Traveling alone with a 5 and 6 yr old – SEND HELP

Why is traveling so exhausting? I mean, really? You wait in various lines at different places in the airport, all to board a plane and SIT. We sit for hours. And nice ladies and gentlemen come by pushing carts with drink and snacks to serve us. So why is it so tiring? Despite how many times I’ve traveled, how much I psych myself out before a trip, I find myself spent by the time I get to my seat on the plane.

Today is no different. I rewarded myself with a mini bottle (and by mini bottle, I mean mini bottle) of wine on the leg from Dallas to Seattle. Damnit, I deserved it! I’m currently sitting in the children’s play area at Sea-Tac and with the events that have transpired, I now am deserving of a freaking keg. No, a kegerator. One that pours endless chilled pints of Double Shovel Forget- Me- Hopped cider. (If you haven’t tried it and you’re in the Anchorage area, you are missing out!)

You see, when my daughter is tired, she gets SUPER sensitive and emotional and breaks down with just a look. And when my son is tired, he loses whatever tiny amount of self control that five year olds possess and just gets naughty. Well, it’s my lucky day, folks. Both of my sweet sweet children are tired. No, wait. They’re FREAKING EXHAUSTED. Sigh.

We land in Seattle and we’re all starving. I want Qdoba. Isla wants Subway. And Terje wants McDonald’s. Totally doable and easy if the food court had all three restaurants together. But they don’t. And before you judge me about spoiling my kids and accommodating their different cravings, let me tell you THIS…

…I have nothing to tell you. I don’t know why I went to three different places at this huge airport. But I did. I guess I thought I just wanted to minimize the whining and pouting because I’m choosing my battles. And because I’m parenting alone right now. And because I love food so much and I know what it’s like to have a craving for a particular food and I hate that inner demon that comes alive when that craving isn’t met.

So I got Isla her Subway and I got Terje his McDonald’s and we make our way to Qdoba because good parents feed their kids first or something like that. I set the kids down at a table inside Qdoba and got in line to get my food. I guess I should’ve set them up before I left them to get in line. You know, took out their food and placed it right in front of them, opening up all containers and packages, yada yada yada. But I didn’t because that damn Qdoba line was long and, well, #hungry. So I just sat them down and got in line. Before I even got up to start my taco salad order, my daughter had dropped her sandwich on the floor and my son’s fries spilt on the ground. Sigh. Ok, Les, deep breaths. I asked the lovely lady behind me if she would hold my spot and she obliged and I went and consoled my crying daughter and tried to find some fries hidden in the cracks of that happy meal box – because you know there’s always some that never make it out of that box! I settled Isla down by agreeing to go BACK to Subway but she’d have to wait until I was done with my food. She didn’t have to wait too long, you know that? Because five bites into my delicious salad with guacamole (that didn’t cost extra!), I saw a previous student of mine who graduated five years ago. And in the excitement of seeing an old student, I knock my salad -and all that free guacamole!- to the ground. Well, a lot of it landed on my backpack, some on my pants, some on the table and some on Isla’s American Girl Doll carrier. None of that salad was salvageable. No worries, though, because at that point, I wasn’t f%*+ing hungry.

Luckily, the line at Subway the SECOND time wasn’t as long as the first visit. And I’m super happy that there’s currently no toddlers right now in the airport play area because I’d have to pay attention to my kids to make sure they don’t knock them over. And we board in an hour. I’m almost home, friends. As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m calling my husband and sending him to Double Shovel to bring home a growler for me tonight. Maybe two. To all the parents out there who travel solo with their kids, I’m gonna raise a very expensive but very small glass of wine to you in a bit. This stuff is hard. But we’re strong and we’ve got this!

I survived the first leg because of snacks and electronics. Hallelujah.

I actually survived the first leg because of this. HALLELUJAH.

If you’re at SeaTac and you’ve got kids, look for this sign. It’s an oasis.

The kids play area is right across from this place- which is the real oasis.

This play area has its own bathroom, nursing room and lots of outlets for charging the electronics.

Til next time, Texas

I’ve spent the last two weeks in Texas (with my first weekend in Tulsa, OK) with three of the four Olson kids and let me tell you – it has been such a great trip! We leave in “three more sleeps” (that’s how my kids gauge the countdown to events) and though I miss my hubs who is back home making that money, I’m sad to leave. I’ve done this trip before-a trip to Texas with the kids sans husband. But this time, it’s different. Four years ago, I came for three weeks and couldn’t wait to get back home to Alaska. I remember getting on Facebook and seeing what my friends and family were up to back home and wishing I was there doing things with them. I could not, for the life of me, enjoy the moment. I had such a hard time being content.

This time is so different and I know a lot of it has to do with the ages of my kids. Last time I came, my littles were 1 and 3. This time, they’re 5 and almost 7 (the 24 year old met us here for a week). Life isn’t as crazy this time. I’m not carrying around a diaper bag. I’m not stressing about cutting outings short to insure nap time. I am out of the trenches and have been for a while. Thank. You. Jesus.

We all have THOROUGHLY enjoyed this trip and I am already talking about coming back next summer. I’ve enjoyed the hot days. I’ve enjoyed the cool dark nights. I’ve enjoyed the outdoor pools (Gosh, I’ve missed them so!). I’ve enjoyed the FOOD. I’ve enjoyed the memory making. I’ve enjoyed walking down memory lane. I’ve enjoyed the late night catch up chats. I’ve enjoyed seeing my kids play with my best friends’ kids. I’ve enjoyed seeing my kids create memories with family here who they don’t see enough. I’ve enjoyed the tan lines and the process in getting them. I’ve enjoyed the shopping. Y’all, it’s just been good. So good.

Our final two days will be jam packed with more pool time, more shopping, squeezing in a trip to those restaurants that we don’t have back home (Red Lobster, anyone?), and more friends and family. Thanks for keeping those stars at night real big and bright. I’ll be leaving a piece of my heart deep in the heart of Texas. *clap*clap*clap*clap

Me and my beautiful step daughter decided to consume our weight in food and drink at a Texas Rangers game. Bad idea.

3/4 Olson kids

At the Ft. Worth Zoo