Super Four

PicMonkey Collage

Dear Eddie,

You turned FOUR on Sunday.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around how you can already be four.  Four years old.  Every time I thought about it this weekend, my mind went racing back to the operating room where we first met.  Me all splayed out on a table, strapped down as if in my exhaustion I cared enough to flail about, and you all chubby and slimy and mad and cold.  Good times, Ed.  Good times.

Your birthday this year has been especially exciting.  It’s the first year you understand upcoming events and could count down and look forward to your big day.  Ever since daddy had his birthday in December, you have been asking if you were next.  You had to wait through Charlie’s party, my birthday, Kingston & Kyrie’s party, Joe’s party, Trisha’s day, Addie & Lexi’s party, Aunt Sarah’s day, and finally…FINALLY…you were next.

We talked a lot about what you wanted for your birthday: a new bike, superhero stuff, Legos, the baby doll at Target that actually drinks her bottle, that pancake making pan that you saw on an infomercial.  Every time you saw something you loved you announced, “mom! put that on my birthday list!”f

We asked you what kind of party you wanted for your birthday and you said, “um, maybe a pool party with my little pool and my cousin Jack and my friends.”  So we planned it.  We sent out invitations.  We bought a new inflatable pool that could accommodate more kids. We bought a slip n slide. We bought a “baby” pool.  You wanted “hot dog on a bun” for the party, so we went to Gordon’s and bought a case of dogs and a ton of buns and fixin’s.  You helped me pick two HUGE watermelons.

Your birthday party was on Saturday.  The day before your birthday.

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On Friday, we had some unexpected guest cancellations.

I often wonder what your first memory will be, Eddie.  Most people have their first memories around your age.  I really hope you don’t remember the Friday before your party. I was disappointed to the point of heaving tears.  I spent almost 30 minutes on the phone with Grandma while you and Charlie played.

But I know you heard me.  I saw you climb to the top of your clubhouse and stare at the field behind the house.  You don’t miss much, Eddie.  After I got off the phone, you came and sat next to me and said, “I don’t have any friends, Mom?  Is that what you told Grandma?”  The tears got hot in my eyes all over again.

“No, buddy. That is not it at all!  You have SO many friends who love you LOTS!  It’s just that some can’t come to your party anymore.  Big stuff came up and they have to take care of their big stuff.  But they are so sad they can’t come.”

“But Jack is coming?”

“No, buddy. Uncle Chris just let me know that they are going camping.  No Jack.”

He looked down at the ground.  ”It’s Ok, mom. We will have fun. It’s my party!”

The next day it was indeed your party.  Our neighborhood friends, Kelsey, Bentley, and Harry came at the last minute and you and Bentley had an absolute ball splashing and chasing each other.  Uncle Mike and Uncle Cody both brought their swimsuits in case you needed some fun…but they didn’t even have to bust them out.  You have have an awesome family who loves you so much.  Aunt Kenzie even showed up though she had originally thought she would miss it.

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Unprompted you thanked everyone for coming to your party, and you thanked daddy and me about a hundred times for your party and for hot dogs.  You made us so proud, Eddie.  So proud.

On your birthday you woke daddy up with your new Batman Mask on.  It was hilarious.  Then we had cinnamon rolls followed by a treasure hunt to your gift from us.

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When you saw it, instead of jumping on, you rushed over to me and threw your arms around my waist. “OH THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!  FOR MY BIG BIKE!”

Then you did that excited little dance you do where your arms get flappy, and you jumped on in your jammies. Daddy took video, but since we are all in our jammies, we will keep that gem off the blog.

That afternoon, Daddy “swam” with you in the pool and showed you how to use the slip n slide.  After your brother’s nap we went to Red Robin (yummmmm!) because that is your favorite and immediate choice when we ask where you want to go.

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You got the corndog (because three hot dogs on a bun over the course of two days was not enough hot dog for you, I guess) and polished it off claiming LOTS of room for ice cream.  Last year you shared your ice cream.  Not this year.

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When we got home, you announced you were STARVING for some birthday cake…and what do you know, I happened to make you the lemon cake you requested!

We lit the candles, sang happy birthday to our four-year old, and you blew them out.

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Later that night, I put you to bed.  It was my night, but if it hadn’t been, I would have asked daddy if I could do it.  I need the snuggle and talk time with you.

