Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby Eyeball Diaper

The day after we did not participate in the buy one, get one white cat free program at the Camden County SPCA, we got up early and threw the kids in the van. We did not tell them where we were heading. We hardly ever tell them where we are going, no matter if it's a fun trip (the zoo!) or a not-so-fun trip (flu shots!). It makes things more interesting that way.

A couple of hours later, we arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia. That's right, we still had time for one last trip using our Give Kids the World Passport before all the parks closed. And against Matt's better judgment, he agreed to let me talk him into squeezing in a quick trip to Busch Gardens.

There is a Sesame Street-themed area that was totally fun, even though I had to wedge myself into the rides. Because Eve wanted me to and I can't tell her no. She had cancer. I can't help it!

There was this woman working there who had the world's worst hair-do. Wait, is that a mullet...

Or a rat?

Yes. Exotic rodent shows at Busch Gardens.

Daniel loved the dragon-themed section of the park. He said he wants to have an egg-bed when he grows up. Natalie said eggs are just for eating. She also said it's not butter that makes everything better, it's mayonnaise. Because deviled eggs the best food on earth. Please mom, can she please have some for lunch? Please mom, doesn't Busch Gardens sell deviled eggs?

No. We're having chocolate pudding for lunch. And that's final. It's got your protein, it's got your crushed up Oreos, it's got your gummy worms, and it's got your partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Because that sounds like a well-balanced meal to me.

Besides, we were eating in England, and apparently the English haven't discovered chicken tenders yet. So it was pudding...or fish. If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat? I know they didn't eat any meat. I don't need no education. We're on vacation. It's chocolate and Cheetos, three meals a day.

Nat and Dan kept Matt and his mom busy climbing up and down a massive tree house while I got to squeeze into more pygmy rides with Eve.

I could tell she was having an awesome time because she kept trying to give me fist-bumps while she was on the rides.
And here we are, traveling through the skies from Germany back to England. No one tried to jump or spit or throw out their shoes, so I consider it a successful voyage.

Eve lubbed it.
And all three kids stopped, on their own accord, posed, and LOOKED AT THE CAMERA AND SMILED WITH THEIR EYES OPEN AT THE SAME TIME.

There was no one picking boogers or rednecks drinking beer in the background. Score!

Eve didn't care for the tea cup ride.

I would be making the same face if I were riding that. Oh well. Better her than me. It also didn't help that Busch Gardens was in full Howl-o-Scream mode with demonic clowns and creepy circus music playing in the background.

But the eyeballs in the roses were actually pretty cool.

And Daniel loves the word "eyeball." It has made him scream in delight since he could talk, along with baby and diaper. And if you say the words together-- "baby eyeball diaper" -- he will laugh so hard that he almost pees his pants. So please don't say those words to him unless we are at the pool or caught in a rainstorm. Thanks for your cooperation.

The only way to tell the kids it's time to leave is to have somewhere better to go to. And that place would be Great Wolf Lodge, where you can say baby eyeball diaper as many times as you'd like.

We last went to Great Wolf Lodge when we were still saying Eve's age in months. The kids are bigger and it's time to let them loose on the world. World, you've been warned.

Dan calls Great Wolf Lodge "the Lincoln Log place." If you haven't been there, just imagine you are staying in a building constructed of nothing but Lincoln Logs. Then say baby eyeball diaper and you'll notice it's all wet inside because it's a water park.

Daniel couldn't wait to get into his swimming trunks. He kept waving them around like a flag. Strangers wove around him to avoid getting whipped in the baby eyeball diaper.

It's always 84 degrees at Great Wolf Lodge, no matter what the temperature is outside. Dan was excited he didn't have to wear a swim shirt or sunscreen and probably would have had no bones about jumping in naked if he had been left unsupervised.

Eve was excited to be big enough to forgo those awful smelling life vests that are probably harvesting the next virus named after a farm animal.

Natalie came on like gangbusters as soon as her swimsuit was on and ran to the giant bucket as it dumped 1,000 gallons of water on her head. You can see her in the rainbow swimsuit being pummeled.

She and Daniel would return to the giant bucket as it emptied every five minutes. Yet if I pour a cup of water on their heads in the bathtub while I shampoo their hair, all whines break loose.

I digress.

We went on a haunted hayride that evening around the lodge with a very uninspired witch who I'm assuming to be mute or the victim of a spell gone wrong. But there were Halloween decorations and lights and a graveyard and candy, and out of all that, all that mattered in the end was that there was candy. Candy makes everything better. Like butter. Or mayonnaise.

Every night, there is pajama story time in the lobby. First, a creepy animatronic cast of trees, forest creatures, a Native American princess and an awkward Davey Crockett look-alike who lives in a tree stump come to life and wow the kids. While this goes on, I stare at the Angry Birds pumpkin display. Those are some sexy gourds.

