Sunday, March 29, 2015

A second birthday

We have a thing: Our thing is that we have a two-year-old. I'm not entirely sure how or why but somehow yes. Indeed we do have a tiny human running through the house, dictating life. It's good. Strange to look at pictures of an infant and be like, "That was you. Somehow." and then have this running and talking human right in front of our very eyes.

On Thursday we decided to take it super easy and have a low-key day just the three of us. We started the day with donuts (I mean, obviously) and Maddox of course was enamored with the candles and obviously tried to stick his hand in the flame thirteen times (moms with cameras, gosh dang). He blew them out because blowing out candles is his current favorite thing (appropriate? sure.) and I successfully got some pictures of the entire thing. Also, judge us if you must, but Walmart baker's dozen donuts are the best glazed donuts I've maybe ever had.

After donuts we decided to hit up the zoo. Maddox has been to a few zoos but this was definitely the first time he really knew what was going on and could point out all the animals and tell us their noises. For the record, his "rawr" is pretty cute. We were basically the only people in the entire zoo. I think we saw two other families the entire time we were there and it was glorious. We had uninterrupted time with ALL the animals instead of fighting over the best views. He was absolutely terrified of the tiger and would hold on as tight as possible to us whenever the tiger made her pass by us. Presh.

We had Maddox's party on Sunday. Also, don't be confused by the 500 cups and utensils; we kept it ultra low-key because I just didn't want a big huge thing. We did the big huge thing for the first party and I wanted people to have a chance to actually see and talk to the birthday boy, as opposed to a mass of people standing awkwardly in my house. Not my jam.

So, we did cake and ice cream. That's it. I was slightly concerned about what the theme would be and the various kinds of dessert I could make and how I could make this absolutely adorable because I'm a maker and makers gonna make, yo. But. A month before his birthday I felt totally uninspired about his birthday. But in a good way. Like, not needing to make a big thing out of it and Maddox would be impressed with cake and ice cream and a handful of people who love the shit out of him. And it was still good. He's a big deal and we celebrated him and it was absolutely perfect. He got lots of toys and new books and clothes (praise the Lord! Clothes!) and we brought out the bike we've had forever and got him a helmet so he can actually ride the thing (and by ride I mean so I can push him because he's refusing to learn to pedal). I made him the WILD shirt with the freezer paper stencil method. We put his cake on the floor for him to blow out the candles and Evan opened all his gifts because he was too concerned with the fact that he got bubbles and tissue paper than anything else. [This is a weird paragraph. Apologies.] I am so glad I spent the last few weeks at the park and on walks and reading his favorite book over and over again rather than DIY-ing his second birthday. Also, don't be confused by these pictures, there were actually people at his party. (Hashbrown, no filter.)

Happy birthday, sweets. We love you.

Friday, March 27, 2015

03/13 [round 2]

We woke up to a late spring snow storm on Wednesday morning; you know, the kind of snow that's hardly snow at all but mostly fluffy, cottony, watery snow that sticks perfectly to the trees and is just begging to be the background for some family pictures.


Except for once we got loaded up and on the road, the sun came out and melted everything. I mean, no trace of the snow whatsoever. Zip. Zero. None. It's basically okay because look at this. Montana + my two guys. Plus my hat (that Evan hates and pretends to like). It's good. It's really good.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear Maddox//two years

Dear Maddox,

Happy, happy birthday, my sweet baby love. Today you are two. Today you have lived on this earth for seven hundred and thirty days, each one more perfect and precious than the last. I want to begin each birthday letter to you this way, even when you are no longer my baby and when I have to break out the calculator to check my math. It seems silly that I'm already writing you this letter that will fail to convey my love for you. It seems like we just celebrated your first birthday and three days later, here we are. Time has no concern that it is moving us at a much too rapid pace. And yet, here we are at your second birthday.

I marvel at you from the moment the sun peeks over the horizon until the moon comes out each night. You are a kind of brightness that I never knew was missing. You and your personality that is somehow a perfect combination of your dad and I. You're rarely patient but you like to share and you're a big fan of orange juice and you would repeatedly bang your head on the ground for a single piece of candy. I see you and I marvel at you because you are a tiny human. Yes, that is what you are. You're no longer a baby or the beginnings of a toddler. You're a tiny human with a personality and opinions and you make choices and flat out tell me "no," when you're opposed to anything.

