Tuesday, August 19, 2008

more Disney planning

I think our plans are almost finalized, as best as we can do them anyway. I've got our tickets, made reservations for our hotel, and booked our rental car. I've made a few ADRs (advance dining reservations), and tried to highlight which parks would be best to go to on which days.
My next thing is to put all the info into organized places. I'm using Google maps, the Google calendar, and I think I will use Google documents too. I need to put all our confirmation numbers and other details into one easily usable place so I'm still working on that.
Meanwhile my mother in law is trying to decide what she wants to do, and I need to write a letter to my mother soon too. But my mom is still coping with her boyfriend's health so I'm trying not to push too much there.

only a few more weeks before we go. yay!!!

New Hampshire and my mother

In the midst of all this daycare craziness, my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. An advertisement drew me to book a room at the Radisson in Nashua, NH at the last minute for Friday night. We got out of work a little early because of a power failure (which kept us home on Monday too), stopped at the house for some essentials, and then picked up Abby at daycare. Stopped at McDonald's in Orange for supper, and then drove up to the castle-like hotel. It was very nice, and a great quick getaway. In the morning the prices scared us away from breakfast, and we headed to the nearby mall for Dunkin Donuts and some shopping. After a couple of hours there, Abby was well worn out. So we headed up to Tilton, NH where I had heard they had a Tangers Outlet. Since Abby was still asleep when we got off the exit, we drove over to Laconia for a quick look at some of the lake area before we finally stopped for lunch and shopping. The rain from the night before was long gone, and it was a beautiful sunny day. I got our AAA coupons from the outlet office, and a $5 gift card for being good outlet shoppers (visiting more than one Tanger Outlet within a year or something) and we headed over to Uno Pizzeria or whatever it was for lunch. We spent the afternoon shopping, not buying a whole lot, but having fun looking in the stores. Abby got a new pair of boots, and a backpack. My husband got some new clothes and a new skillet. We all got overpriced bottled water at Starbucks. Abby even got to play on the playground for a little while.
When we were done we headed up to Burger King for a quick supper before we hit the road to come home, a long drive.
Now let me say this, where it can be easily seen.... Burger King in Tilton, NH has the most disgustingly gross bathrooms I have seen in a long time. The toilet bowls themselves were brown. And since it was a Burger King, it had no diaper deck of course, so I had to deal with a kid who would not use the toilet because it was so gross, and then I had to get down on the dirty bathroom floor to change her diaper. Thanks a lot folks. We had a great time in Tilton, but I'll never go there again, even if the playspace was fun.

The reason why we pushed so hard to get back on Saturday night, even though Saturday was our anniversary was because my mother was in the area, and we were supposed to have brunch with her on Sunday morning. Unfortunately when we got home there was a message from my mother saying she was having trouble with her cell phone. When she called us Sunday morning, it became apparent pretty quickly that we would not be meeting for brunch. She pretty much insisted that we drive all the way to the D.A.R. campground in Goshen to meet her, even though we'd already spent way too many hours in the car the day before.

We decided to do brunch at the Union Station in Northampton without her, and then we went. By the time we got to the campground it was just starting to thunder. After a couple of quick hellos, the rain came. She didn't want to leave the campground. She was barely dressed, and freezing, but wouldn't leave the campsite anyway. We left.

Later that night my mother packed up her gear and headed back to Florida, cutting her visit short by about a week. On the way, she had trouble with her rental car, and gave away her camp wood. A day or two after she got home, her boyfriend had a heart attack and almost died. I guess it's good she went home early, but it still would have been nice to have seen her for more than 5 minutes while she was here. It turned out that work was closed on Monday, so we could have spent that day with her if she'd still been around, and she still would have made it home in time for her boyfriend's heart attack.

Oh, and if you are wondering, we didn't do much for anniversary gifts. The trip was pretty much it. That and I gave him a card, and he gave me 2 cards- 1 serious, 1 fun.

Surviving the daycare juggles

So we had a week of normal, and then our daycare provider went on vacation. I'd been able to get a sitter for 4 days- Tuesday-Friday, and my husband and I had worked out who would get out early and do what etc, since the sitter wouldn't work as many hours as our daycare person would.
The plan was for my husband to take Monday off, which he really didn't want to do, but we had no choice. Then he'd get out early 2 days, and I'd get out early 2 days. Under no terms could he take Friday off. He got lucky though, and due to a power failure work was closed for both of us on Monday. That just left us with Tuesday-Friday. With a lot of extra gas being used, we juggled Tuesday-Thursday, and then our sitter canceled Friday on us. That left me to take the day off. No choice but to suck it up, and it will make our September plans interesting because I will be right on the edge of running out of time off for vacation/personal time at work, but we'll figure it out.
Now our daycare provider is back, and rumors about him closing are still floating through the air. We are really hoping that he will at least be in business through January (through the fall semester), but he has lost a lot of customers lately, and I think Abby is the only full time kid signed up for the fall right now. Scary. I don't dare start calling other places yet because I'm not sure if I'm looking for September or January, and I don't want to move her unless I have to. So fingers crossed. We'll never find another daycare as good as the one we have, and we're still a year away from preschool.


I didn't emphasize it enough in my last post, I really had to work on priorities while DH was gone. Was it more important to get to work on time, or more important to give dd a couple of extra hugs? Was it more important to get home or more important to spend an hour at the beach? Etc.

I got a good lesson on that on Wednesday, my first day back to work, when I got pulled over for speeding. Fortunately the officer was very understanding and gave me a written warning. That was a good lesson for me. In the morning, Abby had thrown a tantrum when I was dropping her off at daycare, and I had gotten to work 20 minutes late. Then I had stayed late to make up the time at work, still I was trying really hard to get to daycare on time some how because I knew that the substitute was there and would be itching to leave. I was trying to do it all, and it just didn't work.

On Thursday, I didn't listen to the tantrum so long, I made it to work on time, and I made it back to daycare. Then I found out that the daycare provider had rescheduled their vacation for 2 weeks (August 11th) and I was going to be juggling for care. I was really ticked. More than really ticked. It was also supposed to be the substitute's last day, but I didn't care about that at the moment. I immediately found a woman who I thought would be willing to watch Abby that week, and told her (she was parking her car at the beach) that I'd be calling her very soon. Meanwhile I was trying not to let my bad mood affect Abby, which was pretty much impossible and I also had to reach my husband in California to give him the news. It was a logistical freak time.

The near speeding ticket on Wednesday, the daycare thing on Thursday, it felt like every day I had some kind of crisis. Meanwhile I wasn't sleeping well, and mother nature wasn't being nice to my body either. I was very relieved when DH came home, and yet, I know I could do it all again. And maybe next time I will do it better.

I wish I hadn't gotten rid of all my Al-Anon books (friends and family of alcoholics) because I really found myself trying to remember those things about living in the moment and the serenity prayer etc. Keep It Simple Stupid. Right?

And now I've got to get back to work, and I still feel like I haven't said it all somehow.

trying to get caught up.. the week he was gone

Well I said I had a lot to write about, and I just haven't had time to do it. The week that my husband gone was a week of constant change. Daycare was supposed to be closed for the week, but then decided to be open. They didn't tell me at that time that the vacation they planned hadn't been canceled, but had been postponed instead. So, I decided to take 2 days off from work to spend with Abby, and then work the rest of the week.
Sunday morning, my husband had an 8:30am flight. We drove to the airport and got there early. My daughter slept in the car for the most part, and I made sure we had the stroller with us. It was her first visit to the airport. DH had to check in and go through security so we didn't have much time to say goodbye, but we made the best of it. Abby and I hung out at the airport until I was pretty sure DH had boarded and was due to take off. We headed back up to Enfield, CT for breakfast and then I got a text message saying DH's flight had been delayed but he couldn't get off the plane. Nothing we could do. DH's trip was in motion and he was at the beginning of what would prove to be a very long day, with 6 extra hours of travel time spent mostly in an airport.
Meanwhile, Abby and I ate breakfast and then headed back toward familiar territory. We stopped at Target and got some art supplies and then went home. We spent the rest of the day napping and doing lots of painting etc.
On Monday, I went to the AAA office and got tickets for 6 Flags and for our upcoming Disney trip. I had heard the rumor that prices would be going up soon for Disney and I wanted to get them while I could. Plus it's hard for me to get to the AAA office when they are open since the local offices aren't open on Saturdays. We also went out for breakfast first. Then we headed up to my father's farm, but since we got there sooner than he was expecting us, he wasn't around. So with Abby quickly falling asleep, I headed back south to Yankee Candle. When she woke up we went inside and explored. I had not been there in years. We ignored Santa pretty much, and as much of the stinky candles as possible, but did spend some time in the toy room before finally buying a Doctor Curious George. After that we had lunch at McDonald's in Northampton, and while I entertained the idea of going to Look Park, I realized we had done enough for one day so we headed home.
On Tuesday it was off to Six Flags, and this is was a good place to think about what was important to me. Six Flags on a Tuesday wasn't TOO crowded, but it was still big and confusing to me, and I had to decide how much to push Abby on to new things, and how much to sit and relax and just let her do her thing. I tried to balance. I didn't let her ride the rides twice, but I did let her spend a lot of time in the play area. We never did see the whole park. I also gave us a long lunch break, and another long break for shaved ice. (When we returned a few weeks later with my husband, we took a long break for shaved ice too). Abby lasted about 4-5 hours before succumbing to exhaustion and falling asleep. So I drove us home, stopping at a drive-thru for something for myself along the way.
Wednesday was back to work, and sort of back to normal. I had to balance her tantrums though with trying to get to work at a reasonable time. The first day, Wednesday, was tough, and I was actually quite a bit late, and had to stay late to make up the time.
During the week I tried to be understanding of the fact that we were both missing her daddy/my husband, and we were both kind of tired. We ate out more than usual, and she stayed up a little late. I also let her watch tv and eat food in the bedroom, two things that are normally against the rules. Some nights she slept in her own bed, and some nights she slept in mine. It wasn't a week to try to be a mean mommy. It was tough taking her to daycare, but I think by Wednesday she was also missing her friends quite a bit too, and that part of her was happy to go.
On Saturday we had one last day together before picking up DH late that night. The time just seemed to crawl by, as I counted the hours until the plane would arrive, but we did it.
As I posted before, I know that this will happen again. DH really needs to be open to some travel for his job, and I will have to do my part when it comes time. Fortunately we should be able to get a 2nd vehicle in a few months so airport runs will be a little easier too.