I am realizing that maybe I don’t know exactly how this whole parenting gig is going to turn out. I always knew there’d be an element of surprise and mystery, but lately it is anyone’s guess about what my almost five-month-old is going to do.
My husband and I are trying to soothe her through some kind of eczema/heat rash/allergy reaction that has plagued her for months and came to a peak last week. We have also been thrown for a loop by Bean deciding she would no longer go peacefully into the night: that now she will fight us – for hours if needed – rather than fall asleep anywhere other than our arms.
These last few months, I thought I was cool, calm and collected. I provided Bean’s care methodically with know-how. Now, I’m realizing that there are twists and turns, and that I need to be creative while being simultaneously exhausted. Case in point: I put Bean down for a nap on her tummy for the first time yesterday. Worked like a charm, and I probably should have tried it days ago.
I’ve learned something about myself: I like trying new things when I know they will turn out the way I want them to. I can go with the flow as long as the flow is going in my direction. Clearly I need to work on my comfort level in this department: as the Rolling Stones say, you can’t always get what you want.
I am trying to open myself up to new things. Besides the tummy-napping coupe, I’ve tried to learn more about blogging by becoming an active blog community member. Result? I won a giveaway contest on my friend’s blog about travel and writing! I’ve also temporarily forgone my love affair with bread to lose some pregnancy pounds, and today – drum roll please – I am wearing my pre-preggo jeans for the first time!
In combination of my efforts to keep growing and learning, I’m also trying to discover new places around town. I love my regular haunts, but variety is the spice of life, right? Here are four new places I’ve visited lately:
1. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. I went here for the first time with the moms photography group I mentioned in Creating a Village in Vienna. This place is huge! Tons of open space to roam and picnic. It also has a children’s playground, but I think it was at the bottom of a steep hill that would make pushing a stroller there a workout.
2. Skorpios Maggio’s Family restaurant. At the edge of town toward Tyson’s (421 Maple Ave East), I’d driven by this casual restaurant offering Mediterranean fare a ton of times and never gone in. My friend, neighbor and birth doula Tara Voigt suggested it. We dined outside (one of the few places in town to do so), amongst a bustling crowd of police officers, men in suits and high school students. The food was tasty, though my chicken souvlaki salad had too much lettuce and too few olives.
3. Vienna Aquatic Club. AKA “the local pool”. Where I grew up on Long Island, the local pool was public and anyone could go for a few bucks. In Vienna, it seems that to take a dip in the pool you need to take a serious dip into your wallet ($425 for the season, after paying even more for membership). Our little family is considering joining next summer. In the meantime, I was fortunate to be invited as a guest by a member, and I have to say that I very much enjoyed the lounge chair in the sun and the clean, cool water of the pool.
4. Oak Marr Rec Center classes. I’m no stranger to the Oak Marr Rec Center in Oakton. But I signed up for classes for Bean, Drew and me for the fall. I awoke at 4:45am to sign us up when registration opened at 5:00am: visions of future hours spent enrolling Bean in enriching activities danced through my head as I fumbled in my purse for my credit card before dawn.
The new places I’m still to check out in town are Molly’s Yogurt and Caffe Amouri. Coming soon! And if you’ve already been, let me know how it was!