Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dear Owen

I did these posts for your brother, like, once a month and this is your first one...

Sorry, second child.

I did get you dressed today in something other than last night's jammies, so you can't be too mad at me.

You are a joy. An absolute, smiley delight. You are 7 months old and already saying "Dada" when your daddy walks into the room. I thought you were just babbling at first, but we tested it out thrice last night...I walked into the room, and you smiled but said nothing. Your dad walks into the room, and you said "Dada"...three times! I hate being that mom who brags about her kids accomplishments, so let me even it out by giving you a good dose of reality--

The "Dada" thing is cute and all but also makes me want to slam my head into a wall. After all, I am the one who gets up with your obnoxious butt every night, because--no--you STILL don't sleep through the night. Never. Not a chance. Not even close. You make up for being such a little poop during the day by being the easiest, sweetest baby ever. But at nighttime you drive me crazy. I love you. I really do. But I also love sleeping. So please sleep.

You are crawling and pulling up on furniture already. I am fighting the urge to push you back down because I'm not ready for you to be mobile yet, but boy do you look proud of yourself when you get a glimpse of the top of your brother's train table. You go for all of the smallest toys that could potential choke you, so that's fun.

I am just so obsessed with you. We call you "nugget" or "Odie" but rarely "Owen" and it throws me off when people address you using your real name.

You have no teeth or hair to your name, and we love your huge gummy smile. You have started doing this hilarious squinty-eye thing when you're trying to be funny. Your dad was known for this squinty-eye-laugh in college, and it looks JUST like that. I think they actually called it the Baker Laugh...

Your hemangioma birthmark fades more every day. People rarely even ask about it anymore. Soon it will be gone, and that makes me a little bit sad. It makes you who you are.

Right now, you're eating puffs and eggs for lunch. You weren't into baby food purees, so we went straight to finger foods. You are so tiny, but so capable of feeding yourself. It's weird/cute looking.

I adore you, Odiekins! You are such a blessing to me and to this family. I love you, I love you, I JUST LOVE YOU!



Monday, January 5, 2015

I'm baaaack and a brief thought on my 5th Anniversary

Let me tell you guys something.

When your baby and your toddler are on opposite nap schedules, it's fairly easy to let the bloggy-doo slip all the way to the back back BACK burner.

A little update on me:

I haven't slept through the night since Owen was born. Not to worry, this won't be a blog post about how underappreciated/exhausted/misunderstood I am as a stay-at-home-mom. I'm just sayin'...if my writing makes no sense, then that's why.

Perhaps the most exciting little ditty coming up is mine and N's FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY.

Yes, that hunk has stuck around and loved me really well for five years.

I never really understood why people told us the first year would be the hardest until I was five years out. It took me looking back to see why people say that.

Our marriage is at a great place right now, but it takes a lot of strategy. This weekend, my sister babysat the kids while N. and I did errands together and it was life-changing. We went to Home Goods, y'all, and you'd have thought were were on an all-expenses-paid trip to Belize.

Anyway, I like our marriage better now than in the beginning. I had trust issues you wouldn't believe. I had expectations and contentment issues coming out of my ears. Of course, I didn't see all of those things at the time. I have a tendency to not know I'm in the trenches until I'm out of them.

My current favorite song is Islands by Sara Bareilles. She writes about being able to "count on one hand the number of good men" she knows. I get that. I completely and utterly get that. That sounds sad. I don't mean it to be. What I mean is, if I were to count them up myself, my husband would be the first man I count without a second's hesitation. And trust. Oh how I love you, trust. Trust is such a comforting feeling. And I can actually say 100%, no doubt in my mind, that I trust N. You know how I know? I can't remember the last time I thought about trusting him. That's saying something for an anxiety-prone over-thinker.

This is not to say that he is perfect (sorry, babe) or that our marriage is a walk in the park. In fact, this time last year was brutal. Brutal. And the two things that kept me in it were:

-a daily, purposeful decision to surrender to the marriage process despite an actual, physical urge to either dig in my heels or leave

-my vows

I know this is vague. Sorry. Now it's over a year later, and we are both able to look back and say,

"Woof. That sucked. Glad we stuck it out."

And now I feel better prepared for the next blow our marriage takes. Because I know they're coming. That's life. That's what I signed up for.

I think I'm at the end of this post now. I've missed this.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Mr. Graham

Dear Mr. Graham,

I stood near you this morning as you ordered your coffee. It was just you and me at the grocery store Starbucks. I was sprinkling cinnamon in my drink when I looked up and saw you walking up to the counter. I believe it was you; there's hardly any mistaking the eyes of a father who's daughter is missing. You wore a UVA ball cap, no doubt a hat you were gifted or bought because your sweet Hannah goes to the school. You ordered two tall coffees, one for you, and--I presume--one for Hannah's mama.

The cups look so small in your hands. I think of how small Hannah must have looked in your arms when she was a baby. I see your worried brow, scrunched and so sad.
I try to think of what to say.  What words could possibly comfort you as I stand in front of you bouncing my own little daughter in an Ergo?

I wonder if you would rather be left alone, if you are tired of talking to people and you just want a cup of coffee.

I wonder if you are overwhelmed by being in a grocery store, where everyone else's lives just keep going. They are buying their bread and their eggs, checking items off of their list while you wait and agonize over would could have possibly happened to your little girl.

I wonder if you pictured Hannah on your drive to the store, like I did.

This is where Hannah was running. 


This is where she turned down the street.

I push the lid on my coffee cup, thinking of what to say.

Do I tell you I'm praying for you? 

Do I just smile and walk away? 

Is it insensitive of me to say anything when I'm literally holding my own healthy daughter in my arms?

I decide to say nothing, for fear of saying something stupid.

And now I regret it.

It's too late now, unless you by some miracle read this some day, but just in case:

I wish I could have told you that I'm so sorry for what you're going through, and that your daughter is on my mind all day, every day. I look for signs of her everywhere I go. I just want you to know that I won't stop. I will pray and do whatever I can to help, and I won't stop until you tell me to.




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

So, how's life with two?

Y'all. It's been so long since I blogged that I actually forgot my own password.

This is not a good sign.

If any of you out there still read this thing, then don't worry. I'm not going anywhere. I just needed a hot second to collect myself after I became a mom of two.

You know, I'm still baffled by the mathematics behind it, but I have found that even though my children only doubled, the time it takes me to get out of the house has ever-lovin' quadrupled. Not to mention: shower, answer emails, work, unload the dishwasher, pee...seriously.

I'm being a little dramatic here, but truly only a little.

I get this question a lot, "So, how's life with two?"

Honestly? It's pretty awesome. I didn't know God made babies who don't cry 24 hours a day like Simon did. Poor thing... he was so miserable for the first few months of his life. I remember soaking up the three minutes out of the day when he would actually SMILE. It never lasted long before his colic kicked back in and he screamed until bounced him up and down until the house nearly started sagging.

Owen hardly cries. And before any of you mothers reach through the screen and back hand me across the face, I ask you to refer back to the paragraph above. When she does cry, it's because she's very tired or very hungry.

Owen mostly enjoys looking around, kicking her legs and smiling at inanimate objects like ceiling fans or framed photos. When an actual person comes into her view, you'd think the child won the lottery. She gets so darn delighted to see a face. She coos, she grins and sometimes she even shrieks because she's so happy. My heart could burst open right onto the floor. Her big brother has been known to throw his trains, his beanbags, the water hose nozzle (I can't make this stuff up)...at her when she's in her cradle. She mostly just looks at him, like

"Pull yourself together, big brother, or you're going to get another timeout."

I don't know if it's because she's a more laid-back baby or if it's because she's my second baby, but I would honestly say that, despite the sleep deprivation, the blow out diapers, the constant nursing and the baby fingernails that have demolished my chest (can I get an "Amen?"), I have enjoyed nearly every second of having a newborn this time around.

Again, don't hate me, mothers. Last time I went on prescription anxiety medication, remember?

I have a friend who said, "Love never divides, it always multiplies," when I expressed by fear of not loving Owen Elizabeth as much as Simon. I thought it was Hallmark-y at the time, but now I get it. I totally get it.

Having two is amazing. It's time-consuming, and I'm constantly tending to a need, whether it's changing a diaper or refilling a cup of raisins. I never get through even half of my to-do lists, but I am delighted to have been gifted these two ducklings of mine. I could just squeeze them both until their eyeballs pop out. That's how life is with two, y'all.

Stick around. There's bound to be more to write about soon.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dear Simon

Dear Summah Beekuh (this is how you say your name),

I haven't written to you in awhile, Bubby Wubs. Since I've last written, we've moved into a new house with a yard where you like to chase your dog, ride on your trucks and hide so that you can put rocks in your mouth without me seeing. I've never seen a child run so fast as when you get caught doing something you know you're not supposed to be doing. Rock-eating aside, this is what I dreamed of for you: you have a simple little bedroom and you share a bathroom with the rest of us and there's not a ton of storage. But you have a yard, with dirt and bugs and sticks and rocks. Your language has exploded since we've been here. You speak in sentences now,

"Where did Dada go?" or "I will play with Sarah!" or "I hear..." fill in the blank here. You say it all day long. "I hear a firetruck!" or "I hear a dog!" or "I hear sister. Sister crying?"

Since I've last written to you, you've also gotten a little sister. Folks ask me what you think of her, and what I usually say is that, honestly, you don't really think of her. That's OK, baby. Soon enough. You say "hi" to her every now and then or you tell me when she's crying. More often, I find you driving your trains over her head or poking her eyeballs. The other day, I heard her cry get muffled, and I found you on top of your sister in her bassinet, sucking your thumb and trying to cuddle her. It was the sweetest, scariest thing. I told you that it was really sweet of you to try and cuddle her, but that we have to be more gentle than that. "Seetah cryyyying!" you said, like, "Mom, you weren't doing anything, so I had to take matters into my own hands." Fair enough.

You are a fascinating child. And as much as I don't want to stereotype you, you are ALL. BOY. I was just telling your Daddy last night that this epitomizes you:

Many children can run or walk from one room to another. You make it your mission in life to take the most destructive route from point A to point B, and you take that route running. You don't just go from the kitchen to the family room. You RUN from the kitchen to the family room, and on the way, you pull a bowl off the shelf, climb over a chair, throw a toy at the wall, fall a few times and then--when you get there--you fling yourself onto the sofa and pull all of the pillows and cushions off. I am not kidding you, child, when I say you are capable of doing all of this in less than one minute. It is exhausting. I absolutely adore you. But I would be lying if I didn't say that I all but collapse on the sofa when you go down for your afternoon nap or pour myself a glass of wine as soon as you go to bed at night.

The other day you ate bird poop and cried. After I cleaned your mouth out, I asked you why you did it, and you said,

"Mama! I don't know."

 You are precious, child. I sometimes think God made you extra cute, so I wouldn't do something terrible when you put entire rolls of toilet paper in the toilet and stop the washing machine for the second time. Just kidding.

Thank you for being you, Simon Baker. I love being your mom.