Monthly.Letter.To.Reeve

SEVENTEEN MONTHS!

 

Dear Awesome Man, I blinked and you lost any resemblance to a baby that month 17 of your life held and became a full-on toddler. You would think that with the millions and millions of moms in the world, we would all be able to figure out a way to slow this whole *life* thing down, wouldn’t you? As much as I want you to grow and be big and healthy, I also want to just hold on to each second as long as I can. As I type this you are sleeping in the Pack N Play in Don Linny (Mommy Linny’s) house. Words cannot quantify the love you have for her. It’s like I am a footnote and she is the whole story. I can leave the room and you say “bye mommy,” but if she walks 2 feet from you your bottom lip goes down, tears fall and you start screaming “Linnnnnnnny.” You just love it here. When your cousin Jack was a little(r) boy, he described Wathena as “his childhood” and I get it now. Here you can run in the big yard, watch Superman cartoons with PPJ, play with metal airplanes in the basement, eat ice cream for every meal (Superman ice cream at that), go to the old airport a mile away just to watch planes take off, you get hundreds of new toys and baths are extra fun with all the Submarines and characters. You get to feed ducks at the park and have a steady stream of visitors. The town playground and it’s red and blue plastic baubles are just a hundred feet away. I’m sad for you, buddy, that they are so far away and I do my best to bring you to them as much as I can. Thank goodness for Facetime….then again, the worst is when you try to reach through the screen for her. Just 1 day with your older cousins and I swear you have changed so much. Daddy is going to spend 10 minutes with you tomorrow and be so amazed by how much you’ve learned. For instance, “Man” is now “Su-PER-MANNNNNN” and you can tell me which shape is an oval (said with the squeakiest voice) and triangle and know all of your shapes including moon, heart, square and circle and rectangle. Daddy will not believe you can do this! We had a good month, dude. We said goodbye to the pool and are trying to find a new normal with indoor play and learning colors and the alphabet. We will really miss the pool….on our last day you were able to float in the Big Pool all alone with your Puddle Jumper on and didn’t want any help from Daddy or I. You will miss splashing and running and I will miss the long naps guaranteed after 2 hours there each day. I took you to the indoor pool at the Rec Center after the pool closed and you just kind of sat and watched all of the water sprinklers coming out of the ceiling and slide, you didn’t really enjoy it. You now nap about 30-45 minutes during the day and fight me tooth and nail to go down. You are down to one Nursing Session a day after weaning yourself off of your night session (more on that later…) You love to fall asleep holding your giant Superman pillow and wake up screaming for him.  You still sleep with your butt up in the air and we don’t use a monitor at all anymore. I tried taking you to Story Time twice this month, but it’s just not right for you. You remember all of the songs, though we hadn’t been in months, and are more interested in pulling books off of the shelf that you want to look at or running around. You are so much bigger than the other kids and so curious it’s hard to contain you. I tried to lift you up for “tick tick song” and you are too heavy anyway. We learned a new song at one of the trips and I sang it to you that night. I substituted the word “monkey” for “apple” and you corrected me and made me sing it the right way. Smarty pants!!! At night, now that you’ve weaned yourself and don’t nurse, our bedtime routine has changed a bit. Still bath then about 15 books (obviously you prefer Superman books and then like to Punch “punssss” things, but I try to read you books that calm you down. We then do the back-and-forth kiss between Mommy & Daddy until you look at me and say “night night.” Daddy turns out the light and we rock. The first week or two this process of rocking you to sleep took about 20 minutes, now we are down to 2-5. You would toss and turn and do gymnastics in my arms. You would talk to me and we would tell stories about Don Linny being stuck in a tree (and then you’d ask each morning if she got out and remember each night when we started over and say “linny…..stuck?”). We would sing and you’d ask questions and I’d make up funny stories about unicorns and Molly Dog and Hannah being best friends. About 4 days in, you starting asking for “night night” again (breast milk).  I told you ONCE that “night night is broken” and now, 3 weeks later, each time we sit in your chair you ask me over and over again if it’s still broken?  Now, we just watch the lights go out and look at the one star on the ceiling that glows and rock for a few minutes and then I just put you in your bed. No problem….easy as can be!  It’s such a relief that this process I once was so terrified to make (the transition from nursing you to sleep) to just going to sleep is going to so well.  I don’t mind rocking you to sleep, some may say that’s a bad habit, but I know you wont want me to do this forever. It’s been such a natural decision and choice on your part too. I’ve not had to force you to give up nursing, you just did it one night asking for a “boddle” and we’ve never looked back. This month your vocabulary is the most noticeable change. You can speak in 4-5 word sentences. You are very good with using the correct tense and pronouns. Honestly, there is nothing you can’t say or communicate to us. You are able to tell me exactly what you want to eat (chee-burger) or what you want to play with. That sure makes my life a lot easier. We just laugh and laugh at most of the things that come out of your mouth. I’m so glad you are able to pronounce your own name properly though often you introduce yourself as “Awesome Man.” You say funny things like, “oh goodness” and “Did it” when you figured something out on your own. You say “Nice!” a lot when you think something is cool and will look at us and say “hold you” when you want us to pick you up or “need you” when you want us to help you with things. You know all the names of the kids in the street, but still prefer Deklan then Ryan (on on) or Christian (kiss-ton) or Nick or Amelie. You love playing outside with all of them and look out the window for Jetta & Bailey all day long. You say “bye bye” to everyone and everything we leave. Sometimes it takes us awhile to get anywhere b/c you are too busy telling everything goodbye. You love to say “Reeve hold” or “Reeve help” or “Reeve eat” and can now pronounce your “Men” properly. Superman went from “man” to “duper man” to SUPERMAN!!! shouted at the top of your lungs. One of my absolute favorite things you do is walk around singing the opening Duh Duh Duh, du du du du Duh from the theme song. You do each Duh with such conviction and precision. You will sometimes also do the Batman (na na na) song. We allow you to watch Superman cartoons on the iPod in the car, but immediately after only one episode you walk around trying to punch things….there sure is a lot of punching on those cartons. You love Aquaman (aka-man) and Spiderman (you say Piderman) and Batman (bat-tan) and Wonder Woman (nah-man) and Flash (fash) and Robin (wobin) and Joker….yes, you know them all and don’t you dare give him the wrong one!  He’s got about 40 toys with Superheroes thanks to Aunt Connie :).  You like to stick each toy in your little back pack (pack pack) and open and shut it over and over again to make sure they are still in there. We hear the word “no” a lot. I don’t think you know the word “yes” even though every time you tell me “no” I tell you “yes.” I ask you questions that I know the answer to is “yes” and you still won’t say it. You know all 100 words in your Word Book and are learning your shapes and colors. Pink seems to be the color of a frog and the apple and the pumpkin….you’ll get it. You love to do shapes and can always point out star, heart, moon, triangle and oval (it’s so cute to hear your voice get real high when you pronounce them).  You like doing “fash cards” and reading books all day long. You are especially partial to any Superhero book or the Little People one with flaps and any with a truck, plane or monster. You are very physical this month….running as fast as you can and throwing your body at me is fun. So is rearing back and hitting mommy’s nose with your head and breaking it. NOT FUN! You love to hang on things and are getting very generous with your hugs (I call them Squeezes). You think it’s so funny to fake cough, laugh and cry. Your arms are still wild like E.T. when you run. Sometimes you fall down on purpose and say either “Safe” or “ok, ok” to let us know you are okay. When you do get a little hurt, you say “Kiss Mommy” and usually hold out the wrong finger or hand for me to kiss. You’ve thrown a few tantrums this month.  Mostly when we don’t give you something you want. You love to hit Mommy. You don’t hit Daddy, just me. We tell you “don’t hit mommy” and you start saying “Punsss Mommy.” You just can’t control your arms, I think you get so excited they just start hitting things. You are very much a boy in that you like to get messy and make messes. You pick up something we’ve just gathered, dump it out and say “mess.” Aside from when you hit me, you are a very polite little boy. You always say Please when you want something and are getting better each day with Thank You (both of which you say, but also use the sign for). Thank you sounds like “Q”. You aren’t especially good at sharing quite yet. You also aren’t very good at apologizing when you’ve hit Bailey or taken a toy from Deklan. You CAN say the word, you just won’t unless it’s to me. A few times, I’ve threatened that if you don’t apologize we will go inside….you don’t….and we do! 😦 This month you attended a 3-hour daycare for the first time and ROCKED it. I was a mess, but your report was that you cried a few times then played just fine. We had a trip to the zoo where you were obsessed with everything in the fish/bird/snake building. You chased the peacocks and waved at everything. You were terrified and equally obsessed with the train. We just had a really good month! You are just such a really good kid. Sure, you have moments and don’t share very well and get overly excited and whack me, but you are just really sweet. I’m often overwhelmed at a very basic level about my love for you. Sometimes I look at you and it’s truly as though I’m just seeing you all over again for the first time. Each time a new word you speak I feel like a soft, small hand is patting my heart. I don’t let any moment go unnoticed. I take hundreds of pictures of you and you live your life with me constantly snapping away at you, but I just can’t bear the thought of someday not having these memories stored away for me to recall and you to cherish. How do parents bear to let time get away with pictures and videos of all of it? We are constantly shocked by you. It’s not so much what you can say or are physically able to do, but I think, that you are actually ours? How did this happen? How did your Daddy and I get so lucky? How do we give proper Thanks? As you become more and more independent, more vocal and more able to communicate to us, I just want to make this promise you. I want you to know that I will always be proud to be yours, proud that you are mine. It’s the greatest ever to be your Mama. I hope you just always stay this way, so curious, so smart, confident and certain of what you want. Why is it that we complain about toddlers’ strong little personalities when it’s these very traits we wish for our children to grow up and have. I don’t want to change you. Or hurry you. Or ever discourage you. To the Moon & Back, MommyIMG_2123IMG_2137IMG_2145IMG_2148IMG_2152IMG_2165*sweet face below…when you put your hands on the side of your face and move it side-to-side….You won’t do this on command so I’m lucky I got a pictureIMG_2179IMG_2186

Favorite things to do: Hang on bars at parks, tackle, climb, run to Deklan, fight Superheroes against each other really hard, choo choos Favorite things to eat: Noodles & Co, green smoothies, pineapples, quesadilla, pulled pork Dislikes: I’m having a hard time with this. Vegetables? Having to say “I’m sorry” Funny Tricks: learned how to lick a popsicle or sucker, does tongue like a lizard, bear crawl, jump and land on butt, swing, slide, zerberts on mommy’s belly, Scary items: Moss-ters and scarecrows Cute item: Superman pillow and panda bear stuffie Hair color: Surfer blond and everyone tells us you need a trim, but we don’t care what they think Eye color: Blue, but sometimes I think they are turning green like Daddy’s Clothing size: 2T Diaper size: 4 Weight: probably 28.1 pounds Height: 36.5″ The doctor made the nurse measure you twice Teeth: 14. bottom incisors are still poking in and out

Funny Words (we counted over 350 including all 100 in your Word Book and flash cards, names, etc.

  • quid pro quo (yes, you actually said that)
  • medicine
  • what’s it say (you asked me this about a book)
  • Who is that?
  • penis and gina (you think I have a penis and look for it a lot)
  • Thank you (q)
  • oval (your voice gets really high-pitched) same with Triangle
  • Pink
  • Lemo-made
  • limousine
  • chattanooga (nooga)
  • target
  • Juice Bucket = bowl of milk
  • Aquaman
  • Deklan (you now pronounce the R)
  • good, huh? (which we always say to you and you now say to us)
  • bless you, mommy (any time we sneeze)
  • Devereaux (baby across the street)
  • Empty & Thirsty
  • baseball (base-uh-ball)
  • homerun & touchdown

FIFTEEN MONTHS!

Dear Reeve,

could our life together be any more fun? I never dreamed in a million years I would get such a kick out of you. You are so smart, so sassy…so passionate and so full of love. I just get absolutely lost in how amazing you are. On any given day, as your Daddy and I lie in bed and retrace the tricks/funny things/ornery-ness/bad behaviors/cute smile for the day, I just can’t help but say, “Isn’t he awesome?”

I don’t care if you are more bad than good on any given day. I don’t care if you climb on your dresser and drop off of it (bad boy). It doesn’t matter if you fling applesauce into my face or bite my shoulder or arch your back as you do when I’m trying to buckle you into your carseat.
YOU. ARE. AWESOME!

And I love you so. I just want you to know that. I want you to know how much fun these past 15 months have been. Long gone are any memories of late night feedings or sleepless days or worry about the color of your poop. As you get older, I just focus on keeping you alive (from hurting yourself that is) and on being ever-so-grateful for YOU and your health and our little family and our adventures.

This 15th month of you life could aptly be titled, “The Adventures of Buggie.” I’ve taken this moniker for you as a variation on Bubby. It works so well since you are obsessed with small, crawly creatures and often stop to bend down on any sidewalk to look for them. You point and say, “oh….buggie!!!!” then….you are off to look for bunnies or birds or kids or to “pway” or some other grand adventure.

Or, better yet, maybe we could title this month, “The Things Reeve Can Say.” Because, Reeve, it’s amazing how much your vocabulary grew this month. I’m not exaggerating when I count over 75 words you can say. At your 15-month checkup the doctor said, “does he know 10+ words?”  I laughed at him. You just parrot any word we throw at you (Borneo, tunnel, watch, frog, magic). I love your little brain!

It gives me so much to look forward to when you say a new word. I can’t wait to have conversations with you. To hear the things that are going to come out of your mouth. Lies, fibs, stories. I only hope I can figure out a way to quickly write them down so that I can remember them always.

Life has gotten a bit easier. It seems you have turned a corner. And I say that carefully. You no longer hit other children at Story Time (maybe b/c we don’t go every day and you forgot that you like to hit them). You no longer bite. You make choices and are polite and say “please” and “Thank you” and are, in general, a very sweet little boy. Just yesterday, a mom who we haven’t seen in over a month said to me, “wow, Reeve has really mellowed out.” You can answer Yes/No questions (No seems to be the answer more often than not). You can think about your answers and sometimes look at me and say “ummmmmmmmm” as you think, with your hands up to question yourself. You can tell us what you want (‘eat’ when hungry, ‘night night” when sleepy, drink, play, etc). And you can remember things we taught you or did days ago. It makes our days a little smoother to be able to communicate with you. I remember hesitating to use Sign Language b/c someone told me it delays speech….I COULD NOT DISAGREE MORE!  You still sign “more” and “please” and “Thank you” and “eat” and without these key words, we would be on different pages all the time. You just seem like a different kid than you were last month. Being able to make choices and to let me know what you want allows less tantrums. There are still a few, don’t get me wrong, but often-times we have days with none.

You have begun to put together thoughts and turn them into 3-word sentences.  “Bunny eat grass” “Soap on knee” “Plane go bye bye”…..the idea of “bye bye” is one you use so often. Not just people go “bye bye” but anything we put away (books, plates, clothes) and bunnies that run off or cars that go by. Sometimes, you even will look at your arm where you Daily Tattoo is and if it’s not there you will say, “Tattoo go bye bye?”

You told your first joke this month. It started off with “Ice Ice Baby” after a little coaxing and now you will look at any cup of our ice (or juice) and say “Ice….Babeeeeee” and then laugh hysterically.  All while making sure we think it’s funny and laugh too. Your second joke is a bit inappropriate. YOu love to walk around saying “Poop” and then grunting followed by  “dipe” (diaper). It seems only fitting to me that your 2 joke repertoire have one dirty one in it, but seriously, the “poop” joke isn’t always funny, but you sure think these are b/c you then do your fake laugh and scrunch your nose up until you get a reaction out of us.

My favorite conversation with you is the one you have alone in your crib every morning when you wake up. It’s only about 10 minutes long, but I know it’s me you are talking to as every 4th word is “mama.” Today you threw in “trash” (which you love to throw away) and “poop” (yes, there was this time) and “Mickey” and “jump” and “ow-ie” and “night night” and “milky” and “boob” and “book” and “chop choo”, finally, a “DADDDDAAA!”

You also love to say a lot of “no no no” just like Daddy does when you are being naughty. You know exactly what you are doing when you shake your head or finger at us. Stinker. You love to sing your favorite song, it goes something like this, “Mommy a mama” over and over again. It’s so sweet! When you want to watch Superman cartoons in the car you say “up up” (up up and away) or “man.” You still love your superheroes, especially your hooded bath towel with Superman on it that has become the only thing you snuggle with and only at bedtime when we are reading your 59 books to you.

Your favorite “game” (you call anything fun to play this word) is Duck Duck Goose and walk around patting your head, my head, Hannah’s head. One day, you said “Duck” 4 times, then yelled “Chichen” (chicken). Smarty Pants…you know your feathered friends. Basketball is fun too on your new indoor hoop. You love to walk around saying “net” and trying to rip it off the hoop “oop”

Going to the park is pretty amazing. “Sing” for swing and “side” for slide. You want to do everything on your own and I hate it. I don’t mind the walking around part or the sand pit or even the woodchips, but I hate how you want to stand at the top of the structure without me and look towards the sudden drop off on the opposite side of the slide. You will occasionally sit in the toddler swing, but don’t love it. Same with the slide. It’s so dang hot this summer I think it may have burnt your legs once and you remember it. You are just a billy goat. You love to climb on any and every thing. You hang from bars with your ankles crossed for upwards of 7 seconds and pull with all your might to try to do a chin up. You then go home and try to hang off of chairs and sofa tables and the teacher’s cart at Story Time. You look at me and say “ang” and I give you The Look and you do it anyway.

When something was cool this month you would say, “Oh, Dada” as if you were saying “AWESOME” or Cowabunga. We laughed every time.

You are obsessed with the moon and look for it every time we are outside. It’s also your favorite shape to find in any book and always want me to draw it on the wall in the bathtub with your bath crayons.

You walk around all day saying “poop” and “dype” and “butt”…..you know it’s funny even though I don’t laugh. How do you know this? Are boys born this way? You grunt and squeeze your belly when I ask you if you have to poop and can make yourself do it…..when you ARE poopy you will tell me you need a “dype” and hold your nose to say stinky. You love playing in dirt and picking up pebbles and then rubbing your hands together to wipe them off. You love airplanes and dump trucks and bulldozers and all those things boys love. We find all of this in our very own neighborhood on our daily walks and you must be in heaven.

You love your friends Deklun and Lucas. When we are at home and you walk to look out the window towards Deklun’s house you start yelling “Deck-un” and “pway” and “game.” At Story Time you walk up and down the library aisles yelling “Wuuuuucusssss”. You have started “playing with others” in that you can show other kids the things you want them to see and then look at it with them for about a minute before you start pulling toys out of their hands, but at least you aren’t hitting them.

You just get slightly annoyed when I can’t understand you. You always repeat what you are saying when I can’t and are very good at using your fingers to point to things. You haven’t hit that age yet where I can say to you, “Reeve, can you say _________?” and you will repeat it. This makes for good entertainment when strangers are around. The other fun trick I’ve taken to this month is letting Siri on my iPhone try to determine what you are saying. She’s accurate about 1% of the time, but she does somehow interpret your tantrums in to the words “mad” and then “ha ha.”

At the pool you are such a brave boy. You now lock your arms, lie on your belly and let your legs float free. Scares the devil out of me. You point to the big pool and like to go into it with mommy or daddy and then lay your body on the boogie board and give your legs the occasional kick. You still like to blow bubbles and run in/out of the fountains. Getting your face wet is no problem and you to watch the other kids running or splashing about. Your hair couldn’t be any blonder. The combination of the chlorine and the sun has your skin so tan too. You look like a little surfer dude with your long baby wispy hairs going crazy everywhere once they are sticky with sunscreen and sweat.

You are getting so strong. You love to hang off of bars at the playground or try to do pushups like daddy. You can wink your eyes and make funny faces with daddy. Ring Around the Rosey sure is a lot of fun…especially that “all fall down” part and like to do it with any neighbor kid who will hold your hand.It’s so much fun to run in circles around us as we sit on the grass yelling “kirk-le” and giggling. You love feeding the horses in our neighborhood and scream “orse” and wave at them. I say, “Look, Reeve, they remember you” as they gallop over and you just smile so big. Finding “buggies” on the driveway and spinning on the grass when planes fly by makes Summer so amazing. Walking on your tip toes is pretty dang neat too…marching around the street in a random parade makes you laugh so hard. You have learned how to walk on the slanted concrete curb and now run…RUN!  Legs moving so fast, arms flapping like E.T. and often just laughing as you go….that’s a happy picture for me and one that I always will call upon to think of you at this age.

Uncle Rick came to town to visit and you had a lot of fun wrestling around with him. We played water balloon baseball with him too…soo cool! You called him “Unk Ick” and were pretty sad and confused when he left….you walked around with your hands up questioning where he was for a whole day.

You love when the sun starts to go down every day and we go outside to play with the other children. I am just so happy we live where we do and that our neighbors are all so wonderful. You get to enjoy the best Colorado has to offer and have so many little friends just out the front door.

You love to try to run and jump. You get one foot off the ground and just try so hard. I love that about you, you don’t know any different than to keep trying. Whether it’s to get up onto the couch or to open a door or to reach a book on the shelf, you just try so hard.

But, sometimes, you get impatient and rely on us to figure things out for you. This month I’ve been really hard on Daddy to make you do things yourself. Mostly for your own good, but I’m tired of carrying you up and down stairs b/c it’s faster and easier….you need to learn how to go down them. There’s just no excuse. You slide on your belly like a wet seal or sit & scoot about 75% of the time, but the other half you are just in too big of a hurry. If I’m not right there with you you will lose focus and tumble. We’ll keep working on it, though….it’s fine. I will keep carrying you. Besides, I’m kind of sure after I wrote the above sentence about being tired of carrying you that my heart broke a little…..stay small so I can always hold you, okay?

Eating has gone a little bit better this month. You ate 4 pieces of pork, 1 bite of chicken, 3 bites of steak and some chicken sausage. Not a lot, but at least you tried, that’s all that matters. The last 2 weeks of this month you have been teething pretty badly. Drool is pouring out of your mouth like when you were cutting your first teeth. You still could eat noodles every day for every meal, but I switch it up on you a lot. You don’t throw your food as often, but for some reason now think it’s so funny to put food in your hair. You also hide bites down in your chair and think that it fools me. If I can’t see it you must’ve eaten it, right? Yeah….We have a lot of meals out on the front porch. Spinach popsicles (suckles) and cheese sticks and watch the clouds roll by. When your food is hot, you like to look at us and say, “ot!  Ot!” and then blow/spit on your food. Even when food isn’t hot you like to let me know that it is. I pretend to blow on it and then you have to touch every bite that goes into your mouth to make sure.

You had a babysitter twice this month and did really well both times. They tell me you didn’t even cry…probably b/c I tell them it’s okay to bribe you with Jelly Beans.

You still love to read books and your collections has well over 100. There are definitely some that are your favorites (the books where you practice words and “Goodnight Moon” and “My World” and this one really old dog book that I always hide and you always manage to find. You first “chore” was given to you this month. Each night you are responsible for cleaning up and putting away 5 books on the shelf. You don’t really like to slide them into their spot and often just toss them in a pile. That’s okay…you are learning. One thing you can do new this month is find certain books on the shelf. I will say, “find me a book with a cow” and you look for a second, then pull a random one with a cow out. I might say, “get the “soup” book and you always find it. You hand me a book we haven’t read in a while and call it accordingly “bug book” or “balloon book” or “monkey……we lie on our tummies reading them. You love to have your red Superman towel to snuggle with as I read them to you in my lap. Then you run back and forth between daddy and I giving us our Night Night kiss….we usually get at least 4 each. It’s one of my favorite parts of each day.

We are still nursing twice a day. You spend the rest of the day tugging on my bra straps and shirt….annoying? yes….are you ready to wean? no. It’s okay…you are so busy running about it’s the only time of the day you can slow down. My skin is still your “quiet place” and sometimes you just want to lean against my back when I’m sitting or touch my cheek. Each morning in bed you just want to lay your head in my neck and breathe me in. I love it….even though some days you are really rough with me and climb on me and pull my hair and treat me like a jungle gym. I know one day I won’t be able to pay you for this closeness so I soak it all in. Just like how you love to hold my hand. When we walk or even when I am beside you as Daddy pushes you in the stroller. You just want to hold onto my pointer finger. Sometimes, in the car, you say “and” and reach out for me to reach back to hold yours…I’m so grateful that you want to hold on to me as much as I want to hold on to you.

Reeve, I’m just…I’m really just so proud to be your mama. As we watch you grow and learn and discover this amazing world around you we are just soooo very proud of you. And it’s our hope that you learn to be so proud of yourself as you grow older. We spend a lot of time talking about how to make this life of yours happy and how to teach you so many wonderful ways to be a good human. It’s our pleasure to get to guide you through this life. You have changed every conversation and thought and goal I’ve ever had. You are the absolute best thing about you….well, and your daddy too.

I really love you, Reeve. May you never doubt that. May you always find comfort in that. May someday you know that I tried to make every day special for you. May I make you feel special every day. May you always approach every new thing with the wonder you do now. And may you always just live as hard as you do now…so hard it may be a little rough on me, but it’s so much fun to be so curious.

Each night I go to be so tired I can hardly walk. My hips hurt. My eyes burn. My hair is a wreck. My feet ache. I’m often grumpy and covered in pasta sauce that you flung at me. I probably stink and definitely could use a pedicure. My legs aren’t shaved and I’m not sure I’ve gotten to go to the bathroom all day. The bed is my favorite part of the day, I long for that moment I can crawl under my bedding and just CRASH…..and then I hear you sigh through the monitor and my body aches for YOU. I look at your Daddy  and I tell him I want to wake you up and play with you and that I already miss you and we tell each other stories about things you did that day or we look at pictures of you taken on my phone throughout the day…and my body aches for yours….and I fall asleep and I’m each day awakened by you yelling “mama….MAMA!!!! MOMMY!!!!!” and I can’t wait to rush into your room and sweep you out of your crib and hug you. You shove your face into my neck, your hand down my shirt, tears falling on my shoulders then we see Hannah and you laugh and you lunge at Daddy and it just never tires. I forget the aches and pains and I get to hold you and none of that matters.

I swear, this tiny love of yours could kill me. All of this time I’ve been alive, I’ve had no idea I was capable of loving anyone as I do you. Is it possible to suffocate in love? To drown in a sea of your blonde hair? To overdose on wet, gooey kisses? If so, then I’m surely a goner.

