Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Four-Day Weekend

I spent pretty much the entire month of May looking forward to Memorial Day weekend, knowing it was a four-day weekend for us.  Nothing is better than extended time off, and ours would be capped with a trip to Toronto for a baseball game.  While the weekend as a whole was fine, the final day was a bit challenging and in the end the weekend felt more exhausting than enjoyable.  Bummer.  But there were good parts...

Friday night I spent the entire night just trying to get packed up for the weekend.  Four days away is a lot with two kids and one car, so it's a tough balance to make sure you've packed enough without overpacking.  Saturday morning I finished packing the last minute stuff and whipped up some food to take to family party #1 of the day, a Memorial Day picnic at my aunt and uncle's house here in Rochester.  We could only stay for a couple hours, but it was great to see my family, including some we hadn't seen in a while.  It's always fun to share Carter and give everyone their baby fix! 

We headed out by about 3pm and made the drive to Craig's family's neck of the woods for our nephew's birthday party.  I can't believe he's seven, since I vividly remember going to visit them in the hospital.  But here we are, seven years and multiple kids later (two of my own, and one more in their family).  Like Jacob, both of his immediate older cousins are into Legos.  Here was the easy but creative cake decoration...
Yes, those are Lego minifigures holding "Happy Birthday" candles!

As usual, Jacob spent the day wanting to play baseball outside with his cousins (and Daddy, too, of course). Even though he was being difficult when I was trying to take this picture, I still like how it turned out...

Saturday was a very long day and we were all pretty eager to get to bed.  Sleeping four people in one room wasn't particularly fun, especially since Carter still has a nasty cough.  He woke up a couple times, as did Jacob, but all things considered it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I was up half the night, mind you, but at least it wasn't with a screaming baby the whole time.  It was just my inability to block out everything, with a side of crying baby.

The next morning we got up and headed out to our niece's softball tournament.  We got there in time to see them completely destroy the other team to make it to the final.  I got this picture of Jacob and his big cousin Walt (who had a game later in the day) watching the game...

It was a cool morning, but it was sunny, which presented a tough situation as far as Carter was concerned.  I had to either leave him in his seat, or bring him out and cover him up completely since he's still too young for sunscreen and it was awfully chilly out.  He was super cranky in between a couple short naps, and eventually I just had to leave the boys there and head back to the house.  We both took a nice, long nap.  He woke up a happier baby, for sure...

Jacob, however, was being difficult, and eventually we decided we were going to head to my parents' house on Sunday night.  We figured it would be easier than having to wake up, pack up, and head out Monday morning, effectively killing half the day, so we took off a little before bedtime and got there in time to get both boys ready for bed and relax a bit ourselves.

Monday morning I got in a run, and at lunchtime we headed over to my aunt and uncle's, where my parents were helping get my uncle's garden up and running, since his health has prevented him from doing it himself.  It was a lovely day, and we stopped at a ball diamond to get Jacob some practice, since he asks for it constantly.  This diamond was across a field from the playground (and public pool) of my youth, though the pool is gone and the playground is a shadow of its former self.  Still, Jacob loved his time on the field...

We had taken Tuesday off to complete our four-day weekend because we had free tickets to see the Atlanta Braves play the Toronto Blue Jays up in Toronto.  Carter stayed with my parents for the day, which ended up being an even better move than I had imagined it would be.  It ended up being a very long, very trying day.  It started out well enough, I guess.

Jacob had never been to a Jays game and we hadn't been there since a horrible, 90-degree game we went to years ago, when we were beyond annoyed by the fact that they opened the dome.  We also thought they had a weird policy that strands 500-Level ticketholders up top, but based on what I saw yesterday, perhaps we just kept ending up in the wrong spot last time.  We were able to freely walk this time, so regardless, it's not an issue now.  The weather ended up being yucky--50s and rainy--which meant that random walking would be kept to a minimum, but the dome stayed closed and climate-controlled, which is not a bad thing.  Our seats were really high up, but I still think we had a good view.  I'd rather be high up than have a head blocking my view of the plate.

Early on during the game, Jacob was BRUTAL.  We were ready to get up and come back home.  He was freaking out about the littlest things, and just being generally cranky.  I don't know if it was a sleep thing, a blood sugar thing, or just his normal behavior coming out at a really inopportune time, but I'm really starting to think that maybe we need to get him evaluated before Kindergarten, just to see if there's anything we can do to help him through his unnecessary freak-outs.  As an example, he was complaining his ear hurt.  He was freaking out about it, yelling and everything.  We thought it might have something to do with some sunburn he got on Sunday, so Craig suggested putting cream on it.  I didn't have my normal lotion, but I did have sunscreen, so I went to put it on.  When I rubbed it in, he yelled at me that I hurt him, and said I did it on purpose.  More yelling.  Basically, I can't win.  If I don't put it on, I'm not helping him, and if I do put it on, I'm hurting him.  He was overreacting by a long shot, and it's moments like that where we're at a loss.

After we ate he seemed to get better, though he never really looked like he was having fun.  Even here, he's so serious...

Later in the game we got up to walk around the main concourse, and we stopped near the end of the game near the Braves bullpen, with a nice view of the outfield.

A nice woman offered to take our picture, which was great, even if Jacob wasn't particularly smiley...
I do like the picture, but it feels a little incomplete without Carter, you know?
 The Braves ended up winning in 10 innings, which was great, but it did put us a little behind.  On top of that, we had a walk back to our car and we wanted to stop in the Leafs/Raptors store, which was in the same building we parked in.  Jacob ended up with a stuffed Raptor, which is an early birthday gift.  He loves it, but the last thing he needed was another animal!  Unfortunately, we then ended up getting stuck in the parking ramp for over an hour!  We're still not sure why, but it seemed to be a combination of the end of game traffic, the beginning of rush hour traffic, and possibly some issue with the ticket machine getting out of the ramp.  It was awful.  Because of that and the delay putting us right in the middle of rush hour traffic, we couldn't stop at IKEA on the way back for some very specific browsing, nor could we stop for any sort of decent dinner.  The trip back was rainy and miserable.  Jacob fell asleep, which meant he was up extra late.  We got back at an awkward time for Carter's bedtime routine, but fortunately we managed and got home around 11pm.  It made for a very long day.

Had I known how the day would go, I might have opted to save that vacation day or take it and do things at home.  It would have been a heck of a lot less frustrating and far more productive.  But we couldn't really predict all the issues we'd have, and we did have a couple good hours in there.  But it was disappointing.  And now I'm more tired and farther behind than I was before.  It's a bummer when something like that doesn't seem worth it--and it doesn't happen often--but what can you do?

Summer is now upon us and Jacob's birthday is just a few weeks away.  He graduates preschool next Friday.  Carter is getting bigger by the day, making lots of cute noises, starting to laugh, and melting hearts at every turn.  Time is just flying by!  I feel like I'm too busy to truly appreciate it, but at least this time around I'm aware that I'm too busy to appreciate it.  I think last time I was too preoccupied with everything to notice, but this time I know and I'm doing my best to savor whatever moments I can.  At least I only have a three-day week now and only have to make it a couple more days before I get quality time with the boys again...but I'm on my own for the weekend, so wish me luck!

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