Friday, August 31, 2012

A Letter to My Boys

You started back to daycare this week and I'm missing you like crazy already.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous about being at home just me and BOTH of you boys once Daddy started back to work, but we found a rhythm easily.  Now I can't believe how fast those few weeks went.  On your first day back, when I told you I'd miss you, but to have fun, you said, "But I'm just gonna go play with my friends all day," like it was no big deal at all.  You'd missed them, and they apparently missed you, too because when you returned, they attacked you with hugs at the door and fought over who got to sit by you at storytime, in music, at lunch, etc.  But the icing on the cake that day was picking you up and watching your reunion with Bennett.  He'd been fussy most of the day (probably missing you) and the two of you laughed harder than I've ever heard either of you all the way home.  You've not cried once at drop off and that more than anything shows me just how grown up you've gotten over the summer.

You're so grown up, in fact, that I couldn't believe what a pro ring bearer you were at your Uncle Matthew's wedding.  You're usually shy around people you don't know, and I thought for sure that you'd chicken out when you saw everyone staring at you, but you smiled a big hamball smile and walked down that aisle no problem.  Daddy and I were so proud of you we were both in tears.  Big saps we are.

You're a whiz at puzzles now and we're constantly trying to find you one that is hard enough for you to have to think about.  Even puzzles with several pieces have become pretty easy for you now.  Pretending is also one of your strong suits, filling our days with imaginary friends and places.  I think part of your imagination comes to the surface because you love making people laugh.  And for a three-year-old, you're pretty damn funny, kid.

Recently, you've had me cracking up by telling stories about when you were "little."  We constantly hear, "When I was little, I usually..."  This is usually in response to being told you can't do something.  Just this week I heard you say, "When I was little, I usually walked across the street by myself."  Or "When I was little, I usually ate snacks before dinner."  Sometimes, though, it's other things, like "When I was little, I was usually an angel."  Or "When I was little, I was usually a teacher and I told the kids they could play outside."

You're growing up so fast, buddy.  I got all misty this week when I bought your new backpack for preschool.  You start next week and can't wait "to go on field trips" and "play on the big playground."  I'm not quite so ready for those things because you still seem too little to be ready for all of that.  I've always known parenting included letting go, I just didn't realize it would start happening so soon.  But, I'm trying, and I promise to keep trying, because I know you'll always seem "too young" to me.  Thankfully, you're still young enough that you'd like me to come along on a few of those field trips this year.  :)

I love you more,

You've gotten so delectably chubby recently that you are in constant danger of me chewing your thighs clean off.  Though you've always been big, the baby fat has reached what I imagine has to be a peak as your knees no longer exist, completely overtaken by the rolls in your thighs.  You've got cellulite for goodness sake.  In fact, when someone sees you for the first time, one of the first reactions is usually, "Oh my...look at those thighs!"  Now that your brother has returned to daycare, our days consist mostly of me nom, nom, nomming on your cheeks, your arms, your thighs.  Thankfully, you cannot get away from me yet so I'm hoping to get a few more weeks of torture in before you start crawling.

It won't be long, though, because even before you turned five months old you were already sitting up unassisted and scooting on your tummy to reach whatever coveted possession was just out of reach.  Your motor skill ability constantly amazes me and terrifies me at the same time.  I'm already in a panic about what to do with Gavin's swallowable toys once you're on the move.

As much as I'm missing your brother, I am so glad I have this extra time just you and me before I go back to work.  This is my very favorite baby time.  When you're non-mobile (kind of), super-happy, and still pretty snuggly, too.  I'm soaking up every second I can and trying to figure out how to bottle up the perfect little wonder that you are.

Not so perfect this month was your very first cold.  It sucked.  Period.  I hope we don't have to repeat it again for a great long while.  Partially due to the cold, and probably just because you're getting to that age, you've started a bit of separation anxiety.  It usually only shows up if you're not feeling well or if you're tired or hungry, but when it does, it's quite possibly the saddest thing I've ever seen.  Even if Daddy or I are holding you, if someone else tries to talk to you or hold you, your face scrunches up and that bottom lip comes out, followed shortly by a sad little whimper and then a full-on cry.

You start daycare in three short weeks, and seemed to really like your daycare room, the other babies and your teachers when we went to the open house this week.  No scrunchy face or anything!  I know you'll be ready, and you'll do just fine...but I'm not quite ready to talk about it just yet.  Today, daycare is still many days away and I'm suppressing the heart pangs that threaten to kill me every time I think about leaving you.

I love you more,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Gavinisms

Because I heard silence in the other room:
Me:  "Gavin, where are you?"
Gavin:  "In the office."
Me:  "What are you doing?"
Gavin:  "Something perfect."

Discussing Bennett's diet with Grandma Clifford:
Grandma:  "We fed Bennett a bottle."
Gavin:  "No, you fed Bennett."
Grandma:  "No, buddy.  I don't have milk like your Momma."
Gavin:  "Don't you have boobies?"

Using a hanger, pretending to shoot an arrow:
Me:  "Don't point at people."
Gavin:  "Can I shoot an arrow in the sky to Jesus?"
Me:  "Would he like that?"
Gavin:  "Ya.  He told me he would like that."

