Tag Archives: learn

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.

Advertisements

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.

Riding in Cars with Boys

21 Aug

You soooo don’t want to know this (I have future visions of you plugging your ears and singing, “la la la la la” every time I bring it up), but I’m going to tell you anyways. I’m telling you this info partly in the spirit of full disclosure and partly because it was a highly educational experience.

Mama’s got a boyfriend. He’s caring and respectful and stable and handsome and he makes me ridiculously happy and I’ll stop being gushy now. Let’s put our creative powers to work and call him…The Boyfriend.

You’ve met him twice. He was nervous at first — I kept having to remind him that you were two and probably wouldn’t remember if his first impression totally sucked. But you two took took each other, and the fact that he cared about a toddler’s first impression of him was adorable. He helped you play baseball and tossed the football with you and dunked you in a giant tub of water at Grandma M and Pop Pop’s house. Also, he bought you a “bubble gun” for your birthday. Automatic win, I know.

A few days after I returned from my summer internship in New York with NBC, he took me to the beach. Yaaaay five hour road trip. But I’ve always been a fan of road trips and The Boyfriend has a good CD collection, so I was ready to spend a good ol’ five hours jamming to music (yes, I jam) and talking to my guy. We get along unbelievably well and I figured we’d just talk, talk, talk until the beach showed up on the horizon.

Except for here’s something I learned about riding places with boys for extended periods of time: they don’t talk in cars. Boys are perfectly content with silence. Well, music and silence. After road trips full of girls and chatting and rolling the windows down and more chatting followed by obnoxiously singing along to Prince or “Baby Got Back” (I know every word and I’m really proud), “quiet” was a new concept. One that didn’t last too long either because I decided that this whole “quietly observing the rolling countryside in peace” thing was highly overrated. But there was relative quiet for at least two-ish hours. I mean, I actually twiddled my thumbs in the car at one point. Literal thumb twiddling. Sad face.

Once I brought it up to The Boyfriend when we finally reached the beach, he laughed (because my neuroses are so adorable) and said guys would be guys. And then I tried to dunk him in the ocean. That’s unrelated to the story, but it was fun.

But sometimes I look at The Boyfriend and I think of you. Not because you look alike, but because one day you will be a taller-than-me, probably-still-blonde, hunky 23-year old. You will probably jam out to music and not talk unless spoken to. Maybe you’ll even fall in love when you’re 30…or older…and you’ll take her to the beach. But it’s instances like that with The Boyfriend that remind me just how much I have to learn about boys. It’s a lot. A whoooole lot to learn. I truly know nothing about boys — having you has been a learn-as-you-go experience. I’ve still got a ways to go knowledge-wise, but I have a feeling you’ll be a wonderful teacher.

On the bright side, at least I’ll know that when you and I go on road trips together and it gets quiet, you’re not giving me the silent treatment.

The Boyfriend helping you into the swing!

You are SO my kid.

This photo does a heart-melty thing to me.

The ultimate reason why you like him ;)

Mama’s Makin’ a Change

30 Jul

This summer, I’ve been interning. It’s one of those lovely things you do to try to integrate yourself from college-world to real-world (not MTV style. Also while, we’re on the subject, never watch The Real World. Ever.)

During this wonderful, amazing, incredible experience of interning, I’ve been doing a lot of research — one of the many tasks I’ve been given. And the cool thing about this research is that a lot of it is researching blogs. Lots of parenting blogs to be exact. It’s been eye opening, let me tell you. Everyone has a different style. Everyone has a different voice.  Lots of people have some seriously cool photos. Some people have interesting advice while others have humorous anecdotes. But all of the blogs are about the people who write them, the people they love and the people who read them.

That last sentence probably shouldn’t be an earth-shattering realization. But it kind of was (no judging my slow uptake…you may seem on top of things at the age of two, but you probably inherited it). So, after coming to my not-so-novel conclusion, I’ve decided that I’m going to be adding something to your letters — a little bit more of me.

I started these letters because I didn’t want you to go through a single day wondering whether or not I loved you. It’s a common birth mom fear…that as you grow, our choice will seem less like a sacrifice (which it is…wow, let me tell you) and more like “giving up.” And the last thing I would ever want you — my sweet, gorgeous, incredible baby boy — to think is that I gave up on you. I never have and I never, ever will. I love you entirely too much. While you may no longer be literally linked to me, my lifeline is intertwined with yours; what hurts you, hurts me and what makes you smile, makes me the happiest girl in the world.

But I also want you to know me. And every now and then, I just want to talk to you about what’s going on and what I’m doing and how I feel and why it makes me think of you, or how I wish you were here to see something I really want to show you. But I generally don’t, because I think to myself, “That’s not the point of the letters. These are about him, not you.”

But then I realized you are 50% me, and that maybe one day — if I’m lucky — you’d really want to know me.

I also realized that I am the writer, and you are who I love and the people who read about us are the people that love and adore us both (well, maybe just you. You’re more photogenic and you’ve got the whole “I’m-a-baby-and-therefore-automatically-adorable” thing going for you). And since these are my letters to you, I can put in them whatever I’d like. And what I’d like is for you to really know me, as deeply and as much as you can, because that’s how I plan on knowing you: wholly, completely, entirely, truly.

So just a heads up, you’re going to get to know me very well. I’m determined. I’m also very talkative and thoroughly enjoy talking to people who have yet to develop the ability to tell me to shush.

A.k.a you :)

I love you. Thinking of you always.

Why yes, I’d love to hold you :) anytime.

We’re so gonna be BFFs. I can tell.

You got a kick out of spraying me with water. It was adorable. Also, when did you learn how to aim accurately?

Pearly Whites

3 Jul

Apparently you are very into oral hygiene these days. Gotta keep those pearly whites shiny for the ladies, huh? :) Also, your toothbrush lights up when you brush. I believe that officially makes you the coolest almost-two-year-old around.

I will say that I almost had a heart attack thinking that you were actually tall enough to see over the top of the counter (you’re not…you’re standing on a stool). That sounds ridiculous to most people — who’s two-year-old would be tall enough to see over a counter top? That’s silly to even assume when you look at a picture like this!

But you’re also wearing clothes that Sports Man wore when he was three. So I’m not putting anything past you.

17 days!

The Best Adventure

26 Jun

One day, you are going to learn what “Pinterest” is. Why are you going to learn that? Because J and I are obsessed with it, so it’s inevitable. It’s a site full of pictures — of food, people, places to travel, everything you could possibly photograph — and you know how your mom and Ilove pictures.

While perusing Pinterest the other day, I stumbled upon a photo that reminded me of you. I just wanted to share it with you, to remind you of all the joy and wonderful things you have brought to my life. You have certainly been a journey, and I can’t wait to explore the world with you some more ;)

24 days!

One + Two = Twenty

22 Jun

 

Do you see that adorable, 10-day-old baby? That’s you (shocking, right?). You know what’s more shocking? In exactly one month, you’ll be two years old.

I love that you’re getting bigger and learning more, I really do. My only issue is that you’re turning two, but it seems like you just turned one. And when you turned one, it seemed you were just a newborn. So my concern is that in the blink of an eye, you’re going to be three. Then four. Then 20.

But right now, you’re still a baby because you haven’t made it to two yet. But even when you do, I’m going to be thrilled. I’m going to sing and dance and play with you and thank God I got as lucky as I did having you in my life. I’m going to celebrate and laugh, because it’s impossible not to when I’m around you. And also because now that I think about it, I’m still going to call you my baby when you’re 20 anyways.

28 Days… :)

Babies and Beaches

6 Apr

I officially get to go to the beach with you this summer!

One of E’s uncles has a house in Charleston and The B’s rented it out for the week after my last week of finals. Grandma M, Pop-pop 3 and even Aunt S are all coming down for the week. I couldn’t be more excited. Aside from the hospital after you were born and your birthday weekend, this will be the longest time I’ve gotten to spend with you. That may sound surprising, but considering how often I get to see you, and all of the pictures and videos I get when I don’t see you, I never feel like we’re apart for too long.

You’ve been to the beach before. Actually, that’s where you went immediately after your adoption was finalized. The B’s were in the middle of a beach trip with family when all of that happened, so they came down and stayed with me for a day and then drove right back out to the water. They took you back down to the beach again in October later that same year, and I know you’ve been at least once since then. You were obviously meant to be a beach boy.

I love the beach. I always have. It’s the picture of relaxation I visualize when I’m stressed. It’s the place I try to go at least twice a year. It’s the place I dream about when I’m not there. I love the sound of the crashing waves, and I absolutely love the smell – there’s nothing else like it. I like swimming in the ocean or reading a book on the beach or sitting out on a porch or balcony at night as the sun goes down. And now I get to share all of that with you :)

That’s what I’m most excited about for this beach trip: spending time with you and The B’s. Of course, I’m going to love the water and the sand and the smell, but it’s going to be a hundred times better with all of you there. Hopefully, I’ll get up with E and we’ll have coffee like we always do when I visit. J and I will talk and laugh and cook together (a.k.a I’ll stir or chop something…that’s safest for all of us). I’m definitely planning on burying Sports Man in the sand with only his head showing – your Aunt S and I going to give him the body of a mermaid. Shh!

But I also can’t wait to see you in your little bathing suit, running around the beach house or playing in the pool. I want to see what you think of the sand or if you like swimming. I love it when I get to learn new things about you, and being with you at the beach will be one of those chances for me. But mostly, it’s just the time I’ll get to spend with you. I’ll get to love on your for four days straight. It’s the best end-of-the-semester present I could have ever gotten.

Not to mention all of the video footage I’m going to record and all of the photos J is going to take. If there’s anything I love more than spending time with you, it’s committing that time to memory forever. Then again…I don’t think there is anything I love more than spending time with you. You are the best thing in the whole world. I can’t wait to be a beach bum with you, baby boy.

%d bloggers like this: