Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Letter to Evan

(written 1-17-2017)

Today is a day of lasts. It's the last full day that Evan will be an only child, the last full day I'll feel Noah kicking and rolling inside of me, the last full day of this season of life. It's funny - totally true what they say about 2nd time parents. There is so much less stress with the logistics of bringing a newborn home. Ed and I both remember pretty well what it was like with Evan and (perhaps unwisely) don't feel too worried about that. The bigger concern is just how this transition will go, especially for Evan.

But, we feel ready. This pregnancy has been so hard, between being in pain so much of the time and the fact that I haven't been able to be active for almost 5 months, I actually feel like I'll be able to be more available with Evan once I heal from the delivery than I've been able to be lately. We can do family hikes again, I can take him places by myself for adventures, we can just be a family again, the way we used to, just with another very special person.

Still, I'm anxious. Mostly about having this c-section, and whether I'm making the right choice. My biggest worry is just making Noah come out before he's ready. I keep reassuring myself that Evan was born at 38.5, and Noah will be born at 39.2, so I should feel okay, but I just want to make sure he has enough time to finish growing. That said, if he's anything like his brother, size won't be an issue :). Somehow, I don't think he'll quite hit the 9lb13oz of Evan, but I think he'll still be plenty big. And the primary reason I'm having the c-section is because it seems like the healthiest/safest way for both Noah and me. So I'll just keep reminding myself of that!

I've been pretty spotty with the blog this time around, but I still want to have these kinds of records for the future to look back on, so here is a letter to Evan on the eve of our big day.

First, to my "Big Brother" Evan,

My sweet, amazing first born son. From the very beginning, you have been the perfect fit in our lives. Your dad and I always knew that you would be amazing, and you have continued to make us smile with joy and surprise us since your very first day. Each month, we would turn and say to each other, "wow....this is the best age yet!" and that feeling just keeps happening.

Right now, you are so much fun and growing up so fast. You love to sing - you sing or hum while you play, either made up songs or nursery rhymes from school, and you love to have us sing with you. During the holidays, "Jingle Bells" was your favorite, and you would put a ring of bells on your wrist and run around singing it. You love to have us sing parts too, and say "yay" and clap for yourself when you finish a particularly good song.

Trains are the love of your life. You started liking them about a year ago, but they have turned into a passion/obsession the last 6 months. We started letting you watch some screen time, and you have been in love with videos of live action steam trains and model trains. You are learning so much - all the different names of the cars, your favorite "double headers," The different jobs on the train, etc. One of your favorite books is a 70+ page one called Locomotive that is about the transcontinental railroad. For Christmas, Santa brought you a huge train table, and you love having that, plus multiple train tracks that you build on the floor, and even a train set made of duplo lego blocks.

It has been amazing to see your development with play. You have started being able to pretend now, and are so great at playing independently. My favorite new development is your love of building with blocks. The duplos were my favorite toy as a child, and making new creations with you makes me so happy. I hope you continue to feel the same love of building and creating that I had. You also love putting together puzzles, especially your Thomas the Train one. You are so methodical about it - "I will do the cowcatcher first, then the cab, etc." You use logic to help you and are so proud of yourself when you get a piece in the right place.

Your room has officially transformed into a big boy room. You started sleeping in a twin bed back in the spring, in a hope to help you sleep better, and it has been a great choice. We finally got rid of the rocking chair in your room, now that we can do stories together in your bed, and you have shelves next to your bed that let you control your light and your sound machine. You finally have a good bedtime routine that your dad and I really enjoy. We say "love you to the moon and back" and "see you when the sun comes up" as we say goodnight. You are such a better sleeper - you only need a quick morning snack around 5 maybe 1-2 nights a week and otherwise more or less sleep through the night. Sometimes you do come in to our room early and like to cuddle with your daddy, but having you finally wake up happy is something we've been waiting for for years and has been such a blessing.

We have also been so fortunate with your eating. From the beginning, you have loved your fruits and vegetables and have been such a happy, healthy eater. The biggest change (and what I think has really helped with your sleeping) is that you are finally so much more willing to eat proteins/meats. It happened right after you finished getting all your molars in, so I think it may have just been too hard for you to chew them before. But now you eat so much more, and such more filling foods, especially at dinner. People are always impressed by how you eat the same foods as us. You love sauces, especially balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, just like me.

The other big accomplishment lately is that you are (mostly) potty trained! Given our troubles with sleep, it has been such a gift that this was an almost seamless transition. I expected it to be so challenging, given everything I read, but you were more than ready, with all the practice you had been doing as school. We had one weekend without pants, and you had maybe 4 or 5 accidents those first 3 days, and have been fantastic after that. Now, a month later, our biggest struggle is that you are wanting to be night trained, too, and wake up to use the potty, but still want our help. But, I am so proud of you for being such a big boy and I know we'll get there!

You are so excited about becoming a big brother. You love talking about Baby Noah and how you will share with him and help take care of him. Your dad and I have talked to you so much about how much we love you and how that will never change. We know you will be a wonderful big brother and you and Noah will have such a special relationship. You have been able to soak in so much great Daddy time since I haven't been able to be as active, and I am looking forward to being home from work and getting to spend more time with you, too.

No matter what, I hope you always feel that you and your brother are equally loved and valued in our family. And that you both bring a specialness to this family that is uniquely your own. I love every part of you, the happy fun parts and the parts that can feel hard sometimes. They are all you, which means they are something to celebrate. I am so looking forward to seeing you enter into your new role as brother - I know it is one in which you will thrive.

You are my sweet, amazing, wonderful Evan and I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

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