Saturday, December 28, 2013

Practice Move!

Next week we are moving across the country.  We are packing up what little possessions my wife has yet to sell, I think if I sat down too long she would try to sell me (ladies save your pennies).  We are driving, that's right kids, driving, across the country in the mini-van with 4 kids, 2 dogs, a trailer, and a fist full of tranquilizers.  We will be covering the 2400 mile journey over 5 days, with 4 overnight stops at some classic American landmarks, like MacDonald's and Wendy's.

So for a little "practice" and some much needed face time, we decided to head down to visit my family in Bowling Green.  Just 200 miles away.

The drive down was nearly perfect.  A DVD played the Bubble Guppies on a loop which kept the twins locked in and quiet.  The big kids tested out their new Nintendo DS's.  Mom and Dad had, for the most part, a pleasant drive.

We got to family number one, and managed to stay for several hours with no blood, no tantrums, and no broken knick-knacks (and believe me the latter was an accomplishment).  Note to anyone entertaining twin two year olds - We will break your stuff.

We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we had a Merry frickin Christmas.

Then we packed up and headed to the hotel, and there everything went awry.

Things started out OK.  The twins tried to break the hotel room phone, the big kids jumped on the bed, I tried to find HBO.  We ordered a pizza.  So far so good.

As a matter of fact everything was good, until we tried sleepy time.  I thought we would be fine with out cribs, the twins are 2 and a half.  They can handle big kid beds I thought.  Uhhhh. No. They can not!

The twins toss and turn like they are going through withdrawal, they are all over the place.  You would think I could hold down a 25 pounder, no... I can not.  After a short nap one of the twins through himself up over a wall of pillows and drove his head smack into the wall.  CRUNCH.  It immediately swelled up.  Now both twins are screaming and I literally do not know what to do.  How are we going to get any rest.

In the middle of the night, I jumped in the car and drove to Wal-mart to buy a pack-n-play.  Now you can make fun of fatties wearing tight sweats at Wally world all you want, believe me you are never so happy as when you find an open Wal-mart in a strange town when your kids are having a melt down.  I get the 70 dollar pack-n-play and rush back to the hotel.

Cyndi gave the twins a bath to keep them calm (brilliant), while I assembled the crib.  I notice a stain and a Lincoln Log in the unit, yeah... I had bought a used pack-n-play from Wal-mart at 1:00 AM.  EWWWW.  (Side note: who is playing with Lincoln Logs in 2013?) At this point, its not like we can stop... its still go time.  We throw both twins in the used crib (with plenty of sheets to protect them from the ewwww) and climb into bed.  This went much better than I thought it would.  The twins were really calm and after spending about the next two hours talking to each other, they finally decided to lay down and sleep.

At one point in the night, I got up and found Grant sleeping nearly standing up, his face pressed into the mesh and his butt sticking straight out.  I should have taken a picture, it was a classic moment.

During this entire period (of screaming and head bumping), the big kids are independently a COMPLETE WRECK.  Carson is complaining of a stomach ache from quite possibly the greasiest pizza ever constructed (we had to wring it out before serving it) and Becks is having full on night terrors (screaming and shaking).

Several hours of VERY LIGHT sleeping later we make it to morning.  The kids wake up like they have been on a spa vacation and are completely refreshed while Cyndi and I feel like we were on an all night bender.  Good Times.  Don't worry... the morning brings more joy.

Cyndi is in the bath getting ready for family #2 and I am cleaning up some dirty diapers.  I change Gabe and start to work on Grant.  I hear the thud of the door banging.  I am not alarmed since the twins have been doing this for HOURS (the neighbors LOVE us).  This time though, the banging stops.  I assume (read make an "ass" of "me") that Cyndi has pulled him into the bathroom. Nope! He escaped!  For a solid 30 seconds my 2 year old is loose in a hotel.  I open the door to look left, don't see him, look right, don't see him.  Anybody with kids knows the TERROR I am experiencing at this second.  I start down the hallway when I hear the tell tale scream of the Gabester.  He is in another room down the hall where housekeeping has scared him back out into the hallway.  The image I see is my two year old, sippie cup in hand, running out of a strange hotel room in a mix of sheer joy and terror.  Its the thrill of being "loose" with fear of being alone without Mommy and Daddy.  I ran to him as fast as I could physically run, if someone had stepped out into that hallway I would have laid them out.  I grab him and he screams and squeals like it was the most fun he had all day.  Punk!

Get back to the room... OK let's get the F out of here before anything more happens.

Now we still have a family Christmas yet to go.  This one was a little rougher, the twins were a little cranky.  We got through and had a great time and finally had to call it a trip when the twins started to go 3-mile Island over the neighbor hood kitty.  We hugged it out, said our goodbyes and jumped in the van.  It wasn't five minutes in the car and 75% of the kids were stone cold asleep (when you have this many you quantify in percentages).

The drive home was again rather uneventful, things got a little rough again with about 20 miles to go, but we endured.  How we are going to endure 4 days of this? I don't yet know, but man what a good story it is going to make.

Thanks for reading.... chat again soon.

- Eric

The BIG Move!

So... I have been rather quiet here because big things have been afoot for us and I thought it would be best to keep radio silence until everything got itself worked out.  As anyone who would read this know knows, I have accepted a job in the San Francisco Bay area and we will be moving out to California to start 2014.

It was a big decision, but I just thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up so we are going to make the leap.

We are going through the normal pains of moving, made a million times worse by trying to move across the country.  My wife has sold nearly all of our possessions, I have spent the last month sitting on camping chairs, eating on a foldout table, and sleeping on a mattress on the floor.  I so look forward to a real couch again.

I will do a lot of blogging and take a lot of pictures.  I plan to share this experience with anyone who wants to share in it with us.  We are going to be tourists on the left coast and see all that the other side of the country has to offer, all while getting paid.  I don't know where this little journey will take us, but I can't wait to get there.

- Eric.