Friday, September 28, 2007

Growing and Learning

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Hi my little one,

Have I expressed lately exactly how obsessed I truly am with you, my little favorite person? Each day that I am home with you and get to witness your growth and development is yet another day that makes me marvel at your progress and the personality that you are developing. You are just such a joy....ALWAYS happy and content in any situation. My gosh, I spent 1 hour at the Post Office today, THREE hours at an Auto Shop and you didn't make one peep the whole time. I love when total strangers marvel at your goodness. They don't even know the half of it. Your smile is truly my most favorite sight in the world.....I could have the worst day EVER and one smile from you and it's all ok again. You are just so easy going and I am truly truly thankful. Thank you so much for letting me get my days done, my showers taken, my errands run, my vaccuming done, with the greatest of ease. I love you I love you I love you!!!

You are SO interested now in every thing that crosses your path, and you want to touch and grab EVERYTHING. You are quite coordinated with those precious little hands of yours! It's hilarious how you want the pen I'm writing with, the cell phone I'm talking on, or the spoon I'm eating with. You want to explore everything and not miss a thing. It's precious....

I try to do something.....every week...every day to teach you something new. I want you to be thirsty for knowledge and learning. I want you to be the smartest little man ever! :) We sing so many songs every day and it is so amazing that I will start a song and you get sooooo excited cause you recognize what song it is and what I'm about to do to you with tickles or pokes at certain times in the song. You are so smart already. We read a book every night and I point out all the things in the pictures and you are really starting to take notice and concentrate. I'm so excited for these things to make more and more sense to you. How much fun we will have!! I can't wait to answer all of your million questions that you will have for me. I promise to always take the time to have discussions with you about anything you want.

Well, you are going to wake up soon from your afternoon nap so I will end this for now, but please know that I always can hardly wait to hold you. I love you!

Love, Your Mommy

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Who I am??

A great part of my life is sitting right in front of me, in an under-the-bed box that has been shoved away out of sight. My Journals.

Years of torment, self-torture, suffering, and a single young woman lie dormant in one fairly small box.

I pick various books up, read the dates, and start reading the entries. They are full of sadness, with sparkles of the nicest memories my mind can imagine. There is something joyful inside me however whenever I think back to some of my heartbreaks.

But it got me thinking, do I need to relive those memories to move forward? As I read through book after book, I am realize that I have forgotten things that used to haunt my life so very much. How I loved that one boy so much, and how I never truly understood why things went wrong. How sometimes I felt so alone even when I wasn’t. And, of course, there were the mistakes. The dreadful, awful, what was I thinking mistakes. Those are what haunt me the most....still.

I could burn these journals, all of them, light the match and be done with those memories. After all, how many memories have I forgotten because they were never written down? Perhaps the best memories, the most vivid ones, the most important ones of all, are ones that I will automatically remember...the ones that I hold dear to my heart.

Maybe I’m holding on to something by holding on to these journals, which until blogging entered my life were never really given much thought. I knew only that they were glimpses of my past, an easy way to take a stroll back in time, to the times of heartbreak and struggle that brought me to this very place, right at this very moment in my room on the floor.

On one hand, it’s enlightening to be able to see clearly the road that made me who I am today. On the other, I’m already me... do I really need to know how I got here? Nothing will change by re-reading these journals, right?

I can't seem to part with them...they hold such a part of me....even though it's still shares my journey. I'm glad I'm still writing....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Home With You

Hello my precious,

You are sleeping right now and I miss you. I've needed you to get to sleep so that I could get some work done...(I'm SOOO far behind) and now that you are snoozing I just miss you so much I can't concentrate. How am I ever going to get any work done with you around to occupy my mind so darn much? Speaking of work, I have been SO fortunate to not have to be at work 5 days a week missing out on you. I think I would go crazy. I need to be with you...And I cannot imagine it any other way.

Yes, I need more money and I'm stressed constantly about how I'm going to make it from month to month. (that is where a majority of my tears come from...) Yes, I need to find ways to cut expenses on food and diapers and clothes..(thus the reason I sold my nice Infiniti). Yes it scares me death wanting to be able to give you everything, and not knowing how I'm going to do it all, but it is all worth it to me...

