Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Three-Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend was a needed refresher for the Rutledge family. Like all parents, Amy & I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of raising kids and forget to exhale too often. I don't mean to complain about it because we are truly fortunate to have three wonderful, healthy kids. But I'm not going to sugarcoat it either -- life with twin 3 year-old boys and a 3 month-old infant is not easy right now. So the three-day weekend could not have come at a better time.

Saturday morning was a highlight as the whole family congregated in the nursery as Amy nursed Tess, each of us still in our pajamas and me sipping my coffee. The boys went through the box of toys in Tess's closet handing her a variety of animals and rattles. Amy & I relaxed with -- imagine this -- a conversation. Finally we had the chance to simply hang out and not hurriedly rush for school, work, etc.

Later that afternoon Amy & I hit the kitchen with a pitcher of daiquiris as we made salsa & snacks for a cookout. Our neighbors the Singletons came over to share in the fun as the the kids played together with reckless abandon. Owen, normally one to warm up only to those that he is familiar with, giggled himself silly sliding down the slide with Erin, the older daughter.

On Sunday we went to church where our wonderful minister Joanne gave a very cool sermon about worry and fear dominating life. It was the ultimate cup-filler message that these two busy parents absorbed -- a great reminder to get out of the weeds and see the bigger picture. Later that afternoon we ventured up the street to another cookout with some neighbors. Gus & Owen got to drive a motorized fire truck that squirted water and sported a walkie-talkie. Talk about hog heaven -- Gus was so excited to be sporting his firefighter cap and actually riding on a fire truck that he melted down when it was time to leave.

Meanwhile Baby T went along for the ride for all the weekend activities. She hung out with Dorothy at the cookout on Saturday, fell asleep in the Baby Bjorn at church (I wonder where she learned that one), and stared intently at all the commotion of young children at the cookout on Sunday. At the risk of completely jinxing Amy & me as lucky parents, I have to say that Tess is a very easy baby. GJ points out that Tess doesn't really have a choice -- that by having two older brothers she will have to learn to go with the flow. Others have pointed out that the second time around -- especially after twins -- parents are much more relaxed. I don't know if Amy & I are relaxed, but we do know what to expect much better than the first time around the block. Still, for all of that much of it is Tess's gentle disposition. Yes she cries when she's hungry or if she's tired and fighting sleep. But for the most part she is the grinning observer, easily going along for the ride with her mom, dad and brothers.

Finally on Memorial Day we separated the boys as they were getting a bit of cabin fever being cooped up with each other. Gus hung out at home relaxing with mom and sister while I took Owen out for lunch and a haircut. (I am in the doghouse for getting Owen's curly curls chopped off, but I contend the kid was starting to look like Richard Simmons without the headband & tights.)

So it's fair to say the Rutledges took full advantage of the Memorial Day break. Nothing like the chance to get out of the routine with a three-day weekend to stop and smell the roses.


Ah, to be a kid again...

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