And yet, I made you. For nine-months I carried you under my heart, your heart beating away in tandem with mine. And for nine-months I worried that I couldn't be a mom and that everything I had to give you wouldn't be enough. And in one split-second there you were, in my arms and I was a mom-ready or not-and you were suddenly outside my body, holding my heart because my chest had definitely exploded. Nine-months wasn't enough time to prepare me for the kind of love you can feel for another person. A full year of your life wasn't enough. I love you more today than I did yesterday. And I'll love you more tomorrow. And more, of course, all the days after that.

As if time could have been even more inconvenient, your second year has passed us by even faster than the first. I feel slightly torn by the fact that I am saddened by this but I am also gloriously praising each new thing that you do. Every single mom has repeated the words, "Each new stage is better than the last," and yet I never listened until I heard it from you. Don't think that I wouldn't trade 100 more triangle haircuts to go back and relive your newborn cuddles. I would endure the sleepless nights again and again because I can still feel the weight of your seven pound, three ounce newborn body curled against me and I never want to lose that memory. And yet, here you are galloping through the house (when you're not running), and saying a handful of words that only your dad and I can understand, really. You ask me to come with you and you excitedly yell, "Mama!" when I walk into a room. You give hugs and kisses and high fives and bumps and you finally, finally say "boom" after a fist bump. I could not have pictured this phase of our lives where you are so preciously balancing between baby and little boy but it is unconditionally pure and uncomplicated that I selfishly wish you could stay at this age forever, where I can protect you from everything obscene this world will throw at you.

We have dance parties in the living room and we jump on the bed and every single couch. We pile pillows and cushions in giant stacks and leap into them. We read books and play chase and throw the ball back and forth. You love peek-a-boo and you like to hide behind all the corners and doors and jump out at me as you yell, "Boo!" I didn't know that motherhood--with all of its bumps and bruises and tears cried in the shower after a long day or the pain of just putting you to bed at night knowing that it's going to be a great many hours until I see your sweet, toothy grin and kiss your pouty lips--would be this full. You have completed a piece of me that I didn't know was missing until every single day when the only words I have to describe it are, "Yes. This."

Today, at two twenty seven in the afternoon, you are officially two. It has been two years since the doctors wheeled me into the operating room, joking about their bad driving as they nailed my bed in the wall and bounced me off a corner. Even if they had not physically split me in two as they brought you into the world with modern medicine and casual conversation while my insides were outside and I felt like my lungs were being crushed, I would have been split in two the moment I saw your perfect face.

I held another little boy recently. He was a few months younger than you but it hit me as I propped him on my hip that he wasn't mine. You're mine, my own flesh and blood. I carried you for nine-months and I've continually carried you for another twenty four. You wrap your legs around my waist and your arm drapes my shoulder. Even if I dare to adjust you, you're yelling, "No! No! No!" because you never want to be put down. You're mine. And I never noticed before, the way you are home to me. Your long legs and the smell of your head and your squirms. They're yours but they're mine too and I cherish them because someday you'll be too big to fit in my arms. All I will have is the memory of your weight on my hip as I hold you so you can see and be included in everything.

That day will come but that day is not today. And so today, as you turn two, I will carry you around and bounce you on my hip and hold you close to my heart. You are my heart and I love you with every ounce of my being. I'm so blessed to be your mama and to hear your laughter all day long and to be the one you want when you're upset or you've bumped your head or you just need an extra cuddle. I will cherish every single day of your life because you are my joy and I love you with all that I am.

I will forever be turned inside out. Because you are my son. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

too many pictures of a dog that isn't mine

Well. Our friend Nick just got a Great Dane puppy. He shipped him in from a breeder and we were all, "We're coming to take pictures when you meet him." And so we did just that. They brought out his kennel into the baggage claim of our dinky airport and no less than 45 people came up to see what this giant elephant-sized crate was holding. And then Nick went to grab a cart to haul the kennel to the car and some lady was talking to me, saying, "You should just let him out. Open the kennel. Just open it." I said, "It's not my dog so I don't think so." But she kept pressuring me to do it. I don't know where Evan had gone but I was alone with some lady who might have been a drug pusher who definitely wanted me to open the kennel and let the dog out so she could steal him.

