Date night

Hubby and I do a pretty good job with our date nights.  We try to go every other week when possible, and it’s something we both look forward to.

This past Friday we went to Flemings, one of our favorites.  A little nicer than we sometimes do, as we were celebrating our 11 year anniversary. It was nice. And, we’ve gotten to the point that although we discussed the kids (when should we start C in preschool? Do we want S to continue learning over this summer between kindergarten and first grade?), we also discussed many other things.

We’ve gotten pretty good at making the time “us time” on date night but it wasn’t always like that. When S was little and we first had our scheduled date nights, we’d spend the evening talking about her. Then gradually as we got used to the concept of heading out without her and using it as time to actually reconnect, we made a conscious effort to use the time to really talk to each other. So much of our day to day adult interactions are coordinating parenting tactics (can you take S up for bath? C didn’t eat well at dinner, let’s see if he will finish his milk before bedtime) that this time really helps.

So this date night, we talked about work, about our parents, about the recent vacation we had just taken, what we’d want to do for our next family vacation, and a bunch of other stuff. And it was nice!

What are your date nights like?

daily prompt – inkling

I think when you have kids, your sense of having “inklings” goes up dramatically. I was always an intuitive person…early on, I learned to listen to my gut. Whether it was fear, dread, or eager anticipation – I could feel it.

Now with kids, that sense is even sharper. Except it doesn’t always manifest itself in my gut – sometimes, it’s just a thought. Whether it’s that strange quiet that descends on the playroom when the kids are out of sight or that quietness that my daughter exhibits when something happens at school, I sort of know when something is up.

I think it comes with having kids. You develop this sixth sort of sense, that guides you. That tells you when your child is about to get sick. That tells you when something made them sad at school. Part of what being a mom is all about!

via Daily Prompt: Inkling


This holiday was a little different for us. C will be 2 at the end of February; S will be 5 1/2 a the same time. The kids were at great ages to enjoy Christmas.  But most importantly, I think I was able to enjoy the holiday more through their eyes.
For example, Santa’s reindeer. S was VERY focused on making sure that the reindeer could find our house. She made reindeer food at a school party; she also had some reindeer food from a gift her Elf on the Shelf brought her. It was SO cute how she took her time sprinkling the food in our backyard.

It was a magical season for me as well. I cried during The Polar Express (I cry easily, but I think it was so just so sweet watching S wide-eyed at the movie). But I think most importantly, though the craziness of Amazon packages and wrapping and hiding – I stopped to enjoy the actual FEEL of the holiday. It was wonderful. 

She didn’t call for me

I tucked her in as usual….after a nice, full family Saturday. We had a great day…pancakes for breakfast, soccer, and fun outside with neighborhood friends in the afternoon.  
As I finished the dishes in the kitchen and watched the monitor flip between her and my 18 month old (yes, I still keep a camera in my 5 year old’s room) something stopped me. I realized that she hasn’t called me back after tuck-in in a few weeks. 

It used to be EVERY night. Sometimes twice. Three times. Sometimes she couldn’t sleep. Sometimes she was thirsty. Sometimes she had to go to the bathroom. It was one excuse after another. And I’d be lying if it said it didn’t get a little irritating as I wore a path up and down the stairs and to her room and back. 

But now that I realize she hasn’t called – I sort of miss it. Maybe because in a way it let me see her again before I’d miss her all night. Or maybe because I see this as a step towards independence. First getting on the bus to kindergarten…and now this. 

So tonight I’m a little sad. But proud of her. But I do feel her slipping away….just a tiny bit. 

I miss my kids when they’re sleeping

Is that weird?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. The quiet is nice sometimes. At the end of a long day, on a quiet morning like this when hubby and S are still sleeping and little C has had his milk and is playing in his crib for a few. 

I stepped out back just to enjoy my cup of coffee with the morning sun and before the neighborhood started bustling with activity.  My kids’ swingset sat all quiet, like something was missing. Like it missed something too. 

I get that feeling at night when I’m picking up the house after they’re in bed….their little toys, their little shoes, all the things they hold and touch and wear. And I miss them. 

But for now, knowing I have about 5 minutes to finish my coffee before my oldest comes down the stairs and asks for our Saturday bacon and pancakes tradition…I’ll breathe in the quiet. 🙂

We were on a family walk today and I had a minute to observe my daughter from afar. We actually first stopped in our tracks to watch a small snake slither across the sidewalk and through the grass (I love that S is not afraid of them!). Then, just ahead, we saw a little bunny rabbit.

She scampered up ahead saying “I’m going to try to catch it mama!” but of course the bunny hopped ahead (you can see it on the left side of this photo). She started to walk a little slower, and actually got closer than I thought she would.

It was then that I took a minute to soak in the picture…she looked so tall. So big.  I remembered thinking that last night when I was hugging her goodnight. Her arms seemed so thin…her body was so long.  Gone were the days when she’d wrap her chubby toddler arms around me. This was a lean, growing girl, and she actually fit up against my body differently all of a sudden.

I know everyone says they grow so fast. I feel like when they are little, tiny, newborn babies, you lose sight of that because days and nights can feel like one big endless loop. But as the days go by, especially this summer – I feel like I’m acutely aware of just how fast my “babies” are changing.

Yet another moment when I wish I could freeze time and keep them this age forever. I’d take a lifetime of these hectic yet carefree days without a second thought. 🙂


to grandmother’s house we go

Today we visited grandma for the first time in about a year.  We see her at our house about two to three times a month – she comes to help watch the kids on an occasional Monday when my husband and I both have to work. But, it had been about a year since we made the trip to see her at her house (about an hour away).

Truth be told, she was a little irritated that it took us so long. But every time I thought about packing up everything little man would need (bottles, pack ‘n play, sound machine, portable high chair, etc.) just for a day I always felt like it wasn’t worth it since we saw her a few times a month already. So now that my son is down to one nap a day, he’s 16 months old and doesn’t need that much “stuff” – we packed up a few things and went for the day.

And I’m so glad we did. My almost 5 year old LOVED seeing Grandma’s house.  She remembered quite a bit from last year – the backyard, the tomato plants, the garden, Grandma’s room, etc. But there was also a lot she rediscovered. My husband’s toys from when she was little, for example. And the lemonade popsicles Grandma keeps in her freezer for her.  My son just had fun running around her house and backyard.

I realized that we need to do this more often. Seeing the joy on my mother-in-laws face, having both her kids at HER house was clearly so meaningful to her. And, I know that she won’t be around forever. And for all the times she drives down to our house to spend time with my kids – we should be able to make the effort to go see her where she is most comfortable – her home. Especially since she is a widow (although my brother-in-law moved back in with her…that’s a story for another day!).  The company is a nice change for her.

I feel like we thoroughly enjoyed our day. On the way home my daughter said she can’t wait to go back to Grandma’s house. I have such fond memories of my grandparents’ homes – I would love my kids to have the same. So I plan to make that happen for them! I’m committing to get them up there more often, so that they can look back and have the same kinds of memories I do of my youth.

It was a great day!