Month 15

Dear Benjamin,

Your personality is coming out more and more every day.  You are becoming your own individual, and doing your very best to let us know what you like and what you don’t like.  You get really mad at us when we make you use Baby Sign Language.  You think you’re being incredibly clear as to what you want, but honestly the rest of us could use a bit more clarification.  You have the worst temper in the world.  It could seriously rival your father’s.  You get so mad that your whole body tenses up, you throw yourself onto the floor, and just scream/cry and kick your legs and arms until you’re through.  You also do not like to be touched when you’re in the throws of anger.  You will move your entire body away from anyone who tries to touch you (even to comfort you).  One the opposite side though, you’re also incredibly sweet, giving kisses and hugs to anyone you walk past.  You love to snuggle, and will seek people out so you can sit in their lap while you charge your batteries.  You smile and laugh all the time, and you smile is contagious and lights up the room.  I love watching you grow and become your own person.  This is an incredibly fun journey to watch.


You are becoming more and more mobile as the days go by.  You can now go up and down the stairs without assistance.  In fact, you were doing that so often that we were losing track of where you were.  And, we got tired of going up and down the stairs 20 times in 2 hours, that we broke down and bough some baby gates to block off the stairwell.  But, as of this morning, you’ve figured out that if you push and pull on it enough, that you can get it to slip loose and then crawl under it…….sigh….you’re too smart for your own good.


You have your 15 month Well Visit at the doctor’s office on Monday.  I’m really curious about how much you have grown since your 12 month visit.  I also have a few things that we need to bring up to the doctor while we’re there.  1) You still seem to suffer from acid reflux.  I’ll hear you spit up, but it never ends up coming out, you just swallow it back down.  Sometimes it seems to bother you, other times it doesn’t.  2) You have had a horrible diaper rash for the past 3 months now.  We’ll get it to go away for a day or two, but then it will come back with a vengeance.  I’ve stripped your diapers at least 5 times, we bathe you, lotion up your tushie with hydrating lotion.  We slather you in booty balm.  We change your diaper at least every 1.5 hours.  We can’t get it to go away.  It’s now blistering, and I’m wondering if it’s some kind of infection and that you might need antibiotics.


You’re still in Physical Therapy.  You’re doing really well with it, but we have all noticed that you have a bit of a limp when you walk.  Your left leg is much stiffer than your right, and as you walk more and more, it seems to just get more and more pronounced.  You have your next PT appointment on Tuesday, so I’ll talk to your therapist and see what we can do to help that.


I love you with all of my heart Benjamin.  You are amazing.  Everything that you can do, everything that you’re learning, it’s incredible to watch.  You’re incredible.  I wish I had the words to express to you how much I love you, and how much you mean to me.  I love you more than anything.  I’d do anything for you.  I want nothing but for you to be happy, and to find joy in the world and in your life.  I love you with all of my heart, and I’ll always love you.  I will always be your mother, and we will always be family.


I love you Benjamin.

Momma

 

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Kindergartener

My baby started Kindergarten today! I can’t believe it’s already time for him to do that. It feels like the last time I looked at him, he was 2 years old and still resembled a baby. Instead, he’s a strong and sturdy 5 year old, with a mind as sharp as a knife and looks nothing like a baby any more.  
J and I dropped him off at school this morning, and he was a little nervous walking into the building, but as soon as he got to his classroom, he was the smiling, bright and excited kid that I knew he would be. There were no tears (for him) and he was happy and bubbling with excitement when we left.

I can’t believe that Henry is already at this point in his life. I’m not ready for him to grow up so quickly. He is growing at an alarming rate, and I find myself struggling more and more to keep up with it. But, I think all moms feel this way.

I love this little boy so much. I’m excited to see where this year takes him and to watch how much he’ll grow and develop. He is one amazing kid, and I’m beyond lucky to be him momma.

I love you Henry! I’m so proud of you!

Month 14

Dear Benjamin,
You have now turned 14 months old. And, with the new month, comes a new milestone: Walking! You are no longer just taking a step here or there. You are walking (running?) all over the house and are just going, going, going. Your Gram has been sending me videos of you moving all over the place, and it’s adorable. You are apparently moving so much, that after a while, you’ll wear yourself out, and then climb onto the sofa with your blanket to take a bit of a breather. It’s adorable!


