Tag Archives: Growing up

The No-pocalypse

21 Dec

Dear Little Man,

As I’m sure you’ll hear many years from now, the world was set to end (for the hundredth time) on December 21, 2012. That’s today. I haven’t perished yet, as far as I can tell.

J and I planned out Christmas get-together last week and without really thinking, we said, “Hey, Friday works for me!” not remembering that “Friday” happened to be the end-all-be-all of world happenings.

 

Here is why I don’t accept the December 21st apocalypse theory (a.k.a The No-pocalypse):

– I haven’t graduated college yet. I’m set to graduate in May. I want recognition for all of the gray hairs I’ve earned in the past four years. The world cannot end until I graduate.

– I already bought Christmas presents with what little money I have. I did not buy presents with the anticipation that they would incinerate before they could reach their recipients.

– You can’t rent a car until you’re 25. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to achieve that milestone.

– I want you to be old enough to understand your circumstances: all about your adoption, how it came about, everything since then and everything in between :)

– I want you to be old enough to hug me because you wanted to, and not because I chased you down.

– I want to be a grandma someday. Not for 25+ years mind you, but still.

– I STILL haven’t found out who Ted’s wife is.

– I want to know how mortgages work before I die.

– Actually, maybe I don’t.

– I have never been to see the circus. Neither have you. Go together?

– I’ve always wanted to plan one of those super cute, kid birthday parties that you see on super-mom blogs and Pinterest. You know, the ones with the incredible handmade decorations, adorable cupcake toppers, cute gift bags, etc. In other words, I want to plan a party like J can.

– I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings series. The Boyfriend has informed me that this is unacceptable and possible grounds for a break-up. But I went to see The Hobbit with him earlier this week, so I think we’re still solid.

– I want to see what you’ll look like in a year. And in five years. And ten years. And twenty.

– I want to watch you graduate!

– I want to see if Sports Man grows up to work for ESPN someday. I’m putting money on that.

– J’s craft shop Out On A Limb is just getting started, and is WAY to cute to go up in flames today.

– Because Grandma M, Pop-Pop and I still haven’t decorated our Christmas tree yet.

– The Boyfriend is in a far away land called Cleveland, or The Part of Ohio Where the Browns Are. I’d at least like to give him a good-bye kiss.

– I want you to fall asleep on me like you did when you were a baby, just one more time. It’s the sweetest thing ever.

– I want to provide you with a half-sibling (or two) someday :)

– Because watching you grow is way too much fun to stop now.

 

But here’s the really good news about today. Whether it’s the end of the world or not, I get to spend it with you :)

And no matter what day it is — universally significant or not — there’s no place I’d rather be than with you and the rest of my lovely (extended) family!

Happy No-pocalypse Day!

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Thanksgiving and Morning Sickness

29 Nov

Dear Little Man,

Thanksgiving was last week, but for the past three thanksgivings I enjoy my turkey, stuffing and apple pie with a little bit of reminiscence on Thanksgiving 2009.

I was in Alabama that year visiting my sister, your Aunt B. We always went to her place for Thanksgiving back then. She has two girls — my nieces — and I would hang out with them and relax as much as I could. We’d all spend the holidays sleeping in, reading books, watching movies, and occasionally walking to the local coffee shop for a caffeine jolt. Mostly, it was just enjoyable because we got to visit family and your Aunt B and her girls are as close as I get to family biologically.

On Thanksgiving Thursday 2009, we had finished our meal around mid-afternoon. It was delicious as always and we had spent the rest of the evening recovering from the food binge. However, it was nighttime now and we were all settling in to watch the Polar Express (one of my FAVORITE Christmas movies. I will make you watch it someday). I had worked up enough of an appetite to go in for seconds before we all settled in to turn on the TV. I got some leftovers out of the fridge, scooped them on to a plate and put them in the microwave to heat up.

I distinctly remember pulling myself up to sit on the counter as I waited for my food. As it heated, the smell of our Thanksgiving dinner filled the kitchen and inevitably reached my nose.

I thought I was going to vomit right there on the kitchen floor.

I pushed off the counter and headed for the bathroom that was just around the corner from the kitchen, if not to throw up then to get away from the smell at least. My first thought was that apparently, I wasn’t as hungry as I thought. I must have still been full from dinner because mere hours earlier, that same smell had smelt heavenly.

But the nausea didn’t let up. For the rest of the trip, the smell of food grossed me out. I think I ate a little more turkey, but I didn’t heat anything up in the microwave anymore. I distinctly remember talking to Grandma M about it. I remember telling her how it was so weird how all of a sudden, I just couldn’t stand the smell of food.

A little less than a month later after a particularly life changing doctor’s appointment, everything made sense. After I found out about you (and recovered from the shock of it) I thought back to those microwaved leftovers and practically felt the light bulb clicking on in my head. It was one of those “ah-ha” moments that you never really forget.

And I haven’t forgotten it. One year later, I was spending Thanksgiving 2010 with my four-month-old and The B’s at their house in NC (and my definition of “visiting family” had extended quite a bit!). Last year, The B’s came down the weekend after Thanksgiving and we went to see gingerbread houses together. And this Thanksgiving, of course, you spent with me, my family and The B’s at The Boyfriend’s (totally gorgeous) farm house. It seems to be quite the holiday for you and me :)

And even though I think about you every single day, I always think about that “first” Thanksgiving with you when the end of November rolls around.

Especially when I’m getting leftovers and I realize that this time, I can actually eat them.

Thanksgiving 2010. The first one we spent together when you were on the outside of my body and not preventing me from getting leftovers ;)

A Monumental Occasion in the Bedroom

28 Nov

Dear Little Man,

As a parent, I’ll be the first to admit that your child’s early life is all about milestones. The first words, the first attempts at crawling, the first steps. I was thrilled at all of your firsts, no matter how small or silly: the first time you tried to roll over. The first time you actually rolled over. The first time you called me Nay Nay. The first time I saw you work an iPad without assistance (I’m still wowed by that…)

This week you hit another first, but I find I’m not so thrilled. And if I’m assuming correctly, neither is J.

Here is this week’s milestone:

 

That, my dear son, is a toddler bed. The crib is no more. Bye bye baby crib, hello huge, blue toddler bed.

Or should I say, hello giant-blinking-neon-sign-screaming-Liam’s-Growing-Up! Again, I am always excited at your constant progress towards actual personhood, but this is just sad. How can I call you a baby when you don’t even have a crib anymore?

Oh wait, I know the answer to that one. I’ll call you my baby forever because I’m your mom and I get to do things like that. So HA.

Enjoy your toddler bed because with the frequency that you get up after you’ve been put to bed (and the lack of bars making it more difficult to climb out), I have a feeling you’ll be the only one in your household enjoying that bed.

I love you. Stop growing up.

-Mama Nay Nay

The One with the Lucky Baby

19 Nov

Dear Little Man,

One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up (and now) is called Friends. Recently I got my hands on the DVD seasons (it ended in 2004) and I’m re-watching them all. It’s a funny sitcom-type show about six friends (three boys, three girls) who go through all of their ups and downs together, but no matter what, they are always there for one another.

Now — following that description — it is a sweet show with some truly tender, genuine moments…but mostly it’s just really, really funny. It will probably be way outdated by the time you’re old enough to appreciate it (or old enough to be allowed to watch it) but I think you should check it out at some point. If you turn out to be anything like me, you’ll certainly relate to the humor :)

Now in the first season of Friends, there’s a weird dynamic between Ross (one of the main characters) and his ex-wife Carol. As it turns out, Carol’s romantic interests were not…how should I put this…male-oriented. However, before Carol discovered this, she and Ross created a baby boy. By the time the baby was born, Carol was with her new life partner, Susan.

But Susan and Ross didn’t get along so well, especially when it came to the baby. Ross was technically the father, but Susan wanted the baby to recognize her as a parent as well. She and Ross would argue all the time about who would get to see the baby more and hold the baby more and love the baby more. Finally, at the hospital on the day that the baby was born, Ross’s friend Phoebe was listening to Ross and Susan fight over this little guy, when Phoebe said this:

“When I was growing up, my dad left and my mother died and my stepfather went to jail, so I barely had enough pieces of parents to make one whole one. But here’s this little baby who has three whole parents who care about it so much, they’re fighting over who gets to love it the most, and it’s not even born yet. It’s the luckiest baby in the whole world.”

That quote had me riveted. Of course, years ago when I first saw this episode it didn’t mean much to me, but now that I’m older…and now that I have you…I have a new appreciation for what Phoebe said. While no one has ever fought over who gets to love you the most — I think The B’s and I (along with my family and friends) share that job incredibly well — I hope that one day, you feel like the luckiest kid in the world. The baby in Friends (who they ended up naming Ben, by the way) had the love of three parents. But you have four — two moms, two dads, not to mention four sets of grandparents, and I don’t even want to go into how many aunts, uncles and cousins you have.

But I can tell you right now that, just like Baby Ben, we were all madly in love with you before you were even born. And our love grows as you do…it just keeps getting bigger and bigger every single day.

 

Mama, Her iPhone and Her Man

16 Nov

Yesterday, I finally got an iPhone! We’ll probably be on the iPhone 18 or 19 by the time you’re old enough to own a cell phone, but as of right now, I’m super pumped.

But more importantly, I just wanted you to see my background photo:

Or more clearly…

My handsome man!  It’s a wonderful photo to see on a daily basis, don’t you think? :)

It’s Just You & Me, Kid

14 Nov

Dear Little Man,

Now quite obviously, it’s not just you and me. Even when I was pregnant and it really was just you and me, it was also you, me and my gynecologist. Then it was you, me and the ultrasound tech (who got to know me realllly well). Then it was you, me and an entire medical team on the maternity ward.

Then it was you, me and The B’s, and the rest is history!

However, a few days ago I was revamping my Letters to Little Man site. There were places where it still said I was 20 and I was boasting about how you could recite the ABC’s. I turned 21 in May and you can practically read now, so yes…updating was needed. So I changed some descriptions, added a few things here and there and lastly, I changed the pictures. You especially have a tendency to change rapidly as you grow, but luckily, J is on top of taking pictures as always, so there’s no excuse to have a photo of you that is a year old.

I went to change my photo too. Though I don’t change as much or as frequently as you do (wait, that’s a lie. I just got bangs for the first time in 3 years), I figured it couldn’t hurt to update my photo as well. So off I went, hunting through my most recent Facebook pictures for one that would be suitable for the blogosphere.

Though I wanted one of just me for the “Meet Renee” section, I also thought it would be super neat to have a few pictures of us together. I began the Facebook hunt again. Only this time, I found photo and photo after photo of you and I together. I’m generally so preoccupied with getting great shots of just you, that I truly failed to realize that there are a lot of pictures of us.

So alllll of those photos, paired with my natural inability to make decisions, has resulted in way too many pictures to post in the Meet Renee section. However, there is no such thing as too many photos for a letter to my Little Man :)

Technically one of our first pictures together. Technically.

Definitely our first picture together. You look so happy…

One of my favorite hospital shots!

A little over a week old. This was at Bethany during the interim period.

Exactly one month old! Oh, I miss your itsy bitsy days…

This was on a trip we took to an apple orchard with The B’s when you were 2 months old. Hey there, chunky legs ;)

At Sports Man’s 7th birthday party. You fell asleep in my arms. Then, you started falling OUT of my arms.

And so the hilarity of your expressions begins…

I could never resist giving you kisses. It’s a good thing too because now you’re moving too fast for me to even catch you to give you one!

You and I around your six-month birthday!

A Valentine’s Day visit at Grandma M and Pop-Pop’s house!

This was around the time you discovered you had a tongue. Apparently it was fascinating.

You were suuuper sick this day, but we still smiled together :)

Smoochin’ on you before our first Mother’s Day!

A perfect display of how happy you make me :) This photo is in your nursery!

This was the morning of our first Mother’s Day! J and I went to a “girls” luncheon to celebrate together. I’ll remember that day forever.

A month or so before your first birthday. This was probably the last time you ever sat still for a picture ;)

Little Man turns ONE! This was taken at your “little man themed” party. I got to celebrate the whole weekend with you!

This probably won’t be the last time you get exasperated with me. It also probably won’t be the last time I find it funny.

I would follow you anywhere :)

This past March, right after St. Patrick’s Day. J brought her camera on a visit and we had a little photo shoot! I think we’re applauding your cuteness ;)

You + Me + The B’s + Grandma M + Pop Pop + Aunt S = BEACH TRIP! We went to the Isle of Palms and hung out together for a few days. We even spent a day in Charleston which was funny because the last time I had been there, I was pregnant with you :)

At your second birthday party (time flies!!). Your hand was alllll the way in that cow’s mouth. All. The. Way. Giving mommy a heart attack? Yes.

The same weekend as you second birthday. You and I played in the hose for a while. We got soaked and it was lovely :)

I love every single photo we get together, but not just because you’re incredibly photogenic. I love our photos for the simple reason that we get to take them together. Adoption didn’t split us up, it didn’t cause me to miss out, it hasn’t separated us in any way except literal distance. The fact that I got to be around for all of this stuff — holding you at Sports Man’s party, spending Mother’s Day with you, giving you kisses and spending birthdays playing with you — it’s the part of adoption that I love the most. It’s part of the reason why I will love and owe The B’s forever, and it’s definitely the reason we will grow up knowing one another.

I cherish these photos. The silly, the blurry, the candid, the posed, the goofy the smiley, the serious and the fun. We’re creating a history together, you and me. And I hope that one day, you cherish them as much as I do.

Your Second Birthday Pictures

12 Nov

Dear Little Man,

Today I realized that in a little over two months, you will be two-and-a-half. Almost half a year has passed since you turned two which is nuts since I feel like you were born yesterday. But what is also nuts is that you turned two in July and it is now November and no practically no birthday pictures have been posted (except for a few from the day after and a few that J took during your birthday safari ride!). And since I’m in a particularly picture-y mood today, I have decided that I am going to remedy that lack of photos riiiiiiight…

NOW. :)

(Forgive the quality…some of these are still shots taken from a video.)

J’s creative genius shining through yet again :)

The cupcakes on the table were delicious. I had two :)
Plus three. Shhh.

Bubble blowing…your favorite :)

Eating the bubble blowing stick…your second favorite.

Running to Pop-Pop at your party. I’m pretty sure it made his day :)

The “B” Air Hockey Team!

You make me giggle :)

Trying to catch the water. Solid effort.

You LOVED that hose. And you also got soaked.

Thirsty? You certainly were… :)

Spraying The Boyfriend after he squirted you with a toy. I am SO proud.

Luckily, you didn’t take revenge on me like you did on The Boyfriend…

E grilling up some burgers…and being a good sport while I filmed him :)

Um, DELICIOUS.

Blowing bubbles with me!

Another reason for your Super Cool Kid status: you fist bump.

Your new “trator” :) you still ride that thing around. Steering is still a mystery, but I think we’re getting there…

Sports Man teaching you how to drive. I see this happening again in about 14 years…

A travel size Little Man. This was my ploy to bring you back to New York with me ;)

You are an awesome high-fiver. The Boyfriend got a kick out of it.

Ohhh, that smile…

You can almost hold an aluminum baseball bat! Sort of…kind of…I love this photo anyways :)

Hitting a baseball with a bat, golf-style. I think I fell even more in love with both of you that day :)

Giving you tips, working on your game, you know…normal “guy talk.”

Again with the world’s best facial expressions…

Giggling with my guy :)

I love this look! And you :)

I can’t wait until our next weekend-long adventure. Although the outdoor water activities might have to wait until the spring. I have no doubt we will find entertainment elsewhere :) Two-and-a-half year olds are surprisingly good at creating entertainment out of nothing…

xoxoxo

 

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Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

3 Nov

Tonight, I’m speaking at another Bethany fundraiser in Asheville, NC. And before you ask, no, I will not be starting this talk with an underwear joke.

In a way, I’m almost more excited for this talk than I was for the last one. Someday, you will learn that once you give a speech, no matter how well you plan it out, inevitably you will forget to say something. Around midnight or so that night, you will sit bolt upright in bed and think, “Oh shoot, I forgot to mention [insert important factoid here].”

I did that after my talk in Charlotte — it didn’t even take me until midnight. But luckily for me, I now have the opportunity to add the things I forgot to mention. I won’t give you any spoilers, but I’m happy I have the chance to add my “important factoids.”

Also — since my last speech was given in front of a surprisingly large audience — I’m pretty sure all of my stage-fright nerves are already fried. That sounds like a bad thing, but the silver lining is that tonight I won’t have to worry about having excessively sweaty hands and a heart rate of 100 beats per minute. Knock on wood.

Sadly, you and The B’s can’t make it to this talk either (Sports Man’s baseball team is in the playoffs this afternoon…probably because Sports Man hits so many home runs :) ), but I know they’ll be there in spirit as always. I love talking about them almost as much as I like talking about you. They are beautiful, remarkable people who (along with my parents and friends) are responsible for making my life as lovely as it is. I love, love, love spreading our story to everyone that I can. But also, I just like to brag about having you all in my life :)

So wish me luck (again) and keep your tiny fingers crossed that I stay far, far away from any undergarment-related material.

Funny Faces

1 Nov

 

You make some great faces. Ever since day one, you have been Mr. Personality and you’ve never been afraid to show it. But on this monumental day, I have to say a new face has taken first place in my book: this one!

I love this face because it’s funny. I love it because it has attitude. I love it because it’s so you. But I also love it because it’s my face. Literally days before J took and posted this picture, I was talking to The Boyfriend about how I make that face. When I make it, it’s generally saying, “Seriously?” or “I’m humoring you but also rolling my eyes just a little bit.” I’m guessing your face is saying, “I’m busy strutting my stuff in this pumpkin patch and I don’t have time for your shenanigans.”

Someday, I’m sure you’ll make this face to me. Maybe I’ll make it right back at you, but it’s more likely that I’ll think back to this moment and laugh. Partially because it’s just funny to see this much attitude coming from a two-year-old, but also because it is one of the first times I’ve truly seen my face in yours.

The Football Face Mask Penalty

23 Sep

I am a huuuuge football fan. It’s one of the many reasons why autumn is my favorite season — prime ACC football and NFL season. I’m a fanatic. I’m one of those yell-at-the-referees-even-though-they-clearly-can’t-hear-me-through-the-television people. Luckily, my love for football seems to be genetic. And also it’s highly encouraged by The B’s. They’re big Giants fans. I’ve forgiven them for that because I’m a good person.

You are already a pigskin fan. I still remember the day J sent me the text telling me that you had learned to say, “touchdown.” So proud.

Unfortunately, the rules of football seem to be eluding you. But seeing as you are only two years, two months and one day old (but who’s counting?), you have time to learn. Here’s your first lesson: face mask penalties are bad and generally considered illegal. And by generally, I mean always. Why is this your first lesson?

This is why.

P.S. — You’re adorable.

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