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We just got back from vacation.  We spent last week at a vacation cabin in Heber, AZ.  It was as relaxing as a vacation with three young children can be.  Although it was not our first vacation with all three kids, it really hit home for me this time how not-vacation-like our vacations are now with kids.

Last year we went to Legoland.  It wasn’t relaxing, either.  It wasn’t supposed to be.  We were at Legoland.  It was a death march of fun, as Jeff calls them.  We were there three days.  We woke up, we ate breakfast, we went to the park, we went back to the hotel for naps, we went back to the park, we came back to the hotel for dinner, we collapsed.  Repeat that for three days.  It was exhausting.  I hate the saying, but we did need a vacation from our vacation.

This year it was going to be different.  We went to a spot where there is nothing to do.  The most exciting thing we had planned was fishing.  The big draw for me and Jeff was the lack of activity and the hot tub, which was to be used after the kids’ bedtime.  This was “our” vacation.  No cartoon characters, no $100 entry fee.  Just quiet, cool, and relaxing.

Before we even left, I realized how flawed our plan was.  Katie woke up the day we left with a fever.  Just teething, right?  No big deal.  I’d bring some baby Advil and we’d be good.  We’re still a go.  I felt deep down we were in trouble, but I ignored that little voice.

I knew the two twin beds and the play yard we brought for Katie to sleep in would be in a loft that was open to the living room, but I hoped it wouldn’t matter too much.  This is proof that I am optimistic to the point of insanity.  An open loft where three kids are sleeping together?  Oh yeah, Lisa, that’s going to work out just great.  Are there kittens there too?  What about a sno cone machine? No one even attempted sleep until well after 9.

Remember that little teething-related fever Katie had?  She was up most of the first night.  I couldn’t leave her in her bed because the other kids were right next to her.  Now, they are pretty sound sleepers, but I can’t take that chance.  So, she and I were up from 1 until 3.  The next night was better, but not much.  She was up from 11 to 1.

Wednesday was really the last straw.  Ellie woke up at midnight with a fever too.  I guessed her fever to be around 103, Jeff concurred.  She was miserable and restless.  She ended up in our bed with me and Jeff slept on the couch.  I suggested her bed, but he is more cautious than even me when it comes to potentially waking up kids.  All day Thursday she was cranky and sick.

Everyone slept just fine on Thursday night.  Finally.  Just in time to leave at 10 AM on Friday.

Let’s recap the other action.  We did hike, but mostly it was me carrying Katie the entire mile and a half and Jeff carrying Ellie most of it.  Fishing was fun for James but the girls bored easily of it.  We tried to go to some vista points, but Ellie was too cranky and James was too nervous.  James and Ellie did “swim” in the hot tub but Katie wasn’t allowed and that really made her mad.  Let’s just sum up the down time with “thank goodness for satellite tv”.

It was more relaxing than Legoland.  It was not as relaxing as staying in a cabin in the middle of nowhere without three kids.  I guess I have to re-evaluate my concept of relaxing and vacation.  Vacations for the next few years are just not going to be for me or for the purpose of restfulness.