Our Boys

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Fun

Boy does time fly when you're having fun. And, boy, are we having fun being parents to this little boy.

Two weekends, we made a family trip to The Morton Arboretum. We had always wanted to see what the arboretum had to offer, but their admission price is a little steep for what were thought were just walking trails through a  bunch of trees. Thanks to their partnership with Groupon, I was able to get us in for less than half the price. While I still think their normal admission is a little steep, especially for large families, it was definitely more than walking trails though trees. Since we had no idea where to go and were struggling to read the map (yes, we are both beyond college educated), we went to the Children's Garden first. As you can imagine, Owen is a little too young for most of the activities but his parents sure had fun walking thorough imagining what he'll be like in the place next summer.

After the children's Garden, we headed down the Conifer Walk and saw some pretty amazing trees. this also leads into most of the "Nature Unframed" pieces. The pieces were interesting to say the least. I admire the artists for their imagination.

Lichen It!

By this point in the day, we had decided that we really liked this place, enough so the we ended purchasing a family membership. We're looking forward to going back this October with Owen in his costume and painting a pumpkin and this December for breakfast with Santa and a sled dog demonstration. The Arboretum also offers snow shoe rental which sounds like a fun day date for us! Overall, the Arboretum is beautiful. It is meticulously cared for and we are so excited to spend time there enjoying nature and the peace and quiet.

This past weekend, we visited Kuiper's Farm with the intention of picking apples and bringing home a family pumpkin. We had visited this Farm years ago and were excited to go back...until we got there. Much of the apple side has been redone and it is much more commercial than it was before. The line to pick apples was ridiculous and the line to pay for bags of apples was just as long. We did buy a bag of apples and took a few pictures. unfortunately, we didn't plan to spend so much time waiting in the line and by the time we got to the pumpkin side, Owen was not in the mood to be his usual smiling self. we're learning!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Soup {Recipe}

Souper Sunday - Week 2 was an old favorite, Zuppa Tuscano. But last week, Week 3, we were daring and tried a brand new soup. Since we love buffalo chicken dip, we decided it could only be better in soup form.  I had to do a little digging the internet to find one that sounded like it would turn out. It was good and is definitely "make again" but with several changes.

Buffalo Chicken Soup


    • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
    • 3 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 3/4 cup milk (I used a cup)
    • 3/4 cup chicken broth (I used a cup; also made my own with some chicken base and the water I boiled the chicken in)
    • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (I used 1 lb.; not sure how that compares to 2 cups)
    • 1/4-1/2 cup chicken wing sauce (I used closer to 1/2 cup and it was SPICEY)
    • 4 ounces Velveeta cheese (forgot to put in)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt


  1. Saute onions and celery in butter until tender.
  2. Stir in flour until smooth.
  3. Slowly add milk and broth.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cheese has melted.
  5. Serve with biscuits, breadsticks crescent rolls, or crushed tortilla chips. 

*So it really was good, but it was super thick and didn't make much at all. So next time, I would use 2 cups of milk (actually probably half and half) and 2 cups broth, maybe even more, because it needed a lot more broth. I also would not put the velveeta in, I think that seems odd, but I think I would add 4 ounces of cream cheese instead. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why we didn't tell

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, but didn't know how to put it into words without perhaps offending someone. Then just this morning, Blue Eyed Bride (probably my most favorite blog) wrote a beautiful post about being a boy mom and it really got me thinking.

Brett and I tried to get pregnant for 7 months. As I have said before, I'm not claiming to have suffered any great getting-pregnant struggle. There are many of you out there that have gone to the moon and back and still don't have that bundle of joy. My heart goes out to those families. But, as a member of a family that has been through infertility (it wasn't planned that there is 10 and 11 years between my brothers and I), I know what a blessing pregnancies that end with a healthy baby are.

