Spring Break 2017: Part One

Well, the first few days of spring break have come and gone. I was hoping to fill this week with a lot of really fun memories with the boys. I had zero intention of working over break. I was fully dedicated to spending the days out and about having adventures with them. We couldn’t go on vacation, we couldn’t even leave the house for long periods of time because of Annie. But we could still try and make the most of it.



Spring Break started at 11:30 on Wednesday, when I met Caden at school for the special second grader’s VIP Lunch. Each kid was allowed to invite just one guest to eat hot dogs with them. I was his VIP by default, since it made the most sense – what else did I have going on? But I felt bad when I realized this replaced the original Donuts with Dads second graders used to do.


But still, it was nice to be his special person for a small amount of time. All of the kids made placemats for their VIPs. Then we got our hot dog and ate. As a special treat, the students were allowed to leave with their parent as soon as we were done eating. So Caden was done with school about 45 minutes before Shepard. We just waited around the playground, though.


Right after school I wanted to get the dog park because Annie was alone while I was at the lunch and she was going to be alone for a good chunk of the evening. The boys went willingly when I promised they could play video games the rest of the afternoon. It was nice to finally have such a pleasant weather day!


Climbing trees is one of their favorite dog park activities.


Our friends met up with us for a doggy/kid/mom play date!


The kids also love digging in the holes the dogs have left.

After the dog park the boys played their games while I read. Then we drove to Sun Prairie for a hand off of children, so Greg and I could have a date. We were planning to get the special $10 take out pizza at Salvatore’s and eat it at a park. But Annie threw off my concentration by being super difficult about getting back in her kennel for the second time that day. So I forgot to bring drinks for our picnic, and a coat as it was getting chilly again. We ended up eating there. Much more than a $10 dinner! But it was nice. We were both really tired and dragging, though, so just went home and lazed on the couch the rest of the night. I even fell asleep at 6:30 while watching a show. Pretty lame date night. We’re very boring.


I guess I didn’t take any pictures on Thursday. It was a pretty low key day. Rainy and chilly. We had plans to meet up with my mom and Pip to do the next round of dog introductions. We went to the dog park first, assuming it’d be empty like every other daytime I’ve gone. Instead it was packed! So Annie and Pip met through the fence – didn’t go well. We came back to our house to go for a walk. Still didn’t go well. When they were actually walking, it wasn’t so bad. But the rest of the time Pip was viciously trying to get Annie. So…they have not been approved to spend time together yet. Unfortunately. 🙁

The rest of the day was very lazy. I was so tired. Seems to be the theme of my life ever since getting Annie. Or ever since having kids?? I just couldn’t stay awake. So I napped, they gamed. In the last afternoon we watched a Smurfs movie.



On Friday, I was determined to have a day of adventure. Greg was working at home, so we both had an excuse to stay out of the house as long as possible, and I didn’t have to worry about Annie because he grudgingly said he’d take care of her potty breaks. The boys were pretty reluctant to leave because Daddy’s presence, even when he’s working, is always top priority for them! But we made it out the door.


First stop was Hurt’s Donuts in Middleton. Quite the drive for some donuts! I heard there might be a donut shop opening on the east side, which would be really awesome. At any rate, I was reading all the reviews and so many people complained about Hurt’s. But I wanted to check it out for myself. The wait was pretty long (maybe 15 minutes to get through the four or five groups of people ahead of us), and the selection seemed big, but almost none of the flavors had signs, so you just had to guess what you were getting. The boys were not adventurous at all, just wanting the simple glazed crullers and sprinkled donuts. I wanted the last maple bacon (look at all that bacon), but of course it wasn’t allowed to be included in the 12 for $15 box. But I bought it anyway. Anyway, besides the maple bacon, they were all cake donuts. And much more dessert-y than breakfast-y. Mine was way too sweet to be eaten that early in the morning. But I’ve enjoyed the tastes of the other ones later on!



Next stop was a park. I didn’t time things very well. I wanted to get to Costco right when it opened because I assumed it’d be insane. But we still had an hour to kill before then. So we just googled our way to the nearest park and the boys played for awhile. Shepard was so excited, even though the playground was pretty small. It makes me sad to realize the ways we’ve been taking away his childhood, just because he’s the younger child. We almost never go to parks anymore. And lately Greg’s been getting so irritated that Shepard never wants to listen to the chapter books they read at night. Of course he doesn’t, he’s only six! He wants pictures and shorter stories! Anyway, I’m going to try and make it a higher priority to find our ways to more parks this summer. They seem to use their imaginations best when we’re at them.


Caden got sick of the park, so we ran to Marshall’s for a few minutes. Then Costco. Which was definitely crazy. And made worse because I had kids with me, of course. They both wanted to be in the cart, which did contain them, but also made it SO MUCH HARDER to push and control. I’ve never gone through the store so fast. No dilly-dallying, just actually getting what I needed and leaving! Except that Shepard really wanted a hot dog for lunch. So he could have a churro for dessert. I kept saying he didn’t need a churro since we had a whole box of donuts in the car. But he was very insistent and he hasn’t been to Costco with me since summer, so I figured we could make it happen. Caden wasn’t thrilled, but I got a hot dog for him too.


