Then There Were Two

I’ve known for a while that I need to write, but honestly, lately I haven’t felt that I’ve had what it takes for me to put out a post I think has value to myself or anyone else. It could have something to do with the sleep deprivation, or the hormones, or a combination of the two. However, I’m almost 2 weeks into being a mom of 2 and it seems like as good a time as any to post an update.

Adalind’s birth was simpler than Carson’s, but the recovery has been more difficult. IT’s also strange when the symptoms feel big to me, but not to the doctor. At some point, there’s discouragement in even reaching out anymore. So, I’ve been managing at home with what I have and we’ll continue to see what happens.

She is the sweetest baby. She occasionally has some issues with gas which causes her to cry, and rightfully so. But we’re figuring that out too, and ultimately she’s been a joy to take care of. I mean it – so far we’ve been graced with a very laid back, sweet tempered kiddo. We got very lucky – I don’t know what that means for the future but I’m trying really hard to be present in the moment. I can get wrapped up in only having 6 weeks off with her compared to the 12 I had with Carson, or I can just enjoy every day and not fret about what I’m going to be like when I have to go back to work.

Andrew is working nights now. It is harder to feel lonely at night than it is to feel lonely during the day. There’s something about sunshine that is soothing to the soul, even when I’m lonely. Nighttime is not conducive to being alone with anyone’s thoughts – so I’m trying to keep our awake times short and quiet. I also have music nearby, which helps. A sound machine has also helped keep her asleep while we try to switch her days and nights.

Andrew is an amazing dad and being a dad to two kids has been a seamless transition for him. He has endless patience with the kids, and with me, and would do anything for our family. He goes to class for 3 hours, and then straight to work for 10 hours, and then comes home and helps get Carson ready for daycare. He constantly tries to put us before himself, and succeeds the majority of the time. I am so grateful for his partnership – I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else.

Carson seems to be handling it ok. At first he was very clingy and needy, as one would expect, and I may have gone overboard in only paying attention to him, when it was him or the baby. Thankfully there was always someone else here to cater to her, so I could give him my full attention. That is starting to balance out, and although he does insist on sitting in my lap when I have Adalind in my arms, it is less demanding than before, and he interacts with her fairly regularly. He wants to help and give her things, and share with her, which I think are all good things. We are not forcing her on him. We’re not making him say hi, or kiss/hug her, or acknowledge her at all. We want it to be completely on his terms, in his own time. I don’t want him to resent her or us, and forcing relationships on people, including children, is a good way to start a resentment.

Parenting is hard. I still haven’t figured out how to get Carson from daycare with Adalind – she’s so little I don’t want to pass her around the folks at the daycare yet, but I can’t leave her in the car. So far, someone has been able to be home to help. I haven’t had to load both kids into the car alone, or do mealtime alone, or any of those things yet. I’m sure when the time comes it’ll be fine, and I’ve been praying more in the past two weeks than I have in the past few months, which helps. Fear is still alive and present in my life but thankfully it is further down on the list, after lots of positives.

It’s difficult to raise children and be assertive and insist on what’s best for them, to strangers or friends or family. It means doing the uncomfortable thing when it’s the right thing, no matter what. I want to raise kind, thoughtful, caring children who know that they are loved and who can process thoughts and emotions without internalizing them or stuffing them down. And if some of that is inevitable, hopefully it isn’t their only way of managing things in their lives. I spent my whole life avoiding some of my very basic emotions, and I want to do what I can to give them the opportunity to not have to do that. I think that makes sense – it’s late and I’m tired.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Community have been getting me through this maternity leave, so far Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the clear winner. It is close to overtaking Psych as my favorite show. Idk if that will ever actually happen, it may just continue to get closer and closer without ever actually crossing over to number 1. We’ll see. Community is good also but I am less invested in the characters. Abed is who I root for 98% of the time. I suspect that’s the case for most people, as he’s the most likable.

I’m just trying to give myself some grace, and reach out to people for help. So many have already come over with food and offers for assistance with little things like picking up the house, taking out the trash, dropping by with snacks, and they all add up to big things. I’m grateful for delivery options of all sorts. I’m thankful for my meetings and my sponsor, who help keep me sane. I need to start trying more daily to do something I enjoy, whether that’s read or listen to an audiobook or something like that. Maybe next week. Overall we’re in a good place, and I’m thankful for that.

