Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week one

One week down! I made it through my first week back to work, and honestly it wasn't too bad. The first day dropping L off at daycare again made my heart drop, but while I sat there and waved and held back tears and made sure he was ok..... he was off and running. Seriously, he barely even looked back at me, he was so excited to get into all of the toys and see his friends. So I sucked it up, said goodbye, and made my way to the office.

Getting back into the swing of things at work was easier then I thought. Being there only 4.5 hours a day for four days, doesn't give me too much time to dwell. I have definitely been more tired, I need to get used to going to bed at a decent hour again, and L has been waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m., which hasn't been fun for anyone in our house. But overall, not as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I only have about 8 weeks before my first week long break. That is for sure the biggest perk of working at a school, every time you start to reach your wits end, and think you can't do it anymore, a break comes up and you have a chance to regroup and refresh.

So, overall, life is good. But for some reason I have been in a mood today. Not a bad mood, and I have a feeling as I write this anyone who reads it will think I'm sad, so let me clarify: I'm not sad. I'm...... contemplative. This week has really made me appreciate the time I do have with L, and also how lucky I am to have a job that pays well and gives me a schedule that is pretty sweet. I was in the kind of mood where I found my voice cracking as I talked about the little things L had done today, no matter how small, because it is making me realize how quickly this time is going to pass. I was in the kind of mood, where as the monsoon clouds rolled in, making our sky grey and muggy, I found myself driving around listening to mood music. You know, the kind of songs that make you happy and sad and all deep at the same time.

Needless to say, when I picked S up after he dropped my car off at the shop he looked at me and immediately asked, "What's wrong?" But really, nothing was wrong. Sappy music notwithstanding, I was more preoccupied with all that was right with our lives.

And really, who can not feel sappy and contemplative when the sky starts off looking like this:

Ends up turning dark and stormy and rainy like this:

And then reaches the grand finale with not one, but two rainbows:

Simply lovely.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

End of Summer Vacation and a Family Trip

Well, here we are, on the eve of my return to work. I have a pit in my stomache that I have never had before. Usually, before L came along, I would be bummed when vacation ended, but would also be planning a cute outfit to where on my return, and would be excited to see my coworkers. But not this time. This time all I can think is how much I love playing the role of stay at home mama. I love spending all day with L, I love being able to be a good little housewife that cleans that house and has decorating projects and (sometimes) cooks dinner. These things fall to the way side when I go back to work. Even though I am only there part time, four days a week, fitting in the gym and a playtime with L and work pretty much takes up my whole day. But, this is what we have to do right now, for our family, so I will suck it up and go back tomorrow. But that doesn't mean I am not holding out hope that sooner, rather then later, we will have the means for me to stay home with L, and any future kiddos.

On the bright side,  we did take a wonderful trip up to Flagstaff on Friday. A very, very mini-vacation. As in, we left at 8 A.M. Friday morning and were back in Surprise by 2:00 P.M. on Saturday. But we packed a ton into it and I think we both needed the little break. A vacation that was really about us, not about visiting family or holidays, but just us getting away from it all.

As I said in my last posting, Flagstaff holds so many good memories for us. Memories of a time when the stress in our lives involved tests and intermural playoff games, and work was more of a party then a job. ( I worked at a bar) It's where our days and nights revolved around friends and fun. It was a simpler time in our lives, before marriage and babies and even though our lives are so very full now, it was fun to go back and reminise.

When we got into town our first stop was Biffs Bagels, by far the best bagel shop this side of the moon, and locally ownend. In fact every place we visited was a local place. It was one of the things that got on my nerves when we lived there, not having easy access to the inexpensive and predictable chains, and now it is the thing I despise about living in Phoenix, the absolute lack of locally owned businesses. But, I digress; we stopped at Biffs, got our bagels and walked over to a little bench where we could enjoy our breakfast and the wonderful weather at the same time. After being in Phoenix's 115 degree heat, we took every oppurtunity we could to sit outside in the cool high 80's that Flag offered.

