Having more JOY as a Mother…

Having more JOY as a Mother…

I’m writing this after having not the most joyful of evenings… granted, our day was great overall! It’s amazing how one moment of a raised voice when mom is feeling exasperated has the ability to put a dark cloud over the day. I hate raising my voice to my kids. I really do. I try, try, try not to do it at all. At the end of the day, I am human. Maybe you’re reading this because you didn’t have a perfect day either. Sigh. It’s OK. Take a deep breath. Tomorrow is a new day.

 

I don’t know much about baseball, but I do know that when a batter needs relief that there is something called a pinch hitter. See, like a lot of families, we have two parents – the other parent is my pinch hitter. The problem in our life right now is that Daddy isn’t home much (understatement), and so mama is on duty ALL THE TIME. (Insert massive props to single parents. You all are my freaking HEROS.) And sometime after the almost three-year-old skipped his nap and between trying to make dinner & do dishes and the baby wanting to nurse (again) and the toddler wanting to be held (because – no nap) – mama said, “I need a new hitter!”  Except I didn’t say that, because nobody would hear me and nobody would care. So, I told the toddler to quit whining and go to his room. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. He was communicating with his behavior that he was tired & wanted mom to comfort him. Unfortunately for him, I was out of patience with the day. I am sure I’m not the only parent that experiences this. After that it was pretty much a cluster between dinner and bedtime. Both my boys were asleep in their beds by 8:00pm, so there is that. That same adorable toddler is going to be giving me an early wake-up call tomorrow. Daddy is in Dallas, so you guessed it – no pinch hitter tomorrow either. With this situation that we are in right now – it is really easy for me to feel sad, tired, or just plain worn out. This is why I’m writing this for myself & for anyone else that needs to feel a bit more JOY in their life as a mother today.

 

  1. Take time to enjoy your babies. This is the biggest one. It doesn’t matter how much time you have. Quality over quantity here – hands down. Make it count. Tickles. Giggles. Books. Cuddles. Snacks. Crafts. Whatever your thing is that makes you feel connected and at peace with your babies. Do that. With Maximus, he still cuddles, and I love it. Our favorite thing is curling up with a book together. With the baby – Arius – the best thing right now is hearing him laugh. Anything to hear that baby squeal makes my heart go completely aflutter.
  2. Remind yourself that this was your choice. I’m not just talking about the choice to have children in the first place, but I’m talking about the choices that we make as parents as far as what kind of life we are building for our kiddos. It is totally unfair to be frustrated with them for things that they absolutely cannot control at all. Take for instance my evening tonight. It’s not Max’s fault that I am tired or overwhelmed or that Daddy is on a work trip. Us, the parents, have made all the choices. Us, the parents, need to work on ourselves and with each other – as a team. Try, try, try to remember that your kids are not reason that things are or are not the way they are. They aren’t throwing that tantrum to ruin your life. They are probably throwing it because they are two and a half and they skipped their nap, or whatever. Be the adult. It sucks.
  3. Take a time out. When I really need a break, I let Max watch a show on the iPad. I don’t like screen time. I do my best to limit this. I recognize that he doesn’t need screen time at his age. But sometimes I also need him to relax and do something that makes very little noise and provokes very little movement. Sometimes this is the only way to get a break when you’re the only parent “on duty”.
  4. Watch them sleep. Nothing makes me feel warmer or fuzzier than peeking at their sweet faces when they are deep in dreamland. They always look so angelic, even after the worst of days. Look how peaceful they are. Touch their baby soft cheeks and stroke their wispy hair. Remind yourself that you are their whole world. Let that sink in. You are the sun, the moon, the stars to this little person. Give them something to lean on. Dig deep. Let that truth fuel your motivation to be better, work harder, and take that bravery with you into the next day. You’ve got this!
  5. Call or text a friend. Have someone that you can tell the truth to. Someone that won’t judge you or tell you that you’re worthless for letting them watch Frosty the Snowman on repeat while eating fruit snacks. If you don’t have any friends like this, try being real with a fellow mom. If she responds with disdain, move on. If she is genuine and sympathetic, she’s a keeper.
  6. Stop letting the clock or the calendar steal your joy. Somedays, you need to just scratch the plans and go with the flow. Sometimes, babies get sick or have shots or just need extra love. Whenever possible, make adjustments accordingly. Baby cluster feeding in the evening? Can’t get anything done? Welcome to the club. Grab a snack & a drink and sit on the couch. Get cozy. Give up on the to-do list. Just let it go, as the song goes.
  7. Play. Maximus wants to play all the time now. It’s a bit exhausting. A lot of times, I have to do something other than play dinosaurs or build towers or do puzzles, unfortunately. However, sometimes, I say yes. Say yes to the 7th reading of that same book. Say yes to playing in their room and making a giant mess. Say yes to them. I promise, you’ll be happier for it.

