Colorado Springs

We made it to Colorado Springs in one piece.  During our 14 hour car ride I wasn't quite sure it was going to happen.  We did well the first 5 hours....but then Cole decided to rebel.  He wouldn't nurse well and was fussy the rest of the way.  We got stuck in major traffic at Vail, CO.  The roads were super icy and we were stopped/inching along for about an hour along a 1/2 mile stretch.  I will not admit to nursing a baby or changing an extremely poopy diaper of a certain toddler while stopped on the freeway... Finally pulling into the hotel parking lot was bittersweet.  We were so glad to be there, but then we remembered we weren't actually inside with our luggage and in our beds! Anyway, the boys were pretty amazing--I think we've forced them into becoming pretty good little travelers--and I Ryan and I were still friends at the end of the road trip, so I call that a success!

We've been in our hotel now for a couple of days, and tomorrow we'll meet the movers at our new house.  I really like our new place minus the fact that the owners left crumbs in their cupboards for us and forgot to clean their carpets and mop their floors and clean their oven....hah!  There's a little park across the street and it seems to be quite the place to be.  I'm excited for that, but I'm afraid that one of my kiddos is going to end up getting hit by a car after sneaking out of the house to go play.  The back yard is fenced except for where the patio is, and the patio leads to the front porch...We have been working really hard on having the kids stop and look both ways before crossing the street.

The kids are doing so much better with their dad around.  Josh has always been pretty much fine, but Carter really struggled with being sad or grumpy about nearly everything the past few weeks.  Now he's much more pleasant and willing to do what he's asked!  Landon has been much less aggressive as well.  I'm sure part of that has to do with Carter being more pleasant and Ryan being around to help me prevent injuries.  And Cole hasn't really changed much, he's still calm and content.  (I guess if he's not riding in a car for 14 hrs).   He is starting to coo though.   I'm pretty sure that has to do with him getting older and not with daddy being home, although Ryan would beg to differ.  :)

I'm excited and nervous to get settled.  That means Ryan goes back to work and I'm on my own during the day.  I'm sure we'll survive, I'm just hoping that I can remain somewhat sane.  We shall see.  We shall see.

We're All Together Again...

So for the past few months life has been interesting for the Allen family.  The boys and I left Oklahoma in July to live with Ryan's parents until baby Cole was born.  A week and a half after Cole's birth, we came down to southern Utah to stay with my parents. (Ryan came up with this plan, since he didn't want me to worry about taking care of our home and trying to sell it while taking care of a newborn).  Anyway, we've been with out a dad for 3 months, not counting the few wonderful quick visits he was able to make.

On the one hand, I feel like I've been on vacation for 3 months:  Living out of suitcases, only making a few meals here and there, not having to clean the whole house, not having a church calling, etc.  I'm so grateful for my in-laws and my parents for putting up with us for so long.  Especially during the emotional-breakdown times!  And especially now that I have Cole.  I spend a lot of time feeding him and taking care of him, and my parents have really helped out.  My dad's retired, so he takes the "older" boys out when I need a break.  I know that once we move to Colorado later this week, I'm going to be in for quite a surprise.  Life will be harder.  My dad won't be there to clean my kitchen, do my dishes, and entertain my boys.  My mom won't be there to hold Cole for me, to help out with the kids in the morning, and to take Josh to school.  I mean, seriously!  

On the other hand, it will be so nice to have Ryan with us.  Even though I have great help, I'm the boys' mom, and when the boys are naughty or sad or tired, they only want me.  So I might go crazy during the day, but having Ryan home for dinner and bedtimes will help so much!  Having him there to help during the night when Cole won't sleep will be awesome!  We miss him so much.  Especially the boys. This whole experience has shown me the important role the father plays in the family.  The boys need a dad to play with and rough-house with.  They need a dad to be stern with them and tell them to listen to their mother.  :)  They need a dad to cuddle and read stories them.  They need a dad to run to when mom's had enough.  They need a dad to feel secure.  I truly admire women who are raising their kids with out a father because it is hard!

I will say this: I feel that I have grown quite a bit.  I tend to whine and feel sorry for myself if life isn't nice and easy--like the kids feed themselves and put themselves to bed and play well together.  :)  At first I prayed for life to ease up a bit, because I didn't want to deal with hard things.  I soon realized that that wasn't going to happen, so instead I started praying for strength.  I looked to my sister, my mom, my grandma, my great-grandma, and the pioneers for their examples of strength in being mothers.  Now I tell myself that I can't throw my hands in the air and give up when I have a bad day because my kids need their mom.  I think of the pioneer women who kept moving forward toward Zion, even when they faced so many hardships.  I know they did it for their children and their posterity.  Anyway, I'm so grateful that my boys have such a good dad.  I'm so glad to be getting him back this week--and so are my parents!