Considering I was 36+ weeks pregnant last weekend, Michael and I decided to fill our time with what could very well be some of our last "big" outings before our next little one makes his arrival. Gabriel was born at 39 weeks and 2 days, so I'm not exactly anticipating an "early" arrival...but I highly doubt I'll have much of the energy or desire to be out on my feet much in the coming weeks.
Friday night our plan was stay home and watch a movie or show, but Michael also wanted to make a quick trip to the local Asian market. Because we finished dinner early enough (aka it wasn't too close to Gabriel's bedtime), he actually offered to take Gabriel with him and let me stay home. The concept is so simple, yet that kind gesture was like a dream for my 36-weeks-pregnant self because moments of true quiet and rest are hard to come by when you're with a toddler 24/7. On top of that, he surprised me by bringing home some taro ice cream bars he discovered - which I'm convinced were a gift from heaven made just for me and my taro obsession.
The next morning we were excited to introduce Gabriel to his very first zoo! Our little boy loves animals, but his age and the seasons had never previously aligned to make it worth taking him. Unfortunately the lions (which are some of his favorite animals to impersonate) were being boring, but Gabriel still had fun pointing and telling us they were "a-seep!"
Gabriel probably would have been content to watch some of the monkeys all day long, but I think he was actually most fascinated by and excited to see the giraffes.
We were only at the zoo for a few hours, but the heat and the walking (I couldn't believe there were so many hills!) seemed to wipe both Gabriel and myself out for the rest of the day. He took a good, long nap and Michael and I relaxed by watching some shows together. I even caved and allowed us get carry-out for dinner so I could just "be pregnant" and tiredly sit on the couch a bit longer.
Then came Mother's Day!
Considering "quality time" is one of my husband's top love languages (and receiving/giving gifts is decidedly not), we usually acknowledge smaller holidays throughout the year by opting to do something fun as a family instead of exchanging gifts. However, I did tell my husband last week that what I would really like is for my car to be thoroughly cleaned inside and out (can you tell that "acts of service" is one of my top love languages??).
It might sound like a silly gift request, but nothing would make this "nesting" mother happier than to have something big I've been meaning to do before the baby arrives completely crossed off my list without me lifting a finger. I don't mind household cleaning much and often find it to be therapeutic, but thinking of hunching over to put air in my tires, clean a very dusty dash, or vacuum out the remains of car-seat toddler snacks sounds like a miserable way to send myself into early labor. No thanks.
Michael plans to take care of my car this weekend, but he also let me pick our fun family activity for Sunday - so after Mass I chose to enjoy a walk at a nearby state park and eat lunch at the quaint farm market we fell in love with the weekend before.
|With my two little boys this Mother's Day (36.5 weeks)!|
|The perfect backdrop for a family photo|
|I just love them so|
|So grateful for this little boy who first made me a mother|
I'd be lying if I said our entire weekend was all smiles all the time because we had a rather ridiculous encounter with the type of rude, aggressive driver this state has been known to produce and my pregnancy hormones led to more than one bout of frustration and/or tears...but when I look back on everything none of that really matters. What I remember most about this past weekend is feeling overwhelmingly blessed.
As if I weren't feeling appreciative enough of my loved ones already, I happened to check the mailbox Sunday evening and I'm so thankful I did - because waiting for me was the sweetest Mother's Day card from one of my friends! Any card with a quote from Pope St. John Paul II is pretty much guaranteed to speak to my heart, but I was even more touched by my friend's genuine thoughtfulness.
|The front of my friend's hand-made card sitting in front of the carnations|
my husband picked out for me when our church sold them after Mass
This weekend our current plans involve a whole lot of me staying home and relaxing...though when my husband suggested repeating our Mother's Day schedule this Sunday (Mass, a walk at the same state park, and lunch at the same farm market) I couldn't resist saying yes.
Our weekend has all the makings of what I hope will be a healthy balance between taking it easy/resting and doing what I can to get out of the house and make some fun memories with my husband and son before this baby arrives and we start making memories as a family of four(!). May your weekends also be filled with a healthy dose of leisure and fun with your loved ones. :)
"Ah, Mrs. Your husband has a very important job. Like the pope. But don't believe it. Your job is more important. The future of the world is with the mothers. It is the mothers who will give us peace and make us free. Just like Mary, the mother of Jesus, we need you the most."
-Pope St. John Paul II (to the wife of the Mayor of Boston)