July 05, 2008

Michigan mosquitos and memories

Last week, we loaded up the car to take a trip (I cannot call it a vacation anymore - see below) to my family's house in Michigan - also known as Poppy's Place.

Pre-children, I would be anxious to get up there to enjoy the cooler summer weather (no 90+ days like at home)! We would spend a week or two hanging out by the pool, walking to the beach, or shopping in the quaint little town of Saugatuck. There would always be a ton of family up there to hang out with and even though the sleeping arrangements are dependent solely upon if you get up there to snag a room with a bed before someone else does, it was usually very relaxing.

Fast forward to now...2 kids under two, 2 pack and plays, one who sleeps through the night, one who still gets up once to eat, and a house full of family who have never been - how shall I say it - a quiet group...not so relaxing.

The days of waking up, putting on your swimsuit and heading outside to lay out by the pool are long gone. A day in the life now goes something like this:

  • wake up with Aiden at 3 AM to feed him a bottle
  • hold and settle Ethan who woke up when Aiden began crying (side by side pack and plays contribute to this problem)
  • wake up at 6:15 AM when Ethan gets up for the day - while trying to keep him from waking the house full of sleeping relatives
  • chase Ethan around until I can finally get him to sit still long enough to eat his breakfast
  • feed Aiden who wakes up crying usually right when I sit down with a piece of toast and some tea
  • get the boys dressed and attempt to put my own bathing suit on when someone is not in the bedroom where your stuff is or when there is an open bathroom
  • slather sunscreen on a wriggling Ethan who is anxious and screaming to go outside (or "side" as Ethan says)
  • find an adult who can keep an eye on Ethan while I make another piece of toast for myself (Ethan usually eats my first one) and reheat my tea left sitting on the counter when Aiden woke up
  • finally make it outside to enjoy the sunshine - but spend most of my time chasing Ethan and pulling him off the tractor in the garage
  • decide to drag Ethan back inside after being eaten alive by the dreaded Michigan mosquitos - which always results in an Ethan meltdown
...and that's just the first few hours of the day!

So as you can see, it's a far cry from what I used to know as a vacation. But I will say that I still love to be at the house and look forward to going there year after year with my kids just as my parents did with us. Poppy is no longer there to see us enjoy the place, but I know he's always watching from above with a big smile.






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