Attend a friend's wedding on the Fourth of July.
I knew this particular item may or may not happen, depending on when, exactly, Naomi made her debut. Since she is almost three weeks old now, I knew we could do it. This was a big deal to me because it would be the first time my husband and I would get to dress up and have a night out alone since the baby came.
Until, of course, I discovered that babysitters are not available on the Fourth of July.
To which the Mother of the Bride happily suggested, "Bring the kids along!"
The idea of bringing a newborn and a toddler to a wedding wasn't exactly my idea of a restful night out. But, I wanted to go and my husband wanted to go and there would be plenty of family and friends around to field the kids, so we figured, Shoot, why not. I packed our massive diaper bag with the appropriate sippy cup, bottle, burp cloth, breast pump, pajamas for both kids, diapers for both kids, wipes, Aquaphor, snacks, books, and my wallet. And cell phone.
And a tube of lip gloss.
All that was missing was the kitchen sink. And I'm sure I could have assembled one somehow if need be.
The venue took place at The Mayo Hotel, a gorgeous historical landmark. Unfortunately, there wasn't a ton of parking near the downtown hotel, so we had to park a few blocks away and walk. As soon as I stepped out of the car, a huge gust of wind came, flashing my post-pregnancy Spanx to a group of homeless men crossing the street. Howdy, boys! As I struggled to push my dress down, I tripped up the curb and barely escaped falling flat on my face. I hoisted the diaper bag on my shoulder and off we went, with me awkwardly walking with my knees stuck together to avoid any further wardrobe malfunctions to innocent bystanders. Graceful, I know.
The wedding took place in the hotel lobby, which was a gorgeous expanse of space, complete with marble floors. Marble floors that carry the sound of a talking toddler seamlessly and clearly. Great! A few moments after taking our seat, Cub started chattering, which meant I hoisted him on my hip and made a quick exit, right before the bride started down the aisle. Out the door we went, with no other place to go, and the wind again greeted me, tousling my curled hair and pestering my dress. We found some tall cafe tables and chairs on the sidewalk and parked ourselves there. Cub played with my dangly bracelets and pointed out every thing he saw and heard. "Mama, BIG truck!" "Mama, train!" Storm clouds started brewing overhead, but thankfully the ceremony wrapped up before the rain decided to pour and we were able to head back inside.
I heard the ceremony was lovely.
We joined the rest of the family and rode the elevator up to the ballroom where the reception took place. The wedding had started at 7:00 and it was now close to 8:00, Cub's bed time, which made for some expected fussiness. Naomi was ready to eat, so I handed her off to a grandparent with a pumped bottle and made my way to the bathroom to pump another one.
Because there's nothing classier than having to pump in a hotel bathroom. Near the toilet. LOVE IT.
The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur, with my husband and I doing the dance we've learned with having two children--trading responsibilities with ease and communicating without the need for words. I changed Naomi's diaper in the beautiful bathroom, which, of course, wasn't exactly the type of place to house a Koala Care diaper changing station. It did, however, have a lovely alligator leather bench that did the trick quite well.
It was almost 9:30 before I ever actually sat down at our table. I hadn't seen the bride. My empty stomach was growling. Watching our little man and our baby girl, even with the much-appreciated help of family, was exhausting. I couldn't believe how quickly the evening went by.
I attempted some pictures with my husband. Pardon all the fuzziness. I used my cell phone and the reception was candlelit. Hence, FUZZY!
Cub's picture was too fuzzy to discern, so I'll just have to give him a shout-out instead: LOVE YOU, CUBBIE!
Gotta keep things fair with both kids.
Finally, around 10:15, we changed the kiddos into their pj's and headed back down the elevator as the reception continued on in full-force. My husband had the diaper bag slung over his shoulder and was gently swinging Naomi in her car seat. I had Cub on my hip as he chattered about the "Fia-woks!" he saw, as they shot across the river and were visible from the massive windows at the reception. We stepped outside and the wind was gone. The concrete was damp from the rain and the city lights shone brightly in the dark as our family of four headed back to the car.
Cub rested his chin on my shoulder and as we passed the cafe tables where we had sat only hours before, he lifted his little hand and exclaimed, "Bye, chairs!" I kissed his head and he nestled into my neck.
The night didn't turn out the way I thought it would.
But it was still a beautiful night.