Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Memories

There are days I wish he would remember. I see a beautiful moment, a perfect day, and I wish that he would have this day and be able to look back on it. I try to take pictures, but no matter how expensive my camera is, it can’t capture the true joy of a wonderful day.

There is so much the camera misses:

The sweet, beachy scent of the thick sunscreen that coats our faces white and brings back memories of my own childhood.

The giggles at a baby wetsuit, ten lbs of sunscreen, a sun hat AND determination to stay shaded as we realize I’ve become one of *those* moms.

A nervous expression as we step into the big pool.

A slight kick of the feet, then excited, happy kicks as he realizes he can’t touch bottom.

Blowing raspberries on the bright yellow floatie.

Giggles turning into hysterical laughter as he watches his daddy splash around like crazy, exclusively for his enjoyment.

Holding on tight to mommy’s hand when the waves make him nervous.

The wonderment in his eyes as he touches the rocks of the waterfall, and watches the water flow crystal clear over his hands.

The smell of barbeque on the grill, and the sight of daddy manning the flames skillfully.

How the warmth of the sun stays on the skin, even as the evening air begins to cool.

Sleepy eyes.

Quietly reclining in the tub, while mama soaps the sunscreen and chlorine off his little body.

Falling asleep, snuggled warm next to mommy, and still feeling the rise and fall of phantom waves.

Sweet baby, I wish you would be able to look back on these days of your very first summer. I wish the memories would stay with you as you grow, like snapshots of your babyhood. These hot days spent splashing and discovering that you are our little water baby have been so much fun. But even though you may not remember – I will never forget!

Happy first summer, little man.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Eight Months Old

Dear Monkey,

Eight months old. EIGHT. Somehow, in the last eight months, you’ve gone from a tiny glow worm who I was afraid to unswaddle (because I knew I’d never get you swaddled back as well as the hospital nurses) to a barreling ball of kinetic energy. You race through the days with a grin and a giggle and greet every moment with joy. Sometimes I wonder if you’re not teaching me more about how to live life than I’m teaching you!

It’s been a crazy month (which might explain why this letter is 3 days late!). For the first time, I will not be saying that this month flew by. It’s been a hectic and tough month, and it feels like it’s been a year since Easter! It’s been a month full of a few bouts with illness (for both of us!), a lot of teething, and not a lot of sleep. But it’s also been full of crazy developmental leaps and a LOT of fun.

I don’t even know where to start! First of all, you are cutting FIVE teeth right now. All at once! This brings you to a total of six teeth overall, and all cut in a month. You are mommy’s little trooper! You have two on the bottom, and four on the top. When you cut that first one, you spent two days doing nothing buy tonguing that tooth. Now, you sit around and grind your top teeth against the bottom, trying to figure out what all that is going on in your mouth. Daddy thinks it’s funny, but the noise puts a chill up my spine.

You are also now mobile. You’re finally conquering your hatred of being on your belly, and have worked out the cutest little scoot. You put your forehead to the floor, stick your butt up in the air, and push your face across the floor. You have permanent carpet burns on your forehead! You’re getting pretty fast, too. You can really hustle if you see Mommy or one of the kitties across the room! You’re working on a regular crawl, but just haven’t quite got the knees/hands movement down yet. I don’t have many pictures in this update, because you don’t like sitting still and posing much anymore.

You have developed such sensitive spirit. You definitely have your Mommy’s empathetic soul. You get sad when I’m sad and tense when you hear arguing (even if it’s just on TV). Strangers have started to make you nervous and loud noises upset you sometimes. But even with all that, you are still super social. You love to greet the world with a big smile – as long as you can see them all from the safety and comfort of your mama’s arms.

You are also getting a very independent spirit. You are 19 pounds of pure firecracker. When I’m holding your hands to help you stand, you tried to shove me away, the look on your face saying “MOM, I’VE GOT THIS”. Diaper changes have become quite a production. I have started changing you on our bed most of the time since you’re so wiggly. The second the old diaper is off, you flip over and start to crawl away as fast as you can, a maniacal grin from ear to ear. When I catch you and flip you over to put the new diaper on, you go bonkers and throw a fit. When I’m done, I feel like standing back and throwing my hands in the air, à la a rodeo cowboy. 

For someone who can’t talk yet, you’re pretty good at letting everyone know what’s on your mind. You have this loud goose honk that you make when you notice I’m not around, a shrill and ear piercing shriek that you get when you’re tired, a grunt when you’re hungry, and a million other vocalizations that make perfect sense to my mom’s ear.

