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She Says… The April Fool’s Joke That Wasn’t

In general, I think most blog/website April Fool’s Day jokes are kind of lame. Once in a long time there’s one that makes me laugh out loud (this YouTube one was pretty funny), but usually they are so ridiculous that no one gets fooled, but instead are left rolling their eyes.

And, clearly, in my case, the classic “I’m pregnant!” farce is not funny… ’cause it’s true.

However, I giggled a little when Benjamin told me about an idea he had. You know how I’ve been shocked at how big I am already with this pregnancy as compared to how I was with Owen (which was still very big for a 1st baby bump)? He thought I could tell you all that we finally found out why: That I’m having twins!

Kinda funny, right?

…Bueller?

Ok, maybe not.

In other news, I have been quietly avoiding the topic of switching Owen into a big boy bed since introducing the idea back in February, but that is about to change. I’m resisting this transition for many reasons, but Owen not being ready for it is not one of them (they’re all MY issues, not his).

  • I’m worried about losing the control that I have when he is in his crib
  • I’m stressed about upsetting/changing our peaceful and happy routine that has been the same since he was about 4 months old
  • And although I love the person he is growing into, I don’t want to admit that he’s not a baby anymore

Still, if we ARE going to make this transition before Baby #2 comes, I’ve heard from many sources that we should do so at least 3 months before the baby arrives so that Owen doesn’t feel pushed out or like the baby “stole” the crib from him. Given that he’s already totally jazzed about the big boy bed and has been asking for it for weeks (months?), I don’t think we’re going to have that problem. In any case, it seems like now is about the right time, a little over 3 months before baby brother arrives.

Benjamin is gently encouraging me to just bite the freaking bullet and move on.

So… the bed is ordered. It’s being delivered on April 18th. I have 2 weeks to get over my reservations so Owen doesn’t sense my doubt (the kid senses everything). On the bright side, that also means I have 2 weeks to pick out the fun stuff like sheets and comforters to turn his nursery into a real, live big boy room.

I’m 99.9% sure this is going to be a total non-issue, despite my incessant blogging about it.

Fingers are crossed.

She Says… Names, Nurseries and Nesting

Let me start off by saying that I am crazy. I know I am crazy. I do not have to be thinking about this stuff so early, and there are probably lots more pressing things that should be on my To Do list. But hey. Everyone has their things that they love to do. That they love to go overboard on. For me, right now, it’s dreaming aimlessly about the baby.

NAMES
I hesitate to even say this because I know it’s not the case for most couples, but Benjamin and I are nearly 100% on the same page when it comes to baby names. Before we found out if Owen was a boy or girl, we had a boy name and a girl name (first and middle names) all picked out. No fighting, no convincing, no stress. We just… agreed.

We kept Owen’s name a secret until he was born, even from our families. I loved the idea of the surprise when we first introduced him to the world, and I hated the idea of anyone other than Benjamin talking to my stomach like it was a person. Ew. We definitely plan to do the same for this baby.

Last night we agreed on the new baby’s name. It feels so exciting to begin to think about him as a little person instead of just an idea. I wrote the name out a few times like a teenage girl practicing her signature if she married her high school boyfriend. Except in this case, I was thinking about possible things that could be wrong with it. Too long, too short, would people misspell it, do the initials spell anything strange, how does it look and sound with our last name, and on and on. Crazy. I know. Even though I did the same for Owen I did not realize until the day he was born that his first two initials are O.J. (Owen James). Yuck. Now I’m just banking on the fact that when he grows up, people won’t really talk about O.J. Simpson much!

While I am so, so, so excited for Owen to have a brother, thinking about names makes me feel a twinge of sadness that we may never get to use the girls’ names that we love so much. I guess we’ll just have to have a few more babies…

NURSERIES
Ah, the nursery. Yet another thing that I do not need to figure out immediately, but can’t stop thinking about. I remember having a yearning to plan Owen’s nursery when we found out he was a boy, and it was one of the most fun things we did to prepare for his arrival. Now that I’ve been through this baby thing once before, I know that you don’t really need things like matching bedding sets or even a crib in the early days, necessarily… but still, the process of creating a space just for this little baby is something that makes me so happy and builds the excitement for him to join us. So I’m going to do it anyway.

