Sunday, May 16, 2010

Can we discuss a few things?

We are having a bumpy start to the spring/summer as far as getting into a nice little routine goes. The weather has been so random... cold, stormy, hot, humid, you name it. And life with 2 babes just begs for routine, at least for me. Last fall I used to go walking nearly every morning at the Arboretum because the temperature was just right. I knew when the kids would wake up, be napping, etc.

This spring I feel like we're all over the place! Where sleep is concerned, the kids wake up on their own at different times most mornings, and Ellie seems to want to nap before Robbie's long nap and just after he wakes, which I refuse to comply with (we'd never leave the house!) so her naps are a bit of a struggle right now. Activity-wise, we jump from park to park on the nice days, and from museum to library to Target to the mall on crummy days, as well as play with anyone who will come over and liven things up at Casa de Livingston. We have made a lot of new friends, mostly from church, and Robbie never knows who I'm going to introduce him to as a new friend each day!

I have tried to jog with them on the prairie path (successfully!), go for walks at the Arboretum (no longer an option since being buckled into the stroller at a walking pace is a form of torture for Robbie), and I recently acquired a bike and double bike trailer for the kids, which I love but the jury's still out where the kids are concerned. We tried it for the first time this afternoon, and by the end of our leisurely family bike ride Ellie was wailing, Robbie was swatting at her while kicking the mesh cover, and muscles I had forgotten I had were burning so badly I started to lose feeling in them (I made the mistake of announcing this out loud). Rob humbly pedaled next to the three of us, and by that I mean he had a huge smirk on his face, didn't break a sweat, and reminded me to shift to a lower gear as we ascended the final hill (that I never realized was there, from the comfort of my minivan!) before finally getting back home. Somehow I was laughing and thoroughly enjoyed myself in spite of the downward spiral. Did I mention my bike is of the comfort-bike-variety? Yes, I am an 80 year old trapped in an almost-30 year old's body.

Our newfound thrill is to go garage sale-ing. (Our? My?) I am going to incorporate the bike riding with the garage sale-ing in the future since there's a trunk area in the back of the kids trailer where I could stash my smaller finds. This past Friday morning we kicked off the season by scoring the double bike trailer and a lightly scuffed dark wooden Eddie Bauer high chair for $50 total. (Retail price for both new would have easily been $350-400!) I also found an almost new winter coat for next year for Ellie for $1, and the best part overall was that if Robbie got attached to a toy while I shopped, it only cost me 50 cents to a whopping $1.50. This is proving to be a cheaper activity than cruising the aisles of Target and a great way to welcome the weekend on Friday mornings. Thank goodness for warm weather.

Saturday mornings find us wandering around the French Market in downtown Wheaton, come rain or shine or 30 degree dips in the temperature. Yes, we love it that much. I try to scramble together a cup of coffee before we go (or ask Rob to stop at Starbucks on the way), and our first stop is the hot-fresh-donuts-covered-in sugar booth. For the love of trying to get rid of baby weight once and for all, why are donuts so delicious!? It's infuriating. I shared mine with Ellie this weekend and dropped a good quarter of it on the ground as well, and both instances removed enough guilt for me to enjoy what I did eat. Haha! Robbie and Rob hang out at the end of the stalls near the train tracks while I stroll with Ellie and pour over fresh fruits and veggies, and the occasional baby items. Best booth yet? Hand smocked and embroidered girls' clothes. I nearly died. Then I considered demanding that we move to the south and only dress the kids in things that are monogrammed, smocked or embroidered.

I have been afforded a chunk of time to myself on most Saturdays, thanks to my sweet husband, and given the freedom to go do whatever is refreshing or necessary without worrying about the kids. I find that a mani/pedi fits both bills once in a while, and after just an hour of soaking and polishing, I feel like a new person and a happier mommy and wife. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoy a good grocery shopping trip with an empty cart to fill and no mouths to be throwing snacks at. Just sort of depends on the day and the week leading up to it.

Sunday mornings are actually getting easier and dare I say enjoyable!? Getting everyone up, dressed, fed, napped (Ellie) and out the door to church is a challenge, but we have a nice little system now. Although we are always early for the service and Robbie loves going to his class, Ellie has yet to enjoy being put in the nursery, which means I have yet to sit in the sanctuary with my husband and take in a full sermon since her birth. She sits with us during worship and has recently started to sing along with the music and clap her hands, but it seems like she gets noisier and more distracting earlier in the service each week and we have to excuse ourselves before the first prayer. I don't let it frustrate me, because I know that one day she'll love her class and that will be the end of it. No more strolling the halls or lurking in the cry room (at least with her!). Although I really wish I could be learning more on Sunday mornings, I am thankful to be able to participate in my Tuesday night women's bible study and be spiritually fed there. I have made some very dear friends as I've walked the halls with Ellie this year, and that is a blessing that I would have potentially missed out on if she had loved the nursery from day one! So this is just a brief season and I want to be grateful for what it offers, which is a lot if I'm looking in the right places.

I think that just about catches us up. Are you bored yet?! I'll be better this week. :)


Jennifer said...

Oh my Ashley! Where do I begin?

You are HILARIOUS!!! I was laughing and crying while reading this post. Especially during the retelling of the bike adventure! :)

The non-routine part sounds all too familiar. Remember going through the same thing with Robbie about this time? I remember this happening with Tyler a couple of times. I know how frustrating it can be. I LOVE when we're in a groove and in a regular routine. Things just run more smoothly and everyone seems happier, but remember, these little bumps in the road are only temporary. They don't last long -- it'll be over and you'll be back into a routine before you know it.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE garage sales. Need I say more? I think not! :)

I totally understand the Sunday morning perdicament. I feel the same way. It's so hard to concentrate on what the pastor is saying when you've got a little one squirming all over the place. I just started putting Caleb in the nursery the last two weeks, and, although he's a bit fussy, I'm hoping he'll get used to it soon. The good news...Tyler was oh so willing to go to the nursery last week knowing the his little brother would be joining him. Go figure!

designHER Momma said...

1. I need some "me" time.
2. I might spend that time garage saleing if given the chance!

Nicki said...

The donuts at the Wheaton French Market sound delicious! I volunteer at Petsmart on Saturday mornings. Maybe I'll stop in Wheaton on my way, next time!