Tag Archives: travel

She Says… Vacay 2014

Ahhh, home. It’s good to be home.

No matter how much fun we have while we’re away… it’s always good to be home.

We skedaddled for a little vacay last week! I went from full throttle work to full throttle “closing the computer and leaving the phone turned off”. Didn’t think once about blogging or checking Facebook or anything more than a cursory glance at my personal inbox. Barely even Instagrammed or Tweeted, which is kind of unlike me.

It was, in a word, freeing. And relaxing. And fun. (Ok, that was 3 words). Not that my vacation couldn’t have been all of those things WITH the computer/phone connection, of course. I’m not one of the “you have to get rid of your phone in order to enjoy life” types of people; there’s a time and a place for all types of social interaction. But it did remove an element of “oh, I have to just do this one thing” from my day, and it felt good.

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The boys’ school is closed every year for the week of July 4th, so it has become our annual family vacation week. Since we’re still very much in the throes of scheduling our days around kids’ needs (naps, meals, snacks, bedtimes), I find it more comfortable to “vacation” somewhere that feels like home rather than an exotic locale where we’ll all be sleeping in the same hotel room or something equally as inconvenient.

And nothing feels more like home than… my sister’s home! As I’ve mentioned in the past, my 3 siblings and mom all live in the Delaware/Philly area, and my Dad still lives in Baltimore, where I grew up. I’m the only one who flew the coop to come up north, so all it takes for a real family reunion is for me to say, “We’re coming to visit!”. And that’s exactly what happened.

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It was a COUSIN PARTY.

- 6 kids under the age of 7
- 5 days
- under 1 roof

To say that we need a vacation from our vacation is an understatement. But it was a blast!

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The last time the bigger cousins saw Emmett, he was only 2 months old or so (for my little sister’s wedding last summer). This time they kept saying, “Can I hold him in my lap on the couch?” and I’d have to remind them that he’s in charge now. And he doesn’t sit for very long in anyone’s lap. He’s toddling and cruising everywhere… even despite all of the cousins picking him up, knocking him down and otherwise impeding his wobbly steps.

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Our week was chock full of playtime, playtime and more playtime. We took 1 field trip to a nearby potato chip factory (fun!), and 1 day trip down to Baltimore to see one of my dearest friends, but other than that we stuck around my sister’s house and ate and played and ate and played and ate and played some more. It takes a lot of carseats to get a group of this many people out the door!

Biggest perk of vacationing there? THE POOL.

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Benjamin took an underwater camera and captured some awesome footage of our little fishies. I’ll share that once it is edited.

Thanks to following his big cousins around, Owen learned how to hold his breath underwater and REALLY SWIM! We just started swim lessons before vacation and when we went back on Monday his teacher said we need to move him up a level or two because he can actually swim. What a difference a week makes! Perhaps he WILL be the next Michael Phelps.

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This year marked the very 1st 4th of July when we let Owen stay awake for the firework festivities. I was nervous about how he would react to a bedtime several hours later than normal, and the loud noises and unpredictability of the fireworks themselves (as one gets after having a “spirited” child for nearly 4 years!), but as it turned out, he impressed me yet again.

He stayed awake, acted like an angel waiting for fireworks, was mesmerized by the display of lights (and shielded from the noise by Aunt Kim’s magical headphones — GENIUS) and went right to bed when we got home.

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Thankfully my sister’s husband offered to stay home so Emmett could sleep right through the excitement. Hallelujah.

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As if staying up for fireworks wasn’t enough for one day, we also went to a parade! Again, the headphones were key for the sensory sensitive.

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It was also the first year I felt comfortable with handing my wild child a lit, burning stick.

Once again, it went fine. Better than fine. It was fantastic.

Pajamas + glow sticks + sparklers + fireworks = best night ever.

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We capped off the almost week-long festivities with our annual crab feast to honor our Baltimore roots. If you’ve never had Baltimore crabs… you’re missing out.

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Even Emmett thinks so.

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We may have been pushing our luck on this one, but we closed out the crab feast with post-dinner swimming (when it’s usually bath time), s’mores and setting off fireworks of our own right in the back yard (aka another very late night). Once again, I was thankful to be able to put Emmett to sleep so he never knew what he was missing, and I could enjoy the fun without a squirmy baby in my arms.

