Monday, November 15, 2010

Dear Sissy,

One year ago tonight, I was laying on the couch watching "Desperate Housewives" while gripping a pillow and wincing in pain. You were on your merry way. I looked over at Dada and said "I betcha anything you won't be going to work tomorrow!" He didn't mind. I couldn't believe you were about to be born and I cry now as I write, because looking back to that night, it's hard to imagine I hadn't yet met you. You weren't really in our lives just yet, and now, we can't imagine life without your crystal blue eyes and contagious smile.

Sometime around 5 a.m. (my memory is a bit weary) we called Grandma to come and sit with your big brother so that we could head to the hospital. I remember being sad that I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to him since it was so early. I went around the corner to head up the stairs for my hospital bag, and there he was, sitting on the stairs. He'd heard the commotion. Even though it was so early in the morning, I was so happy he'd woken up. I told him that when Daddy and I return, he would be a big brother and I kissed him goodbye. I may have also left him with a new toy. (Mommy guilt) Then, we were hospital bound.

The birthing process is never pretty, so I'll focus on the good stuff. It was so exciting to lay in bed and wait for you to arrive. Painful, very painful, but so exciting. I wondered who you'd look like. Would you look like me? Dada? Brendan? Would you have a ton of black hair like your brother had when he was born? Would you be quiet as a mouse in the nursery and win all the nurses hearts over with your teeny little voice? And most importantly, would our lives change just as much as they did, when Brendan entered our lives?

Well, to answer all of the above. You looked just like Brendan did, minus the hair because you were born without one strand. You had the cutest nose that we pegged immediately as Deepah's. (Grandpa, for those reading) You were NOT so quiet in the nursery, and they were ever-so-anxious to bring you right back to me after each trip to the nursery. And last but not least, you have changed our lives in more ways than you can ever imagine. Sometimes I look at you and Brendan playing on the floor, and life before the two of you almost seems nonexistent. I got more sleep back then, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything in the world.

So, at 1 year old, here are your stats:

You're almost walking but still not quite sure. I am fine with that BTW.

You have 6 teeth. 4 on the bottom, 2 on top that just came through, like yesterday.

You loooove books. You sit and turn the pages, point to objects, and laugh.

You looooove dolls already. You hug them and sway from side to side.

You looooove music. The only way Dada can make you happy sometimes is to turn on iTunes and blast the volume. It may be your calling.

You took yourself off the bottle last week. I cried over that one. There's nothing I loved more than holding you first thing in the morning, all dressed in your cozy pajamas, while you drank your ba-ba.

You love Brendan's blankie, which has caused some problems. You have 3 of your own, yet you want his. There's something about that blankie....

All of the sudden you despise baths. Hated them as a newborn, then loved them for a few months, now hating them again. So, you get very few baths.

You make us belly laugh like no other. Especially Brendan. He'll never admit it, but he loves to laugh at you. Everything you do is "so silly" he says. "That sissy is so silly, right Mama?"

You've got just about enough hair for a bow.

You're a human garbage disposal. You eat, and eat, and eat. There is no food out there that you do not like. You also like toilet paper, leaves, and socks.

I will find out this week how big you are getting. I can't believe we're headed to your one year appointment in a few days. I just can't believe it. It was just yesterday that I layed on the couch with you, many nights, rocking you to sleep. I enjoyed those quiet moments, just you and me. I couldn't believe I had a baby girl to follow my baby boy around.

Sissy, Ry-Ry, Diva, Crazy lady, Ry-Lo, Rhino, munchkaroo, Snotty McSnotty Pants....whatever the nickname is for the day....We Love You. Thank you for making us belly laugh.

Happy, Happy 1st Birthday! (tomorrow.)


Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Ryan....

Back when your brother was born, I had all kinds of time on my hands. Apart from doing laundry, changing diapers, back-to-back feedings, vomit clean-ups in aisle 4, and finding time for the occasional shower, I spent my days staring at him...blogging about him...and writing him letters. Lots and lots of letters.

