Monday, January 3, 2011

The rest of the story... so far.

Okay, so. Saturday morning. We woke up an hour later than planned. Oops. It worked out fine, though; I somehow got everything organized and ready to go in the time it took Jeremy to take a shower. All he had to do was pack the suitcase.

A friend from the Internet very kindly offered to come help us get from the hotel to the airport. She called my cell phone while I was in the middle of wrestling with feeding Emmy, so Jeremy answered. Friend was a little shocked; turns out she had thought I was by myself with two kids.

Oops. Again. I felt like a jerk, but it was still nice to meet her. And she really was a big help--both in helping us get stuff loaded, getting the packed luggage cart through the tiny doorways of the Marriott ResidenceInn in Rosemont (which, by the way, is not as nice as it sounds; broken door handle in one room, and wireless you have to pay extra for), getting everything loaded on the shuttle, wrangling children, and putting my mind at ease after the ordeal of our first trip through O'Hare. We made it to our gate an hour and a half early.

Almost no screaming on the flight from either child, very little crying, but a lot of whining from The Child. Rationally, I know that all this was extremely hard on her, but it's hard to keep a hold on that thought when your kid is driving you up the wall. Emmy slept half the way and laughed the other half. Both of them charmed the flight attendants, who were, by the way, the nicest flight attendants ever in history. We sat at the very back of the plane. The bathroom traffic and smell was a totally acceptable tradeoff for the engine noise that lulled Emmy into a deep, deep sleep and drowned out Grace's whining.

Speaking of which, she refused to sleep on the plane for even a minute. But she was sound asleep in the stroller by the time we got to the baggage claim. Poor thing. I walked her in circles for half an hour while Jeremy got the rental and loaded our luggage. My calves are still sore (I had Emmy on my back, too).

The kids have taken pretty well to sharing a room. Emmy screams vehemently for a few minutes, then passes out, and Grace has hardly peeped. The first night, Emmy screamed off and on for an hour. Maybe more. The same for her naps yesterday. Last night, she screamed halfheartedly for about 32 seconds and passed out. For her afternoon nap today, she kept it up for only 20 minutes (though I was certain it would be 45 minutes).

Yes, I know it sounds horribly cruel. But this baby is stubborn. She's not actually distressed and unable to sleep. She's screaming in order to keep herself awake. She did the same thing as a newborn, even when I was holding her in my arms. I would watch her hold out for half an hour or better sometimes. Eyes drift shut, head shake, maybe some crying, over and over again. I didn't even know newborns could do that.

Today has been much better than yesterday. Yesterday both kids were still terribly sleep deprived and disoriented. Today they're pretty well-rested and getting used to the hotel room. It's been pleasant.

Right now I'm starving but too afraid to order food, lest it wake the beast. Emmy finally gave up fighting sleep, and I have only a few minutes before Grace wakes up from her nap. I love this hotel room, except for one thing: the doors to the bedroom aren't like real doors. They're narrow double doors that swing together. And there's a quarter-inch gap between them and between them and the floor. So you can hear everything from room to room. Genius.

It's probably just as well. Ruby Tuesday delivers here (there's no room service), and I would order a ribeye every other hour if I could.

Tonight we're going to find a mall and walk around for a long time. We didn't pack warm enough clothes to go for walks outside (too bulky and too many other necessities for such a long stay). I also want to check out more consignment shops. I am now bent on getting Emmy a booster chair. And we need something to put on the carpet under our table, since I don't think the apartment owners will appreciate Emmy's penchant for knocking anything and everything off her tray (for such a physically adept child, she's awfully clumsy).

Also, we just found out that we'll definitely be here at least until the 7th. As happy as I am about ordering ribeyes to my ever-growing heart's content, being trapped in a hotel room all day is hardly on my list of favorite things ever. It would be different if Jeremy were here, but he has to go to work (we both decided it would be better if he dove right into work this week--both to save his days off and to make a good impression). So, any of you have any brilliant suggestions on what to do with two very small children in a hotel room all day?


  1. I'd try to find an indoor play area of some kind (a mall play area, or one of those places where you can pay for your kids to play for the morning), and let the kids tire themselves out that way. Maybe? We've lived in hotel rooms twice. The first time, it was during this epic rain, where it rained for 22 days straight. So we were pretty much in the hotel room. I took the kids to the library, the mall, a playgroup, etc. They watched more TV than usual. And we played with their toys. The second time, the weather was much better (we were in the Deep South), and there was a great playground right outside. So we spent most of the day outside at the playground, where I would chat with other moms, and the kids would play. I liked the second time much better. :)

    Make sure the booster chair is solid between the base, sides, and back. I babysat for a while for two boys whose booster seats had a crack between the base of the chair and the back, and between the base and the sides. Food would go down into that crevice, and you couldn't get it out. It was really disgusting. Ours is Fisher Price, something with "Healthy" in the name.

  2. Re: Emmy: It's payback time!
    P.S. Your oldest sister was our messiest. At mealtime we put a plastic tablecloth--opened out all the way--under her high chair. The dog loved her.