After an emotional week, my husband suggested we indulge in a weekend of fun with the kiddos. It is the time of year where we are free to travel and the kids are old enough to enjoy a getaway adventure. We tossed up the idea of Austin, St Loius and Branson, but landed on Dallas. An easy 4hrs away, friends to visit, parks, warm weather, shopping, etc. And so began our weekend of epic highs and epic lows.
On Friday morning we loaded in the car. The kids were very excited to watch movies, eat their snacks and sleep in a hotel. An hour into the trip, Jonah had finished all the snacks in his backpack and Norah was groaning because her bottom hurt from “sitting for SOOOO long!”
We haven’t really acclimated them to road trips. #lessonlearned
Arriving at the hotel, the kids ran through the halls and screamed with sweet giggles. Norah eyed the pool and immediately started digging through her suitcase for her bathing suit. Jonah jumped on the bed and tested all the surfaces with his light-saber. Realizing they could share a bed in the suite’s living room was a dream come true.
That evening, we met friends in Deep Ellum for BBQ that came with high recommendations. The line was 20 people out the door when we arrived at Pecan Lodge BBQ. Jonah was acting funny, wanting to be held and just resting his head on my shoulder. I blew it off, assuming the nap-less day and pool-time had worn him out. We stood in line with our friends, catching up on life and trying to manage the kids. Eventually, my arms grew weary and I handed a reluctant Jonah off to Josh. As I turned my attention to the conversation, Josh jumps back and pulls Jonah away from him just in time to miss the projectile vomit exploding out of our son. Josh looks stunned. Jonah whimpers. And I grab Jonah, quickly maneuvering my way back through the line and out the door. As soon as the fresh air hits Jonah’s face, he turns into my chest and lets it all out- again and again. I was shocked… to say the least.
The 1/2 of a cracker and 16oz of water he had consumed in the last 2hrs was all over him, all over me…all over my shoes.
We stop at a Walgreens for Saltines and then make the smelly, miserable, sticky drive back to the hotel. Our sweet friends were amazing- bringing BBQ back to the hotel and never batting an eye at the chaos.
That night, the kids both started coughing. That hacking, mid-winter cough that begs for a decongestant, Vicks and maybe even a breathing treatment. No one slept much.
Determined to make the best of it, we decided we would do breakfast and “see how everyone is holding up.” Ascension Coffee was a dream come true. Delicious coffee and gluten-free french toast. Yum! The perfect cure to a restless night’s sleep. The kids loved their hot cakes with orange maple syrup.
After breakfast we ventured on to Klyde Warren Park. This park is amazing- built over a highway, it boasts food trucks, playgrounds, open spaces and entertainment of all sorts. Think Tulsa’s Guthrie Green… only 10 x better.
That evening, we got tickets to Midevil Times per the recommendations of a friend. This was definitely the “epic high” of our trip. The kids were in awe! Jonah’s eyes were wide and his treasured sword and shield have not left his side since the event. Norah screamed and cheered with the crowd- empathizing with the winners, losers and even the animals during the show.
They serve dinner and don’t have utensils. When the server passed out Baby Dragon Legs (chicken) and Dragon Ribs (Ribs), Jonah’s wide eyes turned to mine, “What he said!?” He was totally shocked and believing every part of the performance. Jonah insisted, “We should eat like this at home. Right, Mommy?!!”
Norah was thrown the first rose from our section’s hero. Her smile turned into instant embarrassment as everyone cheered for her. She quickly hid the carnation under the table until the moment passed, then looked up with her flattered smile, “Why did he throw that to ME?”.
Jonah named each of the colored horse-riders after a superhero. The fantasy was only exaggerated by the fact that our black and white dressed rider looked ironically similar to Thor and the blue guy (Captain America) won the game!
After an epic night of fun and lots of laughs, we swam in the hotel pool and decided the kids were much better so why not brave another night in Dallas.
Oh… bad choice.
Jonah took over an hour to finally rest, as he coughed and tried to clear his chest. Norah woke up soon after that and starting throwing up. We moved everyone around- Josh catered to Norah while I climbed into the rather bumpy pull-out couch with Jonah and tried to hold him elevated so he could sleep. It was a loooong, looong night of comforting kids and trying to catch a few minutes of sleep in between. Around 930am, we all finally pulled ourselves out of bed. Exhausted and just trying to put one foot in front of the other.
We had tickets for the Marvel Experience at 11am and decided that since we were in Dallas and couldn’t return the tickets, we would do our best to be there. Jonah was happy after all… and Norah is seriously the best big sister of all time. She weakly smiled and said, “I want to go. I’ll do my best.”
I carried Norah through the exhibit. She randomly would get bursts of energy and enjoy climbing the Spider-Man wall or posing with the Black Widow, but overall, it was hard to really enjoy. Jonah and Josh ran around, soaking in as much as they could. If the kids were 100%, this would have been epic high #2.
After a couple hours of hard-earned fun and lots of false-alarms to hang Norah’s head over a trash can, we loaded in the car and decided to stop in at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters to say good-bye to our sweet friends. I walked Norah around outside and hoped that she would find some relief before our road-trip home. She started to cry and just begged to go home, as I’m setting her in the car, she holds a bag up to her mouth, looks at me and buries her face into my chest. Cue the vomitting all over me (again), all over the car… all over my shoes.
Thank God we had extra clothes, a few trash bags and lots of baby wipes. We all cleaned up as much as possible and headed toward Tulsa. Josh just kept shaking his head, totally in shock that this could happen twice in one weekend. “This is real-life #momlife life, isn’t it? This is crazy… this really just happened?! How are you just cleaning like nothing happened? Are you okay, do YOU have extra clothes, even?”
I’m thankful for someone who thinks about me, even in the midst of chaos.
Finally strapped in and ready to drive, Jonah quickly started nodding off. We were just outside of Dallas, when through sleepy, half-open eyes, he mumbles, “Mommy, I have to go pee-pee.” I look at Josh and question if he is dreaming.
By the time we can get off the highway, we now have another accident to clean up and a sleep-drunk, coughing toddler to work with…. and then yet another series of vomit commences.
I just laugh. Seriously, sometimes the stress is ridiculous and I feel like someone will come out from around the corner with a camera. This was all just a ploy to get me frazzled, right?
When we finally pulled into Tulsa, the real exhaustion hits. I looked at my plastic-based, seasonal clearance Target shoes and throw them in the dumpster. I had smelled them, wrapped in a trash bag, for the last 4hrs and didn’t have any more sympathy. I didn’t want to look at vomit stains for a second longer.
Tomorrow is a new day- a day for new shoes…. and a much needed car detailing.