I have to be honest, I don't have that kind of time these days. I have you! But, you still deserve a love letter from your Mama before you turn 1 year old next month. Even if I wake up feeling all kinds of tired and crabby tomorrow, because it's way past my bedtime! But as I said, you deserve some written words from me.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, I knew you'd always keep me guessing. After 3 different pregnancy tests, all reading strangely different results, I was happy to find out that the positive one was right on the money. I came out of the bathroom and told Brendan he was going to be a Big Brother! He acted excited but really had no idea what was to come. Then Daddy came home from work, and I told him. He was very excited also. We couldn't wait to make our family a happy foursome.

This is you, inside Mommy:

I was miserable the first few months of pregnancy with you. I don't know why they call it "morning sickness" because I was nauseous from morning til night. Once that subsided, the heartburn and reflux was next up to kill me. I couldn't eat or drink water. Convenient! Orange juice commercials alone sent me running for the TUMS. I craved peanut butter, bagels, waffles, donuts, doritos, anything mexican, and ice chips. I chewed so many ice chips that I eventually broke a tooth at 38 weeks pregnant and wound up in the dentist chair. "Are you sure you're not at the wrong dr. office, Mrs. Lotty?" Nope! Fix my tooth so I can get back to chewing ice chips please! And make it snappy, I gotta pee!

You were very active at night. I never slept because you were testing out your fancy dance moves on all of my bodily organs. I remember laying in bed, watching my pajamas move all over the place as you moved and grooved. I almost miss that feeling...

Brendan curiously watched my belly grow bigger and asked me if you were going to like cars. Judging from the way you danced inside the womb, I didn't have the heart to tell him you'd prefer all girly things, but I was wrong. You DO love cars. Actually, you love anything as long as he is playing along side you.

Finally on a chilly Sunday night, I beached myself on the couch to watch "Desperate Housewives" and winced in pain. Major pain. I knew you'd be arriving very soon. I told Daddy I didn't think he'd be going to work the next day. I was right:

There you were, one day early. You entered this world with attitude, girlfriend. Brendan was so quiet in the nursery, they had to check his pulse. You, on the other hand, could be heard for miles. And miles. You screamed for the first 4 months of your life. We're very proud of ourselves for keeping our cool and not leaving you in a basket on the church steps. Because then we wouldn't get to see this face each and every day:

Your brother wasn't so sure of you at first. Okay, so he finally just warmed up to you just in time for your 1st Birthday. I think he's figured out that you're not going anywhere, so he better just suck it up and start showing you some love. He's a true big brother- likes to tell you what to do. I'm just hoping it will stick when you turn 16. "Don't go out with that guy, Sissy, I'll tell Mama." He does love you, so, so much. You're the first thing he asks for in the morning, and the last thing he talks about at night. "I wuv Sissy, I wike to share my toys wif her." He likes to build towers out of plastic cups or paper towels and laughs hysterically when you knock them over:

And when he really, really loves you, he lets you take his wheels for a spin:

I don't want to embarrass Daddy so I'll keep this part simple. Your bond with Dada is something pretty special. He gets mad at me for being at Brendan's disposal, but I just know the second you're able to talk with that sweet little voice, he'll be tripping all over himself to wait on you. Right now his mission is to get you walking. I am not ready for that, but can't wait to see you running around the backyard with your Daddy and big brother either.

At 11 months old, you are just the craziest little thing we've ever seen. The craziest! You crawl at lightning speed. You eat everything and anything you can get your hands on. You dance to every tune. You clap your hands when Brendan smiles at you. You say "Mama" and "Dada" already. You can spot a piece of jewelry from across the room, and immediately notice if I've painted my nails. You put any object up to your ear and pretend it's a phone. You find things in drawers we didn't know we had. You love your Grandma and Deepah and shriek with delight when you see them. You're always on the go, yet you love a few seconds of cuddling from time to time. I'd love to say that you sit and read books like Brendan did when he was a baby, but sitting still is simply not your style my little friend.

I have to be honest and say that I always thought I'd have boys. I never thought I'd be the mother of a daughter. I am terrified of all sorts of things...I mean, I don't even know how to accessorize or how to properly apply make-up, so how the heck am I going to set a good example for you? I guess we'll just have to figure it out together, you and I.

Thank you for coming into our lives, and keeping us on our toes. You've certainly got spunk, and we cannot wait to see what you do with it. Those big blue eyes and magical laughter have lit up our world in ways we can't describe. Life with you, is wonderful.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

5 Years

I was supposed to post this last week as a little tribute to our 5 year wedding anniversary, but as usual, kids get in the way.

The husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on October 1st. I cannot believe it's been that long already since we made a lifelong commitment to eachother....

I knew from the moment I met him, that we'd be together. Really. I sat down next to him in a bar, was immediately mesmerized by his baby blue eyes, and haven't looked back since. I couldn't believe he was single. I just thought he was the most handsome man I'd ever met. Still is.

I don't think you'll be shocked when I show you the coolest things my husband has ever given me:

But he's also given me other things throughout the years....

More laughter

...and love of course. Lots and lots of love.

Happy 5 Year (and one week) Anniversary, Matthew. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I turn 32 years of age today. I am healthy, I live in a lovely home, and am married to the best man in the world. I have two incredible children, an amazing, supportive family, and great friends. I never thought in a million years I would end up this lucky. I am so blessed.

Happy Birthday to me. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paging June Cleaver

Failing sucks. And lately, I feel as though I'm failing miserably as a mother. I just wish I could go back and un-do it all, and start over. Start fresh. I suppose that would take the entire journey away, and that's what parenting is: a journey. I wish I could've been more prepared for its ups and downs. And for the times that there are so many more downs than ups. I just want happy children, and one of them never seems to be happy. Can you guess which one?

I also just wish I would stop letting the chaos get to me and take it like a grown-up, instead of throwing tantrums like my 3 year old. Where is the June Cleaver in me? Why can't I just stand there in my apron and pearls and fancy up-do and say "Well dear, when you're done throwing matchbox cars at me and your sister, you can join us for supper." Instead I get so angry at him for acting like a 3 year old. Because you know, he's THREE.

How do teen parents do it? You know, those 16 year olds that pop out several kids. I'm 32 and can barely keep it together. I'm sure they don't have it together either, but at the moment, everyone else seems so much better off than we are...

Off to snuggle with the one who never seems to be happy. Hoping for better days to come. It's all I can do.

Deep Thoughts by Brendan

"How long will Sissy live here? She needs her own house and her own toys."


Mothers Throw Tantrums, Too!

That's right. I threw a tantrum in front of the kids lastnight over having nowhere to sit. I had made Ryan a bottle and sat down in the chair with her. Brendan decided he was suddenly in charge of where I sit while I feed her, so he started screaming. "Move! You can't sit there! That's MY chair! That's MY CHAIR Mama! Move Mama! THAT'S MY CHAIR!" Poor Ryan could barely finish her bottle with all the yelling, so I got up to move. That's when I lost it. He's still screaming, I'm looking around for somewhere to sit with the baby, and there's nothing. Nowhere to sit. The couch was covered in toys. The other chair was covered in toys. The chair I'd been sitting in was covered in toys, as I could feel the sting of matchbox car that had dug right into my right ass cheek.

"AND JUST WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO SIT? THIS PLACE IS A DISASTER AREA!" I sat Ryan down on the floor, picked up the toy baskets that are SUPPOSED to hold all of the toys, and started chucking cars and trains in like crazy, all the while muttering not-so-kind words for bossy toddler.

10 minutes later the room is completely cleaned up and I'm covered in sweat. Kids are both staring at me like I've just grown 6 heads. "Thank you for cleaning up, Mama. Is it time for bed now?"

I'm ashamed to ask if I should do that more often??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ryan's Stats

Since I never did keep baby books for either child, (slap my hand!) I need to quickly jot down Ryan's "firsts" before I forget.