We used daddy’s tablet to read Oh The Places You’ll Go and Happy Birthday To You both by Dr. Seuss.  You were almost asleep by the end of the second book, so when we turned it off and you rolled over, I quietly whispered, “Happy Birthday, Eddie.”

Barely audible, you whispered back, “thanks, mommy.”

“I love you,” I added.

“I love you better than the wide world,” you managed.

“Oh. I love YOU better than the wide world too.”

And then you fell into the steady breathing of a boy who had loads of excitement and sugar.  Of a little boy who just turned four and feels so big.

I lay there even though I knew I could get up. I replayed your birth day in my head.  I let the tears wet the pillow under my face.  I apologized to you again for being so sick your first year of life.

And I thanked you for being the little buddy I never knew I needed.  For being so smart and funny and silly and witty.  For being strong-willed and bossy and whiney and emotional.  For being so much like me.

I don’t know if you will remember any of these events, but my heart will remember them always.  And my prayer is that even though the actual events may fade from your mind, they feeling of being so loved by so many will always be there with you.

Because so many people love you, but I?  I love you most of all.

More than the wide world.

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Love,

Mommy

Love Bird

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I was mistaken when I thought Eddie was a cuddly child.

He doesn’t really like to cuddle.  He likes closeness.  He doesn’t like to be alone.

As a baby he liked be rocked (every night), but what he wanted was someone there with him, even just sitting in the rocker while he fell asleep in his bed.  At almost four-years-old he is still this way.  After we read books, he just wants one of us to lay by him.  It’s how he feels safe.

I only realized the difference between needing closeness and being a cuddler because of Charlie.

Charlie has never been needy like Eddie.  I don’t mean needy in a bad way, but Eddie does need us–to lay by him, to sit by him, to go downstairs with him, to color with him–more than Charlie does.  Eddie will play by himself…as long as someone is in the room with him.

Charlie does his own thing.  He will play by himself, sit in a totally different room by himself, and when it’s bedtime all I have to say is “nigh nigh?” and he grabs his glow worm under his arm and trucks down to his nursery.  No fuss.  Hugs and kisses and down he goes.

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I missed out on a lot of the first year of Eddie’s life.  I was emotionally distant and, after I went back to work when he was 3 months old, physically distant.  I was sick and don’t remember much of his first year.  Charlie’s first year made that even more painfully obvious to me because I just couldn’t remember what Eddie was like at that age.

One thing I know is that while I rocked Eddie to sleep almost every single night, he didn’t really spend all that much time in my arms.  He and I cried together often and fell asleep in a pile in the chair out of sheer exhaustion, but not because we just couldn’t stop cuddling.

Charlie and I were inseparable during his first 6 months. I had 3 months of maternity leave followed by 3 months of summer break.  He slept easily and I wasn’t fiending to put him down. I let myself heal and relax.  And because my anxiety was under control, I was Ok to take him out in public with me.

I wore Charlie wherever we went.  If we weren’t at home with him sleeping next to me or on me, we were out and about with him sleeping in the Moby.

And now?  Eddie needs us to be there and Charlie does not.

Except…

Charlie is our Love Bird.

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He gives kisses.  Seriously, they are so sweet I die a little bit.  He leans in and says “mmmmmmmuah!” and lays an open-mouth wet one on your mouth, nose, chin, eye…wherever that sloppy mouth lands.

Eddie never did that.  He is just starting to give us kisses now. I think it’s because Charlie does it.  I’m not kidding.

Charlie gives random hugs.  He will barrel over and just fling his arms around us and then truck off like it ain’t no thang.

Charlie wants to sit on a lap. All the time.  If you are on the floor, your lap is his seat.  He just sort of comes over, turns around, and backs up until his behind is on you.  If you don’t make room for him, he will wiggle around on you until you do.

He will crawl up on the couch or chair and mountain goat his way all over me until he can get himself nuzzled in and then lean back like I’m his recliner.

He will find the one little cranny in Cort’s arms and wiggle his way in and just chill.

He will hold my hand just to hold it.

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And he will press his face to my face or his head to my nose…like he knows I love to take in the sweet smell of lavender in his hair.

He will softly repeat “ma ma ma ma” while he lays his face on my shoulder.

Both of my boys are love bugs, but Charlie is our cuddle monster.

It never ceases to amaze me how they can be so similar and so different at the same time both in big and small ways.

