Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day is upon us...that means the end of May is right around the corner. It also means the kids pool is now open all week long and they'll get out of the adult pool. It also means Aiden is almost 11 months old. And most of all, it means our trip to the beach is literally just around the corner. Whoop!

My parents offered to keep Aiden for the weekend since she had the last few weeks of May off, so I took Thursday off to go meet her for the exchange. Now, Aiden hates the carseat for any longer than 40 minutes or so mostly because he's so mobile now...I mean maybe a few weeks from walking completely on his own type of mobile. We've been down to one hand for a while now, and he takes a few steps here and there, but all he wants to do is walk, so walk is what we do. Anyway, I met her Thursday and miracle of all miracles the trip wasn't so bad. He fell asleep and had a nice solid nap while I drove, which was a nice change of pace from the typical screaming I am used to. Nathan was traveling (Phoenix, as usual), so I was heading back to have a day and a half ALONE. It was quite surreal to think about, but also such a neat treat.

Now, the key is that I had to remember what to do without a baby in tow! :)

I got back Thursday night and enjoyed cleaning up, taking a bath, skipping dinner (since I didn't have to make it for anyone!), and just relaxing. Friday I went to get my "hair did" and spent the afternoon at the pool despite the cloudy day. It was nice to just sit and read my book and not worry some kid was going to bang Aiden on the head with their water gun. Went over to hang out with my awesome buddies Jamie and Kevin's and had a great night of movies, pizza, and beer before heading home. Nate got in about 3 in the morning, but thankfully I was so out of it I didn't know he'd even gotten home till the next morning. We got up fairly early and went to have breakfast at Franklin Mercantile, one of our local favorites. We had a great time chatting it up and realizing that we had the whole day together, just the two of us. It was a nice realization and I will say one drastic change in our time alone is that the level of conversation changes dramatically when you don't have a baby with you. For the better, obviously, not that it's bad when we do have Aiden with us, it's just not as deep. Does that make sense? You're caring for this little person all the time and sometimes you neglect to go beyond the surface of some topics because you're either distracted or busy or worried or whatever...so it was nice to have some time to really dig deep and enjoy that bond.

Saturday was great...just relaxing and fun. We headed down to Nashville for a supurb dinner at Sunset Grill and dessert at Ben and Jerry's. Ice cream is so good on a warm summer night. We finished the night chillin' on our porch enjoying the amazing star-filled sky that is so breathtaking from our neighborhood in the country. Ahhh...and knowing you don't have to get up at 6:30 the next morning makes for a beautiful night's rest! Ha.

Sunday was another day of relaxing...though we did interrupt it with some errands and such along the way. That afternoon our neighborhood had a Memorial Day picnic with a band and crawfish, grilling out, etc. It was fun to hang out with the neighbors, but with all the kids running around out there, it made me miss my sweet little dude. We were off to pick him up first thing Monday morning and had a great time seeing him again. Enjoyed a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading back out on the road with our little dude in tow. It was nice to have him back. He had a great time at Mimi and Pops and discovered a lot of fun things, loved walking around and finding out how things work at their house, meeting new people, and last but not least discovering the joy of his tricycle....which he's not sure if he should ride or push! :)
We stopped at another Memorial Day bash on our way back to town and for once the place actually had more kids than dogs. Kind of a rarity most of the time, but a nice treat for all of us with the kiddos.

How grateful I am to have loving parents to care for my baby boy, and give him some fun things to do so my hubby and I can feel like adults every now and then!

Playing with the mirror...and dishwasher. This boy loves to clean!

Meal time!

Pops posing the the teething boy...and Mimi with him after his bath-a-roo!

Smiling, happy guy!

Figuring out if he should ride it or push it...so funny!

Picking up the dude...I was so happy to see him!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

About three weeks ago I was chatting with my friend Meghan, who lives in Atlanta, and we were talking about how we needed to plan a little day trip to hang out with each other since we hadn't gotten to hug in a long time. So we picked a day and decided to meet half way in Chattanooga, about a 2 hour drive for both of us. And today was the day. It marks the first time I've been away from Aiden on my own, so it was kind of a big deal. Not really, just kind of.

