Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dear Chris- Month 8.75

Dear Chris ( Month 8.75)
You are crawling!! You started crawling fairly early ( I think) at just over your 8 month birthday (and within a week you were zipping around the house). You are fast and I always hear you coming as those adorable thighs pound the floor. Slap slap thump thump . Your big brother loves that you are mobile now and you can follow him around. Even though he isn’t the best as sharing and sometimes doesn’t like you playing with his toys.  Watching you two play together puts the wind in my sails, even on the hardest days watching your brotherly love is so spirit lifting.  The bond you are forming right now can never be replaced, you are both such beautiful people.
You are getting more adventurous with your eating habits, too. You eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and are even eating some table food now too—not just the pureed baby food I have been making for you. Your pincers and incredibly precise! Impressive little man.  Your tooth count holds steady at 5 (3 on the bottom, two on top) and those are sharp little suckers. I am teaching you NOT TO BITE.  That’s a big lesson this month, and I do think you are actually getting it.
You surely love to be close to your brother, but being by mommy is still number one. I am pretty sure when you are tired or hungry or any kind of unhappy I am the only one who can hold you and make things better.  You are mama’s boy, I love love it.  You are still not the best sleeper, but your smiles and affection towards me (and whoever is around you) more than makes up for those troublesome moments.  Mimi said to me last week when she picked you up from daycare you ‘Hellen kellered her face’. You just touched her face so gently and looked up to her as if the mere fact that she was there was all the world needs. I’ve even received comments from strangers about how engaging you are. You certainly are a beautiful soul.
You go to the doctor in a couple weeks for your 9 month check and I can’t wait to see what you weigh. I am guessing you are still tipping the scales (likely over 24 lbs). And getting quite long too. I think you will be standing on your own and cruising in the next month too. You can already pull yourself up on furniture.  You have been pretty healthy over all, fighting a few colds and runny nose. Teething hasn’t been the most fun and I can noticeably see your discomforts some days. But generally you are one tough cookie.
I have enjoying the warm summer days and I hope the spend as much time as I can while we still have this beautiful weather. Hard to believe September and fall are just right around the corner. But there is always something to look forward too. Thank you for being so sweet and loveable. I am sure we will get your first haircut soon, too. So many adventures await, and we love you so much little man. Keep doing what you are doing—being wonderful—because it is perfect and all the world needs.
Love you so much,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Trying to learn from my kids, the present, the perfection

Life is beautiful. Really, I try to watch my kids and the certain things they do right now and sear them into my brain because I just don’t want to forget. They are growing up I want to savor everything.   But there is just so many things.  From the obvious things they do, the things they say, the sounds they make, the expressions on their faces.  It’s all beautiful and special, and heartwarming and if ever in my life had I know what joy is all about it, I can define it by special moments with my kids. And really, all the moments are special.

I definitely don’t deserve any parent of the year awards or anything here, but I've been surprising myself with myself lately and taking the time to notice. Honestly, we have had some crazy busy weekends this month… non-stop on the go doing things with friends, going places, getting things done… nonstop. Sometimes reducing nap durations or eliminating them completely and going to bed later than normal. And even in the tough situations with tired-emotional kids, the way I have been able to maintain my composure and talk with them through it has surprised me. My knee jerk reaction I would have thought, would be simply anger and snap back in firmness to get to bed. But quite the contrary, I have been able to bring myself to meet them where they are emotionally and walk with them to where I think they need to be…. Usually in bed sleeping. Like the last two nights, Nick hasn’t been tired when we put him to bed 45min-hour after usual bed time, so he has found ways to come get us to stay up a little later; Needs more water, one more kiss from mommy, he bumped his head, he needs covers, or simply crying. This is quintessential toddler; how many ways to can I prolong bedtime? Last night as much as I wanted to get in the shower myself and get myself ready for work today, I was able to rationalize with him somehow sleeping. I don’t know how I it.  I guess my unconscious did it, because kids are the biggest readers of the unconscious space within us. And last night it was calm and loving. And patient—and he got it right away and went to bed. And need I say the best part of it? When he asked for a hug and a kiss. And then one more hug/kiss. And one more kiss. Ugh. It is so darn sweet I think my stomach hurts with all the love.

Some days, some hours, some moments are hard.  But as much as I feel differently and view each breakdown from a different perspective then my kids, it is their right to have feelings, to work their ways through it, and to feel whatever is it they are feeling.  That  is how they gain wisdom, right? From truly feeling and understanding what they are feeling… and then moving on. Because that is the essence of what children do right? They are fully present in the moment, feeling and experience what is happening right then and now. Something an adult tended to get blinded by and jaded, it’s the present moment.  To know all we really have it now. The past is gone and we are not in the future, all we have is now. And all we can do is embrace the moment because it is exactly as it should be.  Every situation has arisen for a reason and it is to teach us something. From a simple lesson to a toddler like when your brother takes ‘your’ toy to teach you something. For the parent who watches the breakdown. Really, it is our children who are our greatest teachers.  They are the ones that remind us to let go on control, to fully feel each moment, and live  life with openness.  I am not perfect and in those moments where I do lose my patience, it’s up to me to learn from them and in like fashion they will see that is ok, everything will be ok. I don’t need to be infallible. I just need to be me, right now, in this moment, fully embracing what is because it, too, is fleeting.  But it is perfect  and it is exactly how it should be.

So yes, back to where I started,  I so wish I could take some of those moments and put them in a bottle so I can open them up and re-live the perfection that they are. SO I guess that is why I want to blog about it. So I can re-read it and remember.  I want to remember Nick sitting next to me and Matt at dinner last night just randomly asking for a hug and kiss while he ate his Indian food.  I want to remember the way he can look at us with one eye brow up in confusion and scrunch his little forehead? I want to remember that he asks to water the garden every night.  That is always wants to climb up when he gets in the car and then have the door lock down. Or that he carries a tune with him everywhere he goes, and he will have no problem breaking out into dance at a moment's notice. And Chris—so many things about babyhood are so fleeting. His smile is constantly changing, he has 5 teeth now and a 6th one is almost there. The inquisitive looks, the longing stares, the way he folds his legs over one another like his brother used to when he is sitting down, his need to be a part of everything, his crazy hair and how it looks in the morning all tossed and tattered, his breathy giggle that is all inhaled, the way he snuggles in your arms, or bounces to music… I can't name it all.

I am just so thankful to have these remarkable kids. And even more thankful to be able to see how remarkable they are. And to have a husband that is wonderful and be a part of this family that I think I could have only dreamed of.  I think back to how adventuresome our weekends have been this month, we’ve done so much I can barely remember all that we do. Like this past weekend; on Friday night after work we went out to dinner then to the st. johns festival together—rode rides, ate funnel cake, got a balloon animal, walked around putting tickets in theme baskets. Saturday we got up, went to kings island and rode rides, had lunch and went to the radio control air show with two cousins, then drove to west side to get burgers and steaks, then grilled out. Sunday we got up, went to the park and grocery then kings island to see the dinosaurs and ride rides, went out to dinner… every minute was filled. And I can't tell you how many times Matt and I looked at each other and said… wow, can you believe how amazing these kids are?! I am grateful. I am blessed.