An Open Letter to O: One Whole Year

Dear Oliver,

Well, we made it. You are officially a year old. This means that your father and I have survived your infancy. I am pretty proud of us. I mean, come on. It is sort of a big deal.

Your actual birthday was fairly unremarkable. I mean, if you don’t count that I burst into tears no less than 30 times. Because, as you probably will know by the time you read these letters, I am a total sap when it comes to you and your sister. L helped your cousin and your Aunt Amanda make cupcakes with a nauseating blue frosting so that the mess would be substantial enough to be photo-worthy. (Success!) You ate spaghetti. And by “ate spaghetti”, I mean WORE SPAGHETTI. The mess was epic. It was a good day.

We had your birthday party this past Saturday. You wore a shirt that said, “If you mustache, I’m one” and we baked your birthday cake and fashioned it into the shape of a giant mustache. Because…you’re practically a man now, little dude. Your sister has already stolen all of your new toys and/or lost the pieces to them. Honestly, it took longer than I had anticipated.

20140616-163934.jpgYou are a little madman right now. Once you started really crawling, you didn’t stop. It took you a really long time to realize that, if you want to go somewhere, you could just hoist your little self up and get going. But you have mastered it. And you are FAST. I put you down in one spot and I turn my head for a second and you are gone. Almost always trying to shut yourself in a room so that you can scream at the top of your lungs for me to come and rescue you. Or, you know, trying to pull shit out of all of the outlets in the house. You are a sneaky little shit. But you are learning so much new stuff every day and you are so proud of yourself when you figure things out. It is hard to believe that in a year, you will be the age your sister is now and running around and talking and singing and doing all sorts of little kid stuff. It is also hard to believe that one year ago, you were just a tiny little meatloaf. All brand new and delicious. And, while you are still totally edible, you are just so big now. You are growing up so fast. And I can’t figure out why it is all so shocking to me. I just watched your sister grow, so quickly, from a baby into an honest to goodness little kid. And it was terrifying. And beautiful. Just as it is with you. But still, every time I look at you, I wonder where the time has gone.

I wish and hope so many things for you, my dearest boy. I hope that you will grow to be the kind of man your father is. Loving, kind, generous, selfless and hilarious. I hope that you will realize the value in all people. (Even some people that you have probably heard me say some not so good things about. Because that will happen. And, for that, I am sorry. Because even those people have value. I just may not know what it is. I don’t know everything. Except that…Yes, I do. I am your mother.) I hope that you are nice to your sister. I hope that you know that you two are so loved and such a gift to your father and me. I hope that we show you that enough. I am going to do my best to make sure that I do. And I am going to do my best to be an example of humility for you and L.

I can’t wait to see who you will become. But at the same time, I wish I could push a pause button sometimes just to hold on to these moments that are flying by too fast. You are a beautiful little soul.

As always, my little love, you are the light of my every day. You make all the other nonsense worth it. You are the love of my life. I hope you know that always.

Here’s to another wonderful year and so many more to follow. I love you. I love you. I love you.

To the moon and back,

Mom

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The Times, They are A’Changin’

I want to write about L turning two. I really do. But it happened so quickly that I can’t even put any of it into words. I can’t believe that I have a two-year-old and in a little over a week, Baby O will no longer be a BABY. He will be ONE. And I will be the mommy of TWO EFFING TODDLERS. How did this even happen?

Things with O are progressing just as they did with L. He didn’t have much interest in getting around on his own until just a couple of weeks ago. It seems like a lightbulb went off inside his head and he suddenly said, “Hey. Wait a minute. I guess if I want to get from HERE to THERE, I need to get on this shit.” And he did. He isn’t walking yet, but he is really trying. Like, if you try to put him down on the floor into the seated position, he hurls himself backward in protest. Sitting is NOT COOL, you guys. Not cool at all. So he crawls and opens cabinets in the kitchen and knocks things over and rips paper things apart. And, even though I seriously JUST DID THIS with L, I had forgotten how crazy babies are when they are just starting to explore their world. Holy shitballs. I am in so much trouble.

