The Summer of Pancakes, Moana, and Naps

The Mowdy family had a slow, sweet summer of 2017. Slow and sweet like maple syrup being poured onto pancakes. 2017 is the summer where Dillon and I both got to stay home. It’s the summer we sleep trained our 9 month old. It’s the summer we memorized the song lyrics to Moana. It’s the summer we started to figure out a balance to being parents, being married, and being ourselves again.

Pancakes

My husband is the main chef in the family. We used to tag-team it really well in the kitchen. He handled the protein and I handled the sides. Then I got pregnant with Declan and couldn’t handle any smells, so Dillon stepped up and took on more tasks in the kitchen. After having Declan, I was usually stuck to the couch breastfeeding, so Dillon continued in his role as the family’s main chef. I had started to migrate my way back into the kitchen more when I got pregnant with Baby #2 but the first trimester nausea and strong sense of smell had me stepping right back out of the kitchen.

One day I know I will be more active again in the kitchen. I still am in there a lot (#dishes…) and make most of my meals, but Dillon has spoiled me this summer with pancake breakfasts. Some bacon, some potatoes and bell peppers, fried eggs, a side of fresh fruit, and a big stack of gluten-free pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

I’m now really hungry and wanting breakfast food.

Moana

We first saw Moana as a family during a vacation to the beach. A beach college town near the coast of California still has a wonderful drive-in movie theater. Declan was about 3 months old, so our family outings were limited but we knew we could handle a drive-in movie with a baby who still mostly slept all day. We stopped and got a gluten-free pizza on the way from a popular pizza place in town that thankfully does large gluten-free pizzas. Most places just do individual size for gluten-free.

The movie night was not as magical as I would have thought. Declan spit up badly for the first time and the whole truck smelled like baby vomit. The pizza had gotten a little cold by the time I was done changing Delcan, breastfeeding Declan, and trying to bounce him in the front seat to go to sleep. I was nervous the other cars were wondering who brought that fussy baby, but Dillon assured me they wouldn’t be able to hear him. Pretty soon after having mommy bounce him and pat his back Declan fell into a deep sleep right on my chest. He normally napped on me, but without the drama first. I remember feeling like a mom because I got my crying baby to fall asleep.

The movie Moana playing in the background during the baby spit-up and the baby crying and the diaper changing was so calming. Probably all the blue on the screen during most scenes.

I ended up falling asleep before the movie ended. Moana and Maui were headed to the island when I feel asleep and when I woke up the credits were rolling. Dillon knows to not wake a sleeping mommy. It was some of the best sleep I got the first few months after Declan was born. Belly full of pizza, pretty songs playing in the background, and my baby in a hard earned deep sleep on my chest.

About two months ago Netflix added Moana! I was thrilled and finally got to finish the movie. Declan is also strangely mesmerized by Moana. He ignores other TV shows or movies when the TV is on, but as soon as we play Moana, this happens…

During rough mornings where Declan wakes up at 4 AM or when one of us needs an easier time watching the baby, Moana goes on in the background and the whole room (Declan) gets calm. Thanks, Disney! It’s his favorite movie. I didn’t really want my baby to have a favorite movie, but sometimes parents need some help.

Naps

This summer is the one where Daddy and Mommy took back our nights! We were so naive about baby sleeping schedules, but after a lot of internet research and helpful baby sleep websites, we got Declan on a really great sleep schedule around 9 months old and now he sleeps from around 6 Pm to 5 AM, give or take 30 minutes either way. He also takes one two hour nap around 8 AM and a second hour long nap around 1 PM. Some days the naps vary and go longer or shorter and some days the second nap is boycotted. But overall, most days and nights are now predictable. No more keeping the baby up until 9 PM because he just doesn’t seem tired. Some nights Dillon and I have to just laugh at how lost we were in parenthood by allowing Declan to dictate his bedtime. We now know all the signs of an overtired baby. Ours gets super super super playful.

Our summer revolved around Delcan’s nap times and bedtime routine. Occasionally Declan’s naps were used as times to get quieter chores done. Mostly Declan’s nap times were used for mommy and daddy to relax. To spend time together. To take naps together. To enjoy each other again before this next baby comes and we will be faced with many new challenges, sleep deprivation being one of them.

