Friday, November 18, 2011

We'll Always Be Bosom Buddies

While we were in Ohio two of my very best friends from college drove in to see us and spend a couple days getting to know baby Arthur.
I started school at Cottey College, a two-year liberal arts college for women in Southwestern Missouri. My sister attended Cottey and I had decided to go there when we dropped her off the summer in between my eighth and ninth grade year.
Isn't it beautiful?

I had a room mate and her name was Ellen. She put plants all around our room. I got used to stepping in potting soil as soon as I entered. We pushed our beds together so they made one long bed along the end of our room and would pile onto it and eat Jello No Bake Cheesecakes straight from the pie tin. We participated in Cottey traditions together and went on walks down by the lake and I went home with her for Easter. In short, she became my best friend.
At the same time, I took a theatre class with a girl named Katie who was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Newsies and the Mighty Ducks. In other words, she was me.
Katie was room mates with Heather who was twin sisters with Helen. They were funny and way WAY cooler than most everyone I had ever been friends with. They were from Washington and somehow that made them seem more mature and cosmopolitan to little old Mid-Western me.
Helen was room mates with Jaclyn, who was this tiny ball of energy. At first I thought she was sort of full of herself and, well, annoying. It turns out, however, that she was destined to be a true companion to me.
 Us In Rome

The six of us did everything together. By the time we graduated we had been doing things together so often and consistently that we had shortened "the six of us" to just "The Six." It seems sort of ridiculous that I have a group of friends that has a title, but I do.

After Hanging of the Greens in 2003

We're all spread across the country now, but with Jaclyn in Detroit and Ellen in Ithaca, our trip to Columbus meant we were in driving distance for a visit.

So they came and met Arthur.
He liked Ellen a whole lot. 

Jaclyn couldn't stop speaking in Greek and Polish to him. 

And we went to the AMAZING Franklin Park Conservatory.

And had lunch and talked and laughed and acted as though we hadn't spent a day apart since our days together in college. We missed Katie and Helen and Heather and our other Cottey friends, but it was so nice to at least have half of The Six in one place. 
It made me feel very lucky to have had such an amazing college experience and to have such wonderful women in my life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N

Halloween has always been a pretty big holiday in my family. It is such a big deal to my sister that she gets Halloween presents for Christmas. My mom (who decorates pretty extensively for almost every holiday) goes ALL OUT for Halloween. As for me, while it might not be my favorite holiday, its definitely in my top 5. I was so looking forward to Arthur's first Halloween. We were getting settled into our new house in Wisconsin, getting to know the area and there were kids in our new neighborhood so we might actually get trick or treaters!
Then we got the news that Skyler would be going to Ohio for work. Again. Until November 9th. So once more, our lives were thrown into disarray and chaos and separation. I had to be in Missouri for several events in October anyway, so instead of travelling back and forth from an empty house, I packed up the baby and the dog into the Durango and drove to my parents house outside Kansas City. Thankfully, Skyler was able to fly in for the birth of our nephew, and then most of October turned into a whirlwind of events and planning for me. My Aunt turned 80. My Alma Mater celebrated its 100th Homecoming (MIZ!) and my sorority celebrated it's 10th anniversary of re-colonization on campus. I went to a bridal shower and threw a bachelorette for a wedding I'm in next month. In between all that, I spent time with my parents and provided a cute cuddly baby for my mom to cuddle with when she got home from work. It was busy and exhausting, but it kept my mind off the fact that Skyler was hundreds of miles away. Again.
But there was still Halloween. What to do? Should I stay in Missouri and celebrate it with my parents? Should I drive home to Wisconsin and spend it alone in our house? Should I fly to Ohio?
Once Ohio was brought up as an option, I knew that is where I wanted to be. Even though Skyler would be working long LONG hours while we there, I didn't want Arthur to spend his first Halloween away from his daddy and even a few hours at the end of every day together is better than nothing.
We were in Ohio for over a week and it was a great trip. The night before Halloween we stopped by a dinner that Skyler's co-workers had been having every Sunday night and showed him off in his costume for a little while. On Halloween, Skyler got home from the office around 10pm and we quickly carved a pumpkin and took some pictures. It wasn't an eventful Halloween, but it was so nice to be together.

Daddy carving the pumpkin. We didn't go very elaborate, he'd had a long day. 

He kept sticking his hands inside and gumming the top. 

A great sensory experiment! And he didn't even try to put it in his mouth. 

Best family shot we could manage. 

We were messy afterward and had a hotel-room-sink-bath. He was pretty done with the camera. 

When we got back to Nana and Papa's house we took some pictures to remember the costume. 

The ONLY picture of him smiling with the pumpkins. 

So that was Arthur's first Halloween. 
And Skyler comes home tomorrow :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Led to those who help us most to grow

I disappeared. Again.
Why, oh why can't I maintain my blog? It's just like all those darn diaries I started as a child and never finished even a little bit.
The truth is, very shortly after my last post, a little over a year ago...I got distracted. I got distracted because I found out I had done #3 on my 30 Before 30 List. Do you remember #3?

30 Before 30

  1. Read all 87 Pulitzer Prize winning novels (0/87)
  2. Take an overseas trip with the Boy
  3. Get Pregnant
  4. Finish the X-Files (4/11)

Done and done.
So, forgive me, I was busy. I was making this guy:

In addition, I had an organ removed (gallbladders are stupid anyway), moved across country (again), and said goodbye to my husband for two other work deployments.

I'm tired of the excuses though. I want this blog to be something. I need somewhere to express myself. To be a mama, yes. To show off my baby boy as he grows and share what I'm learning and needing and feeling about parenthood. Also, though, to be a person. To show off the parts of me that haven't changed along with the birth of my son. To share the things I'm interested in and doing and learning and feeling that have nothing to do with being a parent. I think I need this blog. If for nothing else then for a place to vent.
So. I'm back. Let's see how long this lasts.

PS: Coincidentally, I also did #4  

(30 Before 30)

4. Finish the X-Files (11/11)

It got harder as it went on. I am SO RELIEVED it's done!