Monday Night Football has returned with a vengeance and you have returned to your normal Monday Night Football routine. Honestly, as far as days of the week go, Mondays are not my personal favorites, but I have ONE thing that I look forward to each and every Monday in the fall and winter… It’s something special and I hope you do it for years to come... Your MNF dance! Every Monday, when the opening strains of music sound, you blast into the living room and stare at the TV. Any time there is music, you do a little dance, right up until Hank Williams gets on to do his thing. During the official song, you and I dance like crazy people! We stomp our feet, jump around, and turn in circles as we dance together to the theme song. Once it’s done, you go off until it’s time to meet the players. Last year, you started saying “HI” to them as they were introduced. Bless your heart, you are still doing it. Thank you, baby, for making my Mondays the best days of the week!
Almost seventeen months ago, on your 19-month birthday, I made the very difficult decision to go back to a full-time job. The decision was both the easiest and most difficult decision I have ever made and something that I struggle with constantly to this day. It's turned out just fine, though as you have made so many friends and learned so much! I know that we made the right decision!
One day old -- September 26, 2003
Knowing you is like having a birthday every single day because you are a gift and you constantly surprise me. Just this past Saturday, you asked your daddy if he would play football with you and he taught you how to throw your mini-football in a perfect spiral. Your love of all things athletic is so wonderful because I will never have to worry that you won’t get exercise. You love to be a couch potato, too, don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s Scamper the Penguin, Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Diego, Max and Ruby, Little Bear, Barney, Thomas, or Madagascar (or as you used to call it, “Adabascar”). You love putting in new DVD’s and playing them all by yourself. You have figured out how to hold your beloved cartoons so that they don’t scratch. You love your cartoons! So much so, that your Nana is worried about it. I assure her that you may like to have it on, but you are always playing, making up stories and scenes for your cars and trains, “reading” books to yourself, etc. You are always on the go.
Punkin, I am so proud that you are such a compassionate soul. I heard once that the best way to ensure that your child is compassionate as an adult is to teach him/her compassion as a child. I’m not certain that your father and I can take full credit for it, but your empathy and compassion are astounding. A couple of months ago, I was not feeling well. In fact, I had a debilitating stomach virus that left me very listless and in a lot of pain. You would come by, give me a hug, and ask me if my tummy hurt and then tell me to feel better. In those moments, I did feel much better. And you love to hug the dog and cat. Well, to be honest, you love to “play” with them and that includes chasing, squishing, stepping on, and terrorizing them to a large extent. While the cat will just run and hide, the dog will sit and take it. And when we tell you that you have hurt Bubba, you will lean down, put your arms around him, and ask, “Are you okay, Bubba?”
Lately, you, the boy who really didn’t like long hugs, being held as a baby, or snuggling in general (you are just too BUSY to sit still), have come to love cuddling. You will come sit by me on the couch or climb into bed with me and say, “I want to cuddle with you, Mommy.” And the beauty of those moments overwhelms me and I look at your arm, encircling me, and I rain kisses down on the top of your blonde head.
And the shocks and the protests (in my heart) keep on coming. Last Sunday night (the 10th), you did something that once again reminded me that you are no longer an infant. For a while now you have used a pacifier when you sleep (naps and bedtime only). A few weeks ago, when we were tucking you in, you handed your paci to your daddy and asked that he cut the end off. You were “too big” for a paci. Stunned, neither of us could do it and when we asked if you were really ready to give them up, you said no. Well, last night, you INSISTED on it. You said, “Yes,” when we asked if you were really ready and if you were sure. You then handed them to your father, and told him to bring back the cut pacis. I think you might have changed your mind right before he came back with the altered items, but you were so BRAVE! We watched your lip quiver and your eyes start to well, and we both told you how proud we are of the big boy you’ve become. Inside, I was bawling for you. You are SUCH a big boy and I am SO PROUD of you!
Just in case you thought that I might not be keeping track of such things, I’d like to give you a list of milestones you’ve covered this past year:
- Count to 30 in English and Spanish
- Identify these same numbers
- Use several Spanish words correctly in conversation
- Sing your A,B,C's and identify each letter
- You know your primary and secondary colors (you know that yellow and blue make green, etc.)
- Distinguish between your right and left hands and know which way is your right and which is your left
- Spell your name and other assorted words
- Sing so many songs that I cannot count them all!
Some of my favorites are:
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
The Thomas theme song
The Alligator Song
Happy Birthday to You
The “Clean up” Song
The Bob the Builder theme song
- Put on your own shoes, socks, shirt, and shorts with minimal help
- Take off your clothes by yourself
- Wash your hands
- Hit a baseball with a bat
- Hit a golf ball
- Throw a spiral pass
- Dribble the soccer ball
- Shoot a basket
- Shake people's hands and exclaim, "Nice to meet you!"
- Flash a "hook 'em" sign while singing parts of "The Eyes of Texas" and "Texas Fight!"
- Dance, do somersaults, jump up high, gallop like a horsey, run, walk, crawl, sing, yell, cry, giggle, laugh, and tackly the dog, your father, and me constantly
- GO POTTY ON THE POTTY!!!
Ahh, the potty training. We’ve received plenty of advice about the way to approach it, but what worked best for you were two things:
1) Just biting the bullet and putting you in regular underwear, and 2) Money. Quarters, to be exact. Every time you “poo-poo” on the potty and not in your pants, you get a quarter. Since this has started, you have had two accidents and only one of those involved your underpants (the other time, you were wearing a pull-up). It is safe to say that you are doing quite well, financially, and definitely have a future in sales as you are quite motivated by cold, hard cash!
At one of your friends' birthday parties -- April 2006
My little one, you sure are a parrot! I swear that nothing gets by you these days! You love to repeat every single thing you hear (be it something you heard your father or I say or on TV). I don’t know what was more hilarious and embarrassing, though… The time you said, “Is he a motherfucker, Daddy?” or the time you were in the car with your father and I and your Nana and GrandDad, saw a police car drive by, and started singing, “Bad boys, bad boys, whatchagonna do when dey come for you?” Then there’s that Easter Sunday brunch at the country club with your grandparents when you tried to feed your granddad a carrot, “It’s gonna come in your mouth, GrandDad! It’s coming in your mouth!” Your father and I got a huge kick out of that one. Or what you just said to me recently, “Pee pee is really tee tee and it lives in my wee wee, but poo poo lives in my BUTT!” One day (okay lots of days), once you’re finished doing your business on the potty, you look at me and say, “I crapped, Mommy!”
In the past year, you have tried many new and exciting things. You went on your first ski trip in December and played in real snow (not the itty-bitty bit we sometimes get here)! You flew on an airplane, went down a huge hill on a saucer ALL BY YOURSELF and nearly gave your grandparents heart attacks in the process! You rang in the New Year in Breckenridge. And you talk about going back to Colorado all the time. Lest we think you’re purely a “snow” baby, you have astounded us at the pool this summer as well… You insist on jumping off the 4 foot high waterfall and going down the slide ALONE at our friend’s pool and you just paddle and paddle and paddle with your floaties on and your ear plugs in.
Oh yes, the ear plugs… Baby, you have had the worst luck with ear infections. So much so, that after your 5th one in a row, we decided to get tubes put in. The difference it has made in your overall health has been ASTOUNDING! And while the actual process was extremely scary (after all, my BABY was going under general anesthesia), it all worked out better than I could have imagined. You were NOT happy when you woke up, though, that’s for sure!
Swimming at your cousin's house -- August, 2006
Just the other day, you were playing out on the back deck, when you started sobbing as though you’d broken something (like an arm). We rushed out to see the sprinklers on. You were sobbing and hiccupping and saying, “The sprinklers are on! The sprinklers are on!” You cried as though your very existence was at an end. You were inconsolable no matter how we tried to calm you down and help you. A few days later, your daddy was hand-watering parts of the grass and you were “helping” him. Daddy decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to teach you about running through sprinklers. You loved it! You took off your shoes and your shirt and ran around, in, and through the sprinkler for about 20 minutes. The next day, you took it a step further and went back to your nemesis, the backyard sprinklers. For almost an hour, you and your daddy ran and jumped through the sprinklers back there. It was a time that I wish I could freeze and store away, taking it out on special occasions to remember how great it was and how sweet.
I have a myriad of stories to tell and to share and I cannot wait until you ask me about your life as a baby. You are so curious and always seeking knowledge, that I KNOW this time will come. I can hear you now, asking for it in the same way you ask for milk, a toy, or a story, “Please may I have a glass of milk, Mommy?” “Please will you tell me about when I was a baby?” For a long time during my pregnancy and your early months, I felt disjointed. It was almost as though someone else was pregnant. Someone else was “Mommy.” Someone else was wholly responsible for the well-being of another human being. I was so scared that I would break you, that if I didn’t hold you enough or if I let you watch too much TV, or fed you meat too soon, or didn’t hear a burp, that somehow everyone would KNOW that I didn’t know what the Hell I was doing and that someone would come take you from me. How on earth could the stars have possibly aligned in the way that they did so that I would be blessed with YOU? You are so much fun to be around (even when you throw the occasional “I don’t wanna…” tantrum – It’s all your father and I can do not to laugh). And I cannot possibly express in one rather lengthy and rambling blog post exactly what you mean to me, your father, your grandparents, and your Mema.
I love you more than words could possibly express, my precious Skeebledebeeps and I know that one day, you actually WILL fit into Daddy’s shorts!
It doesn’t matter what you do, though, in every new task, you jump in with both feet, not looking back, showing no fear whatsoever. I have to say that it makes the overprotective mama in me cringe. But there you charge, full steam ahead, whether it’s jumping into the pool, sliding down a huge hill, jumping into the sprinklers, driving your car, trying to tackle Bubba, terrorizing Talia, showing me how high you can jump, singing your ABC’s or another new song, pretending to bake a birthday cake, blowing out pretend birthday candles, “reading” your books, or doing a somersault. And when you’re successful (which is Damn near EVERY SINGLE TIME), you look up at me with your eyes wide and your smile huge and you ask, “Did you see that, Mommy? Did you hear that, Daddy?”
Yes, baby, we sure did.
Mommy (and Daddy)