Oh, Yeah, So Like, We Went To Great Wolf Lodge Again, And Stuff...
Saturday 9: I Will Survive

Great Wolf Lodge Re-Re-Visited, Take Two


Ah, now, that's more like it, hmm? If you read that last post, I'm sorry. I won't go there this time. So, last week, we went back to Great Wolf Lodge for an early Christmas celebration, because I got a fantastic deal on a killer room. I mean, look at it! Here's Rob going UP THE STAIRS - yes, our hotel room had two levels - to the kids' loft. Rock on, dudes! That meant we could get our groove on downstairs without having kids sleeping in the bed next to us. You know what I'm talking about. And ohhhh, yes, we did. What's better than hotel sex? Okay, once again, I'm completely diverging from the intended discussion. But I rarely backspace except to correct typos, so, um, now you get to know that little factoid about our lives. Moving on. (It was great. Thanks for asking.)



Of course, Chloë and Sophia couldn't wait to play peeky-peek at us downstairs, from the ledge of the loft (cue all the helicopter parents cringing and screeching, "Oh, my GOD, they could fall to their deaths doing that!!"), but I'm apparently not one of those, because I was peeved Jack wouldn't climb up on whatever table on which they were standing to do the same thing. Chicken. Chicken and dumplings, for that matter. Whatever that means.


After they checked out their loft and squealed a billion times about how awesome it was to have their OWN bathroom and floor, we had a little photo sesh on Mom & Dad's bed (well, there were two downstairs, plus a pull-out couch, so we could've roomed in with another family, but who in the hell wants to do that?! Not this blahga, thanks). This was the best of the lot. "The lot" consisting of this and one other picture, before I got bored of that. What makes me laugh about this picture is threefold: (a) It's obvious that the youngest child, in the middle, is by far the biggest and is therefore some kind of freakshow (hey, I've offered to let him do a DNA test; I swear she's his or she'd, um, have a much nicer tan and kinky hair...), (b) NONE of their socks match either their outfits or each other, and (c) Sophie's clothes came from my "too small, must take to consignment" pile, which she must've raided without my paying attention. Did y'all notice any of that, or are you not the "Find the 10 differences between these two pictures" types?

 Right. So.


I had planned on getting to the Lodge at, oh, 11 AM or so that day. Instead, we rushed so hard we ended up getting there at, like, 7 PM! Don't ask me to explain why; I hardly remember the kids' names most of the time, let alone that. But that left us just enough time to quickly explore the hotel room and then shower and put on PJs before story time. I didn't want a picture of Sophie's posterior, so instead I ended up with this terrific, "WHAT, Mom?!!" shot when I called out her name on the way down the hall. I am so great at photography.


Chloë, ever the modeling poseur, hamming for me when we arrived in the lobby, about 3½ seconds too late to catch the nightly snowfall. Dangit! That's all I was looking forward to, too! My life, it is Teh Suck. *le sigh*


Sophia, during story time, completely oblivious to her mother's frantic waving and face-making to get a decent shot... And what's up with those pupils, anyway? She high or something?


After story time ended, we still had a good 35 minutes before the waterpark closed for the night, so I asked the kids whether they wanted to dash back to our room to put on our swimming pannies (as I'm wont to call them, because I'm kewl) and get in a quick half-hour of splashy fun (well, I can't be that cool, if I wrote that) or stay upstairs in the lobby to catch the next snowfall. Of course, they opted for waterpark, now that they're no longer convinced water play is from The Debbul. Here, the girls are waiting for the huge jagillion-gallon bucket to dump on them - always a family favorite.


(I'm back! My wireless keyboard batteries died. Didja miss me? Thought so.)

So yeah, Rob's in there, wearing a wet suit. It's a good thing he brought it, too, because my genius child, there, Chloë, left my bathing suit on the couch at home, after I asked her to put it in the suitcase! Thank God I can fit in all Rob's clothes now, so I didn't have to either miss out on the fun entirely or get arrested going in there with the lady business hanging out. I wore his trunks with my tankini top, and he wore that. And no one batted an eye, either, because have you seen some of the shit that people will wear in public swimming areas? Hello, if you're a size 20, do not go to the beach/pool/indoor-or-outdoor waterpark with your chubs squeezed (squozen?) painfully into a 14, with everything that wouldn't fit hanging out. And I can say that, because I have been way past a size 20, and I covered my junk up. I mean, damn.