A while ago I started a Pinterest board with baby things I loved (after Owen was through this stage). This has become a great starting place for the new nursery plans. It’s fun to pin things that I like and then look at them all together and see that I already seem to have a design plan I’m drawn to, even though I hadn’t thought about it that way. So far it’s looking like gray and white with pops of orange. We’re reusing Owen’s crib and changing table (which I still adore) and perhaps even the rocking chair (though unfortunately I feel like the rocking chair was the only thing I picked “wrong” the first time around… it’s not terribly comfortable, which is incredibly important, especially if breastfeeding works out this time!). Any tips on choosing gliders, particularly for short people?

NESTING
The nursery planning is the beginning of the nesting I’m feeling, but yesterday I ventured up into our attic to find a book and saw the boxes of baby stuff I had put away after Owen was born. Now all I can think about is getting back up there to bring the boxes down and sort, wash, organize, etc. I know. I’m crazy.

Did you and your partner agree on names, or were you unsure until the baby was born? Was the nursery an important part of your “nesting” and prepping for the new arrival?

She Says… Snowpacolypse 2013

Blizzard 2013-1

The way the meteorologists talked up last Friday’s snowstorm, you would have thought they were predicting the end of the world. “Stay inside your homes!” “Stock up on supplies!” “Expect the worse!”.

Blizzard 2013-2

Though their drama was probably unnecessary, the weather maps along were enough to tell me that a biiiiig snowstorm was on the way, it was probably going to take more than a day or two to get everyone shoveled out and back to normal, and there was a high likelihood of power outages due to heavy snow on branches and power lines.

Blizzard 2013-5

Blizzard 2013-7

The storm was crazy. And by crazy, I mean crazy fun. I absolutely loved watching the snow fall so hard and fast that I could barely see out the window. The accumulation grew inch by inch until we measured nearly 30″ in our backyard! It was so gorgeous to see the whole neighborhood white and silent.

Blizzard 2013-6

Blizzard 2013-11

Shoveling out was another story (read: NOT as fun!), but I still loved how the snowstorm dictated that everyone hunker down at home. There was literally nothing you could do except sit and wait and watch. It was lovely.

Blizzard 2013-10

Blizzard 2013-9

And then when the snow stopped? We spent just about every waking moment playing outside in it. The snow was nearly as tall as Owen, so just taking a walk was a hilarious adventure.

Blizzard 2013-15 Blizzard 2013-16

Here we are 3 days later and the roads are still a mess. I can’t say that I mind. It’s been so much fun! (And, we’ve had power the whole time. If I were dealing with this storm sans electricity I would have a VERY different mindset.).

Blizzard 2013-14 Blizzard 2013-3 Blizzard 2013-4

Hope everyone stayed safe and warm!

She Says… Best. Day. Ever

THIS is happening today.

I think I’m almost more excited than Owen will be when he comes home.

The only problem is… it’s ALSO Halloween. Aka the day we were going to pick Owen up early from school and feed him a quick dinner so he could get out trick-or-treating before bedtime. If he sees the swingset? All bets are off.

So here’s our plan…

HIDE THE SWINGSET.

Yes, we are going to attempt to keep Owen in the dark that a huge wooden and plastic monstrosity created specifically for climbing and jumping and swinging and all of his favorite outdoor activities (we got a rock wall, y’all) exists. Despite the fact that you can see the top over our fence.

Cross your fingers.

Worst case scenario, though, is that he sees it and it trumps trick-or-treating. Not the end of the world. But ideally he gets to enjoy both, at different times.

Happy Halloween! Pics of the pumpkin costume to come tomorrow.

She Says… Still Shaking

The beginning of one of my worst nightmares came true two nights ago.

