Tuesday, March 08, 2011

life stuff...and a question for you!

Dear Winter,

It is really time for you to go now. No seriously, we have had just about enough. GO AWAY.

We had this one nice day a few weeks ago, and the kids made the most of it, romping around in the melty snow, playing under the huge pine tree in our yard, and generally soaking in the nice temps. (Also, trashing their clothes almost beyond saving...thank you, Tide Stain Release!)

But since then we've pretty much had snow on the ground. These are tough winters, the ones with no thaw from Thanksgiving straight through till March. We often get a long, late autumn, with no snow up to or even on Christmas, or some nice warmish days in January, up into the 40s or even 50s. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! And it is starting to wear on me, big time. I'm feeling so utterly housebound - it makes me think of the Ingalls family in "The Long Winter" and I wonder how on earth they didn't all go screaming insane.

It's just that when everyone is sick and playdates get cancelled and it is truly too cold to spend much time outside...well, it gets really boring and frustrating for everyone involved. I'm so, so tired of hearing my own voice as I snap at the children (again and again and again): stop it! don't push him! quit pulling her hair! if you can't agree on a video I'm turning the TV off! etc, etc.

We did end up joining the museum, and that's fun on the days we can go. And I've been leaving the house every single day with AJ, even if it is just to drive around a bit and go for a donut and coffee. We go grocery shopping a few times a week, hit the drug stores with our coupons for good sale items, browse Joann's and the other craft stores, and get donuts or bagels together. Sure, it's kind of bad for my pocketbook, but it is better for my sanity. Until we can go outside and wander the neighborhood, or go to the park, or spend the afternoon at the wading pool with lots of other kids, it will have to do. I wish we could do something a bit more...I don't know, educational? Valuable? We'd go to the library to get books or participate in story hour, but my 2.5 year old destructo-bot would unshelve all the books and disrupt the story hour. He's just not quite ready for that yet (maybe in the autumn when he turns 3). For now it's strictly outings where he can be trapped in a cart or the stroller.

Daughter was off school for a week recently and it nearly killed me, trying to keep them both from destroying the house or hurting each other. They are just so bored, and have pent-up energy to spare. Winter kind of sucks for little kids! I know so many people lament the growing up process, and chastise those who "wish childhood away" but good heavens, I have had enough of the toddler years. (And did I mention we are potty training? Aaaargh!)

I know it's just a phase for both of the kids, but right now it's tough. There are very few activities I can come up with that suit both a 6 year-old and a 2.5 year-old. They can paint together...sort of...until AJ uses the same brush for all the paints and wrecks all the colors or Daughter starts hoarding paints so AJ can't reach. If I try to start an activity with Daughter, or play a game with her, AJ will either disappear and get into something dangerous, or try to wreck the game/activity. And if I try to sit down on any piece of furniture in the entire house, my son wants to crawl up and sit directly on top of me. Which wouldn't be so bad if he could sit still. But he writhes and tickles and pulls at my hair and just won't settle.

I'm grasping at anything that will cheer me up these days. That means blowing off my responsibilities (nuggets and potato smiley faces for dinner again, kids!) so I can sew or knit. Making sundresses gives me hope that nice weather is around the corner, hooray! And I find that utterly losing myself in a detailed sewing project (like this somewhat complex dress pictured above) is like a meditation for me. Sometimes I play music or NPR, but often I just sew in silence after everyone has gone to bed, or during naptime when AJ is sound asleep and the house is nice and quiet.


I do have one nice thing to look forward to, and it is this: Hubs and I are planning to take a little vacation together, just the two of us, which we have not done since our honeymoon in 2003. For real. Our marriage could use a little attention (no problems, per se, just a need to reconnect) after these last few troubled years taking care of kid issues, and we're going to head out for, oh, maybe a 5 day weekend journey or something like that. We plan to drive and keep it budget-friendly (because of Hubs' work we can get hotel discounts), and want to do something peaceful and quiet (no big cities). We're thinking sometime in May, and somewhere on the east coast. Where would you go? I'm looking for ideas!


HangerMom said...

This probably doesn't suit what you're looking for at all, because it's southern east coast, but a year and a half ago, Nathaniel and I went to Savannah for a long weekend and had a wonderful time. We just walked around and saw the city and ate good food. We had dinner at 8:30 because we didn't have eat before kids went to bed... It was so relaxing and wonderful. And Savannah was beautiful!

Lucia said...

You so totally need to go! It depends a bit on what your interests are, but here are some places I like, in no particular order:
- Sabbathday Lake, ME, home of the last working Shaker village in the world. We stayed at a B&B, don't remember the name, toured the village, thought about swimming in the lake but didn't. May is a little early for swimming in Maine.
- Manchester, VT. Tons of outlets, beautiful scenery, great restaurants.
- Provincetown, MA. Scenery, history. The drawback of this one is that driving all the way to the end of the Cape takes forever. Gloucester, MA, is also lovely, and an interesting mix of tourist trap and working fishing village. And it doesn't take forever to get to.
- Portland, ME. Somewhat like Gloucester, only bigger. Quite a bit of art, music, culture.
- Rangeley, ME. Lakes, mountains, scenery. Not a lot of night life, unless you like moose. Probably a bit chilly in May.
- Sturbridge, MA, home of Old Sturbridge Village, a reenactment of a whole 18th-century community. It's open seasonally, I don't remember dates.

Mrs Lemon said...

Yes, we have a lot of chicken nugget, fries, and cheese stick meals. I was so proud of myself this week though, I roasted a pork tenderloin on Saturday night, reheated it for dinner Sunday (to eat for the first time), and used the leftovers to make pulled bbq. Otherwise we would have had chicken nuggets, cheese sticks, and fries again last night :)

Shari said...

Well if you go to Maine bring your passports and take the high speed CAT ferry to Nova Scotia. The south shore is gorgeous!