Thursday, May 14, 2015

Part II

Barrett, you are a fat little mouse and you crack me up!

You seem to be fearless in every way except for one. You will not walk. I know you could, I've seen you balance on your own when you're not focused, but as soon as you realize you're not on all fours, down you drop. Otherwise you're climbing up on everything. Nothing is too high for you. If I let you, you would climb up and down the stairs all day long. One of your favorite things to do is to get "stuck in the muck", to slip down between Will's bunk bed and the wall in a little crevice and then laugh your head off when I become "shocked" at your predicament. When I pull you out, you laugh and then shimmy right back in.

You are talking a lot more than your brother was at this age. I remember daddy trying to get William to stop using the sign language and start using his words because he had relied so much on the signs for so long. Imagine my frustration when you still weren't signing please. I had tried endlessly to teach you the sign, showing you how to do it and even taking your own hand and rubbing it on your chest for you so that you would know how it felt. A couple days ago I patiently instructed you once again to say please, rubbing my hand on my chest and hoping you would imitate me. And suddenly, you busted out rubbing your own hand on your chest and saying "please!" at the same time. Maybe you weren't signing it because you thought I wanted you to actually say the word at the same time as making the sign and you just didn't know how to do that! You have a word for blankie, Bo, daddy and mommy, Grandma and Grandpa, and I'm sure many other words I either don't recognize or can't think of right now because you talk a lot! I hope this stays because I love pre verbal toddler talk. I would think you would be drowned out by your chattering older brother but I hope you can continue to hold your own.

When it comes to William, you seem to enjoy whatever positive attention he gives you. Lately unfortunately, it's usually negative attention (don't take that toy! No Barrett I want that strawberry!). So you seem a little hesitant when it comes to your brother because you're not quite sure what you'll get from him. But we have been diligently working with Will on how to be kind and generous, and when he shows you positive attention (more and more frequent) you just light up. One of my favorite moments of the day is when you are climbing up the stairs before bed. William races up to the top and lays on his stomach and looks down at you and yells, "Here comes Beeerrett!" You hurry on up and when you get toward the top William yells, "Barrett poke my nose!" And since I've helped you with this for a few weeks now, you know exactly what to do. With a big smile you touch your nose to his. Then you crawl to the top and William tackles you for a big bear hug. You expect this and so you lay down in preparation, with a big smile on your face.

You still love toys. Duh. You probably will for a long time, I guess. But you will sit there and place one toy inside another over and over, figuring out how you can manipulate your different toys and what types of toys will stick together and what wont. You are still very good at entertaining yourself, although more recently you do like to be held by me a lot and I still find myself hoisting your little big boy body into the carrier so you can chill out on my back while I prepare meals or clean up.

You love to be read to. Your favorite books are the ones with the pictures of little babies doing sign language. You enjoy pointing to the kids (many older than you) and saying, "Baby." You get a great big smile on your face as you imitate the sign you see on the page. You also like sitting and enjoying the books I read to Will. One of his favorites is The Three Pigs by David Weisner, and you love taking your fist and thumping the book and saying, knock knock knock, just like the big bad wolf.

You hate getting your diaper changed. It's such a great disappointment to you everytime I lay you down on the table. But even more than you hate diaper changes, you love your morning banana. When I come in the room to get you guys after a night's sleep, holding the two bananas that you both eat on William's bed, you jump up and down in your crib and excitedly shout, Nana! Nana! It's like I'm giving you the greatest treat. You wolf it down, shoving the last 2 inches entirely into your mouth to where you look ridiculous. But you always manage to muscle it down and ask for more.

You are a HAPPY BOY. Yesterday I was out running errands and you were in the carrier for a few hours at least. At two or three points I had women behind me in line, and they we're just gawking at you with big smiles on their faces because you were beaming at them with a big smile of your own. You inspire that kind of reaction. I find myself with a big old goofy grin, just looking at you.

I love you, my little man. I could go on about you all day. I enjoy you so very much. I love kissing your cheeks and tickling you and just looking at you and admiring how cute you are. You are my bright little piece of sunshine and I don't know what I would do without you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Will and Barrett in May

Oh my two dudes! What a joy you are.

William, how can I sum you up in a brief paragraph? You are becoming more of a boy everyday and less of a toddler. For months I've been considering you as 3 years old even though your birthday still isn't for another week at least. Your independence is showing forth every day. But you still need me for so much. I think in some ways I've kept you back, I feed you your soup and I put your shoes on for you and I still pick out your clothes and dress you. You let me do all these things and so it's no bother. But I know the day is coming when I'll have to teach you to do all these things for yourself, & I better do it soon because it won't be long before I'm going to have three mouths to feed soup to.

