Sunday, October 10, 2004
Long, long weekend in Maine... looooong weekend.
When we go away for the weekend, it's like a planned military maneuver. We typically leave on a Friday right after Willem gets out of work, which means that I spend the whole day running around getting myself, both kids, and the car all packed up and ready to go. And the only way I can do it with my poor, addled, sleep-deprived, post partum brain is to have lists of EVERYTHING (including "eat breakfast" and "take a shower" or I WILL forget!) and work my way through them.

So we're happily wandering through my list on Friday morning, when my husband calls to say, "I can get out of work early, I'll be home in about 20 minutes." WHAT!?!?!?!? Instantly I'm in panic mode, trying to simultaneously repack the diaper bag and get my daughter some medicine (of course she had the nastiest drippy, snarfling cold ever starting Thursday night - not quite sick enough to stay home but just sick enough to be hanging off my ankles all day) and feed the cat and nurse my son and make phone calls to work. He gets home just as I collapse on the couch, drooling and whimpering, and he says, "Okay, let's go!" Shut up. Bite me. Grrrrr. "Okay, sure, let's go."

We start driving, and since he has this inexplicable THING about not using direct deposit we need to drive through town to deposit his paycheck, and then we might as well stop and grab lunch before we get on the road, and now hey, whaddaya know, the baby wants to eat again. So an hour and a half after we leave the house, we're finally actually on the road.

The first hour was nice. We *drove* for that hour, such a neat idea.

We made it to Manchester, NH... had to stop to feed the baby. I know, it's only been an hour. But clearly this 14-pound 10-week-old is starving to death. I don't even know for sure if he even HAS ribs, his belly is so round.

Back on the road again... and he starts screaming AGAIN. We ended up stopping SEVEN TIMES in the first 200 miles of the trip. And it's not like we're stopping in pretty, calming, comfortable places. One of the parking lots we used was for a restaurant which has been closed for several months ("JOI US FO OUR ST PATRI K DA ELEBRAT !!") but apparently that parking lot is one sexy place, judging by the number of condom wrappers flying around.

Our last mid-trip stop was in Freeport, Maine. We pulled into the parking lot of a Friendly's, and we noticed that there were a lot of people sort of milling around looking confused. Turns out the Friendly's is ON FIRE and now we have to (1) find somewhere else to eat, (2) WALK there because the road has been shut down, (3) stand in line at the McDonald's next door for 20 minutes because everyone else in Freeport was there, and then (4) wait another half hour before we can finally pull out of the parking lot. By this time I had nursed 10 times in one day and my nipples were about 6 inches long and all I wanted to do was run screaming into the woods.

But the rest of the trip was quiet, both kids fell asleep and we tiptoed into Bar Harbor around 10 p.m.

The weekend itself was okay, much better than I had expected. We were there to spread the ashes of my husband's grandmother, who died in August but it took a while for her ashes to be shipped from Holland. There were certainly some awkward and inappropriate moments - my in-laws wouldn't know how to get through a weekend without that - but fewer than I thought there would be. (The best was when some of the family was talking about viewing Grandma's body before the cremation - it was a closed casket ceremony, so she had no makeup at all on - and my mother-in-law said, "Yeah, she didn't look good." Um, yeah. I'm sorry, but, Duh.)

Last night the rest of the family decided to go out to a fancy French dinner. We were the only ones with kids - after Emily, I was the next youngest person there - and Emily was still dealing with her cold. Plus dinners with this family are always 3 hours at a minimum. So rather than nurse in public once (or three times) again, and try to quietly entertain Emily after she had worked so hard to behave herself all day, I stayed at the hotel with the kids while the rest of the family went out. And though Nutter Butters and ginger ale were probably not on the restaurant's menu, I had a much nicer time with my kids than I would have listening to my in-laws insult and interrupt each other.

And today's drive was fine, we made it home in 7 1/2 hours (according to Mapblast it should have taken us 5 - but it took us 9 hours to get there, so it was an improvement!). I got to call 911 to report some kids vandalizing a mall because we were - you guessed it - in the parking lot while I nursed. So exciting.

And now soooo happy to be home. Please cross your fingers for me that we don't have to leave the state again until Thanksgiving!!!