meet me in Indiana

27 October 2014

You will all be so disappointed to read that I'm pretty confident this is the last conference trip Simon is taking within driving distance of St. Louis and therefore the last conference trip in which we can tag along and blog about. So disappointed, I know.

But, savor this last one full of crisp cell phone snaps and precious memories.

Let's begin by stating, for the record, that Simon kept assuring me that the drive to Indianapolis was, "an easy three hours away" but in reality, it was actually a grueling 5.5 hours full of traffic and angry children. It was fine. In the moment those drives are so full of hair pully hours and resolves to never ever ever travel again but once we get there, all is usually forgiven.

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit apprehensive about marching into the very nice hotel lobby with the ragamuffins. It would be totally understandable if the hotel staff bristled. Simon says rental houses should require that tenants put down a child deposit rather than a pet deposit because kids are far more destructive then animals and so ... a slight bristle was almost expected.

we're not that innocent

But instead of giving us the up/down and asking the pointed, "and how many people will be staying in your room?" questions they were so gracious and warm. It was awesome. They let the kids pick little toys out of a basket (HEAVEN for the older three, Phoebebadger did not care - like always), and kept smiling in our direction. At one point Theo decided he didn't want to stand with Simon who was checking in but wanted to come back to the fold with Mom and the gang. So he ran across the lobby and dropped his blankie in the process. The concierge picked it up and wrapped it around his shoulders like a cape ...


... Theo says no words but was so thrilled and I have to admit that I was taken aback by his kindness.

Chugging along. Let's move beyond check-in, Speedy Gonzpatton.

Oh-que.

The room!


Here we have the big kids up at some ungodly hour and totally and completely mesmerized by the free ice from the row of ice machines on the second floor.

The bathroom was big enough to fit a portacrib. Praise the LORD. It made all the difference getting Theo down for his (mucho necessario) afternoon naps and getting him to bed for his (also necessary) early bedtime. The trip would've probably gone down 89 quality points if he had had to sleep out with the commoners in the actual sleeping area.

The more you know.

One of the nights we walked over to the mall for a little food court dining. There was also some sort of christian women's conference going on at the neighboring conference center so when we saw that the mall was hosting ...


... complete with booming top 40 beats spun by a deejay and a fashion show featuring one of the Real Housewives of New York (I didn't see/hear which one because Phoebe was having a leedle bit of a meltdown so I had to mallwalk with her for a few and I'll never forgive myself) I knew we were in for a treat.

Let's just say the dance routine (that Julia still talks about, terrible parents!) that was performed to some bumping Beyonce was maybe not totally appreciated by all of our fellow food court patrons. The awkward permeated the air.

Part of Girl's Night Out was a table full of Cinnabon samples and Theo took full advantage of the situation ...


by the end of the night the Cinnabon gals were bringing him new sugar whenever they noticed he was out. He was a smitten sugar rushed little kitten.

I promise we did more than just go out to eat but Simon had a little window of free time during one of the days so we decided to try to find some food outside of the hotel Starbucks/attached mall downtown. At one point we pulled over to Google, "family friendly restaurants in downtown Indianapolis" and it turns out we were parked right in front of the first placed listed. Fortuity for the vin.

Outside said establishment ...


It was 57 degrees. Julia GRACE Patton for a reason.

One of the most exciting 90 minutes of the entire trip was when all the kids magically fell asleep at the same time. God bless sound machines.


forever and ever ...


... Amen.

worth noting:

+ We met up with my cousins, Jimmy and Bryan, who are 2/3 of a set of triplets for dinner one night. They are in their first year of dental school and I went the entire meal unable to tell them apart.  After about seven minutes of enjoying our company one of them (I think it was Jimmy) commented, "it's like kids are a full time job!!" ....


... indeed.

+ I took the kids to Target to buy Simon a black belt because he forgot his. It was about as exciting as it sounds.

+ So many people suggested we hit up the children's museum and I was a total lame-o and didn't heed their advice. Mostly because I can barely make it through a grocery trip with some of them contained so I can't really imagine a museum situation (Bash is a runner and does not care if I'm out of sight for an eternity) and the last (and only) time we went to the St. Louis children's museum a few years ago the kids proceeded to get more sick than they have ever been. Three weeks of super sick and super hell that left me with a bad case of children's museum PTSD. And yes, I'm obviously totally fine with taking the kids to the hospital on a weekly basis, my logic knows NO bounds. This was not worth noting. I'm sorry.

