Saturday, June 7, 2008

a lot of juggling and a little yo-yo action

The last two days has consisted of a lot of quality girl time. With Daddy out of town for a couple days, it's been me and my girls. With a forecast of dreary weather, I woke up yesterday morning wondering how we were going to fill our time without the option of playing outside or going to the park. I got out of bed, sat down at my laptop with my coffee in hand (Because without my morning cup of coffee, I'm worthless. It's a horrible addiction.), and typed in the local library web address.

The library is such a great place to enjoy cheap (by cheap, I mean free) fun. Up until recently, I wasn't one to keep a good eye on the price of entertainment, particularly for children. I'd go to the local zoo, drop $30.00 - $40.00, and not even think twice about it. But my reality changed, along with my perspective, when a month ago, my husband left one of his jobs to fully commit his time and attention to his other career. He had been juggling essentially two full time jobs, one in which required him to travel, since we had Britten. He did this primarily so I could be home with our girls and we wouldn't have the stress of losing my income. Suffice to say, over time, he started to burn-out and began to feel the stress of spending too much time away from our family. He made the emotional and difficult decision to quit one career to focus on the other, and in the process, met his primary goal of being home more with our family. Of course this meant losing one income, but in the end, we realized that being on a tight budget and having more time as a family far outweighed having more money in our pockets. We are slowly becoming accustomed to living on our new and improved budget, and quite honestly, I carry less guilt about spending money frivolously.

So like I said, a library is a great place for cheap entertainment, for adults and kids alike. Reading is a personal passion, so walking into a room with rows and rows of free books is like a little taste of heaven on earth. By the look on my girls faces when we walk through the library doors, I know they feel the same way.

When I opened their website yesterday morning, I noticed they had "Dave the Yo-Yo Master" performing at 10:30 that morning! What could be more fun than taking the girls to watch a man yo-yo for an hour? Don't answer that. Considering it was only 8:00am, I knew I had enough time in my morning to get everyone ready and out the door in time. We quickly ate breakfast, took showers, got ready - Chloe took a quick nap -- and we were out the door with just enough time to get to the library, take our seats on the floor (among 1,000 other kids) and see "Dave the Yo-Yo Master" start his little act. I wish, wish, wish I had pictures to share, but I don't. My husband took the camera for the weekend, so I guess you'll have to take my word for it. We WERE there and watched most of the yo-yo show, until my girls got bored and asked if we could go read instead. :) It was a fun-filled, and most importantly, FREE, morning at the library.

I woke up this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see the sun in the sky. I was thrilled for the warmer weather as I had big plans in store for us. Today marked our neighborhood's 35th Annual Community Garage Sale, where over 100 home owner's participate and the event draws close to 10,000 people every year. The main street that runs through our neighborhood resembles that of the main drag of the State Fair, with Sweet Corn, Brats, Cotton Candy and Pop booths lining the streets, and hoards of people walking in every which direction. I'm not much of a garage-saler (is that a word?), but this event is so much fun and something I try not to miss.

I got the older girls in the wagon, lathered them in sunscreen, and gave them each a purse with 4 quarters in it. I put Chloe in my sling, and again, lathered her in sunscreen, and threw a big, pink, polka-dot hat on her head to block the sun from her eyes. She was so cute, with her big cheeks poking out from under the hat and her roly-poly legs and arms hanging from the sling.

As we walked through the neighborhood, among the crowd of people, I got the occasional comments like "She's really brave!" or "What is she thinking?" and the "Are you crazy?" stares, but that's to be expected. I underestimated the amount of work it would be, carrying my 18 lb baby in her sling, and pulling Ella and Britten in the wagon, all with the sun beating down on my head, that after 45 minutes or so, I decided to head back home. Though we didn't buy any garage sale items, I relented in letting the girls each buy chips and a donut with their money. Again, I wish, wish, wish I had pictures to document our morning together, but believe you me, Ella and Britten both had tummy aches to prove it!


Holmfamily said...

Sounds like you had a busy time with the girls, but also a super fun time. And we love going to the library for cheap fun too (and we know what it's like to be on a tight budget, but we wouldn't change anything about that either). Maybe we'll have to get together and do some cheap fun soon!

Anonymous said...

Zoo memberships are awesome. Ben's parents bought us one just a couple of weeks ago and we have already gone enough to have started saving money. When you live so close, it is nice to be able to go for an hour or so just to get out of the house, and not feel like you have to spend the entire day because you dropped all this money. I highly recommend it.

Kristi said...

What a busy, fun couple of days that you had together with your girls! I really enjoyed hearing about it fact, you described your days so great that I think that I have some good mental pictures of you and your girlies heading down the sidewalk in your neighborhood! Sounds like quite the garage sales around there! WOW!! :-)

We love going to the library...yes, it is good, free entertainment (yes, we know about the need to do that as well)!. There is something SO wonderful about being able to check out "free" books for the kids to enjoy...they LOVE it!

Thanks too for sharing your journey of the I am sure incredibly stressful decisions that you guys have had to make concerning Andy's employment. I couldn't agree wtih you on a "tight" budget in order to have more time together as a family is PRICELESS!!