Thursday, January 1

A day in my hotel life

New Year's Eve . . . we’ve now been hotel folks for three weeks so we’re over half way done! HALLELUJAH! I’m seriously usually about to go insane by 10am most days and yesterday provoked actual tears. In fact this morning, I’d reached my limit and glanced at the clock which read 10:23am. Thankfully, life is made of moments and those moments pass. Before I forget, I’m providing a snapshot of today.

Around 8am, Ryan got up and ready for work which means the boys are awake and immediately want cereal pronto! Ryan heads off to work and Easton has already finished his cereal while McKay is inevitably playing with his and making a mess. I am convinced McKay only asks for cereal because Easton does. McKay continues to graze for the rest of the day.

With the dawn of a new day, Easton knows he has a fresh 30 minutes of Xbox game time and begins to beg and I give in - - it’s too early to argue. By now I’ve dragged myself out of bed with the hope that I can do a quick pickup of the room before Morgan wakes up and the cleaning crew arrives. They have typically been coming around 9:30 but sometimes they knock as early as 9! I could do the pickup at night, but bedtime is usually such an ordeal that it’s better to get everyone dressed within the pickup routine.

Easton will get dressed and then finish off McKay’s mostly uneaten soggy cereal to which McKay goes ballistic. I usually redirect McKay by sticking him in the shower while Easton finishes his precious game time in peace and I pickup and pull myself together for the day.

If I don’t redirect McKay specifically, he is into something. He’s figured out how everything in the kitchen works, even the burners and oven for example. In the last 15 minutes, he’s jumped from bed to bed trying different acrobatics, played in the drapes, used a package of diapers on the edge of a table as target practice for his pillows repeatedly, flushed something down the toilet (?), figured out how the air freshener spray can works, taken the battery pack off the xbox remote and inadvertently paused Easton’s game which brought squeals of joy and sorrow between the two parties, and ripped the garland off our makeshift Christmas tree. Everything he does has an element or possibility of destruction! And that was only 15 minutes of the day!
This morning, McKay figured out how to pull the trash can over to the bathroom sink and stand on it so he can play in the water. If we were at home, this would not be a good thing but we’re in a hotel, so play away my little cherub - - without creatively plugging the drain with towels to overflow the joint! I think we’ll just call this period of McKay’s day “water time.”

McKay does crack me up in how he phrases things and gestures a lot with his hands while he's talking. He flattens his hand, all fingers are straight and together like a fan. And he is my cheerleader saying, “Good Job, Mom!” as I drove the streets of Germany for the first time this week. YAHOO!

Morgan will have started to squawk by now so I’ll plant myself near wherever McKay is to feed her, always wishing I’d eaten breakfast. This is when all heck breaks loose everytime!Inevitably, the boys begin to fight and times outs are plentiful. Easton is now bored for the day because his xbox time is up. McKay is ready to be rowdy but Easton is in pout mode and wants to make everyone else miserable too. They’re hopping from bed to bed, playing tag, and wrestling which means someone gets hurt or they start to tease each other so someone is screaming. Poor Morgan will probably have indigestion for life from all the interrupted feedings! I’m sure she’ll survive just like my 8 siblings survived Chad and me!

I’ve got to rework this part of my morning and after writing this I’ve decided how to switch it up a bit. Blogging just might have saved our lives!
(A quick shout out to my good friend Camille who made this onesie for Morgan and McKay has one too!)

The challenge after Morgan is done eating is how to make sure she naps good and long! She’s been taking her naps in her carseat in the darkened bathroom hallway which is as far from the boys’ craziness as I can give her. I’ve usually succumbed to movie time for the boys at this point so she can fall asleep and I can recover. Today we pulled out Easton’s Hooked on Phonics (which he can earn more game time doing) and I may try to start the younger version with McKay. I packed it as a sanity measure and it just may come in handy although it does require my involvement. Another one of today’s sanity measures was to take pictures all morning with the kids as you can see.

Ryan gets home around lunchtime right now and then we’re usually off on errands for the whole afternoon. Today he had to get his discount gas card at one of the bases so we decided to grab lunch there, let the boys play on the indoor playground, do laundry, and grab a few things at the PX (like a Kmart) – fun for all! As we were talking about our plan, Ryan said, “I need to go get my gas card.” And McKay piped up, “I want Madagascar!” (the cartoon movie) We got a good chuckle out of that!

One way Germans celebrate New Year’s is to set off fireworks! In Germany, many stores sell fireworks for the three days before New Year’s and you can legally fire them off from midnight to 2am. We’ve been hearing them for a couple evenings now and Ryan’s been so excited to fire some off. Once we announced to the boys to put their shoes on to do fireworks, McKay would not stop hollering, “I make fire!” We took the boys to one of the rooftops of the hotel and did sparklers and lit off a prepackaged box of fireworks. I was so scared we were going to get in trouble!

Easton was scared of the sparklers but McKay finally warmed up to them and loved it! Both boys clung to me while Ryan set off his box that lasted a minute shooting up some pretty fun ones that exploded up high. By the end, they were laughing but McKay was scared to death and crying to go back home at first. All the way back to our room McKay was begging for more and he finally stopped when Ryan asked who wanted to bake some cookies. Hahaha!

Around 5pm, we realized the plaza outside our window must be hosting a party tonight because Top 40 disco tech music started blaring. Luckily, from 7-11:50 they played wonderful classical music and then folks from the snazzy restaurant below and young people in the area decended on the scene for fireworks! We opened our window wide and had the best view ever! There were people setting them off from roofs around us and others shooting off their own down below all over the city - it was fabulous! The US should do this because the 4th of July just isn't enough for this pyro family!

This concludes what became a very long snapshot of a day in my hotel life. Happy New Years!