I am SO glad that I’ve been able to stay home with you. I love getting to spend every day playing with you, and never having to miss a minute of your energy. It makes it so easy to make financial sacrifice to know that the effort is going towards keeping us side by side all day. I feel so blessed that I’ve gotten to witness nearly every single smile.

I wish I could give you words that would tell you how thoroughly I love you. I wish I could say something, write something, compose something that would whisper to you always the depth of my love. All I have are the simple words the God has given me, and I hope they serve their intention. You are my heart, little one. I revel in every second we share.

You are the brightest joy in an often dim world. If I could, I would make the world a better place – cleaner and safer and softer. I would protect you from every hurtful thing that lurks. But as you grow, I know I’ll be able to protect you less and less. Just as your sweet head has lost the powdery newborn scent, I will lose my ability to keep you safe and sound in my arms. But I promise you to always keep our home a haven, and to always provide a safe place when you need somewhere to rest.

My emotions are too great, and my words too jumbled. So I will just tell you this, little boy: your mommy loves you. She loves you as wide and as deep and as far as the imagination can stretch. And she loves seeing your personality emerge as you shed off the “vanilla-ness” of babyhood and develop a presence all your own. I can’t wait to see who you’re going to be.

To the moon… and back,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amber Teething Necklace Review

"Oh my God... you're a HIPPIE!"
"NO I'M NOT! I swear I just... well, crap."

Okay, so maybe I am a little bit of a hippie mom (and hippy. But I’m working on that). Which is bizarre, because that is one of the few "insults" that could never have been leveled at me before I had Larkin. The hippiest thing about me was… well, nothing. Give me stilettos and sparkles and pretty makeup and non-organic food and better living through pharmaceuticals (legal ones!).

And I still don’t consider myself hippie, per se. We chose cloth diapers because of the financial savings – I didn’t even learn of the health benefits until after we made the choice, and the environmental benefits were just very nice side benefits. Yes, I wear my baby in a wrap, but that started because he flat out refused to go in his stroller. I co-sleep, but that started out of desperation for a decent night’s rest (that DIDN’T occur sitting in a recliner with a baby on my chest).

Some of my changes are temporary and mom-induced. I’ve set aside my stilettos (can’t carry a baby around with 4 1/2” heels) and most of my jewelry (ever had your favorite earrings ripped from your ears by a tiny pair of hands?). Others are more permanent. The extensive research I’ve done has led me to better consider the quality of food we eat and the importance of using fewer toxins and chemicals around the house.

One change that was brought along forcibly during my pregnancy was a reconsideration of pharmaceuticals. When I found out I was pregnant, I of course discontinued the prescription medications I was taking. I spent a great deal of time with my doctor, discussing what over the counter remedies were safe, and all-natural replacements to help me. After Larkin was born, I was blessed to be able to remain off of all my medications (controlling the symptoms of my anxiety, migraines, and other ailments through mental meditation, prayer and diet changes – yay for gluten free!) so that I have been able to continue breastfeeding without concern.

Of course, when Larkin was born, I had a bottle of infant Tylenol on hand. We didn’t need to open it until he began teething, but I hesitated to use it. I know over the counter pain relievers are hard on baby’s bodies, and (since alternative remedies had been working so well for myself) I figured there was a safer way to treat his aches and pains. Once he cut his first tooth, and we dealt with the DRAMA (crying, fussiness, tummy pains and fever), I upped my search for a safe, natural remedy.

I kept hearing moms online swear by amber teething necklaces. But I took all their anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt. I just wasn’t buying how a necklace (that the baby didn’t even chew on!) could relieve teething pain. So I did a bunch of research. There is a compound called succinic acid that occurs naturally in Baltic amber. The theory proposed is that when worn against the skin and warmed to body temperature, the succinic acid in amber is released into the bloodstream and serves as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.  

I am a born skeptic, so I continued my research until I finally found a small mention of the successful use of Baltic amber in a study of patents with arthritis in a medical journal. Another study showed that succinic acid has shown to reduce anxiety and stress induced temperatures in mice. Between all of the empirical recommendations and some scientific evidence, I decided it was worth a try.