I’d say within the last month you’ve become really attached to your blanket. Before, you liked it, but now, it must go where you go. You need it for naps and nighttime, and you want it within crawling/ walking distance of you too. So that when you need a break or a snuggle it’s close by you. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re attached to your blanket. It warms my heart that you love it so, especially knowing that it took me close to six months to make it. I view this as a mom victory.


Your Physical Therapy is going well. They’ve knocked you down to just twice a month, which is awesome. Your therapist is slightly concerned about your left leg, and how you don’t seem to bear as much weight on it as your right, and that your left foot rotates outward when you’re walking. So, we have a few exercises to do with you to help with that – mainly getting you to move laterally more and more. But it’s something we’ll have to keep an eye on.


You’re starting to become a pickier eater, which I’m not loving. Last night, you hardly ate anything, and then would only eat if you and I were sharing a plate. And after a few minutes of that you still weren’t interested in anything we had for dinner and I ended up having to feed you yogurt just to get something in you. I don’t know if this is a new phase you’re going through, or if it’s because you have molars coming in, or what. But, I hope it passes quickly.


You’re still nursing, but pretty much just twice a day. Once in the morning before I go to work, or first thing in the morning on the weekend. And then at night you’ll nurse to sleep still. I love this time with you. I love the snuggle and the cuddle and the laughs we share. It’s amazing, and I hope it continues for a while still.


You are really LOVING books right now. You will pull one from the book shelves and track it to where ever there are people so you can hand it to us to read to you. Right now your favorites include:

Moo Baa La La La

Brown Bear

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck

Snuggle Pupply

The Hungry Caterpillar

and that’s just to name a few. You love books and love having them read to you. Last night, you just kept handing me Brown Bear to read over and over again. You smile and laugh so much when reading, I hope you keep this passion for the rest of your life.


I love you so much Benjamin. You have brought so much and love into my life. I cannot begin to explain to you how much you mean to me. The words just aren’t there. You are my everything. I want you to always know that your mother loves you, and would do anything for you. Know that I think you’re amazing, compassionate, special and so much more. I feel lucky that I get to watch your grow and develop into the person you’ll be. I love you baby.
Momma  

Month 13

Dear Benjamin,
You are now officially over a year old! You’re growing and changing so much every day that I can hardly keep up! You are constantly on the move, and are lightning fast in your crawling. The other day your dad and I were in the kitchen doing dishes, and you were with us playing. Then, all of a sudden we heard a huge *BANG* and we ran to the stairs, and there you were, at the very top of the stairs laughing while you threw things down the stairs and watched them bounce on the way down. I have no idea how you got up there so fast, but you did, and it was the first time you’d done it too. To be sure, your dad and I are more diligent on keeping track of you now.


You are an eating machine. We cannot seem to keep enough food in front of you! I swear that you have a hollow leg because for the life of me I can’t figure out where you put all of this food. For a baby, you are very lean. I was just complaining to your dad that you don’t have an adorable baby belly. Instead you have a flat muscled stomach for a one year old. The other day, you were eating lunch in your high chair, and your dad got up to get your brother some water, and while he was at the cupboard, you climbed out of your high chair, and climbed onto the table to so you could reach more food…..your dad likes to call you food motivated, and he’s not wrong.


You’re still nursing, and I love it. You nurse first thing in the morning before I go to work, when I get home from work, and again before bedtime. You seem to really enjoy it, and so do I. It’s a very peaceful time for us, and when nothing else seems to soothe you, nursing does.


You started taking steps this past month! On July 25th, you took your first steps! It was just a few, but you did it!! You haven’t really done it a lot since then, but I know you’ll pick it up soon, and then before I know it, you’ll be running (literally) all over the house.


You love to babble right now. I’m starting to think that you’ll be like your Dad and your brother and be a talkative little guy, and your poor mom is never going to be able to get a work in between the 3 of you. You will babble whole sentences, and then look at us for a response, which is just adorable, and then you’ll babble an answer back.  


