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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ONE HALF YEAR

To my sweet baby boy,

Six months. It's gone by in a flash. Suddenly, as we wake up this morning, I have to accept the fact that you have been here for half of a year. Six months of stealing my heart with every smile, every sloppy kiss, every hair pull and every wiggle and giggle. One night last week, as I held you and rocked you to sleep, I started into your perfect little face and couldn't believe how big you've gotten. It hits me in random moments, the realization that you're not the newborn you were just a few months ago. The realization that soon, you'll be toddling around, learning words and probably learning to drive and going off to college... seriously, it feels like it's going that fast.
You sit up all on your own. You're trying to learn how to crawl and will probably be successful any day now. You absolutely love food and with your two teeth, we'll soon be adding in more options and textures. And yes, you have two teeth. With the exception of teething times and growth spurts, you are still the happiest baby that I have ever witnessed. You laugh and smile and seem to just love everything you see and do. People ask me whether or not you're really as happy as you seem to be in pictures and videos. They might not believe me, but the answer is absolutely yes.
You love toys that make any kind of noise, especially crinkly noises and music. You love books, although as with anything else, you prefer to chew on them more than anything else. You and Izzy are still the best of friends. Although she's not the biggest fan of your ability to grab! You light up as soon as Daddy gets home from work and he lights up right back at you. Sitting and watching you two together is one of my favorite things to do. You get oh so excited to go see either set of grandparents - it's easy to get you into your car seat when I have to drop you off before work. All I have to do is say "time to go to grandma and grandpa's house" and you are happy to get strapped in. I'm sure that a day will come when people make you nervous, but for now you get so happy to meet new friends - especially other babies and kids! Every birthday party or family gathering has been so fun for you!
In addition to being happy and social, you are the sweetest little cuddle bug. I dread the day when you don't want to sit with me and snuggle, content just to sit quietly or listen to me sing and read to you. I hope that is something that sticks around for a very long time.
I am so proud to call myself your Mommy. There is nothing in the world that I would rather do with my life than to help you learn and grow and discover the world around you. I love you with all of my heart, to the stars and back and more than that.

Love, Mommy
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Monday, March 27, 2017

STAYING PRESENT

Time is not kind. It goes way, WAY too quickly. Later this week, my sweet little baby boy will be six months old. He's learning so many new things constantly and I can barely keep up! I am frequently grateful for the invention of camera phones and social media, just so that I have things documented and can go back and remember when something happened. We really are so blessed to have the ability to capture things in a way that no generation before us was able to do. It's one of the best parts of having all of this technology at our fingertips.

I was especially grateful for these things last month. We lost my Grandma, who lived in Colorado. She never had the chance to meet Jaxon in person. But thanks to smart phones and social media, she still got to watch him grow up for the first months of his life. That is something that I will forever be thankful for. I'm sure I have friends on my Facebook and Instagram feeds who are thinking "we get it, you have a baby. Who cares?". But I will never apologize for sharing as often as I do. Because friends and family who don't get to watch my son grow up, who live too far away to be there for these moments - they care.

But with all of the good parts of technology, there's a definite downside to having everything you could possibly want right there in your hand. It's incredibly addictive and easy to get sucked into. I'm absolutely guilty of picking up my phone and scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest without even thinking about it. Or I go to check the weather or my email and 30 minutes later, I realize that I forgot to do the thing I picked my phone up for in the first place. It's all too easy to do. I've always tried to put the phone in my pocket or purse when in a social setting... but there are plenty of occasions when I've been with a group of people and every single person is on their phones. And it makes me sad.

But nothing has forced me to pay attention to how often my phone is in my hand the way that having a child has. It's something I have been majorly focusing on lately - making sure that I am staying present in the moment. If I'm playing with Jaxon, my phone only comes out if I am taking a picture or video and then immediately gets put back down. Because these moments are fleeting. My boy is growing faster than I ever anticipated. I want to commit every little thing that I can to memory before he changes again. The facial expressions, the sounds, the movements - they all change so quickly. The things he did a few weeks ago are gone and replaced by something else now. I don't want to look back on this time and struggle to remember the look on his face when he is struggling to do something that next week, he will do without effort. The sounds he makes when he's excited and seeing something for the first time. I want to savor them all.

I also don't want HIS memories of me to always be of me with my phone in my hand. He may not remember these days, but breaking the habit now will ensure that when he starts making real memories, I won't have to try to break it then. And honestly, I don't want him to think that all entertainment comes from a phone or tablet either. I want him to explore the world around him. I want him to go outside and play and get dirty. TV, movies and video games are great and fun, but I don't want that to be all that he enjoys. There's so much to see and do in the world and I want him to discover it all! And that starts now, with what he sees the people around him doing.

