This was the big day. The finish line was looming. Last night we had two hotel rooms with two queens in each bedroom. I figured I would sleep with Lloyd in one of the beds and would graciously take care of the baby, allowing Ben and Danielle (in the other room) to get some sleep. I situated my room next to the end of the row of rooms, with a sliding glass door exiting to the parking lot. The baby was shielded by a bathroom between himself and people next to us–perfect! No one should be able to hear a screaming baby in the middle of the night. Perhaps Jess or Lloyd would join me (but what was I thinking? they wanted to be able to enjoy their last ride!).
So, in effect, unbeknownst to me, I was chasing everyone out of the room except myself and the baby. Ben and Danielle thought it would be a wonderful to sleep through the night; Jess took the bed next to them and Lloyd slept in the gym (poor guy.)
So, Baby Ben and I were all alone in our spacious two-bed room that had direct access to the parking lot through a sliding glass door–it was luxurious.
We went swimming, lathered him in so much sun screen that he looked like he had white measles. Then Danielle nursed him and he was off to a comfortable slumber of crying for about 20 minutes prior to being held again. I ran to the hallway to see if anyone noticed our screaming baby. One lady walked by the room and could not take her eyes off the door. (probably thought we were very neglectful allowing him to cry.) I did not tell Danielle about this because she is already uncomfortable about letting her baby disturb other residents. 9 pm: She rocked him and cooed with him and finally he fell asleep. Everyone left me alone in the dark room, unencumbered by other occupants, to read or sleep myself. I blogged for a short time and drifted off to sleep around 11 pm.
I was rudely awaken by a screaming baby around 1:30 am. I rushed to his side, tried to comfort him, made him a bottle, changed his diaper, and rocked and rocked him. He was non-plussed, continued to cry. I finally brought him into bed with me and patted his back until my hand went numb. What was that? silence? I took my hand away and again the crying began. I immediately used a technique my mom taught me: continue to pat until I fell asleep. This worked (I think)–I was asleep so I am not sure. The entire process took about an hour. He slept until 7 am, glory hallelujah! I felt a sense of accomplishment even though I was tired: Ben and Danielle got a good night’s sleep and everyone was able to leave at a very early morning hour: 5 or 6 am or something. Ben and Jess and Lloyd snuck into my room to retrieve stuff, Ben kissed the baby and they were off. I never even heard them. I was tired, but would be able to rest my eyes on the trip to C Springs.
Danielle helped me get our free hot continental breakfast (wonderful!) We packed and got out of there around 8:30 (30 minutes later than planned). We had to make it to Colorado Springs by 9:30 because today the riders only had 46 miles to ride and they should make that pretty quickly–Debra Warner (Ben’s mom arrived at the finish line at 8:30 when we were just leaving our hotel.) I never slept in the car: Danielle drove and I was busy watching the bike-riders we passed. At 9:00 Jess texted me: “Mom, where are you? We are probably going to cross the finish line prior to 9:30.” In a panic I responded, “You can’t cross before 9:30, we won’t be there yet. You need to slow down!”
She wrote back, “We can’t slow down. We are cruisin!”
I wrote to Ben and Lloyd, “Tell Jess to interview someone,. Stop people who are biking. Ask them questions. You all have to slow down because we want to watch you cross the finish line.” Ben never responded; Lloyd does not know how to retrieve text messages so they did not know the plan. Shoot, What to do? “Speed up Danielle!”
Then a miracle happened. About 9:25 we passed them, on the road, they were not as speedy as they thought. YES! And they still had a couple of hills to climb. I was elated.
We arrived at the finish line at 9:40, and watched each of them traverse the finish line. First Lloyd, then Ben, then Jess. We gave them lots of fan fare, blew horns and clapped to our hearts content. Nathan even drove from Denver to join in the festivities. We took pictures in front of the hot air balloon and family pictures and congratulatory pictures. It was a great ending to a fun and exhausting week.
Here is Debra Warner (Ben’s mom and Benjamin’s other Grandma–we waited for riders):