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Parenting a Teen, what a roller coaster

No one ever warned me how hard it is to be the parent of a teen. Seriously, this is a rollercoaster ride and I am petrified of rollercoasters.
Someone recently mentioned the book, “Your Teen Is Crazy” and I bought it on Amazon. I have only had time to read the first 10 pages but I am really enjoying it already. The author basically is telling me that I need to stop talking to my teen like he is normal, he is NOT! He is completely crazy and you do not try to have rational conversations with a crazy person!!! Ok! I will stop trying to treat him like he is normal, but I guess I better get to reading the rest of the book, to see what exactly I am supposed to do with him!

And to add to the craziness which is our house, our 26 month old baby girl is potty training. We are not pushing her, she is doing it herself. 3 days ago, she was getting dressed. And when I say getting dressed, she chose her own clothes, took off her pjs, and was about to get herself completely dressed. If we try to help her she shrieks, GO AWAY, ME DO IT! And as she was about to step into her pullup she said, NO! NEED TO GO POOPY IN THE POTTY! Huh? SInce when? Diaper changes had become a struggle recently, she did not want to stop playing, and did not want to lie down for more than 1 second. So off she went, got her little bjorn potty, put it in the middle of the playroom, sat down, and 5 minutes later stood up and declared ME POOP IN POTTY! And there you go, she did it, all by herself. Since that day, whenever she says she needs to go poop, I remind her to get her potty and she goes. Boy, that was pretty easy. I feel like I deserve easy since the teen is so difficult. Now to work on peeing regularly, picking out the princess undies, and we are there. MY baby is growing up too fast!

I only have 5 more minutes to write here, but I must mention our 8.5 year old. He is a very unique kid. He is brilliant, like super genius levels. Yet, he cannot remember where I put his clothes for the morning. I still choose his clothes each day and I stand in front of him, touch him with the clothes, and say, your clothes for today are RIGHT HERE. Ok, he says, but he is not paying attention, he is probably computing some humongous number in his head and says ok, just to get me away from him. So he is done with his breakfast and is just sitting there. I ask him to get dressed please. And EVERY SINGLE day he says, ok Mom, but where are my clothes??? Are you kidding me? Is this the movie Groundhog Day?? And then if he does not see his clothes, he will every once in a while go get his own clothes. During our blizzard this month I found him in shorts and a tee shirt one morning, after dressing himself. And he could NOT figure out what the problem was.

And there are 2 other sweet boys in my house, who I do not have time to write about. I need much more time to describe to you my 5.5 year old who is really a 50 year old man, trapped inside a teeny little 40 pound body who likes to run through the house screaming SECURITY! Ah, I love my life, but what a roller coaster ride it is.

Our trip through Orlando Airport

On Sunday Jan 10th, we traveled through MCO, orlando international airport. Wow, what a trip to hell and back.
So there were 8 of us travelling, 5 kids, 3 adults, 7 checked bags, 3 strollers, and 8 carryons. Yeah, a lot of crap!
My husband was still not feeling very well. Miss D was still under the weather but had not thrown up or had a blow out diaper in 24 hours. I was travelling with extra clothing for her and for me in each persons carry on bag. We were prepared for anything. Plus, I really did not let her eat much, nor did she want to in the past 24 hours!
Our flight left at 10:35, Southwest direct flight to Washington Dulles. This should have been a piece of cake, uh huh, yeah right.

I asked my husband, the frequent traveller, what time we needed to leave for the airport. He said between 845 and 900. I was up at 5 am with Miss D, tossing and turning all night long. We both got up, got dressed and tried to feed the others breakfast without her noticing. It worked well, she was mesmerized by the Mickey channel and we quickly packed up. The teen did not help, rather annoyed us as we tried to pack and make sure we did not leave any important items. At this point, I did not really care what we left, I just wanted to be home, and have a healthy family again!

So we barely got all our stuff packed into the minivan along with the 8 people, it was a tight squeeze. Luckily we all like each other. We drove to Target first to return 3 things we bought, uh oh, gas light is on. We had to fill up the car before returning it anyway, so we just filled up with gas first. The Target return only took about 20 seconds and we were off the the airport.

We weaved our way through the airport and Southwest was the last door of the terminal. But why were there 300 people outside checking bags? This was a bad sign. DH dropped all of us off with all our checked bags and our carryons and our 3 strollers and we walked inside. There were about 500 people winding their way through the check in line, waiting to use one of the 20 check in terminals. You would think that 20 checkin terminals would be sufficient for this large crowd. Well it would if they were all working, but I counted, only 11 of the terminals were working. I started to panic. It was 920 and our flight was at 1035, would we make it to our gate??

DH went to deal with returning the rental car and we got in the back of the line. The line moved, but oh so slowly. There was one man in the front of the line directing people to an open checkin kiosk. This would have worked fine had the man been paying attention to which kiosks were opening up! Instead he dealt with wheelchairs, people who needed help with bags, and everything else in between and many kiosks sat open with no one using them! We winded through the line watching the disaster unfold. My DH came up and saw us in the endless line. The carrental return went very smoothly and now we needed to sit and wait. I kept telling myself that as soon as we got the bags checked in we would breeze through security and be at the gate in no time. The line continued to move ssslllloowwwllllyyy. My baby girl was not feeling well and made me carry her the whole time in the airport, which would have been fine if I did not also have to carry 4 heavy bags and push a stroller.
As we got closer to the front of the line, my husband was getting increasingly aggravated as he could see all the open kiosks and the one man doing a terrible job at getting the line moving along. It is now 9:50 and we finally get our turn! We slowly get our bags checked in and our boarding passes printed and our IDs checked. 10:05, we should be ok, hopefully.

