Wednesday, December 19, 2012

D is 7!

 This was a big year for you buddy! You lost so many teeth, I lost track and there were rumors the Tooth Fairy applied for a loan. You started 1st grade without a hitch and became a reading machine. Hockey has become your most absolute favorite thing to do and we have all loved watching you skate. And you conquered some real fears - heights by climbing the rock wall and sliding down the fire pole - and going under water in the pool. Drew, we couldn't be more proud of you!
 If I had to describe you in just a few words, I could simply say, "Good kid." Actually, more like the best kid. You follow rules and do as you are asked (although sometimes it takes a while you dawdler!). You genuinely care about others and wouldn't hurt a fly. You have the patience of a Saint, especially when it comes to your brothers and sister.

And, just get it. You get that your brothers are smaller and you share, and bend rules, and encourage them. You stay away from the fresh, wild boys at school and avoid trouble. You want to help and go out of your way to make your special people feel special.

There are a million reasons to love you and I appreciate every one. I feel honored to know you and lucky to be your mom. Im so proud of you, pal.

Happy Birthday! Love Mom

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Girl at 7

Every year in December I smile when I hear Mariah Carey sing "All I Want for Christmas." I think of sitting in a NICU 7 years ago holding a tiny bundle named Ella. I sang this song softly in your ear because all I wanted for Christmas was you home, away from IVs, monitors and tests. I got my Christmas wish that year. 

But this year is a little different. I can't listen to the song without tearing up. Maybe Im a little more emotional this Holiday. But I think it is because it suddenly hit me that there was a chance you wouldn't have made it to 7. There was a blood transfusion and talks of internal bleeding. Cat scans of your brain and a follow up blood draw every month at a Hematologist. And now it is hitting me, because now I know how utterly awesome you are...back then I didn't even have a clue about the little girl you would become. 
What would I do without you? You wear your heart on your sleeve, my love. When it is time to leave your cousins, you cry heart wrenching, body shaking sobs. Your feelings are amazingly intense - sometimes so much so that I worry. But most of the time, you are simply a spitfire. You are quick with comments and jokes. You pick up on everything that is going on and usually have an opinion. You call me out in my own moments of weakness and challenge me in ways I didn't know possible. And I love you for it all.

You love all things animals, especially dogs. I love to watch your tiny body do gymnastics. And you are fiercely competitive on the soccer field. You are the best big sister Colby could ask for. You tell him stories at night and love him with unconditional acceptance. You hate to be late and organize your gear well in advance. You love to collect and hoard little baubles and trinkets - even Daddy's wedding ring! You could sit at the counter and do school work or draw or write all day.

You are awesome and you are mine and I am so grateful.

I love you Bella Boo. xo Mom

Sunday, December 9, 2012

T-Bone at 5

 Tonight I was talking about the day you were born. I told you how you came a week early and surprised us all. How Nonnie was already on the train and Ella and Drew were both still in cribs. You smiled and laughed. Then, "Mom, do you know the rest of the story?"

Ty, I could tell your story for days.
 Your story is about a little guy two years younger, who can certainly keep up. You always have. I have to tell you, though, you give us all a hard time. Your standard answer to most questions is more of a grunt and it takes about 20 requests before you even budge. We are working on it and I see you growing out if it little by little.

But when you are happy? Oh, Ty, it is the best. Your feet never hit the ground and you talk so fast you stutter. Your laugh is contagious and your hugs are so genuine as your little arms squeeze my neck so tight. You love to run, jump and go. You love a good project and will smile as you help. You get nervous at the most surprising times, just often enough to remind me that you are still a little boy.

Your story is about dancing. You dance on the hockey rink, in stores and in the car. You aren't shy or embarassed and your robotic moves are hysterical. I love the way your head bobs to the beat with your hockey helmet on.

Your story is about being a brother. You play the middle position well. Sometimes a nudge to the older and younger, but often so sweet and caring to both.

I can't wait for more of your story Ty, especially since it is one of the best parts of my own. You make me so proud.

I love you, Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


 Mike, his sister Melissa, and I took the kids across the river to visit the 9/11 Memorial. I wondered if they would be too young, but took a chance. By the time we got into the Memorial we had talked a little bit about what had happened on that day. We pointed out the building that Uncle Joe and Aunt Michelle were in. We talked about how the Ferry we took was the only way home for so many people. I wasn't sure what the kids were taking in, but at some point I realized that it was good for me to remember, regardless of what they learned.
 We walked past the fence into the Memorial and the kids hushed. I don't know if it was in sheer amazement at the giant waterfalls, or if they simply absorbed the reverent feeling of the space. We walked around one footprint, found a bench and sat. They asked great questions, "Didn't the bad guys die too? That was a dumb decision!" And they started to empathize, "Everyone must have been so scared because they didn't know what was happening."

It was a good start to understanding such an important day of our country's history. And it ended with a picture of the future and a reminder to never take a day for granted.