Thursday, February 15, 2018

Momcation and Goodbyes

Oh, sweet week you are going so fast. Last Friday I met my parents in Frisco where I dropped the kids off to them for eight solid days. Blessed freedom! DFW is halfway between us and my parents--5 hours of driving for each of us. Needless to say it was another 5 AM start for my clan.

Let me explain what a trip like that looks like for us. I get up at 4:30 and get us all out the door by 5 so that I can count on 3 hours of sleep from the backseat. Then about 8 when the rugrats wake up and decide that even though we are on the road they still would like breakfast, I like to find a small grocery store. This time we were at a gas station. It worked but not quite as well.

Once I have them both in the store with both backpacks full of the day's supplies on my shoulder, I start with little sister. I get her diaper changed, put clothes on, the whole works. Then I change Henry. This is tricky, because I have to keep AnnLouise off the floor of the bathroom while I do this. Of course she can't stand yet, so I put down her pajamas I had just taken off and try to get her to sit still while I work with Henry. She continually tries to crawl off her pj's, and I just have to reset every 10 seconds or so.

I brush both of their teeth. (To be honest I'm not totally sure how that should be worded to make it sound correct. They both have lots of teeth. I'm not saying that each have one tooth. I get these Arkansas jokes enough I try to get ahead of the game.) That's really fun and interesting in a gas station bathroom. It feels super clean too.

Then I have to weigh my options: do I hold AnnLouise while I pee or do I hold my pee for 2+ more hours until we get to Frisco? This time I chose to hold my pee.

After all are changed and clean and almost dirty again from crawling around on the bathroom floor, we go out to find something fairly fresh for breakfast. This is why I like a small grocery store better. In a grocery store I can put the kids in the cart and shop for breakfast. In a gas station I have to carry AnnLouise, hold Henry's hand, carry both backpacks, and somehow juggle breakfast in there too. Needless to say I got Henry a banana and chocolate milk, AnnLouise had oatmeal in a reusable pouch I had made that morning at home, and much like my restroom pit stop I decided I didn't have enough hands to get myself breakfast that morning.

Back in the car the kids eat while I wonder if this trip is worth the eight days of freedom. It is.

Once everyone is back in their seat, I take off only to realize Henry wasn't buckled in his carseat. Brakes. I get him buckled in and try to find somewhere to drive through and get breakfast for myself. I try Dairy Queen. It isn't open. I end up waiting until we meet at IKEA because I am certain of one thing and one thing only: Swedish meatballs.

We met at IKEA mainly so we could eat but also so I could pick up a new desk we had been eyeballing for a few months. I could go crazy in IKEA. That's probably the purpose of their setup. When I walk around the showroom and see these small rooms arranged with such efficiency, I start planning out whole houses of tiny rooms and what IKEA furniture I want. Well, until we put a piece or two together at home...then I forget how much I want all those kitchen cabinets.

After my shopping spree, I had a 5 hour drive home by myself. I don't know if I've ever spent 5 hours by myself since we had Henry. Y'all. Do this. Take a 5 hour drive. Don't turn the radio on. Listen to podcasts the whole time. Stop and eat Taco Bell. Go inside to use the bathroom just because you can. Stare. Blink if you want. When the first podcast is over, turn on 4 more. If they're about The Bachelor, even better. (Okay, side note, the Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous podcast is actually really, really good...if you're a Bachelor fan. If you're not, maybe Dave Ramsey is another solid choice for you. I used to listen to The Art of Simple, but I do not know what she has done in 2018. Momma doesn't like it.)

I got home, and we immediately turned on the Olympics and started putting together my new desk. We got it finished in 2 hours which is perhaps an IKEA record. But we were too tired to put everything up, so it just sat there all weekend as we kept saying, "We'll pick it up tomorrow."

It eventually came together.

When the kids are gone, we like to go out to eat simply because we can. We don't have to worry if we packed 7 boxes of Cheerios just to go to Chili's, you know? Saturday night we went to see 1517 to Paris. unprofessional review is that it is pretty good. The acting could've been better (not the 3 guys..they did just fine. It was the actual actors that were pretty bad.). The storyline, however, was interesting to me. Cash thought it was slow, but it was a good 90 minute movie to go watch.

On Wednesday I had finally cleaned up my act and got busy. I picked up the house and made dinner (almost from scratch) for my boo on Valentine's Day. Of all the going out to eat we've done this week, I can still say my favorite is when we stay in. I made a 3 course meal that was on the table when he walked in the door that evening. I am a huge fan of charcuterie, so any excuse to have it on the table is a winning day in my book.

Course 1: charcuterie with balsamic vinegar and honey
(also, note the savings of at least $5 with a handwritten card)

Course 2: simple pork loin with fresh asparagus

Course 3: dessert cream cheese ball
*Note: Cash thinks it is hilarious when I blog about food because I've only been cooking for 2 1/2 years. But I felt this was a huge feat, so here you go.

It has been a relaxing week around here. No stress. Nowhere I had to be. No one to demand I cook breakfast. After a week of it, though, I am starting to get a little bored. But just a little. (It has been nice to look at my husband and be like...oh yeah, you're pretty cute. If I had to choose again, I would totally choose to marry you.)

The rugrats are having a big time in Arkansas. They love the farm and playing outside as much as they can. Henry especially loves Bumpy. He tries to imitate him every chance he gets. And man. They say you marry a man like your dad, but no one ever warned me my son would be just like him too. So that's fun.

Henry doing whatever Bumpy does.
feeding {some} of the animals
Next week is our baby's first birthday. Bittersweet. Bitter because she's my baby, and it went just like *that*. Sweet because she's my baby, and it went just like *that*. That first year is rough, man. I literally do not think I will shed a tear when I put up the bottles for the last time or when I get the grassy drying rack off my counter. I had those on my counter for a year, down for 3 months, and now back up for another year. Bye, Felicia.

So here's to all the goodbyes:
Goodbye to pureed baby food that I can't buy at a restaurant.
Goodbye to the bottles and the cleaning brushes and the wayyyy too expensive formula.
Goodbye to the crawling phase where everything looks like it is candy, including but not limited to fuzz under the dishwasher.
Goodbye to the playmats that are so worn out they bundle up and suck your child into a blackhole.
Goodbye to the unnecessary crib shoes.
And, sadly, goodbye to the coos and the long naps and the sweet nature of a baby looking at her momma.

Goodbye to my little baby who was never supposed to be here but fought so hard to make it to this big world, and hello to the little girl who is now fighting so hard to keep up physically. Goodbye to the blood tests where she doesn't know it's coming, and hello to tears when we walk in the doors. Goodbye to our laughing off of a stranger saying how cute her belly is, and hello to the awkward moments when it's not just baby fat anymore. Goodbye to the mom who was young and innocent and naïve to the world, and hello to the mom who is learning how to show her kids it is okay to cry or keep it together or jump or fall...but you better always laugh too, because by goodness we used to change clothes in a gas station bathroom on a road trip while Sissy crawled all over the floor and Momma doused everyone in Thieves afterward. Life goes on, and we better laugh at it or those years won't seem so short or fun after all.

1 comment:

  1. Just love reading your "reality show." I was kinda behind, so spent time yesterday catching up! Save it all -- I think it could easily be a "cute book."
    AND -- congrats on a LOGO that just fits You!