I ordered a teething necklace from Inspired by Finn, the website I saw most recommended by parents online. They have a wonderful tip sheet that explains the best way to choose a necklace. The most important tip is that the lighter the amber, the higher level of succinic acid it contains (i.e. – the lighter the necklace, the higher the pain relieving properties). I was glad to read this, because I aesthetically prefer dark amber, but that wasn’t the point of the purchase.

When the necklace arrived (in very quick time after ordering it – just a few days), I was pleased upon inspection. It was cute as can be, without being overly girly (I chose a honey colored, unpolished necklace). He looked just like a little surfer dude! I also appreciated that the clasp was secure, and the strand was knotted between each individual stone to reduce any danger should the necklace happen to break.

"Hang ten, man!"
I would like to say that I wish I had a better photo, but now that Larkin is getting the hang of *crawling*, he's not a big fan of posing for pictures anymore.
So, I put the necklace on Larkin and decided I would form an opinion on how well it actually works the next time he started cutting teeth. I figured that at the very least, we had an adorable piece of baby jewelry. He wore it for a little less than a week, and I was ready for him to start teething again so I could see how it worked. I kept checking his bottom gum, waiting for that second middle tooth to poke its way through.

One day we were playing on the bed, and I was making him laugh. When he opened his mouth wide, I realized he had TWO new teeth up top! TWO TEETH, Y’ALL! I didn’t even NOTICE. No crying, no fever, no tummy issues. NOTHING. I almost fell over. At the moment, he is cutting four teeth. Once that fourth one stated making its way to the surface, the fussiness did increase a bit, but nothing too bad, and still no fever or tummy issues.

Can I say that again? FOUR TEETH AT ONCE – NO PROBLEMS.

Let me clarify - this is not a scientific study. It is purely empirical evidence on something that has worked for us that I recommend as being worth a try. And, like I said, at the very least, you have a very cute piece of baby jewelry that will last forever. I also definitely recommend buying from Inspired by Finn – their customer service is wonderful (they responded to my questions within the day) and they sell legitimate pure Baltic amber (other ambers do not contain succinic acid). I’ve heard of parents buying from other sellers receiving glass beads rather than amber. Plus, their prices are great and their attention to safety-related details is admirable.

They also sell necklaces in adult sizes, and I’m enough of a convert to be purchasing a necklace for myself to help with my back pain and headaches. I will let you know how it works for me!

***Disclosure*** Inspired by Finn did offer me a discount on Larkin’s necklace in exchange for this review. However, the discount was offered after I had already made up my mind to purchase one on my own at full price. I assure you that all of the words you read are truly my opinion on a great product that I highly recommend. 

Does my baby ever wear a shirt?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Worst Mother Ever

Sometimes, I feel like the worst mom ever. Cerebrally, I know I’m not. I know I can’t even imagine the worst “moms” out there, much less compare myself to them. So I guess it would be more apt to say, I feel like such an inept mom.

I feel inept when my son wakes up two hours after he’s gone to bed “for the night” and proceeds to play happily until midnight.
I know that the child is the spawn of the two worst night owls on Earth, but surely I should have some control over his schedule, right? There must be some sign I’m missing, or I must be screwing up the sleep process in some way, right?!? Should I move his dinner earlier, or maybe later? Or maybe his bath time? Maybe I’m not tucking him in right, or he should be in his crib (if he’s in our bed) or in our bed (if he’s in his crib), or maybe I’m not reading the right books or saying the right prayer or doing the right routine (AND WHAT ALMOST EIGHT MONTH OLD CARES ABOUT BEDTIME ROUTINES ANYWAY?).

I feel inept when he can’t let me out of his sight for three seconds without total meltdown.
Some people may say that just shows what a bond we have and blah blah blah. It feels like I’m failing in some way, failing to make him independent or trusting to others or SOMETHING. Plus, I really miss peeing with the door closed without it making someone cry.

I feel inept every time he gets sick.
This is my favorite. I get so distraught every time he gets the sniffles because ISN’T BREATMILK SUPPOSED TO BE MADE OF MAGICAL IMMUNITY PROPERTIES THAT ARE NINJAS TO ALL STRAY GERMS?!? WHY ARE MY NINJAS SO LAZY?!? WHO HAS EVER HEARD OF LAZY NINJAS???  So then I have to berate my lazy ninjas, and stew in the fact that if I ate healthier or took my prenatal vitamins or drank the water from a magical waterfall frequented by unicorns then MY SON WOULDN’T HAVE A COLD.

