Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Mama and her Boys

Two weekends ago, Thomas had a guys weekend with some of his best friends, which meant that I had the boys for the weekend on my own. I'm not intimidated. Oh no! And I was determined that I would make the most of the weekend, and not be stuck at home, too nervous or too lazy to get them out. Make no mistake - it's physically demanding to get out and about with the boys. I can kind of get away with being lazy when we're at home. It's almost like I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I get this weird sense of satisfaction after I successfully take them out into the world by myself. I know, they're 3 and a half, I should be over this by now, but I'm not. In the last 3.5 years, I've really only taken them places by myself relatively few times. Thomas is almost always there to help. While I type this, I'm so glad and appreciative that I don't have to do it on my own all the time. I'm very thankful for Thomas and for the hands-on approach that he's taken since day 1. I have the utmost respect for moms without helpful partners/husbands and for single moms. Don't. Know. How. They. Do. It (all the time!!!!). Seriously, mad respect.
But when the opportunities arises, it's game on....but only for a short time, like a weekend. ;)

Friday night the boys and I went over to MaSha's house, where she cooked dinner for us. We got to do bath time over there, too. MaSha was leaving for Knoxville on Saturday morning so we were glad to get some time with her before she left!

Saturday was a pretty busy day for us! We got out to Costco to do some shopping and snack sampling. We love wandering around and getting the samples. I have to be cautious to look at the packaging to confirm that there are no eggs and peanuts in the food (for Stokes and his allergies), but if not, it's fair game! The boys love Costco and got lots of yummy snacks that morning.

When we were done at Costco, I was feeling adventurous...and nice...so we went by Cabela's, which I had heard has an aquarium. We hadn't been yet, and I thought that it might be fun to pop in there and check it out. On the short drive from Costco to Cabela's, we had to have a serious talk about staying with Mama and not wandering away. I got some promises, and felt ready to take it on. Cabela's is pretty cool and interesting because they have animals and cool displays all over the store. I think the boys were impressed!

I made Stokes and William keep a hand on the stroller at
all times while walking through the store.
Check out this cool display!

When we found the aquarium, the boys were in awe. They loved climbing on the rocks in front of the aquarium and watching the fish and turtles. We even got to witness fish feeding time!

While we were there, I realized that the boys hadn't been to the potty in a while. We didn't go at Costco, and I didn't make them go before we left the house. I'm telling you I was feeling brave since I had them in underwear and not pull-ups. I realized that we needed to make a pit-stop at Cabela's before attempting to get all the way home. I took all 3 to the potty and thankfully, the handicapped stall was available so we all had room (including Ryan's stroller). Of course, they were touching everything (yuck........) and when William was going, Stokes actually opened the stall door and went out into the main bathroom area (not cool), but we successfully used the potty, washed hands, and made it out alive. 

I think I may have had to raise my voice once or twice during this whole trip, when someone wandered away from the stroller or wasn't listening, but all in all, I think we did a pretty good job. Weird comment of the morning: one guy in Cabela's asked if they were triplets. I responded that they were. Then he said something like, "well, at least they're handsome. Aren't you glad you didn't have 3 ugly triplets?" I think I gave him a puzzled look and kinda/sorta thanked him for saying the boys were handsome. I think he even realized how odd this comment was once he started saying it, but he couldn't stop. Super weird. 

We went home after Cabela's and ate lunch and then played in the front yard. We had a birthday party to attend at 2, so we didn't have time for a nap. I figured that keeping them active between lunch and the party was the best course of action. At first I was on the fence about going to the party without Thomas around, but then realized, hey, this is a controlled environment, probably with fun things to entertain the boys, and other parents from our small group would be there to offer a helping hand if needed. GREAT idea.

The birthday party was Thomas the Train themed and super cute. The boys got to play outside, "help" open gifts/play with Will's new toys, eat yummy snacks and have some cake (except Stokes, who got to have another egg-free homemade cupcake that I take with us to all birthday parties - ha). Lots of good fun! I love our small group and all the other families are so nice and easy to be around. I am glad that my boys are growing up with other kids from church. 

birthday boy Will, about to blow out his candles

Ryan with Dan
Lots of gifts for the birthday boy!

After the birthday party, I was feeling pretty worn out. It had been a fairly busy day up to that point. We came home and I felt like it was time for some downtime. I put on a movie so we could all just relax for a little while. Boys request = Cars (or Racecars, as they call it!)
Ryan on my lap while watching Cars
It didn't take long for 2 out of the 3 to nap. Stokes and Ryan both took a little snooze, while William powered through.

Stokes - zonked out

Ryan crawled to a corner of the room and napped
On Sunday I had planned to take the boys to church, but Stokes woke up with some gunk in his eye, which I thought might be pink eye, so I opted to skip church and skip the potentially spread of some yucky germs. We stayed home, had a leisurely morning and played outside. 
Ryan and Mama

William loves getting on this balance bike!
Cool guy with his Jeep and his shades

Sunday afternoon nap! Ahhhhhh

The boys insisted on napping in my bedroom, so I thought what the hey, I should join them. It was a snooze/snuggle fest that I LOVED!

Post-nap eye goop

Followed by more outdoor playtime. I'm so glad to be able to spend time and play outside!

Sunday evening, my Aunt Alison and cousin Mary Margaret came to visit so that we could go take a look at Clemson for MM on Monday. She's currently a junior in high school and is checking out potential colleges right now. MaSha also got back into town so she came over too and we all had dinner together on Sunday and had a great time catching up. 

Thomas got home on Monday morning. YAYYYYY!!! We missed him SO MUCH! And we were able to get in with the pediatrician to get a pink eye confirmation, which turned out NOT to be pink eye. I'm glad I didn't start with the eye drops in advance of the appointment. Stokes had some sort of viral infection in his nose, which traveled to his eyes and presented the infection there as well. He got prescribed some antibiotics and although he wasn't able to go to school on Monday, he got to return on Tuesday. Thomas had the day off work on Monday when he flew home, so he took Stokes to the ped and kept up with him being home from school while Alison, MM and I went to Clemson.

I had thought in advance of this Clemson trip and how we would leisurely wander through campus. Maybe sit down on a bench and people watch as students scurried past. I brainstormed which buildings we would see and what path through campus we would walk. Alas, none of that happened due to CRAZY storms. It was bad. So bad, in fact, that lighting alarms were sounding while we were there. We did very little walking, but mostly driving around in the torrential rain, which I spouted off funny memories or things that I liked about the campus. We got to eat lunch at the Esso Club, and got back to Greenville during the afternoon. Although it wasn't ideal, especially in comparison to the glorious visit I had cooked up in my mind, it was still nice to be back to a place where I do have such fond memories. 

Picture before we left for Clemson on Monday:
Alison, Stokes, MM and me

I ended up flying out on Tuesday for a work conference, long story there, and it felt as if Thomas and I were two ships passing in the night, due to our crazy travel schedules. He, luckily, got to have MaSha around to help out while I was gone, but we both feel the burden of the single parent when either of us is traveling. We have this great partnership and co-parenting thing going on, so when either of us is gone, it's tough and we miss each other. We were so glad to have him back on Monday!!!!

I felt like I took the weekend by the horns and got out and did a few things. Mom power! Although I got a feeling of accomplishment from getting out with the boys on my own, nothing compares to having a fun weekend with the whole family.

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