June 26, 2013

Preparing for the Annual Road Trip - Was it this much work last year?

I don't know.  Maybe.  For some reason, I seem more anxious this year.  I shouldn't be because the boys are a year older.  But maybe that's just it--I know them a year better and yes, they're older but that actually makes them less portable.  (Remember the good ol' days when you could carry the car seat by a handle and sit it down anywhere not having to worry about a small, mobile being wrecking havoc in public?)  Okay, most of the time it's not that bad--but at four and six, my boys can get into their share of trouble--usually in the worst possible place and at the worst possible time.  

There's so much to coordinate.  I'm leaving two elderly dogs behind.  A lawn that grows eight inches in less than a week.  A kitchen rehab in progress....  When exactly did life get so complicated?  The boys will miss two expensive swim lessons (no refund, no make-ups) and I forgot to fill out that form to stop the mail.  On top of that, my boys have funny appetites--I must remember to pack a big box of their favorite nonperishable foods.   No wonder I'm feeling a little anxious.

It might have something to do with the fact that I have been sleeping really poorly (less than 5 hours per night).  I attribute that to having to stay up late to do housework/laundry/organizing because it's just not possible between 6am and 8pm.  During that daily, 14 hour period, I'm playing zone defense so no one gets hurt, goes hungry, is bored or forgets what they learned during the school year.  It's a big zone and my two boys can find trouble faster than an Illinois politician.

The other reason I sleep so few hours is the aforementioned elderly dogs.  The older of the two is up howling at least three times in the night.  It's a lot like having a newborn.  He's very disoriented when he wakes and has a tiny bladder.  (I'm awaiting two deliveries which may help with the situation--a canine herbal remedy said to calm dogs and a "thunder shirt".  Even if these items eliminate only one of the nightly wakings, I'll be grateful.)

Tomorrow will be another jam-packed day.  Henry has wilderness camp in the morning during which time Liam and I will head to the home improvement store to sign the installation paperwork, then we'll rush home to let the dogs out, make sandwiches and quickly leave again to pick up Henry by 12:30.  From his camp, we'll drive across the border and visit Grandpa for a few of hours.  His town holds an enormous family festival this time of year and tomorrow is the one and only day we can squeeze it in.  After some fun in the sun, we'll drive the two hours back home where I'll carry the boys to their beds.  They'll rest, I'll do laundry and then we'll start all over the next day.

I have four days after that to complete all our road trip preparations.  It's a nine hour drive to Tennessee  to visit friends who are like family.  I know I'll be glad to see everyone and love spending time there.  It's so nice to watch my boys slowly unwind and relax into the pace of someone else's home while still minding their manners.  I think it's a good experience for them.

I'm grateful to have this blog where I can think out loud and benefit from the support that comments bring.  Once upon a time, one could just chat over the back fence with another harried mom and walk away feeling heard, feeling understood.  Feeling better.  It doesn't seem like there are many of those back fences anymore, at least not on my block where the best neighbors moved to Tennessee three years ago.  Tennessee?!  Tennessee?!  I forgot to air out the suitcases and get the oil changed.  Where's my list?

my to-do list organized by day--it really only makes sense to me


  1. You run a tight ship. It's so commendable. And you give your boys so much variety and exposure to life. I look to you a lot for inspiration. I hope you are able to relax when you arrive at your friends' home.

  2. Whew, that's a lot going on all at one time! This blog is amazing, and a great place to dump all the thoughts that swim through your head with all these plans and events going on. What would you share with us if you didn't have all these things going on? All the scrapbooking and cooking and crafty crap you could do with your 'spare time'?

    Ya, I had a good laugh, too. Spare time. I think that's about as real as a money tree. One day, we'll have some time to share a glass of wine and laugh at the idea of spare time and money trees. :)

  3. Oh my goodness, your schedule exhausts me. But I should start preparing myself now, because once my kids are old enough, I'd love to be able to provide them with all these amazing experiences that you give your boys.

    I hope your trip to Tennessee goes smoothly, and you all have a great time!

  4. You so amaze me! Hope you have a awesome time and ENJOY!

  5. love this: "...my two boys can find trouble faster than an Illinois politician."

    You are SO organized! I, too, have a long road trip coming up. Every year, I find that the drive itself isn't as bad as I thought it might be (let's hope this year is the same)but YES, it's definitely the pre-trip organizing that takes its toll. Go forth, be strong, have fun!