Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from my favorite little fox.

As you can see - he became increasingly displeased with his costume.  Poor buddy.

Besides it being Camden's first Halloween, this year, October 31st just feels different.  At this time last year, I was 33 weeks pregnant and in preterm labor.

Obviously, we all know that the doctors were able to keep Camden cooking for six more weeks and all was well.  What you don't know is that October 31st changed everything for Ryan and me.

I will never know for sure, but I think that the combination of working way too many hours and consecutive days at work (and being mentally and physically exhausted as a result), the stress/fear of being a new dad, and the stress/fear caused by all the preterm labor drama, caused Ryan to snap.

He fell into a deep and seemingly endless pool of anxiety and depression that he could not shake.  I think the only person that really understood how Ryan felt was his mom, and seriously - thank goodness for her.

We took life day-by-day and hoped that his anxiousness and feelings of uncertainty would pass when Camden was born - when he knew that both Camden and I were fine and healthy, but they didn't.  I can't tell you how overwhelming and horrible it was to be overjoyed at the sight of my new son, only to know that my husband was completely terrified.  I think at times I blamed myself, thinking that if we had never gotten pregnant, this would have never happened.  Then of course, I'd look at Camden and know that one day, Ryan and I would collectively agree that he was our greatest achievement.

Long story short, it's been a really long road to today.  I think it took just over six months for Ryan to get back to feeling like himself and comfortable in his skin.  Of all the horrible things that happened as a result of my preterm labor, I know that it made our relationship and marriage stronger, and forced us to rely on each other more than we ever thought we'd have to.  For that, I'm grateful, and know that because we made it through that storm, we can make it through anything.

This past year I've debated and wondered if I should write about that experience.  I'm not one of those that strictly writes about the bedazzled unicorns and rainbows of our life, and I'm always very honest, but something inside just kept me from it.

I (sort of) joke with Ryan now and tell him that we need to have another baby just so we can experience the late-pregnancy and newborn stage again.  This whole experience robbed us of a time that was supposed to be happy and exciting.  And I want it back, dammit.

Take Luck,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Embrace the Camera - 10/24/13

I Embraced the Camera several times this past week with my hubby and little munchkin man.

Here we are at the doctor's office, where I learned my son inherited my eyebrow raising abilities (see evidence below) and that he also has his fourth (yes, fourth) ear infection.  Hello, ENT.

My parents took me out for a belated-birthday dinner, and our little family was dressed head to toe (OK, head to waist) in St. Louis Cardinals gear.

Finally, perhaps one of my favorite pictures of me and my little love - my little sister caught a little mama smoochy at the pumpkin patch. I think I'll treasure this one forever.

Now, go and embrace the camera with someone you love!

Take Luck,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Last year, Ryan and I visited a local farm/pumpkin patch and kept going on and on about how different next (this) year's pumpkin patch adventure would be with our baby boy it tow.

Today was the day.

We had planned to make the drive to a super-pumpkin-patch-on-steroids with Josh, Haley, and the kiddos, but both Camden (double ear infection) and Kennedy were feeling under the weather, so we decided to stay close to home.

The patch was super crowded and totally picked over, but we spotted a pumpkin that was just Camden's size and perfect for a little photo shoot.  And that pumpkin patch sign?  I die.

This little outing was just as I hoped it would be - but with less pumpkins to pick from.

Next year, I'm sure that almost-2-year-old-Camden (excuse me while I hyperventilate at the thought) will be a little harder to wrangle, and hell-bent on jumping in the bouncy house.

Take Luck,

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Happy birthday to me.

It's hard to believe I'm 28. I vividly remember turning 14 and going to the movie theater with my girlfriends to watch Simon Birch. And now I'm inching closer to 30.  

This year has been full of changes for me. A new job, becoming a mama for the first time, finishing graduate school, trying to balance (ok, juggle) everything, and surviving and functioning in zombie-mommy mode. 

This year was also the first one that I thought about how my mom/parents might feel on this day. I never appreciated what my birthday might mean to them. And now, I do. 

Considering all these changes, I have to say it was one of the greatest years of my life. I'm happy to be 28 and wouldn't change a thing. 

Ryan bought me a massage (not the homemade coupon book kind) and some peanut M&Ms. Funny that after five years together he didn't remember that I hate nuts and that peanut butter M&Ms are my fave. Silly hubby. It's always the thought that counts. 

Camden gave me the "gift" of taking five steps. Several times. I told him not to take offense, but that wasn't the gift I wanted and for him to just sit his cute booty back down. He continued to ignore me and scrunch his face. 

