Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekend in Wisconsin

You know those weekends that are jam packed and pretty much fantastic, but leave you feeling so exhausted that you almost crave getting home and back into your boring old routine?

Totally had one of those weekends.

It’s Wednesday and I’m just now finally starting to feel like a normal functioning person.

Friday night we met up with a friend of a friend of a friend for a little family photo shoot, in honor of Gus turning two and me being pregnant and holiday card season coming up. How on the ball am I this year right? Total fluke I tell you, normally I think of these things approximately five months after Gus’s birthday, or two weeks before Christmas, that sort of thing. But this time? I am channeling the tiny shrapnel of type A-ness that does, I swear, exist somewhere within the depths of my being. Somewhere, deep down, I am that chick who has everything together. Sure.

The session went really well (aside from my hair), but holy mother I felt like I was going to keel over from exhaustion at the end of it. Our photographer Jill was such a patient and energetic person, full of amazing ideas and seemingly boundless energy. Here’s the sneak peak she sent us, these were from the beginning of the session, after which we drove to the Lake Harriet rose gardens. I can’t wait to see the rest, and will surely post a handful of my favorites as soon as I have them.

Gus was mostly uncooperative, but honestly that came as no surprise to his parents. We were as mentally prepared as we could have been. I even sent Jill an email a few days before to warn her of what she might have gotten herself into. The thing is, she has her own two year old, and we all know how two year olds are, so I didn’t want to come across as that a-hole mom that thinks her kid is so much more unique and different and difficult than anyone else’s kid. I swear I am not that mom. It’s just that I have met other calm, sweet, angelic two year olds, and I’ve also met two year olds who are more apt to cry and pout and hang on their mom when in this type of situation, and I know neither of those are Gus.

He takes the typical craziness of a two year old and ramps it up about 2,000 notches. Case in point, Friday night’s photo session. He arches his back and screams, “Mommy RUN!” when you try to get him to sit still and smile for a picture. He tears off down the street laughing maniacally the second he is given an ounce of freedom. He drags his feet and goes limp when you try to make him hold your hand and walk somewhere he doesn’t want to walk. Towards the end of the two hours, I think we finally kind of figured out little tricks to make him smile and sit still longer than .3 seconds, but yeah, I definitely could have used a bubble bath and a long massage after that experience.

I got neither of the two, I’d like to point out, however after grabbing a bite to eat in Uptown we did go home and immediately got Gus down for the night, and by 9:00 we were both fast asleep having nightmares about future family photo sessions with two little boys. Maybe that was just me. But you get the idea. 9:00 PM Friday night bedtime. Woot! Living the life.

Gus slept until almost 7:45 Saturday morning, which was gloooorious, and I felt like a new woman. We immediately tackled the tasks at hand, which were (1. ) Breakfast, (2.) Scramble to quickly pack our bags and the car for an overnight at the cabin, and (3.) Hit the road towards Wisconsin.

On the way out of town, we stopped for coffee, of course, at the place down the street, and I had to also grab a pumpkin muffin for the three of us to share. Yes, I’m pregnant, and I often eat two breakfasts.

Two hours later we pulled into Dan’s grandparents hobby farm where we spent the rest of the day visiting with family, lounging on the hammock, giving Gus “tractor” rides, and stuffing our faces with cookies and candy corn and delicious tater tot hot dish.

(Val, I’ve swiped a few of your pictures, hope you don’t mind.)

Because we didn’t decide to try to get Gus a nap until super late, he slept for two hours all cozy on the guest bed until 6:30 PM. This is ok, we go with the flow, we cool like that, he wasn’t going to make it without a nap and this meant we were in no hurry to get out of there.

We left the farm at 8:30 to drive the hour through rural Wisconsin to Dan’s parents' lake cabin, where we planned to spend the night. The drive felt more treacherous than it really was, Dan just drives way too fast down those windy little roads, and the GPS had us taking all these crazy dirt roads through the middle of dark nowhere, and I kept waiting for a deer to jump out in front of the car. And then our car would be wrecked, and we’d be stranded in the middle of nowhere, where we would eventually meet our doom via an ax-wielding toothless serial killer in overalls.

We made it to the cabin of course, and I should say I became much more reasonable after 30 minutes when we were on an actual County road that wasn’t named “something and ¼ street”.

Of course, Gus was off-the-wall hyper at the cabin and didn’t go to sleep until after 11:00 PM, due to the late nap and all the driving and the excitement of being at the cabin. And then he woke at 6:00 the next day, raring to go, hearing his little cousins awake and running around out in the living room, and after an hour of trying to force him to go back to sleep, I gave up. And was of course all doom and gloom, “The end is near, 7 hours of sleep?! He will never make it through the day, we are surely in for it!”

Because Sunday afternoon was the big 89th birthday celebration for Dan’s Great Grandmother at another Wisconsin family farm in the area. Blerrrrgh.

Funny how everything is always SO MUCH WORSE in your mind. He was FINE. He slept for an hour on the way to the party, and then seriously just lived it up, running all over the property, pulling wagons, riding trikes, climbing on motorcycles and lawn mowers, going for a walk in the field to see the cows, climbing the fence to feed them grass. Adorables. I was kicking myself for forgetting my camera. The property and views were breathtaking, and the day was just, without a doubt, one of those perfect autumn days. And Gus wore a new sweater that could not have been cuter. Ahh, well.

And the food! Holy delicious, we dined on a huge smorgasbord of hotdishes and homemade bars. (You really can’t get much more Midwestern/Minnesotan than that sentence eh?)

Amazingly, the child did not sleep the whole drive home that evening, which was actually good, because we were able to get him to bed at a reasonable toddler bedtime rather than his usual 9:00-9:30. (He is on a very annoying schedule these days, a product of continually pushing back/fighting his nap to the point that he goes down so late in the afternoon, and then ends up taking monster 2-3 hour naps, so he’s up until almost 10:00 PM every night, and Mommy and Daddy get NO EVENING DOWNTIME. Bugger. We are a bit at a loss as to what to do, because every time we’ve tried to adjust or control his sleep patterns it ends up backfiring on us. Instead I choose to believe/hope that it’s a phase. It’s a phase… It’s a phase…)

So yes the weekend. It was a good one. It was exhausting, lots of driving, traveling, chasing, redirecting, eating, and not sleeping. And I was so happy to be home. Back to things like bills, work emails, a dentist appointment, grocery shopping. Boring. Routine. But home. And I love our home, even when I come back from a weekend to the complete disaster we left as we were racing out the door. I can even appreciate the mess, because I can putz around and tidy up on my own time, in sweat pants, from the sanctity of my own familiar, blessed home.


Erin said...

Love the pics! You look awesome, and you can BARELY tell that you are physically restraining Gus in a few of those pics ;) hahaha.

Freckles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freckles said...

I LOVE the second-to-last picture of you two holding his hand (the one where all you can see is Gus and mommy and daddy's legs). Super awesome. Can't wait to see more!!!! Sounds like it was a fabulous weekend :)

val said...

The pictures are beautiful. She did a great job.

And take any pictures of mine whenever you want.

It was a fun weekend, but it does sound tiring, all that driving back and forth. love, Val

Lisa said...

Oh, love those photos! Can't wait to see the others.