My son is turning ONE in about a week, and last weekend was the first time I ever had to solo parent both my kids alone for longer than a few hours. I know I am extremely blessed that I have such an involved husband, available in-laws, and sweet sister (who also happens to be excellent with kids).
Sam went to Seattle last weekend for Dave’s wedding, while I stayed behind to hold down the fort. I was admittedly nervous for this weekend because I’ve never really had to be outnumbered for too long… but once again, reality turned out to be SO much better than I imagined.
Saturday – Noelle climbs into our bed in the early mornings now, so I wake to Jaren’s morning noises via the monitor, and a sleeping Noelle cozied up next to me. I told Noelle that I’d be back after I fed Jaren. I fed and changed Jaren, and Noelle followed us downstairs. The kiddos played for a bit while I got breakfast ready. Playing involved Noelle putting stickers all over Jaren. They got eggs, a pancake, and some apple slices. Noelle requested cereal so she got that too.
Right after breakfast, I changed them out of their PJ’s and got them ready to go to the park. We went to the park where I’ll be hosting Jaren’s 1st birthday. It killed two birds with one stone because they got to burn off some energy while I scoped out the area in preparation for his party.
When it got close to Jaren’s nap time, I put them both back in the double stroller, strapped them in the car, and headed home. Noelle played with some Legos while I put Jaren in his sleep sack and down for a nap. Putting him down for a nap takes less than 5 minutes, so Noelle didn’t have to wait long. My sister and her boyfriend then came over to babysit Jaren from 11 – 2 pm so that I could take Noelle to watch Frozen. As soon as they came, we left to catch the movie. Noelle was so excited (mostly because I told her she could have popcorn!).
Since we got to the theaters a little early, I let Noelle play outside for a bit around this huge water fountain until it got closer to showtime. 10 minutes before the movie started, we headed into the theater, got our popcorn, and got seated. Still… the previews seemed to take forever. I was worried Noelle would get antsy. She was pretty good for the first 10 minutes, but the previews started boring her so she kept saying she wanted to leave. I told her the movie didn’t even start yet and to wait a little bit, so she did.
Once the movie started she was pretty captivated. She was quiet and still for most of it… but we never made it to the end because an hour into the movie she wanted to leave again, and this time, there was no convincing her… so I got a refund on our tickets and went home. Frozen (at least, what I saw of it…) was really good!! I got teary within the first 10 minutes! The only other movie that’s ever made me do that was Up! They say that it is Disney’s most popular movie since the renaissance movies of the 80s and 90s (Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan, Pocahontas, Little Mermaid, etc.). I definitely need to get it on Redbox and watch the whole thing! Anyway, I don’t think I’ll take Noelle to another movie until she turns 4 even though she did a pretty good job this time around.
When we got home, Jaren was awake from his nap. I made Noelle and Jaren lunch while I chatted with my sister and her boyfriend. After the kids had lunch, I put them down for their naps, and lounged too. Noelle woke up after only an hour, so I brought her down to hangout with me. She watched a cartoon on Netflix while we waited for Jaren to wake up. He woke up 30 minutes later. We hung out at home, I made dinner, then after dinner I strapped both of them into the stroller and took them for an after-dinner walk. It was pretty dark, but the kids enjoyed the fresh air. Once I got home, I bathed them and got them both to bed.
Sunday – The kids woke up like clockwork at 7 am. I made them breakfast then got them ready so we could head out to church. Took them both to church and dropped them off in their respective Sunday school classes. Church ended around noon. I took them home, fed them lunch, let them play for another 30 minutes… then put them down for naps. Noelle didn’t nap at first, so I told her she doesn’t have to nap, but if she wants to play she can only play in her bed. She played for a bit then knocked out! I had a long stretch of the afternoon to myself. They both woke up around 4 pm, so I got them ready and took them to a local indoor playground. They had so much fun there, but it was so crowded because someone was also hosting a birthday party there. Got home, fed and bathed them, then put them to bed.
That bath was THE highlight of my whole weekend.. they were squealing and laughing and playing so well with each other the whole time. There was no fighting over bath toys, or Noelle getting at Jaren for getting into her personal space, etc. They were mimicking each other, splashing water everywhere, and just having the time of their lives. All I did was sit back and enjoy the scene. It made my heart swell a thousand times over, and I thought, “this is the life…”.
It was a really great weekend! I’m actually really glad I got to experience this because it gave me more confidence as a mother. The kids interacted really well this weekend even though they were together 24/7. Noelle is pretty understanding towards her baby brother, and falls into the doting big sister role so naturally. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our moments (many moments), but they went easy on me this weekend.
My everythings. ❤