Night Mommy

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, so this may be a bit rusty. I’ve been holding back on blogging because all of a sudden I’ve become so self-conscious about “oversharing”. I realize I post an almost daily picture (or 2) of my son, but I just can’t help it! And I’m here to say, that I don’t care! Well, maybe I care a little bit… But not enough to keep me from blogging from anymore. 

This was never meant to be about anyone else but me and my son. I blog for me… And Braden. I want to remember as much as I can. And I want him to know how I felt about every major or minor milestone in his life. It makes me so sad when my mom will tell me stories from my childhood that I don’t have an ounce of memory to pull from. I hope that Braden can remember a sliver of how much I loved him at this age, and what fun it is to watch him grow. So, here’s to blogging! 

Tonight. 

My heart become a new kind of full I haven’t felt before. All from 2 words. “Night mommy”. I’ll digress. 

Braden and I have spent most of the past 26 months sleeping in the same bed together. If he wasn’t with me, he was with his dad or some other family member. But, never sleeping alone. 

Co-sleeping was the best decision I could ever make for Braden and myself. My dad asked me once, “when is Braden going to sleep in his own bed?” I said, “whenever he tells me.” My dad is a very black & white guy… He didn’t get it. But, he didn’t need to. He was supportive in his own way, and ultimately it was my decision. And Braden did tell me. Not in his own words of course, but as he grew and matured I knew in my heart it was time to move on. Truth be told, we could have done it a bit sooner, but my heart wasn’t ready to let go. 

My dad convinced me to get Braden a race car bed. Chris and I weren’t super on board with it but figured… YOLO!! In actuality, I think it’s what has made this transition as easy as it has been. 

The first week I started laying in bed with him until he fell asleep. Much like I did in my bed. And every time he woke, I would go in and lay down with him until he fell asleep. I couldn’t take it! I hadn’t been up all night since he was an infant! Not only that, a twin bed is very small. And the race car aspects weren’t helping when I was crawling in and out bed… 🙂 His dad decided to just let him fall asleep on his own, and after a few struggles and miscommunications he was off to bed just fine. But, now it was my turn. 

I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was imagining what it was like when he was infant. So many tears and so much sadness. But it wasn’t anything like that! Don’t get me wrong, there were a few tears (mostly whines) and a couple yelps of wanting to snuggle… But I would calmly walk in his room and repeat that he has his own bed now, he gets to sleep all by himself, and etc. After a few trips back into his room to make him feel secure, he eventually he went to sleep. 

And then tonight. 

I tucked my little man in, gave him his animals (Mickey Mouse, Teddy Bear, a penguin, duck, and a turtle ☺️), kissed him sweetly on his cheek and said, “Goodnight Braden. Can’t wait to snuggle with you in the morning after the sun wakes up.” He said with the most cheery voice, “Night Mommy!” He then layed his head down in the pillow and made a kiss sound. 

My heart melted. When did my son grow up? Somehow I blinked and my little Braden is not so little anymore. It’s a very bittersweet time as I know he doesn’t need me as much as before…But, it is so rewarding to hear the trust in his voice and See his independence flourish.

 My goodness, I sure am enjoying watching you grow up. I feel so blessed to be along for this ride. But, can you slow it down a little bit please? I just want to sit in this moment awhile longer. 

I love you my little man! 

Xoxo

Your mama 

26 months 

   
   

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Night Mommy

Almost 2

This exact date two years ago I was one day past my due date. Every year when the 6th approaches I get just as excited as the first time. I wanted my little man to get here so badly. I remember arranging and rearranging his little nook set up in the spare room upstairs. I remember trying so hard to be patient, but he wanted to be fashionably late – one week to be exact! 

I cannot even begin to believe that I will be a mom to a two-year-old boy. My son. I still don’t feel like I deserve him. I’m waiting for  someone to wake me up and tell me that this was all some beautiful dream. 

I never imagined that I would love being a mom as much as I do. I had no idea that this was the way life was meant to be, because this truly is the meaning of life. It’s so scary to think that I almost missed it. I would have never known what true love feels like. I would have never known the meaning of love at first sight. 

