Thursday, 14 May 2015

Over the weekend we...

I'm starting our weekend on Friday afternoon, because it just feels right. It was a relaxing afternoon, full of promise, and no rain. Last week was rather wet and rainy, which was lovely, because everything is green, but it wasn't conducive to spending time outside or even heading to playgroup - turns out it was actually closed most of the week due to minor flooding. But on Friday afternoon I took Jimmy to Cico park.

Jimmy went down the slides, tried out the merry-go-round, tried to catch a robin or two, insisted that I climb into the fake wagon, and join him going through the tunnel. He loves going through tunnels... there's a blog post to write... We had a nice time, even if we had less than an hour there, because we didn't leave in time to catch the earlier bus and because we had a date with Daddy planned (and the bus only comes hourly). So, we had to leave before Jimmy was really done going down the slides, but the promise of Daddy and a snack kept the grumbles away.

We were still enjoying cloud cover, but that does present its own problems, especially when it comes to taking photos. Light balance was my main issue for the weekend. Michaels' was a lense that is not working as it should.

Now, get a cup of tea, get comfy, as the following is photo heavy, because it's spring!

Saturday saw us making our (sleep deprived) way to Sparrow. Coffee... Naturally, Jimmy was more excited to be riding on Daddy's shoulders and being on the bus.

We chose a blackberry muffin to go with our coffees, and remembered three good little rabbits who went down the lane to gather blackberries, who were later reminded not to stain their aprons while eating the fruit. We joked about Jimmy having to be careful not to stain his raincoat - it was a few hours later before I found blackberry juice on his left sleeve, but it didn't stain. The muffin was not what we were expecting from a blackberry muffin. It was almost palate cleansing. They had added oregano to the mix and it was surprising and refreshing at the same time. The coffees were lovely too.

 Naturally, Jimmy climbed into his chair, all on his own. And proceeded to eat half the muffin.

After our morning coffee, we headed to the library. The local babywearing group was having its monthly Manhattan get-together (they sometimes have one over at Fort Riley, but it's a bit hard to get to those), and we managed to catch them before the end of the meeting. Our babywearing days with Jimmy are numbered, but we still need to be able to carry him, so they were able to help me try out a ring sling, which was surprisingly comfortable for the 2 minutes I was wearing Jimmy. Currently we're exploring options, but it's all hypothetical.

After the babywearing meeting, we borrowed some DVDs and headed to City Park. The playground was swarming with children, children who had probably been inside for most of the week, so I don't blame them. Jimmy was pretty good about the crowd, and even went down one of the slides without any fuss - I sometimes worry that Jimmy doesn't get enough socialisation with children, leaving him unsure of himself but he wasn't put out by the crowd.

Jimmy is currently fascinated by dirt and digging and diggers of all sizes. The diggers in the parks are still just a little big for him, so he gets a little help from Daddy or me.

See that slide in the background? That's the slide Jimmy went down. On. His. Own. (But with one parent with him at the top and the other waiting at the bottom - he's still really little.)

After a good play, we went looking for some food and noticed that the fountain was missing. And we discovered that "Yard Art" means cars... Yes. One of the reasons we stopped by City Park was for the Yard Art in The Park, but it was cars. Some shiny, some not so shiny, some old, and some classic. "Yard Art", well I never. We considered getting lunch from a food van, but based on the prices we headed to Aggieville instead.

We didn't notice any birds, but it was a cute birds nest.

Jimmy prefers us to be unadorned with anything while he is on our shoulders... Mostly so that he can do this:

Hmmm... sweet boy...

We cut through K-State on the way home, taking in some of the spring flowers and wildlife.

And yes, we did stop in at Arrow for some coffees, iced coffees that is. Jimmy was asleep in the Manduca, and slept through the pitstop and the rest of the walk home.

We returned home and ten minutes later is was raining. Again. At least we had some new DVDs to watch. And we started with a Jimmy-friendly one: Tangled. Now, I chose it because of the title, because tangled is Jimmy's word for stuck and trapped and tangled. Unfortunately they don't use the word tangled anywhere in the movie. Oh well. The popcorn with melted butter and maple syrup was nice, even if Jimmy had more fun spreading it out over the carpet than eating it... at least the popcorn wasn't too buttery...

The rain continued for most of Sunday too. All I wanted for Mother's Day was a cafe latte, although a sleep in would have been nice too. Michael made breakfast and for a while Jimmy was preoccupied enough for me to read an adult book in bed! Two pages in and Jimmy wanted me to read to him. I don't remember which book it was, but it wasn't Yes Please, which I had to put away, but I was still in bed - that counts, right?

Some time after 2pm the rain actually stopped and the clouds started to separate and we made for Arrow and coffees! Jimmy was pretty happy to be on Daddy's shoulders again (and even let Daddy wear his sunnies).

Everything is soooo greeeeen. It seems fake, like the grass has been dyed, but it's not.

While Michael and I enjoyed our coffees, Jimmy enjoyed (and shared) some monkey bread.

After our coffees we head to the K-State gardens, because it's been a while since we were last there. And haven't they changed?! And, in some exciting news: there are plans to save and restore the greenhouse - yay!

The clouds may have opened up a little as we headed into the gardens, but it didn't last, so we were able to linger a little and smell the roses.

We were half hoping to take Jimmy to the Insect Zoo, because he is now engaging with things around him, including insects, and he is likely to enjoy it. Plus, he likes this book.

Jimmy was climbing up anything he could and smelling all the flowers, even if they didn't have much of a smell. He's a sweet boy.

We would have lingered but there were still storm clouds out and my Mum (Granny) wanted to chat, so we made our way home with reasonable speed...

Jimmy stopped to smell a few more flowers, I took a few more photos, and then we marched home, with Jimmy on Daddy's shoulders.

We arrived home in time to call my Mum before she dashed off to work, and then we relaxed a bit more.

The tranquility of the weekend was ruined by this statement and this interactive living standards calculator. Let's just say that Michael and I kinda lost it, because his "average" US salary is pretty pathetic by Australian standards, especially when it's a full-time job and it supports 3 people. We are over the shock, but our resolve to get out, get back to Australia, or at least earn more as a family (by me returning to work), is even clearer in our minds.

After a few days reflecting on it all, we were able to joke about it this morning, joke that Jimmy and I are "bringing down" Michaels' standing, so to speak. Day-to-day we're ok but we can't afford a car, we're putting off replacing broken camera lenses while replacing a computer would break the bank, and saving for the future is something we will have to do in the future. For now, we have our health, a few more gray hairs, and a hilarious, gentle, thoughtful, and cheeky little boy. Mother's Day 2015 may have been bittersweet, but not for the usual mixed bag of reasons mums can struggle with on this day. Look after yourselves and be kind to one another.

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