I met some friends for brunch on Saturday. We are planning another big moms group family party, where we rent out a gymnasium and each bring a big toy or wagon or slide. Potluck food, a little spiked punch for the parents, and loads of fun. Lots of talk of travels, food, children's issues, you know, what constitutes edgy topics these days. We had our party planning discussion over fried eggs with apple, potato and sausage hash and lattes (mmmm) and then headed off to the new boutique baby store a block away. It is delightful - the owner had been running it out of her home for a while, and just got a storefront. She had all the fun, funky and expensive toys that I'd been reading about on the web but never got to touch. All things cloth diapering, maternity and nursing garb, lead-free toys, the perfect birthday present for my nephew who is turning two (!) in March. She also carries many different types of slings and carriers; I rented a KarmaBaby pouch sling to see if it would work for us. I have been meaning to whip up a pouch for ages out of some of my extensive fabric stash, but the time keeps eluding me. I could really use a pouch NOW, since I have to haul at least one baby outside with me for a quick potty run with the puppy. My wrist pain makes carrying a floppy 25 lb + baby around while also holding onto a vigorous dog on a leash more than uncomfortable. (Have I mentioned how excited the concept of getting Cosmo trained to the invisible fence makes me?) Anyway, the pouch sling will work but is fairly unattractive - they call it mocha; I call it ugly brown. I shall cut a pattern and find the time to make one. We did manage to talk the store owner into offering a door prize for the party which will be fun. I could easily spend a gift certificate in there! We'll approach a few more local stores. It is good that the moms group is 50+ strong and growing. There is a lot of power in numbers.
I had time left before H-Mama expected me home, so I zipped to the feed store to get nice big raw shank bones with bits of meat on them for the dogs. Big crowd pleaser, those. Anything I can do to help Cosmo piece together the difference between baby toys and dog toys is good. The baby toys do smell less like beef - he ought to be able to grasp that. Then on to the grocery store for a few items and a rolicking nice chat in the magazine section with a couple of novice knitters debating the necessity of following what the pattern said and actually buying a bowl the size of your head upon which to dry a felted hat. Um, you have your HEAD which is the exact right size to mold it to, right? These two pleasant women pegged me for a new mom immediately as I was swaying markedly as I perused the renovation mags. They had seven boys between them - egads! Then home to my family and a lovely warm afternoon in the house with the weather raging outside. As the afternoon wore on, we all needed a bit of distraction so we went off to the science museum with the kids. Pequita loves the turtles at the sea turtle display especially right now. After only an hour, we had closed down the place and we popped by Target to get some toxic fluid to keep my gas from freezing in the predicted 5 degree weather. We had a family nurse in my favorite spot in the Global Bazaar - private, but not hidden, with lots of gewgaws for Pequita to mess around with. They had a lot of boats on display in the mall, and I wanted to let Pequita play on her favorite, a huge pontoon boat with white leather seats. No go, though - there were a bunch of teenagers hunkered down. I figured that we could scare them off if I tromped up there with the baby, but I actually said to H-mama, "No, let's let the mall rats have their fun on a Saturday night." Um, when did I get OLD?
Sunday morning we went to the dog park to romp Cosmo. Since he isn't allowed loose in the invisible fence yet, he needs to RUN once in a while, and my town just fenced in three acres in the park for dogs. As we arrived, the 20 mile-per-hour winds picked up and a lot of snow started blasting down and the temp dropped to about 15 degrees. Most folks took their dogs and ran, but we just loaded the snowsuited kids into the stroller, snapped on the rain covers for some wind protection and took off for a walk. My kids watched Cosmo and Homestead Mama romp inside the fence as we walked around the perimeter. My Phil & Ted's stroller made it through two inches of snow on a grass path beautifully. Somewhere along the way they both fell asleep, and H-Mama and I had a nice time sitting in the warm car with sleeping babies watching the storm. Very peaceful, and their aren't too many moments like that together.