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Date ideas

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My husband and I almost never go on dates anymore. At least not out of the house. Part of it is financial. We can't afford to get a babysitter usually, so we just don't. My inlaws are great about spending time with our daughter, but they are aging, and clearly not really up to most babysitting, and prefer us to be home too (though they don't frequently admit it). My family is less helpful about hanging out, and I don't feel completely safe leaving her with my parents anyway.

The other part is practical. We don't go out for religious reasons from Friday night sundown until Sat night sundown (which in the summer takes out both Fri and sat nights). I work a normal full time job (usually starting at 6am) and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays I work until after 11 PM. When I have a break between jobs, I want to spend it with my kid. It's just hard to find ideas of what/when to do something kid free.

We do things together (without the kid) at home. We play games, garden, talk, and play fantasy football. We are (I think) fairly happy together, and I feel grateful for that. We come home each day happy to see one another, and I think both try to say nice things to each other regularly (and do little things for each other). I am proud that my daughter has pretty much never heard us raise our voices in anger at either her or each other. So I kinda take the relationship for granted a bit, and assume as long as things seem happy, I don't really need to do anything else.

I did get a bit of a shock recently when a friend started having marital problems. She confessed that she felt that she had nothing in common with her spouse, and she started to have a little relationship on the side because her spouse wasn't giving her what she needed from a relationship (emotionally). As she described her situation, I realized that I need to devote more time and effort to my relationship, before we have problems. Because it just seems like it spirals out of control SO QUICKLY.

But that leaves me kinda stuck. I forgot how to date. Most dating activity involves food (which I'm trying to be more aware of). Other dating activity seems strange to not do with my kid. Like I'd love to go pick strawberries, but that's a really fun toddler activity too, so I don't know how I would do it without her. I guess we could go to a movie, but it doesn't seem like that's a great bonding activity, or noticeably different than just watching tv at home. Anyway, bottom line I have no good date ideas, or practical solutions. Ideas welcome.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIJ16 5/25/2013 1:24PM

    My husband and I have been married for 36 years. One of the keys to our happy marriage is that we are bet friends. He usually puts me first and I try to put him first. We also laugh a lot. You have to have a sense of humor and not take yourself too seriously. (My husband taught me how to laugh and find humor in a situation.)

We don't have a lot of money because we are retired but we still have "date night". We often put a movie in, turn out the lights, and snuggle with a bowl of popcorn. We like to spend time at home working in the flowers, etc. When we do go out we usually eat at a restaurant that has nutrition facts on line so we can plan the meal ahead. We also get ice water to save money on drinks. It really does help save.

The ideas from all the people who commented are terrific. Good luck! emoticon

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LOSIN_IT4GOOD 5/24/2013 12:22AM

    I think they keys to a great relationship are respect and communication. So if your date night consists of wine and cheese in the back yard, or popcorn and a board game, or cooking a new dish together...you can still call it a date night.
SUNSET09 mentioned Meetup.com, a great way to get out-and-about as a couple and socialize. There are so many events posted with various groups that sometimes it's difficult to chose what I'd like to do most! Please, check that out because a lot of activities are free! So It might be worth paying a babysitter of there is no expense involved with the activity...hiking, pool party, board game night, concert in the park, dog walking....I could go on and on....a great organization.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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SUNSET09 5/23/2013 11:38PM

  There are a few web sites you can check out for discounts: Groupon.com and restaurant.com. Theres also a meetup.com web page that may provide you with ideas as well. My parents would take us to the park where they can talk with other couples and we would make friends and play. Think about the things you used to do when you two dated and even ask him what hed like to do. Sometimes, Ill go to a Barnes and Noble, buy a cup of hot water and bring my own tea bag! I also like to people watch! The airport is a good place to go to watch the planes take off. We replace the things we used to do with things weve grown to enjoy. Museums, seminars and sometimes, free concerts are ideas as well. I enjoy going to the movies as afterwards, wed go for tea/coffee and discuss the movie. You'll come up woth something and good for you in being proactive! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 5/23/2013 10:14PM

    I sent you an email with some ideas & links.