When I was pregnant with Declan, I remember getting really annoyed that people would say things like say goodbye to sleep! But man, it is so true. Unless the parents hit the jackpot with a sleeping baby (which I’ve met a few) babies mean less sleep. Especially the first few months when babies are eating throughout the night.

Our summer naps were exactly what Dillon and I needed to prepare for this upcoming baby.

I have a feeling that pancakes, Moana, and naps will always take me back to the slow, sweet summer of 2017.

 

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The Four Fathers In My Life

Happy Father’s Day!

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I am fortunate to have not only one, but four fathers in my life. That makes me feel so wrapped with protection and love. I also feel so reassured that Baby Mowdy will also have these four fathers watching out for him/her. Here’s a brief story to show an example of the amount of love these men bring into my life.

About two months ago, I was fighting off a really stubborn cold. I typically just wait a cold out, nursing it with lots of homemade chicken soup and couch potato-ness. However, being about 16 weeks pregnant and having a cold got me a little concerned. I starting getting dizzy, felt extremely faint, and had what seemed like a hundred other odd symptoms.

To make a you-had-to-be-there story a little less confusing, I ended up in the doctor’s waiting room accompanied by a concerned husband, father, and father-in-law. It was by no means necessary for all three of them to be at the doctor’s with me. It just sort of happened to work out that way. They all came to help out, and man, have I ever felt so loved. I was the happiest sick pregnant girl. I couldn’t stop smiling at the realization of how much love is in my life. The realization that at a moment’s notice, I have three dependable men who are willingly to put a halt to whatever they are doing to come help me. That’s pretty special.

It turned out I was just low on electrolytes, plus the cold, plus being pregnant, so the doctor said to up the fluids and rest.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I’d love to introduce you to the four fathers in my life.

My Dad

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Kenneth Smith

Things that remind me of my dad:   homemade spaghetti, creek fishing, WWII books or movies, trains, Neil Diamond, lighthouses

A sweet memory: My dad and I played chess together all the time when I was a kid. He taught me how to play the game and he was sweet enough to let me win occasionally. He actually taught me too well because I eventually ended up being better at chess than him and he no longer had to let me win. We haven’t played a game in a while, but we’ll have to do a rematch and see where we stand. I can’t wait to see him teach Baby Mowdy how to play chess!

My Father-In-Law

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Steve Mowdy

Things that remind me of my father-in-law: Harley Davidson, trailer camping, boating, Jesus Calling, coffee, Van Morrison

A sweet memory: A few summers ago, every Wednesday night, Steve and I would go together to the church’s Bible study. Steve would get a cup of coffee and we’d sit together learning the word of God and singing praises of worship. Steve’s faith in God is a part of what attracted me to pursue a relationship with God. You can always count of Steve to be sporting a smile. He’s going to teach Baby Mowdy how to climb a hill on a dirt bike. Side note…this mama will be upping her prayer life.

My Husband – A soon to be daddy!

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Dillon Mowdy

Things that remind me of this father-to-be:  sweet tea, local breweries, bicycles, outdoor grills, Top Gear, Morro Bay

A sweet memory: The day we decided to pick out a puppy Dillon had found a ranch that had 4 miniature Australian shepherds puppies to choose from. We had an idea of which puppy we wanted based on the pictures, but we got to play with them for about ten minutes before we made our decision. We both favored the sweetest, gentlest one. Driving home with a puppy in the middle seat, we had fun tossing names around. We talked about the name Dolly, but I couldn’t say Dolly without adding Parton and that drove Dillon insane. He didn’t want a dog named Dolly Parton. So we landed on Mattie. And it’s perfect for her. And as for what he’ll teach Baby Mowdy, I can’t even begin to narrow it down. I do, however, really hope our child notices the kind, gentle way he loves and takes care of me.

God – My Good, Good Father

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Things that remind me of my heavenly Father: worship music, The Bible, hope, grace, love, forgiveness, church

While all the fathers in my life are dependable, God is the Father I can always turn to. The love I receive from God is the love that is teaching me how to love others. This Father-daughter relationship is the most important relationship in my life. It is transforming me. God is the only Father able to handle all my struggles and calm all my fears.

Happy Father’s Day, to all my fathers, I am so grateful to have each of you in my life.

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