Sunday, January 23, 2011

apparently my son is a pretty good kid

We decided last minute on Saturday to try to go out to dinner that night to celebrate our anniversary, which is this Thursday. The question - to take Brennan or not to take Brennan. At home, we would have called one set of parents to babysit, and then the other if they were unavailable, or my sister and her bf if all the grandparents were busy. And if no one was available, we have had unending offers from plenty of other friends and extended family members that er could easily cash in on.

Here's the catch: we don't really KNOW anyone here. At least that's how I felt when we discussed the possibility of calling one of Brian's coworkers to ask. Brian gently reminded me that while I've only been here for two weeks, he's been here for 3 1/2 months and knows his coworkers quite well. He suggested a very sweet couple who happen to be expecting a little boy of their own in May. I've met them both and have plans to have lunch with the mommy-to-be. I also knew that they'd watched her niece and nephew multiple times, so they weren't baby-virgins.

So, I said yes. Brian called, they happily accepted, and paternal that day we packed up Brennan and headed to their place. We had never left him with anyone but our parents or my sisters, so I was nervous about how he'd do. But after giving instructions and kissing him goodbye, we walked out the door. He started to cry and I made myself keep walking. We texted them when we got to the restaurant and they said that he only cried for a minute before deciding to play with his toys.

We were able to relax and enjoy dinner. Two hours, four courses, and probably five pounds later, we headed back to collect our munchkin. He ran to the door when he saw us, which of course melted my heart. They raved about how well he behaved and how much fun he had been and offered to watch him anytime.

It made me feel so lucky to have these wonderful 'ready-made' friends down here. In most other situations it would have taken me months to make friends and more months to feel comfortable enough to leave my child with them. But instead, we walked into a wonderful, accepting family full of warm, welcoming people. We could not be more blessed.

And we found babysitters who watched him and are eager to do it again. Woo hoo!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My kid can moo

Brennan is learning animal sounds. And it's SUPER cute. He's been able to "bark" for awhile now. Our dogs bark all the time, and one day he started "ah ah ah"-ing back at them. But he wouldn't do it on command until the last few weeks. Now, when we ask him what the doggy says, he says "ah ah ah". My mom taught him how to "moo" when she took him to a dairy farm while we were in Mexico. And he knows how to quack now too, although it sounds more like "dack dack dack." The exciting part is that he responds to our questions now. The script goes a little like this:

Crazy parents: Brennan, what does the cow say?
Adorable baby: bmbmoooooooooooo
Crazy parents: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!! GOOD JOB!!!! [applause]
Adorable baby: [claps his hands]
Crazy parents: Brennan, what does the doggy say?
Adorable baby: ah ah ah
Crazy parents: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!! GOOD JOB!!!! [applause]
Adorable baby: [claps his hands]
Crazy parents: Brennan, what does the ducky say?
Adorable baby: dack dack dack
yeah, I think you know what comes next..............


So we do this over and over and over again.

No, really, it's the cutest thing ever.

I always said that I'd never be one of those parents who couldn't stop saying how cute their kid is. I swore up one side and down another that if my kid was just moderately cute, or not cute at all, that I'd admit that he was cute to me, but maybe not traditionally cute.

Well, I was delusional. I admit it. This is me eating my words. nom nom nom.

My kid is the cutest thing I've ever seen. And he does the cutest things I've ever seen. Even with his big purplish-yellow shiner he got after picking a fight with the coffee table (yeah, he lost), he's still the cutest kid on the planet. And I'd call you a liar if you told me you didn't think he is cute. Yes, you are allowed to think that your children are cuter. Every mom has that right.

Just remind me of this post next time he smacks me in the nose or throws a fit because I looked at him the wrong way or throws his plate of spaghetti on the floor for fun or ....................

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's 64 degrees .... IN JANUARY!

I feel like it's springtime. It's sunny, the birds are happily flying around, the air is crisp and fresh. The nights are pleasantly cool and the days are refreshingly warm. I find myself searching for the buds and blossoms that tell me that spring has spring ... and instead I find palm trees. And unfamiliar plants. And no flowers or blossoms or even buds. And then I remember ....

it's January.

and I live in Florida.



Weird.

I can't say that I miss the snow. I'm enjoying the many many many many many walks around the block and trips to the park with Brennan. And all the time we spend outside exploring the dirt, rocks, sticks, and trees. It's something that we haven't been able to do since Brennan started walking after winter had begun to rear its ugly head. But, it's only been a week and I still feel a bit like I'm on vacation. We'll see how it goes.