 

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It was a week of firsts, especially for Owen.

  • First time swimming underwater and coming up for air in between
  • First time staying up super late and partying with the big kids
  • First time having s’mores (we found gluten free graham crackers!)
  • First time seeing fireworks
  • First time doing sparklers
  • First time LIGHTING fireworks
  • And many, many more memories

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It was a very happy and full week. But nothing like a trip away to make you appreciate being home.

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Weekend Adventure: Part Deux

Our spontaneous Newport trip two weeks ago was so much fun that we couldn’t resist another friend’s impromptu invitation to join her family on the Cape last Saturday.

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Emily is a friend I met in mom group when our babies were just 6 weeks old. These two have been playing together for nearly 4 years already!

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The drive there was… slow. It took about 2.5 hours when we were expecting 1.5-2, thanks to a couple of accidents and general Cape traffic. I think I’ve figured out our happy car ride limit for the moment, and it’s just about 1.5 hours — that last hour wasn’t the highlight of the trip, that’s for sure!

But the second we arrived to a perfect, blue sky day, all was forgiven.

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Even Emmett had a buddy to play with, and we noticed them noticing each other for the first time. We handed them some plastic measuring cups to bang around and they were happy as clams. Happy, easygoing Baby #2’s.

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As a baby, Owen’s beach experiences have been hit or miss. He doesn’t like the feeling of sand, or the way it gets all over his body (I can relate). Even last summer the crash of the waves was too loud and the sun was too hot. He just wasn’t comfortable.

But this year? This year he couldn’t get enough. The water! The sand! The rocks! The crabs! The seashells! He was all over it.

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Emmett, however, took to the beach like a fish to water. He got right down in the sand and squished it in his chubby fists and licked it off his fingers and splashed in the shallow water. He was in heaven.

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The drive home was better than the drive there, as the kids fell asleep as soon as we closed the car doors (after a quick stop for ice cream, of course!). Post-beach naps are the best.

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Despite how much fun we’ve had with our little weekend adventures, Benjamin and I are both shooting for less driving this weekend. Time to explore some of our local summertime faves.

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Summahtime, my friends. Looks like this.

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She Says… Weekending

This weekend was like a breath of fresh air.

It was pure, summer fun.

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Generally our weekends are booked up with playdates and playground trips and sometimes errands that need to be run. We have an activity for most morning and afternoon blocks, and spend the rest of our time hanging out in our pj’s, going for walks/scooter rides or swinging on the swingset at home as a family. But miraculously, when a college friend of mine asked if we could come down to his parents’ house in Newport, RI for a visit last Friday, we had a completely open day to do so.

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When Owen was a baby, the thought of driving anywhere over 30 minutes made my stomach clench up — he was not very flexible with his schedule and car rides almost always ended in puking. But, thankfully, Emmett tends to go with the flow quite easily and doesn’t mind riding in the car at all (and even sleeps!) and Owen has grown to be much more tolerant of car rides and adventures, so we were able to easily drive down during Emmett’s morning nap.

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We arrived to a beautiful home right on the cliff walk, a positively elegant spread of mimosas and quiche, and a small group of friends with no agenda other than enjoying the weather and the view. Aside from my friend and his husband (who have a 4 month old), no one had kids. Which meant we were automatically “those people” with the rowdy kids. No matter, though. Everyone seemed entertained by to tolerate Owen’s antics and a great time was had by all.

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Owen relaxed just like a little big person, lounging in the hot tub and strolling the cliff walk.

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NOT! He splashed and “swam” in the hot tub and hitched a ride on my friend’s shoulders and whined the rest of the way on the walk. But it was cute anyway.

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When we got home, the long weekend continued just the way Memorial Day should. Warm sun, a cool breeze and lots of time playing. Just playing. Full of hours of “water slide” with Owen’s new best friend, the 8 year old boy who lives across the street.

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I didn’t open up my computer once over the weekend. It was glorious.

(Which, consequently, is exactly the opposite of what has happened since I went back to work on Tuesday morning. I’ve been buried in work on my computer 24/7 except when spending mornings/evenings with the kids. It’s brutal. Hence the quiet blogspace.)

