Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday adventures

If you've read my last post, you probably guessed that I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed and under-rested recently. I'm not talking about a lack of sleep, though that probably doesn't help, but rather that sense of a busy life lived in a succession of endless Mondays.

Yesterday morning, I decided that I needed a change, a "let's pretend we're on vacation" kind of change. Something exciting and different needed to happen and I was bound and determined to go for it. Fortunately, my husband was more that willing to set aside his work for a few hours and humor my energetic whim.

The adventure began at 11:14 AM as we snapped a nearly-sleeping baby into his carseat and headed off to the St Paul Farmer's Market. We had never been, and it seemed like it might be a rejuvinating (free) adventure. It was wonderful! We ended up spending a whopping $3 for 2 basil plants and 5 honey sticks - yum! It was very refreshing to be surrounded by home-grown produce, plants, jams, cheese, and assorted meats and jerkies, including bison!

After that, we meandered across town to Bruegger's Bagels for lunch, with a brief stop in a small but nicely landscaped "central park" that we discovered. Lunch was followed with a frozen treat from Starbucks.

3 hours later, feeling like life had taken a wonderful turn for the better, we headed home to indulge in everyone's favorite Saturday activity: chores. Iain napped, Mark plugged away at work and I accomplished a week's worth of cleaning. Meanwhile, that energetic frenzy still brightly burning, I managed to talk Mark into an after-dinner family excursion to an Observatory.

We arrived just before the mosquitoes came out in full force, and aside from the 15 minutes we spent in the car to escape them until they settled down for the night, we enjoyed our little adventure in star-gazing. The telescopes were enormous (and free!) and we were able to catch sight of Saturn, rings and all, Mars, Jupiter, the moon (of course), and the Hercules cluster. It was thoroughly enjoyable, even in spite of the bugs, though I think if we return, it will be in the Fall when there are no bugs, it gets dark earlier and generally the humidity is less. For those of you who are not avid star-gazers, apparently the humidity causes "atmospheric turbulence" which affects the quality of telescopic image. And of course the best sights are seen after "astronomical twilight," according to a volunteer who Mark guessed is also fluent in Klingon.

Iain did amazingly well, especially considering our adventures disrupted his sleep a bit. We arrived home before midnight and I felt as though we had lived an entire wonderful vacation in less than a day! Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summertime, and the living is ...busy

Summer in St Paul is a wonderful but incredibly busy time of the year. Having a 5 month old who no longer sleeps more than 3 1/2 hours at a time, can make those busy days seem even longer. However, his enormous smiles, grabbing at anything within reach, rolling over and increasing chatter are wonderful consolations when the sleep deprivation hits hard.

In brief, here is what the last month has found us doing:

June 2nd: arrived home at 11 pm from world travels
June 3rd: packed up apartment and moved to 4 bed/2 bath apartment palace for the summer
Rest of June: Thank the Lord for the blessing of our "summer home" and get used to our summer schedule

Average summer evening schedule:

Monday: Mark goes to SPO Men's night, Betsy leads a women's group
Tuesday: Couples' group
Wednesday:Prayer meeting
Thursday: Take a breath and wonder where the week has gone
Friday: Cheer for Mark as he plays Softball and chat with the crowd of softball-groupies
Saturday: Celebrate the "Lord's Day" and have dinner with lots of nice people
Sunday: Be thankful that we don't have anything going on...unless we do

Now, I'm not complaining, but I do think our life is a bit full. Is it any wonder that I'd rather spend the daytime by myself (with Iain) than hang out with people? After all, I am an introvert, despite what some people may believe. :)

All the same, when my boss called and asked if I could work on July 1 (first time back since Iain was born) I jumped at the chance. A 6 hour break from mommyhood sounded like just what Nurse Betsy needed. The catch? Iain hadn't had a bottle since he was 1 month old and he wasn't too keen on picking up that lost skill! 3 days of trying the bottle, 1 day of realizing he's now allergic to diary-based formula, and 45 minutes of screaming later, he eagerly downed a whole bottle of soy-formula. I tried again that evening and he drank it like it's all he's ever known (though he's still a nursing champ!)

Work went like a dream, Iain did wonderfully for the sitters and despite the fact that I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before, I felt like a whole new woman! I NEVER would've guessed I'd be that mom that wanted to work after her baby was born, but I tell ya, that one day back was absolutely wonderful.

I love my husband, I love my baby, I have a life-giving and very-occasional job, I'm a huge fan of our summer apartment, and I guess I'd rather have any overly-full life than an empty one! I am very blessed, indeed!

If only we could go on vacation...