Meanwhile, I was saving up for Mod Pizza! I’m guessing this restaurant opened pretty recently since I haven’t heard anything about it. But it’s right by where Greg works and the other day he decided to check it out. And then he talked about it all week. So of course since I was in that area of the city, I wanted to try it too. It was so good! I did the build your own and picked red tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sweet hot peppers, green peppers, roasted garlic, and then a big swirl of sri-rancha sauce which really pulled it all together and made it taste AMAZING. I don’t find myself in Fitchburg very often, but I’m totally going there every time I’m in the area from now on!


I took the pizza to go and ate at a big park. Unfortunately, we all needed to use the bathroom and they didn’t have one. Why do gigantic parks not have bathrooms?! I was most angry because Shepard actually seemed willing to use a public bathroom by his own choice, and there wasn’t a bathroom in sight! We ended up just driving back home after that.


After a few hours chilling at home (and bugging Greg nonstop while he worked), we went to the dog park again. We’ve spent a lot of time there this past week! It’s a good place for everyone to wear off energy, though. I love seeing Annie have so much fun with her new dog friends (she’s up to 54, according Shepard, who has been keeping track). But it’s stressful too, because in the last few days a lot of people have been bringing their mean dogs and trying to isolate them in the little dog area. But they need to get from the main door to the door to the little area and Annie is always SO excited about each new dog that comes in, she refuses to leave them alone. I witnessed a pretty major dog fight and some very mean dog owners in the last few days. But I’ve also met some super friendly people that basically live for their dogs. You just never know what you’re going to get!


Saturday was a pretty awful day. Which sucks, because I was really looking forward to it. Last year on the day before Easter, the boys and I hit up three egg hunts in a row. The early morning hunt at Pick ‘n Save, the Culver’s hunt where we got around 20 free ice cream tokens, and the big park egg hunt. It was one of my fondest memories of last year. Which is why I was really excited to do the two smaller hunts (park went early last weekend this year) again. I thought the boys were excited too.

But then morning came. And of course they were both awake with plenty of time to get ready. But did they? Of course not. Caden started crying and screaming that I keep making him go to so many stupid places. EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to take him anywhere, no matter how fun it might be, it’s basically akin to a death sentence in his mind. This is how he reacts. EVERY TIME. And it sucks. Big time. I get being an introvert. I’m definitely one and I love being at home too. But I also like making memories and experiencing life. Especially really fun holiday traditions like small town egg hunts around the city. I can’t understand why absolutely everything sounds like such a terrible thing to him. Restaurants? Nope. Grandma’s house? Nope. Parks and playgrounds? No way. Vacations? Absolutely not. He hates all things. And he ruins it for everybody else.

I was teetering on just leaving him home and taking Shepard. But then Shepard announced that he’d go, but he wasn’t going to look for any eggs or candy. And that point I just lost it with both of them. I started screaming that Easter was cancelled. I was writing a note to the Easter Bunny and telling him not to come to our house. The boys didn’t even flinch. Zero reaction. So I wrote the note. They couldn’t have cared less. At this point I was crying and yelling about how much they were hurting my feelings and ruining Easter. They just continued to sit on the couch and ignore me. Not by best parenting moments, but I was so, so disappointed in them.

What happened to my KIDS? When did they stop getting excited about new adventures? Years ago? How am I ever going to survive the pre-teen and teenage years when they have so much power to hurt me at this age? Caden is just the worst sometimes. Seriously, he is. And I HATE that his negativity is starting to influence how Shepard sees the world too. Shepard used to be up for anything, anytime. He doesn’t seem to feel that way anymore.

Anyway. We didn’t go to either egg hunt, to my severe disappointment. I spent most of my day crying, reading (the entire book Thirteen Reasons Why – great book, but probably not the best day to be reading about suicide), cuddling or walking Annie, baking desserts and four batches of mostly failed rolls for tomorrow, or hiding out in my room. I didn’t talk to anyone all day. As usual, my presence is basically non-existent when the entire family is home. If I didn’t feed them, they wouldn’t notice my absence. It’s a sucky role to play. And I seem stuck in it. Especially since all my attempts to go out and have fun tend to backfire. I took away their video games for the rest of spring break. After the initial anger, they still seemed to have a happy carefree day hanging out with Daddy. Mom’s having a horrible day? Nobody cares. Nobody notices.

Okay, so enough self pity. It’s 8:30 pm on Saturday. I’m still very tempted to cancel Easter. Neither kid even mentioned it all day. They don’t care! About anything! Why in the world did I spend so much time trying to curate such awesomely filled Easter baskets for them? Shepard hasn’t even touched almost any of his birthday presents from two months ago. There are still piles of Christmas presents in both of their rooms that they haven’t even looked at yet. They need nothing, they care about nothing. But can I assume that tomorrow morning maybe they will? At least a little? I don’t genuinely want to destroy their Easter. But I’m not feeling a whole lot of goodwill toward them and making it special anymore either.

So, halfway through spring break. I’m not feeling very optimistic about the remaining days. I really, really, wanted to try and do some fun, yet low key things. I wanted to at least eat at Ponderosa, since they originally requested it. But now I also kind of want to just punish them by making them stay home, eat crappy food, and not have any type of screen time whatsoever. I don’t know. Hopefully Easter will turn out to be great and I’ll feel a lot better about making the remaining two days of break more fun.

Author: Amy Noe

I'm a maker, a writer, a reader, a wife, and a mom. I love pursuing my creative passions!

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