Reeve, I love you so much. I’m the luckiest mama, wife alive to be yours and you mine and daddy ours.

To the Moon & Back,
Mommy

16 months 416 months 916 months 1016 months 2316 months 2616 months 3116 months 3416 months 4216 months 45

Favorite things to do: Pool, hug Hannah, look out the window for Deklun and yell his name, hang off of things, climb, run circles, watch Superman cartoons on my iPhone in the car
Favorite things to eat: Broccoli, PB&J, grilled cheese with spinach, pasta, peaches, Cutie oranges, fruit
Dislikes: being away from me, when I leave the room
Funny Tricks: Kung fu, Duck Duck Goose, tip toe-ing
Scary items: snakes (hasn’t seen any but I tell him they are places I don’t want him to go.
Cute item: Skateboard, Batman Little People, sunglasses,
Hair color: Surfer blond
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 27-28 pounds
Height: 35″ (98%) (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 12. top and bottom incisors are working their way in….they haven’t popped yet but I can see them in the gums

  • Funny Words (there are about 10o more you can say)
  • Orange (your nose crinkles)
  • Michael’s (muckles)
  • Chicken Nugget – nuggie
  • thunder – dun dun
  • poop – you say this 100 times a day
  • buggies
  • hammer – amma
  • potty
  • gross – dwoss
  • sucker – sucka
  • sticker – sticka
  • pocket/bucket
  • swing – sding
  • slide – swide
  • circle – kirkles
  • bar – bah
  • heart – hawt
  • burger – bugga
  • pit – every fruit you eat now you assume has a pit in it and you keep looing
  • numbers – numb-uhs
  • tickle – tickah
  • pancake – paw-cake
  • ice cream – uh-ceem
  • game
  • jeep
  • Horse – orse
  • game

FOURTEEN MONTHS!!!

Dear Reeve,

this 14th month of your life has been a lot of fun! I am quite certain this is absolutely my favorite month of your life,….but, sometimes, I do look at you and wonder how you could possibly be that same little tiny bird with dark hair who was placed on my chest over 14 months ago. If we put a Then and Now picture side-by-side the only thing to identify you would be those old man ears. You are as blonde as can be. White blond. And long…and so lean, there is no baby fat on your body. You are tan, so tan. People stop us to tell us how tan you are. I’m still not sure if you look like me or daddy, but I know one thing for certain, you are the cutest boy I’ve ever seen.

As is typical, when I start to type this and look at the notes from the beginning of the month regarding your personality it’s so very different just 30 days later. At the start of this month I wrote about how I felt like you and I fought a lot. How you yelled at me, cussed me out in your own little language, threw things and food at me. Writing this weeks later I don’t remember it being as bad as I made it sound and and while there are certainly a lot of days where it does seem like you and I have different plans for each day, most days just involve a lot of compromise and are a lot of fun. I tell you what to eat and you yell at me or throw tomatoes at my nose. I tell you to go to sleep and you yell at me and we end up reading another 47 books. I want to go in one direction and you want to go in the other and we usually end up going your way before we go mine. I tell you to “stop” and you look me right in the eye and say “don’t.” I usually just end up shaking my head and rolling my eyes and laughing at you. This is your world…I’m just here to hold your hand and make sure you don’t get run over by any of the big trucks or Honda Pilots in our neighborhood.

This month you favorite things to do include pinching my belly roll and climbing on it and bouncing upon my uterus. Neither feels good, but makes you giggle so hard, which DOES feel good so I let you do it as much as you want. I tell you “that’s where you lived” and you then lift my shirt up and try to dig into my belly button as though there may be a secret portal back into that warm, wet and dark home you possibly remember. You also love to blow zerberts on my belly. Only 1 out of every 5 actually results in any sound, but any trick you can learn to do that involves my belly sure does make you giggle. I’m always just hoping you don’t bite that skin on my belly b/c you are still aware that “bye-eat”-ing is soooooo bad, but you just love the reaction you get when you nibble on my shoulder or the skin on my forearm. Why are you obsessed with my belly? Weirdo. Yours is pretty cute too, Bubba. It’s hard and round and you love to rub Lotion (Losh) on it with both hands. You also like to pinch your “baby boobies”

You are becoming quite adept at crawling and scaling things. From the ottomon in your room to the desk in the basement, you fling one leg up and then scratch and pull to get up. I love to see the determination and perseverance you possess. I tell you “don’t give up, you can do it” and you either show such pride when you do or such angst when you can’t. I’m still trying to relax when I see you hanging on the edge of the couch or off the side of the bed. I just picture sharp corners and goose eggs on your forehead or teeth knocked out and I typically just hold my breath until both feet are up or down. You are about 40% adept at going down the stairs. Lord, child….would you just slow down enough to learn that mastering this trick will enable you so much freedom? We spent one whole day working on the “sit & scoot” and “belly” approaches. For each step you got down I gave you a piece of Lime & Salt popcorn. You did so good, but without that food there to motivate you, you just want to walk down them like a big guy. Daddy is guilty of just carrying you down the stairs instead of taking the time to work on it with you b/c it makes him….wait for it….nervous. Imagine that.

You love to look for airplanes in the sky and will yell “pwannnnnnne”. I am confident you would pass any vision test as you can spot the tiniest glimmer of aircraft in the sky. You have a few toys that are planes and you like to hold them in the air and fly them. When we are outside and planes are in the sky, you hold your arms out and just start spinning in circles. It only takes 2 or 3 to get you dizzy, but you just love to spin. You also love our morning walks where we “Chase the Moon.” You can easily say “moon,” but add about 14 extra n’s on the end. We try to teach you Moon-ey so you can say your name and it comes out “moon-ah”

The answer to most questions we ask you is “no.” I’m not sure if you just can’t say “yes” or don’t know what it means or are just difficult or what, but “no” is your standard reply. Unless, of course, ice cream or berries or juice or jelly beans or baseball are involved. One of my favorite things you do this month is tell yourself “no.” You don’t say the word, you just start shaking your head as though you know that you shouldn’t be doing something. You will walk up to the coffee table in the Living Room and start to touch it then shake your head back and forth for about 15 seconds. I will put broccoli on your plate and you will touch it then start shaking side-to-side without a word. It’s so cute. It tells me that you are aware of the choices you are making and know that there are consequences, but not yet what those are enough to make the right choices. It’s okay, I’m really proud of you for learning. You should be proud of yourself as well, you are a very smart boy and a really good learner.

We were able to watch you experience the pool for the first time and then the personal growth involved with overcoming fear and anxiety. On Memorial Day weekend we first took you and watched the terror on your face as you saw the deep waters (really only a foot deep in the baby pool ) and loud fountains and kids screaming and running….to say you were terrified would be an understatement. For the whole week after, you wouldn’t even take a bath. I literally had to either get in with you or let you cling to me while you screamed with all your might. Trying to get you clean was impossible. You wouldn’t sit, you wouldn’t let me put water on your body. At one point, your legs were literally trembling. I even let you take popsicles into the tub. Nope. Just screaming. It as the saddest little sight. I had worked so hard with every bath you had ever taken to make sure you weren’t afraid of the water. I guess nothing can really prepare you for the actual experience. We went back a week later at a much quieter time in the a.m. and you put your toes in…then you would walk in up to your ankle. For a week you wouldn’t go any deeper than up to you knees. Here we are 4 weeks later and I now witness a fearless little guy who sticks his whole face in the fountains and sits in the deepest part of the baby pool and who “jumps” off of the side. I love that you love the pool and I’m so proud of you for venturing a little further each time, but I am absolutely terrified as well. I don’t take my eyes off of you for one second and am constantly yelling firmly at you. I believe the pool is the only place right now that warrants the tone of voice you may hear me using. I want you to be alert and aware. It’s so much fun to take you up there and, doing so, always guarantees at least a 2 hour nap….if I can keep you awake for the 5 minutes it takes us to get home. I usually end up handing you a fruit chew every 30 seconds to try. We take lots of fruit and peaches and veggie snacks up there with us. You love watching the other kids and I’m 100% certain that the overwhelming body of water has rendered you powerless, you no longer feel the need to hit other children or steal their toys. I’ve even seen you willingly hand over toys to other children. You really should be very proud of yourself, dude. The transformation from terror to Water Baby has been so fun for me to watch.

As far as eating goes, this month you’ve had some good days and some bad days. At the end of your 14th month I couldn’t pay you to eat a banana or blueberry when you used to LOVE those things. I think it’s because I introduced peaches/nectarines/apricots into your diet. Since they are hand-sized and shaped like balls, you LOVE them. Some days you will eat broccoli and others you spit it out at me. If I put a little ranch on your tray you may try a bite of a snap pea, but will most likely only dip your pointer finger in the ranch dressing and say “mmmm” over and over. Some days you eat a chicken nugget (you called it a “Chi Chi Nuggie”) others you shove handfuls of pasta into your face only to turn your nose up at them the next day. You ate a turkey sandwich one day and I haven’t been able to get you to since. Same with salmon. You love the apple juice and spinach smoothies I make for you. I swear I’m going to puree some chicken to put in there too since you rarely ever eat meat. You do love corn on the cob though. Again, I think it’s b/c it’s shaped like a baseball bat and you can swing it. You love “cheeeeeeez” and hot dogs. I just never know. With eating, no two days are ever the same. You do drink 2-3 sippy cups of milk a day now. You call anything in your sippy cup “chooce” (Juice) and still love “i-yeessss” (ice). You learned this month what the word “hot” means in terms of food and now touch everything I put on your plate and declare it “hottttt” …. even pb&j or yogurt. I say “blow on it” and you spit all over it trying to cool it off.

With it being pool season, we haven’t gone to the library for Story Time much this month. It was truthfully getting a little hard for me to take you. Every day I seemed to leave feeling diminished from chasing you, keeping you from banging on the computer keyboards, climbing the water fountain stool, pulling books off the shelf. I always had to sit on the edge of the Mommy Circle with my bottom on my ankles prepared to pounce and intercept should you decide to start beating on any other children. It was exhausting. I welcomed the change of the pool and knew that since you are a High Energy child trying to contain you wasn’t working. You need to BURN energy. We’ve been only twice this month and both times you were an absolute delight. No hitting, no screaming. You sang and did the arm motions along with the song and didn’t hit a single child. I’m certain the change in your routine with the pool made you forget that hitting is “your thing” at Story Time. This is MORE than fine with me as we started the month by having to take you aside to do a 30-second timeout. What a joke. You definitely got that you were being punished, but could only sit for 2 seconds at a time until you would try to get up and run to me. Each time I put you back on the spot you only got more and more worked up. There is no doubt in my mind that you had no idea what was going on. I’m not sure if you are just too little or what, but I think just being patient and sticking with “hands are not for hitting…hands are for gentle touching….” and all those other phrases I was annoyed with saying are what worked. As I typed this, Daddy wanted me to make sure to mention that you do, however, still hit the picture of the baby on your Indoor Trampoline every time you see it. Ahem…

I will admit, however, that Story Time has been wonderful. This month you are obsessed with a few of the songs we’ve learned at the library. Most noticeable, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. You love to try to twist your fingers up the water spout and then “whoooosh” the rain away. Sometimes you will stop in the middle of whatever it is that you are dong and start twisting your fingers at me so I will sing it for you. You also like Twinkle Twinkle LIttle Star and Baby Shark goes Doot Doot.

You are still obsessed with anything Ball related. It seems we have 258 balls in this house. Soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, ping pong, golf, wiffle, sticky, splash…you name a type of ball and we have it….in multiples. Your swing is only getting better and better. You are so serious when you grab a bat. You now say “teeee” and want to hit off of one of the 2 tees we have in this house. You swing with all your might and crack that thing all the way across the room. Earlier this month, while outside playing one weekend, Daddy taught you how to pitch by slowly showing you the motion of lifting his leg. Now, you can’t throw a ball without lifting your leg. The word “lift” isn’t quite accurate to what you actually do though. You really just tilt to the side until your leg is nearly off the ground….either way, it’s pretty amazing! We cannot believe how quickly you learn such things. When you throw at us and get the ball to us we say “good throw, bubba” and you always clap for yourself. Twice. Two little claps every time. Not one. Not three. Just two. It’s your own little affirmation that you are awesome. You sit so contentedly at Daddy’s games for Innings 1-3. We watch daddy and you yell “dada! DADA!!!!!! DADDDDEEEEEE” so loudly that sometimes Daddy has to stop to gather himself on the mound b/c you are so distracting. He loves it though, daddy does. It makes him laugh and the other players too. By inning 4 (if you make it that long) I set you free and spend the next hour and a half trying to keep you out of mud puddles, off the metal bleachers, from eating sunflower seeds off the ground, running down the hill, putting your fingers in the metal fence, hitting the pole with your bat…..I am completely exhausted after daddy’s games. I love taking you though. I love that you love to watch daddy play and I love that you are starting to get the game. You always know Daddy is the one on the mound and think Andy #44 is daddy at bat (silly boy, daddy doesn’t bat).

Each night after your bath, we start your routine. We read as many books as we can, though some say stick with 1-2 and then quickly wrap up the night, I disagree and choose to read to you for an hour. I don’t understand why a child should only get 1-2 stories a night. If you wanted to read all day I would. I think reading makes you so smart, Bubba. I can tell you which book to get off the shelf and see you walk over to search for it. You pull it down, throw it at me and then catapult into my lap. I say “go put it back and bring me a new one” and you sometimes do and sometimes don’t. We look at airplanes and animals (always finding and fixating on the doggy). You grab our fingers to point at things and like to turn the pages for us. You have certain books you like, some you LOVE and others you get flat out mad when we try to read to you.

As it nears 7pm, we see you start to rub at your eyes and start to get this faraway look. In the past week or so, you’ve been looking at us and saying “nite nite”. Are you asking us to put you to bed? Telling us you are ready? Or do you just think “nite nite” is the new word for “milky” and want to nurse? Either way, we laugh at you and then you give daddy his wet, sloppy goodnight kiss and then me mine. You go to bed fairly easily (naps are sometimes a lot more challenging) and then sleep 10-11 hours each night. I would give anything for you to sleep in until 6:30am each day…just an extra half hour. Gosh, that would make all the difference to me. It’s hard to complain when you sleep so well, but I would still gladly take the 30 minute extra. Daddy and I swap every other morning going into your room to get you out of your crib. On my mornings, you are so happy to see me and start jumping up and down. On Daddy’s, when he flips on that light and you see him, oh boy, you get so pissed. You bang your head on the railing and flail your body down and start screaming. You pull your socks off and throw them. Your first sentence was in the midst of one of these Daddy-mornings. You said, “I want Mommy”…..best sentence I’ve ever heard, and through the baby monitor no less.

Because you do wake up so damn early and b/c we are still asleep when you wake up, we have to bring you into bed with us. We turn on Sprout TV and let you watch Chica the Chicken or Tree Fu Tom. I know, I know, television is so bad for you, but I have to slow your little brain down a little so mine can catch up. Tree Fu Tom is a kung fu fairy?!?! or something and you love to try to do the kung fu moves he does. You swing your arms around and try to punch or kick like he does. It’s pretty dang cute to see you try to do Kung Fu. One day, while we were on our morning 2-mile walk, I said “do the magic” and you punched your arm really hard, then grabbed your elbow and said “owwwwwww.” Tiny little big boy. A strong punch hurts your little arms, they still have just a dimple on the back of your elbow. It’s a small reminder, that for now, you are still a baby.

One of mine (and Daddy’s) favorite things about this 14th month of your life has been listening to the things that come out of your mouth. I remember being worried that by teaching you to Sign Language I would be delaying your speech. That is, after all, what “they” say…..how wrong was that train of thought? You talk all day. There is never a doubt in my mind what you want. Daddy sometimes looks at me to translate, but I always know.I feel as though I could spend the rest of this post just writing out the words that you can say. I am blown away with your Speech Development over that of our friends who are the same age or even older. You are an expert pointer and say “apple” or “bottle” or “chicken” or “tattoo” or “moon” or “cookie”….which comes out “tookie”. At least twice a day your daddy and I look at each other in disbelief over what you can say. “Fruit Chew”…really? “Taco?” How do you know how to say the -ch in “peach?” “Turtle?” Just tonight you said, “eye—-ec eye…..ec bayyyyy beeeee” I long for the day when we can have conversations. I can’t wait to tell you stories and to catch you in lies and to hear how you interpret this world around you.

You are so fast this month. I swear, you RUN!!!!! One day, in the middle of your fastest run, you stopped and did a complete somersault….seriously, a full one. You didn’t tip to the side or anything. I still hate that moment where you approach a crack in the sidewalk or a small bump to pass over. In my mind, I see you falling and knocking all of your teeth out. I want to hold your little hand everywhere you go, but I love to see you grow more and more independent and curious about how you can figure things out. I just hate when you fall, Reeve. You are just too important….and, sometimes, I don’t know how to manage a love like this. Little boy scraped knees are already a constant in our lives, I accept that, but I still want to kiss away all the pain you have now and will in the future. Pain beyond that is more than I can even bear to think about. I would keep you in this bubble of my arms if I could. Forever. I just hate that bits and pieces of this world are going to break your heart someday. It just kills me that I can’t move forward in time and fix it all for you.

When I tell you to be quiet you can now put your finger to your lips and blow on it as if to say “shhhhhh”. You also can whisper secrets into mama’s ears, which is also just a lot of spit in my ear. You call Elmo “Melmo” and when I show you Cookie Monster you say “Tookie” in a growl. You run like a drunkard, toppling every which way….about to fall over at any moment. You laugh like a nerd, not catching your breathe and holding your belly. Daddy put Hannah on the trampoline and you about passed out laughing. You LOVE to hug Hannah and pull the hair on your nose and butt. You are also obsessed with touching her butthole. She tolerates you only b/c she knows you are going to give her your nuggets and hot dogs when you are done with them. You just don’t do anything small. From drinking a cup and tipping it back with all your might and then letting out a giant “ahhhhhh” after a gulp to making sure the Superman cardboard cutout in the basement closet knows when you wave and yell BYE BYEEEEE that you mean it. I think you get that from me.

Month 14 of your life has been one where I find myself wondering if you will be silly or serious? I lean towards silly. I see you doing things to get a reaction out of us (blowing bubbles in the bath water or on the high chair tray with your melted ice…sticking both fingers up your nose) and I picture you stopping at nothing to make your classmates laugh. I see you run full-speed and drop to a complete somersault and I just know that you will be an athlete. I see your love for baseball and know that you are going to be passionate about sports as we are/were. You scream for me when daddy has you and him when I have you. You just love the both of us so much. Equally….but differently. I can tell that we are your Safe Place and that, in your heart, we are doing our jobs as well as we can.

You still play differently with daddy than with me. Basement time with me is in and out of my lap. Standing on my legs, Pinching my thighs. Grabbing at my breasts. Trying to hang on my neck….very physical. With daddy, it’s jumping on the trampoline and hitting off of the tee and running around and kicking balls. I’m tired enough, I figure, I don’t need to run or chase, I’m content to have bruises and burns on my legs.

Reeve, I really like seeing you in this world.

I just, I believe in you. Does that make sense? Some day, if it doesn’t now, it will. When I look at you and see nothing but potential, I feel this greater purpose than I’ve ever felt. Life isn’t at all about me. It’s all about experience. We went to the local carnival two nights in a row. On the way there, the first night, I kept thinking how badly I wanted to ride the scariest ride that went upside down and how I needed that thrill, you know? Then we got there. And you just wanted to run from ride to ride, thing to thing, game to game and go “oooohhhhhh” and “aaaahhhhhhh” and point, then run some more. I quickly forgot what I needed/wanted and said to your daddy, “I just want him to experience it all, you know?” Touch it. Look at it. Get in there. Get dirty. We pudding painted in the driveway this month. A neighbor-mommy said she couldn’t stand the thought of ever doing that with her children. The mess. The clean-up….all I could think was, “YES!!!! The mess….isn’t it awesome?” When we make messes…with pudding or paint or dirt, I believe they have purpose. Whether it’s figurative or literal, we make messes.

I believe every day we have together has a purpose. I hope one day you can look back at how your life turned out and realize how this time we’ve spent together, every second of EVERY day, has helped mold you into the best version of you.

I just want you to know that I think of you with every decision I make. From the shorts that I wear b/c I know I can’t wear a skirt and get down in the grass with you to the BPA in the plastics I buy to the spinach smoothies I make. I sit at concerts with your daddy and pray that this world can handle you. That you can shape your world. That you always show up for every Opening Act and stay well past every encore.

Reeve, I can hardly believe we are here…in this Chapter. That you are so big, your face thinning, your arms and legs so long. Words flowing from your mouth as they do. How do we slow this all down? Would I even want to? I love each month of your life more and more. Watching you become a “person” who can answer questions and give opinions is pretty powerful. When you were a baby I took pleasure in your innocence, your small sounds, in wondering what was going on in your brain. Now that you are a boy, I obsess over who/what personality is going to burst forth? Will you be quiet and calm like daddy? Busy and curious like me?

I love you so much. More with each day. It’s scary to think how this feeling can grow even bigger if every day holds more.

Bubba, you are the best thing I’ve ever done. This month of your life, on the 18th, Daddy and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary. Though we will never know which night God gave us to you, we silently thanked him as we celebrated or 2 wonderful years together and for blessing us with you on the same night we said our vows.

I will love you until my dying breathe…and then, forever after that.

To the moon & back,

Mommy

15 months 115 months 215 months 315 months 415 months 515 months 715 months 1015 months 15

Favorite things to do: Go to the pool and splash or sit on the fountain, hit balls off of the tee, pull on the hair on Hannah’s mouth, pop bubbles, watch Yo Gabba Gabba
Favorite things to eat: Ranch Dressing, Jalapeño & Cheddar bratwurst, Noodles & Co. pasta, spinach and fruit smoothies, Cheeeeeeez
Dislikes: when Daddy gets you out of the crib in the morning….I’m having a harder time with this this month, you were such a good boy….you even loved your babysitter Ms. Amanda both times
Funny Tricks: blowing bubbles in the pool/bath, somersaults, jumping (one legs leaves the ground), pitching the ball and raising your leg, jumping on the indoor trampoline, jumping around inside your crib when you are playing
Scary items: Drawing a blank here….
Cute item: Your little Elmo (Melmo) doll, Baby Hannah, daddy’s baseball glove
Hair color: BLONDE…LONG….and so cute
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 26 pounds (75%)
Height: 34″ (98%) (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 12. all 4 molars are in, but you walk around with your finger in your mouth so possibly your Incisors are working their way in too?

THIRTEEN MONTHS!!!

Dear Reeve,
I start this monthly letter to you one day shy of your 14 month birthday. We are at the airport, heading to Lawrence to visit family. No doubt, this letter will not be posted until well over a week after the 21st. Your cousins are excited to see you and you will be excited to have someone other than me entertain you. Don Linny Can’t wait to get her hands on you and, in turn, I can’t wait to have my hands free for three days.

You’re fascinated with the airplanes rolling down the tarmac. Entertained by the other small children running around. your hands all over the glass looking down on the terminal, you are content to yell “Pwannnnnnne” every time you see one rolling by outside. Running around and begging for snacks. Throwing your sippy cup on the ground. Fast luggage carts and men in orange vests have you quieted for just a moment.

Note…Just ONE moment. Never more of quiet these days. Even in your sleep you talk and dream and make noises.

This flight marks well over 30 takeoffs. At this point, I have lost track and only know you are well-traveled and that I view this an invitation for you to explore every corner of our world.

Month Thirteen of your life is no different from any other in that it’s my favorite. Sure, you have some cranky days and wake up too early still, but you are a person now. A person with thoughts and opinions and ideas about what you want to do. It’s amazing. Each day is an adventure and I get to be your Tour Guide. This is the greatest job I’ve every had in my life.

Reeve, being your mama is tiring. I’m exhausted, wiped at the end of each and every day. But….I lie in bed with your Daddy and we laugh about what each new day has brought and it’s okay. I’m okay. New words. New tricks. New motor skills and sounds and lessons….it’s really one of my favorite parts of each day. Replaying those small moments (like how you used your corn cob as a baseball bat) or finding time to type them on here is a funny book report that has me in tears and laughter after each chapter. Someday, when you are older, we will read this book/blog together and have the absolute BEST time telling stories. I can’t wait! I know that what I’m doing here is important. That someday you will cherish this…but it’s hard to find the energy/time right now.

On a daily basis I am still asked how old you are only to have “Wow, he’s big” spoken back after my reply. You are tall for your age, but also look much older. You always have. Your neck is long and your face mature. Your hair is SO blonde and your eyelashes so long and thick. I NEVER in a million years thought I would mother a blue-eyed, blonde child. One with such big ears, nonetheless! 🙂 You are the spitting image of neither of us. I think you look more like me, some say your daddy. Perhaps 50% or equal parts of all of the best parts of us. You are beautiful! I say that not only as your mama, but also as a mama who loves attractive things. Just yesterday, at the airport on the way home, a stranger (a businessman in a his 60s) stopped me to say, “that’s a good looking young man.” I love looking at your face…still. I always have. When you sleep in the carseat, your lips purse out and your lashes are splayed on your baby fat cheeks. I remember tracing your jawline when you are tiny and have to hold my own hand back from doing that now. It would wake you up immediately, and Lord knows, we tip toe around you any time you are in slumber as waking you up is like waking a dragon. A fiery one at that!

You don’t like me to be very far out of your line of sight these days. You don’t like to be left with anyone of that me. Some days are hard. Some days you yell at me or cuss me out in your language. Some days you bite my shoulder or hit my face. Often, you even hit your own face. VERY often you hit other children. Some days you fight and have had a very few temper tantrums this month. Once, while FaceTiming with Don Linny on the computer, you got mad…sat down….bend your head to your knees….then threw your head back on the ground and starting screaming and kicking. We laughed until we cried. These moments are rare. I don’t often let them get to that point, I removed you from yourself and distract you, but some days are downright hard. I won’t lie, if 13 months is a precursor to the Terrible Twos and Threes….I am screwed. But, Reeve, even weeks after jotting down the above-notes in my phone, those moments seem so few. So small. I typed above how much I loved this month, then was surprised as I went back to review the notes at how the very first one was about how hard 13 months is. It just goes to show that time is so fleeting and goes so fast, that your memory chooses only to harbour on the good. Thirteen months DOES have some downs, but the UPs are so much better….with that being said, PLEASE QUIT HITTING OTHER KIDS. You have a reputation already at Story Time. The other moms know you are the “kid who hits.” It’s mostly only hard when you hit the child of a parent who doesn’t have other kids and cannot understand that this is a phase and not a personality. I don’t teach you to hit. It doesn’t mean you are a “bad” kid. It just means you can’t tell me what you what or why you are mad or sad. I long for the day when you can verbally express…that is, unless it’s to tell me that you don’t want Lucas to have your toy. Then we’ll have to go from the “kid who hits” to the “boy who won’t share”

As you learn to communicate more (with words and signs) I can see that our lives will get easier. It’s that inability to communicate all of your wants/needs that is the cause of any tantrum or tear. We will get there. Soon, you will talk up a storm and we’ll figure everything out. I just know it.