L is a sassy little thing. And O is on the move. There are tantrums and loud crashes and Play-Doh eating (purple is the favorite). There is the bumping of little noggins and the fighting over toys. There’s transitioning from formula to whole milk and solids only. There’s potty training looming on the horizon and just SO MUCH NEW STUFF.

I love that, in the near future, the kids will be able to enjoy (or not enjoy so much) each other’s company. They will be able to play together at a more even level and they will learn from each other. I am so excited for all of that. But man, it sure terrifies the shit out of me. I remember that short time when I only had the one kid. I remember how difficult I thought it was. And now, present me wants to go back in time and slap the shit out of past me for ever complaining about it. Because SHIT JUST GOT REAL. I have definitely eaten my words. Definitely.

Currently, O just annoys the piss out of his sister. If he reaches for a toy, she instantly grabs it from his hands. Generally, he giggles at her and picks up a different toy. But occasionally, there are meltdowns. Sometimes, he gets angry when she snatches things from him and screams like he is being stabbed in the temple. Sometimes, the fact that he reaches for another of HER toys angers L so much that she screams like SHE is being stabbed in the temple. Sometimes I scream like I am being stabbed in the temple because all of the screaming is just too much to bear and well…if you can’t beat ’em…

L’s tantrums stem from everywhere. She isn’t as bad as some two-year-olds I have seen. But she definitely is a drama queen. Yesterday, she had a coronary because O was eating a cracker. So, I gave her a cracker. Then she screamed more. Because she did not want a cracker. Today, she is obsessed with her juice cup. If there is no juice in her cup, there is a meltdown. If I take the cup to refill it so that there will BE JUICE IN THE CUP, there is a meltdown because she is not holding the FULL CUP yet. It is challenging. And sometimes I do want to run away from home. But mostly I think that a good pair of ear plugs would be sufficient. Well…maybe.

The other day, a friend attempted to do a Cake Smash photo session with O. And HE was the one having an epic meltdown. Because it would definitely be too much to ask that BOTH of my children be in a good mood at the same time. This is pretty much how it all went down.

This about sums it all up.

This about sums it all up.

 

 

An Open Letter to My Daughter on Her Second Birthday

Oh my dear Lilah,

TodaSecond Birthday Party May 17th, 2014y is your second birthday. I am in tears right now just thinking about how quickly the time has passed. I wouldn’t have mentioned that because it makes me seem like a total sap, but I am afraid it will make it hard for me to type. So, for that, I owe an explanation.

Two years ago today, at 7:22 am, we welcomed you into our lives, our hearts, our souls, the world. I remember when they placed you into my arms for the first time so vividly that it feels like yesterday to me still. I remember the look on your father’s face when he saw you for the first time. It was a combination of horror (because, he did, after all just have to watch HOW you came into the world in the first place), joy, fear and total bliss. It was the most amazing moment of our lives. The moment we became parents for the first time. The moment we would forever remember as the moment we started living for someone other than ourselves. You changed our lives forever. And I thank you so much for that.

Without you, little one, I would have never known the joy of parenthood. I would have also never have had to stay awake for 37 consecutive days either. But I can overlook that. (Until you are a teenager. Because that is when the payback will begin. Just sayin.) You have enriched me in ways that I can’t even put into words. You have made me a better person all around.

Parenthood is hard, little one. It is not for the faint of heart. It is exhausting and thankless and, honestly, the pay is total crap. There are no breaks and your bosses tend to be one third of your size, very vocal and super demanding. But said bosses are also super cute and give the best hugs in the world. So, maybe the pay doesn’t suck THAT bad. Hugs are pretty awesome. It is hard to explain how much being your mom has changed me. How much more I appreciate everything. A hot cup of coffee. A solid hour of doing nothing at all. A beautiful day. A big, toothy grin. A belly laugh. You have made my world more beautiful. You have given me something for which I can never repay you. You have turned my world from the drab black and white world I used to live in, to a vibrant, colorful, beautiful place. And, even with the crappy pay and the sleepless nights and the diaper changing, I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Because you are my whole world.

