Vacation Hangover

crescentIt hurts everywhere. I’m on a vacation hangover.

Re-entry to regular family life at home makes me want to get up only to brush my teeth and return to bed to hide under the blankets all day. But I suppose it would only take the kids 4 minutes to find me. Fail.

For stay-at-home moms, usually the only thing that changes on vacation is the location. There are still kids who wake up at the buttcrack of dawn, grocery shopping to do, car seats to buckle, spilled milk to wipe up, impetigo medicine to apply, diapers to change, teeth to floss and whining to ignore.

But, on our recent vacation to my parent’s house in Oregon, we had an amazing time. I attribute most of the awesomeness to my own mother’s ability to step between me and my daily nemesis: dinner.

For 10 days, she had dinner planned and organized. There was no last minute trip to the store with three kids for hamburger buns. She had them. There was no substituting rice for pasta. She had both.

Sure I tried to help a bit. “What can I do, Mom?”

“Oh, just cut up stuff for the salad.” Ah yes, she had a plan. I’ll gladly follow someone else’s kitchen orders, but when it comes to making the dinner plan, it sneaks up on me every day. Everyday single day.

My mom is a great planner. Probably because she spent so many years feeding our family in remote Alaskan villages. Each spring she would fill out her ‘grub order’ and then mail it to Anchorage where someone would assemble our selections, pack them onto a barge and we would receive them in the fall. Can you imagine ordering your groceries once a year? Yup – she was that good.

They only mess-up I really remember was the year she ordered a case of ‘mixed jelly.’ In her mind she thought she would get 6 strawberry, 6 raspberry, 6 peach and 6 grape or some similar combination. No, what we got 24 jars of mixed jelly. And mixed jelly was exactly what we ate all year. Luckily in February we were able to trade with some neighbors for some of their marmalade they were sick of.

So, on our first night home from vacation, I suddenly looked at the fridge and looked back and the hungry kids and remembered that the kitchen fairy was still in Oregon and we were not. Ouch.

So, are there any cures for a vacation hangover?

Maybe planning another trip? Maybe looking at the vacation photos? Maybe ordering take-out. Maybe?

I’m open to your ideas, especially if you deliver them with a hot dinner.

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