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Happy Halloween from L!

Happy Halloween from our favorite lobster!

One Year Ago Today.

Dear Sweet L,

One year ago today, Mama and Daddy discovered something wonderful: we were going to be parents.

Mama had taken a pregnancy test earlier in the month, but it was negative, so Mama just thought her monthly visitor was showing up late. But, on the morning of October 8, I decided to take another pregnancy test. As your Daddy and I waited for the mandatory two minutes to see the results, we made our bed and giggled anxiously. I was sure that the test would be negative, just like it was a week earlier.

But as your Daddy and I walked into the bathroom and flipped the test over, we saw the words “Pregnant,” and life has not been the same since.

Maternity-Photo

We shrieked with joy and disbelief. We hugged and Mama’s eyes filled with tears. We walked around with permanent smiles for the next twelve hours – we couldn’t believe how blessed we felt.

We called our parents – your grandparents – and they were overjoyed as well. In fact, your Grandma Patty and Grandpa Joe were coming down to Vermillion to visit that weekend, and Mama will never forget Grandma Patty calling her back soon after we shared the news with them – “I am too excited to pack!” Grandma Patty said.

Since that day, our lives have only gotten exponentially better. Your presence has made us the happiest that we’ve ever felt in our entire lives, dear boy, and we feel so, so blessed to call you our son.

L-First-Halloween

Happy one-year-anniversary of our family’s “We’re Pregnant” Day, sweet boy. You’re more than we ever could have imagined.

With love,

Mama and Daddy

Nights and Mornings

Last night, I squeezed your little toesies into your red, white and blue Fourth of July pajamas for the last time. As I zipped up your footie pajamas to your adorable chin, I told your Daddy so, and he said to me, “You’re retiring these pajamas?” And I responded, “Yes, his feet don’t fit well in them anymore.”

But, the real truth is, baby boy…

…all of you doesn’t fit too well in these little pajamas anymore.

**

You’ll be four months old next week, and it’s like someone whispered that fact to you in the middle of the night, when our house is quiet, when all that can be heard from our little corner of life here are sighs and deep breaths and rustling covers and, a few times during the night, tiny, barely-audible baby gulps as you nurse. But at nightime, when the dream fairies dance in our heads and create magical dreams of milk and Mama (for you), of soccer and competition (for your Daddy), of doggie bones and never-ending games of fetch (for Wyatt the Dog), and of Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother” (for Mama), I’m convinced that one little fairy sneaks her way into our bedroom each night and whispers in your ear. Grow, little boy, she says. Don’t you know that you’re almost four months old? It’s time to retire those little baby clothes. Just keep growing big and strong. And when we all wake up in the morning, we look into your deep green-hazel-brown-blue-we-aren’t-sure-yet pools for eyes, and we swear that you grew two inches overnight. We swear that you grow when we look away, for seconds at at time.

**

When you were born, we let you teach us what it meant to be parents, to be your parents. And what you taught me first, L, is how a snuggle can change a cranky moment into a time of sweet curiosity. When I hold you close, a day of gloomy clouds or too-hot temperatures morphs into the perfect hour for open windows, feeling the breeze, taking in the wonder of the weather here on the plains, from its expansive beauty and repetitive corn fields to our town’s temperatures – slightly-cool-but-with-warm-undertones.

But what I’ve learned the most from you in these past {almost} four months with you, sweet boy? You come alive in the morning. It’s like the world signals to you that the sun has piloted its way from the sky’s depths, said hello to the moon as it passes by, and is slowly creeping into position to light the day. But, dear boy, the most beautiful thing about you in the morning is what I learned from you about myself in those first few emotion-filled days of your life: a snuggle can change the tide, not just for you, but for me as well.

L-Mama-Cosleeping

You and I spend our mornings, after Daddy leaves for work, snuggled up together, your chest making friends with my belly, where you used to reside not so long ago. My arms wrap around you and pull you close enough to smell that blissful baby smell (which, in our house, smells like California Baby lotion and something else, something so fleeting, so precious that I’m convinced that the fairies must sprinkle you with sweet-smelling blessings as you dream). You take your breaths in measure to mine, two or three for every one that I take in. And when you start to fuss, I pull you to my chest so that you can hear my heartbeat, the noise that you heard for so many months before you joined our world.

