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Three Years Old

21 Jul

Dear Benjamin-

Nearly every day we have the same conversation.  I’ll slip and call you “baby” in some kind of endearing fashion, and you’ll indignantly remind me that you aren’t a baby anymore.  You cast your eyes to the side and barely hold in the frustrated sigh when I respond, “yes, you are a big boy, but you’ll always be my baby.”

So today, my will-always-be-my-baby big boy is officially three, and I’m puzzled at where the past 1096 days have gone. I know I didn’t blink, and I remember it all.  I remember the first minutes, hours, days.  I can close my eyes and remember the weight of you as a newborn, a feather in my arms with sweet and silky hair.  I skip the tape forward a few steps and see you smiling and laughing for the first time.  I know where I was sitting the first time you pulled yourself up, and can hear the sounds of your first steps echoing in the hallway.  Even with all these crystal clear memories, it’s a mystery to me how time has flown by and tonight we officially rang in your third birthday with one cupcake, three candles and a juice box.

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At three, you aren’t short on personality… or opinions.  I can’t imagine where you get that from (note: by the time you can read this, there will likely be a sarcasm font, there isn’t today so be sure to read that with the solid dose of sarcasm I intend).  I think of you as my sweet and salty toddler. “You need snuggles, mommy,” you ask as you climb out of the car this afternoon.  It’s a common refrain from you, and usually followed by “you like my snuggles, mom, they make you happy?” You worry about if we are happy – Daddy, Lucas and I.  You want us to be happy, to be laughing.  If we aren’t, you are quick to try and cheer us up. If you aren’t happy though… we will never need to wonder.  It’s very, very clear, and not a bit quiet.

In fact, the emotions between elated and devastated don’t seem to exist for you.  You are so, so happy, and so, so sweet, or so incredibly whiny and brimming with tears.  The highs are high and the lows are rock bottom.  We are working on that middle ground and constantly reminding you that there is a tone of voice other than yelling or whining.

You are our fruit and vegetable monster — preferring to order salad at restaurants over chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. Most evenings, you wipe your plate clean of strawberries, watermelon, carrots and other healthy stuff only to push the rest aside with a declaration of “I don’t like this.”

You haven’t lost your love of being outside or your adoration for playing in the water. You are still Elsa’s biggest fan, and have made many strangers smile when they walk past you shrieking with joy upon seeing a Frozen toy or Elsa doll at the store.  This year, you discovered Daniel Tiger on PBS and a new best friendship was born. You can be swayed into new behaviors with Daniel’s little ditties and are always delighted to watch a new episode.

You went to Disney twice while you were two years old, rode your first rollercoaster and hugged many a character. You spent a week at the beach with family, and loved swimming in the pool.  You went to fairs and carnivals, museums and theme parks, hunted Easter eggs and trick or treated.  It was a good, good year, full of adventures and rich with memories.

There are so many more adventures ahead.  Life with you, our newly crowned three year old, sparkles with fun and family time.  Lucas, Daddy and I are so lucky to be yours, and we are so lucky you are ours.

I love you every day, Benny.
Your Mama

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Five Years Old

15 Dec

Dear Lucas-

I’m nearly a week late in writing you this letter, but I figure that you can wait a week, since I waited 29 years to meet you. Granted, for most of those 29 I wasn’t eagerly awaiting you, but those last few before your arrival, they were pretty painful. They say every baby is a blessing, and you were certainly one for us.  Amazing how the nine months I was pregnant with you seemed to happen in slow motion, and the five years you’ve been here have been more like fast forward.FiveYearsOld

You are so excited to be five.  Almost from the moment you turned four, you were asking when your next birthday would be, when would you be five.  You may have wished away this past year, but I certainly didn’t. It was such a special one for us.

There’s magic in this age.  Amazing magic that I thought we had when you were younger, but really didn’t understand until this year. You truly believe. You take that leap of faith that us jaded adults just can’t take.  For you, every character at Disney was real.  You don’t merely accept this, you theorize around it.  They live there, interacting with each other, waiting for us to arrive and see them.  You aren’t bothered that they don’t talk when we see them, in fact, you are happy to act out elaborate charades with the characters because you believe.   The same applies to Santa… he’s not just the bringer of presents.  He’s the purveyor of magic who flies around the world in a single night, fitting all the children’s presents on his one magical sleigh pulled by a reindeer with a glowing nose.  You don’t even question how this could be possible because you believe so big and so strong. The magic is real.  It’s inside you, and I’m so thrilled to be along for the ride.