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    Try learning something new together. Some examples might be learning healthy recipes and cooking techniques, learning a foreign language or even a game that's new to you (ie. a card game, chess or Sudoku). I'm sure you can come up with other ideas. It's a bonding experience, since you'll both be learning something new together. You wouldn't need a babysitter, since you could do the ideas at home. Or start your own book club. Pick a book for the month and discuss what you've read. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMEYER4 5/23/2013 9:09PM

  my hubby and I go to the river and watch the boats and geese. It gets us out in the fresh air and we enjoy the water. also fishing is great and low cost. Just spending time together is rewarding.

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A garden

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

For the second time in my adult life, we planted a garden. Last year (our first attempt) was not super successful. We partnered with some friends and the 4 adults (and one little baby) shared the work and the spoils. Theoretically. But since it was in my backyard, I did almost all the watering and work, and we did not really get many spoils as a bunch of plants were killed in a 5 day 100 degrees stretch.

This year, we are trying again. Same friends, different initial set up. I HATE the actual planting, digging, bug touching. I don't really mind watering (as long as it's understood before hand), and honestly, I think it will be a good thing to do daily with my kiddo. It's nice to have fresh veggies and herbs. I think she will have a better appreciation (for a 2 year old) of where food comes from, and hopefully enjoy more greens.

We planted 2 tomato plants, 3 zucchini, 3 cucumber, 2 eggplant, 1 garlic, 2 peppers, basil, oregeno, and parsly. We'll have our fingers crossed for a good yield.

In strange news, I find that when I lose weight I feel worse about my body. Which just seems silly. But I have been feeling more and more uncomfortable and stressed in my own skin. I'm not losing weight very quickly or unhealthy like, but somehow I guess thinking of losing weight just makes me notice every single imperfection in my physical appearance. I know I should be proud--I've lost 30 lbs this year which is a huge huge deal for me. But my goal weight keeps dropping. I convince myself that it's never enough, and to be healthy I need to hit the bottom of my healthy weight range, which becomes just a little below my healthy weight range. I know the thinking is wrong and dangerous (and slippery slope-y), but it doesn't stop me from having the thoughts.

In summary--Yay garden, Boo negative self talk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSIN_IT4GOOD 5/22/2013 1:10AM

    I think the garden is awesome! This will be my first year doing tomatoes and cucumbers. I have been growing grapes for the last 3 years, and raspberries the last 2 years. I'm not a big fan of the raspberries...they are too small so I think I need to look for a different variety.
I also agree...boo on the negative talk!
Good luck with the garden! I'll be curious to hear how the eggplant comes out...thought about trying that someday too. :)
emoticon emoticon

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IMREITE 5/22/2013 12:41AM

    i love gardening. i do most of the work myself. my parents used to plant corn with a neighbor, but he was a little OCD and things had to be done a specific way.

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Back home :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

We spent the last 5 days or so at my in laws. I actually quite like my in laws, and I love how they treat my kid. I feel grateful to have such a close relationship with them, and I like that we get to visit every other month or so.

Health wise though, the visits are a mess. They eat lots of fatty/junky foods, like eggplant parm, pizza, egg salad, pancakes, cupcakes, mayonnaise based foods....you get the point. They are great about making sure there are fresh fruits and veggies in the house for me and my daughter, and I appreciate the lengths they go to make sure they have food that is really clearly only there for us. They also never make me feel awkward about using their kitchen to make a veggie side, or cut up some fruit for dessert for us (and they usually will humor me and try some).

It is a long time without my food and kitchen, and I find it somewhat harder to plan at their house. The results were not good. I usually take such pains to avoid unhealthy choices, that I end up having trouble meeting my calorie goals. I assume a potato pancake is about 300 calories more than it is, and by the time I track things, I'm just super low on calories. Which you would think would be easy enough to remedy with all the junk food, but honestly, my body doesn't even want it any more. Amazing how much things can change.