I'm the one who gets to be here to watch you grow and learn. I'm the one who gets to love and cuddle on you all day long. I'm the one gives you your milk, your meals, your toys. I'm the one who gets to hear every sweet noise that comes out of your mouth. I'm the one who gets to take you outside under the glorious sun and for lots of fun adventures. I’m not just the one to tuck you in to bed each night and wake you the next day, I get to experience it all. I don't know how I manage, I really shouldn't be at home, but with God's help I do, and I am still here baby....and I will be for as long as that is possible.

Hurry up and wake can always wait til bedtime right??? I miss you....

Love, Mommy

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heaven's Scent

Caden and I have a ritual. When he awakes in the morning, I go and scoop him up out of his crib and bring him to my bed to feed him. We cuddle while he is happily slurping away, and we usually fall asleep together for another hour or so. When he is so close to me I bury my face in her hair. I inhale. Deeply.....

My son's hair smells sweet and earthy . . .like play. Or, innocence. Or, heaven.

Lord, please, don't let me ever forget that smell.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Promise...

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Hi sweet pea,

You're sound asleep right now and I can't help but creep into your room every half hour or so just to stare at you....You'd think that I would get over that little habit, but you are like an addiction to me. I miss you so much when you are sleeping. I at least need a "fix" one way or the other. :)

I've been thinking about you and all the things that I want to do and be for you and I just wanted to make some promises to you now.

I promise to remember that babies are only toddlers for a little while, and to say "no" less and simply distract you more.

I promise whenever you are cranky and in a funk I will try to imagine what it's like in your little world at that moment. I will remember that you've only been here a few precious days, and it's perfectly reasonable to be awfully, awfully upset at times. Aren't we all?

I promise at least once a day to get down on the floor and be a total idiot with you.

I promise to celebrate your voice and let you hoot like a monkey, shriek like a banshee and be a happy goofball like your mommy. I'll make sure to happily distract you with quiet fun if we're not someplace that would appreciate our crazy songs, but I'll make sure to do it in such a fun way that you really won't mind.

I promise to talk to you a lot, to point out everything in our world and remember how new and exciting it all is.

I promise to read to you everything I can get my hands on, and let your imagination take you to the places in those stories.

I promise to teach you how to be the kind of child and person who people will love to be around. I will have high standards for you, but never too high to attain.

I promise to teach you how to find your own happiness through God so you never need more things, money, or friends to find joy in life.

I promise to always give you time where it's just the two of us.

I promise to be honest with you. I won't sugar-coat the world but I will also always let you know that you have a lot of people who treasure you and they will always help keep you safe. I promise not to forget, when you're old enough, to teach you how to stay safe -- even though I don't want to admit you could ever need it.

I promise to always put a little magic in your life.

I promise that sometimes I'll love you so much it makes me cry, and that no matter how old you are I will still sneak looks at you while you're sleeping, playing and living life. I promise that there will always be people who love you so much it's amazing, and we will be there for you no matter what.

I promise to never stop reading parenting magazines and books, talking to mothers, and listening to my heart so that I grow as a mother.

I promise to realize that you have to make your own mistakes sometimes and it's not my job to protect you so much that you never experience life. I'll do my best to give you room to fall off the jungle gym, date a girl with blue hair or take a year off college. If I have to superglue my lips together, I swear I'll hush and be supportive!

And most of all my little sweet pea, I promise to love you unconditionally and with more strength that I could ever imagine. You are everything to me, and I promise that will never change.

Love, Your Mommy

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bouncing Baby!

You LOVE your new little Jumper!!

A Letter To My Son

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference…
—Robert Frost

Dear Caden Alexander,

When you get big, I hope you’ll keep this letter tucked in your pocket or wallet always, always.

There is bound to be a time in your life when you have to make a big decide between A and B. This decision will seem like the most monumental thing you’ve ever had to wrap your brain around (it might very well be). Fear not... You may not sleep much and you may even shut down and seek out solitude—no shame in that—you’ve got some figuring out to do. You may stress about making the right decision, worrying about what your family and friends may think, how society will view you based on your personal experiences and the choices you make. You will agonize, my sweet son. Please know that I am always here for you, no matter how hard it may be to come to me, I am here. Most of all, all I can say to you is that the BEST relief from your stress, the BEST comfort from your dilemnas will come from God. Look up to Him and He will guide you in the right direction. Don't ever let that go.

