And Then You Went to Kindergarten.

aid3 2Dear Aiden,

Tomorrow is your first day of kindergarten. I don’t plan to sleep much tonight. My head is so full of all my dreams and wishes for you. It feels like I have been counting down to this day forever, yet I still can’t believe it’s already here. What I wouldn’t give for just one more year before I have to share you with the rest of the world.

Earlier tonight you told me that you were nervous, and that you couldn’t go in without me. I felt such guilt-ridden joy to know that even now, you still need me. I promised you that I would hold your hand, walk alongside you, and stay there as long as you want me to.

I’ve spent the last five years protecting you, keeping you in this little safe bubble where I’m sure that no one can hurt your feelings or break your heart. You are so excited about this new adventure, so unafraid. But your Mommy is terrified. I haven’t let you see me shed a single tear, but I think you sense it anyway. 

On the other hand, Mommy is so incredibly excited to watch you come home every day with that joy in your eyes that always appears when you learn something new. You’re so eager to learn, and so curious about everything. You are going to thrive in kindergarten, Aiden.

I want you to know that I am so proud of the little boy you have grown into. You have become an amazing big brother. A tenderhearted, inquisitive, and an independent little man. You can bring a smile to anyone’s face, and constantly keep us laughing with your silly jokes that only make sense to you. I am so thankful that God chose me to be your Mommy.

All day long tomorrow, I’ll be worrying, praying, and thinking about nothing other than how you’re doing. If you’re making friends. If someone has hurt your feelings. I’ll hope that you will remember all of the manners that I have drilled into your head over the last five years. Say please and thank you. Yes or no ma’am. These simple little things will go such a long way in your life. But, I know I don’t even have to worry, because I know you will be fine. You’re going to make some awesome friends, you’re going to learn some amazing things, and you are going to kick kindergarten’s behind.

Aiden, my hope for you is that you will always be happy. I want you to be eager to meet new people and to learn new things, not just today as you start kindergarten, but always and forever. I am so incredibly proud of you, Bubba. I love you to the moon and back, times infinity. 

Love always,

Mommy

 

Being Just Aiden’s Mommy

momIn a few days, my time being a mommy of one will end. Asher will be making his debut, and Aiden will go from being an only child to one of two.

The other night, I came across videos of two-year-old Aiden on the iPad. Naturally, (read: stupidly) I watched them. Then it suddenly hit me that my BABY wouldn’t be THE baby much longer, and then I cried for an hour while eating my pineapple.

For over four and a half years, it’s been all about Aiden. I have spoiled him, praised him, and loved him in every way possible. When it was just Aiden and me, he was the center of my universe. He still is, but now shares that space with my Husband.

Now I have this third beautiful baby boy joining our little family, and I can’t wait, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also terrified. How in the heck am I going to love another little boy as much as I love Aiden?

Everyone keeps saying, “your heart just makes room,” or “you have nothing to worry about.”

I can’t help but still worry.

I’m scared that Aiden will think he’s being replaced, or that Mommy doesn’t have time for him anymore. I’m scared that he will resent his brother for getting the attention when it’s been all about him for so long. I remember my “baby blues” turned full blown PPD with Aiden, and I’m terrified it’ll happen again.

But my biggest fear is balancing my time, energy, and love between both of my children. I’ve had a newborn before, and I remember how stressful and exhausting it was. Trying to wrap my head around doing that again with an almost five-year-old in tow seems next to impossible. Until recently, and only because of my lack of comfort, I haven’t really gotten annoyed with being pregnant. Realistically, I know he will eventually be coming out. But honestly, the anxiety about having two children is greater than actually giving birth.

Thank God I have an amazing Husband in my corner this time.

