Sunday, September 21, 2014

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

Just recently, you went to the doctor’s office for your 18-month appointment.  You were two weeks away from being 19 months old, but it was the earliest we could make the appointment with Dr. Heller.  You didn’t want to stand up on the big boy scale.  Fortunately, you did sit in the baby scale.  From 15 months to 18 ½ months, you only gained 1 pound.  This bothered me, but I also remembered reading that after 15 months, babies slow down in their rate of weight, mainly because children are walking off baby fat. 

In the waiting room.

You grew a little… but according to the nurse, your head shrunk!  Huh?!  The doctor came back in to do another measurement.  You don’t like anything on your head, not even a tape measurer.  You cried as if someone was wrapping your head in something hot and the minute it was off, you were perfectly happy again.  The doctor said that your height, weight and head measurement are still above normal and that means you are continuing on the same path of growth.  The doctor was happy and that made Mommy happy.

Right before his shots.

Sadly though, you did have to get a shot.  It will be the last one for immunization until you are four years old.  You actually received two shots; the other one was the flu shot.  Daddy was there to hold you in a strong, safe grip; Daddy said, “I’ll be the heavy.”  You cried with the shots and your tears rolled down Daddy’s arms.  After the nurse was finished, Daddy handed you over to me, because Mommy is the calming agent.  I picked you up in my arms and told you how proud I was of you.  Your little fingers wrapped around my hair and you settled down.

We also talked with Dr. Heller about your lack of speech.  He said, “As long as Gregory is responding to your words, we know it’s not his hearing.  Give him two more months and look for him to pick up a word here and there.”  Mommy is nervous, but hopeful.  You definitely respond to things that we say and you know how to communicate what you want.

Lately you have taken to grabbing our fingers and walking us to what you want, either the door to go outside or the refrigerator if you want something eat or drink.  In fact, Daddy and Mommy cleaned out the refrigerator and reorganized it so that some of the items you like (cheese, yogurt, etc) are on the lower levels.  This way, when you attempt to pull open the refrigerator door (and we open it for you), you can reach in or point to what you want at your eye level.

"I don't know what this is Mommy"

As for you bringing us outside… it feels like every 10 minutes you are pulling Mommy and Daddy to the French doors that lead to the backyard.  When Daddy first built the swing set, it didn’t seem like you enjoyed the swing all that much.  But now?  You can’t get enough of it.  You smile up a storm while in the swing and Daddy timed it… you have to be in the swing for a minimum of 20 minutes, otherwise you scream like a madman if we try to take you out sooner.  When Mommy wants to take you out of the swing, you hear, “Do you want to go down the slide?”  You have a small slide in the backyard too.  Then Mommy can get you back inside after that with a minimum of cries.  As much as you love the iPad, you love being outside too.

Mommy and Daddy like going to Caffe Latte Da for breakfast on the weekends.  You know the waitresses and waiters and most of the regular customers too.  While we wait for the order, you love to walk around the restaurant.  You now have a craving for Daddy’s oatmeal and the hashbrowns, but we can’t talk you into the omelet.  That said, you don’t like hot food, not even very warm.  The heat of food matters to you and even if it’s something you like, you will spit it out if it’s not the right temperature.

Each day you are learning more and more.  It’s cute to see you look at the shirt that you are wearing.  You love trucks and cars and Elmo and pictures with animals – all are great on clothing.  You are standing in front of the mirror more too.  It’s cute.  And you’re quick to point to ears, nose and mouth on someone else, but not on yourself.

This is Gregory's "house" - it's a tent over a play pen area.

Daddy and Mommy love to play “Hide and Go Seek” with you, but you don’t understand the concept yet.  If Daddy counts, then you hide with Mommy.  The minute you hear Daddy saying, “Where is Mommy and Gregory” you start to squeal with delight!  Daddy has to go out of his way not to find you and sometimes you squirm out of Mommy’s arms to look for Daddy.  Then if Mommy starts to count and you hide with Daddy, you put your face to the wall as if you are counting with Mommy.  It’s too cute!

Gregory counting for hide and seek

Lately we have given you more bubble baths.  No toys are necessary when there are lots of bubbles to splash around with.  Bedtime isn’t complete without a bath first, though sometimes you are super tired and go to sleep before a bath.  It’s a rare thing, but it does happen. 

Mommy has not been able to get you back to your toddler bed.  I think our cat, Tigger, is sleeping in your bed more than you!  But things will change.  See, you will go to sleep if Mommy is right there, but Mommy doesn’t feel comfortable trying to get you to sleep while she rests next to you in your toddler bed.  Daddy and Mommy are price shopping for a full bed in your room that can be low to the ground for you to get in and out of.  This way, Mommy can rest with you in your bed in your room until you fall asleep then Mommy will go to her room.  And hopefully you feel comfortable and will sleep the entire night in your room.  That’s the plan at least.