THRIVE IN 2018…

THRIVE IN 2018…

You stop just surviving and start thriving when you stop seeing your life as a set of limiting circumstances and start seeing opportunities all around you. It’s incredibly easy to get sucked in to feeling like you’re not living the life you chose, and therefore play the victim in your own life. Thoughts like, “How did I get here?” or, “This isn’t what I planned for myself” unfortunately plagued the last part of my 2017. That’s life for you! Just when you think that you have got it all sorted out, it has a way of throwing some pretty serious curve balls. Just when you think you’ve got this whole making lemonade thing down, you’re going to have to learn how to make a strawberry daiquiri. But guess what!? Daiquiri is delicious! The skills that you built before are only going to continue to serve you in the future, it’s just that sometimes you have got to get a little creative, go back to your roots, or stretch yourself in ways that you hadn’t expected. I promise you, if you learn to adapt, even in the most unplanned of circumstances, you’ll be better for it.

 

So why even make plans if life is just going to screw them up anyway? Because without a plan, your dream is already dead in the ground. Without actions, you’re just cruising along. Without goals, you’re in survival mode. Who really wants to live their life that way? Sure, there are seasons for it. Might I remind you, I have an almost 4-month-old. Although he is a remarkably mellow baby, I still consider those first 3 months postpartum a bit of a “survival mode” period. The “fourth trimester” is usually (& should be) a sacred, revered, and protected time when mama and baby bond and get to know their new life together, outside of the womb. We are just emerging, now, from nature’s little cocoon, and we are settled, ready to tackle whatever is next. So, here’s what’s next for us, and hopefully you can draw from these to make your own plan to THRIVE in 2018…

 

  • Stop sweating the small stuff. Seriously, just stop doing it. There are dishes from the night before in the morning when you wake up? Sure, tackle them first thing if it’s going to improve your day, but don’t lose sleep over this kind of thing. There are seriously only so many hours in a day, only so much energy (yes, even with coffee), and sometimes your energy is better spent reading and cuddling your babies on the couch or petting your dog and watching Netflix, whatever. We all need downtime.
  • Start each day with intention. My daily journal has a TOP 3 for the day. I can assure you, my to-do list, just like yours, is never-ending. However, I start the day with 3 things that I want to focus on that day, my high-level big objectives.
  • Cultivate GOOD in your life. Yes, we need to be grateful, always, for the things that we have, but we also should take time to cultivate – create and nurture – good things. This could mean something different to each of you. Now, I’m not Mother Theresa, by any stretch, but I need to find small ways each day to do a small bit of good in my world.
  • Stop waiting for the perfect moment. If you’re an over-planner, you may spend more time planning than actually doing. I have been guilty of this. Add in a bit of a perfectionist nature, and I can spend forever and a day thinking about the right thing to do without actually accomplishing anything. It is truly never too late to start, and equally never too soon to start. Make a small step, any step, in the right direction, and see how easy the next step comes after that.

 

Overall, I am looking forward to an amazing year! Stay tuned, because there are some really big things to come for me this year, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you all!

 

Cheers to an amazing year!
Mama Kristy

#metoo

#metoo

#metoo

 

I have held on to my #metoo for a lot of reasons. The biggest of which is that I have been afraid of what it says about me. Then today I finally realized, that’s the problem right there. See, there are people in my life, many people over the years, that have said some unkind things about me. As a teenager, I mostly internalized these things, and I believed them to be true. I thought I was damaged. I thought I was broken. Several times, I even thought I should disappear or die. I tried to hide inside myself. At a younger age, I starved myself, little by little, trying harder to disappear, to become more childlike, to become invisible. As an adult, I have combatted those voices, recognized them as alien, and done my damndest to prove them wrong. See, I thought that by me saying, #metoo, I was saying to those people, “You’re right. I am broken.” But if that is your thought when reading this, then you are truly part of the problem.

