Last night, we went on our first family outing to the UNC versus UConn football game. Let me clarify what that means, though, as we've obviously been out of the house many times since Macie's arrival. We've been out to dinner several times (though I HAVE started cooking a bit more while on maternity leave!), been to the mall and Target, as well as on a few walks as a family. But I call last night our first real outing, because it spanned 4 1/2 hours. Which meant, of course, that I had to nurse Macie somewhere other than the glider in her room. That, I believe, qualifies as an "outing"! The nursing-away-from-home saga was made quite a bit easier, thanks to the "Lactation Room" in the Student Union at UNC. So "mucho kudos" go out to whomever decided that was a good idea when designing the building...
The outing started at Tar Heel Town. We made it just in time to see the Old Well Walk. For those of you not familiar with UNC traditions, the team walks from the Old Well to the stadium, and people line the path to cheer them on. Ivie enjoys sitting on her daddy's shoulders for this, as it gets her a little closer in height to the players. She also enjoys clapping to the beat of the band, which leads the team.
Tar Heel Town also has a jump house, which I am convinced is the ultimate fun for kids Ivie's age and even a bit older. She patiently stands in line each time we go, just for about 10 minutes in the jump house, with a smile on her face even as she collides with the bigger kids and falls headfirst. About 30 times.
After Tar Heel Town, we ventured closer to the stadium and joined a customer of Dale's at his family's tailgate. I met Dr. Zaytoun and his wife, Mimi, for the first time. I swear they are angels, though, as they have 8 kids, spanning in age from 18 years (freshman boy on the golf team at UNC) to 6 months. And the last 5 are all girls! And, most shocking to me (at this stage of my life, at least!), in talking to Mimi, I learned that all of her kids were potty-trained by 33 months AT THE LATEST. And that was the first boy! Rachel, who just turned 2 in September, is already potty-trained, and she said there were a couple who were done by 18 months. To someone who hasn't even STARTED with her 2 1/2 year-old, this is quite impressive...
After the tailgate, we ventured to the Student Union to find the Lactation Room. Macie had spent the previous 2 hours sleeping in the Baby Bjorn, so she was eager to get out of the carrier and eat! After eating, it was back into the Baby Bjorn, as we high-tailed it to the stadium to catch the opening kick-off at 7 pm.
Ivie was a blast to watch. She spent most of the first half of the game trying to find Rameses (or "Maneses", as she calls him...). But when he finally came into our section, she wanted to be as far away from him as possible. She admires him from afar, I guess, but is scared to death and starts shaking when he gets close...
Just before halftime, it was time for me and the kids (that still sounds a bit funny!) to head home. Dale and I had decided that he would walk me to the car, and then head back to the game and catch a ride home afterward with a friend. Obviously, this would mark the first time that I would be solely responsible for getting BOTH girls to bed... So Dale asked multiple times on the way to the car if this was still okay. My response, which I've used several times when discussing upcoming trips that he has planned, was, "If I can't handle 2 kids on my own for a few days (or for one night), then we should NOT have had 2 kids! It will be fine!".
So, with that, I headed home. It was 8:30 pm'ish, so already past both girls' bedtimes.
Their fatigue showed on the way home. Ivie screamed for her daddy the whole way. It was tough on her to watch him walk away from the car after buckling her in. She didn't understand why HE got to go back to the game, and SHE had to go home and go to bed... So I heard "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" all the way home. Macie, too, was crabby, but for a different reason. She was hungry, and had been in the Baby Bjorn for 4 hours. Not the most comfy position.
I finally arrived home, after deliberating the entire way about who I should put to bed first. I finally decided that Ivie was old enough to stay up while I got Macie to sleep. I also figured this would allow me to read books with Ivie before putting her to bed, which would maintain at least a BIT of structure for her. So off to Macie's room we went.
As I nursed Macie, I had to convince Ivie to stay either in Macie's room or her own (which is across the hallway) where I could still see her. This was important, obviously, as I clearly remembered the laptop-destroying in which she engaged just a week or so ago when left alone downstairs for 5 minutes. The task of keeping her close did not prove as difficult as I had envisioned. She was tired and didn't WANT to leave my side. Which brought on a new problem. How do you keep an exhausted 2 1/2 year old quiet while nursing and trying to put an infant to sleep? Let me just say that, 14 hours later, I am still searching for the answer to that question... Ivie sat on the bench next to me, chatting about various things, but her funniest statement was when she began saying "I want to go night-night", over and over. You KNOW a kid's tired when she's begging to go to sleep!
Macie finally went to sleep. Or enough so that she would lie quietly in the crib. Ivie and I read a couple of books, and she crawled happily into bed with her frog and crocodile bath toys (her current obsession). I kissed her good night, and left the room. And she didn't call me back in! S-U-C-C-E-S-S.
As I walked into the hall, I heard Macie whining. Clearly, she wasn't sleeping. So it was back into her room (finally quiet!) for another short nursing session, which finally did her in.
At 10:00 pm (an hour and 10 minutes after the bedtime saga began), I headed downstairs. For a soda! Not even a tall, cold glass of milk "Sea Island style" was going to satisfy me after that experience! But it was a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that both of my girls were sleeping peacefully, and that I HAD actually been able to do it on my own. So maybe it IS okay that we have 2 kids...!