And while there is so much magic and belief, there is also so much learning and awareness.  You come home full of knowledge that you didn’t have when you left for school.  Letters, numbers, rhyming, sounding out words, it’s all part of our day-to-day dialogue.  I never know if we will spend dinner talking about the differences between the Arctic and the Indian Oceans, and which one you want to visit first, or perhaps the giant meteor that crashed into Earth and killed all the dinosaurs.  Many times these days, I’m answering your never-ending stream of questions with a very unsatisfying “I don’t know but we can look it up.”

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It’s not just the constant learning and yearning for knowledge that’s new this year, it’s also the heightened sense of awareness.  You notice everything, and hear even the quietest whisper.  You embarrass easily, and are quick to scream and cry if we laugh at you. You are the first to tell Daddy and I to “stop fighting” or to take up the cause of the wronged parent with a sharp declaration of “that’s quite rude, Mommy. Say you’re sorry.”  Rude is the word du jour, in fact.  I’m rude, Daddy’s rude, you are never being rude… according to you.

But with this self awareness also comes this amazing glimpse into the boy you are becoming — fighter for the wronged, competitive to a fault, quickest volunteer to help that anyone’s ever seen. You quickly pushed your birthday presents over to your brother so he could help open them when he was sad that he didn’t have any.  When writing thank you notes for birthday money, you wanted everyone to know that you’d be spending your birthday checks on Christmas presents for Ben.  When we pass a police car speeding away, you always say, “Look Mommy, that police car has it’s lights on. I sure hope everyone is okay.”

You love to be busy, and are always sad when plans come to an end. In fact, you aren’t great with any kind of change – the end of soccer lessons, when your socks get holes in them and we have to throw them away (cue: epic tantrum), etc… You’d be happiest if we had lessons, play dates or adventures every day.  This year, you did soccer lessons and swimming lessons – and are great at both!  You can swim across the pool with no float, and your teachers always pull me aside to comment on your soccer skills.  Your friends would probably comment on them too, but they are usually left crying on the field where you edged them out and nabbed the ball FiveYearsOld1away.

You are still our awesome imaginative player.  If we took away all your toys, you’d transform your fingers and toes into ‘guys’ and play for hours.  You would say that you don’t get to watch much TV… which is true … but you love the things you do watch – Paw Patrol still remains a regular choice with several other shows sprinkled in.  You saw your first movie in the theater this year, and thought that was fantastic.

You’d happily eat peanut butter and jelly, dinosaur chicken nuggets, and fruit every day for the next year without complaining.  But, we do force you to eat other things regularly…. although most don’t get swallowed without a fight.  Most nights I need to tell you that I added some kind of “boosters” to your meal to get you to eat it — you are always looking for that extra bump in muscle or speed.  I did mention that competitive streak, right?

Lucas, I’m so grateful for these five years. We are tremendously lucky to be your parents, and so thankful you are ours.

I love you to the moon and back.
Your Mama

A Party to Remember

7 Dec

Our sweet boy is (almost) five, and we celebrated him in a big way this weekend.  Nearly thirty of his closest friends joined us for the big bash.  It was very special to watch him play with people from every corner of his life — and do so in a kind and not (overly) rough way.  I’m just so proud of the person he’s becoming, and it was a joy to spend the morning with so many of the people who are helping to shape him into his future self.

It’s hard to be anything but a ball of sap this week, as December 9th approaches.  He’s been asking lots of questions about what we were doing five years ago.  And I can barely choke back the tears as I tell him how eagerly we were awaiting him… how desperately we had been wishing for him… how he made our whole lives so much richer and happier.  He’s the boy who made me a mom, and although we will celebrate him extra loudly this week, I’m grateful for him every minute.

Daddy’s Birthday

7 Oct

IMG_814237 looks awfully good on the big guy, and we were happy to celebrate him tonight.

The boys agonized over his birthday presents at our annual jaunt to the dollar store.  They both had two dollars to spend and many things were picked up and discarded in the long process of narrowing in on exactly the right gift.

Lucas ended up with a pack of four blue glow necklaces.  This was an easy pick for him – he grabbed it straight away and never wavered.  After all, blue is Daddy’s favorite color.  Lucas is four.  There are four people in our immediate family.  It was perfection.  His second present took a bit more time.  He flirted with the idea of a pumpkin statue, carried a plastic ball and bat around for quite some time, debated over bags of candy, but ended up with a batman keychain.

