Thursday, May 27, 2010

This last weekend was pretty big for me. I had my first night away, without any children, in over six years! For Christmas this year, all the women on my dad's side of the family gave my grandma a special Ladies' Weekend trip to Rocheport, MO. From the beginning, I was planning to take Allie along. Even though I knew our activities weren't going to be very kid-friendly and there certainly weren't going to be any other kids there, I didn't think we were ready to be apart overnight. Even though I have nightweaned her and Noah several times, they are sneaky and they always manage to somehow un-nightwean themselves. So, the main reason I didn't want to leave Allie was because I was worried she'd be crying for me in the night and poor Steve would be up all night with an inconsolable baby. Also, I've never been away from her for more than three hours, so being gone for over 24 hours seemed like too big of a step.

The more I thought about it, however, the more it seemed like taking care of Allie for the whole trip would be sort of annoying, while everyone else got to relax and chat and not worry about toddlers breaking antiques and spilling wine and disrupting meals. I brought that up to Steve, and he said I should just leave Allie at home because he was sure they would all be fine. I mulled it over for weeks, going back and forth many times, but in the end I really did leave her at home!The trip was filled with shopping, good food, fun conversation, and lots of wine. We all had such a lovely time on the little vacation, and it sounds like Steve and the kids had a fine time as well. There was ZERO housework done and they ate out for every single meal, but that was A-okay with me as long as everyone was happy. I was gone for a little over 24 hours, and even though I was enjoying myself while I was away, I was so happy to be back to my little nurslings because by that time I felt like I was on the verge of exploding.
The women on the trip all made mementos for each other, which I was sort of reluctant to do at first because I thought I didn't have the time, but in the end I think it was a great, fun idea. In the picture above, we are all wearing matching aprons made by my cousin. I decided to make little bird ornaments for people to hang in their kitchens or wherever for a little bit of cheerfulness. I thought they turned out pretty well.So, I'd say the trip was a complete success and now I know I have the freedom to do something else like that in the future. Steve may be sorry he ever agreed to this!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sunday was my birthday, but before I tell you what we did, I want to share another story with you. This happened toward the end of last summer, when I wasn't blogging, so I never wrote about it here, but I'm going to copy and paste from a scrapbook page I made about our near-death experience interesting excursion.We decided to spend a beautiful Saturday going to Lawrence for a family bike ride. Steve looked online to find a good trail, and saw a scenic nine mile loop right along the river that was ideal for “cyclists of all skill levels”. Perfect. After eating lunch in downtown Lawrence, we drove to the beginning of the trail. All we could see was a teeny dirt path leading into the woods, but there was a biker actually coming out of the woods at that moment, so we loaded everyone onto the bikes and set off into the woods. Right away, I was leery. The “bike trail” was crisscrossed with large tree roots, there were many very steep and curvy hills, most of the trail was sand or mud. As I saw Steve disappear around a hairpin turn with my babies in the trailer, flying through the air and bouncing off tree roots, I started to suspect that perhaps we weren’t on the right trail. Because I had to get off my bike several times to walk it up or down a hill, I soon lost Steve and the kids. When Allie and I caught up to them, he was perched at the top of a precipice, clearly ready to continue risking the lives of my children. I implored him to turn back but he went on ahead. When I saw the trailer starting to slide sideways off the cliff, my heart jumped, and I insisted we all turn back. Steve made fun of me for being a wimp, but I was just happy to make it out of the woods with all of my family members alive.
We decided to safely bike on the roads for a bit, and headed back in the direction of a park we’d seen on the way in. After playing for awhile at a second park, we noticed several people walking and biking nearby. So many people passed by, in fact, that we figured they must be on some sort of trail. We got back on the bikes and went over to try to take the trail back to our car. Once we were on the flat, wide, smooth, scenic trail, it became very obvious to us that THIS was the trail we were supposed to be on in the first place. NOT that insanely dangerous “River Ridge” trail. The last part of our trip was so pleasant that we are determined to go back to Lawrence soon and actually ride the nine mile loop. We did lose the flag off the trailer somewhere on River Ridge, and Emma complained for awhile about the sand that had flown in her eyes, but in the end we all made it home safely, and with a good story to tell.

So on Sunday, we finally did go back to Lawrence to ride the pretty trail along the river. A certain little girl has just woken from her nap, however, so I will have to save that post for another day. :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

My parents got a new horse a few months ago - in October, I think - and as recently as Easter, the kids were riding her and my dad pointed out that she was starting to get pretty fat. We all wondered if maybe she was pregnant, but I didn't hear much about it after that. Then, about four weeks ago, a farrier came to put shoes on the horses and asked my dad when she was due! My dad had a vet come out, who looked her over and said he thought she was due any day. Since horses apparently usually give birth during the night, my dad started setting his alarm for 2:00 a.m. every morning to check on Kate (the momma horse).

A couple weeks went by, and no foal yet, so my dad starting thinking maybe they should have the vet come out again. Early last Wednesday morning when his alarm went off, my dad checked in the barn and saw Kate standing there, still very much pregnant. The next morning at 7:00, he went down to the barn and there was the foal! She was already completely dry, and was standing up and even walking around.
I wanted to take the kids to go see her when she was still so little, so I called Emma's school to tell them she would be gone the rest of the week and we drove to my parents' house. We stayed there for a few days and had a lovely time, as always.The little filly was just the cutest thing ever. Kate used to eat about half a bale of hay every day, but now she is eating a whole bale plus some high-nutrient grain all the time, and I can see why - this baby nursed a ton. I can certainly sympathize with that!
The kids and I feel so lucky that we were able to see little Skipper when she was just a few hours old, and we're looking forward to watching her grow!