Monday, June 23, 2008

Happily Home

Our weekend up north is over. And I'm okay with that. It was a nice weekend, but I sure am happy to be home. The boys on the other hand are not quite as happy. They didn't want to leave. They would be perfectly content living up at the cabin and said as much. Joey even went so far as to say that he wouldn't care if a big bulldozer came and knocked our house down (can you tell he watches Extreme Home Makeover?) so we could live up north. I told him that wasn't a nice thing to say, that we have a lovely house, and he should be grateful. He wasn't grateful. He was mad. Spoiled brat.

I get it though. They are outside nonstop up north. Fishing, running around, playing in the water, roasting marshmallows. The boys are just beside themselves with excitement the entire time they are there. This causes them to act both adorably cute and annoyingly whiny. They are either telling us they love us and that we are the best or asking for the millionth time to go fishing again. It is a constant flurry of outdoor activity that surprisingly drains us, but not them. By the time the boys get off to bed at night Todd and I are in dire need of a stiff drink, but too tired to lift a glass to our mouths. Instead we end up going to bed at 10:00, which is a good thing because the boys are up at 5:00 AM asking to go fishing again. And the crazy cycle continues.

The three hour car ride home yesterday was insane. The boys only slept for a half an hour (after waking up at the butt crack of dawn) in the car and then insisted on screaming, yelling and growling like dinosaurs for the remainder of the ride home. I put my iPod shuffle on and tried my best to drown them out. It didn't work. Just when I thought I couldn't handle it one more minute we rounded the corner to our house. Hurrah!

We got home and the boys were still crazy and sassy-mouthed, so I popped in a movie (oh yes I did!) to try and calm them. That worked for all of 30 minutes before they got bored of that and resumed the madness. We quickly fed them dinner and shipped them off to bed early. I changed clothes, bolted out of the house, and went for a run to ease my rapidly fraying mind. It helped. And so did the silent house when I got back.

This weekend was a test for me. I have been working on being more of a go-with-the-flow kind of a mom. The kind of mom that can just gather her kids up and head out for a weekend without worrying too much about wrecking sleep schedules and dealing with grouchy children. I want to be a bit more fun and spontaneous, and not let my children see me get huffy and cross when I am, oh say, packing everyone's bag for the weekend stressing that I may be forgetting some vital element that could possibly ruin the whole trip. I don't want to be the mom who hustles my children through the grocery store barking orders through gritted teeth so that we can get all of our errands done in an hour and leave "on time". I don't even want to be the kind of mom that worries about leaving "on time". So this weekend I tried to make the most of every moment. Even the packing and the grocery shopping. Less yelling and more laughing. I constantly asked myself, "Does it really matter? Is this really a problem?" The majority of the time the answer was "no" which meant another opportunity to just breathe and relax. It wasn't easy, but I liked myself better this way. And it definitely made the weekend more enjoyable for everyone. Let's see how long I can keep this up now that we are back.

Weekend Soundbites:

Heard through their bedroom door-
Tommy: "Joey are you awake yet? Joey? Joe? Okay then. I'll just go back to sleep."
Aww. Good boy.

Conversation that occurred when Joey was being most annoying-
Todd: "Oh Joey, I can not wait until you have your own kids."
Joey: "I can't ever have kids! I'm not a woman!"


Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

Oooh, FIRST! ha ha ha!
I think the effort to become more go-with-the-flow is a good one. I need to work on this more myself. I can be that way in some aspects, but not others.
I'm glad you all had a good trip and are now home safe & sound.

Life in the Crazy Lane said...

Oh, your post made me exhausted. I would like to be more of a go-with-the-flow mom, but I don't think I have it in me (as my screaming children throw Goldfish on the floor behind me ... sheesh).

Jeni said...

Right now, Mandy and I are trying to "go with a flo" so-to-speak, in that we are trying, again, to remove the evenflo bottles from Kurtis and transfer him over to a sippy cup. And it ain't going down well at all, I must add. A lot of screaming, kicking, tantrum going on.
But I enjoyed reading your story about your time in the cabin -great that the kids really love the place. The soundbites at the end though- really priceless!

Hilary said...

