Monday, June 28, 2010

Meet Jules Bennett/Vacation?/A Drawing!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Jules Bennett, a licensed hair stylist, mom of two gorgeous girls, and a writer!  I don’t know how she does it all, but I’m certain you’ll enjoy this peek into her life.  Let’s give Jules a big welcome!

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“Get the crayons out of your nose!” 

“Why are there fries between your toes?”

“Stop kicking the back of my seat!”

“Don't even look at her. Don't touch her. Don't breathe in her direction!”

Yes, that is just a sample of the staple of parental statements on a vacation. A vacation that totaled 23 fun-filled, quality time hours.

Oh, did I mention this trip involved 2 toddlers ages 2 and 4? And when we arrived at our beach house we were joined by 2 more toddlers ages 18 months and 3? Didn't I pay for a VACATION?

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The first day we were there we took the girls to a small little deli for a nice lunch. Well, when the waiter came around to ask about refills, my 4 year old promptly looks over at me and says, “Is that a boy or a girl?”

Awkward? Just a wee bit:)

I then tried to take my children out while my husband was golfing. We were on the hunt for a Father's Day gift. Well, my 2 year old's asthma was not cooperating and my 4 year old wanted a nap. Of course, they were fine in the car on the way to the mall, just not so fine once we entered the store. So, while I'm wrestling the youngest from the buggy, I ask my oldest to please hold it still. Yeah, that didn't happen. She accidentally rammed it into another lady's cart while my youngest is screaming because she's having a breathing issue. The annoyed shopper rolls her eyes, gives a big huff and makes a huge production of jerking her cart around mine. Of course, I secretly wanted my daughter to hit her in the behind with the buggy, but I think we left our mark on that store and overstayed our welcome:)

Moving on...Now we're putt-putting. My children are loving it. I'm really glad because this was the farthest from a vacation I've ever had. Did I mention I worked the whole time? I love my work, but it was certainly trying when I had no sitter I could take them to during the day so I could write.

Oh, I digress. Putt-putting. About halfway through there are concrete animals that are about 5-6 feet tall. My girls want to sit on them. We hoist them up and take pictures. Well, they were waiting on mommy or daddy to pop a quarter in so they could ride the animals. Ahem...revert back a couple sentences to the fact these things are CONCRETE! So, now we have a meltdown and are holding up the family putt-putt line. Just another place we left our mark.

Trust me, you don't even want me to get into the restaurant fiascoes. Toddlers. Enough said.

On the way home, God what a nightmare, we opted to drive straight through so of course we get behind every wreck known to man. Oh, and those lovely orange barrels that block one lane so families are forced extra quality time when the traffic is bottle-necked.

Ahh...the joys of summer vacation. I love, love, love family time with my husband and girls, but I think we'll stick to little weekend trips like we've been doing.

One other point I forgot to mention was the heat index. 107! Dear Lord, even the water was hot. Ocean, pool. Didn't matter.

I never thought the highlight of my trip would be coming home, but I'm so happy to be back to my routine and spending my days off just playing in the backyard in sandboxes or the pool. I'm a simple gal...I'll just vacation at home:)

Do you have a childhood vacation memory or an instance with your own children? I'd love to hear it! I'll be giving away an autographed copy of my March AND April Silhouette Desire releases, SEDUCING THE ENEMY'S DAUGHTER and FOR BUSINESS...OR MARRIAGE?

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Can’t wait to hear your stories! 

Hugs,

Jules Bennett

Married to her high school sweetheart, mother of two toddler girls, full-time beautician and full-time author, Jules Bennett isn't afraid to tackle life's blessings head on. Her debut Silhouette Desire, SEDUCING THE ENEMY'S DAUGHTER, was released in March 2010. She has a total of 4 releases this year and is working on her 2011 releases. You can visit her website www.julesbennett.com for more info about Jules, her upcoming releases, to join her Yahoo! group and more!

29 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

Ah, the memories. When my youngest daughter was preschool age we had taken both my daughters down to a river to swim. There was a couple who had their baby in the water, just floating it in the water and my daughter told them their baby looked like a turtle. And if that wasn't bad enough, we went back to the bank and a man walked by and she asked her dad if he was a boy or girl, in a loud enough voice he couldn't have missed hearing her. In her defense, he had man boobs and she was totally confused. After that we had to have a long talk about being polite.