Other than foodwise, the trip was absolutely lovely. They have a big back yard to run around in, bubbles, a slide, and lots of other fun outdoorsy things. The in-laws are still pretty young, and enjoy going outside and being active-ish with us. The TV was off the entire time, and we just spent time enjoying each other, playing games, dancing and playing. People think I'm nuts because my husband and I (and kid) haven't been anywhere other than to visit our parents since our daughter was born. But I can't imagine a traditional vacation can compare to the happy family time, visiting with cousins, and developing a close relationship to grandparents.

It is always nice to get back to your own house. I love my bed :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GWTRIKER 5/21/2013 8:46PM

    That is great you have such a wonderful relationship with your in-laws. Also that you live close enough to visit. Enjoy your family!

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LOSIN_IT4GOOD 5/20/2013 2:51AM

    Yep, that would be a challenge for me too! Glad you had a nice visit and are safely back at home.

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JOYFUL452003 5/19/2013 8:00PM

    Families are everything. You are blessed. Thanks for sharing.


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Pink eye

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My kid has pinkeye. Which is fairly miserable for her. My husband and I are doing everything possible to avoid her reinfecting herself, and avoid getting it ourselves. She's on medication and is theoretically not contagious as of tomorrow at 12.

We had planned a trip this week to see my family and my in-laws. We had planned on going up Tuesday night to the in-laws, and switching to my family on Friday. We obviously called both families to warn them. My in-laws said we should still come. My family said no. I offered to swing by their house for a short visit on Sunday on our drive back, after her full course of antibiotics was over. Still no.

I often feel hurt that my family does not want to see my kid more. I know they are busy. They live about an hour and a half away, and we offer to come up about every other month. I'd say they actually see us about 4 times a year, despite the fact that they visit my siblings (who live 2 miles away from me) several other times a year. They complain all the time that my in-laws are so close to my kid, but the in-laws live further away and come see us about 2x a month (on top of the typical visits to them every other month).

My family just will not see her if she is even a little bit sick. She's a daycare baby (at least part time) so she's just always sick and sniffly. Plus she has allergies, so her nose is running pretty constantly. My parents are young (in their 50s) and have no real health issues to make them fear her sickness so much. It's hard to listen to them complain about how little they see her while they also choose not to see her so much.

My whole side of the family seems fairly uninterested in her. The extended family does not invite her to weddings or other family gatherings (even the more low key breakfasts after or lunch before). They also complain about how they've never met my kid, but I don't really want to travel with her just to get a babysitter in a strange city (which I would feel totally uncomfortable with anyway.....). His family invites her to everything, and she's met all of them several times.

I guess ultimately I am lucky and grateful to have people who love her, and I need to accept my family where they are. I just worry as she gets older she'll ask why my parents always cancel on her, and why she's never met my aunts and uncles and cousins. I don't have a good answer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSET09 5/14/2013 5:30AM

  I had wanted to send you this before, however, had ot wait on the reply from a friend. She had shared this pink eye "remedy" with me and maybe, it can help you as well as others. Want to hear it, here it goes:

Rule # 1, never never never touch the eye with your bare hand.
#2, geta roll of paper towels, but never touch it unless you wash your hands first.
Afer you wash your hads, get one towel, wet it, then gentlypress it to the eyes for a couple minute. Wipe the eye, throw the towel away and wash your hands.

Repeat this 10 to 20 times a day. Do it every hour r more.

The doctor showed me over the years how it works because you are essentially pulling that infection out and throwing it away.

If you do this without washing yor hands before and after or if you do this and touch your eye with your bare hand, you are infecting yourself and everyone else who comes into contact with your fingers.

Wash wash wash!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEG2584 5/13/2013 1:19PM

    It was kind of the same way with my daughter. She is/was very close to my parents because we lived only a few miles apart and my mom babysat her after school and during the summers. Afer her dad and I got divorced, my parents and I would take her to see her other grandparents (her dad didn't) but after awhile that just got to be a hassle for me and we stopped doing that. I felt bad but I was a single mom, working full time and had other obligations. When she graduated from college, with two degrees), that side of the family didn't come to graduation or to her party afterward. It hurt her feelings but she didn't let it get her down.