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Is there any better mark of an awesome day than dirty baby feet?

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I think not.

She Says… Raising An Olympian

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Since Owen still couldn’t go to school on Friday (he only had a teeny tiny patch of the rash that Emmett had all over his body, but since I knew what it was I was NOT going to send him to school and spread it to his friends), we decided to hightail it out of town for a little mini-vacay to Grammy and Grampy’s house in New Hampshire.

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The mountain air does a body (and mind) good.

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Usually we drive in the afternoon and I spend a lot of the drive stressing about if Owen is sleeping or not, and what do we do about nap when we get there, etc. This time we decided to leave as early in the morning as possible to capitalize on Emmett’s morning nap and so we didn’t have to worry about Owen napping in the car at all (and if he fell asleep, I’d count it as his nap anyway since we are working on reducing nap time little by little for him). As it turned out, it was a brilliant move and everyone was pretty happy the whole way. Definitely our most successful drive yet (THANK GOODNESS for a baby who actually *likes* riding in the car… it is such a change from what Owen was like as a baby that it shocks me every time).

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It was a weekend of skiing and enjoying the (hopefully) last of the snow! Saturday we went cross country skiing.

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Owen did great, but proved that enjoying cross country skiing is likely something you have to grow into… “I don’t want to just WALK everywhere, Mommy!”.

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He was a good sport and gave it a really good try (his balance is quite impressive for a 3 year old!), but it wasn’t his favorite activity.

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Grammy and Grampy were generous to help share the kid-duty. Grampy continued skiing with Owen and Grammy watched Emmett for the morning so Benjamin and I could get a few hours of solo (duo?) skiing in. It was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever seen; conditions were perfect and the sunshine felt like a warm spring day.

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Sunday we went downhill skiing. THIS is Owen’s favorite. The kid is a SPEED DEMON and prefers to go straight down the hill, skis parallel, and not slow down or stop.

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We joked all day about how we had to take lots of pictures and video for the “Raising an Olympian” video they will undoubtedly need to make when he is an Olympic skier.

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Once again Benjamin and I got a few hours of kid-free ski time. It was so much fun to be out being active together.

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As with many of us, Owen’s favorite favorite part of the ski weekend was the apres ski. Aka hot tub time.

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He practiced dunking and swimming and jumping and splashing. Dude is so ready for summer when he can actually do those things for real. Weirdly, it seems like he somehow learned to swim (or at least greatly advanced his skills) with absolutely zero practice since last summer. We practically had to force him out.

An added bonus of the weekend away was that the time change passed us by without any issues at all (we were all so exhausted that everyone slept well at night, and our days/naps were all a bit different from our home routine anyway). Though it’s only been a couple days, we have definitely used the time change to our advantage and the early morning waking issue seems to be eliminated. No jinxies!

Now we’re back. Laundry is going. Kids are BOTH at school (and fingers are crossed we actually get a full week with no sick days for any of us!). Bodies are recharged and ready. It was just what the doctor ordered.

She Says… On Being Gone

Back before I became a mother, I remember hearing a new mom friend talking about how she felt like she was carrying all of the weight of taking care of their newborn. How her husband didn’t even get up at night while they nursed. That will never be us. I thought. That is so unfair. Fast forward a few years and two babies and not only have I completely changed my perspective on sharing the midnight feedings, I’ve also come to an entirely new understanding of the words fair and equal as they pertain to marriage. Specifically marriage when you are parents.

The old me thought that fair and equal meant splitting things down the middle. You take one feeding, I’ll take the next one. You take a night “off” to go play poker, I get a night “off” to do whatever I want too. You do the dishes, I fold the laundry. You buy yourself some new clothes, I get to add a few new pieces to my wardrobe too. In little ways, we kept score. Our relationship was built on equality, and that was important to me. We did equal “work” and shared the load. Gender/income didn’t dictate who wore the pants. We both did.

Equality is no less important to me now, but it doesn’t look quite like what I thought it would. Equality, these days, sometimes looks like me “doing it all” instead of “having it all”. Sometimes it looks like me schlepping both kids to and from school AND working full time AND cooking dinner AND remembering to buy a present for the birthday party this weekend AND packing lunches for the next day before falling into bed at night. And the only way that looks like anything resembling equal or fair is that sometimes it is Benjamin doing all of those things.

