We each arrived from our corner of the province - tired. i won't go into every intimate detail about why we were tired... let your imagination be your guide. (If right now you're picturing travelling with 6 children in a cramped Honda van... keep goin'. If you're picturing the baby screaming everytime he wants something & a fight breaking out in the backseat over a McDonalds toy... yeh, you're on the right track... Throw in some noisy conversation and shushing children while daddy has a business meeting on his blackberry - gettin' warmer... )
After checking into the hotel, we headed over to the Shaw conference center for our sound check. Stephanie brought her camera & we regret not taking pictures both with the security guards from the Shaw and also with Ed Stelmach's personal security - (he looked so tough & cool with the little curly ear piece!) (See above for evidence of us harrassing the RCMP with our photo requests... By the end of the breakfast, people who we *didn't* ask for a photo with them were probably wondering what was wrong with them... )
We were giddy.
i think that's when it started.
Being overtired & in the company of my sisters is a little like intoxication. Suddenly everything was funnier... we weren't nervous - we've sung together for decades - and these songs were completely familar to us. This was fun - we were out of our elegance element completely - and we were gonna milk it.
After the sound check, we headed back for the fancy dinner. i decided that Gagey's snot was not my preferred accessory, so i changed. Stephanie put on lipstick, Jess borrowed my make up. We kissed the babies goodbye & headed off.
They went around the table with each person having a chance to say a piece... When Jessica (who went first out of us girls) introduced herself as the mother of 6, the room errupted in applause. Then, it was my turn... our resumes are so similar, so i got a round of applause too... & they shouted at Stephanie... "C'mon!! You can make it 18!!" She slyly held up 7 fingers... That sealed the deal. We were our own little freak show.
Indeed. That is us... the mothers of 19.
i can't skip ahead to the next morning... i have to add a little bit about what happened all during the wee hours of the night...
First of all... a delicious supper that was not prepared by us - beef, potatoes, veggies, salad. Yummy punch... chocolate dipped strawberries... None of which Jessie got to eat. She was called away after having maybe 4 forkfulls. Little Wes is teething & needed his mama... badly. As a matter of fact, i think she might have some permanent hearing damage from when she answered the call from her husband - wailing Wess in the background... Pushing his request into the foreground... She left early - & i don't think there was even any leftover pizza from the boys' little pizza party with the kids for her to eat...
Stephanie & i asked them to leave her plate, hoping she could make it back... got them to leave her a desert too - which we ended up leaving when it was time to go & obvious that she wasn't coming back.
Then, we went to our rooms. We did a little switcharoo, as they had messed up our rooms, and given her the bigger room (she only brought 2 children) so she took 2 of mine & we headed off to bed.
That's when the fun began.
Poor sweet Gage... had *no* idea what was expected of him... To sleep in this foreign place? Not to butt his head all over his siblings? To quit talking and settle into dreamland? That couldn't possibly be what we wanted... This confusion, fueled by a healthy dose of hyper kept me shushing, nursing, backrubbing, snuggling 'till the wee hours... When, at 3am, i knew i would have to move my arm to get it into a comfortable position... i knew i was taking a risk that it would disturb my *finally* sleeping baby... but i did it anyway. When i glanced at him again, he was standing, holding onto the backboard jumping.
hehe - funny guy...
i guess Jessie & Stephanie's nights were pretty similar to mine. Our final soundcheck the next morning was "between 6:30 & 7"... so at the bum crack of dawn, i roused my weary self from the bed... leaving a snoozing prince snuggled in daddy's arms... and had a long, hot shower.
Let me tell you what having about 3 hours of sleep does to a 32 year old mama of 6. It makes even the mundane, daily things... really, really, really funny. The snow that started when we were walking to the Shaw, Jessie's husband whistling and cat calling as we crossed the street in our slippery heels... even the tiny ketchups on the table that Jess kept threatening to steal. When i almost fell through my chair (they were wobbly!!)... How about when someone asked me for our contact info & i had to rummage past the cloth diapers and sleeper in my purse to find a pen? Or when, sitting at the table of musicians and security, Stephanie suggested we should have been seated, "mistrel, knight, minstrel, knight" & i *howled* & smacked the table & the whole thing shook... i think i even made the security jump. (i KNOW, that's only funny to a 13 year old boy with pocket protectors and a nasal voice...).
The preface reads: 3 sister mamas escape for breakfast on the town... hilarity ensues.