Today has been a great day. It started with a bad night though...Emily decided at 1AM that she did NOT want to go back to sleep so I was in and out of bed for over an hour trying to get her to settle. I toy with the idea every now and then of just letting her cry it out, but she has honestly never abused her crying privileges, so I am hesitant to just let her cry when every time before she has had a genuine need (usually for food) and once I figure out what that need is and meet it, she'll happily go back to sleep. Last night that need was a ton of formula, which sent me downstairs twice to get more. I don't enjoy trucking up and down the stairs in the middle of the night...I really wish she was still breastfeeding at times like that! I long for the days when I could just stumble into her room, instantly have all the milk she could drink available at the perfect temperature, then stumble back to bed. Now I have to mess with measuring water and powder and finding all the parts for bottles, and I don't usually remember to have any upstairs because I am a hopeless optimist and always assume she'll sleep through the night.
But after we got through the night and got everyone fed this morning I headed out to the outlets. I got Emily two freakin' adorable outfits, and I got myself a Coach purse! I went to the Coach outlet not expecting the purses to be all that much cheaper than the ones I'd been eyeing, but wow! They were about 50% cheaper to start out with, and then starting today they were all 30% off that price, so I feel like I got a really good deal. I ended up getting one of their scribble pattern purses, because although they came out with it last summer and it's kind of dated already, it has a couple different springy colors in it, so it'll be easy to match with almost anything. So now I finally have my coat and my purse and I look like a respectable housewife and not a bum off the street.
After the outlets, we went to The Little Gym and took a free trial class there. My friend Mandy invited us out because some moms she'd met in her mother-daughter swim class recommended it. We've tried Gymboree and My Gym before, but this is the first class where there was actually more than one other kid there. When I arrived (10 minutes late because I seriously misjudged how much time it took to get from the outlets to the gym) there were 4 other moms and babies, all of them were about my age and all of their kids were within a month or so of Emily's age. Perfect! Emily really seemed to enjoy it! She was crawling around interacting with the other children and that was lots of fun to watch since she doesn't ever get to do that otherwise. I think we'll be signing up for the classes on a weekly basis.
After THAT, we all went over to the Menonite market, a place I love to go anyway for cheap and fantastic food and we all had lunch. It was hilarious, there were 6 of us at that point, all with strollers and diaper bags and we took up A LOT of space. We all fed our children their various lunches (from yogurt with fruit and ground flaxseed to canned babyfood to pizza) and then wandered a bit, blocking the aisle as we went. We were the kind of group you roll your eyes at when you are not a part of it, but it felt really good to be a part of it. Talking to moms about what their babies were and were not doing yet, trading babies so we could shovel a couple bites of food in ourselves here and there, and knowing that everyone around you is dealing with the exact same stuff you are was refreshing. Of course most people our age and older know what we're going through, but most of what you get from the older set is "Enjoy them, they grow up so fast!". Of course I enjoy Emily, but it's nice to discuss with other moms who are not wearing nostalgia's rose-colored-glasses how difficult it can be to enjoy your baby when they are screaming and smearing beets on everything in reach.
So I issue a public apology to anyone who happened to be sitting near us or trying to get by the great wall of strollers at the market, but realize that that's the only way new moms can go out, and we all REALLY needed it! Back in the days of cavemen there were always plenty of new moms to talk to and learn from, but in today's society of single-family homes and upscale restaurants it's easy for a new stay at home mom to feel a bit cut-off and wonder where all the other people like her are hiding. Well, I finally found some, and the people at the Menonite market are just going to have to deal with it!