In response to my totally booked evenings (Monday's FHE, Tuesday's Elders Quorum for Jared, Wednesday's Young Womens for me, Thursday Ashton has scouts...), I have to get errands done during the day. And doing errands with the twins in tow is occasionally fine, usually stressful, and sometimes disasterous! A few months back Si fell out of a shopping car on his head and I about had a heart attack (as did the checkout lady and everyone else in line) - but luckily he has a tough little head - serious little miracle that he was OK. They hate riding in the cart and most carts won't safely accommodate both of them. At Costco they can sit in the same cart side by side, safely buckled in - so that's my store of choice. But lately they delight in torturing each other as they sit so closely together and whine incessantly to get out. If I relent and let them walk a bit, they politely hang on to the cart and walk beside me for about 5 minutes max - then they run in opposite directions every chance they get and I've frantically had to engage store personnel in looking for one of them a few times. It is NOT a good feeling to loose a child - even for a few seconds. I think I've lost a few years of my life thanks to the stress I've endured shopping with these sweet boys of mine! I've found that shopping is just not an age-appropriate activity for 3 year old boys when they're accompanied by their twin brother.
SO, since no one I know really needs to or wants to trade babysitting (most people around here have husbands or family or neighbors who are around to help with their kids fairly frequently or they don't have as many kids as me so it wouldn't be a fair trade), we've been looking for a babysitter. I just need someone to come one morning a week for 3-4 hours - what a difference that would make to actually be able to get groceries without danger and acute stress, to be able to get my hair cut or go to the dentist or do other things that I've put off forever!
So far, we've found that babysitters are hard to come by at any price. We've had an add out on Craigslist for about 6 weeks now and we're offering more than the going rate for babysitting around here. I've had a lot of people express interest - I call or email them back but most want more hours than I could provide, many can't do mornings which is when I really need help, and a lot are either weird or flaky or both! We've tried asking around and posting ads at the institute building at Dixie College. No luck. With me leaving on Saturday for a week, we've really stepped up our searching but still no luck - lots of leads, lots of hopes, then nothing. But I've got an interview with someone for tomorrow - keep your fingers crossed for me.
Next fall, I hope to have the twins in a good preschool two mornings a week then I can help in my other kids' classrooms at school and get basic stuff taken care of for our household and family. But until then - I'm still searching! It'll be fine - but it's been frustrating to feel like help is so hard to come by, even with our best efforts and our comparatively pretty darn good kids (I've watched so many kids who are so picky or so whiny or so demanding of adult attention - maybe I'm wrong but it sure seems to me that these guys are pretty good compared to most kids their age). The twins are a huge handful when I take them out on errands and they can be quite mischievious at home when I'm not giving them adequate attention, but in general, they've become such fun, sweet little guys who play nicely together most of the time. And they're totally potty trained! Plus if Liza's around, she loves to take care of them and a babysitter would hardly have to do anything. I've only ever had babysitters and friends who've watched the kids tell me that the kids were great for them (other than getting the twins to go to bed - that is one area we really don't have down yet). So this should be a great job for someone - but where or where is that person?
Anyway, enough rambling. A babysitter will show up and things will be fine - someday, somehow. And sweet supportive Jared is willing to make things work next week while I'm gone - working from home quite a bit around the few hours of babysitting from kind friends that I've been able to set up so far.
On a super positive note, I get go on a cruise next week with my sisters and Mom and Dad and no kids and I couldn't be more excited. My parents are the speakers for this Carribean cruise and they got to bring us along for free - who can say no to a free cruise? I haven't gone on a trip involving more than a quick overnight without my kids for about 5 years or so. Oh wait, I went to Bulgaria almost 4 years ago to visit orphanages and it was a wonderful trip but not exactly a vacation. I am SOOOOOOO excited to have uninterrupted conversations and good laughs with some of my favorite people in the world, to read, to eat food that I didn't have to prepare for myself and everyone else, to enjoy the beautiful water and beaches, to see new places, to not have to get 6 people ready for the day and ready for school and ready for bed, to not have to worry about homework or getting the poops out (the twins) or getting errands done or getting the kids to do their jobs or cleaning my house or any of these daily things that are good things but that need to be put aside once in a blue moon for sanity's sake!