As a grown up, she was extremely close to my dad before he passed, is close to my mom and loves her other grandma even though they aren't very close at all.

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DR1939 5/13/2013 12:15PM

    Surprisingly kids seem to be able to sort out these kinds of things. We are very close to the children of one of our daughters whereas his parents do not spend as much time with them. We tend to give bigger gifts. The children still feel loved by them and do not feel as they are neglected. It is important that you don't discuss this in front of the children because they do pick up on your feelings of rejection. If they ask, then you should say that people are different and have different family traditions.
It is hard to watch but your goal is to get your children through this with a strong sense of self-worth and without feelings of rejection.

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IMJUSTFLUFFY 5/13/2013 10:12AM

    All the best! R

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SUNSET09 5/13/2013 6:13AM

  It's your family who are missing out! Cherish the relationship that you have with her and be mindful. Love on her and let her know, it's not about her! Just continue to invite and provide them with info about how well she's adjusting and share pcis of her. Don't end up being the bad person. You're more than a conqueror! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UMBILICAL 5/12/2013 8:12PM

  Tough condition. Irritating and difficult for children.

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NH_MOM 5/12/2013 8:02PM

    That's a tough one but even if you don't say anything she'll eventually figure it out. I have a similar issue. My sister-in-law takes my oldest son more than she takes my younger son. He is old enough to be hurt by this and I have no idea what to say other than Auntie has a favorite and it's not you. I haven't done that but it's getting to that point b/c I think he's kind of got that figured. She also complains that she doesn't see any of my 3 kids(she lives 30 minutes from me), but she rarely drives up to see them. I have to either meet her or go to her house. Well, whatever. It happens and we explain the best we can but in the end kids are pretty smart and will figure it out. I think your daughter may question it but if she gets to see the other half of the family a lot she may not even miss seeing your side of the family.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

I had my birthday this week. Generally I have never been one to really make much of a big deal out of birthdays. I find it stressful to have to deal with large groups of people, so I never wanted parties as a kid, and mostly just wanted laid back time with family. In fact, all through my 20s, we typically went home to visit my parents for my birthday (which happens to be right around Mother's day every year). It worked out well, and I always enjoyed it.

This year, the family visit got pushed back a week, so I spent my birthday with my husband and kid. Overall, I had an awesome day. I had to work 10 hours, but my friends/boss decorated my desk/office, so I came into a bunch of balloons, hats, and streamers. It was really nice. I asked my husband if he would bring my daughter to the office for lunch, and he brought her, lunch, and flowers. Major points :)

I'm not sure why it was so exciting to see her in the middle of the day, but it was awesome. She got to see where I worked, and meet my boss and friends (the boss insisted I bring her by). Her and I split a pesto pasta primavera dish with tofu (about 400 calories total) which I think is a fairly healthy lunch choice, especially since it was very veggie heavy. I am thinking of trying to make it at home---seemed simple enough with a lot of spinach, peppers, a bit of feta, pecans, pasta and a little pesto. Yum.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. My husband had a work thing at night. He felt so bad for leaving me, but honestly, I just wanted a bit of a quiet night in anyway. My daughter gave me plenty of cuddles and giggles, and I couldn't have been happier.

The next day we had a celebratory lunch at work, and I had a pita with fallafel, hummus, and lots of cucumber, lettuce and tomato. I got the small pita, no fries, and water. Overall, I've been pretty happy with my food choices around my birthday. I'm not really one for cakes (the texture freaks me out), so I think that helps me to keep my choices good.

I hope the rest of this year is filled with as much love and happiness as my birthday was. That's really all I can ask for :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAW_OH 5/11/2013 10:49AM

    Happy Birthday! emoticon

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SCHECK5 5/11/2013 8:51AM

    Happy Birthday!!! Hope you had a awesome day!!!

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MOTTAMAMALOU 5/10/2013 7:29PM

    "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to you!

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