Sunday, February 17, 2013

Escape From Mommy-Hood

This week, in a rare showing of spontaneity (I'm usually the spontaneous one in the relationship), my husband booked an online deal for a hotel in the heart of winery country. And for no good reason at all, aside from the fact that we are long LONG overdue for a real date, we decided to redeem that deal this Saturday.

Our first destination (after saying our goodbyes and dropping off the kids), was to do a little winery hopping. We made it to three different wineries in 2.5 hours and sampled four to five different wines at each one.  The wineries ranged from a dinky warehouse that offered only five choices (but they had a chocolate fountain!) to a swanky, upscale winery that boasted 10 different rieslings alone! The whole event was fun but it also reminded me that I'm not much of a wine girl. I'll drink it anytime but there are so few wines that I actually love. Most days, I'd just prefer a Rainier beer!

It was so fun to spend time with my husband. Day in and out, I get to see my husband the "father," my husband the "employee," and my husband the "chore-doer." It's pretty rare that I get to see my husband the "best friend." It was so great to hang out with him in carefree, agenda-less environment. Lucky for him (Hah!), I got to let my hair down and bring out my usual crazy self. Thank god I found someone to marry who is not easily embarrassed!

"Bottoms UP"

I'm such a light weight.

After the wineries, we headed to our hotel which was a gorgeous establishment on Lake Washington. It was fabulous. It smelled just like a hotel should smell: bleached sheets, ginger soaps, and a hint of adventure. It was upscale but not snooty. I squeeled in delight when I saw the gigantor king-sized bed and immediately pressed my cheeks against the cool sheets and did a bed "snow" angel. Then I promptly consumed all the pillow chocolates and took a tour of the bathroom where I did a happy dance the moment I saw the fancy hand-held showerhead and luxurious bathrobe hanging on the towel rack.

We dropped off our stuff and went looking for dinner. The hotel restaurant was packed and their menu was less than impressive. So we headed to the restaurant across the street (La Grand in Kirkland, Washington) where we found immediate water-view seating. I'm so thankful that the hotel restaurant was packed that night because, at this unassuming place across the street we had what we both agreed was the BEST MEAL OF OUR ENTIRE LIFE (haricots verts, crab cakes atop carrot puree sauce, and steak with garlic butter).

After returning to our room, we luxuriously fell asleep BEFORE 9pm. And the next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before picking up the kids. There's nothing quite like being away for 24 hours to make you truly appreciate your children. When we walked into my in-laws' house, the kids bounded up to the door beaming from ear to ear. We wrapped them in big hugs and reminded ourselves just how lucky we are to have wonderful children to come home to. Jacob talked nonstop on the way home while Ryan chimed in on the noise-making with his singing. We were in such high spirits when we got home and the sun was shining (rare for a wintry Washington weekend) that I mustered up the courage and energy to take both kids to the park on my own. My husband had to leave for a work event so I had the kids all to myself.

We frolicked down to the park as if we were hamsters let free from their cages. We enjoyed our freedom, soaked up the sunshine, and Jacob and I giggled happily at Ryan who was making silly noises and desperately trying to escape from his stroller. He wants so badly to be like his big brother Jacob. He kept reaching desperately for Jacob's Thomas the Train bike and the look in his eyes was a mix between curiosity and envy.

The happy mood quickly turned sour a mere five minutes into our trip when Jacob decided he was suddenly and desperately cold and absolutely needed to have hot cocoa within five mintues or else parish an unthinkable death.

I refused to leave so soon after our long trek to the park. Plus, Ryan was having fun crawling back and forth through the tunnels of the big toy.

That is....until he went one crawl too many and fell face first onto the grated floors of the play structure.

He has a rhino horn!

On the way home, I had to haul both the stroller and Jacob's bike back uphill to the house while listenin to Jacob cry hysterically about how cold he was. Funmy how Ryan was the injured one and he was doing JUST FINE.

It was a losing battle for the rest of the evening as Jacob was sent to his room for (1) hitting Ryan, although he claimed he was just "drumming" on his head, (2) putting a large box over Ryan's body after being told not to, (3) back-talking, backtalking, and backtalking some more, and (4) coloring all over our furniture with markers. Jacob also refused to eat any dinner despite my begging and pleading. When he was sent to his room the fourth time and I noticed that he hadn't touch his dinner, I ate it myself to keep from being wastful. Of course the second he was out of his room he demanded to know where his dinner was and screamed at the top of his lungs because he was "SO STARVING that his tummy was going to melt!"

By 7:00 p.m., I had had enough of my return to Mommy-land. Even though it was 1.5 hours before their usual bedtime, I rushed both kids to bed in record time. Luckily, even Ryan went into his crib wide-eyed but without a single fuss. Then they both fell asleep without a single peep!

Is an overnight date worth paying the price of a thousand child tantrums? That would be a resounding "YES!"

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