ALSO. Side note. While we were waiting for the plane to deboard Maddox was standing by us and casually walking around. The three of us had our eyes on him the entire time and he never went more than a few feet from us. But this old lady felt the need to come up to us and say, "You better be careful. Someone's going to kidnap him." And then add at the end when she saw my look of utter pissed-off-ness, "Because he's so cute." I will literally cut you. Back off.

Anyway. We took him outside and hauled him out of his kennel and he's absolutely perfect and I love him with all of me already and he's not even mine. Nick named him Moose, probably because he's going to be the size of a moose when he's full grown. His parents were just around 180-pounds. Which is insane and I will buy a saddle and I will probably ride him around. He's currently 9-weeks old and weighs 31-pounds and has the biggest little paws. So, yes, he will definitely live up to his behemoth name. Also, Maddox saying "Moose," just about kills me. He's got it down but we definitely drilled him on it all day before we went to meet him. He's pretty into the dog as long as Moose isn't touching or licking him.

We're a lot in love with our new little friend who is made entirely of velvet and cuddles and love.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

turning two

In a few weeks, you'll be two. You'll be at the age of exploration and adventure, the age that everyone has nothing good to say about it. But I will sing its praises because two will not be much different than one year, eleven months and two weeks. You might grow another inch or four in the next sixteen-days but you'll still be that smiling boy who thinks that the tripod is a microphone. Who screams "FRENCH FRIES" at the top of his lungs. Who cannot leave the house without a hat on his head. Who prefers to wear the hat a little to the side and slightly crooked. You'll be the bossy boy who insists I wear socks AND shoes around the house. You'll still insist that I take a bath instead of you and repeatedly say, "Mama's. Mama's. Mama's." when I ask if you're ready for a bath. You'll be independent as you sit at the table and spoon your food into your mouth and eat everything from your plate and half of mine as well. You'll still be trying to con me into giving you six gallons of orange juice a day, looking at me like you've just had the most brilliant idea and then saying, "Juice." as you take my hand and pull me to the fridge. You'll do it with fruit snacks too, which I hope in two weeks you'll still be calling, "soot sacks," and wrinkling your nose as you do. You're going to be two and you'll probably still call it "four," as you hold ten fingers out to anyone who asks how old you are. You'll still be trying to figure out how to put your shoes on by yourself and you'll probably still run away when I ask if I can help you. You'll surely still be coloring with chalk on the dog's kennel and I'm sure I'll find some rogue chalk picture on my walls and on the back of my beige couch. You'll still be insisting that the dog get roughly 45 bones a day. And while I'll be the only protesting this situation, I've noticed that you're now tall enough to reach the treats shelf in the closet and there's really nothing stopping you from giving the dog as many bones as both of you want, while you say, "Sih! Sih!" telling her to "sit," which also often comes across as a four-letter curse that breaks us out into laughter that we cannot contain. You'll still be working on your ABC's and counting to ten and I probably won't correct you when you say "yights" because I love how you talk. You'll probably still have those mornings like the one we had the other day, the one that was filled with you running through the house and screaming at the top of your lungs whenever I looked at you. You'll probably still take bathes that leave more water on my tile floor than in the bath itself. I'll probably still be threatening to take away all of your bath toys, too. You'll probably still insist on taking a minimum of 25 books to bed with you each night and we'll still hear you reading yourself to sleep. You'll probably still wake up at seven thirty on the dot and you'll probably still want eggs every morning for breakfast. I'll definitely love you more then than I do now, in some impossible way that makes my heart grow bigger and more full of love for you every moment of every day. I'll still be praying for more patience so that when you are screaming at me and pushing me out of the room and slamming your bedroom door in my face like a mini teenager, I'll be slow to anger and rich in love. You're going to wake up one morning and you'll be two and it won't even feel any different because of this (not-so?) gradual escalating movement you have made from a helpless newborn to a not-even-walking one-year-old to a running and laughing and talking two-year-old. My heart will probably explode one hundred times at least on your birthday, just like it does every single day, but on that day especially because you will forever be my first baby, my first little love, my first son. And I'm so thankful that you are mine.