In the past couple of years Benjamin’s travel has ramped up quite a bit, and I have found myself at home alone more than I would like. Although I travel some for work (previously about once every couple months, usually to relatively close places like New York or Chicago, but once in a while a bigger trip like Paris, London or Munich), when we are apart, he is almost always the one “gone” and I am the one “home”. Sometimes this doesn’t feel fair or equal at all.

But then there are times, like this week, when I traveled to New York for work. I slept in a hotel for three nights and didn’t have to wake up, pulse racing, when I heard a cry from down the hall. I enjoyed dinners at lovely restaurants, sipped wine at a jazz club in the West Village and slurped oysters with old friends. I worked hard during the day and wasn’t constantly thinking about daycare calling or when I had to rush out of the office to pick up the kids or how I only had one earring on since I was holding the baby when I got dressed and didn’t have enough hands to put the other one on. I missed my family, of course, but I relished in the feeling of being the one who was “gone”. Benjamin, on the other hand, woke up to the 5am cries. He fed and bathed and diapered and kissed. He shoveled a foot of snow while still getting the kids to daycare on time and getting himself to work.

What the old me didn’t realize is that having a fair or equal relationship isn’t about keeping track of how many travel days each of us logs, or a tally of the chores. It’s about doing whatever needs to be done for as long as it needs doing, and knowing that my husband will be there to do it when the tables are turned. We may not do the same job all of the time, or even come anywhere close to splitting it down the middle, but we are partners.

The “workload” of our life shifts back and forth between us like playing catch with a huge sack of hot potatoes. One of us will inevitably hold that bag longer than the other sometimes, but it’s all fair and equal in the end if we know the other one is there, arms open and ready to catch it when it gets too hot.

She Says… Little Tiny Skis and Missing the Noisemaker

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Owen took a trip up to New Hampshire with Grammy and Grampy this weekend by himself. Well, Schnitzel was there too, but Benjamin and Emmett and I stayed home — it made for a lovely little vacay weekend for us all!

Anyone who has had two kids and then suddenly finds themselves with only ONE of said kids (especially if it’s the smaller, quieter one who naps a lot more) will tell you that it is ASTONISHING how easy it feels. How much time there is in the day to get things done. How quiet it is. Quieter than I ever remembered it being when Owen was Emmett’s age.

Benjamin and I packed our weekend with social events (out Friday, hosted a dinner party Saturday and I went out Sunday with mom friends — woot! Who am I?!), errands and finishing projects around the house, and there was still more than enough time to cuddle, hug, kiss, play with and adore Emmett. One on one. Really two on one. For a few moments it made me sad that every day in Emmett’s life isn’t like that — the center of attention, the nonstop holding and appreciating and marveling over what a perfect little dude he is. But you know what I realized? Emmett may never know what it feels like to be an only child, but what he gets in return is SO. MUCH. BETTER.

It’s too quiet here without Owen. There’s no constant “show” going on to entertain Emmett. There is less laughter and less chaos and less silliness. There’s a hole here when he’s gone.

Sure, Benjamin and I enjoyed the quiet. We actually cuddled on the couch and watched tv during Emmett’s morning nap; I can’t remember the last time that happened. We talked to each other and heard each others’ voices without having to compete with Owen’s incessant chattering. We went to bed at night knowing that even if Emmett woke up early, all we had to do was hold him and play with him quietly… there was no little preschool-aged dictator to talk and direct and argue and talk some more.

It was nice. But now I’m ready to have my little chatterbox back.

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He, of course, had a total blast. We video chatted yesterday and he beamed while he told me that he ate macaroni and cheese all weekend. And that Grammy laid in his bed with him when he got up too early (4:45am! Not happening at home, buddy!). And that he hasn’t napped once (!!!). And that he got to go in the hot tub. And that they went hiking and he got M&Ms at the top of the mountain.

So. Much. Fun.

