Ashley, my live-in nanny at the time, preceded our arrival to get lunch ready. We arrived just in time to be so excited we forgot to eat our lunch and managed to postpone naps for at least an hour past schedule. Even then, Aspen insisted on napping in the bed next to the boys’ pack-n-plays. Welp, after 15 minutes of playtime I put my foot down and separated them.
The “mold situation” in my almost 100 year old home was becoming more and more concerning when the leak in the wine cellar turned out to be caused by the original cast-iron pipe (I googled this and found that these were mainly used in homes built between 1850-1900) – it had gone ‘kaput’ and the many hairline fractures were combining to create a deluge in the basement. The wall between my basement and second story master bathroom needed to be ripped out potentially exposing dangerous levels of mold. (Spoiler alert: the issue turned out to be completely manageable with mold only at the base of the leak so once the pipes were removed so was the mold! I now have completely updated pipes in my old house!)
So we went on a staycation!
The first night I had my twins stay at my parents’ house – their first time ever spending the night somewhere other than their home – and Aspen and I got a hotel room for a “Girl’s Night Out.”
The twins did great! They slept all night and had a blast with their grandparents. Aspen and I stayed up late at the hotel (“late” was 8pm), drank chocolate milk, learned to work the door keypad, explored the hotel in our pajamas, and ordered room service.
Then we drove the quick 30 minutes it took to take us to our VRBO in St Charles, MO. For being so close to St Louis I really haven’t spent much time around the city: St Louis offers everything I need – and want – and most of my friends and activities are in the same urban radius. But I’d heard great things about the quaint small town of St Charles and we needed to get the heck out of dodge so I popped on my app and reserved an old house in the heart of “downtown”.
Over the next three nights we played in the sprinkler, poured out every board game that could be found, pressed every button on the remotes, walked up and down Main Street, played at a park, walked next to the river, and even went out to dinner at a restaurant.
Some highlights were when Hayes started screaming and crying because he was terrified that the DVD player opened when he pushed the button, having ice cream cake for breakfast to wish Ashley a heartfelt thank-you for her time with us (she moved back to California), and when I was greeted one morning by a drunk man throwing up outside our house. Urban living has its pros and cons even in small towns.
Wrangling three kids to eat three square meals, nap, and get a full night’s rest in a new house that they want to explore is not easy, but we managed to do it and we did it well. I think having a well-established routine at home helps make new places feel more comfortable but who really knows. I mean, three kids aged 2, 2, and 3 have wonderful, creative, inquisitive, and energetic minds of their own and anything can change on a whim for any reason or no reason at all.
But the adventure was incredible. I felt so empowered to have created memories with my kids with only a short “vacation” on the outskirts of St Louis. I want to continue this trend with them, I want my kids to remember me as a mom who cared about making memories WITH them and not being afraid of a challenge (just like my mom did with my siblings and me.)
I’d love to get more suggestions on staycations and vacations. Creative and involved parents, hit me!