Karol and Patrick were perfect angels for me for most of the Mass at what will probably be our new Church, St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington. I really liked the atmosphere, as there were plenty of families with children Karol's age. I got there a little late and the place was standing room only - 9am is a popular Mass time apparently.
I saw there was a cry room so I made a beeline for it. I'm usually anti-cry room, but with no Matt and an unpredictable toddler, I thought I'd rather be safe than sorry. The cry room is at the back of the Church with huge windows. You can see straight in and straight out. To my surprise, the children in there were actually very well behaved. There were some sitting on laps and others quietly playing with toys.
Then I realized why they were so behaved -- the windows. Just because the people outside can't hear your children, they can still see them, so parents still had to be accountable. Matt and I hated the cry room at St. Michael's because if there were other kids in there the parents just let them loose and ignored them. Not cool.
After Mass I wanted to do something extra special with my kids, since it was Mother's Day and all. So we went to Georgetown. At first I almost turned around and went home because of course there was zero parking available, but then I remembered a tucked away spot a couple blocks toward the river I'd found out about while making a video for work. Yay, free parking and there's one spot open!
So I wrestled the monster double stroller out of the trunk and the three of us went on a walk on the boardwalk along the Potomac. It was beautiful! Here are an example to show you what I mean.
We walked all the way up to the Washington Harbor, halfway back, and then over to Georgetown. I thought I would want to "shop," but there was no way I was going to maneuver that massive stroller in and out of those tiny doorways, especially since I was only half-hearted about buying anything anyway. I spotted a Ben & Jerry's and thought that would be a treat for all of us! So Karol and I got some ice cream and went back to the Potomac to eat it.
After that we walked down the River again and back to the car. This time, Karol walked. And boy did she throw a royal fit when she realized we weren't staying - but before that, I got this super sweet picture of her watching the water.
Patrick was like this the entire trip:
So we headed home, had lunch, and a half hour nap - that's right, too many catnaps in the car and stroller, none of which is really quality sleep - and read a few books. Then we went for a walk around our neighborhood - Karol on foot and Patrick on the Bjorn. Karol was getting tired and whiny until she saw the playground. All of a sudden it went from whine, whine, to "SLIDES!!" And she took off running! Well, Karol running is just a brisk walk for me, but you get the idea.
So we spent a full hour at the playground. Karol did a lot of new stuff. I'm really amazed at how much she's capable of, physically and mentally. She was climbing stairs, climbing up the slides without help. She even went down the big curly slide all by herself! That took more bravery on my part. It's very hard for me to stand back and just let her play, but as I get more comfortable with the surroundings, and more confident in her abilities, I'm starting to let her run free a little bit.
Oh, I should note for Matt's sake - she saw a lovely pink and purple bike with training wheels that she now desperately wants. I told her that would be Daddy's department and she needed to talk to him. So there you go Matt.
After about an hour, Karol voluntarily (after I suggested watching Elmo and taking a bath - 2 of Karol's favorite activities) left the park. THAT'S how tired she was! By 6:30, she was asleep on the couch.
It didn't last long though, she still needed to eat dinner and go through the bedtime rituals. She really went to sleep around 8:30. Patrick was out around 8, but I kept holding him because he's just so cuddly and sweet. After writing an email to Matt, I had to call it a night by 10.
I know it sounds stressful taking care of two babies under two years old all by myself - and it is - but I just loved spending the whole weekend with them. I can't imagine a better Mother's Day.
We are getting into a rhythm as 'the three of us' for now. I will be so happy when Matt comes home though. I don't even want to think about how hard it will be - emotionally, that is - while he's away. This weekend aside, the days kind of drag without him here. And though Karol hasn't shown any signs of distress, she had a little trouble sleeping last night, and I just wonder if that's because of the adjustment.
Ah, well, on that note, I'll leave you with this: