A weekend away

I’ve been feeling stressed and tired and crappy lately, and haven’t felt much like writing anything.
My problems pretty much boil down to this: I do not like being an adult.

Moving on.

Last week, Devin and I drove 420km (over 7 hours, ugh) for my uncle’s birthday. It was Devin’s first time meeting my paternal aunts, uncles and cousins, and the first time I’d seen them all in over two years.

I don’t think I appreciate enough just how well-behaved he is when we go away. He travels really well. I know a lot of babies don’t like car trips in general, let alone long journeys, but Devin has always been cool with it. The last hour is never great – on the way there last week, he had a meltdown and we had to stop for a long break just as we were getting close, and then he cried the whole remaining time, while I navigated awful traffic and pouring rain and dusk and not being entirely sure if I was going the right way. (I was.)
It’s only when it’s all over and I recount our journey to someone, and they say, “Oh my god! It took that long? And it was just you?” that I realise what I accomplished.

He’s not terribly unsettled while we’re away, either. Refusing to take naps was probably the most difficult thing he did this last trip, and I’d say it was because there were so many new people to watch that he didn’t want to miss anything. He didn’t have any tantrums, and he still slept well at night.

So, good job, Devin.

His Grandma and Poppy gave him lots of new clothes and toys, including this hat.

Most people slept in tents, but we arrived a day earlier and had a room inside. (There were more tents here later.)

He ate a milk arrowroot biscuit while watching cows.

I don’t know if he liked the biscuit or the cows better. Probably the biscuit.

Molly thought she might fancy a biscuit, too, but Devin wasn’t sharing.

Then Poppy came over…

… and this happened.

I have no idea why, but Devin takes a long time to warm up to my dad whenever we see them. The last time we visited, he was happy to be held by him by the end of a week. At the beginning, he wouldn’t even look at him. It happens every time.

With so much noise and excitement, Devin didn’t go to sleep until 9:30 that night. When he did, I took some photos of the encroaching fog.

And my youngest sister, who was dressed as 99 Red Balloons.

About that – It was a ‘come as a song’ party. I chose Iron Maiden’s ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’, bought a black shirt, a silver pen, and drew an analogue clock showing 11:58. Then I added some stars and a moon. And drew the Iron Maiden logo on the back. Just to cover all my bases. I thought there’d be no way anyone else would come dressed as that song, and probably very little chance that anyone would even guess the song.
Excluding my sister, apparently. She had written 11:58 on a piece of paper and was going to pin it to her shirt.
Of my two sisters and I, I am the one far more likely to know an Iron Maiden song, but it was actually only because of Jene’s repeated playing of their Route 666 DVD that I knew it.
So I was pretty shocked that that’s what she’d picked.
My mum had 99 Red Balloons planned but wasn’t keen on dressing up, so that was that.

The next morning, I took a picture of the same field.

And my middle sister.

Before we set off on the journey home (6 hours this time), we had a photo of the offspring. This one wasn’t the best – it was hard to get good pictures of all of us together when we were younger, and it’s still hard now.

(My dad is one of four – the oldest brother has one son, the second brother has two daughters, the third brother has three daughters, and the fourth brother has four sons. I really like that!)

And then, Devin returned to his quiet life with just Mum and Dad.