 

I was raised in a system – the church – that told us girls that we were unequivocally responsible for our own “purity”, and that we were to guard this. Weirdly, girls’ sexuality somehow belongs to their fathers until it one day belongs to their husbands, and no one else. I was never taught that it even belonged to me. In fact, I was shamed for it. That is the nasty thing about shame. You cannot acknowledge it without feeling it, and somehow it feels like part of you, when it’s not. Or at least it shouldn’t be. This system is so disgusting. The things we are teaching our girls in this system is disgusting, and if you have been a part of it, I’m sorry. #metoo

 

I have combed back through my experiences lately. (That is the unfortunate thing about sleepless nights with a baby and a toddler. There are a lot of ghosts that greet you in the middle of the night, that don’t show their face in the light of day. I admit, I used to be afraid of those ghosts. Not anymore.) The question in my mind has been, did that experience count? Was that time assault? Was that harassment? Did I do anything to bring that on myself? Did I have a few drinks? Did I dress provocatively? Did I say NO? Did I say no enough times and loud enough for it to mean no?…
Today, I’m asking a different question. I’m not asking what is wrong with me and do I count… Because I know the answer to those questions. The answer of course is NOTHING is wrong with me and YES, I do count. Yes, my experiences matter. Yes, my voice matters. My NO isn’t broken anymore!  Today, I am asking, what can I do? How can I make this better for somebody else? How can I raise my boys differently? And I think those are much better questions, don’t you?

 

 

Why I am ALL About the MOM BOSS Trend!

So, there is this new breed of women. You’re familiar with the Mommy Wars and the working full-time versus stay-at-home mother debate. Blah, blah, blah. Can we please stop having this conversation? Guess what? The GREAT thing about us all living our own lives is that we get to make our OWN choices! Today I went to Whole Foods. Another person probably did their shopping at the Meijer across the street. If I met that Meijer shopper at a party, I would still talk to them (provided they weren’t a complete jerk). This is how arbitrary the Mom Wars are – it’s like refusing to be friendly to a mom because she’s in a different club than you. Ridiculous. Maybe shopping at Whole Foods is totally your thing. Maybe not. We all make choices for our family, given our unique circumstances, and we are all doing the best we can, in general. For the most part, we are all just trying to pay the bills and not mess up these little creatures that come into the world totally innocent and wonderful. That is my daily goal. Don’t f*ck up the angels that the universe has blessed us with. Continue to treat them as the blessing that they are, even when there is urine all over your floor that the blinds sales person may or may not be standing in (I’ll have to tell that story another time.)

 

Back to this new breed of mom. So, she seems to be doing it all. She’s the new work from home mom. She’s on her iPhone, rocking her thing, making the parties, passing out business cards in the school parking lot after drop off. Get it, girl. She’s doing all this in her damn yoga pants. Guess what! She probably has a Bachelor in Science and used to work at a high-end boutique or law firm or environmental protection agency – whatever. Friends from high school may look at her and wonder, “What happened?” Why did you give up your career? Guess what. Somewhere along the way she probably got a little tired of working for the man and decided to work for herself. More freaking power to you!

 

Here’s why else I totally buy into this – because we were already doing it, and somebody just figured out how to get paid doing it. Then companies figured out that women could sell a lot more than just makeup. So maybe I don’t want to buy your lipstick that stays on for 16 hours or maybe I’m not really into scented stuff for my home. That really isn’t a big deal. I still support you. Bring on the oils, the shakes, the at-home-workouts, the amazing yoga pants that feel like butter, and the piles of books for my kids. Do it. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. At least that’s how it should be.

 

If you haven’t figured this out yet. You are a brand. You are a unique set of preferences, skills, characteristics, and look. All of this together makes you AWESOME. It makes you what you are. You are promoting something. Every single day. You’re promoting that coffee shop that you frequent on your way to work. You’re promoting the clothes that you’re wearing, the car that you’re driving, and the posts that you’re “liking” … you’re already doing it! As humans, our brain takes inventory of all of these millions of images and inputs and looks for patterns. We come to realize that a person that drives a Subaru is outdoorsy (or at least want to appear outdoorsy). Companies spend a lot of money to figure out what people want and what kind of people fit their brand. We are putting all of this data out there, and somebody that understands statistics a lot better than me is paid a lot of money to analyze it. The world is changing, rapidly, and in the future, there may be a lot less people working for the man. Frankly, I hope so. Cheers to all of you that are figuring out your own way of doing things. Cheers to all the entrepreneurs. You people are the ones making the damn world go round!

A Letter to my Father, 10 years after you died of brain cancer.

A Letter to my Father, 10 years after you died of brain cancer.
(In honor of John David Farrell – born September 15th, 1958 and died October 5th, 2007.)

Dad,

It seems strange that 10 years have gone by. Ten. You passed from this life to the next just a few weeks after our birthdays. I had turned 22 and you, 49. Now here I am, newly 32, and I guess you would be 59. I don’t know what you look like at 59 years of age. I picture you much the same, with a few more lines around your eyes, your laughing eyes, always laughing. I know that you would be delighted in how far we have come in these last 10 years. In many ways, it feels like an eternity. I was so lost when you left. So completely lost. Somehow, I feel like you guided me through. That was a dark year. We used to have talks in my dreams, meeting up somewhere like Jupiter, just for a coffee. It has been a while since we have had a coffee date, but, I know that they will always be there, when I really need it.

Lately, I have been thinking about the lessons that you taught me. They call these LIFE lessons. Lessons about life… You always seemed bigger than life, yes, even bigger than death. Your charisma, your spirit, your laugh. These are the things that carry on. These are the things that I must find a way to show my boys. I hope that they can see the piece of you in me.

It never mattered what you did. You could be in the grocery check-out lane, or preaching from the pulpit, or comforting a friend over coffee, but your love made a difference. It never ceases to amaze me, years later, how many people that your love made an impact on. Life has a way of bleeding us dry from time to time – all of us run ragged and empty on occasion, and feel like we have nothing left to give. I know that you felt this way sometimes, maybe more than others, and yet from this, out of this, you continued to love. That love, as you poured it out into others, always filled you up. I watched it, all my life, in amazement. You were never perfect. It was your humanity that was amazing, though. I watched you, even in your worst moments, reach out and make a difference for somebody else. In the end, it was always your love for others that carried you from one heartache to the next victory.

I know that you asked us to take care of Mom, just so you know, we are trying. Sadly, I think you were much better at this than we are.

When you were sick, you became even more of a prophet, a spiritual man. It was like as your body was fading, your spirit was growing stronger. It was intense and overwhelming to be around, as a mere mortal. When you finally left your body, after days of struggle, days of coma, it was the heaviest air that I have ever breathed, breathing in the room where you took your last breaths. I stuck around in the room, for a few moments after. I wanted to feel its emptiness, to know with certainty that you were gone. To be in the room with your empty shell and to be alone. You were gone. My sister came to get me. I’m thankful for that.

In retrospect, your death was powerful, but nothing compared to your life. I hope that I can live in a way that honors your legacy. All of your 4 children hold different pieces of you. We all honor you in our own ways, all very differently. If there was anything that you taught us, it was always to think for ourselves – to question everything, especially the things that were “given” – and to take nothing for granted.

The curse of being an idealist – as you were, and as I am – is that it is the things that are bigger than life that draw us and keep us alive, yet it is in the everyday and the mundane that we seek to fulfill this greater purpose. I’ll be honest, sometimes, right now, I don’t feel super powerful as I’m cleaning up poop and doing dishes. I’m just a mom. Right now, this is my purpose. This is my season in life. I am giving more than I ever have before. I give more of myself than I knew that I had, and yet, I’m not getting paid a dime. Ha. I’ve learned to find my value, finally, outside of a paycheck, in a society that holds no value to what doesn’t hold the value of a dollar. It has been a humbling experience, to say the least. I also know that you would be incredibly proud.

To say that I miss you is silly, because you know it already. To say that I love you is obvious. I’ll just say that, if life is so kind as to give me another 10 years, and I hope that I have many more after that, I hope that with each passing decade that I continue to grow and I continue to shine a light. I pray that in that light, somewhere, is a piece of yours.

Always yours,

Kristy Lynn

 

 

 

 

What it’s like to be a SAHM with a spouse that works 90 hours a week…

First of all, this is not a letter of complaint. We are very lucky. We have a beautiful home. We have a healthy, growing family. Everyone makes choices in this life, and we have made choices together, as a team, that have led us here. However, I do feel that our life is a bit unusual in some ways, and one of those ways is that my husband is currently working roughly 90 hours a week. This is not an exaggeration. Last week he had put in 50+ hours by Wednesday. What does that even look like on a weekly basis, you may ask? It looks like working 6 full days a week. It looks like Daddy getting into the office around 9 am and leaving between midnight and 2 am most weekdays. It looks like this:

  • Mama works 90+ hours a week, too. Yeah, it’s true. When your spouse is gone that much, you don’t get PTO either. I don’t (generally) get relief before bedtime from my mama duties. When the toddler wakes up in the middle of the night or at 6am, you guessed it, it’s me. “Mommy!” I am on call 24/7, but really, what parent isn’t? I don’t care if you’re stay-at-home or not, parenting is a job that you don’t get time off from. The only difference is that unless you’re a single parent, most people do it in teams. On our team, this mama does most of the hands-on stuff day-to-day.
  • It’s really hard to get motivated to make dinner. Let’s face it – when it is just mama and the toddler eating, and he is just thrilled with Annie’s pizza poppers – it feels really silly doing 30 minutes of prep work with something that requires fresh chopped cilantro. (Plus, those damn pizza poppers are amazing.) If there is a parent out there that does this fresh dinner every night, kudos to you. I am a terrible cook as it is, so grilled cheese is pretty much a staple at our house. Lunch, dinner, breakfast – anything goes.
  • Saturdays are sacred. My husband has “protected Saturdays” at his job, which pretty much means that he’s not supposed to go into the office, and they have to get approval from higher-ups if they require the staff to come in. This doesn’t mean he’s not still monitoring email from his phone (don’t you love the digital age?), but he’s not supposed to be “working”. The struggle is usually between trying to find time to rest and trying to squeeze in family fun time all in a day. Chores and grocery shopping feel like a waste of a sacred day, so I try to mostly get these done during the week. If there is anything that can be put on hold until after Saturday, it pretty much goes on hold. This also means that I will often decline social invites simply because I don’t want to share. This is our time, and we don’t get much of it.
  • Daddy is our favorite. The thing about Daddy being gone most of the time is that when Daddy is home, my two-year-old is pretty much attached to him. Honestly, I don’t really mind this. Plus, when it comes time for bedtime, mama is suddenly the favorite again. I know that I can get all the snuggles and boo-boo kisses in that I want during the rest of the week, so I don’t mind when I hear for the 40th time that day, “No, Daddy do it!” Sure, kid, knock yourself out. Tomorrow you’re stuck with mom.
  • The 2-year-old knows how to FaceTime. Yes, this one is probably a given. We have a nightly FaceTime date with Daddy, after dinner and before bedtime. Our son is pretty much a pro at holding the smartphone and having a conversation – even if that conversation is about Mickey Mouse. I think it’s good for everybody to have that time to reconnect daily, and we have to get creative to make it happen. It is pretty damn cute seeing them give virtual kisses to each other.
  • Mid-week sex feels like a booty-call. I won’t go into details here, because my mother reads my blog. However, let’s just say that, it is important to find time to reconnect with your spouse, too. Just the two of you. When that time is 2 am and you haven’t seen your partner during the light of day in several days, it very much feels like a booty-call. The disappointing thing is that there isn’t alcohol involved and you don’t get to brag to your girlfriends about the bad decision that you made last night.
  • You rely on your support system. Speaking of girlfriends! I have a handful of ladies that I can text or call at any hour of the day or night, and if I confess that I’m hiding in my bathroom having a good cry, they aren’t going to judge me. They have been there, too. This is also tough because we are living in a brand-new city. We recently relocated for my husband’s job. So, I’m working on building up this support system here, too. However, I feel very fortunate to be in an amazing neighborhood. I am soon going to be sending the toddler back to preschool very part-time. Also, if all else fails, 20 minutes of Dinotrux to save mom’s sanity is totally worth it.

I absolutely love being a stay-at-home mama right now. For me, I know that it is not a permanent thing, so that helps me enjoy it more, even during the tough times. Eventually I will go back to school (again), and then someday I will decide to work outside of the home, but for right now, it’s magic. I get to be the one to see my kiddo tackle that new playground and concur climbing the slide. I get to be the one stroking their sweet cheeks and playing with their hair. I get to be the one that they are climbing all over asking for the toy or the book or the snack. (The midday naps are a big bonus, too!) Being a stay-at-home parent means that I get to be #1 to them, and I don’t have to worry about somebody else screwing them up. I get to do it myself! 🙂 When my children go to therapy as adults and blame it all on their mother, at least it will probably be accurate.