Benjamin was traveling. Owen was sleeping peacefully in his room. Schnitzel was curled up in a ball on my bedroom floor. All of a sudden, I was jolted awake by our alarm system blaring at 2:46am.

In the year that we’ve lived in our house, I’ve never heard the alarm go off on its own. Sure, I’ve forgotten to turn it off a couple of times and jumped out of my skin when it went off as I opened the door to let the dog out, but I’ve never felt that moment where your blood runs cold and you have to consider the fact that someone may have actually just broken a door or a window and may be in your house. RIGHT NOW.

Especially not while I was home “alone”.

We live in a very safe neighborhood and very close to our neighbors. Still, I always keep the doors locked, and it’s hard not to feel a little vulnerable when Benjamin is traveling. That’s the main reason I never write about it on the blog until he’s home. I am a very level-headed person most of the time, but the thought of someone stepping foot in my house while I am home with Owen unnerves me to no end. It’s my nightmare.

So the alarm is blaring. I leap out of bed (I don’t think I actually woke up until I was already running down the stairs to the wall unit to turn it off). I can’t see a darn thing without my glasses, but I just kept running. I know this is the wrong thing to do. Now. In retrospect. But I wasn’t thinking rationally at the time. I ran to turn it off and then the severity of what I had done hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was, now downstairs from my sleeping baby. The alarm was quiet, as if nothing had happened at all. The house was dark except for a few night lights, and I couldn’t see very far in front of me because my stupid glasses were upstairs on my bedside table.

As quickly as I had gotten down there, I bolted back up, with Schnitzel following on my heels. I ripped the phone charger out of my phone and dialed Benjamin’s number. My whole body was shaking and my breathing was jagged as I stood outside Owen’s room, watching our front hall for any movement, ready to go in his nursery and lock the door at the first sign of an intruder.

Of course I know should have called 911 first. Now. In retrospect. But I just needed Benjamin. He picked up immediately and I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for him to receive this call. “The alarm just went off. I’m outside Owen’s room. We’re ok. What do I do?”.

More shaking. More breathing. My feet were glued to the floor outside of Owen’s room. I couldn’t move. Schnitzel stood in front of me, poised, watching with me. I knew at that moment that if someone had been in the house, Schnitzel would have been my first line of defense. He would have protected us.

Right at that moment the alarm company called Benjamin to see if this was a real emergency. As he switched lines to pick up the call, I croaked out, “Send the police. Send them now.”

He stayed on the phone with me while I shook and breathed some more, and in a matter of minutes (2? 3? an eternity? a second?) the police arrived. I walked, jelly-legged, downstairs to meet them. They checked out the basement (where the alarm was triggered) and the rest of the house and looked around outside. No evidence that anyone had been there or tried to break in, so they suggested it could have been a battery dying in our motion sensor or a system issue.

After all of that, a stupid alarm system issue. But still, I had no way of knowing that until after the fact.

And you can bet that no matter how much I reasoned with my rational side, I couldn’t stop imagining the alternative. That someone could have gotten in the house. That someone could have gotten to Owen’s room. To my room.

After the police left I called Benjamin back and tried to breathe normally again. My stomach wouldn’t unclench. I was more awake at 3am than I have ever been. I reset the alarm, minus the sensor that went off, in case it was a battery issue. I laid in bed, clutching my phone to my chest, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling and listening to every little creak and croak and click and cringing with every one.

I stayed that way until 6am, when I finally felt the light of day taking my fear away. I nodded off just as Owen woke up, completely oblivious to the drama of the night.

Do you have a plan for what you would do if you thought there was an intruder in your house? Have you ever been in this situation? My plan was to run into Owen’s room and lock the door. Or run out the front door to our neighbor’s house. But what do you do when you have multiple kids? Thankfully, in this case, Owen slept through the whole event. But what would it have been like to have screaming kids? I can’t even begin to imagine.

