binary girl: the secret blog

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shh!

tahoe, or how i realized that there is no rest on vacation

July 16th, 2013 at 11:29

Brandon and Derek, his little brother, signed up for The Death Ride in Alpine Valley, a 130-mi tour of 5 alpine passes that happened on 7/13. So, we decided to do a Tahoe vacation around it, and got the idea to stay at Aston Lakeland Village, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, from my hairdresser, who is getting married there later this year.

So, on Sunday, Brandon took off with his truck and our boat (with all our bikes/bike trailer/trail-a-bike in the back) while I tried to run the kids ragged at the school and inside. After about an hour, I piled them in the car and we headed east. At lunchtime, I found a McDonalds with a playplace inside and let them get a little more of their wiggles out, but by the time we actually ended up in Tahoe at our place (where B had thankfully already checked in), they were DONE. And they spent the rest of the night whining and being hellions, so we went to the market and were angry, and we ate dinner and were angry, and we watched a movie and were angry. We angrily checked out the marina and walked around being cranky and were just a generally unhappy people.

Let me also mention here that I literally was up at least three times every night on this trip and rarely slept in my own bed — each night would see 2-3 beds for me and Brandon. We’d go to bed in one, then go to a kid’s in the night, and then either end up back in our own or in the other kid’s. Thus: tired parents nearly all vacation (my best sleep was the first night back, hurray).

Monday, right when Max woke up, I took him out on “the bridge”, because he had been requesting it. Then we wandered about a bit on the beach and around the resorty place, and when we went back, I took Katie for a similar walk. We had breakfast and Brandon went for a brief ride, then we nearly immediately hit the pool for swimming. The rest of the day went: t-ball/play structure, more checking out the pier, lunch, and then we decided to rent a paddleboat. This was nearly impossible to do because Katie was hanging on to the back (it was a four-seater) but Max was too small to do the same, so I had him in my lap as I was sitting in this weird position trying to pedal the boat. Katie hung onto my arm, and at one point got into the lake itself, which was adorable — she’s super brave. The kids were ogling the parasailers and the boats and in general enjoyed the experience. When we got back, we did some more pool + popsicles, and my parents and BIL/SIL/niece all showed up at 8:30pm, so the kids SPAZZED OUT and had a really, really hard time falling asleep. (It didn’t help that room 458 has an impossibly squeaky second floor so every time someone walked up there — which is where the main living area is — it woke the kids up underneath.)

Tuesday we had a huge family breakfast (eggs and stuff) and then did a walk adventure with Grammy and Grandpa before we decided to launch the boat at Tahoe Keys Marina. My dad and I, with the kids, tooled around the lake until we arrived at Ski Run Marina, where we met the water taxi and docked the boat at a buoy. My dad showed the kids how to identify a channel by the red/right/return channel marker idea, so they spent the entire time screaming out red and green channel markers. We ate lunch at the marina with Brandon (holy crap overpriced Riva, Batman) and then headed back to the hotel, where the kids had a nap and a movie while I went on a bike ride with Aubrey, my SIL (strava link). On the topic of Aubrey and Derek, before they arrived Katie would not stop talking about how excited she was to see her aunt and uncle (she declared Derek to be her favorite uncle before he arrived) — but minutes after they got there, Katie was no longer interested in them at all and instead became totally enamored/obsessed with her 6mo cousin, Elise, who she would barely leave her alone for 2 seconds. Elise (and Aubrey) took it well for the most part, but there were times when Katie was getting in her face and it was making her upset, for sure. On the good side, Katie was so incredibly loving and caring towards Elise, and I am so happy that my little girl behaving that way. (Also, B and Derek went for a ride together.)

Wednesday I started to really feel the lack of sleep that my children were gifting me. Also, we were supposed to go boating, but my dad and my husband combined to be SuperDoofusMan, without half a brain between them, which led me to have a rage breakdown at the pool where I was yelling into my cell phone at them. (Story: they were supposed to get the boat and then fill it with gas. Somehow it took them oer TWO FUCKING HOURS even though I had told them the kids were ready to go, because they decided to a) go to Nevada to attempt to get gas instead of actually going to the marina right next to Ski Run (as directed), but there were no gas stations there so they had to go back but they got lost and then b) somehow Brandon decided, because he was heat/drug addled, that I was going to go to a store and get ice? Even though I had just told him that the kids were ready to go? (When I told my mom this she also looked at him like he was on some sort of foreign substance.) So I decided, after trying to manage them freaking out for those two hours that they wanted to go NOW, that we were going to go swimming instead, because Elise was going swimming with her parents and it was ridiculous that we were still waiting for them. Eventually my dad and Brandon showed up and at some point I decided to start talking to them again, but HOLY CRAP was I angry. We did more of that nap/movie thing after lunch and then I was saved from being a pissy human being by having dinner with Carolyn (bluepoof — who blogged about her day and our meal), who was taking a solo bike trip through the area. I love me some ‘poof.

