October 7, 2010

Weekend Warriors

A couple of weeks ago, I was fighting the weekend blues. The weather had been unforgivingly hot for months on end this summer, trapping us inside with the air conditioning, and the Netflix Instant Queue had been exhausted...and I was cranky. To say the least.
As a wife of a pastor who doesn't write his sermons until Saturday morning, sometimes our weekends are taken over by work. However, we are usually pretty good about setting aside Fridays as a day off. And on the weekends he doesn't preach, we have a good two days off together. But without any plans, we often would waste the entire weekend in front of the tv; taking turns watching the baby so the other could run errands or get some alone time in. This is fine as an occasional thing, but week after week was really driving me insane. Prior to having Luke, we were much more independent of each other during the day...shopping or putzing around Lowe's. At night, we would go to dinner and a movie, or some other date-like activity. But like everything else about our "typical" lives, things changed once Luke arrived. With most things, we have rolled with the punches and figured out ways to adjust and cope. However, how to spend weekends with a baby, and now a toddler, have eluded us.
Finally outdone with myself and our typical weekend schedule, I conferred with Travis (read: spent weeks getting frustrated and then finally let it all loose on the poor guy one afternoon), and we decided to start planning weekend excursions.
We weren't quite sure what was going work well. Figuring out life with a toddler is kind of a trick, you know? He can walk...but not for very far. He handles the car seat pretty good now, but isn't interested in being in there for very long. He likes exploring, but that also entails putting everything in his mouth still. With criteria like this, it kind of narrows down what we can do together as a family and all enjoy it.
Our first attempt was to visit Crowder Mountain State Park. We brought the Baby Bjorn and thought we'd hike around a little. Travis was in charge of the trail, so I just (blindly) followed his lead. We ended up hiking to the top of Crowder Mountain. While Crowder Mountain really is just an overly ambitious hill, the trail we took was literally like climbing a StairMaster for one mile straight up. I'm glad Travis is SuperDad and was willing to carry Luke the whole time. I had trouble just getting myself to the top (as evidenced by my very red face). No way could I have hauled our chunky little guy. 
Also notice long sleeve button down, and puffy hair that's jammed up with a pen because I didn't have a rubber band. I was SO NOT PREPARED for this trail. Thanks, honey!
Our second outing went much smoother. It was a sermon Saturday, and we'd spent Friday doing lawn work, so we needed a shorter excursion. We'd heard about Carrigan Farms from a neighbor, so we decided to check it out. It ended up being a delightful little trip. The weather was finally cooperating with us and dropped down into the 70's, and it was a beautiful day. Our admission price included a hay ride to the patch, getting to pick our own pumpkins, and a petting zoo.

All in all, the weekends are getting better around here and we are finally figuring out how to do this whole parenting of a toddler thing.
In other news, Luke has a temper. So fun.
Actually, not fun at all. Before you know it, he'll be slamming doors in my face.
Aren't kids great?!