1st roll over- the day she was born I think!

1st smile- about 4 weeks old, right here:

1st tooth- Popped in on April 20th while Brendan and I were in NYC with friends. The babysitter noticed it first and texted me to announce it. I cried.

2nd tooth- Popped in not long after?

3rd tooth- Popped in August 14th. Matt was in Vegas for a Bachelor Party and I texted him to announce it. I doubt he cried.

Sat up alone- Memorial Day Weekend.

Started crawling: Middle of July, right after returning home from our beach vacation in North Carolina.

Stood up alone: doing it now!!

She's crazy. Nothing like Brendan was....Brendan wasn't even officially crawling at this age. He was just a chubby bump on a log:

This is Ryan, crawling toward the camera as quick as an ostrich:

You get my point.

Stay tuned for more wonderful "firsts."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brendan had no nap today. It's like a scene from "The Exorcist" upstairs. God keep me from getting in the car and heading for the nearest liquor store.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall is here...

...and I am too! I know I made a solemn vow to faithfully commit myself to keeping this blog back in....June, I think was the last post...but man alive, do these kids keep me busy! I truly am lucky if I get to eat a full meal some days. Summer was insanely busy with a energetic, potty-training toddler and very mobile infant. And facebook-ah, such a love/hate relationship with that thing. It has to go. Soon, I promise. It has kept me from writing in this precious diary of mine for so long and for that, I am embarrassed. If you're not on facebook, I congratulate you because it is seriously time consuming and can be borderline addicting if you let it become just that. I could sit and view photos of old classmates and their families for hours upon hours. I haven't even seen some of these people since Junior High, yet it's "so necessary" to see what they've been up to this summer by viewing pics and reading their numerous daily status updates. Why, you ask? Hell I don't know! That's the problem. My husband loathes facebook. Sees absolutely no reason to be on it. "If I didn't like anyone in high school, why would I want to be their f*cking friend on facebook?" He's got a point. Yet, most of my family is now on the infamous site and so are many close friends that I truly DO enjoy checking in with. I tried taking myself off it for a week and had major withdrawls...."wonder what my little brother is doing today...wonder if my sister-in-law posted pics of the kids first day of school...wonder what my mom is eating for lunch...." Well, I suppose if facebook is my biggest dilemma in life, I've got nothing to complain about.

Speaking of is crazy. Brendan is 3 and Ryan is 10 months, already! Already!! I feel like both kids just arrived yesterday and gazed into my eyes at the hospital, probably thinking,"Wow, she looks terrible. Hope she perks up a bit!" When you have babies, every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Henrietta will tell you just this, word for word: "Enjoy these years, they fly by so fast." And you just yawn and say with an eye-roll "Yeah, whatever, I'm tired...hopefully they do fly by so that Momma can get a little shut-eye for a change." But man, were those people right. Brendan sprouted up before my very eyes. I have vivid memories of him just days old, napping on my chest The cute, twisted faces he would make as he'd lift his little fuzzy head to yawn and stretch, then lie down again for more slumbering. Oh how I'd give anything, anything to go back to one of those naps. Ryan is still my little baby, but even she's just about entered toddlerhood with her proud moments of standing all by herself. She dances to any music, even just a car commercial if it's got a good beat. She claps. She waves. She belly laughs like nobody's business, especially when big brother is doing something silly. She crawls at lightning speed which has put my mothering skills to the true test at times. "Who is upstairs in Ryan's room hiccuping into the baby monitor? OMG! It's RYAN!" She took those stairs like an escaped convict and never looked back. (thank God, or she may have fallen.) She's crazy. She's into things Brendan never even thought twice about at this age. Drawers, cupboards, the toilet, shoes....there are shoes scattered all over this house. She looooves jewelry already...can spot a sparkly earring from a mile away and will manage to unclasp it from your ear in a nanosecond. Basically, she's growing so fast, another reason I'm so angry with myself for neglecting this little diary here. She doesn't have all the funny stories and posted somewhere special online like Brendan does...I suppose it's never too late to start though, right?

