People seem to have very definitive ideas surrounding bringing children to weddings. When we got married, almost five years ago, most of our friends and family did not have small children. We addressed most of our invites as 'Mr. and Mrs.', and people RSVP'd without their kids.
We are now in the category of having children, and a wedding invitation arrived a couple months back with all four of our names on it. It was the wedding of one of Tyler's childhood friends, and it was taking place on a farm, so we thought it would be a fun family affair. Having small kids at a wedding is hard, even when the wedding is fairly casual. We struggled to keep the kids quietly in their seats during the ceremony, and awkwardly tried to hold glasses of wine during cocktail hour. (It's challenging to hold a wine glass in one hand, and a squirmy babe in the other!)
Dinner was a buffet, and again it's hard to load your plate(s) with food while carrying a baby. Then of course Soren had to go to the bathroom, so I abandoned our place in line while we trekked to the outhouses. (they were lovely, and not at all like the smelly variety found at outdoor concerts!) We managed to put Poppy to sleep in her carseat, much like we did while on vacation in Charleston.
We did have some moments of joy, like when I was dancing with Soren and he looked up at me and said 'Mommy, I'm having so much FUN!!!'. His face lit up when he saw the band start to play, and he was definitely the dancing champion for at least the first hour. Poppy woke up and enjoyed watching the music too, and we all watched the fireworks late that night, hours after their normal bedtimes.
We have three more weddings to attend this summer, and the babes are going with us to one of them. We're looking forward to attending the next one without them, and having the option of finishing a conversation, chatting with other guests, and maybe eating dinner without getting up from the table. Babies are super cute at weddings, but when they are your own they are an awful lot of work!!
I got a late night text from my brother-in-law yesterday, asking if Soren was free to go strawberry picking with him and his girlfriend today. Soren technically was not free… but I decided he could skip daycare and we would all go to the berry farm. It's something I've been wanting to do for a few summers now, but by the time I remember most of the u-picks are already closed for the season.
Today we made it! We picked berries until our buckets were as full as our tummies. Sometimes (many times), outings with a toddler do not go according to plan. We went on a farm trip last month, and Soren was scared of absolutely everything.
I don't think anything about today could have gone better. He LOVED picking berries, loved the tractor rides, loved the playground and loved meeting some baby kittens. Numerous times today he looked up at me and said 'I'm having so much FUN, Mommy!!' The skies were a bit overcast which was perfect, as I'm sure we could not have lasted long in the blazing sun. My only regret is that I did not bring our camera, and that Tyler was not there to enjoy it with us.
Poppy loved it too, and happily sat in the middle of the berry fields eating strawberries by the fistful. Dinner tonight had to be strawberry pancakes, by request, and I couldn't say no. You can see how patient the two of them are above… waiting to dive into their dinners:) If you live in the Winnipeg region I would highly recommend Boonstra Farms, especially if you have kids. We may have to visit again before the end of berry season!
We had friends come to visit us, and they brought a tent to sleep in. A certain little three-year-old was absolutely ecstatic. As he watched them set it up he got more and more excited - running in circles around the deck. Somewhere along the line he found a flashlight, and I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of his trip. We are definitely coming to realize that simple is usually best, and the simplicity of a flashlight was a perfect match for an adventurous toddler.
Over the course of our vacation we've acquired a lot of beautiful toys and clothes, thanks to my generous mother-in-law. We've also lived in the most gorgeous little cottage, which is around 600 square feet. It's interesting to see how comfortably we could live in a smaller space, and when we get home we are going to have to do some major purging. Having only a few select toys to play with makes clean-up easier, and it also seems to encourage the kids imaginations. Soren has played non-stop with a set of Star Wars characters, taking them swimming in a kiddie pool, lining them up to dry, and climbing 'trees' made out of sticks. He's literally entertained himself for hours on end, and I don't think he would have done that at our home. It's also been wonderful to have had no tv. We don't watch a ton of tv at home, but there are definitely days when I turn it on mindlessly. Without a tv we've read more books - including one for myself! - and taken time to watch the beautiful sunsets. (usually with a glass of wine in hand!)
A couple of days ago we ventured through a magical forrest that holds fond memories for my husband. It's a beautiful park/forrest only a few kilometres from our place on the coast, and it has the most spectacular trees. Even though it was an extremely sunny day, only the smallest slivers of light manage to shine through the dense trees, making the walk seem a little mysterious. It's quiet and peaceful, and the hiking itself is more like a 'walk' rather than a hike.
For our little family from the prairies, it was pretty much perfect. I placed Poppy on my back, for the first time, and found it to be super easy to carry her. Soren walked most of the way, and only asked to be carried a couple of times. We had my father-in-law with us, as well as cousins, so we had some backup had we needed an extra pair of arms.
While on this trip we are realizing that many of our plans do not quite go as expected. Soren tends to get really excited about things, but then as soon as we arrive he immediately complains and wants to go home. It's disappointing for us, more so than him, as we'd envisioned these perfect outings in our heads. Soren probably envisions something perfect to him as well, and if it doesn't live up to his expectations then he is over it. Our trip mantra has been 'he's only three'. It tends to make us rethink our frustrations, and realize that perhaps the journey is more fun than the destination. I think his trip highlights are far different from what we may have predicted... but that is completely fine by me.
And Poppy's hiking highlight was by FAR the swings at the end! She was beaming!!
We are currently on vacation... soaking up the sun on BC's gorgeous sunshine coast. We have been blessed with the most fabulous weather, and are enjoying long walks on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Even little Poppy's had her taste of saltwater, although she wasn't one hundred percent sold on the cold water. I guess it's a little chillier than bathwater:)
Travelling with two babes has been an experience, and we are starting many of our days at 5am when the sun comes up. It's well past my bedtime now, and I know I'll be regretting it come morning. Tired or not, we've had a lot of fun so far, and we've still got a bunch of days ahead of us. Hiking is on the agenda for tomorrow, along with swimming, of course, and probably eating way too much - because that's what always seems to happen on vacation.