Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My dearest baby on her 2nd birthday

Today my baby turned 2. I've been struggling with this one. When she turned one, it didn't seem like such a big deal to me, but this one seems so much bigger. She's really not a baby anymore. When she turned one, she still seemed like a baby. She walked, but still stumbled and she was starting to talk, but didn't have a whole lot of words. Approaching this birthday, it's been very clear that she's not a baby anymore. She's talking in full sentences, "running the bases" everywhere she goes, and has a huge personality. Her prized possession is her "real ball" she got from the Sea Dogs minor league baseball game yesterday.

The first year didn't seem to go as fast as this last year and I'm scared that life is just going to keep flying by and each year is going to go faster than the one before. I don't want to miss a moment with this little girl.

Last year, I wrote her a letter here and I'd like to continue that tradition so here goes.

My dearest Lulu on your 2nd birthday,

You are my sunshine. No, really you are. Tonight when I was putting you to bed, I couldn't help but think about how quickly these 2 years have gone and how much you've grown. I started crying a little bit thinking about it and you told me, "No cry, mama. No cry." So I tried to suck it up a little. We started to sing our song like we do every night and you sang with me. "You are my sunshine..." At the end of the song, I said "Happy Birthday, Lulu" and you said, "thank you, Mama! No cry ok?"

Every morning when I come to get you out of your crib, I'm reminded of how much I love you and how much your little face makes me smile. You are such a happy little girl. And you are so smart. In the past month, you've realized that my name is Erin and have been trying to call me that. Because you heard your great-grandparents sing happy birthday to me, you think that the song goes "Happy birthday to Erin" and you sing it that way all the time. You even told your daycare that you wanted a cake that said "happy birthday Erin" on it.

You got a Minnie Mouse cake... and no it doesn't say Happy Birthday, Erin!
You absolutely love baseball. Despite the fact that I love baseball and that your grandparents all love baseball (including Papi's mom), I didn't think someone who is barely 2 would be able to express love for something like this. When we get in the car, you ask me to turn on the game on the radio. When you go to the games (and you do quite often), you stand and watch the game and cheer and look for Slugger and yell to the players. You particularly love yelling at Oscar Tejeda... "Ocar, Ocar!" When you were first learning to put sentences together, you told Doh a whole story about a "baseball man" swinging a bat and someone yelling "I got it!" and catching the ball. You blew us away with this story because it was so vivid and real for you.

You got so excited when you saw this cut out of Wally in the store!

My tiny Sea Dogs fan after a game
You love Big Papi and love watching the commercials he does for Dunkin Donuts. You also love watching videos of Big Papi hitting homeruns. Lucky for you, he's having a great season and hitting homeruns left and right. You also love Mookie Betts and you love yelling his name.

You love the beach and are such a little beach baby. You love playing in the water and looking for shells and playing in the sand. You get so excited when we say we're going to the beach.

Throughout this year, your hair has grown out so much and you look like a totally different little girl. Last year on your birthday, your hair was straight. We were starting to see a little curl, but it wasn't all over. This year, you have these beautiful little ringlets that are absolutely gorgeous. I am so jealous of your beautiful hair and hope that it stays like that forever.

Curls and a sassy face!
Gorgeous little curls
You have brought so much joy to those around you. Your grandparents, my parents, absolutely adore you. They ask to have sleepovers with you because you are such a good little kid.

You are so happy and so adaptable and just go with the flow. It is an absolute privilege to be your mother and to watch you grow. You are the love I never knew existed, you are the gift I never knew I wanted.

I will always love you, my baby. Mucho, mucho.

Your mama

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mom, Alone

When I found out I was pregnant, I swore to myself that I wouldn't change. I swore that I would be the same ole Erin, just with a baby. I know, I know, you've probably heard that story before. You've heard every first time mother who says that she's going to be the only mother in the world who is the same person after she has the baby as she was before.

Last week, LoLo took Alexia to New York for five days so I spent five long days and four long nights alone in our house (well, except for my little buddy, Bronx). In the days leading up to their trip, I was nervous. Not so much about them, but about myself.

See, after 20 months of being a mother, I couldn't remember who I was for the 31 years that I wasn't one. I truly couldn't remember who I was before early wake-ups and feeding someone else and schedules and adorable little girl clothes and Curious George (or Gigi as Alexia calls him).

The first day, Saturday, my mom and I went to Boston to a Red Sox game. Not only was it a great way to keep my mind off missing LoLo and Alexia, it was a great way to be reminded of something I've always loved.

The next day,  I slept late, took myself to lunch and went to the supermarket and got some of my favorite foods including fancy cheese that I would never buy otherwise. I spent time with my parents and grandparents and actually ate a meal at family dinner without interruptions or breaking my food into tiny pieces for someone else to nibble on.

By Tuesday night, although I was completely ready to see my little family, I was starting to remember who I was. I remembered that I don't cook and had cheese and crackers for dinner (and it was glorious!). I remembered that I love getting under a comfy blanket and yelling at the TV during Jeopardy (something I hadn't done since I was pregnant). I even remembered that I love eating ice cream.

I don't know anyone who hasn't been changed by motherhood. And I'll be the first to admit that I was totally naive to think I would just be "Erin with a baby." But although being Alexia's mom is my most important and most prominent role right now, it was nice to be reminded that I was a person before I had her and that person hasn't been lost. Sometimes that seems to get buried under the millions of kisses and pictures of my little girl and meals and baths and hugs and bedtimes and wake-ups and tears and dirty diapers. But those five days reminded me that it's important to let that side of me out every once in a while...because that person I was before I was Alexia's mom wasn't so bad.

Aaaaaaand an Alexia pic for good measure.