Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Like Old Times

When Jackson was a baby I carted him all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Sometimes we did things that would be fun for him, and other times we did things that would be fun for me. We had lots of friends in the same stage of life that we could connect with. We were rarely confined to our house.

When we moved back to Houston, everything changed. I'd never lived here as a mother and I didn't know all the great places to take kids. We also lived farther out of the city than when we lived in Irving (just a stone's throw from downtown Dallas) and the fun stuff wasn't as accessible. On top of that, I had morning sickness almost immediately upon our arrival to Houston. My North Texas-born baby was now an extremely active two-year-old who was big and strong and refused to hold my hand and walk nicely next to me. Next thing I knew, we started potty training and got in the habit of staying home all the time.

Then Annabeth was born and I found it overwhelming to leave the house unless I really needed to. I started avoiding play dates, but that is a story for another day. When I realized my new MOPS group was all about play dates and I pondered telling them up front that I was never coming. Awful.

Church was our social life. That's not all it was, of course, but it was largely where that need got met. I got to know another mom who became one of my best friends because we were in the nursing room together so often.

I have extremely fond memories of everything Jackson and I did when we lived in D/FW. Sometimes I read the early posts of this blog and relive it all with a smile on my face and wet eyelashes. When I do, I can't help feeling sad (and guilty) that I was never that footloose and fancy free with Annabeth. I wish I had that same energy for her. I wish doing things that should be fun didn't stress me out so much. The things I am better at as a mother the second time around probably outweigh this one aspect, but I'd still like to change it.

Now that I'm getting comfortable with the whole kindergarten routine, Annabeth and I are starting to get out more. Today we met a friend and her son at the Children's Museum. Honestly, I would never have gone there if my friend hadn't invited us. But it was so simple with one kid! Seeing my friend with her first born took me back a few years. I loved how easy going and enthusiastic she was. I want to be more like that.

Annabeth and I have been driving into the city to meet up with my sister for lunch once a week. I feel like the richest woman in the world because I have her and my mom close. They are definitely helping me get out more. Last week Melissa, Annabeth and I went to Barnaby's and sat on the patio, then hung out on her back porch with coffee and tea. Today she met us for tacos before we headed home from the museum. I'm enjoying my sister so, so much.

After today, for the very first time, I think I might be able to do for Annabeth what I did for Jackson.


Eating at the play cafe.


Shopping at the mini-HEB.


We tried really hard to get a great pic of AB and Zane. This was as good as it got. I'm not sure a boy really wants to get close to a cow wearing a tutu and a giant flower. He is some kind of cute, though!

24 comments:

JustJess said...

Bloggy worlds collide! I read Zane's momma's blog and am going through the same agency--I prayed for little Zane and Cimbrey to come home. How fun to see him on your blog!

Kiki said...

We should totally have a playdate! Levi would love that. Here's my confession, I too hate playdates, most of the time. And now, I feel like my time is so limited to get things done. I'm sad for Levi and Annika because I feel like they're getting the worst part of me. Ignored on Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Fridays because we're trying to do school and carted around on Monday and Wednesday trying to accomplish all the necessary errands for our family. Sorry for the long comment.

Nicole said...

I often feel the same way about John. It really is so different with two. Encouraged & motivated by your post today. Thanks for posting! - Nicole

Kelli@MoreBangforYourBucks said...

I totally understand. With three now, homeschooling the oldest, it's a good day if I make it to work out! One thing I have had to remind myself is that at a young age- up until around 4- they're not going to remember much anyway (except big things like vacations) so that helps ease my guilt a bit! Our son Landon (firstborn) was born with health problems and we spent a good portion of his first year at Texas Children's. By the time life started to settle, BAM! I was pregnant with #2! So I never did much of the whole play date thing until they were older- but they didn't know the difference! :)

Wendy said...

We really do just go through seasons of life. You were at home for a season and now, you are in your getting out again season. Life is neat like that. Thanks for sharing!

His Jules said...

Loved seeing you two get out! I love the outfit AB has on, too cute!Enjoy this new phase!

Jaime said...

Your blog always encourages me in the season we're in. Right now, we're at the stay at home with the second child b/c she's...well...very energetic. And taking 2 out makes me tired thinking about it. I often read your blog and think, "we are here now...so it DOES get better." Thank you for encouraging this mom. :)

Bourg Family said...

