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.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Nutcracker Concert


Your class put on a Christmas play this year of the Nutcracker.The kids were thrilled and all extended family was invited to come and observe the performance.We invited both Grandmas who accepted, although I confused them by quoting the time of 7:15 to 8:45 and failing to mention that was in the AM and not the PM so Grandma Rose was surprised when Dad came to pick her up in the morning as she thought it would be in the evening, which DOES make sense (I guess I should have thought about that a little more...).You were playing the part of Godfather Dresselmeyer who is the kindly uncle that gives Clara the gift of the Nutcracker doll at her Christmas party.You were dressed in a suit coat that just SWAM on you, and looked completely precious.You had a great time rehearsing with your friends before the performance began.From the beginning, the play went smoothly.You stood nicely and quietly watching your peers play their parts in the play.You looked so small and sweet in that coat standing there so patiently.Well, the play, although CUTE - went on for 23 minutes and there were TWO performances.But you were all attentive to when you would be "on".You stood quietly by and watched as the girls did their dances with their dolls where they made fun of the boys and the boys ran back and forth with their pretend swords and acted like they were angry with the girls.You took note that your classmate playing the part of the Nutcracker Prince, Liam, had a lot to do and was "performing" most of the time.Here you are giving the doll to Clara...And then you went back to "fix" the doll after it was broken...And your part was done.You were shy and proud of the attention.You were then given your sword so you could next participate when the soldiers chased the mice army away and waited for the cue to go back out on stage.The issue was that your part ended about 2 minutes into the play and there was a full 21 more minutes to go...You waited...And waited...And waited some more.It was about this time, that you decided that being Godfather Dresselmeyer wasn't so great and you asked if you could be the Nutcracker Prince and your teacher told you no.That's when you decided that this kind of sucked.You came to realize that your part in the play wasn't that big after all and you wanted to do more, but it was too late.You were devastated.Poor little guy - I tried to hug you and comfort you, but you were just so sad.It does suck when things don't work out the way you want them to.



Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another Peek


I got another peek today at your sibling. I had an appointment for some minor discomfort things and went in to visit the doctor to get checked. Because it was routine to check on the baby, they tried to locate the heartbeat, but could not. I must admit this made my heart almost stop because it never occurred to me that something could happen. Let me take the suspense out of this moment and ASSURE you that nothing was wrong.

It just so happens that I have a uterus that likes to lie down. Just recline backwards like it's the laziest friggin uterus in the world and, because of this, they couldn't find the heartbeat. No other reason.

So an ultrasound machine was brought in just to be sure all was well and probably to wipe that horrified look off my face. I think the nurse was more intent on me not having a heart attack between that moment and the next time I came in for an appointment and therefore was motivated to take it to the next level.

When we DID see your little sibling, VLB was VERY active. He/she was twisting and turning and kicking and jabbing with little limbs - just bouncing all over the place. The nurse said "Oh, my! Mommy must have just fed you!" and I replied "No, I actually haven't eaten yet."

At about this time, VLB seemed to become aware of us probing at him/her and talking in his/her direction and got still and kind of just looked at us. That was when she snapped the picture above.

I told her maybe VLB was pissed at me for not feeding him/her. She asked if you, Jack, were an active child and I said you definitely were. She then smiled at me in a knowing way and said "You are going to be a very busy lady."

I'm sure she said it with a certain amount of pity intended, but the relief I felt in seeing that baby bouncing around was so intense, I completely forgot about the other items I had come in for and left without any results. Just clutching this picture of VLB and thinking what it will be like to watch you two together.



Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kelly's Shower


So, as today was your Aunt Kelly's Baby Shower. She is going to be having the first baby girl in the family, so we were prepared with a lot of pink and frills to celebrate the occassion. Her In-Laws drove in for the party and Kelly's good personality meant there was a large number of friends and family there to celebrate along with us.We played games like guessing the date and weight of Baby Wassell-ina when she comes along, celebrity baby name games, etc.Grandma Mary converted her living room into a "Mess Hall" for the occassion and has decided to keep it this way. So much for the Living Room! :)Actually, I remember the Living Room being pretty, but rarely used growing up, so the change seems very sensible.Plus, the old Dining Room has been converted into a downstairs playroom for the grandchildren, so PLUS PLUS PLUS!! :)Kelly's due date is in late January and mine is in late May, so these two little ones will be pretty close in age.By tremendously good chance, all grandkids have been coming in close pairs, so whenever we have family events, each child has a companion that is close in age to them that they kind of pair up with for play.This makes for very fun family gatherings!Growing up, we were close in age to our cousins and spent a lot of time with our cousins, Jason and Ryan, and Janie and Anneliese when the would frequently visit from Kansas City. I was closest in age to Jason, but because of the sex difference, he would normally pair up with Matt. I did my damn-dest to be included, though. :)We are going to find out the sex of the baby that we are expecting but right now can only imagine what that might be. Either way, I already know the baby names I would pick and I plan to share them with you and the family as soon as we know in order to help you get ready for the change that will be coming with the new baby.Not that I think just knowing a name is going to make it all cake and candles, but I think it may be a start in the right direction....I would certainly be happy with a baby boy or a baby girl, but seeing all the cute little clothes and girly things that I automatically love being a girl myself, I think it would be fun to have a little girl.I'm sure that if I do end up finding out that the new baby is a girl, I may just need to declare Chapter 10 right then because I'll be wanting to put her in every cute little frilly dress and tutu that I see.
Part of me wonders if a little girl might not be easier in those early years because I've been through it with a little boy and the speed with which you have dashed and crashed through all of your stages of growth so far leaves me a little winded. :)But that strong will you display could only have come from me, so she may match you step for step and word for word. Or it may be a little boy who is either so similar or completely different from you. There's just no telling. It's fun to wonder about, though.I am both excited and nervous to be there already. I'm sure to be watching your Aunt Kelly as she pioneers the way and anticipate the same experiences in a short time to follow.(I mean, just LOOK at these little cuties! Don't you want to eat them up?)

It's hard to describe watching my baby sister excited over her first born baby. It's really fun and makes my eyes and heart swell for her.It's true that there will be lots of challenges but the best thing is never to lose sight of the gift of this new life that you have been blessed with because - through all the challenges - I have learned more about myself and what I want in my life and what is valuable and worthy. Lessons I would never have learned in quite this fantastic of a way without you to demonstrate how wonderful things can be.