Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun at the Zoo

On March 8th, 2010 Owen visited the zoo for the first time. I knew that he was going to love it, but I didn't know how much. My good friend Nicki came along to help me hold Owen, push his stroller, and take pictures. Although we sort of looked like a three ring circus, we managed to see most of the exhibits before close at 4pm.

Our first stop was the tropics exhibit. Of course Owen had to crawl out his stroller right away and attempt to walk the winding path. He really liked all of the noises and people watching, that was until we got to the ducks! Just like his father... he loved watching the ducks. I am sure that he recognized the duck noises seeing as Bryan always used his duck calls when I was pregnant and when Owen was small. Owen just looked over the ledge and quacked back. I could see the excitement and awe on his face. After spending a good 20+ minutes watching small ducks dive in and out of water, I was finally able to pull Owen away from the ledge. I do have to admit though that they were pretty amazing ducks.

Our next stop was the Minnesota exhibit. It was so awesome to see the wolves and raccoons and wild turkeys up close and personal. We also managed to somehow time it just right because when we stopped to see the wolves and coyote's they were being fed. Owen got to push his chubby little checks up to the window and watch them eat rats just 5 feet away. While most people would find that disgusting and wrong, my son pushed his face closer to the glass and barked like a dog. Once again, he is his fathers son.

After I was finally able to pull Owen and Nicki away from the coyote's, we headed out of the Minnesota exhibit and into the Russian wilderness. Although it was cold and rainy outside, the walk was worth it. All of the leopards were outside and very close to the fences. I was able to get some amazing pictures and Owen was able to see the big kitties up close and personal. I am pretty sure that I was more afraid of them then he was. He tried really hard to jump out of my arms and work his way behind the fences to cuddle up with the large kitties. I am still trying to teach him how to meow because he seems to think every animal barks.

Owen had a wonderful day at the zoo and after getting a toy moose and giraffe, he was ready to head home and take a nap in the car. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go to the zoo for the first time with my son and good friend Nicki. Although the weather was crappy and the drive was long...we had a great time! I cannot wait to take him again sometime soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Date Night

Owen and I finally had our first official family "date" night last night, and it was awesome. Before I had even found out that I was pregnant back in July 2008, Bryan and I talked about how we always wanted to have one night a week where we just sat down as a family and did something fun together. It was really important to both Bryan and I to have that special time together, to forget about the chaos of the world and to just be there as a family. So, on March 4th, 2010 I started the tradition with my son.

Owen and I headed off to Blockbuster with his blankie and rubber duckie in tow around 4pm. I was not quite sure how he would take it since I didn't bring the stroller and he would have to be carried throughout the entire store, but he actually really loved it. He just scanned all of the movie cases with me and pointed at the ones that he thought we should bring home with us. After weeding through all of the ones that were too inappropriate for an 11-month old to watch, we finally agreed on Ice Age. Which ended up being a very good choice.

After the pizza arrived and our pajamas were on, we settled down on the couch with our blankies and sippy cups (his filled with water and mine filled with cherry coke). We nearly devoured an entire medium thin crust pizza together. I am not entirely sure yet if I should be embarrassed or proud. Then, to my surprise, Owen climbed up on my lab and cuddled with me for the rest of the movie.

It was so nice to just have those two hours with my son. No worries, no heartache, no stress... just some sippy cups, blankies, and pizza. I know that every week Owen and I have our little "date" I will be thinking about Bryan and wishing he was there with us, laughing and stuffing his face full of food. But, spending the time with Owen is something that I will look forward to every second of every day. It is something that will keep me going...if not for me but for Bryan, because that is how he wanted to raise our son. Someday, when Owen is a teenager and would rather be out with his friends than hanging out with his crazy mom, I will just remind him about our great family nights together. I will always be able to tell him about our first we were snuggled up on grandma and grandpas couch, watching a pixar film, covered in crumbs.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I apologize for not updating this sooner. I cannot believe I have not written anything since January! Although I am sure I could come up with 1,000 excuses, none of them are really all that great. Honestly, I just have not sat down and written about my life/feelings in a really long time. I think sometimes when I write, my feelings tend to come out from that place I have them buried and locked away in, and dealing with those feelings is never an easy thing. But, I am planning on working harder on keeping my blog updated. So today, on the six-month anniversary of Bryan's death, I am restarting my blog. To write, to inspire, to deal with my feelings and to be a better mother and person.

So, first things first. On my birthday, February 21st, I decided to get a tattoo that reminded me of Bryan. My cousin was nice enough to draw up a sketch for me that has everything I wanted. It contains a lot of symbolism that is important to me...the main image is of a buck, the antlers form a heart and the head is Bryan's initials (BJP). Beneath the buck is the word agape which was the title of the sermon at our wedding and also stands for eternal love. I decided to get the buck image because Bryan loved hunting and we watched a lot of hunting together on the hunting network. Both Bryan and I thought Owen was going to come out bellowing a deer grunt or screeching a turkey call. Whenever I am having a bad day all I have to do is look down at my foot and I am reminded of my amazing husband and how many great memories we shared. I know that he would be so proud of me.

Some more news is that my little man is almost one! Owen is getting so big and is changing everyday. He is no longer a baby, but a toddler. For his birthday I decided to take on the daunting task of making his birthday invitations. So, last week I set up a white sheet and put Owen in front of a cake. Below is the result!

And on to the biggest news. My little monster is WALKING! Owen decided on February 23rd that he was going to walk across my parents living room. Earlier that day my dad went out and bought Owen a basketball hoop and some balls (his favorite thing in the whole world). From then on he has been walking around like a mad man. Although his little feet can't keep up with him, he has been doing a great job of getting around and landing safely on his bottom.