Friday, February 27, 2009

My Toddler

Aaron Michael, 1 year ago

My baby Aaron turned one today. One. Whole. Year. He's a toddler. Well, he's still MY baby. And, following in the tradition I started with my other boys, here are the things that I love most about him.
His cheeks are so soft and chubby. I can't walk past him without kissing them.
His hair won't lay down no matter how hard I try. It has a mind of its own--just like Aaron.
He bullies his big brothers.
He throws things from his high chair and laughs. And it's so cute I pick them up every time.
He holds everything to his ear as though it's a phone. He's been known to talk on the cello-case-phone, paper-towel-tube-phone, graham-cracker-phone, and the diaper-cream-phone. He really carries on a conversation too. I wonder what he's talking about?
He explores--but not too far. He always comes back to me.
He gives the best slobbery kisses in the world.
He has had more ear infections than I care to count this winter, but he's still sweet and bubbly.
He squints his eyes and throws his head back and whines when he's mad. And then he stops and opens his eyes to see if you noticed.
He smells so sweet I can't stand it.
He loves his brothers more than anything in the world. Even in the midst of a terrible tantrum, he will stop and smile if he sees one of them approaching him.
He darts his tongue in and out while making silly noises. We call him our lizard.
He laughs at himself.
When he says Mama in his precious baby voice, it makes all the middle of the night feedings, diaper explosions, mealtime messes, grocery store tantrums, stretch marks, and countless trips to the pediatrician all worth it.
He's taught me to slow down, stop trying to make things perfect, and just enjoy the moment.
Just look at him. What's not to love?

Aaron Michael, this afternoon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And they lived happily ever after...

Being Valentine's Day, it's only appropriate that I tell you a love story.

February 14, 2001--it was my first Valentine's Day with Mike, and really the first time I'd been excited about the silly Hallmark holiday. (I once spent Valentine's Day eating a Subway sandwich in a closed pool store because my lazy boyfriend didn't want to go out so he thought it would be romantic to take me to his place of work for a club sandwich. So, needless to say, I was a bit bitter about romance in general.) I wore a red sweater and a heart shaped necklace to show the world that I was happy about this day that I usually dreaded. Around mid-day, a dozen beautiful roses were delivered to my work, making my coworkers and all the kids in my class swoon. But that was only the beginning. When I got home I found my entire apartment COVERED in balloons, streamer, and flowers. My sweet boyfriend (who won my heart and later became my husband) had spent the majority of his day (with a lot of help from my best friend, who knew he was good for me) blowing up hundreds of balloons. I wish I had a better picture, but here's me sitting on my bed, which only shows a very small portion of the decoration. (The dog is my late pooch Delia.)

Oh, and then we went to the circus with my best friend and her current boyfriend and then out to eat. The circus was my idea, so don't hold it against him. Anyway, it was perfect and forever changed the way I look at Valentine's Day.
Now are you ready for the love story? Nope, that wasn't it. That was only a warm-up. Today was far more romantic that that.
I have been feeling pretty sick for a few days. This morning I decided I couldn't take it anymore and went to the CVS Minute Clinic (which is, by the way, the greatest invention of my lifetime). I thought I had Strep Throat, but I was wrong. It's just a really nasty sinus infection which has irritated my throat and made me feel like the walking dead. There really wasn't anything the nurse could do for me except suggest that I get plenty of fluids and lots of rest. I think I laughed out loud when she said that. Rest? For a mother of three? Ha.
We came home, and I must have looked pitiful because my husband suggested I go lay down. Then he packed up the boys and took them to Wal-Mart to do the grocery shopping. When I woke up, our pantry was stocked, the baby was up from a nap and wearing a clean diaper, the floors downstairs were swept, and I felt refreshed (even if I didn't feel completely better). For dinner I made cold sandwiches and canned soup, and my husband complimented me on the soup.
That, my friends, is love. A nap in the middle of a busy afternoon. A day off from the duties of shopping, child rearing, and cooking. No guilt for any of it.
Nine Valentine's Days, and he still wins my heart.