A lot has changed in our lives lately with Mommy going back to work.  Mommy started working when she was 16 years old and the first time Mommy was unemployed she was in her 40’s.  Then you came along, our little miracle, and Mommy took on a new, wonderful job of being a Stay-At-Home Mommy until you turned 18 months old.  It was a blessing to have this very special time with you, wonderful to create the bonding.  Even Daddy was unemployed for 3 months during this same time before Mommy went back to work.  Daddy bonded with you even more then too.  It could have been a hardship on our relationship, both of us being unemployed, but you were our focus and made us realize how lucky we were to have quality time with you.

But it’s good to work too.  Daddy got a job and then Mommy got a job.  You get to spend quality time with your grandparents, which is super special.  It’s another adjustment in life.  Mommy and Daddy have both worked before in their lives, but in our older age and now with you, sweet boy, it’s all new and different.

When we come to pick you up after work and you run into our arms with smiles, oh how the world melts away and all that matters is holding you close and giving you a ‘kiss attack’ – that’s when Mommy and Daddy both kiss you at the same time.  You open your arms and wrap your hands around our heads, pulling us closer to you.

You might not be talking right now, my son, but you are communicating and it’s beautiful.

Love Always,


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Maryland Vacation Part 10 Berry Picking and Going Home

Playground at the orchard:

The orchard has many different fruits growing on their lands.  In order to get people from the various places, this is how they transported us.

Deanna said that she'll have to bring Burkley out here to pick Blueberries and take a picture of him.  Burkley was named after Burkley Blueberries.

After picking blue berries, we went to the large playground area.

At first Gregory didn't want to go through the tunnel, until  Mommy played peek a boo

He loved sitting in the train.  There was a lovely breeze, he got up on the seat inside the train and stayed there for a while, just relaxing.

Don't worry, Deanna is on the other side, holding on to him.

From the playground area, we went in search of black berries.  At first we thought they were all picked through, but we found some gems!  The black berries we picked burst in our mouths with delicious flavor :)  Gregory fell asleep; we put him in a stroller and covered his face so the sun wouldn't upset him.

Deanna and Gregory

Holly and Blackberries :)

We had a blast!

April and Peter

The apples weren't fully grown, thus the apple orchard section didn't permit for picking.  But ummm... I did sneak over there and play Eve :)

Lunch Time

I was so happy in this next picture!  We have been trying to get Gregory to drink from a straw, but he would just turn his head away.  Earlier this day, April was giving Gregory some juice from a straw, but where she held the liquid at the top and she felt him suck from the bottom of the straw.  I thought, "If he can suck down the drink from a straw, then he can suck up through a straw."  I figured, "What the heck" and gave it a try and he took to the straw like a pro!  Small thing to get happy about, I know, but I was so tickled :)

Holly and Deanna with their cool drinks

Holly's brother, Dashiel, came over for a visit.  I haven't seen him in years!  It was great to see him playing with Gregory :)

Me, Gregory, Dashiel

Ok, this next picture...  Burkley and Michael went to Burkley's Dad's (Alan) house to pick up some furniture.  Alan was moving into a smaller square footage home and didn't have room for some items, which could be useful at Holly's home.  When Burkley and Michael returned, Burkley asked Deanna if he could bring something in...  Deanna's response was, "Yes, but only if I get to name it and it wears a Santa hat for Christmas.  Go ahead and bring up the wildebeest."  Deanna rocks, how many fiancee do you think would be cool with this?  The wildebeest was killed by Alan (see picture below).  So, here is Philip, the wildebeest, and in a few months, picture him with a Santa hat!

It was such a great vacation week!  Gregory had many new experiences, bonded with a lot of his cousins, learned new words and how to sip from a straw... Mommy even had new experiences and tried new things such as wild boar sausage that Holly brought back from Italy (tastes like boloney) and just all in all was so incredibly happy spending quality time with loved ones.

The next day, my parents picked us up and we loaded up the vehicle to go home.  Holly and her family sent texts messages in the two days it took us to make it back to Louisiana.. that the house was so quiet without Gregory, how in the afternoon they felt like they should be turning on the TV to watch Mickey Mouse with him and during the day going out to do fun summer stuff.  They made the vacation wonderful for us; they made us feel that they really wanted us there.  I'm grateful for their joy and love.  It was perfect timing too, especially with me starting a new job after I came home from Maryland.  I wouldn't have been able to take this vacation if I started work earlier.  God's perfect timing :)

Here are some pictures from our trip back home:

Gregory makes friends wherever he goes :)  Meet Nora, a little girl waiting for her food at Cracker Barrell

Gregory loved the peg game at the restaurant.

Give me back my paci!

Near home, in the Mississippi rest area.  Gregory loves carousel horses, but he kept wanting this one to move and go up and down.  Lol.

Back home, lots of love, hugs and kisses from a happy Daddy!