They also took him skiing for the first time (next stop: Sochi)! This was a milestone that Benjamin and I were very sad to miss, but it probably went smoother without us there, to be honest. Thankfully Grammy documented the trip with lots of pictures and a video of Owen going the whole way down the bunny hill all by himself. HE ROCKED — stayed up the whole time (and apparently wouldn’t let anyone help him with anything, from the getting dressed to the “magic carpet” lift to skiing down the hill)! Benjamin and I watched the video with happy tears in our eyes. We are so lame.

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All in all the weekend was a huge success. I think everyone will sleep well tonight (especially Grammy and Grampy).

 

She Says… Sleepover Silliness

Here’s a tip: 3 years old may be a little too young for your kid’s 1st sleepover. Or, at least it was for mine. That is, if you expect any sleeping to happen.

As I mentioned, we went to Benjamin’s parents’ house in New Hampshire last weekend with our friends who have a son in Owen’s preschool class. Owen was BEYOND excited about this trip. He’s always excited to go up there, but he was a million times more excited this time since he had a friend going too. The other family also has a toddler, and clearly we have Emmett, who is still getting up to eat at night, so between the 6 adults and 4 kids we had to do some creative thinking about how to share bedrooms in a way that would maximize sleep. Ultimately we decided to have Owen and his little buddy share a room.

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We foolishly thought that even if the boys goofed off at bedtime and stayed up a little late that they would eventually conk out. Spoiler alert: Not so much.

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On Friday we drove up during naptime to get as much quiet time as we could in the car. Both boys did pretty well. Owen (thoroughly Benadryled to combat his car-sickness) whined a bit and asked “how many minutes until we get there?” about a bazillion and a half times, and Emmett lost his shit near the end of the drive and screamed his head off for longer than I thought possible, but in the end, we got there only slightly bewildered by the 4 hour drive. We set up bedrooms (video monitors, sound machines and all of the other accoutrements that I feel silly traveling with, but also can’t live without), fed the kids and got them bathed and jammied.

Bed time.

The boys dutifully laid down their heads in their beds and we turned off the light. Not too long after that we heard their adorable little voices chattering away. Owen asked Jonah what he likes to eat for breakfast. He pestered him with questions about which way he was facing and if he was closing his eyes to fall asleep so he could do everything exactly the same way (funny tidbit: Jonah told him he sleeps with his eyes open, so Owen tried to do the same).

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The chattering gave way to bed jumping. Their voices weren’t sounding so cute anymore. We intervened. Finally, after a couple extra hours of chatting, they fell asleep. We naively thought we were in the clear.

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That night I saw every hour on the clock of my bedside table.

  • 12:00pm Owen cried out for me that he couldn’t find his lovey in bed. I retrieved him and put both boys back to bed.
  • 1:15am Emmett woke up and needed to be fed.
  • 2:35am Boys are up again, daring each other to go out into the hallway and see what happens. You know what happened? I busted in their room and told them it was lights out. Quiet time. Close your eyes.
  • 3:10am Still not asleep. Apparently I didn’t have my best “mom voice” on. I stepped up my game.
  • 4:30am Emmett is up again to nurse. I tiptoe to his room and try not to make a peep while going to the bathroom.
  • 5:15am Fail. Boys are up. Owen has to pee.
  • 5:30am Giggles. Shrieks. Knocking on the inside of their door. The pitter patter of little feet outside my door. I send Benjamin in partly because I’m so tired I can barely move, and partly because I’m tired of being the only parent who is awake. I blame my supersonic mom ears.
  • 6:00am I tell the boys they don’t have to sleep anymore, but they do have to play quietly in their room until the clock turns green (Owen is so militant about waiting until the clock turns green at home that he forced me to bring it to New Hampshire)

Finally we all got up. The good news? The view from the New Hampshire house windows is almost amazing enough to make you forget you haven’t slept a wink. Almost.

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On Saturday we bundled up and went on a long hike (2+ hours). The boys walked the whole way. All of the parents smirked and thought, “Finally, they will sleep”.

(Side story: We had planned to have a snack and a rest at the summit, but when we got there it was COLD and WINDY and BITTER. I had to nurse Emmett and the kids needed a snack but it turned out to be a bit disastrous despite the amazing view. When we got to the top we realized it was the same trail and same spot I had hiked with Owen when he was the same age as Emmett, and I had a similar “nursing on a mountaintop” experience. Apparently I didn’t learn my lesson.)

