Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work with Brad

This week we hit the road with Brad for the first time since Ethan was born and since welcoming Spiderman into our family..... : )
To say this was the worst trip ever would probably be an understatement!  It was SO bad that it made us never want to take another road trip again..... and for us to say that it MUST have been bad!!!  It was so much traveling with 3... it was that we all seemed to get sick and having sick people crammed in one hotel room means that you end up with many sick people!!!!  UGH!!!!  It started with Ethan.  He had watery eyes and didn't sleep well night one.  We had stopped halfway to make the drive not so hard on the kids.... I'm thankful we did that... I don't think any of the kids would have tolerated the long drive while not feeling good.  So, with a congested and restless baby in my bed, I didn't sleep good.  At one point I had to pass him to Brad so I could get an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep.  I would have left him with Brad longer but since Brad was driving, I wanted him to be rested!
We drove the next day to our final destination, a retreat center in Houston.  Since E was not feeling well and I was exhausted and it looked like Addyson was on the verge of catching whatever Ethan had, I sent Brad out to find dinner.... he was going to go alone but Addyson was crying and I didn't want him to leave me with a crying 2 year old AND a sick baby so I talked him into taking both kids with!!! : )
Thankfully he found a grocery store nearby and was able to make one stop and pick up everything we needed!!!  He got us breakfast for the morning since he was flying out at 5am to go on a business trip, leaving me with 3 kids (2 sick ones) at a retreat center all alone!  We had a one bedroom cabin that had a table and fridge so it made dinner really easy!!!  Ethan could stretch out on the bed, I could lounge in my jammies, and the kids could eat as they pleased and we didn't have to worry about disturbing anyone else!
And for the kids, this adventure was better than eating out!!!!
Day 1 there, I was alone since Brad had left for this trip.  That night, Addyson had gotten a bad cough and ran a fever for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.  So, I ended up with sick Ethan on one side of me and sick Addyson on the other while Brad slept on the floor!  UGH!  That day I debated taking her AND the two boys to the doctor but really dreaded that since she hates doctors and I had NO help!  I self diagonosed her with croup and learned that there is nothing a doctor can do for you so I just tried to find at home remedies with my limited resources!  I took her outside in the cold air for a bit and had her site in the bathroom while I ran a steamy shower!  It seemed to help.  That night was a dinner for Brad's work so I braved it alone with 3 kids... thankfully, it was there at the retreat center so we could just walk there.... all loaded up!!!!
Once there, I was pleasently surprised to have people willing to help me without me asking!!!  They kept saying how impressed they were that I came alone and how I seemed to manage it just fine!! : )  But, that didn't stop them from holding Ethan for me so I could manage the big two!
I got lots of compliments on how well behaved our kids are!!!  I think it helped that Addyson didn't feel good.... kept her a bit tame!!: )  I did feel bad for taking them out with her not feeling her best but, if I didn't I would have had to find dinner somehow.  Here, they were providing free dinner for us and I didn't have to load up the kids in the car OR clean up!!!!
That night she ran a fever again for a couple of hours!!!  This is day 3 of no sleep and I am going crazy!!!  I'm so run down that I don't care that Owen had turned the fireplace into a play background for his dinosaurs!  I actually find it amusing that he can turn something as simple as rocks into "toys" and be entertained for HOURS.... literally!!!  I'm sure the house keeper didn't find it as amusing!
Part of my saving grace is that Addyson didn't feel bad during the day.  She didn't run a fever.  She still had a cough and not a whole lot of energy but, she was good at playing and entertaining herself and would even go outside for a bit to get some fresh air and to allow that cold air to help her open up.
Considering I spent a lot of my time like this, I was thankful the two older kids found a way to play by themselves/together.  It is kind of hard to nap in a one room cabin when everyone else wants to play!!!  I was also glad the weather was SO nice, unlike the weather back home in Fayetteville, it was in the upper 50s so I put jackets on the kids and let them run around... we had a huge open area right outside our door so I could easily watch them play... one of our saving graces for this week.  Not sure what I would have done if we were in a traditional hotel room!!!
There wasn't much sleep to be had.  Addyson woke up every night and climbed in bed with me, usually with a fever that only lasted a couple of hours.  Owen got sad that no one was sleeping with him so, instead of sleeping on the floor, Brad slept with Owen on the pull out couch!  Again, another saving grace was that pull out couch!!!
By the end of the week, Owen had started to couch too and wasn't his normal self.  I used the couch to relax with the big kids while Ethan napped on the bed.  It is SO hard to not spread germs when we are ALL so close together!!!  There is NO escaping it!!!!
Evenings were a bit hard.  We had to put on our happy face and join Brad's work for dinners.  Despite not feeling 100%, the kids did great!!! I was so proud of them!  Brad' coworkers were so patient with them and interacted with them and that made me feel good.  The last night was the BIG dinner, the theme this year was luau..  They had baggo set up outside and Owen was watching with such enthusiasm that some of the guys let the two play their game for a bit.
Brad's coworker Christy planned the whole event and she got her husband to take karaoke requests and people got up and sang.  Our kids took a turn and picked "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "You Are My Sunshine".  Ms. Carol helped us sing, it was so sweet!  The dinners would go late, we would leave early, around 9, which was way past our kids' bedtimes!  So, add that to the craziness!!!  Sick, short naps, restless night, AND late to bed!  No wonder we were going crazy!
If I wasn't surrounded by loving, helping people, I couldn't do what I do and still maintain what little bit of sanity I have and parent with patience and love.  And the helping people in my life are not just adults.  Owen has really stepped up to be mommy's helper.  He has such a kind, loving, and tender heart and can be such a helper (if he isn't too busy doing other things!!! : ) ) It is hard to be a mommy of three, especially when 2 kids need you at the same time!  Brad was in a meeting and we were waiting for him.  Ethan was getting fussy and Addyson had to go potty so I asked Owen to help me with Ethan, he is good at talking to Ethan and keeping him occupied for me.  When I came back from the bathroom I saw Owen doing laps with Ethan around the room and singing to him.  My heart melted!!!  He is such a big boy now!!!  He use to be the one I pushed in the stroller!!!  Now, look at him!
 By the end of the week we were ALL done, especially me!!!  5 nights of no sleep is enough to make anyone crazy.... top that off with trying to take care of sick and well kids at the same time while putting on a happy face in front of your husband's coworkers during meals and add to that that I got sick the last day and had to pack up the room and car by myself while caring for above said sick kids.  They kicked us out of our room at noon and Brad couldn't leave until 4.  I should have sent the front desk this picture of Addyson, who was so pitiful by the last day... she slept most of the morning, and maybe they would have let us stay longer! We headed out to our halfway point at 4, the kids slept most of the way.  And that night we had the best night of sleep out of the WHOLE trip!  Everyone slept through the night!
Everyone woke up in a good mood until.... the kids saw that the pool was an outside pool so there would be NO swimming.  Swimming, according to the kids, is part of staying in a hotel.... you don't stay in a hotel and not swim.  There was a major minor meltdown until we talked them into a bubble bath with dad which would surely be more fun than swimming!  Thankfully they bought into the idea!
During our drive home we were planning our trips for this summer, a huge road trip, and we almost talked ourselves out of it since we were in the middle of our worst road trip EVER and swore we would NEVER do this again!!!!!  If you know the Brewsters, don't count us out for anything....even when it seems like a crazy idea, don't count us out!!!  I had to remind Brad that is was SO bad because everyone was sick.... had it not been for that I think it would have been fun.  I guess we'll only know when we take our next road trip and we are all healthy.  Until then, I think we are suffering from minor PTSD from this trip and need to get over this before we plan our next one!

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