Thursday was more boating, but this time we took Derek, Aubrey, and Elise with us. Katie and Max are very interesting on the boat — Max tends to want to cuddle/pass out but Katie is somewhat unnerved by the whole thing and would be happy to spend it hiding on me. (I actually like this because it means I get to cuddle either of them — and in both cases it’s on terms I enjoy, where Max isn’t trying to poke/pick at me and Katie isn’t wiggling. Win!) On the other hand, the minute that Grandpa offered either of them the opportunity to drive, they were all over it, and enjoyed being “in charge”. We drove around for quite a while before we decided to head back for lunch, and then did the normal swimming/hanging out for a nap thing. My parents went out for dinner together and Aubrey and Derek had a date, so we spent time trying to babysit Elise, who got successively fussier and fussier with me until she was wailing, while Katie did her darnedest to help me soothe her until B and Max returned with pizzas for us. The minute that Brandon held her, she calmed, which I assume is because he is enough like his brother that she felt comforted (although we can pretend that he is a superior parent ;) ). Eventually they returned and we did a little more swimming; I think I probably took Katie out to the play structure somewhere here, too.

Friday, Brandon, Derek, Aubrey, and Elise all went to Alpine Valley to pick up their race packets while I took the kids to the pool. I believe at this point I was ready to stab someone in the face for the excessive amount of alone time I was spending with the kids, even though my mom was heroically hanging out with us as well. When they returned, I went with my mom to the store for some supplies (and Starbucks, of course), then came back and took a long bike ride alone (strava link). Brandon and I went out for dinner together at Base Camp Pizza and I think my dad took the kids out (I know at some point he also took Katie kite flying). $5 says that we did some swimming that day. Brandon and Derek prepped for their early morning departure for the Death Ride the next day (I think they got up at 3:30 or something ridic) so I had a relatively horrid night of flip-flopping between kid beds and waking up when the guys did (being a mom makes me a super ridiculously light sleeper, apparently), and then at 5, when I was sleeping with Katie, Max had a bad dream and when I went to his bed and Katie had a crazy tantrum and OUR DAY WAS STARTED!!! WOO!!!

Saturday… was an mash-up of stuff. Katie went to the kids’ club at the resort to do PIRATE DAY!!!! from 9-12, so we (my parents, Aubrey/Elise) took Max on a walk and played on the play structure with him, generally enjoying some kiddo alone time until we went to pick her up (she was building a sandcastle and totally uninterested in stopping). I showed Max the army guys that B had bought him and he spent a huge amount of time playing “stand up the guys and knock them down” while I talked to a German lady I met who lives in Mountain View. We also went kite flying and did more swimming and some sandcastle building, and it was generally chill and wonderfully laid back, and when the guys finally contacted us to tell us that they were alive and had been successful at finishing the ride, we got a bunch of the leftovers of food together for a meal and started packing up.

Sunday consisted of: packing the cars, getting in the boat with my dad and kids and trying to find the entrance to the Tahoe Keys marina (we failed twice), and then driving back through the crappy traffic going back to the Bay Area. We stopped for a late lunch with B at another McDonald’s Play Place, and otherwise tried to get back as soon as we could and I listened to a lot of radio about the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial. I got back to the house to find that the maids, who had come on Monday, had left the front door unlocked! All week! At least they set the alarm, though?

Some funny conversations:
Katie: Mommy, I want to marry Max when I grow up.
Me: You know, sweetie, one day you might change your mind about that.
K: I love him so much!
Me: I know, but one day you may meet someone you love just as much as you love Max, but in a different way, and you’ll want to marry them.
K: I don’t want to love anyone as much as I love him!

(This morning I was relaying this conversation to Caroline while driving the kids to school and Max stated, “I DON’T WANNA GET MARRIED!” and Katie tried to explain to Max that he had to get married one day or he’d have to live alone [I corrected that] or that one day he could marry a girl or a boy that he loved very much.)

Over the trip Max’s speaking ability improved remarkably — he is annunciating much more clearly and using even more complicated sentence structure. He also attaches to toys very strongly (he wanted to keep Elise’s bath toys and sleep with them, and they had little conversations between each other, and later attached to the pool rocket toys). Katie’s tantrums were at a minimum but her sass/talkback also has started spiking. I’ve noticed that of the two of them, Max is generally more responsive, while Katie gets much more immersed into things (like imaginative play/television), making her seem less responsive. Both of them were very excited about swimming (especially with us) but when I didn’t want to swim anymore, Katie was able to do the entire circumference of the pool alone, using the side when she needed to stop and breathe. She also loved the hot tub and was fascinated by women in bikinis (“Mommy, will you get me a Barbie that’s naked but with a milkie holder and the bottoms?”), and very observant of how people at the pool laid out (she told my dad that to relax, men put their arms behind their heads and women put them down by their sides).

All in all, it was awesome (but not restful) to spend so much time with my peeps. :D

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