As the babies became mobile and increasingly curious, they became cranky being confined to our home. Witching hour often became intense and trying. I quickly discovered the babies needed more opportunities to explore outside the home with “field trips”. With the help of family and friends, I was able to venture out to new places with the babies. I checked into visiting some local children’s museums and such, but found the babies were just has happy to go to less expensive venues including dining out, shopping, and swimming.
Before my summer break officially started, we went to Jason’s Deli as our first family meal in a restaurant. It gave me confidence knowing that dining out could be a pleasurable experience for all. Later, we ventured to the Rainforest Cafe with a few friends. I had not been there in over a decade and forgot how impressive it is. As our tour guide, aka the hostess, showed us to our table, a rain storm complete with lightning and thunder ensued as gorillas aggressively shook nearby trees. Since loud, surprising sounds startle the babies, the thunderstorm did not bode well. Rylin began to scowl and I became concerned about this adventure. However, when the storm ceased, the babies settled into their high chairs and soaked the scenery all in. The babies scarfed a kid’s meal grilled cheese with a banana on the side as if were the best food they ever sampled.
With the mild temperatures, George noted it was ideal for patio dining at Joe T. Garcia’s, a local Tex Mex hot spot. Impulsively, I extended an invitation to my sister and her boyfriend and they accepted. Thankfully, they also agreed to a ridiculously early dinner to accommodate the babies and to beat the dinner rush (the line winds around the building and can go for hours). As George predicted, the weather was perfect and the eight of us enjoyed dining al fresco. We confirmed that the babies are Texans as they chowed down on cheese enchiladas, refried beans, rice, fajita meat, and guacamole.
Since the babies are yet not at the age of
demmanding politely requesting toys in stores, taking them shopping makes for a worthwhile adventure. Mom and I took the babies to Target where we used birthday gift cards to buy toddler toys and other baby necessities. I found that veggie sticks are the perfect distraction for antsy babies. I dished those things out right and left. However, I think we may have left a trail along the aisles of Target.
I was ecstatic when I learned a Sprouts market opened near our house. Prior to the babies arrival, we traveled to the next town for Sprout’s produce and meat. With the babies, there just is no time to travel longer than necessary for shopping. Therefore, we had not been to Spouts in well over a year. With the help of Grandaddy and Aunt Carol, we went on Wednesday, which is double ad day. I scored wonderful produce on sale, including blueberries for $.99!
With the help of Jen, we visited our local pet store. I didn’t expect much out of it since they don’t sell puppies and kittens the way they did in the past. However, our pet store has a dog day care, which was highly entertaining for babies. The dogs romped and wrestled behind a large pane of glass. For about 20 minutes eight little eyes were fascinated by the canine antics, especially when some of the smaller dogs ran up a toddler slide. Aside from the dogs, we also enjoyed looking at birds and playing with dog toys. As it turns out, dog toys are more fun than baby toys. They bold colored, crinkly, squeaky, and sometimes flashy.
Over the course of the summer, we made several trips to the pool. Each time, we realized how different each baby behaves in water. Mason is not a fan unless he is held or in shallow water where he can bounce and wade. On the other hand, Harper and Sydney could take up residence in water. The two of them kick and splash with zeal. Harper nearly dog paddled without prompting. I only wish we could do swim lessons for them, but sadly Mommy & Me swim lessons don’t work with one mommy and four babies. Rylin has her moments of enjoying the water and overall tolerates it.
Following a dip in the pool, we use small inflatable pool for outdoor bath time. As soon as we arrive at the pool, we inflate it and fill it with water so it’s lukewarm once we finish swimming. That way, we come home with four clean babies dressed for bed.
Each time we traveled with the babies, my confidence in the goodness of people was restored. Where ever we went, the babies were welcomed and greeted with kind words such as, “amazing”, “what a blessing”, and “adorable”. Going out with multiples can be intimidating, but when people are kind, it makes the experience wonderful for everyone.
Where did you go this summer?
P.S. I’d like to thank Karen for suggesting field trips to the Rainforest Cafe and the pet store. Both were inexpensive, fun ideas we all enjoyed!