Jane said...

I don't have any vacation horror stories to share, but I can imagine how hard it is to travel with kids. My parents did take me and my brother on long flights to Europe and Asia and I have no idea how they entertained us and kept us from wreaking havoc on the plane.

Betina Krahn said...

Welcome Jules! Great to have you here and to hear your vacation story.

Food poisoning and being sick in a hotel room you've paid big bucks for. . . not a good time. Never go back to Branson MO. I know it's not their fault, but I just can't stomach the idea. Pun intended. :)

Jules Bennett said...

First I have to say THANK YOU to Leanne for inviting me! So many awesome authors on this blog!

I'm working about 8 hours at my salon today, so popping in will be scarce for me until about 5:30. I'll do my best, though:)

Linda, LOL! Sometimes I wonder if I'll get beat up with the things my oldest says about strangers when we're in public.

Jane, I couldn't even imagine taking kids on a plane ride THAT long! We are going to tackle our kids and a plane next summer (they will be 3 and 5 then). Should I warn the airline in advance:)

Betina, food poisoning is just this side of death. I've only had it once, but I seriously wished for someone to just finish me off. I couldn't imagine having it while being out of town with children to care for.

Laurie said...

The day before my son's 5th birthday we were at his grandparent's house celebrating Thanksgiving. He became so ill he couldn't stand or walk. He just screamed in pain. We took him to the Children's Hosptial of Milwaukee about 30 minutes away where they diagnosed HS Purpurra, an autoimmune disease which causes internal bleeding. Luckily he survived without any complications.... but he was sick for about 2 months! It was a nightmare of a vacation/holiday.

lois greiman said...

Hey Jules, thanks for joining us.

I, too, remember the joys of having toddlers. In fact, shudder, I kind of miss it.

Try to enjoy the craziness. As I'm sure you know, it goes by in a blink.

Carol Ann said...

Hi Jules,
Traveling with little ones is always a trial...and fun, too. What great memories. I remember the first time we decided to vacation with three kids, age 9,7, and 2--in a tent, no less. We were heading to Cherokee, NC, driving through the mountains. We stopped for our first night at a campground on the highest mountain peak of the trip. It rained. And rained. The tent leaked. The wind blew. Little did we know Hurricaine Andrew had blown through. In the morning, the tent fell down on top of us. We were wet, crabby and exhausted. The kids were battling in the backseat. We finally made it to Cherokee and cheered when we saw sunshine. Never had a laundromat looked so good. Everything we had was soaked through. We never went tent camping again.

KylieBrant said...

Welcome, Jules!

My most recent vacation with fam was last summer. It seemed a bit easier to travel with everyone when they were home. But we had to arrange flights for each of them from their various locales, and try getting everyone to the airport near our beach house within an hour or two so we didn't have to make constant trips to pick people up. Given the state of air travel these days, that was a challenge!

The worst of it was when my daughter went to catch her flight (which would have had her joining us mid trip to ride the rest of the way) and discovering that her flight was for the following day--when we would no longer be there!

krisgils33 said...

great story. I'm sure we can all relate to toddler vacations. we took my daughter to hawaii when she had just turned 1. the trip out wasn't bad, we broke it up into two 5-hr segments with a couple hour layover for her to run around. but...on the way back, we had to do an overnight flight leaving at 10 pm. way past bedtime, so she got over-tired (she was never one to just drop asleep anytime anywhere). she actually SCREAMED for the first 3 hrs of the flight. we medicated, soothed, cajoled, yelled, bounced, walked, rocked, and lulled her....to no avail. it was horrible! if I wasn't feeling so bad for myself, I would have felt really bad for the other people on the plane!!

CrystalGB said...

Traveling with children is hard. Lots of bathroom breaks, children arguing and trying to fight and "are we there yet?" on the commute to and from is hard. It is worth it though for the memories that are made during the vacation.

Deb said...

Haha, your post was great, Jules.

When I was a kid, we went on a few family vacations in our station wagon. We would usually go to Colorado since my dad liked the mountains and I remembering that my two sisters, our mom, and me singing songs and rounds in the car.

My MIL lives in TX and, when visiting her, my husband and I would leave around 8 p.m. until our daughter was 3or so; she slept through most of the 14-hour drive.

Kirsten said...
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Keri Ford said...

