Have you ever stayed in a hotel room with your entire family, including the pets? Could you imagine doing so for over six weeks? Welcome to my life!
We have survived living in one large hotel room together – my husband, my baby, three cats, a dog, four fish, and myself – for two weeks thus far. In exactly one month, we'll be moving into our new home. We're so excited! It's a huge, beautiful house with plenty of space for all of us and then some. I dream of having all that space. But while we wait, we're in extended stay hotel living which very much reminds me of college dorm room life.
One of the first things we did upon arrival was create a safe space for our quick crawler to move around. We blocked off half of the room with creative furniture rearrangement to separate the dog and dog's bowls from the baby's prying hands. The number of times I've had to wipe up water, refill the water bowl, and change the baby's wet outfit grew too many times for me to stand. She didn't take much notice of the dog food, but inevitably, some would have gotten in her mouth if the opportunity arose. It was much easier for us all to keep her away.
In the other partition, using a wall and three cat carriers, we blocked off the litter box. However, our little cruiser is turning into a climber and pusher. She has almost demonstrated the ability to push those barriers out of her way. It won't be much longer now. I don't even want to think about what she'll do when she finally reaches the cat litter box when my back is turned. She has already attempted to scale the air conditioner radiator when I wasn't looking. She landed on her back with a great thud, thankfully more startled than hurt.
|But I want to get to the cat! I must climb!|
When we made the hotel reservation by phone, the agent made a note in our file to include a crib. The problem was, there were no cribs at this particular location. He never bothered to check! Thinking we wouldn't need it, our crib was packed in storage until our move into our new home. When we realized the mistake, we were stuck. Although we were trying to wean our seven-month-old from co-sleeping, we now had no choice. She was to become our sleeping companion once again.
And it was miserable. Our squirmer kicked and rolled, frequently waking me and occasionally my husband. For the first time in all our months of cosleeping (pretty much her whole life), she rolled off the bed, waking me from sleep with such dread upon hearing her screams from the floor. Thankfully, she was unharmed. I took extra care to protect our sleeping space from then on, leading to more physical separation from my husband. After a week and a half of this, it was clear that something needed to change.
So we went to Babies R Us and bought a crib, a portable inexpensive one with cute star patterned sheets. We probably should have done so from the start. She now has her own safe sleeping space at the foot of our bed. Unfortunately, with the whole family in one room, we no longer have the ability to kick the cats out while we sleep. A cat jumped into her crib last night and woke her, therefore waking me. I've also experienced a cat sleeping on my head or meowing for the love of it at 4 AM. Hotel living is not great for sleeping.
|Surrounded by cats in the big bed.|
Not to be wasteful, we decided to use one crib in the nursery on the third floor of our new home and one crib on the ground floor. Our previous home was only one story with any part of the house easily accessible while carrying a sleeping baby. But carrying a sleeping baby from the ground floor to the third floor sounds like a poor idea to me, especially when navigating a set of baby gates at each stairwell. Our new crib is useful when we're cramped and will be useful when we're spread out!
A benefit of hotel living: easy baby watching. There's only so many places she can go, and all of them are within view when I'm sitting on the room's couch! As a work-at-home mom, I've claimed the couch as my office and spent much of the day here with my laptop and my phone. The baby can roam in front of me and to the side of me, she can nurse on me, or she can nap in the crib. Wherever she is, I can see her. This doesn't mean I get a ton of work done these days as an employee, but I'm trying. It has been a greater struggle than I expected, but that's a story for another day!