Thursday, December 10, 2009
You are 4 years old today. I am not sure where to even begin. I guess I can start at 5:30 this morning when you called to me. You couldn't find your blue bear, and then you wanted me to lay with you. And as you were falling back to sleep, I told you that 4 years ago at 5:30 in the morning, the nurses brought you back to me after your first bath. Daddy had gone home to sleep and shower, and it was just me and you for a few hours on that early morning. I will never forget just laying in that bed holding you, staring at you and kissing you. I had been up for almost 48 hours, but I wasn't tired. My heart was racing and I was so excited to finally have my little boy in my arms.
Happy Birthday Al. We had a great day. We met Daddy and Gabrielle for lunch and then did a little shopping. We saw Santa and he somehow knew it was your birthday. Then we had dinner with Grandma, Pop, Nana, Pop Pop, Grandma Mela, and Poppy. I started this tradition of dinner with the grandparents when you were two and it is my favorite part of your birthday. It is so nice just to have a quiet night all about you! We all sat around and ate cake, and you opened your gifts. I think your favorites were a pez dispenser, your card that sings the Spiderman theme song, and your "BIG BOY BIKE."
Speaking of being a big boy. Last night as I was getting you ready for bed, I was telling you the story of the night you were born and you said to me, "Mom. I don't want to get bigger. I'm scared to be big. I want to stay little." And I answered, "Me too, my sweet boy." Time is going by too quickly. And I need it to slow down. Just yesterday you were that tiny little baby and now you are riding a two-wheeler. I want you to stay little forever, but you have already changed your mind about growing up. Today you said, "Momma, it is okay if I get bigger, because I will always be your baby." Yes, you will. Forever.
I love you with my whole heart,
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday was Alex's Superhero Birthday Party. We woke up to huge snowflakes falling from the skies. That couldn't deter our Superheroes. They came ready and willing to decorate their capes and fill up on some nutritious breakfast food (and some cupcakes too). They then donned their capes and had some Spiderman Training from Spiderman himself! Well - not all of the kids were too thrilled about Spidey, especially Alex, who hid behind the couch and spied on him with grandma! But all in all, the party was a lot of fun!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
2. Having a place to call home means everything. As I sit in my kitchen, I look at the wooden sign hanging above our mantle - This is the house that love built. Never was there a truer statement. This house is our home because of all of the love that fills its walls. I am safe here. Isabella is sleeping soundly in her room. Alex is playing with his Spiderman toys and building with blocks. Jay is walking through the door with dinner! This is where we live, argue, laugh, and play. There is no place I would rather be.
3. I would be nothing without my family. Family is forever. They are my cheerleaders, my friends, my gossip buddies, my past, my present and my future.
4. I am the luckiest girl in the world. See #1-3.
5. Coffee and wine can cure most of my ailments. Well, I can't be serious all of the time. I literally need that first sip of coffee to wake me up. Coffee cures my tiredness (aka grouchiness) in the morning and makes me a happier Momma. Jay calls it my Princess Juice. Wine is just what the "doctor" ordered after a long day of poop, attitude, whining and fussiness. It helps me unwind and calm my nerves. Take tonight for instance...without that glass of wine I don't know what I would have done as I watched Alex eat his Miso Soup with chopsticks, spill it everywhere and then shoot edamame across the living room....
Happy Thanksgiving 2009.
(And yes, I borrowed this idea from O Magazine)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
You are 14 months old today. You are walking all over the place. I can't seem to keep up with you. I knew this day would come. You are really trying to say lots of new words. Some of your most recent are - book, bapple (apple), bottle,
ba-nana, and boo! I guess B is your favorite letter.
You love for me to read you books, especially animal books. You kiss the pictures.
You love your brother - you follow him all around and call his name. When daddy comes in at the end of the day, you call out Dad-eeeee and walk right to him with your little arms held high! You definitely are turning into a daddy's girl. But you love everyone. You continue to be the happiest baby with the cutest little crooked smile. You can light up the darkest rainiest day!
You love meatballs, noodles, and candy - you had your first m and m's last night on Halloween and Pop gave you a lollipop too! You went Trick or Treating for the first time!
You love your Gigi the giraffe. You pick up other toys along the way, Alex's stuffed puppy, dolls, your pink bunny, but Gigi is still your favorite - and has been since you were 2 months old.
I could go on and on about the things you love....
One thing is for sure - I love you with all of my heart. You and Alex are my heart!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
This time I did!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Here are a few recent quotes to illustrate my point.
1. Me: Alex you are too smart.
Alex: Mom, I am so smart because I got all of my smarts from you.
2. Alex: Mom, you always talk bad to me.
Me: When do I ever talk bad to you?
Alex: When you say I need a second to myself.
3. Me: You are such a smart aleck.
Alex: No I am not. I am a smart ALEX!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thank you Uncle Mark for taking this picture of our big girl.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Today Alex started preschool. He was so happy this morning. He came down the stairs with a huge smile on his face (which doesn't happen often because like his dad, he is so NOT a morning person). I made him a special breakfast of oven pancake and then the whole family set off in the minivan for this special day. When we got to school, I quickly snapped a picture, and then we went inside. Daddy and I got a hug and Isabella got a kiss and then he walked into his classroom like such a big boy. No tears! (Well, maybe a few from Jay). When I picked him up, his teacher said he had a great day! We are so proud of him!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Today is your first birthday, a milestone that marks the end of infancy and the beginning of too many things to list. I am so happy to be your Momma and to be on this wonderful journey called life with you. One year ago at this very minute, I was laying on the operating table, holding Daddy's hand while Grandma sat next to me. The rest of the family was in the waiting room. We were all anxiously awaiting the arrival of our sweet precious girl. The other night I was giving you a bath and as you played with your "duck duck," I stared at your profile. It is the same little face I fell in love with all of those months ago on the ultrasound screen. And that love grew into complete adoration the second I saw your beautiful face in living color at 9:48 am, September 1, 2008. For the past 365 days, my love has grown every single day. And just when I think I could never love you anymore it grows some more. I often wonder how my heart never bursts but somehow manages to hold more love than one could ever think possible.
I marvel at you as you learn and grow everyday. You are crawling and pulling yourself up and walking with a little help. You grasp onto my hands and put one little foot in front of the other, so determined to get where you want to go. I can't believe that those little hands and feet are the same ones I kissed when you were just hours old. I know that in a short time you are going to let go of my hands and you will be off and running.
This year went by so fast. I am in shock. This is one time in my life that I feel as if words cannot do justice to what it feels like to be your Momma. The absolute joy I feel every time you smile at me and kiss me and hug me. The absolute pride I feel when say all of your new words, "hot-ball-balloon-swim-book-baba-bye pop" (your first sentence). The absolute serenity I feel as I rock you to sleep each night. I feel absolutely blessed by God to be your Momma.
If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, there is a light within you that is so bright that everyone who crosses your path falls under your spell. And what a spell it is - you are the sweetest, happiest baby in all of the world. Everyone who meets you wants to bask in that light. There is a song that I always think of when I look at you-
gives me strength when I am weak
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I know I could have thrown a small little get together to mark the completion of Isabella's first year, but that would not do. There is something larger than life about her. Something that I cannot explain. She is the epitome of joy and happiness. Her eyes and her smile light up the world. And if you know her, you know what I am talking about. It is a testament to how truly special she is that all of those people came to celebrate this milestone in her life.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I look over at my two children. Alex is having a conversation with his Spider-Man toy. Isabella is chewing on a block. Both perfectly content. Then why am I sweating as I watch the minutes tick by on my watch? Because I know that in T-minus five minutes these two sweet, cheerful children are going to morph into aliens disguised in Gymboree clothing. I know that as soon as the clock strikes the Hour of Oprah, the whining, the crying, and the screaming are going to start and continue for several hours.