After the lost boy goes back into the trunk and the trees sing There's nothing to be scared of!, it's time for the dude dressed up as Dumbledore to read everyone a bedtime story. I want to know how he does this so energetically; every time I read a bedtime story to the kids, I end up passing out right before I find out what happens in the end. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THAT VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR EATS ALL THAT FOOD? I guess I'll never know.

Dan was first in line to get a prize and give the wolf a hug. Unfortunately for everyone behind him, he also took about ninety seconds to pick out the prize from the bucket, even with constant prodding from Dumbledore. It must be nice to be Daniel sometimes- he can block the world out when he wants. I try to do that at home and then someone starts bleeding and it's urgent care all over again.

After all that, it was time for bed. Want to know a great way to get your kids to pass out without any Benadryl? Take them to two amusement parks in one day. Want to know a great way to keep them asleep throughout the night as they share one bed? You should probably give them Benadryl.

Seriously. I. could. not. sleep. Nat seemed to be fine snoozing through the sleep fight that Dan and Eve were engaged in. I could not sleep through the crinkling sound of whatever plastic covering was on top of the mattress as brother and sister duked it out.

I know what everyone needed after a night like that. More chocolate.

Screw Wheaties. Chocolate donuts and chocolate milk is the breakfast of champions. Do not try to sub with Chocolate Slim Fast.

Happy 4th birthday, Eve! You don't look a day over three.

I am so glad I trained for the Ultimate Hike, because there is no way I could have scaled the stairs to the water slides that many times in a row without keeling over. Eve was content to stay with her grandma in the kiddie area while Matt and I took Evel Knievel and Evel Knievel Jr. down the slides over and over and over again. Until we started to feel like chocolate donuts and chocolate milk would make an encore.

We had a birthday lunch. Well, it wasn't a super-special lunch that Eve requested or anything, it just happened to be lunch on her birthday. In which case she also had a birthday pee and a birthday toweling off. But having a well-traveled chocolate sheet cake that came from the greater-Raleigh area to Camden, NC to Williamsburg, VA with four little candles in it certainly constitutes a birthday dessert.

The kids were stoked to play lots more in the water park. Eve and I floated along the lazy river long enough to make me dizzy, which isn't saying much because I get dizzy when they pan across the categories on Jeopardy. But an hour and a half of going around the same circle, never quite catching the birthday girl and forced to do another loop, would be enough to shake up the rocks in your head, too.

There was a robot that served you ice cream. Seriously. $28 later, four members of our family had ice cream served by a robot.

(I went for the Dippin Dots. There are few things that make my mouth as happy as when it's filled with Dippin Dots. Except maybe nacho cheese. And mayonnaise.)

It's sad to leave such a happy place, except if you're dizzy and pruny and tired of climbing ridiculous sets of stairs. Daniel continued to howl his disapproval as we made for the exit.

We had to get back to Matt's mom's and eat more cake and open presents. And maybe have something for dinner that isn't chocolate.

Nat and Dan both spent a lot of time picking out the perfect presents for their sister. Because of this, they both really wanted Eve to open their respective presents first. Eve, a true diplomat, did the only fair thing she could think of: Eeny Meeny Miney Mo.

Matt's family came over and celebrated with us and we eventually got the kids to bed.

For a few hours.

The only silver lining to this story is that Eve's birthday was technically over when she starting spewing chocolate-colored vomit everywhere.

4 a.m. is a fine time to wake up and get the day started...if you're training for a hike. It's a lousy time when it's because your daughter comes in crying and then vomits something that looks like birthday cake and smells like broccoli salad next to your head. It's a blessing that my mother-in-law has cable and the Disney channel was having a Phineas & Ferb marathon in the middle of the night. Oh, and that she had lots of towels.

We were up for hours but eventually were able to get Eve back to sleep so we could nap a couple of hours before heading back home. She puked again. We bathed again. I cursed myself for not packing Zofran with my toiletries. Emla? LMX? I'm prepared for any kind of emergency that would require me to numb my children. Nausea? Not so much. Which doesn't mean that I still don't have hundreds of dollars worth of Zofran, it just means that I neglected to pack it.

Luckily we have a nice oncologist who returns pages really fast.

While we were on our way to the pharmacy so we could pick up the prescription and add it to the eight million different forms of anti-nausea medication just chilling at home (pills! melt-aways! suspensions!), Eve threw up again. So I picked up 12 dish towels at CVS, some wipes, and more sanitizer to hopefully get us the three hours home. Meanwhile, Natalie was at Matt's mom's house writing a list of 31 things they would do while she stayed with her grandma for the next two days. Because there were 31 lines on the steno pad.

So Daniel cried for a while because he missed his big sister. And Eve cried for a while because she was starving and nauseous. And I almost cried for a while because I really wanted to eat my Bojangles fried chicken dinner but was interrupted with more GI distress from our birthday princess.

(Just kidding. I didn't almost cry. I was just really hungry and sad that I had to use so much hand sanitizer when eating something so finger-lickin' good.)

We arrived back home with no more upchucks and one less kid. More upchucks and another kid would arrive two days later.

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