We're leaving tomorrow morning for St. Louis. We're giving ourselves most of the day to make the 5-hour trip, as I'm sure we'll need to stop several times to keep the boys happy. We're all excited to see Betsy and Alex, especially Owen, who keeps insisting that Alex will have balloons waiting for him. The last several times Owen's been given a balloon, he cries and gives it back (ever since Keith popped one on purpose and scared the living daylights out of Owen; nice Daddy.). So the last time he mentioned Alex and balloons, I said, "Owen, do you like balloons?" He said, "I like them a little bit, and I don't like them a little bit." I think that means, he's not so sure.
Ari is officially starting solids. He has baby oatmeal for breakfast and a vegetable for dinner, along with three breastmilk bottles each day. We're contemplating adding a vegetable for lunch. He's doing great with eating from a spoon. So far he's tried avocados, and I made the first batch of yellow squash a few nights ago. He'll try yellow squash for the first time today. I forgot how long it takes to spoon-feed a baby, and what a huge mess it is. Keith especially hates it, which is too bad considering he's on breakfast detail almost every day. I was feeding Ari the other night, and Owen was watching, and he said sadly, "Ari is not a good eater, Mom." I said, "Yes he is! Who told you that?" "Daddy do!" I told Keith about that, and he said the next day at breakfast he told Owen that Ari was a very good eater, so Owen could rest a little easier.
Owen is a great cheerleader for Ari. During meals, he says, "Open you mouf, Ari, like me do! See?" and he opens his mouth up wide. Or when Ari is working on sitting up, Owen claps and cheers for him. Sometimes he gets a little too loud with the cheering, and Ari cries. But Owen means well, he really does. He is a great little helper to us, too. He fetches diapers and wipes, and burp cloths in emergency spit-up situations. He entertains the baby while I pay bills online. He shows Ari how different toys work. He sings songs about him ("One little Ari jumping on the bed...") and asks to kiss him before bed each night. Sure it's a stalling technique, but it's cute. This is what I pictured when I thought of brothers, a year and a half apart, growing up together, being best friends. This is the start of it. It makes those first few months, where I was sure I had ruined all of our lives forever, worth it. I love those boys, and I love seeing them together.
Since Christmas, Owen has learned almost all his phonics. He tells me at random times, "Mommy, F says 'ffff', right? F is for flying! And frog! And Foster!" We've talked about how A is for apple and Alex and Ari. And O is for Owen. We also are teaching him our names, mine and Keith, so that in the event that he is ever separated from us, he can tell someone who his parents are. It cracks me up to hear him ask, "Mom, you Wobyn? And Daddy is Keef?" My smart little monk.
Keith has officially started back to classes, and we're in our new schedule for this semester. It's not so bad, really. The evenings are hard without him, but I'm pretty used to it. It all goes by so quickly. We're home around 530PM, and the boys are in bed by 730PM, so our time together is minimal. I have a pretty good routine with Ari, where he is almost always in his crib by 7PM, which gives me some time to focus entirely on Owen. That's what I miss most of all about becoming a two-baby family. I miss my time with Owen. I need to take him somewhere, just me and him, and give him all my attention for a while. I wish it were possible. I miss talking to him and playing with him and snuggling with him. And it makes him cranky to not get one-on-one attention from us, so he's more difficult to deal with lately. I just keep telling myself how much better it's going to be, and soon, just as soon as we can move home. We're in the home stretch right now, I really believe it.
So no more posts for the next few days, as we will be bringing our very loud and very messy brood to Missouri, and descending upon the Yus like locusts, destroying everything in sight! Lock up your dog and your valuables, Yus, here we come!