Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Better Than A Birth Story - A Celebration of Our First Year

Dear Larkin,

I don’t know what the weather was like on the day you were born. I was laboring in a room without windows, and I had been there since late the night before. I assume the sun shined, I imagine birds sang. Given that it was September in Houston, I know that it was hot – the kind of heat that you can’t tolerate one second longer, if only because it’s been so hot for so very, very long.

I remember the drive to the hospital. I recall uncertainty; a reluctance to be excited, to anticipate your arrival, because I was unsure if this was just another false alarm. I remember the drive down Hwy 59, silent nervousness punctuated only by Daddy’s occasional chatter, as he fluctuated between insistence that this wasn’t it… and excitement that maybe it was. I zoned out, letting my eyes relax and the oncoming headlights cross into double vision as the street lights flew past the window. I watched absently at the familiar billboards and street signs, and wondered if today would be the day that everything would change. My hand rubbed across my belly as you rolled and tossed inside, poking out a foot, pushing your head, saying a physical hello.

We arrived at the hospital, where Daddy jumped out of the car, leaving all our bags inside. He returned to retrieve them, and then darted towards the lobby, leaving the car keys on the roof of the car. He swore he wasn’t nervous, but his actions betrayed him. My eyes dilated in the glare of the hospital lighting as I started my slow waddle to Labor and Delivery.

Once there, it was confirmed that your arrival was eminent.

There are no rainbows and unicorns in your birth story. But, oh! There were fireworks. My labor was a long, hard road of uncertainty punctuated by fear. But your arrival was an explosion of love and joy and amazement. The sight of you when the doctor held you over that sheet – I have no words. You were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. You made everything okay. Everything. Past, present, future. Everything was made perfect, because it was the path that led to you.

365 days. 8,765 hours. 525,600 minutes.

I don’t know whether to say I can’t believe it’s been a whole year, or to say I can’t believe it’s only been a year.

I keep glancing sentimentally at the clock. A year ago right now, I think, my water had just broken. A year ago right now, we were talking to the doctor. A year ago right now, the nurse was taking measurements and vitals or the epidural was being administered.

A year ago, I didn’t even know who I was waiting for.

And that is the part that astounds me. I HADN’T MET YOU. I’ve only known you for a single year. You, who has become so crucial to my happiness... I only met you one year ago, today. And I still don’t know you, not fully. I don’t know who you are going to become, who you are going to be.

No one does.

Sometimes I wonder at your tiny hands, as I kiss the sweet dimples in your knuckles, and chew on your long chubby fingers to make you giggle. I imagine what those hands will build, what they’ll hold. Will they mold pottery or hold a paint brush; will they wrap around a sports ball or pound away at a keyboard? Will those squishy fingertips grow hard and callused from strumming a guitar or holding a hammer or gripping a surgeon’s scalpel? I wonder how old will you be before they reach out to brush a date’s hand in some movie theater, or get you in trouble passing a note in History class.

And those delicious Play-Doh feet! I dream of where they will guide you, what paths you will walk. Will you chase bad guys or walk the halls of some hallowed Ivy League building? Will you scale mountains in some exotic land or walk the deck of a great ship over a rolling ocean? I kiss the tiny shoeless feet that will one day lead someone you love across a dance floor, and down a wedding aisle, and through a delivery room for the birth of your own miracle.

Maybe you’ll love to read. Maybe our family will take literary-inspired trips together, go see hills like white elephants in Spain, skip stones in Walden Pond, watch Othello at the Globe, trade quips at a round table at the Algonquin. Maybe you’ll love sci fi and silly movies, and we’ll all frequent conventions and dress up and be nerdy together. Maybe you and Daddy will get lost in computer talk and video games, and I’ll have to roll my eyes until you start speaking a language I can understand again.

Maybe you’ll be a big brother; maybe it’ll just be the three of us.

But now you call for me, and I rush to you. Because the future is a beautiful dream full of hope and promise, but the present is the real gift. A soft, sweet babe, still needing his mommy. Still just my little boy, my tiny miracle. Whatever the future hold, little one, I can’t wait to meet you there. And I can’t wait to absorb every moment of the present.

I love you, child.

To the moon... and back,


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ten Months Old

Dear Larkin,

Yesterday, you turned ten months old. It’s so hard to believe that we’re working on planning your first birthday party. I’m constantly wondering how on Earth you’ve grown up so fast. You are a dervish, a whirlwind, a tiny, handsome tornado, leaving fun and exhaustion and destruction in your wake.

And really, you are so handsome. You just keep getting cuter and cuter all the time. Your hair has grown so long in the back and on the sides (although you’re still rocking the receding hairline up top!) and looks so grown up when I can tame it down. Your eyes change colors all the time, just like mine, although they mostly go just from blue to grey. You’re tall and lean and you have the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen. I know you would say that I’m biased, but it’s true. Total strangers stop me all the time to remark on what a gorgeous baby you are. You love to hear these compliments, and never fail to greet one with a big grin. 

Not that you’re ALWAYS happy, of course. In fact, you’ve turned into quite the little drama king. You have started defaulting to your “it’s the end of the world” cry for everything. So basically, I never know if you are crying because your diaper is wet or if a wild boar has snuck in and is chewing your leg off.

As you can tell from the above clip, you’ve started saying “mama”. It typically only comes out while you’re crying or whining, but you’ve said it while happy once or twice. I love it. I love it I love it I love it. I eat it up! And it’s about time too, since you’ve been saying “dada” quite expertly for awhile now. In fact, you’ve been making some great verbal leaps. Besides starting to talk, you also have started understanding us very well. If I ask you where daddy is, you look around in his usual places. When we were going home today from an afternoon out, I told you we were going to see Gaunie and Nana. Your eyes lit up and you asked, “Dada?” “Yes,” I said. “Dada will be there too.” You started clapping happily.

This new understanding has led us to your new favorite game:

You could do this for hours!

You’ve also started finger foods this month. Once you allowed me to give you table food, it’s like a light bulb went off – “Oh THIS is what you guys have been trying to convince me is so awesome!” Suddenly, you love food! Just last night, you gobbled up a meal of rice and spinach, some Greek yogurt with mango, two Mum Mum crackers with apple butter, and a fourth of my chicken breast. Then you immediately nursed for a long time! I was super impressed. You love meat, especially chicken and fish, and I still haven’t found much of anything you won’t eat.

You learned to wave this month, and you do so by putting your thumb and forefinger together, then waving from the wrist. It’s adorable, especially when you do it all through the grocery store from your perch in the cart – you look like a beauty queen on a parade float! You also do it in restaurants, waving frantically to everyone who passes, just waiting on a response.

You got to meet your other great grandmother a few weeks ago (Grandpa’s mom). You are such a lucky boy to have THREE great grandmothers who adore you.

This month, I got my first lesson today in the school of "If it's too quiet, they're probably doing something they shouldn't" when I went to throw a load of laundry in, and came back to find you had opened the jar of coconut oil (that I had closed tightly so you could play with it) and was finger painting the wood floor with it. You really are just into EVERYTHING! You’re also very mischievous. I’ve been working hard to lose weight. One day, I went to weigh myself on Gaunie’s large doctor's office-type scale. I set you down on the floor while I climbed on. I pushed the numbers to the area I expected them to stop - but they kept going. Eight, nine pounds past what I weighed last week, and they still did not balance. I started to tear up, and then looked down to check on you – only to find you sitting on the back of the scale. Not cool, little man!

We’ve had an amazing month together. It’s been full of summer time joys, like swimming and hiding out in the cool library. We keep our days full of fun – play dates and story times and visiting with friends. You’ve enjoyed splashing in the pool with your aunt and uncle and cousins, and love that we converted G&G’s game room into a giant play room for you to crawl around and spread your toys around.

This is how you get around with your toys - like a cute little puppy dog!

We call this "getting the spirit". You do it frequently.
Apparently, Marvin the Martian is DELICIOUS
This is pretty much the extent of the cuddles I get. Just a quick love, before you pop back up, ready to play more.
I love you so very much, little one. Its late now, and you’re cuddled up in bed, just waiting for me to join you. I think I will right now. 

Mischief managed!

I love you so very much, sweet boy. You are my shining star.

To the moon… and back,


PS - Just a few more photos, because you're so cute!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Baby is a Jedi

My baby is a Jedi.

No, he isn’t all-wise, can’t swing around a light saber, or fight the dark side.
When 9 months old you reach, look as good, you will not.
But he is an expert at using THE FORCE.

Think I’m exaggerating? Consider this:

I tuck him in for a nap, and he’s sleeping soundly. I serve up a delicious, warm meal – and WAAAH! He’s awake.

