Well... I finally did it. I left Jaden for more than one night. The UNI men's basketball team headed to its conference tournament in St. Louis this past weekend. This is a trip that is pretty much an annual event for my family (although I didn't go last year). It is always a blast (obviously even more fun when the Panthers win). I wasn't planning on going again this year... I didn't want to bring Jaden because it's not very "kid" friendly if you really want to have a fun adult time. And I also didn't want to leave him. So I just didn't even consider going... until I got to work Friday morning. I must have had some kind of intuition that UNI was going to win the championship because within an hour of getting to work on Friday, we had made arrangements for Cody's parents to babysit Jaden all weekend and for the two of us to meet up with my parents and stay at the team's hotel downtown STL. Of course I was in complete panic all day on Friday at the thought of not seeing my little boy for potentially more than 48 hours. I cried when I left him. But I'm so glad we went... we had so much fun!!! Our hotel was great with a nice bar right in the middle of the lobby. There were so many Panther fans staying there that there were huge parties every night after the games until like 3 in the morning. (Needless to say we didn't really get much sleep while we were down there). We had some great food -- even walked through the casino that was attached to our hotel... and George Clooney was in the VIP room of that casino. I didn't actually get to see him, but we were told he was in St. Louis shooting a movie while we were there. It's always fun to hang out with a bunch of Panther fans, and there are now lots of great memories of that weekend! Cody got to talk to some of his former teammates from when he was on the UNI football team. I got to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while. We got to watch FANTASTIC basketball and cheer our team onto an NCAA Tournament birth. I survived the entire two days without seeing Jaden (although I did talk to him on the phone a couple of times) -- and it was fun for Cody and I to have some time for just the two of us. (Not to mention the weather was GREAT). When we got home on Sunday night, it was so nice to see Jaden but it was also nice to realize that I was able to go away and ENJOY myself while I was away. (Not something I want to do very often though --- I love my little boy too much!)
When I picked Jaden up from daycare Monday night, Jami told me he'd been saying "Mom-mom" all afternoon. Good to know I was missed! ;) Cody and I both thought he looked like he grew over the weekend. He looked taller and older! He is looking more and more like a little boy and less and less like a baby. I can't wait to watch him play sports one day. I was so nervous and emotional during the championship game in St. Louis that one of our fans turned around and said to me, "haha - just wait until you're watching YOUR kids play." Which is so true --- if I'm this nervous at UNI games, I will be a wreck when I'm watching my kids!