After breakfast we drove around campus, checking out all the new buildings and visiting the places we had called home not so long ago. We took Landon to Mountain View, the Greek dorm that had housed all the Frats and Sororities, and where S and I both lived in our early dating years. We also hit the bookstore, where we bought L his first official NAU t-shirt, and S cracked L up by putting on one of the crazy school color wigs that were being sold to show school spirit at sporting events.

When we wrapped up our trip down memory lane on campus we decided to go grab a cold beer at yet another local joint, Beaver Street Brewery, and then walked around downtown, popping into all the various shops and bars. As we sat at Beaver Street, the afternoon monsoons rolled in, making the streets slick with rain and cooling the temperatures down, making it perfect to walk outside once the rain stopped. And I love downtown Flagstaff. It is so qauint and old fashioned and there are people everywhere, walking and running with dogs and babies. It just has the feeling of community.

For dinner we hit San Felipes, the bar that I worked at in college (most fun job ever) and several old friends stopped in to see us and to meet L. After some delicious Shrimp tacos, and a mango italiano margarita for me, we headed back to our hotel. We had one very tired baby, and S and I were pretty exhausted too. Surprisingly L slept pretty well (lately he hasn't been sleeping to good in strange places) but he was up at 4 A.M. and didn't want to go back to sleep, but my wonderful hubby got up and played with im so I got to get a little more sleep!

I was sad the next morning to be leaving, but we headed to yet another local joint for breakfast (can you tell we like food??). The hotel Weatherfod is in the center of downtown and is own of the oldest building in Flagstaff. It also houses Charlies, which has awsome food, awsome bloody marys, and a patio that is perfect for sitting and people watching on an early Saturday morning. Charlies serves all there breakfasts with fresh peaches and cream, and L was in heaven when he we gave him some. I think he would be perfectly happy if we fed him that everyday!

We headed out of Flag, still laughing and remembering all the memories that we had made there, and glad we had a chance to share it with L, even though he won't remember it. And we still had one more adventure before heading home. We hopped on the switchbacks and headed down to the creek in Sedona. The creeek was that place to go when we were on college, once the weather started to warm up. We would grab snacks and cold beer, tanning lotion and bikinis and hike down to the where red rocks had been perfectly worn away to flat stones right next to the water. The creek probably holds some of the best times I had in college, starting with the beatiful drive down. You just can't beat all the green trees and the breathtaking red rocks that cut through the sky. It's the kind of place that makes you feel a little closer to nature and heaven, all at the same time.

We didn't head to our old college spot ,because neither of us wanted to hike down a hill holding L, or to subject him to any drunked college antics that might be taking place. Instead we headed to Chavez Ranch, a lessers know and quiter spot, but still just as gorgeous. I was so happy with how much L just loved sitting in the water and splashing around, even though it is snow water in is cold! S and L both braved it and we in all the way, but I only made it up to my ankles. What can I say, I'm a wuss! It was the perfect end to a perfect trip, and finally, dirty and tired and sun-kissed, we headed home and back to reality.

Which, is where I am now. Firmly rooted in reality, and reality is work tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Days!

Today was a special day in our household.

Not only did L turn 10 months old today, but my darling husband hit the big 2-6. Thinking of these two milestones slightly overwhelms me. First of all, I can't believe L is 10 months old. 2 months away from being a year. And he is almost walking and babbling and letting us know very vocally when he is upset. He's turning into a real little boy, and while I am so proud of him I yearn to hold onto those last little bits of babyness. I find myself lingering at night when he is tired and wants to cuddle, because these days he is much more interested in  terrorizing the cat and pulling the placemats of the kitchen table then cuddling with mommy.

S's birthday also gives me a moment of pause, a moment to think about how far we've come as another year passes. We started dating 6 years ago when we were both 20. We turned 21 together and spent our time playing beer pong and hitting the bars. We graduated from college at each others side. We supported each other through the trials of finding first jobs, and we really became adults together. Holding hands as we navigated the treacherous mindfield that you have to walk through as you move from carefree 20-something, to a mortgage paying, child-rearing, married couple. I'm proud of us that we have done this together, and I'm proud that we have another year under our belts, and another year ahead of us to continue to grow.

Because money is tight these days, S made us promise  not to spend anything on him for his birthday. Of course, we didn't listen, but we didn't spend very much money. L and I got him a nice shirt for work, and bottle of nice gin, because S loves a good gin and tonic, but he never drinks them. We gave him cards with mushy heartfealt messages in them, and i baked him cupcakes and had a cold beer waiting in his Chargers mug for him when he came home. We also went out to a nice sushi dinner, and then plan on staying in and watching the "Bounty Hunter" from the comfort of our couch.

The more exciting birthday plans are that S took the day of work tomorrow and we are headed up to Flagstaff for the day and night. Flagstaff were we went to college and went through most of the above mentioned transformations together. We haven't been in about 2 years and, although he won't remember it, I am so excited to show L where mommy and daddy met. Flagstaff hold so many great memories for us, and I am excited to revisit them.

So I will write more about our trip when we get back, but for now I will leave you with some birthday pics!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Fourth!

Happy (late) Fourth of July!!!

I love holidays. I mean I really love them. Any excuse to get together with family and friends and celebrate, well, anything, is good in my book. My favorite holiday of all time is, of course, Christmas. (Hello? Eggnog, Santa, Snow, cookies, food, presents, Christmas music? How can anyone not love Christmas?) But besides Christmas, any holiday that calls for a gathering of friends and family, cold beer, barbeques, and my hubby being off work ranks rights up there at the top too. And as cheesy and cliche as it sounds, I truly am proud to be an American. I love being reminded of the freedoms and the luxuries and the health and happiness we have living in this country. And while I have my issues at times, like owing taxes and having to listen to John McCain commercial constantly becuase I live in AZ, I think we are pretty darn lucky. We are lucky that we get to have issues with our goverment and elected official and can voice without fear of retribution. Ok, getting off my soapbox now and returing to the topic at hand....

For the fourth we drove down to California to spend some quality time with my in-laws. It was a good trip, one we used to make often and since L has been born we don't go out as often. We hadn't been out since January, and the grandparents were thrilled to see L. L is S's Dad's first granchild, and man, does that man dote on him.  From changing poopy diapers, to walking him when he was cranky, to feeding him his dinner he jumped at any chance to spend time with his Grandson. He even went as far at to pull out a bunch of S's toys from when he was a baby for L to play with. The love is just thick when they are in the room together, and I am so glad that L has family that loves him that much.

We drove down on Friday afternoon and spent Saturday hitting the pizza place I love (Round Table, yummy) that we don't have in Arizona and watching the World Cup game with S's brother and his high school friends. L soaked in the attention from everyone, and it was really good to see how happy and relaxed S was being with family and old friends. I know he has been pretty stressed about work and money lately, so it was good to see him let loose and have fun. We also got to have a "date night" on Saturday night, and went to see a later showing of Eclipse after L was in bed.  While I missed my baby, it was nice being able to enjoy a movie just the two of us.

For the Fourth my father-in-law did what he does best and fired up the grill and cooked enough food to feed the entire West Coast. S's sister was there with her boyfriend, as was his brother and his high school friends, and it was great to sit around and chat and laugh and drink beer and pass around a baby that got so much loving he didn't know what to do with himself. And, courtesy of S's younger brother and sister, a beer pong tournement was started and S and i revisisted our routes and won a few rounds. We were pretty proud.

We also took L to the beach, his first trip ever. He was so not impressed. I dare say, he hated it. The waves totally freaked him out, and he didn't want to put his feet in the sand. It was also fairly chilly, and S was the only one who dared to brave to cold and dive in the ocean. L and I waited on the beach towel.  It's funny because I totally hated my first trip to the beach too, according to my parents. Like mother, like son I guess.

The only downside of the trip was L did not sleep. For only being almost 10 months old, he has traveled quite a bit and has always done great, so I don't know what happened this trip. He fought sleep at every turn and was up most of the night the three night we were there. That was hard and it made me nervous for future trips, but I'm hoping he was just a little over-stimulated and excited. And it was good to come home on Monday. I think that is truly the sign of a happy family when you like coming home from vacation.

So now we are back and are settled back into our routine. S is back at work and L is sleeping through the night again, and I am counting down my last two weeks of summer vacation.