I tell someone that, yes, I would like to have another baby one day – and BOOM! He starts acting like a wild animal.

It’s late at night, and mama needs a glass of wine. I pour a lovely glass – and he is immediately up and fussing for a marathon nursing session.

I brag to someone about how smart he is or how dexterous he has become – and he crawls straight into a wall.

I close my eyes to finally get some rest, go to kiss on my husband, or put in a movie I’ve been longing to see – you guessed it. AWAKE.

Now, it’s possible that those are all easily explained. Perhaps he smells the food and it rouses him from sleep. Maybe the pop of the wine bottle wakes him. It could be that the movement of me getting into bed, or the sound of a kiss, or his fear of potential future siblings pushing him from his only child status, or the noises from the TV create disturbances.

(One particularly annoying behavior is that the second I post a favorable Facebook comment or blog entry about a new skill or sleeping schedule, the happy behavior disappears. Although unlikely, I suppose it is possible he has an iPhone hidden in his diaper and just dislikes the pressure of me bragging on the internet.)

But what convinces me the most of his Jedi status – he can READ MY MIND.

The second I settle in for the evening, and allow myself to think “Oh, thank God he’s down for the night” – he’s up. IMMEDIATELY. The instant I think, “What a sweet baby” - suddenly, he ISN’T.  The minute I dwell on what a lovely bond we have, the stinker slams his head into my wind pipe and jams a finger up my nose.

My friends assure me that I’m not alone. They tell me their babies do the same to them. This does not reassure me in the slightest.

That just tells me there is an entire force of Jedi babies preparing to dominate the world.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adoption Day

28 years ago today, at 9 am, my parent’s phone rang and they got the call they’d been waiting for. That afternoon, they loaded up my dad’s infamous Blazer and drove to Depelchin Children’s Center to pick me up – their adopted daughter. I was added to my brother (then 11) and my immediate family was completed.

It’s amazing to me how God work His master plan. Even without blood ties, my family and I are perfectly connected. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and my mom has always been one of my best friends. In fact, my parents have walked that line between friend and parent better than anyone else I know.

My dad is the brilliant and surprisingly hilarious. He can crack a joke without cracking a smile that will slay an entire room. He taught me to drive when I was 11, out on the back roads by my grandmother’s farm. Have you ever been passed by a tractor? I have – and my dad was STILL telling me to slow down. He introduced me to Get Smart, and set me on a track that has developed into my sophisticated, finer sense of humor that we still share today. 

This is the man who helped me build an oil rig out of popsicle sticks and taught me to never throw anything away. No matter how far across the world he traveled for work, he always made it back for my dance recitals and birthdays. He was never able to teach me math, but he did teach me to honor the gifts that God gave me.  And he made certain that every guy who picked me up at his door for a date was going to treat me with the upmost respect. Because of my dad’s strength, I always readily accepted God as a father figure. 

This video is SO my dad. In fact, minus the sleeveless shirt, he basically owns all of these guy's wardrobe - including that exact Hawaiian shirt and phone belt clip. I couldn't have written this song better myself!

My mom was always my rock. She worked as hard as she could from home so that I never came home to an empty house. She taught me how to be a lady and how to stand my ground. She taught me how to wear makeup, how to walk in heels, and the importance of a signature scent. She was the original Proverbs 31 woman, hard working and full of tenderness towards her family.

I never once had to hesitate to call my mom – no matter the hour of night. Every phone call (even those made collect while I was at camp, when I needed to talk so bad that I couldn’t wait to go back to my room to find a quarter) was readily answered and rewarded by her heavy accent that sounded just like home. It was my mom who taught me to drive at 16 (we decided to preserve my dad’s heart and our relationship), who still does my hair for every special occasion, and who still tolerates my frequent borrowing of jewelry and makeup.

My parents gave me my love of reading. They read me bedtime stories until I knew them well enough to recite them on my own. My favorite was the story of my adoption, and they always told it with the greatest respect towards my biological mother and her sacrifice. Church was never to be missed, even when we were out of town. I have precious memories of hotel room communions and Bible verses.

My abilities were applauded and encouraged (my dad recently revealed a file cabinet drawer that contained every bit of writing I had done since elementary school) and my strength was never questioned. It is due to them that I have reached every success in my life.

And my new favorite part about my parents? Watching them bond with Larkin. 