You love trains. You love to run around the house and holler all aboard! at the top of your lungs. You love to build endless Duplo trains, you like to build them even more than you like to drive them around. Yet every time Barrett happens upon a train you haven't played with in a few hours and pulls it all apart, you run up to the train and say, "Hey who took this train apart? I was playing with it!"

You begin many sentences with the word but. A simple comment, an answer to a question, an observation. It's usually out of context and doesn't make sense. It does, however, make sense when I ask you to do something and you reply, "But I'm just playing with this." On a few occasions I have told you, "Do not tell me but!" That's confusing, of course, and I need to choose my words more carefully. You are a constant chatterbox. In the car on the way somewhere you are constantly asking questions, making observations. The other day your daddy pointed at a piece of construction equipment and said, "Look at the backhoe, Will!" You replied, "Daddy, that's not a backhoe. That's an excavator!" You were right. We had a good laugh at the irony of a two-year-old correcting a man who works in the construction business.

I love your chatter. You say so many cute and funny things it's impossible to remember them all. You like to pretend to talk to people and you like me to be their voice. This is the same thing you've done for months but the older you get the more you seem to remember "their answers" and hold them to it. I have to distinguish now that, "Sure we can talk to Daddy, but its just pretend!" You also love games. You love playing catch and you love playing jail. Periodically you'll say, "This is a funny game! Is this a funny game?" Everytime your daddy accidentally hits you in the face with the football, you have a good laugh. And you have a pretty good arm too. Last night you chucked the football at daddy and whacked him right in the eye. It actually hurt so much that he stopped the game of catch and played legos with you instead. He said, "Are you going to be a quarterback, buddy?" And you said, "Yeah! I'm gonna be a quarterback!"

Your naughtiness cracks me up sometimes. I walked into the playroom at the sound of your shrill cries and saw you, red faced and irate, yelling, "Barrett got the last strawberry and HE GOT IT!" You were so angry that Barrett had eaten the last strawberry out of the bowl. I just burst into laughter and slapped my hand over my mouth. You make me laugh so often. The other day I swatted you on the butt with my hand when you were being naughty to Barrett. It wasn't serious swat, more like a pay attention swat, but you looked at me with a reproachful gaze and said, "Mommy, you don't spank people."

And a couple nights ago, after a particularly tiring morning sickness day, I was so ready to be done and go lay in bed and sleep. But after I had put you to bed you kept needing me. First you needed to pee. Then you wanted a toy. Then you called me because you were hungry. That third time, I was downright irritated. I determined that it was the toy (Lightning McQueen) you were holding in your hand that was keeping you awake and distracted. I took it out of your hand and said, "We're going to put Lightning McQueen on the floor so that you can go to sleep." But my words were instantly drowned out by the sound of your sudden top-of-the-lungs sobs that Lightning had been snatched from your hand. Knowing that the last thing I wanted was for Barrett to wake up and need me too, I tried whispering in your ear that you needed to calm down and go to sleep and that I would give Lightning back to you if you would just calm down and go to sleep. But my whispers were drowned out as well because you did not want to be separated from your most recent best friend Lightning McQueen the Matchbox car. So in total frustration, I grabbed your hand, shoved Lightning McQueen back into it, and stormed out of the room for the night. I proceeded to go downstairs, snap at your Daddy who was trying to find out what was wrong, and storm off into the shower where I broke down into tears because the truth is, I had spent all day trying to love my family and in the last five minutes I had ruined it and made them hate me at bedtime. I cried and cried and then I got out of the shower and apologized to your Daddy. Then, wearily, I climbed the stairs, hoping you were still awake.

And of course you were. I sat down on the bed and I said, "William I'm sorry for getting angry with you. Will you please forgive me?"

You looked at me and took a moment before replying, "Mommy, you don't take toys away from people." Touche. I spend all day telling you that when it comes to your brother.

I said, "I wasn't trying to take Lightning away from you. I thought you might sleep better if he was on the floor."

You replied, "Well, you made me sad."

"I'm sorry I made you sad, buddy," I said. "Will you please forgive me?"

"I forgive you," you said. I kissed you, I told you that I loved you, and all was well. You were such a little adult and I was the penitent child. I had a good laugh with Brian after that. But the truth is, I seem to tell you that I'm sorry a lot. I'm sorry that I get frustrated with you. I'm sorry that I lose my patience. I'm sorry that I can't carry you up the stairs at the same time I carry Barrett. You guys are just both getting so big and I'm getting so tired and, well, you can walk and he can't. You do love to be held and cuddled and I don't feel like I do it enough. That said, there are so many things that I don't do enough of but God's only given me so many hours in the day and I do my best.

