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Wisconsin, United States

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Opposite of Stress...

Ahhhh, vacation is over. And I am so glad that this year was not a replica of the stressful trip of last year.

You see, this year I actually packed just the right amount, if not under-packed (I forgot a sweatshirt, but who would have thought I would need one in August? Oh wait... it's WISCONSIN!!!) And because I actually went into the vacation having extra room in the suitcase, I didn't have the stress of feeling like I was trying to squeeze an elephant into spandex when it came time to pack for the return trip.

The cabin we rent comes with a boat and this year, the owner upgraded to a pontoon boat. Stress-free fishing (once we got the battery issue fixed!) and no fighting over who gets to go out on the lake at what time. We all went together!

And last, but not least, no stress on the last day! This is the most important part of this vacation tale because if you ask anyone in my family, they will tell you how tense it was last year.

Let me paint you a picture of the year prior. On this last day, we need to pack up everything we brought (without forgetting that illusive sock!), load the vehicles (it's like a ginomous jigsaw puzzle!), and clean the cabin (vaccuum, dishes, etc). To get an early start in the hopes of leaving before noon, we all set the alarm clock for 8 am. Everyone except for my brother. My brother has the mentality that he can be ready in half-hour so he'll sleep until 11, throw some clothes on and be in the car waiting for us. Is this fair to those of us washing the plate from his midnight snack or vaccuuming up the sand he brought in? NO!!! He is 22 and in my opinion, perfectly capable of helping. So... I woke him up and told him so! Not a good idea for someone that is not a morning person. Man, was he grumpy! He picked fights with me, he picked fights with my mom, he was even surly with his almost 1 year-old niece! Charley couldn't talk, she didn't deserve that attitude. The air was thick with tension and nobody spoke for the last 20 minutes of the vacation.

That was last year...
Like a skier does a flip, this year was a complete 180. Total opposite!

We all packed most of our stuff the night before, we all were awake at reasonable times, and my brother even did the dishes because he knew he had the least amount to pack. I'd say there must have been some maturing done over the last year.

I was even able to handle a week of living with my mom.

Like I said... Stress-free! Which is how a vacation should be!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Final Countdown

Rustic cabin sitting
at the end of a long drive.
It's been a year,
too long!

I need this relaxation.
I need this week of family.

Baby is swimming,
Grill is sizzling.
Can't forget the mini golf.

Big fish waiting
for that worm on a hook.
Easy food,
be careful!

I need this serenity.
I need this environment.

Brother's snapping pictures,
Dog's are napping.
Trivia games all night.

Porch swing swaying
in the warm summer breeze.
Falling asleep,
nice nap.

I need the laughter.
I need the fun.

I love my knitting,
Jeff is reading.
Amazing week-long vacation.

Only one more day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Blue Eyes

I get how genetics work. Really, it's not hard to figure out that when you put together two sets of blue-eyed people and they have a child, chances are high that the child will have blue eyes as well. But when one parent has a lazy eye and the other has squinty eyes, what are the odds that you get a wide-eyed child?

At this point, I don't care how genetics work because my ladybug has...

the most amazing eyes!

Modeling hairbands for a little fashion show at home...

First airplane to Florida to visit Great-grandpa...
Enjoying the outdoors...
Stuck inside on a cold winter day here in Wisconsin!...
Going to the daycare for the day to visit Aunt Michelle and Nina...
Fourth of July family shot!

All of these photos depict an event that happened over the last year and a half, but all I see are baby blue eyes. I see this pair of eyes everyday: waking up in the morning, asking to watch The Princess and the Frog again please, snuggling with me on the couch, refusing dinner, and saying goodnight, but I am awestruck whenever I capture that sky blue color in a photo! Unbelievable!

Written as a part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stress Treatment

We leave for vacation on Saturday morning! Time to start getting all of the cleaning and packing done. I need to start today so that I can PROCRASTINATE a little and still make sure I don't forget anything. I have my lists started, but I know I'll be adding more as the week progresses.

In anticipation for this week, I found a great stress reduction strategy and have it stuck to my refridgerator. It should help keep me sane! But it might cause a headache!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's finally here!

It's finally August!!!

All summer long I have been anxiously waiting for August to get here. August is when I get to take my week-long vacation. I know, a lot of people would say "What do you need to take a vacation from?!" I stay home all day and I only have 1 child. Some people would call that a vacation. But in all honesty, I love going on our family vacation. It is 2 things that I absolutely love put together. What could be better? The family consists of my husband Jeff, little ladybug Charley, my parents, and my brother Andy and his girlfriend Lauren. And the vacation.... Well, that is the best part. It is a week of being away from the house! I get a week of fishing, sleeping in, 1/2 mom duty (Grandma loves taking care of Charley), 1/4 chef duty (we each prepare 2 meals), and almost no cleaning (just dishes). I'm out of my house, where I'm not staring at piles of laundry to be done or dishes to wash or beds to make. I'm almost obligation-free for an entire week.

Oh wait, I haven't mentioned the stress of the week-before-vacation. As every mom probably knows, that week before taking vacation is the worst week of the year! Ok, it's not as bad as Christmas preparations and the week of no-school that comes at the same time, but it's a close second in my book. I get through that week by making lists. Yes, I'm a list person. It helps me feel organized and prevents forgotten items. My husband doesn't like to make lists of what he might need so he tells me, "Don't let me forget to pack my ...!" As if I'm not already trying not to forget everything else. I make lists of to-do and to-pack. I have to make sure that enough laundry is done to pack for a week,then pack for Charley and I, have to get the dishes are done so they don't mold in the sink, make sure the fishing equipment is packed, get the dog's bed and bowls and food ready-to-go, remember to take the garbage out so the house doesn't stink, and somewhere in the back of my mind is that little voice that's telling me "I'm supposed to remind Jeff to pack something..."

What it is, I can't seem to remember at this moment! I should have put it on the list!

Oh, then there is the preparation for a 4 hour drive with an almost-2 year old! She doesn't like to sit in the car seat for even an hour so how am I going to keep her entertained? I make a list of toys and games and activities to lessen the amount of whining.

Well, up until this point, everything usually goes ok and I can finally relax and enjoy my vacation. Wait, I totally forgot, as I do every year, that after about 3 days I will be pulling my hair out because I can't deal with my mom for long periods of time. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom and am really grateful for the support system that I have in my family. But when it comes to letting her take care of Charley, she gets the "Grandma Syndrome". You know the symptoms, giving her candy when Mom says "No", letting her scream as she runs around the house, allowing naps to be wherever and whenever, sneaking her juice, and don't forget the late bedtimes. Basically, destroying all the hardwork that I've done for the last month trying to get her disiplined and on a schedule.

Vacation? What vacation? I'm usually ready to go home!