 He and his grandpa are such good buddies, and he nearly dives out of my arms when dad walks in the door. When dad is in Dallas and calls home, Larkin’s favorite part of the evening is listening to grandpa talk over speaker phone. And sometimes I wonder if my mom isn’t even more proud of the little bit than I am! Gigi is pretty much his favorite person on Earth. They have showered him with love and affection, and are well on their way to spoiling him completely rotten. And they have been invaluable to me – starting with our first day home from the hospital when they rescued us at 4 am by taking Larkin and allowing us a bit of sleep, and a million blessed breaks that have followed.

I wasn’t born to my parents, but I was born for them. I thank God every day that 28 years ago, He paired up a family in want with a baby in need, and formed us.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me (and America)

I have the best birthday on the calendar – July 4th. Think about it. It’s a holiday, so (as long as you’re in America) you are guaranteed to be off work, no matter what day it falls on. BUT it’s not a gift giving holiday, so you never get gypped on gifts. Everyone loves to party on the fourth, everyone loves to barbeque on the fourth and THERE ARE FIREWORKS.

Admit it – it’s awesome.

What’s not so awesome is this slow creep towards 30. Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Not a milestone year, but inching up there. Nevertheless, this birthday was special, because I got to share it with Larkin. Oh, he was “there” last year. I was on bed rest and unable to attend the official fireworks show, but I hefted myself out to the backyard to watch the neighbor’s illegal show. Larkin tossed and turned in my belly, kicking me solidly every time a firework went off.

I remember vividly slapping at mosquitoes and watching my stomach roll, and marinating in the hopes of the forthcoming year. Except for the joy of the baby, though, all the hopes I had for my 27th year were pretty well dashed.

Excepting the birth of Larkin, 27 was not a happy year. It was fraught with financial hardships, professional setbacks (for both Jonathan and I), and rocky relationships. It was a rather boring rollercoaster ride – the highest peak of my life, surrounded by below-sea level nothingness. Nothing truly DRAMATICALLY bad happened (no family or friends passed away unexpectedly, no one became gravely ill, our son has born fit and healthy), but it was a year that I’m rather happy to see in the rear view.

To ring in my new year, we tromped in to town for the local fireworks show. It was not a well thought out plan. Because of the severe droughts we’ve had in Texas this year, most of the local firework shows were banned. So EVERYONE in the area was coming in to the same location. We had to park at one place and be shuttled in to the park. There, thousands and thousands of people had been celebrating for most of the day. It was a mad house.

We quickly backed out of the park after Larkin almost got his head knocked off by a (allegedly) drunk moron within seconds of us walking in. Instead, we parked ourselves in a grassy area outside of the park where a few other families had gathered to watch the show.

Shortly after we got situated, the first fireworks went off. Larkin’s eyes opened hugely and his mouth fell open as he watched the colorful explosions. He looked at me with an “ARE YOU SEEING THIS?!?” expression, then swiveled his head back to the show. He stared at the entire fifteen minute show with absolute awestruck wonder. When the grand finale started exploding across the sky, I found it impossible to look at anything but the huge smile on his face.

The trip home wasn’t pleasant (ever seen humans being herded?), but it was worth every minute of frustration to see that joyous expression on my baby’s face as he discovered something amazing and new. So, in other words, it was a very fitting ending to the year.

Happy Fourth of July, baby. Happy birthday, me.  

I think this year will be our year!

Gluten free red velvet cupcake... yum!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wake Up Call

This morning, I woke up to Larkin's tiny hand tapping my arm. I judged the amount of light shining through my eyelids, and mentally sighed. Early, but not early enough to try to pretend it was still night time. I cracked open my eyes.

His face lit up, and he smiled as wide as his chubby cheeks would allow. He had rolled onto his belly and propped himself on his elbows, the better to await my awakening. As soon as I returned his smile, he flipped over and sat up, his posture straight as a ballerina. He clapped his hands, celebrating the morning.

With sheer excitement on his face, he lunged at me and slapped his hands on my cheeks, leaned in and gave me a big kiss. He sat back up and clapped again, applauding his own adorableness this time.

I may never be a morning person, but this kid makes mornings worth getting up for.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nine Months Old

Dear Puddle,

I once read an interesting scientific theory proposed byDr. Ashley Montagu, a scientist and anthropologist. He theorized that humans actually have a gestational period of eighteen months – nine months in the womb and nine months outside. He compared human newborns to animals, and proposed that our babies are born “half-done” based on a physiological need before they have grown too large to vacate the mother’s body.  He states that while a newborn animal is born with some measure of self-sufficiency, humans obviously need complete tending and nurturing for this period of “exterogestation” and beyond.

