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.
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.
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.
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.