I went with the flow as best I could.. I'm still trying to dry off. ;)

Your kids sound priceless.. "I'll just go back to sleep".. I want to hug that child! :) Lovely post, Kathryn.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Whew! Good fun (and exhaustion).

And, tag, you're it!

Tiffany said...

Sounds like fun! We are actually up north at our summer getaway (aka my parents home north of Phoenix) and I can totally relate to much of what you said - Its amazing how traveling brings out the "best" in all of us - even when it is to a familiar place. I actually just wrote in my last post about the "mommy types" and I too, would like to be much more of a go with the flow mom as well, but anything stressful creeping in always damages my efforts to do so! Love the conversations!

Molly's Mom said...

I'm trying to be more go w/the flow while I'm home this summer, but it's hard! I'm a control freak by nature and, well, that's that. And I sympathize with getting up at the butt crack of dawn...we're not even on vacation (although husband is out of town working for the 2nd wk in a row) and I was awakened at 5:45 this morning. UGH.
BTW - good girl! You know your awesome movies! :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

WOW. Now THAT sounds like fun. We often go up north (or 'up nort') and it is always a nice escape. But the soundbites - CLASSIC!

lime said...

there's a balance between going with the flow and not letting chaos reign supreme....if you find it let me know. the run after you got home sounds like it was a wonderful de-stresser though. :)

Laura said...

Sounds like a fun weekend. It can be hard to push thorugh our comfort levels...going with the flow can be fun, with a bit of structure!!!!!

Love the sound bites!

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

That is what I am working on being too, and I think I am failing miserably. I used to remember trips and hating them, because of how my mother always was before hand. It just wasn't worth it. I SO don't want that to be the memory that my children have. It's hard though, when you are the one in charge of making sure that you have everything that you need. I would gladly exchange the job of packing for the one of loading. The men have it so much easier. I get, just tell me what you need me to do....that takes just as much time as if I were to do it myself. :)

Laski said...

Wow. So much going on!!!

"I have been working on being more of a go-with-the-flow kind of a mom." I work on this all the time . . . we are so much alike!

And that last "sound bite"--awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Aw, you really are an awesome mom with some lucky kids because you really do notice things you'd like to do differently and then do your best to do so. Sounds super tiring but a lot of fun, too!

Just in case you missed it in my other comment (not that you are even caught up after the trip) I left a little bling for you over on my blog today. Relax, take your time and no rush, but just know it's there for you. :)

the dragonfly said...

Right now I have to go with the flow...we're still not over our jetlag, still in some limbo-like time zone. Argh. The Little Mister has been sleeping until 11:00 am!! And that's after going to bed at 8:30. It's just weird. (And annoying, when he wakes up three times in the night. Not hungry, not wet, just needs Mommy. I'm glad I can comfort him...but he hasn't done this since he was tiny!)

Anyway, I'm rambling. It's good that you're trying to de-stress. I need to do that too.

Kristen said...

Kathryn, hearing that you tried to "relax" some with the schedules gives me hope that I too might be able to do as such!

I am SO MUCH the same way, but asking yourself does it matter? Is a good judge of the situation!

Thanks for sharing, and making me feel that I might not be the only one. Glad to hear that you survived up North and that the boys had the best of times. How fun and exhausting all at the same time. :)

Loved the sound bites too! :)

Brittany said...

I am really glad you posted this post. I have been dwelling with the same issues lately- DOES it really matter? AH! I tend to fuss over the dumbest things, when in the end it DOES not matter. How do we change this vicious cycle?

Ashley said...

Being a laid back mommy is really hard if it's not your "natural thing". I TOTALLY feel you. Good luck dear! Glad you are back home!

dawn klinge said...

I've been going with the flow for the past week or so since we went to our summer schedule and I'm already looking for a little more structure. There's been a lot of whining at my house the past few days.

Tonya said...

That is great. Your kids and most kids for that matter are great for a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

First off, love the soundbites!!!!

Second of all, that sounds like an exhausting weekend!

Kathryn said...

Sounds like a weekend full of good memories. When I have a hard time "going wih the flow" I try to force myself to consider the memory that will last in my children's hearts...will it be the screaming "do this, do that NOW!!!" Mommy, or the "go with the flow relaxed but firm" Mommy. This usually steers me out of "mommy dearest" waters. *grin*
Welcome home and enjoy your week!

just jamie said...