I hear you crying upstairs and it's time to go get you for the day. I guess this post has become only about you. I'll have to do Barrett tomorrow. :-) I love you my big boy.

Monday, May 11, 2015

9 weeks

I saw you today, little one! I saw you the minute the ultrasound wand was placed on my stomach. You were curled up, very still, resting at the bottom of the screen. The tech said, "There's the baby!" I very hesitantly asked, "Is it alive?" What a morbid question, I know, but you were just so still. "Of course!" she answered. A huge smile broke onto my face. You were unmistakably a sleeping little baby. Nothing could have ruined my day after that.

I got to see my midwife Tracie again, too. She gave me a huge hug and introduced me to the ultrasound tech as one of her "favorite people". I'm sure every one of her patients is a "favorite person"... that's just how she is. I think it was the right decision to switch practices and drive farther so that I could continue to see her and Chris.

I'm still not quite myself, my appetite is unusual and my energy is less then normal, but I'm definitely feeling better than I was last week and in the weeks before. I'm so fortunate to not struggle with violent morning sickness the way many women do.

Last night your daddy and I talked about names for you, little one. The names we had discussed before I became pregnant with you, now seem like they just don't fit. This happened with your brother Barrett. Your daddy and I couldn't decide between Weston and Miles. Neither felt right. I kept coming back to the names Darin and Eric (which both sound like Barrett). It was like his name was on the tip of my soul but I couldn't grab it. On the way to church one day, we both suddenly agreed it was time to pick a third name. Within 5 minutes and a simple search on my phone we happened upon the name Everett. Your daddy didn't like Everett too much but it did remind him of the name Barrett and as soon as I heard it I knew that was the name. The same thing is happening with you, little baby. Your name is somewhere on the tip of my soul. I don't know what it is yet but it's comforting knowing that there is a name for you and that we will find it.

William says you are a little girl baby. I can honestly say that whether you are a boy or girl I will be equally happy and love you just the same. The two greatest moments of my life so far have been holding your brothers the minutes after they were born. I can't express my anticipation and excitement to hold you this December. It will be another one of those great, life changing moments. And it will be you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

8 weeks 2 days

Today is May 6th. Two years ago today, I was experiencing the horror of losing our December baby. And here I am now, exactly as far along with you as I was with that little one. Eight weeks and some days. I held my breath today when I thought about how the spotting had started the night of May 5th, grew steadily worse, and culminated with having to say goodbye to a baby I so desperately wanted. 

What a difference two years has made. I still feel such love for that little December baby. I believe he or she is with Jesus. I also know that had I carried that baby to term, I wouldn't have Barrett and I wouldn't have you.

How strange and random it is to not only be remembering my December '13 baby on this day but also to be carrying a December '15 baby, one who will hopefully be born on or near the same date my first little one would have made an appearance. 

The weight of this remarkable blessing is a comforting reminder, and also a fearful one. I don't want to lose you. But I have no control, and so I cherish each of these moments I carry you. Nausea plagued me today and more than once I stretched out on the kids' bed or the floor in fatigue. And it was a comfort, a reminder that you are growing and all is well.

I sing of the love that I bear,
I sing to the Spirit indwelling me.
A life deep inside me as surely I know
As my baby is living and grows

The azalea that your Daddy bought me to remember our lost little one on my first Mother's Day. It's blooming today.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Just two dudes watching a movie

For a special treat, Will got to watch a movie today. Although I had THREE new movies from the library, once again he chose his favorite Veggie Tales, It's a Meaningful Life. This is the only movie he ever wants to watch. It's gotten so common, that whenever I open the TV cabinet Barrett starts bopping back and forth and saying, 'bah bah bah bah', as though he's trying to sing the Veggie Tales theme song. I guess if I have to listen to the same movie over and over, this is a cute one.

And Barrett has this adorable habit. When he touches the fuzzy side of his blanket, his thumb goes into his mouth. Then, with the opposite hand, he either pats his blanket or pokes it with his index finger. Can't just hold it, it's got to be a constant patting or poking. At night, he does this until he falls asleep.

Barrett's new friend

William got a Mr. Potato Head for Christmas from Aunt Sue. I keep it stored with the puzzles and every time I pull it out it's a big treat. William likes to play with it and call it "Morty Bumble" after a character in his favorite VeggieTales movie. Today Barrett got to play with it for the first time. It really kept him enthralled for a LONG time, especially pulling out the years and sticking them in the little compartment in the back. He also enjoyed wearing the glasses and kept trying to put them on his face. I'm sorry, but I just think this kid is pretty darn cute.

Today he said 'cracker' for the first time.