Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Preston's 1st Birthday Party: Rookie of the Year

As soon as I decided on a baseball theme for Preston's 1st Birthday Party, I knew I wanted to go all out when it came to adhering to the theme.   I used all the baseball lingo that I could come up with for the invitation and encouraged everyone to wear baseball jerseys to support their favorite teams.  Of course, we were all sportin' our Chicago Cubs gear at the Kalins House.  It was so much planning this party for my little Rookie of the Year.  Preston finished his "rookie year" with a bang by starting to walk.  He spent most of his party toddling around and trying to body slam all the older kids!   
 My nod to the Wrigley Field sign
 Auntie Lo made her signature cake balls & chocolate covered pretzels that we called - Bats & Balls.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

12 months of Preston Bradley

A little walk down memory lane of the monthly photos...

He literally ate the 12 month sticker so this is what we got for his 12 month photo. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Letter to Preston on your 1st Birthday

Dear Preston,

How did this happen?  How did we get here already?  I can't believe you are 1.  It feels like just yesterday that I found that you were going to be a boy and yet here we are at your 1st birthday.  I should have known by the way you made your entrance into the world - full of drama...requiring "all hands on deck" in the delivery room...giving your mama a scare or 2 or 3 or 4 - that you would be a handful.  I'll never forget it when you came out how my doctor said, "Oh my god!  He's huge!"  It wasn't just that big beautiful bald head.  It was that big boy body attached to it that had everyone saying, "Wow!"  The neonatologist said when he was checking out, "Hey buddy, you are going to walk home!" Early on, you were my Bubbas...my juicy man.  Even when you were so little, you still seemed so big.  My big baby boy. 


From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, I would talk to you and tell you to "Hold on tight and let mommy take care of you." You obviously listened because you do just that.  You hold on to me in every setting or scenario.  In the wee hours of the morning when you are snuggled up next to me, you hold on tight to my tank top straps or t-shirt.  When you are nursing, you hold on to my side or my chest to make sure that I don't go anywhere.  I've mentioned it before, but I love looking down and seeing those big starfish-like fingers holding me.  As I sit here now writing this letter to you, I'm holding you in my arms and you've got a tight grip on my shirt all while taking a nap.  I'm also creepily smelling the top of your head too.  Ah, that baby smell.  Most days you smell like peaches & pasta so I'm going to cherish this fleeting moment.  It's probably an understatement to say you are a mama's boy but it's true. You reach out with your chubby arms and widespread fingers from way across a room whenever our eyes meet. It's like you think if you reach hard enough that you will be able to magically move me closer to you like some Jedi mind trick.  I wish I could say that I'm exaggerating but it's true. Who knows how things will play out over the next few years but for right now, I'll gladly be your everything. 


Every thing that people say about being more relaxed and what not with your second child is true.  When it came to nursing this time around, it was like night & day.  I knew what I was doing and what I needed to be successful.  I was actually able to enjoy that connection with you from the start.  Because I knew you were my last baby, I bent the rules. All the rules that I developed with Eloise around pacifier use, sleep training, eating, and schedules etc were up for grabs at times.  Around 4 months old, you had your first ear ache of many and that is when my perfect sleeper went away and we started the routine of bringing you in our bed.  You struggled for 6 months with ear ache after ear ache and teething as the cheery on top that by the time your ear tube surgery came around, I had forgotten what it felt like to not have you next to me.  Now when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning, I still just come and get you. Even if I'm annoyed or frustrated in that 20 second walk down the hall to your room, I still give you kisses as we walk back to my room. Trust me, I want you to sleep in your own bed all night long, but I do love to snuggle you closely in those moments.  We will get to that place again where you are sleeping better one of these days.  I feel like we were always doing things a little bit sooner with you than we did with Eloise.  With Eloise, I would read and research.  With you, I just do what feels right.  I gave you a chocolate chip cookie the other day and laughed out loud right afterwards.  If 2013 Mama would have seen that, she would have smacked that cookie out of your hand!  Don't get too excited - it was an in the moment type of decision. 


By far, the best thing about this year has been seeing the love between you and Eloise. From the moment she met you, she loved you. She's always been so sweet and tender with you. Right now, there are 3 moments in my life that I will never forget - when I held Eloise the first time, when I held you the first time & the moment Eloise walked into my hospital room to meet you. It was as if she grew 5 years older overnight. She had the sweetest smile on her face and came right over to my bed to meet you. During those first few weeks, she would talk to you in her "baby brother" voice which was sweet, soft and sing-songy. Eloise quickly became like the sun to you. You couldn't keep your eyes off of her.  Even now, you follow her around regardless of what she is doing. No matter how many toys we put in front of you, you always seem to gravitate toward Eloise's toys - especially those Ponies! Eloise asks me all the time, "Mommy, can I give Preston a kiss & a hug?" She loves you so. I can't wait to see what you call her or how you will say her name once you start talking. 


I chose this poem to wrap my letter to you because the line, "you are my wild," couldn't be more fitting.  You are my monkey man that climbs on everything, eats everything that is put in front of you, and sticks his feet in my face/mouth/eyes when nursing.  You crawl with lightning speed and climb up the stairs just to prove you can. As much as you are the move, you also make me stop & be still. I pride myself on making lists & crossing things off those lists. With Eloise, I could and actually still can count on her to take a solid nap that would allow me to tackle my To Do list. Not you, Bubbas. You have never napped in your crib despite the fact that you do it daily at school with no complaints. So, on the weekends, I hold you or lay with you for sometimes 2.5 hours. During theses many hours, I have done a lot of things while holding you - Pinterest searches, reading, watch TV, edit photos, online shop etc.  But sometimes I just close my eyes, kiss that spot between your 2 eyebrows and smell the top of your head.  

Everyone told me that boys are a whole different ball game and I agree. Not sure if I aced everything so far when it comes to being a boy mom but I have loved every minute of the last year and I will miss these baby days sooner than later. 

Happy 1st Birthday to my...

Bubba Chubbas
Monkey Man 
Ju Ju Monkey 
Prestie Bestie 

Love you forever & always,