Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome "home," Owen!

We received such a warm welcome home last Friday when we arrived back in Iowa. Papa Vern even took the time to decorate the house with banners and balloons, and both Grandmas have been stocking up on baby gear - like toys, swings, high chairs, cribs, etc. It is evident just how excited our whole family is to have us back! And we are excited, too. Fall in the Midwest is so beautiful and we were lucky enough to make it back in time to see all the leaves changing colors. (Unfortunately, as natives of this area, we are all too aware of what comes after those leaves fall and the temperatures begin to drop. Try as I might, I'm not sure I can be as upbeat about the pending Iowa winter that lies ahead.)

Owen has adapted to life here very well. This was probably a great time to move since he is too young to really even know where he is, so it truly makes no difference to him - Washington, Iowa, China..., wherever! He does, however, seem to feel pretty comfortable at Grandma and Papa Betts' house and proved that by officially sleeping through the night this past week! That's right - a full 10 hours of sleep!!! Again, he's only done it once, but he's come close several other nights with about 8-9 hours at a time. He's just coming right along!

Ryan will be flying back to Seattle on Sunday to gather up the remaining stuff in our house (there's not much - just the things we still needed during those two days and nights we lived there after all our stuff had been moved out.) His friend Nathan who lives in L.A. is going to meet him there on Monday and the two of them will set out on the cross-country journey back to Iowa in the Pathfinder. (The other car was shipped to us and is due to arrive this weekend.) They are planning to make a few stops along the way and see some of the countryside, weather permitting. I wish them luck and safe travels!

In the meantime, O and I will continue to crash the Betts pad, and when Ryan returns, we will officially take up residence with the Petersons. We have not had much luck with the house selling process yet, but are still hoping to get it sold soon so we can get a place of our own - hopefully before Christmas. We'll see........ (Keep your fingers crossed for us.)


Grandma Peterson enjoying Owen on his first night home.

Beautiful Aunt Jackie holding her favorite nephew.

Papa Vern is so enamored by his newest grandson.

The little stinker was giggling when we put his hat on him for a chilly evening walk and we were able to capture this little gem. He's so happy to be here!


Playtime with Grandma Vera

Playtime with Papa Vern

Sunday, October 11, 2009

3 months

Owen's 3-month birthday was yesterday and that is one milestone I have been anxious to reach! According to what I've read and heard, after three months, babies tend to cry less, fall into a routine, sleep through the night, start rolling over, etc. Along with the excitement of these things, however, is frustration and worry over the fact that my dear, sweet O-man hasn't actually achieved any of those things yet. I love him immensely just as he is, but I cannot WAIT for at least the first three on that list!

I must say, however, that the night after my last post, the little pistol actually slept for 8 hours - a first! It was just a one-time thing, but he has been sleeping about 6 hours at night pretty consistently this past week. I've heard it explained that technically, 6 hours is considered "sleeping through the night," but I don't accept that, and here's why. Owen typically goes to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8:30, so six hours from then is 1:30 or 2:30 in the morning. Tell me...who awakens and starts their day at that time? So, until he is sleeping from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., I refuse to call it "sleeping through the night." And I realize that probably won't happen for quite some time, but it WILL happen! (A light at the end of the tunnel!) In the meantime, though, only getting up with him once a night now is leaps and bounds better than three or four times a night just a month or two ago!

In other news, this week will be our final week in Washington. I've said it before, but moving back to Iowa is incredibly bittersweet for us. While we are absolutely thrilled to be near our families again (which is truly the main reason we're going), we are also very sad to be leaving our lives here. We have made such remarkable friendships that we will treasure forever. We love our beautiful home and charming neighborhood. We are disappointed to be leaving the Seattle culture, including Mariner baseball games, hiking in the mountains, and walking along the waterfront. And we will most certainly long for the mild Northwest climate come mid-January in Iowa. But our families - oh, how we love them! - trump all of that, and we go.

The movers come tomorrow to start packing us up and they load up and ship out on Wednesday. Then, we fly out on Friday. Look out we come!

Owen sporting his denim overalls; hand-me-downs, courtesy of Will Woodruff. They're still a little big on him, but I just couldn't wait to get him in these, they're so stinkin' cute! The way he's posed, looking off in the distance, this shot kind of reminds me of a senior portrait! : )

Our monthly shot of O next to Curious George. (Check out his growth by comparing this to his 1- and 2-month photos on my Facebook page.)

Getting ready for the cold midwest weather. Poor baby has no idea what he's in for!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

12 weeks - and one big announcement

First things first - if you've heard the rumors...yes, they are true. The Peterson clan is moving back to Iowa in just two short weeks. Ryan was recently offered a position at HON headquarters in Muscatine and we decided that - with Owen now in the picture - it is the right time in our lives to head back "home." The decision was a tough one to make; we certainly love Seattle, our home, our friends, and our lives here. But ultimately, we miss our families deeply - even more so now that Owen has joined us - and very much want him to grow up knowing his grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc. (And vice-versa!)

We leave for good on Friday, October 16. In the meantime, we have our house on the market and are hoping that it will sell - even in this depressed economy. (Things do seem to be picking up a bit, though, and we're hoping that the first-time homebuyer tax credit will incent some other young family to take up residence in this home we've loved so much.) Our plan is to move in with our parents in Davenport temporarily, until our house here sells and we find a new house to buy. We haven't decided exactly where we will take up residence yet, but are considering Davenport/Bettendorf, Muscatine, Iowa City, and anywhere in between...

And now, regarding our little angel (who is napping beautifully - IN HIS CRIB, mind you! - even as I type this)... Patterns are beginning to emerge (finally) and we are moving closer to having some sort of routine to our days. I honestly thought this might never happen! Life has been so random for so long, I was worried I may never be able to anticipate the events of my daily life again. I guess all these weeks of documenting O's eating and sleeping habits, like the neurotic, detail-freak that I am, have finally paid off. : ) My plan is to get him to have a nap in the morning, one in the afternoon, and an optional one in the early evening. The first two seem to be the more critical ones, though, as we've also started putting him to bed earlier than we were previously. 7:00 is a much more reasonable bedtime than 9:00, don't you think?

Napping remains somewhat elusive, however, because for some reason, when O falls asleep in his car seat (after accompanying me on one errand or another), he will stay asleep there for hours and hours on end. When he naps in his crib, however, I rarely get more than 30-45 minutes out him. I am open to suggestions on this one, friends...

And everyone always wants to know if he is sleeping through the night yet. The answer is no. Typically, he still gets up about every 4 hours or so, but about once a week, he makes it around 6 hours. So, I know he is capable of going longer, but am not sure how to get him to do that more consistently. Again, suggestions are completely welcome on this one, too.

Tiny baby in a big bed! (O napping in Mommy & Daddy's bed)

Look how high O can now lift his head during tummy time with Daddy!

"I'm such a big boy!" In this picture, I finally see why everyone thinks he looks like his Daddy.

P.S. The writing of this post was disturbed after all, when Owen woke up from his nap after about an hour. It's better than the 30 minutes he slept earlier today, but still...what the heck?