The national zoo is spread out over a gigantic hillside, and in warm weather it's incredibly hot and crowded and generally annoying, especially when you're pushing 50 pounds of kid and stroller up that hill. Today, though, it was cold enough to be practically deserted, and it was so great to give Nate some freedom to run around and look at the animals without worrying that he'd get lost in the crowd. We took it easy and didn't try to see too much before bailing for nap time, and it was just so great to be outside for a little while. We've been too cooped up.
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February is going to be a challenging month, in some respects. David will be traveling several times for work, which always puts Nate on edge. I'm going to give myself permission to eat junk food and buy a couple of On Demand movies, and I'm going to be sure to set up lots of play dates.
I'm a little worried that being on my own so much will throw a kink in my dinner-making streak. Y'all, I have been kicking dinner's rear. But it's one thing to bother cooking for myself and David, and quite another to bother cooking only for myself. (Unfortunately, Nate hardly eats what I cook.) I think I might scrap the regular meal plan when David's gone and just make really easy things for myself, like loaded baked potatoes and spaghetti with jarred sauce.
Nate and I are also planning to DRIVE to Michigan to see Arwen and Bryan and the kids. It sounds a little insane to propose that driving by myself with a two year old might be preferable to flying by myself with a two year old, and maybe it won't be. But I'm pretty intimidated at the thought of wrangling his car seat onto a plane and setting it up alone, and I'm convinced he's too wriggly to stay put in his own seat with just a lap belt.
When I initially thought about driving, I'd thought that if he's loud in the car, at least I'm not getting death stares from other passengers. And then I realized that Pittsbugh--where my in-laws live--is exactly halfway between my house and Arwen's. And suddenly it dawned on me that two five-hour legs with a grandparent visit in between seemed infinitely do-able, and that driving would provide a lot more flexibility in the event of a snowstorm or something. (NOT looking likely with the 50-plus degree weather we've been having on the regular around here.) It also helps, of course, that driving is a lot cheaper than paying for two plane tickets plus the inevitable baggage fees. So we're going to go for it!
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The biggest thing I'm worried about both with regard to the trip and to David being away is Nate's sleep. He's gone from being a kid who consistently slept through the night to one who frequently wakes at least once. He often ends up in our bed for at least a little while, though he rarely falls back asleep there. Instead, he wants one of us to go and rock him in his room until he's good and ready to go back into his crib . . . which sometimes takes quite a while.
I've read that there can be a sleep regression somewhere during age two, and often around 27 months, which is right where he has been during this recent hiccup. Last night he woke up around 1:00, fussed a bit, and put himself back to sleep, only to wake again just after three and spend the rest of the night in our bed. (It would be sort of sweet if he didn't force both of us to pretty much hug the edges of the mattress.)
It's NOTHING like when he was an infant, when I positively dreaded bedtime, not knowing how quickly and how often I'd be roused from sleep. But it's reached the point where I lack any confidence in sleeping uninterrupted.
Let's hope he sleeps well tonight, friends.