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Today you’re three

me and my son

Dear Son,

Today you are three years old. It’s hard for me to believe it has already been three whole years since you joined us. You have brought so much joy and light into our lives. You’re funny. You’ll do just about anything for a laugh. You’re charming. That grin where you wrinkle your nose and squint your eyes is so very cute (but I’m on to you). You’re silly. You love to stand on your head and look at things, or use the wrong end of the binoculars to view your world. You’re sweet. There’s nothing better than hugs and kisses from you.

You are my little buddy. We’re together day after day, just the two of us until daddy gets home from work. You’re my constant companion. You keep me company. You want me to play cars all the time. You stand in my chair and run cars on my head while I type away at the computer. You give the best nose rubs and hugs. I hope you always have a special place in your heart for mommy.

You love to help. I hope you’ll love helping with your little brother. I don’t quite think you understand yet what it means. And I hope that it only brings you joy when we arrive home with him just days after your birthday. You and your brother will be exactly 3 years, 1 day apart. But I hope that you’ll always be good buddies.

I love you so much, little buddy. That will never change, even as we move into a new dynamic with our family. Happy 3rd birthday, little man. I cherish these years with you. I hope you do, too.

Always,

Mama

He knows something’s up

My son has been a little more clingy recently. He stands right next to my chair when I’m working. He’s constantly leaning on me. Or climbing into my chair and standing just behind my shoulder. Or crawling up into my lap.

He knows something’s going on. And that time is short.

It is short. As of Tuesday (the 19th – I started writing this earlier in the week) I have less than FIVE WEEKS to get ready for Baby M’s appearance. I still haven’t dug any of the supplies out of the garage. We have a few diapers on hand. My Moby wrap is in the closet but probably needs to be washed. The bed is still in the garage. Everything is. On top of that we have a ton of other laundry to get caught up on. I am so far behind it isn’t funny. I wish I could take a week off of work to prepare, but we can’t afford that right now.

Nesting? Yes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the energy that accompanies my long lists of what needs to be done.

Back to the boy. He’s grabbing as much mommy time as he can. No complaints here. Mostly. I love it, even as I’m stressing about the work I’m not getting done because he wants to visit my lap repeatedly throughout the day. Soon we won’t have the together time that we do now. Soon he won’t want hugs and kisses from mommy. Soon I’ll be too busy nursing his little brother to cuddle every morning while he watches Elmo’s World. And as much as I’m looking forward to meeting little M, it breaks my heart that I’ll lose the time where it has just been me and the Boobah. I will miss this, even as I anticipate all the good to come.

Up Chuck!

One of the golden rules of babyhood. Never, ever, hold them over your head just after they’ve eaten.

Our son couldn’t have been more than four or five months old at the time. Daddy was playing with him, as he does. It’s so awesome to watch — a father with his child. He would hold him in the air, coo at him, then hold him close.

But one night it was a little closer to mealtime than was, well, safe. Daddy held the boy up above him, and the boy belched. And spit up.

Right into Daddy’s eyes and mouth. Ugh.

I cringe and laugh simultaneously every time I remember that. Maybe partially in relief that it wasn’t me. Ah, parenthood.

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Crying game

Motherhood changes you. It shifts something in your core, tinges how you look at things. I never realized the deep fundamental difference it would make down to my soul.

I sat here, at my desk tonight, sobbing unexpectedly. A short scene on TV reduced me to tears in a brief 30 seconds. Even now, just the memory brings tears to my eyes.

I am not the person I once was. I could watch movies and TV shows without a second thought. Oh sure, things sometimes scared me or disturbed me. But I could distract myself (oooh, something shiny!) and move on.

Not any more.

I was watching Leverage on TNT. It’s new to us, but I’m really beginning to like it. There was a scene in which one of the main characters talked about his son, who died when a treatment was denied. Just them talking about it wasn’t too bad.

But when they flashed to the scene where he remembered his son dying, showed him running into the room to hold his son in his arms after the heart monitors flatlined? I broke down. I sobbed that ugly way when you’re so upset you can hardly breathe, your head pounding from the intensity of it.

Because I think of parents who have lost their children too soon, and then I get a little scared, worrying about my boobah. Wondering how anyone gets through something like that. And not wanting to ever, ever find out.

I’ve always been a little emotional. I cry at movies, poignant scenes, even those darn tissue commercials that were on for a while.

But this? Is something deeper. Something that strikes my core. I can’t bear to watch a child in danger, hurt, or killed. I can’t even read about it. I read Deep End of the Ocean several years ago. I doubt I could handle it now.

Does it ever get easier? This paralyzing fear? This crippling emotion that grips your head and your heart? Is there a way to get through motherhood intact? I don’t know.

I don’t think my family is complete

J and I have had many discussions recently about our family. I want another baby. He’s on the fence about it. That decision was almost made for us recently, as I’m pretty sure I was briefly pregnant. Just long enough to start feeling it, knowing something’s different. Just enough to adjust mentally to the possibility, and start getting used to it. Just long enough to start thinking about how our lives could change, and what we’d need to do.

And then? Nothing. A very late, odd period. Not the usual (I will spare you the details of how it wasn’t the same). So while it’s not 100% certain, and there’s no way now to really confirm it, my body was telling me something.

And I believed it. And I wanted it so badly. I did. Still do. I was left with the feeling that our family is not yet complete. We still have someone else to meet.

But nothing’s ever simple. I had a lot of problems last time. It was not easy. Not for me, and not for J. He had to worry about losing me. I don’t really think that was an issue, but that does not mean that fear was not real. And if I get pregnant again, that fear comes back.