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New Chapters

I start a new job tomorrow, at 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Yep. Also a little apprehensive. Not sure how I’m going to make it another 3 weeks, let alone while getting acquainted with a new company and a new team. I know it’ll be great, and I’m excited for the opportunity to work for my boss, who I worked with at my previous company and who is a fantastic leader.

Last week I got to spend every day with Carson. We slept late, went out to eat, played outside, played inside, snuggled, and mostly just enjoyed each other’s company. I soaked up every minute with him. He is such a sweet boy, and his little personality continues to expand. He definitely knows what “no” means and uses it often. We’re currently working on saying “no thank you” instead of “no, don’t want!” and I think we’re successful maybe 30% of the time. So that’s a good place to be at just over 2 years old.

He learns a lot watching Blippi on YouTube. He knows what excavators are, is enamored with airplanes and garbage trucks, and LOVES his baseball set. This kid would live outside if he could.

I’ve had a couple of moments where I’ve felt sad that soon I’ll be a mommy to someone other than him. I know it sounds strange, and I am excited for our daughter to be here. But there is a sense of loss, knowing that in 3 weeks I’ll be splitting time between my two kids, and not having all of my time available for him and him alone. It’s strange how many emotions have come along with this pregnancy. Guilt and fear and a host of other things. It all boils down to a fear of the unknown, and the only thing I can do about it is continue to take steps to prepare for her arrival and have faith that it’ll all work out.

That is so easy to type and so hard to do.

Thankful for other moms who have shared their experiences, and to know that this is all normal. I’m also grateful I had the opportunity to be home with him for a week and give him as much undivided attention as I had to give.

Here’s to new!

What is solid ground, anyway?

I feel completely out of sorts lately, and I’ve felt like writing a handful of times, however I’m just not sure how well I’ll organize my thoughts. Hang with me.

First, my nephew has arrived. He’s absolutely adorable and after a bumpy start, spending some time in the NICU, he’s home and happy with mom and dad. I’m so excited to be an aunt, and grateful we live so close I can literally pop over to help whenever.

I’m 32 weeks and 4 days pregnant, and definitely feel all of 32 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I manage to keep things together during the day, which leads to a pregnancy hormone breakdown every night about 9pm. Poor Andrew – he handles it like a champ. He always reminds me that I’m not crazy, that pregnancy is weird, and assures me that he doesn’t mind. The weird thing is, I believe him!

Carson is TWO. That blows my mind. He has grown into such a kind-hearted, outgoing, sweet boy. He just wants to be everyone’s friend. He says hi to everyone he sees, and smiles at them. I’ve had a lot of people comment on how happy he is, and how friendly he is. Which, of course, I love about him. I hear I was a pretty outgoing child also. However, last night my pregnancy breakdown was about fear for him and being out in the world and getting hurt. I know it’s ridiculous. I know that I can’t protect him from everything, nor should I. He has to learn how to bounce back and not let things that are hurtful or sad change who he is.

But I mean, you guys. He’s two. A little girl took a ball right out of his hands yesterday, that he was trying to take to the teacher to help put it away, and he just looked at me with this little crumpled face, and I wanted to cry right there! I also wanted to say something to the other girl about sharing, and I wanted to glare at her grandmother, who does nothing to stop her from taking things. I didn’t do any of those things. He came to me and I gave him a little hug and told him we’d help clean up after the next activity, and he seemed fine with that. Honestly though, it made me SO SAD to see him so sad.

Please, seasoned parents, don’t come at me with the ‘you just wait until ____’ statements because trust me, I know. Those statements don’t help anyone, least of all a super pregnant mom of a 2 year old.

I just have to believe I’m not the only mom who has felt like this! Because he’s older, it’s more real – the whole bullying thing. When he was a baby, it was just this abstract idea I knew we’d have to face, but now that he’s consistently interacting with kids, familiar and new, the fear is real, and closer. Andrew and I will do everything we can to keep him kind and loving. I know that he’s got some time before bullying really becomes an issue. However, it’s not as far away as it once was, and the closer it gets, the more anxious this mama gets. I’m thankful for a husband who talks this stuff through with me, a sponsor who reminds me to stay present, and a family who helps take on this responsibility.

