It was bound to happen.
As my girls (and our whole family) has gotten really comfortable living at this hotel, the girls have gotten braver and more independent as we go to and from our room. They know just where to go for the breakfast buffet, they know where our room is in relation to the elevator, they are comfortable with the big turning glass door that leads into the lobby. Clara Anne loves to push the button for the elevator, and we practice our numbers as we go up and down the floors. Clara Anne has even learned how to open our room door, which of course we have to be careful about.
But yesterday morning they got quite a surprise.
We usually take them in their stroller to breakfast, and they hadn't yet gotten in the stroller, but were walking alongside it, when John realized that one of the wheels of the stroller had fallen off again. (Its original problem came from trying to push it over some rough terrain near the horse-riding park.) He paused to fix it, but the girls ran ahead. I was just a step behind but when I got to the bank of elevators, the girls were gone!
I could hear Chloe screaming through the elevator shaft, and so knew that they were on a particular elevator, so I was standing there frantically calling the elevator again and again (and always getting one of the other four) as I heard Chloe's cries echoing through the walls. Finally John took the elevator down to the first floor, where some kindly "aunties" were standing with the girls, holding Clara Anne's hand and Clara Anne was holding Chloe's hand. Clara Anne seemed pretty unfazed but Chloe was still crying hard. I was still up on our 20th floor, pushing the buttons, but only empty elevators arrived. Happy Day it was when John arrived back with them both!
Clara Anne and I had a serious talk about not running ahead without Mommy and Daddy and certainly not getting on an elevator by herself! I explained to her how we had no way to know where she might get off the elevator and she had no way to find us again if she got on without us. She didn't seem too upset about the whole thing but Chloe certainly did not want a repeat of that experience!
So, all's well that ends well, but there were a few tense moments! I do hope a lesson was learned!
**Baby update!** I saw my doctor yesterday and she gave me a thorough examination (except forgot to get my weight, which I was not sad about at all!). She did an ultrasound again to try and determine the baby's size, which she thinks is about 10 pounds right now. Of course it is really hard for them to predict, but she was amazed/alarmed and wondered if I was still set on a natural birth or did I want a C-section? I told her I have the big hips to go with the big baby :), so I still wanted a natural birth. She also said that though I'm almost totally effaced there isn't any dilation yet. Actually, the hospital has been really busy lately and so she advised me to check in, so as to make sure I had a room if I went into labor. The only catch is that once you check in, they won't let you leave! And I definitely did not want to be hanging around the hospital, with labor hours or days or a week away. So I turned that down, and am just praying that the baby will come without too much more delay! My contractions are getting stronger each evening, and last night kept me up a fair amount, but nothing strong enough to consider real labor yet. So we'll keep waiting! The trick might be when I do go into real labor, we shouldn't wait too long at the hotel since it might go really fast.
And it isn't all bad. Today was a gorgeous spring day, I got in a couple of good walks, as well as a Starbucks Dulce de Leche Decaf Frappucino! We also had a wonderful, wonderful meal last night at an Italian restaurant nearby where we were so impressed with the food, the service, and the presentation. My parmesan chicken came with real Parma ham and a large, gorgeous salad, John's ravioli and sauce were excellent, and I had the best tiramisu that I've ever had in my life! To top it all off, today my friend Roby took me to a place to get my hair highlighted (something I had never previously dared to do in this country), at a place that she knew that did well with foreigner's hair. So now I feel a little brighter and more beautiful as I prepare for the big event!
Some of you have been asking, so next time I'll post a picture of my large and pregnant self. You have to have that for the scrapbook, right? If nothing else, to remind me after the baby is born that even if I don't lose all my pregnancy weight right away, at least I don't look like THAT anymore! Check back tomorrow!