My children cannot tell time, so how do they know to fall apart at 4:00 on the dot? Apparently my children are not the only ones. It seems to be a universal pact among children to drive their already exhausted mothers’ mad from the hours of 4:00 -7:00 pm each day. I have had countless conversations about this phenomenon with my sister, women in my book club, ladies in my BUNCO group, and random frazzled mothers in the grocery store. We stand around scratching our heads asking each other:
“Why is it that as soon as I get ready to make dinner, my children melt into puddles of tears at my feet?”
“Why is it that the hours of 4-7 seem to last forever, while nap time goes by in a matter of milliseconds?”
“What possessed me to take my three-year-old and my infant out in public at 4:00 in the afternoon?”
Tick. Tock 3:59 pm. Tick. Tock. 4:00 pm.
Hold on to your patience Momma, here we go! Isabella starts to cry. I pick her up and nurse her. She quiets for a few seconds, before deciding it would be fun to poke and pull at my nipple. No way, sister. I sit her up and start to sing to her. She reaches past me to grab the remote control. She puts it in her mouth. I take it away. She screams. I give her a Batman toy that I find stuck in between the couch cushions. Alex comes running from the other room. “That is mine. She is slobbering all over it.” He takes it away. She screams.
I sit her on the floor with some toys. All is quiet for a few minutes. Alex comes hopping in holding himself, “I gotta pee. I gotta pee. I gotta pee.” He says he needs my help, so off we go. Isabella cannot see me anymore. She screams. The phone rings. It is my husband. “Hey hon, I am going to hit the gym on my way home from work, okay?” Without waiting for a response, one he knows he does not want to hear, he continues, “Jeez, I can hear her crying. I will let you go take care of her. See you in a few hours.” Click.
Tick Tock. 4:59 pm. Tick Tock. 5:00 pm.
Time to start dinner. I put Isabella in her highchair. She starts to fuss. I throw a few Cheerios on her tray as I get the rest of her dinner ready. Alex comes over. “Momma, I am really hungry.” I ask him what he would like to eat. His response, “You know.” Great! Guessing games with a three-year-old, my least favorite game. I start my list of healthy options: cheese, yogurt, cereal, apple. He shakes his head no and wanders off. I go back to cutting up blueberries for Isabella who has by this point eaten or dropped all of her Cheerios and is fussing for more. Alex is back with a popsicle in hand. “Momma, I climbed up on the cooler and opened the freezer door to get my popsicle. I am getting bigger.” I tell him that he can’t have a popsicle before dinner. He whines, he cries, he pouts and says, “I am mad because of you.” Isabella fusses because I have stopped shoveling the strained meat into her mouth. Alex continues to whine, cry, and pout. I crack under the pressure. I tell him he can have it if he promises to eat his dinner, knowing full well, he will no longer be hungry when dinner is served. Dinner! I have to start dinner.
I cut up the vegetables in between feeding Isabella. I have rhythm down, spoonful in mouth, cut up some cucumber, and so it goes for a blissful moment or two. Alex hops down from his chair leaving sticky fingerprints everywhere. “Momma, I gotta poop! NOW!” Off we go. Isabella can’t see me. She fusses. The phone rings. It is my husband. “Just leaving the gym. Going to stop by Home Depot and I will be right home. What’s for dinner?” Click.
Tick Tock. 5:59 pm. Tick Tock. 6:00 pm.
Dinner is underway. By now Isabella has eaten her weight in blueberries and Cheerios in an effort to buy myself a few extra minutes. Alex is begging me to let him eat leftover Easter candy. And even though I am exhausted and would love to collapse in a heap on the sofa, I do the only thing I know will keep them entertained, I turn on the music. We have a dance party! Five songs later, the timer is buzzing and I could swear I heard the garage door open two songs ago. But my husband has not come in the house. I look outside, he is watering the flowers! Doing my best not to lose my temper, I yell out to him to hold the baby while I get dinner on the table.
