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14 February 2015

The Final Countdown--a love letter to my first born.

It seems only appropriate on this snowy Valentine's Day, and in the final few weeks of being a family of three, to reflect and reassure my littlest Valentine of the enormous amount of love that we have for him.  While changes are a comin', what will never change was how he was first to steal our hearts.

Our dearest Boo,

It goes without saying that from the moment you entered this world after nearly 40 hours of, let's just say 'intense', laboring, you captured our souls and taught us about a kind of love that we had never known existed.  You've been in this life for such a short span of time, and yet we have watched you grow and thrive so quickly...learning how to navigate among others, and be grown up in so many ways.  But, as I like to sometimes tell you, you're still just little.  You're still just my little boo, who loves to snuggle and cuddle and be held.   I cherish these moments knowing that in the distant future, you'll be too embarrassed to give me a kiss when you go into school or run at me full speed when I pick you up at the end of the day.

Big changes are coming...you've been king of our castle for 4 1/2 years.  We've done so many things, gone so many places, and we've weathered many a storm.  It's been just us and soon there'll be another.  Oh sure, we've been preparing you, and talking with you about how important being a big brother is, and how much help you're going to be, and you seem up to the challenge.  But we know there's a little bit of fear in you...fear of the new baby's arrival...what that will mean for our little familial constellation.  Please know this...Daddy and I love you more than anything else on this planet, and because you are such a marvelous, wonderful you, our hearts can only grow bigger to welcome another, who will no doubt bring us the same joy and laughter (and ok, let's be real for a second, frustration and tears!) that you have in such a short amount of time.

Your baby sister is going to need you. She's going to look to you when she needs advice, or needs help solving a puzzle. She's going to look to you to protect her and guide her.  She'll look to you when she's feeling frustrated with us.  You have such a big role to play. So as our hearts grow bigger, so will yours.  It may take her awhile to get into playing with "Green Hulk" et al, but you'll be there to show her.   And you, my sweet, will have to be patient when she wants you to sit and have a tea party with her.  Or when she wants to play dress up with you simply because it'd be funny to see her big brother in whatever princessy garb she throws your way.

As these final few weeks begin to tick away, I admit that I find myself scared too...scared of disrupting the almost perfect world we've created for ourselves with you...scared of the change (change is hard!) and scared of the uncertainty of what lies ahead.  Yet I know we'll weather it like we have everything else...together.  There is nothing more important than family, our family.  (and PLEASE, if you're going to impart any wisdom or habits of yours to your sister, please let it be your sleeping and eating habits...both of which are stellar.)  

Your baby sister is going to love you so much...you are, after all, our sweet boy, and your infectious smile and good nature will make her feel instantly welcomed and loved, because that's what you do, and that's who you are.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, our dear Garrett...now and always.

08 February 2015

Home stretch.

5 weeks. 32 more days. The home stretch has begun until we welcome our new arrival...your baby sister. Nursery done? Check. Sibling class done? Check. Tiny baby girl clothes washed and put away? Check. Hospital bag packed? Check. Boxes of diapers and wipes bought? Check. Name picked? Check. For the most part, we are ready.  

We've had an eventful month getting ready. For so long, March seemed very far away...but before you know it, it's right around corner.  And we can't wait to meet her.  You've been so helpful.  You helped set up the nursery...and you love going up every once and awhile to just look around and rearrange things.  And I love how every picture you draw of our family now includes a new little addition.

A few weeks ago, we went to a sibling class at the hospital.  It was an opportunity for you to see and tour the maternity ward, ask questions, and learn all about what it means to be a big brother.  Since we were the only attendees, you got all the one-on-one attention. I was so proud of you! 

Next it was on to the nursery...you were such a big help and I think you're going to be in there a lot...especially since you love to remind us that this used to be your room.

Throughout the past several months, we have amazing support from our friends. Everyone is so excited for your baby sister to arrive and it's been wonderful to feel such love.  At book club last month, our friends surprised us with a lovely shower. Just last week, at work, I was so surprised to find out that a staff meeting was really a baby shower.  How exciting! Not to mention, my work family loves YOU so much, that they included in you in gifties. 

So now we wait...time has flown, and before you know it our little family of three will grow to four. We are ready.

31 December 2014

The Year in Review--2014

2014, this year's nearly passed
So much has gone on, most of it a blast.
You continue to grow and amaze us each day
Let's look back at the year before the memories fade away.

We started the year with a new milestone that filled us with pride
As we headed to Disneyworld on your first plane ride.
You sat with Daddy, having fun in the back,
While I sat up front, by myself, and away from the pack.
You were all smiles from this new adventure and ride,
I could barely contain myself, having sat there and cried.

We arrived to warmer temps and what awaited was great fun
Leaving New England for a few days to get some much needed sun.
Disney was awesome; there was much to do and see
I secretly kept hoping for a glimpse of our friend, Mickey.

The highlight for you was a certain Honeypot ride
Which we rode six times, you would not be denied.
We watched in wonder as you met an old friend--sweet Pooh Bear
who enveloped you in a huge hug that made me shed a tear.

It's hard to top Disney, it was so epic and joyful
But that was only  January and there were many months to follow.
There were donut dates with friends, and haircuts and games,
We romped outside with Gabby in the snow and the rain.

Winter walks on the beach and we did plenty of baking
you love helping in the kitchen--a petite chef in the making?

Spring brought us visits to a local farm
Seeing fresh little lambs all snuggly and warm.
We started Saturday movie nights with cocoa and popcorn
and saw friends welcome brothers and sisters who were newly born.
We had library days and practiced hitting the baseball
You've got an arm kid, watch out all!

You and I did something very brand new
We went to the circus, just me and you!
Saw tigers and elephants and funny looking clowns
Had cotton candy and popcorn and watched acrobats fly upside down.

On those dreary Sundays when it was a rainy Spring
we took you bowling and soon it became our new favorite thing.
Soon it was May and on the fourth you turned four
We went bowling again, then to the movies which was not a bore.
It was our first movie theater date, Disney Nature's flick Bears
You did pretty well, sitting still, eating popcorn, without a single care.

For your birthday party we went bowling again
This time a few of your bestie friends joined in.

June brought us new changes as preschool began
Saying farewell to your daycare buddies and Miss Helen--we were not a fan!
You looked so grownup on your very first day
My heart skipped a beat as we said goodbye and off you went to play.

By now it was summer and we had lots of plans
the beach, Bar Harbor, eating lots of clams!
Visited Boston's Museum of Science and went fishing when the sky was blue
Picked strawberries, saw fireworks, and had your first school field trip too.

Birthday parties, water fights, and a trip to the zoo
When September rolled around, we had really big news for you.
You're going to be a big brother in March 2015
We think you'll be the best big brothers that we've ever seen.
You'll have a little sister to protect,love, and hold
and teach her great things, or so you've been told.

You took swimming lessons, had play dates and fall came in soon
Aunt Tanya and Uncle Seth visited, then Halloween came too.
We had a snowy Thanksgiving and saw Santa quite a bit
Took a few train rides, drank more cocoa, that's always a hit.

Soon it was Christmas and my time to reflect
On all that's happened this year, some good, but not all perfect.

The Seahawks won the Superbowl, the Sochi Olympics were had
There were violent protests all over, so much of the news was bad.
A Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared without a single trace
Still today a mystery remains, their poor loved ones still face.

UConn dominated March Madness, both the women and men
We saw many an ice-bucket challenge dumped over some heads.
12 Years a Slave won the Oscar; Germany the World Cup,
Syria, ISIS, the Ukraine...the fighting is enough.
So many countries in utter turmoil
The NFL saw its share of scandal come to a boil.

Ferguson, Ebola, and Midterm Elections dominated the headlines
As we do every year, we lost some great gems who passed, many before their prime.

Ariel Sharon was the PM of Israel and died earlier this year
Shirley Temple, Pete Seeger and Mickey Rooney's deaths all drew some tears.
We were shocked by the light going out of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
His portrayal of Truman Capote from In Cold Blood made me a big fan.

James Brady, Marion Barry, Ben Bradlee all hailed in DC
We mourned the loss of actress and activist, the great Ruby Dee.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Maya Angelou brought us stunning prose,
Casey Kasem, you gave voice to Shaggy and told us which popstars on the charts rose.

Ann B. Davis you kept those Brady kids in a bunch
Eli Wallach, James Garner and Bob Hoskins, will be missed much.
Meshasch Taylor and Oscar de la Renta brought different meanings to Designing Women
and baseball lost a legend in the larger than life Don Zimmer.

Tom Magliozzi, you were one half of 'Click and Clack'
Lauren Bacall, you were nothing short of a class act.
Joan Rivers, Thomas Menino, Joe Cocker, you gave us many different gifts
Norman Bridwell, you brought a big red dog to life in Clifford--he'll too be missed.

Finally, we lost a star in Robin Williams who shone so bright
O'Captain! My Captain! Carpe Diem! Mr. Keating, you were so right.
Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, Sean MacGuire to name a few
Patch Adams, Peter Pan and the doc in Awakenings too.
Good Morning, Vietnam was a breakout role
Jumanji, Night at the Museum, and that creepy One Hour Photo.

His comic relief was genuine and made us believe
to quote Alladin one last time, "Genie, you are free."

And so we wrap up this year in a neat little bow
Here's to 2015 and all it will bestow.
From our family to yours, Happy New Year tonight
May your 2015 be happy, healthy, and bright.

30 December 2014


Goodness. This blog has been hibernating since June and what excuse do I have?  Now as the year ticks down to its final minutes, I find myself scrambling to recall and record all that has gone on in those missing months...and there was plenty!  But for now, let's focus on December and all the fun we had! 

The start of the holiday season began a new tradition for us with the Advent Calendar.  Not new to me, certainly, but new to you...each evening I left a little trinket, note, promise, sweet inside the next morning's pocket and after day 2, you got the hang of it and it became the first thing you went to every morning in your sleepy haze.  The first day brought us a tiny Spiderman figure who just fit so perfectly in the pocket.

Next up on the holiday to-do list was our annual trip to the North Pole, via the Boothbay Railway Village.  You wrote your letter to Santa and then we waited patiently (albeit freezing!) for our train's departure.  Once on board, we sat in the plush heated cars and enjoyed the old fashioned ride. Different this year was Santa jumping on board, gathering the letters and spending a few minutes to chat with each kid.

Also new this year was after the train ride, we went up to one of the railway houses and watched a model train, made an ornament and had cookies and cocoa.  It even started to snow a bit, which added to the festivities.

The next day we boarded the Candy Cane Train out of Bath.  This was a first for all of us, and even though we somehow ended up on a car that was less than heated, and without any working bathrooms, it was still a fun, festive ride.

We were disappointed to learn that our annual photo with our buddy and the dogs at the Bath Animal Hospital would not take place because the vet wasn't doing it this year.  After surveying other options, we settled on the Coastal Humane Society's picture with Santa. Hilarity, as usual, ensued for many reasons. I think what astounded us all was how long you boys sat on Santa's lap...when just a mere two years ago, you threw a total fit going anywhere near Santa.  

Soon enough, Christmas Eve was upon us.  It started out with a trip to your doc's office to confirm what you had been complaining out...a double ear infection.  Thank goodness for the quick work of antibiotics because while you were miserable for most of the day, by evening, you were almost back to your normal self.  Soon it was time to put you to bed, but first, you dictated your letter to Santa...and since you thought Santa would have too many cookies, you opted to leave him some pumpkin bread. 

Christmas morning, unlike last year, brought dismal rain and mild temps.  You slept in til nearly 7 am...and we had to actually wake you up, proclaiming that Santa had in fact come! That got you out of bed quickly.  Let the fun begin!

After the excitement of the morning, and Gabs getting her two stuffy gifts, we had breakfast and got ready to head to Grammie and Grampie's.  First item on the agenda was having Grampie read you a classic.

Like it does every year, Christmas came and went...but with each year that goes by, you get more excited, more into the spirit and likewise for Daddy and me, it gets more and more fun.  We had a couple of low key days, post-Christmas, to play, play, play...and then it was back to school for you on Monday.  Tomorrow is New Year's Eve...and 2015 will soon be upon us...we have so much to look forward to.  It's been a good year.