Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lessons learned on our weekend away

This weekend we packed up what seemed to be our whole house and loaded into the truck for a weekend away. We visited some friends who live a few hours away in the "big city." Or, really, a suburb of the Twin Cities. But to us small town folks, it's BIG. And with this trip we learned some very silly important lessons. 

Very Important Lesson #1 - We shouldn't travel. Ever. Every time we do, bad weather strikes. Always.

Without fail, whenever we plan a trip somewhere, the weather changes for the worse. Blizzards, ice storms, hail, torrential rain storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. OK, so I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the point. The weather hates us and wants us to stay home! This trip? Well, prior to our arrival, it snowed. A lot. In April. Then the day of our departure, it rained and below freezing temps. You get the drift?

#2 - I'm not much good at cramming a big ass truck into a teeny tiny parking spot. Or maybe I am?

While the men shot their bows, the women and kids headed to a mall to play. Since the parking lot was jammed full of vehicles, I decided to take the closest available spot, which happened to be a little on the small side for my husband's big truck. I may or may not have had to get back into the truck, put it in reverse and center the truck in the spot in order to open the door wide enough to get Ashton out. But no scratches, dents or evidence of my close encounter with the neighboring car, so.....

#3 - Some people aren't natural born car leaders.

Our friend Jeff was at the wheel of his car, and the plan was to follow him to the pizza joint, only he took off and we got stuck in traffic and then he was no where to be seen. (See rule #14.)

#4 - Deep dish pizza is the greatest invention of all time.

Enough said.

#5 - Baby toys amuse big kids...until they become trapped in them. 

And then we laugh, and he cries, and I rescue him. (Mean Baby Toy - 1, Spencer - 0.)

#6 - Ashton thinks everything with four legs and a tail is a dog that says woof woof and is named Nina. Oh and fish fall into this category, too. No use arguing or correcting him. One-year-olds are always right.

Also enough said.

#7 - We're no longer party animals. Did becoming parents or old age make us so lame?

Once the kids were down for the night, the adults sat on our butts and watched movies and talked. The later it got, the less we talked and the more we yawned and fought sleep. We almost saw midnight.

#8 - Two little boys in one room does not equal a peaceful night sleep.

But before we could begin our eventful night on the couch, we first had to get the boys to sleep. Apparently, Spencer and Ashton cannot share a room without causing a bunch of ruckus.

#9 - A three-year-old in an air bed goes squeak squeak squeak all night long.

Upon discovering the boys cannot sleep together in the same room, we moved Spencer to the guest room with us. Then we got to hear him toss and turn on his air bed all night long.

#10 - Even the fluffiest, softest, most expensive pillow doesn't beat my old, very worn one. Atop my ginormous pillowtop king size bed. Under my dog-smelling, cat-hairy blankets.

I slept great, don't get me wrong, but nothing beats your own bed and pillow.

#11 - Not everyone loves early morning family self-portraits.

While we had the whole family piled onto our friends' guest bed Sunday morning, I decided we should all squeeze in for a family self-portrait.....except I'm the only one who thought this was a good idea. Good thing mommies are the bosses!

#12 - No matter how inconvenient strollers are to maneuver through big crowds, it beats carrying heavy kids through a mega mall.

After leaving our friends' house, we made a pit stop at the Mall of America. We didn't pack the stroller with the reasoning that it is such a hassle to maneuver it through the Sealife exhibit, but then we didn't consider the trek through the mega mall to get the aquarium with two small children.

#13 - Pretend thunder and fake gorillas are still very scary.

We stopped for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe since it was right in front of us when we were searching for a restaurant. We'd forgotten about the fake rain storms and frightening life-like gorilla on the wall. Spencer spent most of the time on Dave's lap with his back to the gorilla and his hands over his ears.

 #14 - Small towns are more our cups of tea.

Traffic and merging and paying attention to signs is too much for us small town folk.

#15 - Long, rainy car rides are good for brainstorming mindless, silly life lessons. The end.


The oodles of random moments from our week:

The week started out so nice. You'd almost believe it was Spring. We rushed outside to play. The boys even got to ride the tractor they've been begging to ride for months.
Stopping to watch water drain.

But then Minnesota stuck its tongue out at us and dumped inches of snow, burying the brown grass we could finally see. So back inside we went. We did another lesson with numbers. We painted. We spent an enormous amount of time playing with Playdoh. After receiving a card from friends, Spencer and Ashton returned the favor and made a card for their friends, including these very personal and heartfelt messages:

Dear Briella,
Maybe I love you.

Dear Bryson,
Choo choo.

Numbers lessons: match the sticker to the number.

Ashton's first entry into his sketchpad. Each boy has one now that they periodically color in. I date the picture and jot down their age. Over the years they will have a collection of their drawings, showing their growth. Eventually they will sign and date it themselves.

Ashton's 17 month old hand (saved for the scrapbook).

We love Saturday mornings!


More from Baby and You Handmade:

My photographer friend, Tara, asked me to make some things as photo props for her photography sessions. The top item on her list was baby bonnets. I scoured Pinterest for some patterns and this is what I came up with.
My beautiful goddaughter, Evelyn, modeling the bonnet and booties I made.
The bonnet is reversible. The first two pictures show the interchangeable sides. The picture on the right is the unisex bonnet I made for my friend's baby shower. I made it from an old tablecloth.
Then I modified it a bit to make it more boy-friendly and made one as a gift for my friend's baby shower this weekend. I couldn't give her just the one homemade gift, though, now could I?

Hopefully soon the bonnets will be for sale on my Etsy shop. If you're interested in one before then, let me know and I'll gladly whip something up for you.


  1. This post is quiet comical. It really does feel like you pack everything but th kitchen sink! Hope you had a great weekend getaway! And I know the small town vs. big town thing. I am a prairie girl and now I live just outside Toronto on an army base! Craziness ! And the driving here terrifies me!

  2. Tasha, I'm glad you left me a comment. I wanted to comment on your blog but I can't figure out how. I've been enjoying your blog and little family!

    1. Thank so much! I will try and figure out the comments. I still haven't figured out all of that stuff out. I sure enjoy your posts too:)