These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fearless J!



You just astound me! Your Daddy got you a set of your first flashcards with shapes on them in different colors and textures. They have your favority baby show characters on them: The Curious Buddies from Nickelodeon. The circle card cracks you up because there is a baby on the back of it holding a ball that you just LOVE. The other day, you pulled out the flashcard and said "ball". I looked over at you and said, "what?!?" You looked at me and grinned, but wouldn't repeat it. You can also say "Grandma" which sounds more like "anmaw" but it is clearly what you are saying.

This past weekend, we took the "ball" experience to a new height by playing with some big balls in Aunt Erin and Uncle Brett's backyard. They have a big exercise ball that you loved to chase and I would hold your hands and roll you on the top of it and roll you around on it and you really liked that. Grandma bounced you on it, too, and you loved that, too.

I have discovered to my anxiety that you fear nothing. The fire pit, steps, growling dogs (not ours - the neighbor's dogs) - it doesn't matter. You just KNOW you can take on any of these things and that they won't do anything bad to you. You RACE to the street when I have you outside. I have been springing into action so much lately that I think I may be part kangaroo or frog or maybe I sat on a spring and never noticed it before... :) I sit down and spring back up a second later as you hurdle your body towards the next dangerous thing.

Even the other day, you were seated on the floor with a board book and I left the room for a MINUTE only to put my dishes in the sink and when I came back, you had climbed on the coffee table and were manually flipping the channels on the TV trying to figure out how to get your Curious Buddies show to come on. You weren't the least bit worried of falling off the table. Completely trusting that I was there and wouldn't allow that to happen.

I certainly am doing my best to protect you, cutie. I DO love your confidence, though, and I think it's wonderful that you are so brave in trying new things. I am so proud of all that you do! My capable little boy!

Lots of Love,


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!



First things first - all is well! It's as I said before - it ended up being nothing and now I feel silly for worrying like I did. Completely due to stress as it turns out, which isn't really too surprising what with the reorg at my company and all of that mess. I'm very relieved!

I just had to write to tell you that I had the most wonderful Mother's Day with you and Daddy!

Daddy started the day out by making me breakfast in bed with you sitting between us and sneaking bits of breakfast off of each of our plates while we watched the Simpson's together. We kind of hung around the house until lunchtime and then you and Daddy took me to Fuddruckers for lunch. I got a carnation there because I was a mom and then we all went to the Magic House for the rest of the day. I got in free because I am a Mom!! :)

We had so much fun at the Magic House. They have tunnels that are carpeted so that little ones can crawl through and you crawled back and forth through them. You would get very excited when you would see me or Daddy peek our head in the other end of the tunnel and you would squeal excitedly and switch directions to dash away. It was very cute!

They also had gym mats on slants like slides inside so that little ones could go down them, but not as quickly as traditional slides so you couldn't get hurt. You LOVED them! You must have gone down them about 50 times. Daddy kept handing you up to me to the point where his muscles started to ache and we had to get you interested in something else.

There was also a little baby playground that you could climb up and around yourself because it was so tiny and well padded. You dashed around on that playground like it was all yours - and it pretty much was. There were small padded wading pools filled with just balls so you could crawl through them and be buried in them and throw them. You laughed and played with so much enthusiasm! There was water play with boats and watering cans, and sand play with shovels and buckets and - in the older areas, there were sections with motion and balls and air that you loved!

You played so hard that by the time we got home that afternoon, you fell asleep for a long time. Then Daddy made me "beer" pizza for dinner (my request - he makes it from scratch and it's incredible! If you haven't had it before - ask him to make it sometime. You WON'T be disappointed! - PROVIDED YOU ARE 21 OR OLDER!!!)

Thank you for making me your Mommy, little Jack! It's the greatest gift I ever got!

I love you!



Thursday, May 11, 2006

Smelling the Roses!



Hey, buddy! No - this blog entry isn't about how the Roses smell - we don't smell funny or anything (well, most of the time!) :)

Okay - I started this blog as a gift for you. One day, I think you might be in a position where you want to look back and see what was happening in the life of a parent with a young child because that may be where you are right now or be curious about what was going on at various stages of your life, so I am sharing just that.

You already know from where you sit right now reading that there is a happy ending to this story. A very happy one, so don't worry! :)

I went to the doctor yesterday because I'm having some issues which I'm sure you wouldn't want me to detail too much because they are "lady" issues and, as my son, I will spare you any further detail. Just so you know what I mean, I'll just say that my "lady" friend visited and didn't leave. For about a month and a half. Kind of raised a flag in the air for attention, you might say.

At this point, it seems that I probably have fibroids, but that's all I know right now. The doctor is going to look further to determine what we are looking at and how to go about correcting it. Fibroids are actually pretty common. A lot of women have them and may never even be aware of it. It's only when they cause issues like the ones that I've been having recently that they become a problem and need to be addressed.

I'm sure this will be a small thing that I won't even remember being all that concerned with months from now, but right now - when I'm kind of unsure about what the details are - it's a different kind of feeling.

Most of the time, I think I look at life through a filtered lense. I don't think I'm the only one that does this - we're all guilty of it in some way or another. What I mean by a "filtered lense" is that I see everyone around me as coming from the same place that I am. I generally view others as having a home, family, pets, jobs, etc - maybe a house in a different part of town with more children and no pets or a single person with an apartment and two kids - but all of us in pretty similar situations. I think it takes a little jolt to make that filter fall away so you can really see what you have.

You know that to be born in the United States is one of the greatest lotteries you will ever win? In this nation, a person living in poverty is better off than most in our third world countries. Food, shelters, free clinics...

But, on a smaller scale, I am so lucky in my life. You know I work shoulder to shoulder with people that have all sorts of personal stories that I see through my filter. A single guy, a married woman with two kids, an older woman with grown children.... they all have stories. Without the filter, you can see that the single guy is 42 and lonely - he doesn't have anyone to go home to at night, but he has his extended family and they are supportive of him. That married woman with two kids just had a hysterectomy and she is only 30, but she is so happy because she has the two children that she does. The older woman with grown children just lost her husband, but he had cancer and isn't suffering anymore. She talks of the wonderful years that they had together and how thankful she is that they could raise their family together.

That's what I mean by the filter coming off. I see now. I take so much for granted in my life. I have the best husband that a woman could ever hope to have. I have a beautiful, smart, loving and wonderful son that makes me proud with EVERYTHING that he does! Everything is going to be fine! :) The fibroid will most likely be nothing more than a small something to be removed and I won't even remember it years from now. If I ever look back and read this I might even be embarrassed because it was so little. I may wonder - what was I so worried about?

It's nice to be reminded of how good things are... That may sound strange, but it's true. This morning, when I dropped you off at Grandma and Poppa Dough's, I had handed you to Poppa Dough and you reached back for one more hug. I took you in my arms and you hugged me so strong that I was overcome by your love. It brought tears to my eyes to feel your hug given with all of the little might that you have. Thank you for that, sweetie! You made me feel bigger than the tallest tree and when I left, I swear the sun was shining brighter! I am so lucky to have you and Daddy and the wonderful family that I have - all the Roses and Dougherty's - the Stoevers, the Phillips' - everyone!

I guess what I'm saying is "Smell the Roses", honey! Okay, okay - but after you finish smiling and sniffing Uncle Steve or Amber and Dani - look around you. You are loved!!! Know that, little one!

And now, I'm feeling a little naked from baring all like this so I'm going to go and put on a couple of sweaters... Just kidding! :)




P.S. You are so inquisitive and curious! Here are some pictures of you trying to check out the camera when I was taking your picture!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

First Kiss



You've had a cold for a few days now and it's really been interfering with your sleep, but last night you had the best night of sleep that you've had in a long time. You woke up happy and I know the day is going to be a great one for you!

Milestones for you used to seem to be further apart, but now they just keep coming one on top of the other!

You gave me your first kiss a couple of days ago. It is so cute. You don't understand to put your lips together to kiss so you end up opening your mouth up really wide and putting it on my cheek and drool just runs down my shirt collar - but I love it!!! It's so cute that I don't even wipe myself off right away (okay - after a few seconds I do, but the love that you give those messy kisses with is too precious to do it right away)...

Also, Daddy is realizing one of the moments that he has been dreading as you have been growing. The moment when you start asking to watch YOUR videos. :)

You have started to really watch and enjoy certain DVDs that we have - infant DVD's - and are now asking to watch them - usually when the Simpsons are on to Daddy's dismay! :)

You have two videos that you prefer - one is a Baby Einstein DVD which features various toys set to classical music. Another video which you LOVE is Curious Buddies - On the Farm. It has animals and songs and little animal puppets. When I'm putting the DVD in the player for you, you start bouncing up and down in anticipation of watching this video that you love so much.

I, of course, have worries about you watching too much television and not getting enough exercise - but I don't think I have to worry (although I'm sure that won't stop me....). You seem to be picking up a LOT from the videos. I think you are aware now that there are other animals than just dog-dogs which I don't think you quite grasped before. I think before you just thought that there was a wide VARIETY of dog-dogs. The cat variety, the bird variety.... Now, though, I think you understand that there are different kinds of animals. You don't point to them and say dog-dog anymore, but you do point and watch. I haven't gotten you to name them yet or make their sounds, but we'll get there. Actually, that will probably be tomorrow's milestone, right buddy?

Your little hair is really coming in all blonde and curly. The other day we were on the playground playing on the slide and you had worked up a lot of static electricity on the slide and your little blonde curls were standing straight up on your head. With your grin and your hair like that, you looked like the cutest and happiest little porcupine! I had to give you a big hug, but we both got shocked in the process. That will teach us! - or will it! :)

I love you little guy! Have a great day!