I firmly believe that what we’re doing and how we’re doing it is helping Carson to grow into the little person he’s meant to become, and I’m thankful for that as well.

Andrew is going to have to start working nights in April, just a couple weeks before we’re scheduled to have baby #2. Oh, right. Did I mention that I’m now going to be scheduled for an induction a week early? Apparently this baby is growing quite a bit, and our OB has suggested a 39 week induction for growth. I, of course, view this as some sort of failure, as I’ve tried so hard to maintain low weight gain and a fairly healthy diet, with some treats here and there. Andrew, of course, says that I’m an overachiever, and because I’ve done so well, we’re going to be done early. I love that about him. That he can take a situation I’d *blame*  myself for, and turn it into something positive.

Anyway, plenty of families raise babies without their partners, and we’ve got family in town to help, and it’s a short job. He’ll still get to take 5 days off to be with us, and he won’t go in until 8, so he may be able to either see Carson at bedtime or in the morning when he gets home at 6:30. I know it’ll all work out, but it’s just the unknown that is scary. I still don’t have employment secured for post baby, although I did have a promising interview at a company last week. Not getting my hopes up, but keeping a positive outlook on it.

Anyway, all that is to say, life has certainly not settled back into any sort of routine yet. I know that with a baby coming we’ll have to find a new normal, again, but I haven’t felt like my feet have been on solid ground in, oh, I don’t know, 5 months or so. Ultimately, I know that I have no control over this ship, and life is going to happen how it should, no matter how much I feel like I can manage the outcome, or not. There’s a freedom in that – in not running the show. I forget sometimes, and try to manage everything again. Learning to let go and have faith and try to get comfortable in the transition has been a challenge, but I think I’m better at it today than I was a few months back. That’s all anyone can really ask for, isn’t it?

A Series of Unfortunate Events – A List

Here is a bullet list of the past 16 hours of my life. Please laugh. This morning I can mostly laugh at it all. Mostly.

  • Yesterday afternoon, we tried to get Andrew a snowblower. Apparently the one he was holding for was purchased right from under his nose.
  • I went to the grocery store for dinner supplies, literally no parking. Took 15 minutes to secure a spot.
  • Preparing two different recipes, I pulled down the soup for one and discovered it was old. Andrew had to go back to the grocery store for soup.
  • Both recipes called for an hour in the oven at 350. Confidently pulled them out after an hour. Started putting pork chops on the fluffy delicious rice Andrew made, and discovered they were not done. So, rice ruined.
  • Cut into the chicken from the other recipe, it was also not done. It is 5:30 and everyone in the house is hungry. Carson is snacking on different things and refuses to sit in his chair. When he does, he refuses to eat. I give up and let him have a snack in the living room.
  • Put both recipes back in the oven. Andrew offered to make pasta so we could eat in 10 minutes instead of 30.
  • Carson thankfully eats the pasta, however, the sauce we were given as a substitute from online groceries was so gross, I couldn’t stomach it. Hard pass.
  • Carson is fussy and refuses to eat anything else. He had his first weekend without his bink this weekend, for various reasons, and was overtired. Commence bath time.
  • Grandpa calls Andrew during bath, while I’m putting away laundry. I’ve managed to do four or five loads of laundry, and after having injured my back last week falling down the stairs, the ache is real.
  • Carson is, of course, distraught at not being able to hold the phone in the tub.
  • Andrew calls his mom, and Carson is distraught, yet again, at being unable to control the phone with grandparents on the line. He is wailing. He wants out of the tub, so I get him out.
  • Carson is adorable and lovey and sweet during story time – watching Andrew and him together eases some of the frustration from Carson’s temperament that day
  • I try to get Carson down, and he’s fine as I rub his back. I try to slowly ease my way out of the room, but a cat started to come in, so I ducked out quickly. He screamed bloody murder. Andrew manages to get him to sleep.
  • Our house is a total disaster. Complete and total disaster. We leave it that way to go dog-sit while Andrew’s mom stays with the kiddo.
  • At the house, neither one of us can figure out how to get the cone back on the dog. Poor guy. He was so patient with us.
  • At this point, I’m very hungry, and I have no prenatal vitamins with me. So, Andrew goes to pick some up and we’ve ordered delivery, which should be at the house around 9.
  • Try to contact driver at 9:15, no answer
  • Try to call driver at 9:20, he answers but doesn’t speak English
  • In the meantime, I have tried and failed twice to add my google account to the TV so Andrew and I could watch Crimes of Grindlewald. We give up and put Psych on.
  • Try to text driver again at 9:30, he states “Not my fault, I was picking up your order when you called” – mind you that was at 9:15
  • At 9:34, ask if he is close. No answer.
  • Driver shows up at 9:48 from a restaurant literally 10 minutes away. Rings doorbell when specifically requested not to. Dog goes into protect mode. I feel so bad he got riled up so late.
  • Order is missing items. Driver comes back and rings the doorbell again 5 minutes later with missing items. Dog goes into protect mode again. Definitely went with him to the other room to snuggle back in to bed.
  • Eat dinner and go to bed ourselves. Dog is great.
  • This morning, I tried taking highway 75 because I figured traffic would be less, due to the holiday. Giant accident, traffic is bumper to bumper, about 5mph. I managed to exit on Chandler and go around in a big circle to take my normal route to work.
  • Get to work only a couple minutes late. Thankfully.
  • I go to put my lunch away, and discover that in my haste to pack lunches for myself and Andrew last night, I managed to put two servings of pork chops in his bag, and two servings of rice in mine.

When I noticed the lunch scenario, I just laughed. When I sent Andrew the note about lunches, he just laughed as well and promised tonight would go smoother. No matter how it goes, I’m thankful for all the people in our lives, and for being able to have some perspective this morning. I’m grateful to be trusted in other people’s homes, with their pets, and honored to take care of them. I’m grateful for a husband who wouldn’t let me be alone last night, and for his mom who came down to cover for us so he could come dog-sit with me. I’m grateful for a job, for laughter, and for coffee with good creamer. I’m also grateful I didn’t forget any article of clothing for work. Happy Monday!

Fed is Best. Period.

So it is no secret that breastfeeding Carson did not work out well. I have made several posts about it, and am willing to discuss it at length, with anyone, for any reason. To summarize, I had surgery a few years ago and as a result, my ability to breastfeed was impacted. I knew that there was a possibility it could be, but we went ahead and tried anyway. I knew my baby was hungry that second day at the hospital. I knew it, and had a lactation specialist come into our room half a dozen times, brought in nurses while crying, telling them my baby was hungry. Not ONCE did anyone suggest we give him formula as a supplement. Not one time.

My son basically starved for four days, until my mother suggested we give him formula, and I agreed, even with the fear of ‘nipple confusion’ and whatever else. Four days. And, in those four days, he was on the boob almost around the clock. I suffered from cracking and bleeding, and ended up with mastitis. I tried pumping, even spending the money to rent a hospital grade pump in the hopes it would provide better results. It didn’t. We tried this dance for, I’m not sure how long. 3-4 weeks maybe, until my mom and husband both asked me to let go of breastfeeding.

The guilt that came along with no longer trying to breastfeed my baby was overwhelming and all-consuming, for about 2 days. And once the guilt passed, I was pissed off instead. Because somewhere along the line, I picked up on the message that if I didn’t breastfeed my baby, I was a bad mom. I was failing at motherhood. I was giving my baby sub-standard care. And because of that, I should feel badly about feeding my baby formula. I should feel bad. About feeding my baby.

I’m getting ready for baby number 2, and after much deliberation and consideration, I’ve decided that I won’t be trying to breastfeed again. We will be formula feeding from birth, for a whole host of reasons, some of which I’m sure you can identify from my previous experience. Being able to have other people hold and feed my baby takes so much stress off of my shoulders, and it allows all of us to get rest. It gives my husband the chance to have quality one-on-one time with the baby, and it will let Carson help as well.

Because of this decision, I decided to scour the internet for any resources on how to make things easier after she’s born. What I learned I did not expect – my hospital is on a list of Baby-Friendly hospitals. Sounds great right? Well, what it means is that they’re part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which pushes women to exclusively breastfeed. And because of this, there are rules around offering/discussing formula. Which explains why A) there was no talk of formula during our baby class, other than to talk about all the reasons why breastfeeding was better and B) why no one bothered to suggest formula supplementing with Carson. As part of the BFHI designation, they aren’t allowed to bring up formula. It can only be discussed if the mother asks. And, if the mother decides not to breastfeed, the nurses have to “educate the mother” on the benefits of breastfeeding. If the mother still says no, she has to SIGN A WAIVER that indicates she is aware of the “risks of formula feeding” before her baby can be fed.

Needless to say – I was heated.

There is nothing wrong with formula feeding. A fed baby is best, no matter what. I would rather feed my daughter formula from the word go, and know that she has a full tummy, instead of trying to breastfeed again and wonder if she’s starving. Carson excels at everything he does and was a formula baby. I don’t understand the necessity to push women into believing that breastfeeding is superior, and anyone who doesn’t do it is severely lacking.

Hospitals, doctors, and nurses are doing mothers and babies a disservice by NOT telling the mother what her other options are in the event breastfeeding is not successful.

I sent a message to my doctor, indicating that I’d just learned of their BFHI designation and I had some questions I wanted to discuss at my next appointment as I had no intention to breastfeed this baby. No matter what the answers are to those questions, my husband and I will be bringing our own formula, bottles and pacifiers to the hospital. Even if they tell us we can’t. I hope that having a frank conversation and getting any paperwork handled before delivery will eliminate conflict when she arrives, but I have my doubts.

I found the Fed is Best site while doing research yesterday, and while they absolutely support breastfeeding and have consultants and specialists ready to help mothers learn how to breastfeed, they also support fed babies, and provide information regarding formula as well. I will include links to both sites for your additional reading pleasure, if you’re so inclined. I’m passionate enough about this that I’m trying to get involved with their organization in some way, if I can. Women struggle enough trying to adapt to motherhood. The inability to breastfeed should not be a reason for a woman to feel less than as a mother.

Please don’t misunderstand my message – let me say it clearly in case there was any doubt. I fully support women trying to breastfeed, and I sincerely hope that it works for them. I’m not saying that breastfeeding is bad. What I AM saying is that trying to tell women that formula feeding IS bad is damaging for everyone involved.

 

Links:

Fed is Best – The Fed is Best Foundation works to identify gaps in current breastfeeding protocols, guidelines, and education programs, and provide families and health professionals with the most up-to-date scientific research, education and resources to practice safe infant feeding with breast milk, formula, or a combination of both.

Baby-Friendly USA –

Baby-Friendly USA (BFUSA) is responsible for coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly® designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. We do this by:

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

Provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes require:

  1. No advertising of breast-milk substitutes to families.
  2. No free samples or supplies in the health care system.
  3. No promotion of products through health care facilities, including no free or low-cost formula.
  4. No contact between marketing personnel and mothers.
  5. No gifts or personal samples to health workers.
  6. No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the labels or product.
  7. Information to health workers should be scientific and factual only.
  8. All information on artificial feeding, including labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and the costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
  9. Unsuitable products should not be promoted for babies.
  10. All products should be of high quality and take account of the climate and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

Learning How to Handle Big Emotions

Boy, let me tell ya. Keeping a level voice is one of the most challenging things to do when a toddler is yelling and crying. A couple days ago, Carson was in a mood. “Don’t WANT!” is one of his favorite sayings when he’s in those moods, and literally nothing will do. My first thought, generally, is “If I’m louder than him, he’ll be quiet” but I know that is not true, and is not how Andrew and I want to parent. Still, it is usually my first or second thought.

It has been important for me to pause, take a deep breath and remind myself that this kid is just about 2 years old, and has these big emotions that he has no capability of regulating yet. He isn’t an adult in a 2 year old body. He’s 2. His brain does not have the ability to regulate emotion yet. I say this to myself over and over. Andrew and I try to say things like, “It’s ok to be upset bud, but the answer is still no” or, “I know it’s frustrating when toys don’t work, but throwing them isn’t the answer.” It may sound like hokey parenting, but the thing we want to emphasize to him is that it’s ok to be upset.