His first feminist lesson:
Gavin:  "You want to go camping with me, Mommy?"
Me:  "Well, buddy...Mommy's not really the camping kind.  I bet Daddy would like to take you."
Gavin:  "Ya, but we could go girl camping. Would you like that?"
Me:  "What do girls do when they go camping?"
Gavin:  "Shoot deer."
Me:  "What do boys do?"
Gavin:  "Shoot deer."
Me:  "So what's the difference between girl camping and boy camping?"
Gavin:  "Ummmm...."

Commenting on my height:
Gavin:  "Mommy, you're taller than the sky!"

On the temperature:
Ryan:  "It's hot in here."
Gavin: "No it's's like 100 degrees."
"What?  These quotes seem perfectly normal to me."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Land of Make-Believe

Today, my bed became theater seating and the wall a movie screen where we watched "the Smurfs."  Bennett's blanket on the floor of the living room transformed into a boat for two and the carpet into a shark-filled ocean.

Yesterday morning, the empty space under the kitchen table morphed into a bear's den and a plastic hanger from my closet an "arrow shooter."  After nap, Gavin's Elmo backpack converted into a makeshift rocket booster and we all took a trip to the moon.

During the Olympics, our living room became the main arena and the area around our ottoman a track. Gavin won the gold every time.

Also...Bennett and I get "locked up" in jail a lot during the day.  I'm still not quite sure what our offense is.

Man, how I love this kid and his quirky imagination.  When he starts preschool next week, my days will be boring by comparison.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Blog!

One year ago, I wrote this post and started my blog.

Looking back, I think I've done pretty damn well with my own set of rules (see how I threw the cussing in there?)...except for posting poems.  I'm still writing them, though not as often as I'd like.  I've got a lot of poem "starts" and images in the little notebook I keep in my purse, but that's the easy part.  It's actually percolating on them and brewing them into an entire poem that's difficult.

This year, I will strive to write and post more poetry.  How's that for a vague promise?  It'll be much easier than the "once a month" rule I held myself to before.  Because, hello!  I have TWO children now.

A lot has changed in the past year...and the whole bringing life into the world thing was the biggest.  It's also why I'm so happy I indulged my craving to blog.  I've got a catalog of my family's life for me to look back on and for my boys to see when they're older.  And that's something to be proud of.

Now go have a piece of cake to celebrate my little blog's first birthday.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Borrowed Time

Occasionally Ryan and I joke that he's been living on borrowed time since his wave runner accident.  With only a ten percent chance to live, multiple surgeries and more than six weeks in the hospital, even the doctors called him a miracle man.
Us...about two months before the accident.
Today marks ten years since that accident.  Ten years of borrowed time.  The scars have long healed, children have been born, old friends have stuck by us and new friends have been made, leaving that day in what seems like another life.  And in the chaos of our every day, that day really is a distant memory.

But today, when I stop and look around at this life we've created, and a decade of change, I can't help but respect the significance of that day.  There are days in our lives that define us.  Days that change the course of our personal history.  August 11, 2002 is the day I almost lost everything I have now.

There are moments from that day and the following weeks that will never leave me.  Having to say goodbye when the doctors said he wouldn't make it.  Praying...HARD.  Feeling the undeniable presence of God.  Never really believing he'd die, and being angered at his doctor's surprised, "He's alive!" reaction after his first surgery.  Him unconscious, squeezing my hand when I visited him in the ICU.  Knowing without a doubt that he really was "the one" for me.

We've always thought Ryan lived because he had more to do on this Earth.  There was some purpose he hadn't yet fulfilled.  Hindsight being what it is, I look at our two perfect boys and this beautiful life we've created, downs and all...and I'm confident it was all a big part of that purpose.

Every year since his accident, on August 11th, we've celebrated what we call "So Happy to be Alive" Day.  Instead of dwelling on what could have happened and all we could have lost, we celebrate all that we still have and what's yet to come.

These first ten years of borrowed time have been pretty good to us.  I can't wait to see what else is in our future.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Cold

I thought we'd at least make it to daycare before Bennett caught his first cold.  No dice.  Gavin summed it up today when he said, "I'm sad, Mommy."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because Bennett's sick."

And he's so right.  Is there anything more pitiful than a sick baby?  The sad, red eyes.  The constant on and off nursing because he can't breathe out of his nose.  The silent screaming while you attempt to suck out his nose with a bulb syringe.  The dry little cough.  The pathetic half cry, half whine because he just plain feels like crap.

And worst...the fact that you can't give him anything to relieve his symptoms, but he smiles anyway because he's a generally happy boy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer's End

Remember that year we spent the summer wrapped up in our family?  The summer with a newborn and a 3-year-old, when time didn't matter and the days all melted into one.  The summer full of magically ordinary days.

We watched An American Tail on the big screen and got ice cream from the truck when we heard its familiar tune.  We took family naps some days and skipped naps on the others.
We baked chocolate chip cookies and licked the beaters.
We snuggled in our jammies, and watched cartoons...because every day was Saturday.  We went for boat rides at the lake and jumped into the deep end of the pool.
We introduced our boys to the vastness of the ocean and built sand castles on the beach.
We did little things like bowling and reading and trips to QT, and big things, like watching our little one roll over for the first time.  We took turns making the baby laugh.

It was the summer that went by too quickly.  The summer we did everything together.