Dinner is served, and the boys sit down. I stand, balancing Isabella on my hip as I try to cut my chicken one-handed. Alex gets up five minutes later. He is not hungry. Surprise. Surprise. After dinner, we head upstairs to get Isabella ready for bed. Alex is playing with a wooden paddle toy, the kind with the elastic string and the rubber ball. As I am putting pajamas on a squirming Isabella, he is wrapping the elastic string around the doorknob. I ask him several times to stop. He ignores me and the ball breaks off. Then he proceeds to wrap the elastic string around his neck. My husband takes it away and throws it is the trash. Alex collapses into my arms. He sobs as if the dog just died, and I rock him in attempt to comfort and calm him. Isabella begins to screech, “Momma. Momma. Momma.” My husband tries to soothe her. “Momma. Momma. Momma.” Alex continues to weep. My husband looks on in complete dismay. I am ready to run screaming down the street.
Tick. Tock. 6:59 pm. Tick Tock. 7:00 pm
Alex settles after a promise to visit the dollar aisle of Target for a new paddle ball toy. We put Isabella in her crib and cover her up with her blanket. She smiles up at us as her eyes flutter closed and she drifts off to dreamland. My husband offers to give Alex his bath and get him ready for bed. I head downstairs to clean the kitchen and straighten the playroom, but first I make a necessary stop at the wine cooler. I pour myself a big glass of Chardonnay, and toast myself on surviving another evening with my little aliens, I mean children.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
1. I asked Alex where he would go if he go if he didn't stop acting up. His response?
(I was thinking his bedroom, but hey even better).
2. I asked Alex to pick up his game. His response?
"No, Momma it is your responsibility. My responsibility is to take it out and then watch you pick it up."
3. Alex's Nana told him that the color blue is pronounced bl-ue not b-00. His response?
"You say bl and I say boo."
4. I explained to Alex that he needed to have patience and wait for a drink because I was feeding Isabella. His response?
"I know Mom, you are only one person."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It is so ironic that so much of my past is made up of looking at myself in the mirror. When I was a little girl, I would examine my features to determine whether I looked more like my mom or my dad. In middle school, I spent hours trying to make sense of my suddenly curly hair. In high school, college and beyond, I stood in front of the mirror before countless dances, dates and interviews. Now I am a mother, and when I look into the mirror, I look past my own reflection to watch my children. They are the best reflection of who I am. They are an extension of me. They are my present and my future. I am their Momma, and they are so much a part of me that when I look at them, I see myself more clearly than ever before.
Alex has the biggest brown eyes. And to this day when I look in my rear view mirror, I can see that tiny baby I brought home from the hospital on that cold December day. He wore a knit hat on his head and his bright eyes took in his surroundings as we drove home from the hospital. From that moment I knew he was never going to miss a thing. Now three and a half years later, he is a boy, no longer a baby, but those eyes are the same. They are the windows to his emotions. When he is content, the joy can be seen in his eyes first before a smile even reaches his lips, and when he is angry, his eyebrows tell the story of his woe. In his eyes, I glimpse the baby he was and the man he will become. Alex is strong-willed and intelligent. He has to have things his way. As I spend my days trying to instill in him the importance of sharing, flexibility, and tolerance, I know what tries my patience is part and parcel of him being a little boy. But as I watch him in the rear view mirror and listen to his constant chatter, I can see that his independence, his determination and his stubbornness will always be a part of him. I envision him in elementary school working on a science project and getting frustrated when the outcome does not work out as he was sure it would. Then he is in high school unwavering in his efforts to get into the best college. Once he is there, he is in class arguing an issue and refusing to back down because he believes to be right, because after all, Alex is always right. I also witness the loyal, loving and empathetic Alex. He sings to his sister and makes her laugh as only he can. When she cries, he tells her, “It is okay, I am right here.” He will always be her protector, I know that. He will grow up taking care of his sister, as he will one day take care of his own wife and children. My heart wrenches as I see us dancing on his wedding day. Then he is there as a husband and a father, full patience and devotion and the drive to give them the best life has to offer.