Summer is here. That means we are outside a lot. We play in the yard, in the cul de sac, parks, water fountains….it makes the days go a lot faster. Slowly you are learning to step down from varying heights of sidewalk, though it still terrifies me. You love picking up rocks or running after the other kiddos in the cul de sac. Finally, you are able to scoot on the ride-along scooters we have for you, though you would rather just run. Those things are too slow for you. You spend a lot of time outdoors on Mr. Marty’s perfect grass (next door). You love how his lawn feels and I worry that one day you will leave a toddler body imprint and he will get mad at us. You spin now. Like Gloria Gaynor, you throw your head back and whip around for one spin…two spins if you are feeling extra bold. It only takes just one to make you dizzy, but you just love that feeling. YOu get that from me. Like on a rollercoaster or turbulence on a plane, you love to feel spinny.  You explore outdoors and pump your little arms as you walk, Sometimes with a clap clap here or there. You love going to the park and standing on the bottom of the slide. Yes, you will be THAT kid. You don’t really care about the swings or any horse-shaped object to ride on. You just want to look for balls and dogs, stand on that slide and find the sand to lick or run through your hair. I tell you, Summer is here and I just love it. Your arms have a wonderful little Farmer’s Tan already. I coat you in so much sunscreen I’m surprised you have any color whatsoever. You love to stomp stomp in the water at the park by the library. We’ve taken you to a couple of music festivals outdoors and let you spin and dance and throw your ball around. I imagine all little boys love the outdoors, but you just seem to have found what it is that your body needs.

We started this month with a trip to Atlanta to visit friends where we left you for 2 nights with their nanny. I don’t have to elaborate, but you were pissed and screamed the whole time…though she was amazing and able to get you to sleep both nights with some rocking. She sent me pictures all night long of you in different positions in your crib….I was worried you weren’t breathing. You loved being around E, E and Baby C….you danced and watched hours upon hours of cartoons and did a sideways somersault and threw your body repeatedly onto their bean bags and ate a whole lot while we were there. Our friend Kim referred to you as “passionate”…ahem…you were very vocal compared to her children and let us all know when you weren’t happy. You came home from Atlanta with the flu. Lots of diarrhea and your first projectile vomit. Luckly, it was in your high chair and just went into the tray. Daddy was away on business and I didn’t sleep all night worrying about you.

You love to read still. You bring me book after book and seem to be able to anticipate what will be on the next page. I sit cross-legged on the floor and you put both hands on my right knee, then pommel horse your body into my lap. It’s so cute! You know which books have a ball on which page. You love to turn the pages for me and get annoyed with any book that doesn’t have pictures of real animals, balls, bats, monsters, trucks or any other “boy” subjects. If there is a cartoon bunny on a page or an Elmo, it better also have a bat or balloons. Ahhhh….balloons. You still obsess over those and only want to look at the pages where balloons appear if they are in the book. With some books, I have to skip over the pages with balloons or we just stare at that one page the whole time.

At Story Time you have good days and bad days. Mostly, you just don’t like to be contained within the walls of the moms. I, on the other hand, don’t like you to be in the center of the circle contained either. It’s there that you hit babies and boys who play with the balls…Some days I wonder whether I should quit taking you. You don’t enjoy the songs or the stories. You don’t like to play with others. You really just want to pull books off the shelves and play with the stuffed giraffe and dragon in the back of the library….but wait…just when I think it’s not worth it, or that you aren’t getting it, your arms start doing the motions for the song those kids in the circle are singing 20 feet away. So, we go. We trudge there 3-4 times a week and you always hit at least one kid and you always want to play with the water fountain and computers and keyboards and you NEVER want to actually read a story…at Story Time….but we go.

I’ve taken to doing a dance for every new food you eat in order to distract you long enough for you to chew and swallow. The Elbow Macaroni Dance is your favorite, then the Brocolli Dance (which looks a bit like Gangnam Style) and the Applesauce Dance. I probably look like the biggest idiot, but you think i am so funny and it works!!!  You often forget that you are eating broccoli or snap peas and just laugh at me. You love Spinach smoothies made with apple juice and frozen berries. You still won’t eat carrots or asparagus or a whole lot of veggies, but we just keep trying. You can sign “finished” but usually just throw your food at me to let me know you are done. A couple of times this month, you ate Hannah’s dog food straight out of the bowl. You love to go over to her water bowl and splash around in that too.

Your dancing skills are something to see. It’s part hippie and part Jed Clampett. There is a Yo Gabba Gabba song that says, “go go go go!” over and over and when we say it like they do, you raise your right arm and stomp your left foot over and over and over. I bet I have 48 videos of you doing just that. You say, “doe doe doe doe” and we laugh each time. When in your stroller or carseat, your dancing skills consist of a side-to-side motion or a bobble of the head. Sometimes you point your elbows out and bend at the knees over and over. I just love to watch you dance. Any Yo Gabba Gabba song can get you going. You still love those crazy monsters…as long as they are in the TV. During one of Papa Jim’s visits this month he brought you a Muno doll and you freaked out….You can anticipate which song is next on any of your 4 videos as well. This morning you started High 5-iving us and then the song about doing that came on. You have a YGG book that you love to read and pulling the video cases out of the nightstand sure is a lot of fun. You love it when we say “Break it downnnnn” like DJ Lance does and say back to us, “downnnnn”

You have rediscovered your tongue this month. It’s very funny to stick it out at us. So is smelling  our feet and pinching your nose to make a Stinky Face.  You can blow your nose into a Kleenex too. You like to say “ba-beeee” to any child on tv or when you look in the mirror. Saying “bye bye” or waving hellow to anyone who walks by or through a door is pretty nice of you, but don’t be fooled, you are still the Story Time Terror and like to whack other kiddos right on the head or on the cheek. At this point, I just figure “whatever.” It doesn’t help you learn to tell you “no” or “hands are not for hitting” or to fake cry, so we just  tell you it’s wrong and walk away. I figure there aren’t a lot of adults that walk around hitting each other, and if you grow up to be one of them, well you just won’t have any friends and that will be punishment enough.

This month we swear you can understand every word that comes out of our mouths…or at least mimic them. Just this morning you said, “poop” and “shit.” I know….not the proudest Mom moment. It’s hilarious and also makes us very proud that you seem to already have a grasp on the English language. You still sign a lot for things you want and have incorporated “help” into your repertoire. That one comes in helpful as you learn how to climb up on chairs and ottomons and other things. Climbing….you hoist that right leg up and find a way to pull up the rest of the way. It terrifies us b/c once you do get up on something, you stand all willy nilly and have NO idea how to get down. Perhaps my favorite word you learned this month was “daddy.” Sometimes, when you are upset, you still cry for “dada,” but it’s that emphasis on the Long E at the end of “daddy” that just gets me right where it hurts. A few times you tried to call me “mommy,” but I’m not ready for you to move on from your initial name for me (mama). As I’ve said before, you learn about 1 new word a day and, at this point, it’s impossible to keep up with. You have begun to learn that stringing 2-3 words together has more effect and your first sentence was “bye dada” and then “Hannah come” (though you still call her Nana) and always “berry please.”

This month you tell me “no” and “don’t” and “stop” quite often. Where did you learn such words? I try not to use those, but as you run too fast and climb too high and throw your food and hit other kids, its hard not to. You sometimes can nod “yes” but like to repeat the “uh uh”s I tell you and fuss and fight for me to put you “downnnnn”. You are VERY passionate. Or vocal. Or determined. Or certain of what you like…and have absolutely NO problem letting us know. I hope you stay like this, but as you near 2 I hope you learn to listen a little more.

Let’s talk about Balls for a second. Baseball in particular. Love….your love for the sport is just in your genes, you DNA. We were out to dinner with family at a loud, busy Mexican restaurant and you were turned completely around in your highchair, neck craned and despite all the noise, trying to watch a MLB game on the TV mounted in the corner. How can you possibly even know what you are watching? Is it b/c you go to Daddy’s game every week? Where you hit the poles with your bat, try to stick your hands in through the chain link fence, run bases after and scream “ball” and now “strike” at every pitch? How do you know? Is is the tee we bought you that you can already whack the ball off of? Is it the little blue and green glove that you can’t quite figure out how to wear, but manage to hold onto the strap? Who know?!?!  You know the pieces of the game and are learning how to fit them all together. You know a bat hits a ball, but can’t figure out what to do with a ball in the glove. You swing the glove and throw the ball as if that’s what they do. You can throw, but aren’t interested yet in trying to catch. You just know you LOVE the game. We took you to the HS State Baseball Tournament where you ended up on the local news b/c even the camera man couldn’t deny how adorably cute it is to watch you put two hands on the bat just right, choke up, throw it over your left shoulder (everyone always comments that you are a LEFTIE….as if that’s amazing), then bend your knees and swing with all your might. You could just swing and swing and swing all day long. It’s your favorite thing. I think we are up to 14 bats now. Some a plastic, some foam, some have superheroes on them….some are plastic forks, some are conditioner bottles, some are hairbrushes. You don’t care. If you can swing it, it’s a bat!

You are still sleeping 10-11 hours a night, but with travel to Atlanta and Kansas we were a bit off with naps this month. Its okay. I will never complain about a 1-hour nap or a 10-11 hour night. Getting up at 6 am is still something we aren’t enjoying, but a 7pm bedtime does has its perks now that we can sit out on our back patio with a beer and watch the sun set while you are upstairs asleep.

You eat like a horse one week and then the next won’t touch anything. Noodles are a consistent favorite, as are any berry. You aren’t the best eater…not a lot of veggies in your diet, but I know this is common and I try my damndest to fool you. You sure do love a apple juice and berry smoothie with a BIG handful of spinach in it. YOu also sure do love mac & cheese with brocolli or lasagna with veggies. I just have to sneak them in. You are kind of over bananas. You definitely are into sharing your food with Hannah and are a fan of throwing things right at Mama’s face when you are done with them. Punk.

We are down to nursing just 3 times a day. Upon waking, before nap and before bed. You would love to have it about 10 times more a day, but Mama’s tired of it. I’m ready for the freedom allowed with not having to do it. I pray you begin to self-wean, but either way, 18 months is our cutoff. I’m tired of you ripping into my shirt, fingernails scratching into my chest, hand reaching into my bra to grab my nipple any time I hold you. Sure, the sweet and pleasant moments are there still, but it’s just not as often. I still enjoy looking into your eyes and stroking your cheek and playing with your BLONDE hair, but I don’t like the ferociousness with which you let me know you are ready.

With that being said, I compare breastfeeding at 14 months to an Apple iPod/iPhone. You know how you have to charge it’s battery and back it up every so often? How you have to “dock” it? That’s exactly what nursing is to you. This hit me one day and it just makes SO much sense. POW!!! My brain got it. It’s understandable why it’s so necessary for you to have it exactly when you want it. You truly do need it. That time in my arms, cuddled up just so is how you recharge. I am your Docking Station. When you are in that spot, you are processing. The new words, the new trick the new ability that you just learned needs time in your brain to roll around and settle. Only in my arms, with my skin upon yours do you slow down enough to process how big this world is and how much you learn. My skin is your Touch Stone. When I think about the act of Breast Feeding in this way I am able to get through the pain or annoyance b/c I truly do see you calmer and more able after.

Kissing is fun this month. You open-mouth goo me and have snuck me the tongue once or twice. You love to give Daddy a big kiss each night before bed too. It’s so sweet. You LOVE to hug me. When I pull you out of your carseat and lift you in the air over my head each time, you land with a huge hug. Your head rests on my shoulder and sometimes I even get the arms around the neck. My favorite though, is the Koala hug. You put both arms under my arm and snug your legs up to your chest as if my arm is a tree trunk. I just love it. You say “mmmmmm” as though it feels so good. And it does, doesn’t it? I am glad you are becoming more affectionate…you still whack me on the head at least once a day though. You also like to sit on my chest when I lay on my back and bounce there or hard on my uterus…..it’s like a wrestling move to you.

You are so blonde right now people we know stop me to ask if you got a hair cut or why you look different. It’s so funny. Daddy wasn’t blonde (twin Uncle Rick was) and mommy was never as blonde as you are (unless you count highlights)…we are just outside so much. Each day we spend time going back and forth between the front and backyards or to the cul de sac. You are constantly going from soccer ball to tee ball to bubbles to frisbee to walking around. My skin is constantly pink and I can’t keep up with the sunscreen. I feel like it’s barely summer and we  are already so tan.

My Busy Little Bubba….I struggle to keep up with you. Each night after I FINALLY get you to sleep, I can barely stay awake another hour. I am bone tired. My gosh, keeping up with you pales in comparison to Marathon Training. If anyone ever tells you how busy little boys are, surely they are envisioning just you!!!  It seems you are constantly exploring and touching and running from thing to thing. You just want to soak it all in and check it all out. That’s fine, just quit pulling the damn dog’s hair and leave her eff-ing dog food alone! Seriously, Kid…remember how at the beginning of this letter to you I talked about how I always forget how bad you are and, in hindsight, you are an amazing kid? Well, this paragraph was written days after the prior paragraph and today you were ROTTEN. You climbed up the walls, hung from the ceiling and spat in my face then tried to tear my eyeballs out. You were B-A-D!  But don’t worry…tomorrow is a new day and you will wake up wanting nothing in this world more than me and I will, again, forget the bad and start the day anew.

Reeve, thank you for being so forgiving. Most days, I have NO idea what the hell I am doing. Despite being your mom for 14 months, I still feel like I get it all wrong. You didn’t come with an instruction manual and I wouldn’t have read it even if you had, but sometimes I feel like you are going to grow up and blame your relationship problems on the fact I nursed you too long or your vanity on the fact that I tell you no less than 483 times a day how you are the cutest baby in the whole wide world. And you know what? I really mean that. There is NO baby cuter than you and, for that reason, I’m probably going to be paying for your therapy well into your 40s b/c I would rather take blame than deny you the constant praise.

As you get older and bigger and I see your personality, your BIG personality, I have to remind myself that you aren’t “Baby Reeve” anymore. Constant motion with an unexpected hug has become my day. You do this cute thing where I tell you, “I’m going to get you soooo bad” and instead of running away from me (like one would do if scared of being tickled and kissed) you just run right into me. Hard….you throw your body at me. As long as you are still doing that, you are a baby to me. You are so smart. Not a lot gets by you. As I see you learn to raise your leg to climb or to slow down as you near the curb or when I hear you repeat “purple” or “flag” I’m just so thankful for your brain. Your healthy body. Your strong legs. The way you still love to hold onto my finger when you walk.

You are just so mischievous. You know better than to hit or throw my iPhone or to swing your bat at the dog, but testing your limits is just so fun for you. I think I know where you get that from….

We just love you so much. A few times this month your little legs have moved too fast and you’ve fallen and scraped your knees and it just tears Daddy & I apart to see you go down. We try not to react until you do, but with baited breathe we watch and are so proud each time you get up, dust your hands off and take off again.

Slow Down, Dude….literally and figuratively.

I cannot believe how much I love you. I can barely remember that moment you were born over a year ago, but I know the second they placed you on top of me they may as well have handed me my heart.

Reeve Denver (which we call you more often these days…most likely b/c all parents use first and middle names when their kids are in trouble, and let’s face it, you are naughty a lot) let’s always be best friends. The absolute best thing about me….is YOU!

To the moon & back,

Mommy

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Favorite things to do: Play outdoors. Kick your soccer ball. Swing at the Baseball Tee, or swing THE baseball tee. Run around the cul de sac. Put on Daddy’s baseball glove
Favorite things to eat: bbq sauce on food, pizza, blueberries, frozen grapes, CHEESE, oatmeal
Dislikes: learning how to climb down the stairs, getting strapped into your carseat & stroller, being told “no”, timeouts for hitting, when other kids play with the balls at Story Time
Funny Tricks: sticking out your tongue, spinning in a circle, bending over to do a somersault, “byeeeee,” jumping (ha ha)
Scary items: Toy Muno Doll from YGG…and not a lot else. You are fearless
Cute item:  The tee ball we’ve rigged in the car over your carseat, showing us your belly, you love your YGG book,
Hair color: BLONDE…and getting long. People keep asking me if we are going to cut it soon….NO!!!!
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 24-25 pounds
Height: 33″ (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 12. all 4 molars are in, but you walk around with your finger in your mouth so possibly your Incisors are working their way in too?

TWELVE MONTHS!!!

Dear Bubba,

let me start by saying I now understand why parents say every age is their favorite. A month ago I was certain you couldn’t be any more fun or funny or energetic or smarter. I believe you will spend your whole life proving me wrong. Bring it! I look forward to you surprising me for the rest of my life.

We have spent a lot of time this month gasping over the things that come out of your mouth. “Did he just say that?” Is it possible that you can enunciate “strawberry” (though it sounds more like “aw-beh-eeee”. As shocked as we are by your vocabulary, we are equally amused by the parroting skills you possess. You can copy any word, motion, physical task. As often as we are shocked, we are also so very amused and have spent so much time this month shaking our heads in disbelief, then looking at each other to confirm what we just saw/heard and then laughing at you. It’s really a lot of fun for us to just sit and watch you. We don’t go out a lot or “do” a lot anymore, but just watching you wonder and babble and swing your arms side-to-side as you walk is pretty entertaining.

We are so glad you are ours. Ours. Our smart and strong little boy.

This month you have begun a Love Affair with Yo Gabba Gabba. At first I felt guilty letting you watch anything on TV, but then I quickly realized when you were saying “babba babba” that you were begging with me to let you see your friends. Sure, too much television time is bad for you, but those silly, repetitive, often annoying songs have worked their way into our Bargaining Verbiage. Don’t want to eat your carrots? Well, guess what? There’s a party in your tummy and the carrots wanna go to the party in your tummy. And, you have to learn to be patient. And, Don’t bite, don’t bite, don’t bite your friends. And Try it, You’ll Like it. You just love to dance around with Toodee and Foofa and DJ Lance Rock. I often find you zoned out with that TV Coma stare on your face, but then you will start to dance and wiggle and bob your head and I’ve also discovered it’s a powerful bargaining chip. You just love those silly little characters and, I won’t lie, we quite enjoy the 10 minutes of silence and stillness it affords us. On the mornings you wake us up at 6:00, we bring you into bed and just turn it on for 15-20 minutes until our brains are up and running as fast as you are. You love the little Yo Gabba Gabba Boom Box that we have. You carry it around by the handle and just want to hear one of the four songs it plays.

MAMA MAMA MAAAAMAAAAAA! As much as you love to cry those words when hurt or sad or scared, this month “DADA” has become nearly as important. You almost always start the Dada chant when we play ball and you now run to him for comfort at times. I see you slowly becoming his best friend. But don’t get me wrong, you still want Mama 94% of the time and it’s often a word I love to hear, but can also mean I don’t get more than 3 feet from you.

I’m not sure how it started, but sometime this month we started telling you to “look at the stars” on the ceiling to try to get you to calm down during a diaper change. Though there are no stars on the ceiling, you don’t know that and must think there is something cool up there. It works every time. You point at the ceiling fan or the carbon monoxide tester or the attic door and go “ooooh” or “ahhhhh”. Surprisingly, you also started to make gun sounds at shoot at them. Where did you learn this? Both the sound and the finger?

Your cutest new trick is walking around with your hands on your shoulders as if to ask, “Where?” or to respond to us as though “I don’t know” is your answer. I don’t know where you learned this either, but it was so cute the first few times b/c it was also accompanied by a sad, pathetic look that was so desperate. You would hold your hands in that position for about 10 seconds until we at least tried to locate whatever it was you wanted.

Oh wait, maybe blowing kisses is your best new trick b/c it’s pretty cute too. You started doing it b/c Don Linny taught you on Facebook, but now do it as enthusiastically as you wave “bye bye” to any and every person who is leaving.

You like to pick up every single little thing you find. Whether it’s a crumb on the floor or Hannah’s (Nana to you) toy or a vacuum cord or a shoe or a magazine. Nothing is safe on the floor. Thankfully, nothing really goes into your mouth, but watch your wallets.

Little Boy, you are going to be a climber. THe other day I left the Master Bedroom to quickly get something from the closet and came back to find you sitting ON a suitcase. You like to throw your little leg up onto the laundry basket, the Tonka truck, the gate, even the bathtub. It makes us nervous, but we also try to let you at least figure it out. It wouldn’t hurt you to learn how to crawl DOWN things ~ like the stairs. You still have no idea how to go down them.

You still love baths. We now have a small basketball hoop in there that you love to slam dunk and say “oooohhhhhh” and try to pull the suction cups off. We’ve tried Bath Crayons that you just like to ram into the sides of the tub with or eat. You like to stand up and try to turn the faucet on or dump water on your face with the cup we use to dump water on your head. You are scared of the purple monster washcloth and you love to locate your “penis” and give it a firm yank. You think it’s so funny to splash us and to stick your face in the water to “blow bubbles.” You pooped in the tub for the first time this month. It happened at the very end of your bath, so it was easy to just finish and carry on. Still….don’t do that again.

You are gaining so much control of your body. You are starting to learn to take small steps up or down onto varying heights of cement. You can put your head on the carpet for me to roll you into a somersault. You like to run at your Superman Beanbag and throw yourself onto it. You think it’s so fun when I say, “I’m gonna get you” to run at me and throw yourself into my arms. You can run AT a soccer ball or football and kick it without even stopping to try. You have almost figured out how to put 2 hands on a baseball bat. THAT blows my mind. You already have a stance. You can aim any ball you throw and then toss it up and swing at it (WHAT?!?!?!) You can bend down to look under things ~ mostly the couch to see where your ball went. And how funny is it to throw your body down on purpose and say “boom!!!”

Playing with others has become easier this month. It still upsets you when someone takes any ball you have in your hand, but you haven’t bit anyone in a long time. In fact, I’ve seen you share and make a HUGE deal out of it each time you do by saying “Good job sharing” or “What a good share” or “thanks for sharing.” You look at me with such pride. Every now and then you get a little fired up and whack someone in the face or head, but for the most part, you are about 89% better than you were last month. At Story Time each morning, you are still a Little Explorer. It’s hard to keep you in the circle we moms create and I don’t really attempt to. As you get older, I will focus on listening and doing as the teacher says, but for now, you are just too busy looking at the bunny out the window, or the balls in her cart, or the dinosaur bones hanging from the ceiling or the giraffe pillow or the pencils at the table or the computer keyboards….or anything. It’s hard to keep you still. Most of the teachers use you as an example of “a busy boy,” but some have told me I’m doing the right thing by letting you just go and watching you from afar to see where you wonder to. You get about 10 feet away, look back to make sure I’m there and often come right back to me.  A few times you have forgotten to see where I am and can’t find me amongst the other mamas and freak out a little. You won’t sit for the teachers as they read books most times, but just LOVE to be read to at home each night. I can’t limit you to 3-4 books b/c I feel like I’m taking something from you by not just reading and reading to you….we sometimes read 10-15 before bed.

This month we transitioned to one nap a day versus two. I was very nervous that you would take just one-30 minute nap versus the 2-30 minute naps I was used to, but could see that it was getting harder and harder to get you down for your 2nd nap each day. What was I thinking and why didn’t I do this months ago? The first couple of days were only about an hour long, but sometimes now you nap for so long during the day 1.5-2.5 hours that I don’t even know what to do with myself. The first 2.5 hour nap consisted of me checking on you about 10 times to see if you were breathing, but also me sitting on the floor watching a whole tv show then trying to fill my time. It’s amazing! We also moved your bedtime to 7pm (it was 8) and you are sleeping anywhere from 11-12 hours. HALLELUJAH!!!!  And…that’s all we are going to say about that b/c I don’t want to jinx it!

Oh, one more thing, it does make it harder to go anywhere these days b/c I don’t want you falling asleep in the car (which you still do within about 3 minutes of any drive). We are mostly stuck to a 2 mile radius and I’m quite bored, but our house is always SUPER clean now with all the time I have.

This month, the amount of control you have over your body is amazing. You can do funny things with it (like throwing it down and yelling “boom”) but you can also run and kick a ball without coming to a stop. You can hoist your leg up to climb onto things. You can point out body parts and clap along to songs. Your dance moves are downright awesome. Part Chicken-Dance with your elbows out and part disco with your legs bent to wiggle. You walk around with a sippy cup straw dangling from your mouth. You copied us doing Karate Chops and think bonking the headboard repeatedly each morning is hilarious.

Wrestling is Daddy is SO much fun. Daddy is so much fun!  Each day, you find yourself wondering down to his office saying over and over, “dada…dada.” You find the vase filled with the baseballs that were our Wedding Guestbook and repeatedly say “ball, ball” until we hand you one. You sit behind the sheer guaze curtain playing Peekaboo with us. You sit in his leather chair and get so excited when he slowly spins you once. Sometimes, when the sun is right, you see your shadow on the wall and just want to kiss that cute little boy…I don’t blame you. The sun spot on the floor is the perfect place to lay down. It’s in Dada’s office that you like Hannah the most. You hug her backside and gently torment her knowing we are right there to step in if need be.

I get real hugs from you now. You learned to put both hands behind my head and push your cheek into my face. Open-mouthed kisses still make me nervous. I would never be surprised if you bit my lip, but they are the absolute best thing. Your new thing is to hug my right arm as I carry you on my hip, like a little Koala baby. You smoosh your head into my arm and then give me the best smile.

That smile. Deserving of it’s own post, a paragraph can do it no justice. Strangers stop us on the street to tell you how adorable your ornery smile is. You scrunch your nose squint your eyes. It’s pure rotten-ness…it’s pure perfection.

You walk around a lot reaching for my hand. Sometimes when you are scared or nervous, sometimes for support as you approach rocks or cement…mostly, b/c it’s safe. You must already know my hand will ALWAYS be there for you. For now, it’s really just my pinkie you hold. I catch my breathe each time you do this, knowing my heart will break someday when you are to big or old to do so. Second to nursing and all other moments of bonding it allows, it’s really the most intimate act. That look you give me as I peer down into your face speaks so many words. I just know if you could speak to me, you would say, “Hi, Mom….let’s go play.” You are always pulling me along, looking for life’s next adventure or puzzle or slide or dog or balloon.

Reeve, I’ve saved your biggest development for the end of this post as I know it will take up so much time and space to write.

This month, your speech has grown exponentially.  At your 12 month check-up, Dr. Tucker asked how many words you can say. Off the top of my head, I rattled “20, maybe 30.” He looked at me like I was a fool. Quickly it became apparent that he didn’t believe me. When I left, I counted aloud the words you could speak and the list topped nearly 40. He said most 1-year-olds can say about 5-10 words! My boy, you are a talker and smart as can be….a stranger would think I were lying, or bragging, by how many words you can say

I will start with the words you can sign, as sign language is VERY important in this household. It allowed us to be able to meet your most basic needs when you weren’t able to, but is now giving us the opportunity to allow us to teach you manners. You can sign the following words:

More, Please, Eat, Thank You, Milk, Fish …. every time you use sign language for something, Dada shakes his head in disbelief. He thinks Please is cute. My favorite trick you do with your hands is when I say, “Where is Mama’s Heart?” and you gently pat my chest….SO SWEET!!!

As far as the words you speak, I expect that next month’s letter to you will probably only state how you learn at least 2 news words a day and I couldn’t possibly keep up with everything you can say. A lot of the words you say sound the same as others, but Mama can tell them all apart.

For instance, a lot of words that start with the Letter B probably sound identical to anyone but Dada and I, but here are the B words you say.

Banana (bun-uh)

Balloon (OMG…this is your favorite and sounds like Brrrrrr (insert the Spanish Trill). You still obsesses over balloons and if a book so much as has a small balloon on it anywhere, you only want to sit and look at that page.

Berry…. (beh-eeee). If we open the fridge, you start chanting it over and over and over

Bottle (bah-ul) Which is actually your sippy cup, bottles are gone

Bath (bahhhh)

Bye (bi-eeeeeee) always followed with a hand wave and blowing kisses….and sounds very much like a Southern woman who might be saying it to a friend

You Gabba Gabba (babba)

Chickens say “Bock” and sheep say “bah”…you can also say “Duck” and “Bird” = burrrrrr. When I sing E-I-E-I-O to you in the car to keep you awake, you sing back to me “eye…eeeee….eye…..eeeee….yooooooo”

Dude….yep, you call me Dude a lot. I call YOU that a lot, so that’s fair.

Superman = Mah

Ice = I-yeeee (any time you see any of our cups, you start screaming this and want us to give you a small chip

NO….you are really good at this one. It’s with a deep voice or very angry or aggressive. You tell me “no” a lot. Ahem, you also started saying, “don’t”…..

You can say P-U when something stinks and hold your nose. You also make a cute Fox Face (which is scrunching your nose and opening/closing your mouth) You can also say “nose”…it sounds like “noooooz”

Juice = Jewwwwwwww

Table = tay-uhl

Rock = ball (go figure)

Though you can sign both “please” and “more”, you also say “peeeeez” and “mo”

Toe

I could probably add 20-3 more, but those are your favorites this month. I promise I won’t bore you each month with all the new words you learned, as I said, I expect from this point forward you will learn at least 2 a day.

Oh, wait….one more. The cutest is “Uh Oh”.  It always makes me smile. Uh Oh when you drop something, when you can’t find something, when Hannah leaves, when food falls on the floor, when the lights go out. Uh Oh all day long.

Reeve, you have made me so much stronger in this year. My life is all about “balance” and “Schedules” and EVERYTHING has to be planned in advance. All of this is just part of my brain now. In fact, those may be parts of my brain that I never even knew I had before you.

I just spend so much of my time laughing at you…and wondering. Who will you be? What will you be like when you are older? Will you love sports as much as you do now? Or will you love outdoors? Or books? Or all of it. As YOU take shape and become the YOU that you are, I just am so thankful that I get to experience this life in a way I’ve never know. Throwing rocks and falling down on purpose and carrying balls around like a little girl might a baby doll is all part of our life. You are dirty and messy and love to eat dirt or sand. Your fingernails are always long and filthy. You think smelling feet is the world’s best joke. You love to mash egg in your hair and still sleep with your butt up in the air.

You are just a whole lot of fun. I could wax poetic forever about the every day things you do that make me love you more with each breathe. It would be so easy. How you just go out of your way to make EVERY stranger within 10 feet of you notice you, waving at them, smiling….

Reeve, I search my brain trying to remember the feel of your tiny, new body in my arms those first days, months. I remember trying so hard, storing each tiny part of you in my body. I remember writing posts about the hair on your ears, the tiny lips, the big ears. I’m SO very glad I have recorded each moment and memory as it’s become so very hard to think of you as ever being so tiny.

Your independence is so amazing to see. You just try and try so hard at everything you do. But, the way you still absolutely NEED me is my greatest joy. For your health, I am always most thankful, but as I see your fearlessness guide you through new situations, I am so proud of you.

I have loved every moment that I have been able to call you mine. I look forward to every moment I know our life has in store for us. As always, SLOW DOWN….both literally and figuratively!  This goes so fast. A blink and you are onto a new trick, a new skill.

Bubba, thank you for making me laugh so hard this month. For giving me moments where I have to ask myself, “did that just happen?” The unknown has never been so welcome. I say (and hear) quite often, “it’s just a phase,” but I hope you NEVER grow out of the phase of amazing me or impressing me or being so curious.

It’s so easy to be your mom, Reeve. You are not only special in all the ways that make me smile, but our souls have known each other for so long (long before we met in person) that I never doubt this journey we get to experience here on Earth is one that will be filled with the purest of joy. One morning this month, I watched you as you slowly rocked side-to-side, along with the  John Denver song “Sunshine On My Shoulder” and I felt it. I felt absolute peace. Love. The feelings that become just words, those we toss around so casually. That we are so blasé about….and I knew, I just knew, that everything is as it should be.

To the Moon & Back.

I love you so very much,

Mommy

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Favorite things to do: HIT balls…with a bat, a brush, a toy carrot, a remote. It doesn’t matter, you just LOVE to swing at them. Play outdoors with your soccer ball. Throw rocks. Say my name “Mama” a whole bunch. Spin into my lap for me to read a book to him
Favorite things to eat: grapes, BERRIES, any fruit. NO meat. Spinach smoothies….ha ha…chicken nuggets. Raisins. Brocolli dipped in ranch
Dislikes: when we let you cry yourself to sleep, when we leave him at church daycare, naps, getting diaper changes and when the Rockies lose
Funny Tricks: throw ball up in air and hit it, blow bubbles in the bath with mouth, somersault (well….), wink like a fox, blow kisses,
Scary items: not being able to see me, the squeaky rubber duck.
Cute item:  Likes to hug the Scentsy dog that’s been in his room since he was born. Kisses babies in books and hugs (bonks) other babies with his head. High-Fives other kids
Hair color: Light brown, almost blonde you could say. Some of them are really long, especially over your ears
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: probably 22-23 pounds
Height: 33″ (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: 11.5. Your top 2 molars are finally out. Bottom left is in and bottom right is cutting the gums. NOT FUN

ELEVEN MONTHS!!

Dear Reeve,
I write this letter just 2 days after your 1st birthday. It has taken me 2 days to find the time, and to put my emotions on check. A lump forms in my throat each time I anticipate answering the “how old is he?” question with “one.”

I have decided that being your mom is both a religion and an addiction. It is something I practice, yet know inside and out. It’s something I need like a drug, yet never get high enough off of.

Reeve, thank you for being the best little man. Today, it’s snowing…you and daddy were in the basement watching March Madness basketball and I easily thought back to the first days we brought you home from the hospital and KU was playing….lying on your bassinet in your tiny red onesie, I hooted and hollered and had NO idea what was in store for us in the year that would follow. I walked down there today to find you in your mismatched blue pajamas, daddy reading a book to you as you sat inside of a giant yellow Tonka truck. Pitter Patter. I stayed upstairs as long as I physically could, then saw a YouTube video of a baby and my heart started missing you so badly I just had to interrupt that precious moment between the two of you. I was thinking about my friend who claims her baby doesn’t enjoy time with his daddy yet. There has NEVER been a moment that you haven’t loved being with Daddy.

11 months. Not once in those 11 months.

This was a big month in your life. It seems you learned how to do more “tricks.” You can smell things. You can imitate sounds. You can walk and hardly ever crawl anymore. You can stomp (lifting only your left leg high then slowly setting it down). You try to jump but only end up rising to your tip toes. You can…..You can…..and you do!

Each morning (still too early) you join us in bed for a quick nurse and then proceed to Bonk your head on the headboard, then me, then Daddy. Bonk-ing is your form of hugging or kissing. I was told that “bonking” is a dirty thing to do in other cultures, but around here we would trade all our riches for a bonk from you. When your family came to visit for your birthday you lovingly bonked each member each time they left. The best, however, is when you repeatedly and quickly bonk the headboard knowing we will laugh and laugh at you.

You fall a lot this month. Though you never crawl anymore and are still a bit wobbly, you toddle everywhere and I find myself holding my breathe each time I see you start to go down. I watch…and say either Kaboom or “safe!!!!!” each time you nosedive. You like to push the limit and get as close to sharp corners and walls and things that you shouldn’t be near. You are very efficient at squatting and standing without pulling up on anything. I swear you went from crawling to running. With your legs wide, like you’ve been on a horse, you just walk in circles sometimes. Perhaps you are more like a drunken sailor. So wobbly and careless. It’s funny to watch you learn to turn around and turn corners. You take so many extra steps to get it done. As you walk, your arms are always all over the place. Like E.T. you wave. Actually, you wave “bye bye” and “hello” to almost anyone these days.

You have been a good little eater this month (with the exception of the 5 days when your molars were coming in and you didn’t eat for 5 days). I sneak so many vegetables into your diet. Kale popsicles. Broccoli muffins. Zucchini. Spinach in your eggs. I’m really proud that you do so well with these healthy things, but there is no doubt that you would take a chicken nugget (though not the healthy wheat ones) or a grilled cheese over a veggie burger any day. This month you have really started to use and become proficient with a fork. Sometimes you can’t figure out how to get the food on the fork so you pick up the tiny bite and put it on the fork yourself. I laugh then you laugh….you absolutely love strawberries and grapes (both of which you call ‘ball’).

We tried cows milk twice this month. Both times it gave you diarreah so we are going to hold off until you are about 14 months. I know you aren’t allergic to it, you eat a lot of cheese, but it just upsets your tummy. I put water in a sippy cup for you instead. You still do best with straws, but if I take your cup and say “Gulp Gulp Gulp” and pretend to drink you always rip it away from me to drink it yourself.

You had a LOT of visitors this month. Daddy’s best friends, John & CJ, came to stay with us. For your birthday party, Don Linny & PPJ, Aunt Connie & Uncles Ryan and Cousins Jack & Will all came to love on you. What a lucky little boy to have so many people who love you.

This month Hannah got a haircut. It was difficult to teach you to be “gentle” with her when her hair was all shaggy. You weren’t able to run your fingers through it, so we had her shaved. When we went to pick her up, you had no idea who (or what) she was. With your carseat facing the back of the Jeep you just laughed at her the whole way home. I didn’t even have to try to keep you awake by singing “Wheels on the Bus” 100 times like I usually do. It was so funny. You can now say “Hannah” and walk around loving on a baby, stuffed Olde English Sheepdog. It’s the cutest thing…really the only object you are lovey with. You are STINGY with your kisses and hugs, but Baby Hannah gets a lot! You have a toy doggy on a string that was instrumental in you learning to walk in the early part of your 11th month. You pulled that doggy everywhere….most of the time it was between your legs or you were tangled in it, but you felt so proud to be “walking the doggy.”

The cutest thing you started doing this month was walking up to me with my iPhone, shimmy-ing and handing it to me. This is your signal for me to turn on Pandora and play Yo Gabba Gabba songs. I can’t put enough capital letters in the following sentence: YOU LOVE YO GABBA GABBA. If they are on the iPhone you are happy to just stare at the still screen, but the minute Wow Wow Wubzy or Fresh Beat Band comes on, you either hand me the phone to change the song or throw it at me. You get this from me, you know. I have had more than one boyfriend in my past claim this is my most annoying habit. I can’t listen to a whole song without changing the channel and it appears as though this is genetic. Your favorite song is “Get the Sillies Out.” It says”

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle GO

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle GO

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle GO

HOLD STILLLLLLLL

and you just think it’s the funnies thing every to shake your body so fast and then on the “hold stilllllll” put your arms up over your head. I probably have a million videos of this. You love watching the Yo Gabba Gabba videos on TV or my computer. We are pretty excited that you chose this hipster, cool kids music rather than Barney or Calliou to love. We can’t wait until next year to take you to one of their shows. Already a music snob, like us, you just prefer songs with a baseline….

You are getting better at playing with others, but still pick on Ezra & Lucas a lot. I theorize that you are threatened by them as they are the same size as you since you play so well with older kids and kiss on other babies. Who knows….I’m certain you will outgrow biting, as I don’t see a lot of adults walking around biting each other.

You are really good at your animal sounds now. Cows Moo and dogs still pant…ducks kind of quack and you have nailed monkey and gorilla. Giraffes bend their neck and elephants trill their lips and raise one hand over their heads like a trunk. Cats kind of make a meow sound and horses scream. We read about 100 books a day and your favorite is always the animal book.

You also say a lot of “yum” and “owwwwww.” I don’t know that you always think the food I give you is yummy, but it’s pretty cute to see you claim something is “yum.” You had your first owie this month on your leg and now walk around, again, like E.T. saying (more growling really” “owwwww.” You have said “uh oh” a few times and mastered “no” with all your cousins in town. Just days after your first birthday you began telling me NO, which is strange b/c I don’t often use that word. I am more of a “uh uh” person when you are doing something wrong. I want the word “NO” to means something, to stop you in your tracks when you hear and I could easily tell you NO 500 times a day, so I just stick with a look and a “uh uh”….you, however, like the word NO and use it when you are unhappy. It’s not as though I need to hear the word though, it’s pretty obvious when you don’t like something as you have no qualms about screaming or turning your face into a pout.

One of my favorite moments this month was when I took you to the pediatrician b/c I was certain you had an ear infection when you were only just getting your molars in. You were so miserable and hadn’t eaten in days and weren’t sleeping, so we went to see a doctor we hadn’t seen before. When I sat you on my lap to hold your arms down so he could look in your ear, you LET HIM HAVE IT! I was so proud of you….you cussed him out so bad he actually wheeled his chair back and held both hands up as though to say, “I surrender.” The string of consonants (mostly n’s) that came out of your mouth translated to a Baby F You!!!  It was so cute!  “Nnnnnnn nnn nnnnn nnnnn”.

You have gotten much better at giving Mama hugs. I get the best hugs when I lift you out of your carseat. You squeeze me hard and I just absolutely melt. I’ve gotten about 10 open-mouth intentional kisses this month. I love those too, but am always just a little nervous that you might bite my lip. Yep…. When I am holding you on my hip, often you will hug the arm with which I am holding you. Not me, just the arm. Like a little koala baby.

Socks are really cool this month. I always buy daddy really crazy, funky socks and I think somehow you must’ve taken note of that. Part of your favorite moments of each day are putting your socks on. You know they go on your foot, but obviously you can’t put them on yourself, so you place them gently on top of your foot. Same with shoes, which you now wear everywhere.

When you want something, you are now able to communicate it so well. Often you will point at something and say “dat” and it’s making life a lot easier. The one thing I don’t like that you point at when you want it is my breasts. You will walk up to me and pull at my shirt or start poking my breasts or just start biting on them. I call it “milky” and you call it “me me”….ahem….

You still refuse to fall alseep on your own without me nursing you. I’ve tried letting you just Cry It Out as I did when you were smaller, but you like to bang your head on the rails of your crib or try to bite through them. It’s frustrating, but I’ve learned that when you are upset or need something it’s a language. You are just telling me that you aren’t ready quite yet and that you need me. A friend told me this month it’s a bad habit….I wanted to smack her. I believe one day you will be 3 or 4 and I will be so glad I didn’t just walk away from you when you needed me. My job is to comfort you, for your last moments each night before you fall asleep for TEN hours is to whisper dreams to you, tell you stories, and sing you song….

With your birthday party this month, you fell in love with BALLOONS!  Lord. You call them “boons” and will freak out if you see them on TV or in the store or even in a book. We blew up 30 and put them on your floor for when you woke up on your b-day and you were in heaven. I don’t think we needed to buy you a single gift, just balloons. You walk around yanking the string they are on to bounce them off your head. You beat at them with your baseball bats. You don’t like to share them and you make it very well known that BOONS are awesome. Same with balls. Still balls everywhere. One day at the library there were a bunch of balloons that you couldn’t reach next to a table with books about  balls that you couldn’t reach and I swear I though you were going to have an anxiety attack. BOONS!!! BAWWWWS…..BOONS….BAW!  Back & forth you fretted and just wanted either one so badly! You went to Chuck E Cheese for the first time for Chase’s b-day party and were in hell over the fact that the balloons weren’t for you. Seriously….this could be a problem.

The following are words you can now say.

Boons = balloons
Baw = bow
owwww.
uh-nu = Hannah
Daw = Dog
Bah = Bat
Buh = Book
Mama & Dada
Bop = Papa Jim
uh oh
nie = NO

I will save the details of your First Birthday Party (the Mustache Bash) for a post later this week, but let’s just say you are VERY spoiled and VERY loved and Mama cried 100 times b/c I cannot believe you are ONE year old!  It was so emotional for me. Whew!!!!

You have had a few rough nights of sleep this month, again, mostly due to your teething, but for the most part you still sleep pretty well. I can’t complain b/c a 9-hour night is still awesome, but I prefer you move back to TEN hours. It’s so funny the difference between when you wake up and I go get you out of your crib and when Daddy does. For me…tears and “mama mama MAMA!!!” and when you see Daddy it’s “ball…ball…”

Reeve, as I look back on this month, I see your stubbornness surfacing so clearly. You want what you want and you want it RIGHT then and not a minute sooner. You’ve always been this way. You aren’t content to just sit and wait. No, you aren’t patient….you are a Do-er and a go-getter. I should’ve known how stubborn you would be when you were a week past your due date and then STILL didn’t want to come out. I hope you always keep this little BIG personality. I’ve said it before…if you fight like hell for what you want later in life the way you do now, NOTHING will stop you! NOTHING!

You are so smart, Reeve. I mean that. I see you at Story Time around other babies your own age and I marvel at how much better you speak. How you articulate what you want so much better. That you are so mobile and that you are so much more curious about the things around you than others. I often wish you were as still as they are, but then I see you question things, I see you wonder and I see your body propel in motion to get up and go see something new and I realize how lucky I am to have a baby so interested and so inquisitive.

I often laugh at how completely 100% opposite you are from what I imagine when you were in my belly. I remember being pregnant and when I accepted that you were a boy (yes, I thought I wanted a girl) I would picture this sweet, quiet, calm little man with daddy’s eyes…daddy’s soul…patient…calm…BOY oh BOY….was I wrong. What I got instead….what you are….is something I never even considered, never even considered imagining. I got a mini-version of ME! Whew…..I think about every personality word I would use to describe myself and…it’s YOU!!!  It’s funny. You will do something downright silly and someone will say, “I wonder where he gets that?” and I know they mean me and it’s scary and flattering at the same time. I feel like when you are 4 or 5, when you are out of Toddler-hood, I will be able to write a book about this. You are the epitome of a toddler. Oh man, the stories I am sure I will be able to tell. I can already see this silly, temper-tantrum-throwing, crazy person developing…Lord help me.

Reeve, as I finish this…I think about every great novel I’ve read, every love story, and I realize there is none greater than the love between you and I. You are my whole word…I yours.

Sleeping now in your crib, sound machine whoosh-whoosing, balloons all over the floor outside of your room, your butt in the air in your monkey pajamas with feeties, soft snore…my baby, baby….you aren’t so much a baby anymore.

I marvel at you. Your beauty. You are such a gorgeous little guy. People still stop me in the streets to tell me how handsome you are, how your eyes are gorgeous. Your brain. Smart doesn’t do justice to the things you can remember and the things you can do. You are a wonder. Sometimes, when you are walking and holding with your whole hand onto just one of my fingers, I look down at you and it hits that this small person beside me isn’t all that small anymore. You are just smashing and bashing and crashing your way through life. I feel like, when I look at you, I already can see every age that you will ever be.

Time has flown by. We all say that. Us moms. A year has now passed and your 11th month was one of silly words and fast motion and balls and balloons and all things BOY! Vrooms and gun sounds and car sounds and….Reeve, I have never known it was so possible to feel this love. In this year, you have introduced me to myself. I thank you so much for showing me who I am. For being mine.

Someday, when you are older and we read the words on this blog together, a post each night as though we are reading Harry Potter, I know that no words I ever type will do justice to what’s in my heart. I apologize for that, but I hope you know. I hope you feel what I feel. I spent so much of my life hoping that someone with which I was in love felt half of what I felt, but hoping you feel my love, hoping you know it as you know the blue of the sky, is my mission. Never question it. Never may I give you reason to.

Reeve Denver Mooneyham, you somehow chose us and changed us and for you I will spend the rest of my lifetime here on this planet loving you…every day, loving you, I get to feel what it’s like to look inside Heaven. I can’t remember now knowing you, Reeve….If I had to grade you so far on awesomeness and ability to take life by the reigns, you would get a big fat RED A+ with a giant circle around it, Dude!

I will love you until my last dying breathe…and then, forever after that.

To the moon & back,

Mommy

mantle (1)mantle

Favorite things to do: play with trucks that make sounds, nurse!!, chase balloons and hit them with a bat, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba,
Favorite things to eat: grapes, soy milk, mommy’s bagle, Noodles & Co pasta, mac & cheese, veggie muffins
Dislikes: having diaper changed, riding in stroller, sitting still
Funny Tricks: making all your animal sounds, rubbing food in your hair, finding your body parts, sticking balloons up your shirt, stomping, trying to kick a ball, riding in a big yellow Tonka truck
Scary items: the purple washcloth that has a face on it
Cute item: Baby Hannah Dog, baseball glove & ball, your new playroom,
Hair color: Little boy hair. Some days it spikes up and then you are Naughty!
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: 21 lbs
Height: 33″ (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: TEN, your top 2 molars have poked through (not all the way out yet) and have made you a cranky bear

TEN MONTHS!!!

Dear Reeve,

as I start this letter to you just a few days the 11 month birthday I am amazed by how fast this past year has gone. I recently found a hard-drive with pictures on it from the day you were born that daddy took while I was lying on the surgery table being put back together. I have no memories of that day, those moments and all I can conjure is what I can piece together from those pictures. But my heart knows. My brain knows. I’ve never NOT known you.

We are in the basement. You’re wearing a little red fleece hoodie and jeans that will probably be too short in a week. Little red Superman socks on your feet and your hair is combed to the side. You’re biting on my shoulder as I talk to Siri into my phone. You’re toddling from toy to toy and throwing balls at me. You keep throwing your body onto the ground and fussing because I won’t nurse you on command. You’re on and off of your car, pushing the buttons and jerking the lever to trying get the balls to fly out the front. You’re pulling Hannah’s hair when she’s near you and throwing diapers on the floor. You are emptying your snacks onto the floor and holding my cell phone up like a lighter at a concert b/c you love the Yo Gabba Gabba songs on the Pandora station. You are looking under the couch for balls and using any object that you can as a bat. You are pulling your socks off and laughing as I pretend how stinky your feet are. You are crinkling your nose and patting your head as we try to play Peek A Boo. You are rubbing your belly and jabbing your finger into my nose/mouth as you nurse..

YOU….ARE…BUSY!!!!

This life. It’s yours…and every day you take it by the horns and you not only tell it, you scream down it’s face, “let’s make the most of it..”.

God…and damn….you are the best thing I’ve ever done!

Ten months has shown us a LOT of dance moves. That’s, perhaps, your favorite part of your life right now. We don’t watch a lot of television, but we have the stereo piped through the ceiling speakers playing all day long. From Bob Marley to Neil Young to P. Diddy to Fresh Beats Band and Kermit to Beck we LOVE music. You dance from side-t0-side with your head. Sometimes you rock from leg to leg, but for now it’s all head. My own little Bobble Head. You hold my phone in the air like a lighter and we dream of taking you to summer music festivals and tell you, even now when you can’t possibly know, that you should NEVER miss the opening act….even the Allman Brothers were once an opening act. Oh Bubby, I love to see you dance. We usually have a 4-minute Dance Party each night as I cook party. During these, I hold you and we dance around the living room like we are at a ball….but it’s when you don’t think I’m watching and you break out your best moves that I love you most.

Let’s think back to how this month began.

We transitioned you into a big boy carseat. No longer can you fall asleep in the car and Mommy can just put you in your carseat to do her errands, now we get out once a day around your naptime(s) and that’s it. Sometimes you finish your naps in the car as I read a book in the front seat (in the garage) but most days we stay home to make sure we stick to your schedule as closely as possible.

Aunt Kelsi went back to work from Maternity Leave 😦 and Ms. Erin delivered Baby Everett (your someday BFF). We spent an evening in the Urgent Care when your nose was scraped up after a fall in the driveway. I can’t even talk about it…it was the single most awful moment of my life. I, who pride myself on being good in emergencies, was beyond hysterical and unable to be consoled. You are fine…your perfect nose is still perfect….Not even one day after your nose was bloodied and mommy almost had a heart attack, you came home and pulled a giant bowl off of a table and shattered glass everywhere. By the end of the first week of this month, I realized I needed to step up my game…this month you are in less onesies than you are t-shirts and pants. Much like my teenage years when unitards were a trend, you are just too tall for anything that snaps in the crotch, the leg holes ride up to your armpits.

You spent each night this month splashing in the bathtub and flirting your pants off with the little boy in the silver reflection under the faucet. He’s a cutie!!! And, Ladies & Gentleman, you have discovered your penis. You are obsessed with the little thing. You yank on it with such force we cringe and laugh at the same time. I love seeing your wet, slippery body so happy to be clean and warm. We always get you out of the tub, snuggle you in your froggie towel and lather you with the thickest lotion possible. You fuss a little each time, but just love this routine. You then toddle up to your bookshelf and pull the books off one-by-one for us to read.

Month 10 of your life has also been all about BALLS!!!. It doesn’t matter if it is a ball or just looks like a ball or is round, it’s a BALL to you. Grapes are balls. Any toy that is small enough to fit in your hand is a ball. And throw….man can you throw. Like the little kid in Jerry MaGuire, each time you throw a ball we look at each other with eyes filled with hope. It appears you throw better left-handed, but you don’t discriminate. You can throw a ball STRAIGHT to us. Most babies would struggle to aim, but you have purpose when you toss a ball. And you can say the word “ball” too. It comes out without an L at the end, but sounds more like “bawwwww.” And there is NO DOUBT that you can say BAT. Everything long and skinny is a bat. A paper towel roll, a concert poster tube, PVC pipe, small brooms, the windshield scraper in the backseat. We have to be aware anytime you have a bat-like object in your hands b/c you can also swing like a pro. Poor Hannah…. Daddy is convinced that you think his name is “Ball” b/c you say that to him first thing every day when you first see him. I know it’s b/c you associate “ball” with “daddy” but he thinks you are confused. I think it’s awesome..

The month started off with a lot of Pamper-padded falls on your behind. You just want to run so bad. We joke that you can hit, you can throw and as soon as you can run we have to start teaching you how to run the bases. Well, little did we know that with just 3 days left in your 10th month you would start to walk….RUN!  You can take about 4-7 steps at a time now and they aren’t careful and deliberate…No, they are wild and fast and with your arms in the air. You look like E.T. when he runs! I just love it that we were both there to witness your first steps in the basement walking from Mommy to Daddy to Mommy and back. You didn’t know to be proud of yourself, but we hooted and hollared and then quickly went “Oh, Shit!….it’s really on now!” Unless we stand you up and give you something specific to walk towards, you really aren’t that interested in walking yet. Which is fine with me…but we did manage to call Don Linny so she could see you on Facetime take some of your first steps. You are still crawling 98% of the time, but can stand up on your own and I know it won’t be long before you are a blur across the hardwood floors.

You can now point out body parts. Head. Nose (mostly mine….and never softly) Eyes. Belly. Penis. It’s so funny to see your little brain work to think, “wait, where is that again?” You do the same with the animals in the books we read. Gorilla says What? You stop, think and make a grunting sound. Monkey says what? You scream. Elephants…you raise your arm like a trunk and try to trill your lips. Dogs…easy. Cats sound more like a high-pitched sigh than a meow. You can clap your hands on command and do so when you see a sea lion. YOu are just a genius…there’s no doubt. I am so beyond proud this month of the love you have for books. All of those hours spent chasing you around that damn circle rug every morning at Story Time are paying off. You still could care less about what Ms. Nancy/Laura has to read at Story Time, but when we are home reading is your favorite, second to balls. You are especially fond of your Superman Board Book, doggie books, any book with fur/felt/fabric, etc. You crawl in and out of my lap, hand me a book and say “dat.” Sometimes, if the book is short enough, we can read the whole thing. Sometimes you just want to look at it then go off to find another one. Sometimes you just want to pull every book off of the shelf and watch it hit the floor. It doesn’t matter, you LOVE to look at the pages and turn them and kiss the doggies open-mouthed on the book and can point out things when I say “point to the strawberry/robot/gorilla/balloon/snake.” At Story Time, we have to sit as close as possible to the teacher b/c otherwise I spend the whole class chasing you across the circle rug. You are the crazy kid. Twice this month you were good and moms actually stopped to comment to me how calm you were….THanks?? You aren’t always the nicest to the other children, you beat on them…you bite at them if they approach your toys…you push them out of your way.

Reeve, in fact, you are kind of mean!  It worries me and makes me so sad. I think you are just so excited that you don’t know how to control it and your hands get to flapping and you whack people. Sometimes, I worry that you have a little anger issue. Sometimes I worry that I’m not doing something right. Most of the times I worry that I’m failing you and not punishing you correctly or enough or properly. About 7% of the time you are really rough with me. You hit my face, scratch me, bite my shoulders, pull my hair HARD….and it hurts so much more than my face or neck or side of head. It breaks my heart. Because I just love you SO much, more than you could ever know…all I do is love you….I don’t ever ever want to hurt you and I hate it when you hurt me. Although I know that you don’t mean to, that you don’t even know what you are doing, I hate how it upsets me and stresses me out and makes me feel like I’m failing. But I know that it’s all part of learning. Though you are starting to communicate, you have no idea to control your excitement or energy and it usually manifests through your hands. Your brain just can’t keep up with your body. It’s like you are a mini-Mommy personality (competitive, impatient, multi-tasking, eager to GO) trapped in a skinny, little Long & Lean body.

Whew….with that said. This month you did start to hug and kiss me. These moments are rare, but they are SO worth every pinch, scratch, bite. Sometimes we play this little game where you smoosh your cheek up against mine and we just stay like that for seconds and seconds. I don’t breathe. I don’t move. I’m afraid if I do it will break the spell and you will be gone. Kisses are still wet and ooey and gooey open-mouthed cheek bombs. Hugs are more frantic and often are paired with “FEED ME NOW, MAMA” undertones. My arms have become your LaZBoy chair. You snuggle into my lap and fit there just so right. I’ll hold you all day, until I can’t any longer. Or until you WHACK me as hard as you can.

You can understand so many words (with the exception of “no”). I say things to you like “go get me that book” or “show me your belly” or “where’s your head?” or “look up there” and you follow to where I’m pointing or crawl over to bring me what I want. I love that you understand me, but I also worry that you take in so much more than I can control. The other day I sighed out loud with you feet away and distracted by a ball, not 2 minutes later you kept sighing over and over. You have mastered the Sign Language for “more,” but not without forgetting it this month and replacing it with a hard pat on your head. I love watching your little hands clap and try to pinch your fingers together to make the actual sign. It won’t be long before you can say the word “more.” You don’t often make a lot of sense and just walk around screaming or making new sounds as loud as you can. Sometimes in the car you sing along to the radio and “mama” and “daaaaa” are words you’ve nailed. In fact, this month you “found your voice” so much that you “lost it” too…..a few days of a hoarse, rasphy voice and we were worried about everything from bronchitis to puberty (not really, people). It was deep and sounded like you’d smoked a pack of cigarettes..but so cute!  Though I don’t always know what you are saying, I’m certain you do and that disconnect gets downright frustrating to you so we try to use Sign Language as much as possible to help you. We are working on “Milk” when you want to nurse b/c I’m really tired of you just freaking out when you want it or yanking my shirt down in public (plus all my necklines are beyond stretched out).

Nursing…ah, the love / hate relationship I have with it. I still absolutely LOVE the bond. The way we stare into each other’s eyes, the way you stroke my side or pat my belly. I HATE how you sometimes scratch my face/neck/nose or get distracted by something in the air and bite me. I love playing with your soft and long hair. I hate how my nipples are constantly in pain.. I love how your little body folds into the same position, fetal with your legs curled up into my belly. I hate how you won’t drink out of a sippy cup and will stop in the middle of a playdate to have a quick sip. I have no desire to quit though. I get asked a lot, as you near your first birthday, “Are you going to wean him soon?” As though the one-year mark is the “expected” or “acceptable” time to be “done with that….” That equaling the inconvenient/inappropriate act of nursing.

In other news, you now eat a lot! LOT. Vegetables are still tricky and I’ve begun to disguise spinach pureed with applesauce then freezing little drops which you love. You love Cherry Tomatoes and any form of pasta with sauce which is messy and understandably fun to tease Hannah with. Strawberries make you dance and frozen blueberries with Greek Yogurt make  you gluttonous. Grapes are awesome and I don’t know what we would do without chicken nuggets. It’s both fun and exhausting at every meal. I try to not Quid Pro Quo you into eating, but sometimes I think a little pleading is going to work only to find out there is nothing I can make you do if you aren’t interested. A lot of your food ends up on the floor and even more of it ends up in Hannah’s Mouth or fur.. You like to let her have a lick of whatever you are eating and then put it right in your mouth. Such a little tease!

Another favorite game this month is GODZILLA. When we stack books or cups you just love it when I say “GODZILLA” and you come through and knock them over with all of our might. You also get quite a kick out of climbing UP the stairs. We try to work on going DOWN the stairs, but you just get pissed. I was so worried this month to see you RACING Lucas up the stairs. Yes, you knew that one of you would get to the top first and be a WINNER and you were trying to pull him down by the leg to get there. NOT GOOD!  Mommy has this issue….You love to watch animals on TV and were the biggest fan of the Puppy Bowl during the Super Bowl. “Dooogggggggg” You aren’t a huge fan of cats (like mama) but you think they are fun to watch too. You love the marble owl outside of the library and each day have to poke your finger in it’s eyes or your day just doesn’t start right. You can High Five and are starting to learn to blow kisses. You LOVE to touch my nose and see if it’s going to HONK or BEEP…you think it’s so damn funny and I fear with each little poke you are going to scratch the inside of my nostril (and damn that hurts)

We’ve had LOTS of playdates this month. You attempted to fingerpaint with Lucas (flop) and were just a lot more interested in protecting YOUR toys in YOUR basement from Lucas. We’ve started Tumbling class at the Rec Center where you also only want to play in the ball pit and could care less about song time in a circle and singing that stupid songs about a bus and it’s wheels. In and out of the ball pit. Throwing the balls as hard as you can at the sweet little 8 month olds who look at you like you might hurt them (you would if I just let you loose). Sometimes you let me work on the Log Roll with you down a ramp and sometimes you crawl through a tunnel, but mostly you want to sit in that ball pit and beam other kids with the orange/red balls.

Brushing your teeth is about the coolest thing life has ever given you. I still use the finger brush that slides onto mine and make the CHH CHH CHH sound each time. I don’t know if it feels good or you like the taste of it (probably) but it’s so fun to you.

You are sleeping great through the night. Usually from 8pm to 6pm. Sometimes you wake up at 5am and I just let you cry yourself back to sleep (which can take 15-30 minutes and is TORTURE on me) b/c 5am is just TOO DAMN EARLY!!!! We’ve transitioned from 3 shorter naps  a day to 2 not-as-short-but-still-short naps. It would be nice if you would give me a good hour or hour and half nap each time so I could sweep up the Hannah hair that is everywhere or rinse out your bottles or do a load of laundry, but I guess I am just lucky that you nap at all. I hear some babies don’t. You sleep best on your tummy with your butt up in the air. The bad news in all of this is that you are still only able to fall asleep if I rock and nurse you all the way to sleep. I know the books say to rock you until you are sleepy, but this just doesn’t work. Once you are placed on the mattress, you are WIDE awake if I don’t nurse you to the point you are a limp noodle.

Reeve, without a doubt, this month you have become a boy. Not a baby at all anymore. You are a full-fledged toddler who tests my limits daily. You like to push and push my buttons then give me the scrunchiest nose and show me your 8 teeth and your blue eyes sparkle and I forgive you for whatever it was you did that made me upset.

Your whole world is Dogs and Balls and Boobs and ME. And I’m okay with that. This life, these days that are all about boy things are new to me. I had no idea one little guy could own so many different versions of a ball or that you would be so interested in your penis and pulling it as hard as you can so young. Each day is completely new and different a lesson in patience.

You are obsessed with my iPhone. I wish I had never given it to you. I question for what reason I ever started to in the first place. The Yo Gabba Gabba station on Pandora is your crack. When you manage to find my phone lying on the floor near you, you pick it up and rock side-to-side indicating that you want me to turn it on. We have a few Fisher Price apps that you play with for about 1 minute then get mad b/c you can’t figure them out and throw my phone. I am amazed, beyond amazed, that your little finger knows how to swipe to create action on that thing. How is it even possible that you can slide the bar across to unlock that thing?!?!

Your little laugh is still my favorite sound. It’s high-pitched and squeaky and worthy of a million dollars. I’d give you that each time you laughed if I could.

Speaking of a Million Bucks, your college fund is growing each month. We’ve been fortunate to put $300/month in your fund and now have nearly $4,000. That should pay for approximately one book and one class at Harvard in 2030….hence why we work so hard (and so young) on your throwing. Of course, I’d much prefer an Academic scholarship, but I’ll take either just so Mama & Daddy can pay a hefty penalty to use your college fund to travel the world someday.

I’m learning so much. I spend a lot of time Googling “does my baby have A.D.D?” or “my toddler hits me” or “how many hours should my baby be sleeping” or “how to get toddler to eat vegetables” and the truth is….well, the truth is no website is going to give me any answers to these things b/c the next day you surprise me and concentrate like a monk, hug me all day, sleep perfectly and shove snap peas in your mouth. You are, like your mama, an anomaly. No two days are ever the same and you keep me on my toes and on point. My hearing has become like that of an elephant, I swear. I wake up each time you toss or roll or moan in your sleep each night. Sleep is something I’ve quickly learned is a part of my past life. Though you sleep for 10 hours a night and I sleep for 8 plus, I don’t think I ever enter a REM stage b/c each noise you make jerks me awake. Daddy, however, snores like a log and wouldn’t hear you unless you managed to crawl out your crib and poke him in the nose.

Reeve, life is getting more and more fun every day. It’s a constant aerobic exercise and I feel skinny from all the nursing and chasing you that I do (thanks for that). As you become the little person you are (a mini-personality that already so much resembles mine) I just thank God for giving you to me. I love you exactly as you are. Who you are.

My little man. More and more boy than baby with each day. Shoes and jackets have long replaced booties and blankies. I am just so especially grateful for your health, your smart little brain, your curiosity and eagerness to learn and absorb and explore. Days with you are filled with exploring in and under and around chairs and doors and drawers. Brand new jeans have worn knees (mine) from crawling after you and looking under things for the balls you’ve lost, the bottle you’ve thrown and the snack you’ve tossed to Hannah.

I have spent the last couple of weeks planning your birthday party. The invitations are sent out and we are less than a month to you being ONE! And now, as your Little Man Birthday Party plans are well underway I realize that I will no longer be counting the months after March, but now the years!  How bittersweet.

These monthly letters to you were meant to give you a way to know that your Mommy wasn’t just here, but that I was listening. I was watching. I was absorbing ALL of you and every day with you. That I would completely memorized your face. The thought of not taking time out of every month to jot down your milestones, your tricks and your little personality terrifies me. The simple act of writing these letters to you has become my journal, your baby book and the most amazing way for me to process your personality and to react to my parenting decisions. As I near the day where I count months with less focus I find myself thinking back to days….

The day I found out you were in me, the day I learned you were a boy, the day we named you and the day we went into the hospital to have you…the day I brought you home in your one-piece cream sweater from the GAP.

This 10th month of your life has been so busy. So active. A glimpse into what life with a little boy is.. Fast and exhausting and sweet and ornery and dirt and stink and …. hugs and wet kisses and a heart that beats entirely for you.

Reeve Denver, being your mama is the best thing I’ve ever done. I say that all the time. I was meant for this job. Sure, there are times I fail and question my performance, but it is the most rewarding and most splendid chapter of my whole life. Wife and mother are two titles I feel that God saves for women who spend a lifetime reaching…and yearning for joy. For happiness. I’m complete.

I have your Daddy. I have you. I have everything I have ever wanted. By far the greatest moment of my life was the day you became mine.

To the moon and back….

Mommy


11 months211 months311 months411 months5

Favorite things to do: Throw balls at Daddy, climb the stairs, learn new words, poke mommy in the nose, splashing the bath and DANCE!
Favorite things to eat: blueberries with greek yogurt, spinach dollops, pasta with sauce, eggs with spinach, toast & peanut butter, milk
Dislikes: Most vegetables, putting on his coat, being told “no”, other babies playing with his toys.
Funny Tricks: Clapping, finding Mommy’s eyes when you nurse, rubbing lotion on your hands, learning to walk
Scary items: Bubble Machine…and not a whole lot (which scares me)
Cute item: Superman book, monkey pajamas, brushing teeth
Hair color: Little boy hair. Some days it spikes up and then you are Naughty!
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: 23 lbs
Height: 32″ (so big you often are mistaken for a 2-year-old)
Teeth: EIGHT chompers….I keep thinking another one is on the way, but then it’s not there.

NINE MONTHS!!!

Dear.Baby.Reeve,
I start this letter knowing that I can only call you “Baby Reeve” for just a few more short months. Your are getting bigger by the second and, I swear, as you sleep on the bed behind me, I can see you growing and your brain getting bigger and bigger. It’s amazing and bittersweet and just so awesome and hard at the same time.

I had just gotten used to telling people you were 9 months old when, before I even knew it, I was saying “he’s a week shy of 10 months”….each month gets harder and harder to choke out those words, that number that defines you.

If the theme of last month was DISCOVERY, then this month it’s FIGURING IT OUT. WIth the intent and focus of a research scientist, you twist and turn objects to look at them. You taste, sample everything with your mouth to make sure it’s not food. You bend to look under things, turn your neck to see the backs of things, smell…YOU CAN SMELL….you big brain is my favorite part about you (well, who am I kidding, and your tiny booty and your big blue eyes and your hair….and on and on and on)

Your 9th month began in Kansas for Christmas. Your FIRST Christmas was fairly anti-climatic. Kirk and I, never having been really “into” Christmas before, felt a joy and love in our hearts b/c of you that was so special. Mommy spent a lot of time (and money) making this Christmas special for you. I feel so excited about future Christmases where you can really understand why I’m making such a big deal out of traditions we are starting for you, the Spirit, where you can tear into the presents we and Santa wrap for you, where you can sample all of the cookies I bake and where we can threaten you with “you better be good or Santa won’t come.” As for this year, you were sick with a cold while we were home in Kansas and didn’t really understand what all the buzz was about. You got some cool toys and a lot of clothes, but your favorite gifts were your baseball bat from daddy. It was really special for me to see you running with your walker down the halls I used to toddle down. We wore family Christmas pajamas and sang carols at the top of our lungs for a full month.

I was sad when the Holiday Season was over, but not as sad as you….You walked around for a week looking for the Christmas Tree saying “tee?” AND we came back from Kansas to your first ear infection. 😦 Double sad…the missing tree was pretty cute though. The absence of the tree gave reason for you to question something…you would say “tee?” with an inflection and raise your hands up to look around. So cute!!!

You ended your 9th month in Florida for Great-Grandaddy’s funeral. It was a long flight alone, but you sure made Poppy smile and happy when he was feeling so sad. You love being there and getting to play outside in the grass. It’s fun to see you walk on this new surface that tickles and feels so weird. You got extra spoiled by all the ladies and ate lots of vegetables while there (Southern Cooking = butter)…

It was over the trip to Kansas and in the week following that I really began to notice how much you had fallen for your Daddy. At one point, you jumped out of my arms into his and screamed when I tried to grab you. Heartbroken, to say the least. As the month progressed, your love for him has become more and more apparent. You are his best friend now too. It works out okay for me b/c he’s my Bestie too.

I still cannot believe how differently you act with him than with me. To see you two play together blows my mind. There is NO way in the course of our 8-hour day at home that you will throw a ball to me or crawl up/down the stairs or build Legos. NO WAY! You don’t “play” with me, but crawl in and out of my lap tugging down my shirt and reaching inside my bra to try to get some action!

Your favorite thing to do with Daddy is BAT!!! You can turn anything into a bat and always have to have something in your hand to act as just that (hairbrush, toothbrush, paper roll, spatula, remote)…BAT…BAT…you walk around saying it. We hand you a little ball and you say “BAT!!!!!”. You love to throw the ball at Daddy and we get such a giggle at how hard you throw it. We can’t tell if you are are a righty or a leftie quite yet. Either way, we don’t care…just keep playing hard!

This month, you really began to understand Cause & Effect. We have played the Dropsie game no less than 3 times a day. YOu just love to drop your spoon on the floor and let me pick it up and hand it to you over and over and over again.

Randomly, one day this month while playing with Daddy in the basement, you began making truck sounds.  VROOM!!!! How did you know how to do that? I don’t think I had ever done it! You also can click your tongue when daddy does it and make fake chomping motions when one of us is chewing gum. Another sound you like to copy is when we sneeze and laugh. If we say “Achooooo!” you try to do it. Of course, it sounds nothing like a sneeze, but we know that’s what you are doing. When we laugh in front of other people, you fake laugh and crinkle your nose.

This month you learned where Mommy’s nose, mouth and eyes are. Yours, however, might as well be on your back b/c you just can’t seem to locate them. 🙂  You still like to smack on your head and play “BONK” with the padded headboard each morning.

You have learned how to crawl UP the stairs. With one of us right behind you, you will pull and push and grunt until you can get where you want. We really need to work with you on how to carefully go DOWN them as well.

Halfway through the month you learned that crawling on all fours was much faster than Army Crawling and you haven’t looked back. You are so fast. We have to shut doors and can’t let you out of our sight b/c you can be gone with just the blink of an eye.

Daddy has traveled a lot this month and on one occasion as he was walking out the door, I said, “wave bye bye to daddy” and your little hand made a waving motion (but backwards, more like a “come here”) and then you started bawling. YOu didn’t want daddy to leave and with your first wave, he didn’t want to go either and the next thing I knew Daddy was crying too. You can sure as heck bet that I was in on the action as well. The 3 of us cried and waved to each other for a few more minutes. Now, you wave hello and bye bye at people and cars and dogs and walls and chairs and any other thing that I tell you to.

You mastered the Sign for “more” this month. You can’t quite put your fingertips together, but you clap your hands and point as you are eating to let us know you want MORE!!!  Good boy! Smart boy!

The other thing you certainly do a lot this month is the sign language for Dog…which is really just to pant. You LOVE DOGS!!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE…..  Hannah, Buddah & Lexi next door, Sally & Ginger, you don’t discriminate. You love books with dogs. Pictures of dogs. Shirts with dogs. Dog sounds. Dogs on magazines, toys or tv….You love dogs and doing “what does a doggy say” so much that you do it all day long. In fact, you love dogs SO much you think any animal is a dog right now. If it has 4 legs, it’s a dog to you. Cats don’t meow and cows don’t moo…they pant. Crocodiles do and so do camels and bears and even frogs…even other babies make doggy sounds. It’s pretty dang cute. You can sort of make a monkey sound if you aren’t over-stimulated, but doggy is your best trick by far. With that being said, you also love FEEDING dogs…ahem…Hannah has eaten the green beans you don’t want, the cauliflower you spit out and the Goldfish cracker you give her a bit of and a lot of licks from, and then, you eat the rest of it. (by the way, I am in love with how you can take 3 bites out of a teeny tiny Goldfish cracker). You also like to try to give Daddy & I bites of everything, but mostly, Hannah eats 50% of what you do. You also ate a few pieces of Hannah’s dog food this month. When we put you in your walker, you just love to run over to her dog bowl and put your bat in her water, splash around and then snag a piece of her food if you can.

This month you learned how to use a Sippy Cup and a straw. You are better with a straw, but the sippy cup is pretty fun. It’s hard for you sometimes to remember how to tip the cup back and so you throw your head back and gulp and gulp and then fall over. I have a few videos of you throwing your head back every 3-4 seconds…

I read in a book or online that this month I would start to notice that you are more attached to me than usual. I beg to differ. There are times at Story Hour when you crawl as far as 50 feet away before you even look back to see if I am there. It freaks me out, but I love that you are your own person already. Seeing how independent and how you are able to play alone AWAY from me makes me proud. I know it’s really early and you are still really young, but I love that you keep me in your sight, but are okay to venture out on your own.

You have little to zero interest in doing anything that doesn’t require you to stand. You walk from couch to ottoman to walker to me all while carefully reaching for one thing and then the next. It won’t be long before you walk, but for now I am happy that you have perfected the crawl and that you are somewhat cautious. When in your Walker on wheels, simply put, you are HELL ON WHEELS. You literally bounce off of the walls, run into things while running full speed, splash in Hannah’s water, open all of the drawers, hit anything you can with whatever object you are carrying and using as a bat. You are fast!  Speed is not an issue. I worry you will go straight from crawling to running, and on a few occasions, when you have forgotten that you can’t walk, I’ve seen your legs take off in a run before your mind realizes you can’t walk or run. You fall to your butt, look around as if to say, “hey, how come I can’t do that?”

I am still your favorite jungle gym. You crawl in and out of my lap no less than 50 times a day. Reaching into my belly button to scratch at it or yanking on my hair. Breastfeeding has become borderline inappropriate, as you just crawl up onto me and yank my shirt down or try to grab my breast. We are just shy by 2 months of trying to wean you and this month I am concerned how that is going to go…you just like to get in there too much!

You are becoming quite musical this month. I sing a lot of “Hey Jude (Reeve)” to you and you take, again, whatever object is your bat at the moment and hold it up to my lips like a microphone. I don’t know where you learned to do that. When I smell your feet and make “EWWWWW!!!!!” or “Stinky” sounds/faces you just think it’s the funniest thing ever. We are working on High-5s and blowing kisses, both of which you think are so funny. You have been known to bust a move when music is on….talk about funny. Your elbow go out and your booty bounces up and down, you sway side to side and your head either bobs or sways like Stevie Wonder. I could watch you dance all day.

Bathtime has become increasingly easier. One day you love the water pouring out of the faucet and try to catch it and the next you freak out by the noise. Bubble baths make it a lot easier, you love to try to grab the bubbles and get so frustrated when you can’t pick one up. You still can’t stand to sit still and spend a lot of time up and down with me trying to splash and distract you into being still long enough for me to clean your bum. Twice you have peed on me in the 20 seconds you are naked and on my lap as I fill the tub.

This month you bit Ezra at Story Hour twice and whacked him on the head once. Both bites left teeth marks and permanent damage to Mommy’s Story Hour Cred. No, seriously, it was awful. Ezra cried, mommy cried and then you cried each time I firmly grabbed you and told you “NO BITE.” You look at me in shock, your bottom lip turns down and then you all out get hysterical. That lip….man….if you are able to keep that pout until you are in elementary school, we are going to have some serious discipline issues….it truly breaks my heart AND makes me want to give you the moon.

Food is still an obstacle, but this is common at this age. You won’t eat vegetables to save your life. Well, I take that back, you will eat them on the first try and I think, “YAYYYYY…he loves cauliflower or broccoli or green beans” and so I go out and buy some to prepare for you in some way and you won’t eat them….I now have a freezer full of vegetables in casserole forms/frozen form/soups, etc that you loved the first time you ate them and then freaked out on me for the second time. I have seen you take your little pointer finger and poke into a food before eating it to see if it mushes…and if it does….then it must be a vegetable and you don’t want it, but Hannah does. Frustrating…but typical. I have taken to sneaking Green Machine into a morning smoothie or a green bean in with a chicken nugget bite.

Your face is more boy-ish every day. Not that you ever had any baby fat, but you just look more and more like a 5-year-old every day. Just yesterday at a birthday party, the people where shocked that you were only 10 months and not several months older than the 1-year-old who you towered over.

Your hair is all boy too. You don’t have random long strands of your original baby hair like I’ve seen other kids your age have. You have a perfect swirl/hurricane in the back of your head. Your hair is thick and lighter each day.

Eeeesh!

Can we just talk for a second about the fact that I am completely terrified of what’s to come and desperately in love with you? I have always known “boys are busy” and that there was a possibility you wouldn’t have your daddy’s calm, quiet personality…but I was in NO way prepared for how much you have going on. You are everywhere…in everything…you just want to touch everything, turn it around, look at it, taste it…figure it out. It’s terrifying and awesome at the same time.

I just love that you are so curious. That this big world I see and take so much for granted every day is opened up slowly each morning through your eyes. Toilets are awesome. Air vents are awesome. Couch legs are super cool. Toilet paper is the most amazing thing on this planet.

Baby Reeve, sigh….only 2 more months of being a “baby.”

I see you slowly becoming this person. A real little boy with feelings and missions and thoughts and opinions and I can’t wait to foster and support and encourage the person you want to become. I don’t care what you want to be or what you want to play or who you grow to be, I will love that person so much! I already do. Visions of you walking out the door to college fill my head everytime you learn a new trick. Time passes so quickly that it’s not unrealistic to start preparing for that day now.

As you truly become a toddler, our days are more and more fun. We chase dogs and beat things with bats and throw balls and flip books open and shut as hard as we can. ALL BOY!!!!

My wish for you remains the same this month, as always. That you grow strong, healthy, loving, patient and tolerant.

My wish for Daddy & I is that we can keep up with you. 🙂

Reeve, nearly a year ago, as I prepared to hold you in my arms, there was NOTHING that could have prepared me for any of this. I had no idea. I stumbled into Motherhood with a blindfold on and truly believe that even when you were placed on my chest for the first time, I didn’t feel like a parent. Being a “Mommy” is much easier than being a “Parent.”

I pray a lot for the wisdom to be the best parent I can be for you. Mommy is easy. I hold you, I hug you, I kiss you and wipe your tears and comfort you. Easy. As I see you growing into a fast, busy and active little boy, I pray for myself that I can do the best by you.

Thanks for being mine (and Daddy’s). Thanks for leaning into me a little more this month, for those few hugs you’ve given me and the few wet smooches smacked on my cheeks and sloppy open-mouthed goober, wet kisses into my mouth. Thanks for constantly showing me where my nose is and for the gentle hand on my chest or side when you nurse. Thanks for eating your eggs and sleeping through the night (but not for waking up at 5 am). Thanks for letting me read books about doggies to you all the time. Thanks for letting Daddy play so hard with you. Thanks for being my best little man.

From your hangnailed pinkie toes to your whispy baby hairs, I love you more than any word will allow.

Let’s always love each other, I couldn’t stand it if we didn’t.

I love being yours and love that you are mine. Tears fill my eyes at the thought of a life without you. I think about the day you were born and how they cut into me to take you out so that you would be safe, and there is not a doubt in my mind, that I would let anyone cut into me anywhere on my body again if it meant I could always keep you safe. For your health, this month, I am so very thankful.

Our small little family is beyond blessed.

To the moon and back…

I love you,
Mommy

10 months

Favorite things to do: Run in the Walker and chase Hannah while squealing at the top of his lungs.
Favorite things to eat: Chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup. Any fruit. Crunchy Veggie Sticks.
Dislikes: Vegetables. Being told “no.” Being buckled into carseat. Hats.
Funny Tricks: Dancing…you sway side to side and sometimes bob your head up and down.
Scary items: The animal thing at the Play Zone in the mall that growls.
Cute item: Puffy Vest with Superman logo on it. Books with dogs in it. Loves having teeth brushed.
Hair color: Your stripe is gone…your hair is filling in and you have a hurricane swirl in the back
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 12-18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: 20.6 lbs (25%)
Height: 32″
Teeth: EIGHT chompers

EIGHT MONTHS!

Dear Reeve,

as I write this letter about your 8th month in my life (you are actually 9 months, but see these letters recap the last month of you life), I realize that you have now been outside of my body as long as I carried you inside of it. I think back to how terrified yet overjoyed I was to be your mom, a parent, the one who teaches you all the small things and life’s large things, the one who holds you when you cry…just nine months ago, I didn’t even know life could be so wonderful. I had NO idea how much I would love you, how much better this all could be than I EVER imagined.

We are the luckiest little family. There is not one day, not one, that I don’t marvel at how blessed I/we am/are.

Your 8th month has been by far the greatest display of what the human brain is capable of. It’s as though each day you learn something new that changes who you are, what you are capable of doing. I can show you once how to do something, watch you try and stumble through it for a couple of tries, then see you have it mastered within 24 hours. Whether it’s how to bang together two pieces of a puzzle or wave your hand or turn your arm into an elephant trunk or dance…. My mind is blown by your intelligence, your tenacity, your independence. This little personality that I see developing is amazing. As though your life, the hairs on your head, the perfect belly button, the sweet fingertips aren’t miracle enough, to witness you learn is truly a testament to how miraculous a little life can be.

We started your 8th month in Florida visiting the Mooneyham family. You spent a lot of time walking around outside with Poppy, meeting your cousins and Uncle/Aunt. You wore your Big Boy Jammies there for the first time and stared at the Deer Heads on the wall with wonder and amazement. You must’ve thought they were Hannah b/c you called to them like you do her and would point to them when we asked where she was. You played in the dirt and met the man who gave you your ears (Great Grandad)…you also went to the home of THE EARS (Mickey Mouse)….Disney World. You tried to eat a Lego there and were terrified by the Animatronic T-Rex. You started a new habit of patting/slapping your head to make Daddy laugh and, be still my heart, said Mama one morning when I went to lift you out of your crib. It was the most precious sound I had ever heard. Kirk was lying in bed and heard as well and gave me the sweetest look….

We then traveled to Kansas to surprise Don Linny and continue Mommy’s tradition with DL of shopping on the Country Club Plaza. We made her cry and you were so happy to get to see her and Papa Jim.

A lot of time this month decorating and preparing for Christmas. I went WAY overboard on the number of gifts under the tree for you, but also made sure to talk to you a lot about what Christmas really means. Yes, there are a lot of sparkly ornaments on the tree and Mommy spent a lot of time decorating the mantle, but we also took $20o to the toy store and bought toys for others, we baked a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, we sang Christmas carols at the TOP of our lungs, we baked cookies, we ate dinner by the tree, we played in the snow….we read the story of Baby Jesus from your Childrens’ Bible and mommy cried and cried. It is so very important to your daddy and I that you know the true spirit of this season and each time I read to you about the manger, the 3 Wise Men, about Mary and Gabriel and Luke 1:14 “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. YOU are our miracle this year.

Aside from traveling and preparing for the Holidays, you spent a majority of the month soaking in the world around you. This month, we watched you begin to point at things you wanted. Your crooked little finger would at first point your arm in the general direction of things, but just weeks later would point at exactly what you wanted.

This month, you began mimicking the words, syllable and intonation of the things we say…so we must be careful. Did you really just repeat “Mickey” or “bat” or “tree” or even “shit?” ….we have to watch what we say. Sometimes we just hear what we want. There is really no way you are saying “Hi, Dad” or “more please” but in our minds, we hear those words at the perfect time…plain as day! If I ask you “What does a doggy say?” you start panting and then look for Hannah. You can repeat BAT and TREE and when I try to get you to use your Sign Language for “more” you just look at me and either scream something that sounds like “more” or you start pointing at what you want. My favorite words you’ve “spoken” this month were when you were pissed at me for taking away the broom you were holding and you pointed your finger at me and babbled Baby Cuss Words at me for a full 30 seconds. I was in shock, scrambling to find the video camera on my phone and laughing so hard. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….oh, I can only imagine what you were saying!

Daddy plays with you in your room each morning so I can scramble to have a little time to shower, brush my teeth and get out of my jammies. I hear you two in there banging around and see that you are carrying, yes carrying, his wooden Louisville Slugger around. YOU LOVE THAT THING!  Bat!  Bat!  You stand with it, crawl with it, sit with it….Daddy has helped you explore things in our own home that I would never have thought to let you play with (door stoppers, wheels on luggage, knocking on the walls). Sometimes, I wish you wouldn’t play with things that you just find SO entertaining (for instance…the way you love to sit in front of the humidifier and turn it on full to let the water blast in your face….the cabinet doors….window panels….)

You have become SO physically strong this month. You have no interest whatsoever in sitting down and only want to stand. Giving you a bath has become torture for me. You don’t want to sit and are too slippery when you stand to wash….it’s a daily fight between us. Just a few days before you turned 9 months while Daddy was out of town, I dreaded Bath Time b/c you had a combination of Squash/BBQ sauce and Banana all over your face, neck, hair and body. To combat your fight with me, I just plopped you in the tub with me!  You were in heaven. Your wet, slippery body safely held by my arms. You splashed and kicked and tried to put your face in….and came out cleaner than you’ve been in weeks!

My God, the way you fight and squirm during a diaper change has me convinced I am hurting you or something. I have to give you a remote or a lotion bottle or a Light Saber to get you to lay somewhat still. I have taken to buckling you down on the Changing Table which evokes animal-like screams….we are going through 4-5 diapers a day as eating solids has created waste in your diapers that is simply unspeakable.

When you are frustrated, you throw things now. Most noticeably the spoon during feedings. You want to feed yourself with a spoon so badly, then get so pissed when you can’t do it. I try to trick you by giving you a spoon to hold and then feeding you with another one, but that only works for about 5 or so bites.

Eating is becoming fun to watch. You love to feed yourself with your little fingers. I am amazed at how small of a morsel you can grab with your fingers. You have moved on from pureed foods that I make myself and now eat Nutri Grain bars, cantaloupe, crackers, SpaghettiOs, french fries, yogurt, Veggie Burgers with BBQ sauce…anything. We love to go to the Salad Bar and get a little of everything to see what you will or won’t eat (you hate carrots in any form and don’t really love eggs too much). My favorite is letting you get all messy during breakfast with yogurt and watching you try to pick up a piece of banana…it’s entertaining and keeps you challenged for at least 20 minutes. Thought I don’t care that you get messy, I am amazed by how disgusting highchairs can get. They are definitely a place where food just disappears….GROSS! By the time you are finished with a meal, your hair is stiff from the food you love to mash into it and your face looks like you just dipped it into your meal. You also like to sneak bites to Hannah and giggle when she licks your hands. We’ve tried to use a sippy cup a few times, but you only end up frustrated b/c you can’t tip your head back AND hold onto the handles. You do, however, like when I put water in your mouth from a straw. In fact, any time you see a straw now you just have to have a drink!

Eating more and more solid foods has you breastfeeding less, but it has definitely become a more physical activity than one that’s purpose is to nourish. You throw your body into position anytime you want to be close to me. You crawl into my lap and begin to pull down on my shirt. It’s at this time that a lot of women quit or that society tells them “it’s probably time.” This saddens me. Why would anyone deny a baby something they so obviously need?!?  You nurse for comfort after playing hard with daddy, after Hannah’s bark scares you, when you are sleepy. How anyone could think that just because you have teeth (though you have bitten me a few times this month) or are smart enough to pull my shirt down means you should be done is beyond me. You point at my breasts and when I finally begin to nurse you, your hand wraps itself into my bra straps or under my shirt where you stroke my skin. It’s the most intimate of acts I’ve ever experienced. You put your hand flat on my cheek and stare, literally stare, into my eyes. I watch your eyes close as you relax and your hand continues to caress my skin. I know that in a few months when I wean you, I will mourn this.

You are still a great sleeper with just a few days of adjustment upon return from Florida. Teething is surely to blame, but you still nap 3-4 times a day and sleep 10+ hours a night. I look down at you in your crib and you are almost touching all four corners with your arms/legs. I love to sneak into your room and watch you with your butt up in the air or arms tucked under your belly or listen to your little snore. I still let you nap during the day in my arms and sometimes join you in slumber. You sleep best there, so why not go with it? The laundry can wait, I need to stare at your lips and watch your fuzzy and long hairs (the original ones from when you were born) get sweaty and curl up.

This month we spent a lot of time at Story Hour at our library. I love watching how the other babies sit quietly and listen to the story and you jump and wiggle and crawl up and down, in and out of my lap. You LOVE the songs and shake whatever instrument they give you with all of your might. The tunnel they bring out at the end isn’t your favorite, but I always make you crawl all the way through it to me at least 3 times to wear you out. We’ve worked a lot on incorporating more books into our routine. At night, you have finally begun to sit still and let us read to you. As I give you a bottle, Daddy read 3-4 stories to you. No longer do you try to kick the book or rip it out of our hands, but instead listen and point at the pictures. You also are learning to pull all of the books out of the shelf and look at them on your own. I encouraged this by moving them all to the lowest shelf so that you can reach them.

Hannah is still the funniest thing in your world. We try to teach you to be gentle with her, but honestly, it’s easier to just tell her to RUN!!!! You love to chase her in your walker with a cardboard wrapping paper roll or a clothes hanger (which you LOVE) and whack her on the booty. You sneak up on her and corner her then scream so that you shock her and then you squeal and are so proud of yourself. I’m still not 100% sure what she thinks of you, but she knows that you usually have snacks and that makes her okay with you.

I watched you grow so much in these 4 weeks. Last week, when I went into your crib to get you in the morning, you were sitting there waiting….looking out through the slats…just waiting. When you saw me, you lifted your arms up to be held….just two weeks later I went in to get you and you were STANDING up, holding onto those slats….Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not okay to get so big? At the beginning of the month, you couldn’t even go from a crawl to sitting and now you are standing? You began this month by using your face (and teeth) to get support to be able to manuever around.

Now, you can pull up to a stand on your own. Two weeks into the month, with Daddy out of town for a week, I was given a walker-thing on wheels from Kelsi to let you try. I didn’t even have time to grab my camera to record your first attempt at walking b/c you were OFF!  You were literally RUNNING down the hall, chasing Hannah, arms waving like E.T. running. It was hilarious! You were so proud of your independence! I took you outside to show the neighbors and you ran AROUND the cul de sac chasing Isabella & Olivia. I sent Daddy videos and he now spends his night running ahead of you to make you run to him. I love the sound of those wheels on the floor, but wish you would stay out of the kitchen b/c you bang into the cabinets. Though we’ve baby-proofed our home, you still manage to find every sharp corner to run into and every door to open. Just two days later, we introduced you to a Stand-Behind Walker. Day 1 you just stood there….Day 2 you were, yet again, RUNNING! You are a fast little thing whether crawling or running. I loved watching you learn how to fall. At first, you were like a tree and fell stiff…TIMBER…in just a few days you learned to bend your knees and we celebrate each fall with a WHIPPPPEEEEEE!!!! Daddy still gets nervous every time you topple over, but as long as you are okay, I clap and watch you smile at me.

Daddy loves his time with you in the basement where you chase him, he chases you, you chase Hannah. It’s also really funny how much you love to carry household items around as you walk. Whether it’s a cardboard roll from wrapping paper or a clothes hanger with baby jeans dangling on it or a cracker, it’s as though you need to be holding onto something… It won’t be long before you are standing, then walking on your own. As much as I love to see you try and conquer these new things, I also am saddened because I know that each step you learn to take cuts the invisible tether between your body and mine.

You LOVE to look at the lights on the Christmas Tree each night and say “tee” and we walk you over to it and you stare in awe and wonder. Often you find yourself in the corner staring at the presents wrapped under the tree. You have discovered  that the presents under the tree beep and make giggles and music and the very sounds your other toys make…yet…they are just paper. It’s funny to watch your brain try to figure out where the toy sounds are coming from. I can’t wait until Christmas morning to see you open those very presents you’ve stared at for a month.

Silly little Bubby. I don’t know when you may have seen Daddy dance, maybe that one time we took you to Neil Young at Red Rocks, but you dance just like him. You bob and bounce and are so silly. You love to look at yourself in the mirror. You still hate being put into your carseat and are okay when strangers hold you. You like to put your finger in our mouths and jab at our gums. Your back is ticklish and I kiss my special spot under your ear 1,000 times a day. You love it when I smell your feet and say P-U and STINKY! Door stoppers that you can flick are the most awesome toy. You ate a piece of dog food this month and still keep trying to get more. You are learning to clap and we are working on high 5 and we practice PeekaBoo a lot. In Target the other day, you kept pulling your blanket up over your head and then pulling it down with a squeal each time I yelled PeekaBOO!!!! I tried to capture it on video in the mens’ underwear department, but each time I got the camera rolling you acted as though I was a stranger. Go figure! We are also working on blowing kisses.

Kisses….ahhhh!

Open mouth and wet and slimy and sometimes with Puffs or Crackers in them….but sweet, glorious yummy kisses. You only give them to me and to any stuffed animal (all of which we call Hannah) and each one is soooo yummy. I snuggle you up in my arms when I come down into the basement to play with you and daddy after I’ve cleaned upstairs a bit and you and I do some making out….I kiss and kiss and you lick and open mouth goo me….

You have had several Play Dates with new friends this month; Lucas (11 months) whom you bit on the arm and left a mark, Leila (newborn) who just kind of lies there. You don’t know how to play *with* others, just make sure they don’t take whatever toy it is that you didn’t even know you want. At Story TIme, you still can’t be trusted if anyone gets anywhere near the plastic carrot that you seem to think is yours.

You are still a HUGE flirt. You do this nose crinkle thing that just gets every lady who looks your way. Add to that the 7 teeth you have and a grin that just lights up the room and you have them melting. You LOVE to flirt with Kelsi. One look at her and you are crinkling your nose, giggling, smiling and looking at her out of the corner of you big, blue eyes.

Your eyelashes are extra thick this month. I’ve also noticed (and delighted in) the fact that your hair is filling in. The dark stripe of hair down the middle is still there, but slowly filling in with light brown hairs. You have begun to yank any hat I put on your head off this month.

I just have to stop every now and then to remind myself that it’s okay how quickly this is all going. That you HAVE to grow big and strong, that my “job” is to help you learn and change and get bigger…but it doesn’t make it any easier. Mommy Guilt crept into our home this month. It has made me doubt every decision I’ve made for you. It began early in the month of December as I began to make new friends with mamas at Story Hour. Why is so and so doing this and Reeve isn’t? Is he learning enough? Would he be smarter in Day Care with a teacher? Is he socialized enough? Is that why he’s biting? Am I giving him enough vegetables? It was a rough week or so. Then I met a new friend who seems to have a “eh, he’s fine…..” philosophy and I’ve tried to just go with it. With Kirk gone for 7 days, I spent a rough week focusing on giving you a little more independence. It was that week that you learned more than you have in any other week before (walking, running, pulling up). I let you get messy while you ate and roam the halls without me on your heels. You flourished with a little room and then my guilt sunk a little deeper as I thought to myself, “Have I been holding him back?”

I realized in this 8th month of your life that this is the hardest part of parenting. The guilt. The decisions I must make that determine how you will learn, what you will eat and then how that affects your eating habits for life. It’s as though, in this month, I’ve really become a PARENT and not just a mom. Those first 8 months of your life, well, you were just a blob. Now that you learn and react and absorb, my job has really just begun. I spend a lot of time explaining to you. I hate the idea of being a “no….NO…no” parent who just uses that word so often it loses it’s meaning. Though you know the word “no” and don’t always listen, I make sure to replace it appropriately with “gentle” or “hot” or “dangerous” or “careful” so that you don’t hear it 1,000 times a day. I hate it when parents do that…you are learning to “test your limits” and like to touch on things after I tell you “no”…the first time after I tell you it’s with your fingertip, then you almost touch it knowing you shouldn’t. So smart!

Oh, Reeve….the days with you can seem so long sometimes. Especially when Daddy travels and 5:00 isn’t even something to look forward to, but another 2 hours until bedtime. Sometimes you wake up at 5 or 6am and I’m so tired and I just think “ugh…..I wish he would just sleep for another 3 hours”….but then, I realize on the flip side of the long days are the short years.

Time tricks you when you are a mommy. It’s fast and slow all at once and creeps and flashes by.

My big boy, you are still so tiny. I see your little arms, your little legs and I just flash back in my mind to that day you were placed on my chest. How is it possible that 9 months has gone by?

You were a baby once, now you are a boy! I remember wishing you would get a little bigger so that we could do this, so that you would laugh at me, so that you would walk….now I wonder what I was thinking?

I am just so amazed by you. How you explore your surroundings. How you communicate. The things you find funny. The way one day you love squash and the next you spit it out when I am not looking into the side of the highchair.

Reeve, as each month passes and I find myself typing this letter to you in our bed with this giant picture of you on the wall at the foot of the bed, I am amazed by how much you change and learn. The pride I feel in my heart that you are mine (ours) is completely overwhelming. Breathing is sometimes hard even just thinking about not having you. I am beyond grateful that the plan God has for me includes you.

Reeve, I cannot ever wrap my words around the way being your Mama feels. I have known a lot of love in my life, but there is NOTHING, not one person in this world, who has changed me in the way you have. You have softened not only my body, but my heart.

I love being your Mama. I love our family. I love each morning when I wake up and you seeing me and me seeing you is a brand new start. I love seeing this world through your eyes each day….it’s as though each thing you see is amazing. A BOX! A door! TOILET PAPER! Thank you…for making me slow down, see this life with such new light!

Reeve, I spoke these words to you Daddy on our Wedding Day, and I think they are fitting not only for the vows I took with him, but also for the promises I make to you.

I will love you until my dying breathe….and then…forever after that.

Sweet Baby, thank you for choosing me. Thank you for your smile, your eyes that sparkle, your nose that crinkles, your belly laughs that make me feel so funny. Thank you for wet kisses and for fighting like crazy to get what you want. Thank you for these past 9 months. My life will never be the same now that I have known what it is to be your Mother….to love, to LIVE, for another person….YOU!

Keep growing big & strong. When you wake up and need to be held, I will sing “You are my sunshine” into your ear and you will creep each day closer to being 1-year-old and I will love you more with each second…and we will play and build tunnels and chase the dog and love on each other and not ONE SECOND of any day will I ever wish anything for you but that someday you know for yourself this love I feel for you.

Thank you for being mine.

To the moon & back,

mommy!

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Favorite things to do: Walk/Run. Whether in Walker or behind Push Walker….you have no interest in sitting or being still

Favorite things to eat: Veggie Burger with BBQ sauce/Cheerios/Pancake/Mandarin Oranges

Dislikes: Diaper Changes/Baths/being told “no”/Having nose wiped/Having Broom taken away

Funny Tricks: Panting like a dog, you like being scared, flirting with the ladies, Door Stoppers

Scary items: Not a lot scares you right now…which sure scares me
Cute item: Daddy’s baseball bat, crawling into bookshelf, LIttle Monster shoes, Monkey hat, the way you like to carry random things around
Hair color: Light Brown with a darker brown stripe right down the middle
 Eye color: Still bright blue!
 Clothing size: 6-12 month onesies/12-18 month pants
 Diaper size: 4
 Weight: 19 lbs (25%)
 Height: 31″ (98%(
Teeth:  SEVEN with another on the way

SEVEN MONTHS!

Reeve,

in this month of “Thanks” it is you that I am most thankful for. There are no words that can do justice to my love for you, for our family. I am silenced, brought to tears really, in attempts to even try to find a sentence that does all of this worth. No, I can’t.

As I type this, I am watching you on the monitor that sits on the nightstand by my bed. I listen for each breathe, watch each movement, smile when I hear a fart in your sleep or find you awake and playing on your own. There will never be a day when I can get enough of you, the smallest things you do are the biggest parts of my day.

This month was a big one for you. I wish I could say it has been my favorite, but I would be telling a tale if I said it were blissful. With that said, I have no doubt in my mind that it hasn’t been easy for you either. You have SEVEN new teeth this month, three of which were cut while on vacation in Hawaii! You are a trooper though, just being fussy and not really being the monster I know this pain could have made you. These teeth remind me of the Jack-o-lanterns found on our neighbors porches. They no longer bite me when you eat, but now when you are being nosey in the middle of a feed and find the inside of my arm. We brush them every morning, a curious new routine in your life that you don’t quite enjoy. I cannot believe it is even possible that you have so many teeth. I see the top 2 in your mouth and they look so huge!  They only contribute to the overall look of mischief this month has lent.

You are quite vocal in your seventh month. We are beginning to tell you “no” b/c you are trying to put everything in your mouth. It’s not funny, but you BARK back at me each time I tell you NO. I kind of love it….I won’t, someday, when you are older…but for now it’s funny to see your little personality telling me what I imagine to be “NO yourself, Mama!” You are a little Magpie. If daddy grunts once, you grunt once. If Daddy grunts twice, you do too! This isn’t a game you play with me, it’s special and only for Daddy. You still have an ear-deafening squeal that both shocks and embarrasses me each time you do it out in public. You don’t scream or fuss, you full on SQUEAL at the highest possible pitch and decibal. It’s insane how you can get your voice that high an hold the note that long. Maybe you will go on to be a vocalist one day, but for now, please stop squealing! It sounds like someone is stabbing a dolphin and I don’t appreciate the stares from strangers!

I am certain you can say Mama, Dada and Hannah. Each morning begins with you looking for the dog and banging your hand on the bed to get her to come up to see you. You only say what sounds like Mama when you are strapped in your stroller or want me to pick you up, even then, I am most likely imagining that you are truly saying my name. It’s obvious, in those moments, your desperation to be held by me. There is NO doubt, however, that Dada is your first word. You said this word after being away for a week to surprise Don Linny as we were giving you a bath. You were sitting in the tub (yes, you sit up like a big boy now instead of lying down) and Dada came around the corner. You looked at him, lifted your arms up in delight and said the most enunciated “dada” that ever there was. He cried! It was a special moment that filled our hearts with such pride and joy.

This month you have discovered your hands’ ability to grab teeny tiny things. While in Hawaii, I began to give you the little rice puff thingies (like Cheerios only Organic, basically OVERpriced Cheerios) in order to make the 9 hour flight easier. The first 2-3 days we let you feed yourself, the puff would make it onto your palm. You would make a fist and not be able to figure out why the puff in your palm wasn’t making it into your mouth when you nibbled on your fingers. Just 3 short days later, you figured out how to pick it up with your fingers. I was amazed at your ability to learn that quickly. Then, just 3 more short days later, you began to simply stick your grubby little finger ON the puff and pick it up that way. It now makes it into your mouth 95% of the time, the other 5% into Hannah’s. You can locate the exact same round button on the old remote we have given you everytime. You like to roll your finger around it. You also like to run your pointer finger along the back of my bottom teeth and play with the buttons on my shirt. I am amazed at this new, yet necessary skill. I have loved watching you get frustrated when you miss your mouth and then look for the fallen puff only to try and try again. You are eating a lot of exciting new things this month in addition to the Puffs; zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, carrots, noodles, small bites of chicken. I haven’t really found anything you don’t love. You still nurse 5-10 times a day and have bitten me a few times this month. I cannot even begin to imagine that soon I will attempt to wean you from my breast. It saddens me that we won’t have that special time together, but I also don’t want to be the lady with the kid who grabs my boob. We will have to find a solution, as 1-year is too soon…maybe 16 month?

You are able to follow my fingers as well when I point at things. I like to help you notice lights, colors, flags, anything really and am amazed that you can focus on what I am drawing you attention to.

Your sweet little hands have learned to wave this month. It’s the most adorable thing to find you waving at walls or cars passing by. It’s more of a whole arm wave than a hand wave and it makes me happy each time. You still can’t repeat any of the Sign Language words we work on, however. With that being said, I don’t need you to touch your fingers together to know you want “more”….your bark and pounding on the tray in front of you is indication enough.

All of this eating of solids has made you gain more weight in this past month than you have in any other one-month period with a steady gain of 1 pounds and 8 ounces. It’s too heavy….growing equals big boy and I’m not ready for that. You are still, without a doubt, MY baby though. Our days are a big Love Fest. You get SO excited each time you see me. You reach for me. You squeal. Your smile fills my heart.

Last month you began to exhibit signs of being ready to crawl. We did not encourage it as we didn’t want a Hawaiian vacation with a baby crawling on the beach. At time, I was certain you would walk before you would crawl, but you have proven me wrong. First it was just an inch, then you began to roll to get what you wanted, now you are full on Commando crawling. Again, you are better at doing this for Daddy b/c you know I will just pick you up and hug you. If we put food a few feet in front of you, you bark and get angry with us, but slowly scoot your butt up in the air to move forward. Sometimes, you can balance on all 4s but are nowhere near crawling that way. I say that, then sure enough, you will be in just a matter of days. You are much better at sitting also. We plant you with your legs wide and you are getting more and more adept at using your core muscles to re-balance yourself if you begin to tilt. It won’t be long, though, before you are walking. Just the other day, with company over, you took 3 full steps with daddy’s hands on you b/c you were trying to chase me as I left the room.

It’s with Dada this month that you truly learned what PLAY means. I stand at the top of the steps into the basement listening to you laugh and play and watching crawl further each time. My immense satisfaction that you love him so much (and so differently than you love me) feels so complete. Dada just simply adores you. You swung at a ball on a tee this month for him and he nearly lept out of his skin with pride. I wish you would play like that with me, but as soon as I sit you down and put a toy in your hands, you start frantically screaming for me to pick you up. I love that you just want me to hold you, but it sure would be nice to be arms-free a little more now that you are getting quite heavy. You would be perfectly content to be in my arms all day.

You have mastered the full belly giggle and will laugh so hard at times that you can’t breathe! There are countless videos on my phone to prove it…probably 30! I just love that sound. I would like to make it my ringtone, doorbell and car horn. The world would be a much better place if we could all replace car horns with the sounds of our babies’ giggles, wouldn’t it? How could any angry drivers not be diffused with a little belly laugh?

We kiss a lot this month. Your kiss is more of an open-mouth goo than a kiss, but we make out a lot! I end up with buckets of drool on my face and chin (and sometimes carrots or puffs or apple sauce) but Mommy will ALWAYS be your first kiss. Daddy your second. He told me today that you kissed him too and looked at me like “ha, he kisses me too,” but I know the difference, he has to ask for a kiss…I just get them!

Our mornings begin with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street and other silly cartoons. I don’t let you watch cartoons for longer than it takes me to shower, but you just love them. Especially MMC….it’s nice to have the TV to fall back on when I need a shower or a bathroom break, but again, you really just want me to hold you.

In your 7th month, we took our first family vacation to Hawaii…where to begin?

The flights to Hawaii went really well. I knew they would. This vacation gave you takeoffs, 13, 14, 15 and 16. You love to fly. You are typically asleep by the time we are at full cruising altitude and wake up after a good hour or longer. You love waking up to see all of the strangers on the plane who are willing to smile and flirt with you. Upon arriving in Hawaii our first night didn’t go too well. With the 4 hour time change, you ended up staying up until what would be past midnight Colorado time. You HATED the crib the hotel placed in our room, I don’t blame you…you are a big guy and it’s about half the size of yours back home. Nevertheless, we woke up on our first morning at 4am.

FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! On vacation?

So, what are we to do? We thought we would just drive around and explore the coastline. Three hours and some of the most twisty, turny hours later we were on the other side of Maui and nowhere near being able to find a single restaurant for breakfast. You slept the whole way, which helped adjust your schedule for the following days. It was clear from our first visit to the pool how much you loved the water. We had purchased a round floaty to place you in and you just smiled and splashed as we took turns spinning you slowly about. You learned how to put your hands over the side and splash the water. We would take you out and try to float you on your back, you loved that too. We would take you into the shallow kiddy pool and you would just JUMP and JUMP and JUMP.

It seems that on this vacation, you learned how to master THE JUMP!

You also loved to put your hand on the rock wall that had a small waterfall. It would splash on your face and you would just giggle and laugh! I am so proud that you are happy in the water.

(Side note…you also LOVE your nightly baths as well. Although, you think it’s funny to fart in the bathtub. NOT FUNNY!!!!!)

Our first trip down the beach was one of curiousity and wonder. Mama took a paddleboard out and daddy stayed behind with you while you did more JUMPING!!!!  Up and down and up and down. I cannot stress enough how much you loved jumping on the sand and water. Your feet loved to scrunch up the sand in your toes, your hands tried to grab any that you could and put it straight into your mouth.

Nightly baths included trying to remove the small beach of it’s own that your neck held.

There were times on our vacation that you were a little Monster. It became apparent on Day 2 that you were cutting not 1, not 2 but THREE upper teeth. We have taken to calling your alter ego Buckwheat. When you get tired, you put your hand under your chin and wave your fingers at us. It’s only a matter of time before you start acting like a tornado and that jumping that you love to do so much also includes going completely limp and arching your back and squealing and beating me up.

This vacation was certainly different than Italy or Costa Rich or the PCH drive we did on other getaways. Vacations with a baby are a LOT of work! But we were so glad we took you. I refuse to let your presence make us dull. You even went 4 miles out into the ocean with us on a Snorkel Tour of Crater Molokini. We put you in your floatie and a life vest and you swam IN THE OCEAN with us for about 15 minutes! You loved the boat ride and waved your arms all over the place, thinking you were going so FAST!

Perhaps the most eventful night of the trip was the night of the Tsunami Scare. We awoke to sirens and alerts that Tsunami was expected to hit Hawaii within the hour and I was TERRIFIED! That word doesn’t even do justice to the fear, anxiety and panic my heart felt. Being that we were less than 100 yards from the water, I could only picture a wave that was going to destroy the hotel. Nothing could’ve felt worse than the local media saying “the first wave will hit in 4 minutes….3 minutes….2 minutes.” Daddy and I were in terror and it was the second time in my entire life I felt that my life was going to be taken from me before I got to enjoy any of it (the first being while under anesthesia for you C-Section and I thought I had died and I kept thinking “Shit, I can’t believe I died and am going to miss it…”. My words on this blog cannot do justice to the panic of that night. The streets were cleared, hotels moved guests to higher floors….thankfully, nothing happened, but as I looked at your tiny body asleep in the hotel crib with your butt in the air, I felt so  helpless. How could I protect you from something as big as a Tsunami? I picked you up out of that crib and held you well into the late hours of the night kissing your soft forehead in fear and thanks that we were all safe.

It was awful for Mama, Reeve.

The trip was wonderful and the flight home was something for the record books. It was a 8-hour Redeye direct to Denver. Daddy was really nervous and considered staying an extra day to catch a flight with a Layover in LA…Nonsense. My darling, you slept from takeoff to Baggage Claim in the Baby Bjorn on my chest. I was quite uncomfortable and barely slept at all, but it was worth it for the strangers who stopped to tell us “good job” and “what an amazing little guy.”

We also took a quick trip to Kansas this month to surprise Don Linny. You were held for 4 days straight!

Your first Halloween was spent as my little peaceful Jedi, Yoda. You were adorable in a homemade costume from Don Linny & Friends.

This month, as with each before it, you are becoming more boy and less baby. At your cousins’ house in Kansas, you played with a dumptruck like a 3-year-old would. How do you know how to do that? Just today a neighbor commented that your face has filled out and doesn’t look like a baby anymore and I wanted to push her. I KNOW that…I don’t want to hear it.

Mama’s Boy doesn’t do justice to what you are. If the whole day could be spent with me holding you, you would be just fine. However, that’s not possible and I can’t stop your teeth from hurting you so there have been a lot of screams this month. I wish I could take all of that pain away and hold you all day….seeing you in pain is the worst feeling I have ever know. I worry that my anxiety this month has somehow creeped into your little mind, that you sense how tired I am and are going to internalize that and be in therapy for years and years. But, I do what I can. I love you with every single fiber of my being and just hope you feel that.

Life isn’t perfect for us, but even with it’s flaws and fights and screams and pains, it is SO wonderful! And I have you to thank! You are mischievous and so full of life. You keep me on my toes and you make me so proud.

As our life changes each month with each new skill you learn, I am so thankful for your health. That you are growing big. That you are smart and can learn. That you have love from so many family members, neighbors and friends in your life. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities you have been given in your short little life from our travels to Story Hour to Play Groups to just being a little boy with a doggy that he loves so much.

Life and the pleasures it offers have so much more meaning now. As you see new things for the first time (tiki torches or waterfalls or rocks or cords you shouldn’t touch or drawers you shouldn’t open) I am reminded of your innocence, your spirit. It’s such a blessing to walk this Earth and get to lead you, guide you. Imagine how crazy this much all seem to you! I try to put myself in your shoes and live as though everything is the miracle it must be to you! If only we could all live each day with the wonder of a new child!

Reeve, you have taken my crazy dreams and given them life. Literally! This life that is YOU is has been in my heart since before I even knew your name. I cannot imagine a life without you in it. I don’t want to!

Thank you to YOU! For choosing me to be your Mommy! I have said before that I don’t know what I did to deserve you (or Daddy) but it is our little family that I am most thankful for. The lessons learned, the love we share, the bond you and I have…all of it….may it continue forever.

Keep growing, my darling boy!

To the moon and back,

Mommy!

Favorite things to do: JUMP! Crawl and play with Dada. Look for Hannah, grab her and feed her. Blow bubbles

Favorite things to eat: ANYTHING!!! Especially Puffs!

Dislikes: Having my diaper changed!
Scary items: 
Cute item: Monkey hat and steering wheel
Hair color: Light Brown with a darker brown stripe right down the middle
 Eye color: Still bright blue!
 Clothing size: 6-12 month onesies.
 Diaper size: 4
 Weight: 18pounds, 2 ounces (25%)
 Height: 30.5″ (99%)
Teeth: 
SEVEN!!!

SIX MONTHS OLD!!!

That’s half a year on this planet Earth. Half a year as my baby.

I won’t lie, this month has been challenging for me. I am tired. I am cranky. My arms hurt from carrying you ALL of the time. Our days start too early. My skin looks old. My hair is falling out. I can’t drop these last 5 baby pounds and you won’t let me do much of anything without holding you.

I could go on.

But I won’t. Because as much as all of those things suck (and, literally, they do SUCK the life out of me) I wouldn’t trade them. Not one bit of it.

As I sat down with my list of things you did this month typed onto my iPhone, I kept scrolling and scrolling…down, down…the list was so long. Month 5, going into Month 6, of your life was one for the books!

Most of this month seems a blur as we spent a week in Kansas and a week in Charleston, but I know that each time I logged a new milestone in my ongoing list, a simple “oh” escaped my mouth, a knot formed in my throat and I preciously stored each of them in my heart.

When I think, or look back at pictures, of the tiny little person you came into this world as on March 21, 2012, it barely seems possible that you are a real little boy now. Just looking at you, it’s obvious that you are growing, growing and getting bigger and stronger every day. More curious too about the world around you. Looking at new things, trying to figure out how to grab them, put them in your mouth.

My favorite thing about you this month is your laugh. It’s more of a cackle really. Mostly, you laugh when I jump at you, peek-a-boo at your or pop out and startle you. I actually Googled “the world’s most pleasant sound” expecting “Reeve Mooneyham’s laugh” to pop up as the number one search. When Kirk and I started dating, there was a question we asked each other, “What is your favorite sound?” His answer was any crowd gathered in cheer. Mine was the National Anthem. Poo Poo….Reeve Mooneyham’s laugh now tops that list, followed only by the squeaky farts you seem to unleash at the most awkward times like a presentation on Slavery at the Boone Hall Plantation.

This month started rough. It was obvious you were teething and still working on getting the hang of being able to roll in the night in order to find yourself in a comfortable position. My baby who slept 11+ hours woke up a few nights in a row for hours at a time. When you figured the rolling thing out though, we quickly got back in sync. Teething left you with red cheeks and fussiness. Added to a few sleepless nights, we got off on the wrong foot. I forgave you pretty quickly, though, when I found you asleep in your crib with your knees tucked under and your butt up in the air. OH MY GOD!!! You are amazing!

Also, I was increasingly convinced that you were bored to death with me. This month you began taking toys I handed you and throwing them back at me. You took your binkie out of your mouth and threw it on the floor as well.

It didn’t seem I could do much right in the beginning of this month. You were hungry all of the time and it didn’t seem I could satisfy you. I even went to a Lactation Consultant where you pulled the old “my car is making a funny sound trick on me” and nursed like a Champ when we got there. She says you were doing great and that, perhaps, just a growth spurt. It was reassuring to know I wasn’t doing anything wrong. As your little (getting chubbier by the day) hands massaged my breast and began stroking my side, we got back in the rhythm pretty soon after. You sweetly stroke my side, grab my shirt and turn your hand over and over like you are revving a motorcycle engine, wind your hand in my bra straps and reach for my mouth, giggling as I gobble your fingers. We look into each other’s eyes a lot. However, you do have a naughty habit of being awfully nosy when you nurse. If you are under your cover, out in public, you just have the darndest time concentrating and often expose you deal old mother’s boob to anyone who happens to be talking anywhere near you in order to see them.

Speaking of that, this month your ability to flirt has been taken to a whole new level. You can now crane your neck to peek around at the women at the table next to us. Stand on my leg to look at the girl on the airplane seat in front of us. Bat your eyelashes and, I’ll be damned, if it doesn’t just make me so proud. Ladies love you and I just love it when they then tell me how cute you are! You are like a puppy (or Elmo) you just bring happiness to people. Smiles to strangers’ faces.

Your hair is coming in nicely this month. I comb it to the side, and when you are wearing one of your cardigans or sweaters with elbows on the patches, I am certain we are going to have a talent scout stop us and ask if you would be interested in modeling this season’s collection of suits for Baby Gucci.

Your pout face is in effect this month. That lip….Elvis who? When that lip pulls down and your chin quivers, I will do anything. I give in. You win. You want it? Okay, give me the lip.

The dexterity of your hands continues this month. You can switch things from hand to hand and grab tiny bobby pins off of the nightstand. I work on this with you a lot. Daddy swears you were trying to catch a ball he was throwing at you…yeah…sure. You are also getting stronger with your legs. You can stand supported and just want to GO GO GO!

Hannah is interesting this month. I let her lick your hands and a lick on the face here and there, but you just can’t stand it when she won’t come to you when you want her. Sometimes, when she walks by, you just giggle at her. It’s as though you think she’s as awful as I do.

We  still love giving you baths. We end each bath with you in the tub (not your baby-insert thingie) and you just kick and splash. I shampoo your hair with no abandon, attempting to rid you of any final Cradle Cap grossiness. You have farted in the tub twice now, each time scaring both yourself and me. I dread pulling your butt cheeks apart to make sure I don’t find a surprise that will force a Clorox at 10pm. I am happy that you love the water!

This month you have eaten bananas, rice cereal, avocado, pears, apple and sweet potatoes. It usually takes you the second feeding to enjoy any new food I introduce you too, but bananas are still your favorite. God, feeding you is messy. You like taking the spoon out of our hands and gnawing your NEW TEETH on it. Yes, your two bottom teeth poked up this month while in Charleston. You don’t eat a whole lot yet, only twice a day, but already I can see you bulking up. In the 2 weeks I have been feeding you, you are noticeable heavier and your belly obviously rounder. Your thighs seem meatier and your cheeks more kissable. The poop that comes with eating solids excites the hell out of me. Gone are our days of brownie batter and hello banana smelling, orange colored nuggets that smoosh between your cheeks. It feels like I deep clean your high chair twice a day! I try to contain the mush to your face, but somehow it ends up on the straps, the seat, the floor.

You still think Daddy’s name is as simple as sticking your tongue out at him. You don’t really do it to me, so I can’t help but think it’s you making fun of him too. Though I am fairly certain you stick your tongue out so much this month b/c your new teeth are in, he likes to think it’s your special greeting to each other…and so I’ll go with that.

You like sucking on my cheek this month. It’s prepping you for that day you give me my first real kiss, but for now, I find big slobber balls on my face, shoulder, arms….must be a part of teething as well. I love it when your whole mouth finds my cheek b/c you do not do that to anyone else on this earth.

It’s obvious how badly you want to crawl. Please don’t. In Charleston, I left the room with you on the rug and came back to find you under a chair. How did you get there? You do this inchworm move where you pull your knees under you, push your butt up and throw your body forward. It’s only a matter of days until you figure out how to use your arms to get you what you want. I dread that day!

The most annoying/precious thing you do/need this month is my skin. If you are sleepy or fussy or insecure or need comforted, my cheek is all you need. On the plane, you were locked into your car seat having a shit fit and I just contorted my body to give you some Cheek and you were set. Crying? Give him my cheek? Once you have it, you just exhale loudly and breathe me in. Daddy’s doesn’t work (too scratch probably), nope, just mine. At times, I can pacify you with my breathe or by just being close to you. It must just be my smell…which isn’t that lovely these days, but God you just NEED me. I love that feeling. I love that you just need my body to be content. There are also times, however, that it would be nice if you could relax into Daddy the way you do into me. Putting you to bed takes me a matter of minutes…you just simply won’t let Daddy put you to bed…PERIOD!

In Kansas, I left you with Don Linny for 3 hours. Wait, rephrase….Don Linny and Papa Jim took you away to Cousin Jack’s soccer game…in a car….with me 20 plus minutes away for 3 hours. I was freaking out a bit. I compared it to leaving your purse on another planet. My heart was racing and my arms didn’t know what to do in the car. I know that it was a good thing for you, for me and for the grandparents, but I was stressed the whole time. I found myself turning in the car to see what you were doing only to find you not there…which then sent me into another panic mode. My brain thought I had left you somewhere.

In Charleston, you were an angel and stood in the window seat flirting with the men in bow ties and women in Church hats below on East Bay Street. You loved our long walks every day and found the swing overlooking the beach to be very relaxing.

This month, you seem full of important thoughts. I picture you in 5, 10, 15 years and hope that the curiosity and introspective way you seem now is still present. You are so curious so desperate to see everything that is going on around you. If you aren’t trying to grab something out of reach or get the attention of someone walking by, you are looking around you sizing up life. Your brain is getting smarter each day. You probably have it all figured out in that little head of yours and we are just here to learn from you. I like to believe that. No. In fact, I KNOW that. You have already taught me so much.

We’ve made it quite far in this time we’ve had together, Reeve. We’ve had good days and bad days and I’ve cried a lot (so have you) and it’s gone so fast. Too fast. I can’t slow it down, but I wish I could bottle it up. This blog, this journal for you will be helpful someday when you are a teenager and yelling that you hate me to my face. I will be so grateful for this.

I have learned so much about myself in these 6 months. I’ve learned so much about parenting. I’ve changed a lot of opinions I once held. I’ve gained insight and PATIENCE! Holy Hell, I am now the most patient person ever. I once couldn’t stand to be in the middle or back of any line, I HAD to be the first in line…now, I am content to just not miss the line. I used to love to eat slowly and enjoy each bite, now I am content to wrestle you on my lap and am lucky if any food even gets in my mouth.

If I had one piece of advice to share with any new mothers, it would be the greatest lesson I have learned in these 6 months.

SURRENDER ALL EXPECTATIONS!!!

I have done and said things I swore I never would. I have let my baby chew on an empty plastic water bottle b/c the crinkle sound fascinates you. I have given him formula. I have let him sleep in my arms and in my bed. I have threatened to shake him (no, I don’t really mean it, but I hope he is learning how to be sarcastic as a result of my threats). I have plopped him in front of Baby Einstein and Mickey Mouse Club just so I could shave my legs. I have peed with him in my arms. I have let him Cry It Out for upwards of 30 minutes b/c I don’t believe children should be given everything they want just to shut them up. I have, however, bought him toys at Target just to shut him up.

I brain-dumped everything I read in every book I read while pregnant and learned the second-best piece of advice the hard way.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!!!

What’s instinct? Most days, I don’t even know what month it is and haven’t washed my hair in over 5 days, yet “instinct” is going to get me through a baby that won’t nap and a rash that looks funny and temper tantrums. Damn straight it is.

Lessons are learned through mistakes, and Lord knows, I’ve made a lot in these 6 months, but there is NO mistaking how utterly, completely head-over-heels in love with you I am.

Your face is sheer perfection to me. I know everyone thinks their kid is cute, but DAMN my kid is cute!!! People still stop me to tell me that you don’t look like a baby, but that you have the face of a much more mature kid. What I tell them is that you look like your daddy. Not like he looked as a baby, but like he looks now. I am so proud that I can give Kirk a son who looks like him. Watching you with Daddy, Reeve, makes my heart sing. Every woman should know this feeling. It’s joy mixed with pride mixed with adoration…it’s everything. It’s, without a doubt, the purpose I was meant to serve on this earth.

I am so lucky to be your mom, Reeve. I still give thanks every day to God and to Hope, my grandma in Heaven whom I believe chose you just for me. You have my eyes, which means you have her eyes. When someone tells me they are so blue, I whisper a special prayer to her. The ones we’ve lost come to us in ways like these.

I continue to hope I do right by you. That I raise you well. That I teach you to love everyone, accept everyone, to be kind, to be tolerant, and that I give you courage and encourage you as well. My actions are more well thought out these days. My words are kinder. My free time spent more wisely. My time with your Daddy more precious. Having you in my life makes everything mean more and worth more.

Please continue to grow strong, to be a little boy of wonder. Live in the love that your daddy and I have for each other and for you.

I enjoy watching you become the boy you will become, Reeve. In silly moments or when you fight like hell to get what you want, that Will that determination, that purpose is my joy.

Thank you for letting me be your mama these 6 months. You are the greatest joy and love of my life.

I love you so very much. To the moon.

Mommy

Favorite things to do: Be as close to me as possible, search the room for Hannah, roll over, stick anything in your mouth, splash in the bathtub
 Favorite things to eat: Bananas!!!
Dislikes: the sun in my eyes (makes me sneeze) and being placed in my carseat!
Scary items: Sunlight. It makes me sneeze.
Cute item: the loud remote control toy Don Linny bought me.
Hair color: Light Brown with a little bit of wave or curl
 Eye color: Still bright blue!
 Clothing size: 6-12 month onesies.
 Diaper size: 4
 Weight: 16 pounds, 2 ounces (25%)
 Height: 29″ (99%)

FOUR MONTHS

Reeve,

I keep track on my iPhone in the Reminders app all of the things you do and learn, but even as I type this you are learning and changing so much I can’t keep up. This past month has been one I wish I could record and pull up in the future. It’s been my favorite so far as you are becoming the person you are. Silly. Goofy. Happy. Healthy. This 3rd month, going into your fourth month, have shown us the most changes in you so far. Your personality is really starting to make an appearance and you are quite the giggly, squeaky happy, gummy, smiley little boy….that’s also why this is the longest post I have ever written.

That’s not to say there haven’t been a few rough moments this month (see Hannah peeing on couch and you screaming like a banshee), but I would not trade places with anyone else in this whole wide world.

I pulled up a picture of you at one-week-old on my iPhone and Kirk asked “Who is that?”….it’s been so long since you first appeared on this Earth that it seems like more of a part of my history than a dear recent memory.

You have made my life so meaningful. You make each day worth waking up (and sometimes in the night) for. Yes, this month has really challenged us in the sleep department. You are going through some serious growth spurts and outgrowing any swaddle we can find; thus causing an Internet-wide search for a Swaddle Solution

The sounds you make are 1 part puppy, 1 part dolphin and a WHOLE lot of dog whistle. They are so high-pitched we end up squinting our eyes and have taken to calling you Squealy Dan (get it?…ha ha….tell me you do). I put my two fingers over your little lips and tap, tap, tap like an Indian would at a Pow Wow and you just talk and talk and talk. You love the sound of yourself. That’s the Grimes in you. 🙂

You only like to be held facing out this month, as though you might miss something with your face on our shoulders. Oftentimes, I find myself with you on my hip these days and cannot believe your head control even allows for this to happen.

You have taken to the Baby Bjorn which you initially hated and LOVE to find your own face in any mirror. It’s funny to see that recognition occur in your little brain and your face light up with the look of yourself.

Often your chin, neck, chest and any outfit you are covered in your drool. You will stick ANYTHING in your mouth this month whether it’s your Taggie Puppy “Buddy” or your books or plastic keys or even Mama’s arm. I don’t mind though, I kind of like it when you slobber on my shoulder.

