Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wheels on the Bus Birthday Party

When trying to decide on a theme for Owen's first birthday party, I wanted something that pertained to him specifically. After some brainstorming, I came up with a few options but decided to go with the song "Wheels on the Bus" form our theme. I can't tell you how many times I've sung about wheels turning, wipers swishing, or mommies shushing in the past year! Owen loves the song.

We had so much fun celebrating with our friends and family. Owen seemed to really enjoy his cake! I'm feeling a bit on the lazy side, so I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves here!

Invitations created by Patrick.
Party Preparations
Bus cake pops. Yum.
Little photo bomber!
Opening gifts.
Some party guests.
regular and white chicken chili.
Loves puzzles!

John and Owen. Friends since before birth!
What is going on here? lol.
We made it through our first year!
Not really sure about all the people watching him.
First birthday cake!

He loved it.
He needed milk to wash it down.

The paparazzi
The damage.
The rinse off.

Looking in the mirror at himself.
Party favors. Bus cookies.
 Happy Birthday Owen! We love you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One Heck of a Year

I wrote this post about a week before Owen turned one. Sorry, life got busy and I forgot to post!

A few nights ago, Patrick and I were discussing the past year. We are going to have a one-year-old in a few days and this realization conjures up a plethora of emotions. I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and yet there is a bitter-sweetness sinking into my heart. You may have heard the following quote before, but it couldn't sum up my thoughts and feelings any better.

  "The days are long but the years are short."

This past year has been the biggest roller coaster that I've ever been on. We have had our fair share of long days. When Patrick and I thought back through the year, we were amazed at all that has taken place but then blown away by how fast it was at the same time.

I remember bringing that little bundle of joy home like it was yesterday. I remember sitting down to dinner while our tiny baby slept in the swing. I remember waking up early the next morning to take him to the first of many doctor visits we would have in the first few weeks. I remember feeling tired and yet energized. I was on an emotional high and chocked full of adrenaline yet those feelings were coupled with physical exhaustion and crazy hormones. I was so happy and excited. I don't think I had been that excited since my wedding day.

As the weeks passed, however, I remember feeling trapped. He was so demanding. I loved him dearly, but the adrenaline was fading. I was tired. I was sick of the nipple shield (TMI?), the feedings every night, trying to shop with a newborn, the pressure I felt to get out of the house. I remember a frustrating conversation with Patrick over when we'd be back at Mexico Lindo. I just sat there and cried. I didn't want to go yet. I wasn't ready. It wasn't that I couldn't do it. I just didn't want to yet. Was I sick of being in the house? You bet. At the same time, however, I was lacking the energy to really go anywhere.

My life had been forever changed. It wasn't about me anymore. It was about this little baby. I was getting about two and a half hour windows between feedings. At six weeks postpartum I found myself at home alone while Patrick was on a winter retreat. It was all on me. If it hadn't been for my supportive sister, I would have had a mental breakdown. She and my friend Laurie are the only two people that kept me sane.

Luckily, we made it through new years week and through the terrible six week growth spurt that had me seriously re-thinking the whole breastfeeding thing. At some point in the weeks that followed, everything began to click. My milk supply leveled. Owen dropped to about one feeding a night. He and I were a rock star team. I could get him changed, nursed, and back in the bed in less than 30 minutes sometimes. Plus, at 8 weeks postpartum, we made it back to Thursday night Mexican (that margarita was amazing). As Owen outgrew onsies, my confidence grew. We could do this. The three of us were doing this.

We have conquered so many transitions this year. My job is just one example. I went back full time for a month, then worked flexi through the summer, and have now transitioned to weekend night shift. Crazy. I would have never in my wildest dreams thought we would end up here. I know one thing is certain. God really does give us exactly what we need right when we need it. Notice that I said need there:) I may not get my wants, but our needs have been met.

Patrick and I spent a few moments recounting memories from the past year. I wanted to write this post partly because I wanted to preserve them. The following is some of what we both talked about with my own additions I've recently reflected on.

