1. Church. Seriously, how do parents with infants/toddlers handle church on a consistent basis? No wonder I've never attended a church that has more than one or two couples with young kids. It's really hard. Granted, it's also a wee bit harder for me with Abby because Ben has been singing in the choir all year, so he leaves earlier than we do and doesn't sit with us anymore. And I'm not one for taking her down to the nursery every week because a) I don't think that she would tolerate that because b) church is always always always around her nap time when she's clingier. I don't know what I was thinking this morning when I packed her diaper bag. Did I manage to pack only toys that make a loud clattery noise as they are flung across the stone floor of our church? Not only do these toys travel a great distance, but Abby has a special knack for doing this in the middle of a quiet time, not in the middle of a boisterous, hallelujah song. She also likes to sing and has been dubbed the newest member of the choir by the oldest members of the choir. Her reputation precedes her.
2. Shopping for a new car. Our Mountaineer was totalled by my little foray through a fence a week ago. This is really a big old blessing in disguise. No one was hurt. We have three cars so are inconvenienced little. The Mountaineer still drives. I was not arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident (though my mom is apparently still quite worried about this seeing as how she said that she was about ... 6 times when I finally told my parents what happened). We now have a fat little insurance check coming to our house. We get to keep the Mountaineer, even though it is "totalled," and do whatever we want with it. Which means that really, we could replace the one mirror that is missing and call it a day and pocket the rest of the cash. It's been a lovely little jalopy, uber reliable and still under 100,000 miles despite it's salty age of 12 years. And really, 12 years and 96,000 miles means there's a lot of life left in those old tires, but weighing the cost of fixing it versus the worth of the car renders this issue a moot point. We're selling it for parts and buying a new car. But, how does one actually test drive new cars when faced with all of the challenges that a 9-month old brings? Before you scoff and roll your eyes and say "Babysitter!" Bad timing on this, I'm afraid. Our during the week babysitter isn't available except during the week, and our back-up babysitter is still healing from a broken wrist. 18-lb. of baby love is a bit much for her tender bones yet. Frankly, these are our only two options because we are fairly inclusive and I am super duper not comfortable with leaving her with just anyone. These are our two babysitting options. Lovely weather yesterday meant that we were able to load her up and do a walk through of a car lot yesterday. That plus countless hours of internet and free-fliers-by-the-door-at-Meijer research means that we think we've narrowed down our possibilities to four. This was a decision that we hadn't figured we'd be making for about 6 months, so our process of talking about our next car was only in the pre-serious stage prior to my black-ice-blowing-snow escapade in Goshen. There's always the option to test drive seperately. And as of right now, we're planning on visiting my parents next weekend, which means free, trustworthy babysitting and a big old city full of used cars. Unlike my issues with #1, this one is kind of fun.
3. Mornings getting ready for work. I used to get up at 5 am for my first teaching job. But then I got a better teaching job that was actually in the same city and reduced my commute from 45-min. to 5-min. So instead of getting out the door at 6 am, I then got up at 6 am and actually was able to stay awake until 10pm on Fridays. Now I'm back to getting up at 5 am (still a 5-min. commute) and struggle to leave by 7 am. And, this is with me packing up food and bags the night before. I'm still adjusting.
4. Eating supper together. I know that every parenting magazine and newsletter and newspaper article says EAT TOGETHER AS A FAMILY WHEN YOUR CHILD IS OLD ENOUGH TO SIT IN A HIGHCHAIR!!! but really, not that feasible. Abby eats dinner at 5. Keep her waiting and it gets hairy. I'm struggling to get dinner ready for Ben and me by 6 so that we can hurry eat before bathtime. I refuse to rely on frozen pizzas and soup out of a can for dinner just so we can eat together at 5. We decided that since we're at least all in the kitchen together at 5, that that is close enough. I think that we've actually managed to both be sitting at the table eating while Abby is eating once. About a week ago. We totally dig the concept of it and will absolutely eat dinner together as a family you know, in the future when Abby is a titch more cooperative, but I'm pretty sure that my daughter won't get pregnant at 15 and drop out of high school just because we both aren't eating dinner when she does when she is 6-months to 12-months old. Pretty sure.
5. Cooking and baking. She loves to help. I'm pretty good at making granola while holding her. Sometimes I can make cookies. I'm really considering investing in a sling.
6. Going on vacation. How does this work? How do you get your child to be happy in her carseat for several hours, like lots of hours? We struggle to drive less 2 hours to my parents house.
7. Clothes shopping. She gets cranky in the dressing rooms, i.e. if her stroller isn't moving. But, dressing rooms are also great places to spur of the moment feed her, I've discovered.
8. Hanging out with Ben's parents. It's kind of a drag when we can't get there until 5 and have to leave by 6:30.
9. Folding clothes. Admittedly, I have fun doing this with her because she's so excited about it and it's fun watching her play around in the unfolded or previously-folded-but-now-unfolded clothes.
10. Okay, everything is more difficult.