Monday, August 21, 2017

ONE - Michael Eugene


Where in the heck did the last year go?  I have a one year old.  My sweet baby boy that I was DYING to meet last summer - it now feels like I've always known him.  I'm not going to lie in saying this last year wasn't a challenge. Because it was. Three kids, four and under, two full time working parents, activities, commitments, cooking, cleaning, laundry. But we survived. And dare I say it was a pretty amazing year? And I really think this guy has everything to do with it.

While this little man gave us a little scare by having to go to the NICU right after he was born, I'm happy to say, for the most part, it has been smooth sailing ever since.  Yes, he had a ridiculous amount of ear infections. Seemed to always be fighting a cold, getting teeth or just MAD.  But those newborn days and struggles of his dairy intolerance and constantly using gripe water seem SO far gone.  Because all of a sudden, he's turned into a little boy.

Michael. Mikey. Big Mike. Chunky baby. Whatever you want to call him. He changed me. He changed US. Our family. I am not quite sure how it all happened, but looking back on this past year, I became a different person and a different mom. I knew adding a third kiddo wouldn't be easy, but he made it easy. Yes, he was MUCH more easy going than our other two kids and (THANK GOD) he was a good sleeper - I mean, 1/3 is not the best odds, but I'll take it. But before he was born, the one thing I wasn't worry that would be lacking in our house was LOVE. And he brought in even more love than I could have imagined.  He brought more love into my heart (and patience, appreciation, thankfulness) AND to our older kids.  They love their little brother so so much.

My favorite thing to do is go into his room in the morning and "wake" him up (I put that in quotes because usually he's somewhat awake and he's just laying in his crib, quietly hanging out). But it's not only my favorite thing - it's EVERYONE'S favorite thing.  His big sister and big brother BEG to go into his room almost daily and wake him up. And who wouldn't want to when you're greeted with the best little baby smile??? And he's a snuggler. Oh yes. The best thing ever is when he snuggles his sweet little head right into the perfect spot on my shoulder/neck. You know, just like this :)

He doesn't want to let go. And you know what?  Neither do I.

Oh when they say the days are long but the years are short...that describes this first year with Mikey.  We had some LONG days. And nights. Some of them all blurred together. But this year? It flew by.  When his big day came on July 19, I felt like it was only a few weeks ago that I was sitting in the hospital holding him and telling Jimmy how I couldn't believe next year we would have a 1, 3 and 5 year old.  And how lucky we were.

I want to bottle up his sweetness because I do know that while he will always be my baby boy, pretty soon, he will likely be protesting clothes, screaming for snacks, yelling because he doesn't want me to put his shoes on or for some other unknown reason.  Because that's what happens.  They grow up. Get opinions. Learn new things. And oh do I want him to experience all of that, yes I do.  But I never want to forget the way he looks at me and smiles when he knows I'm about to nurse him. Or the way his eyes light up when he sees me come into the room.

He started walking about a week after his first birthday.  I was somewhat convinced that it would take much longer than that because he seemed to be quite content with his crawling skills.  But he was determined to keep up with his siblings and all of a sudden, he started walking.  It still startles me sometimes to see him just toddling around - I forget how fleeting time is sometimes. Luckily, he is a great eater and took well to the sippy cup transition too!  I'm still nursing him in the morning and before bed because #icantstop (ok, I can) but mainly because I'm not pumping at all during the day and those two times of the day gives me a peace with him that I know won't last forever.

About being the youngest?  He soaks it all in.  He LOVES watching and playing with his big brother and sister. No one can make his smile - or SCREAM - like they can.  For the most part, they still see him as a little baby.  Because he sits in a high chair, sleeps in a crib and {god forbid} still wears diapers (this is all according to Maddie's definition).  But lately, he's started to follow and chase them around...stealing their toys and screaming at the top of his lungs when he doesn't get what he wants.  He loves to wrestle with his dad and Charlie (and Maddie too!) and can't miss out on the fun of that!

On his first birthday (July 19), he still only had 2 teeth!  Can you believe it?  But in the last month ---- he's now already 13 months old!! --- he's got two of the top ones and two more on the top JUST popped through, so he's up to 6 total.  He does so well at daycare with Ms Marie and we just still love her so much. And he FINALLY got a pair of real shoes because he now insists on walking everywhere...and so it begins :)

As for his dad?  Well, he's a little Jimmy.  FINALLY - one kid that looks like him.  Ha.  Jimmy always says he feels bad for him, but I'm pretty happy because I not only know he will be good looking (yes Jimmy, I do think you're good looking)...but I know he also got his dad's heart.  Because Mikey is the sweetest little boy.

As we start this next year, I'm looking forward to some fun milestones for Mikey and our family.  Being a mom of three is NOT for the faint of heart.  Being outnumbered often means that at least one kid is off doing something they are not supposed to do, so that always leads to excitement.  But I'll hold onto this little boy for as long as he will let me because I know before long, all he will want to do is run wild with his siblings!

Yes, these three.  At least we know that Mikey will be the toughest one of them all.

Your one year stats are:

weight: 23.8 lbs (84%)
height: 31.2 in (94%)
head: 18.5 in (76%)
teeth: 2 bottom (as of your first birthday!)
diapers: size 5
clothes: between 12-18 months, some 2T

Sweet Mikey, thank you for bringing our family so much joy.  I tell your dad all the time how I feel like YOU changed our family for the better.  You changed my heart.  You gave me more capacity to love and brought me more focus to my life and family.  You took me out of my comfort zone and made me see how chaos can truly be so sweet. I will forever look back on the first year of your life and smile.  While yes, there were hard times, I choose to remember the joy.  Because that is what you bring to me everyday my baby boy.  It sounds cheesy, but it's true.  You are a constant reminder for me to be thankful.  Thankful for three healthy children and the love that we have. So keep on smiling, growing and changing.  And remember to always be nice to your mother :)