We celebrated tonight by watching the Seahawks game with friends. I'm totally exhausted from busy days at work and poor sleep (thanks, Camden). 

Getting old(er) is sure tough.

I told Camden that if he insisted on getting me a gift - I would prefer a full nights sleep. We'll see how that goes. 

Take Luck,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It's been over two weeks since our little adult getaway to Portlandia, so I guess it's about time I got around to blogging it.

My sweet sister-in-law, Cara, and her hubby, Webb, flew into Seattle from St. Louis so we could all have some much needed play time.

After a bit of a dramatic exit on Friday morning, and some speed-racer driving from me, we made it to our hotel for our winery tour.  We had three wineries to see and the horrid weather wasn't going to stop us.  Cara booked us the tour, complete with a limousine and driver (and delicious bistro box).  She rocks.

We visited three wineries (Erath, Methven, and Blakeslee), and I'm pretty sure that we were more impressed with each one.  That, or we just grew more and more intoxicated... Or maybe that was just me?

I don't drink.  Ever.  So I seriously threw caution to the wind and just let my hair down on this trip.  I needed it.  I may or may not have continually sent Snapchats to my sister, Rachel, all with the caption: glug, glug, glug.  Classy, I know.

After our winery outing we went back to the hotel where Ryan and I proceeded to pass out for two hours before dinner.  I'm pretty sure when I (somehow) heard my phone ringing and saw that it was Cara, I tried to sound all perky and "with it" so she would think I had my shit together.  Yeah, pretty sure she saw right through that.  We walked to dinner in a cloudy-wine-fog and ate a yummy meal at McCormick and Schmicks.  Thank God it was within walking distance of our hotel.

Saturday we ventured out in the torrential downpour and tried using the public transportation system that the great city of Portland offers.  If it wasn't obvious to anyone already that we were tourists, we quickly made it well known when Ryan asked the innocent woman at the train stop, "Where are you going?"

Whaat?  Who asks random people that?

We bought our day-passes and boarded our train, only to be greeted by little "machines" that said, "Validate."  The four of us are pretty educated so we assumed that meant we needed to feed or scan our tickets somehow.

I'm pretty sure the other passengers got quite a kick out of us four tourists who stood there for a good minute trying to figure out how to validate our tickets.  In the end, there was no amount of waving, feeding, smashing, or rubbing our tickets on the validating "machine" that would do the job.  No one else was attempting to validate their tickets, so we just gave up.  Defeated.

Saturday was spent browsing the downtown area, wishing we had an umbrella, trying to avoid all homeless communities, shopping, buying a really nice birthday gift for my mother-in-law (a charm bracelet with an "L" and "C" for Liam and Camden), eating, and playing Farkle.

Saturday night we ate the fanciest and most fantastic meal I've ever had a place (also super close to our hotel!) called Quartet.  We think the crummy weather deterred a lot of the people who had initially had reservations, so the restaurant was pretty quiet.  When we got the bill I almost asked if I could change my mind (I'm kidding).  It was an awesome, relaxing meal, that wasn't rushed, and it was seriously perfect.

We came back to our hotel and kicked booty playing a Cash Cab board game that we eventually realized was for kids.  (Hey, we needed a little encouragement and ego-boost after the train ticket validating incident!)

Our trip was over so fast, but it was the most fun I've had in a long time.  Ryan and I speed-raced home so we could see our baby boy.  We missed him bunches.

Since our trip, we have been getting random hilarious texts from Cara that say things like, "Hey, remember that time we couldn't figure out the train tickets?" and "Hey, remember that time we played a game for 8-year old's and didn't realize it until it was over?"

Sisters are the best, aren't they?

We're thinking that our next adult only trip needs to be somewhere warm and dry - like Hawaii.  No complaints, here!

Take Luck,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Camden - 10 Months

Camden James.  10 months old.  Double digit months.  Another month closer to a full year.  Lordy, I have issues.

Practicing his high five

While he didn't have a 10-month well baby check up, he did get to see his pediatrician yesterday thanks to a new cold and yucky, yucky, croupy cough.

My little big boy weighs a whopping 18 lbs 3 oz, putting him somewhere in between the 5th and 10th percentile.  I guess I shouldn't be too shocked that he's still wearing 3-6 month and 6 month clothes, and absolutely swimming in his 9 month clothes.

This child is a mobile manic.  One of his favorite games to play is "I'm gonna get you..." where I pretend stomp/chase him down the hallway as he crawls and squeals away from me.  (I have to admit that I love this game too).  He continues to pull up on everything and stands alone without holding onto anything more and more.  He's taken a few little baby steps, but nothing to get too excited over because I'm pretty sure his rolly-polly-Buddah-belly is propelling him forward in those instances.

