Friday, June 8, 2012

Say "Cheese!"

 Today we had an impromptu photo shoot in the middle of folding laundry. Sometimes babies just demand attention.

"Look at me, Colin!"



The smiles just keep coming.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Two children.

Colin is a month old. His favorite activities are still umm.. eating. Sleeping. Pooping. He sleeps through the night, 7 or so hours at a stretch. He's a social baby. He doesn't like it when no one is paying attention to him. He loves to stare at people's faces as they talk to him. He's even starting to make some  (non-crying) noises himself, sometimes.

His gross peely skin, greasy acne, cradle cap days are coming to an end. Unfortunately, things are deteriorating in the balding & receding hairline departments, but...  they make baby toupees, right?

The best part about him being a month old is that.. he can smile! He smiles mostly for me but also sometimes for Jared and Oliver. You can tell he's still working on it and that smiling must be pretty difficult because he has to screw up his whole face before the smile turns on. It's the littlest bit ridiculous.

He has the same love for his crib mobile that Oliver did when he was a baby. Colin smiles at the mobile without fail. Sometimes when I can't comfort him with holding and rocking and bouncing, the mobile is the only thing that works. And I'm okay with him choosing the mobile over me. Because you know what? I leave him in his crib and I can take a shower. Eat lunch. Make a phone call.

It's not a bad deal, being second favorite to the mobile.

Colin also really enjoys watching Oliver. It may have something to do with Oliver's constant noise and motion. What really surprises me, though, is that Oliver likes Colin too. Oliver likes to soothe him and asks to hold him and hug him. Oliver tries to help me dress and diaper Colin. Oliver is usually very patient when Colin cries. I expected some huge battle for attention, but aside from a few rough days, it's blessedly absent.


(For now. Today. At this second. For all I know, tomorrow I might walk in and find Oliver trying to smother the baby but I'll take what I can get.)

Monday, June 4, 2012


This afternoon as we were out eating lunch on our deck, I had the realization that our life suddenly became very Norman Rockwellian.

We have a nice four bedroom home in a safe family-oriented neighborhood. I stay at home and cook dinner for my husband so that we can eat together as a family when he's done with work. We have two young, healthy children. We have a deck with patio furniture and a grill and a lazy family dog.

Deck with patio furniture.

Lazy family dog.

I am able to sit out on my deck and eat chunks of watermelon and look out at this on a beautiful day:

Landscaped suburbia.

It isn't lost on me that I have a good life. We're healthy, we're not in debt, and we're dealing very well with the cards we've been dealt. We went from "be-shamed-young-unwed-college-parents" to a normal, "legitimate" middle class family in the blink of an eye. I am grateful, really I am.

BUT. Yesterday I was terribly missing my sister who lives (literally) halfway around the world. I miss being able to call her up and talk to her. I miss being able to take a two day road trip to go stay with her. I've been waiting for her to return to the US, but that isn't going to happen for some time. As a compromise, I wanted to go see her in Australia while she is on leave from work. I looked into buying tickets and realized it'd cost us $3,000 to make it there. And $3,000...? Well, that's a lot of money to us.

Jared and I have always wanted to see Australia. I miss my sister and I want to go spend time with her. A trip like that would more than likely be a once in a lifetime experience. I believe in spending money on experiences and memories vs material things that just clutter up the house over time...


With all of that being said, that's still a lot of money. That's a few mortgage payments. Months of groceries. A down payment on a family-sized vehicle we'll soon be needing. Furniture for our largely-empty new house. Payment in full on the hospital bills from Colin's birth.

Pre-children, I wouldn't have hesitated a moment to buy those plane tickets. I was the kind of person who spent money on what I wanted, when I wanted and I had a good time. When I didn't have money? Well, that's just how it was. I sought out free entertainment and lived on the cheap until more money came my way. I didn't particularly mind being broke. The repercussions for running out of money weren't such a big deal. If I had money? Great. I had fun spending it. If I didn't have money? That's okay, I found my fun anyway.

Now I can't really do that. I'm careful not to run out of money and eat into our savings. The repercussions for being broke are too great now. We have to pay the mortgage, the utilities, the phone. We have to make sure we can feed ourselves and two kids with healthy food. There is a family pet to take care of. We have to make sure the kids have clothes and toys and that we can pay for all of their doctor visits. We have to plan for a rainy day when we're responsible not only for ourselves, but two completely dependent human beings. Being broke wouldn't be so easy now.

Having a family meant that I gave up a lot. Or maybe that's not quite the right way to phrase it. It's not that I gave up a lot, but that I chose to take different things. I chose our awesome family over a life of parties and jetsetting and glamorous youth. Two very different lifestyles were put in front of me and I chose this one. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not unhappy with that. I hardly ever even think about it because I'm content with my decision and I'm enjoying my life as it is now. The last thing I'm doing is complaining.

But every once in a while something comes up that makes me wonder about the grass on the other side. This time, what made me wonder was the price of an Australia-bound flight. How different would things be without our kids?



I don't know what we'll do about the trip to Australia. Maybe we'll go and maybe we won't. It really made me think, though.