The kid free high life

standard June 26, 2010 1 response

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I really, really do. But sometimes, it’s really good to spend a few days away from my regular life. It’s good to sleep in, it’s good to eat when I feel like it, it’s good to just carry my stuff, and it’s really good to go out at night and not have to worry about the sitter, the kids, or knowing that I’ll be up at 6am dealing with a diaper, dropped pacifier, or missing sippy cup.

I go home tomorrow, back to the little girls who have wished me tearful goodnights over the phone for the last two days, back to sloppy kisses, and sweet hugs.

I have no voice left and my legs are beat from all the walking I’ve done, but I feel rested and recharged in a way I really hadn’t expected. I got to sleep, I got to play, and I got to hang out with my sisters, something that’s always a blast.

There are a few more hours (post second un-interrupted night of sleep) of family fun in the morning, then I head home. I know there’s a ton of work, two extremely clingy children, and one potentially very grumpy husband waiting for me there, but frankly I don’t care. After a day like today I feel like I can handle it all without even wiping the silly grin off my face.

Though maybe that’s because I know I’m taking another solo trip to NY at the beginning of August.

Flying to NY… for my dad’s booksigning

standard June 23, 2010 3 responses

Tomorrow night I’m going to the airport, getting on a plane, and flying to NY by myself. That’s right. By myself. I’m actually looking forward to my red-eye flight because, even though I’ll have a mere 5 hours to sleep, it’ll be the first solo red-eye I’ve been on in years. And you know what? Five hours with no one wriggling on my lap is going to be heaven.

And why am I going to NY you ask? Why, when I’ll be heading back there at the start of August for BlogHer? That’s easy. I’m going to my father’s book signing.

Oh yeah, the writing, it runs in the family. (The poor sentence structure, though is all me.)

My father’s book, The Grave Gourmet, a delightful culinary mystery set in Paris, is being released next week. He’s doing ONE pre-release book signing, this Thursday, June 24th, 7pm, at Partner’s & Crime, 44 Greenwich Ave, NYC, and what kind of a daughter would I be if I didn’t attend?*

(Don’t answer that.)

I’m flying into NY early Thursday morning, spending the day hanging with my step-mother, doing the book singing thing on Thursday night (Anyone want a copy? I already have a long list of requests, happy to add you to the list!), then Friday we’re going to The Met with both my sisters and having a fancy dinner, then Saturday I hop back on the plane and come rescue M who will be a bit beat after doing the single dad thing for three days.

You’d think after that I’d spend Sunday sleeping. But no, I’m sure I’ll be spending it catching up on work and playing with the kids. (You’re so jealous. I know!)

It’s going to be an intense three days, the potential for stress is definitely there, but in keeping with what I pledged on Sunday, I’m going to keep my chin up and my outlook positive. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but I’m going to make sure it’s awesome.

*You can learn all about my dad and his book here: http://alexandercampion.com. You can follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/AlexCampion. And you can come to NYC on Thursday to see me him! Come on, you know you want to!

Hello OHIO!

standard December 20, 2009 2 responses

Have you ever tried getting a full night’s sleep on a four hour cross country flight with a wriggly toddler sitting on your lap?

I don’t recommend it.

It’s not the most restful thing in the world. Especially when the airplane air vent thing is blowing in your face, but you can’t reach it because the toddler has finally fallen asleep and you don’t want to wake her up because god forbid she might not go back to sleep.

Miraculously we all did finally doze off, Little L instantly becoming a dead weight that threatened to fall into the aisle every time my grip on her body relaxed, C curled up on the seat between M and I, resting her head on her daddy’s lap. And M and I did our best to get comfortable in the cramped space.

About a minute after taking off we arrived in Cincinnati, covered in snow, a world away from the sunny unseasonal warmth we had just left back in California. The rental company pointed us to our car in the lot and left us to figure out how to clear the snow covering it. M and I looked at each other over the mounds of snow, flashing back to our time together in Boston.

No snow to clear off cars. Another reason to love living in California.

But then we drove to my sister’s house where we were greeted by said sister, her kids, and my other sister. We ate fresh croissants and bagels, chatted over coffee, and let the tired fall away. The snow kept falling outside, but inside, where there was no airplane vent, wriggly toddler, or snow to clear off anything, it was easy to forget how far we had to come to get here.

Gratitude in the midst of travel angst

standard August 23, 2009 4 responses

To start with C was checked in as an adult. Because there weren’t any seats together any more. That turned out to be a non issue. A few taps on the steward’s computer, a little shifting around, and the three of us were sitting together again.

***********

The plane was delayed. 3o minutes. Nothing bad. Nothing bad if you don’t take into account the rather short, 45 minute layover we had in Phoenix, AZ. A few more taps of the keyboard and the steward assured me that we’d be fine. The two planes were located two gates away from each other. We’d have plenty of time to deplane and board again.

***********

20 minutes before boarding was scheduled to start I dragged the girls and all our carry-on luggage for a last minute pit stop. When we came back all the lovely people who had been hanging around the gate waiting for the delayed plane had vanished. Poof. Gone. Gate deserted. Gate change! Terminal change! From C-9 to D-26.

***********

Bags bouncing on my back, toddler on my hip, preschooler running at my side, erratic stroller leading the way, we mowed down countless travelers in our haste to reach the distant gate in time.

Sweat pouring down my face and my back, Little L screeching indignantly from her awkward perch on top of the carry-on loaded on the stroller, we arrived just as the loudspeaker blared an update.

**********

“I don’t think we’re going to be home tonight,” I swallowed a ball of tears. “There’s a storm. They can’t let people get the plane ready because of the lightning.”

The clock ticked on, each minute making it less and less likely that we’d make our connecting flight in Phoenix. Scheduled to arrive at 7:30. Scheduled to depart at 7:31. No flights leaving Phoenix after ours. Visions of hotel beds danced in my head. Not my own soft cozy bed in a room with no children. Another night in a strange bed with two little girls in my arms.

**********

The storm raged on. C and Little L curled up on either side of me and put their heads on my thighs. I rubbed their tired backs and watched the other passengers mill around, calling family, friends, to tell them they’d be late or might not make it that night.

“At least we got to have a great vacation,” I thought. “At least we’re together. At least it was well worth it.” Tired. Hungry. A bit worried about what I’d do for the night. But still able to see some good in the fiasco. Thanks to the Gratitude Challenge for helping me see the positive even in a crappy situation.

***********

“On 1st plane. Keep fingers crossed.” I texted M as we settled into our seats.

“In Phoenix. Pray for us.” I texted when we landed in Phoenix.

“Head to the airport in an hour. We’ll see you at 9:30.” I texted five minutes later blinking back tears as we settled into our seats.

***********

The United staff on our first plane asked the other passengers to let us off the plane first. The staff on the second plane held the doors open as the 8 or so passengers from our flight ran from one gate to the next. Moments after we rushed on and sat down the doors we slammed shut and the safety video was playing.

Little L and C’s mad dash induced giggles slowed and finally stopped as they settled down, C in her seat, Little L on my lap. They fell asleep as the plane took off, taking us home despite all odds.