American Midwest – It’s a Family Affair

Or a step-by-step guide to mommy-sitting (aka friend sitting) πŸ˜‰

When your bestie asks you to go help out with the kids for a weekend while her husband is out of town, you don’t even give it a second thought – #youjustgo And since babysitting was a complete fail (more on that later) #isuckatbabysitting, I decided to do what I do best – mommysit! #mommysitting #friendsitting

American Midwest has been stealing my girlfriends for a decade now 😠#noimnotmovingthere First it was my college friend K who moved to Chicago, got married and had kids. Then it was my coworker B who went back home to Wisconsin to marry her high school sweetheart and raise a family  (I have yet to visit them!), last but not least my childhood friend T moved to Illinois, got married and soon afterwards came a couple of adorable baby girls!

I should start by saying I don’t have experience with kids…but I know my friend and her genepool πŸ‘­ and I can be trusted with the safety of the kids. To be honest, I don’t particularly like kids…but these 2 little girls are the closest to nieces I’ll have, so, yes, they are adorable and I shall be the most awesome auntie ever πŸ˜‡ for as long as they listen and do as told 😈#didntlastlong

Not surprisingly, babysitting didn’t go too well and after 3 failures I gave up and focused on the happiness and wellbeing of my friend instead.

1st mishap – feeding the 2 yrs old salmon and tofu – she is very picky with her food but totally enamoured with me so we hoped she’d eat whatever I gave her. She is a people pleaser so she opened her mouth, didn’t frown at the salmon and tofu, pretended she ate it…only to come around the table on my other side, catch me by surprise and spit it back on my plate all chewed up while her mom and I were talking and drinking wine…🍷#failure

2nd attempt – we went to the playground and the 2 yrs old got fascinated with a skateboard. So I asked to borrow it and started teaching her how to skate. (Read: holding her and pushing her around) #startthemyoung #safetyfirst She got SO excited, she literally pooped her pants… #totalfailure

Try again?! As I was feeding the bottle to the 6 month old baby and sipping my iced coffee in between, she snuck up on me while I wasn’t paying attention and stuck her foot in my mouth πŸ‘£πŸΌ#lesscoffeemoreattention #igiveup

My bestie hasn’t had much time for self care since her 2nd girl was born 6 months ago so after failing at babysitting, I decided to do what I do best and mommy sit πŸŽ‰ How little do we need to be happy – a best friend to talk to and a little free time for our favorite activities!

Here is your step-by-step guide to mommy-sitting 😁 (Service offered for free to all my girlfriends πŸ˜‰)

1) Get outside or get away (we did both)

T requested a hike in nature and after a thorough research I found the “highest peak” in 1-hour radius from Chicago – a dune in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore at the “staggering” height of <200ft. So we decided to go check out a new state (neither of us had been to IN before) and visit a “national landmark” while doing so. The drive from Chicago to the park is longer than the hike itself. #completedisappointment Gary, IN is the ugliest industrial zone I’ve ever seen, even their yacht marina is a muddy swamp surrounded by cranes.

We chose the “rugged” trail – mind you this is flat Indy after all so a rugged trail with elevation can be done barefoot or in flip flops and would qualify for a walk in the park in NH. 3 Dune Challenge is a 1.5 mile loop over sand dunes with slopes with up to 40% incline. If you are hiking with small kids, you’ll have to carry them as there is no stroller access on this trail. Be comfortable with stairs πŸ‘£or you may get a workout πŸ’ͺ If you’d like to go check out the beautiful pristine Lake Michigan beaches off the dunes, try running down the sand dunes which is super fun! Or bring a sand board and ride it down the dunes πŸ„ #IwishIdid

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2) Night out in town

We hit Andersonville on Chicago’s North side for a night of libations for the body and soul (watching male strippers at the local gay club included) πŸ‘―

A night of mommy-sitting included wine tasting at a super cool wine & cheese bar in Andersonville (Pastoral), delish charcuterie plate, and a raw cheese selection! We stopped for dessert/ice cream stop at the local hip, rainbow colored, glow in the dark place – mind you I don eat such crap so it was more a smelling/ogling exercise 🍰

3) Work it out

T requested a private full body workout as well as a reminder on proper form and cardio/weights sequencing at her gym, so I was happy to oblige! I ain’t no posture specialist or corrective trainer but I can get you shaking and sore, that’s for damn sure πŸ‹

4) Pamper yourself

Our form of pampering included:

– coffee dates and healthy breakfast/lunch in the coolest cafes in Andersonville offering coffee beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Seattle, WA and Intelligentsia, LA, CA where the coffee creations are so deliberate it is almost impossible to order a regular cup of joe β˜• #knowyourcoffee (@goddessandthebaker and @thecoffeestudio),

– pedicures in bright colors πŸ’…,

– country clothes and Frye boots shopping πŸ‘’,

– art date at the local pottery/painting studio.

At the end it was hard to say Good Bye to my dear friend who has been right next to me through so much, but I promised to be back in a month and I expect a tour of newest bars and an improvement in her fitness level! Otherwise I’m stealing all your lululemon pants, girl! #hardtosaygoodbye

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