Ben also nabbed his first present quickly – an oversized pen with Mickey and friends on it.  I’m fairly sure he thought it was some kind of weapon – either a gun or a sword – as he kept pointing it at fellow shoppers and making “bang bang” sounds.  None the less, his second present also proved illusive.  For quite some time, it seemed he had settled on a tiny haunted mansion decoration, then it was a Jake and the Neverland Pirates tamborine, and finally a plush doll (much to Lucas’ horror)… but he finally decided on a holiday snow globe with an owl inside.

My favorite part of their presents, however, was the cards.  They both worked for almost forty five minutes to create their masterpieces.  And I’m not sure anything says “you are aging well, Daddy” quite like this portrait.

IMG_8153Happy birthday, my dearest.  We adore you.

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Two Years Old

29 Jul

Dear Benjamin-

I think it was yesterday that I was heading out to dinner with Lucas and Daddy.  We had a yummy meal and went to the playground.  I was moving slow, nearly 39 weeks pregnant in the middle of July.  Lucas wanted to feel the baby, hug my belly.  We took a family picture – the last one with you inside.  It feels like yesterday, only at this point it was about 730 yesterdays ago, because here we are, you are two years old.BennyOnBlanket

I can still feel the barely-there weight of you laying on my chest, head tucked under my chin.  It was your favorite spot then, and still ranks pretty high on your list of favorites. But now it’s proceeded by a very loud command of “Mama, up me!” And that feather-light weight from two years ago is no longer, you are all gangly limbs and sweaty little boy pudge. And in the spirit of things getting better with age, you are an awesome two year old hugger.  You wrap your arms around my neck with the sweetest squeeze and shout “cheek!” hoping that I’ll press my face against yours.

Lucas told us yesterday that the best people in the world were 1) God, 2) one of his friends from school and then 3) Daddy.  Mommy didn’t make the list.  Even though you don’t quite grasp the question, I’m confident I know your answer here and I’d be pushing first.  Benny baby, you are 100 percent mommy’s boy. Almost over the top, you will choose mommy to the exclusion of nearly everyone else in your life, and while I’m honored and love the adoration, I do hope you’ll join the Daddy fan club this year.  He’s pretty awesome and you are awfully hard on him.BensBirthdayFamily

Speaking of preferences and opinions, you’ve never met an opinion you didn’t like, or dislike – regardless, you feel strongly about it because you feel strongly about everything.  There was never a more passionate, determined, feeler of all the feels.  You love it. You hate it. You want it. You’d rather die than let it get close to you.  We rarely know what the opinion will be in advance as it often blows like the wind, but you quickly make sure that everyone knows exactly how you are feeling. You aren’t shy. Or quiet.

There are a couple Ben-isms that are creeping into our every day vernacular.  Every single ball – from baseballs to footballs, beach balls to golf balls, is a “sock-ah ball.” Every body of water – from the dingy retention basin on the side of the road to the Atlantic Ocean, is a “tubber.” Counting to ten often goes “1, 2, 3, 2, 1, go;” as all counting is really just an excuse to blast off from somewhere. And sweet Lucas is almost always referred to as “Goo-cas” these days – even by himself.

At two years old, you are our outdoor lover who begs to stay outside from the moment I press the garage door button on our way home from school.  You’d eat every meal and spend every minute out there. You are our good eater, mostly vegetarian by choice, but infatuated with fruit, many veggies and pastas.  TV holds no allure, and books are meant to by flipped through quickly on your way to the next activity.  You’d cut off your arm for ten more minutes with your pacifier (which you call “mickey”) and are the easiest baby in the world to put down for nap or night.SmileyBen

Life is good, sweet boy, and you are such a big part of the reason why.  730 yesterdays ago, our world was a whole lot duller. You are the technicolor for our movie, the butter for our popcorn, the icing on our cake.  Everything is brighter, louder, faster and more fun with you around.  You are one loved little two year old.