There are so many beautiful parts to having a child, but I think the most beautiful part to me is that I get to live life all over again. I get the chance to experience all these amazing firsts that I don’t remember for myself. And to experience life through the eyes of a child is a gift I’m truly blessed to receive. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most rewarding. And that makes it all worth it. 

I love you more than my heart can even hold! 

Your mommy xo 

  
Waiting for my little man ☺️

2 days old 😍 

Almost 2

No no, Babies.

Words are forever growing in a toddlers world. Every day something new comes out of that little tiny mouth of theirs. It’s astounding how much they can remember and repeat. Did I mention repeat? I don’t know about anybody else, but Braden is a repeater. I’m going to go as far and say that he is an OCD repeater. He actually kind of reminds me of myself in this sense. I get latched onto a term or phrase and will repeat it any chance I get. I guess it’s not one of my best qualities Braden has received from me 😉

I can’t even begin to count how many words he knows, I think at almost 2 years old it’s common to lose count. At least I hope so…

Anyway, I’ve got a repeater, and it’s pretty funny some of the things that come out of his mouth! For some time now Braden has adopted the very interesting phrase… “No no, babies” and “Hey, babies”. For the longest time I could not for the life of me figure out where it was coming from. I mean, he had to learn that somewhere…right? No 2 year old walks around saying, “Hey, babies!”. Does he even know what a baby is?! Is he flirting? Does he know how to flirt? And why does he always have to tell these “babies” no?

But, finally! I figured it out! Every week Braden has swimming lessons at Waterbabies with Miss Vanessa. Miss Vanessa is the best! She’s been teaching Braden how to swim for over a year now, and we just love her. She’s calm, patient, understanding and always welcomes the babies into her class with a “Hey, babies!”.

A-HA! That was it. That’s all it took…one day a week for over a year and he randomly became obsessed. And I mean, obsessed. Literally everything he says somehow comes back to these “babies”. I will even hear him talking to himself in his car seat, all scruffy ” no no, babies”. It’s hysterical. Like, he’s trying to reason with these imaginary babies…”No no, babies!”.

I don’t know how long these phrases will stick around, but I know one thing is for sure, I’m not ready to say goodbye to them. It’s so much apart of who he is right now. I know when it’s run its course, that means he’s grown up just a little bit more. And I’m definitely not ready for that.

I hope I always remember this season.

I love you babies 😉

Your mama xoxo

(23 months)

  

No no, Babies.

Draw with me Mommy

Braden loves to draw. And not just sporadically – daily. I know that if we are going out to eat I should bring paper and markers. The color wonder paper and markers have been a dream to me. If you don’t know what they are, then I highly suggest you look it up. The only problem I have with them, is that sometimes my son will take a bite right off the tip and then exclaim, “uh-oh”…as if he doesn’t know how that happened! But anyway…back to drawing.

My son doesn’t care to watch TV for more than 10 minutes at a time. Which sounds really great on paper, but when you’re in a bind and need to get dressed – 10 minutes isn’t going to cut it! He likes to hop around and do different activities. And he really is quite great at playing by himself. But lately, he’s been asking me to draw with him. It’s nothing new, but the frequency and insistence on doing so has grown. I’m more than likely always about to do something that keeps me from being able to draw with him. He never seemed to really mind when I told him I had other things to do first. But today, today was the day I saw a little sadness wash over his face when I told him I had to dry my hair.

His little arms went so quickly to his side, he turned around, faced the table and hung his head towards his toes. My heart felt sad. He felt defeated. I could tell. He, with the sweetest face and innocent eyes looking up at me to draw. And I said no, for the hundredth time.

I’ve never dried my hair so quickly in my life. At some point during the hair drying process he ran into my room and shut the door. Frustrated with me I’m sure. He never said a word, but he didn’t have to. I just turned on the baby monitor and watched him as he had his moment to himself. After I was finished, I put the hair dryer away. Just as I was getting ready to walk in my room to get him, he came barreling out of the room in rush. He had the biggest grin on his face as he reached up to touch my hair and said, “dry!”. I’m smiling now just thinking about it. How much he knows and is aware of is still a shock to me. His little brain is this huge sponge that just takes everything in. I love it. I love him.