For us, marriage has been a constant balancing and rebalancing act. I have gone from working full-time and being a part-time student to a full-time student, graduate student and student worker, to a full-time at-home mama. My husband has also gone through his fair share of shifts and job changes, not to mention the recent out-of-state move. We are busy, like many, and mostly I’m so thankful that I’m not doing this parenting thing alone. Even though it is easy to feel like the kids and house are my job while his work is his job, at the end of the day, we are in it together. It’s just that I’m wiping up poop while he’s shaking hands with executives, but hey – every job has its upsides and downsides, right? 😉

A letter to my firstborn, not long before your baby brother arrives…

A letter to my firstborn, not long before your baby brother arrives…

Dear Firstborn, First Baby-Love of my Life,

You don’t really know it yet, but our world is about to change drastically. I have been trying to prepare you – prepare us – for what lies ahead, but I know that we aren’t ever going to be really “ready” for this. As I write you this letter, I am 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Your baby brother will be joining us soon, and I’m so excited to meet him! However, I’m a little sad, too. Up until this point you have been my only baby. You have been this wonderful, all-consuming force. From the minute that I found out that I was pregnant with you, our world changed. Everything changed. I took three pregnancy tests to be sure, and that same day I drove to your dad’s office and had him meet me outside. I gave him a little gift (a small pack of pacifiers that said, “I love Daddy”) and told him our amazing, amazing news. We were both a little shocked, but truthfully could not have been happier. We were going to be parents. Sure, we had the doggies, Nova and Nebula, which you now love to chase and play with, but it was really still just about us. Now, everything, absolutely everything, became about YOU, and we hadn’t even met you yet!

On April 9th, 2015, at 5:42pm, we met face-to-face for the first time. After 3 ½ hours of pushing, you were finally here. “He’s REAL!” were the first words out of my mouth, as up until that point you had just been a dream. I had spent hours laying on the couch in the evenings watching my belly bump move back and forth, obsessed with all your rolls and turns and hiccups, but even then – I don’t know if I believed it fully. Here you were. Right here, laying on my chest, with your own little heartbeat and your own little hands – looking up at me. You looked so much like your daddy, but you have mama’s round eyes. I loved you instantly. I know that sounds cliché, and I know that sometimes it takes a while to fall in love, but not with you. You were so perfect, I had no choice but to love you. I won’t ever forget that moment. I won’t ever be the same. That is the day that Kristy became a mama.

Your first year was a blur, and amazing, and so, so challenging. You were such a happy baby. You can still make me laugh like nobody else. Sometimes, even when you were so tiny, we would giggle back and forth, over nothing, our own little secret jokes, and just hearing you laugh would make me laugh, too. You were very demanding on your mama. You were happiest when we were together, and you were really unhappy when we were apart (and so was I!) Mama tried to go back to work part-time when you were about 5 months old, but it didn’t last long. You refused to eat from a bottle, and Daddy would drive you up to see me, so we could be together. These feedings were shortened, and felt so rushed compared to the endless, lazy cuddles on the couch that we were used to. The job wasn’t that important, so one night mama just walked out and went home to see you. We were both delighted. We spent a lot of time together, especially that first year, rocking and cuddling and talking. Sometimes mama would read to you. I read, “The Wind in the Willows.” We liked to sing songs from our favorite TV Show, “Nashville,” and sometimes Mommy and Daddy would even duet like Scarlett and Gunnar.

You started walking at 10 months old, on Valentine’s Day! I knew you were brilliant. You continue to amaze me all the time. I spend a lot of energy keeping up with you these days. Today we went shopping, which we often do, and you didn’t want to sit, which you never do. You were running around the store, hiding in the clothes racks, and I was going a bit crazy trying to keep you safe and keep track of you. At almost 2 ½ you are so busy and so brave. You like to go “BIG jump” off of things, testing the limits of what you can do. You can climb everything. Earlier this week you were playing on the playground with a little 4-year-old girl, and you were climbing all the slides and all the structures, and she was playing right along with you. You were laughing so much. I cannot wait to see you run, laugh, and play with your little brother.

You see, you have a gift coming. Oh, how I love to give you surprises! I love your face when you’re excited, like Christmas morning, and you light up everything. I hope that you’re excited to meet your baby. A little brother is a wonderful thing. I have one, too, you know. He’s 30 now, but he was little once. This is why I am having you share a room with your new brother. I want you to have plenty of time to play together and eventually have late-night talks when you’re supposed to be sleeping. You see, a little brother is the best for having these. It might not feel like it right away, when the baby is crying or mama is holding the baby a lot, but this is going to be really, really fun. Just like when I met you for the first time, this baby is going to change us. You see, you get to be something else, something new, a big brother, and you’re going to be amazing! I cannot wait for you two to meet!

I love you so, so much! Sometimes I tell you that you’re my favorite, and I want you to know that it’s still true. I just have two favorites now.

All my love,

Mommy