the trip to minnesota

the three of us traveled to minnesota last month (because it’s march already.  march!) to meet our new nephew/cousin, baby rowan. ned stayed for the weekend and josephine and i  stayed on for the week.

it’s hard for me to talk about the week without first griping about the negatives. first, it’s really cold in minnesota in february (not at all a surprise).  another negative, and much more of a surprise: josephine came home from the trip with about 18 hours less sleep under her belt than she should have had.  she didn’t nap the entire time we were there — she usually has a 2-hour nap every day — and most nights woke up about 5 times. do you know who else doesn’t sleep when she’s not sleeping?  me. that’s who.  so i slogged through the week feeling leaden and dazed.  and then i felt cold when i went outside.

moving on to the bright side!  rowan is impossibly cute, as you may have gathered from recently-posted photos.  it was amazing to get to know my sister as a mom and spend time as two moms, momming our kids together.  at the same time, maeta was so natural and casually capable her her mom role that i forgot that i should be helping her. i didn’t change a single diaper and i never got around to making maeta and tyler a meal for their freezer (although i blame that on the lack-of-sleep thing). she was changing diapers on her lap and nursing like a pro and sleeping! man, rowan and josephine seemed to have swapped sleep-schedules for the week.  maeta and i would talk in the morning and i’d kvetch about how many times josephine was up screaming and she’d proudly announce that rowan had slept for seven hours.  he’s lucky he’s cute.

we spent a few mornings, when the windchill wasn’t in the single digits, out in the snow.  maeta and i attempted a morning outing that was laughable in its failure (but ended with a delicious lunch date with uncle charley).  josephine and i drove over skating-rink-like roads to my aunt and uncle’s house for lunch one afternoon. my mom’s friend hosted a lovely baby shower for rowan at which josephine created a onesie covered in copious amounts of vivid red paint.  our visit coincided with my parents’ monthly waffle breakfast. we had wonderful dinners with old high school friends and their kids. my brother rented a photo studio space and he and i pretended we knew what we were doing as we snapped hundreds of pictures of josephine and rowan.

and we spent time just hanging out.  josephine is always thrilled to re-discover all the old toys and books at grandma and grandpa’s house.  she memorized a book called the kitten twins while we were there; the book had a note in the front cover: “to oma, 10 months old, from grandma johnson.” she watched for deer in the back yard and did some solo sledding runs at the park.  josephine loves and fears maeta’s sweet dog zuki in equal measure. and there was baby rowan to snuggle. he warmed us all. josephine whispered, “i’m going to hug you forever” in his ear.  the day after we got home from the trip, i mentioned something about our time in minnesota and she turned to me and wailed sadly, “now i’m thinking about baby rowan!”  we want to think about him as much as we can and also try to tamp down our gushing just a bit so that the many miles between us feel a bit more bearable. but we’ll be back to minnesota soon. maybe when it’s warmer.

more photos on the flickr page.

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