When you do decide to maybe end a relationship, embrace an adventure that other people may not understand, even stick up for the kid on the school bus, you may wonder, "Did I make the right choice?" It may haunt you for some time... after all, there will be people out there with absolutely no association to you or the specific scenario at hand that feel the need to attack you for your choice. Don't let those poeple break you down. Their hate doesn’t matter. The bitterness is coming from a hurt in their own lives. It’s not for you to rationalize. Waste no time feeling like a lesser person. God said that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! I know that the way you will grow up, the love that will be shown to you and the people that will help shape you will turn you into a wonderful man and I trust that you will do your best to make the right decisions. No matter what mistakes or wrong choices you make, God will always take you back and wrap you in His arms, and so will I. When you are feeling down, get on your knees and pray, go do something fun with someone you care about. Write something, paint something, take a spontaneous road trip and laugh the whole way to that random destination, wind on your back, sun on your face. Always have the last word Caden, even it’s just to yourself.

If I could protect you from your first scraped knee, your first broken heart, and your first split second, life changing event or the agony you may feel when having to come to me with a dilemma—the but-how-do-I-tell-Mom thing, I would. But I can’t. My heart has been broken, my world has been paused, my parents have calmed my tears, open-armed. Life seemed impossible at times for me, too. However, I can guarantee you this, sweet boy, it’s not as bad as it seems. In the instance? Oh yes, it’s all very "Life is over, I’ve ruined myself, how will I ever recover from such pain." But, in time, that will dissolve and you’ll find yourself, like Mommy, having something that you thought was a disaster, turn into the greatest blessing of your life... and that taking the road less traveled will have made all the difference. Don't ever stop looking to God for your strenth...Your life will change with every decision that you make, and with Him on your side, life will be a beautiful thing!

I love you with my whole life,

Love, Mom

Thursday, September 20, 2007

FIVE MONTHS already???

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Hello my PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT little boy,

I know I've stated that fact only a million times, but I just can't stop reiterating that fact. Every day I am amazed by you. What on earth could I have ever done to deserve a little one as good as you are? I mean, I have not ONE complaint. I don't think that's normal. You are as perfect as they come. The perfect disposition...(always smiling and happy), the perfect eating habits, the PERFECT sleeping habits...I could just go on and on. I thank God every day for you...and I thank YOU everyday for making my life so much better than I could have ever dreamed it could be. YOU are amazing little munchkin. I love you more than all the chocolate chip cookie dough in the world...:) So!! In great news..... You are FIVE months old!!! I just can't even believe how fast these days are going. Sometimes I don't even realize that you are getting so big. Stop! It's going much too fast!!

We went camping (sort of) :) this last weekend with your Nana and Poppa!! We met in east Tennessee at a halfway point for us all to drive, and we had the tents, blow up mattresses, hot dogs and smores ready for some good ole camping! Well...little did we know that there was no place for us to set up camp. All the camping grounds were RV only so we ended up in a hotel the first night and a little cabin the second night. We had to laugh as we were sitting around our little "campfire by the river"....As we looked up into the night sky, we realized we were sitting right under a big, bright RV Campground Sign, and we were right by the highway. So much for some secluded camping!! :) You were so great though....i made a little bed for you on one of the folding chairs, and scooped you out of your bed and took you to your "campfire bed." We sat around eating hotdogs, singing songs, and eating smores...all while you were snoozing away. are perfect. The next day we found a place to put the jetski on the lake, pulled the car down by the water and set up camp for the day. It was a beautiful day and we all took turns riding the jetski...(not you...but someday soon!) and enjoying the sunshine. We built another fire and repeated our hotdog/smores tradition. So, besides your first mosquito bite on your cheek, (sniff, sniff) we had a great little weekend with your nana and poppa. They are just so amazed by you....and you just love them so much already!!

You just woke up from your nap right now....your smile could melts me to the very core. It is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. I'm gonna go for now so that I can just love you up....!!! I love you my precious!!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Am Seriously Not Well

Little man,
It is 10:29 pm and I am about to be sick. I was having a late night bowl of cereal, and decided to Google “television watching and brain development”. My poor, poor critter. I am so sorry that I am guilty of letting you watch a few Gilmore Girls episodes or random shows at times with me from that idiot box. In a nutshell, television watching in the infant and toddler set contributes to the development of ADHD. Nausea.

I’m sorry, little butterbean. You have watched some t.v. in your day. And the worst part is that I had my suspicions about the effects it might be having on your brain, and continued to do it thinking that was just one of my paranoias and now I may have done irreparable harm to you.

So I called a friend to tell her that I've likely damaged you and that the television is a goner. She was very sweet to me. She kept repeating that I have not messed you up, which I needed to hear. She said that given my family’s history, there is a good chance you will have ADHD anyway. Ha Ha! :)This was not quite as helpful..... :) but probably true. To me that is all the more reason to cease and desist any and all t.v. watching right now. I wound up talking about how this is likely the first of many feelings of terror that I've screwed you up.
I cried. It scared the bejesus out of me, love. I’m trying to be graceful in my recovery, but I’m still not sure I haven’t messed up your hardwiring.

Goodnight my love, and please no ADHD......

Love, Mommy

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our Oregon Adventure

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Hello my sweetest little love,

You finally got to meet your Uncle Joey and Aunt Desiree! What a fun trip we had.... As far as the flights went, we had too many stops coming and going,(which I'll never do again), and you had your moments of exhaustion. On the way there you were as thrilled as you could be. People couldn't help but comment on what a happy baby you were. I just brought lots of small toys and brought them out one at a time, renewing your interest in a lengthy way. That worked very well. On our first flight you wound up sitting in the lap of the woman across the aisle. She had four grand-babies, so she was great with you. On the second flight you taught yourself how to blow raspberries, which was a great deal of fun for you. I can’t imagine all the surrounding passengers didn’t just love watching you puff up your face and with great glee make loud, slobbery noises. You tried so hard to get the guy across the aisle to pay attention to you, and when he didn’t (after a lot of your most charming self) you puffed up a furious raspberry right at him. Very funny stuff. The lady sitting next to me laughed and commented on how great you are.

Your Aunt Desiree was there to pick us up. I was soooo happy to see her! She had cut her hair and just looked SO cute. She couldn't believe how cute you were pumpkin! She was just so happy you were there to visit. We loaded up ALL the stuff...:) and headed to their home in Astoria, Oregon. (Your uncle Joey was still at work so he couldn't come.) We had a beautiful two hour drive up to the coast and when we got there your Uncle Joey was there to greet us!! I must say, your Uncle Joey is quite taken with you...Very mesmerized. He kept saying, "I want one now!" :) You're so great you could make anyone want one of you!

Your Uncle Joey and Aunt Desiree have a cute little house across the street from the water in such a cute little town! We had fun driving around to see the gorgeous sites, and driving on the BEACH! (Yes, you can drive on the beaches in Oregon) FUN FUN! Your Aunt Desiree went shopping with us and she bought you a cute outfit for the cooler weather, a little stuffed frog, and your little puppy dog that we named "Orrie." (Short for Oregon) We went to a little town called Seaside and explored for a day and had a nice lunch. It was fun!!

We only got to see your Uncle Joey for about 3 hours every evening. He is a Captain of a busy fishing boat! He has to get up at 3:30 to get to the boat and takes the fisherman out on the ocean to catch Tuna and Sturgeon and lots of other huge fish. We got to see their catch one day as they were coming in. Those fish were twice as big as you are munchkin!

It was SO nice to see Joey and Desiree... I miss them so much. The last night we were there your Uncle Joey took us all out of his boat for a little harbour tour. It was so beautiful!!! We got to watch the sun go down, and feel the cool night breezes! Too bad you missed the WHOLE thing! You were in slumber land just snoozing the whole night away. Oh well, whether you remember it or not, it was your very first boat ride! And I'm so glad it was with your Uncle Joey. He's definately our "sailor man!"

Our trip was WAY too short and we had to leave... :( On our way out of town we took a bunch of picures....even of the sea lions laying all over the docks! You thought they were funny... :) I was so sad to leave. I hope that we get to see everyone again soon.

On our first flight home, it was the first time you cried on the plane. I knew it was time for you to sleep, and your crazy mother forgot your pacifier in the stroller at the gate. I had taken the other one out of your bad earlier, and that too was in the stroller. You HAVE to have that to sleep, so what did you do? You cried so hard for the whole hour flight. You didn’t want a bottle, you didn’t want a toy, you wouldn't be comforted in any way. I had to sit there in my seat with you screaming, until we took off and they turned the seatbelt sign on. It was a nightmare. I was freaking out enough that I couldn't stop you from crying, (the first time EVER I must say) and knowing it was my fault that you were, and feeling bad about the passengers all around me. They all just kind of cringed at the crying baby, although they did it in a nice, “We are sympathizing with you” kind of way. Thank GOD I had to change planes after that flight so I got the stroller back and could rescue your pacifier. As soon as I plugged that in your mouth you were out like a light through half of the other flight. When you woke up you were so happy! You smiled and flirted with anyone who would make eye contact with you. In a grand testimony to your goodness, as people filed off the plane, almost everyone said goodbye to you, many by first name!