And so after I told him yes, my hair was dry and we can draw now. We did. I sat on the chair that is about as big as my hand, and drew and drew and drew. It was then followed by a tickle fight and lots of kisses. I wish every day could be this sweet and simple. I hope that I always remember to take the time to draw, because what could possibly be more sweet and simple than that?

I love you my buddy!

(21 months old)

xoxo

Your mama

Draw with me Mommy

A midnight snack 

I had every intention as a new mom for Braden to sleep in his own bed. We bought the crib (off Craiglist) and had everything set up, ready to go. Even after attending one of those baby classes, his dad and I rushed home to remove the bumper… Because those were not allowed. We were ready. I was ready.

But, Braden had other plans. Braden did not want to sleep in his crib. He did not even want to sleep in his cradle. He didn’t want to sleep anywhere other than being cradled in the arms of anybody. 

I can remember the first night home from the hospital so vividly. His dad and I unable to sleep… And of course Braden crying. We had heard about the amazingness of a sound machine. I invested in one, and at about 10pm, the first night home we plugged it in. I remember Bradens dad holding Braden up to the machine, as if that in of itself would make him go to sleep. I am able to laugh at this image now, but at the time my hormones and emotions were all over the place, and i snuggled Braden back into my arms on the couch in the den. And there I slept for 2 whole months – with Braden safe and sound on my chest. I became the granola mom I never thought I would be.

Let’s flash forward to 20 months later. Currently, Braden is safe and sound asleep next to me in bed. If he had his way, he’d still be nestled ontop of my chest, in the crook of my arm,  or a hand tangled into my hair. He loves to snuggle. “Gungle” as he calls it. I do not. I’ve learned to love it, because that’s what my son loves. Remember, I’m a granola mom now 🙂 But, if I had my way, Braden would be safe and sound asleep in his own bed or crib in his room…

Well, that may not be all true. You see, as a mom to a very loving, sweet, sensitive and snuggly child, I’ve learned to be all of those things. Not necessarily to everyone in my life, but most certainly to him. It became this natural instinct of mine that I have embraced fully. But, that’s not to say I’m not looking forward to him sleeping on his own – because I am. But, I will be patient. I truly believe there will be a time where he lets me know, that he’s ready. So, until that moment happens we will sleep side by side. A snuggle here and there. A held hand here and there. How could I deny him such sweet and innocent gestures of love? 

Sometimes he’ll wake before I’m ready to jump into bed. I hear him rustling through the monitor, and then I see him sit up in bed. A slightly distressed, “mommy”, is called out. Eyes squinting… Barely open. I quietly enter the room and remind him I’m still here. That everything is okay. And whisper to him to lay back down on his pillow. I slowly crawl into bed with him and rub his little head. He nestles in warmly Inbetween our 2 pillows, holding out his hand for me to hold. And when I do, I see the tiniest form of a smile and a little sigh of relief – eyes still shut. I watch this feeling of comfort take over him. His little piece of a midnight snack. He feels safe. And that, makes it all worth it. 

I love you my little man, 

Your mommy xoxo 



A midnight snack 

Morning walks

Just like that, things change. It happens so fast that you can’t even remember what it was like before. I started this blog because I wanted to remember. Remember those little moments that you think you’re going to always hold on to, but life happens and so you forget. And life does happen my friends. In a blink of an eye your child does or says something new and you grasp onto the moment, overjoyed. But, it’s short lived because there is always something new – and you’re constantly jumping to the next moment. And not to mention…I’m so tired ya’ll. It’s not a “my baby was up all night” tired. It’s just an exhausting life of swimming lessons, gymnastics class, play time, down time, reading time, eating, drinking and bedtime. Plus being mom with work, family, friends, relationships and you time that takes up space in this world that you just want to be filled with your little one.