And the worst, the absolute WORST is how utterly inept I feel when I JUST NEED A BREAK.
It seems simple, right? A mama’s boy with a midnight bed time – what mom WOULDN’T need a break? But I have friends who are unable to have children at all, and a friend who is watching his baby waste away from cancer, and friends who never saw their children alive at all. It feels wicked to feel so tired and worn so thin. I feel like such a pitiful whiner when I have such a beautiful, healthy baby boy who loves me so much that he doesn’t want to be apart from me and who thinks his daddy and I are so much fun that he doesn’t want to sleep through the “party”.

So, really, I guess the truth is that I feel like every other mother on the planet. Sigh… maybe he’ll sleep tonight, and maybe I’ll sleep tonight, and surely things will look better tomorrow.
And if not? Then that magical waterfall better serve margaritas also.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Reality of Motherhood - The Sequel

 I know this is my second poop related post in a row. I promise to return to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Jonathan says “Blog it. Be real. Blog about this stuff, the real stuff.
“You just want to pull it out of the archives and force me to remember it all when I start saying I want another baby.”
“Yes, that is correct. AND IT WILL WORK.”

 Larkin is currently cutting *three* teeth. Yes, I notice yesterday afternoon that his top canines are pushing their way through, and that bottom middle one is still working its way out. So our last few weeks have looked as such:
Baby begins teething, cuts first tooth.
He gets a virus that knocks him out with a red, raw, sore throat.
Begins the SLOW process of cutting his second bottom tooth.
Baby gets a full-on cold (with tons of congestion, a yucky cough and lots of snot to be sucked up).
I get baby’s cold.
Two more teeth (top canines – I HAVE A VAMPIRE BABY!) begin making their way out.

Please tell me it has been 5,638 days since Easter because it really, truly feels like it’s been that long. Since Easter, Larkin has refused almost all solids (which means he’s nursing almost non-stop), is not sleeping well (or at all, unless I’m next to him), and doesn’t want anything to do with anyone that isn’t me.

So, we’re getting lots of bonding time WHETHER I WANT TO OR NOT which is wonderful, of course.

But yesterday, it was an absolutely beautiful Saturday, and I had a pressing phone call to make (and YES. A sorority sister to whom I haven’t spoken to in over a month IS a pressing phone call). So I plopped Larkin in his jumperoo, turned on some Wonder Pets, and saluted Jonathan (who was in the room with the baby, but working).

I went out to the backyard, and enjoyed the sunshine while catching up with Amber. After awhile, I heard happy jumping noises turn into grumpy ones, so I went back in to get him. I noticed that his diaper was smelling ripe, so I shouldered the phone and asked his daddy to change him. Being the good man he is, he took Larkin and headed for the changing table while I continued my conversation.

A few seconds later, Jonathan shouts that he needs my help. He sounds frantic, so I run into the room. I scope the situation – possibly the most major poop we’ve encountered in the entirety of our son’s life – and tell Amber I will have to call her back. Jonathan does a one-handed baby hogtie in futile attempts to keep a soiled bum off the changing pad and tiny hands out of the mess while I begin cleaning up the situation.

All the sudden, Larkin lets out a furious scream. For a split second, we dismiss it as the usual temper tantrum he has started to throw during every diaper change. Then we realize that in our efforts, the changing pad had slipped, knocking his tiny noggin into the wall of the changing table. We adjust, apologize, and continue cleaning.

Once he ws basically clean, I told Jonathan to just strip him, and I’d just give him a bath. So he stands him on the bed to remove his onesie while I prepare the tub. I hear Jonathan sigh – Larkin is peeing all over the bed.

Jonathan gathers up the diapers, bedding, changing pad, onesie, and any other casualties of the Great Diaper Disaster of 2011 and starts a load of laundry while I drop Larkin in his ducky tub. He thinks it’s pretty funny to get a bath in the middle of the day. He lays back, reclined against the side of the tub – and pees (again) right into his face. This is met with righteous indignation, and dirty looks at me (as if I’ve caused it!).

So I grab the J&J baby wash, and suds the kid up as fast as possible. I go to wipe the soap off his face, and he throws himself backwards, hitting his head on the side of the tub (not hard enough to really hurt, just hard enough to scare himself). While he’s still inhaling the scream, I snatch him out of the tub, and haul his dripping, furious self out of the bathroom.

I pat him dry with his towel, kiss away his tears, and get him diapered and dressed. And then?

