I usually hire a babysitter for about 3-4 hours on one day of the week to get out by myself, get some errands done that ordinarily are impossible to accomplish with the girls in tow, and just get a little sanity break. I just realized the other day that I haven't hired a babysitter to come in over 3 weeks - and I find myself happy to say that I have just been having too much fun with the girls, and our schedule has been too packed with fun activities, to even bother having someone come watch them.
I think that really made me aware of the fact that I'm truly settling into this parenting thing, that I finally - after 15 months - have got the hang of it, and that it doesn't seem like as much work anymore. I won't say that taking care of two 15-month olds is a breeze - I collapse on the couch out of exhaustion every night after we put them to bed - but I will say that now that they are aware of so much around them, that they can enjoy so many activities, and that I in turn am experiencing things a second time through their eyes - I'm totally loving spending time with them.
The girls thrive on a busy schedule, and did particularly well this past week, during which I gave them little downtime to just play around the house, and even forced them to skip a morning nap one day (an experiment that I have chosen not to repeat) in order to pack in several activities during the day. We spent the week hopping around town from one play date to the next, exploring various playgrounds and parks around town, and enjoying our weekly music class.
One of my friends in our moms' group is awesome about taking photos of our group events, and managed to snap a bunch of photos during a trip to The Little Gym on Thursday afternoon, during which our toddlers tumbled and jumped and climbed various gymnatics equipment. I thought I'd show off a few of Anna and Margaret:
Margaret taking a photo break
Anna, Margaret and a friend running up and down (repeat 10x) this inclined foam mat
Margaret shows off her impressive balancing skills
The girls tap their sticks along to the music during circle time
And my favorite photo of all: Margaret attempting a forward roll. The instructor had demonstrated with each of the kids how to use that barrel shaped foam to show a toddler how to roll - and after the demonstration, Margaret was desperate to do it herself. She sat in this position for a couple of minutes, trying over and over. Go Margie!