We gather up our carryons and turn the corner to get in the security line. Well I cannot really call it a line, it was a mob scene. There must have been 1000 people crowded around the security area waiting to get screened. I now know there is no way we are going to make this plane. The 8 of us get in the back of the mob and I see a TSA agent trying to get people to stand in more organized lines. I quickly go over to her and explain that our flight leaves in 25 minutes and we have been in Florida sick for 5 days and we NEED to get on that plane now. I must have really been totally distraught because she parts the crowd and says, PLEASE LET THIS FAMILY OUT OF THE LINE. Yes, she took us out of the mob and said the only thing she could do was put us in the wheelchair line.
That was major progress. There were only 2 families with wheelchairs in front of us. But the line was moving so slowly. The TSA agent quizzed us for 5 minutes. Made each child raise their hand twice when he called their name. Asked each child how old they were. Checked the 3 adults ID three times. Please, just let us go!!

We got all our stuff on the belts, which is no easy task. I went through the detector with all the little kids. Some guy got in between us and started to put all his stuff on the belt. Just what we needed, more time wasted. Then the guy who crashed our line, had a problem so the whole line stopped for a few minutes. I seriously felt like I might have a heart attack. We finally got all our crap through the scanner and we saw the shuttle bus sitting there. We ran and as we approached the doors began to close. I SHOVED my stroller into the doors and the doors popped open. We all jumped in. 10:20, no joke. Our flight leaves in 15 minutes. There is no way we are going to make it!! On the shuttle my husband took his boarding pass and my teens boarding pass and they RAN OUT the second the doors of the shuttle opened. The rest of us also ran, but our running with all our crap was not quite as fast. We were headed to the gate, which of course was the LAST gate in that row. 1030, my husband is no where to be seen, he must have gotten on the plane, thank goodness!! And, there were still 25 people in line waiting to get on. I can hear the steward announcing, “We are now done boarding the B passengers and we are ready for the C group.” We were in the A group so I quickly handed the steward our boarding passes. He gave us stroller check tags for our 3 strollers and we ran down the jetway. Surprisingly, there were 25 people just standing in the jetway waiting to get on the plane. I took a deep breath, we had made it. It was a total miracle, there was no way we should have made it, but we did. My husband also managed to secure the LAST three rows on the plane, and we all even got to sit together. And, my sick baby girl SLEPT almost the whole flight, peacefully, no extra clothes needed at all.

Home sweet home, it felt so good to be home!! My husband was home 5 minutes and said he was going to urgent care, he felt that crappy. The Dr said he had a terribly strep throat and gave him meds. Baby girl had a horrible blowout diaper after we were home only half an hour, but I was well equipped to deal with it there. Next day I was struck with this horrible stomach flu and boy did it suck! I was feverish, sick and totally out of commission for 3 days. But I was home, and it felt so good.

Our Trip to Disney

So welcome to my blog! I just changed to wordpress and I tried to upload my old blog entries and for some reason it will not let me do that. But I will not give up and will keep trying.

So we head home after spending the past 9 days in Disney. Usually I am a bit teary and sad to leave Florida, but this trip is different, I cannot wait to get home I was actually feeling quite giddy last night as I packed up our bags. This trip has not been so much fun, it has been full of sick people and freezing cold weather.

Before we left home for this early January trip, we watched the Florida weather reports closely. We just had 2 feet of snow dumped at our house and school had been closed for 3 days right before winter vacation started. We dreamed each night of warm weather, short sleeved shirts, and frolicking in the pool. our dreams did not include winter coats, hats, gloves and sleet. Yes, it was 25-32 degrees every single morning, felt just like home, not Floriday at all. Apparently this is the worst cold snap FLorida has seen in the past 20 years, gee did we pick a great week, huh? One day it got to the 60s, but that was a day we spent in bed sick anyway.

So the first 3 days of the trip were great, full of good food, fun rides, cold weather, but fun times! Kids were great, enjoying each park and having a blast. Then my DH played an air hockey game at the Beach Club community hall and somehow hurt his finger playing. 3 days later, his finger was infected and throbbing. Who knows if this was the cause of his illness but the next 5 days he spent in bed with a high fever, sore throat, and feeling miserable. Our leader through the parks was down, mission aborted.

We brought our amazing babsyitter, Laura, with us to give us an extra hand on the trip. Thank goodness we did or the trip really would have been over. Each day I stayed home to take care of sick DH and Laura would take a few kids to the park in the morning, come home for lunch and take a few more kids in the afternoon. Laura was an amazing trooper and saved a miserable week. I dont think Laura knew how tiring having 5 kids could be, but she does now!!!!

So if only the story could end here, all is well that ends well. Nope, our 2 year old baby girl, Miss D, threw up in the middle of the night on the 4th night, all over herself, me the bed, the floor, first time throwing up for her. She developed a fever, and was totally miserable the rest of the trip. I tried to have her eat only simple foods, saltimes, bananas, etc… but that was impossible. She wanted all the foods everyone else had. One bite of one french fry and she was barfing again.

We are packing up and headed home this morning, hopefully all on the mend, and ready to be healthier! If you are on our Southwest flight, dont sit near us, we might still be barfing. And it is a whole 17 degrees at home, but home is home, and I cant wait to be there!!!

One final note! I was so upset that we would lose our expensive Disney park passes. We lost 4 days on our tickets, and the kids lost 2 days on theirs, what a huge waste of money!! THe manager at the Saratoga Springs hotel was able to work some Disney magic and gave us 16 one day park hopper passes to start us off on our next trip. That really made me warm and fuzzy inside, and also a bit teary. Or maybe, that was just me getting sick.

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