So this is my promise - to myself and, more importantly, to my son. I can't promise that I'll never pick up my phone and check something or start to mindlessly scroll through. But I promise to do my absolutely best to be conscious about it. To spend more time playing and laughing and exploring with my little one than I do looking at a screen. I promise to lead by example. I promise to do all that I can to give us both memories of fun and adventure in the real world, not just in a game or television show. I promise to do my best.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dear Jaxon | Five Months

Dear Jaxon,

I missed writing you a letter when you turned four months old. With the chaos of trying to get down our new routine of mommy going to work along with the normal craziness that comes with having a four month old, the time just got away from me. There are photos, of course, and a Facebook post updating friends and family on your growth. But no letter.
So let's talk about now. You're five months. In just a matter of weeks, you will be half a year old and I am blown away by the thought of that. I don't understand how it happened. You were born yesterday, I swear you were. Someday, when you're turning 20, I will say the same thing. Trust me when I tell you that it's true.. watching your child grow really does happen way too fast. I felt my own life pass both at snail pace and in the blink of an eye, but it has been nothing compared to watching you.
It amazes me how smart and strong you are. I know, every parent says that about their kids. But it's true. I look at where you're "supposed" to be at this age and then look at where you actually are and it's astounding. You are a month or more ahead of schedule with just about everything. Except for those teeth... you've been trying to pop out a tooth or two for months now, but they just keep hiding! For your sake and my sanity, I do hope they show up soon so that we can have a little break... and a little sleep!
Aside from going back to waking up every four hours or so at night, you are still the easiest and happiest baby that I have ever seen. You just love everything! Every food you've tried so far, you gobble up without hesitation. You absolutely love spending time with your family. You light up every single day when I tell you that I'm taking you to grandma & grandpa's house. And you get just as excited when we see your other grandparents most weekends. You laugh at everything, especially your Izzy. And peek-a-boo.
You spend most of your time rolling on the floor and trying to master those hands of yours. You're also working hard at learning to sit up on your own. You can do it for longer and longer times everyday and it won't be long before you don't need me to catch you anymore.
I've been thinking a lot lately about just how fast you're growing. Someday soon, I will pick you up out of your bouncer and won't realize it, but it will be the last time. The same goes for your swing, which we almost never use anymore. We're also working on letting you sleep in your own room. You're easy as can be - you'll fall asleep anywhere. But Mommy misses you and is also just plain tired, so it's been a slow transition.

There has never been anything or anyone in this world that I love more than I love you. You are the very best little boy in the world and I love you with all of my heart. As much as I wish time could slow down, keep growing and exploring and learning my little bug.

Love you for always,
Mommy.
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Friday, December 30, 2016

Dear Jaxon | Three Months

*this was supposed to be posted on Thursday the 29th - what can I say? Babies and plans don't always go together*

Dear Jaxon,

Today, my son, you are three months old. That's 1/4 of a year and far more time than it feels has actually passed. Where did this time go? Next week, mommy goes back to work and I'm still feeling very mixed emotions about that. I'm certainly excited to see the kids at school again and to tell them all about you, and my days are very short. And your grandparents are very excited to get to watch you. But I also haven't spent so much time away from you and I'm going to miss you, even if only for a few hours. 
This past weekend, we celebrated your very first Christmas. While you're too young to understand any of it, you were amazed watching us open your gifts. Your favorites were a little giraffe blanket and a Rudolph rattle. They've been by your side ever since. Next year, we'll get to see you really begin to absorb the magic that is happening around you and I look forward to watching you discover all of it. But just getting to wake up on Christmas morning and see your big smile made it my best Christmas ever. 
Yesterday, little man, was a big day for new accomplishments. Suddenly, you tried to roll over while on your play mat. Then you eventually spun yourself around so your head was on the opposite side from where you started. And if those weren't enough, when I put you on your tummy, you pushed up and held yourself there. Mommy was amazed and excited and sad all at once. You're growing so quickly!
As for everything else - you're still a great sleeper, although you've had some shorter nights recently... most likely due to your rapid growing. You're eating 6 ounce bottles every 3-4 hours. And that voice! This week, you've really learned to control that voice of yours and you love "talking" as loud as you possibly can! You've outgrown your 3 month clothes and are officially in 6 months. We don't go to the doctor to get you weighed and measured until next month, but after weighing myself and then doing so again while holding you, I'd say you're just under 15 pounds. You are growing way too fast!
You still prefer playing with mommy, daddy and Izzy or any of your other family members over toys, but you've definitely started to notice toys more - especially those Christmas gifts I mentioned and the toys over your play mat. You love when mommy sings to you and you're starting to like story time. You still love bath time and snuggles and are a very good baby. 
More than anything, I continue to love you more each and every day. Each morning that I get to wake up and be your mommy is the very best day.

I love you to the moon and back, 
Mommy

Monday, December 19, 2016

What do I want for Christmas?

What do I want for Christmas. It's a simple question and one that I've been asked a few times over the last several weeks, with the holiday quickly approaching. And yet, it's a difficult one to answer.

If you had asked me this 15 years ago, I'd have handed you a list two pages long that was filled with toys and CD's and movies and books. 10 years ago and my list would have been smaller - mostly filled with gift cards so that I could have the gift of shopping. Even 5 years ago, I could have at least rattled off a few books, a perfume or something else small that I wanted.

But today? Today, as I look around the room that I'm sitting in, I can't imagine wanting for anything. The man that I've always dreamed about marrying and spending a life with is asleep on the couch next to me after a long day of working hard to provide for his family. The little boy that I have always wanted, that I prayed for and wished for, is sleeping in his bouncer, making soft little sleepy noises every few minutes that make my heart feel like it could burst. The dog that I always wished that I could have and never knew how much I would love is asleep under the Christmas tree, not far from that little boy that she adores and protects at all times.

My entire world, everything I've ever wanted and needed, is right here in front of me, safe and sleeping peacefully while I watch over them, thanking God that they are here and that they are mine. Nothing that can be wrapped up in a box or bag could possibly compare.

This life, my life, is all that I want for Christmas.
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