Oh boy. This might be long.
I mentioned last week we were headed to a family wedding in Wisconsin and the day we flew out was our anniversary. The flight really wasn’t too bad- pretty short and both girls finally fell asleep about half way through. Audrey needed an outfit change when we arrived to the airport due to a full #2 diaper, but that was manageable. The hardest part for us was trekking through airports carrying two little kids, (at times) two car seats, backpacks, and lugging two suitcases. HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS WITH MORE KIDS?
Once we arrived in the land of cheese we searched for a place to get some dinner. We settled on a place and once inside I honestly was searching for some sort of sign declaring a club/organization gathering as we were the only people in the (full) restaurant under the age of 50 by a looong shot. Add in the very small meal portions, and a crayon eating toddler at our table…we’ll surely reminisce about that anniversary dinner for years to come.
Moving on to the hotel we all (Tim’s family) stayed at. It was most definitely the worst Great Non-Eastern chain ever (backed up bathtub that didn’t get taken care of for almost 24hrs. and required a room change).
Before we set out on this great adventure I looked at the hotel’s website and gladly saw under amenities that they offered “cribS”. We soon found out, as the snarky desk clerk alerted my husband, they only have ONE crib, and we “should have called ahead”. Forgive us kind sir for assuming the “cribs” on your website meant more than one, and for not bringing our own pack n’ play as we were laden down with all the other paraphernalia young children require.
Fine, we would put them in the beds with us and push them against the walls, except, oh the beds do not move at all. Anyways, I happened to remember a suggestion from a frequent traveler with kids, and we ended up making little nests for the girls on the floor out of blankets and pillows, and you know what? It worked perfectly. Boo-ya stinkin’ hotel. Our only concern was that they might contract some sort of communicable disease from the carpet which looked like it was a close relative of the 1980s…
Now, we arrived on a Wednesday, the wedding was on a Friday, and we were staying until Sunday. A several day stay made it *interesting* trying to entertain little kids.
There are 7 kids 5 and under on Tim’s side (including two 3 yo’s, two 2 yo’s, and two 8 month olds). You can probably imagine what it was like with all the kids together in a hotel. On Friday all of the guys went out golfing and were gone for several hours- the second all male outing of the trip so far. Some of my SIL’s and I brought our kids together to try to survive the single parenting stretch together. At one point there were 6 rambunctious little people tearing around our little room- how the mirrored closet doors stayed intact is beyond me. Oh and you can bet during this time we all looked at each other and said, Tonight WE are the ones going out for drinks!!! Thankfully the hotel had an open atrium area right below our floor with a nice indoor pool, and thankfully two of Tim’s younger sisters were available to help with all the kids. Saving grace, that pool and those girls.
Well, the same afternoon as the golf outing was, of course, the wedding. Tim was a groomsman and was required to be at the church an hr. and a half before the wedding, which was at 4:30. This was obviously my favorite day of the trip.
I thought getting the girls and myself ready, to the car, and into the church would be my biggest hurdle. Um, no. That would be mass. I would like to state for the record my sincerest apologies to everyone in our wedding party who also had kids. At the time I thought it was NBD. My insensitive former self thought their spouses could surely handle watching the kids during (ALL of) the wedding festivities. Stupid self.
This was my rude awakening.
For the mass my SILs and I all sat together in two pews with the 7 kids. The 4 of us with husbands were husband-less, as each of them had a part in the wedding. Sure we had family helping us watch our kids during mass, but somehow it felt they multiplied! I worked up a sweat trying to keep Audrey from flailing every limb and babbling loudly, while Evie trailed after the cousins with snacks constantly asking for a “Cacker?”. The cherry on top of the [shoot]shake was when one of Evie’s cousins was making her laugh quite audibly, and she would not be hushed. I plopped Audrey into the arms of one of her aunts, grabbed Evie’s dress and dragged her (still laughing) across the pew and held her. BUT another of her cousins was right there next to me holding a bag of cracker crumbs, and of course that started Evie belting out, “Mo cacker?” over and over, while Audrey began wailing because I was not holding her. So I grabbed my offspring and made a beeline for the back of the church.
Never have I been so glad to see a cry-room. In we went. When I went to slide the door shut- OF COURSE! it was off the hinges and would not close. And OF COURSE Evie kept making a beeline for that opening. SO into the vestibule we marched. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and I honestly thought maybe I should grab the keys and go back to the hotel. We didn’t make it to communion, and stayed back there the rest of the wedding. Survival was my goal.
It didn’t get better for a while since there were even more pictures Tim was needed for after the wedding. A “5 or 10 minute” stop to take some scenic shots turned into 25-30 minutes while we waited in the car. When we finally arrived at the reception site Tim was again needed to do the whole wedding party entrance, and to sit at the head table. I almost lost it when we found that little bit out. Mercifully Tim took Audrey with him during dinner.
The rest of the reception was a really good time. We visited with family, ate delicious food, and danced a bit. The kids had a blast running wild, and it was a small reception but a big room, so that worked out in their favor! I also think it gave the bride a groom a pleasant glimpse of life beyond the wedding day.
I don’t mean to make this out to be a “poor me, look what I suffered” post, especially without regard for the reason we were there to begin with, so here are some high points of the trip:
-Ergo carrier- best thing ever for toting babies.
-Never having to pay for one of those airport luggage carts!
-Despite the non-serenity, it was so fun to see Evie have so much fun with those cousins, and it was great to spend time with family.
-Girls’ breakfast out to The Original Pancake House (if you have a chain near you- go there now.)
-Because of the bathtub debacle, one of our nights was free.
-Both girls slept surprisingly well.
-Kind stewardesses and waitresses.
-Having Tim around a lot.
-Loving aunts, uncles, and grandparents who showered attention on our girls.
It was fun, but please let it be a while until the next family wedding. :)