Jacky loves to wear his bathing suit shirt, even though its main purpose is to protect him from the sun, so we brought that thing, too. But more importantly, how cute does Chloë look, skipping through the water, when she's not actively posing for Vogue Tween™ magazine? (The lighting inside the waterpark itself is wicked weird, so yes, these are the best I could do after my major editing with free software.)


Soon, the waterpark closed, and it was time to head back to the Den of Iniquity, aka, our room. Room 4047, not that that will help you find us now, because we be back home an' stuff. Anyway, what? Who? Lookee there! Jack decided to play peeky-peek after all. So maybe he isn't chicken and dumplings. Maybe he's just... chick? Wait, no. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)



The following day, we slept in super late - and by that, I mean, everyone else did, while I woke up at stupid o'clock as usual and waited for daylight - instead of getting up an hour before the waterpark opened like we planned. Why didn't I wake everyone else up, then, if I was awake, you wonder? Listen. I don't know if you have kids, and if you do, whether they are total grumpypants when they wake up before they've slept enough, but mine ARE. And I didn't want to deal with a whiny, cranky, moody grumpypants trio all day when it was supposed to be Happy Family Christmastime for us. So we woke up in time to pack up and check out, after a breakfast repast in the room, and that we did.

On the way back to the Lodge from Penelope (our van), because your waterpark passes are still good all day after you check out, I had the kids pose for me again. If I didn't already have Christmas outfits picked out for them, this might have been what you'd be getting in the mail from us this year. Hell, it still might, since the intended photos have yet to be taken, thanks to a photographer who apparently doesn't know how to reply to his emails in a timely manner. Maybe I'll just take them myself. I am as talented as Dorothea Lange, after all, and yes, I totally did a Swagbucks search for "Famous Female Photographers" for that. I referenced Annie L. too recently to mention her again. Aagh, I just did! You tricksters!


Our non-mystery-shop budget for dining out being quite stinted these days, we brought our own food for all our meals except this sweet treat from the Bear Paw - and the only reason I even allowed that was because it was our Advent activity for the day. Not that we adhere strictly to what I place in the daily Advent checklist, because we've done about 10% of our activities on time so far this year, but still. I budgeted for this, and so it must be, gosh darn it! (There, now, you can see the resemblance between Sophia and her siblings, right??? I know. I can't either. I'm such a teaser.)



Rob scamming some of Jack's chocolate icy cream, to the child's chagrin...

 And yeah. I did, too. I tried Chloë's strawberry sorbet as well, but you weren't getting me near Sophie's cotton candy flavor. Just... ick. Really? That should be outlawed. I'd rather eat mustar...ah! Gotcha 'gain! No way I'd eat that poison.



Here's my artsy-pants picture of Chloë drooling over all the candy choices in the shoppe. I should put out a coffee table book, I swear.


The kids were all keen to do this robofusion ice cream sensation that was kickin' it in the area outside the regular ice cream parlah, but, it was seven bucks, and you know money doesn't grow on trees, people. So I took a crappy picture of them in front of it and promised we'd do it next time. Seven dollars! As if! It's not like I'm LiLo getting a million bucks to pose for Hefner, here. (See, I'm all about the pop culture.)



Ice cream eaten, we were thoroughly chilled, so we headed back inside the park of water for some hot tubbing. My boys are sharing a moment, here, I wrote, pointing out the obvious.


Chloë enjoying the warmth and hopefully not adding to it herself.

They do that, you know. Kids. Don't drink the water. How do you think I ended up with this heinous dysentery from which I suffer?


Sophia, drowning in the vest that was supposed to protect her, even though she can swim. Daddy insists, and Mommy generally defers to his preferences on issues of safety. As soon as I took the picture(s), I went and got her one that fit. A size small, because after all, she really isn't BIG for her age. She's right at the 50th percentile. For an infant, but still. No, for real, she's just average. Blah blah.


I love Jack with spikey hair; I just never remember to do it most times. I'm gonna add that to my short list of New Year's Resolutions, because it is of global importance how his hair is coifed.