I am your favorite person in the whole world this month. In fact, I might as well the ONLY person in the world as far as you are concerned. Daddy is the only other person you let hold you for very long. I must always be within you field of vision and it’s both a wonderful feeling for Mama and overwhelming. It makes any time I leave you alone with daddy to run to the gym or a photo shoot or the grocery store a little hard. My heart races knowing you might be scanning the room with your amazing neck control thinking “WHERE IS SHE? WHERE’S MAMA? OH MY GOD, WHERE IS SHE?” Chances are you are more than fine, but when you cry so hard for me that your face turns red and I have to blow in your face to get you to breathe, it makes it hard to leave you.

This month, we worked really hard on having more and more “Daddy Time.” Being your “whole world” is a little hard some days so it’s important that you get into a groove with Daddy so that Mommy can find some time to herself. You guys mostly listen to music or watch baseball in the basement or play on the couch. I have seen Daddy change a lot this month too. He makes sounds with you, tries to get you to giggle, holds you with an ease that he did not in the beginning, changes poopies without a second thought and often will find me to make me watch you do something cute (which was once only something I would do). Daddy’s face shows such pride when you two have time together. His brain spins with thoughts of Tee Ball and lessons he can teach you. He takes his job seriously and is such a wonderful father to you. We, the two of us, are very lucky to have him in our lives. He would do ANYTHING for you! But his favorite thing to do with you, by far, is to see if you will stick your tongue out at him without him doing it first. It’s kind of your own special greeting to him. Like you are saying, “Hello, Dada….” with your tongue. You don’t do this for me and it makes me think that you are actually making fun of him in your own little mind.

This month you flew to Kansas to see all of your family again. You were wonderful on the plane and were awake and joyous the whole fight there and slept in my arms the whole flight back. In fact, your best naps are taken in my arms….in bed….those naps are usually 2 hours long as compared to the ones in your crib or anywhere else.

Your Granny & Poppy from Florida also came out to see you this month. I am sure your brain is in overload with all of the new people you meet and all of the arms that want to hold you.

You saw 2 movies with Mommy & Daddy this month. The first one, you nursed so loudly and slurped so loud people in rows over could hear us. The second one, I had to stand and bounce you nearly the whole time.

Perhaps my favorite “first” for you this month was your first concert at Red Rocks. We saw Wilco with Barton, Miranda, Rob & Ali. You wore protective headphones and were such an awesome little guy. Though a first for you, definitely not a last as we have several more concerts lined up for you this summer.

The Bumbo is a favorite past-time this month. You slightly lean forward and often your head snaps backwards, but neck control and strength increased exponentially. The Exersaucer Poppy put together for you is also an interesting new thing in your world. Though only your toes touch the jump pad and we have to stuff pillows behind you should your head whip back, you can see in your face the pride felt when your crazy hands accidentally land on the twirling monkey or a chew ring. Both the Bumbo and Exersaucer seem to make you very sleepy so we take to putting you in them before your nap times.

My favorite new “trick” you have learned this month is how to laugh at things that really are funny. The sound of your laugh silences anything else going on anywhere in the world to me. Music? Where?!?! Sirens? I don’t hear them. When you are giggling, my world stops. Your best giggles come at the expense of my pride. Fake laughter on my part will send you into hysteria and a symphony of trills. Be still my heart, for when you laugh those sleepless nights and blowout diapers (3 major ones this month) and spit which has taken to being chunky is long forgotten. The goofy Popeye smile and coy, flirty look where your chin meets your shoulder and your button nose scrunches up is perhaps the found Meaning of Life for me. THIS is what I was born for! YOU!!! You really do think I am just the funniest person that ever walked this Earth. Just looking at your or stomping my foot in your direction elicits a huge giggle. Your tongue curls, sticks out and your nose squints. Can one make a career out of making babies giggle? Because I should be the highest paid employee in the universe.

You are quite the talker these days. Daddy swears your first word was “buffalo” but it seems to me that everything that comes out of your mouth is a greeting. I imagine the “HI” and “HEY” sounds are your little way of acknowledging everyone you come in contact with. Mornings typically are the most vocal part of your day. Your chatter delights me. I have probably 50 mini-video clips of you cooing and chatting and I call it “telling lies.” I say, “NO, that’s not true” and “you did what?!?!” and acknowledge your words and encourage you to talk and talk as much as possible.

This month you are becoming more able to hold books and to really focus on the image within them. You have 4 favorite soft-cloth books, but we spend a lot of our days together reading. Everything from board books to magazines to blog. You love to sit in my lap and just look and listen.

Your sleeping has left a little to be desired this month. My nights of 10+ hours of uninterrupted sleep seem to be a thing of the past. The growth spurt of this month has you waking every 4-5 hours to eat. You naps during the day are becoming longer and longer and definitely more necessary. Sometimes, the only way I can get you to take a solid hour-long nap is to feed you and then let you sleep ON my chest. I know this is “bad” (or so they say), but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy every second of it. If your flailing arms or legs jolt you awake, I simply only have to put my cheek upon yours and the feel of my skin will instantly soothe you back to slumber. I know no greater feeling than being the most comforting thing in someone’s world. When you wake, your little body is sweaty (as is mine) and a giant smile erupts from your face. I know that it may not be the best place to nap, but you always wake up from the space of my body rested and ready to go….or eat again.

Eating seems to take up a lot of our day. You are a gassy little guy. As you eat, your legs kick and farts are heard. I rarely burp you any longer as your gas is now expelled out the other end. Such a little boy, you are. One hand lovingly caresses and strokes my side and chest as you nurse. A feeling I enjoy keeping all to myself, knowing this is a gesture you do with no one else in the world. My memory stores this feeling in my brain and heart knowing one day you won’t do that any longer. The other hand flails about over your head, reminding me of a bull rider trying to stay on.

You are still 99% breastfed. Occasionally we give you a bottle of formula if we are outside at the pool or a ball game and it’s 100 degrees and too hot for me to comfortably feed you. At night, you are breastfed for about 25 minutes and then I offer you 5 ounces of formula if you will take it to help you feel full going into the night. I question how well this is working as you aren’t sleeping super great right now. However, I am nowhere near considering a full-bottle feeding.

This month your mouth found your toe. I should say toeS….you love a good toe suck. Nothing makes me happier than to see you grab your ankles and find your mouth to your toe. Your thighs now have a delightfully perfect amount of chub on them. By no means you chubby, but the only evidence of a healthy and well-fed baby is your thighs. In certain positions, you actually claim cellulite. Even your knees have a little cellulite on them.

Another thing you love to suck on this month is your thumb. It is both adorable and absolutely hilarious. How you find comfort in sucking and suckling on something so tiny is beyond me. When your thumb exits your mouth, you look at me with such pride. I can only think about the expense of braces someday.

This month your hair is really starting to grow. Gone are the strands that were on your head when you entered this world, replaced by soft, fuzzy, little boy hair. It’s still dark, yet lightened by our time spent in the sun.

You now wear a Size 3 diaper. It makes me want to cry every time I change you b/c these diapers look HUGE! I cannot believe you are big enough to wear these, yet proud of MY body for feeding you and making you strong enough to need them.

Reeve, I cannot believe how big and strong you are growing. Your little legs love to go rigid and attempt to stand up. It won’t be long. Even lying on your tummy I can see that your legs and body are preparing to move forward. I would love for you to stay little forever, this fleeting time is too quick. Daddy does a wonderful job reminding me in my emotional moments that our purpose on this earth is to help you grow to be a big boy, then man. I need those reminders in my bittersweet tears.

It’s as though I cannot measure, quantify or contain how my heart feels. It is far beyond my reach or that of any I can even conceive. I feel as though I am now a member of a secret society. As though the greatest mysteries and unknowns of the world are mine to be had now that I am your mother. My love for you is simply more than all things with names or words.

I just can’t wait to learn the parts of you that I don’t already know. I can’t wait to watch you keep growing and to see the person you will become. It is my greatest joy to be your mother. I will never have the words to tell you how much my life has changed b/c of you, how much my heart has changed. I only hope that you grow up feeling and knowing my love for you. As each month passes, and I mark your milestones and memories, I hope that life finds you happy. That is my only wish for you, for you have given me the greatest of happiness ever to have been know.

Daddy and I are beyond lucky to know you. To call you ours.

You are all the proof I need that God exists.

Favorite things to do: Walk around in the Baby Bjorn with Mommy so you can see the world.
Favorite things to eat: My toes and my thumb
Dislikes: being held by anyone other than mommy….and daddy
Scary items: Sunlight. It makes me sneeze.
Cute item: Buddy, my Taggie Puppy
Hair color: Light Brown, getting lighter by the sun
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 3-6 month mostly, but I can easily wear 6-12 month onesies.
Diaper size: 3. Mommy can’t talk about how big these diapers look
Weight: 13.125 pounds (25%)
Height: 27″ (98%)
****Doctor confirmed that you are really long and skinny. He said you have big hands and sure are a “pretty baby.” DUH!!!

THREE MONTHS

Reeve,

you are three months old today and I cannot believe how quickly the time is going. I feel like I must say it every month, but if only there were a way to slow it all down so I could savor THIS moment, this month, this little man that you are. Each month becomes my favorite as the 21st is marked off on my calendar.

This month you have hit some major milestones.

You can roll to your right side….but can’t figure out how to maneuver your arms to get all the way over to your tummy…your fat little tummy. We are okay with the fact that you aren’t on your tummy yet as we know that once you do that, our lives will drastically change. No longer will be able to leave you on the bed as we brush our teeth or run to the other room to get a fresh diaper.

You are laughing…all of the time. And I just love how it sounds. If I could make your sweet little giggle a ring tone I would. Most times we can get a giggle out of you by faking a laugh on our end, you think that is the funniest thing. Laughing also means we get to see your long neck so it’s two-fold glorious.

Your hands have found your toes. Mostly your right hand, but your left is working on it. You hold onto your toes and try to pull them towards your mouth so you can suck on them (as you do everything else).

Your thighs have a little chub to them. I don’t think you will ever be a chubby baby, but I love seeing that extra supply of chub on those thighs…it means I am doing something right and making enough food with my body to plump you up.

Those flailing arms that plagued you for the first two months of your life now have a little more control. You can seek out the binkie in your mouth or the toy in your lap or the blanket you want to rub on your face.

That dang binkie is still something I am constantly strugging with. You are about 80% accurate at putting it back IN your mouth, but 100% perfect at taking it out….I actually just witnessed your empty hand try to put the phantom binkie back in.

You are in a Size 2 diaper and they aren’t quite fitting, but the Size 1 is waaaay too small on you. You had 2 glorious blowouts this month which left poop on the couch, pillows, carseat, my shirt, changing pad cover….EVERYWHERE!

You have been to 2 movies this month, several baseball games, 4 flights (Atlanta ~ Charleston) and are becoming more and more calm at loud gatherings. We threw an Engagement Party for some friends last weekend and were the perfect little party-goer staying out late, staying alert, smiling at all the right times and still sleeping all night.

Speaking of sleeping….THANK YOU, GOD! I don’t talk about it too much….I am afraid I will jinx it, but you are the best sleeper….

I always say THE FIRST RULE OF SLEEP CLUB IS THAT YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT SLEEP CLUB!

Just keep doing what you are doing!

You love chewing on your Taggie Blanket or any blanket for that matter. You make these growling slash gurgling sounds as you do so….I have always said little boys come with sound effects and you are no exception.

In fact, you make a lot of sounds this month.

We work on Tummy Time every day. Sometimes on your playmat, sometimes on the bed, often on the big blue ball in front of the mirror in which you mostly enjoy looking up towards the ceiling fan. Sometimes, it concerns Hannah Dog to see this and she comes up and licks the drool off of your mouth. You don’t know what to think of her, but you ALWAYS fart and toot up a storm when we lie you on your stomach. You don’t quite love lying on your stomach just yet and can tolerate about 2 minutes at a time (for a total of 10 minutes a day)…often making miserable sounds that tear at my heart.

More and more you are spending time with Daddy watching baseball or lying in bed. He gets you up out of your crib each morning, changes you, has a quick little staff meeting about being good to mommy and then brings me to you to feed you in bed. You are his little Mini-Me….from the swirl in the back of you hair to your ears to you long eyelashes that even start shorter on the sides and come to a longer point in the middle.

This month your personality is starting to make an appearance. You are smiley and giggly, but over all a very calm baby. We often are complimented on how alert you are and we hope that teething or age don’t change this. I can see your brain working this month. If I stick out my tongue or touch yours, I can see the wheels spinning behind those blue eyes….as though you are trying to figure out how to make all the moving parts work together. Same with your hands if I place something you want to hold in front of them.

Your tiny arms and legs are starting to gain muscle as well as chub. It makes you, even more so, look like a little boy. Your hairline is getting fuller and starting to come back in.

It seems as though my love for you keeps growing and growing and, someday, my heart will just burst. I would lie my own body down for you if needed. There is nothing on this earth I wouldn’t do for you, my little one. I will always be your biggest fan and cheerleader…

It is an absolute honor to be your mommy. I hope I do the right things by you always, putting any need you may have before my own. I am so glad God picked you for me and me for you.

More than the moon. More than the sun…I love you!

Mommy



 Favorite things to do: EAT!!!  Sleep. Rub my face on my Taggie. Swing in the kitchen. Go for walks with Mommy.
Favorite things to eat: Boob
Dislikes: tummy time
Scary items: When mommy sneezes..it always makes me cry!
Cute item: Taggie….
Hair color: Light Brown
Eye color: Still bright blue! No changing and don’t forsee any changing either
Clothing size: 3-6 month mostly, but any pants are too short and too big in the waist
Diaper size: 2
Weight: 14.3 pounds
Height: 26″ (100% percentile)…

TWO MONTHS

Reeve,

it’s absolutely no secret that your presence in our lives is welcome, celebrated and absolutely loved!

Each day, as I wake you up and tell you that I will fix anything it is that is making you cry, I think to myself how lucky I am. As I pick you up from your crib, your cries stop, you look into my eyes and start each morning with the biggest, gummiest smile possible. Kirk calls it your Popeye Smile ~ it’s crooked and yummy. I love knowing that you are excited to see me at the start of each day.

Some days, no…MOST days, we don’t do a whole lot. We talk to each other. I may tell you about all the different types of doggies or foods that I think you will like. We may not leave the bedroom or we may venture out to Target. We definitely go through 10-12 diapers a day and you eat about that often too, it seems….We listen to music and I sing you “Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” or “Three, Six, Nine, Goose drank wine,” or “See old Mr. Possum” or “Wheels on the Bus” and you always look up at me with your big, bright, twinkly blue eyes in awe.

You are still a very content baby and gets lots of compliments on how quiet, calm you are when we are out and about. You went to your second Rockies game and were amazing! You were alert and watched people the whole game without fussing then slept well at night. I don’t know if that will change as you grow and can move about and talk, but I like to think you inherited your personality from daddy and are just content to observe and come to your own conclusions about people and the world around you.

A couple of times you have giggled. Both have been in your sleep with my nipple dangling out of your lip. You are also learning to pout, your bottom lip is so pink and it’s all I can do when you stick it out not to suck on it. Those pouts though, man, they both delight me and break my heart at the same time. I want to fix whatever it is that makes you sad.

Your squeals, coos and attempt to find your own voice keep me entertained for hours at a time. Blowing on your forehead is sure to elicit a squeal and singing silly songs gets the highest-pitched squeals. I love it best when you surprise yourself with the sounds you make and you look around as if to say, “who was that?”

It is with tremendous hesitation that I talk (brag) about your sleeping. I am afraid once I put it in writing that I will jinx myself, but you average 7-8 hours a night. The only time you wake up is if you have a dirty diaper or have snuck one arm out of your Swaddle and are touching your own face….sometimes I go into your room and softly put my hand on your body to make sure you are still breathing. The first couple of nights you slept through, I was so exhausted the next day I could barely function. Then, I realized it’s b/c I haven’t gotten a solid 8 hours of sleep since LAST JUNE…I have spent the past year either pregnant and peeing or for the first month and a half of your life up nursing you ever 3-4 hours. I thank you for being a good little sleeper. You go down easily after your one bottle of formula a day. Your burps crack me up b/c they sound like a beer guzzling bar patron, but I can tell that they always make you feel so much better.

You are still a little bald on the top, but we can see that the replacement hair is making it’s way back in. From the back though, your hair is thick and silky and quite long near your neck. On the top, it’s more like a streak, not even enough to make a mohawk, but I can’t wait for the day I can style it for you.

It’s getting to be summer so you wear a lot of shorts or sleeveless items. I love watching the tiny muscles develop in your arms and legs. As often as you kick those legs, it’s no wonder they are skinny. Yet, your thighs are getting meatier every day. Your belly is nice and round and soft. I love to tickle it. You have the most perfect birthmark on your side. It’s a wonderful little place to kiss on.

You are quite an expert at pulling your binkie out of your mouth ~ putting it back in is something we need to work on. I still have a love/hate relationship with that thing, but it’s amazing to watch your brain make the connection with your hands as you learn how to work it. Sometimes, you prefer your finger to your binkie. Not your thumb, but your pointer finger. I can’t imagine what it tastes like, but you love to suck and gum on it. I am all for that and lather it up with lotion so that it at least has some taste to it.

Back to your smile. I think you will be quite the Ladies Man. You are beginning to flirt and have this coy smile where your chin meets your shoulder and your BRIGHT blue eyes just light up.

This month you learned to show me your tongue when I show you mine. It makes me laugh and it makes my heart so full. Daddy says I won’t think it’s so cute when you are a toddler and run around with your tongue out all of the time, but I don’t care….

Your napping during the day is something we are struggling with. Even the slightest noise wakes you during the day. You can only fall asleep to nap with a blankie by your face to snuggle….

I get told quite often that you look very “grown up” for a 2 month old and it wasn’t until recently that I understood that. Your eye contact, focus and looks make you look like an actual MAN in a baby body. We met a 3 month old today who was a blob. Literally, a BLOB. He couldn’t open his eyes, couldn’t look towards the person talking, had no distinct features. You look like, at any moment, you are going to join the conversation and tell us all how it is. You still look JUST like your daddy and twirl your hair as he does when he is bored.

Your eyebrows are filling in this month making a perfect frame around your extremely blue eyes.

Your eyelashes are long and curl up. How come only boys get the long lashes?

Your thighs are getting meaty and have little dimples in them.

Your bottom lip has found a pout that is both perfectly cute and perfectly capable of melting my heart.

You can wear very few 0-3 month items as the thigh holes ride up almost to your chest.

Daily I see your brain growing. I see you making connections. Holding your head up gets easier every day as we do Tummy Time in front of the mirror with our big blue ball. Milestones are being crossed off almost as much as Firsts this month.

Life with you in it is complete. You, Kirk, our family is complete. We are happy. We are learning. Each day is a joy and a lesson. Time is both standing still some days AND moving at the speed of light. You make me so happy, Reeve.

This is my favorite quote. Because there are no words for how I feel when I try to describe my love for you, I find this explains it best.

“The best way I can say is that when a baby is born, the ghosts of the world’s greatest poets stand and listen to the cry of life that just took it’s first breathe and even they can’t find the words.” (Signs of Life: A Memoir)

It’s so perfect, as though not even the great poets of the world have the words for how special, how beautiful, how joyous creating life is.

I love you, Reeve Denver. I love everything about you and look forward to months 3, 4, 5…….and on and on.

It’s amazing how much difference one month can make.

Love,

Mama

ONE MONTH

Dear Sweet Baby Reeve.

today you are ONE month old. As I type this you are lying in your bassinet (which you have already outgrown and your arms are pushing off of the sides of) sucking on a pacifier and then spitting it out every time you fall asleep, which coincidentally, wakes you up. Though you are swaddled, your arms have magically found their way out and are flailing about, sometimes smacking your own face. I have a love/hate relationship with both the pacifier and the swaddler thingie.

Daddy has been out of town for work all week and I think I average about 4 hours a sleep each night. Long gone are my dreams of a “sleep schedule” and these days I just pray for an uninterrupted stretch that will give me back a little bit of energy.

Your arms are the skinniest of arms. They can’t even be real. Your legs too are just too adorable to talk about. There is not a pinch of fat on either, just fuzzy hair.

Daily you look more and more like a little boy and less and less like a little baby. Your hairline is nearly perfect and your eyes are as blue as the ocean…please let them stay this way so you can grow up to be the hearththrob I imagine your daddy was.

This growth, this daily changing of your features, makes my heart both bigger and shattered into a million pieces? It has been no secret in this past month that I struggle more with how quickly you change and “how fast it goes” than anything else. I would take a solid 30-day stretch of sleepless nights if it could all just slow down. I told Kirk when he left Sunday for his work trip that I felt like you would be driving by the time he came home.

In the past day or two, you have begun to coo and “talk” to me. Shrieks and screams have me in love and sometimes shock you. It’s almost as though you wonder where that sound came from? I actually called my mom (Don Linny) to let her hear you talking. These are just the silly things parents do. We call grandparents to let them listen to what is probably gas pains.

Your now give me about 2 real smiles a day versus the ALL day gas face. I can distinguish smiles from gas face now b/c you are a heroic pooper. You use every sounds and muscle in your repertoire to let me know when one is coming. . . and then one turns into two and sometimes even three the minute you get a clean diaper on. We go through a LOT of diapers around here. Pooping also requires the reddest face I have ever seen which causes me to check for a pulse.

Sometimes it all feels overwhelming though. I wasn’t prepared for that though it’s naive to think I would get it all right from the get go. This “mommy guilt” everyone talks about is for real. I feel like no matter what I do he won’t sleep when I want him to, eat when I want him to, go down for naps, does he eat enough? It’s never ending, but friend assure me it’s normal to feel this way. I just try to remember at 2am or 4am that your needs must always go before mine and it seems to be a lot easier. I would do anything for you, Reeve. I really would. I am so lucky to have you.

Is this all a dream?

Your have a perfect little mouth. I love to watch it’s shapes and long for the moment I get that first real smile from you. I kiss your lips every time I pick you up. It’s something that gives me amazing satisfaction. I also give you 3 kisses on the neck each time I can. I suck on your nose. It’s so little and perfect, I give it one little suck. Your ears are all cartilage and so soft. I trace them and am fascinated by how manly they look.

I stroke your head as you nurse. Your hair is so soft, fur really. The back stands up like Alfalfa while the front has gentle, quiet waves.

You make the most amazing sounds when you nurse. I have always said little boys come with sound effects. You grunt and groan and as you eat I picture a little boy in India crouched in a corner with a knife ready to stab the first person who attempts to take his food. You act like you would hurt anyone who tries to pull you from my breast. Your tiny (yet big for such a small guy) hands clutch my finger as if to say, “Oh Dear God…mom….don’t EVER stop…” and your bottom hand has taken to stroking/scratching my side. Nursing, though difficult and confusing, is the most satisfying thing I do every day. It makes me feel as if, for the first time, my body actually has a purpose. I love it. There are, however, times when you simply get lazy in the middle of a feeding and forget to swallow and spit my hard-earned milk all down my side…

I love how you stretch. I have mentioned before that you do so with ALL of your might. Arms up towards the heavens, back arched and ankles forever crossed…what a little gentleman you are.

And how polite and calm you are for each of our visitors. Just yesterday we went to lunch with a friend and you were so alert, so calm as she held you. I think you were trying to tell her (because she is pregnant with her first child) that her fears right now should be eased. I tried to explain to her that, other than sleeping through the night and the exhaustion that comes with that, it’s really easy. YOU are really easy.

This isn’t so hard, tiring yes, but not hard. I am thankful. Being thankful and knowing how blessed we are makes the trials of a newborn seem like nothing.

God, it’s all just such a blur. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was afraid to have you in the world? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were driving you home from the hospital in your perfect little GAP sweater outfit?  Wasn’t it just yesterday? It DOES go so fast, mothers are correct when they tell me this. Kirk says that time seems to go so fast with babies because we can SEE their changes. With adults, we don’t change every day. That makes sense. Changing is what you are best at these days. And growing. Right now you are STUFFED into a newborn onesie and your legs are much too long for your newborn pants, but I just can’t bring myself to put you in bigger clothes.

I just hope that I get better at this. That I learn what it is that will always make you happy whether it’s just a new diaper, boob, sleep or a song.

Perhaps my favorite part about this first month we have had with you is how you and Kirk interact. I remember how he would never hold anyone’s child, how he didn’t really even think much of kids. NOW…..whoa boy….he’s a softie. He absolutely is head over heels in love with you. He holds you like a pro, gently but making sure you are safe. He offers to put you to bed when I am exhausted at night knowing that it takes him about 2 hours as you will fuss and cry for me. He teaches you things. How to feel your hands, how to use your arms. He puts money into a college fund for you and gets a larger life insurance policy. He goes to the gym so he can be healthy, an example for you to live your life that way. He changes you like he has been changing diapers forever…though, at first on his Diaper Shifts, we were going through twice as many….you got a fresh diaper with each little fart. Now, he has learned one poop means another is on it’s way and he’s extra certain to tighten the diaper as he has been peed on 2 or 3 times as you are in his lap.

He’s a proud poppa, that’s for sure. I see it in his eyes, I hear it in his voice. I feel it. He’s going to be a great example for you as you live your life.

You are awake now…slowly groaning and working your arms out of the swaddle. Your little tongue pokes out of your lips. Your eyes blink. You are more fascinated by the ceiling fan than myself. I should’ve just put your crib under the ceiling fan b/c, I swear, you could look at that thing forever.

Hannah is watching you. She’s an uncertain, yet loving Big Sister. She is more concerned with smelling your head (occasionally licking it) and appears to get very stressed out when you cry. She follows us from room to room and looks into your bassinet with the desire to get her tongue all over your locks. We are careful with her though….we think if we would let her, she might toss you around like she does one of her stuffed animals. Probably not, but we are nervous first-time parents, you know.

I am completely enamored with you. I am completed in awe of you. I adore you. I stare at your for hours upon hours and could never tire of doing so.

In this one month we have had together I have watched you grow so much. It both breaks my heart and excited me to think about what the future has in store for us.

I was pretty spot on about the fact that you would look like Kirk, from your eyes to your ears to your expression and your hair. It can’t be a coincidence. God must make little boys look like their fathers and I am so beyond grateful that you resemble him. He’s my favorite face to look at….other than yours.

Happy One Month, Little Reeve.

I hope you are a good little boy as you grow. I know you will be. I can’t wait for next month and the month after that and each milestone that brings us. Grow strong, grow healthy, just remember to take it easy on your momma. I am new at this and although I have managed to keep you alive for a month, but I would give my life for you. I pray every night as I watch you on the video monitor that you safe, that you grow strong. My prayers for you are so much bigger than any I have had for myself.

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