She Says… Ships Passing in the Night

Last week Benjamin returned from a 10-day trip. He was home for two nights, and then had to take another 3 day trip almost immediately. After that we spent the weekend together, soaking up every second as a family (hence our lovely Sunday bike riding and doing totally mundane things like yard work and laundry, that felt surprisingly enjoyable simply because we were all together). Then on Monday morning I packed my bags and headed to work to spend 2 nights in a hotel while I ran (and am still running) an intensive week-long training event that requires me to cover late night dinners and early morning sessions and everything in between.

We are fortunate to be able to fit our schedules together like a very complicated puzzle to make our lives work. And not only do they just “work”, but we thrive on the together times and make the best of the apart times and we both get to have fulfilling careers while keeping our family happy.

But sometimes, when our schedules collide like last week and this week, we’re like ships passing in the night.

Not for nothin’, but you know what’s really hard when you barely see your spouse? Umm, making babies. Just sayin’. That whole “timing thing” is quite important, apparently.

She Says… Dinner

I’m sure you’ve read the studies that say things like

the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use. – Time Magazine

Eating dinner around the table as a family is important. It’s extremely important to me, mostly because the majority of my fondest memories occurred around the dinner table. And not just on Thanksgiving or Easter. I mean the regular, old, gather-up-all-the-kids, put-away-the-homework, turn-off-the-tv, sit-around-the-table, everyday, weeknight dinner. Eat together. Laugh together. Share your day together.

But here’s the thing. As much as Benjamin and I enjoy cooking and preparing lovely meals, we usually eat them in front of the tv. We’re together, and we’re doing something we both enjoy, and after a long day of working and taking care of Owen, it’s how we decompress. Not going to apologize for it or  say “Wah, I wish we didn’t do this”. It’s nice. We enjoy it. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. But we always said, as soon as we had kids, we would do family dinners right.

Even though we had a kid 18 months ago, family dinner is only now beginning to become a reality. Since Owen was 4 months old he’s been going to bed between 6pm and 7pm, so “dinner together” with enough time for Owen to digest before bed would have meant an afternoon snack for us, really. Benjamin and I much preferred to put Owen to bed early and then have a little time to ourselves, cooking, eating, watching tv. It was our time. And “dinner” with Owen, for many months, involved a parent sitting and feeding and watching and playing defense when the food was thrown on the floor, etc. It wasn’t exactly that calm, winding-down, enjoying-our-food kind of experience we wanted for our dinnertime.

But in the last few weeks there has been a transformation. It has been slow and almost imperceptible, but something is afoot. I can feel it.

1. Owen wants to chat with us. He wants to engage with us. Sitting eye to eye. He wants to use words.
2. The food throwing days are (maybe?) behind us. At least for the time being. Sometimes food still ends up on the floor, and once in awhile it is not quite an accident, but gone are the days (KNOCK ON WOOD) of mindlessly throwing entire bowls of food on the floor.
3. Utensils are Owen’s best friend. He still prefers his fingers most of the time, and still needs a little help stabbing things with a fork (especially the dull, toddler forks), but he will sit pretty quietly and eat an entire plate of food without needing us to feed him anymore.
4. He is a SPONGE. He copies everything from me choosing my clothes in the morning (now he’ll stand in front of my closet and point to different dresses and skirts and say, “Dis?”) to how I dry my hands to how I stand in front of the refrigerator. The kid misses nothing. And he is an astonishingly excellent copycat. If he’s soaking up our habits around food, I don’t want them to be that we grab a granola bar and run out the door all of the time. Sure, that’s inevitable sometimes, but I want him to soak up dinnertime. Sitting. With the family. Talking. Laughing. And enjoying that time.

So we’ve been trying to do dinner as a family.

At least on weekends.

So far, it’s going great (when I have a simple and quick dinner planned). Owen loves to help me prepare it (thanks to our learning tower) and then we all sit down around 5:30pm and eat. In the dining room. For half an hour. We ask Owen about his day and talk about the things we did. We sing, sometimes, since that seems to help him eat his food. We talk about the food we’re eating, and we all eat the same things. Sometimes I let him use an adult fork. He goes crazy for an adult fork.

