My happy, bouncing baby boy,
You don’t know this, but we wanted to have you almost a full year before you made your way into this world. We felt like it was time to grow our little family, and it had been so easy with your sister that we waited until we were absolutely sure. But the thing is, being ready made it all the more difficult to wait. Every month I’d get my hopes up, and every month I’d cry a little; slow, hot tears alone in the early mornings, twelve times over. I wondered what was wrong with me, if I could eat better or should exercise more. We prayed and waited. I even went in to the doctor to see if something was wrong (it wasn’t). And then, one month, there was a little + where there had been so many -s before it. And I cried again, but this time tears of joy; our wait was over.
While you grew in my belly, I barely had time to worry over you. My days were full of chasing your sister and teaching sweaty but inquisitive ten year olds. Even so, I loved every kick and every hiccup I felt from you, letting me know, “Hey mom, I’m good. I’m with you.” When we found out you were a boy, I won’t lie, I was shocked. What did I know about boys? But then we named you and planned your nursery, and I knew that it was right. You’d complete our little family in ways we couldn’t even imagine.
And then you came, after an annoying morning of being poked with giant needles and more tears, this time because of pain and fear. You came, red-faced and screaming, looked over the curtain at me, and I loved you instantly. You were a voracious eater, gave the sweetest cuddles, and squeaked in your sleep; our perfect boy.
And then you grew. We watched you learn to delight in your sister, laugh at her, calm when she sang to you. We snuggled during the long nights and you grew so fast in such a short time. Before we knew it, you could sit up and grab a hold of toys (and Coco’s fur) and laugh and smile on purpose. “What a smiley baby,” says everyone we meet at the grocery store and in our seats at church. They’re right. Such a smiley baby.
Now, you are babbling away and getting into everything, crawling everywhere, opening all the cabinets, and using the toilet to pull up and unroll all the toilet paper. You are exploring anywhere we forget to close a door. You experiment with your toys, watch carefully what happens when you try different things. You stack blocks and clap your hands when you’re proud of what you’ve done. When we read, you like to turn the pages and you grin and chuckle at silly stories, waving goodbye when they are over.
I wish that I could remember every single second of this year, but I know that’s impossible. Even so, there are some things I want to make sure to never forget about the first year of your life. The way you lean forward to give sloppy, open mouthed kisses. The little curl on the back of your head. The way you give yourself away by breathing heavily when you’re about to do something naughty (like head for the dog bowls). The way you explore new textures by drumming your fingers over them. The way you suck water out of a straw and immediately spit it back out. The way you laugh when anyone else does even though you have no idea what was funny. And the way you squeal and kick your legs when anything is even remotely exciting.
Even though you aren’t the best sleeper (yet), most nights I don’t mind the extra nighttime snuggles, your chubby hand holding tight to my shirt as if you think you can hold me there forever. You still squeak in your sleep and you still laugh at your sister and you still bring us more joy than we knew we needed.
You, my baby boy, were worth the wait.
Happy birthday, Baby B. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.
Currently Reading: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. You all know I love her work and this one is no different. I’m learning a lot from her words, especially that having the courage to tell our stories can make us feel vulnerable, but it also brings us connection with others and a sense of belonging. I’m learning even more how to let go of perfectionism and believe that I am, just as I am, enough.
- The Alice Project by Kate Quinn. I highly recommend this one; I absolutely LOVED it! One of my favorite wartime novels to date.
- The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. This one was a cute, fast read about a book-loving librarian who ends up changing her whole life, moving from a big city to rural Scotland an opening a bookshop.
Also reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I also read her newest one this year, Why Not Me? and I find her to be refreshingly honest and real and funny. I also started binging The Mindy Project on Hulu and so I might be an all-out fangirl of Mindy’s now.
Currently Baking: Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day
- 7 oz semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup butter
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar, separated
- Preheat oven to 300º. Grease a 9 in. cake pan or spring form pan.
- In double boiler (I use a glass pyrex bowl over a soup pot), melt chocolate and butter. Set aside to slightly cool.
- Stir together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Add to chocolate mixture, stir well.
- With a mixer, whip egg whites until you have stiff peaks, adding 1/2 cup sugar slowly. Fold into chocolate mixture.
- Pour into pan, bake for 40-50 min or until toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- Cool for 45 min-1hr before removing. It’s not the prettiest cake, but it’s delicious.
- Serve with whipped cream and strawberries.
Thanks for reading and until next time, peace and love from my household to yours.