I love you everyday.
Your Mama

Stats at 2-years old:
36.25 inches (95th percentile)
28 lbs (60th percentile)

Four and a Half

9 Jun

Dear Lucas-

You still love to sit in my lap – crawling up into it and folding your gangly, little boy legs up, you burrow in and sigh, “I just want to snuggle with you.”  Sometimes it’s because you are in trouble, and you know that Mommy is easily wooed with cuddles, but sometimes it’s because you are four and a half and still need your Mama.  I think I presumed that these moments would be fleeting by now, and I’ve never been so thankful to be wrong.  LucasAndMonkey

At four and a half, you stand firmly with feet in both camps.  There’s the foot solidly in the big kid camp.  That boy loves to run, thrives outside. He wants to kick a soccer ball, throw a frisbee or take his turn at bat.  He can ride his bike, with training wheels, around the neighborhood, and excels at playing hide and seek.  He also knows all his letters and numbers, can write his name and ours, and will sit quietly to listen to very long books.  He’s a smarty pants who can tell you all about butterfly chrysalis, gargoyles perched on castle walls and dinosaur extinction.

But there’s the other foot – that one maybe not quite as solidly in the toddler camp.  It hovers close to the line, but still dances into that baby zone with fair regularity.  It’s that guy who wants to cuddle and snuggle. He gets scared of thunder and lightening, is nervous to be in front of crowds of strangers and, many times, would rather hang out with his parents and grandparents than anyone else.  He still prefers to be carried up to bed, and needs to stand on  a stool to brush his teeth and see in the mirror.  This guy still cries when he doesn’t get his way, and can throw quite the tantrum out of sheer frustration.

Lucas, this tale of two boys is your story at four and a half, and we are so thankful to be a part of its pages.  The story stars this amazing four year old who loves his family, enjoys going to school and prefers to spend his weekend going on adventures.  The supporting cast includes the rambunctious little brother, nearly two years old himself, who is at times the trusted sidekick, but often also the villainous foe responsible for much of the plight suffered by our lead character.

That little brother, he’s simultaneously your favorite person on earth and the one who makes you the most crazy.  But more and more, you guys are a dynamic duo.  “Let’s go, Benny, run!” you shout as you dash from room to room. Your gait full of big, wide steps and lots of speed – his much shorter and more frantic as he follows you through the house and yard. It’s a joy to watch you invest in Benjamin and treasure the times that you teach him well. You recently told us, “when I grow up, I’m going to be a boy teacher.” and I’m confident you’d be an excellent one.

At four and a half, you still aren’t much for food.  Most dinners are met with sighs and lots of dramatic “I don’t LIKE this!” You’d be happy if every meal consisted of tortillini and red sauce, fruit and bread.  Alas, you are disappointed at six out of seven dinners each week. Thankfully, you are a champion helper, and we’ve recently started a chore chart.  You love helping us each day with your chores and earning stars in return.  You feed the dog, clean up your mess, clear the table, dust, swiffer and more!  May you always be as helpful as you are at this age!

My biggest boy.  That’s what I call you these days.  And today, I celebrate you, big boy, in all of your four and a half year old glory. We are so blessed that you are ours.

I love you to the moon and back,
Your Mama

1000th Post

7 Apr

I started writing this blog more than four years ago — four years and 1000 posts. I was home on maternity leave – thoroughly overwhelmed, exhausted and brimming with need to share.  I had a new baby, hours upon hours of time and a deep desire to press record on how I was feeling and what we, our new family unit, were experiencing.

Four years, another baby, a second house and some major changes at work later, here we are.  Still blogging, albeit much less frequently (poor second child…), and so grateful for the journal that this blog has proven itself to be – a really fascinating way to look back at these early days of our family and our journey.  So take a walk back memory lane with me, in about six month increments…

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One of the first pictures I added to the blog — three-week old Lucas James

 

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About six months old … Lucas was trying out some hair styling gel (likely actually just food shoved into his hair)

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A smidge older than one, Lucas hangs upside down with Daddy

 

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About the same age that Benjamin is now — taking a walk in the park with Mommy.

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Wearing his “big brother” shirt – even though his little brother was only about ten weeks gestation at the time.

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The brothers meet in July of 2013

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One of my favorites from last summer – playing on the patio after dinner in pajamas (ben) and a swim suit (lucas)

 

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Easter 2015, post-Egg hunt

Thanks for sticking it out for the ride.  I’m glad you’ve been here with me.

 

 

 

Five Things I Love about Benjamin – Version 1 and 3/4

26 Mar

1) He is one tough cookie.  And simultaneously, a weepy little momma’s boy.  Truly, it’s the perfect SmileyBenjamindichotomy and one that it both fabulous and awful.  His tagline could read: takes no shit.  Because he doesn’t. Push him over? Take a toy? You’d better steel yourself.  He will push, shove, pull hair, bite and throw things. But offend his tender sensibilities by leaving the room when he wants your attention?  Or, put him down when he’d like to be held?  You don’t need to steady yourself then – you just need earplugs because the screaming will be epic — once he’s done holding his breath and passing out, that is.