*waves*

Hey Jules! we met briefly at Lori Foster's when Keri Stevens stopped you hall and we asked you to do a lunch at nationals :)

and I have to say, I didn't read this full post. I got to the mall bit and wanted to forget it all. We're doing Disney this month while at nationals with 3 toddlers, all in these ages you mentioned. I want to keep the idea of this was such a good idea alive a little longer.

I'm scared.

Katt said...

Dare I confess I have no children? I'm the lady with the rolling eyes?..
Really, I'm not as bad as her but you've given me a great deal of food for thought!

I've never been on the other side of the coin and oh thank heavens! I would have never survived. You ladies rock!
Next time I'm in view (or earshot) of one of these moments I will think about the parent at the helm and how well *their* day is going!
Someone close to me always left on a road trip at 8 at night so the kids would be more likely to sleep, sometimes that worked sometimes it didn't.
cheers!

Jules Bennett said...

Laurie, I hope I NEVER experience a sick vacation...especially one to your extent!

Lois, I know I will look back on these days and wonder where they went, but oh, right now they seem to last forever:)

Carol Ann, I've been camping twice, both before kids, and the experiences were disasters. I loved it, though, so I'd love to try with kids...I say that now...LOL:)

Kylie, I'm SO scared to try my flight next year with kids. YIKES!

Kris, that's precisely WHY I'm afraid to tackle the plane and kids. Bless your heart!

Crystal, every moment made wonderful memories. Some weren't funny at the time, but we're laughing now:)

Deb, 14 hours? Yeah, I've been there and wow is that the longest day of your life or what?!

Kirsten, cactus? Ouch!

Keri, of course I remember you! So glad you stopped by! Be sure to look me up in Orlando next month.

Katt, sorry if I made you look at parenthood from a bad angle. Really it is such a blessing. It is just hard sometimes when people in public are rude and you're trying to teach your children to be helpful and considerate:)

Hugs to all!

Leanne said...

Jules! Welcome to the vert! I'm sorry I messed up your date. I was so excited I posted you early! That said, we went to Myrtle Beach when a hurricane was threatening. The police banged on our beachfront cottage in the middle of the night and told us to evacuate. My son was 15 months old and on liquid antibiotics for an ear infection. He would spew the medicine from his mouth like a geyser. We evacuated to "Manning" SC, then returned to our beach house only to be told to evacuate again!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Jules. So happy to see you doing so well at Silhouette Desire!! Woo Woo. It's great and so are you :o)

I'm off on a little vacation starting this afternoon - so happy to be unplugging for a week!

Shortly after that we'll take our kids and grandkids to our cabin. An 8 year old, 6, 4, and 2 year old. I think there will be some stories. There always are :o)

Leanne said...

Thought of another one... driving home to visit my family for the holidays. The heater in the car seemed to be acting wonky... Three hours before we arrive in the cold mountains of VA, the heater isn't just wonky, it STOPS! We bundled up the kids, sang songs and got to my mom's house asap!

april said...

I've actually only had relatively good stories. Our Toddler flew as a baby and was awesome (though we're taking time out of flying until she can watch tv and be amused). That said, we'll be attempting a ride up the coast this summer. We should be ok, but she's the only kid who doesn't sleep in the car. She'll love it, but I'll want a nap. She's also very good in restaurants provided we bring some toys and take her for a walk after the 1 1/2 hour mark.

However, my sister, husband, nephew, Toddler and I took a trip when the kids were almost 3 and 4 months old. The baby was still nursing. The 3 hour drive took longer because of weather and traffic. Then, we got stuck going up the hill to my parents' place (and we had to get there early to surprise them). So, my sister and husband were pushing the car while I was driving and the kids are screaming and crying (mostly because they hadn't eaten in forever and it was cold). It was a nightmare, but the kids were as good as could be.

I am nervous about the trip this summer because the kids are at the age where they've started bugging each other and get each other in trouble.

chey said...

I remember going on vacation as a kid. and camping on the way to our destination. I'm sure it didn't rain all the time, in fact, I remember trying to light a campfire after it stopped--but the wood was so wet it wouldn't light.

Laney4 said...

