I have been completely spoiled by this spring time trip nearly every year since I can remember. We've been lucky in our adulthood thus far to be able to find cheap flights to our *free tropical destination (*thanks to time sharing uber generous mom and dad and grandparents). As parents we've been able to keep it possible by combining those cheap tickets with airport taxis and bikes with burleys in lieu of rental cars. But this year, no matter how we swung it, it just wasn't in the cards. Apparently eight months pregnant, traveling with two kids and beautiful tropical dehydrating weather do not mix well.
So, as we rapidly approach that beloved spring break time I've found it harder and harder for me to shake off the grumps about missing this trip, then feeling guilty and spoiled for missing it so much. It's a vicious sad cycle I tell you.
Because of course we'll miss the sun. We've had an actual decent winter here in Chicago and being outside for more than the 10 minutes it takes to load up and drop off the girls each morning would be nice. Feeling warmth on our faces, sweating a little, jumping in cool clear water? Eating fried grouper, licking delicious ice cream cones, hammocking, beach running, shell finding. Oh yeah, that would all be great.
But what I find I'm really missing about our trip, at least right now, are the preparations. Some of my favorite spring time memories with my girls are of us getting ready for Florida. Hilarities ensuing while digging out too small swimsuits and sandals and too big sunglasses. Frantically sewing new spring duds and knitting light sweaters for those "chilly" Florida nights. As with any big event, the prep is half the fun.
Hmmm. Big event? Preparation? While it may not be a southwest Florida vacation I know deep down that preparing for this new little one is surely more exciting and important than anything else we could be doing right now.
Unpacking tiny baby booties was one of my favorites. The first time I officially let myself be won over by a bit of superstition about this baby? the moment I uncovered that second blue bootie, that's been missing since Ainsley was about 2 months old. We'll see!
Ah, and tiny cloth diapers...how I can't wait to wrap that sweet baby bum in one.
Being our third baby, I've been surprised with all that I feel needs to get done! before their arrival. I am giddy over the cleaned out nursery, so excited for the artwork I've planned with the girls. I can't wait to wash and fold all of the tiny clothes already waiting in drawers, and put the finishing touches on all those new handmade goodies (did you notice all those ends that need weaving in up there? oh goodness). Ian gave me an early "non" birthday gift of a new baby knitting book and it's going to take all the willpower I have not to go nuts. I mean really, how many cardigans and booties does an April baby need? On second thought, don't answer that.
And then there's those two little girls of mine, suddenly smitten with their mama handmades. Ainsley recently discovered that Louise's beloved nay nays are in fact HER baby blankets that she never took a liking to. Now she's desperate for her own knit blankie and I've promised that once all the essentials are covered I'm on it. She also begged me for a new sweater when she discovered her favorite yellow cardigan is too short for her this year. We ventured to the yarn shop and she picked out the most beautiful purple merino I've ever worked with. So now of course Louise wants one too.
these posed photos complete with daffodils were all Ainsley, she loves showing off that sweater
I've found knitting in particular to be so essential and therapeutic for this special time. All these long afternoons indoors, spent watching my girls play dolls, fairies, princesses, trains, doctor, all the while i work away one row at a time. Sewing had kind of taken over my life this past year. I'll admit it feels good to have needles constantly in my hands again. (and it's extra nice to have the time and motivation to make myself a few things, Ian too)
thick cotton, simple lace work, fingerless gloves, I don't know how I've survived winters without them
::purple seems to be the theme for this family for spring. A short sleeved cardigan started for me, a simple vest in the works for my working man::
So this march, instead of buying sunscreen and sandals, packing and preparing for weeks away, we're preparing for a longer hibernation here at home. These next 6 (or more) weeks are our last as a family of 4. As wonderful as it would be to have our annual week in the sun, I know we need this time. Really I'm looking forward to this time. So much that can be done, very little that NEEDS to get done (except finding that crib bumper, now where did that go?). Come baby time we'll be as rested as we can be and ready for a beautiful spring.
See you next year Florida! I can't even imagine how full THAT vacation is going to be :o).