Image Map

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
Image Map

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.
Image Map