I'm turning 32 on Saturday. I don't want this to be just any other birthday, not just any new year of life to celebrate. I just did some praying to God upstairs and truly believe that He is what led me right back downstairs to write. (he also mentioned that facebook, if used wisely, can be beneficial. Phew. He also mentioned he has yet to join.) Anyway, I prayed for many things, but most importantly, I prayed for myself. Sounds kind of selfish, but I need some faith in my life more than ever right now. I haven't been feeling very "motherly" as of late. Okay, as of the last 10 months if we're really being honest. Raising two kids has been hard for me. I love my children. Boy do I love my children, but the daily (and nightly) challenges can be very overwhelming, especially with a traveling husband. I'm ashamed to admit that my patience level isn't quite what it was when I was a nanny, raising other's children. I catch myself screaming at my innocent 3 year old for doing things a 3 year old does. I catch myself groaning when the baby won't nap, instead of being thankful that she's a vibrant, healthy baby girl who'd rather play with Momma than sleep. It doesn't help that we're dealing with a sibling rivalry situation between the two. Big brother is still. trying. to. accept the fact that he's no longer the only light in my life. He picks on her. Takes her toys. Pushes her over. Tells her she stinks. (and will eventually tell her she's adopted, I'm sure.) He torments her, and it's hard. I wasn't expecting this kind of upsetting behavior out of him, and I haven't been the best ring leader to try and change the situation. Every night, I get into bed and tell myself, "Tomorrow, I will not yell. I will remember he is only 3. He loves his sissy, he just doesn't like her around so much. He will one day. Tomorrow, I will not yell..." and on and on.

Back to the all praying upstairs that I was doing....I was praying for me. I need strength as a mother. I need patience. I need will power not to be such a screamer. I need to relax. I need to stop and smell the roses. I need to be a good Mom to my children. They need me to keep praying for all of these things so that I can continue to love them as much as I do. Man, I just wish someone had told me parenting was going to be this hard. It's not written anywhere when they send you home with that tiny, tiny newborn. It's all fun and games until big brother has a baby sister.

But, it's not all bad of is actually really good, despite the toddler issues. The husband and I went to a wedding lastnight and like many other simple things that remind me of how incredibly lucky I am, something caught my eye: My husband. He looked downright handsome in his groomsmen outfit. Truth be told, he was the best looking dude in the place. Of course I always feel this way, but nothing like a navy blue blazer and khaki pants to make him pop. I'm so lucky. So lucky to have him. So lucky to have our kids. So lucky to have our families. So lucky to have that wedding where we danced the night away with great friends....

So, I'm turning 32 and with the celebration of another year lived, I am going to make some changes. I'm going to pray more. I'm going to devote myself to being a better Mom, because there's always room for improvement. Always. And most importantly, I'm going to live my life with a little more passion and meaning. My best friend once said, "We're only here once, make it great." Sadly she passed away just a few short months later at just 18 years old. I owe it to her to start living life the way she would have.

I posted a video below of a song that really touches my heart for some reason. "If I Die Young." Life is so fragile. Just incase I die tomorrow, I want you all to know this: I had a safe, loving childhood. I took a total leap of faith by leaving the only home I'd ever known at just 18 years old and flew across the country, only to find my new home. I have formed friendships so close, that really, they're my family now. I found the love of my life in a bar, so don't believe those that say bars are a terrible place to go looking for love. I didn't know what pure joy felt like until my babies were born....the kind of joy that makes you feel like you're floating off the ground and makes your heart skip a beat when you come face-to-face with them for the first time. And if there is one thing I have learned in life, that I get to experience every single day, is that children give the most unconditional love ever imagined. They don't hold grudges, they live in the moment, they wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they passionately scream and go after what they want. We should all live our lives like children, in a way. We should all live without judgement and love all others, even when they pick on us and take our things. The world would be a much better place, wouldn't it?

