|Our $10 stroller- RIP|
|Covered in pebbles at the hotel playground.|
Then, the night before Red Leg War (Dusty's week-long field experience) Nathan fell off the bed and broke his arm. Obviously we didn't know for sure it was broken but Dusty made him an awesome splint out of a sock, some cardboard and duck tape! When I took him in for x-rays the next day, the nurse asked if he had been seen previously- I guess it looked pretty professional!
|The cast- he's so proud!|
We threw ourselves a goodbye party at the park (which we were late for!) and could hardly get the kids away from their friends.
|Anna and Melanie|
|Than and Brian|
|Megan and Samantha|
|Anna, Melanie & Janae|
Dusty had a 10 mile run in the morning and couldn't get back into the apartment because his key had been deactivated. I knew he had a long run so I didn't miss him yet. He had to hail someone down to let him into the building. He had to do a few things while I ran a few errands. Then we finished packing and started loading the van. We didn't give ourselves enough time because Dusty had to leave for one more graduation rehearsal so that left me with 4 kids to play Tetris with the rest of our stuff. Blessedly, my good friend Janae took the kids while I hauled the stuff down the stairs. The temperature was close to 100 which means the inside of the van was quite sweltering where I was desperately racing the clock to get everything to fit.
A little background before the next part of the story, I had gone into the front desk a few days before to ask what our check out time was and request a late check out. Because we are rewards members they said 2pm check out was fine. 2pm was the time of Dusty's graduation so other than not having a place to change into comfy travel clothes after the ceremony, we thought that would be just fine. The National Guard would not pay for the hotel that night as his orders ended that day so we figured we might as well get a few miles out of the way before having to pay for a hotel. The plan was good- the execution was not so good.
So now it's after 1pm, I had figured I needed to get the kids changed into their nice clothes starting at 1:30 so we could get over to the graduation which was just a few miles away. I have 1 more load of stuff to bring down to the van (the cooler, the food bag, diaper bag, and the bag with our nice clothes for the graduation) and my key stopped working! Panic! I can't miss (or even be late) for graduation! This is what this whole 6 months has been for!!! I literally ran the 3 buildings over to the front desk and not very nicely demanded free nights and a fixed key since this was now the second time today our keys had been deactivated and I had to be at graduation in 30 minutes and I didn't have time for this crap! The management reactivated my key and tried to calmly explain that they couldn't give me a free night because the guard was already paying for our room (which the guard was only paying for most of our room each night. We had to pay a little because we were staying in the 2-room rather than the single Dusty would have been in if he had been by himself) but I just ran out as soon as they handed me the key. I ran all the way back to our building..... and the key didn't work. Totally defeated, ready to cry or punch something and terribly embarrassed by how brash I'd been, I pulled out my cell phone and called the front desk, "Hi, I'm the psycho who just came in because my key didn't work and I have to be at my husband's graduation in 30 minutes- yeah, my key still won't work. Can you please send someone to let me in? I'm kind of in a hurry." They apologized again and assured me someone would be right there. They helped me carry the rest of the stuff down and offered to give me hotel points to appease my tantrum. I apologized for being so rude and ran to get myself and the kids changed for the graduation.
Picture this- I've been running up and down stairs, loading the van and then that sprint to the front desk and back in near 100 degree weather. I'm drenched. Add in the humidity- not pretty. But I spit bath and well as I can and think, maybe we'll just skip celebratory pictures...
We load the kids in our already loaded to the max van and I pray to find a decent parking spot which i do hoping that I don't get a ticket or towed because i'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to park there and we race into the auditorium. There was a gentleman dressing in ASU (the formal uniform) coming into the building just as we were and to my relief informed me that we weren't late because he was giving the invocation. Whew! We found seats next to a friend (another blessing!) and we made it!
Then about 5 minutes later Nathan has to go potty. What? Seriously? I had made a point to have him go before we left my friend's apartment! So I haul him, and Mary and Samantha to the bathroom while Brian did who knows what. We get sat back down and Mary starts fussing. So I stand up with her in the back and one by one the kids follow me.
Luckily by this time, they are starting to read the names. And double bonus, they started with the As!!! As Dusty comes up the isle after getting his diploma, Mary sees him and yells, "DADDY!!!" (which was seriously the cutest thing ever!) and didn't stop yelling. Nathan tried to follow him to his seat with all the other graduates and I was still drenched.
So we left in all our stroller-pushing, diaper bag flinging, baby yelling, kids driving toy cars on the walls glory and sat in the foyer until the ceremony was over.
And then Dusty had to wait in line for another hour before he was cleared to leave.
So about 4:15, we said good-bye to my angel-friend and her girls, got gas and we were gone. I think we crossed the Oklahoma-Texas border about 6pm.
We stayed the night in Raton, NM, had a lovely breakfast with real eggs and arrived home Wednesday, May 21st about 10pm having been gone exactly 5 months.
What an adventure!
|Packed to the Max!!!|