It’s in this little cocoon that we exist, you and I together, for many hours in the morning. Without fail, each morning, the day’s light begins to peek through the curtains, alerting me of the advent of day. Yet that signals to me only to pull you closer, no matter if it’s nearing noon, no matter if my tummy rumbles or my throat is dry – for no one knows how many more mornings you will long for the comfort of your Mama.

Nights and mornings – and everything in between – are so sweet with you, dear child.

The Same Song, Over Again

Baby-Toes

I miss it sometimes – the raw, new, just-had-a-baby feeling that swept over my entire being just a little more than three months ago. I remember the feeling well, but it’s faded now…faded like sunshine leaving its mark upon the plains as it sets each night, leaving pink-streaked goodness in the sky as it falls.

I remember meeting him for the first time, ever, and feeling like I had no idea who he was. But, somehow, deep down, I recognized him, I saw that we knew each other, once upon a time, and that we were meeting again, this time for real, this time in the real world.

I remember watching my husband as he handed our baby to me, his eyes revealing a tender wetness, and feeling the realization that the time had finally come: we were finally parents. Our son was finally here.

I remember looking up as my parents and my brother came into our hospital room to meet him for the first time, ever. I remember feeling so full of pride and accomplishment as I announced his name to them, to the world, to my world.

I remember how food tasted so different those first few days – yummier, almost. I remember the pizza – oh, the pizza. A revelation.

I remember when my milk came, the most unbelievable feeling that stirred within me an unspeakable gratitude for the amazing workings of a woman’s body. It felt like finally feeling the fruits of much-prayed-for rain, sprung directly from God.

I remember the sweet, sweet nurse Hannah who patiently helped me figure out how to work my breast pump. Hannah, who reassured me when our son had jaundice that if I just focused on pumping milk for a little while, that once the jaundice subsided, that he and I would be able to have the breastfeeding relationship that I always wanted, that he and I would experience the everlasting bond between mother and child that is fostered through nursing. And she was right.

I remember the whirring blades of the hospital’s helicopter landing just outside our window, waking him up on our last night in the hospital. I remember being struck with the realization that the only thing that would settle his anxious cries was the sound of my heartbeat, his Mama’s heartbeat, as he cuddled up to me, all night long.

I remember bringing him home, showing him the nursery, clutching him ever so tightly to my chest, afraid of what it meant to love someone so immensely and completely.

L-Changing-Table

I remember being an emotionally-charged, hormonal mess of a wife-turned-mother, and sometimes, I lament that I’ve lost touch with that rawness, that newness.

I often think, Am I squeezing every last bit of goodness, of wonder, of memory out of this amazing life that I’m living right now? Am I remembering enough, savoring enough, loving him enough?

I’m a dreamer. I wish and I dream and I long for things that I don’t have. Silly things, like new couches and a home of our own with walls to paint and room for playhouses and swing sets and deck furniture. Fun things, like return trips to Seattle and going out for a beer on a whim one evening with my husband. And big things, like (eventually) having more children. Because it’s worth it – it’s worth all of the sickness, all of the worry, all of the pain, all of the sacrifice, to feel that rawness, that newness all over again.

But does dreaming for the silly things, the fun things, the big thingsam I too busy dreaming that I forget to savor the goodness in front of me? Because it’s good – it’s oh so goodHe is so, so good.

I find myself wanting to be, dreaming of being that girl who listens to the same beautiful song over and over and over again, just to memorize the words and the chords and the lull of the music a little bit more, a little better. The song that marks the biggest shift, the most monumental change in her life. The song of a boy, the boy, saying those three little words for the very first time. The ting of the telephone ringing, with blissful, welcomed news on the other side. Or, for me, the sweet sound of a baby’s coos, babbles, breaths and sighs.

I don’t want to look back on these blessed months of our son’s life and worry that I took it all for granted, that I forgot to cherish the days (literally, now) that he spends babbling, the way his little eyes crinkle half-shut when he smiles big and wide at me, the way that he knows my voice and follows it as I move about the room.

I don’t want to ever forget this song, his song. Because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.

{Photos by Creative Kindling}

3 Months Old!

Three-Months

Happy 3 Months, L! Mama and Daddy love you oh so much.