Most people would say that both of my boys are cuddlers, but Cort and I know there is a difference ever so slight. While Eddie drifts to sleep to the slow breathing of a parent next to him, Charlie thrives on morning hugs and kisses.  While Eddie feels safe with a parent in the room, Charlie recharges on lap-sitting and Eskimo kisses.

It’s even hard to describe here.

Both of my boys have their hearts on their sleeves: they both love to give and get love from us and from each other.  Their love languages are just a bit different.

Each perfectly theirs.

Do You Want to Play Basketball?

“You guys wanna play basketball with me?”

He stood on the very edge of our lawn in his shorts and hoodie holding a small basketball.

The other bigger kids continued to chase each other and play.  One kid lingered on the edge of their lawn near to where Eddie was standing.

“Hey! Do you guys want to play basketball with me?!?” He asked louder.

Even though the one kid was hanging near, he still managed to effectively ignore my little guy.

Eddie looked down at his Little Tikes basketball. I couldn’t see his face from my place by the kitchen window, but I could guess at the questions going through his mind. Why won’t they answer me?  Why wouldn’t they want to play with  me?

“HEY! WANT TO PLAY BASKETBALL WITH ME?!?!”

I called Cort to see.  Eddie was obeying the rules and staying in our yard.  He even kept checking his feet to make sure they were not over the line.  I could tell he was antsy to go run and play tag.

Earlier that day we had heard him yelling outside in the front yard, when we peeked out the window, he was yelling down the street, “HEY!  GUYS!  COME HERE!  I WANNA TALK TO YOU!” to the kids playing down the road.

We live on a dead end where the neighbor kids like to spend time digging holes for no other reason than to dig holes.  Eddie likes to watch them.  They also cut into the woods from the dead end and trek back to the field behind our house.  There’s a creek back there and they like to catch crayfish and frogs.  This particular afternoon, Digger Boy (the boy who digs the holes, and yes, this is the name Eddie refers to him as) and his brothers had a bucket of fish and frogs and they came into our yard to show Eddie and Cort.  Eddie thought it was just wonderful.

So for the rest of the day, when he saw neighbor kids, he wanted so badly to play with them.

They are all at least five years older than Eddie is, and have no interest in playing with a three-year-old.

But Eddie doesn’t understand this, and so he stands on the edge of the yard, doing his best to make friends without breaking the rules of leaving the yard.

“I’m going to put on shorts and go play basketball with him for a bit,” Cort tells me as he rubs my back.  I have been watching him with tears in my eyes for a couple minutes.

“Thank you,” I tell him before I call out the window to Eddie asking him if Daddy can play with him.

“Daddy?  He wants to play basketball?  Yay!  I want to play too!”

As I got Charlie’s jammies on I heard lots of giggling and chasing going on around the house before Cort and Eddie burst in all smiles and exhaustion.

Eddie is so bold and makes friends so easily.  He is so much braver than I was at that age.  I am so proud when I see him feeling comfortable talking to other kids, but I feel those old fears of rejection that I clung too tightly to as a child.

Luckily for me, Cort reads my worry and nerves and jumps in before Eddie’s feelings can be hurt.

Besides, I think Eddie prefers to hang with his Dad rather than some dumb neighbor kids any day.

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Cort and Eddie build a fence.

a bit wordless

I am with them every day, yet…

I did NOT see all this growing up they have been doing this summer.

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I wrote the last in my series about school choices over at Borderless News and Views: Getting Schooled: Part V: Public Schools

I am also at Baby Gizmo today with an article about taking small kids to the beach: How NOT to be Beach Bummed

There is a GIVEAWAY for a $50 credit to minted.com over on the Giveaway Page!

my generation?

I have a wandering minstrel in my first hour.

For the past two years, I have watched this kid walk the halls between classes with his guitar strumming made-up tunes, current tunes, and riffs from my own teenage years.

This fall he wandered into my class and sat in the front row.

He is a junior who was born the same year I was a junior in high school….1995.

We talk music a lot because he enjoys the bands from my teen years.  For awhile he and his friends would jam out some Weezer tunes in the hall after school.  They congregated quite a crowd.*

He (and quite a few others at this point) and I discuss concerts since they are at the age that I was when I started my mad concert-going years.  We talk about who is coming to our city and how I can’t go because I am all pregnant and tired and responsibly an adult now.  And then I hope they go so they can report back.

Today he asked me how the band Bush was when I saw them in concert.

