Monday, January 25, 2010

Key West

We had a last minute trip down to Key West this weekend for health fair they needed Ryan to work. So the whole family got to go. (This is the one we almost got to go to last year until we all got pink eye and were banned. This year Ryan was supposed to be on call and couldn't go but they really needed him last minute when some docs canceled and some went to Haiti, so he got to go.) We debated trying to find a sitter so we could go without the kids. At 2:30 in the morning the first night when the kids were still screaming and climbing out of their little hotel cribs it was seeming like that would have been a better option. The next afternoon after three hours of the same while trying to get them to take a nap it was really seeming like a better option. It was a bit of a low point for me after a really rough week with the kids. I had a lot of thoughts cross my mind - like maybe I should go back to work and have someone else take care of my kids since it seems like I'm obviously not good at this. It even crossed my mind that maybe I should take up a drug habit to help me get through this time in my life. :) Then I realized we wouldn't have any money for my drug habit anyway. Mostly I felt really bad wondering why I even had kids when it seems like half the time I don't even like them and it feels like I'm always mad at them. Please tell me I'm not the only one that feels that way.

Luckily by Saturday night things looked up a bit and we had a fun time hanging out on Duval Street. Or entertaining Duval Street walking around with our spectacle. I did manage to get a "You're the hottest mom on this street by far!" from a really drunk man. Thank you. Out of all five of us that actually have kids out here. (And for the record I did not look hot - the lovely sleek, curled hair that left the hotel turned into a fuzzy afro after sitting on the pier to eat in all that humidity. I seriously looked like Diana Ross.)
























I'm gonna go ahead and call it that Key West just isn't quite the happening scene Miami is though:

video

I mean, I get it that there are lots of old people there, but, hmm. Wow. (In case you can't see it too well, it's some large drunk woman who is probably sixty years old and was seriously shaking it - the footage I got hardly does it justice. Someone stop me if I'm ever 60 and doing that out in public. Please.)

We had lots of fun running around this pier and watching the waves crashing over.


















































































video

Although I have to laugh at how un-observant men are. Ryan went last year and still said not to bring swimsuits, didn't think about bringing bikes, and when we were going out Saturday night I asked him if it was the kind of thing all the girls wore dresses to. He said no - jeans and a cute top (at least he tries to get it I guess.) Oh, so guess who shows up wearing jeans with boots and a jacket - and not only is everyone at the dinner wearing a dress, every girl in all of Key West is wearing a dress. I guess that's good if he wasn't looking at the women last year, but hey, if you ever go to Key West, don't wear jeans and boots. (Somehow he relayed the weather report totally wrong to me too, which is why I brought those in the first place.) So not only did I look like Diana Ross, I looked like Diana Ross ready for a snow storm and some hot chocolate. In Key West. Ugh. I hate it when I only see people from Ryan's work once in a while and that while happens to be a really ugly moment. Especially since they are all super trendy and fashionable. And have lots of spare money to spend on themselves. Am I totally insecure going on about this?! Sorry. I'm being such a girl. (Luckily you'll see I did decide to throw in a dress at the last minute so that by Sunday I figured it out. But of course we didn't see anyone that day.)

Moving on. Here's the "southernmost point in the U.S." marker. 90 miles to Cuba (closer than our house!)




















Anyhow, the drive was amazing on a narrow bridge most of the way just surrounded by this:











































Although I'd turn around and realize, yeah, I guess this is a pretty long car ride, huh?



















Luckily the trip had a happy ending at least. Or, my children at least came back home with us if that's any sign of success.




18 comments:

katya said...

Jen,

I may not be the most qualified to address your mom angst, but I think you're doing great. I think that everyone probably has similar thoughts, but it's not something everyone is willing to talk about. Every road we choose for ourselves seems harder than the 'other' way that seems easier... but not "us." This might seem vague, but I often wonder at myself for voluntarily putting myself in challenging circumstances. It seems I won't be happy unless I am 'challenged' or using my skills/talents to the best of my ability. This doesn't mean I LIKE the feelings of overwhelming stress/anxiety... it just means I want to make the most of my life, and make a difference... and this is how I choose to do it. Something to bear in mind - often, you don't feel very successful when you are challenged but it is the process of rising to meet a challenge which shapes and defines who you are and gives you something to feel proud of.

Just my two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! for Katya. She hit the nail on the head. You could easily be an ordinary mom, but you have chosen to help your children experience things, get the most out of life, keep busy and active. NO child sleeps easily in a motel/hotel the first night, or the second - just like anyone at girls' camp! But was it a fun, interesting weekend? Did it change the pace for a while? Are you all glad you had that experience? I would think so.
Hooray for all of you. If I had been there, we would have had two hotel rooms, and I would have had the babies possibly, without any rest! I am glad it worked out the way it did, and I got plenty of rest this weekend. I may never see Key West, however. And that is the trade-off.
xoxocyhGrammy

Tennille said...

