Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend in Chicago with family

We took a trip down to the suburbs of Chicago this weekend mainly to celebrate the birthday of my nephew which was on Sunday. Since we were coming down and staying at my sister's place, she invited us to a croquet and dinner outing she was involved in for a charity event. She's a board member for the Anima children's chorus who hosted. It was a little warm, but still great to be outside. We ended up playing 3 games of croquet (my sister Kelly and I were a team and my sister Laurie and brother-in-law Roland were a team). It took a while to get the hang of it again. I hadn't really played since I was a kid (other than one time after college). We had a set growing up but I don't think we were really into the rules. It ended up being really fun and one of my sisters will probably get a croquet set so we can keep playing. We had a wonderful dinner after that and a raffle too, although none of us won anything.

I realized this was probably the longest I'd been away from J in about a year and a half. I've had several Moms Nights Out and date nights, but none that kept me away for more than a couple hours. And it was great to know J did really well while I was gone. My sister's husband brought over J's cousins (ages 3 and 8) and they all had lots of fun playing together. They went to the park and also watched a Wallace and Gromit movie.

Sunday was the day of the party which didn't start until 2pm. We had a nice, relaxing day up until it was time to go. J fell asleep in the car so I carried him into the house. Of course, the minute I set him on the bed to continue his nap, he woke up. He says "I'm all done sleep mommy. I'm good." He bounced back quickly and was off to find Henry, his 3-year-old cousin. It was really hot and humid so we brought our swim suits and did some swimming. J reverted back to his clingy phase again. He did do a little bit of jumping to me in the water, but took a while to get completely comfortable with the swim time. Then the kids played together outside. He did so well and was the first time he could really be off on his own with his cousins Henry and Blake. I was able to see him from the patio and he only asked for me once or twice. On our way home, L and I had some time to really talk. We haven't had a date night in a while so we're a bit behind on going deeper into conversation with each other. There always seem to be things that are happening between us that we're not really talking about and we don't want it to get buried. So we started with a couple main things we'd like to focus on and in our alone time in the morning we'll be taking the time to explore, talk further and have ongoing prayer. J was pretty much awake for half the time sometimes quiet and sometimes playing, but then mid-way to WI he fell asleep. We seem to have a pretty good traveling system down with a variety of his things (dinosaurs, little people, cars, coloring book and books) so he isn't melting down like he used to.

L and I were up early again for our alone time. Today was really good. We are creating what we used to call "inner circle" in the house church we used to be part of. In our time, we'll be sharing areas that we're struggling, things that we're doing well and people we're praying for. I find it so healthy to have an accountability partner in my husband. We are certainly growing in this role, because it can sometimes be really hard to share things but it is really worth it. I see how taking care of J can really absorb me and I focus less on our marriage. So I look forward to what the Lord will do in these morning times. The day was already pretty humid at 8am so J and I did a lot of our playing in the house. He is taking more of an interest in his puzzles lately and spent a lot of time today doing that. It was cute, he was playing with his dinosaurs and then he said "be the baby dinosaur mommy" so I got into pretend-play with him. He liked doing whatever I did and enjoys it when I make up stories of what we're doing. Our outing for the day was going to the library. I had several things on hold to pick up and then was able to find a few more books. Three of them were about elephants, which continues to be one of J's favorites. We also went to the Y and it was extremely unusual that J actually fought me leading him into the play area. He went into the play area and laid on the floor calling out for blankie and nuk when we left. It turns out, the worker got blankie and nuk and he had no more problems the rest of the time. It was a rough night for him though, as he had a melt down at dinner and then a huge melt down when daddy did a diaper change for him before we left the Y. Once home though, he seemed to be fighting sleep and doing whatever he could to extend his awake time. After a big tickle fest kind of wore him out, he was ready for prayers and then sleep.

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