You are not that interested in baby sign language any more, and I’m not really sure why. I think it might be that you’re trying to talk more and more, and you’d rather communicate verbally rather than through signing. You’re working on saying

cat /t/ /t/

dog /d/ /g/

that /dat/

book /ba/

you will also shake your head no


I’m still trying to get you to use sign language, I feel like it will really help your frustration level in the end if you do. I want you to know the signs for “milk,” “hurt,” “water,” “all done,” “more,” “food,” and possibly a few more. We’ll keep trying and we’ll see how you do.  
You’re wanting to be more and more independent, but every now and then you’ll look back and make sure someone you know is close by. Your Gram was with you during your last Physical Therapy, and she said that periodically you’d crawl over to her, ask to be picked up, and then you’d put your head on her shoulder for a bit, until you got the snuggle that you needed and then you’d go back to working on PT.  

I love you Benjamin. You are such a sweet, awesome and amazing little boy, and you fill my life with such love and happiness. I love watching you discover the world around you, and seeing everything fresh through your eyes. I wish I could put into words how much I love you, but I don’t think the words exist. I love you with all of my heart and every fiber of my being.
Momma

Hypothyroidism

I’ve been seeing an internist since December of 2016.  I’ve been feeling rundown, sluggish, excessively tired, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to lose weight (1400 calories or less and the scale won’t move!).  So, I went to the doctor.  I’ve had bloodwork done several times since then, and my labs that I had done in June came back as hypothyroid, and I’ve been prescribed synthroid.  I started taking synthroid on June 21, 2017 at 50 mcg.  I went back for bloodwork on July 18, and they doubled my dosage to 100 mcg daily.  However, starting on Monday July 17, I’ve been having the WORST headaches I’ve ever had.  The pain is almost tension headache like, and severe enough to cause nausea.I’ve been reading that it can be a reaction to the medication, and that basically my body doesn’t know yet what to do with this extra hormone that’s floating around.  Once I’ve been taking it for a while longer, my body will get used to it.  So, I’m hoping these headaches go away soon because this shit is seriously painful.  I have noticed my appetite decrease, so I’m hoping that the numbers on the scale will start to go down.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.

5 Years Old

Dear Henry,

I always love this time of year.  Your dad and I are inundated with photos of you from when you were a baby, through last year when you became a brother.  It’s amazing to watch you grow and compare you from one year to the next.  Every year I look back and think to myself how amazing you are, and you really and truly are amazing.


This past year you started school at The Burlington School in their PreK program, and you loved every moment of it.  There wasn’t a single day when you didn’t want to go to school.  You were motivated and raring to go every day, which made me beyond happy.   You’ll be going back to The Burlington School this year in their TK (transitional kindergarten) program.  I know that you’re excited to be in the same class as your best friend Amare, but you’re sad and a little scared because you have a new teacher.  I know that you’ll end up loving her as much as you love your PreK teacher.


We’ve spent the summer going to the Aquatic Center here in Burlington.  You love to go and play in the water.  You’re a little intimidated from it all, and I really want to get you some swimming lessons so that you’ll be super confident in the water.  You love playing with me and your dad in the water, and we love being in there with you!


Your birthday party was at the Splash Park this year, and you shared the party with your brother.  I made you a chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, and a Superman logo on it, per your request.  We invited your entire class to your party, and it felt like most of them showed up!  You were running around, playing with friends, trying to put ice water in your water gun to shoot at your dad (which was incredibly funny).  It warms my heart to see you have such a great time!


For your actual birthday, I took your to Chuck E. Cheese’s, which is where you were dying to go!  So, you and I went, and we played all of the games until we ran out of tokens, and then you took your tickets and bought some candy and a few other trinkets.  You and I had a marvelous time!  After the games, I took you to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  I had a wonderful time hanging out and talking with you.


The only downside to the year has been that I believe you’re developing some anxiety.  You seem to constantly worry about things that are out of your control.  You worry about car accidents, and robbers coming into the house.  You worry about being separated from your family or things changing.  Sometimes it gets so severe that I worry about you, and starting thinking that I might need to find a child psychologist to work with you.  For now, I’m keeping an eye on things, but if it gets much worse, we’ll seek professional help for you.