Things we’ve done to try and prepare Aiden for brotherhood:

  • Let him have an active role in getting baby things ready. (I let him go through all of his old baby clothes with me, let him go through the baby toys, let him pick out nursery details, etc.)
  • Talked to him about how he will be such a great helper for Mommy once Dad goes back to work. (He even says he will change peepee dipes, just not the others.)
  • Kept his schedule as consistent as possible, despite snow days trying to ruin it.
  • Taken him on numerous Mommy-Aiden dates and “Mantime” with Dad over the last few weeks, but made sure to talk up how soon we can bring brother on our dates too.

And a f.ew other little details. Hopefully they work.

 

I have loved being just Aiden’s mommy for the last five years. In my heart, I know that once Asher is in my arms instead of in my ribs, I will be so overwhelmed with love and I’ll have what I didn’t even know what was missing in the first place. I can’t wait for that moment

A Mom’s Thoughts While Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I took my four-year-old and a one-year-old to the grocery store. I normally save these trips for weekends or evenings when my Husband is home and I can go kid-free. This time, pregnancy cravings forced me to go on a mad hunt for a cocktail shrimp ring and cinnamon toast crunch midday. This despite a max of four hours of sleep the night before due to pelvic pressure and round ligament pain from the apparent dinosaur baby residing in my uterus. This is my story:

Grocery cart

Not a single parking place, this is a great sign. How badly do I want that cereal? Badly enough. OOH THERE’S ONE. BEAT THE OTHER GUY. #WINNING.

MOMMYYYYY WE HAVE TO GO INSIDE AND FIND A BIG BUGGY! 

That’s cool, I’ll just turbo waddle through the parking lot, heavy baby on my hip, maternity pants sliding down awkwardly, and holding the four-year-old’s hand all while simultaneously praying that he doesn’t let go and that this store is out of the Cadillac-esque buggies. YES! THEY ARE OUT! THERE IS A GOD!

Looks like they are out of the big buggies, Bubba. (cue whine commencement.) Oh darn, now how am I going to make my three-display-destruction-per-trip quota.

MOMMY LOOK!

Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH (other Mom exiting store) for giving us yours. I sincerely hope your kids force you to listen to a Yo Gabba Gabba soundtrack the whole way home.

Okay, get in, get what I came for, get out….OMG CHRISTMAS STUFF IS UP….NO. Focus.

Mommyyyyyyy, can we go look at the Christmas stuff?? Absolutely, after I get a few other things! Well, at least I can blame him now.

Oooh, there are the shrimp rings. Yes! I wonder how many people are judging me? Let me just poke out my belly a little extra, then they will understand. Well, at least the women.

Okay…cereal aisle…cinnamon toast crunch, get in mah belly. No, Bubba we don’t need Lucky Charms…Yes, Mommy is getting cereal…we don’t need more than one kind today…Because, the baby wants it…Fine, just put them in the buggy. Why does he always have such valid points? He’s four.

Ooh, we need milk, and cheese sticks, and yogurt, and why did I come here hungry? Where’s the wine aisle? Oh yeah, pregnant. Grape juice it is.

Let’s just go look at the Christmas things now. Oooh the crafty things! Don’t even go there, Taylor. You’ll never get out of here. Okay, how do I get there without passing the toy aisle…

TOYSSSSSS MOMMY WE HAVE TO LOOK SO I CAN WRITE MY LETTER TO SANTA TODAY. 

Crap.

I want that one. Okay. And that one. Okay. And this one too. We’ll see. I’ll just ask Santa. You go right ahead.

I just want to get to the Christmas section already. 

Okay, Mommy. Let’s just go look at Christmas stuff now! Did he just hear me think that?

Push that button, Mommy! (cue obnoxiously loud version of a moose singing Jingle Bells.) People are starting to stare. One-year-old is starting to fidget. Even she’s embarrassed at how loud that dang moose is.

Push that button too, Mommy! Pleaseeee!! Last one, Bubba. (cue obnoxiously loud snowman version of Winter Wonderland.) Seriously? Now I remember why I don’t buy these things. 

Okay, Bubba. Let’s go. BUT WHY? Because the baby is crushing Mommy’s pelvis when she walks. WHAT’S A PELVIS? Mommy’s buttbone. He’s crushing Mommy’s buttbone. I’ll regret that one later. 