On a different note, we met Brian's coworkers and their better-halves for dinner on Friday. I had already met several of the girls during my November trip, so it was nice to have a few familiar faces in the crowd instead of 14 new ones. Brennan and I were warmly received by friendly smiles, handshakes, and hugs. I had great conversations with some of the girls and swapped contact info with one of the girls who is pregnant and gearing up to be a stay-at-home mom. She mentioned that she could use my help with her registry and of course I jumped at the chance. I feel like I've learned a lot over the past few years (Hind-sight is 20/20 of course) and love to give advice about pregnancy and mommyhood whenever it's asked of me. And of course, I try not to give unsolicited advice since I hate receiving it :) I'm feeling very blessed to already have friends in this new place!

The men in my life....

These are the reasons I haven't been posting much. I'm making up for lost time spending QT with my handsome hubby and his mini-me. It's so great to be living all together again!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

and so it begins.....

.... my life as a stay-at-home-mom. The house that we're staying in until our house is ready is .... a bachelor pad. In every sense of the words. "Man" decorations, sparse necessities, a little worn down, clean enough, but not overly clean. But the only thing that matters is that it's free. The company's CEO owns the house and interns and new employees stay here until their internship is over or until they get settled in a place of their own. We're so grateful to have had this luxury since October, and especially now that all three of us, plus our three dogs are living here. What a great company to work for, right?

So, we'll be here for about three weeks. On Sunday, we just relaxed and enjoyed each others company. On Monday, Brennan woke up early to the dogs barking, so I made Brian's lunch while Brennan happily munched on his breakfast. We played outside in the morning, then came in and played some more. While he napped, I cleaned and organized the kitchen and living room. When he woke up, I cleaned and organized Brennan's room. Then we went outside to play some more. Soon after, Brian was home and it was time to make dinner. Busy busy busy.

Today was not as productive. Major cramps, both front and back, made productivity difficult. So Brennan and I sat outside and played for most of the day. And took the doggies for walks. Walking seemed to help ease the pain, cleaning did not. So we took the doggies on lots and lots of walks. Dinner was frozen pizza. We skyped with the grandmas and now here I sit, blogging instead of being productive. Chowed down on some popcorn and chocolate. Took some motrin. Heading to bed. Hoping tomorrow I can be a bit more productive and accomplish things on my growing list....
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Monday, January 10, 2011

goodnight my angel time to close your eyes

Tonight, I discovered something else I missed. At night, when Brian puts Brennan to bed, he sings to him. Now Brian can't carry a tune (well, neither can I), but no matter the song, I love to hear him sing to Brennan. His voice is so soft and sweet and full of love. It makes me fall in love with him all over again.
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Reunited and it feels so good...

Well, after living at my parents' house for a few days, Brennan and I hopped on a plane and arrived safe and sound in Florida. It was awesome to see Brian and to know that we are FINALLY beginning this new journey in our lives.

It's the little things that I've missed the most. Sunday afternoon naps. Family walks. Goodnight kisses. Watching my boys "wrestle". It's great to be back together again and enjoy them!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

¡Felíz Año Nuevo!

So, after catching up on Christmas and moving posts, I thought I'd write a little bit about our trip to Mexico!

Our flight left early the morning of the 28th. The airport was INSANE, so it took awhile to get checked in and through security. We made a quick stop for coffee & hot chocolate and sat at the gate for a few minutes before boarding the plane. It was the best timing EVER. Our flight was amazingly smooth and I was able to enjoy my new Kindle (yay for parents who still get you good gifts, even when they've spent a small fortune on your child since he was an embryo).

Mexico was unseasonably cool. In fact, they said it was the coldest weather on record for that time of year. But, it was definitely better than the 17° weather we'd left behind! We arrived at the resort, greeted with cold towels, flowers, and fruity drinks the minute we stepped out of the car. Because we had booked a concierge room, we got to skip the boring check-in routine at the desk and sit in a comfy little area where we heard all about the perks we'd receive. Then we were driven (via golfcart) with our bags to our room. The whole resort smelled amazing, our room included. We found a "pillow menu" from which we could choose from various aromatherapy pillows and scents for our room. There was a balcony with ocean view, a jacuzzi tub for two, endless supply of things in the (complementary) mini bar, a bottle of wine, and 4 bottles of liquor. Yeah, you should be jealous.

Oh, but I'm leaving out the best part. When we booked our vacation, the resort was running a promotion in which if you stayed five nights, you'd receive a $1500 credit to spend at the resort. We had the option of using it for a room upgrade, spa services, day trips and excursions, wine upgrades, etc. We couldn't decide whether to upgrade the room to a concierge room or use it for other things. So..... we paid for the upgrade and decided to use the credit for other things. Very out of character for us, but we knew that it would be the last time we took a vacation like this for a very long time, so we decided to just enjoy the heck out of it. (We did not know however, that we would be moving 1000 miles away the same time of year.)