So, with all of the hustle and bustle I’ve started to make a bigger effort in capturing those every day moments. Because I know when I look back at Braden’s life, it’s those moments I’m going to wish I had pictures of. Recently, Braden and I have started a tradition of going for a walk around the block. It was his idea 🙂 We start in the backyard, he plays in the dirt for awhile – watering his garden. It seems as though every time I go inside for a drink of water, he’s made his way around the side of the house, waiting at the gate to go out front. He explains to me that the trash (“ash”) cans are right next to the gate. I open the gate, he goes straight to the door on the side of the house and says “up”. I know this “up” means he wants me to lift him up to open the door, and then key in the code to open the garage. He wobbles his little legs around the side to watch the garage open. He grabs his supplies: car(s), t-ball, balls and lawn mower. Sometimes he meanders with Papa’s tools, but I always hope that part is short lived. He pushes his car around (mostly plays with the buckle “uckle”), plays with his balls, and sets himself down on the curb. I’m not sure why, but he really enjoys sitting on the curb 🙂

After that, we make our way down to the mailbox. He tells me all about where the keys go, reaching far up on his tippy toes before he takes off down the street onto the next stop.

This is where Braden spends most of his time. Playing with the leaves and throwing them over the curb. I love letting him do his thing. Before long he’s back up running up the hill. He stops along the way to gather some pine cones. Sometimes we bring our car along and he’ll put them in the front of the car. This time we were carless, and he enjoyed throwing the pine cones over the curb and onto the street. As we head back to the house, Braden stops a few times to tell me about his “dirty” feet. They do in fact get a bit dirty…but it just kills me how much he cares about it. I guess he’s going to be one of those kids that has to wear shoes – thanks dad 😉

I don’t know how long he’ll want to do these walks, but I’m going to savor them every morning. Gosh, I love him so much.

19 months old and counting!

I LOVE YOU,

your mommy

ps. please note I am no longer “mama” but “mommy” and sometimes on occasion just “mom” – the worst! :/

Morning walks

My little water baby

Braden has been in swimming lessons for about 8 months now. He truly loves the water. I was a little apprehensive at first because his first swim experience went awful. He did not do well at the first swim school he went to. I think it was a little overwhelming for him as there were so many other lessons going on at one time – equaling loud noises. But, we switched over to Waterbabies Swim School in San Clemente, and could NOT be happier! He has grown so much as a swimmer; more confident and so incredibly happy. When the opportunity came up to have an underwater photo shoot, I jumped at the chance! What a great time to get some amazing pictures of him swimming under the water that I would not otherwise be able to get. Plus, I’m a sucker for a photoshoot 😉

I don’t think my words could ever do justice of how special this photo shoot was. Braden was at the happiest I’ve seen him (which is hard to top since he’s pretty happy all the time). I rushed home with such joy and excitement in my heart. I gushed to my mom of how amazing this experience was. For days I talked about how excited I was about getting to see this photos that I just knew would turn out ridiculously good. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned…Our photographer, Mike Morse (who was great by the way) had just got a new camera/lens and somehow was put on the wrong setting for our shoot. He was so sweet to offer a free session next time – which I will definitely be doing. But, I was still disappointed in the outcome of the shots. I know things happen, and it was truly an accident but I could not shake how bummed I was. I didn’t even want to post any of the images because they didn’t come out as good as I had hoped.

As the days went on, I kept thinking about that day and how much fun Braden and I both had. I found myself smiling with happy tears in my eyes. And then I realized, it’s okay that the photos didn’t turn out. It’s the memory I have of this day that I will treasure and remember for the rest of my life. I will never get the image out of my mind of how truly ecstatic Braden was during the whole thing. For some of the shots Braden’s swim teacher was standing on one end of the pool, me on the other, and the photographer in between us to the side. Everything had to be timed perfectly to get the right shot. Mike would cue the swim teacher – he would go under – she would count to 3 – then tell Braden his cue words (“Braden, ready go”) – then they would go under – then I would go under. I would then be waiting, with the biggest smile on my face, for my little man to swim underwater into my arms. This perfect little boy would swim his little arms, smiling from ear-to-ear, all the way over to me. Like I said, my words could never do it justice, it’s the feeling in my heart of complete and utter joy I saw coming from my son that I will hold onto forever. So, that is why I am sharing these pictures. I don’t ever want to forget this special day.

Thank you Waterbabies and Mike Morse – I look forward to many more swim lessons and underwater photo shoots!

I love you,

your mama xo

My little water baby