and just like that…it was over.

I’ve blogged and blogged about my decreasing milk supply and how sad I was when I realized I wasn’t going to make it to my goal of nursing Dexter for 12 months.

On March 17, Dexter drank his first bottle of formula.  We started with a bottle a day.  By the following Saturday, March 24, he was down to nursing once a day.  That Thursday, March 29, I nursed him for the last time.

And just like that…it was over.

I had a pretty good idea that it was over that day, but I wasn’t positive so maybe it wasn’t as sad as it would have been, had I known for sure.  By Friday, I knew for sure.  I hadn’t nursed in 24 hours and didn’t feel like I needed to or could if I wanted to.

The transition to formula was pretty easy.  We’ve learned that he likes it at a certain temperature or he tosses that bottle like a hot potato.  It feels weird to feed my baby a bottle because I never really had until now.  It makes me ache when he turns onto his side, trying to bury his face in my chest.  I know what he wants and I can’t give it to him.  Soon enough, he’ll forget.

I can’t stop thinking about how my baby days are almost over.


TJ & DJ (no, we don’t call them by their initials)

I have two boys – and their names are Theodore Jack and Dexter Jay. 
Honestly?  I never dreamed I’d name my kids those names.
For the longest time, I loved the name Vivienne and thought for sure when (not if) I had a girl, she’d be Vivienne Margaret (Margaret after my paternal grandmother).  By the time I found out Theo was a boy, I’d marked Vivi off my list because Brangelina named their little girl the same thing.  They copied me.  I had it first.  I didn’t want to fall in their footsteps…or the footsteps of a bunch of people that named their baby Vivi because Brangelina did. That’s it – off the list.
Before Jackson became hugely popular, I loved Zavier Jackson, but R wanted it to be Xavier Jackson.  I didn’t want the “X” pronunciation and we could never agree on it, so we dropped it.  Jackson was R’s grandfather’s name.  After X/Zavier died off, there was Owen.  I had several years of wanting a baby Owen.  Then, all the sudden, there was an Owen at every pool and playground and toy store.  Again, off the list.
By the time I finally got pregnant, I didn’t have any baby names picked out.  It seemed like quite the ominous task, choosing names that this kid would carry with him for life.  I knew I wanted to incorporate my late father’s name somehow.  No lie, we were watching Cosby Show reruns one night when I said “Theo.  Theodore.”  I don’t know what it was about the name, but it felt good rolling off my tongue and it sounded right with our last name.  Within about 2 minutes, we decided our baby (if he was indeed a boy) would be Theodore.  Within a week of finding out his gender, we were calling him Baby Theo.  It fit and it stuck and there was no looking back. It took us a few weeks longer to decide if his middle name would be Jack or Alan but we ended up choosing Jack.  No one knew my dad by his middle name, Alan, and Jack just seemed perfect. 
Dexter was a different story altogether.  It was harder, and partly because we didn’t know if the baby would be a boy or a girl.  I got it in my head that I wanted the name to have a “Th” blend in it.  Like Samantha.  Or Meredith.  Or Edith.  Edith?  Yeah, Edith.  That was the name we ultimately decided on if the baby was a girl.  We’d call her Edie and her middle name would be June after R’s grandmother.  I entertained the idea of naming a girl Arizona (after my maternal grandmother) and calling her Zoey.  R wasn’t a huge fan.  Oh, and we fell in love with Mallory for a few weeks but decided against it because of my nephew named Malachi, who gets called Mal, Mali, and every other way you would naturally shorten Mallory. 
After exploring ALL “th” options for boys, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen.  So we went off in different directions.  Harrison (but R didn’t want him to be called Harry).  Griffith (too cumbersome rolling off the tongue with our last name).  I loved Calvin, but with Theodore’s name, I thought it was too close to the Chipmunks’ Alvin.  Crosby (too much like Cosby? as in Theo Huxtable/Bill Cosby).  Also, R is a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan and while I couldn’t care less, he didn’t want everyone to think he named his kid after Sidney Crosby.  Think we over-thunk it?  Maybe so.
When Dexter was born and we heard the words (and saw the evidence), “it’s a boy!” I looked at his little face and thought, he looks like a Crosby.  But for whatever reason, by noon that day, we’d decided he was a Dexter.  We chose Jay for his middle name after R’s father.  We liked Jay and June both because they started with J and had one syllable like Jack, and {bonus} had family significance. 
It’s funny how there’s a million and one names out there and you can choose any one of them – but your baby is exactly who you named him for a reason.  I just can’t imagine calling my little guys anything but Theo and Dex. 
I love baby names.  TaIking about them, thinking about them, and choosing them.  I would love to name a dozen more babies, but that means I’d have to take care of them and pay for them too.  There are no more vacancies at our inn for now, so I’ll have to be content with my two boys and the names that we chose for them. 
no regrets here,
I’m linking up with Mama G at Growing Up Geeky and Mindi at Simply Stavish this week for Toddle Along Tuesday.

Dear Dexter (9 month letter to my boy)

Dear Dexter,

You’ve been on the outside of mommy as long as you were inside my tummy.  It’s amazing to think that you’ve gone from a little seed to a smart, happy, curious, MOBILE baby in 18 months.  Watching you grow has been and continues to be one of my greatest joys in life.

I love you. 

I love your blue eyes and blonde hair.  I love that you look like your own little person. 

I love that it is so easy to make you smile.

You still have just two tiny teeth.  You eat everything you can get your hands on.  You would keep feeding yourself finger foods until you exploded.  These last few days, you’ve decided baby food is for babies… hint: You ARE still a baby.  Mommy is not ready for you to give up baby food yet.  Sloooow down.  You just love every bit of independence you are given.

Sometimes when you are not given independence, you just take it. 

I love that you started crawling right before you turned 7 months and never looked back.  You took your first single step on Saturday, but I couldn’t get you to do it again when anyone else was looking.  Sweet of you to share that moment with just me, ha! I love that you are so brave.

I love that you are innocent.  You have not been changed by the negativity in the world.  You have not been hurt by other people’s words and actions.  You have a positive outlook on life because positivity is all you know.  You have been showered with love since the day you were born.

I love that you came into our lives when you did. 

I love the way your face lights up when you see your big brother.  I worried a lot about you and your brother being so close in age, but now I can’t imagine it being any other way.

I hope you will always love each other and play together.

I love that you are an easy-going, easy to please kind of kid.  I hope you stay that way.

I love that you love bathtime.  I hate that you never get to play as long as you want to because we are always rushing to get two little booties bathed. 

I love those rare times when you fall asleep with your head on my shoulder and your arm around my neck.  You can do that a lot more often if you want to, okay?

I love that you are finally sleeping through the night (more often than not).  What took you so long anyway?

I love that you are perfectly healthy.  We could not have been given a greater gift.

I love to hear your baby babble.  You say ga, da, ba, and lots of oooohs and aaaaahs in a sing-song voice.  Hearing your soft, sweet voice in conversation (albeit with yourself) is music to my ears.

I hope you and I are always close.  I always want to be in your life.  If other people call you a mama’s boy, that’s okay.  Just ignore them.  Or better yet, tell them you are lucky to have a mom who loves you so much.   Because Dexter?  I do love you. SO. MUCH.

One day you will get hurt.  Physically or emotionally.  I won’t be there to prevent the fall, but I will always be there to hug you and I will do my best to ease your pain. 

Dexter, you are such a special boy to your mommy and daddy.  We will like you forever and love you for always.  We love love love love you, just as you are.