Our Boys

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Owen's Visit to Camp Gammy and Pap

I recently wrote about my first night away from Owen. It was a much needed getaway for Brett and I to reconnect and enjoy each other's company without the tug of our little man. Well, we have now had an extended "getaway" except he's the one who has "gotten away". My sweet little baby is spending a week "on his own" with my parents - Camp Gammy and Pap as I like to call it. He is having a blast and much to our dismay, we don't think he misses us or needs us as much as we like to think he does.

It took me a few days to get used to him being gone. I was still feeling that little pit of anxiety that I had to get everything done immediately because at any time he could wake up from his nap and my attention to chores, etc. would be lost. I have used this time wisely though. I have napped a lot, resting this poor pregnant body has been a must. I have organized our house and decluttered lots of stuff that needed to go. I have grocery shopped and prepared meals and feel organized and good about what I'm feeding my family. But most of all, I have dedicated some time to two people that I have neglected a little bit.

Brett and I spent the weekend almost as if we were "young and carefree" again. We went to the movies and saw the Dark Night, we went shopping, we went out to breakfast, we sat on our patio and chatted for a while. We basically just enjoyed being with each other. I wrote before how important it is to me for us to stay connected as a couple. It is something I have struggled with since the day Owen came home from the hospital. He demands a lot of time and attention, but in order for us to be good parents, we have to be good partners. This last weekend and these evenings this week, we have had a chance to remember what it's like to be "just us" and it has been wonderful.

The other person I have been able to spend some time with is this little boy growing inside me. I remember being pregnant with Owen and loving moments when I was completely present and feeling him move. It was like he was almost here already and I was getting to know him. I haven't done a lot of that this time around. As I've stated many times, Owen requires a lot of attention. Sitting with my hands on my belly and talking to BB2 doesn't happen a whole lot. I try to do this at night, but I'm so tired. Without Owen around, I have been able to connect with the baby and feel so much closer to him than I did before. I'm starting to visualize what it's really going to be like with a new little guy here. I've talked to him so much more this week and began doing some practical things to prepare for his arrival as well. It's amazing just how different it is the second time around, but we just now decided some details of his room and purchased a crib. I can't wait to meet him and have him be a part of our amazing family.

I hope this isn't misconstrued by any means. I miss Owen more than I can describe. Every time I watch a video sent by my mom or dad or see a picture of something fun they are doing, I want to wrap my arms around him and get one of his wide mouth kisses. I'm so thankful that he has family that he loves so much and that love him so much that being away from us is perfectly OK. I think we are both enjoying our time apart, but I can't wait to hear that little shriek when I pick him up!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Over a year, ready to wean?

So while I'm feeling so honest about motherhood this week, I should share that I've been struggling giving something up. Something very special and something that has taken up quite a bit of my life over the past...14 months. Breastfeeding. Yep! I'm still doing it. This is one of those topics that's tough to talk about because most people are very opinionated about it, especially the weaning part. I have lots of friends who have stopped at various points in their babies development for many reasons. Some stopped early on because they just didn't produce enough milk. Some set a goal and once that goal was reached, they quit cold turkey. Others keep going and end up not really knowing how to stop and it becomes more difficult because their baby starts to depend on it for comfort. We are in a weird gray area.

After Owen's first birthday, he gave up the bottle with no problem and switched to whole milk and a sippy cup. We ended out nightly nursing sessions with no problem at all. I swore I would stop nursing him in the mornings. Then we had his surgery to look forward to (I do plan on posting about his surgery soon). I decided I wanted to be able to nurse him when he woke form his anesthesia which turned out to be a very wise choice. Now here we are over 14 months old and still nursing in the mornings. So why the gray area? I don't have to nurse him. When we visited my parents, they would get him up int he morning and allow me to sleep in. If we missed a day or even two in a row it was no big deal. If we are home and I get him up and we want to, we sit in our chair and cuddle while he nurses a bit. I know there's really no problem here, but I think it's time to stop. I would like to have a bit of a break before Baby Boy #2 arrives and I also do not want Owen to want to nurse when I go back to work in a few weeks.

