Real Life with Rita: Finding Fall

I admit it. I’ve slacked in the blogging world.

I used to not understand when other bloggers said they’d lost motivation or had writers block. You can always find something to write about, right? I learned that as a journalist with a deadline. But when you have a million other things on your plate… Finding time to write a blog post when no topic is motivating you to sit down usually means it just doesn’t happen.

August was busy, making it hard to focus. But September, I just lost motivation. Maybe it was the fact I was expecting the fall season to begin moving on to fall blog topics, but instead the Bluegrass decided to hold onto the 90-degree weather, making scarves, boots and pumpkin spice lattes not really fit the vibe. Here we all wanted to change out our wardrobes, sip on warm drinks and enjoy the sites and smells of fall, but instead we were still planning trips to the pool to cool off!

The good news is September 22 welcomed the first “official” day of Fall and the following week saw the 60-70 degree days we’d been anticipating. And, given I still have pretty much zero spare time in my life, I do want to get back to my regular blogging.

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Blogging may not have been a high priority last month, but enjoying adventures with the two tots was. While I am anxious to meet our growing peanut (Dorothy named it (him?) George), I am doing my best to get out and have fun with Jake and Lou. Chasing two toddlers wears a mama out, but just imagining what it will be like next year at this time–with three and one that hardly if even walking–is exhausting.

I started the month with a baby shower/girls night. Some of my closest gal pals and I hosted a baby shower for two fellow mamas-to-be. Their due dates sandwich mine in November. (11/4, 11/10, 11/17) but they are both first-time moms. I decided to take the kiddos to Louisville with me the night before the event while Mingus stayed home and had all the husbands at our house for man-activities (including building our garage!) Taking two toddlers for an overnight trip somewhere other than one of the grandparent’s house can be intimidating, but I’ve learned it’s best to roll with it and make it work. It’s good for me and for them. We enjoyed a trip to the neighborhood park before they hit the hay, and then it freed me up for a cozy night of much-needed girl talk with two of my favorite ladies–something I rarely get anymore! We all enjoyed the shower the next day as well. If you have ever gone through pregnancy with a close friend, you know the special bond and joy you share, knowing you’ll have little ones to grow up so closely.

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The next week was low key, but I did make an impromptu shoe-shopping trip for Dorothy. I’d hoped to take on the task at a time when I could have some assistance in order to focus Lou on shoes while someone kept track of wily Jake, but I’ve started forcing myself to worry less about going into ever task with ideal kiddo conditions. It’s better to just take on the task and see how it goes. Even if ends up disastrous… you do survive, you might accomplish a little, and you learn something to help with the next occasion. I definitely learned Once Upon a Child in Lexington was a much better kid consignment choice than Re-Kid. At least with kids in tow. Re-Kid was incredibly too packed (aisle so close together), so unless the kids were right next to me, they were easily out of site. Also the organization was kind of all over the place (particularly when it came to finding shoes in specific sizes easily). Unfortunately, that was my first stop. I did find a couple of pairs of cute boots for Lou, but I wanted out fast! I nearly skipped the second stop, but being that I’d made the trip to Lex and Once Upon A Child was only a few minutes away, it seemed silly not to at least pop in. I’m glad I did and it was much less stressful than the previous stop. In the end, I felt I’d accomplished what I’d come for. Oh, and did I mention the trip included the bonus of a stop to see none other than Holly Jo and her precious girlies.

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Mingus was away the next weekend and we had plans to travel to St. Louis for a wedding shower, but those maternal instincts told me my kiddos needed some deceleration in their lives. Instead we stayed home–went nowhere–all weekend. We had a great time and everyone was in fantastic moods. It even helped move Dorothy through some of the threenager habits she’d been developing and I’ve seen SO much less of it since. Sometimes I think that’s all a toddler needs. We, as parents, are always filling up schedules because of so many invites and options. It is easy to forget how the constant change in routine and going disrupts a little ones life. Sometimes it is our duty as parents to sacrifice the things we’d like to be go-go-going and doing in order to let the kids be kids in their own little peaceful world.

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Despite the warm weather, the kids and I had a week of fun celebrating fall that included nature hikes and afternoons outside. The following week we moved on to apples, which included a trip to Haney’s Appledale Farm to celebrate the first day of fall. It’s just a small farm, but plenty of apples for picking, a play area, picnic tables and treats for purchase. I went with two of my dear friends and their littles. Between three moms we had six under age three (plus my bun in the oven!): two almost-3-year olds, two 18-month olds, and two 3-month olds! It’s days like those that I remember how blessed my life currently is and how much there is to cherish. I know I’ll look back at these ‘good old days’ with my kiddos and friends when times were slow and simple in their own right. Sure, toddlers are exhausting, but spending a day to take in the joy of something as simple as picking apples with friends is what life is all about: the simple joys.

That weekend was our local Apple Festival. It’s the most time I’ve spent at the event since moving back to the area five years ago. Having two kids that could actually enjoy aspects of the festival–and not having to carry any babies–made it a must. Hubs was heavily involved with the fire department, which actually was a huge perk for me. Not only was there a spacious booth right in front of the grassy town hall  lawn where we could easily sit for a break, but it gave me reason to feel welcome at the city fire department building where we could cool off and little Lou could use an actual bathroom and NOT a port-a-pot! We watched the parade, enjoyed some carnival treats, rode some rides–partook in the giant apple pie AND giant cookie.

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The fall weather finally arrived this past week and we laid low at home, but I was happy to be pulling out the long pants and boots and sipping on tea both morning and at night. Now October has arrived and I think it’s safe to call it the fall season. We have less than six weeks until we are a family of five, and I can’t think of a better month to soak up the final days of life as we know it. We’ve already planned a trip to the pumpkin patch and have some birthday fun on the agenda for our soon-to-be 3 year old! Mingus and I are about to hit our 5-year wedding anniversary and, while we may not be doing anything extravagant, I think we have a lot to show for five years. Oh, and who could forget the amazing holiday all about costumes and candy?! I think the only fall-fun I am missing out on is football action! I have some hopes to see our currently undefeated high school team under the Friday night lights in the coming weeks.

Cheers to a Happy October to all of you! Fall is for real now and we know what jolly season follows!

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