+ And while I wasn't there to see Simon give his presentation I'm positive that he did a phenomenal job, Target black belt and all.

The End.
Forever.
We'll most certainly miss our conference trips but I know you'll miss them more. 


47 comments:

  1. I'm so glad I'm not the only mom who sticks pack n plays in bathrooms while traveling. Tindra and Jasper have slept in more bathrooms than I can count. Also for the Real win, we were staying at a super fancy hotel two summers ago and convinced Jasper (just under 5 at the time) that wanted to sleep IN the tub. Which was big enough for like 3 adults and we covered it in towels and then cushions...yeah winners here.

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    1. cracking up!! we tried that once in a similarly huge tub but Sebastian flipped so in the crib he went. So happy we are not alone! :)

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    2. I LOVE the tub story! Noting that for future stays. The bathroom is totally a bedroom, is it not? We've also used the little hotel closets (what? not up to fire code??)

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  2. This might be really weird, but what I you have to actually USE the bathroom during the night?!?!

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    1. this bathroom was pretty big so we could still sneak in if necessary but luckily, it wasn't :)

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    2. And hey, what are lobby bathrooms for? :)

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  3. Love that picture of the four little Pattons looking so well-behaved in the hotel lobby. And apparently Jimmy is the observant one! ;)

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  4. Heeeeyo those triplets single?! ;) sounds like a fun trip!!

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    1. I'd like to second this inquiry ;) And Grace, please stop apologizing for these conference posts! We love anything and all things to do with the Patton clan.

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  5. We love the museum there so much that we have a pass and we live in Chicago! But, I think if you don't have an extra big person with you, it's better to skip it. With 2 adults? Or 1 adult and a teen? Or 1 adult and 2 over-10 kids? (Can I come up with a new combo?) Then, I would say "GO!"! They have hand sanitizer stations everywhere and we haven't contracted any dread diseases, so they must work!

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  6. All I could think about a black belt was Karate. I was like "don't you have to earn that?"
    "Simon Does Karate" Anew blog series?

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  7. Love being able to virtually travel with the Patton clan! It gives me hope that one day, I can some back here and say, "I am not alone" as I am shoving my kid in a bathroom to sleep :)

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  8. We hang out at Indys children's museum like it's our job (I mean, isn't it???) BUT I will say that we ALL came down with the absolute worst case of hand, foot, and mouth from a children's museum in Chicago.

    Never again, I tell you. Never again.

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  9. I for one will absolutely miss the trips, I take serious notes on traveling with four! Like the pack and play in the bathroom....saved our vacation over the summer, since the boys like to engage in a little wwe smack down around bedtime and Avalon is not much for wrestling. So thank you for that tip! But if no more trips I guess I can take notes on your costco runs, because surely it will take months for me to work up the courage to do that when number four comes long.

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  10. I love your trip notes. :)
    Hope the drive home is a lot happier!
    And Julia's pigtails - oh SO cute!

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  11. the man putting the blanket around theo like a cape!

    i love people who are nice to little kids.

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  12. i can totally see the children's museum being more germy than the hospital as ridiculous as that sounds. hospitals are constantly sterilizing everything...museums, not as much. and a children's museum especially will just be a breeding ground for many children's diseases...blech.
    also - Bash looks like a teenager in that picture of him snoozing.

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  13. Julia GRACE Patton...... that made me giggle! As did the accompanying picture.

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  14. We also ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a Lightening McQueen within finger's proximity.

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  15. alright, this was probably the one thing i wasn't supposed to pick up on, but can you tell me where you find pants for julia that DON'T show her bottom?? my 3.5-year-old is constantly plumbing. it's awful on many levels, not the least of which, i'm sure, is her discomfort! (oh, and modesty. that too, right?) it just can't feel good. help a sister-mother out?

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    Replies
    1. Hanna Andersson - from Costco :)

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    2. costco carries hanna andersson??? whaaaa??? alright, thank you for ALL this insightful knowledge. :) carry on, mama! i hope the camp is especially kind to you today.