It’s an interesting and very logical premise, and one by which, you are now officially a newborn! Congratulations on completing gestation, little man! You have truly reached an element of independence this month that blows this mama’s mind.

Photo courtesy of Max Dunlop
You are a crawling fool. You can dart across a room without a second’s hesitation. You frequently make it across the playroom in no time flat, even with a toy in one hand and another in your mouth. You have been keeping me running this month, young man. You love electronics, and the more off limits something is, the faster (it seems) you can crawl to it.

You especially love playing with your Gaunie's IPhone

A few days ago, you were playing in your crib while I stood beside you putting away laundry. You made a determined face, wrapped your fingers around the edge of the crib, and stood right up. We clapped, took photos, and I pulled you out so Daddy could lower the crib setting right away. You are pulling up on everything you can reach, and have even figured out how to walk your way around your crib.

Awhile back, you said “Hi!” three times in one day, all in perfect context. I got all excited about your first word and trumpeted it on Facebook – and you promptly refused to say it again. You are adding new sounds to your repertoire every day, though they don’t seem to be connected to anything yet – you just enjoy saying them. For instance, one of your favorite noises is to repeat “dadadadadadada”, but you haven’t seem to connect it to Daddy yet. You mostly enjoy laughing and saying it as loud as you can when I try to correct it to “mama”!

You’ve learned so much this month. You learned how to clap, give real kisses and give high fives. You’re starting to accept real foods some – you made me share my cup of chicken salad and my carrot salad from Chick Fil A today (my willingness to do so, by the way, should show you just how deep my love for you is).  You’re also eating more of everything. We’ve moved to solids twice a day and you’re still nursing like a champ.

Photo courtesy of Max Dunlop

Yes, you even rode a unicorn this month!
I can not believe how much I love you. My love grows as your personality grows. I am fascinated by this little person that you are becoming. It’s so strange that you were born to me, and created from mine and daddy’s DNA – but yet you are wholly your own person. And the coolest thing is, as you grow, so am I. I’m changing and growing into a mother… YOUR mother. Custom designed to do and be exactly what you need. Some people would shirk that concept, but I embrace it completely. I love how we are developing together.

I’ve truly enjoyed this time of exterogestation. You and I have been nearly inseparable. We play together, run errands together. You sleep curled up at my side and hang out in a wrap against my chest when we are out and about. It’s sometime exhausting to be so attached, but I’m thrilled with the beautiful bond we’ve developed. Plus, I know it won’t be long before I’ll be begging you to spend a second close by my side!

You amaze me to no end, little one. You are the coolest baby ever, and I love our time together. I am so very glad God gave me you.

Photo courtesy of Max Dunlop
To the moon… and back,


PS - I apologize that all of your photos this month were either taken by other people or by fuzzy camera phones. I'm sure we have a photo shoot in your near future!

PSS - We just got back from your new pediatrician's office. You now weigh 19 lbs and 7 oz and are almost 29 inches long. Big boy!

What Babies Dream

I was settling in with my crochet, enjoying the peace while Larkin slept solidly. All of the sudden, from the bedroom, he let out a frightened yelp. I threw down my crochet, and darted into the room. In the dim light, I could see him tossing a bit and whimpering but realized that he was still asleep. I yanked the barricading pillows out of the way with one hand, while reaching with the other to feel his cheek for fever. His head was cool, but he was obviously having a bad dream.

I laid down in bed beside him, and prepared to offer a nursing – his usual nighttime request. Before I could position myself, he turned to me. There, in the golden glow of the nightlight, he curled in tight beside me. He rolled until we were belly to belly, and rested his head on my chest. I wrapped my arm around him, and he reached out his small, soft, dry, warm hand and held on tight to my hand. I stroked the tiny dimples on his knuckles and he squeezed my fingers.

I leaned in and kissed his forehead, then buried my nose in his hair. The fine, puffy,  dandelion fluff of his hair tickled my nose. The sharp smell of his lemon organic shampoo mixed with the beachy scent of his sunscreen that never totally comes off in the bath, but it was all pushed aside for the decidedly little boy/baby head smell that is a perfume all his own.