Okay, find a check out line. We’re almost out. Can I have skittles? No, you don’t need skittles. Can I have tic-tacs? No, you don’t need tic-tacs. Remind me to thank Nini again for getting him hooked on those. Why are you so mean, Mommy? I know, mean, mean Mommy trying to keep your teeth from rotting out. What was I thinking? Crap, now who is he talking to now? Why doesn’t he understand stranger-danger?

…and my name is Batman and I’m four years old. My mommy has a baby in her tummy and he’s a boy and his name will be ‘Ass-er Charies.’ He will come out of Mommy’s bellybutton but right now he’s crushing her buttbone. She told me so. That’s why we’re leaving. Oh, and because I probably have to go poop soon because my farts smell like tacos.

Oh. My. God.

Okay, Bubba. Now that you’ve told the man way more than he ever needs to know, let’s go.

Okay! You can call my Mommy and talk about it some more! Her number is 9…OKAY, AIDEN. LET’S GO.

BUT MOMMY HOW IS MY NEW FRIEND GOING TO CALL ME…..(cue Mommy waving goodbye at the poor, unsuspecting man who just wanted to buy his trashbags and beer in peace and running out the door.)

I am never coming here again. Ever. Husband is doing all the grocery shopping from now on. I’m done. All I have to do is get these kiddos buckled in and it’s home for naptime. 

No, we’re not going to McDonald’s. No, we’re not going to Chick-fil-a. No, we’re not going to Subway.

WELL WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT?

Lucky Charms. PB&J when we get home.

THAT DOES NOT SOUND YUMMY! Everyone comfy and ready? 

Aaaaaand, I forgot the milk.

Click here to follow me on instagram for daily posts on life with Aiden & his soon arriving brother, “Ass-er.” 🙂

Aiden Goes to School

aid5Snack, complete with cheesy note from an emotional Mommy:IMG_3272Obligatory over-the-shoulder-backpack photo:
aid1The “I’m-only-smiling-because-Mommy-bribed-me” photo:aid4Four, going on twenty-four:aid2Close-up:aid3
Walking into his classroom:aid6
Finding his hook:aid7
Checking in:aid8Right after this, I walked away crying. A mixture of being sad that my baby is so grown, and being so proud of how secure and independent he’s becoming. Just about ten months until I have to send him off to kindergarten and just thinking about it makes me a hot, emotional mess. Blaming the pregnancy hormones.

Finally home with Mommy!IMG_6046

Make sure you follow me on instagram to see my daily Aiden and pregnancy updates. Also be sure to “like” NJATM on facebook. 

 

Aiden is FOUR!

Here are some photos from Aiden’s birthday party last weekend. Lego-themed, obviously. If you’re on instagram, search the #aidenisFOUR hashtag to see more photos! Really though, you should be following me by now anyway. (Click here to do so.)

IMG_4108Goody bags! I cut circles from cardstock and used glue-dots to stick them on. 120 circles. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY. That’s not including the banner circles.

IMG_4118Lego cookies! Ignore the Christmas tray. It didn’t keep the icing from melting once we arrived at the park. 😉 Still yummy!

IMG_4119Cake! Pain in the butt, and the icing also kept melting, but Aiden loved it. So that’s what mattered the most.IMG_4120Banner was cut up cardstock with glued-on circles. Similar to the goody bags. Not pictured: Tray of rainbow fruit-kabobs. Not sure how I forgot to take a photo, but I made them! I have witnesses! IMG_6454Lego-utensil holder! Pinterest is full of deception over how “easy” it is to make this shape out of legos. It took me a while. Not going to lie. 
IMG_5015Cupcakes! There were also blue ones. Aiden has since eaten the leftovers.IMG_4121Just another shot of the setup! You can see the blue cupcakes and pre-melted cookies in this one.2On the outer deck, I hung a rainbow backdrop, and set up a “photobooth” for the kiddos. I’d say it was successful. (It was just different colored tablecloths pinned up and I found the prop set at Walmart for about $4.)3Doesn’t even need a caption!duckFinally, the party itself was at a boathouse by the lake here where we live. Ducks galore! I made little ziplock baggies filled with bread pieces so all the kids could feed the ducks at the end of the party. It was a hit!IMG_4202I guess if he HAD to turn four, at least it seemed to be a good one! 🙂

Now, bring on Autumn. Please and thank you!

