Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thanks, YMCA

Why we didn’t think of this earlier, I have no idea. I’m more than slightly sheepish. All summer, Steve and I juggled the family balance to make time for his triathlon training, my “alone time” without child over-stimulation at the end of the day, and my online teaching. There were a number of child hand-offs, while I hid upstairs in the bedroom at my desk or Steve locked himself in the office to ride his bike. Steve, an incredible family man, took many laaaaate night runs to squeeze it in after our family day shut down for the night. That he did so well in the race is a testament to his natural ability, I think, as he was really shortchanged in his training by having a pregnant wife and two tiny ones. But, I knew I married a man who needs to be physical in order to be complete...just like he knew he married someone who has to travel or else feels suffocated. So I was as invested in the balance as he was.

So...

To think that we lived 1/2 a mile away from the YMCA, which apparently has free child care for up to 2 hours while a parent works out. Huh? I’ve been trying to find mother’s helpers and babysitters and whatnots to carve out even one or two hours at the end of the day so that Steve could train and I could work (or take an Epsom bath...) at the same time instead of trading off. Right now, Steve is at the gym doing his swim workout and the boys are at the play area. Simone is asleep in her Amby next to me and looking QUITE precious (if you ask me). Considering Jack and Andrew love this stuff (New toys! New adults! Other kids!), I’m sure they’re in Hog Heaven. Now, instead of Steve calling to ask if tonight would be an okay night to workout after work, he can offer to work out and I’ll be delighted! And, evening is when the boys really need distraction, or else they just turn into crazy people who can only communicate by throwing pillows at each others' heads and grunting. Good times.

Like I said, I feel sheepish. He’d been a member at the rec center, but no childcare.  The Y costs more in a month than the rec center charges for a year (they were $50/year!)....but who cares!  This has so much more for our family.  And saves us on childcare, so it pays for itself.  But...then again, if we’d thought of this before, maybe we all (boys included) wouldn’t appreciate it so much. ;)

Oh...and the Y has free Santa pictures! I wanted them this year, and just decided to swallow my irritation at paying major bucks at the mall. It’s Simone’s first Christmas and they’re all at such precious ages. Cool beans.

What did I do with my copious spare time of 2 hours thanks to our local YMCA? Cleaned my kitchen! Cooked some brownies while I was at it, since... well...it’s always a good time for brownies around here. =) There’s nothing more calming than alone time to clean the kitchen, without hearing a bowl crashing and an “uh oh” just seconds after sweeping the floor. =) For the span of an hour, I can just gaze adoringly at my clean kitchen.

In other news...

Jack had his first slumber party last night. I mean, slumber partner – as it was just one friend, Ethan. Tyler went camping with his family, or the chaos would have been 30% louder. ;) I cannot believe how much fun it was to plan it with Jack all week. For months, he’s been asking to sleep in sleeping bags, watch movies, and eat popcorn with his friends. I kept thinking a barely 4 year old wasn’t really ready for a slumber party...but then it went so well when he had to sleep over at Ethan’s when I was in labor. That was more of a happenstance sleepover, though, as this one had preparations. =) We bought glow in the dark “phalange gloves” that had skeletons on the mittens, flashlights that shine spider-shadows on the wall, and bought supplies to make soaps with little dinosaurs and frogs in them. They watched movies and ate the legendary popcorn he’s been dreaming about, and they had the fizzy apple juice Jack’s been excited about. I’ve definitely been steering Jack down my path (or maybe we’re both pre-wired), because he loooooves parties and giving people presents. Too funny.

A sweet moment from this morning I want to remember: Jack coming up and snuggling next to Simone and me while she was nursing. Jack to Simone: “Aw, Simone. I’m never going to let anything happen to you.” And then to me: “I just keep thinking about how Simone is my sweet little baby.”

I need to remember moments like this when we’re having our rough days. Ups and downs might happen, but my children appear to be heading in the right direction towards being really awesome adults. I can’t wait to see what they become.

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