Henry, you are such a sweet child.  You’re continually curious, wanting to know and learn more and more.  You’re as silly as can be, and no one can make me laugh like you do!  I also find that you’re the most loving child imaginable.  You tell me 50 thousand times a day that you love me.  Whenever you go and spend the night at your grandparent’s house, or your Uncle and Aunt’s house you tell them 50 thousand times that you love me and that you miss me.  It warms my heart that I’m in your thoughts so much, because you certainly are in mine.


You light up my life and you always have.  I will love you forever and always, no matter what.  You are my child, you are linked to me and I always want what’s best for you and what will make you happy.


Keep growing, loving and learning.  I love you,

Momma

Month 12/ Year One

Dear Benjamin,

You are now a year old!  I seriously feel like I just wrote your 6 month letter, and I can’t believe that you just had your birthday.  You turned one on June 19, but on the 18th, I found myself super emotional, to the point of tearing up several times.  I just kept thinking that, a year ago on the 18th I was in labor with you.  I started having regular, but FAR apart contractions around 4:00 in the afternoon.  I realized that I was in fact in labor at about 10:00 pm.  We got to the hospital around 2:00 in the morning and I was 8 cm dilated.  You were then born at 4:23 in the morning, in a tub of warm water.


You are talking and babbling all the time right now!  You can say:

  • mama
  • dada
  • stop (dop)
  • no
  • night night (nye nye)
  • cat (tat)
  • hello/hi

You are starting to really use the baby sign language.  You can sign:

  • milk (although, we think you do this for “food”)
  • all done (but you don’t do this that regularly
  • water

We’re working on a few others, and I’m sure that you’ll pick those up soon as well.


You’re doing so well in your PT!  So well in fact that they’ve dropped you down to just twice a month, instead of once a week.  You’re crawling, and cruising, and getting into everything that you can possibly try and get into.  Right now you love to take the sheet trays out of the cabinet, and push them around on the kitchen floor.


You absolutely love the pool!  We got a membership there for the summer, and you love to cruise around the edge of the pool, and you’re pretty fast too!  You’ll also crawl up and down the ramp into the pool, and we have to really watch you because you’ll crawl until you’re almost under water – you just don’t seem to know when to stop.


You are also really trying to be more and more independent.  You want to do things yourself and you don’t want anyone or anything to stand in your way.  For example: you’re trying to put your food on a fork and feed yourself with it.  It’s adorable to watch you pick a piece of food and place it on your fork, and then try to turn and maneuver your fork into your mouth.  The down side to your newfound independent streak is that it also applies to you wanting to crawling into the dishwasher; to pulling the childproof plugs out of outlets; to chewing and pulling on electrical cords….and when we try to get you away from those things, your temper checks in.   And you have a TEMPER.  When you get upset or angry you scream, cry, throw things, collapse on the floor and kick and your legs….you have perfected the 2 year old tantrum a year early….


You’re still nursing!  We’re down to just three times a day.  Once before I go to work, when I get home from work, and at bedtime.  You still love it, and ask for it all the time.  You’ll pull at my shirt, or stand in front of me and sign for milk.  I don’t want to say no to you, so any time you want to nurse, I will cuddle you and nurse you.


I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but you LOVE to dance!  If music comes on, you start moving to it.  You’ll bounce in place to the beat, clap your hands, twist side to side, throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care).  It’s adorable.  I hope you keep it up!


You and your brother had a joint birthday party this year at the Splash Park.  It was amazing!  You had such a great time playing in the water and watching all the big kids run around.  You were crawling all through the splash pad, and getting soaked, and you were loving every moment of it.  I made a cake for you, and a separate one for Henry.  Yours was a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and a batman logo on the cake.  You loved that cake, and happily gobbled up your dessert as fast as you could.


This past year has been amazing!  It really and truly has.  I cannot believe how fast it has gone by, and how much you have grown and changed.  You are an incredible boy.  You bring so much joy and laughter into my life.  I’m trying to soak up every moment and savor everything that I can.  You make me laugh and smile every day.  You warm my heart, and have taught me how to be a better mother.  I love you with all of my being, and I always will.


Keep growing, and dancing!

Love,

Momma