3.05.2017

A Love Letter to My First Son



Dear Theo,

It feels like yesterday when I first met you, peering down over my still round yet quickly deflating belly, the same belly that held you carefully for 9 months. My legs were raised in the stir ups as Jan, our midwife, held you high so I could see your tiny arms and legs extending for the very first time.

And all I could say was, I love him so much! – my first words to you.

I never imagined having a little boy. Growing up in a family where the estrogen ran high I was unsure of how I was going to handle the nonstop energy of the opposite gender. Two years later I’m still scratching my head trying to figure you out. You’re loud, you like to believe you can jump from any height, you’re already talking about poop and calling everyone “poop”, I’m finding rocks in the laundry that you’ve collected in your pockets, and you always want to wrestle.

You’re such a boy!” I yelled out one day after you came inside covered in mud. As I stripped you down to your diaper at the door I immediately contemplated how much Oxyclean solution I was going to have to use in order to remove all the stains.

“You can’t say that like it’s a bad thing,” your father called out to me from the other room.

He was right. You are a boy, and that is the most wonderful thing. You’re going to get dirty, you’re going to think farts and pooping are funny, you’re going to hide rocks in your pockets, and you’re going to see how high you can jump off the playground. You may even break a few bones along the way. And that is great.

You know what else I’m learning about boys through you though? You love to cuddle and you love your mama.

While you were still in my belly I prayed you would come out as a baby who didn’t want to ever be put down. I should have listened to the old saying, “be careful what you wish for”, because I got exactly that. The months after we brought you home tested my strength as a mother and my faith in God. Most nights were spent nursing you, snuggling you, and burping you, not to mention sleeping in an upright position with you on my chest to help with your reflux. You didn’t finally sleep through the night until after your first year. Many days I regretted saying that prayer for a cuddly baby.

But it has paid off.

As you’ve grown older and been sleeping through the night regularly, your desire to cuddle hasn’t faded. When we read together you don’t pull away to sit by yourself. You always choose my lap as your go-to seat. When you’re sad you don’t run off licking your wounds by yourself. Instead you reach up, arms open wide, saying, “hug, hug.” And my favorite part about all of this is when you get hurt the first person you call out for is mama.

I don’t ever take this lightly.

And do you know why?

Because I won’t always be the one you call out for. There will be someone else someday who you’ll choose over me to cuddle with, to hug when you’re feeling sad, to call out to when you need to be comforted. And I’ll have to be OK with that.

Lately it’s been more of a challenge to carry you around, to hold you when you reach your little arms up to me. It’s because of your baby brother growing inside of me. My arms get tired, my belly contracts as it’s nudged by your knees wrapping around me. I ask if you would rather be held by your father and all you say is, “Mama, hold you.”

“Ok, buddy,” I say because I remember I won’t always be your favorite person. There will be someone else.

So in these moments when my arms are tired and my belly contracts more than it should and a part of me just wants a moment alone I’m going to endure and hold you for as long as I can take it.

I love you my sweet, cuddly boy, more than you’ll ever know,

Mama 

2.08.2017

Soft Curves

My second trimester was lovely. I felt great, I slept great, I breathed easy walking up and down stairs, and my bump made the perfect soccer ball shape under my maternity clothes. Most days I forgot I was pregnant. Ok, not really, but I had no complaints. 

And then the third trimester came in with a vengeance. Sleeping has become incredibly uncomfortable. With every waddle I feel the extra weight that's been added. The weeks leading up to when we'll finally meet our little guy seem never-ending. My clothes continue to get tighter, and I feel like a whale most of the time. I've been told more than once that I look like I'm ready to pop. And whenever I tell people I'm not due until the end of March they respond with "oh, you poor thing".

At the gym last week one of the front desk attendants told me I'm a lot bigger than I was with my other two. 

"Thanks! I still have two months," I responded with a fake smile. 

Then I watched as she floundered like a fish.

"But you still look great, like really great! You look so cute! I'm so glad you're here, it's so good to see you!" she said back pedaling her compliment--or insult, I'm still not sure which one it was.

Uh-huh.

I thanked her again, but this time for real. I felt bad that she felt so bad. I know she didn't mean to make me feel larger than life. I ran upstairs--and out of breath--to the elliptical vowing to not stop until I sweated off the pancakes I ate for breakfast that morning.  



12.09.2016

It's Another Boy!