It’s just like when I got sober, and had to relearn how to regulate all my emotions that I began to feel, after having numbed them for years with alcohol. I didn’t know what to do with anger and disappointment and frustration and fear. Hell, sometimes I still don’t. But what I do know today is that God has gifted with world with a whole spectrum of emotions, and they’re all there to be felt. Every one of them. Even anger.

I never want to tell my son to quit crying, or to shake it off, or to get over it, or to grow up, or man up, or knock it off.

I don’t like any of those phrases, because they dismiss his feelings as unimportant, and that isn’t a healthy way to learn how to manage his emotions. We always want him to be able to express whatever it is that he’s feeling, and learn how to walk through them. Not stuff them down and ignore them. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in the past few years is that no emotion will overtake me. If I allow myself to grieve, it will not consume me to the point where I’ll never feel anything else ever again. The same with any other emotion, positive or negative. So instead of trying to keep those emotions at bay, I’ve learned to let them crash into me, acknowledge that they’re there, and when the time is right, move on. That’s something I want my kids to learn as early as possible.

Parenting is hard. I’m grateful to be part of a marriage where we’re on the same page. We make a good team, and our son is a good kid. I just have to remind myself of that when he’s crying dramatically because we’ve had enough Blippi for one day.

Great. Now I’ll have that theme song in my head for the rest of the day. Sigh.

Two-Year Old Transitions

Tonight, Carson will have his first night of sleep without his binky. Even thinking about it last week, I started to cry. I plead pregnancy as an impetus, but mostly it’s just the ending of another phase of his life. A final goodbye to the baby and a hello to the ever-growing boy he’s becoming. A boy that we are so very proud of. I’m not as worried about losing sleep during the next few days as I am about closing this chapter of his story. He could surprise us, and this transition could go relatively smoothly – he didn’t really care about having the bottle taken away. He may be the same about the binky. However, given that I care, I wanted to take a minute to write down all of the things about him that I find endearing in this moment, so that I never forget what this chapter has been filled with.

He loves playing in the bath, with bubbles and colored water. He likes to throw his foam letters and numbers out of the tub for us to throw back. He has almost always loved taking baths. He definitely enjoys water!

Sometimes at night, before bed, he wants to read himself instead of having us read to him. He will take a book, and crawl up into his chair, and read. I’ll sit on the floor by his crib, and let him read himself three books, and then we go to bed.

He wants to help with everything. He gets his own stool and toothbrush before bed, he helps throw things away and helps sweep and mop. He likes to help get this ready for cooking, and putting things away.

He currently snuggles with a bunny and a blanket in his crib. And, he enjoys night-night. Lately, I’ll try to get him up, and he’ll choose to stay in bed just a little longer. He always wants a blanket and pillow if they’re available.

He is definitely pushing limits, but ultimately he wants to be a good kid. He hands things over when he knows he’s not supposed to have them. He puts his toys away or picks things up when asked. He is learning please and thank you, and has started saying them without being prompted. He’s gotten to the point where he will say diaper when it’s time for a change, and he’ll walk upstairs with us to his room and lay down for us, without a fuss. Sometimes, I go through the alphabet with him while we’re changing, to keep him occupied. Other times I’ll say ‘hi hi hi’ and he’ll repeat it, and then we’ll go through all the vowels – ‘ho ho ho’ ‘he he he’ ‘hoo hoo hoo’ etc. He always does this with a huge grin on his face.

Before I put him in his crib for bed, I say or sing twinkle twinkle little star, and gently sway back and forth. I love to watch his eyes flutter almost closed before I put him down. Even if he fusses for a minute once he’s in his crib, he knows that it means bedtime.

He loves to watch videos of himself on our phones, and giggles at himself. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. His giggle is the best. I love it when he laughs, and we’re lucky because he’s generally a happy kid.

He loves music. He’ll dance to almost anything. He currently enjoys the Frozen soundtrack and Home Free. Sometimes I can get him to listen to other playlists, but mostly these are the ones he prefers. A couple Neil Diamond songs too, actually.

I know these things seem small, but every moment adds up to memories I know I’ll look back on one day and cling to. I want to enjoy every phase of his life, and I don’t want to forget any of them. So here’s to the next chapter in the storybook of his life.