Sunday, March 8, 2015

Owen Visits North Carolina

I can't believe it's been 12 weeks since little Owen was born.  A lot has happened - it feels like just yesterday, but also like it's been a year!

This marks the end of my maternity leave (WAH!!) and I begin work on Monday.  At least I'm lucky enough to work for a company that cares about their employees and is allowing me to work from home to ease back into things.  

I'm finally to the point where I feel like I can blog again (it just wasn't going to happen after Owen was born), so I'm catching up on some of the highlights.  Here are a few things you  might have missed:

Today we'll do a brief recap of our trip to NC!  Since Travis took this semester off to care for Owen and I was on maternity leave, we decided it was the perfect time to take a nice long trip to NC so everyone could meet Owen!  We decided to drive so we could stop by my grandma's house in Maryland (and because a baby and dog on an airplane sounded too stressful).  

800 miles and a hotel stay - two big firsts for a 1-month old!  We were nervous.  Thankfully, Owen was an angel.  We split the trip into two days and stopped every 2-2.5 hours.  We had zero traffic, Owen cried maybe 5 minutes the entire trip, and he slept all night in the hotel.  He gets a gold star. 

Enjoying stretching after a looooong day in the car seat!
Family selfie in the hotel room!
Owen's first ride on a luggage cart!
Grandmommy and Alan loved seeing Owen, and it was fantastic to get to see them again!  

Owen also met Tim and Kim, and had lunch at Cracker Barrel...

Alford family picture (with Sarah, Charlie (the cat), and Toby photoshopped in) Virginia family, who drove down to meet him...

...Faye, Pope and Thad...

...Anna Marie, Aaron, Rob, Megan, Howard, Cindy and Alvin at Anna Marie's baby shower (she's due in 2 weeks!!!  Owen will have another cousin!).

...Uncle Robert and Aunt Jewel...

...and many more friends!

We had an awesome time relaxing with our families.

Everyone making our "Owen's not impressed" face

While we were home, we had a "Christmas in January" dinner at my family's house, since everyone was finally together.  After dinner, we had two pies for dessert - one frozen Mrs. Smith's pumpkin pie, one chocolate pie.  My brother, mom and I had the pumpkin pie, and 30 minutes later, my brother and I started to feel sick.  I'll spare you the gory details, but we all got food poisoning.  Thanks a lot Mrs. Smith's.  My mom had a sliver of pie, so her's wasn't as bad, but both my brother and I ended up in the Emergency Room and had to be admitted into the hospital.  We were SICK.  That pie was ROTTEN.  

If I'm looking for a moral of the story, or on the bright side, I'd say:

1)  If you're going to eat pie, make it yourself.
2)  If you're not going to make it yourself, don't buy Mrs. Smith's.
3)  Thankfully this didn't happen sooner - my incision was mostly healed by this point.
4)  Thankfully Travis had the chocolate pie, so he could take care of Owen.
5)  I certainly "ripped off the Band-Aid" when it came to spending the night away from our baby.
6)  My brother and I got rooms next to each other, so my dad didn't have to run from one end of the hospital to another.

The nurse said there was a large number of people in the ER with terrible food poisoning around Thanksgiving and Christmas who had all eaten frozen pumpkin pies.  Apparently no one reported it.  If you have one in your freezer, throw it out.  It's not worth it!  I have a really great recipe for mini pumpkin pies.  Make this one's super easy!

Also...we're celebrating Hanukkah or something next year.
Thankfully, we were all (mostly) well enough to make the trip to Greenville for Travis' performance at East Carolina University later that week.  Chris Grymes, a clarinetist, commissioned Travis to write him a piece which he was performing at the North Carolina New Music Initiative.  It was nice to see all of our old professors (and several friends) at the concert!  Afterwards, Owen experienced his first post-concert-Krispy-Kreme-run!  He has no idea how amazing it's going to be once he can eat donuts.  

We also got to celebrate family "Christmas" with both sides of Travis' family - Jenny's in Virginia and Terry's at their house in Spring Hope.  Each family gathering had two new babies at them!  Virginia Christmas had Owen and Grace (Grace was born about a month before Owen), and Spring Hope Christmas had Owen and Henry (Henry was born 5 days after Owen).

The Virginia family also had a joint baby shower for the two newest members of the family, which was so sweet.  

Owen's "Russell bear" - a bear made from his late Uncle Russell's shirt to remember him by.  I'll share more about this later!

Jenny's happy place

We were sad to come back to Boston...especially with all the snow happening while we were gone.  Little did we know the next few weeks would bring over 100 inches!  More on that later.

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