So on September 8, 2010, when that test said positive, the only thing left was to pray for a healthy baby, and even at that, we would have loved whatever we were blessed with. From the start I was torn about finding out the gender of the baby. I went back and forth with all of the common pros and cons. It's the only real surprise in your life. Don't find out. It's so much easier to plan if you know. I decided that because it didn't matter to me at all, I didn't care to find out. Brett felt differently and really wanted to know. So like everything in marriage, we compromised.

We found out but made the decision to only tell our immediate family and one friend each. It was hard knowing and not sharing some of those feelings with people, but the bottom line was that it didn't matter. I didn't want this baby already entering into a world of pink or blue. I didn't want the world casting judgement  that "Brett got his boy! Congratulations!" or "Maybe the next one with be a girl, Marissa." I didn't care and neither did Brett. We both had the same fears. Brett confided that he didn't know what to do with a girl and it made him a little nervous, but also admitted that she would be a Daddy's girl forever. I was worried that I didn't know what to do with a boy. I'm not the most athletic and I knew that if we had a boy there would be so many things that Brett would do with him that I would not be a part of or at least on the outside of. Even with those fears, the gender of our baby was the least of our concerns.

Many people had a hard time with our decision and made it their mission to find out. People badgered and asked over and over. People tried to trick us into telling (Brett actually fell for one). It mattered more to everyone else what this baby was than it did to us.

When I think about Owen's future and my relationship with him, I know it will not be the same as it would if he were a girl. It will be different and special in its own way. I want him to be the tough guy who shows a brave face to his teammates and Dad and then comes home and cries on his mom's shoulder because they lost the game.

We hope that there are more babies in our future, but there may not be. If there are, we will love them and open our hearts to a son or a daughter. There's a special relationship between brothers and brothers and sisters just the same.

For now, I just hope that Brett and Owen will let me tag along to the batting cage. I'm really good at packing snacks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Going Bananas!

"I'm not giving Owen solid until I absolutely have to." Yep! That was me saying that not too long ago. Well, the little guy won. As I posted before, he became SO interested in what we were eating, especially after we put him at the table, that I gave in and gave him bananas. He loves them. I don't. Why? Let's just say the consistency and odor of his diaper changed immediately. Gross!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy 4 months to Owen!

To my little boy - you're growing up. Each month I can't believe how much bigger you get and how your personality shines through more and more. This month is no different. You went to your 4 month doctor appointment and Dr. Ables thinks you're doing great! She told us you need more tummy time so that you will start to roll over consistently. It's not that you don't like it, but you sometimes think it's time for bed and put your head down and fall asleep. You still have that one little problem (I know Owen is only 4 months but right now I don't want to embarrass him) so we have made you an appointment with a specialist in December; we're hoping things resolve and we can cancel it). 

Weight - 15 lbs. 3 oz.

Height - 26 3/4 in.

What an active guy you are becoming. You don't like to be help in my arms any more unless you are eating; you love to be sitting up so you can look around. Everyone comments on how serious you are and how observant you seem. The funny thing is, when it just you or you and  us, you are LOUD! You love you voice and love to talk to yourself. You think it's hysterical to scream, not cry, just yell really loud! You especially love to do it at the store. You've started to laugh a little, especially at Daddy because you think he is so funny. You still love Lucy and Tucker very much, although Lucy seems a little afraid of you lately (I think it's that loud thing). Because you are more active, you love your toys even more. You can pick things up and put them in your mouth. you like to chew on your Sophie and on blankets. You have found your hands and feet and love to play with both. You have stopped taking a pacifier all together and like to suck your fingers although you never suck the same combination of them. As for your feet, you love to kick them up and play with them and it's making diaper changing a little more difficult.

For the most part, you are always happy. You let us know when you are tired and still can put yourself to sleep; all we have to do is lay you down. As long as you are rested and fed, you don't cry. You're still getting up 1 time a night (although you slept through the night a few times in Washington because you were up late) but when you do, you are hungry and eat well. We have a great routine during the day and I love being able to spend this time with you.  

The past month seems to have flown by - you've been a very busy boy! 
  • You kept a secret and helped daddy plan a surprise 30th birthday party for me on August 13.
  • You visited Dayton Ohio and helped move Uncle Scotty into school. 

