Thursday, April 9, 2009

still recovering?

That's the excuse I'm using, anyway, since I'm not posting until today. And it's not too far from the truth. The Circus visit was fun, chaotic, exhausting, delightful, and a whirlwind all at once.

As you can see from Crystal's account, the White Sands National Monument visit looked nothing like the picture below. The women and kids sought refuge from the sandstorm in the car while the men donned goggles, gator masks and hats with their sleds and made the best of it. Which was wildly entertaining to the rest of us. (Actually, I take that back. Crystal decided to take a few rides down the dunes, to my great awe and respect.)

But that's not really my favorite story from the weekend. As you might have heard, the Circus showed up a little sick. But that didn't stop us from inviting our friends the Podgurskis down from Albuquerque. They have a daughter that made an instant friend to my little nephew and nieces. So much so that while I was helping the Pods check into their hotel (they had already given up camping in our backyard due to the unforgiving El Paso winds), Scott called and suggested we try to "squeeze them in" to the house. Which wasn't as hard as it seemed once you realized that two toddlers could fit on the floor in our closet. Yup. Two kids, in our closet, all night. Well, almost all night. My niece got scared around 4:30am so I rescued her and we had a nice couple of hours snuggling on the couch until the rest of the crew woke up... Though somehow I failed to mention the killer Friday night pajama party that you can have with four kids under the age of 5. My brother cranked some song I never heard of and dance moves started flying out of these kids like I've never seen. And man, can they groove. SYTYCD had better watch out.

But then there's the "I'm never doing that again" story. Which took place Sunday morning as Scott and Crystal were trying to get the Circus on the road. As the kids started to get a little restless, I opted to take one of my nieces to the park since she seemed to be instigating some, ahem, disagreements among the kids. And why not take Roxy, too? So as I started to get the plan in action, my nephew decided he didn't want to be left out. Which, of course, meant that my youngest niece wanted to come. So before I knew it, our party went from two people and a dog, to four. Why I didn't think to ask another adult to come along, or maybe leave Roxy at home, I'm not sure. I'm really not sure.


When we walked the few houses down and spotted the swings, I was immediately asked why we weren't going to the Big Park. And deciding there was enough time, our 2 minute walk turned into 15 minutes through the neighborhood to find the big park. Everyone holding hands, just like they ought.

Then we made it to the park and the kids immediately ran for the swings. Whatever. One pregnant girl lifting and swinging 3 kids quickly proved to be a bad idea. But what can you do now? Eventually one decided she was done swinging and proceded to tromp across the park. But the problem was the wood chips that some brilliant contractor thought would make great ground cover. Since we were just glad to get shoes on all the kids, we didn't even worry about socks. So now wood chips were falling into her shoes and making her cry. I got them all out, but she was too afraid to put the shoes back on. There was no other option but to hold her.

So again, to paint the picture... Pregnant me is holding one kid while pushing the other two, meanwhile hearing, "You're not as good as Daddy at this" over and over again. Geez. I'm trying, here.

With the last few minutes the older kids decided to play on the playground we'd walked so far for. And proceeded to toss wood chips up and down the slide. Sure, why not. At least they weren't getting in their shoes.

Until the walk home, of course. Pregnant Karen is still holding the youngest in one arm, and her shoes in the other. My other niece is obediently holding onto my shirt tail. And my nephew is helping me hold Roxy's leash as we walk down the sidewalk. Until woodchips showed up in my niece's shoe. To which I bent down and helplessly watched Roxy run my nephew down the street, yelling after him to "be strong!".

Needless to say, it was a long hour. We made it home and Scott and Crystal were able to make miraculous strides in getting them out the door. So I collapsed on the couch and watched the rest of the morning happen.

But I was really sad to see them go. And then go again, when after getting gas we realized I'd given them bad directions. Oops.

This was Sunday. It's now Thursday and I haven't heard from them yet. I'm hoping all is well and that sicknesses have vanished. Either way, I'm sure they're making perfect memories. I know I'd do it all over again.


Susie said...

LOL LOL again. This was well worth the wait - I couldn't stop laughing. Aren't you glad that you are starting out with one baby - and little lessons of what not to do again from your precious nieces and nephew. Next year you can try a great trick with all 4. Hope you are well rested.

Angela said...

Hey Karen,
Sounds like you had fun. Walking with the dog and a baby is a learned skill, takes a little bit of time. I still haven't mastered kids and the dog at a playground. Hunter usually gets tied to a piece of playground equipment, he doesn't like it. Glad you had fun, thanks for sharing your stories.

Rebecca said...

I really enjoyed hearing this story about the you and the Circus crew!

I, too, hope all their illnesses have passed and they're having a good time!

boqpod said...

We recommend a stroller for these situations.

Some of them have storage compartments & even a place to stash a cell phone just in case you need to call 911 :)

LifeAtTheCircus said...

Girl, I OWE YOU BIG TIME! Seriously, your outing with the kiddos enabled me to consolidate all of our clothes into one suitcase for the camping portion of our crazy vacation which was a huge help! I want you to know your little niece keeps talking about how much fun she had at Aunt Karen and Uncle Jim's and is asking when we are going back... think it was her fav part of our trip!!
And when I saw you take Roxy, I thought to myself, man she is so much better than me, I would never consider taking Maggie with me and the kids. You are THE WOMAN!

Megan said...

You are such a good aunt - two toddlers in your room all night! - yeah, you're definitely ready to be a parent! :)
The park story cracked me up - "be strong"!
Look at you dropping SYTYCD lingo like it's nothing - I do recall just a month ago you were all baffled by those initials - does this mean you're planning on watching this season?!