So ...all in all, our plane experience was a great one. So there you go. You are a trooper, a boy with wings. Not every baby could have done so well, so I thank you. You were so good everywhere we went and I'm so glad that you seemed to like adventure just as much as your mommy. You have no idea how many more places I want to take you, and how many things I want to teach you and show you! I get so giddy thinking about sharing my life with you!!! Let's have a fun one my little and me...I love you so much!!!

Love, Mommy

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

California Here We Come!

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Hello my little love!!

It's been WAY too long since I've written, but we've been pretty darn busy haven't we? So!!! We just got back from our first really big adventure! We went to California AND Oregon! What a week of firsts.... Where do I even begin? Well, after I loaded up all of the stuff that we needed for our trip, (my gosh little one...! You require SO much stuff! I needed the stroller, the carseat, the pack-n-play, our suitcase AND the diaper bag! Whew! I was already exhausted!) we headed to the airport and checked the three items and made our way to security. What a pain in the behind THAT is! I had to take my laptop out of my diaper bag, put the diaper bag on the belt, and fold the stroller up to put on the belt, all the while holding you. NOT easy, but we managed with a little help from the man behind us. It IS nice that I can take the stroller all the way to the gate. While we were in line to board the plane I started to get the littlest bit nervous of what it was going to be like with you. I mean, you are always so perfect, never really cry, and in the car you are an angel, but you are able to lay in your crib when you're tired, or sit in your carseat. This was different. You had to sit in my lap. Anyway, you became very vocal just before boarding, screaming in delight and making everyone laugh around you. It was if you knew that this was your first plane ride and you were greatly excited. You were too cute.

So normally I don't feel like I am "the plague" or something when I get on a plane and people have the option to sit next to me. In fact, people usually seem quite willing....NOT NOW! It was like I had a sign on me that said "This baby is going to scream the whole flight." It's so amazing to see that change. I just wanted to explain to everyone how good you are, but I wasn't as confident as always, so I just let it go. It made me a little mad that people didn't realize what an angel you were. It's as if they were missing out on you or something. Oh well, their loss.

So your first flight from Nashville to San Diego was a total success. I couldn't have been more proud, and relieved! You were making every one smile and laugh around you with your sweet noises and perfectly contagious smile. You even slept a little with no problem at all. I was worried about your little ears and the pressure, but I just made sure you were sucking on your bottle during take off and landing and you seemed just fine. Even the flight attendant came up to you as the plane was getting ready to land and said "You win the award for the best baby of the day!"

I didn't tell your Uncle Matty that I had dyed my hair brown and he almost drove right by us...he was so shocked! It was so nice to introduce my brother to you. He was just so amazed.... We were ready for some fun with your Uncle Matty!

So not only did you have your first plane ride and your first trip to California, just about an hour after we got to Matty's condo, you completed another milestone. You grabbed your feet for the first time!! It was SO cute! Now it's pretty much your favorite thing to do....

Your Uncle Matty has an AWESOME condo that he has be remodeling, and it was really nice to see all the things that he has done! When we got there we went to the beach and you got to touch the sand and the waves for the first time EVER!! What a special moment....Yay! We went back to Matty's and grilled out and just enjoyed the nice cool California breezes. You were out like a light just on was nice to share a bed with you again punkin....I miss hearing you breathe. You are so cute I could just watch you all night.

The next day we spent at the beach just hanging out and taking lots of pictures. I got lots of great ones of you! You are the cutest beach bum! I'm sure you will love the ocean as much as your mommy. I got lots of video of you in the sand and in the water. I'm so glad you got to experience that this early.

We had alot of fun at your Uncle's house just hanging out, and grilling out, and he just thought you were the cutest thing EVER. Our time went by way too quickly but I was so glad that we got to make this trip. Thanks Uncle Matty!!!! We love you!!

Next stop....Oregon!! I'll write more about that trip tomorrow.....I am soooo tired now. You are sleeping peacefully and I am heading there myself. I love you so much my perfect little man. Thanks for making this trip to California my favorite cause you were with me. Goodnight little one,

Love, Mommy

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