Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home from Phoenix

Whew. That was a sigh of relief. It is good to be home! Messy, dirty, papers-everywhere, disorganized, man-my-kids-hoard-a-lot-of-stuff, huge-compared-to-a-two-room-suite HOME.

Saturday’s drive was perilous. On a curvy mountain pass, I saw something ahead of me in my lane and was just going to run it over. THANK GOD I was able to switch lanes without running anyone off the road because the object was a metal ladder … laying crosswise.

Later, I was sitting in the back reading Harry Potter #4 to the kids and heard an expletive come out of my husband, who does not generally cuss. He also swerved over to the left. I looked to the right and saw an RV alongside us, and it’s front wheels were wobbling. The driver was barely keeping the thing on the road. THANK GOD my Speed Racer husband was able to outrun the RV and get away from it.

Our Homewood Suites in Amarillo, Texas stunk like cow manure, but we got to see prairie dogs again alongside the road.

Hey, who thinks hotels should be going "green"? My God, they waste a lot of stuff, but I'll get into that later ...

Literal Versus Figurative

Aren’t you literally tired of hearing people literally misuse the word LITERALLY?

As in, “When we broke up, it LITERALLY broke my heart.” Really?! Wow, then you are a medical miracle, walking around with a broken organ in your body! Alert the media.

Or, “I literally screamed my head off.” Wouldn’t that be cool if we had detachable body parts like that?! First I would take J’s feet off whenever we ride in the car so he couldn’t kick M’s seatback anymore. Then I would take off my breasts and put them on my husband’s chest so he could nurse our children.

People must think literally is just another word for “really”.

Now, my kids are LITERALLY driving me crazy, so I must sign off.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Last Day in Phoenix

Well, our final day in Phoenix is here. I have to say this town has grown on me, like a wart. It will be nice to be home. I never thought I'd say this, but I've had a little TOO much togetherness. Here's my to-do list for when we get home Sunday night:

  1. Kiss the walls of my garage. How nice to not get into an oven on wheels anymore! Yes, I am pampered. So what? How many years did I have to do things sans garage, like warm up my car by putting a brick on the gas pedal????
  2. Hug the grass in my backyard.
  3. Open the back doors and let the kids run free into the wonderful, fenced yard.
  4. Plan social set-ups for the kids and myself.
  5. Get my ass scrapbooking again ... I have a ton of pictures from this trip.
  6. Love on my parents (I'm an only child, remember)! I've missed them! I'm not dumb, though. I know THEY have missed my kids mostly!
  7. The usual grind plus that pesky wallpaper stripping project, ordering fall homeschool curriculum, buying the converter box for the TV, dealing with the broken digital camera and finding a decent minestrone recipe (can anyone help me with this?!)
Don't forget ... MadMen starts it's 2nd season Sunday night. While I don't have cable, I DO have a mother who will tape it for me. Yipah!

Catch you next time! Pray for my sanity on the ride home :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Phoenix Final Email Update

I'm writing this a little early because the gang (minus E.) is at the pool and I don't know when I'll be able to get on the laptop again.

Anyway ... another great weekend. This time we stayed at a Marriott in Liberty Station right off Harbor Drive. We could lay in bed and see airplanes taking off and watch seagulls all over. Saturday morning I got to hold a sleeping E. outside and read Cloud Atlas while A. took the kids to the pool. Later we went to Target (great fun trying to find a freaking nonexistent beach umbrella!!!! ...it was chilly and cloudy that day, anyway, so the joke was on me). Then In N Out Burger (YUM), then FINALLY to Coronado Island again to the beach. We only made it a couple hours ... I had been holding a sleeping (is that all she does?!) E. the whole time sitting in my beach chair just watching the waves. Life does not get any sweeter.

Then on to drive by Hotel del Coronado. Alexander's Pizza for dinner (I have to try to make these Scoobie Snacks and will put the recipe on the blog ). They are pizza dough with Reese's p.b. cups inside. We messed around there til the sun went down, then on to a park, where we got in on some flashlight tag fun with some locals.

In a rare moment of brilliance, I remembered that A. had bought 2-day tickets to SeaWorld (same price as 1 day) and we checked to see if they were still valid. YEP! So after b-fast and a quick walk on the beach to get seashells, Sunday was SeaWorld day for about 4 hours ... me and the kids got sickly on a teacup-type ride (not J., of course ... he spun it faster to taunt us). We got to see penguins, walruses, a polar bear. E. napped on me (seeing a pattern yet?) while I read and A. took the kids to Manatee Rescue and Shark Encounter.