I love posts like these that make me feel like, not only am I not alone, but we're all just doing the best we can ONE DAY AT A TIME. Keep going. I'll try and come along too. :)

OHmommy said...

Oh my... I am exhausted reading your post. They didn't even nap for you in the car.

Welcome home. I love routines.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I'm so glad you had a restful time at the lake. The boys say the sweetest things, don't they? I'm so glad he's not a woman. He's too cute the way he is.

Mom24 said...

I'm so glad you had a good time. We are getting ready to go on vacation Saturday, your words really resonated with me. I have been starting to quietly panic about everything I have to do, and getting it all done "on time". I will try very hard to apply your words. I, too, do not want to be "that mom". Thank you for the wake-up call. I think if you keep telling yourself these things, and keep trying to figure out the mom you truly want to be (and you already seem like a really terrific mom, IMO), sooner or later it will be second nature. Thanks again for the important (and timely) reminder.

Roxy Wishum said...

Lucky boys! Hang in there with the search for perfect balance. The real blessing is when the kids become helpers and then adults creating memories like mom and dad did for them. Looking back is seems to happen quicker than your trip home!

Family Adventure said...

I like the sound of your new 'you'. I should work on developing an equally laid back new 'me'. I think I'd like that type of 'me' much better...and I'm sure my boys would.

Glad you had a good, albeit busy, time at the cottage. Sounds like boy heaven.


Fire Hunt said...

Your weekend sounds like most of my days. That being said I like to go go! But my hubby needs to work on going with the flow more:)

Momisodes said...

Goodness Kathryn, your thoughts echo my own in so many ways. I hope and aspire to be a more easy-going mom, woman, wife too. I've seen the woman you described with gritted teeth on many occasions, and feel awful after the fact. And I only have 1 kiddo :( Such a well written post.

Welcome back home :)

Cynthia said...

Good luck with being "go with the flow Mom". I try to be too, but it's hard. My tendency is to try to control things a bit more than anyone else...Keep us posted on that front:)

Chaotic Joy said...

Ha! I am glad your boys had a great trip. I am working on being more "go with the flow" and less of a "no" mom myself. I have only been successful in spurts but it's a start. I think the philosophy of "Does this really matter?" is a good one.

Welcome back.

Kelly said...

My boys would be content living at the cabin too. My dad owns a ton of hunting ground about a 1/2 hour from home and he has a log cabin and a nice lake on it. We spend a lot of time out there and it's heaven to the boys.

I'm with ya on the go with the flo stuff. I'm such a creature of routine and structure and it's so hard to break myself of that sometimes. I've tried doing some things that a little more spontaneous and everyone seems happy with that.

Kellan said...

I'm glad that you all had such a good time and I can't blame those boys - I love the lake and outdoors too - love it!!

Cute soundbites - HA!

Have a good Tuesday - see ya - Kellan

imbeingheldhostage said...

Now, if you just train all three to peek in and say, "Mom, are you asleep? Ok, we'll just go back to bed"--now THAT would be priceless :-)
Welcome back, and "well done" for being the cooler Mom.
I'm hoping to master that technique before I reach 50 (shouts per morning? single socks in the hamper? squished pb&j sandwiches in a lunch box?) years of age.

Stephanie said...

I also stive to be a "go with the flow" kind of mom. Sometimes it is a total struggle. Sometimes I fail. And then it comes back. And I'm happy. I think it's a cycle. But remembering to do it is the key.

I can imagine they like being up north a lot too because it's something more of a treat. Good idea running to clear your head! said...

I am so anxious for our trips!

I'm not a woman... that's a stitch.

theflyingmum said...

Sounds like you handled yourself waaay better than I would have, as I'm afraid I would have gone for that stiff drink a little, uh, sooner, shall we say?
But you seem to have handled it really well, and sound happy too! And I envy you that cabin!

Unknown said...

Did you totally crack up when Joey came up with that one? LOVE IT!

Glad you had a good weekend, even if it did have its "moments!"

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson