Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back to Work, Back to School

It was not the easiest decision to return to work after Madelyn was born. I took 4 months off (thanks to my great boss at Northside) and enjoyed every moment, clumsily figuring out how to be a mommy of two kids under the age of two. I went back and forth on my decision to return to work (part time) for months; weighing the pros and cons of each possibility. I didn't think there was a wrong choice; just an important one that would impact my family. Luckily I have a great friend that tells me like it is and after some pretty strong words of truth I knew what I needed to do for my family. And we've found a good balance. Patrick gets the benefit of being exposed to different children, teachers, environments and new challenges when he goes to school on Mondays and Tuesdays and the rest of the time the kids are home with me. By Wednesday morning I am totally pumped to have the rest of the week to spend with them and do all the crafts, activities and running around that I daydream about when I am at work. And cover them both in kisses, of course.
Mollie, my youngest sister, is home from school this summer and it has been so much fun hanging out with her and the kids. She has a natural ability to connect with them on their level, which is fun to watch . We've gone to the pool, several parks, trekked to the stables, went to the mall to ride the train and spent countless days playing outside and rocking on the front porch swing. Mollie stayed with Madelyn for the first month I went back to work and it was so comforting to know she was in good hands. Madelyn adores her and they had fun together...well, after the whole bottle debacle. Which brings me to our little challenge of the last 2 months. Madelyn's adamant refusal to take a bottle. Yes, it's breast milk. Yes, we tried different nipples and bottles and people and even a cup. I've sought the help of lactation consultants, pediatricians, other mommies and grandparents. The fact remains: Madelyn Claire "Sassy Pants" Flowers is a stubborn little cookie! Part of me is proud of her for sticking to her guns, the other part of me, however, is exhausted from worry. It took just under 2 months of us trying about everything and in the end it was Mollie who, with patience like a saint (she is Madelyn's godmother, after all ;) ), worked with Maddy day after day and finally got her to take a bottle! You can't hold her, or really touch her, while giving it to her, and she prefers to stand while she is drinking it (and likes for you to be dancing a cha cha on one leg with a rose between your teeth), but she now drinks the bottle easily for Mollie and most of the time for Toby. So thank you, Mols, you are the BEST! Good luck in summer school and come home soon. We love you and can't thank you enough for taking care of our Maddy so lovingly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wedding Weekend

Two weekends ago we went to the wedding of my great friend Alex and his wonderful new wife Jennifer. I've known Alex since we were 5 years old and have lived near each other our whole lives so it was a wonderful thing to be a part of such an important day in his life.

The other great part is that Grandma and Grandpa Flowers rented an amazing cabin for the weekend for the whole family to stay in. The cabin itself was exactly what you'd want to spend a relaxing weekend in. It had a huge screened in back porch and then back steps that went down to a beautiful river. When I first heard "river" I was thinking it was going to really be a little creek - I was wrong. It was definitely a full on river that you could have gone tubing or kayaking down.

It was awesome getting to spend some time with almost the whole Flowers clan. Thomas wasn't able to make it because of work, sadly. We also left Patrick with Meme and Papa for the two days. With me being in the wedding, Ang and I had a lot of running around to do and pretty much every event took place when he should be sleeping. So instead, he stayed back and had a blast going to the pool. It was nice to have some time with Madelyn too who did great once she settled into the new place. She even did surprisingly well at the wedding considering all the noise and people touching her face.

Anyway, thank you again Mom and Dad for a great cabin and thank you Alex for a really fun wedding weekend. Since I was running around a lot of the weekend with groomsmen duties, we didn't get nearly as many pictures as we wanted. But, Katie and Grandma did and posted them on their blogs here and here, respectively. Here are some we took...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Play Time With Maddy

Madelyn started rolling over from back-to-tummy when she was three months old; but I've only now gotten a decent video of it. It wasn't for a lack of trying though (or lack of rolling, for that matter). She was just really quick and every time I'd hit record she was half way through the roll already. Well, now that she's mastered the roll, she sees no need to hurry. In fact, in this video, she takes her sweet time getting her rolly little self onto her belly.

A few things that are funny about this video to me:

1. When she first goes to roll over, she get's about 90% through the roll and then spots the TV I left on over my shoulder, gets distracted and is then stuck mid-roll. She keeps trying to get all the way up but can't quite make it so instead decides to just smile and chat away. Ever since this instance, she now just enjoys hanging out on her side a lot of the time.

2. When she does get on her tummy, I think it's cute that her diaper's kinda too big and you can see her little bumper.

3. She's really happy. When she's awake, this is how she is 95% of the day. 2% she's yelling to let us know she's hungry or tired, 2% she's just chillin' out and 1% she kinda loses it - but that usually only happens when there's lots of people or she's in a different place than she's used to.

Anyway, here's the video. It's a few minutes long but I just couldn't decide which cute parts of her smiling to cut I didn't.

We hope everyone had a great week. We have some pictures from a great wedding we went to this last weekend and the beautiful cabin we stayed in that we'll be posting soon. We're also going to take the kids on their first train ride in North Georgia this weekend to celebrate Fathers Day with the Suskays. We'll post some pictures of that next week hopefully.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spring Pictures

We mentioned a few posts ago that we were going to have some professional pictures taken of the kids. Well, that happened. And now we have them in our possession. As an Easter gift this year*, Papa and Meme gave us a photo session with a local photographer - Laura Brett Photography. It was such a cool gift idea. We've had professional pictures taken of Patrick before but they're usually the standard Sears or school pictures. And we've never had a family picture together. It also worked out perfectly because we were just figuring out where we wanted to get Madelyn's three month pictures taken.

The really impressive thing about the pictures to me is that they turned out as well as they did for as out of sorts as our kiddos were that day. Madelyn, who usually can't stop smiling all day long, woke up with a stuffy nose she had caught from her brother that day and was really tired since she didn't sleep very soundly. So she never smiled once the whole shoot. Then, Patrick was a little weirded out by a stranger taking pictures of him and wanting him to pull a wagon around or sit on a bench. Once he loosened up a little he did what he usually does when he's in a new place and got very curious about everything and just wanted to inspect it all. In case you've never seen someone inspect something, I'll tell you that there's usually not a lot of smiling involved. The photographer was awesome though and took a ton of pictures and promised us there would be good ones. And darned if she didn't know what she was talking about. Here are a few of our favorites:

I love her toes in this one

Pointing and Talking - what else?

My Two Beautiful Girls

Being Goofy

You can see all of them in our picture gallery here:

Spring - 2010
Thank you again to Meme and Papa for the great gift. We'll treasure these pictures for years to come.

*At this point, I think they just use holidays as an excuse to spoil us.