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When we got home, Owen was on the verge of a meltdown and I could feel it in my bones. I threw lunch at him and took him upstairs for a nap. They wanted to nap together but I knew that was not a good idea. I no longer trusted those two.

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Thankfully, Owen’s protesting didn’t last too long and he succumbed to sleep. Jonah, on the other hand, did not. He’s pretty much dropped his nap at home and he just wouldn’t do it. I was impressed by his stubbornness, but quite glad that Owen couldn’t see what was going on. Don’t give him any ideas.

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At bedtime Owen was so conflicted: he yearned for his normal routine but wanted so badly to do whatever Jonah was doing. The dads somehow got the kids to agree to a staggered bedtime (Jonah was beat early since he didn’t nap, and Owen wanted to have his wind-down tv time before bed), which ended up being the perfect way to eliminate the falling asleep shenanigans from the night before.

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The boys each woke up a few times throughout the night and called for us (there’s something so sweet and innocent about Owen still crying for me and not caring that his friend was right there — no shame at all), but we all survived.

It was a wonderful little adventure, but I can’t say I’m planning the next sleepover anytime soon.

She Says… Back

I took an unexpected blogging hiatus last week. Nothing major to report, I just got really, really busy and we went away Thursday to Sunday and I don’t like advertising when we’re away on social media (it gives me nightmares about break-ins, despite the fact that I know I’m not a big enough deal to have internet stalkers). In fact, I barely opened the computer all week. I think if my maternity leave lasted much longer I would eventually turn it off forever! Currently I sort of “go dark” on the weekends (aside from posting pictures once in a while and surfing my personal Facebook account) and, well, every day is kind of a weekend now.

Anyway. Back to last week. And the weekend. My little sister got married!We flew to Philly on Thursday morning and had a weekend jam packed with family events. That meant two things: 1. Emmett’s first flight (and our first time traveling as a family of 4) and 2. Some missed naps/thrown-off schedules. The former was surprisingly easy. The latter? The complete opposite.

We left for the airport in a flurry of bags and last-minute items thrown in our carry-ons. It was almost time for Emmett to eat, but I was stressed about getting to the airport on time and decided we should “just get there” and I would feed him there. Unfortunately for him, once we arrived, parked, waiting in line to check our bag and went through security it was nearly 4 hours since his last feeding time. Fortunately for me (and everyone around me), the kid barely seemed to notice. Little did I know this was the first of many starvation periods this weekend.

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Both boys were silent on the flight. Emmett had a nipple in his mouth when he was awake and then promptly fell asleep. Owen was quite content to watch tv the entire time (the main reason we ONLY fly JetBlue these days). I even closed my eyes for a bit while Emmett snoozed in my lap. Bliss.

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My advice for parents traveling with 2 kids? Throw your screen time rules out the window and get one of these Trunkis. We packed all of Owen’s gluten free snacks and some extra clothes in the hard case and Owen ADORED riding this little guy through the airport. Sometimes we pulled him, sometimes he pulled it (it has a leash so you can “walk it” like a dog), but all the time he was totally entertained. Genius invention.

Pictures and stories from the weekend to come!

She Says… A Weekend of Firsts

  • Emmett had his first babysitter
  • Benjamin and I had our first post-baby date
  • Owen had his first weekend away without us (sniff, sniff!)

On Friday morning we said goodbye to Owen when we dropped him off at school knowing we weren’t going to see him again until Monday. Owen was bubbling over with excitement, telling his classmates and teachers and anyone who would listen that GRAMMY was going to pick him up from school and they were going to have an adventure. It was like summer camp, only better. (And only for a weekend… which is the most time away this Mama could handle right now!).

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They had a BLAST. Grammy and Grampy hiked and played and rode every ride at Storyland about a million times. They fed him and bathed him and listened to his nonstop chatter. They endured countless rounds of Zingo. They saw his sweet little face every morning and tucked him into bed at night. Owen worked his grandson magic on them and got away with not eating very many veggies and going to bed a little late (that’s what grandparents are for, right?), but overall it sounds like he was pretty close to perfect.

