Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three Months Old

Dear Larkin,

Yesterday, you turned three months old. I would have written this letter then, but we spent the entire afternoon snuggling and napping on the recliner. Your little body is going through so many changes right now, it’s just about worn you out. You are growing taller by the second. You’ve already gained eight inches in length, and doubled your birth weight. Everyone who meets you can’t believe you’re only three months old. You’re so long and solid and you have the most adorable little man face.

You are the most social, smiley baby I’ve ever seen. If you’re awake, you are cooing and laughing and looking around for someone to make eye contact with. You have the most beautiful smile – ear to ear and wide open and gummy. Every time you smile, I fall even deeper in love with you.

Cheeky little monkey!

You just recently discovered the most fascinating things in the world – your toes. We’ll be playing and you’ll catch sight of them and all the sudden I HAVE TO HAVE THEM I NEED TO TOUCH THEM OH MY GOD WHY ARE THEY SO FAR AWAY?!? You then bend over as far as your little round belly will allow and try to grab at them. When I try to straighten you for breathing purposes, you scream furiously.

Last night you started to fall asleep in my arms, so I took you to the bedroom to change your diaper and ready you for bed. I took off your drooled over onesie (I suspect teething is imminent) and just kissed all over your little warm belly and cheeks while you grinned at me sleepily. I relish moments like that, because I suspect it won’t be much longer before you’re far too busy to let mama snuggle with you much.

You adore your daddy. He’ll look up from his computer where he’s working, and catch you staring at him. Once you catch his eye, I have to be ready, because you squeal at top volume, throw your arms out and toss yourself backwards in excitement, leaving me scrambling to catch you before you fall.

'Helping' me do the laundry, and wearing your Daddy's shirt from when he was a baby

Today, I realized the dreaded tummy time is probably a thing of the past. You have proved yourself completely proficient at rolling from tummy to back, and do so the second I place you down. With the way you love to jump on everyone’s lap, I’m beginning to wonder if you won’t walk before you crawl.

Every day I wake up to your beautiful smile and wonder where that tiny baby went. When we snuggle now, you no longer fit squarely in my arms. You are a bundle of fun and personality, and I enjoy every minute. You are my most amazing miracle.

To the moon… and back,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Dear Larkin,

Merry Christmas, little man! You are the best Christmas gift Mommy and Daddy could ever ask for. This year with you has hands down been the best Christmas ever, even though you weren't overly impressed with the going-ons.

Still grumpy, even with all those presents!

You got mostly clothes (Sorry buddy. That was Mommy's special request!) and seemed very excited.

See? Super excited.

From Mommy and Daddy, you got a very sweet silver ID bracelet. Mommy needs to get your name engraved on it, but I still have a little time because even though it's SO tiny, it's still a bit big for you. Your cousins opened all their presents while you played with your wrapping paper, then you fell happily asleep in my arms.

Merry Christmas. I love you, baby.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christmas Tree

Like pretty much every kid, I LOVED Christmas. My parents always spoiled us during the holidays. Although I hate to show what a manipulative child I was, I have to tell you my Santa Claus story. Around Christmas time when I was about five years old, I caught my dad sneaking in the back door carrying an art easel I had begged Santa for. My eyes lit up, and I asked “Who is that for?”

My dad is one of the smartest men I know, but he was no match for me at that moment. “Uhhh… it’s for your mom” he said, and dashed off. The wheels in my head started turning. My mom is no giant, but what was she going to do with a three foot Fisher Price art easel? Hmm…

Sure enough, on Christmas day, the easel showed up under the tree along with my other gifts from Santa. At the tender age of five, I discovered the truth about Santa. Bummer. But it quickly dawned on me that if I let on, “Santa” would no longer make stops to the Larkin house. So, like any deviant child, I kept my lips shut. I continued making my requests of Santa, and he kept the gifts coming. I think I was about 12 when my mom finally looked at me in exasperation and announced out of nowhere “THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS.”

I just cracked up, and told her I’d known that for the last 7 years. Evil. But even once Santa stopped visiting, I still loved Christmas. But it is a kid’s holiday. As I got older, it lost some of its shine, and became more of a rat race to find that perfect present (or, if you’re like me, as good of a present as possible an hour before the exchange!) or a scramble to help cook the meal. It got even more stressful after Jonathan and I got married. Although I love both my families, Christmas got real old when you were spreading it out over four or five gatherings.

But this year, everything is different. Christmas is for the kiddos, and this year we have one of our own! I know Larkin is only three months old, and this Christmas doesn’t mean anything more to him than any other day, but it means the world to me.

The main tradition in my family is our Christmas tree. Every year, Mom buys every member of the immediate family an ornament. Some people’s trees are literally works of art: visions dripping in gold and crystal, or following a fun theme. Our tree is a hodgepodge: collections of various favorite cartoon characters, ballet slippers, baseballs, college logos, sorority symbols, cats, dogs, horses, koalas, and music notes – whatever each family member was into that year. Occasion ornaments represent multiple baby’s first Christmases, the first holiday season for various newlyweds, and a memorial for a first Christmas after losing a dear family member. Saved homemade ornaments show the growth of several children’s hand prints from baby to toddler and into school age, and the development of tactile function as messy balls of glitter, cotton balls and pipe cleaners (a reindeer face!) segue way into lovely hand painted clay figures.

My baby's first ornament

Our tree may not be the most artfully decorated, but putting it up is an instant trip down memory lane. And this year, it was so fun to watch Larkin stare fascinated at the sparkling lights and shiny, colorful decorations. He even got his own baby’s first Christmas ornament!

Helping daddy pick the perfect branch

Everything is so much more brilliant and beautiful when you see it through a child’s eyes. I looked at my Jonathan as we were hanging decorations “Who knew we’d be playing Santa Claus this year?!?” I giggled. And it’s so true! Last Christmas, having a baby was the LAST thing on our mind. It’s been a wild year, but it’s been an amazing ride.

You're the best gift ever, little boy!