01 October 2015

Hubs Comes Home (for a couple of weeks)

We bought plane tickets for Hubs to come home on Bennett's due date. We knew that we were risking him missing the birth, but he decided it was best to make sure and come when Bennett would be here. Other than a small problem with a cancelled flight the day of, he made the trip and arrived about 11pm. (The guy that had picked him up from the airport had stopped to get flowers for Hubs to give me when he got home. This sweet friend couldn't decide on a color, so Hubs showed up with one dozen pink and one dozen red roses. I didn't even see them and almost crushed them trying to hug him ha!) Eli had fallen asleep around 7pm (kind of early) and had woken up again after 10pm. So I let him stay up, knowing Hubs would want to hang out with this little guy!

Eli grinned from ear to ear when he saw his dad but was a little shy at first. He just stared at him for a long time. Hubs held Eli as he met baby Bennett and just talked to him. It doesn't take Eli long to warm up to anyone, so they were running around and wrestling and giggling soon after.

Hubs and Eli read books, played with all the toys, and learned new words. With baby brother and now his dad home, Eli went through a ton of change in such a short time. But he was a champ. And Hubs jumped right in too. I was a little nervous for him because he left when Eli was only 7 months old (he wasn't even crawling yet). Coming home to toddler, a newborn, and a wife that just had a baby could be overwhelming to say the least. Two babies under a year and a half is a lot to take in, but he took it in stride. He didn't mind asking if he wasn't sure what to do, but I didn't have to help with much.  He mostly just observed and figured things out.

We went to a rodeo on JBER, and Eli loved all the horses! I wanted to get out of the house and just focus on fun. We couldn't stay very long because it was pretty chilly and I was still recovering, but it was so good to do things as a family.

We did spend most of our time at home. Eli got all kinds of attention from Hubs, and I got to spend more time bonding, nursing, and loving on Bennett. I knew the 1:1 parent to baby ratio is what I would miss most when Hubs left again. I sometimes feel pretty guilty that I can't be as hands-on with both boys at the same time, especially when they are both crying. But it's only for a short time. Plus, family is coming to help until homecoming and Eli thrives at daycare.

My favorite day was playing at Cottonwood Park. Hubs took Eli down by the river, showed him how to skip rocks, and let his little hands splash in the water. We spent some time at the playground, but Eli and Jessie loved running their little hearts out in the open grass areas the most.

Eli, dad, and dad bear got to watch a Bama game together. It wasn't a great game for the tide, but I don't think they minded too much. Eli loves to clap with the crowd. But he mostly wanted Hubs to take off and put on dad bear's helmet over and over.

Eli likes to sit in random things when he is playing or watching tv. He loves the chairs at daycare, so Hubs and I decided to go buy him one. We thought it would be a great reading chair, and it was for the first five minutes. Now, Eli has found that he can stand on the chair to climb on things he can't reach. He also discovered that falling into the chair from the couch is hilarious!

We made another purchase during Hubs visit. We spent several days test-driving cars we had researched and finally decided on one. The 2008 Subaru Tribeca is a nice change from our faithful 2003 Camry. We needed more space, and I was hoping for something a little higher up off the ground. It fit the bill, we got a good deal, and so far we are happy with our buy! But it was a long day in Wasilla, so we stopped for a late lunch and park time to stretch our legs.

We made the journey out to Palmer for Pyrah's Farm Fall Festival. It was cold and rainy, so we were only there for an hour. But it was still a success. We ate corn dogs and pumpkin pie. We walked around to see all the activities, and stood in line for the petting zoo. Eli was so excited to see all the animals, but he made sure to stay close to dad. The mini horse and the sheep made him a little nervous, but he lit up when he saw a tiny Jessie-sized baby goat. It was totally worth the trip.

We spent another rainy day at Arctic Oasis. It's a community center with gym equipment and play places for kids. It was Eli's first time there and dad taught him how to slide.

Eli fell so hard in love with his dad over this trip. Hubs had me put Eli to bed the night before he left because he was having such a hard time saying good-bye. Eli has been asking for his dad and looking for him around the house. We are both so sad and frustrated that we can't all be together just yet. But we are so grateful for the time he got to spend with us. It was also a great trial run for when Hubs comes home for good. It is really good he knows more of what daily life looks like with our new family structure. He said he knew being home would be a challenge but didn't really expect that there just isn't a single moment to relax with two tiny ones. Plus, he is used to a whole different lifestyle and being on his own in a way. And I am used to our routine and flexibility here. The transition will be trying and take some time, for sure. But we can't wait to get started finding our new normal. We need our Hubs/Dad to be home!

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