15 month letter to my big boy: a photoblog

Dear Theo,

So, so much has changed since you turned one. Your life is completely different and you have learned and accomplished so many things. I can’t help but smile when I watch you shakin’ your tush to music, especially that silly Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show you love. It’s so cute to watch your face light up when you hear the familiar music and see the characters.

12 months

I also love telling you to stop, sit, and scoot when you approach a step down. You are figuring out how to keep yourself safe at times, but other times you have no regard for danger. You know that the stove is hot and when food is hot. It’s funny to hear you say “hot” and then blow on the bite.  You can say lots of words and you’ll try to repeat many on your own time but you can be pretty stubborn when we are trying to get you to do something or show off.

One of your favorite things to do is to ride all around the neighborhood in the wagon Grammy got you for your birthday.  All we have to say is “wagon” or “outside” and you high-tail it towards the nearest door.  You always look so serious in the wagon, taking in all the sights and sounds around you. I think you’d stay in that wagon for days. Every time you see it, you point and your mouth goes that excited little “o.”

You love books.  You love looking at them, interacting with them, and having someone read them to you.  You have some favorites but you’re not too picky.  You’ve also started playing with pull toys, like your alligator, xylophone, and telephone.  One of my favorite things about you right now is that you understand so much more every day.  We can tell you “go get your alligator” and you will do just that.  You will also throw trash in the garbage can when we ask you to.

13 months

You’re friendly and you love it when people interact with you. Sometimes you will pretend to be shy when someone new or unfamiliar comes to our house but you always wave and grin to strangers at the store. What’s that about? 

Easter 2011

Your appetite changes as much as you do. One thing has always been consistent – you love green vegetables. I hope you always like healthy foods. You used to gobble down yogurt and grilled or baked chicken but now they don’t interest you as much. You don’t care for noodles. You sure don’t want anyone to feed you, but you haven’t shown much interest in using utensils yet.  In other words, mealtimes are messy around here. You are great with all kinds of different cups now, and do really well drinking out of a straw. You only drink water and milk for now, but one of these days we’ll have to let you have some juice.  Just promise you’ll keep drinking water and milk too, okay?

14 months
You’re getting so big now!
Oh yeah, I guess we should talk about your baby brother. He is almost four weeks old and there have been some highs and lows for you since baby Dexter showed up. Undoubtedly, it’s confusing for you. Sometimes (more often than not), you just want to hug him. Well, your version of a hug is to suck your thumb and lay your head down on the object of your affection. Sometimes you pat him on the head gently. There have been a few times when you have been too rough with Dexter, like when you threw that shoe in his face and the times that you have slapped him on the head or face when I thought you were reaching to pat him. I hope you aren’t trying to hurt him. I think you are just trying to figure things out. I know it especially hurts your feelings when we sternly tell you “no” and it has to do with Dexter. I’m sorry, but you’ve got to learn that he is small and you are so much stronger than him…stronger than you realize. Overall, I think you love your baby brother and that you’ll be incredibly close one day.
“hugging” Dexter

I know it’s confusing when I can’t stop feeding Dexter or put him down when he’s upset to play with you. I have redirected you to daddy, grammy, nana, pop pop, and other grown ups at times when you wanted me to read you a book or take you outside. There are probably times when you think I don’t care or love you as much as I did a month ago and that breaks my heart.  Because you know what, sweetie?  You’re wrong. I will always, always love you more than I did the day before. You’re my first baby, my first child, my first toddler, my first son. You are the one that taught me how to be a mommy.  You will always be so special to me and we will forever have a precious bond.  I promise you that – and I don’t take promises lightly.

15 months

You’re my Peezy Brown and you always will be.

I love you,

rain or shine…

…so glad you’re mine.

That’s the name given to this beautiful piece of hand-crafted, custom jewelry.  I told the hubs not to get me anything for Mother’s Day until after the baby was born less than a week later because I wanted something with both of my babies’ names on it.  Since we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, he could hardly order the gift ahead of time.  I showed him several designs that I loved and this is the one he chose.  Turns out the sentiment behind it is absolutely and perfectly fitting.

I love everything about it.

It really is true, isn’t it?  Rain or shine.  Sickness and health.  Rich or poor.  I love my babies more than anything in the world. While the fun times are what I look forward to, nothing makes me feel more like a mom than the times when I am nurturing my sick child.  The times when he wants me and only me, as frustrating as that can be.  When you make the decision to bring a child into the world, you sign up for the best and the worst of times.  
You may fantasize about smelling that baby powder fresh head and forget about smelling like curdled milk because your baby threw up on every shirt that fits and you haven’t had time to do laundry.  You may envision strangers coming up to you in the store and complimenting you on how well-behaved and adorable your toddler is, meanwhile not realizing that at some point, he will throw every single thing you feed him 10 feet from his high chair for a week straight.  But only after rubbing it in his hair.  You may picture slowly rocking him in that plush glider from Babies R Us and softly humming “Rock-a-Bye Baby,” oblivious to the fact that, before long, the most annoying cartoon theme songs on the planet will be stuck in your head for days at a time.  

Rain or shine, I love my kids and I’m so glad they’re mine.

hoping for sun,


Tuesday I got a text from the babysitter and she said Theo had a slight temp and was acting a little whiny and clingy. Figures, because we had family photographs scheduled for that night. She said not to cancel our plans and that he’d be all set to go at our pre-discussed time.
I got there at 3:45 and by the time I arrived, he was insisting on being held and immediately started crying when he saw me, collapsing into my arms. I pulled out all the stops on the way home, trying to get him to smile. Nothin’.  I knew by the time we got home that pictures would be cancelled. We rescheduled for Thursday. I checked his temp and it was 99.0. Nothing too concerning. By about 8pm it was over 103 and he was totally miserable. He spent the whole night lying on us, crying, and drifting in and out of restless sleep.
He finally went to bed for the night at 10 and surprisingly slept through the night.  Theo woke up with a 100.9 temp, which went away with ibuprofen and never returned. He was happy and playful and seemed like himself again. I marveled at how quickly little bodies can heal themselves.
I was almost certain that the fever was from teething. It was obvious that he had some discomfort as he was chewing on his fingers and holding his cheek. It just wasn’t adding up because every website I consulted said that teething never causes fevers that high. I also noticed that his appetite was nearly gone, which was concerning.
Thursday morning when he got up, I was rubbing his bare back and it felt bumpy.  His lower eyelids also looked red and he was really grumpy. It just wasn’t sitting right with me so I talked to a couple people and they urged me to call the doctor in case it was something contagious that might spell trouble for Dexter. Sure enough, they wanted to see him to rule out a virus.
I took him in and the doctor looked and him and listened as I explained the events of the past couple days. He said the rash was too widespread to be sun-related and took one look at his throat before confirming that he did indeed have a virus. Dang.  What about our photo session?
Aside from still not eating much, he seemed to feel fine so I warned the photographer and we decided to meet a little earlier than originally planned in hopes that everything would pan out. I’m not sure how our session went, but it went.
I’m feeling a little smart and a little stupid all at the same time. My husband wasn’t concerned and thought I was being overly paranoid. Okay, he didn’t say that but I know he was thinking it!  So anyway, I’m glad I trusted my mommy instincts when they were telling me something wasn’t right, but I feel like a moron for not having a clue that it was a virus. Heck, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a virus. How am I supposed to know what they look like? 
Now we just have to make sure that Dexter doesn’t get it. The doc said if he does get it, he’ll have to be hospitalized. I hope it’s not too late.
this is not a fun first,