May Loooooooong

May 23, 2016

May Long weekend! Parties! Camping! The unofficial start to summer! Oh, the excitement and anticipation that this weekend brings.  For me, May Long weekend this year was just that... long.  It was long, rainy, boring... and long.  
Work had sent my husband to Texas, so it was just myself and my daughters, with nowhere to be and nothing but time. This wasn't the first time that he's worked away, nor will it be the last... but it was certainly the most exhausting thus far.
I woke up on Friday morning eager to enjoy the day with my girls.  We went to the gym, where I ran the track with the girls in the stroller. Once Briley woke up from her running-induced nap, we went downstairs to counteract my efforts with a coffee and cookie. I let Aaralee run wild down the hallway and up and down the ramps for what felt like forever. We watched people play hockey. Aaralee was happy, I was happy... Briley is almost always happy.  
Next on our list was a trip to the zoo! By zoo, I mean the pet store.  Fortunately for my wallet, my kids are just as enthralled by bunnies and fish as they are by elephants and tigers.  After declining Aaralee's requests to buy a bunny, it was onwards to the Dollar Store! 

We walked down the aisles; Briley distracted by the bright colours and Aaralee describing every item that she saw.  We left with glow sticks, and much to Aaralee's joy, a miniature hockey stick. She's been asking for one for weeks, and at $1.25, I couldn't say no.  Briley was a fan of our new toy as well. 

Home we went.  My friend Carley came by for a thrilling Friday evening of watching Ellen and eating takeout for dinner. We take this weekend partying quite seriously! Carley went home, I talked to my husband on FaceTime, and called it a night.  
Saturday morning, we woke up to rain. Pouring rain.  Our province is currently overrun by wildfires that have displaced thousands of people, so we needed the rain and I was not about to complain.  We had a big breakfast, a dance party, and I made a makeshift hammock for the girls under the table. 

 We read books, watched Sesame Street, and before we knew it, we were feeling bored and cooped up and it was only noon. For the sake of good moods and Mommy's sanity, Aaralee and I are both people that need to leave the house every single day. That being said, battling the long weekend crowds didn't sound at all appealing.  It was cold outside, so I dug out the warm clothing, bundled the kids up, grabbed the stroller and a baby carrier, and off we went for a walk. We had nothing to eat for supper, so we walked all the way to the grocery store in the cold and drizzling rain.

  I bought groceries, Aaralee ate her free cookie, and home we went.  For whatever reason, a nap was not on Aaralee's list of priorities for the day, so she was exhausted and grumpy as evening approached and bed time couldn't come soon enough. With both kids tucked in by 7 pm, I spent my evening on a FaceTime date with Ryan, finally deciding to go to bed around 11:30.  Just as I crawled into bed, Briley started crying... and then coughing... and then gagging. I rushed into her room to find that she had thrown up all over her crib, so I scooped her out of bed and brought her to the bathroom to get cleaned up.  My poor, sad baby continued to get sick and her confusion and discomfort made both of us cry.  After some much needed cuddles and reassurance, I changed her sheets, and put her back to bed. Only 10 minutes went by before we were up again, and I was holding my baby over the toilet. She was so upset, so tired, so sick, and I couldn't do much at all to help. We tried going to bed a few more times with no luck, so instead I hung out in the bathroom with my pitiful little girl in my arms. Despite her obvious unhappiness, she still managed to crack a smile and wave at her reflection in the mirror a few times. She loves the mirror.  
A couple hours passed, and I successfully managed to get her back to sleep. She was up bright and early, as per usual, but in far better spirits than she had been overnight.
I needed coffee. All of it. 

All of our potential plans for the day were out the window, with my focus on getting Briley back to her healthy self and avoiding spreading germs in the event that she had something contagious.  It was another gloomy, wet day, so I didn't feel as though we were missing out on much by staying inside.
We started the day with painting. Aaralee created a gorgeous work of art, and Briley screamed until I let her participate as well.  She dove right into the paint, smearing it across the paper and drawing lines with her fingers. She only taste tested it once... not bad for her first time!