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Apparently he didn’t miss us one bit (he was too busy having a great time!), but Benjamin and I missed him a lot. The house was eerily quiet and it felt particularly strange to go to bed at night with the door to his bedroom open. But don’t get me wrong… we weren’t sitting around moping. In fact, even though we still had Emmett at home it felt like we were on a little vacay ourselves. A staycation, if you will.

Parents with one child, please don’t take this the wrong way, but HOLY MOLY HAVING ONE CHILD IS SO EASY compared to having 2. Especially a quiet, non-mobile one who sleeps a lot.

Benjamin’s goal for the weekend: To not do any dishes.
My goal for the weekend: To not cook any meals.

On Friday night we had our regular babysitter come over to hang with Emmett for a few hours so Benjamin and I could have our first post-baby date night. We made reservations at one of our favorite restaurants. I got my hair cut that day and even buttoned some pre-pregnancy pants in honor of the occasion. That was enough excitement for me, but Benjamin made the night even better when he surprised me with a beautiful necklace at dinner! Surprise push presents are THE BEST. (Those who hate on “push presents” must have never been gifted surprise jewelry after the birth of their own children). I am a lucky lady.

Saturday morning we snuggled on the couch drinking our coffees (while they were still hot!) and watched an entire episode of “Orange is the New Black” uninterrupted. I can’t even tell you how long it’s been since we watched tv during the day. Oh wait. Yes I can. It was probably July 23, 2010, the day before Owen was born. After running some errands we decided to get lunch while we were out. On a whim. I also can’t tell you how long it’s been since we did something on a whim (and at “naptime”).

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Sunday Benjamin did his 2nd triathlon (so proud of him!) and Emmett and I spectated. After recovering at home for the afternoon (and cleaning out the basement… yes, we are crazy people who spend our staycation cleaning our house…) we went out for an early dinner. Emmett dutifully snoozed away in his carseat for the entire meal. Bliss.

It was a rejuvenating weekend to say the least. I adore my preschooler, but I relished the peace and quiet for a couple days. And I could not wait to see his cute little face when Grammy dropped him off today. Perhaps most importantly I realized just how mature and capable and flexible Owen is. Hearing him chat on the phone and tell us about his day and knowing that he’s fully capable of telling Grammy and Grampy what he wants/needs is kind of mind-blowing (as was only having to pack 3 pullups instead of tons of diapers and wipes and extra clothes).

Sniff, sniff… when did my little baby grow up and become a full-blown KID?

 

She Says… Sand and Sun

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A little sand and sun were just what the doctor ordered.

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Owen hadn’t been back in the water since last summer, and although I knew how much he loved swimming back then, I was expecting to have to do at least a little bit of reacclimating once he saw the pool/ocean.

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WRONG. He couldn’t have been more excited to get in the water. I think the kid is part fish. He jumped off the edge of the pool without a care in the world, and tried over and over again to convince us to let go of him because he can swim on his own. We dunked our heads underwater and splashed and kicked. Watch out, Michael Phelps… Owen just may be headed for an Olympic gold someday.

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I also thought the vastness of the ocean would deter him from being so fearless. Not so. The child barreled towards the ocean and didn’t want to stop, even when the water was well over his head.

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We fully enjoyed Florida’s steamy temps and even the unborn got in on the action.

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To my surprise, I didn’t swell up in the heat (like last time I was pregnant in the summer, UGH SO GROSS) and my burgeoning belly didn’t hinder any of our fun in the sun. Perhaps more importantly, as someone who can pretty much get a blistering sunburn from walking around the block, I’m impressed that I came home pretty much the same pale color that I was when I left.

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Owen loved doting on his playmate (our friends’ one year old daughter) and it made my heart swell to think about him playing with a sibling someday pretty soon.

Florida2013-5He even surprised me with how well he slept — it was our first trip using a big boy bed outside of our house. I was half-expecting midnight visits from him and was constantly worried that he was going to leave his room and open up the front door to the condo (which had a handle, not a knob, and was not able to be deadbolted), but he did great and stayed in his bed when he was supposed to. Aside from a few little attitude-y outbursts (hey, he is 3 after all), Owen was a joy.

And now, back to reality… a billion emails in my inbox and more work than I can possibly finish in a 3 day work week. Sigh.