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  16. We take frequent road trips and I have anxiety with my ONE (soon to be two). Bug eyed emoji at doing it with FOUR!
    And yes, I totally thought you were buying Simon a black belt in karate at Target... Guess you can get anything there!
    www.shhmommysdrinking.com

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  17. Trips are fun for everyone but Mom. I get so stressed trying to remember everything. and yes, kids are a full time job. haha

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  18. I know this is unrelated but could you do a post on your running tips? I'm 4 months PP and I am starting to workout more and eat pop tarts less and would like to hear some tips from someone who's blog doesn't consist of 39746593 marathon medal pictures. Na' mean?

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    1. haha oh gosh. Sometimes I run around two blocks as fast as I can (which is slow) when Simon gets home and sometimes I do the first three weeks of couch to 5k -- repeat, repeat, repeat. I don't have any good tips -- I need to be more consistent but it's really tough with Simon's unpredictable exit time from work

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  19. This was such a nice blend of good memories, sweet people, funny anecdotes that it made me smile and be really happy for you. Hotel staying with multiple children basically makes me insane. I mean, I do it, but I usually regret it.

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  20. What is it about hoteling with my children that makes me want to give up and become a hermit in the desert? For honesty's sake, though, I hated hotels as a child, too. I've always been a total peach about my coveted sleep.

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    1. haha. I must be a rare breed because I LOVE hotels. I love getting away - even when it is kind of a headache with the kids ;)

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  21. Good point about the Children's Museum (germs)

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    1. I'm really not a germaphobe at ALL -- I'm sure it was just a terrible coincidence :)

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  22. Awww, I love friendly hotel staff. Your kids are so sweet. :)

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  23. Those husbands. We've had to go to target for black belts and dress shoes while away for conferences and weddings.

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  24. My hubby travels a tonne for work... and I've always fantasized about taking the little bunch along (3, 3 yrs and under). You make it seem like it might actually be doable!

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  25. My 3yo is a runner, as in escape artist. I sharpie my cell number on her arm when we go places, or if it's winter put a luggage tag through the hanging loop in her jacket (sticking out so responsible adults can see it when her shoe leather gives out.)

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  26. But seriously, they should design some sort of a hamster wheel for toddlers, it would solve all the energy problems in the world.

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  27. We just have 3 kids (11, 4, and 2), and this spring our oldest played for a travel basketball team and we had to stay in hotels 5 or 6 times. It took exactly one trip to realize that it was worth the little splurge to us to stay at a Staybridge or similar "suite" hotel. Staybridge usually has a 2 BR suite that has 1 bedroom with 2 queen-sized beds and 1 bedroom with a king-sized bed--both closed off from the living area that has a kitchenette. We stuck all the kids in the bedroom with the queen beds and it was total blissssssssss!

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  28. I am right there with y'all on 57 being freezing cold! I am tempted to break out the fleece when it drops below 70. Pure-blooded Southerner here.

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  29. So glad you enjoyed our fair city! It looks like you went to the Old Spaghetti Factory with your cousins. If you ever get back to Indianapolis, you should definitely visit the Children's Museum. It's a great place to visit!

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  30. Ahh, sound machines. We would all be miserable without ours!!

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  31. I'll just add to the chorus - your cousins are Yuppp! Conference for the win ;0)

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  32. A child deposit!!!! Hahahahahahaha!

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  33. I come from Indiana and we just love babies and families there so much! Right now we liveon the east coast and it's so weird to us that we are in the minority being married with a baby in our mid and late twenties. Thankfully I started a Catholic moms group and found some other ppl our age with kids! I definitely miss the young family mentality that is so well embraced in parts of the good ole Midwest, though. :)

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  34. You were in MY city! I only have one child and taking him to the Children's Museum by myself doesn't sound like fun - let alone 4 children. Hey, have you used those leashes yet? I always thought those were awful until my brother & his wife had twins. BUT then my nieces started running in circles at the mall and my sister-in-law was in the center of this show just spinning in circles until one of the little munchins tripped and the show ended for all of the people that were giggling as they walked by! Whew...maybe those AREN'T a great idea! Nevermind.

    Thanks for another entertaining post. Now that I am a Mommy I can really count on you for entertainment on parenting! :) I seriously think Simon married Superwoman...just sayin'

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  35. Oh come on, those munchkins are ADORABLE! Glad to hear things worked out for you all in the end :D

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