An hour before the Cub Club closed for the day, we decided to quit the waterpark and change into dry clothes. The kids love the Cub Club, but they weren't so thrilled with it this time, because there weren't any free crafts to do like there have been in the past. Bummer. So the girls colored, and Jack complained watched a movie. He's never been a big consumer of Crayola products.


I'm surprised he even let me photograph his grumpiness, because normally when he's in that mood and the camera points his way, I get this:


...which I did, moments later. Eh, whatever. He was just tired.



One of my favorite things about kids is when they concentrate on something. Anything. I love that. Love. That. They could be about to set the house on fire or set off a bomb or something, but if they're concentrating, I don't care. Kodak moment.


 All of the kids eventually got 'round to playing with this puppet bird, which was all well and good, except for the incessant squawking. I wanted to kill the thing. That's right. I wanted to annihilate an inanimate object. It was like the toy that the mean uncle who hates you gets for your kids because it's the most obnoxious one they can find, and they don't have kids so there's no chance for payback. STFU, YOU DUMB PUPPET BIRD! Look at me, I'm getting all worked up over it again. I'm sweating.



I'm back again, after some deep breathing. I like it when Rob participates with the kids' activities and stuff, but really he was checking out Facebook or Texts From Last Night or YouTube or some damn thing on his iPhone. And wearing my shirt, I might add. See. We share.


Oh, hey, what's up? That would be me. Yup, I was there, too. And d'ya know who took this picture of The Self? Soph. Yup, the babe. I entrusted her with the Nikon for precious few seconds, all the while worrying more about the camera than the kid, so she could capture photographic evidence of my presence on this mini-vacay. There, now, give it back.

(Also, do you guys know what I did with all my nose jewelry? Because, while I love this one, I've been sporting it for, like, six months or two years or something, and I can't find where I put all the rest of my nosy posies. I bet you that Sophie has 'em up in her bed or something. She would do that. She's probably got all kinds of secret piercings I don't want to know about.)

(Strikethrough rulez.)


And then I had my camera back, and then Sophia was busy on her next crafty project, and then I called her name, and then she looked up, and then I took the picture, and then I got this, and I liked it.

Yep, she's a Lefty. A Southpaw. Like her Aunt Gail, Rob's sister. I feel sorry for me, though, because even though it's a right-hander's world, I'm the poor fool who has to teach her to do stuff backward, and my non-spatial brain simply can not manage it most of the time.


Ah, actual participation with a child. The phone must've been dead. {Snark, snark}

I lay down there next to them shortly thereafter and attempted to doze off until it was time to go, but I couldn't. And I can't just lay around and do nothing, ever, so I got back up for a few more snaps before we hit the road.


I don't know why it annoys me so much when I feel like Chloë is playing "beneath her age," or whatever, but it does. She's the oldest, so she should be super-mature, right? Yet, she's not. I've talked it over with her doctors, and we chalk it up to the fact that her whole entire being is immature compared to her chronological age, but I still find it annoying. I'm such a bitch sometimes. (I can admit it, you know.)

Right after this, everyone agreed they'd had enough of the Lodge, and we skedaddled up on out o' that puppy. And literally less than 10 minutes later, bing-bang-boom, all four of the rest of Team Odette were asleep in the car, while I drove home, wishing I were, too.



One last photo, an Instagram from my own much-beloved iPhone: Sophia does this thumb-suck-while-flashing-the-"I love you"-sign frequently, and I adore it. She is pretty cute, despite being a huge (and near-constant) pain in the rear. It's the only reason we haven't given her away to the Pitt-Jolies yet. Well, that and we love her.

So that was the third trip to Le Lodge of Great Wolves, and though we were on the strictest of budgetations, we enjoyed it more than Trek Two. Next time, and there will be a next time, we have new things planned. So if we go again, read that, too. Even if the pictures are the same, after all, the words will be different, and who writes better than I do?

No one, that's who. No one.

(Ha, even I laughed out loud on that one. Of all my mental issues, a superiority complex is not among them. Which is not to say that I'm not a snob. Separate things, peeps. But this post is over, and I'm still yakking, so I better wrap it up quickly before I lose even my own interest. Y'all come back now, y'hear?)


P.S. Shoot, there's, like, 27 things I wanted to mention, but forgot, because I didn't photograph them. And no, I'm not talking about the things mentioned in the first paragraph, piggy-wiggies! Oh, well. I've asked myself to shut up now, and I aim to please.