 We cleaned up with a long bath lit by our Dollar Store glowsticks. Aaralee was mesmorized by the "light straws" and Briley was happy to splash and play.  

We read about 632 books, and then it was nap time... sweet, glorious nap time! I don't often luck out with long simultaneous naps, but this day treated me very well. Rather than nap myself, I came up with the brilliant idea to take advantage of my husband's absence by doing some big cleaning projects... like my disaster of a closet. I regretted this decision almost immediately, but it was too late. The mess had now spewed out into my bedroom, and I had many hours of organizing ahead of me.  I started with my clothes.  It was finally time to say goodbye to some clothing articles for good. I had an honest talk with myself, reminding myself that I've had 2 children and that some things are just destined to never be worn again.  So long, little jeans and tiny tank tops. Goodbye, sweaters that I couldn't zip up if my life depended on it.  
Just as I was getting into the swing of things, the girls woke up and I had to put my cleaning on hold.  
Our afternoon activity of choice was emptying all of the drawers onto the kitchen floor. I didn't object. I just sat back, sipped my coffee, and watched as Tupperware flew across the room. 
It was a frozen pizza for dinner kind of night, but I chopped up some fresh veggies to make it seem like a healthy meal.  The evening dragged by, and finally it was bed time. I put the girls to bed, came downstairs eager to sprawl out on the couch... and then Briley woke up.  Rather than relax, I spent the next 3 hours trying to get her to go back to sleep, but she was perfectly content to hang out with me instead.  Eventually, I won the battle and she drifted off until morning. All motivation to do anything productive was lost, and bed time for me soon followed. 

I woke up to the beautiful sound of birds chirping outside my window on a sunny Monday morning.... oh wait... no... it was actually my kids simultaneously screaming and it was yet another rainy day. On the bright side, it was 7:52 am!  We had "slept in" for once!  
We had a lazy morning, and I finally decided that I'd had enough of sitting around the house. Judging by her constant whining over nothing at all, Aaralee needed to get out as well. We put on our sweaters, rain jackets, and boots and headed out into the cold and rain.  Something amazing happens once we get outside...  my children go silent. It's a strange phenomenon, but as I push the stroller they are content to sit back and watch, and I rarely hear a peep. We walked to one of Aaralee's favourite spots in the neighbourhood... a boardwalk over a pond. She ran and pushed her doll stroller without a care in the world, completely oblivious to the miserable weather.  We ran out some energy, and she was having a great time until she suddenly notice a "big cuddle" (cuddle = puddle)... AKA the pond. The same pond that has always been there. The pond that she has ran above many times in the past. Suddenly its presence was offensive and she wanted to go home. Toddler logic is something that is not meant to be understood.  I obliged, and home we went.  

I managed to put both kids down for a nap, took a sigh of relief, and then sat down with a bowl of cereal for lunch.  Their naps were short, but when they woke up we had visitors! People! Adult people!  My mom and her boyfriend were fresh back from a weekend in the mountains, so they stopped by for a quick visit. They entertained my kids, they provided conversation, and most importantly... they brought me some of my favourite treats from Banff. 

Once they'd left, I made dinner, put the kids to bed, and retreated downstairs to unwind.  The rain tapered off and through the clouds I caught a glimpse of blue sky. The weekend was finally drawing to a close and I was likely the only person excited about it.   

I realize that there are certainly worse things in life than spending 4 days trapped inside with my 2 favourite people. However, between tantrums, illness, and Briley gaining 3 new teeth in the span of a week.... I'm more than ready for my husband to come home.  I can't wait to see him, hug him, request that he take over bedtime duty for a few days, and dive into the suitcase full of brand new clothing that he's purchased for our kids.  
So long, May Long... maybe next year I'll be excited to see you again.