Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ho, ho, ho ... hotels

So. Let's see.

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How long have we been in hotels now?

I've actually lost count, although the complimentary shampoo and conditioner collection that I've compiled over the past month is close to topping 1,000. Considering the room attendants typically leave at least six bottles of shampoo and conditioner (and facial soap and body soap - what's the difference except the size of the bar?) per daily visit, and I save them all, it wouldn't surprise me if we've got a greater inventory than the hotel.

I plan to donate them all to charity. Or, construct a small bungaloo using only itty bitty hotel complimentary bath items and donate the proceeds from tours of that itty bitty bungaloo to charity.

Now that Charlie is back from his trip to California (yay!) - and his laptop is fully functional (yay!) - and he is caught up on work matters (yay!) - I finally have access to a computer where I can upload pictures to my blog (yay! yay!).

And now that we're in the FINAL STRETCH of hotel living ~ only six days remaining, unless the floor falls out to all of our plans and we spend the rest of our earthly existence in a Marriott ~ captured below are just a few of the hotel-themed photos I've taken over the past five? six? seven weeks.

We've had our fair share of Continental breakfasts. I don't think I'll ever be able to look at all white plates without vividly recalling this experience and remembering the taste of instant eggs.

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We've spent a lot of time tapping in to our imaginations for play time, since our toy supply is rather sparse.

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"Flight Commander, ALL CLEAR FOR TAKE OFF!"

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I didn't take my camera with me to the pool, because we've recently incurred a large expense due to electronics coming in to unintentional contact with fluids, but we've spent an abundant amount of time in every hotel swimming pool. (Including those that didn't open until 5:00 PM.)

Despite the fact that we'd be in the pool every day, sometimes that wasn't enough to expel the seemingly endless energy supply of our children. So, that's when we'd pull the cushions off the couch and tell them to pretend they were on a trampoline.

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Or, we'd have races where we'd have them run up and down the hallways, while wearing back packs full of their body weight equivalent in miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles.

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We've washed countless loads of laundry using countless quarters and countless miniature boxes of detergent. We've climbed countless stairwells. We've ridden in countless elevators. We've lost countless key cards.

We've also made countless friends along the way. What I consider to be one of the many amazing things about children is that they are MAGNETS to other children. So when we'd meet someone in the pool, the next day, they'd sit with us for breakfast. Case in point: here's a shot of my children sitting with their NEW BEST FRIEND. But they have no idea what her name is. Or where she's from or how old she is, or what her favorite color is.

Those things matter not.

All that matters is that she's REALLY fun and can swim super fast and look at her long, beautiful hair! "Mommy? Can I please grow my hair long like ... like ... uh, what's your name again?"

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We've ridden countless luggage carts.

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And have taken countless baths.

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Usually, after a couch cushion Olympiad, hall sprints and a dip in the pool ... we stick everyone in the tub together and quickly douse them with just enough soap to get off the chlorine, before putting everyone to bed. And then, depending upon the room configuration, Charlie and I will often sit in the pitch black waiting for the children to fall asleep.

Hence, the reason it's critical that they be VERY tired so that whole pitch blackness thing doesn't last long. Otherwise, Charlie and I have been known to unexpectedly join our children in slumber at 8:00 PM. "I'll just sit with them for a minute and .... zzzzzz."

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There were four in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over! Roll over!"

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We've stretched and done a lot of Yoga.

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And, we've ordered hot fudge brownie sundaes from room service five minutes before the kitchen closes.

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When we finally do move in to our house, I think the ability to just pick up a phone and have someone bring a hot fudge brownie sundae directly to my door at 10:55 PM, is something that I'll truly miss. But don't you worry about me.

I'll get over it.

13 comments:

  1. Great set of photos, thanks for sharing the tumultuous times.

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  2. Amanda in MS8/31/10, 3:29 AM

    Sounds like you are in much better spirits... yay! I am excited yall are moving into your new house in 6 days. The time will fly by and before you know it you will be posting pictures of your new place... yay!

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  3. Well now, that blog is more like it! LOTSA PICTURES! :D

    ~Cindy! :)
    ..

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  4. The Ronald McDonald Houses would LOVE those little shampoo/soap/lotion items.

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  5. As stressful and overwhelming as this period in your lives has been, I truly believe that your children will remember this episode with tremendous fondness and joy. You are making wonderful memories during this great adventure!

    Best,
    Veronica

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  6. homeless shelters love hotel shampoos. because they can return trial size but not hotel shampoo. my kids think staying in a hotel is the best ever. I honestly kind of miss the yummy breakfast

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  7. I grew up with a bit of a distant relationship with my father.... you know he was the 9-5 dad and on weekends (especially as I got older) we really did go our own ways. Now both my husband and I work shift work... sigh... just the way it is. We purposely arranged it so someone was always home... no day care for us! Dad was home for dinner more often than I was, I was home more often for breakfast and before school than he was. I don't know that I would have purposely scripted it that way. Now those kids are 24 and 26 and they have an incredible relationship with their dad. I am envious of that relationship... I wish I had had that relationship with my father. They both grew up knowing that mom and dad were equal, in the work all the way around. And yeah, I missed things as did their father... But someone was always there and sometimes even both of us were there! I might not have ever been able to go to school and help out on tuesdays, but I was the PTO treasurer. And dad ran the forgotten lunch to school and went on field trips. We did what we had to do. your 4 beautiful children will be fine and grow up to be outstanding adults. They will know their dad like no other kids know their dad. And their mom will be there in the evening for dinner and homework and bedtime. And they will grow up knowing that women do go to college and do have degrees that mean something and they can and do work for a living. You are giving your daughters strength! And you are giving your sons respect. So pat yourselves on your back... you are doing what you are suppose to be doing! (totally unrelated to your recent posts... but something I've been meaning to say)

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  8. Love the new blog layout...so refreshing!!

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  9. Well is looks as if you're all having fun.

    Also I'm with you on room service, when I worked their was a stretch of 18 months of living in a hotel. I came and went so often that the staff greeted me by name and management frequently left fruit and wine baskets in my room. But room service, nothing beats room service. And NOTHING beats room service at the Waldorf Astoria well except maybe The Plaza and I really can't discount room service at my usual haunt which unfortunately at the base of World Trade Center tower 2.

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  10. oh wow... I hope everything works out smoothly and you can get into your home soon! But you have to admit, it looks like the kids are having a good time, regardless..

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  11. And they all rolled over and- Oh my gosh now I want a hot fudge brownie sundae. Glad to see you've got some fun memories of all your temporary homes.

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  12. Oh Jen. You really are crazy. Or ambitous or courageous. I think they are all the same sometimes. :-)

    But you are truly an inspiration to me with your willingness to keep positive and have fun in the midst of it.

    I've just recently left my cush job to stay at home with my two toddlers (1 and 3) and you really inspire me on those tough days. I think, if Jen can do this with a smile (and only an occasional breakdown), then I can swing it too. :-)

    You are such a blessing!

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  13. Your kids look like they are having so much fun!!!

    Pam

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