2) He gives rockin’ hugs.  He reaches up and squeezes his little arms around your neck.  It’s incredibly deliberate and often unexpected.  It’s sometimes accompanied by the resting of his head on your shoulder, soft hair brushing your cheek on the way there.  Honestly, it’s a little moment of heaven, peaceful and serene amidst the daily chaos.

3) He’s picked up the habit of combining what he wants with the word ‘me’ – as in “sit me” which means “please sit with me” or “up me” which means pick me up.

4) He wakes up early… that isn’t the part I love, of course… and wants to come in our room and lay with me.  When you go in there to get him, he immediately orders “a show” and then “Elmo!”  He can only be deterred by the all-encompassing ceiling fan (which, for the record, is not even on).  He likes to lay on his back and move his hand in a circle saying “round and round.” The cuteness makes up for the earliness.

5) His run is quite possibly the most adorable movement ever expended by any human.  It’s persistent and fast moving – it’s often combined with hysterical laughter and regularly ends in some kind of feet-over-head tumble.  I could watch it for hours.

18 Months Old

21 Jan

Dear Benjamin,

The day you turned 18 months old was certainly not your favorite.  You were grumpy, and teething, and kinda snotty with a yucky cough.  And more than any other day than I can remember in recent months, of all the things in all the world, more than anything else you wanted me.  So while that made cooking dinner a little challenging, and eating dinner nearly impossible, I didn’t mind it one little bit, because the past eighteen months have barreled by – a freight train chugging along the track – and your independence, chutzpah and general get-up-and-go-ness mean that your moments of needing me to be there, at arms length, just for comfort’s sake, are few and far between.

So now you are one and a half years old, one and a half years of bustling energy, running through our house and hearts.  The past six months have been great ones for you, little man.  After months of frustration before you were moving independently, you’ve got the gross motor thing down.  I’ve never seen an eighteen month old run faster, jump higher, climb further, or generally rule the school when it comes to movement.  We find you standing on our kitchen chairs, the coffee table, sometimes the actual kitchen table. More, our horror amuses you to no end.  You squeal and laugh when we rush to pluck you down from whatever death-defying feat you’ve accomplished.  You shout “nooooo” on the way down to the ground, and immediately rush to climb back up.

Speaking of shouting, we are finally entering that wonderful age of language acquisition.  You had a big language explosion right around Christmas, and suddenly you’ve got lots to say.  It’s almost always “Mommy” on repeat, which is amazing since your brother didn’t bother with that word until much, much later.  But it’s also Daddy, Elmo, hot dog, all done, shoes, sit, toes, eyes, snack, show, ball, up, down, outside, go, clean up, banana, yogurt, uh oh, wheeeee, beep beep, and a smattering of animal noises — and likely so much more that escape me right now. Even better, you are becoming our little parrot, and no one loves it more than your brother.  He is constantly challenging you to repeat him, and falls to the floor in hysterics when your attempts are just slightly off.  He’s desperately waiting for you to say his name, but it’s one that seems to allude you right now.

You love to dance, to run around the basement and chase the dog, and certainly to play outside.  You don’t have much of an interest in books, despite our best attempts to engage you with them.  You bring them over, wiggle into our laps, check out the cover and shout “all done!  DOWN!” while you slide back off our laps and head on to the next adventure. You’ve started asking for TV shows when we get home from school, but have no interest in watching them.  Your brother LOVES that you are requesting shows by the way, and is using it as an opportunity to gang up against me — a true portent of my future, I imagine.

In the past six months, you’ve spent a week at the beach and a week in Disney World.  You also spent quite a bit of time on the sidelines of your brother’s soccer practices, and kept us chasing you through the fields and out of the soccer nets. Benny, you are our tagalong boy – along for the ride at birthday parties, dinners out, theme parks and more.  Your first eighteen months certainly had more outings and adventures than your brothers, but that’s the perks of being second born.

