In some dark corners of the world, sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.
If you ask me, if you want to get someone to talk, just stick them in a car with twin toddlers for a 12-hour car ride. Pretty sure they will cry ‘uncle’ and tell you everything before hour four.
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but we successfully completed our house hunting recon to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Per our over-thought plan, we loaded the car up with every known snack, beverage, toy and piece of technology known to toddler-kind the night before. Just as I was finishing loading the dishwasher and getting ready to hit the hay, I noticed a large puddle under my feet.
Of course, our sink was leaking, ruining anything in a cardboard box beneath it.
One and half hours, a towel and two rolls of paper towels and bleach wipes later, the pipe was patched and the water and undisposed food was cleaned up.
I can still smell it.
With sore backs, we went to bed only to wake up a few hours later to begin our first longer-than-a-trip-to-Austin road trip with the squad.
The first four-and-a-half hours flew by. Partly because the kids fell right back to sleep once we put them in the car, and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before we hit the highway. Those were probably the best four-and-a-half hours of my husband’s life to date.
Everything was smooth sailing until the kids woke up. In hindsight, I knew we should have stopped to stretch legs and eat breakfast 30 minutes earlier, but I wanted to hit Oklahoma City first.
Talk about a big, smelly mistake.
My daughter Makayla was over being strapped in and threw up all over herself and her car seat with a little over six hours to go. Since I am twin mom, I don’t go anywhere, including out of state, without a plethora of wipes, clothes, snacks and Tylenol. Now I know to pack Febreeze.
Once she was cleaned up and we let the car air out, we were back on the road and I was back to doing my car gymnastics — jumping in the back to pick up a pacifier, fix their tablet or give someone a snack, to name a few moves.
Never in a million years did I think I would be so happy to see the “Welcome to Fort Leonard Wood” sign again. We had made it!
Once bedtime rolled around, we threw any hopes of getting sleep because our hotel wall-mates, who checked into their room around 11 p.m., decided this was the best time to have a hotel party.
We were going to consider living on post, but since the newer housing is all connected, I knew I couldn’t subject myself or my neighbors to sharing a wall for the next three or so years.
After chatting with our real estate agent and looking at various rental and purchasing options, all while wrangling and entertaining the kids mind you, we decided to do the craziest thing to date.
We adulted so hard and are building a house. We picked out our lot and every last detail including the color of the shingles of our roof. Who knew the color of your roof made such a difference?
When we bought our first home, I did the entire process solo. I drove down to Texas, met with an agent, compared properties and loan rates and ultimately picked the house. My husband didn’t actually see the house until he walked through the front doors when we first got to Texas.
This go-around, twins and husband in tow, I let my husband take the reins.
Watching him pick which pile of dirt he wanted to build on was like looking at a little boy playing in a sandbox.
Fingers crossed all goes well on the building side of the deal, and hopefully someone falls in love with our Texas home and buys it.
Now I just have to figure out how to keep my house “showable” while still living in it. Stay tuned!
Vanessa Lynch is a military spouse, mom and a former metro editor for the Killeen Daily Herald.