happy birthday sweet boy!

one year old Luc

Dear Luc,
I know that each birthday (first birthdays more specifically) are bitter-sweet, I know that I will be a big mushy ball of emotions; I’ve done this before. However, I also know I will find no greater joy than celebrating YOU today! Luc you are such a joy little one and every day I am so thankful that I get to be your Momma.

Luc you surprised us by coming 20 days early. You were in a hurry to join our family and man am I so glad you did. I didn’t know it at the time but I couldn’t have waited one more day to snuggle you. From the moment you entered the world you have been such a joy. You are a go-with-the-flow, easy-peasy baby. Rarely do you fuss or complain and there is almost always a huge smile on your face. You are the much-needed calm amongst our storm (aka your brothers) and you spread happiness wherever you go. You love to clap and wave and get such joy out of making others smile. I can only imagine what you will do with that gift as you grow. Right now you use it to be a cheerleader and appreciative audience for your brothers but years from now who knows; the sky is the limit. You love music and spinning around with your not always on beat Momma. You fuss occasionally when I have to put you down and do something else after we have been dancing. Which, if we are being completely honest, makes me scoop you right back up and dance some more. You are full on cruising now and while you stand on your own you have yet to take any steps on your own. I am really okay with this, having one more running little one is going to be quite the challenge! You love playing ball, your brothers did too, but you are the first to play endless games of “toss and catch” with me. You bounce any ball you can get your hands on with such enthusiasm and vigorously crawl after it when it manages to get away. You love the water, both pool and tub, and you love to splash until your heart’s content in either. Just tonight the bathroom was filled with the sound of your laughter as you happily splashed away in the tub. Your laughter is heard often in our home; whether it’s laughing at your goofy brothers or just finding joy in the things that surround you. I love the way you babble at us, fully expecting us to know exactly what you are saying. I can’t wait to see and hear the things you will come up with sweet boy, this world is going to be such a happier place because you are in it.

Like I said earlier, the passing of each of my babies’ first year is always bitter-sweet. I want you to grow and flourish and continue to conquer the world but at the very same time I want to hold you tight and have you never grow out of my arms. I know that one day the hugs and kisses won’t be as frequent, that I won’t always be your comfort and that I will long for the times when you were squishy and would fall asleep on my chest. I snuggled you for a little bit extra last night savoring the last few minutes of you being my “baby”. I promise to savor all of the snuggles I continue to get, however few and far between they may get, all the while proudly watching you spread happiness wherever you go.

I love you sweet boy!

Love,
Momma

a letter for my two year old

silly goofy Charlie at 2 years old
I have a whole bunch of other photos that I took at your “two year old shoot” and I will share them soon but this one is how I want to remember you at this age because it is so totally you…

My sweet Charlie,
Well my sweet boy as I sit here I know that I will not be able to find the right words to accurately describe how much I delight in you. You are my joy, the smile that tugs at my heart the way no other can and quite simply you have stolen my heart along with many others I am afraid…

I am not really sure where to even begin or if I am going to be able to describe you, little one. You are spunky and real and so beautifully created. I am not quite sure how you fit such a big personality in that tiny body of yours! Your Daddy likes to say that you have more personality in your little finger than he does in his whole body; and while that isn’t entirely true I am not sure how else to describe it. You basically have me and the rest of the world wrapped around your little finger because when you smile I am a goner and whatever you want, it’s yours. This is not to say that you are spoiled or rotten because you’re not, your wants are not great or demanding- a taste of Mommy’s “dink”, to use the big boy cup (that not even Jay gets to use), an extra push on the swing, one more bike ride with Daddy, a few more minutes to “make” your Duplo towers before supper, a bite… heck, sometimes the whole bowl… of whatever Mommy or Daddy are eating, extra bubbles in the bath, to be picked up even though I am holding Luc and about three other things. I don’t mind giving into your demands, you just have a way about you that makes giving easy. You have taught me so much because of this.

Lately, I have had the pleasure of more one-on-one time with you. While Luc is sleeping and Jay is at school, I get you all to myself and I am drinking you in. We read stories and build towers, explore the front yard or trace your hands on the driveway with chalk, we cuddle with your blue blankey, we dance in the kitchen or bake together (all the while with you “tasting” to make sure that everything checks out). You are my helper and my buddy throughout the day; helping me to carry things or just keeping me company while I do things around the house. Your hugs are the best and usually start with you running from across the room- so big and all encompassing just like you. Joy and happiness are still two of the best words to describe you, simply put you are just happy to exist! You delight in the little things and when you smile it’s like you know a secret that I can’t wait another minute to know. In the same breath, you are trouble and I have said that from day one. You are stubborn and opinionated and you like to get your own way. You have your Daddy’s determination and pigheadedness and darn if you won’t give in. You are going to give your Daddy and me a run for our money and while I am excited for what is to come I am also a little afraid of what all you are going to put us through!

You love your brothers both Jay and Luc in such unique ways. You are Jay’s playmate and cohort; you will get each other into more trouble than I care to imagine. You are constantly imagining things and fighting monsters and bears with each other or chasing and laughing until you can’t anymore. And while you have yet to full out wrestle with each other I know that it is coming although I know that you will be able to hold your own. But with Luc you are sweet and gentle. You dote on him and tend to his every need. Bringing him paci’s, covering him up with your blanket and asking to kiss his sweet head so frequently. You are the only one to call him Luc-y and it melts me when you do.

Charlie, I hope you always run to things with open arms and a joyful heart, that you continue to delight in the little things and smile as though you know all of the secrets. Promise to share a few of them with me from time to time and I will promise to continue to be your champion, your cheerleader and the one that you can run to. I have no doubt that you will accomplish great things and touch many lives sweet boy since you already have. The best is yet to come and I am so excited to be along for the ride.

Happy Birthday my sweet two year old!

Love,
Momma

a very special book to share

It’s no secret around here that our little Jay Bird loves a good book.  He will crawl up into almost anyone’s lap, book in hand and sign “please” practically begging you to read to him.  I challenge you to try and say no to his sweet little face; I simply don’t think it’s possible.

A little more than a month ago I ordered a very special book for Jay to share with all of our friends and family.  Little by little, he crawled into each of their laps and had them read to him.  Why is this book, “Things I Love…” so special you ask? Well, the end of this book marks a very exciting beginning for our family…

It reads…

But while I have loved being the number one son,

I know being a BIG BROTHER will be much more fun!!

Baby #2 due Thanksgiving 2011!!!!!!

Jamie , Jay and I are so very excited to share that this Thanksgiving we will have one more thing to be grateful for- a brand new baby, a fourth member of our family!!

And while we weren’t able to tell everyone in person I did have my camera out when we did and here are some of their reactions.  They weren’t as shocked as the ones we had when we told them about Jay but they were fun to get on camera just the same!

one year old in a flash

On the 27th of January Jay turned one year old!  It is crazy to think of how much our lives have changed over the past year and to see how much Jay has grown.  We didn’t want to let this momentous occasion pass us by so we celebrated in style with a “One Year Old in a Flash” birthday party.  I was super excited a few months back when I ran across the theme idea here– with all of the pictures that we had taken of Jay this year, it was a perfect theme!  Jamie and I decided quite early on that we were going to have one combined (family and friends) party for Jay; so once I had a theme I just kind of ran with it.  I loved every minute of the planning, baking and prep- it’s just so much fun!  I know, I am a dork!

Nan (who is wonderful) made the invitations along with a bunch of other digital files that I used to make printables and help decorate the house- thanks Nan!  We had a photobooth set up outside (I’ll try to get some of those pictures up within the week) to entertain people at the party, balloons in every corner of the house (one of Jay’s favorite “toys” right now), an area for people to leave contributions to his time capsule, drinks in the kitchen and a dessert buffet for our guests to enjoy.  It was so much fun and we are so glad that we had so many people here to celebrate with us.  Enjoy a handful of the pictures!

pre-party lunch

a few party goers- I didn’t have enough time to get anywhere near everyone documented!

the birthday boy waiting his turn for the photo booth
Jay's "cakes"- one vanilla bean cupcake and a fruit pizza topped with kiwi and blueberries
making a wish

a family picture

some of his spectators

fruit pizza time!
walkin' like a big boy
presents- he was spoiled rotten!

I will post some of the details tomorrow- there was no way I could get all of the pictures into one post!

breaking news

steps have been taken!!

We certainly do not have a full on walker by any means but our little Jay Bird has spread his wings and taken his first few steps! I still continue to think that he won’t really and truly walk until he is really sure he can- he is a very deliberate little boy, just like his Daddy, but we are excited none the less AND Daddy was home to see them too!  I don’t have any pictures to show for it.  We instead were simply enjoying the moment with him; but, I do have this super cute video to share instead.  It has a little bit of everything from the last few weeks.  A little laughing, a little playing with Daddy, a little dancing and a little bit of “old man” walker action.  He was so tickled that he could push Aunt Martha’s old stool around the office- check out that proud grin!

Love, love, love this little boy!

today i am…

8 Months Old!!

Last night after dinner I said to Jamie “I can’t believe that Jay is going to be 8 months old tomorrow!” to which he replied “Can you remember what it was like before we had him?”  I said “No” and he agreed.  It is so funny how much he has changed us and how we have grown together as a family in such a short amount of time.  I don’t remember what life was like without my sweet little Jay Bird in it and that’s okay because it just keeps getting better with him here.

Stats:

Length: 27 inches (no change from last month)

Weight: 17lbs 6 oz

Teeth: 6- four on top that all came at once and two on the bottom, maybe we’ll get a little break now

Hair: Still red, growing like crazy and starting to curl!  It flips out over his ears just like his Daddy’s

Things of Note:

*Jay is now completely mobile and fast!  I can put him down on the ground and less than a minute later he is off and moving, sometimes he’s already in the next room.  He isn’t always a fast crawler.  Sometimes he stops frequently to look at and take in the newest surroundings.

*He has just started pulling up on things.  Mostly he only goes to his knees before backing off cautiously (he gets his cautiousness from Daddy).  I know it won’t be long before he is pulling up on everything around him.  I have cleared all low things off of the tables in preparation of this.

*He is quite the little chatter box lately.  He talks and talks to his toys, to the animals or anything around that will listen.  Honestly, he talks the most when he is eating- we’ll have to work on those manners soon.

*He is also getting to be pretty shy.  Jay has always been pretty quiet around people that he doesn’t know but now he can be talking away and if someone he doesn’t know comes up or near he clams up.  He also hangs on pretty tight to me when we’re around people he doesn’t know or if someone else is holding him he looks for me or Daddy.  He rarely smiles at strangers either; most people say how serious he looks when they see him (when they aren’t telling me how precious he is).  Mostly I think that he is just taking everything in and that’s when he uses his serious face; he comes by this honestly- have you seen his Dad sometimes?

*Even though he is shy is so very, very curious.  Jay is constantly watching and taking in EVERYTHING around him and taking it all in.  Multiple times throughout the day he is pulling himself up over my shoulder or looking around me to get a better look at something.  We love that he is curious, remind me off this when he is going through the 100 questions phase.

*He has a little giggle box in him.  Out of the blue he will find something terribly funny and double over in laughter and then he goes and goes for quite a bit.  Both Daddy and I love this new “trick” and continue to do whatever it is that makes him laugh if possible.

*He is very ticklish- neck, legs, knees, sides- you name it, it will get him squirming.  I think he gets the last two things from me.

*As for eating and sleeping, both of those are right on track.  He has been sleeping from about 7:30- 8am every night and he is eating like a champ!  He still prefers all orange foods and fruits but he will eat most of what we give him.  He also really likes puffs and being able to feed himself; something that he hasn’t exactly perfected but we are improving by leaps and bounds daily.

Likes:

*Animals- he loves animals right now, his especially, but he also loves wild ones that we see when we are outside.  I took him to Park Ave last week and we sat on a blanket under the shade of a tree.  While we were there he LOVED watching the squirrels run around the grass and climb the trees.  He talked to them whenever they got close and climbed over me to get a better view when they scurried away from us.

*Leashes and Collars- he really loves Piper’s collar and leash.  He likes the noise that her tags make and he will follow you around the whole house if you drag the leash behind you.

*Toys that he can make noise with-  Jay likes toys that he can make noise with right now (the collar makes sense now, right?).  Don’t misunderstand, not toys that MAKE noise (those actually kind of freak him out), but toys that he can bang on or hit to together to make noise.  Stacking cups, pots and pans etc all are very fun and fall into this category.  Things with wheels and balls, things that roll away from him when he is crawling, are also very intriguing.

*Bath Time- Bath time is still a huge hit.  Actually if he is in another room when you start the water he will squeal and flap his arms around excitedly and start crawling towards the bathroom.  This is a really cute trick in my opinion.

*The Park- he really still likes being outside (just like Daddy) and watching people (just like Mommy) so the park has been a huge hit.

Dislikes:

*??? There is not much that Jay dislikes right now; overall he is happy as happy can be and I love that!  Although, if I had to pick something he didn’t like I’d have to say teething- but who would?

All in all, every new stage we get to has been so much fun and both Jamie and I have loved watching him explore and learn.  It’s also so much fun to see his personality emerge more and more each day; and freaky at the same time when you realize he’s just like one of us in one way or another…

playing keep away with the blocks became a very fun game during this photo shoot- it had both of us squealing and in fits of laughter
another round of keep away
yet another round- it really was so much fun!
a guaranteed way to freak Mommy out- crawl towards the edge of the bed as fast as you can- giggle when you get there and see Mommy running
proof of teething but also cute toes
8 Months!! You can clearly see his two bottom teeth in this one.
action shot

look what I can do!

I am seriously in trouble now- Jay is crawling!!!!  Forget being able to set him in one place and know that he will stay there, forget thinking that we should baby proof the house- heck, we NEED to now; this kids on the move!!

For a few weeks now he has been army crawling (putting his arms out in front of him and dragging his behind afterward) around the house to get wherever and whatever he wants.  Jamie and I kept thinking that “real” crawling was right around the corner and we were right.  Over the weekend he decided to give up on the military and go for the full out crawl!  Both Jamie and I were home to witness this milestone making it that much more fun.  It has been so wonderful and amazing to watch this whole learning process- first learning to reach and roll, to sitting and flopping down on his belly, then the army crawl to finally full out crawling.  He still is primarily army crawling as of right now, it gets him where he wants to go much faster since coordination of arms and legs hasn’t quite been mastered yet, but I am sure it won’t be long until this is his preferred method of transportation.  And while I love watching him discover new tricks I am unsure of just what he will try to “discover” now given his new found freedom- all I know is that I am sure he will give me a run for my money!

Here’s a short clip of the real crawl- I only got a bit of it on video.  Jamie and I were too busy watching him the first few times to think of grabbing a camera and then when I did he didn’t really want to cooperate.  Oh well, enjoy what’s here and know that we are one very proud Mommy and Daddy…

teeth!

Last Thursday Jay’s first tooth finally popped through the gum and made it’s appearance.  Jamie didn’t believe me that it was actually through the gum until I showed him the mark Jay had accidentally left on my finger and made him feel for himself! Jay has been working on them for a few weeks now, bless his heart.  This means that you can tell they occasionally bother him, although he hasn’t been super fussy, and sleeping in general has been a little less predictable (sometimes he naps wonderfully, sometimes he doesn’t/ sometimes he sleeps through the night, sometimes not so much).  All in all it hasn’t been a horrible experience aside from knowing that he is hurting.  He is working on one more, the bottom front right one, and I hope it will make it’s appearance either before or sometime during this weekend and then maybe the little guy can catch a break for awhile.  Until then, cold teethers and ice cubes are our friends :-)

He also really likes for us to brush his teeth with the baby tooth brush that I bought.  I am sure that it just feels really good on those gums…

check out how long those red locks are getting!
isn't he sweet? so darling and such a good boy!

I’ll be sure to post a picture as soon as I am able to get one; not sure how soon that will be- he’s pretty guarded about them right now.