We nap.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Mother's Day?

Before Larkin was born, I made a promise - a promise to never discuss any baby bodily functions on Facebook. And I am proud to say that I have never faulted from that promise. My blog, however, is obviously not heldto such a high standard. So, for any of my readers who do not have children (and if you are squeamish about bodily fluids, you MUST not have children) and do not wish to read of such details, go ahead and check back tomorrow.

You may wonder why I am writing about Mother’s Day now, three days after the event. I seriously considered just not addressing it here at all, but I figured that a blog chronicling my experiences as a new mother would not be complete without recapping my first Mother’s Day.

We had no major plans for Sunday. We were going to attend Sunday services at our church, then have a nice lunch out. Afterwards, Jonathan was going to bake me a gluten free lemon drizzle cake that I’ve been craving for a couple of weeks now. That was as far as our plans went because we knew there was still some work to be done to my parent’s house (as it was going on the market Monday).

Sunday morning dawned to a fussier than usual baby. He woke up early, and we played for awhile. We attend the late service at church, so he has time to take his morning nap before service. He started crying and rubbing his eyes, so I laid him down to nurse and hoped he’d nap. Instead, he began screaming, shoving me away, and throwing a fit. I checked his diaper, and saw he needed a change.

I laid him down on the changing table, and pulled off his diaper. I looked up as Jonathan walked in the room, and mentioned that it looked like Larkin might have a bit of diarrhea. Just then, disaster. Larkin let out a pained cry, and baby poop went *everywhere*. Jonathan and I went into overdrive - me cleaning the baby while he grabbed the cover off the changing pad, me throwing a fresh diaper on as fast as possible while he handled the soiled one.

The rest of the morning involved a poor baby crying with stomach cramps and diaper changes about every ten minutes. I’m still uncertain whether it was a stomach bug or if another tooth is trying to make its way out, but it was a very unpleasant situation regardless of the cause.(I would, however, like to mention that our cloth diapers held up BEAUTIFULLY.)

Larkin finally started feeling a bit better, although he refused to be more than an inch away from me all day. We, of course, scrapped our plans for a steak lunch, and Jonathan went to bring home some Jason’s Deli. After we ate, we got to work cleaning the house.

Then we decided we might as well go to the grocery store and get food for the next week or two as well as the makings of the lemon cake. We picked up stuff for lunches and dinners, some GF all purpose flour, and all the other makings of the cake. Except, of course, for the lemons. This seems tobe a consistent in all my grocery shopping trips.

So, in other words, my first Mother’s Day involved baby diarrhea, scrubbing the grout on the tile between the refrigerator and the cabinet, and not getting lemon cake. No cards, no breakfast in bed, no smiles and well wishes at church, no fancy lunch, no yummy cake, no quiet “me” time.

The funny thing is, my Mother’s Day was such a perfect example of what motherhood is really about. It’s dirty and fussy and hectic. It’s unpredictable, unplannable and unexpected. It’s tears and laughter and time together, and the realization that I would rather be together anyway – despite the circumstances.

It amazes me that family can be both the dark cloud and the silver lining, the storm and the rainbow, the tunnel and the light at the end – ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I never really expected to be a mother, never expected to have my own “day”. So I don’t mind at all sharing my day with the little one who made me a mother – and who is making me the woman I was meant to become.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Prayer for My Son

Dear Lord,

First, God, make my son a man after your own heart. With his every word and deed, let him preach the tender spirit of Christ to those around him. Let him question you and question his birth-spirituality, so that his faith may grow strong and steady on its own. Lord, when he questions it all and searches for his own answers, give me faith in him (and faith in you) that he will settle upon the answers you mean him to find.

God, let him stay a baby as long as possible. Never let me rush one second of his development, and never let him wish a moment of it away. Because life is very long, and childhood is but a magical and fleeting moment.

Let me always be able to soothe his tears as easily as I can now. Bless my memory, that I may never forget the tiniest detail of his babyhood.

When he becomes mobile, and I go to turn his pockets out to do laundry, help me not to die of panic and grossed-outness by the wealth of dirt, slime, bug and critters I will find. Allow me to see it all as treasures he has discovered while exploring his new world, and give me fortitude that I may not embarrass myself by crying when a cricket jumps out towards my face.

And when he is older and has friends in our car, remind me Lord, not to sing out loud. (Unless the song is “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Then all bets are off. Although with your strength, I MAY be able to leave out the instrumental sound effects. Maybe.)