Hi!
I "felt for you" reading your blog. Been there, done that. This too shall pass. Blah blah blah blah.
When my daughter was barely 4 and my son was 6, we decided to fly 3 hours away to my sister's place for Christmas. It was their first time flying. All the way there, my daughter barfed. It was so bad that people four rows back were coming up to bring us their barf bags (as we were going through plenty). Of course there was crying from her as well, but luckily my son only held his hands to his ears throughout (and ate and ate and ate otherwise). She seemed better that night at my sister's, so we thought it might have just been the flight/turbulence. The following morning, my sis and my husband left at 5 am to travel four hours away to pick up her daughter from college for Christmas Break. My brother-in-law went off to work. It was just my mom, me, and my two kids at the house all day. My daughter wasn't feeling well and didn't look well, so I broke down and phoned my BIL at work because it was Friday and time was ticking. He came home and said he'd take us to his doctor's office, figuring that my mom would babysit my son (who was quite content with watching monster trucks on the VCR, which he knew how to work, so he wouldn't have been a problem). My mom said, "I don't babysit. I raised my own kids and now you can raise yours!" (Oh, the stories I could tell; needless to say, my BIL and I weren't impressed.) So ... my BIL drove me and my two kids to the doctor's office, where the doctor pronounced that my daughter had scarlet fever. Her gag reflex was severely affected and we were told that it could be compromised for a few weeks, months, or even years, until perhaps 8 years of age. If she hadn't outgrown it by then, she'd have it for life. Of course, she's 23 now and whenever she has a cold, she has to sleep sitting up to stop from barfing around 1-3 am every time. Oh well. In years gone by, scarlet fever was fatal, and she's healthy otherwise now.
Like I said before, this too shall pass. Trust me. They grow up way too fast (and yet not fast enough)!

georganna said...

Ahhh, vacation - NOT!
Every year we travel to the beach and stay with my in-laws at their beach house. Every year our favorite day is the day we arrive home. We always go as soon as school is out so that we can 'get it over with'. And should I mention the cockroaches the size of SUVs?
On a brighter note, I like the photo of your family on the beach. I have a similar one of my four kids that I love.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Welcome, Jules!

I'm smiling as my mental projector lights up and the the memories flicker across the screen behind my eyeballs. I'm the official repository for 3 generations of memories. (That's all of us, huh? That's why we're writers.)

Going back to road trips through the West with our kids, Clyde's favorite remedy for backseat bickering, whining, are-we-there-yet?-ing was to find a hill and herd them up and down a few times. After a while all he had to do was announce that he was looking for a hill. "Dad's looking for a hill," is a multi-purpose warning to this day.

Jules Bennett said...

Leanne and Cindy...how cool is it that I'm hanging with you all today? :) I just love you two! Smooches!

April, good experiences are nice at the time, but don't you want just one bad time to share with your grandkids;) Seriously, I'm glad you have nice, calm memories.

Chey, we always pack our own wood...I say always and I've only been twice. I like to think I'm a veteran;)

Laney, scarlett fever?! Good Lord! What a nightmare. Okay, your story WAY beats my chaos!

Georganna, my husband doesn't see why the day we come home is my favorite...must be a mother thing.

Kathleen, so glad to be hanging here today! I'm so glad I'm not in the boat alone. Traveling with kids is certainly something everyone should experience;)

Leanne said...

KATHLEEN, OMIGOSH! Your husband Clyde is a genius! All you have to do is mention the word "hill". LOVE IT!

Jules Bennett said...

Why didn't I think of a "code" for the trip? Should have since "if you don't quit, we're going to pull the car over" didn't work:)

Kathleen O said...

Just traveling by car over an hour with my twin neice and nephew and their older brother is enough to drive me round the bend. And they were a little older than your girls. I was glad to get them up to the cottage and give them to grandma for a bit while Aunt Kathleen went out for a few moments on her own...
But I love them to bits...
I have read the first book in your series Jules and can't wait to read the next one...
Kathleen O

Jules Bennett said...

Thanks so much, Kathleen! I'm so happy you're enjoying the series:) The second one was out in April, so be sure to go to www.eharlequin.com and order it!

Happy Reading!

robynl said...

my friend, him and his 2 girls( 3 & 5)go on vacation. At the restaurant they were misbehaving and when I came out from the bathroom I saw friend hit the older girl and he was yelling at both to behave. I was so embarrassed and glad when we were done the meal.
At the amusement park the older wanted to go on rides the younger couldn't so ensued a fuss. He went with the older and I went with the younger to keep peace.