In 1996.

Most kids in my first hour were only barely a year old when I was at that concert.  Bush with openers Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt.  And yes, that was when the Gavin and Gwen romance began.  I went to the show on that fated tour.

At the end of the hour, he proceeded to play “Glycerine” for a group of students and I couldn’t help sing along as I entered in my attendance and other busy work things I have to do before the end of each hour.

That is when I realized the students were listening to something recorded before they were born.

I am almost 34 years old.

All these years I have been waiting to turn into an adult…waiting for that feeling of being a grown-up.

But I just feel like….me.

I am waiting to forget what it’s like to be a teenager…to lose my understanding of the angst of being 17.  The way it seemed to me that adults forgot their teenage years when I was 17.

But I don’t forget.

Each feeling from my childhood…of being scared or nervous or anxious…come back to me when I see Eddie.

Each confused and hurt and joyous experience from my teen years come back to me when I talk with students.

I can’t forget.

I married someone who was with me through my teenage years.  Who I grew up with.  Who I spent countless hours discussing bands and movies and life with.

I don’t feel like I have changed.

But I know I have.

I worry about budgets and cleaning.

I get excited about carpet being installed.

I have babies and degrees and a professional career.

I remember on my wedding day giggling with my best friend about how “grown up” getting married was and how I couldn’t believe I was actually going to do it.

I was 27.

The first time I became pregnant I was embarrassed to tell my dad because he would know what I did to get that way.

I was married and 28.

Today Cort told me that Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit was on a radio show we both listen to talking about how it has been 17 years since their first album dropped.

I remember it.

I was at their very first shows in tiny little po-dunk bars wondering who this crazy awesome band was that was covering George Michael’s “Faith”…in heavy metal.

I remember being pushed to the front and wondering…will this always be awesome?  When do adults suddenly look down on this and forbid it?

When will I be one of those parents who just don’t understand?**

This morning it hit me that I am an adult.

I know that seems weird, but I think today was the day that it finally hit.

I teach high school.

Every year the kids are 15-18 years old.

But I don’t stay the same age.

I am not 25 anymore like I was when I started.

I am not saying I feel 25 or 17 anymore.  Goodness no.

But I don’t feel like I have morphed into the way I always thought adulthood would be either.

Today I realized I am an adult.

Because of a 17 year old wandering minstrel.

People try to put us d-down
Just because we g-g-get around
Things they do look awful c-c-cold 
Yeah, I hope I die before I get old 

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby ***

 

*a million points to the reader who knows what song I lifted that line from.  And no, Cort, you cannot play.  I know you know.

**this line?  anyone?  Come on…it’s an easy one!

***If you don’t get this one we can’t be friends anymore.

in my heart

Being a mother was supposed to be natural and easy.

but it wasn’t for me

Being a mother was supposed to be pure joy.

But it hasn’t been for me.

Being a mother was supposed to be what I was made for.

But it’s been difficult for me.

Being a mother was supposed to “make me understand” what my mom said all those times when she was worried or happy or proud or scared or just overwhelmed.

And it has.

Being a mother has made me believe in things I thought only happened to other people…

love at first sight
getting lost in someone’s eyes
napping with someone in my space
being comfortable with someone in my personal bubble
wanting sick cuddles
seeing my exact personality in someone else
my heart leeping when I see these two smile together
filling with pride for something I “did” yet….didn’t do.
feeling a perfect and uncomplicated love
and being ok with sippys in the bed

I  now understand that simple line in the Christmas story that reads,

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19)

Being a mother has taught me what I already know:  time is so very temporary.

And I need to treasure each moment.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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Thank you to Cort and Eddie for making my Mother’s Day so special.
Tomorrow I will continue my blogging tips series, but I needed to share my heart today.

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With every “promise” (“like”) made at  their facebook page, Johnson’s will donate $1 to the March of Dimes.
Johnson’s will host a series of photo contests on its Facebook page beginning in May. Selected monthly winners will receive one of a variety of prizes and be eligible for the $25,000 Grand Prize, to be announced in January 2012.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson’s and received Johnson’s Baby products and a  promotional item and to facilitate my review.

wasting an afternoon

rivulets wind through the sand.

we dig deeper, create more channels.

the water melts the sand and creates a smooth lining for each meandering brook.

our small hands plunge into the dirty sand and wildly attempt to keep up with the cold water.

we build structures with that which was once an obstruction to a now-flowing branch.

the sand piles get higher and more intricate as we drizzle the wet mud to make spires and columns.

