Just like that. I decided to just keep walking to the car anyway. With our heads hung low, we continued our trek to the massive black platform where happiness goes to die, and it costs you an arm and a leg to do it! Just when I think this day can't suck any worse, I kid you not, it starts raining. Just like in the movies!

We finally make it back to the car, with no plan in mind, and guess keys are there. In the door, even. Once again, more ground kissing and sacrificing entails! Now I'm feeling optimistic again, and also wondering if I might be suffering from bipolar disorder from the insane emotions I have gone through that morning, and it's only 7 or 8am. 

Fast forward 17 hours, after hours driving around town, and with no smart phone so I have no idea where we are going and what we are doing, stopping at a Target to get a smartphone, picking up more antibiotics from Walmart because by now I can barely function I'm so sick: fever, body aches, chills, you name it I've got it, and then heading back to the airport to wait hours on end for our flight, I just lay on the floor staring at the ceiling while the boys sit on their electronics and the baby pulls my hair. Getting through security, I am 100% convinced, worthy of a punishment out of Dante's Inferno, and I'm talking lowest level 3rd ring bad. Q man is literally running through the security line screaming. Grant is chasing him down because I'm stuck in line holding a screaming infant, trying not to die, and watching as people literally do not give a crap that I am desperate and can't talk and just walking right in front of me in the security line without the slightest bit of sympathy for my situation. By now I just start bawling, how embarrassing, I know. By some miracle, maybe it was all that ground kissing, we made it through security to our gate, which was at the OTHER END OF THE FREAKING airport. Like, the absolute furthest gate you can go to at D.I.A. This is about the time I laid Lynden's blanket out and curled up in a ball next to her and contemplated death!
Hours and hours and hours later I am looking at the boarding gate sign and I notice something that sends me into panic mode, again! Our flight had been delayed because of weather and because of the delay there was no way we were going to be able to catch our flight from MIA to Cancun and because I had booked the flights as separate tickets on different itineraries, the connecting flight really wasn't AA's problem! I may or may not have had another small meltdown right then and there. Was this a sign? A really horrible awful mean sign? I called Nathan and we were pretty much ready to just completely call the trip quits and forget about it all. I decided to message one of my BFFs and ask what she would do and get some advice. Anyway, of course she was amazing and helped me so much! I ended up being able to work everything out with the gate agent, who would be getting us on a flight, but not for two days, which I was actually totally ok with because I was hoping by then I would be recovered or at least feeling a little bit better.
That night, naturally, we could not find one single hotel in all of Denver and the surrounding area because everyone's flights had been cancelled so everything was booked. I finally found found a room at an extended stay almost an hour away and booked that sucker as fast as I could. We get to the motel, I guess you could call it and check in. I don't remember much but I do remember it was hotter than hades, itty bitty, dirty and GHETTO! Luckily we survived and didn't contract anything. We ended up being able to book a hotel with the Hyatt back in Denver so we checked out and headed over to our new hotel, which was like 120,000 times better. The boys swam with Nathan while I just laid in the lounge chair and tried to recover from my awful sinus infection, which is what my illness ended up being. I was feeling a little better that day.
The next morning we headed back to the airport, got our tickets, went through security and everything went very smoothly, which I was very grateful for! At the gate the attendants started offering vouchers because the flight was overbooked. Nathan and I, and I've mentioned about a billion times how we are just absolute gluttons for punishment, seriously contemplated taking the vouchers and just forgetting about the entire trip. In the end the lady would not offer us enough so we said screw it and hopped on the plane. The flight there was fantastic. The boys all vegetated in front of the TVs and hardly said a word. Quincy fell asleep mid-flight and continued sleeping through out transfer in MIA to the next plane and all. One more short hour flight from MIA and we were finally in Cancun! I don't think I have ever been more excited to make it somewhere.