Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three. Three. THREE!!!

Dear Miles,

Ten days ago you turned THREE YEARS OLD. I have to use the caps lock when typing how old you are because it sounds like such a big number when I think that the 5 lb., 6 oz. baby I held and swaddled in that hospital room could grow so big and be that many years old. THREE.

This past year has brought so many more joys because of you. I am amazed at how much your language skills have grown. Last night you were pretending with me, saying, " be Pooh Bear and I'll be Bee," then proceeded to make Bee interact with Pooh Bear. I love seeing your imagination take off as you grasp more and more about the world around you. Imagination is much more fun seen through your eyes, and I find myself getting lost in your stories of the day or what happened on Word World or your latest favorite movie, Bolt. (In fact, I just had to take a break from typing this to go listen to one of the songs that was on the movie because I love watching you wave when the hamster waves.)

You continue to experience many 'firsts' as well. In January, you saw the ocean for the first time. And though I remember my excitement at seeing the ocean when I was young, it doesn't compare to the feeling I got as I watched your awe-filled expressions, gazing out at the 'big pool' as you called it. I felt your joy as we laughed and ran-ran-ran! away from the waves chasing us up the beach.

Another first? Gymnastics class is definitely something different and new for you. I was feeling a little desperate to find some kind of indoor activity during the winter months that would help you unleash that little boy energy that seemingly has no end. We love the class, you and I, but sometimes I wish it lasted several hours instead of just one. And while you may not have learned many actual gymnastic-type things (we are talking about two- and three-year-olds, after all), you have gained more confidence in trying new and daring things -- like flipping over a bar backward! -- and that has been worth every Monday trip to the activity center.

When Granmom came to visit for a whole week, I was a little afraid of her leaving and how it would affect you. There has never been a time when you didn't enjoy visits with grandparents, but you are at that age when you are missing people when they go and asking when they'll be back. We did so many new and fun things with Granmom, like visiting the Children's Museum in Memphis and going to the Buffalo Park in Tupelo. We discovered, near the end of our museum trip, the wind tunnel where you could move the airplane around with controls, and I thought I'd never be able to get you out of that chair. And feeding the goats at the Buffalo Park (where, ironically, we didn't see the buffalo because you have to pay extra for that) was easily something you could and would have done all day long. I was both surprised and not at all surprised how well you did at feeding those pygmy goats, and they acted like you were the greatest thing since sliced...goat food? the way they followed you around and even fought over who could be closer to you and nibble the treats from your little palm.

I don't know that it will ever stop being endearing the way you are more like your Daddy every day. Whatever he is doing, you want to do -- that includes the work stuff as well, like painting and building. And your sweetness and kindness, like his, shine through even on the bad days. I will take some of the credit for your being so polite and kind, but I think it is mostly Daddy's genes that made you the gentle spirit that you are. And it seems lately that you want to give me more and more hugs and kisses -- without my asking! -- and I am soaking it in like you wouldn't believe.

You had a birthday party last Saturday, and one of your little friends brought along her very new baby sister. Now, somehow along the way, you have become an avid fan of babies. You think anyone remotely smaller than you is a 'baby' and you declare them so. But you really love those tiny, new little babies. And when you see one in a carrier, you have to see it. I have actually had to take you over to tables in restaurants and say, "Um, hi...can we look at your baby? He loves babies." The baby at your birthday party had, for at least ten minutes, your complete attention. It started when I was holding her, and you came over, and out came that sweet, gentle side as you talked softly and touched her head and kissed her cheek. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, because it was hopefully a beautiful glimpse into the future of you as a protective and helpful big brother.

I don't even come close to pegging what you'll grow to like or become. Your interests range far and adore being outside, running and shouting and playing until you're spent.

You love to draw and paint and color and cut, but I have never seen so much focus until I see you building with your blocks or putting something together.

You also have a knack for picking up on subtle humor, then turning around and making your own little jokes.

Which direction will you go? All I know, Miles, is that it is so much fun watching and waiting and loving every minute with you in the meantime.



Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Stuff

Here are some late-coming pics from Miles' birthday weekend and birthday party. Enjoy!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar cake I attempted...


...and after. Oh, the humanity!

Since Miles has only 'Wii-bowled,' we thought we'd take him to a real bowling alley...

...turns out he liked air hockey with Grandma much better.

Right before he decided not to blow out his candle (then did it later that week at his party, only I was so surprised I didn't capture it on camera!).

What was the biggest hit at the party? The cupcakes, so lovingly made by his mother? Um, was the freakishly large number of balloons all over the floor! (Actually, I didn't care...he had a great time and that's all that mattered to me.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sarah's Post: 'Two Empty Rooms'

My friend Sarah posted a heart-wrenching, yet beautiful note on the blog that her husband created earlier this week to keep folks updated on their daughter.

Read Sarah's post here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Caterpillars and Stars

Casey did, in fact, distract Miles long enough for me to put in the new bedding and curtains. I say 'distract,' but all that involved was Miles watching one of his favorite shows while Casey rode the stationary bike nearby. Miles really had no idea I was even in his room until I came out!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar bedding and curtains They are fun, bright, colorful, and Miles had a great time pointing out all of the foods the caterpillar ate that decorated his sheets. "Mama, here's a lollipop! Here's ice cream! There's an apple!" and so on. He wanted to go to bed right away, and got under the covers. Yeah, that didn't last long.

And before bedtime yesterday, I put up some -- not all (because there are 150!) -- of Miles' glow-in-the-dark stars on his wall, near the ceiling. They didn't want to stick on the popcorn ceiling But I made it work where it is, and Miles really loved it. I did too! We turned off the lights and sang 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' as we gazed at the wall.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mixing the happy and the sad

It's good to be excited about good things, and it's okay to be sad about sad things...but it's tough when good things and sad things are happening at the same time.

A friend of mine has three beautiful kids. The two oldest are twin boys and the youngest is four-year-old Trinity. Just two days ago, Trinity had to be rushed to the ER, then taken to a Children's Hospital. They nearly lost her on the way there...I have to stop and shake my head every time I think about that, because I can't even begin to imagine how completely terrifying that must feel. Trinity is still fighting for her life, and you can read more about that here. But she and her family have been in my mind ever since I heard the news on Sunday afternoon.

Before I heard this news, I was very reflective that day because it was the day that marked three years since I entered the hospital, barely 33 weeks pregnant with Miles. The fifth day of April brings up a lot of different feelings for me, but those feelings have been melting slowly away more and more in the past few months. And it's tough to stay somber and reflective for very long, especially when just eight days later I am celebrating my boy's birthday.

Miles will be three on Monday. Three. Sounds so old, doesn't it? And for more than a week now, he has been in his 'new' room -- which is actually just the room across the hall from his 'old' room. But today is very exciting (for me, but hopefully soon for Miles as well) because we got new bedding in the mail that is based on Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, one of Miles' favorite books. Okay, he has lots of favorites. But those Eric Carle books really draw him in more, I think. The bedding, and decorating his room, are part of his birthday. I also ordered a glow-in-the-dark star kit -- which also came in today -- because he has always loved looking up at the stars and the moon. I'm hoping that Casey can get Miles distracted with something long enough for me to put the bedding and curtains in his room. And I'm hoping he'll be excited when he sees it all...but come on, who doesn't want a huge caterpillar on their pillowcase?
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