Breastfeeding has been a breeze for us. It came so naturally and the only obstacle we have encountered is when my production went way down and that was because I found myself knocked up again. It has been a very special bonding time that Owen and I have been blessed to share and I guess emotionally that is something hard to give up. he is my baby boy and always will be. Now I know I can't nurse him forever, the thought of him going off to Kindergarten asking for "just another quick drink" makes me giggle. I know there are some people who might not see anything wrong with that. That's not me. But the truth is, I think our time has come to move on and give up our morning time together.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our First Night Away

This was a first. Brett and I were able to get away for a night without our baby boy! On first trip to PA this summer my mom arranged for us to spend the night at her friend's condo at a ski resort a little over an hour away. She didn't have to ask us twice. While I don't love leaving the little guy, I knew he was in good hands and this would give Brett and I some much needed quiet time together. We left early on Thursday morning and drove straight to the condo just to make sure we knew where we were going. Then we decided to be a little adventurous and drive even farther "out there" to visit Falling Water, the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright house. We stopped at a local restaurant on the way for lunch, the See Mor Cafe where we stuffed our face with home cooked meatloaf, chicken pin wheel, and blue berry pie. The house was amazing. It fascinates me that there are people with such vision, who could look at a piece of landscape and imagine what could be. We went out to dinner that night and enjoyed lingering even after we were done eating.

We don't get out together a lot any more. Brett works long hours, our weekends are usually full of commitments and babysitters are to come by. So this truly was a wonderful getaway. As much as I love spending time with Owen and even more spending time with Brett and Owen as a family, it is so important to me that Brett and I maintain our relationship. I read a quote once that said the greatest gift you can give your children is to love their mother/ father. So true! Brett and I laugh that our hope is that we can embarrass our kids long into their teen years by showing each other more affection that kids want to see out of their parents. Kids learn what a marriage is from their role models. I want to be a good relationship role model for our kids. I want them to learn respect and communication from us. I want them to learn how to laugh with their partner and how to have fun doing just about anything. I want to teach them that disagreeing is part of being married but with disagreeing comes compromise and the ability to see things form another person's perspective.

My dream is to one day be sitting at a large family dinner and look around and see our kids looking into their partners face the way I look at Brett and the way he looks at me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some mom honesty

To be perfectly honest, I want to be a stay at home mom to my sweet boy Owen and his new little brother who will be arriving sooner than later. Also, to be perfectly honest, staying at home makes me crazy! I think it's a grass is always greener situation, but in case you didn't know, parenting a one year old is hard. Very hard!

For approximately 11 hours, I am the sole caregiver to a very active, very loud, one year old boy. Now don't get me wrong, I love this guy more than I ever thought possible. He makes me smile and laugh and cry all at the same time. Mostly though, he makes me want to be a good mom because I know that he deserves my love and attention and teaching during the day. But again, to be perfectly honest, it's exhausting. We can only run so many errands and plan so many play dates. In the end there are times that we just have to be home and with each other. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's a very difficult thing.

So here's my honesty that might not seem too pretty or something that a lot of moms want to admit. I crave adult interaction and at times, take walks with Owen just to see who might be outside and might want to stop and talk for a few minutes. I plan things for us to do to take up chunks of time during the day. I can't wait until nap time when I get 1 hour (yes, that's all he naps) to sit in peace and quiet. Unfortunately, that's also the one hour that I try to squeeze in a day's worth of chores. I love when he can settle on a toy or an activity and I get a few minutes where he is not demanding my attention. Those are the ugly truths of parenthood.

So how then can I say I would prefer to be at home with him? That's easy. There are tough time and times that I literally have to close my eyes for just a second to regain some patience (like when he touches the same glass door on the bookcase for the 5th time in a row after having a  time out 5 times for doing it); but, when I open my eyes and he is leaning against me kissing my shoulder with his big open mouth, my heart melts. When he walks around the house with his hand to his ear pretending it's a phone having a very loud conversation with who knows who, I laugh. When he feeds me his lunch, I am proud. He is a sweet, lovable, funny, wild little boy who I would prefer to spend my time with over anyone else.

To be honest, I love being a mom. It's the single hardest job I have ever had and it's the single most rewarding job I ever will have.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Fun

This summer is flying by and I think it's because we have just been so busy. Not in a bad way, but in a "taking advantage of being home and having a very active one year old way".  After spending the first week in PA, I got right back into stay at home mama mode - my favorite!!!! Owen and I have been playing in the back yard from morning until night, swimming, swinging, digging in the dirt. You name it and we've done it. We've also had lots of play dates with friends from work and friends in the neighborhood. Here's a little glimpse:
Our little artist
The baby pool at Gammy and Pap's house in PA
A little uncle love
Too cute!
We turned the pool into a ball pit - SUPER fun!
Brookfield Zoo with Camille and Isabella

Reading to Tucker
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