Monday morning J.'s little girlfriend B. was still here, so we hung out all day with her at the pool and in our room. Tuesday = pool. Today we went to the library and grocery store. My Big Fat Greek Restaurant for dinner. OPA!!!!!!

Tomorrow we shall venture out to the Phoenix Zoo. Better set the alarm; the zoo closes at 2 p.m. in the summer. I foresee more pool visits before we leave early Saturday morning, getting in to Amarillo Homewood Suites after 13+ hours of being on the road. No problem. Bring it on!!!!

And NO ... I keep telling you people I am NOT on any type of drug! I am high on life (caffeine) ... gag!

See some of you next week. Aron flies back out Monday night.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7-Year-Old Boys in Love

OK, you figured it out. For 3 weeks I am NOT a travel widow. Was it the "updates from Phoenix" posts that tipped you off?

Folks, I am in a state of semi-vacation. I am still Mommy 24/7, but there are all kinds of things I don't have to worry about while traveling with A. for work.

  1. Mowing the lawn (sounds snootier than "yard", doesn't it?)
  2. Watering the garden or asking the kids to do it 17 times
  3. Gathering garden stuff (tomatoes, green beans, beets, etc.) and trying to figure out, Keystone Cop-style, how to can said stuff
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Cooking
  6. Mail
  7. Keeping an eye on 3 kids in a sea of other kids at the swimming pool
  8. Organizing 900 playdates (I hate that word) for my social oldest son
  9. Washing diapers
Thank God for family and friends!!!
J. has made a little girlfriend out here. I'll call her B., and I woke up Saturday morning to him on the pot singing her name over and over. She is 11 years old. We spent today with her at the pool, and she hung out in our room for hours. It will break my heart when they have to say goodbye this week.
Happy Birthday, Dad ;-)

Travel With Kids: Phoenix, Arizona

Whether you want it or not, here it be. This is me rubbing your face in the fact that I got to go to the beach last weekend!!!! Nyah! Ten years later, we descended once again upon San Diego, only this time we had TRIPLED in family size.

We arrived around 10 Friday night after seeing some cool Imperial Dunes and neato rock mountains. Thanks to much prayer a la Law of Attraction, we got a room facing the ocean with a palm tree right outside our window.

Saturday we hit SeaWorld (I hadn't been there for 31 years), and about 10 million other people had the same idea. Shamu was first on the list. The theme of the show was something about "Believe", but all I believed at that point was that we were going to be living in a mobile estate and firing our poolboy thanks to the prices at SeaWorld. I can hear you all now: "that's what you get for being a baby factory!!!"

Six hours and six crispy people later, we left. We grabbed takeout on PCH and went over the bridge to Coronado Island for some nighttime beach fun. The kids were thrilled. Weather was amazing.

The next day we (for those of you who know A., do not flip out when you read the following) skipped church to praise God at the beach on Coronado Island. We enjoyed being together, got further crispy, got sand in every crevice of our bodies and did not want to leave. But we did leave and got back to scorching AZ around 10 p.m.

This week J. learned to swim at the hotel pool, we went to the Phoenix Museum Tuesday night and to the Children's Museum of Phoenix today for our doses of culture and fun. The rest of the time we were reading, drawing, coloring, learning how to play Diego dominoes, loafing around.

The kids are like little Eloises ... they are buddies with the entire hotel staff (gifts of chocolate from us don't hurt!) They get to sit behind the desk, and the head housekeeper, Linda, gave the kids animal goggles for the pool today.

Writing of all this happiness is making me nauseous, so I can only imagine how you all feel. Sorry about that.

Quote of the week goes to M. J. told him not to touch his trains because they are delicate. M. says, "They are DUMBicate."

Forget Flagstaff or the So-so Canyon. We are heading to Sandy Eggo again tomorrow afternoon. The beach for sure, maybe the zoo. Dad, book my room at the funny farm for when we get back home!!!

K-k-k-kerrie and the Jets

Freaky #1: The Family Bed (So They All Rolled Over and One Fell Off ...)

The family bed. Also known as cosleeping or bedsharing. Naysayers call it "getting kicked in the head in the middle of the night and never having sex with your spouse."

We have done it for over 7 years and it works beautifully in our family. Here's the history of it in our house ...

We got a way-too-expensive crib when I was pregnant with J. and expected he would fall asleep in it after a round of nursing. We tried this several times and could not sleep through or stand his crying. I discovered accidentally that I could nurse and sleep simultaneously and that EVERYONE slept great.

Yes, I've heard the horror stories, and I ask you to consider all the facts before devaluing the family bed. I've never gone to bed on drugs, drunk, so tired I would not hear my kid wake. I've never rolled over on one of the kids. It's some sixth sense that I believe most mothers have ... some instinct so they are aware of their baby at all times.