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A Letter to My Little Boy.

April 14, 2014

Dear Aiden,

You’re only three. You can neither read nor understand this letter at this point, but one day you will.

The night that I learned you would be coming into my life was the single most amazing, yet terrifying night of my life. I would be lying to you if I said it has been easy since then. But every moment has been 100% worth it.

The minute I first saw you growing inside my belly, and saw your heart beating, I fell head over heels in love. I loved you more than anyone or anything else in this entire world, and I hadn’t even looked into your eyes yet. You were my son, and I was your Mommy.

1The moment you were born, I held my own breath as I waited to hear your first. You let out that cry, and I cried with you. Tears of joy because you were mine.

Fast forward a few months, and you were growing into this beautiful little human being. I still couldn’t believe that you came from me. You were already so handsome, and so incredibly smart. I loved you with my whole heart.

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When you were almost six months old, my life was turned upside down when your father and I separated, he moved out, and it became just you and me. I was twenty years old and scared to death that I would never be able to provide everything you needed. I wanted to give you the world, but could barely afford your diapers. How we made it to this point, I’ll never know. I believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and I make sure to tell you this all the time.

Fast forward a few more years. Now you’re three years old. Almost four. I thank God every single day for giving you to me. You make my heart so happy. You are still so incredibly brilliant. You are so independent too, which secretly breaks my heart because you never want my help with anything. You’re stubborn and rock-headed and getting you to listen is often the most frustrating part of my day.

But I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I hope to teach you.

1) Life can be unfair. There will be bullies that will tease you because you are different from them. People will be mean and sometimes they will hurt your feelings. There’s not much you can about it other than just ignore them. Choose your friends wisely, and if you choose the right ones, they will stand beside you through anything. Cherish those friends, stand up for them, and love them. Things will rarely go the way you plan and there will be days when you will question what the heck God is doing. Instead of letting these things break you, push through it. Accept that disappointment happens sometimes, and still chase after your dreams despite what “might” happen.

2) Love life anyway. You have one life, and just because it doesn’t go the way YOU plan, doesn’t mean it’s not going the way HE planned. Don’t hide from life because you’re scared something will go wrong. LIVE. Be open to new things, fall in love once or ten times. Get your heart broken and then fall in love again. Get married if you want to. Have children of your own if you want to. Do whatever you want to do with your life. 

3) Love Jesus. This one isn’t always easy. It’s easy to love Jesus in private, but not so much in public. You don’t have to strap on an “I love Jesus” flashing button, but just show it in your actions. This is something I’m still working on teaching you now, as well as learning myself. I don’t think either of us will ever stop learning how to do this.

4) Just LOVE. If you have to live by one word, make it “love.” Love your family. Love your friends. Love your future spouse. Love your future children. Love your neighbors. Give every person you meet a smile, you never know how it could change their day. Love people even when they don’t deserve it. Love your enemies because usually it’s they who need it most. Aiden, just LOVE. That’s the best advice I can ever give you. 

Aiden, I want you to always be the best YOU that you can be. Always be proud of yourself. Even if you’re different. You were created with a purpose that requires you to be unique. Be confident, but not arrogant, and be okay with failure. Failure is where you’ll learn some of the greatest lessons in life. Admit when you’re wrong, and be humble when you’re right. Be compassionate, be forgiving, be faithful, and always believe there is something so much bigger than yourself and a purpose for everything that happens. Be courageous and strong, because life is hard work but worth the effort. Be thankful for the blessings in your life, and be content with what you have. Be honest and loyal, and stand firm in your faith. Be what God intended you to be.

