Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, joyeux noel and happy Kwanzaa!

We spent the last week out in Boulder, CO visiting extended family and it was a great time. After 12 hours of trains, planes and automobiles, we're back home in Boston, ready to start "real life" again tomorrow.

Christopher goes to YMCA vacation camp and I go back to work. Bah humbug. But hey, someone's gotta pay the mortgage, right?

The week away was really nice and it was great to see family. Everyone was incredibly generous with their gifts too: My sister got Christopher a Razor scooter and a cool helmet. She also bought me a cappuccino maker so now I can stop going to Starbucks and start enjoying tasty coffee drinks right in my own home. Nice right???

Christopher adored spending time with his auntie and with his two cousins, who are close to age with him. The up side was, the kids had a lot of fun playing together. The down side was, sometimes play turned into loud, screaming chaos.

With three kids ages 5, 6 and 7, all over-stimulated, over-sugared and not getting enough sleep, even the most well adjusted child will melt down. Try having a special needs kiddo with ADHD, ODD and PTSD and as you can imagine it all got a bit insane at times. Each day Christopher seemed to lose more impulse control and the defiance increased in frequency. We tried going out to dinner on our last night there and all the boys did was fight, which made we two moms ready to rip our hair out. I'm pretty sure the other patrons at Outback Steakhouse were happy when we were done and gone that evening. Thank you come again....not.

Then there's the travel. Christopher's actually a really good airline traveler--better than I am, if I am to be honest. I get so stressed that I'm going to be late and miss my flight or forget something important like my wallet or that I won't find parking in the economy lot, etc. etc. For some reason when we travel, Christopher's the calm one and I feel like the raving lunatic until I'm safely buckled into my seat. I joked with the woman next to me in the security line that I think it's the only time of year that I wish I had a Xanax prescription. (Kidding! Well sort of...)

Now the airlines also really do not make it easy to travel during the holidays. First, everything is just so unbelievably expensive. I don't even want to tell you what I paid for those tickets. On top of that, you get on the plane and they want to charge you for "premium seats", which frankly, don't seem all that premium-ish to me. If you want to watch DirectTV, it's $8.00 per TV screen per flight. So for us, just getting to Denver it would have been $32 if I had chosen that option ($64 round trip). No thank you! I loaded up the Kindle with movies and games for Christopher and I chose to read a book. Last but not least, no airline peanuts. If you want any sort of food, even a snack, you're now paying out of pocket for it and it's pretty crappy. Needless to say, we ate in the airport.

When I booked the flight, I couldn't select my seats yet. Fine. So I waited and went back to the site last week to select seats, only to find that most seats had been chosen and there were only some random singles left. So did that mean I wouldn't be sitting next to my young child for 4 hours? Pretty much. When I got to the airport, I tried to get the United people to help me, all to no avail. It was a full aircraft, nothing we can do, blah blah blah. Finally, I had to beg the nice man sitting next to Christopher to switch with me just so I could sit next to my young child. Thankfully he did, or else I would have had to pay for those "premium seats" to ensure Christopher didn't start screaming and crying without me there. Yeesh. Honestly, next time I fly out to Colorado, I'm flying JetBlue. United just kind of stunk. So not family friendly.

Now we're home, Christopher's asleep and I'm just about ready to call it a night myself. I hope all who read this has had a wonderful Christmas season themselves and I look forward to a momentous and enjoyable 2014 as well. Cheers!

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