As I write, I am already feeling so relieved of the daily parenting pressures, and am just so thankful for those precious human beings asleep upstairs and all they've taught me. So thankful for this incredible life that I live with my best friend at my side to continue this crazy journey with. Thank you, God, for leading me downtairs tonight. He really does listen, for those who wonder.

I am done babbling for now and leave you with a couple photos for your viewing pleasure. Stay tuned for more of my greatness. :)

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Great song...makes me think of special people in my life that died much too young.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day at the Zoo

Brendan and I enjoyed a special "Mommy and Me" Day today. Things have been a bit....stressful....around here to say the least. If I hear "3 is the new 2" one more time, I might punch someone in the face.

Anyway, here are some gorgeous photos of my gorgeous boy. No matter how tough times get, I still love him with every beat of my little heart.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nicknames for Ryan

Since we have a whole list of them accumulated for Brendan, thought I'd share what precious Ryan as been dubbed so far:

Screamin Diva
Miss Priss
Turdface Stinkyhead

Okay, I added that last one in today because she was up all night and I'm wiped.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Long time, No Post!

I cannot believe I've let so much precious time go by without posting to this blog. I sat down today for the first time, in a long time, and the tears just flowed all over the keyboard. I'm so disappointed in myself for not keeping up with it. I can't explain why I'm so sad....maybe it's because this blog was always more than just a blog to me. It was like a diary for my son to read years from now. To be quite honest I used to get caught up in who was reading this and how many viewers I had which weren't many, so I kind of just gave up. Didn't feel it was worth spending the time on. But after looking back over this today, I realize what an awesome gift I have here. A gift for my children to read when they're older. A gift for myself! The only important viewers I should ever care about are fast asleep upstairs. This is for them, and I vow to keep up with it from now on.

So, so much has happened since my last post!

Meet Ryan Caitlin. Born November 16th, 2009. Boy is she something! She is 6 months old already and just adds to the beat of our hearts, yet she is another reason this blog had hit the dumps. From the day she was born until about 12 weeks old, I gotta be honest, she was not a happy baby. The husband and I were beginning to wonder how much we could get for her on eBay. (kidding!) No, really though, it was a very stressful time in our lives. In a nutshell, she was born. She wasn't happy. Brendan wasn't happy she was born. Nobody was getting any sleep. The screaming was unbearable, from each member of our little family. The holidays came and went and really are just a blur to me. I was surviving on roughly 3 hours of interrupted sleep each night. Brendan was completely out of sorts. He was so used to being the prince of the family that it was really, really hard for him to adjust. Everyone kept saying "what's the big deal? He'll get used to it....didn't you get used to your siblings?" People just did not realize how the world stopped whenever Brendan was around and now that he was sharing the spotlight, things got a little hairy for awhile there. we are. We survived that chaos and now have two beautiful, mostly happy children. Here is Ryan (aka Beast) now at a little over 6 months:

She is such a riot. She's nonstop. Nothing like Brendan was. You could put him on the floor and he wouldn't budge. Okay, so he was quite chunky and physically could not budge if you poked him with a knitting needle, but she is sooooo different. He didn't crawl until 11 months old. I'm giving her maybe one more month before she's ruling this roost on her hands and knees. She doesn't miss a lick. She's already aware of strangers, yet loves when they coo and drool over her.

Brendan loves her, and also loves to annoy her. He hides her binky's. He throws toys at her and blames his Woody doll. He takes her toys and stuffs them under the couch. But he also covers her with blankies, talks to her in the cutest voice, and will pat her on the head and say "you're so cute Baby Ryan!" when he thinks nobody is looking. I have a feeling that once she starts walking and shows a little interest in his cars, he'll have a best friend for life. I mean, he's too young to take money bribes for poses like this, so he must like her a little bit.

So here I am, now the mother of 2 children. It's hectic. It's tiring. It's downright physically and emotionally exhuasting. I know that I complain, a lot. But at the same time, sometimes I look at my family and wonder how I got so lucky. What made me so fortunate to deserve all of this? This is my family. This is my life. Thank you, God, for believing I deserve this.