The most we've had in our bed has been 3 kids. We had to push together a queen and a twin bed to make that happen. They all sleep together great. About a year ago we moved the boys (then aged 4 and 6) into their own room. They choose to sleep together on the bottom bunk and still do. Our oldest daughter sleeps in the twin bed basically alone, but still next to us. The baby sleeps next to me all night (and on my lap for most of her naps). When A. travels, we all 5 cram in together.

Before you feel sorry for me, thinking I'm manipulated by my babies, let me tell you I was 30 when I had my first chitlin. I was partied out and had always wanted a big family. I was ready to be a hands-on mother. Something felt right in my soul when I started mothering the way I felt was right for me. I started reading so I could state my case to my husband, and he was totally on board.

In an earlier post I said how attachment parenting can be lonely. That is because it is hard to live your life differently than most everyone else you know. But if we were all the same, wouldn't the world be boring????

P.S. If sex were impossible while a baby sleeps in the bed, would we have 3 more kids by now?! Three words: location, location, location!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Avondale, Arizona

Life in Avondale, Arizona is nice. We are eating a little too well at the hotel (blueberry scones!)! Today the kids and I missed b-fast by sleeping in like the slackers we are, but made up for it at the Hawaiian BBQ joint, where we met A. and his wastewater work crew.

A. and the kids just went to play mini golf but got chased away by a wicked wind storm. It actually rained here and got to a chilly 90 degrees. I need a sweater!

The trip here was better than I hoped for, and we got in to Amarillo Saturday night with enough time to swim! We are heading to San Diego tomorrow after A. gets out of work early ... SeaWorld! We are true glutons for punishment, but we're always up for an adventure (the 22 hours in the car plus breaks was just not enough for us. I spent much time in the back of the van with my body contorted over the carseat so E. could nurse rather than cry ... ah, the martyr that I am ... thank goodness for mickey d's mochas!!!). Next we plan to backpack through Europe with 4 kids plus 4 orphans we are adopting a la Brangelina. No nanny, even!

Ok, enough sarcasm. For fun this week we did the library, Old Spaghetti Factory, grocery store and a chocolate candy factory tour (like the I Love Lucy episode!!!) and lots of pool time and loafing and reading and watching TV.

The Basic Freaky Things We Do and Don't

Alright, here's your chance to decide if you never want to visit my Online Journal (a.k.a. Diarrhea of the Keyboard) again. Here is a list of "freaky" things we do. No offense if you do these things as well and don't consider yourself freaky!!!!!
  1. The family bed (yes, they DO eventually leave!)
  2. Breastfeeding (7 years straight and counting)
  3. Babywearing (a.k.a. putting them in a sling and carrying them around)
  4. Cloth diapering
  5. Natural Family Planning (I will hunt you down and beat you if you EVER refer to this as the Rhythm Method because it is so NOT)
  6. Homeschooling (eclectic)
  7. Have a large family (4 kids and considering more)
And I'm not on drugs. I swear. Wait, does caffeine count?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

6 People in a Minivan Heading to Phoenix, Arizona

So we have driven many miles in a minivan to be a family in Phoenix, Arizona.

A. had been here for 7 weeks, only coming home for 41 hours on the weekends. During those 41 hours, he had to sleep for 2 nights, go in to work to update his expense reports and various other work duties, weed the garden, play with the kids, take showers, go to church, watch as the kids jumped up and down like chihuahuas to get his attention and tell them about their week, return phone calls and handle any household crises that came up while he was gone.

I must have been going nutty at home to consider coming to Phoenix in JULY!!! Please don't say the words "DRY HEAT" to me. When you open your oven door (humid or not), it is still simply HEAT, no? But my kids were severely missing their dad, and his company paid for our gas and hotel room.

The Kerrie Show Begins

Attached Travel Widow means I have "practiced" Attachment Parenting on my 4 kids for over 7 years total and that my husband travels on business (or works crazy hours).

The Kerrie Show means that the parenting is my show when my husband is gone. Also, I am an only child (and only grandchild for 10 years), and always wanted attention. My parents started calling it "The Kerrie Show" when I would show off for attention.

So I am Kerrie, age 37. I am a paranoid-type person, so I will simply give my family initials. J is my 7-year-old son; M is my 5-year-old son; C is my 3-year-old daughter; E is my 7-month-old daughter; A is my 42-year-old husband.

We don't have Internet access at home (don't ask!!), so numerous blog entries will show up under the same date sometimes. Don't freak out!!!!!!

I am starting this blog because there seem to be many travel or work widows and even more who attachment parent. Both can be very lonely.

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