I had every intention of writing a post about how to travel with three kids. My “How I do it: Bedtime” post is still one of my most popular articles. And, well, I was feeling pretty confident in myself as a mom of three. So, I told Dave to take lots of pictures of us traveling because I needed him to document my awesomeness as a mom traveling with my littles. And I went to bed, the night before we left, dreaming of all the travel tips I was going to pass on to you mommas out there.

 Enter me stuffing my face with humble pie.

Kids are great at that. Keeping you grounded. Real. Honest. Well — actually — this epic fail wasn’t even driven by the kids. It was totally on Dave and Me. We just weren’t on our game this trip. What can I say? So let’s back up for a sec…

The Back Story:

Dave’s family was having a family reunion up in Seattle. I mean this was amateur shit. One flight, a rental car, a nice hotel… I could do this with my eyes closed. And then it all started: Our flight left at 8:05 am. So we did the math counting backwards. We wanted two hours at the airport before our flight left. We needed to take the shuttle to the airport from the poor people parking. Add 30 minutes ✔. We had to get Starbucks — duh. Add 15 minutes ✔.

So Dave said,

“Our flight leaves at 8. We need to leave three hours early. 6 o’clock.”

“Great.”

I replied. Totally tracking with him. 

We set our alarms for 5. And went to bed.

So, in case you didn’t catch that. Three hours before 8 is actually 5 (turns out 8-3=5). We’re idiots. 

5 o’clock came and went and, at 6 o’clock on the dot, we loaded the kids in the car. Drove through Starbucks. Literally high fiving each other on being so on time. We’re NEVER on time. Yeah us!

And then… half way to the airport. It hit me.

“Dave? Our flight leaves at 9? Nine right? Nine O’clock.”

You know if you say something three times in a row it becomes true. 

“No, 8.”

It hit him. 

“It’s 6:50 right now. Dude. It’s SIX FIFTY!!”

Enter a lot of swearing through smiles that idiots smile when they’re idiots. Have I said it enough? We’re idiots.

We rushed to the airport (unsafe driving FTW). Drove straight past the cheaper parking straight to the million dollar parking. Jumped out of the car. Threw the kids on the stroller. Left the toddler carseats. We’ll just rent them when we get there — said the idiots. And ran like hell. The kids had no idea what was going on. Brooks was standing on the front of the stroller. Lucas on the skateboard attachment. And the whole time I am yelling,

“Brooks hold on tight!”

I will, at least, give us credit that we were all laughing the whole time.

We got to the check in with 44 minutes until 8. The kind lady checked us in and took our bag even though we were one minute past the cut off time. And she told us, “you’d better run”. So we ran some more. All the way to security.

This part was a blur. There were belts. Shoes. Laptops everywhere. Roman was crawling somewhere. Brooks and Lucas. I have no idea where or what they were doing.

And then we threw all the kids back on the stroller. Ran even more.

And finally, we made it to our gate. Right as they were boarding. Just in time to watch our polka-dot bag go up into the airplane out the window — success! Then into the plane and, as we tried to get Lucas to sit down and buckle his seatbelt, I remembered why we were planning on bringing the car seat. Operation: Strap Lucas Down was a bust. He was free and it was going to be a long trip. One flight. Easy. Ha!

Ok, fast forward and the boys did great. Lucas managed to stay in his seat for most of the trip. And Roman, well that lap baby was happy the whole time. Happy and squirming. And yelling. And shrieking at the top of her lungs. For three hours. Who would have thought Miss R would have been the hard one. But man she was. My arms are still sore from holding that girl down.

So we landed, got our bag, and went to the rental car zone. They proceeded to inform us that they were fresh out of toddler car seats. At which point they handed us two booster seats. Awesome. This trip is a fucking disaster. The boys height and weight actually were fine for the boosters. But, the maturity level? Not so much. Multiple times driving on this trip. They would just unbuckle themselves. And poor Lucas. That boy was missing his head brace when he took his infamous car-naps hunched over in a ball. I know, I know… we probably shouldn’t have done those booster seats. They’re really not quite there — especially Lucas. Judge all you want, I deserve it.

So, long story long, I have no pictures of how we do it traveling with three. And, in case you were thinking we may have righted the ship? Here’s some highlights:

— Once we got to the hotel, we brilliantly ordered the boys spaghetti for dinner. Because tomato sauce and toddlers work so well with white hotel linens. It was awesome.

— We took the kids swimming with no floaties. And almost drowned all three at one point. I mean Roman literally walked into the pool and sunk to the bottom. I know, HILARIOUS.

— We forgot to pack soap to bathe the boys so we used the hotel soap. Which got in their eyes to the point that the boys walked around looking like stoners for hours (we are from Colorado, I guess). Oh, and Lucas rashed out from that beauty bar almost instantly. Kid rashes faster than Tara Reid after a casting call. Bada-bing! 

— I kept throwing all our dirty clothes in a plastic bag over the weekend. And, with the rain and humidity of Seattle, the bag mildewed into the most horrific smell ever. I am still washing that stuff. I think I am just going to throw all those clothes away. The smell. It’s awful. And lingering.

Too much sugar, too much heat, not enough naps.

So obviously, I am highlighting the hell. We actually had an incredible trip. Just not incredibly well planned or executed. There are things I know. And there are tips I’ll share. Just not now. Chalk this one up to lessons learned.

Travel with three, we’ll meet again, and I WILL defeat you.

Happy Travels Mommas! I hope you do better than us.

Ciao! Girl.