I got up early and left my boys alone (hoping Nate would remember all I told him and not to forget to feed him!) and headed out on the rainy road to Chattanoonga and was looking forward to lunch at this great place we'd picked out. After we both arrived and did our fair share of hugging, we went out on a mission to find the spot despite knowing nothing about the city we found ourselves in. After about 6 circles, we finally found it and discovered that of all the oddities they were closed all weekend. Every weekend. Not just this one. Why in the world you'd be closed on Saturday seems fairly odd to me, but oh well...turns out that wasn't the only odd thing about C-town. Luckily we had a few back up options, so we headed to River Street Deli, which we heard was a little hole in the wall with some of the best food in town. Though it took us some time to find parking, and the place was kind of odd to find, I will say the food was quite good...made to order, nice staff, and big portions. Good times.

As we sat in the basement hole in the wall deli drinking our tea, we had a great time catching up on the happenings of life, pondering what would happen in the future, gathering advice about what we're going to do with our lives, and just being girls. It was a great lunch. Then we were off to walk the streets to see if there were any shops interesting enough to buy something from. And while there were some cute stores, we couldn't help but be deterred by the very strong odor coming from certain crowds of people as we walked past. It seemed as though this area we found ourselves in was crawling with somewhat of a bohemian culture, and obviously one that thinks bathing is optional. After a few too many breaths of not so pleasant air, we were off to find ourselves some coffee and a treat.
We ended up in an art district with some iced coffee that took way too long to order, and a nice sized chocolate chip cookie. We watched a wedding begin as we continued conversations about life, love, and how grateful we were to be away from that smell. One more random stop later and we decided it was time to head on back. After all I did need to make sure Nate hadn't let Aiden ride any bulls on their trip to the Franklin rodeo.
It was such a fun day, and though I had to face pouring rain the entire way back, I was so grateful for my sweet friend who drove two hours just to spend the day with her mom friend. We had such a great time catching up and it made me wish Atlanta was just that much closer to Nashville. It's a great thing to be able to be yourself with girls...it doesn't happen very often. Girls are a rare breed. Judgemental, lacking self-confidence, jealous, just plain mean, always full of drama, and so much more. To be able to spend time with girls without all that junk is priceless. And finding out about a great sale on a super cute pair of shoes makes it all worth it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This year marked the first year I was a Mom on Mother's Day and even though Aiden doesn't really get all that stuff, he didn't really have to in order to make it an amazing day. Becoming a mother has been such an incredible gift, one I thought for so long wouldn't be possible, but a dream I am now so glad did come true. Who would have thought this precious little boy could have rocked my world in such a huge way over the past 10 months. It's pretty amazing. Though some might say that being a mom is over-rated or not that much work, I beg to differ. There's nothing over-rated about it, and there's also a lot more work to it than it looks like from the outside. I guess you'll never know till you do it, but I admire my mom and so many other moms out there who do it all and do it all with grace, poise, character, and love. It's tough to give unconditionally all the time, but as tough as it is, it's also immeasurably rewarding. Okay, so enough of that.

Nathan had his own surprise up his sleeve in Aiden's outfit...he had a onesie made that said MY MOM ROCKS (and the word rocks was in rock print - so cute!). My card reminded me I had been a mom for 302 days (can you believe he's that old!?!?) and was so cute! I love both my boys. What a special memory. We headed off to meet my parents at Panera - they drove up to help celebrate the day with us. After breakfast, we headed back to our house for nap time and I ventured out on a celebratory run with my dad. My parents gave me this beautiful blue hydrangea for us to plant at the house, so it would always be a reminder of my first Mother's Day and my special boy. My, how time flies.

We finished out the day by going to see Baby Madden get dedicated to the church - so sweet. A great end to Mother's Day. It was a super duper fun day filled with a lot of love, emotion, and a lot of memories. I can't wait to celebrate more! :)

My sweet boy in his Mom's Day shirt!

Pretty hydrangea!

My big daddy!

This kid seriously loves to eat. And is not ashamed about it!

My dad (Pops), Aiden, and bro