Friday, October 26, 2007

Life with a Toddler

I have been asked several times in the last 2 years if I ever get bored staying home with my son. BORED? Are you kidding me? I don't think I have had a dull least not since Alex has become a toddler.... defines a toddler as a person who toddles, esp. a young child learning to walk. And while yes this is true, what happened to the rest of the definition? What about the talking, the reasoning, the tantrums, the learning, the sense of humor, the energy, the improvement of both fine and gross motor skills, the constant exploration and discovery?
Anyone who spends time with a toddler knows that you can almost hear the wheels turning in their little heads. Alex, simply stated, amazes me everyday....

#1 His memory is outstanding
- When we make a right onto Timonium Road from York Road, he says, "My Gym." And sure enough there it is!
- He has many books,songs, and rhymes memorized and he asks for books by the titles now too!
- Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to go to Wegmans or Giant and he said, "Wegmans. I get pumpkin sugar cookie." Not only did he remember the pumpkin sugar cookie from last week, he remembered where I bought it!

#2 His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds
- I can carry on simple conversations with him. How could I ever be bored, when I have this little person to talk to all day long?
-On the down side, this morning as I was trying to put his clothes on him he said, "Get away from me." OUCH!

#3 - Houston, we have a sense of humor (as well as a little rotten streak)
- He was turning the tv on and off and on and off. I said, "Alex, stop touching the tv. Keep your hands off of it." He proceeded to take his blue bear's little arm and turn the tv on and off on and off. He then looked over at me and said, "Blue Bear push the button."

#4 - If only I could bottle up all that energy....
-Several times a day he says, "I run." And then he does.
-He loves the song, "You Got to Move It Move It" and will dance to it as many times as I can stand to listen to it.

#5 - Big and little
- Although he is still a big fan of the "gallop" he is really starting to get jumping. You should see him in a moon bounce or on a trampoline. The kid is a natural!
-He can take my house key and put it in the keyhole. I mean come on, I sometimes even have trouble with that one...

#6 - Hey! a leaf, a plane, a bird, a dog, a pumpkin, a car, a train.....
-Everyday Alex discovers something simple and yet wonderful. And I get to see the world through his eyes... what could be better than that!?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Perfect Case

Finding out my dad had cancer was one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. He has always been such a strong man. It has always been kind of a joke in our family that my dad is Superman. But really it isn't a joke at all. He is our rock. Our Man of Steel. He has always done everything for our family. We rely on him for so much and that is how he likes it. I had a hard time imagining life any other way. Well luckily, I don't think I will have to worry any longer. He had surgery on Tuesday, and the doctor said it was a "perfect case." The prostate came out easily and the lymph nodes look fine. What a relief to have that weight lifted off his shoulders (and ours as well). He is home resting, and we are all doting (or maybe you would call it hovering). All I know is I thank God for answering our prayers. You can't beat the power of prayer.

The kryptonite is gone and Superman is doing fine.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Mother-Child Bond

How is it that as soon as a woman finds out she is expecting a child the bond is formed?

The moment I found out that I was pregnant with Alex, my heart became connected to him. I carried him for 9 months doing everything in my power to make sure he came into this world safely. It was amazing to be linked to another person in that way. I used to just lay and feel him move. After he was born, it was strange to see him move in certain ways and think, "Wow, that is probably what I was feeling when I was pregnant."

The bond has continued since and has grown stronger. In some ways he is more a part of me now than when I was pregnant with him. Part of this is because he usually is not out of my sight, unless he is sleeping. Spending all day, everyday with him has helped me know him better than anyone else in the world.

Last night, I tossed and turned all night. I woke up at 5:00 and could not go back to sleep. At 5:30, Alex called out to me in his scared cry. I was in his room in 5 seconds flat. He had a bad dream about a witch. He was terrified. I could tell by the way his voice shook when he talked and the big crocodile tears streaming down his face. I picked him up and truly felt his fear in my own heart, because Alex is my heart. It was as though I had the nightmare myself. It was eerie, yet extraordinary at the same time. I held him tight and we both had a good cry. Jay came and got us and brought us back to bed for some cuddle time.

The bond between mother and child is almost impossible to define. It is unending, unbreakable, and utterly the most beautiful feeling in the world. I have said it before, and I will say it again, "I am blessed." I hope and pray that this bond continues as Alex grows, and that he always knows he can come to me no matter what!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ten Tiny Toes

Tonight when I went up to check on Alex, I burst into tears. Who is that big boy who takes up most of the crib? Where is my tiny baby boy?

As I watched him, he let out a sigh as he often does in his sleep...a telltale sign that he is really out. I looked down at his feet which I think are the cutest feet in the world. I covered him up with his blank-blank and couldn't help but stand there a few minutes more. He just looked so peaceful. I looked back down at his feet and saw that he already kicked them out from under the blanket.

I thought, Ah-ha, he still is that same baby. Even as an infant, Alex hated having his feet covered up when he slept. Swaddling? Forget it. He would kick right out. When he sleeps in bed with us, he sleeps cuddled up with his feet resting on top of me. He has to have his feet out when he sleeps. He gets that from me.

He is growing up so fast. I cherish the moments where he reminds me that he is still my baby boy.

Kissing Cousins

It has been a week since fall started, and we are having a blast. Friday evening we met my sister Nicki, her hubby Steve and their two boys at the playground. As the boys played and we chased, I couldn't help but get a little overwhelmed. I can't believe that my sister and I have children. It seems like just yesterday we were sharing a room and she was copying everything I did. (She is almost 4 years younger than me and used to think I was the coolest)

Her oldest, Sophie, my goddaughter, was with my parents that night. But Alex just loves her so much. And I love that when she talks to him her voice gets higher, and that she calls him "Ally." She is really an amazing big sister, not just to her brothers but to Alex as well. That makes me so happy. Alex being the oldest will never have a "BIG" sister (obviously), but he might as well have one in Sophie.

Her second, Jake, is almost 2 years older than Alex. Alex literally thinks he is the best thing cameras (my favorite invention). He talks about Jake constantly. They couldn't be more like brothers. They are best buddies, and then the next minute they are fighting, and then they are right back to best buddies true brother fashion.

Her youngest, Luke, will always hold a special place in my heart, because I saw him the moment he was born. He is 10 months younger than Alex, and it is so endearing to see Alex take on the "BIG" brother role with Luke. The other day he was pretending to talk to my sister on the phone. He said, "Hi KiKi, how is UKEY doing?" It was the cutest thing ever!

Anyway, back to my story. After the boys ran themselves tired (or should I say ran their parents tired), we got in our cars and drove to the market (5 minutes away) to pick up sandwiches to eat for dinner. When we got to the store Alex saw the boys and called out to them, "Jake! Luke!" like he hadn't seen them in years. Jake replied in a similar manner. They were so excited to see one another, even though they were just together a few minutes before. It was the simplest of moments, but I can't describe the joy I felt.

I truly hope that Alex has siblings some day. But I have the peace in my heart knowing that his cousins are the next best thing. That love will remain a constant in their lives always, just as it has with my brothers and sisters. But I will save that for a different day!