Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Night Away

We're all away from Sydney for a few days on a little holiday with Jason's parents. We're in lovely Port Macquarie, which is about 5 hours north of Sydney on the coast. It's real purty. See?

Last night was our first here, and if you've travelled with small children, you know that the first night anywhere usually turns out to be interesting. Here's a brief run-down of our night.

6:30pm: After a hearty cry, Grace falls into exhausted sleep.
8pm: Ava and Nate in their room reading stories. (They each have a twin bed in the room across from Jason, Grace and I.)
8:15pm: Ava is dosed up with cold medicine, kids are tucked in, and it's lights out. (By lights out, I mean that I have to find a way to put the bedside lamp between them on the floor so that it's enough light for Nate, not too much for Ava and not a fire hazard. This takes about 5 minutes.)
8:22pm: Nate says he's "not comfy".
8:30pm: Ava is still coughing
8:40pm: Asleep!
9:30pm Grace wakes up, re-insert paci.
(Allow me to write a brief note to the inventors of the Nuk: Dear brilliant pacifier technicians: I love you. I always have. Please, please don't ever change. I never believed all that stuff the others said about you, anyway. You have been my near-constant companion these 6 years. Thank you--God bless you and the work you do.)
10:45pm Jason and I creep stealthily into our room where Grace sleeps in the corner and try to go to sleep. "Sleep quieter!" I say to him, but only in my mind. Because I don't want to make any noise.
11:30pm Grace wakes up, re-insert paci (We ask ourselves: Is she hot? Cold? Is she "not comfy"?)
1:44am Ava wakes up with a stuffy nose, says she can't go back to sleep. I tell her to try. (Isn't that helpful advice?
2:12am Ava still can't go back to sleep. Jason goes in there and tells her to try. Inexplicably, this seems to work.
Half-past I've Stopped Looking at the Clock: Grace cries out, Jason does the paci thing.
Quarter till Really? You're Waking Up Again?: Nate calls out, has to be readjusted.
Five minutes after I Hate My Life and Everyone In It: Nate gets up to go potty, runs into the wall and gets a bloody nose. Jason crams tissues up his little nostrils and we put him back to bed.
I think I'm leaving out a few Grace wake-ups, but you get the point.

Finally at about 6am, Nate is up for good. Jason gets up with him. Grace is up at 6:30 and Ava shortly thereafter. And here we are! It's a beautiful morning on our holiday and Jason and I feel like we got run over by a truck. A truck filled with snotty, bloody, peeing children. (Who, of course, we love dearly.)

There's something about being up in the night with kids. At some point, you don't really care if you go back to sleep, you just want it to be morning. You long for the daylight. Because the night seems to go on forever and everything that happens in it seems so surreal. It's always a relief when daylight starts peeking around those hotel curtains. At least with three kids now, I don't freak out about it like I used to. I can almost be amused about it at 3am. Almost.

Well, we have approximately ten hours to re-group and strategize for tonight. Part of our plan is to run the kids up and down the beach until they are too exhausted to move. That usually helps.


  1. Oh that is a pretty beach. But I think I see a shark in the front of the photo.
    I have this image of you guys holding them upright on the beach so that no one is allowed to sleep during the day at all.
    Hope the next night is better!!

  2. It was an endless night for you and Jason, I know. But your account of it was laugh out loud funny! You had me at your thank you to pacifier inventors and I flinched in pain at Nate's busted nose. I hope tomorrow night is better for all. What fun!

  3. That beach is GORGEOUS!

    We are die-hard Nuk users here also.

    And poor little Nate with his bloody nose! I can't even believe that happened... it just figures.

    Hope y'all have a great time and that the rest of your evenings are sleep-filled and blood-free.

  4. I hope the strategizing and the exhaustion led to a better outcome for Night #2.

    And if nothing else, take more pictures of that amazing beach. In case you're too tired to actually enjoy it in the moment.

  5. I kind of lost it when I got to Nate running into the wall. He is the king of strange injuries! Poor buddy, the hazards of a holiday house.

    Isn't it like winter there or something? But it's warm at that beach? Can y'all just have it any way you want it AND free health care?

  6. Five hours north of Sydney...that's like driving to Miami in November. Warm enough for plenty of box jellies, and blue-ring octopus, not to mention saltwater crocs and great white sharks.

  7. oh dear! sorry! hope your second night away is better for y'all!

  8. Ok, I really did giggle out loud at the "Quarter till Really..." part.
    Oh, I've had nights like that.
    VayK is soooooo fun! (for the grandparents)

  9. I've so lived this night. Kids do not understand the meaning of vacation.

  10. Hopefully that was all the kinks working out in one night so the rest of the time is smoooooth.

    You are so right about being up in the middle of the night with kids.

    The beach looks dreamy!

  11. I found your blog from Multiple myeloma for dummies. I see you use the term Matron. In Australia that is a Registered Nurse, are you one? I live in the USA but grew up in Australia. Glad you like it and yet where you are is beautiful. You are about 3 hours away from my family home. Surely they have night lights in Australia? Need to take one on holidays. Take care and have an awesome time.

  12. Thanks, guys! Last night was much better, with only 2 wakeups. Of course, everyone is up and ready to go at 6am--no such thing as sleeping in on holiday! :)

    Hi Janice, thanks for stopping by! We do indeed love it in Australia--pretty much anywhere we've been is beautiful. And no, I'm not a nurse--I named the blog that as kind of a joke. My sister already had a blog called "Suburban Matron" and I used Matron in mine cause I said we were starting a blog franchise. I should probably change it, though. :)

    The night light is a good idea...must add that to the list. Though, knowing my Nate, he'd find some way to still injure himself...perhaps burn himself on the night light bulb? :)

  13. Dang, that is purty.

    See, this is why I never understood the whole co-sleeping thing. When I sleep in a room with Jude I wake up every time he throws his blanket off (every 5 minutes)or coughs or rolls over.

    Once, when Jude and I were in NYC visiting Jimmy's aunt Grace, Jude rolled over in the middle of the night and fell out of bed onto the hardwood floor on his face. He then cried himself back to sleep, but I laid awake all night feeling for lumps to form, because I feared he had a concussion and would die in his sleep. Ugh. Hope Nate's sweet nose is better.

  14. Just laughed so hard my stomach hurts. Ah so so so stinkin funny!

  15. Gretchen--I am the same! I hear every whimper and am always terrified (when they're babies) that they're about to wake up for real.

    Poor little Jude--the only head injuries our kids have had have been right before bedtime, so I was thinking, "Are they sleepy cause it's bedtime or sleepy cause they have a concussion?" Good times.