The weather got warmer, we spent tons of time in the sun, enjoyed endless food and drinks, and had LOTS of fun. The $1500 credit provided us with a fun day trip to Tulum and an opportunity to swim with some very sweet dolphin friends, not to mention lots of time in the spa. Mani/pedis, individual massages, chocolate body wraps, and an incredibly romantic couples massage in a private suite. We had an INCREDIBLY amazing time. Of course, we missed Brennan like crazy (and there was no shortage of people making me feel like a terrible mother by telling me that they could never leave their baby for that long) but we enjoyed the time to relax and spend time just the two of us, especially after living separately for so long. It was a tiny bit tough to come back to reality, but the blow was definitely softened knowing that we were returning to our little man!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Memories

During the chaos of packing, I didn't really have time to think about the fact that we were leaving the house we had worked so hard to turn into our home. Emotions got lost amongst the boxes and packing tape. But when we were walking upstairs to take one last look around, Brian asked me if I was sad. I replied that I was, but not sad enough to cry. Then, we got to the top of the stairs and entered Brennan's room .... and I lost it.

The tears weren't about the time and effort that went into renovating the room, painting the Dr. Seuss characters on the walls, or decorating it for our little bundle of joy. They were about the memories that flooded me every time I've walked into that room since October 2009. The early nights when we paced the floor, shushing, bouncing, rocking to get the crying to stop. The following weeks during which I would nurse, supplement with the bottle, then pump, for what seemed like all day long, sitting in the rocking chair in the corner of the room. Cuddles at night, smiles in the morning, reading before naptime, books pulled from the bookshelf and strewn across the room. So much of Brennan's short little life has occurred in that room. And the fact that we're leaving it behind hit me like brick wall. But I stood in that room, with Brian's arms around me and my face buried in his chest, he reminded me that we'll make new memories in Florida. That's when i realized that we're not leaving those memories behind. We'll always have them in our hearts, no matter where we live. And just because someone else will be living in that room, doesn't mean that they will have our memories. They will make their own in our little house. Our first house. The one we made our home, just like we'll make our new house a home. And we'll of course make memories in that house that I'll once again have to pack into my memory bank as we leave that place behind. It's the cycle of life. What's important is to remember that we hold memories not in physical spaces, but within us instead.

Christmas Chaos

Well, clearly the past few weeks have been INSANE, as I haven't had time to even consider writing a blog post. So let's see.....

December 20-23 consisted of frenzied packing. We're lucky enough to have fantastic family and friends who helped immensely. Late on December 23, I picked Brian up from the airport and our little family of three reunited once again. And then, the holiday chaos began.

December 24 was made up of haircuts for the boys, a visit to Santa for Brennan, last minute gift-buying, and then off to Brian's dad's side Christmas gathering. It's a tradition to celebrate at Brian's grandma's tiny little house, which is crowded with just us adults. But this year, all of the great grandkids were also there. 15 adults + 4 4-year-olds (3 of whom are triplet boys) + a 14 month old + a 10 month old = mass chaos. But, it's fun. We get along really well with Brian's cousins on that side and we're usually laughing and enjoying Gram's cherry bounce til late in the evening. This year however, while we were driving home, Brian mentioned that this year was very different. But that's what you get when all of the adults are making sure that nothing gets broken or spilled on Gram's carpet, that the little ones aren't getting trampled by the big ones, and that Gram herself isn't getting knocked over by any of them. All of the policing leaves little time for adult conversation and cherry bounce consumption!

Christmas day was much more relaxing. We had a relaxing morning under our tiny tree that I managed to put up amidst the packing. Then we headed to church to celebrate the birth of Christ and to hear my dad preach. After church, we had brunch with some very close family friends and headed back to my parent's house for presents! The day was calm, with no rushing from place to place, and we were able to enjoy the holiday. My mom's dinner was amazing as usual.

On December 26 we headed to Brian's parents' house to celebrate with his parents and his sister and brother-in-law, who were in town from Virginia. After all of the presents were opened, we were off to his aunt's house for Christmas with his Mom's side of the family. Gifts were exchanged, food was eaten, and we headed home. Once home, our very best friends came to help us pack and between the packing and hauling, we managed to celebrate with them as well. Finally, around 2am, we settled in for our last night in our house.

Morning came early. But, there was lots to get accomplished, so we got to work, joined by our family and friends, and moved all of our belongings into our garages. We scrubbed the house from top to bottom to ready it for our new tenants. When all was said and done, we said goodbye to our house and headed to my parents' house for the night. We were exhausted, but had to finalize packing for Mexico the next morning. I think that God knew what He was doing when He made this week so hectic for me, because I didn't have any time to dwell on the sadness of leaving our house or the nervousness of leaving Brennan for a week. We went to bed looking forward to warm weather and relaxation the next day!