  • You spent two weeks in Washington visiting with Gammy and Grandpap and lots of other friends and family.
  • You visited Pittsburgh and helped Uncle Ben move into his apartment. 
  • You rolled over for me to see and haven't done it since. 

  • You made it through your first "Souper Sunday", September 11,  with us. You loved sitting in the kitchen watching Daddy cut potatoes for the soup.

  • You helped put out the American flag on September 11 to mark the 10th anniversary of a very sad day. We will help you to understand the importance of this day when you are older but for now, you just need to know you live in a wonderful country!
  • You have started having to trouble nursing when we are eating because you are so interested in what we are doing. You watch us eat and drink and look sad that you aren't getting any. We aren't quite ready to give you food, but we did get out your high chair and now you sit with us at the dinner table like a big boy. 
  • You stayed with a babysitter, Grandma Shari, Aunt Cathy, and Grandpa Mike, for the longest time yet so that Daddy and I could celebrate our 6th anniversary. 

Good job, stinker butt, on another fun month! You keep making us smile and we'll keep changing your diaper!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What have we been up to?

We have had an exciting past few weeks. I'll try my best to catch up...

  • Scotty went to college! On August 20, Brett, Owen, the puppies and I packed up and drove to Dayton to meet my fam and move Scotty in to the University of Dayton. We stayed at an awesome hotel, The Drury Inn, and had a blast relaxing in our suite and enjoying their free food. On Sunday, we said good bye to the baby of the family. We know he'll do great things!
The fam in Dayton. (love the use of a stranger's car as a "tripod")
  • I turned  the big 3-0! The Sunday that we left Dayton also happened to be my birthday. It was wonderful getting to spend it with my family, even if most of it was in the car and we ate at KFC.
  • We went to Washington! When we left Dayton, Brett drove home, but the rest of the Clancy crew drove back to Washington for 2 weeks. It was wonderful getting away for a while and watching Owen spend so much time with my parents. It was also nice being there for so long because I got to visit with people that I usually don't get to see.
A visit from our good friends Sarah and Aunt Zoe!
I think Owen and Shane will be good buddies when they're older!
Lunch at Bahama Breeze with Gammy.
Still lovin' the Moby!
Getting ready for the Steelers preseason game with Grandpap.
Owen and his buddy Bryce.
Bryce is my cousin's son so they are 3rd cousins? 
"I wanna be big like you, Uncle Ben!"
  • Owen rolled over! On Thursday, August 26, Owen and I were playing at my parents house. He was on his back playing with his feet and before I knew he flipped himself over. I don't know if he was proud or surprised. He hasn't done it since.
  • Owen sits in his high chair. It will be another month before Owen has a taste of something other than my delicious milk, but we decided it was time he join us at the table. He loves it!
  • Happy 6 year Anniversary! September 10 was our 6 year anniversary. We celebrated with a FABULOUS night out and a babysitter! Is it bad that for a second I forgot about Owen and almost thought we were carefree with no responsibilities again? It didn't last long :-) We had a yummy dinner at Maggiano's and then went to Tasting Divine for a wine flight. Let's just say I can't drink like I used to!
Hard to see in the picture, but Owen
is wearing a handmade onesie that says "Happy Anniversary".  How sweet of him to remember!
  • Souper Sunday Week 1 2011! Last Sunday was the kickoff of the NFL season and the start of what we like to call "Souper Sunday" or Dirtball Sunday in the Clancy household. We started off with our favorite soup - The Clancy's Crock Po Potato Soup - and of course had Buffalo Chicken Dip. It was  good start to the season for Chicago. As for the Steelers, not so much. 
  • Yesterday Owen and I went to Whole Foods. We returned to find that one or both of the dogs had eaten a box of raisins. (my money was on Lucy) After a call to the vet, we all went to the Glen Ellyn Animal hospital where Lucy and Tucker were given an injection to induce vomiting. After the evidence that came out proved that it was Lucy, she was given charcoal to rid herself of any of the toxic raisins that remained. Love our crazy dogs!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Bittersweet Song of September"