We begin smoothing the sand around the structures to create driveways and roads.

Leaves are picked and placed just so to represent landscaping.

As we work, the walls of our channels weaken from the constant flow of water and we need to pause in our city expansion to rebuild.

Basins and bays are created at the sides of the sandbox as the constant flow of water washes over the sand and floods against the wooden edge.

Twigs and leaves are sloshed along the rapids.

Slowly our massive structures give way to the lap of the water eating at their bases.

Our trucks and boats begin to wash over the sides of our play area.

We can’t contain the mess, so we begin to shove our masterpieces into gullies and smack the mud into the water.

The slapping of the mud spatters us with the carnage of our civilization and we laugh.

Our motives are finally questioned when a shout comes from the house to quit wasting water and clean-up.

We toss the hose from the sandbox and, leaving our swamp behind, rush to turn off that which birthed and destroyed an entire village in one afternoon.

This post was written in response to the picture below.

you said it, kid.

Dear Eddie,

I just put you down for your last nap of our spring break together, and I am sad about it.

No really, I am.

You might think I am a horrible mother for saying this, but I dreaded spring break.

Oh, I needed the break from work badly, but the idea of staying home alone with you every day and not having a break gave me so much anxiety.

When you were born, the two of us were home alone together for almost three months.

It did not go well.

Daddy got laid off when you were four months old and stayed home with you for 17 months.

The days or hours that you and I had alone together were few.  This semester we have had Monday and Wednesday evenings.  They are usually hit and miss in the “going well” department.

So like I said, with spring break approaching?  I was terrified of you.

And as I suspected, we started out sort of rocky, but as the break progressed?  Something happened.

We found a flow.

Mornings became our favorite time together (yes, mom, you read that correctly).

Between 7:00 and 8:00 am every day, I would slowly wake to your chatter in the other room.

Even though I wanted to stay sleeping, knowing that you would have a big smile was a bigger pull than my pillow.

As I could hear you counting, I would wake the house up by starting coffee, opening blinds, and finding Handy Manny on Disney.

By the time I was spitting my toothpaste into the sink you would be calling, “Daaaeeee”.  I would smirk knowing you forgot that it was not Daddy getting you up.

You would smile and point at all the items you had tossed from the crib.

You would chatter on about things only you knew as I turned off your nightlight and humidifier.

As the coffee percolated, you and I would mesh into each other on the couch for some Disney channel until you were ready to explore the world.

Sometime midweek, I taught you to finally say, “maaa maa!” although I had my doubts that you associated it with me and were not just mimicking what I was saying.

We had construction crews in and out this week.  We had playdates.  We had fun.

Our mornings were filled with books and trucks and Little People villages and trains.

And then this morning, after reading Where is the Green Sheep for the third time, I asked you “where is Eddie?”

You pointed at your chest and nodded while carefully pronouncing, “Eh-ee”.

I beamed with pride all the way from the tips of my toes, “That’s right!!!  And I love Eddie!  More than all the green sheep in the world!”

Then I cautiously asked, “And were is momma?”

You scrunched up that nose into your mischievous smile and pointed at me.

I was about to praise you for getting it right when you nodded with each syllable saying, “maa maa”.

Oh Eddie.

I couldn’t contain myself.

I grabbed you and hugged you so hard you said, “noooooo”.

So I tickled you instead.

We both shouted “MAA MAA, EH-EE!”" together over and over.

And fell over in a fit of ridiculous giggles.

I think Daddy is right.  You and I?  Are a lot alike.

That makes me happy.

Now I have a Goofball in Crime.

I love you to the moon and back.

With a drum on my head.

Love,

Maa Maa

taking it to the fence

The first time I stood up to a bully I was in the fifth grade.

I don’t remember what I was doing, but I do remember someone I didn’t know approaching me.

“Are you Chris R’s sister?”

“Yeah, why?”

“He needs you.  Someone is bullying him.”

That was all I needed to hear.  I turned to head straight for The Little Kid Playground.  I went over the invisible line between playgrounds risking…well…I have no idea what I was risking.  It was just understood that you didn’t cross into the other playground.

The bully had my brother backed up against a chain link fence and was taunting him with fat jokes.

My brother was a hefty little guy.

