here is what i'll say about the days post-nyc. new york was the most fun, and the also most exhausting.
by the time we arrived in louisville the next day, i felt like i'd hit a wall. i woke up feeling stuffy and tired, and i was barely functional.
fortunately, it was a sunday and we were playing at a church, which meant the kids could go to sunday school and then have a real nursery full of toys to play in. which is also to say, they were kept adequately entertained as i sat on the floor with the baby, thinking about how this is what they warned me about and wondering if this was how the rest of the tour would feel: exhausting, and like i would spend the rest of our days on the road playing catch up.
in cleveland, we got a couple of relief nannies to help out. all three nannies felt like we were on the verge of hitting our breaking point, so we got some help to prevent that from happening. we had one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
i had the morning off and was almost surprised to find i felt much better than i did the day before. still not fully recovered, but getting extra sleep without setting an alarm helped significantly.
our afternoon craft on this day was making christmas trees by dipping strawberries in green-dyed melted chocolate, adding sprinkles, and putting them on top of oreos. it was all very pinterest-y, including the part where it didn't turn out at all like the pictures online. this had a lot to do with the fact that we didn't have real green dye, so we had to mix an orange-y shade of yellow with like, midnight blue. it all looks very appetizing, i know.
we also ran out of strawberries, so we just started dipping the oreos. as we shifted gears to find random things to dip in the leftover chocolate, the five year old exclaimed he liked this craft better than the strawberry one, which is kind of like that thing where you can buy all the fancy toys for kids and they will still think the box it came in is the most fun.
in indianapolis, i was the morning nanny. i feel like that's all i really need to say about this day, because i always remember the days i am the morning nanny the least and because it was one of those days without a nursery that felt like a mini marathon. because of sleeplessness and all that, but also i still felt like i was in that post-nyc recovery period and having to wake up three hours early didn't help the process.
while the day after new york, in louisville, felt like a challenge to get through, physically, this day felt more emotionally challenging. not only had i hit a point of physical exhaustion, but i was starting to crave familiarity. it was like the novelty of waking up in a new place with exciting possibilities had worn off, and all i wanted was to wake up and know where i was, where to go, which door to go in, how to find the green room without getting lost.
i was still loving the adventure, but i was also finding out that not letting myself be stuck in that post-nyc exhaustion was something i had to fight against. just like anything else, it's easy to be excited when you're first starting out. it's when you're in the midst of it that you have to work towards keeping that excitement.
next, we were in milwaukee, at a church. by this point, i had come to realize that churches were my favorite venues (even on days that weren't sunday). it was mostly because they had real nurseries we could play in, but it also started to feel like a little piece of home. churches were more comfortable, maybe because they are so familiar to me, and at this point on the road, any bit of extra comfort and familiarity was so helpful.
also helpful: the lady at the church who put together crafts for the kids, and bought supplies for them to decorate gingerbread men.
the next day was an off day in cincinnati. we parked in a mall parking lot, and the schedule was the same as new york: i had the morning off and was on from 2-8pm. i basically wandered around the mall for a couple hours, sending my mom pictures of things in anthropologie that i wanted for christmas, and then met up with people for lunch before starting my shift.
this day was the easiest of them all, and i had finally started to feel close to 100 percent again. it was a real off day, where the moms were around all day and nannies were around simply so they could have extra hands.
after the kids were in bed and my day was over, i got dinner with ellie and then we got back on the bus and watched the holiday. for some reason, the bus was colder than usual, so we all sat on the same couch with blankets while we watched.