Friday, August 18, 2017

Home Sweet Home

We arrived home just before 9 last night, almost 15 hours after backing out of Mamaw's driveway in Michigan.  It was a looooong drive.  My brother left an hour ahead of us and ended up taking a different route but with the same 835 miles (give or take a few) and he made it home in 13 hours.  He only stopped twice though and I just can't do that.  We ended up stopping five times and I had to cath Anna at four of those.  The girls are much better now at not requesting stops as they know it will add time onto our drive.

I finally had a good night of sleep last night, my first in weeks.  I did not sleep well in Michigan and I hadn't been sleeping well before we left.  Thankfully, Anna was prescribed antibiotics prior to our departure.  It took 48 hours to get the test results back (urine culture) and I was in panic attack mode the entire time.  I knew something was wrong and I was beating myself up for not recognizing it earlier.  Anna wasn't experiencing the typical side effects one would have with a UTI/bladder infection, such as a fever.  This was one of those asymptomatic infections that I should have recognized earlier.   She (well, her urine) is back to normal now.

Unfortunately, I was absolutely exhausted on this trip and Rich wasn't there to help out.  I tried to work out the vacation plans so he could fly out and spend a few days in Michigan before we all drove back but that only pans out if a weekend is at or near the end of the trip.  So I went it alone.  Grammy was there but she stayed at Mamaw's house.  My brother, Dan, and I stayed at the same hotel, which was not only super fun for the kids, but extremely helpful.  We took turns watching each others kids when things came up and he helped me find me phone the night it went missing.  I actually thought it had been stolen.  We had all been at Mamaw's house and I had talked to Rich on the phone before we left for the hotel.  Dan arrived a few minutes before we did and we parked near him in the hotel parking lot.  They were looking at the parking space between our two cars because my niece had heard a metal sound when she stepped out of the car and thought she had kicked a nail.  We all searched the area but couldn't find anything.  (They later realized it was a bobby pin that fell out of her hair.) I had been bent over with my big, unzipped camera bag on my shoulder.  We parted ways with plans to meet at the pool after the kids changed.  I went to cath Anna and she asked to use my phone.  There was no phone.  I pulled everything out of my bag.  No phone.  We returned to the van.  No phone.  My brother called Grammy and asked her to check Mamaw's house and yard.  I didn't know if the ringer was on but notifications were so if called, the phone would vibrate.  I checked the van again.  No phone.  I checked with the front desk, thinking at this point that it must have fallen out of my bag and I didn't realize it with the commotion created by six kids.  Grammy couldn't find the phone at Mamaw's.  Dan had all the kids at the pool and told me he would keep calling my phone.  I returned to the room.  No noise from the phone.  I returned to the van with plans to drive back to Mamaw's.  I climbed into the driver's seat and listened.  There was a buzzing.  My phone was under a box of Kleenex on the front passenger seat.  How did I not realize this?  I didn't even think to use find my phone because I'd never, ever lost my phone before.

I'm a terribly light sleeper and every and any noise wakes me up.  We brought a fan with us to use in the hotel room and that helped but it would still take me an hour to fall asleep and then I would wake up a few hours later and be awake for another hour.  Sharing a bed with a little one who sleeps in the middle of the bed doesn't exactly help but that's mom life for you.  

I wanted to pass along a travel tip.  We stayed at a Hyatt Place hotel again.  (This is 100% not sponsored.  Hyatt has no idea who I am.)  I've mentioned before how we like staying at Hyatt Place hotels because of the larger rooms with pull-out sofas.  It's hard nowadays for families with more than two kids to stay in traditional hotel rooms.  Most only allow (or have room) for four people.  When I went to check out yesterday morning, my bill was $2.65 which was water I had charged to the room.  That was it.  Rich and I are both World of Hyatt members and we also have the Hyatt credit card.  I used accumulated points to pay for our stay.  I also feel like Hyatt has the better "free" breakfast.  My brother travels a lot for work and he said it was one of the better breakfast spreads he's seen.

(Grammy, the girls and I stayed at a Hampton Inn and Suites in Syracuse, NY on our way to Michigan.  We had a suite which was really a large room with two beds, a desk/table and a pull-out sofa.  The hotel looked either new or recently remodeled.  That's another option for us now too.)

And, yes, we still use our Disney Visa.  We're thinking about another Disney vacation in 2018.  Maybe we'll have enough points to cover our meals.

I have Michigan pictures to share with you.  Hope to get to those over the weekend.  There's rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

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