16, 17 And 18 Months

Dear Benjamin

Life has been crazy busy lately, and I’m sorry for not getting to your letters sooner. Like I said the last two months have been a whirl wind, so I’ll try to sum up everything that’s happened with you.

You’re doing great eating wise. You’ll typically eat breakfast soon after getting up, but around 10:00, you’ll be hungry again and you’ll want Second Breakfast. This is different from a snack, because at Second Breakfast, you want a full on meal, not just a little something to tide you over until lunch. After Second Breakfast, you’ll typically want lunch around 12:00. After lunch you have some down time, and then you’ll nap for a while. When you wake up from a nap, you’re starving AGAIN! So, you’ll eat around 3:30 for a snack. Around 5 or 5:30, you get Hangry. And start signing that you’re hungry and want something to eat. We try to hold you off, so you won’t ruin your dinner, but you start to get mad easily at this point (again, hangry). So a really small snack is given you so you don’t have a meltdown. Then, by the time dinner rolls around at 6:30, you’ll eat a few bites, and then sign you’re all done…..

You’re still nursing. It’s about 2 times a day now. I’ll wake you up at 5:25 in the morning and nurse you in bed with me for about 35 minutes, and then I’ll put you back to bed and you’ll sleep until 7:30ish. We’ll also nurse at night before bedtime, and that’s how you fall asleep. I love this time with you. It’s quiet, peaceful and just pure snuggles. I’m cherishing this time with you. Soon enough you’ll be too independent to want to keep doing this. But, we’ll keep it up for as long as you want.

One of the things you’re really enjoying at night before bed is for me to sing to you. I’ll ask you if you want me to sing, and you’ll nod yes. And I’ll sing to you one of three songs on your list: Edelweiss, Can’t Help Falling in Love, or To La Ru La Ru La. I love singing to you. A lot of times, I’ve noticed that it’s the things that calms you down when you get upset, and I hope it always will.

Little man, you have an awful temper. When you get made, you find the nearest object and you hurl it across the room, or go over to something and hit it. And, when that doesn’t garner enough attention out of us, you start hitting your head. I don’t really know what to do about your temper, right now we’re just letting you figure it out, and guiding you as much as we can. We’re trying to teach that you hands aren’t for hitting, but for showing love, but that seems like a hard concept for an 18 month old. I hope as you get older that your temper becomes less explosive….

We’ve had good news with your PT! They think that you’re not going to need much more support! We no longer need to put an insert in your shoe which is awesome! You’re bowleggedness is improving daily. You still fall a lot, especially on new surfaces or uneven ground, but it’s slowly getting better. Hopefully soon you’ll be done with PT all together.

One thing that does have your Dad and I concerned is your language skills. You’re still not talking much. You have about 2 words that you use with regularity. Mama – this does not just apply to me, but to everyone in the house. No – you’re pretty good at saying this. You used to say “ta ta” for cat, but you haven’t said that in months. You babble a lot, and you can nod and shake your head to communicate. You’ll point to things and and use a lot of nonverbal cues to get what you want. But the lack of verbal skills is concerning to me. So, your Dad and I are going to have you evaluated for a speech delay. That will get going sometime in the next month.

Benjamin, I think you are an amazing little boy. You have the best personality. You are strong willed and determined in what you want, and what you want to do. You are incredibly loving to all of your family. You idolized your brother and try to do everything he does, and you light up whenever Henry gives you one on one attention. You are also a creature of habit, and love your routine. It provides your comfort. You love to play with blocks and cars. You love to be outside and you like slides the most on the play grounds. You know no fear! If other kids around you can do it, then you will too, or at least try and then throw a fit when you can’t. You’re amazing, and you’ve added so much fun, mischief, and adventure to our lives. I love you with all of my heart, and I always will. You will always be my little boy. I love you Benjamin.

Momma

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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

 

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