I am so, so proud of who you are becoming. You are polite and sweet and totally smoochable. For now, I am the center of your universe, as you are mine. And I know that this time is so fleeting. I know that you will continue to grow and to need me less and less as you transition from a toddler to a child to a teenager and then an adult (holy shitballs, I am going to be OLD when that happens…) and I just hope that you never have any doubt in your mind as to how grateful I am to you. How much I love you. How much I cherish every small thing you do. (I don’t really cherish the tantrums…but, I assume these will eventually stop. Cheesus, help us all, I hope they stop.) I hope that you know that I will be your biggest fan forever. I will support you and love you no matter what. Even when you are 16 and have a horrible attitude and want to date that guy with all the face-piercings and A Flock of Seagulls hair. Yes. Even then.

I hope that you read these letters someday and they not only show you how much you mean to me, but I hope they help provide a better understanding to you of why I might have been so protective at times. Or why face-piercing guy isn’t allowed to EVER go into your room. (EVER.) I hope that you get a better understanding of me, not just as your mom, but as a person who was once not a mom. but a person who never even knew she wanted to be one. And is so incredibly happy that she became one.

I love you, my first born. You are the best thing that ever could have happened to me.

To the moon and back,

Mom

 

An Open Letter to Baby O: Ten Months

Oh, Oliver. My dear, sweet, adorable little man. You are getting so ridiculously big. You are almost not a baby anymore. It is so amazing to me how quickly this year has flown by. Just a year ago last week, we had your baby shower. I called it a “sprinkle” because I felt like it was a little insane of me to have had two full-on baby showers in 13 months. But, that doesn’t matter. It was a big party. And it was a whole year ago. And you are here and you are already turning into your own little person.

The last ten months has flown by, for sure. It is such a gift to have been able to stay home with you and watch you grow and explore this new world. It has been INSANELY difficult to be a stay-at-home-mom. But it has been well worth it (most days). I can’t help but feel that your infancy is going by too fast for me though. I mean, there have been plenty of times when I have wished you were walking and talking and capable of entertaining yourself (and/or your sister) so that I could step out of the room for 35 seconds without someone starting to wail like a hyena. But mostly, I feel like, when your sister was your age, she had me all to herself. And your dad was not working 16-hour days. And I wish that I could give you all of my attention. At least sometimes. But you seem to be happy. You are cuddly and completely smoochable. ALL THE TIME. (Well, except when you are screaming, which is rare and usually occurs when you REALLY don’t want to go to bed. But, unlike your sister, you usually settle down on your own and sleep like a little angel. You know…usually.) I promise that your dad is doing all that he can do right now to find a job that will allow him more time with all of us. And I promise that when that happens, you and I are gonna have some really good one-on-one time. Because you, sir, are the cutest, best boy I know. And I want ALL OF THE SNUGGLES.

You still look like a tiny version of your dad. Your eyes are big , like mine (but they are the color of Daddy’s), and your hair is blonde, like mine. But there is no denying that you’re his. (Not that there was ever any doubt! Don’t worry!)

You aren’t crawling yet. This, I must say, doesn’t surprise me. Your sister never really crawled either. You are lead to believe, when you have a baby, that all of you little nuggets do the same stuff. You know, generally. Not so, little dude. You and your sister are very different little people. But you have this, never wanting to crawl thing in common. You do, however, have a GREAT interest in squirming away from people when they are trying to hold you. Which poses a problem because you can’t GO ANYWHERE YET and you are more likely to end up on your head than anything else. We are working on getting you walking as soon as possible. Because your little noggin…your poor little noggin. The good news is that you stand REALLY well (assisted) and today actually cruised a little bit. And you turned all the way around to reach for me. It was a pretty exciting time. You looked very proud of yourself. And I took 87 pictures with my phone. Because…well…I’m your biggest fan.

