Here however, is the behind the scenes freak out that I tend to have during “vacations.” Starting about a week before we go, a laundry frenzy hits the house and I go nuts washing and rewashing nearly every piece of clothing in the house. I study it out in my mind as to what the kiddos are going to be wearing. I plan for every possible event, rain, wind, snow, hail, fire, flood. You have to be versatile in these things.
Packing: With the new restrictions on baggage, I am being very careful what I pack and how I pack it. All the kiddos get packed into one suitcase. So, that is for a five day outing per child, 8 shirts, 5 pairs of pants, 3 hats, undies, a sweatshirt, a swim suit, socks, shoes, matching hair accessories for Kyra and diapers for Toad. All in the same bag. Now, why so many shirts you may ask. I answer: Have you met my children??????
In my suitcase, I pack for me plus all of the extras that we need: sunscreen, lotions, medicines, blow dryer, flat iron, gifts for the cousins etc.
Harvey is on his own with this one and packs his own bag…generally the night before we leave. The final coveted luggage spot goes to Toad’s port-a-crib, without which, we would be having a very miserable trip. Thank heavens the airlines ship car seats free of charge (THANK YOU!)
Two Days Pre Trip: I realize that if I die in some sort of accident while I am gone then all sorts of people will be coming to my house. Not wanting people to find my home in the state of utter disaster, I get the house picked up, vacuumed and at least to a small state of decency.
At this point in the packing I realize that my drivers license is nowhere to be found. I scramble to find all of the documentation necessary to get a replacement license. By the way, interesting fact. Did you know that in Utah, a Costco card is more valid than an expired passport. Just FYI. Go Costco…oh, and I should probably renew my passport. Not that I am going international anytime soon. Oh, and due to the fact that Toad is just, well, huge, I should probably get a copy of his birth certificate to prove that he is still under the age of 2!
I call the neighbor and let him know that we are going to be gone and ask him to keep an eye on the house. What does that mean?????? Oh, well. It makes me feel better that is my house is burning to the ground, that someone will be watching it for me.
One Day Pre Trip: After thinking to myself that my kids are going to be near impossible on the plane, I pack a carry on just for them. Stash it full of all sorts of lovely toys to keep them occupied for the first fifteen minutes of our flight. After which, the entire plane will be tortured at the chorus of “Are we there yet?” for the remainder of our flight.
In theory, this is the night that I go to bed early so that I am able to get a good nights sleep to wrangle in the kiddos the next day. In reality, I am running around like a headless chicken adding the small little “duh” items that I had neglected to remember packing several days earlier.
This is usually the time that Harvey chooses to pack his suitcase.
The Big Day: I usually start off by hardly sleeping a wink in fear that I will sleep through the alarm. After showering and getting ready (and believe me travel days are not the days to get the glamour shots in) I race around trying to pack my “can’t live without it for a second items” ie: blow dryer, flat iron, make up etc. I take photos of the inside of my suitcases. That way, if the airlines lose my luggage, I can prove that yes, I did have an exorbitant amount of stuff shoved into three suitcases.
I wake up three cranky little kiddos waaaaaay to early and dress them (much to their dismay) in little matching outfits and take a picture. This way, in case the airlines lose my kids, I had proof that I had them at one point in time. I get them all their sippy cups, blankies and diaper bags and buckle them into the car. After double, triple and quadruple checking the house, the luggage, camera, port-a-crib and the carry ons, I finally get into the car.
On the car ride to the airport, we discuss with the kids how important it is for them to behave and stick with mom. Then I tell them some horribly distressing story about being stolen if they are not holding onto my hand every single second that we are in the airport.
Upon arrival the unloading begins: (thank heavens for Sky Cap) three kids, three suitcases, three car seats, one port-a-crib, three blankies, three sippie cups, one stroller and who knows how many carry ons (atleast 4.) Barring any major catastrophes at check in and security (for some reason one of us always gets stopped) we make it up to the gate just in time to wait for an hour for the flight to board.
This then gives me plenty of time to dose the kids up with Benadryl and give myself a Valium. Heavens knows that I will need it! I am flying with my three cranky kids and my mother and father in law!