It's bittersweet, the start of school. I am usually like a little kid buying new school supplies, but this year, instead, I am home. While I am thankful for everyday, I am counting down the days until I go back to work. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting around each day sulking with impending dread, but I know it will be here faster than I want. I know this because almost 4 months have gone by in the blink of an eye and my baby is starting to "grow up".  When I return to work, things will be different and this time will be over. There have been so many firsts, big ones and little ones, that I want to freeze time. And yet I don't. I love watching him grow and learn something new everyday. Some days it's a big "new" like rolling over and other days it's a little "new" like rasberrying his lips. The problem is that every time he does something new I know he is one step closer to not being my baby any more.

I read this column in the Boston Globe today. I couldn't have said it any better myself.
*actual article can be found here

Bittersweet Song of September by: Beverly Beckham

I’m glad I’m not a young mother shopping for school clothes and new backpacks, studying the bus schedule, filling in the calendar with “No school day’’ and “Early release,’’ scheduling gymnastics and dance lessons, switching gears and mindset, getting ready to give my children back to the world, bidding this long, hot, summer goodbye
I never liked September when my children were young. It meant the end of something, not the beginning. Every year, when they walked out the front door and down the walk to wait for the school bus, a little taller and a little wiser than they were just 12 weeks before, my heart ached because I knew that when I got them back again in June, they wouldn’t be who they were now.
Children grow in the summer, too, I know, but it’s different when school starts. They seem to grow faster then. Everything seems faster.
There is a song from “Big: The Musical’’ that sums up the bittersweetness of raising children. It’s called “Stop Time,’’ and the first time you hear it, it stops your heart. “Nobody warns you of this parent’s paradox. You want your kid to change and grow,’’ the song says. “But when he does, another child you’ve just begun to know, leaves forever.’’
Even when you win, you lose. That’s the truth of the song. And that’s the truth about kids. You love your children at every stage exactly as they are. You love the way your baby fits snugly in your arms, the way he opens and closes his tiny hands, the way he sighs and leans into you when he’s sleepy. And you want to stop time. But you love it when he’s bigger, too, when he sits up all by himself. And you want to stop time, then. And when he learns to crawl. And when he walks and talks. And look. He’s starting kindergarten. And he’s learning to read. Can it get any better?
It does. It gets better and better. Parenting is filled with bests and a million happy tears. But it’s filled with lumps in your throat, too, and yearning for what was because even as you’re snapping pictures and head over heels in love with the moment that is, a part of you misses the moments that are not anymore. The infant your child was. The 2-year-old you pushed in her carriage all over town. The 5-year-old who said “pinuter’’ not computer. The 6-year-old who raced in from school every day eager to show you what he’d colored and learned and made.
September whisks kids away and entertains them and beguiles them, but returns them not as they were but changed and in a different size. That’s why parents cry as they stand and wave goodbye. Because first grade becomes fifth grade becomes high school becomes college even as you watch.
How is this, I wonder, that a day alone with a colicky baby and an I-don’t-take-a-nap-anymore 2-year-old can feel like a year? But 18 years can go by in a blink of an eye? How is it that both my daughters, who just yesterday were upstairs trying on their new school clothes, are this year dressing their own children ready for first grade?
They’ve bought new clothes and a lunch box and a backpack. Just as I bought new clothes and a lunchbox and a backpack for them, just as my mother bought new clothes and a lunch box and a green cloth book bag for me.
It’s a big step, first grade, the first in a journey that will take their children physically, emotionally, and spiritually to places they cannot begin to imagine. And not only will their children change, but the world will change, too.
The kids are excited. We’re all excited. A stop-time moment is on its way.
But time won’t stop. It won’t even slow down. That’s why we’ll pay attention and take pictures. So we’ll never forget the day. So that even when it’s passed, it will remain.
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