I kissed his little head over and over, until the whimpers stopped and his little body relaxed. I rested my cheek on his head to double check for fever, and considered drifting off to sleep in the sweetness of the cuddles. Then he stiffened and cried out again, stopping short only when he reached out and realized he was still in my arms. My heart broke at the sadness of his fear and trembled with the power of our connection that just my presence was enough to offer such peace.

We laid like that for several minutes as he settled back into a peaceful sleep. I held him tight and wondered what he could possibly be seeing in his dreams to cause such discomfort. (Seriously though, what does such a precious child in such a sheltered environment have nightmares about? Weaning, maybe?) Eventually, he rolled away from me, and settled into his usual starfish position, sprawled across as much of our bed as he can possibly occupy. I slid out of bed, and came back out here to the living room – but I left my heart back in the bedroom, in Larkin’s safekeeping… just where it’s been since the first time he laid his head on my chest.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heart on the Outside

I was laying by Larkin this afternoon, trying to nurse him to sleep. He kept shooting me a sleepy but mischievous smile and trying to flip over and crawl away. Little devil. I turned our little white noise machine from the rain to the heart beat setting, hoping the change in rhythm would calm him down. No go, but the noise brought back a memory.

I was 23 weeks pregnant, and we were back in the hospital. My contractions had increased again, until they were coming every couple of minutes. I called my doctor and he ordered me in to L&D for monitoring. It was midnight, so our fears were compounded by sleepiness. The nurse made small talk while she hooked me to an IV for fluids, and strapped me to the monitors. She flipped a switch and the sound of Larkin’s heartbeat filled the quiet room.

She checked me for amniotic fluid and dilation (both happy negatives) and we sat and watched the green beeping lines as the machine tracked the rise and fall of my contractions. Jonathan paced and watched a muted DIY decorating show on the little TV as the nurse patted my hand and encouraged me to rest and relax while we waited for the doctor to come check things out. As she stood up to leave, she switched off the speakers that were broadcasting the baby’s heart beat into the room.

“NO!” I said. She looked back, and understood what I meant exactly. That sound was the only link I had to my impossibly pre-term and in distress baby. I couldn’t yet feel his kicks and squirms.  I couldn’t hold him and kiss him. That sound was the only sign I had that he was doing okay in there. His heartbeat wasn’t going to keep me from resting – it was the only thing that would allow me to rest at all.

She switched the speakers back on, and I lay back on the hospital bed. I listed to the whoosh of fluids and the patter of a tiny heart. I closed my eyes and thought how he was hearing my heartbeat the same way I was listening to his, and hoped it was offering him similar comfort.

I spent many hours throughout my pregnancy being monitored in L&D. The nurses on the floor came to remember my request to always leave those speakers on. I, of course, no longer get to listen to the sound of his heartbeat (I guess I could put my ear to his chest, but that would require him to sit still, which isn’t going to happen any time soon). Instead, I get to watch the frenetic movements of an obviously healthy little boy.

It’s intimidating to be a parent. The second that baby is born, you realize that you now have to spend the rest of your life with your heart wandering outside of your body. It’s an excruciatingly vulnerable feeling. I know that my emotional well being is forever entangled in this little pioneer.
Yes. Yes, you are.
Daily, I make decisions for my son. I chose where he goes, what he eats. I make choices that impact his afternoon and choices that will impact his entire life. From who I chose as his pediatrician to whether he is ready to play on the tile floor (update – he thinks he is, but his forehead may disagree). It’s intimidating. Every day, I pray for wisdom, that I may make wise and informed decisions. Decisions that I (and Larkin) will hopefully never regret.

That being said (I don’t have a smooth transition here, so I’ll just move on along to the next thing that is circling my sleepy little mama brain), I thought I’d make an update on my little firecracker. He’s been making developmental leaps like crazy. In the last week since I wrote his May update, he’s learned to sit up by himself (from laying down), has almost got crawling down pat, has learned to clap (SO.CUTE!) and has learned to give ‘real’ kisses (actual puckering, not just open mouthed slobbers).

Yeah, I got here by myself. Ain't no thang.

I see something I shouldn't be getting into. Let's go check it out!
 He has also continued developing that little spitfire personality. He has turned into quite the drama king, and has a whole new range of facial expressions to express his displeasure (in case his shrieks and bellows don’t clue you in). 

He's actually howling. I've always preferred vampires, but he may be the cutest werewolf ever.
Lucky for him, they are all pretty cute, although the hollering is wearing thin. Stay tuned for videos! He’s quite a character, this little boy of mine!