Motherhood

kids

“Do you think you’ll try for a girl?” is probably the most frequent response I get after telling people I’m having another (gasp!) boy. A good friend of mine with two boys told me that when people would ask her if they were planning on having a 3rd child she would respond, “Yep, we’re going to try for another boy.” Haha.

The thing is, I already have a daughter. And, I suppose in fairness to the strangers who are asking me really personal questions about my reproductive plans, the fact that I have a daughter isn’t obvious. However, I do have a daughter. I conceived and carried her. I delivered and held her. I fell head over heels in love with her and love her more today than I did the day she was born. Of course, she isn’t here with us, and so that makes people confused or uncertain about whether I actually have a daughter or not. No, I don’t get to comb her hair and pin back her curls with bows. No, I don’t get to paint her nails. No, I’ll never see her in a wedding dress. But, are those the things that make me a mother? I don’t think so. I think motherhood is about loving someone with every fiber of your being, and knowing that they love you too. When I think about Clementine and motherhood, my biggest worry and concern is whether I make her proud. Whether I am raising her brother (soon to be brothers) the right way. Whether she knows how much I love her. Whether I’m doing a good job.

Do I miss having a daughter? No. I miss having MY daughter. My son is amazing. My love for him is so much more than I ever thought possible, and as my other son’s birthday approaches, I feel Clementine’s absence even more. She is such a fundamental part of our family. Would another daughter remedy that? Of course not. 1000 more daughters wouldn’t replace the one that we lost. That’s what makes asking me if we’re going to try for a girl such an insulting question. Insulting to Clementine, insulting to Wyatt, and insulting to this new baby boy I’m growing. I love my children, and feel honored to be their mother. I am proud of my family and hope they are proud of me.

Are we going to try for another baby after this one? I should like to think there’s another baby in our future. Heck, maybe the next pregnancy will be twins. Twin boys!

Wyatt: Bringing Us Joy Since 2012

“I’m TWO!” said Wyatt, before holding up his hands to demonstrate this fact using his fingers (he held up all ten). When I asked him what he’d like for breakfast he said, “Birthday cake!” He ran and splashed and squealed and hugged his cousins and giggled until he couldn’t giggle anymore. He smiled when I showed him his Elmo cake, and when I asked him to pick out two candles to put on the cake, he grabbed one and immediately tried to eat it.

Tonight as I put him to bed, he turned to me, lifted my shirt, rubbed my belly, and said, “I love my baby.”

He’s the sweetest, kindest, most amazing person in the world. And, just like that, he’s a two year old.

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Summer

It’s that time of year again: Summer vacation. When every day is the weekend and I get to spend all of it with this guy:

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This guy, who won’t leave the house without either his sunglasses or his necklace (still trying to get photographic evidence of his fondness for costume jewelry).

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This guy, who learned that splash pads and fountains are exhilarating.

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This guy, who is a mustache growing, tank top wearing, lady killer.

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This guy, who wakes up every morning yelling, “Mommy Leah!!!”

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This guy, who tries his hardest to get out of trouble by repeatedly asking, “What did Mommy say?”

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This guy, who sits in my lap every day and yells, “Mommy hilarious!  I LOVE you Mommy!”

Best summer ever.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

A few weeks back Joel was out of town and left me and the little mister to our own devices.  First order of business:  Ride the subway train.

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Then, consume as much sand as possible:

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Next we tried our hand at being a cashier…

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And, a bus driver.

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Finally, we went to the park:

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But mostly, we just missed Daddy:

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Mother’s Day

The day Wyatt ran up to me, and with no prompting or guidance of any kind, looked me right in the eyes and said, “I love you Mommy!!”

The day Wyatt ran and grabbed a book and when I asked him if he wanted Daddy to read it said, “No! Mommy read it!”

The day we took Wyatt to The Cloisters and held hands as we ran the entire way there.

The day I took this adorable picture and realized for the one millionth time how lucky I am.

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Cloisters23 Weeks/ 20 Months

Marshmallow Peeps, Egg Dying, and other Easter briefs

-Wyatt learned two new vocabulary words this Easter season: Marshallow Peep and Chocolate Bunny

-Egg Dying is the least exciting Easter activity in the world when you’re a year and a half.

-Finally being old enough to keep up with your older cousin on the playground is pretty much the best thing in the world.

-An Easter Egg hunt with a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old is a great study in patience and sharing.

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Flo-Rida

Many months ago, because he’s awesome, my husband took me on a surprise trip to Florida. Did I tell you this story already? Yes, yes, I did, because, that’s right, this is the second time he has surprised me with a trip to Florida!

This time we brought Wyatt along and introduced him to the wonders of Ft. Lauderdale, sunrises over the water, and how incredibly amazing it is to get out of NYC in the dead of winter.

We went to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary, and let me tell you, anniversary celebrations with kids are slightly different than without kids.

Pro:
We woke up early and watched the sunrise on the beach.

Con:
We woke up at 5:45 and hung out in the hotel room until it was light enough to actually go outside.

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Pro:
We watched Wyatt discover the joys of playing in the ocean, eating sand, squawking at sea gulls, and making fish faces.

Con:
We went to bed every night at 7pm. But, since we were in a hotel room… that meant me hiding in the bathroom while Joel put Wyatt to sleep in the crib and then ran out of the room to order us dinner and sit at the bar by himself until our food was ready. Then, he’d creep back into the room, sneak into the bathroom and we’d eat dinner and watch a movie on the bathroom floor until we were ready to go to sleep.

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It certainly made for a memorable, and truly incredible way to commemorate 6 years of married bliss.

Neglected

I was looking through the blog yesterday and realized the last time I posted anything was before Christmas. It was last YEAR. What the heck have I been doing?? Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ve been in the semester from HELL. What is the semester from HELL (imagine a booming, echoing voice) you ask? Oh, it’s just this really dumb idea I had to take winter session and then 9 credits in the Spring, because, you know, I love never seeing my husband or son or getting more than a few hours of sleep at night. Here’s what happened: In January I took winter session, which was 3 credits over 3 weeks. It was awesome. I wish all of my graduate courses could be over that quickly. So, then, when it was recommended that I take 9 credits in the spring rather than the measly 6 I took in the fall, I thought, yeah, classes 3 days a week will be fine… just like winter session. Right? Wrong. Big. Fat. Terrible. Wrong. I failed to take into consideration the fact that it’s 3 classes a week for 15 excruciating weeks. And so, here I sit, on the eve of my much needed, much anticipated Spring Break, and all I want to do is cry a little bit when I realize that I’ll have another 4 weeks of hell after Spring Break. Lucky for me I have an incredibly patient husband and incredibly supportive parents and an incredibly amazing son who doesn’t lay the guilt on too thick. Although some of the time (a lot of the time) I say, “Hi Wyatt!” and he will respond “Bye bye Mommy.” Sob. And then there are the times when I say “okay buddy, I have to go to class now” and he says, “NO, mommy home! Mommy HOME!” Double sob.

So, in my busiest semester of all time, I have neglected to document all the amazing things we have done since Santa terrified the crap out of Wyatt (literally). I thought about how to best correct this terrible thing I have done as a mother (failure to document every last thing my adorable munchkin does in his life!!!) and I realized that I just can’t. Oh well. I’ll leave you with a handful of my favorite pictures from the past four months and we’ll just have to leave it at that. 11636657384_63f8843232_o

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Nightmare on 34th Street

There we were, standing in a line that wrapped around the block. Childless passerby stared and some even leaned in with a, “What’s this line for?” Well, it’s December 22 and EVERY person in this line is holding a baby. Santa. The line is for Santa. Obvi. And then, one such passerby responded by leaning in even closer, looking directly at Wyatt and proclaiming, “Santa’s overrated.”

Oh no he didn’t.

Santa is exactly, perfectly rated. He is the stuff Christmas dreams are made of. Obviously, since my child is 15 months old, I mean the stuff MY dreams are made of.

Last Christmas Wyatt was 3.5 months old. He was still trying to hold up his own head and was a master at the enormous diaper blow out. And Christmas with him was AWESOME. Just so super amazingly awesome. We showed him the Christmas tree and the lights. We helped him open presents and we took him to see Santa. And it was only about 1000x times more amazing than the Christmas when I was super worried Santa couldn’t find us at Grandma’s house in Ohio, but HE DID!!!

This Christmas Wyatt is awed by the tree and the lights and the ornaments. He walks into the living room and proudly points to the star, proclaiming, “Stahh.” He takes ornaments off the tree and kisses them. (And, his fondness for pickles resulted in an unfortunate glass pickle ornament getting a giant bite taken out of it…).

So, yes, there we stood, waiting to place our sweet son in Santa’s welcoming arms. I had Wyatt laughing up a storm in line and I knew this was going to be such a delightful experience.

And now it’s time to share the results:
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Wyatt HATED Santa. No, hated is probably the wrong word. He was terrified. Just completely, utterly terrified of the sweetest, jolliest man on Earth. So terrified that when I took Wyatt to the bathroom to change an enormous blowout (at least some things never change) he refused to let go of me when I tried to lay him on the changing table. His arms clenched so tightly around my neck I had to just lay there on the table with him while he held me.

Let’s take a side-by-side look at the difference a year can make:

Wyatt Santas

Seriously buddy? The creepiest Santa of all time has you sitting there chill as can be. And, sweet Father Christmas turns you into a hysterical mess.

(Did I mention the second Wyatt began screaming in sheer terror EVERY OTHER PARENT IN THE ROOM BURST OUT IN HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER. Not even kidding.)

Well, Santa wasn’t a big hit this year, but, because Wyatt was so terrified, he spent most of the night crying and refused to sleep without me or Joel in the room with him. So, even though it’s been ages, much to my delight Wyatt revived the old Family Bed, and he and I snuggled all night.

All in all, I’d say it was a complete success.

Dirty Thirty

I turned Thirty!! What better way to celebrate my entry into adulthood than partying big time in the Big Easy. Partying with my husband and one year old son on Bourbon street in New Orleans looked a little something like this:

Dancing to live music in the street:

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Getting wasted on beignets and waking up covered in powdered sugar:

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Walking around the city, taking in the sites, and hitting the hay at 8:00 pm.

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Turning thirty was no big thing. It was just the first time in a year that I’ve gotten 9 consecutive hours of sleep. As in, in a row. AKA: it was a blessed miracle of a weekend.**

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**Aside from the weirdly approving stares Joel got from drunk men partying at 6:00pm as he pushed Wyatt around in the stroller (seriously, they looked at Joel, looked at Wyatt, and then thumbs upped Joel… What’s the big deal people?? We’re just starting the mom-dad-son partying early. Who’s up for clubbing next week?)

The Family That Poohs Together…

I kept calling this Halloween Wyatt’s first Halloween… even though he technically went trick-or-treating last year (see below).

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But, this was the first year he could walk and he could carry a little bag to put his candy in and we could parade him down the street, earning as many admiring stares and pieces of candy as possible (all of which were more for us than for him… okay, ALL of it was for us). So, we did it. Joel donned his ever ready Pooh costume, I broke out my Piglet monstrosity, and we forced Wyatt into joining our cult:
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photo-3“Help me” – Wyatt

We made dreams come true this Halloween.  Seriously. I cried. I cried big fat tears, and not just because Wyatt scored enough candy to fill my belly that night. No, I cried because this year everything felt right.

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Best Halloween Ever.

Working For The Weekend

In case you didn’t know: I’m back at work. Wah wah wah. Even though I have abandoned Wyatt for the world of work, he doesn’t hold it against me. Instead, because he’s just the coolest, sweetest, most amazing kid, he hugs me and kisses me and shows me about a million things from the minute I walk in the door until he falls asleep at night. And, then there are the weekends. Beautiful, blessed weekends when Wyatt and I get up early and go to the park to watch the dogs run and play. When Wyatt sits in my lap and points to every airplane that flies over head. When Wyatt hugs me tight as the dogs run over to us. When Wyatt waves and yells “hi!” to every passing human (and canine). When there is nothing else in the world except my sweet family and the beautiful place we live.

Montgomery15 Weeks/13 Months

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Birthday Girl

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Dearest Clementine,

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Three years old. I often think of the whirlwind way in which you came into this world. With equal parts excitement and terror you were born. And you were perfect.

It may seem like all Wyatt all the time over here since your little brother was born, but I assure you, not a moment goes by that we aren’t thinking of you. Wyatt’s presence in our lives has made me love you (and miss you) all the more. Wyatt has recently started pointing at pictures of you, looking at us questioningly. We tell him who you are. We tell him you’re his big sister and you love him very much. He seems happy with this answer.

I can’t help but sit and wonder what life would be like with you and Wyatt here, in one place. I know you’d love him and hate him, in the way only a big sister can. I know you’d read to him, and hug him, and get annoyed with him when he wants what you’re playing with (in the way only a little brother does). It makes me smile to think about.

I love you sweet girl.

Happy Birthday Darling

Love,
Mama