When it comes to eating, you would be very happy if we all turned vegetarian.  You’ve nearly no interest in any kind of meat, but are a huge fan of fruits, veggies and carbs.  You live for macaroni and cheese or tortellini in marinara sauce.  You’ve recently developed quite the taste for salad – regularly swiping mine when we are out at restaurants instead of sharing your brother’s more kid-appropriate meal.  You love tomatoes, can tear up a bowl of broccoli with the best of them, absolutely live for bananas and would bath in yogurt if we allowed it (side note: we don’t).

Benjamin Thomas, it’s hard to remember life without you here.  You are the best possible addition to our chaos and clutter, as your thread makes our tapestry so much more special.  We are so lucky to have you as our own.  Happy eighteen months, my baby.

I love you everyday.
Your mama

Four Years Old

21 Dec

Dear Lucas,

My four year old boy…. oh how times have changed.  It used to be that I couldn’t imagine being even one day late for your monthly letters.  I’d want them published within hours of waking up each month.  But these days, I’m two weeks late and feeling pretty good about that.  You and your brother, you two trouble makers, you fill me up.  My cup is full to the brim on nearly every day, and by the time I’d sit to write, there isn’t room for me to pour out words without risking spilling the whole cup and ruining the delicate balance I maintain each day between you, your brother, your daddy, our home, my work and all the other many things that need to get checked off the daily ‘to do list.’

But my delay in writing this letter is far from a reflection of how I’m feeling about your change in age. I’m truly stunned to have a four year old.  Day-to-day, I recognize that you are my big guy.  You bound around our house with unbridled confidence and curiosity.  It was a year of “whys” and “hows” – constant questions about big things and small.  Nearly every time we are in the car alone, you pepper me with questions.  It’s a machine gun spatter of inquiry, and while at times it makes me desperate for peace and quiet, more often I’m in awe of the things you are asking and how your thoughts and thought process grow.

And speaking of growth, grow you have – you are nearly forty pounds and more than forty inches. That makes you slightly taller than average and perfectly normal on weight.  I find that hard to believe as lifting you is more and more challenging.  It’s all long legs dangling and gangly arms wrapped around my neck.  Amazingly, you still love to be held, and I’m so grateful.  You often scramble up onto the couch and stretch your long body on top of mine.  You love for me to snuggle you and laugh like crazy when I tell you stories of how you grew in my tummy.  “Again, again!” you insist when I detail how you used to kick and roll and bump me from the inside.  I think you might be most astonished with how you’ve grown, as you often tell us “when I was three, I was this big” and so on and so forth.

It was a year of big adventures for you.  From trips to the park, the Aquarium, the beach, even Disney World, we were always on the go, and you were our perfect companion (most of the time). You are happiest out of the house and exploring, even if it is just in our neighborhood. I’ve never been much of an outdoors girl, myself, but I have a feeling you will be just the person to disabuse me of that preference.  From bike rides around the block to picnics in the yard, afternoons at the playground or mornings at the amusement park, we were outside at nearly every available moment this year, and, I concede the point and note, that it was fabulous.

Let’s talk about your brother for a minute.  Oh how you are his favorite… he just adores you.  And most of the time, it seems that feeling is mutual.  You always have a keen eye on what Benjamin is doing, and if it appears at all interesting, you’ve got to get right in the middle of it.  Unfortunately for Benny, that decision nearly always results in him getting knocked down or cast aside as you demand he “share!!!” the toy or game with you.  You are rough, tumble and every bit a wild boy, and your brother is following every footstep.  I think this may be the year that he catches up in the pushing and shoving department, and I’m not quite sure you are ready for what that will mean!

At four years old, you are a man of your own mind.  Your preferences are well established are rather unyielding.  Vegetables = torture.  Television shows = riveting. Jeans = crunchy and unacceptable.  Sweat pants = soft and fabulous.  Nearly all our dinners involve some kind of temper tantrum, and they aren’t always about vegetables.  If I’m not serving tortellini, you are probably not happy with what’s on your plate.  You’d like every meal to include tortellini (extra sauce), fruit, a cheese stick and some kind of crunchy carbohydrate. As such, you skip dinner about three nights a week after I offend you horribly with some kind of pork tenderloin, piece of grilled chicken or repugnant serving of green beans.  We are working on it.

Lucas James, you make us laugh.  You make us marvel at your memory and your smarts.  You make us smile with your sweet statements and kind gestures.  You make us proud when you are loving to your brother and good to your friends.  You are a good, sweet boy.  You are more than we could have ever wanted or even imagined.  And we are so lucky to have you.

I love you to the moon and back,
Your Mama