When it works, it is the happiest time of my day. And the best part? While I finish Owen’s bedtime routine around 7:00pm, Benjamin has done the dishes. Which means that at 7:00pm Benjamin and I can sit in front of the television and put our feet up. Dinner’s done. Kitchen’s clean. Owen’s asleep. BLISS.

We usually have to follow up with a small snack of cereal or something right before bed, because hey, we ate dinner like we live in an old folks’ home. But that’s totally worth it.

Do you do family dinners? What age did you start? What’s your favorite meal to make that the whole family can eat?

She Says… Splurge

Do you hear that?

It’s the sound of angels singing.

It’s the sound of me being able to cook something without Owen wrapping his arms around my leg and trying to climb up my side, shouting “Up! Up! Mommy! Up!”.

It’s the sound of dinner simmering and homemade bread baking and music playing and having a little dance party in the kitchen, all the while knowing that Owen is contained, safe, happy, and still able to see what’s going on at counter height.

This just may be one of my favorite things we’ve ever bought for Owen. And no, no one is paying me to say this. We didn’t even get it for free. Far from it, in fact. This Learning Tower is not cheap. But do you know what it is? WORTH. EVERY. PENNY. And we’ve only had it a week.

Almost every morning, we make Owen an egg for breakfast. Since he got his play kitchen for Christmas he has shown a keen interest in helping (Hep! Help. Cock! Cook. Eh! Eggs.). In the beginning, “helping” meant me holding him while I cooked eggs. Which was a little tricky, what with the hot pan and squirmy toddler. Since we got the learning tower, it’s climbing into his learning tower on his own, choosing which egg from the carton he wants to eat, helping me put the coconut oil (“oyyo”) or butter (“buddah”) in the pan and telling me when it’s sizzling, watching the egg turn white and holding the spatula after I flip it, and finally climbing down from the learning tower on his own and walking over to his high chair to eat it.

Not only is it an awesome bonding time for the two of us, it’s also a great learning experience for Owen and a perfect way to keep him entertained and get something done.

Have I mentioned that I love my learning tower?

I know it may seem like a step stool or chair would do the same job. Well, it didn’t for us. Owen would stand still on our kitchen bar stool for about one millisecond. After that he was twisting and turning and climbing up the back and trying to climb down on his own (which he couldn’t do safely) and even trying to jump off. My little daredevil. A chair wasn’t going to cut it for us, as it still required one parent to stand behind Owen and make sure he wasn’t going to crack his head open.

The tower has kind of transformed the way we spend time in the kitchen. And we spend A LOT of time in the kitchen. The other night we had a dance party — Owen in the tower, Benjamin and I dancing around him, while we cooked. Owen climbs and hangs on the tower and I don’t worry about him falling off. I can put the tower strategically just far enough away from the counter or the stove so he can’t reach the dangerous stuff, but close enough that he feels like he is involved in the cooking process. I’ve heard of other people using it to let their kids play in the sink with soapy water, do craft/art projects on a table or counter, and even turning it into a puppet theater when they get a bit older. Now that’s versatile.

Now my little spider monkey can climb all he wants. And get “Up! Up! Up!” and “Dow! Dow! Dow!” all he wants. And I don’t have to do a thing except make sure nothing breakable is within his reach.

What have you bought or made for your child that had a huge impact on your life? Do you let your toddler stand on chairs or stools, or do you have a learning tower or other contraption?

 

She Says… Ooops

Oh, I wish I had a picture to show you the scene at our house from Saturday night. But I don’t. So I’ll have to do my best to paint a picture of my embarrassment with just words.

To set the scene: It was Saturday night and Benjamin and I were planning to head out to a friend’s birthday party. Our babysitter (a young girl whose parents live directly across the street from us) had just arrived. Since we had such a crazy week with me working late hours and staying in a hotel a few nights, etc., I wanted to put Owen to bed and sneak out after that so he wouldn’t even know we were gone. Bedtime went smoothly and I tiptoed out of his room, slipped on my heels and Benjamin and I headed for the door.