I didn't even realize that was Cimbrey & Mark's Zane until I read the 1st post. We attended the same church in New Orleans.

alison said...

This post so resonates with me as the mom of a 2 1/2 year old and an almost-5 month old. This two kids thing is hard work. Even as a work-outside-the-home mom, things were so much simpler with one kiddo. If I needed to stop at the store on the way home from work with him, no problem. If we got tickets to a baseball game at night, no problem, take him with. Now with two kids when those situations arise it's like OH NO, I don't want to leeeaaave the house! I'm hoping in time, we'll get into the swing of things and life won't be so tricky. But I worry that I'm so longing for simpler times that I'll miss my babies being babies. Catch 22 I guess. Anyway. I get it. :)

Jenae said...

I know exactly how you feel! I was able to enjoy things when I had just one...but with two, outings are completely overwhelming to me too! So glad you're getting some one-on-one time with your sweet little girl. :)

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I totally relate to this post! It is amazing how different my life is with two kids than my life with one kid. It's just so much harder to get out of the house! Thank you for the encouragement.

courtney said...

I'm there right now. I feel like I cannot take Joseph anywhere!

deborah said...

He is darling! They both are! It really did amaze me at how much more time and energy it took when I had my son, our second child. It definitely was different taking two, instead of one. We are blessed with two children and I applaud all the moms out there who are busily caring for three or five or seven etc. etc. :)

Meggie said...

Awww... I can relate to this right now! I have a 2.5 year old and loved getting out with him and running errands and going fun places. Now, I also have a 2 month old, and I find myself avoiding getting out. At this point my life revolves around feedings every 3 hours anyway, but I SO don't want to deprive my second born of all the fun stuff. Maybe we'll get there one day. You've given me hope! =)

Tyler and Connie Boyd said...

Would it be safe to say, if I'm opposite with 1 child (your annabeth stage) that I will be more easy going when #2 comes?! :) My prayer!

Thank you for your honesty and post!

Nettie said...

I relate to this. Your kids make your friends for you going forward to so what they do becomes what you do!! My boys are now 10 and 13. By the way...I live in the midwest and we are searching the country for alternative places to live given that my husband fears his job is one he needs to change. We are considering Texas of course. I'd love to know more about it. Esp. DFW vs. Houston...would a lifelong midwesterner survive the social scene of Texas?
Blessings to you.

amirwin said...

I'm the "old" mom here. My kids are 19, 18, 11, and 8, so the toddler years are behind me. Although I have to admit if we have a chance to go somewhere that the younger two might get "bored", like a long wait in line, etc., I still hesitate because their entertainment to pass the time is to pick on each other, a particular favorite of an 11-yr-old brother to do to his little sister! :)

Amanda said...

Nettie, I think the biggest shock if you moved to Dallas or Houston would probably be the lack of seasons, the crazy heat and humidity, the freeway systems, and the sheer size of the cities. People in Texas are generally warm and friendly, so I do think you'd survive the social scene. I'd highly recommend getting plugged into a church right away where you can start serving and getting to know people. I hope that helps!

Nettie said...

Thanks Amanda!! Could be big changes coming for me!

Mix and Match Mama said...

It's so hard to devote the same kind of attention and energy to the second child. (Especially when your "to do" list at home is even bigger with two.) But it is so fun to have those fun moments out and about with the littlest...that one on one stuff is priceless. PS: I grew up in Irving...I think Houston sounds a lot more exciting :)

katiegfromtennessee said...

Amanda, you have much going on reading your posts:) I think that your trip to Ecuador will be such a blessing, and that book on the Barefoot church sounds interesting.

Trisha said...

I really appreciate your honesty. I have 3 kids, 3, almost 2, and a newborn. Playdates are no fun for me right now! I totally understand where you're coming from. Your blog always makes me laugh and smile. Thanks so much!

pencilleddaydream said...

AB outfit is so cute : )

Shellie Paparazzo said...

None of mine got to do any of this stuff, and I think they are turning out pretty good. Not so sure about the soon-to-be thirteen year old, but I guess that comes witht this age. We'd have to go through the insanity of it no matter where we lived or what our circumstances were!!! Love you, Amanda.