Friday, July 27, 2007

IKEA Report

I had a couple hours to kill between a late breakfast out with the kids and Annabel's Bug Camp, so I decided to venture out to IKEA. The stupendously huge parking lot was so packed I almost decided to forgo the whole thing, but the big box must have had me on tractor beam, as I couldn't turn around. I managed, quite accidently, to find the Family Friendly Parking lot. Right next to the store. In fact, the one empty space in that lot was the one closest to the store. Obviously, I was meant to be there, despite my "buy nothing new for a year" commitment that I made merely two months ago. I figured I could just browse, maybe buy something for the kids. I was so excited about the awesome parking space I called Chrissy to tell her about it.

We walked smack dab into Smalland, the awesome play area for kids staffed by about a bazillion young women in yellow shirts. I offered Annabel the choice of shopping with me or going to Smalland. Duh, Smalland, Mom.

Leaving my first-born in the care of total strangers, I took off with Luc to explore. I love IKEA. I have loved it from afar for I can't remember how long...since before I moved to Portland 11 years ago. There was one in Townsend, Maryland, too far from where I lived to bother with actually going there, but this was back when they sent out their paper catalog and I used to spend hours pouring over it. I love the Euro-ness of it. The eco-ness of it. The Swed-glish names for everything.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mom's Time Out

When I think about all the "down time" I had Before Kids, I just can't believe the luxury of it all. Now, I try to get a "Mom's Time Out" at least one evening a week. Usually I get together with some mom friends and knit at a cafe or yarn shop. Having just taken my first overnight (32 hours!) away from the family since my son was born almost 18 months ago to attend the Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon, I'm inspired to get one more block of time to get down in my sewing room and quilt at least once a week.

Like a lot of parents, I have lost many of my BK friends and now mostly socialize with other mothers of young children. The women I happened to go out of town with are moms of much older kids (like, out of college) or not moms. While they had some interest in talking kids, it was from a different perspective than that of my mom friends who are still in the toddler trenches and it helped me mentally relax to not trade wee-one war stories, but to hear the calm, knowing voices of moms who'd been there, survived, and knew I would too.

It was also a relief to leave the kids at home with their dad and know that they were Okay Without Me. REALLY. Not that I doubt my husband's abilities--he had some concerns, but I knew he'd be okay. I worried that our still-nursing toddler would cry all night, though, and be traumatized by the separation. My fears were not born out and now that we've managed our first successful mom-free overnight, I have a feeling I'll be getting away more often.

While I do enjoy my time out of the house with my friends, I think that for really getting back in touch with that creative, multi-faceted, reflective person I was BK, time alone is essential and I'm thinking of scheduling myself a short retreat, say here: