Dear Braden

I stand here in your half-lit room trying to put the pieces back together so that it resembles somewhat of a livable space. It’s inevitable that I find little pieces of the you that you were, when you were first here. A much too deflated balloon hidden behind a dresser that we received the day you were born. A stuffed monkey I “had” to have when you were still tucked away in my belly. It always brings me back to a place of happiness and a little smile makes it way onto my lips as images of your life flash in my mind. Gosh, where has the time already gone?

Braden, you have already taught me so much in the mere (almost) three years that you have been here. I could not have dreamt up a better son for me to have. Honestly… You complete me just as much (if not more) than I complete you. You have shown me the meaning of life, pushed me to be better than I was the day before, and loved me unconditionally.

You are gentle and kind and love with all of your heart. I sometimes worry (a little too much) that wearing your heart on your sleeve is going to break that sweet heart of yours one day. But please know, that I will be here to help you put the pieces back together. Your love for people is astounding. You adapt to places quicker than I can even believe. You’re coordinated, musically inclined, smart, sensitive, in tune with people, imaginative and of course handsome.

You don’t throw tantrums, but you do push the limits and question things you don’t understand. You’re stubborn at times and determined to do things your way. But, after a conversation (or 2) you’re willing to see and understand the other side. I love that about you the most, I think. Your ability to want to listen, to want to understand – “tell me” as you would say. You’re inquisitive. And even though it tests my limits and patience, I think that quality is going to take you far.

Two meant; big boy beds, first vacations, potty training, sock modeling, Easter egg hunts, camel rides, play time with Baby Graham, beach days, lots more sweets, love and lots of laughter.

I’m looking forward to three – big boy undies and preschool to name a few! But, I’m more looking forward to watching you grow. I don’t know how two hearts created such an incredibly big heart in you, my little man. But I do know that I am honored to know you. You just get what life is about and that is pretty damn cool.

Here’s to you, Braden.

I love you,

Your mommy xo

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Photos by: Reams Photo

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Dear Braden

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 

   
   

Night Mommy

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.

Growing up is hard to do…

As I write this a dear friend of mine is on her way to the hospital to meet her new baby girl. I can’t help but feel nostalgia (again) for the birthing of my little man Braden. I feel jealous that she gets to experience this miracle. I don’t often think about the day Braden was born. But when I do, it is with such a heavy heart.
Braden is my miracle baby. Miracle in such a way, I’m not sure how he even made it to this world in one (healthy) piece. I often think about his sister that didn’t make it. Does he feel an emptiness that something (somebody) is missing? Most likely not, but I can’t help but feel this guilt that she’s not here for him. When I see him playing by himself I get this nagging feeling that she should be here to play alongside him. Truth be told, she didn’t make it long enough to know for sure she was in fact a she. But in my heart I feel he had a sister.
Questions often pop up in my mind; what would she look like, would they act the same, be best friends? Just a list of unanswered questions. It doesn’t plague me every day as it once did, but…
I think this is why I protect Braden with every ounce I have inside of me. I feel incredibly blessed that he made it. I was so nervous throughout the rest of my pregnancy that I wouldn’t get to meet him… But I did.
And I’ve spent the last 13 1/2 months with Braden. Not just with him… But WITH him. I’ve never spent more than 8 hours away from him. And as excited as I am for this next chapter in his life, I am really anxious.
It’s beyond time for him to embrace the other half of his life with his dad. And I’m so grateful that his dad has been understanding to fulfill goals of mine, such as nursing Braden for a full year, and patient enough to let me feel ready for this new chapter in Braden’s life.
It’s bittersweet to let go of Braden’s hand and watch someone else take the lead. I’ve been the soul protector since he was growing inside of my belly. And I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be hard…
But it’s time to let Braden grow up just a little bit more, and experience every aspect of his life that he can.
So many great “dad” adventures await him.
So many things to learn that only a dad can teach.
So many man-to-man chats to be had.
So many sleepless nights of laughter, junk food to devour, and dirty hands to never be washed.
Oh Braden I love you so, and will miss you on the nights you’re away.
I hope you will miss me in just the right amount. And I hope you’ll be ready for Eskimo kisses and mommy cuddles when you come back to me. I’ll be waiting for you my button.

Love you so manys!
Xoxo
Your mama

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Growing up is hard to do…