Monday, June 4, 2012

Goodbyes and Hellos

This past month brought two big events as we said "Goodbye" to David for his first two week trip since Caleb was 7 weeks old and "Hello" to my parents for a two week visit (woo-hoo!).We were blessed to have one week all together, which was when David and I squished in some important appointments and our lovely anniversary celebration in DC. We were able to make a few memories, but it was a rushed and busy time preparing for David's trip.

Finally the dreaded day arrived. After church on mother's day, David ate a rushed lunch, gave hugs and kisses, and left for the airport. I had no idea how Caleb was going to react to his most adored playmate being gone for an extended period of time, but I was thankful my parents would be with us the first week to ease the transition.

The first 2-3 days were definitely the hardest on him, especially in the mornings and evenings. He'd often ask me, "Daddy? Daddy?" tearfully. It broke my heart. Then, David and I got into a rhythm of skyping each morning before he went to work. Due to a time difference, this required David waking up at an insanely early time to pull off, but it made all the difference to our little guy.

Instead of asking "Daddy? Daddy?" in distress, he'd simply say, "Daddy?" calmly. I'd reply, "Daddy's at work." to which he'd always reply, "Mama?" and I'd say, "Mama's right here." and then he'd smile, giggle a little and move on. This ritual seemed to comfort him and continued both weeks.

As the first week progressed, I became a pro at finding ways to make him feel connected to daddy. I'd give him kisses from daddy, look at daddy in the photo album, build a model of daddy out of playdough (don't laugh, the kid loves it!). Caleb learned to blow kisses to daddy through skype and one night, he was even able to stay up late enough for daddy to read him his bedtime story!

This was the photo in his album Caleb chose to fixate on most often during the week. One night he didn't take his eyes off of it during his entire bedtime story.
Dressing up as daddy was a big hit!
 Despite the challenges of David being gone, my parents and I were finally able to slow down and savor a wonderful week playing outside, visiting a local greenhouse, going to the park, and just spending time together.

 Fun Times with Grandpa and Granny 

He's so excited to be hanging out with Granny and Grandpa!

Grandpa was his special buddy

Relaxing in the backyard
Field trip to the greenhouse.

They take gardening seriously up here. Those beautiful baskets line downtown from spring to early fall and I love it!

Checking out the tadpoles and fish. Caleb's favorite part!
Fun at the park!

Getting a free ride from Granny during toddler time at the roller rink
Mom and I even got a girls night out thanks to Dad babysitting!

On Saturday the 19th, I drove Mom and Dad to a nearby town to catch a shuttle to the airport. It was hard to see them go. I don't think Caleb really understood they were leaving until I put him back in the carseat and Granny and Grandpa didn't reappear. He had a few minutes of hard crying, but luckily my sweet friend Julie who lives nearby (and was many days overdue for welcoming her newest addition) had toys waiting to distract him. We had a great play date and she got to meet her adorable little man the next afternoon!

After that hurdle, the week flowed pretty smoothly. We had three rainy days in a row so we went to the library and the skating rink to burn energy and avoid cabin fever. Friends met up with us and came over for dinner. One friend slept with her phone beside her bed as our "on-call" person all week should an emergency arise. Other friends reminded me to call if we need anything, and I knew they meant it. Our neighbor let me hang out in their back yard while my son mooched animal crackers ; ) I don't think I will ever get over how incredibly blessed I feel to have so many supportive people in our lives.

On Thursday we got a very special piece of mail- Daddy sent us a post card! I told Caleb it was from his daddy and he ran all around with it and cried when I hung in on the fridge so I gave him a piece of tape and let him hang it on his fridge. He seemed satisfied with that solution.

Finally Saturday arrived. I wish I could have somehow captured the joy at that reunion, but photos will have to do!

He hears someone on the stairs and somehow he seems to know who it is...

First sighting of Daddy!!!
Telling him all about it...

He instantly wanted David to play with him

Daddy kisses...

Lead to long Caleb hugs. He latched on and didn't let go for several minutes.

Caleb hugging the special surprise Daddy brought home just for him. We both have fond memories of our dad's bringing us special momentos from a trip and David continued the tradition. 

There were more precious moments, but I didn't capture them on film because it was my turn to get a big hug!

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