I'm officially back to work from maternity leave. I'm sad because I didn't have the luxury of taking off 12 weeks like I did with Addie. Benefits this time around just weren't what they were last time. It sucks. I'm not happy about it, but I tried to appreciate the days I did have with them. While I was off I tried to get out a bit with Addie to make sure she got to enjoy my time with her. I know she was aware how much time I was spending with Graham and wanted to make sure she felt like she was getting some attention as well. So each week, I tried to do something with her in mind while keeping on a budget. Again, those benefits...
Week 1 - Chick-fil-a. What kid doesn't love Chick-fil-a?! Lunch and play time, it doesn't get much better than that. Cost: FREE plus the cost of lunch.
Week 2 - DeMonye's Greenhouse. It's a local greenhouse that sells your typically plants in the spring/summer, pumpkins in fall and Christmas trees & wreaths in the winter. DUring the entire month of October they had the place set up for kids to enjoy. Bounce house, creepy popcorn hands, various crafts, kid friendly haunted house, baby pigs and each kid got a small pumpkin, flower to plant and a goodie bag. Cost: $6.
Week 3 - Easton Splash Pad. In Columbus, we're lucky to have a great mall. Seriously it's amazing! In the summer, they have a splash pad with fountains for the kids to play in. On my third week of leave we had an 80 degree day so I grabbed her swimsuit and let her run! Cost: FREE
Week 4 - Creepside. In our local community, they have a big event every Halloween for local businesses to set up and pass out candy to little trick or treaters down the main road. Addie loved it though she was creeped out by a few costumes. Cost: FREE.
Week 5 - Local metro park. We're lucky enough in Columbus to have several great metro parks so we love to take advantage of them. We're even luckier to have one nearly right around the corner from us. Addie loves gathering all the acorns and buckeyes on the ground. Cost: FREE.
Week 6 - IKEA. Who doesn't love IKEA. It's an addiction for me. Rick hates it. I don't think Addie loved it either but her and Rick had a good time riding around in those spinning carts. We stopped in KY to eat lunch at a German place and she slammed on some food. Cost: FREE plus the cost of gas and lunch.
Week 7 - We skipped a week. Stayed home and enjoyed our time together. We ate some popcorn and watched some movies. Cost: FREE.
Week 8 - Chick-fil-a. Because who doesn't love Chick-fil-a more than once?
Moral? There are plenty of ways to enjoy your maternity leave with your newborn as well as your toddler. Just do some googling and if you have a local Macaroni Kid, sign up because they always have great free activity suggestions.