So nice to know that other people's family trips sometimes (always?) sort of suck. There are usually at least a few really fun memories thrown in, but it's hard to make yourself believe it was a "good trip" when they're thrown in with all the other crap. Kudos to you for braving it and kudos for braving all of your mom adventures with such humor.

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

I know...it take conscious effort to enjoy being a mom some days. But I really believe that you are the best one to raise your kids. I have those same thoughts. I'm glad you got a weekend away, though, and think that you'll be glad to look back and remember these times with your kids rather than away from them. Your boys are just so cute; I love the pics. And I believe the drunk man was correct. :)

Jess said...

Well, I only had two to quiet in a hotel room recently. But, I ended up letting them watch a movie on Disney and they shared the pullout couch.
I turned all the lights off and said if they got out of bed, I'd turn the movie off. After the movie was over, I played their nighttime cd that I downloaded to itunes. I sat in the dark for about an hour, on Facebook and other internet things.

Of course, that was at a waterpark/hotel, so they may have been worn out from that, too!
And I would say that we all have those days where you peruse the job sites or dream of going to work...

Jen said...

YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE! :)

Melanie said...

Jen I have been going through a mini self-doubt-whatamIdoingallday-amIusingmytalents crisis too. Maybe it is just that time of year! I only have H but somedays I just feel like I could be doing so much more. But these children would literally perish if we did care for their every need so I guess that's not glamorous but very important. I know moms that work (even part time) and they are way burnt out too. One day the kids will be in school with a whole new set of problems for us to deal with but we will draw strength from these early days when we just live the day hour by hour. If we got through that we can get through anything!

Jenilee said...

It looks so warm!!!
Jen, I feel the same way, quite often. Many days I have to consciously tell myself that I do enjoy being a mother and that I am what my kids need. It is hard to believe especially on those days that the mom guilt of not doing enough or not being enough ways heavy on our shoulders.

Safire said...

Those pictures are beautiful! I want to go. :)

As for all those thoughts...we all have them! At least I know I do. Frequently. And I wonder why I do these kinds of things to myself and get all stressed and unhappy during what's supposed to be a happy moment.

I suppose it's all about the story though. And the pictures to show the kids that they were there. They will love it as they get older. This is what I keep telling myself and it better be true!

Geoff and Bets said...

the pier pic of you and one baby is sooo cute. you look fabulous its true.

camille said...

you are SO not the only one...I have a part time job (like sometimes once a week) that I LOVE and I gotta say, there are times when I am begging for more shifts. And I have asked that very question, "Why did I even have kids?" many times. I have no words of advice, just wanted you to know you are SO definitely not the only one :)

Anonymous said...

So, do you even know which baby you were holding in the photo of you with one twin? I have been doing the 2009 scrapbook, and cannot possibly identify most of the shots of the twins - have simply had to label those pages "Seeing Double."
You had better mark down on the back of some of those, or as you post them, the names. Trust me, 35 years from now you will not be able to tell who is who! I can hardly tell you girls apart in baby shots and you were not even twins.

xoxocyh-Grammy

Angie said...

You are not alone. No matter what we choose and how we do it, I think there are pockets of doubt and uncertainty in every mother's heart. Motherhood is difficult and exhausting, but because you are the best person to mother your children, you are the only one who can do it right and if you went to work all these feelings would just be multiplied and amplified.

And no one sleeps on family vacations. We go on family trips in spite of the sleep deprivation that will result because no one sits around reminiscing about how well rested they were as a child, but they WILL reminisce about how much fun Key West was or Disney or the zoo or having a water fight outside with mom. And that is worth the exhaustion, right?

Jenny said...

Wish I could have been there. We could have thrown all the kids in one hotel and hung out together in the other. Surely Noah could have handled the 5 of them. Next year! Let's start planning Chicago!!--without the ninos!!

The Freemans said...

Oh man I have so many of those not so great mom moments...then I read Krista's blog and I feel even worse. I sometimes wonder what Heavenly Father was thinking when he allowed me to be a mother. Surely there are plenty of others more fit for this challenge. But there are those times when you feel so blessed and for me that makes it worth it. I am really working hard on my PATIENCE...something I don't think I'll ever master!!!!

The Freemans said...

By the WAy I forgot to mention how great you look...for sure the hottest mom!!!!

LuAnn said...

How do you get away with wearing a white dress on vacay with 3 little nuts running around. Jen...you are a good mom and will just get better and better at it. Seriously. I hope you really know that. Didn't I get the quote from your blog..."you are doing more than you will ever know." I'll insert "good" before than.

Susie said...

Three cheers for Katya! I always like the way she puts things. Very insightful.
This is precisely why we take pictures of vacations. When we look at the pictures it looks like we had such a great time. Then we remind ourselves that Pictures are all we see of someone else's life and that everyone feels the same between pictures.
I think it is difficult to see the big picture in the hard, hard early days, and the fruits are so far off, but things will work out! You'll see. . .