Sure, it's fantastic to hire a babysitter, leave the house and explore the world out there without four needy children in tow. Actually, I think it's a must for all parents! But, if you are like us and have been taking advantage of this wonderful concept of leaving your children with a responsible teenager a little to often, then you know it adds up quick. After the monthly tally of nights out starts to get high and we realize how much we have spent, we don't give up on our time alone, we get creative! We are selfish. Date night out isn't enough. We also like to have a few date night in's.
Like I said, date night is a state of mind!
We are blessed to have a wonderful downstairs area in our house that allows us to say phrases like, "You're driving me crazy, everyone downstairs. Now!" Phrases like that tend to leave my mouth between the hairy hours of 4 and 6. All you parents know of the "hairy hours." Why the heck is everyone in such a horrible mood between the hours of 4 and 6?
"You had a nap, I gave you a snack, you have more toys to play with than you should, and the darn t.v. is on. What is your problem? Snap out of it!"
So after a loud (okay screaming level), "Enough. Get downstairs. I can't take it anymore!" I quickly follow it with a quiet, sweet, soft sing-song voice saying something like, "you will have fun using your imagination! I'll call you up as soon as dinner is ready, love you! " I'm hoping that the later phrase will be the one that sticks in their mind years down the road and not the former freaked out mom yelling in her high-octave voice. The odds are they are bound to remember a few, but best to limit them as much as possible!
Saturday was going great. Beautiful weather, relaxing, enjoyable. We got a late start, which we love. Slept in, had a nice big breakfast and then headed to Denver. We had some errands to run, but more than anything it was nice to get out. It was nice for about three hours. Then the kids were getting antsy, tired, hungry. They began fighting, yelling, hitting, and protesting about being in their seats any longer. After they got over their frustration caused by being shut up in the car for hours on end, they decided it would be a good idea to unite together in song. On the third round of jingle bells, Erik and I looked at each other and said, "date night!"
After that, it was very easy to drown out the noise in the backseat. We were focused on the night that was ahead. We started planning! Elaborate steak dinner that we would prepare together in peace and quiet. Dessert. Movie. Wine. The perfect night in!
We break the news to the kids. We go about it in a very
We understand that the years of excitement over this kind of party are soon coming to an end. A bottle of juice will get us the "are you kidding me," look. And we will no longer be able to get off that cheap.
Making water the only drinking option in our house is not only for health purposes. It's so we have a bribe in our pockets at all times. We are very aware of sugar's highly addictive properties and in certain situations it lends itself to some amazing benefits. "Juice, juice, who wants juice? Okay then, but you have to stay in the basement the whole night!"
The popcorn was popped, the movie went on, the rules of the night were implemented and the gate went up!
For those of you that want to judge us right now, you might be in need of a date night!
They have food, shelter, bathroom facilities, entertainment and a fierce guard dog. We have no guilt.
Okay, so we were interrupted a few times during our date, but again it's a state of mind. We quickly tended to the need and then pretended like it never happened.
Just because I don't love to cook doesn't mean I can't. Cooking all a sudden becomes a fun, exciting, joyous adventure instead of daunting task.
Yes, we cooked enough food to feed an army. We were excited. We went a little overboard.
|The stuffing for the mushrooms|
|My favorite way to eat broccoli, roasted!|
|Juicy, fatty, amazing steak|
One of the things I really dislike is cutting onions. It's just painful. But, I came up with a solution. I keep these babies in my knife drawer.
|I know it's geeky|
|But, it totally works. See, no tears!|
Date night is always an option if you get creative!