Today, I was courageous. I ventured out to a busy, kid event by myself with both boys in my care.
Well, not completely by myself. My friend Robyn and her little John Benjamin went with us. But I was without another adult dedicated strictly to helping me. No husband or mom or Joni or Jodi. Just me. That is big for me.
We took our three boys to the Destin Library for an Easter Egg Hunt! Robyn's idea of course. She comes up with all the good ideas. While we were about 3 minutes late because I went the wrong way, and as a result nearly all the eggs were already scooped up by the older kids (it was for kids 0-4), the boys didn't seem to care and were a bit freaked out by carrying around a bag and picking up eggs anyhow. We did, however, manage to get some good photos. Isaac, as always, thinks photos are for the birds, so there are more of Elijah!
The boys eating their goldfish-filled eggs! There was no candy. What a great idea!
Isaac taking in his first bunny sighting.
Isaac giving the bunny "five" ... a bit reluctantly but five nonetheless.
Elijah and the bunny. This is as close as he wanted to get.
My rather pathetic attempt at a photo with the bunny. The boys wouldn't get close unless I held them. Elijah is a bit concerned. Isaac is a bit cautious. Very typical of their personalities.
Here's Robyn little guy taking a look at the Easter Bunny's teeth.
The boys were much more interested in this fake Easter Bunny!
"Dear Jesus, I pray for Mr. Bunny's bellyache. Be with him. Heal him Lord."
He hung out with the Bunny for quite some time. They had a good talk I think.
My little boys. They are growing up so fast!
"Holy cow Mom! Look at this Easter Bunny!"
My sweet-spirited boy.
After our time with the Bunny, Robyn and I made a last-minute decision to stop at a playground at the beach, meeting another gal from MOPs who we ran into at the egg hunt.
First we picked the wrong park on the beach. Then we walked to the new park on the beach. Then I left the boys with Robyn and went back to get the van so it would be closer to the new park on the beach. Then I remembered sunscreen. Then, when he was all sticky, Elijah did a face plant into the sand. A full, mouth open plant.
I also learned that when applying sunscreen to young squiggly children, you should put tiny bits in your hands. If you put a huge honkin' mess of sunscreen, you have no free hand to apply the sunscreen!
I knew we had passport appointments at 1:15. I hadn't thought ahead to think about the fact that the boys would get such a mess at the new park at the beach. Robyn informed me shortly after Elijah face planted, that they would need baths. I told her maybe we could skip baths. Robyn then pointed to the thick line of sand stuck to Elijah's hairline.
Yeah, okay. She's right. They'll need baths.
About this time, I started feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like I had bitten off more than I could chew for one day. I always try to avoid this. Try to stick to simple outings. Try not to put stress on myself. Instead of holding this in and panicking, I said it out loud. I told Robyn how I was feeling. And she came to the rescue! She jumped into "mega supportive encouraging friend" mode. She told me we should leave the park right then, grab lunch on the way home, and then would help me get the boys ready for their passport appointment.
Aren't friends fantastic?
Since having children I have come to understand the beauty of certain things. Putting small bits of lotion on your hand instead of huge honkin' messes for one. Velcro shoes for another. Sippy cups. And drive-thrus. Love me a drive-thru. Why don't they have them at the Post Office?
A quick stop at Arby's and then home. It was good we left when we did because it took all the remaining time to get the boys fed, bathed, and changed. Robyn was an incredible help and walked out the door with her little John Benjamin just as JB came in the door to go to the passport appointment with me.
. . . now, it is at this point in the story that I have to take a deep sigh. A very deep sigh.
I have to remind myself that we want to go to Turkey. We want adventure. We like adventure. And part of adventure is the preparation for that adventure.
There are going to be bumps in the road on our way to Turkey. There is a lot that has to be done. People have done it before. They'll do it again. I'm doing a Bible Study this semester on "self talk." If my self-talk is worry, it is not good self-talk.
That being said, I checked my stack of necessary items a gazillion times before dragging two one-year-olds and a husband to the Post Office right smack in the middle of nap time. (They only do appointments between 1:15 and 2:30).
I was so careful. I called many times. I checked the website. I made sure I had everything we needed to get our passports. The boys needed a regular passport at the post office on Base and then no-fee passports across the street at a different building due to some "agreement" our country has with the country of Turkey. I only needed a no-fee passport as my regular passport is good for a few more years. JB needed a renewal of his regular passport. He doesn't need a no-fee passport since he is the active duty member.
I did everything. I got everything. Birth certificates. Marriage certificates. Forms typed online and then printed. Double copies. Checkbook. Military IDs photo copied. Two forms of ID. Then I had to find a day that JB could get off and go with us as we both have to be there to sign the forms.
Walked in. Handed them our stuff.
Prayed that we had everything as I often do when going to a government establishment with two one-year-olds.
Didn't pray hard enough. :)
Apparently Elijah's birth certificate is only a "birth announcement" and is not the real thing. We need to go to the courthouse and get the "real thing."
Now we are in a new jam. JB is TDY (Tour of Duty) for the next week. Then I am out of town for two weeks after that. But we both have to be present to sign the forms. And we need to get this process started as it can take 6-8 weeks.
We went ahead and got the boys pictures taken. (The woman kept telling me "they are moving"and I was like, uh, yeah, they are one!) After that we managed to get forms JB can have notarized so that I can come to the Post Office without him next week. And across the street, at the no-fee passport place, we got them to let him sign and store all our paperwork with them so I can just drop in with Elijah's birth certificate and no kids or husband.
So as we were walking out the door with two very tired little boys, and I was sweating and flustered, JB reminded me that this is an adventure! That we want to make progress and even though I have to go back to the Post Office and the no-fee-passport-place (which I can't remember the name of), we made progress. We moved forward. A little something was scratched off our list.