Weekend recap: Festivities and older kids

I’m trying to get ahead on a great many things (my post on planning a self-employed maternity leave is coming up…) so just a quick weekend recap:

On Friday my husband and I went to his office holiday party. You can see my not-so-little black maternity dress over at Instagram (@lvanderkam). This thing was seriously like $30 on Amazon, which warms my frugal heart.

My 10-year-old won his Cub Scout troop’s Raingutter Regatta! This was held in my church’s gym, and coincided with my choir rehearsal for our Christmas concert in the sanctuary, so I popped over a few times, though I managed to miss all his actual races. In any case, he emerged, beaming, with a trophy proclaiming his grand champion status. I guess he has some lung power!

We left the 12-year-old in charge of the 4-year-old for 20 minutes to facilitate a pick-up and it worked fine. The 12-year-old texted to check in even though I hadn’t requested that. This opens up all sorts of logistical possibilities. They were actually having a good time playing 5 Crowns with each other and the 8-year-old; the 4-year-old has become quite the little card shark.

We welcomed a handful of new fish to the family. Our aquarium had been empty for 6 months following a pH-related disaster, but now it is stocked again. We also finally got the painting of Texas bluebonnets that I bought for my husband’s birthday several months ago framed (see picture). I’m very happy with how this turned out. Now it just needs to get hung up on the wall…

We celebrated my birthday by going out to eat. The kids all managed to sit on their seats and order food like normal people. Yep, just in time for us to have a newborn again.

I sang in my choir’s Christmas concert. We were accompanied by the Brandywine Brass, and Christmas songs on brass instruments always feel festive. My husband brought the kids and they lasted for about 30 minutes, at which point they made an exit, but it was fun to have them wave at me while I was trying to process in my robe in a serious fashion.

This week I’m prepping for Sarah and my “year in review” podcast episode. I’ve also been making a list of fun resolutions. Many resolutions involve hard work, willpower, and other such things, but some seem fun on their own. A few I’ve been suggesting: Going outside for 20 minutes per day, turning a lunch break into a mini-vacation, taking one night “off” per week. What would you add to this list?

6 thoughts on “Weekend recap: Festivities and older kids

  1. Visit more museums (with or without the children), it helps if I look out for interesting exhibitions
    Go to the theatre with every child and with my husband (already found the first show for my eldest)
    Keep swimming at least once a week (is with a friend and we drink tea afterwards, so double fun)
    Train for an “obstacle swim” (instead of obstacle run) in the summer with my sister (again double fun)
    Go to Paris for a day (I’m from the Netherlands so this is doable by train)
    And a new tradition: on Fridays my children eat pizza while I make ‘grown up food’ for my husband and myself. We eat en drink wine while they enjoy ‘unlimited’ screen time. No childcare involved and everybody is happy.
    I recently bought an e-bike as substitute for the car and it makes my commute much better with lots of fresh air, podcasts and no traffic jams. I only have to buy a pair of new rain pants and there is really nothing to stop me cycling anymore (wet socks and shoes are no fun).

    PS: Thank you for mentioning Cirque du Soleil on your December fun list. My frugal self never had let me buy tickets before. But they were here performing in The Hague and I just thought ‘my future self will not think about the money’. So I went with my daughter on Saturday and it was amazing. And I can add it on my ‘done before 40 list’ 🙂

    1. @Annemieke – these are all great resolutions! I love ones that are fun. And I’m so glad you enjoyed Cirque du Soleil!

    2. Very nice idea: the pizza and screentime night –> adult conversations in the dining room. Groetjes van een andere Nederlandse lezer!

  2. I am wondering if it’s a cultural thing or a family thing but when I was 12 I babysat my newborn sister and toddler brother for several hours. So I’m not surprised your 12yo was fine with the 4yo for 20 minutes.
    Probably depends on the kids though.

    1. @Maggie – Maybe an era-in-time thing… I know I was sitting as a robust business for other families at age 12 so yes, it should be totally fine — but maybe life feels different now 🙂

      He has done a very good job proving his maturity and I look forward to seeing how this continues to progress! Being able to leave him in charge of all the kids (except the newborn when he arrives) will be very helpful for logistics.

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