Friday, June 29, 2012

{Let's Party!} Brady's Half Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated Brady's half birthday with all of his buddies here in CA... something we have been talking about since the day he was born! For all the details, please pop over to Mama Dish and read my post there. If you just want photos-- here you go!

Brady Half Birthday Party

And for those of you who didn't get to see this lovely collage on Facebook, here's a little something I put together of Brady to honor this "special" occasion!

Where does the time go?! Hard to believe in just a few short weeks (or even days!), we'll have another little guy to start keeping track of :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Brady

As you know, I like to link up with Melissa at Growing Up Geeky for her Toddle Along Tuesday posts, because her topics are always so lighthearted and fun (and easy to blog about!!) I've been looking forward to writing this post since last week and wouldn't you know it... Tuesday came and went and I missed it. This is SO a metaphor for my life right now.

But I had some really wonderful things that I wanted to say to my son, so even though it's Wednesday, I'm going to post it and link up anyway. Who said there were hard-and-fast rules in blogging anyway?!

This week's TAT (Toddle Along Tuesday) theme was "A letter to your kid in the future". Here is what I'd want Brady to know 10+ years from now (in case we don't tell him often enough along the way!)

Dear Brady,

This is a very chaotic and busy time for our family right now, but it is also extremely exciting. You are very much aware of what is about to happen in the next few weeks-- I can see the anticipation all over your face! But chances are you'll never remember what you were thinking, feeling or saying during these final weeks just before your baby brother was born, so I decided to write them down for you so would know just how much you wanted and loved your "baby Fitzgibbons" before he arrived... especially when 5, 10, 15 years from now you might find yourself wondering, "why'd he have to come along and ruin everything?" Believe me, I know the feeling; I have two younger siblings myself!

You have been open-minded and welcoming of this baby since the moment we told you you were going to be a big brother. You were even more gracious when you found out it was going to be a boy! You have never once said you didn't want the baby or shown any sort of uncertainty or disinterest towards him. This pleases Mommy and Daddy to no end and is a testament to just how big your heart is. You already have such a large capacity for love and compassion. I hope this continues after he arrives!

We nicknamed the baby "Fitzgibbons" somewhere around the 4 month mark and you took to it like a fly on honey. I think you just liked how silly it sounded! It's been hard to convince you that his "real" name is not going to be Fitzgibbons. You have tried to weave it into every name you've recommended to us (and you have recommended a lot!) Some variations have been:

     Baby Fitzgibbons

     Brady's Baby Fitzgibbons

     Fitzy Brady's Baby

     Fitz Charles Eatherton (you'd even share your middle name)

While we certainly appreciate your enthusiasm, I think Daddy and I will handle the naming of baby brother. But I do applaud your creativity, as you've come a long way since you originally suggested Rebecca and Jar Jar Binks. (Rebecca is a lovely name, just not so much for a boy!)

You love to give the baby kisses and sing him songs. Your first song of choice was "Jingle Bells", and this went on well after Christmas had passed. Now, you like to share your song with the baby (which is the lovely Girl Scouts tune, "I've got something in my pocket that belongs across my face...")

You light up when you feel him move and you laugh when he "kicks your lips" when you kiss him, though I'm not quite sure that really happens! You also give your brother a stern talking to when he's kicking me too hard ("hey Fitzgibbons, stop kicking Mommy so much, it hurts her!!")

You have picked out stuffed animals and books for your brother from your collection and put them in his room. We cannot wait to bring him home so you can give them to him. I love that you already can share your stuff with him, as I'm sure it won't be long until he's eyeing those Hot Wheels cars you love so much!

You are so patient and attentive when Mommy & Daddy talk to you about what life with a baby will be like. You are anxious to hold him, feed him a bottle and make funny faces at him, but you seem to understand that maybe you can't do those things right away. You show us the gentle way you are going to kiss and touch your baby brother's cheek when you meet him for the first time. I cannot wait for that moment!!

I know it won't be easy for you sometimes, but we will do our best to make sure that you feel loved and cared for every day. I hope when you read this letter many, many years from now you can tell us that we did our job well. You are our first born-- our teacher, our entertainer, our scholar, our jokester, our stand-out athlete and an all-around exceptional human being; you will always have a special hold on our hearts.

Mom & Dad

Monday, June 18, 2012

Entrepreneurship-- It's In His Blood

Well, it's in everyone's blood here in Silicon Valley, really. Especially in Brady's buddy Leo's parents, who actually came up with the idea to get the boys together and build a lemonade stand.

Truth be told, the Daddies ended up doing all the construction, but I don't think they minded. The stand itself turned out really cute (think Lucy's psychiatric booth from the Peanuts cartoon) and has turned into quite the playdate hit in the Kirkpatrick's backyard. Christy, Leo's Mom, found some super cute lemonade stand accessories at Target (loved the little yellow aprons!) and the boys looked so adorable flagging down "customers" and yelling out "lemonade!!"

Brady wasn't as interested in the lemonade business as Leo was, but he did have a good time scooping ice into the cups while Leo poured. They made a great little team! I about died laughing when after buying my cup of lemonade, Brady said, "thanks for stopping by Mom". Hilarious!

The boys set the price at 25 cents a cup, so the profits were slim. Let's just say I don't think they'll be getting any startup seed funding from the local VCs anytime soon. But Brady walked away with 4 quarters and you would have thought he won the lottery! We went straight to Target and bought a box of-- you guessed it-- 5 Hot Wheels (price: $4.99, so somehow Mom & Dad lost out on that one).

We are planning to host the next lemonade stand at our house later in the summer, so if you're in the neighborhood, please stop by and buy some delicious local, organic, fresh-squeezed-by-Pete lemonade (never from concentrate!) for 50 cents a cup. Hey! Gas prices aren't the only things that goes up in the summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You're Gonna Miss This

When you have kids, people always tell you, "enjoy every minute because they grow so fast!!" I nod in agreement to be polite, but it's been my experience with my own child that that's not necessarily true. There are some days that just seem to last FOREVER, and when I think back to when Brady was born, it certainly does not feel like just yesterday. In fact, with #2 on the way, I honestly feel like it's been an eternity since we were caught in the haze that comes with having a newborn.

I do find myself marveling at every big boy milestone Brady hits-- like potty training, moving to a big boy bed and "riding" a bike-- but I never really get the he-can't-be-this-big-already feeling. Everything seems to be moving along in a normal fashion. In fact, a lot of time I look at him and feel like he hasn't (physically) changed all that much over the last year or so (I mean, the boy is 3 and a half and still in 2T clothes!!)

But all that changed in an instant today, when I put this simple collage together...

All of a sudden it hit me, just how fast my son is growing up. It's been going on all along, right in front of me, but I just couldn't see it until I actually, well, saw it.

It hasn't even been a full year since these two pictures were taken (only 9 months, almost to the day) but the boys in these two pictures are so very different. I remember taking the picture on the left and it really does feel like just yesterday. I remember what he didn't eat for breakfast that day; the anticipation of his first day alone at a brand new school was just too much. He couldn't stop talking about Lyla (well, some things never change) and Tiramisu & Blanca, the guinea pigs at school. I can hear his voice so clearly in my head-- the tone, the intensity, the vocabulary... everything is so different now.

The boy on the left is wearing diapers, the boy on the right undies. The boy on the left was so into Joe Bonamassa that I thought we'd have ourselves a professional guitar player at the age of 5. The boy on the right turned in his electric guitar for a Batman cape and boatload of Matchbox cars, and now all he talks about is superheros, cars, racing, and fighting bad guys. The boy on the left slept in a crib. The boy on the right just moved into a brand new big boy room, complete with a twin bed and no bed rails (yikes!) The list goes on and on.

There are still a lot of similarities in these two boys, don't get me wrong. They both take forever to get out of the house in the morning (gotta pack up that ridiculous plastic Ziploc baggie full of cars!) Neither one of them wanted to take these photos, but then hammed it up when it came down to it. Both are fiercely independent in their minds, but still need me to do all the little things (thank goodness!) Both love, and have always loved, going to school. I hope that never changes!

There are "phases" he'll go through that I hope will go by quickly, but even on the longest, most difficult of days, he's changing and growing right under my nose... and I'll never be able to go back and get those days back. Ever. It may have taken me a while to really get it, but I do now. And I won't ever take a moment of his life for granted again.

Love my big boy!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Knew This Day Would Come

Well, it finally happened. This morning on the way to school, I was asked a question all parents dread being asked. One of the "top 5 most loaded questions", I'm sure.

Brady is a very inquisitive boy and has a great understanding of things far past his maturity level, so I'm actually very surprised that it took this long for him to ask... but here it came:

"Mom, how do you get the baby out of your belly??" 

Now that I type it, I guess I should be happy he was asking about how we will get it OUT instead of how it got IN. I wonder how long I have 'til that one pops up?!

Anyway-- I was caught off guard and wasn't sure how to reply. I hadn't even had my coffee yet! While I'm pretty good at spinning little stories, part of me was afraid to come up with something so fantastical that he'd be spreading it around school in no time. And he's far too intelligent to believe that some giant bird will swoop down from the sky and drop his baby brother off in a basket on our doorstep (no offense to anyone who's kid buys that whole stork business). So I thought to myself, "how do I answer his question so that he's satisfied, but without going into too much detail?"

The answer: I sort of told him... the truth. About his birth, that is. (For those of you who do not know/remember, Brady was born via scheduled c-section after learning at 41 weeks and 1 day that he was breech.)

I told him that Mommy went to the hospital to have surgery on my belly and out came baby Brady! Somewhat gruesome, yes. I wanted to suck it back up into my mouth as soon as it came out, but how else do you describe a c-section?

I am continually amazed at his capacity to grasp things so well. He immediately understood the simplicity of it all and only asked, "did it hurt when the doctors cut open your belly?"

To which I replied, "No, the doctor's gave Mommy lots of medicine so that I didn't feel any pain."

There was a few minutes of silence, and then he just said... "I'm sorry Mom". My heart broke. He is such a compassionate little person, why didn't I think of that before I spoke?? My mind was racing... I didn't just scar him for life, did I?

I said, "You don't have to be sorry. That's just what Mommies have to do to get their babies sometimes. I'm okay."

Then he said, "Look at that huge cement mixer!"

Aaaaand we're onto the next thing, which thankfully, does not involve me, my baby or my vagina.

Has this happened to you? What did you say? Did I handle it all wrong? And better yet, how do I prepare for the "getting IN the belly" question, because I won't be caught unprepared for that one, that's for sure!!

The joys of parenthood!


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