Today, on day 6, our girls had Taco Bell for the very first time ever. Until today, we have done very well sticking to our wholesome eating practices and making most of our meals in our mini-kitchen.
This morning we went to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. It aptly served its purpose (okay, so maybe it was my purpose) of tiring the girls out, but, unfortunately it tired me out too and so…I caved. I just did not have the energy to whip up something for lunch. So we paid a visit to the Taco Bell drive thru. At the very least, I am thankful our girls ate some meat. They have not been eating a lot of meat recently and I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when they happily ate the soft tacos I ordered for them. So, exactly one day after our three year old smartly told her Daddy, “You shouldn’t eat Donald’s, it’s bad for you,” we had our own fast-food splurge.
Tacos are a messy food to eat, especially on the floor around a coffee table with toddlers who have not quite mastered the fine art of eating a taco. Have I mentioned before that we have no broom or vacuum? Initially I had thought staying in the hotel would be great because the hotel would do all our heavy duty cleaning for us. But, then a few hours after our arrival (and first meal at the hotel), reality hit. I realized there was no way we could live with the insane amount of crumbs our children produced while contently munching away on meals and snacks. Even though the hotel would faithfully clean our room on a daily basis if we asked them too, it would not be enough to keep up with all the crumbs. At home I vacuum or sweep certain areas of our home at least three times a day. Our room was disgusting after a single meal at the hotel. How would we live without a vacuum?
We had an unexpected answer for our crumb dilemma. Enter Moses, our newest family addition. We had been researching and planning getting a puppy for our family since the summer time. We paid for and picked out our puppy before we knew we would be out of town for so long. When we found out we would be out of town, we had our puppy for a month or so and decided to bring him along. I am so very glad we did. He is now about twelve weeks old and has been a tremendous help keeping up with the crumbs and messes.
It has been challenging having a puppy along for sure, but he has made it worth our while with his wonderful clean up skills. I do think he gets a little bored being in the same two rooms, but this has been a good opportunity to work with him on how to walk on a leash. When it is warm out, like today, we take him on long walks. Since he is so little (only about seven pounds), he does not take up much space either. We were supposed to have a room with a sliding door, but that did not happen. So, one of our wonderful challenges has been taking Moses out to the potty. Thankfully, we are on the ground level, right next to the exit. Still, I do not feel comfortable taking Moses out by myself and leaving the girls in the room alone, especially when the girls can open the door to let themselves out. So, we all go to take Moses potty. The first day or two it was quite challenging because it was bitter cold outside, at times in the single digits. Anytime we had to take Moses outside, I had to bundle everyone up in their heavy winter gear just for a five minute potty break. Now that it’s a bit warmer (and supposed to stay that way), it has not been as bad and the girls and I even enjoy taking Moses out on walks around the “block” (our hotel’s exterior) a few times a day.
For every obstacle we have faced so far in our grand hotel adventure, we have had many blessings and pleasant surprises. Tonight, we experienced our sixth fire alarm here. The day we arrived five alarms went off over the course of two hours because the hotel was conducting its annual fire alarm tests. Since then our girls have fearfully asked us before every naptime and bedtime if the fire alarm is going to go off. Each naptime and bedtime, the girls lay in their beds and stare up at the fire alarm blinking on the ceiling above them, wondering and asking if it is going to go off. We have had to constantly reassure the girls that it was just a test and everything is fine. Tonight, however, it was not a test. It was real.
I was getting the girls into their pajamas when the alarm started to go off. I have no idea if this is the norm for fire alarms in hotels, but this particular hotel’s alarm is terrifying. It is deafening, piercing and horrifying to hear, even for me, an adult. As soon as it started to go off, the girls jumped into my lap, petrified, screaming and crying. They were paralyzed with fear and refused to do anything besides cling to me. Even Moses was whimpering and trying to hide underneath me. Knowing it was not a test, I hurriedly finished getting my daughter’s pajamas on, hooked Moses up on his leash, slipped on my flip-flops, grabbed a room key and got out of our room. All the other guests were out of their rooms and in the hallway. I found this reassuring since I was hoping it was not just our room’s alarm going off, that would have been incredibly embarrassing! Ha! Once I conferred with another guest that the alarm was indeed going off in all the rooms, I felt at least a little bit better knowing it wasn’t something in our room that had caused all the ruckus. There was no fire and no smoke that we could see so we all headed down to the front desk. There we met up with the rest of the hotel’s guests. We crammed into the dining room, reception area and nearby halls. The front desk clerk told us there was nothing to do but wait. The alarm was only going off in the rooms. The hallways and front reception area were only a tad bit quieter than the insane noise blaring from our rooms.
The fire trucks came. The police came. The lovely elderly woman next to me leaned over her walker and told me that last week the alarm went off and it was due to a broken pipe. Moses got a lot of attention and we waited- Me in my mix-matched pajamas complete with socks and flip-flops, my one daughter in my other younger daughter’s pajamas (she was “trying them on” when the alarm went off), and my other daughter, in her adorable pajamas, chewing on Moses’ chew toy (don’t worry, we bought it for him but he has yet to chew it, our girls have confiscated it and pretend it’s a binky). What a sight! At least we were easily approachable I suppose. We talked with several different people and the girls got to interact with a few other kids. I got to hear about other people’s dogs and then after about thirty minutes, the alarm went off. The front desk clerk announced there was no fire and we could all return to our rooms. We have no idea why it went off. I am slightly worried our room is going to flood in the night or something of that nature. Still, it was an entertaining evening. We enjoy meeting new people, and, best of all, our girls were so worn out from all the hoopla that they went right to sleep as soon as they laid down that night. For the first time in six nights, they did not ask if the fire alarm was going to go off. They did not look up at the alarm and watch its blinking green light. They simply drifted. Peacefully. Calmly. Quietly.
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