Little Man Letters: Your Father’s Heart

Dear Enzo,

Last year on Father’s Day all I knew of you were kicks and hiccups. And all I knew of your dad as a father was that he would put his whole heart into raising you.

It has been the joy of a lifetime to watch you change and grow for the past 9 months. And in many ways, I can say the same about your dad. 

Much ado is made of a mother’s love in story and song (and retail marketing). And it’s all true. I love you with a love that’s otherwordly. But you need to know even though society doesn’t always celebrate dads the same way, he does too. 

He is fiercely protective of you. As a doctor who has seen the devastating effects of a common cold on an infant, he took every possible precaution to keep you healthy through flu season. Remaining resolute in the face of criticism and constant jokes.

If you are in need, there is no end to the lengths he will go. Such as Walmart, in the middle of the night, to get a special swaddle. We could have easily made do until morning, but “making do” absolutely will not do, when it comes to you. 

He is all about anything that will make you laugh. Even if it results in a strained neck from whipping his head around like a crazy person. And he will keep playing a game with you long after I’ve tapped out, because he can’t get enough of your smile. 

He is not a big spender. His preferred apparel is cargo shorts, a $1 solid colored t-shirt, and broken crocs as old as the hills. Yet when we go to the store, I find him drifting toward the toy aisle in search of a Catch Me Kitty (because you love your great-grandparent’s cat) or a DVD of cartoons that might hold your attention. It will be a SIGHT, I’m sure, the first time you point to something on a shelf and look at him with big pleading eyes. His wallet won’t be able to open fast enough. 

He misses you when he is at work, and is a little jealous of all the time I get to spend with you. (So it’s okay if you say Dada first. I’ve heard you repeating it in your crib. Go ahead and say it to him.) His favorite pastime on the weekend is holding you while you sleep. I have approximately 2000 photos of you napping on him. 

These are just sweet, everyday examples of your father’s affection. And while I hope I never have anything more than that to share, I am certain should you encounter sickness, setbacks or despair, his love for you will shine all the brighter.

What I’m trying to say is your dad is usually a very reserved man. He holds his hand close to his chest, “trusting no one, expecting sabotage.” Except when it comes to you. His cards are on the table, he’s ALL. IN. And he always will be.

I pray as you come to understand the depth of his heart it will guide your steps and strengthen your soul. And that no matter how far you decide to one day wander, it will always bring you back home. 

Love,
Mama

Enzo Alan: 9 Months

 

Age: 9 Months

Stats:
Weight: 19 lbs, 8oz (32%),

Height: 28.5 (48%)
Head: I lost the paper so I don’t remember the exact measurements but I know he was 29th percentile.

Life Lately: 

This one’s a FIGHTER, ya’ll. A screaming, kicking, twisting, shoving, crying ANIMAL when I try to change his diaper or clothes, put him in his high chair, strap him in his carseat, inform him he can’t stand in the store cart, take anything out of his hands, try to make him eat something other than cheese puffs, etc. The upside is all this combat is basically turning me into a ninja.

For the longest time he only had two bottom teeth, now all of a sudden he has 6 coming through. At the same time. 🙄 He recently cut two top teeth and is close with three more on top and one on bottom. He violently refuses Tylenol and I’ve given up forcing it, so night sleep is hit or miss.

He still averages 2 x 30 minute naps a day when we are home. Snoozes great in the car though. Loves to burn up gas and prohibit mama from productivity. I told Ron when he is older and asks for gas money I’m going to say Sorry, we used up your allotment when you were a baby, driving around trying to get you to finish a nap.

He has said mama and dada clearly, but not to us with purpose (I hear him practicing in his crib before I get him in the morning) so we don’t count it yet.

He crawls and climbs with great speed, and finds all sorts of enjoyment in going where he knows he is not supposed to be, giggling his head off as we chase him. He is trying to stand on his own but isn’t steady yet.

Even with all the teething and tantrums, he is a TON of fun. We love playing games to make him laugh and he has new facial expressions all the time. His latest is raised eyebrows. It’s our favorite when he raises his eyebrows, purses his lips, then exhales sharply. As if to say Whew. MIND BLOWN. It’s hilarious. I seriously can’t wait to hear what he is thinking.

Now that Enzo has been out as long as he was in, I’m fielding more questions about another baby. The short answer is we’re ready, but we’d like to wait. The long answer is my OB wants me to wait a full year for C-section reasons, and I want to wait until I reach my fitness goal. I’m hoping if I start the next pregnancy from a better baseline I’ll go into it with some momentum and set myself up for a smoother postpartum journey.

Plus I cherish this phase, with only one baby. When you have more than one child, the love multiplies but the time divides. I want siblings for Enzo, a larger family for Ron and I, but I also want to hold onto this phase a tiny bit longer. This stage of SAHM life is so special and sweet, just my baby boy and me.

All that said, if we were to get pregnant right now we would be THRILLED to welcome another little life, God-willing. <3


*I’m in the process of figuring out why some pictures are uploading in tiny file sizes, while others are huge.

Little Man Letters: For Such a Time as This

Dear Enzo,

For as long as I can remember, I have been in pursuit of excellence. No matter the arena, the game plan was the same: climb as high as I could, as fast as I could. I wanted to make a name for myself, as someone who worked hard and achieved great things.