You are lying down on the couch next to me right now, furiously kicking me while I type and throwing toys onto the floor. You seem very pleased with all of the noise you are making. You are very fond of making noise. A LOT OF NOISE. But I forgive you, because you are really cute. And I plan to pay you back for all of this noise when you are older. One word: AIRHORN. Be warned.

You have seven teeth and you feed yourself like you have been doing it all of your little life. You needed no instruction with a sippy cup at all. You’re just all grown up already. I have your college applications ready.

As always, I am so in love with you. More and more every day and I just thank all the gods and goddesses that had a part in bringing you to me. You are beautiful and amazing and I couldn’t be happier to get to be your mom.

To the moon and back,
Mom

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An Open Letter to Baby O at Six Months

Oh, my Darling, Oliver,

You are growing SO FAST. You turned six months old the other day and I am having a hard time processing that. Because about this time last year, I was starting to plan your sister’s first birthday party. And now here you are…catching up with her. I can’t believe it.

You got your first tooth on December 7th. And not without a lot of screaming. I will be the first one to tell you, son, that you are the loudest screamer EVER. You are quiet and content and giggly almost all of the time, but when you scream, little boy, you don’t mess around. Your sister had a hard time with the teething too, as all babies do, but she didn’t come close to your range of angry sounds. L just kind of fussed continuously for months while those stubborn teeth popped in, one by one, taking their damn time and ruining any plans I had of sleep or peace in general. You are like a really pissed off air horn. I will forgive you sometime between now and your first birthday (hopefully) when all of these little bastards are in place and I can sit back peacefully and wait for the molars. At which time, I will move out of the house until you are finished growing them. Just kidding. (Kind of.)

You sit up unassisted. Which, I mean, isn’t new. But it is something you are doing. You seem to be hitting your milestones a little slower than you are supposed to. But this is totally my fault. Or, rather, your sister’s. I am terrified to put you down on the floor to let you explore your body and strength and surroundings for two reasons: 1. we have hard wood floors and I am constantly concerned that you will lose control of your giant noggin and crack it open and 2. the other day, I put you on this baby gym thing that lies on the floor and has toys dangling above your head. I went to the bathroom and left the door open to where I could hear you and your sister but could not see you. I heard your muffled cries and ran into the living room with my pants around my ankles, only to find your sister, straddling your face, attempting to reach the dangling toys. And I screeched like some sort of bird not yet identified by scientists and pulled her off of your face. So…needless to say, our home is a dangerous place for the likes of you. And if it takes you a little longer to crawl but your cranium remains intact, so be it. Score one for mommy.

Aside from almost being smothered by your sister, you seem to really enjoy being around her. You get so excited when she is around. You giggle at each other and you babble to her and she treats you just like I do. When you cry, she strokes your head and says, “It’s OK, baby” and she gives you hugs and kisses ALL THE TIME. And you eat it up. And it melts mommy into a big, slimy puddle of gooey love all over the place. I really can’t believe how quickly and beautifully this bond is forming between the two of you and how blessed I feel about getting to witness it as it does.

You have giant, pink cheeks and beautiful hazel eyes. And you have a wonderful, happy disposition. You sleep well and you eat well and at your six month checkup on 12/12, you weighed in at a whopping 20 pounds, 11 ounces and you were 27 inches long. You are a big boy. Rightly so. You are definitely your father’s son. And that makes me happy. I hope that you learn from him how to treat the ladies. Because, honey, your father is truly a gentleman. I am so lucky to have him. And so are you and your sister.

We are finally about to transition you into sleeping in your crib full-time. And yes, we may be slow to do this, and we are aware. But your sister didn’t start sleeping in her crib until six months old (although, she pretty much still hates it) and your room was an utter disaster until this past weekend. And now, it is complete, and ready for YOU. Daddy put all kinds of things together for you and we bought all new toys and bedding and fun things for you to look at and play with. Just in time for Christmas!

I hope that, when you read these letters, you know that I love you more than I could possibly document here. I hope you know that there is nothing better than you and your sister and our little family.

I love you always, little man.

Mom

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