Sometimes I think he's starting to learn the word "No."  This child still loves weaseling his way to the Xbox console and stereo system, so we've started saying, "No," very sternly when he gets close to touching/cranking.  He also loves the bathroom and has a new-found love for toilet paper and pulling it off the roll.  Something tells me this will be a fascination for quite some time.

Toilet paper eating scolding

My Hammy boy still loves his baby food and really gets cranky if we don't feed him as fast as he prefers.  I guess we need to work on manners.  Just kidding.  I do know we need to start trying real solid/people food - but I'm just a big fat chicken and am afraid he's going to choke.  I know, I know - first time mother problems over here.

Swim lessons got better and better each week.  It's safe to say that he much prefers the safety and enclosure of his own private bath than the big pool.  This boy loves to splash.

I swear, his blonde/brown hair is growing a little more everyday.  Some mornings he even wakes up with a little bed head. Never in my wildest did I ever dream Ryan and I would have a blonde hair, blue eyed kiddo - that's for sure.

He's learning to play peek-a-boo and how to give a high five.  He thinks both of these things are just the bees knees.

This child is a hoot, and I'm pretty sure he knows it. And even though I get all Debbie Downer when it comes to these monthly "birthdays" (and I know I'll be a total in-denial-basketcase on the days surrounding first birthday) it has been so much fun to see him grow each day, and watch him as he takes in the world around him.

Take Luck,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 on 10: October 2013

10 on 10: 10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!
[1] Someone (who shall remain nameless) is on a sleep strike.  And someone else (me!) is getting really tired of it.  Literally.
[2] Playing peek-a-boo at 5am is not ideal.  Apparently my boo'ing was lackluster.

[3]  "Helping" mama send an early morning email. (Note: My Shakeology was well out of his reach this time)

[4]  A giant poop as we're walking out the door was just what our morning needed.
[5] A fall leaf.

[6] The views in the Pacific Northwest never get old.  Unless it's gray sky.

 [7] Home with my homey.

(P.S. This child will be 10 months old tomorrow and swims in all his 9 month clothes.  See above.)

[8] More games.  This one's called, "I'm gonna get you..." It involves pretend-stomping, and a squealing, speedy-crawler baby.

 [9] A little light pre-bedtime reading.

[10] Our Sonny Jo turned 5 years old today.  

Take Luck,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mr. Mom

Ryan and I are both civil service employees, working for the U.S Navy.

Miraculously, we were both exempt from the recent sequestration.  Word had gotten around that those who were previously exempt, would also be exempt from the furlough (resulting from the government shutdown).

Apparently that was wrong because Ryan was furloughed yesterday.

So, what does that mean (besides the fact that I won't be getting my birthday present as planned...)? It means that my big love is now Mr. Mom and staying home with my little love.

So, last night while I was enjoying the fact that I wasn't having to get a diaper bag together to take to Jessica in the morning - I was panicking because Ryan hasn't spent much alone time with Camden.  Before today, the longest amount of time was probably two or three hours.  And most of those experiences ended with Ryan saying, "Come. Home. Now!"  My typical work day leaves me out of the house for almost 10 hours, so I think you can understand why I was feeling a little nervous.

Last night as we were chatting before bed, he asked me to leave a list of when Camden needed feedings and naps.

I snorted.  And said it doesn't work that way.

I kissed my boys goodbye this morning and headed off to work - wondering how many phone calls I would get at my desk (I can't have my cell phone, so quick texts weren't an option) and what sort of questions Ryan might have.

Long story short - I am pleased (so very pleased) to report that he rocked it.  I know that sounds silly considering that Camden is almost 10 months old - but I can't say enough of how proud I was of Ryan today.  He called me four times - and one of those times had nothing to do with Camden.

He had questions about whether or not it was too early/late to put him down for his first nap, if it mattered what baby food he ate for lunch, and how to strap my mom's car seat into his car.  All good questions (and nothing like the eye-roll-snort-worthy-questions I was anticipating).

At one point Ryan even said, "I could get used to this. This is way more rewarding and fulfilling than my job."  (Uh.  Excuse me while my heart bursts and I try and swallow the giant lump that's creeping up my throat.)

I came home to find both my boys alive and well, and both happy to see me.  Mommy win.

I can honestly say that I love knowing that Ryan is home with Camden and getting quality Mr. Mom time.  But I can also honestly say that I'd like this furlough to be over so my blood pressure can go back down to normal.

Take Luck,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...