This was a relatively short weekend, as Sunday was officially a work day for me (well, sort of — more on that below). Friday my husband and I went to his office Christmas party. The toddler, mercifully, continued a streak of sleeping past 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. I celebrated by making star-shaped pancakes, per a request from the 5-year-old.
Even with the later wake-up, Saturday morning felt long, punctuated with moments of frenzy, including a rush to get the 7-year-old out the door for this Cub Scout rain gutter regatta. He came in third for his den (very exciting). I took the 5-year-old and toddler to a birthday party at an indoor play place. He fell asleep in the car on the way home, so we all chilled out for a while, watching Planet Earth.
Then, the question: what to do? I am keeping track of my time, so I know that quite a bit happened between 2:25 and 5:25 p.m. I wouldn't have guessed all of it could fit in 3 hours, but it did. The key was moving quickly from one thing to the next.
I wanted to go for a run but we needed groceries, so I ran on the treadmill at home while my husband went to get them. I did intervals so the whole thing took about 20 minutes. Then I booked a flight I needed to. I heard the baby waking up at 3:00, so I quickly finished and then we all high tailed it into the car so we could make it to the Morris Arboretum to see the Christmas trains before the park closed at 4:00. I did not think this would work, but my husband was adamant it would. We pulled out of the driveway at 3:15 and into the arboretum at 3:32. We walked through the trains and even had 5 minutes to go to the Out on a Limb exhibit (where you can climb on a rope net through the forest canopy — fun!)
(Funny side note: the toddler was standing on the sidewalk at the arboretum and I was like, hey, why is there a puddle forming in front of him? Turns out he had managed to pull down his pants and diaper and was peeing. I really just never know what he's going to do next…)
Then we hooked it over to IKEA. We checked the 5- and 7-year-old into Smaland (the kid play area) and went shopping with the non-Smaland eligible other children. The 9-year-old complained bitterly about this, that he is now too old for Swedish play lands. Ah, the angst of lost youth. My husband had his sights set on a particular couch for the basement. It is not my favorite but it is functional and can serve as an extra bed. We also picked up some other random things because, hey, IKEA. We were in the checkout line when my husband ran to get the kids at Smaland when their time was up at 5:25.
Of course, getting the couch back to the house took longer than one might think. This is the trouble of time estimation. Sometimes you're over, sometimes you're under. Still, I was impressed with the number of things that got done in 3 hours.
Sunday had a very different vibe, for me at least. I got up with the toddler at 5:50, hung out with him and got ready, then left the house around 8:20 for a 10:00 flight to Cancun. I gave a speech in the evening to 400 people there for a corporate retreat. I had about 2 hours of downtime before I met up with the organizers for dinner, so I was able to sit on the beach for a while. Hence the photo, which looks stormier than it was. That dark cloud passed quickly and then it was lovely. While working on weekends gets a bad reputation, I have to say that this was probably more relaxing (even speaking to 400 people) than hanging around the house with the kids. In fact, I know it was. I called home, and my husband reported that he took all four to church, only to discover upon parking that the 7-year-old had only one of his shoes. Later, he took all four to a movie. Whoa.
It was a quick trip -- I am home now, and done with planes (as far as I know) for 2017.