So when my first grade teacher gave out a coloring sheet that said “If you ran the circus, what would you be?” Other kids were writing “Lion Tamer” and “Tight Rope Walker.” I wrote “Ringmaster.” Because that was the correct answer to the question (very technical 7 year old, apparently) and because even then, I knew I wanted to lead.

In third grade I dressed up as a Principal for career day. Later, as an athlete, I strived to be both the captain and the MVP.

My dreams evolved but the lofty aspirations always remained. Eventually I finished my education, and told anyone who asked that I was a children’s librarian, but my ultimate goal was to be a public library director.

So when I decided to stay home, you can imagine all the visions of success and superstardom, dancing in my head.

Then you arrived. And I waltzed into motherhood with all the composure of a bug in a bathtub. There was a lot of scurrying and flailing and general dying.

Because for the first time, whether I succeeded or failed would directly affect someone other than me. God gave me exactly what I wanted: a perfect, healthy baby. And when I looked into your innocent eyes I felt the weight of the world come crashing down on my heart.

The first few months of your life, the phrase “Oh son, what have I done.” crossed my mind a thousand times. I would turn on the TV or pull up Facebook and the news would bring me to tearful knees.

I wanted you. I wanted a family. I dreamed of your Christmas stockings, Halloween costumes, park adventures and sunset walks. I couldn’t wait to watch you grow. But suddenly all that felt so selfish.

This earth is full of beauty, but it is also overflowing with evil. Wars of every kind sprinkle, in some places flood, the landscape. Whether you choose to fight injustice/terror/whatever on your own, or it comes knocking on your door, at some point you will encounter the ugly truths that accompany living in a fallen world. And it will hurt you.

That’s not what I focused on when I planned for you, but it’s all I could think about when I held you.

Then at the height of my inner turmoil (as I was contemplating homeschooling and work-from-your-mama’s-home careers), I found this poster for your room.

Which lead a friend to send me this blog. 

What they have in common is the “You were born for such a time as this” bible reference.

Messages from heaven, reminding me that yes, you are mine and I am yours. But we were both made by God, in His image, for a purpose, first. He brought you, your dad, and I together because we each have something the others need to effectively fulfill those purposes.

So while it is my job to protect you from avoidable harm, it is not His will that I let fear be the guiding force in my parenting. You can’t be a world changer if you’re locked up and hidden from danger. As much as I love you, God loves you more. Far be it from me to block the path He laid out for you. 

Motherhood comes with some heavy emotional burdens, but it also brings such hope. I don’t know yet what you were put here to do, but I know you were created for a time such as this. I promise to set aside my worry and pick up courage, as I do all I can to support you.

Godspeed, Little Man.
I love you.
Mama

 

 

Who is this angel, sent here to change me,
Sent here to take me where I’ve never been?
Long I have wandered, weary and waiting,
For something to shake me and life to begin.

Holy water from my own veins,
Come and save me where I lay.
All this longing for beauty unnamed.
It has broken me open to welcome the hop
e that you bring.

Enzo Alan: 7/8 Months

 

Age: 7 & 8 months

Stats: He is 19 pounds right now. I’ll update the rest of the specifics after his next well visit at 9 months. 

What’s New: 

Enzo is an efficient crawler but spends more time pulling up to stand or climbing on top of things. He is ready to walk and will take steps if we hold his hands. 

2 teeth and a third close to breaking through. 

Likes to feed himself puffs and is getting better at picking them up and putting them in his mouth every day. 

Eats a wide variety of food, currently a big fan of black beans, zucchini, squash, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, roasted peaches, pears, and apples (all puréed or chunky blend.) He doesn’t love bananas, carrots, peas, or sweet potatoes. 

No words yet, but a lot of high pitched screeching. He recently whistled 3 times on accident. 

Will give a high five if you ask. 

In an unfortunate stage where he is too small (and wiggly) to safely sit in store carts or restaurant high chairs, even with padded inserts, but he won’t tolerate being restrained in his car seat or stroller. Therefore venturing out is a workout. 

Fights sleep during the day. We call him Energizer Enzo. I can spend hours trying to wear him out and calm him down, only for him to take two 30 minute naps total. Nights are generally pretty good. I get enough sleep to be able to workout around 5-6am each morning. I never thought I could be a morning person but I love it! It gets the day off to a great start. Motherhood, man. Full of surprises. 

I am closing in on my goal weight, down to single digits! It is going to take me all of 9 months to regain fitness and be comfortable in my old clothes, but it has been MUCH easier to get weight off since I quit pumping at 5.5 months. 

So I’m feeling really great and ready to start focusing in on running goals. My motivator is 80 before Baby or 82 before Baby 2. My half marathon PR is 1:22 flat and my goal has always been to get under 1:20. Thus I am shooting for 80 before Baby but if I can get in range of 1:22 I’ll be happy. There is a time limit on this. I don’t want to wait too long before trying for another baby. I just want an ambitious goal to help me stay serious about workouts and have fun racing before another 18 month baby/body journey.

All in all, this life is SO sweet right now. I miss these days even as I live them.

 Adventure Awaits, greet it with your fancy pajamas.

 First Carmel library visit!

 Wild man.

 Who is this IMPOSTOR??

 Super soft and cute romper from Roman & Leo.

 We love morning sunshine. 

 Quite pleased with himself after a short nap.

 Fell asleep in Great Grandma Bower’s lap while listening to her favorite songs.

 Toys or book? Both.

 Easter 2017