Welcome, March! It’s that time of year in Northern Ohio, the time when we start itching for warmer weather. The time of year when a 45 degree day prompts us to head outdoors without a coat to soak up some gray, overcast sun. Most Ohioans I know are the same way, especially after the snowy, icy, horrible weather we had for the better part of January and February. Add in four kids under the age of six, and you have a household that’s REALLY looking forward to spring.
The nasty weather gave us a few extra “daddy-stay-home” days with my hubby, who is a teacher, and Gracie. The downside is that they’ll be making up those missed days in June, when we’re eager to go camping or take the boat out. Even on their days off, it was too nasty to go outside between the cold, wind, and lots of ice. On the few days that were decent enough to play outside, it was nice that the older three kids are big enough that I could send them out with coats, hats, mittens, and boots to play in the back yard and get the stink blown off them (at least for a few minutes, until they came in with drippy noses and frozen cheeks). But even when they get out, I’m still stuck inside, holding the baby by the back door and watching them play. Once it gets just a little warmer, we’ll be heading out for walks or trying out the baby swing on our swing set, but with the exception of one or two few freak nice days, it’s been too cold, windy, and yucky to get out with Zachary for any length of time. But hope springs eternal, and I know that the next few weeks should bring some nicer weather. I can’t wait to get outside each day!
Perhaps all this cabin fever made me even more excited than usual to celebrate my friend’s birthday. I’ve mentioned before that four friends from high school and I still get together a lot, and our kids are all the same ages. There are 13 kids between the five of us, ranging from a month older than Gracie to a month younger than Zach. The running joke is that I’ve shared a pregnancy with each of the other girls. The kids tend to be born in pairs, although the last batch was a group of three. Anyway, the five moms try to do a girls’ night out for our birthdays, one in October for two of us, one in the summer for the June and August birthdays, and one in February. Sometimes we go out to eat, and sometimes we bring all our supplies and have a scrapbooking night in my mom’s basement, where she has a work area set up and there are no children or husbands to bother us.
This time around, we planned another scrapbooking night, but my parents were on vacation in Mexico. Usually we go after work on a Friday night and stay there until 1 or 2 a.m., then drive home. This time, we decided to have a sleepover. It felt so funny to be saying, “Hey, my parents are out of town! Let’s have a party at their house!” But that’s exactly what we did, bringing our sleeping bags and sacking out on their living room floor, talking and laughing till 3 a.m. just like we did in middle school. So much fun, and so refreshing after being cooped up with the kids for a long, dreary winter. I know those kind of life-long friendships are rare, and I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life!
It’s also rare to find a group of husbands who are cool with giving us that kind of time off, especially with three couples having young babies. My hubby was amazing to stay home with all four kids, and did an awesome job as usual. I left enough bottles to get him through the night (but unfortunately forgot to bring my breast pump with me to my sleepover–ouch! The only downside to an otherwise awesome getaway!). I was home by 9 on Saturday morning, refreshed and missing the heck out of my kids. I’ve never left a baby overnight that early in his life, but he did great, and barely seemed to miss me. We decided we’ll definitely have to do it again. My parents called when they got home that Sunday, and I said, “How was your trip; when are you leaving again?” A rare treat for a bunch of mommies, but one we hope to repeat!