I've done a terrible job of keeping up with this blog but I can fill you in on the last few months pretty quickly - this pregnancy has totally sucked, my family is a mess, my Grandma is dying of cancer, and my husband is awesome but there are still times where I have felt totally and utterly alone in this journey. I think I've cried every single day of this entire pregnancy. However, I don't really want to dwell on these things too much, I'd rather focus on something positive. And while he is too young to remember this time and will probably never know the difference, I feel like Ryder has gotten a little lost in the shuffle of all this nonsense. He is my ray of sunshine, my heart walking around outside my body, my little miracle, my pride and joy, and whatever other mommy analogy/cliche you want to use. I have never loved another being as much as I love him or with the same intensity. I look at his perfect little face and think every day how lucky I am to be his mommy and just how amazing it is to create new life.
His first year of life was tough. I understand this to be true for pretty much all first time mommies but with all of the health issues we had from his early bought with RSV it was tougher than most (although I am thankful every single day that he is a healthy boy who got sick, not a sickly baby from the start). The sleepless nights were compounded by months of around the clock breathing treatments and multiple ear infections. Throw in the awful day when he was hospitalized for dehydration and sprinkle in some other colds, infections, etc. and he was sick pretty much constantly. Add in a job that has stupid crazy hours and throw in a husband who works nights and it is amazing I remember anything from those first 12 months. (Shout out to the grandmas who helped out more than I will ever be able to repay)
But something happened when he turned 1 - it was like a switch was thrown and life instantly became easier. Not that the health stuff didn't continue but it was everything else that got so much simpler. No more bottles. He could eat what we were eating for the most part. He started walking. He started being able to communicate with us. We could leave the house with a little diaper caddy instead of an entire luggage set and 3-5 pieces of baby gear. Daycare got cheaper. Not all at once but quickly enough that by the time he was 15 months or so I was loving life. I also had a lot of time off last summer so I got to spend a lot more time with him during waking hours and I fell more and more in love with him then I ever thought was possible.
That first year has some amazing milestones. First tooth, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, first steps, eating solids, waving, clapping, smiling, first words. But this second year has been full of so much more and I've so enjoyed it, more than I ever thought possible. Watching his little brain work to make sense of the world, observing his problem solving skills, hearing his vocabulary develop and those first sentences where he is actually a thinking, talking little person who isn't just repeating the things you say... I could go on and on. I feel like every day I learn something from this little man and I see the world in a whole new way.
Now, I'm sure every parent suffers from the same biased perspective that their child is a genius, is very advanced, is the most amazing and hilarious and smart and cute child that ever existed. And I am no different. And I want to capture the amazing and hilarious and smart and cute things that he does right now, I never want to forget them. And knowing that any day now our family dynamic is about to be rocked I am terrified of missing out on more amazing and hilarious and smart and cute things. So I want to try to hold on to some of them here so that one day when I am sleep deprived, in desperate need of a shower and ready to tear my hair out because I have 2 boys in diapers, I can look back and remember just how special this time is right now.
Things I absolutely love about RPM as he turns 2:
- the way he says Mommy and Daddy, like we are the most important people in his world and he loves us totally and unconditionally
- he is a little bossy butt, always bossing around our kitty, his friends, even Mommy & Daddy when he can get away with it
- the way he only needs to be shown something once to remember it or to make connections
- the way he can legit count to 5 on his own and how he counts to 10 by 2s
- the way he loves music and singing and will beg for songs over and over, the way his little face looks when he is singing a song he likes and how cute he is doing any applicable hand motions (Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider, I Am A Fine Musician, and If You're Happy and You Know it are current favorites)
- the way he is obsessed with animals and the sounds they make, especially cows and lions. He has also mastered snorting like a pig after months of trying
- the way he uses his imagination when he plays
- how he is OCD about everything which also means he is a great helper when it comes to cleaning up
- how much he loves his grandparents and GGs
- how he still uses my hair as his security blanket when we cuddle before bedtime
- how much he LOVES books and reading, we read a lot throughout the day and at bedtime but now I can hear him reading his favorite books to himself from the backseat of the car (favorites are Goodnight Gorilla, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Moo Baa La La, Go Dog Go, Hop on Pop)
- how he asks for his favorite foods with an emphatic "PLEEZE" and a head nod. Actually, add in all the ways he has good manners - please, thank you, no thank you and excuse me
- the spontaneous "Wuv You"s
- the way he marches around with a purpose but will always stop to notice something new and wonderful in the world
- the way we say goodbye to everything as a way to cope with leaving something/somewhere fun
- his obsession with construction vehicles, all of which are "tractors" but vary by color; if there is a tractor to be seen anywhere around us this kid will find it
- the way he knows all of his colors and likes to point out the different colored cars and tractors when we drive
- the way he already loves hockey and loves to cheer "go Bolts!" no matter who is playing
- the way he is fearless and only wants to do whatever the big kids are doing, especially at a park or playground. Screw the baby stuff
- his giggle and his belly laugh
- his willingness to try new foods but his stubbornness when it comes to his favorites
- his spontaneous bear hugs
- how he loves to wrestle and tackle and play rough with Daddy
- his snuggles at night and requests to "rock Mommy, rock" in our rocking chair before bed every night
- his smile