Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nana and Papa's Visit

One of the things stressing me out before Aden's birth was a week-long visit from my parents. I was beyond excited to have my parents here, don't get me wrong, but I was way too focused on maximizing their assistance after the baby. I remember the second week of post-partum being a highly emotional time for me after Tory was born, and I wanted to do everything in my power to avoid feeling like that again. With Aden, Andi planned to take the week of Aden's birth off work and I'd asked my parents to visit the following week (week two), so I'd have assistance with both kids for two solid weeks. Unfortunately, life never turns out exactly as you plan and the combination of Aden's late arrival and the Thanksgiving holiday forced my parent's visit to overlap with Andi's paternity leave.

Everything worked out in the end and my parents were able to visit Aden just hours after his birth. This was something very important to them, so I'm happy things worked out like they did. My parents stuck around for six days afterwards to help us at home.

I think I'm always a little anxious before my parents visit because I want my house and our life here to be just perfect for them. They could probably care less if my floors are swept or the pantry's organized, but since they don't have a chance to see our life in Minnesota all that often, it's important to me that I put my best foot forward. (I'm nuts, I know).

Rarely do we get to spend uninterrupted days together without a lot of other family members around. I cherish all the holidays and family get-togethers but for once, it was a nice treat to have my parents stay with us here in Minnesota with no big activities planned. We spent most of Aden's first week at home playing with Tory, snuggling the new babe, lounging around, talking and eating. My dad was a serious laundry terminator and did countless loads of wash for us. My mom cooked meals, kept the house in order and snuggled my baby boy so I could treat myself to much-needed showers in peace. It was such a luxury to hand Aden over to my mom and lay down for a few minutes knowing he was in perfectly capable hands.

It was awesome to see Tory interact with my parents during their stay as well. It's always taken her a few days to warm up when she sees them, mostly because our time together is usually in Nebraska and she's outside her comfort zone and regular routine. Tory was so excited to have my parents here, to show them all her toys, and to have their undivided attention. They played with her new doctor kit, ate pretend food from Tory's kitchen, dressed up baby dolls, and colored on Tory's chalkboard. The morning my parents left, Tory crawled into my dad's lap with a puppy-dog face and snuggled against him for 20 minutes because she was so sad they were leaving. I'm always so envious of the relationship my sister's girls have with my parents. My parents see Brooke and Neeley near-daily and are like second parents to them. Distance puts my kids at a disadvantage so it warmed my heart to see Nana and Papa with their Minnesota babies.

I'm always sad to see my parents pull out of my drive-way on their return home, but their departure wasn't nearly as tramatic as I feared. I've felt 100 times more sane this post-partum round and I'm not sure if it's to do with being a second-time parent, a different mix of hormones, or all the great help I've been blessed with. It also helps my family and I will be reunited again in three short weeks for Christmas, and a month later for Aden's baptism. There's plenty of family quality time ahead.

I'm thankful for both sets of our parents who've been so good to Andi and I. I can't forget Andi's mom who's clocked numerous hours of playtime with Tory so I could have some time to myself or bond with Aden. Counting my many blessings this year. 

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