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I am so proud of the amazing little boy you are, and cannot wait to see the wonderful man that you become. I will be here beside you, supporting you and holding your hand. I will always be your biggest fan. Know that I love you SO MUCH, and I always will. You are my sunshine, and I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Mommy

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This Little Line of Mine: What my Cesarean Taught Me.

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I have this little line that runs across my belly. It looks a little bit like a hockey stick, and kind of like a smile.

I resented this line for a long time. To me, it was a symbol of failure. A symbol that my body wasn’t strong enough or capable of doing what it was made to do.

It was a constant and painful reminder of one of the most vulnerable, terrifying moments in my life.

But I was wrong.

This little line saved Aiden’s life.

I had gestational diabetes, and after the first twenty-four hours of labor, my blood sugar began to spike and Aiden’s heart rate began to drop.

Cutting me open saved his life.

I had read all of the blogs and articles debating c-sections. I read opinions about how they are the WORST thing that could happen, and I read how they could be the best. I read stories from women who were traumatized and scared to ever even consider another pregnancy, and I read stories from women who were practically scheduling their next one when they were just two weeks postpartum.

I had read enough to know that I didn’t want one.

I had been pushing for what seemed like days. My OB came in to check how things were progressing and told me that Aiden’s head basically wasn’t descending the way it should be.

She said I could keep pushing, or they could go ahead and perform the emergency c-section.

27 hours into labor, and I was exhausted. I felt defeated, frustrated and I wanted nothing more than to hold my sweet boy in my arms.

I consented to the surgery and thirty minutes later, I was strapped to a gurney, scared to death something would go wrong, and anxiously awaiting that sound that every Mom wants to hear.

I could feel my OB pushing around on/in my stomach. I heard her say, “not long now!” And after an eternity of pressure, pulling, and prodding I heard those first few glorious screams from Aiden.

My OB held him over the curtain and he was the most beautiful, bloody, purple, squishy looking baby I had ever seen.

The nurses wrapped him up and brought him over to my head. My arms were still strapped, but I kissed him like crazy, tears streaming down my face.

His bio-dad was able to hold him and left me alone to take him to our families and the nursery.

As she stitched me up, I became overwhelmed with emotion. I cried and cried, and just wanted to hold my baby. I felt like a complete failure because I didn’t get to hold him instantly, I didn’t get to try and nurse him right away, and I didn’t get that instant bond that I so desperately wanted throughout those nine ten months.

I remember lying in the recovery room bed, exhausted, angry, and anxious to hold Aiden. “Get some rest,” they said. Yeah. Okay. I just have a giant hole in my stomach and haven’t seen my child since he was born, but sure. I’ll just take a quick little cat-nap.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, they rolled me to the room I would stay in for the rest of the week.

The nurse brought Aiden to me and I was overwhelmed with love for this tiny little human. I held him to my chest, he relaxed against my skin, and let out this little sigh. That bond I so desperately coveted was instant. All of the anger was gone. All of the frustration was gone. And all of my feelings of being a failure disappeared. I was a Mommy.

This little line IS a symbol, not of my failure, but of my courage.

This little line is a reminder of the sacrifice that I made and the bravery that I had that night.

This little line is there to help me remember all of the emotions that I felt as I looked into my sweet boy’s eyes for the first time.

This little line is there because I created an entire human being within my body.

This little line is there to remind me of the unconditional love I have for that little human being, who is now a brilliant, independent, and beautiful little boy.

This little line is so much more than just a scar.

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Elves Like Chocolate Too.

Buddy got into Aiden’s advent calendar and chocolate stash this morning!

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But he saved today’s piece just for Aiden!

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And another passive aggressive “list” reminder for Mommy.

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Aiden’s reaction the Buddy eating his chocolate, summed up in a photo:

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