Poor, sweet Anna. We opened the pizza box together, and before our eyes, the ultrasound photo taped to the inside lid revealed what we had been waiting to find out for weeks.

"It's a boy!" Travis and I shouted together. 

Then Anna's little voice cried out: "But I don't want another brother!" I immediately looked down and saw her face drop and the tears begin to well in her eyes. My heart so full of joy broke a tiny bit for my first born who so desperately wanted a sister. It was as if she never wanted anything more in her life. Her own baby sister to hold and nurture and dress up in the sweetest little girl clothes. A sister to begin her huge family of sisters just like little orphan Annie--her ultimate dream. I hugged her and kissed her and told her what an amazing big sister she is to her little brother and will be to her new baby brother. I thought of all the things I could tell her to convince her that it's ok she's the only girl (for now). You'll get to have your own room someday. You'll be mommy and daddy's favorite girl. You'll get to keep all your dolls to yourself. 

12.07.2016

All I Want for Christmas


The past few months have been a whirlwind. Fall is already crazy in itself. Three birthdays to celebrate, a soccer season to fill our Saturdays and at least one night a week with practices, and a new school year schedule to get accustomed to, not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving, plus Christmas to prepare for right around the corner. And then on top of all that, this year we had a big move. Well, maybe not a big move, we only moved three buildings down the street, but a move nonetheless and our first with kids. They tell you it’s not easy moving with kids, but it’s one of those “you never really know until you’re in the throes of it yourself” type of ordeals.

I feel like we’re finally catching our breath in December, but even then we have all the festivities that come with Christmas, and as a mother to two young kids I want Christmas to be magical and special and include every activity that goes along with it. We have an advent calendar and a Jesse Tree; we’ve already baked cookies, watched at least 10 Christmas movies, and listened to Christmas music every day since Black Friday. I have it on my radar to visit Santa, see the singing bears in uptown and walk through the nearby Christmas village, take a carriage ride through the Billy Graham Library lights display, and watch still at least 20 more Christmas movies. Plus there are the parties to attend and the Christmas cards that need to be printed, addressed, stamped, and sent. Oh, and then there are the gifts; gifts for the kids, gifts from the kids, gifts for parents, grandparents, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles, friends…

11.10.2016

Half Way There

I've made it to the half way point. **praise hands** A part of me feels like the baby will be here in no time, but I also feel like 20 weeks seems so far away. I mean, we still have Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day to get through. The leaves still have to fall from the trees and Charlotte's one snowfall in the winter needs to blanket the grass until it all melts away in the afternoon sun. Flowers will be blooming again before my due date rolls around and daylight savings will have already graced us with her sunny presence. Still so far away, right?


To tear or not to tear?!

11.03.2016

Here we go again

I can't believe the last time I posted was back in June. I didn't think it'd be like that, but the summer just got away, I got pregnant, I got really, really tired, and my writing was set on the back burner. I even wrote a post back in April promising myself I wouldn't do that again. I guess you could say I jinxed myself. Since realizing I went on an involuntary hiatus I've slowly started writing again. I have a few pieces in the works and maybe they'll make it to the blog, maybe they won't. I'm having trouble starting a piece and not finishing it. The trend recently has been I lose interest in that piece or I have another idea that pops in my mind and I have to get it down on paper or I'll lose it. Either way, I did finish this small thought below so I'll share it with you, plus there's a bumpdate following it. I contemplated whether I'd even do a bumpdate this time around because, you know, it's my third, but the more I thought about it the more I said, "yeah, this is my third, and he/she is just as important as my other two." So here we go again!

6.18.2016

Something Greater


The day I decided I didn’t like fishing was the day my dad took me fishing for the first time. I was three years old. I was so excited to be going on this special trip, just he and I. I can’t remember where we went or whose boat we borrowed. All I know is we were at a lake surrounded by the tallest of trees that offered a nice reprieve from the summer sun beating down on the water. (Not that my little three-year-old self cared about such things. I was of the age when the heat would plaster my ringlets to my face, sweat dripping in my eyes, and I wouldn’t mind one bit.) I remember looking down at the boat from the dock. It was small, just your typical rowboat. I stood on the dock waiting for my dad to put all the fishing gear onto our tiny boat. After settling everything in its spot he took me into his arms and placed me on the wooden seat across from him. I mustered all my strength to hold on to one side of the boat as he rowed away from the shore, my body engulfed by my life preserver. But I didn’t mind, the anticipation of catching my first fish was killing me. I had no idea though that most of fishing is waiting.