There has been no quiet space in my brain lately. No calm that has allowed me to form coherent thoughts that translate into written words. And while I know that my two blog readers find it unacceptable that I haven’t posted in FIVE WEEKS, the fact that “blog” has been written on my To Do list for five weeks is more bothersome to me.
I hate leaving things left undone. Yuck.
So let’s recap, shall we?
We have been doing a lot of it. There has been:
- LOTS of SWIMMING (Yay! My favorite)
- LOTS of ICE CREAM (Wait, this is really my favorite)
- Trips to the campground (FOR SWIMMING! AND ICE CREAM!!)
- The Fourth of July holiday (which included all of the above, PLUS fireworks AND a parade!)
- Zoo trips
- Cars 2
- Visits with family members who live out of town
- Town picnics (and MORE parade!)
Sprinkler! Next best thing to swimming!
Frog catching while swimming!
Feeding goats at the zoo!
S'mores! (and a little sibling annoyance)
Then add Bean at 17 months in her full glory of Terrible Two-ness (it started around the same time with Monkey; honestly it’s not as bad this time around because I’ve experienced it before, but it still snuck up on me), and we’re getting Monkey ready for preschool in ONE WEEK AND ONE MONTH. More on these milestones to come later.
And work has been VERY busy (yay!)”
Oh, and we can’t forget that we’re reroofing our house and installing a new concrete patio. In 95-degree-heat-with-100%-humidity weather. We sure can pick ‘em, can’t we?
And duh, we’re planning and packing for our trip to Michigan for my brother’s wedding and we leave TOMORROW. Well, tomorrow at 3 a.m., so it’s really like tonight. I say “tonight,” but my husband gets all technical and says that since it’s after midnight it’s “tomorrow,” but whatever, when it’s still dark out I say “tonight.” Got it?
We should totally clean out the basement while we’re at it!!
We hired a professional roofer to do our roof as a side job on weeknights and weekends. Husband has been helping out to try to speed things along. They started last week with Husband coming home after working 12-hour days to rip shingles off the roof. The first day I saw them do this I thought it didn’t look so hard. Now I understand why my dad said in no uncertain terms, “PAY THEM WHATEVER THEY WANT TO RIP OFF.” He really said that. In all caps. But, we wanted to save money. A lot of money. Because guess what the hardest part of roofing is? RIPPING OFF. After a couple of nights and five hours on Saturday, they had the back half of the roof done.
This week, with Husband having off of work for our trip to Michigan, we had the brilliant idea of ALSO starting our new patio project. Because it’s husband’s birthday next week and we always have a big birthday bonfire, and Husband said, “We’re not having the bonfire until the patio is done.” And since I’m never one to spit in the eye of motivation, I said, “Git-R-Done.”
So naturally, we started this week. In 95-degree-heat-with-100%-humidity weather.
We’ve hired someone to do the patio as well. And this should require far less work on behalf of my husband — except, he’s had to do a fair amount of prep work, including ripping out our existing, rotting wooden deck (two days, one electric screw driver, one chainsaw and three reciprocating saws later), and getting his dad’s skid loader to our house to break up and remove the existing concrete pad that bookends an expanse of weeds (This used to be a lovely flower garden when we moved in four years ago. But four years, two kids, and the fact that there are 95 flower gardens in our yard means I don’t have time for that $hit).
Can you believe this $hit? This used to be a garden.
Rip off more shingles!
Don’t forget to change the oil in the van for our drive to Michigan!
And get a haircut!
What day is it?
WHEEEEE! ISN’T THIS FUN!
Things we currently have in our yard:
- One giant green dumpster
- Two expansive piles of broken concrete
- One trailer (to “catch” the shingles)
- One skid loader
Since we’re the first house in the subdivision, the neighbors are driving by verrrry slowly.
We are hoping to come home on Sunday night to a completed roof and patio. Cross your fingers.
Bring on the weed killer. This "garden" is in between a wooden deck and old concrete patio. We're going to put in a new concrete patio that runs the entire length of the old deck, "garden" and old concrete pad.
The old wooden deck.
After much aggravation, no more wood.
Part one of two concrete piles.
One half of the old concrete pad removed.
Oh yeah, we're roofing too.
Husband's makeshift slide so the old shingles land in the trailer and not the flower bed.
About that trip.
The last time we took a family vacation it involved a two-year-old Monkey, a four-month-old Bean, a 3.5-hour drive to Door County and Mirena-induced rage. Let’s just say it didn’t work out so well. The trip or Mirena.
I’m not really sure what to expect this time. The drive is 8 hours, without stops. We wanted to limit the amount of awake time in the car (the kids, not ours), while also avoiding Upper Michigan at night since Husband says there are too many deer; hence the 3 a.m. leave time.
Obviously, I’m not really expecting a fun drive. Normally we don’t let the kids watch much TV, but for the sake of saving our sanity, we’re borrowing a dual screen portable DVD player and we packed about 8 DVDS. I know I’m gonna fall in love with this thing and never want to part with it.
In addition to 16 hours of movies, we’ve also armed ourselves with:
- 6 audiobooks
- Notebooks, coloring books and crayons
- 25 books
- A Mobigo handheld game device (I can’t believe I’m letting Monkey have this either — HELLO screen time. But really, the whole handheld game thing is inevitable)
- Baby dolls and other toys
OMG. I just realized that I need to add ear plugs to my packing list. I can’t believe I almost forgot that.
I’ve been trying to find some fun things that we can do along the way on Thursday during the day (we can’t check in until 6 p.m.), but I’m not having much luck. The recommendations other people have given me unfortunately are very far off our route. So as of right now, leaving in 23 hours, we’ll be doing what I don’t customarily do — winging it. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for state and national parks with beaches. We’ll see how that goes.
And then there’s the whole matter of the actual wedding festivities and juggling the kids between spa services, golfing, hair appointments, late dinners, etc. Husband, Monkey and I are all standing up and I am REALLY hoping that Monkey pulls off her flower girl duties flawlessly. We have been practicing at home so as to avoid the infamous flower girl freeze. I think we’ll have a pretty good read for how she’ll do at the rehearsal. Managing her expectations is very important (I don’t know where she gets that from).
If I learned anything from our experience last year, it’s that putting over-tired, over-stimulated kids out of their routine in an unfamiliar environment can turn them into demons.
I am planning to bribe them with food whenever possible.
We are packing:
- Teddy Grahams (first-time purchase)
- Carousel Cookies (first-time purchase)
- Chex Mix
If I could pack ice cream and a pony, I would.
So. I think that about sums it up.
Good thing it’s 4 a.m. I am SO gonna be ready to go to bed at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow. Er, today. Whatever. (I have been getting entirely too much sleep lately anyway. It’s high time we change that.)
Feel free to throw me any suggestions you have for long, happy car rides, charming wedding behavior, or preventing meltdowns due to lack of sleep and unfamiliar surroundings! Bribe suggestions welcome! (They won’t honestly believe me when I promise a puppy, right?)