Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Big Boys!

Would you just take a look at these two big boys?
Eli decided this week that he's big enough to sit with his brother at the table now. It's so cute to watch them sit together.

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Dear Cheetah

Dear Cheetah,

I don't think that I've taken the time to properly thank you for all that you do. You are my little boy's best friend, and for that, I could never fully express my gratitude. Who else wouldn't mind being strangled during long car trips? Who else would watch Owen go potty, take a bath, and brush his teeth with such an attentive nature? Who else could I count on to be there for him through vomit and the subsequent trips through the washer and dryer?

The answer is no one.

Owen loves you with all that he is, and because of you, he loves all things cheetah. His current favorite color is orange, the color of your fur. He also knows all of your favorites. According to Owen, your favorite color is yellow and your favorite things to play with are "toodles". He acquired a cheetah blanket this Christmas which he found and fell in love with because of you, and his little eyes are so sincere when he tells me how beautiful I'd be in the cheetah print dress that he spotted (no pun intended) in the junior's section of JC Penney.

Cheetah, I have to tell you, I love that Owen loves you. I love that he shares his snacks with you, plays games with you, reads to you, and worries about your feelings. He shows true empathy when he's concerned about your well-being. He calls you his baby, and he has even tried his hand at breastfeeding you :) I hope that you realize how much you're loved.

I worry about the day that Owen will outgrow you. The day that he'll decide that he's too big to sleep with a stuffed cheetah will break my heart. I know that you'll just roll with the punches. Perhaps you'll even enjoy your retirement- and not having to take any more trips through the washer and dryer. But that day will change my life. I'll always think of you fondly, and I'll always appreciate all that you were to my little boy, but I'll miss the days that he was little enough to snuggle you in his arms.

But for today, you are Owen's best friend, and for that, I thank you.


Owen's Mommy

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Chicago: Part Two

Thursday brought the second part of our trip. We decided to take the boys to Shedd Aquarium, and it was AWESOME! Both boys loved their day at the aquarium. I had wonderful memories of Shedd from my childhood when my dad used to take me to Chicago to his rehabilitation appointments, so I was excited to be able to share that with my boys. Shedd totally lived up to and exceeded the memories that I had. They've expanded and added so many new features and exhibits- it's just an amazing place to visit.

Owen and Eli were both totally enamored with the Beluga Whales. (So was their mama!!) This particular Beluga kept coming up and smiling and waving his fins at us. He even spat water up at us a few times!! Isn't he the cutest??

Owen of course, loved the dolphins and fish. Eli, true to form, LOVED the penguins! It was such a fun time, and I can't wait to go back! I'm also looking forward to experiencing the other Chicago attractions with my boys that I shared with my dad when I was a child. It is such a neat city!

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Chicago: Part One

A confession.

I've never had a ton of girl friends. I'm fortunate to have the best friend ever, Sara, as well as some other wonderful mommy friends that I enjoy spending time with. But I mean, I never even considered joining a sorority in college because spending *that* much time, with *that* many girls was a downright frightening prospect to me. So what I am about to tell you is still a surprise to even me.

I belong to a group of 15 girls. I talk with them every day and enjoy their "company" more than I can say. I've known them for about two years now, and they are just amazing people. Each of these girls brings something special to my life.

Here's the other side of the coin.

I've only *met* two of these girls. Some of you know about this situation, others don't have any idea what I am talking about, but I figure that it's time to come clean. Two years ago, after my miscarriage, I reached out. I looked for others were experiencing or had experienced the kind of pain that I was feeling. I found a message board online where all of the women had experienced pregnancy loss. We were all trying to regain our footing, we were all trying to start again. 6 of us got pregnant again near the same time and we had our babies within weeks of each other. (Eli is the oldest). Because of our connection, and the friendships that we had formed, we went on to form our own private website where we can talk, and share our joys and frustrations without the prying eyes of the rest of the internet.

I've not told a lot of people about the friendships that I have with these girls or how important they are to me out of fear that someone wouldn't understand. I finally realized though, that in a day in age where people meet their spouses online, why should it seem strange to have found a group of girl friends on the internet?

Now, back to the subject of my post: Chicago. The main reason that Matthew and I decided to make a trip to Chicago on a random Wednesday in February, (Other than the gorgeous winter weather in Chicago!) was to meet up with a couple of my friends from online, Jen and Joell. I've actually met Joell before, but this was my first time meeting Jen as well as the rest of Joell's family. We went to Rainforest Cafe, (Which was AMAZING!!)

Joell and I

and then Jen and I went out for drinks at our hotel. It's funny because it felt like sitting down with old friends. I'm 100% sure that no one on the outside could have guessed that it was our first time spending time together!

Jen and I

Jen. Me. Joell.

You often hear that blessings come out of tragedies and that is so true for me. I honestly can't imagine my life without these girls in it. I don't know if we'll ever all be in one place at the same time as we are spread from coast-to-coast, and across three countries, but I hope that one day we will. I would love to be able to hug each and every one of these girls who have forever touched my life.

To Jen, Joell, Emily, Michelle, Kyla, Leeta, Megan, Kimberly, Sara, Jac, Jacki, Chi, Noelle and Kelli- I so hope that we can all finally get together one day. I treasure each of your friendships, and am so thankful to have you in my life. You helped put me back together, and you're forever a part of who I am. Thank-you for always being there for me. I love you all!

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