JUST as we were pulling on our coats and closing the door behind us, we heard a beeping. A loud, incessant beeping that we had never heard before. A constant, loud, incessant beeping. We followed the beeping sound to the carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside of Owen’s room. Instinctively Benjamin tore the beeping thing off the wall and ran down the stairs in an effort to keep Owen asleep. But taking it off the wall only made the beeping worse.

It seemed highly unlikely that all of a sudden our house was filled with carbon monoxide for no good reason, but the carbon monoxide detector has a warning that says in big, bold capital letters: YOU CANNOT SEE, SMELL OR TASTE CARBON MONOXIDE. IF THIS ALARM GOES OFF, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OR EMERGENCY SERVICES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

There were two lights on the front of the detector. Power and Alarm. Alarm was the one that was blinking and beeping.

Shit.

Despite my normal inclination to say, “I’m sure it’s just a mistake. It’s fine. It’s not REALLY an emergency”, I couldn’t ignore the warning or the beeping. And, frankly, we couldn’t get it to stop. I couldn’t bring myself to call 911, since this situation felt far from an emergency, so I looked up the number for our local fire department. The fire chief answered the phone.

“Ok. Does your detector have a battery?”
“Hmmm. I don’t think so. It was plugged into the wall.”
“And is the alarm going off every few minutes, or pretty constantly?”
“Constantly. And the light that says Alarm is blinking.”
“We’ll be right over.”

I hung up the phone and Benjamin and I examined the (constant! loud! incessantly beeping!) detector. Guess what we found? A BATTERY. There is, apparently, a battery backup just in case the power goes out. Benjamin and I couldn’t help but laugh at our own stupidity while we changed the battery and plugged it back in.

Silence. (And, surprisingly, silence from Owen’s room too, even with all of the beeping and scrambling and yelling over the beeping).

I called the fire chief back to tell him we didn’t need anyone to come over. That we were idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. “They are already on their way”, he said.

Double shit.

I opened my front door to see a gigantic fire truck with lights blazing, and 2 big firefighters jumping out of the doors and putting on their fire gear. (Yes, for real.). I ran up to the truck and explained what happened. We are idiots who didn’t know there was a battery in there even though it was plugged into the wall. The stupid thing must light up the alarm button when your battery dies. I’m sorry! They decided to come in and check it out just to be safe. So the big, burly firefighters in their heavy firefighting gear stomped through my house holding a meter in the air and looking for deadly gas. Surprise! They didn’t find any.

During this time our babysitter was just hanging out in the kitchen watching this unfold. And her PARENTS (who, remember, live right across the street) saw the fire truck pull up at our house and thought there was some emergency. So THEY come running over, barefoot, to see what happened. They were thankful that we were still there, and, to be honest, I was thankful that they ran right over. If there really had been an emergency I would have appreciated their concern. In this case, though, it just made us feel like even bigger idiots :)

After a few minutes of the firefighters checking the air in various parts of the house and me pleading with them that they should get back to the station in case of a real emergency, they left. I cursed myself for not waking Owen up to see them. He would have freaked out. A REAL, LIVE FIRETRUCK AT OUR HOUSE?!

Just as they left I heard him crying from his room. Apparently that was enough ruckus to wake him. I waited at the bottom of the stairs to see if I needed to go in, but he stopped after a minute or so and went back to sleep.

Ok. Babysitter was still there, alarm was off, baby was asleep. So we went out.

Just a normal Saturday night.

She Says… Pukefest 2011-2012

We’ve been a little quiet here on the blog front for the last few days. Do you want to know why? We’ve been spending most of our time cleaning up puke.

Let me explain.

