Memory Making Trips

This past weekend we took a trip to Altoona, Iowa to go to Adventureland. We left Friday evening when Chris got home from work. It was about a 2 hour drive for us. The hotel we stayed at had a small indoor waterpark, so we spent a little more than an hour there that night. Saturday morning we woke up bright and early. We got to the park right before it opened. We went on maybe 3 or 4 rides and Bug was already tired-seeming. Everyone was hot and eager to get to the waterpark side, so we decided to head towards that direction. On the way, the kids rode a couple of rides.

We got to the waterpark and found some chairs to keep our stuff at. Bug started to fall asleep in the stroller. I took him out to see if he wanted to go in the water, but he really just wanted to sleep. I decided to try and let him take a nap so I stayed with him for a bit while everyone else went in the water.

It was super hot out and I was afraid the heat was also getting to Bug. I decided I should wet the towel he was laying on and also wrap it on him to help keep him cool. He slept off and on for maybe 45 minutes. By this point it was lunch time and Chris had brought some hot dogs and walking tacos to me. Bug woke up and was able to eat his whole hotdog. Everyone else came back to eat and then we decided to head over to the wave pool. I decided to sit on the edge of the “beach” with Bug. Immediately he seemed to hate it, I thought maybe because it was cold water. He was crying and then I noticed he seemed sorta strange. It seemed like he was going to puke, but then he was okay for a minute. I decided to get up and pick him up and we walked to the corner edge of the wave pool so we weren’t in the water. Then all of a sudden he started gagging and vomiting. I had to use my chest and cup my hand to catch all the puke, trying to keep it from hitting the ground and especially the water. The closest trashcan seemed like a mile away, but I kept catching the puke while maneuvering my way to it and repeatedly telling Bug that he is okay.

There was a lot of people making their way into the area. Most of them didn’t even seem to notice what was happening to me, enough to get out of my way. I did overhear one “ewwww” and one guy said, “I remember when my son did that (and laughter)”. But luckily I made it to the trash and was able to carefully throw away what was in my hand in there. The rest of the family was busy in the waves and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get their attention. I felt like I didn’t really have the time to spend on that either. I had to hurry and take Bug back to our chairs, which was clear on the other side of the waterpark. I made it back, cleaned him off (the bathrooms had lines forever long), and wrapped him back up in the cool towel. He started falling asleep on me again. Surely I was already trying to plan how we would leave. Do I have them page Chris? Can they even do that? Surely Chris will see that I am gone and come to find me. Where is the closest air conditioning?

I decided to take everything out of the stroller so bug could lay there and I could try to at least find some shade. There wasn’t anywhere to go really. The bar had a small shaded area, but it wasn’t any better in there than it was outside of it. I went back and started cleaning up our stuff. I took some things to the trash and realized the family was coming back; thank goodness. I told them what happened and told Chris that we needed to get Bug back to the hotel.

At first Pickle was going to stay with my sister, 2 brothers, and my nephew, but then quickly changed his mind. He told me he was having a headache and wanted to go back to the room. My nephew decided he wanted to come back with us because he didn’t want to have to ride the thrill rides later on. Chris and I took all the kids back to the hotel. We got Bug to take some tylenol and he fell asleep. He woke up after about 2 hours, still not quite himself. I had Chris go get some powerade for him. Half asleep, he was able to drink some. It didn’t take long for him to perk up after that. By a couple hours later, he seemed back to normal. I really think it was a mixture of motion sickness and heat exhaustion that got him. Since he is only 2, he doesn’t know how to say what his body feels. He just cries and yells. We did wind up going to dinner at the Iowa Machine Shed that night. If you ever go there, wear stretchy pants and plan to have leftovers 😅.

The second day we went back to the park and everything went so much better! Everyone rode all the rides they wanted to and then we finished back at the waterpark side. Bug absolutely loved it this time! He loves waterslides and kept waiting for the lifeguard to give him a little push. He was cracking me up.

We also managed to go back to the wave pool and had so much fun! No puking! Woohoo!

The ride home afterwards was a little crazy. Bug was tired and irritable, but wouldn’t sleep. The tablets weren’t working and the kids weren’t having that. I decided to put on a movie on my phone for them to watch. It didn’t take long before Monkey was bored of it. She started coloring in her princess coloring book and somehow that lead to her giving me nail art and tattoos (with markers). We finally got home, unloaded our stuff, bathed the kids, and it was time for bed.

I’m no longer calling these trips vacations because as a mom, there was only about 2% of the time for me to relax. Even my sister made a comment to me during the waterpark that “mom never gets a break” when Bug just had to have me hold him instead of allowing Chris to. I am the carrier of all the things, the nurse, the human koala, the child wrangler, the safety coordinator, the sit on the side lines mom/aunt when littles can’t or won’t ride, and the car ride entertainer/referee/foodanddrink server/trash wrangler. Vacations with the kids will be known as memory making trips going forward. Perhaps I need to plan a vacation for myself soon, hmmm.

Overall though, I think everyone had a good time. And that is all I could really ask for.

🎢 jenn

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