May he know want, but never need. Need is a dark, empty, hungry place. Want is an inspiration to work more, try harder, be better.

God, keep him healthy. Protect him from illness and suffering. Know that his every cough and sniffle hurts my heart, and if I can bargain it with you, I will gladly take any illness of his upon myself.

Give him the courage and confidence to always stand his ground and believe in himself. Protect him from bullies, and insulate him from their inevitable taunts. And if he ever becomes a bully himself, Lord, give him someone to whup it out of him, because if they don’t – I WILL.

Allow me to never make any mistakes or missteps in my parenting. And, barring that impossibility, make my infractions minor and his forgiveness quick.

Midway through my pregnancy, I retired to bed in order to keep him safe. Now, I spend my days protecting him from harm. But I know that one day, he will walk out of my reach. Lord, keep my boy safe.  Protect him from all who wish him harm. Protect him from his peers who will prod him towards dangerous behavior. Protect him (perhaps most of all) from himself.

May he never pop his collar. May he never wear highly reflective sunglasses - or sunglasses of any type at night or inside a building. May he never wear baggy pants or ironic t-shirts. And if he does commit any of these sins (or whatever silly fashions his generation creates), Lord, help me to remember a girl in white Guess jeans, a denim jacket and penny loafers with neon socks, and to not tease him too harshly.

Help strengthen me, that I may tolerate long and late nights as well when he learns to drive as I do now in his infancy. Allow my constant presence when he returns home to be both a comfort and an annoyance that spurs him to always make curfew.

Lord, ensure that my son always treats women with the greatest of respect. Remind him that every girl is somebody’s daughter – not least of all, she is your daughter.

One day he may fall in love with one of those women. Lord, I ask that you go to the little girl that woman is today. Lay your word on her heart, that she may be a woman worthy of you and worthy of my son. Soften her heart, that she may see the world through your eyes. Make her be gentle and kind to his lovely heart. Let her love you and love him in a way that will endear my son to further his walk with you.

And when he marries this woman, help her to see him as I see him now - as he was when he was just a tiny baby in my arms. Let her know how dearly I love him, and know that he is the light of my life. And (please God) allow her to permit the love between my son and I. She should know that my tenderness and concern towards him is not a doubting of her standing as his wife, but an outflowing of love for the little boy who once needed me as he will then need her.

Then, when he shall have his firstborn, let us be close enough that he calls me in bleary tones to confide that the baby will not sleep, or is making a mess with his foods, or is wearing the entire household to exhaustion. And Lord, when those calls come, give me the strength to not giggle and bleat a cry of “REVENGE!” – or at least, not out loud.

Thank you, God, for the blessing that is my sweet boy. 

Mama's Boy

Today, exactly one year ago, the perinatologist pressed the transducer against my rounding belly. He confirmed that the baby’s spine was developing beautifully. Then he asked, in heavily accented English, “Do you weesh to know zee geeender?”

“Yes!” I shouted out, surprised. We had planned to find out at our next regular check up, but the level two ultrasound apparently had already made things clear. Jonathan rolled his eyes a little. He preferred to keep the sex a surprise, but I had prevailed.

“A boy,” the doctor said, matter of factly, continuing the ultrasound. “You are having a boy.”

My eyes twitched. A boy? ME?!? What was I going to do with a boy? I looked at Jonathan, taking in his huge smile and surprised eyes. Everyone had assumed I was having a girl.

I looked at the monitor, watching that kicking, floating ball of energy. I took in the fluttering heartbeat, the area the doctor had indicated, the tiny hand pushing back at the transducer.

A boy.

I was having a son.

I began to cry; warm tears of joy fell down my cheeks.

It was another step in God’s master plan to convince me that He had planned things out perfectly, despite refusing to consult my preconceived notions.

I had always imagined life with a daughter. A little bit of curls and lace, ribbons and bows. But the second the doctor said he was a boy, I knew I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Notice the banged up head? Already all boy!
 Dear Larkin,

You are all boy. You are feisty and fiery. You are always covered in scrapes and bumps, and you somehow manage to get dirt under your fingernails all the time (seriously - how do you do that?!?). You are sweet and tenderhearted and you adore your mama. I’m so very glad that God gave us you, just as you are. You are amazing.

And just remember that being a mama’s boy isn’t really as bad a thing as they say it is.

To the moon… and back,