I had excellent care. My doctors were fabulous, keeping good tabs on both me and the baby. When my blood pressure went up just a little bit, they made me go in for monitoring. When the baby was stuck in the birth canal and not making any progress, they went in to get him before he or I went into distress. The surgery was a little rough, but I was fine. Tired, but fine.

Every pregnancy is different. There are no guarantees. The next one could be easier. Textbook, even. My chances of diabetes again, though, are pretty good. So we don’t know. No one ever does, do they?

The question is – are we willing to take that risk?

One year ago today

One year ago, I met a boy. He has taken over much of my life in this past year. But that’s not his fault. He had to rely on me for just about everything. It’s just the way of things.

Today, we celebrate the birth of our son, the great Boobah. He has changed so much over the past year. It really is amazing how fast the milestones fly at you. I can’t even keep up. But I love it.

Being a mom is hard. It’s getting up and caring for your child even when you’re feeling under the weather and they are fine. It’s pulling yourself out of bed at 5 when you really want to sleep until 7. Or 10. It’s making sure they’re fed before you are, because you can wait a 1/2 hour to eat, but your child doesn’t yet understand how to wait. It’s wiping tears, runny noses, kissing bruises, padding corners, washing bottles, and changing a heck of a lot of diapers.

It’s a freaking tough job. I do love it. Even as I wish for just a little time to myself to read, take a bath, take a nap, catch up on email, watch a little TV, or browse a shop. Even as I drag myself out of bed at 3 am to find a lost binkie. And especially when I get soaked from bathtub splashing.

Deep down, I always hoped I would get to be a mom. My parents are the most wonderful examples of love and caring, and I wanted to pass that along. I hoped that there would be someone to look at all of the pictures and hear all of the stories and just want to know where we came from. And a bit of what our lives were like. I want to leave a mark. We do that, in some small way, through our children.

But I never knew if I would get the chance. Hey, life happens and sometimes that chance can pass us by. I was lucky, though. It didn’t pass by. And here we are. My son is one year old. We survived with him only getting dropped on his head once! Or was it twice? (Oh, hai, CPS – just kidding!)

I’m still trying to find a way to balance being a mom with still being me. I’ve always found it easier to worry about everyone else ahead of myself. Maybe I’ll figure it out. Maybe it’ll continue to be a battle. Who knows?

I love that little guy of mine. And while I’m in no hurry for him to get bigger, I’m really looking forward to the adventures we’ll share.

‘MA!’ means come get me now woman

Our son’s crib is in our room. Not just because I want him close so I don’t have to stumble through the house when he cries, but out of necessity. We live in a one bedroom place, so he’s either in our room or the middle of the living room. Not a lot of choices.

We arranged things to where he’s on my side of the bed, at a slight angle. Our bedroom is a jungle of furniture: bed, dressers, desk, sidetable, baby bed. Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff. I have a nightstand next to me, and his crib is on the other side.

Did I mention the kid can now stand up and reach outside of the crib? And that the nearest thing is my nightstand? Did I also mention said nightstand is now CLEAR? Um, yeah.

This morning, he stood in his crib, looking around, babbling, and waiting for his dear, precious mother to WAKE THE HECK UP ALREADY. He’ll usually entertain himself for a bit before he decides he needs a new diaper.

And today, he woke me up by yelling at me. Ma! Momomom. Ma! I rolled over and looked at him and was greeted with a most adorable and huge grin. How could I resist that? The crying? Eh, roll over and go back to sleep. But “ma” and a smile? Up in an instant.

He is crawling so fast now. Zips everywhere. We have a couple of laundry baskets as barriers between the living room and kitchen and barring the hallway to the bathroom and bedroom. He can’t move them YET, but he can stand up and hold on to them, which he loves to do. And he can finally sit back down from standing, which results in a lot less crying and frustration. From both of us. Also, he can move sideways while holding on to things. The coffee table, the couch, the rocking chair. It’s all so fast.

And last night? He got off of the couch. BY HIMSELF.

He was sitting with daddy, decided he wanted down, turned around, and put his legs off of the couch. We watched as he slowly lowered himself down. We cheered him a bit and then he took off. Wow.

Tomorrow is his first birthday. Last year at this time, well, it’s a blur. I was at the hospital, in labor. I had pitocin, and I believe they’d already put in the epidural as well. I don’t even remember when my water broke, but I know I was lying in bed and felt it happen. Did I mention I went to the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, in the morning, to get monitored and THEY KEPT ME? And I didn’t get to leave until almost a week later.

I guess I never really told the whole birth story. I may just have to do that in honor of the kiddo’s first year here. And it will be told often, because mommy didn’t get to have Thanksgiving (actually, I didn’t get to eat for almost 30 hours and I was begging for some food) thanks to a certain little rug rat.

So, maybe some more tomorrow, after we go to Balboa Park. I think we’ll forgo chocolate cake for some brownies or something like that. Haven’t decided yet. No party, just hanging with the boys. I can’t wait.

Grandparents, prepare thyselves

Tomorrow the boobah and I leave to go see my parents. We’re flying. Again. This kid has been on a plane more times already than I was my first 24 years of life.

But since we’re down to one breastfeeding session a day, that won’t be a big issue. But we will be traveling during naptimes and feeding times, which could get really ugly.

I’m trying to figure out what will work for a decent meal on the plane. And hope that he’ll get to sleep a little before we take off so he won’t be completely crabby while we sit on the runway.

My husband keeps telling me that traveling isn’t that bad. And it’s not, yet it is. It stresses me out. Always has. Add to that my worries about keeping the kid safe, fed, and mostly happy, and I’m stressed to the max. I hate traveling solo with the kid. I do.

Yet I do it anyway, because how else are his grandparents going to get to see him? more…