During those first few week after we made the decision for Justin to accept the new job in Philly, it seems like we hardly had a second to talk to each other. I was forever taking the kids here or there to get them out of the way so that Justin could work on the house. Then when we got here to PA, Justin was immediately working long hours. He traveled almost immediately. And at that first hotel, there was the added problem of no bedrooms, so once the kids were asleep we had to be super quiet so as not to wake them up. The main floor bedroom opened to the living room, and the second bedroom was upstairs in the loft, which was open with a half wall (the one I was afraid they might throw themselves over). We solved that one problem a week in by moving hotels. The new hotel wasn't as pretty, but it had separate bedrooms, and that was more important to us.
We lived in that hotel for two and a half months. All of the kids grew one clothing size. Alexander lost two teeth. Kai quickly seemed to forget that we had ever lived anywhere else and insisted that the hotel was our house. We were on a first name basis with most of the staff. It did actually start to feel a bit like home, if only in the sense that when you get "home" after a long day of whatever, you have that sense of comfort and relief.
There were perks to living in a hotel, but even those perks came with a cost (not a financial cost... the company was paying for our stay). Yes, we had a daily maid, but that also meant that not just one, but at least two people were coming into our "home" at totally random times every single day. One guy would come for the dirty towels anywhere between 8:30AM and 11AM. The maid never came at the same time. Sometimes it was 9AM, sometimes 4PM. I also had to depend on other people to do things for me that would have been easier to do myself, if I had had the tools or resources needed. For example, I had to wait for them to take out my trash, even thought it always filled up more quickly than they could empty it. And when Kai spilled popcorn all over the carpet or Noah puked on our sheets, I had to either call and ask for help or deal with it in creative ways. I did like it when I timed it just right, went out with the kids for a while on our "full clean" day and came back to a magically clean suite. Mmmmm, I do like the smell of a freshly bleached bathroom! Justin and I joked, though, that a maid who doesn't do dishes or laundry is practically useless to us!
And then there were the meals. We really were quite lucky that the hotel offered free hot breakfast every day and dinner three times a week. The downfall was that it meant that my children dined in public ten times a week. I often felt like an exhibit at the zoo, the way that people looked at us. To be fair, I got complimented almost every single day on how beautiful my boys were, or how cute, or how funny, or how I was doing a great job handling all of them. For some reason people seem to be pretty chatty at hotels!
We did have some summer fun amidst the chaos of relocation tasks. The kids and I found several fun playgrounds. We took walks around our hotel grounds, played with sidewalk chalk, and were able to visit the pool a few times. There was a Chuck E Cheese not too far away that we enjoyed. The kids made forts pretty much every single day. We got lots of visits from PopPop and his blocks and puzzles. The kids were also allowed way too much TV and video game time, but we all survived with sanity somewhat intact. Everyone had some meltdowns as we all adjusted, but I guess that is to be expected.
I realize how incredibly lucky we are, especially with the housing situation... and I guess that can be another post.