Our first few moments as a family... The many stages of poop... The cutest little wrinkly forehead. I guess I kissed the wrinkles away... Spit up that occurred after every feeding- glad that phase is over!... Cuddle time in our bed every morning... Patrick and Owen's special "talk" in the chair in the living room... The glorious phase where Owen would sleep while we were at a restaurant... His green and grey "elf hat"...His jumper seat... Singing "wheels on the bus" or letting Owen watch the app on Patrick's iPhone... Drool- lots of drool... Singing his special "Owen bug" song that we made up... Owen's tell- sucking his two fingers on his left hand and holding his ear with his right means it's bedtime... The sweet sound of his giggle. Melt my heart... Kisses for daddy when he came home from Northern Ireland... "Nope, not much hair yet"- If we could only have a dollar for every time we had to say that... Owen and I driving to Hilton Head, SC at 7 months old. I'll never forget driving through stupid Atlanta traffic in the rain with a screaming baby in the back... Sympathy coughs... The night he started clapping his hands... The morning we realized he slept through the night. High five!... Praise baby- a lot... 90-95th percentile head... Little Piglet..."Don't y'all feed this kid?"- Yeah, we should get a dollar for that too... Overwhelming love... Family.

I could probably go on and on but I will stop there. It's kind of nice that Owens birthday falls right around the season of Thanksgiving. He has become one of the things that I am most thankful for. My sweet baby boy has had such a busy year. He has been one of our greatest sources of joy. I'm thankful that I get to be his mommy.

He just cracks himself up.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pictures- Fall 2013

Sometimes it's just fun to post some pictures.

Real life through the lens of my iphone.

The sit to stand walker.
On our way to Dalton.
Wedding date
Wearing is overalls for the first time.
Helping mommy stay in shape!
Just shopping at Publix while dressed as a lion.
Not happy about putting on the costume for the third time!
Birthday preparations...
pat pat...
The cold strawberry can fix a busted gum. Dumb coffee table!
Forehead snuggles for daddy.
Baked spaghetti and pineapple. Yum.
I told him to smile for daddy... Oh well.
Kind of has a thing for buses.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grey Beige Kitchen

We all know what happens when Patrick leaves town- I paint! Last week was no exception. My sister kindly volunteered to help me. She is quite possibly the most awesome person I know and I love her for it. Last Tuesday she arrived around 9am with Starbucks (have I mentioned lately that I love her?!) and we set to work.

Let me remind you of the before.

It was still a mess from last year when we decided to remodel. We had to stop somewhere. Plus, I was waddling around at 32 weeks pregnant and in no condition to paint. A few weeks after Owen was born, I bought paint swatches thinking that I would make a decision and paint the kitchen while I was on maternity leave. Yeah, that didn't happen. In the end, I decided against painting the kitchen a different color than the rest of the main living areas. I feel that our house is too small for that and I didn't want to break up the space any more than necessary. So Olympic Grey Beige it is!

I mostly did the cutting in.
Caroline did the rolling.

No more crazy patches!
Now if I could just get up the courage to paint these...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween

We will actually be out enjoying our Mexican food Thursday night, but we might just let Owen wear his costume again. Sunday night the youth had their costume party and, of course, Owen had to participate with his daddy.

Simba and Rafiki Costumes
I wasn't planning on attending the party since I knew that I would be tired from working the two nights prior. Then I realized that I was going to have to be there to take care of Owen and bring him home so I threw on a costume I'd worn a couple of years ago and went as a ladybug. I just couldn't bring myself to be a party pooper.

Owen had a lot of fun watching all the students dressed up and dancing. He also liked eating the food- a brownie and hot dog! I think we wore him out though. I took him home around 7:15 and got him in the bed fairly quickly and then he slept until 8:45 the next morning! That has never happened. Owen has always been an up-with-the-sun kind of baby. He probably would've kept sleeping except that Patrick and I woke up and went running into his room to make sure he was alive! He just popped his head up off the mattress and looked at us like we were crazy.

Isn't he the cutest lion you've ever seen? I'm sure he's wondering why his daddy kept holding him out like that. It's written all over his face.

While we didn't take Owen to a pumpkin patch (gasp- I know), I did manage to get some really fun pictures while we were in Dalton. I'm sure we'll do a real trip to a pumpkin patch when Owen is older.