Thursday, July 30, 2009

11 Months Old

Dear Isabella,
I am writing this a day early, because tomorrow we are heading to the beach again for 2 weeks. You still don't like the sand, but you love to sit on the blanket and play with your toys and read your books. You are a girl after my own heart. Once upon a time, I used to spend many a day on the beach reading for hours and hours. Now I am too busy taking care of you and Alex, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We had a fun July 4th, but you were scared of the fireworks. I was holding you tight. You didn't cry, but you buried your head under your blanket and went to sleep.

You are scooting all over the place. You sit on your bottom and bounce to get where you want to go. Sometimes you even bounce and make a complete circle. It is so cute to watch. You are pulling yourself up from a sitting to standing position too! I took you to the doctor this month and you weigh 17 pounds...such a little peanut!

You love when I sing to you. You are starting to learn the hand motions for "If You Are Happy and You Know It," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." You are really trying to talk too! You can say "Nana" and today I think you said "Dave."

I am busy planning your 1st Birthday Party! You aren't going to remember but one day I will show you the pictures and you will see how many people loved you and wanted to celebrate your big day. I am in shock that you are turning 1 in a month (and a day). This time last year, I was getting ready for you. I was trying to pack and finish picking out everything for our new house. All I could do was think about you. I thought you were going to come 3 weeks early like your brother, but you didn't. You were content as could be inside me, and as anxious as I was for you to get here, and as hot and big as I was, that last month of my pregnancy was such a special time. I already knew you and loved you so, now all I had to do was see you and hold you in my arms and I knew my life would be complete.

I can't believe that the next letter I write will be your birthday letter. I can't think about it or I will cry. Time is moving too quickly.

I love you so much Angel Pie,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alex-isms 6

Just a few of the funny things that have come out of Alex's mouth lately -

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

My Future is Behind Me

As I look behind me, I can see what lies ahead. When I gaze into my rear view mirror, I see my future. I see a little man, who at the age of three, loves to sing along to his favorite songs and have the sunroof opened wide because he likes the feeling of the wind in his hair. And with the help of a little mirror that is fastened to the back of her seat, I see a baby girl, who is twirling her little feet and happily chewing on her pacifier. I remember who they were as infants, and I see who they are now in their reflections. But more importantly, I can envision who they will become.

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.

3 Step Program

Isabella and I have reached a turning point in our relationship. Although she continues to be a Momma's Girl, she no longer sees me as a food source. I am not sure how to feel about this. I am a little sad. I don't think I was ready for her to give up nursing. It all happened so suddenly.

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.

Step 1: Decide after several months of spitting the formula out all over clothes that you indeed like it.

Step 2: Bite Momma every time she tries to feed you. Throw in a couple times where you refuse to let go just for effect!

Step 3: Turn your head and refuse to nurse and cry until Momma makes a bottle.

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

10 Months Old

Dear Isabella,

Happy 10 month birthday. This month you have learned so many new things. You can blow kisses, you can find your toes, you love to show people your tongue, you can say Alex, but it comes out "Al-ll", and you can sign "more" and "all done." You love to share your food. And today, I swear you said, "hello." You are still not crawling, but you are thinking about it. And I know one day you are going to be off and moving, but right now you are still content to have me carry you around. You are like a little koala bear. Oh and you started drinking soy formula from a bottle. I am still nursing you though, neither of us are ready to give that up. When I think about it, I get all choked up!
You love the baby pool and being outside. You are not too thrilled with the beach. You will not put your toes in the sand. We are heading to the beach for 9 days tomorrow (I should be packing), so hopefully you will change your mind. We will celebrate the 4th of July there. That was the first holiday Daddy and I spent together, so we especially love it! You also are not a big fan of shopping. What is the matter with you? I am sure that will change once you realize that I buy you lots of great clothes. As of now, I end up piling all the bags in the stroller and carrying you around!
You continue to light up every room with your beauty and your adorable personality. It is as if you know you are cute and you know others think so too!

I love you Bella Boo,