Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I had every intention to title this: Epic Fail. This Saturday was the Ice Cream Social in Mendon, MO. My family's farm town. I have nothing but the fondest memories from this event in childhood. It helps that ice cream has always been my all time favorite dessert. So couple this fact with churning the goodness myself using products straight from the farm, and there is no better. I guarantee it. My family generally tries to attend this event yearly. But it's been a while since I have been available to go, at least 3 years, as Brock has never attended. This year, Matt had a wedding reception to shoot on Friday night and work on Saturday morning. Since I wasn't really going to get to see him anyway, and he tends to poo-poo the suggestion of heading to the farm, I decided I would just take the boys myself. Oh, and the dogs. And my dad.

Annora, Timothy and Xander came by and took Brock down early in the day, Friday. I took a 4 hour post-call nap, packed the van, picked up my dad, stopped at the store and headed out of town with Curtis, George, Fannie May and Tater in tow. We arrived around 8pm. Where I found Brock running bare-footed through the rough, dry grass. The arches of my feet just ached with the thought of how many times his little soles were being stabbed by those random hard blades of grass, stones or sticks. But he seemed oblivious. He was free. That's what 2 hours from the nearest city, in the midst of 100's of acres of your own land will do; make you feel free. Curtis immediately joined his brother, cousin and dogs in their frolicking.  I joined my siblings and father on the wooden Adirondack chairs facing the road, as always, cracked open a Leinenkugel and relaxed, with George in my lap.

As complete darkness set in, the massive amount of stars slowly appeared. If I had to choose the most remarkable thing about this little farm, it's not that my great, great, great grandparents settled here in the 1800's, it would be the stars.  Anyone raised in the city, who only vacations in other big cities, has never experienced a true night sky.  You have no clue how many stars are up there, hidden from the bustling urban glow.  As a kid. we would lie on a blanket and count, and count and count. Eventually, we sent the little boys in to watch a movie, hoping they would just drift off to sleep.  They left us alone for a moment, but soon, they were hungry, scared, restless. We got George down in my bed, Curtis in the Pack 'n play, Xander on the top bunk, and Brock successfully passed out on the couch in front of the TV.  Dad was next to go.  Then Brennan, Annora and Anne.  I wasn't tired, damn nap and Starbucks Latte.

Timothy elected to stay up with me.  We enjoyed the stars for a moment longer and headed into the kitchen for chips and dip, and a round or two of Uno.  By now, it's well after 1am, and I decide it's time to try and sleep.  George wakes up when I get in bed to eat.  I feed him.  The whole room with everyone snoozing in it, except, me, Brock, George and my dad, are suddenly terrified awake by the dogs growling.  Everyone settles down again.  Timothy's bed breaks.  And we're up.  Curtis is brought into my room.  Now George is up again.  I put Curtis to bed, I get George asleep.  The power goes out.  A few profanities are spoken.  Everyone is up again.  Everyone gets resettled.  Then, daybreaks, and my dad, who is the only one who slept through all the events of the night is up and outside with the dogs.  Ugh.  All the little boys are now up too.  Guess my night is over.

I am exhausted.  But I haul the littles to the church to assist in the ice cream churning.  They are only mildly interested.  They don't appreciate the novelty.  They are babies.  They are hungry.  They are tired.  They are cranky.  Mom is cranky.  We last about an hour and head back to the farm house.  Curtis and George nap.  Brock is all over the place.  It's too hot to nap, Curtis is back up.  We attempt to make some lunch, but the babies can't keep it together. We are in full meltdown mode like I have never experienced before.  I realize that I have actually been defeated.  There is no overcoming this downward spiral.  It's done.  I surrender and inform my father that it is time to pack up the van and head home.  No Ice Cream Social this year.  We came so close.

Despite catching some major flack from Brock, who insists he does not want to leave, he climbed into the van and sat in his seat while we filled the car.  He didn't even make it 200 yards in the air-conditioned vehicle before passing out, for the entire 2.5 hour drive home.  George did the same.  Curtis watched Ice Age, then took a little snooze.

We arrived home before dusk.  I fed the boys.  Started their baths.  Took a shower myself. Therefore, I ended the night with 3 freshly, clean, fed, exhausted, happy boys in bed and asleep by 8:15pm.  In contrast to the 10pm arrive time that would have happened had we stayed for the social.  I even had time to make some brownies. I then watched the Olympics with some popcorn, a glass of wine and a warm brownie a la mode, next to my favorite person in the world. Just don't think this can qualify as a fail. Do you?

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