With adorable freckles.

With perfectly straight hair.

With the best smile in the world.

And this jerk was making him scared and attempting to make him feel bad about himself.

With his words.

I didn’t even stop to think.

I grabbed the bully, flung him against the fence, and with me face in his hissed, “NO BODY CALLS MY BROTHER FAT BUT ME!”

I gave him a couple good shoves and told him to never come near my brother again.

I don’t like violence, but I do feel compelled to stick up for the little guy.

Bullying is abhorrent to me.

Roughly 20 years later I was again standing up to bullies for the little guy, but this time the little guy was my nephew.  Chris’ son.

He was innocently playing in the McDonald’s play thing when a couple kids (who were way too big to be in the tunnels) blocked his way and started calling him a baby.

Again I stepped in and told those kids to grow up.  Then I marched over to their oblivious mothers and clued them in to what they were too busy to see.

Bullying is NOT ok.

And now I find myself in this world called Mommy Bloggers where we are all supposed to be adults.  We know the difference between right and wrong.

Or we should.

But there are still people out there…ADULTS…who feel the need to bully other adults.  Or try to.

And why?  To try to reinforce their own shaky beliefs?  To make themselves feel right because they lack the self-esteem to just believe in themselves?

It doesn’t matter.

I don’t tolerate it.  Not here.  Not in my space.

Yes, I am a Mommy Blogger.

Yes, I make choices that are not popular with everyone.

Yes, I make choices that are totally mainstream.

Because it’s my right to do so.

And it’s your right to disagree with me.  But not in a condensing, bullying manner.

Sluiter Nation is not a place for jerk-holes.

Bullying is NOT ok with me, and in real life, I will stand up to bullies against me or anyone else all day long.

Here?  I will not give platform to someone who is nothing but a troll.

Differing opinion is welcome.  Douche-baggery is not.

The blog world–specifically the MOMMY Blog world–is a community.  And a community needs each other for support…not to tear each other down.

Sluiter Nation will never be part of tearing anyone down…only lifting people up.

And being a support and voice when needed.  Just run over the line and come get me and I’ll be there for you.

Just ask my brother and my nephew.
BWS tips button

Reflections on 33

You may have noticed that my birthday is kind of special to me.

I love it.

And Cort always makes sure my birthday is special.

There were three birthdays in a row (29, 30, and 31) that I was pregnant.

When I turned 29, I was pregnant, but no one knew.  And it didn’t stay.

When I tured 30, I was pregnant again, and again no one knew.  We didn’t tell.  Cort made the day very special for me, even though I ended up losing the baby less than a month later.

When I turned 31, I was again pregnant.  This time, VERY pregnant with a little bun named Eddie.

Last year, when I turned 32, my wonderful husband and my best friend decided I deserved a huge celebration to make up for the past three birthdays of laying low. And last year Cort and my parents bought me the best gift ever.

This year there were no trips or expensive dinners.

There were no huge surprises or massively extravagant gifts.

This year was a year of friends, family, and my little boy bringing me a small gift.

I got to have dinner with my best friend, Erin and my wonderful husband.

I drank something called a “Flirtini”.  It had champagne in it.

I was able to have game night with friends who may as well be our family.  Who we consider our family.

this game? is so much awesome.

They jumped out and yelled surprise at us when we walked through their door.  Ben cooked one of the best dinners ever.  Trisha made the yummiest cuppie cakes.  Their boys played with my boy.

three candles because 33? is too many.

and we laughed…and we ate…but mostly we laughed.

Even if Ed wasn’t thrilled to go to bed there at first.

On my actual birthday…

I slept in.

I woke up to:

“Let’s go find Mommy.  No…wait…Ed…not yet!”  <insert paper ripping noise here>

<insert spazzing toddler here>

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY!!!

Two happy boys in PJs…

A venti starbucks latte…

An apple charm for my bracelet…

And a pile of snuggles and kisses and hugs.

I had dinner with my whole family around me:

Mom, Dad, Chris, Sarah, Jack, Henry, Mike, Ashley, Cort, and Eddie.

My favorite meal: Homemade chicken salad and blue berry muffins

The homemade ice cream cake I have ever year…

And a little bit of help from a little boy with my presents…

and with my candles…

I am pretty sure that 33 is going to be the best year ever.

Matching double digits.

Two Three’s.

33.

Lucky 33.

It’s going to be good.

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