On Friday we woke up and left the house by 6:30am to start our trip to St. Louis to see some of Benjamin’s extended family. This was our first trip with Owen that we needed to take 2 flights, one that conflicted with naptime. I was anxious. We decided to schedule the flights so we left early in the morning, had a break for lunch, and arrived in St. Louis before bedtime so as not to mess up a night’s sleep. When we arrived at the gate for our first flight we were told it was booked solid, so there were no empty seats. Boo. That’s pretty much what we expected, flying on the Friday of a long, holiday weekend. But still, it was not the news we were hoping for. Then, after climbing into the plane, juggling bags and coats and toys and coffees (hindsight: bad idea!!!), we were told that the plane wasn’t going to take off right away.

Ahem. We sat on the runway for nearly 45 minutes before even going anywhere. Brutal. Thankfully, Owen was in a fantastic mood and was allowing me to distract him from the fact that we were sitting still with snacks, book reading, more snacks, song singing, more snacks and lots of looking out the window. Oh, and watching all of the airplanes (Hehpay! Hehpay!). Finally we were up in the air and, surprisingly, the 2 1/2 hour flight went by relatively quickly. Or maybe that’s just the blurry memory of my post-trip brain speaking. Either way, we made it to Chicago.

Once in Chicago we found some lunch and headed straight for the Admirals Club to pass the time until our next flight. Owen was stuffed with snacks and didn’t want anything to do with lunch, but was pretty happy about playing in the kids’ area with blocks. We made it to our next flight and started to plant the seed that it was naptime (“Ok, Owen, on the next flight you get to hold Lovey and you and Mommy will snuggle and it will be naptime.” “You can close your eyes on the airplane and take a little snooze, mmkay?”). No extra seats on this flight either, so I attempted to cuddle the twisting, squirming, flailing, fussing beast and lure him into sleep. After a wild period of trying to escape out the airplane window, I gave Owen his lovey and slowly he relaxed into sleep. Success! A plane nap!

Once in St. Louis we took a BUMPY, TWISTY, TURNY bus ride to get our rental car. (A little bit of foreshadowing, for those who know Owen’s history with carsickness). Got in our rental car and headed out. The hotel was very close to the airport, so I hopped in front with Benjamin to help navigate, even though that meant we couldn’t see Owen’s face since we didn’t have our mirror on the seat behind him as he still sits facing backwards.

After a few minutes I heard him whisper, “Mommy”. And then whimper. I thought he was just fussing, since he always whines in his carseat, and I babbled on and on, “You’re ok, buddy. Only a few more minutes. We’re almost there!”.

Then I heard it. That unforgettable sound of vomit erupting. Silence, and then a wail.

He puked EVERYWHERE. Just like the last time this happened, we had to make a game-time decision about what to do. We decided that stopping would be no help, so we just got to the hotel as fast as we possible could. Benjamin checked in while I took Owen to the bathroom to clean him up and take off his pukey clothes. Except for one thing. Benjamin couldn’t check in because we were at the wrong hotel.

So there we were. Puke-covered, naked toddler. Carseat cover dripping with vomit chunks. Nothing to clean with but paper towels and hand soap and WE HAD TO PUT THIS KID BACK IN THE CAR AND DRIVE AGAIN?! I literally considered wrapping him in towels and freaking walking to the correct hotel. But alas, it was too far. So we did the best we could, and tucked him back into his cold, wet seat for another car trip.

We called Benjamin’s sister and Dad to meet us at the door with cleaning supplies, towels and garbage bags. FINALLY got up to our real room at the correct hotel and thought the motion sickness drama was over.

It was not.

Oh no. It was just beginning.

Over the course of the next 2 days, I would estimate that Owen puked about 6 or 7 times. After car rides. After being picked up to wash his hands. Right before eating his next “meal”. He was a mess. We traveled everywhere with towels and trash bags and 4 changes of clothes. He barely ate or drank anything. Despite all of this, he was 100% his happy go lucky little self when not puking.

To be honest I don’t know if this is really motion sickness-related. The doctor seemed to think so after a phone consult where we told him all of the details, but it’s definitely possible it was some sort of stomach bug. Regardless, it was awful.

I’ll tell you more about the rest of the trip tomorrow, but suffice to say thank GOODNESS for Benadryl (which got us back to Boston without a single puking episode) and for being home.