Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm a cheap date!

This past week has been rough. Jordan was quite sick with bronchitis, which resulted in going back on his two nebulized medications, in addition to an antibiotic and a steroid. The steroid tastes awful, so it was a massive fight every time we had to give it to him. Then he got some kind of stomach bug which resulted in copious amounts of vomit in a 24 hour period. And when I say copious, I mean copious like 6 vomiting episodes in one morning. It was awful and resulted in much work and daycare being missed. And then Taylor got sick and participated briefly in Vomitfest 2010. Kids recovered, moms dragged ourselves around for the week.

Recently the kids have started deciding that they might not need to nap as much or at all anymore. We are devastated by this. And given their recent illnesses, clearly they need more sleep right now, not less. On Saturday, the kids napped for maybe an hour, and then were playing and chatting in their cribs, so we left them in there for a bit. Big mistake. HUGE! When we went in their room, both kids were stark naked and there was shit everywhere. OMG! They had thrown everything out of their cribs, including pull-ups full of shit, and they had danced and played in their own excrement, which was all over their cribs and themselves. We thought maybe we were going to escape this parenting experience. We were wrong. It immediately resulted in lots of work: baths, stripping the beds, washing everything, sanitizing the cribs and the mattresses. Did I mention we were already exhausted?

On Sunday everyone was healthy enough to follow through with plans we had made long ago. We have some local friends with twin boys who are a week younger than J&T and we have all been struggling with a lack of family support recently. Both families have been feeling overwhelmed, overtired, and just exhausted from the lack of breaks that we get from our kids. So, we have decided to exchange babysitting with each other once a month, so that each couple at least gets one day out together per month. To give you some perspective on the situation Penny and I have found ourselves in, I will let you in on a sad fact of our lives. Penny and I had not been out together on a date since September. That is 5 months ago folks! We don't have the money to pay a babysitter to go out very frequently and we don't have the village of family members around that I always thought I would have when I was raising my family. I envisioned dropping the kids off for the weekend with family members, so that they could have time with family and we could have time to rejuvenate as a couple. The reality is we just don't have that. It is very sad and a hard reality for us, but that's the way it is. We have considered crazy things like moving to FL where my mom is, or moving to MN where some of our best friends live who are in a similar situation to us. But, neither of those are really that feasible, so we need to make the best of what we have here.

So, on Sunday, we dropped J&T off at our friends' house at around 12:30, and we headed out for an actual date. We went to a show at the Flynn in Burlington. It was a group called Scrap Arts Music and the show was similar to Stomp in some ways. The group is from Canada and all of their instruments are made from found and recycled objects. The show was really good and you can catch the group at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in a few weeks! How cool is that? Even better is that we had free tickets to this show from a local newspaper who was having a giveaway. After the show, we had some time to kill before an early dinner, so we hit the local big box baby store for some wipes and pull-ups. Then we went to dinner, using a certificate from Restaurant.com that I had purchased. Are you familiar with Restaurant.com? If not, you should definitely check it out. You can get $25 gift certificates for lots of local restaurants for $2-$10, depending on the special they are running. I only buy them when they are $2 per certificate. Here's the way it works: You have to spend a minimum of $35, you can only use them for dinner, the tip gets automatically added to the bill, and you can only use one certificate per party. We both had an adult beverage, we shared an appetizer, and both had an entree. We met our $35 minimum, so were able to use our $25 gift certificate, and our out of pocket cost was $24. Do you know what that means? With free babysitting, a free show, and the gift certificate for the restaurant, we got a 6 hour date for a grand total of $24! OMG! That makes my coupon-using frugal heart so very, very happy!

Thanks E&D for the babysitting. We had a great time and are looking forward to returning the favor for you guys in a few weeks!

Topics I want to post about in the near future: troublesome toddler meal time, transitioning to toddler beds, losing the pacis in the next few months, and financial woes, coupled with gratitude for what we do have. Stay tuned! Is there any topic you want to hear about? Leave a comment and let me know!


Anonymous said...

so many thoughts...

first, i am *so* glad that you have found friends to swap care with! sounds like you are making lemonade out of lemons. we are starting a childcare swap with friends next month- one day a week so that i and the mom in the other family can work. it feels so great to have this free option and with someone we fully trust.

about the family connection- you know our situation and your post makes me feel so blessed and like we're not taking advantage of it because we too have not been on a date since september 19th. i know this because it was the night before we found out i was pregnant. i drank wine and ate crab cakes just in case i got a positive test the next day. ;-) (and i NEVER expected it to be +.)

shit= OMG, i hope that day never happens in this house!

toddler beds. we've learned that until the child is ready, you can't push it. we tried in dec. and it failed we just did it again yesterday and it's been a huge success. he needed time, and lots of talk about the big boy bed. it also helped that his good friend has one, as do his cousins.

meal time - we are in a serious rut. E is so picky and literally will cry when we put something new in front of him. let's commiserate.

pacis - ya, that terrifies me too. E has finally adjusted to his binky living in his bed...but getting rid of it all together is going to be rough.

got financial woes? oh yeah!

xoxoxo looking forward to seeing you this weekend and chatting about all of the above!

Meg said...

Oh My Goodness! I'm glad the kids are on the mend. Vomit and poo times 2. Yikes!

So happy to hear that you had a date night :)