Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, my first as a Mom, I am especially conscious of all the blessings I have in my life and I am especially thankful. There are many things in life for which I am thankful: good health, a sound financial situation that allows us to have a safe home, and good food to eat, my friends, my skills as a Social Worker, etc. But there is nothing for which I am more thankful than my wonderful family. I am thankful for each and every one of them:

For Mom & Dad who have always given of themselves so fully and freely to their children. It is because of them that I am the person, Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, and Social Worker that I am. I truly have the greatest parents on earth and I am so very grateful!

For my Brothers:

John, who I have watched become a father, battle cancer, graduate from law school, and become a father again all in such a short amount of time and with such grace, good humor, love and determination. He is an inspiration! I have also watched him become an Uncle for the first time. And it is so touching to watch the way in which he adores my son.

Mark, who more than anyone I know, has his priorities straight. While he is a hard worker, and a dedicated lawyer, he is above all else a wonderful husband, son, brother, and uncle. He puts the people in his life first and he loves each and every one of them in a gentle, kind, and selfless way. I am so lucky to be one of the people he loves so fully.

For my Sisters (in-law):

Cindy, who has been a part of our family for so long that I can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t. But this is not just because of the amount of time Cindy has been in our family, it is because of who she is. Cindy gives of herself so fully to the people she loves, often at the expense of herself . She has endless energy and enthusiasm for the people in her life and I am blessed to be one of those people.

Catharine, who has become an integral part of our family in such a short time. There are few people in life that I truly consider “kindred spirits” and Catharine is one of those people. She is giving of her time and her love. She has a gentle, sensitive, caring and energetic way in which she shows her love to me, to my husband, and to Ryan. We are all so lucky to have her in our life!

For my adorable nieces:

Caitlin, who fills my days with tremendous imagination, joy, and love. It is only with her that all in one day I can travel to Paris, New York, Curacao, and India. I love her tight hugs and her joyful, infectious laugh! Caitlin is kind and sensitive and truly cares about other people! She makes me proud to be her aunt!

Julia, who smiles wider and with more enthusiasm than any little girl I know. Her deep, dark, beautiful eyes speak volumes about the little girl she is and will become. I can already see her enthusiasm, kindness, and spunk shining through in just the short 6 months I have known her. She makes my heart melt every time she gives me that big, wide, mouth-breathing smile when she sees me!

For Ryan, my beautiful son! He is the embodiment of joy and love. He lives life with reckless abandon and it is a pleasure watching him grow up and an honor to be his mother. I am so proud of the kind, gentle (most of the time), energetic, fun, and out-going little boy he is becoming. He brings joy and happiness to my life in ways I never understood until he was born. My heart is swollen with love and life because of him.

And last, but certainly not least, for my wonderful husband Matt, who on a daily basis has the greatest impact on my life. Although at times I feel that I take him for granted, I hope he knows how much I love him and how special I think he is. Truly, I don’t know a single woman in the world with a more dedicated, loving, selfless, helpful, husband. He puts Ryan and me first in everything that he does. He works so hard for our family (both at the office and at home) and I can’t imagine my life without him. This is our 11th Thanksgiving together as a couple. And this year, more than ever, the year in which I have watched him blossom into an AMAZING father, while continuing to be a caring husband, I am so, so very grateful that I chose to spend my life with this wonderful man.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eating...or the lack there of....

Ryan used to eat anything and everything with great excitement and motivation. There wasn't a baby food I offered him that he didn't willing scarf down. But, alas, no more.

My adorable 10 month old son is apparently on a hunger strike. He nurses just fine. But when it comes to sitting down and eating, he will do just about everything except eat. He will mush the food between his fingers (I offer him LOTS of finger food choices at every meal) he will drop it on the floor, he will put it on his head occasionally, he will offer it to me or his Daddy, but he will NOT eat, except when he is distracted and we can sneak food into his mouth.

I know my son is not going to starve to death. I know he will eventually eat (I don't know many grown men who still only drink breast milk!) but in the meantime it is very STRESSFUL! I want him to be a good eater. I don't want him to be a picky eater, so I refuse to offer him sweet and/or more appealing items. He gets lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. I don't expect him to even know that things like french fries, chicken fingers, or hot dogs exist until he is MUCH older. I do NOT WANT A PICKY EATER!! I have nightmares (not really) about battles over food on a daily basis as our little baby grows older. Please tell me he will out-grow this, sooner rather than later. Please tell me he will learn to eat healthy food without daily battles.

And in the meantime, if you have any suggestions about how to work through this, please let me know!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

10 Months

Dear Ryan,

Today you turned 10 months old! You have now been out of my belly longer than you were in it. The past month has certainly been an exciting one! You have learned to do so many new things! It seems you learn something new every day! Here are a few of the high lights:

You are eating pretty much anything and everything these days. You much prefer to feed yourself than to have Mommy or Daddy feed you with a spoon. You still eat baby food, but you prefer actual "finger foods" like pasta, bread, cut up strawberries, avocado, pears, chicken, apples, bananas. You love Mommy's homemade vegetable soup (you only eat the vegetable part, not the soup part) and you even tried a few tiny pieces of a PB&J sandwich as the pediatrician said you could have Peanut Butter! (The new AAP recommendation says not to wait too long!)

You are obsessed with light switches and LOVE to turn them on and off watching the light as it flashes. You love opening and closing drawers and doors and are particularly intrigued by the dishwasher and the kitchen cabinets.

You say "Hi" to nearly EVERYONE you meet and get so much attention for this when we take you to the grocery store. These days, you and Daddy do the grocery shopping together early on Sunday mornings while Daddy lets me sleep in. This is your special time with Daddy and you both seem to love it! (Mommy loves the extra sleep too!) You also wave and say "Bye-Bye." You also continue to say "Dada" and "Mama" though you say "Dada!!!" much more often. Although, I was at a conference the past two days and Daddy told me you said "Mama" a lot while I was gone. That's not fair! I want to hear you say it when I am with you! Just today you seem to now be able to say "sock" which is an odd word for a little guy to be able to say. But you are CONSTANTLY taking your socks off, so we say that word to you a lot.

You have learned to give "High 5s" and you can point to my nose, eyes, mouth and belly button when asked "Where is Mommy's ______?" Most times when you point to my nose you think it is so funny to stick your finger in my nose. You giggle, giggle, giggle when you do this...but it HURTS!

You love balls and you can throw a ball if it is small enough for you to get your little hand around. You also love books. You especially love books that have flaps you can open and close. It is so much fun to cuddle on the floor, the couch, or the rocker in your bedroom to read books. We read "Goodnight Moon" every night and you can point to the moon and the red balloon when Daddy or I ask you to.

And perhaps the biggest news of all is that YOU CAN WALK! You took your first steps (5 in row) on October 18th and you get better and better every day. You are still a bit unsteady at times and can definitely move more quickly and easily by crawling, but you regularly take off on your own two feet and head towards whatever it is you want. You can even stand up without having to pull up on anything. We bought you your first pair of "real" shoes today and they look adorable, even if you're not quite sure you like these clunky things on your feet.

We did a lot of fun things this month too! At the beginning of the month we went to CT to visit your Connecticut Family. While we were there we visited Mommy's cousins Tim & Patti and their three little girls. They doted on you like you were a little king. You had a blast!

We went to the Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard with Nana, Pop-pop, Uncle Mark, & Auntie Catharine. You LOVED kicking and throwing the hay in the hay loft. You went on your first Hay Ride and you helped us pick out the perfect pumpkin.

You also dressed up as SKUNK for Halloween! Nana, Uncle John, Auntie Cindy, Uncle Mark, Auntie Catharine, Caitlin (the Pumpkin), and Julia (the Bat) came over for a Halloween Party at our house and then Trick-or-Treating. I couldn't believe how content you were to keep your costume on! It was such a fun night!

(I have no idea why this is sideways...the original picture is not, but when it uploaded, it came out sideways.)

It is so exciting and so much fun to watch you exploring, discovering, and learning new things every day. You are so energetic, happy, friendly, and easy-going that it is just a joy to be around you. Being your Mommy is the best thing I have ever done! I love you so much, Ryan!

Happy 10th Month Birthday!

Love always and forever (no matter what!),


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Recently, I have had the feeling that my life is as it should be right now and that it can't really get any better. I am a mom and a wife and those are my priorities and that's the way it should be.

Prior to ever being pregnant, or even married, I was often found telling people "I was put on this earth to be a mom." And yet, there were moments in my earliest weeks of motherhood when I doubted this. Moments when I thought my "calling" in life wasn't my calling. I was scared in those moments. Worried that life wouldn't be as I had expected it to be. But now, as Ryan is nearly 10 months old and he is developing into such an amazing little person, and I can see every day how Matt and I are helping to make him that little person, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was indeed put on this earth to be a be Ryan's mom. And truly, I couldn't be happier.

This isn't to say that there aren't tough, challenging moments. There definitely are. He still isn't a great sleeper (and no, I am not going to put in writing whether or not he has made any progress in that area lately, because if I do, any hypothetical progress would certainly be lost) and those middle of the night wake-up calls are rough. At times the unpredictability of babyhood can be tough. Just this past Saturday Ryan didn't take his usual long naps, and thus messed up the "schedule" we had planned for the day. This frustrated both Matt and me and made us short with each other. Last night, Ryan was very grumpy (who knows why) and thus our usual relatively calm sit-down-as-a-family dinner was chaotic and filled with whining about anything and everything. Parenting isn't predictable, it isn't always easy, but it is what I am supposed to be doing in life right now. And I know that with a level of certainty that is only rivaled by the certainty I felt the day I married Matt.

Ryan is my son, and the joy that I feel in watching the loving, joyful, pleasant, gentle (most of the time), funny, and friendly little boy he is becoming is beyond description. I love watching his explore and discover the world. I look at him with such pride. My heart swells daily. More often I find myself simply enjoying the moment more than I ever have before. I don't see myself looking down the road saying, "What's next?" as often. This is my life. It is how it is supposed to be. I am content.

The Cam Fam has been Published on:

Scary Mommy