Isabella’s eyes are the brightest blue. People constantly stop me everywhere I go to comment on her striking eyes. “Look at those eyes.” I do. Every chance I get. I am still trying to learn about her, and her eyes teach me something new everyday. I look at her reflection, and her eyes show me she is smiling even though she has the pacifier in her mouth. The day we brought her home from the hospital was as sizzling as Alex’s homecoming was frigid. I looked in the mirror and saw her tiny face and could not believe I had been blessed with another healthy, beautiful child. Images flash. I picture her chasing after her big brother. He is going to teach her all he knows: the good and the bad. Isabella is a Momma’s Girl from the minute she wakes up until I kiss her goodnight. If she is fussy in the car, all I have to do is start talking to her. My voice settles her; her eyes smile. As she grows, I know I will be the one who makes everything better. I am her Momma. I see drama and mischief in those eyes. She is going to give me a bit of trouble here and there. She is going to put her hands on her hips and tell me no. Isabella is very social, and I have a feeling she will have a lot of friends. She is sensitive. Her eyes can go from smiling to tear-filled in a matter of seconds. I can see some tears in her future, but I will be right there to dry them, and Alex will be right there to defend her. My breath catches as I see her walk down the aisle in a gown of white. Her husband and children will know exactly how much she loves them by looking into her eyes. Those blue eyes I see smiling at me everyday in the mirror will light up each and every time she looks at them. She will look at them with the adoration and devotion that only a mother can have.
I know that as I continue down the road with my children, there will be changes. Alex will graduate from a car seat to a booster to the back row of the minivan where he will sit with his buddies. Isabella will twirl her feet on the way to soccer practice and ballet recitals. But I know for sure that there will be a constant in our lives. When I look into that rearview mirror, I will be looking into their eyes. A boy with eyes of brown and a girl with eyes of blue, both miracles, manifestations of the person who loves them most, their Momma.
For almost 10 months, Isabella only wanted to breastfeed. I thought for sure I would be able to nurse her until her first birthday. But I was wrong. A few weeks ago, she started drinking soy formula and with that has now completed a 3 step program to wean herself off of breastfeeding.
I have to try to look on the bright side of things. Even though my baby is growing up too quickly, here are 3 positive things about no more nursing.
1. This morning at 6 am, she woke up and I tried one more time to nurse her. She looked up and me and started to cry, so for the first time in my life as a mother, I made a bottle at 6 am. She cuddled in my arms drank it as if it was the best tasting thing she had ever ingested. Then she went back to sleep until 8:30! I worked out, took a shower and drank a cup of coffee!
2. Tonight I ate seared tuna.
3. Tomorrow I am calling for my LASIK consultation!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Happy 9 Month Birthday. You are such a little social butterfly. You love to smile at people and show them all your tricks! You are a great hand clapper, you show up how big you are, and you hug and kiss complete with pats on the back and kissing sounds. You also love to "beep" noses. You also learned how to say "Pop." Your grandfathers are so happy!We got a new playground this month. You love the baby swing. You are so tiny that if you move your legs you can swing yourself. I had the best Mother's Day because I have the most wonderful kids in the whole world. We went to the beach and the pool this month too. You do not like the cold water. Me neither. You like to sit in the shade just like me! And you look so adorable in your big floppy sun hats. You are eating all kinds of yummy foods. You love blueberries and bagels the best. You still refuse to drink the soy formula, so we will just keep nursing! You still have no interest in crawling or standing, but you love to take rides in the wagon.
You absolutely love your big brother. You grab his face and give him the biggest kisses. You really notice other little kids and always reach out to them. You especially love laughing at all your cousins.
I still can't believe that you are big enough to sit up, eat blueberries, and give kisses. Time is going too fast. And now it is the start of summer, and everyone knows summer goes by the fastest of all the seasons. Soon I am going to have to start planning the big birthday party!
I love you Izzy Bear,
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