Dear Mathias (on my first Mother’s Day)

Dear Mathias,

Today is your 10-month birthday, which coincidentally falls on Mothers’ Day. Since you were born, I have wished to write you little letters to capture my favorite moments and memories from your new life. One month goes by, and then another and it’s all I can do to write down milestones in your calendar. So I promise to write you a letter on Mothers’ Day each year. After all, it wasn’t until you arrived in life that I could lay any claim to this day.

These last ten months have flown by so quickly. Everyone warned me of it, but like most things in life, we don’t truly understand until we experience first-hand. You have grown from my tiny, floppy baby into this ball of personality, smiles and shrieks who looks more like a little boy every day. I remember the first time I held you (sleeping) in my arms and saw a little boy where my baby lay. It scared me so. The last time we flew to Oregon (April, for Easter), I was struck by just how small the counter space was in the airplane bathroom, where I changed your diapers on your very first flights. But even as you grow, you still manage to fit in my arms and on my shoulder, and fill up my hugs. (Speaking of hugs, you give really good ones first thing in the morning.)

Before I became your Mom, I didn’t know how I would adjust to the demands of a life that wasn’t my own. But you know what? Instincts took over, along with some coaching from your Nonna and Nonie, friends and Google. Truth be told, I still don’t know how to do this Mom thing some days. But what is different now is the knowledge that there isn’t much you and I can’t handle together, or that some dancing and deep squats won’t fix. (And when all else fails, you really like milk.)

When I say prayers with you at night, I thank God for the blessing of you in our lives. And when we pray for all the babies and mommies, I squeeze you tight. I never knew how one little person could make life so rich. I marvel at your penchant of “making friends” wherever we go. Dad and I make silly noises to make you smile and laugh. Your curiosity about the world is contagious. There is only one food (eggs) that you won’t eat. And you’ve been a great travel buddy (25 flights down!) as I’ve zipped you across the USA and back again.

Mathias, I am so blessed to be your Mommy. Each day is a new and wondrous experience. While I may not take a daily picture or document your milestones each month, I hope you understand it is because I am choosing to live in (and enjoy) the moment with you. In just two months we will celebrate your first birthday and I will surely have to stop calling you a baby. But Matty, you should know that you will always be my sweet boy, my little love and my baby. I love you! Thank you for allowing me to be your Mom.

Xoxo

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Dear Mathias (on my first Mother’s Day)

Mats’ First Pumpkin Patch

Fall has arrived in Jacksonville! For the past few days we’ve been sleeping with windows open, breaking out the long sleeves and enjoying the respite from a hot humid summer. The weather turned just in time for Halloween, which will be Mats’ first big holiday. We don’t have much planned this week for Halloween, except a lineup of themed outfits to dress Mats up in, but one thing I wanted to do was take him to a pumpkin patch.

The church attached to Mats’ new daycare is locally known for going all out for families around holidays, and the giant pumpkin patch they set up has been calling our name all week. This afternoon we loaded up Mats and his stroller for a quick visit. All of the pumpkins that were lined up Friday afternoon had disappeared, save a few that were better for photos than taking home. That probably worked out better for us, since carving pumpkins with an infant would have taken more arm-twisting of Garrett than is necessary. But we did snap a few photos of Mathias’ first pumpkin experiences to share…

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Happy Halloween (and Mathias’ 16-week birthday) from all of us!
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Mats’ First Pumpkin Patch

Bigger Every Day

A funny thing happened midway through our ten days in Columbus last week. Without warning, Mats’ pajamas, the kind with footies, didn’t fit anymore. Never mind that he wore them the week before and I packed them just days ago. Suddenly, our pjs count went from four to two and having just two of anything is a dangerous game, in the case of a twelve-week old who has a tendency to drop the occasional blowout diaper.

The other clue I discovered that my baby was growing before my eyes came in the Presidents Cup golf shop. I picked up a warm onesie made of sweatshirt material labeled 6 months that looked HUGE on the hanger and even when I put it next to Mats. But sure enough, when Mats came to visit me in the media center with my mom wearing the onesie, it was barely too big, not even stretching past his toes. (As and aside, he was super cute and most of us were jealous he got to rock a sweatshirt onesie in our workplace.)

I forget how big Mats is getting until I look back at our weekly photos and compare them side by side. Here’s a look back at the little guy at four, eight and twelve weeks and how he’s grown.

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Bigger Every Day

Mighty Travels

Mats and I dominated our first solo long range trip together, mostly because he looks like this when he flies!

20130928-213438.jpgToday’s trip took us from Jacksonville all the way to Dublin, Ohio, site of this year’s Presidents Cup tournament. Along the way we knocked out his fifth and sixth states visited if you count airports (all before 12 weeks old!). I definitely was thinking in the last 24 hours that I had bitten off more I could chew. Garrett can attest to the tears and stress that hit hard last night as I faced packing both of us and the prospect of taking Mathias on my nine-day work trip, alone.

I shouldn’t have stressed so much. Between the two flights, we made friends, stretched and played together in the IAD airport (and mom even got to eat a little). Mats even got his first experience in first-class thanks to a United upgrade. Too bad it was literally a 44-minute flight! On both flights he did great, mostly sleeping and eating a little. Mainly though, he put up with my fumbling and cramming blankets and burp clothes and Boppy and baby in one single seat, with very little fuss. He’s now at the stage where he is aware of surroundings, so when I was moving through the airport (as long as we kept moving), he was content to watch everything around us with big open eyes.

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I was so thankful the guardian angel I prayed for did appear in Columbus. Another mom, who was going home to see her one-year old after being gone for two weeks, was brilliant. She switched me seats on the plane, and then met us at baggage to help pull off all FOUR checked bags (three of them were for Mats. Just sayin’) and arrange them on a luggage cart, pointing me in the direction of the rental car garage.

It took me a little extra time to load in all our bags, install the car seat base and change Mats’ diaper before hitting the road, compared to last week when I went to Atlanta overnight on my own. But by the time I was steering a luggage cart into the hotel with one hand while packing Mats in his car seat in the other arm, I was thinking to myself, “Mats mom is a bad ass.” (I should have snapped a picture of the bags on the luggage rack!)

So now we’re settled into our hotel room, two beds and a crib and all of those bags we brought in a semi-organized fashion. I’m so grateful for a baby who loves to stretch out and watch, content with my talking to him as I criss-cross the room and sing along to our Raffi station on Pandora. We’ve both had our dinners and he fell asleep on his own tonight in the hotel crib. That alone is a huge win for the trip, and hop fill a good omen for the start, as I didn’t know how well sharing a single room with him was going to work.

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Tomorrow morning we pick up Nonna (my mom) from the airport and will check out the golf course to get our bearings before the Presidents Cup week starts. If today was any indication it’s going to be a great week–not without its stressful moments–but one to build a ton of memories (and hopefully a few blog posts) to take away with us.

Mighty Travels

Duets with Auntie Lee

Mighty Mathias comes from two very non-musical parents, but that doesn’t stop Aunt Alia from trying to share her talents with her favorite nephew. After a week of listening to “Auntie Lee Lee” play her guitar and sing him to sleep, Mats has started to chime in and harmonize with his own coos. It’s pretty adorable and hopefully shows he has more musical promise than either of us. Looks like our Rock Band, “Turtle Hunters of the Night,” might have a new lead singer!
[Click to watch the video below]

Duets with Auntie Lee