Some new pics.

We love going to the park around the corner from our house. Simon likes to push the big boy swings.

Simon loves cousin Gunner, “gogg” he calls him. He reads Gunner a book.

Newest craze, attempting to crawl up the stairs- or standing next to the baby gate and yelling at mom to take it down.

Sometimes mom jumps with me on a big pile of couch cushions.

Letter to the boy

Dear Simon,

We made it. We’ve officially kept you alive for a year. Congratulations to us for managing to do it…and congratulations to you for putting up with us. Truth be told, you are much easier than I thought you would be, babywise. I imagine you’re saving all the angst for toddler and teenage years. That’s ok. I look forward to it.

You are walking. And every day you look less like a stumbling drunk and more like a toddler. (Though when you’re tired you still get a little clumsy and trip/stumble, etc.) Now that you’re walking and blabbing on Ma ma ma ma, Me me me me, Ga ga ga ga, Go go go go, Bah-beee, Wa wa…I asked your dad the other day, “Do you think he likes living with us?” which I suppose is an odd question. But you seem so much more like a person now- not a baby who we oooh and aaaahhh over, but a person we talk to, sing with and play with. You are a person, and your dad says it’s a lot like having a roommate who doesn’t pick up after himself or pay rent…but he’s joking. And plus, everyone knows that “that roommate” is always around because he’s the most fun of the bunch. You are definitely the most fun person in this house.

You love cars and balls. You love opening and closing doors and cabinets, without really getting into whatever’s inside. You just like to open, close. Open, close. You also like to bang on things to make noise. You LOVE your baby signing time DVD’s and watching “the babies” on the Baby Einstein DVD. We generally let you watch it in the morning on our days off. Otherwise the tv is off here and that’s the way it’s going to stay as long as we can help it. You don’t seem to need it- since we have lots of other stuff for you to get into. And now that you’re walking and reaching and eating real foods- you’re pretty content with little to no fuss.

I have to tell you something kiddo. I took 5 days off work to celebrate our birthdays and going back to work this week has been hard. I would venture to say that it has been harder than it was when I came back from maternity leave. On my breaks I look at pictures and video of you on my phone. I miss you when I’m not with you. You make everything fun. You are my excuse to be silly and my reason for smiling.

During this time off your Aunt Kim came to visit and she loves you so much. She convinced herself that your Mi mi mi mi was actually your attempt at saying Aunt Kimmy. I didn’t argue with her. One day we took you to the grocery store pretty early in the morning, and we held off your morning nap about 30 minutes longer than I normally do. While I ran around the store grabbing things, your Aunt Kim stayed by the cart just talking and singing to you. I would glance down the canned veggie aisle to make sure you were alright and for a minute it felt like I had two kids- like she was telling you secrets and you were having such a good time just being entertained by her. That made my heart feel good.

Something else I have to tell you: I’m turning what I’ve written so far on this blog into a book. It’s a long book, so it’s part of my birthday present to you. But I’m hoping, that you’ll be able to read it and think, “Wow my mom was crazy..” or more importantly, “Wow my mom was crazy about ME..” someday. And as I copy and paste and arrange pictures into a book that will outline our first nearly-two years together (10 months on the inside and 12 on the outside of me)…I realize that I was pretty unhappy before you came into my life. I had no idea I was unhappy. I just knew what I knew, and knew that the way I’d been doing things was about to be disrupted. And being the selfish person that I am, I stewed in that negativity and frustration for a long long time. I remember being pregnant with you and wondering if you were going to come out pissed off because I spent so much time pissed off while I was pregnant. And I read about the things I was concerned about before you were born and think twice about letting you read it. What if you think I suck? What if you think I was selfish? What will you think about all of it?

And the truth is kiddo, I want you to know who I am. I want you to know me, flaws and all. And I’m not perfect, your dad’s not perfect, nobody’s perfect. And if anything, I want you to realize that growing up never really ends, not even at 30, 31, or heck even 50. You may grow up into a big body that can do big boy and man-ly things, but you never stop growing and changing in your heart and mind. And it’s never too late to change your attitude or lifestyle. Never.

I want you to know that you have profoundly changed me in a way that I had no idea existed. You have increased my capacity for love, made me softer, made me love harder, faster and stronger than ever before. Your presence in my life has given me a new lense through which to view things: things I hate, things I love, things I have never considered before. I will continue to thank you, everyday, for coming into my life. And I thank God and the Universe, and their hilarious sense of humor when I think about how I lived and loved before I had you. I had no idea. No idea.

You are my best days, my best friend. You are the physical expression of the love I feel for your Dad and that in and of itself is enough to make me #1) cry…and #2) seriously contemplate giving you a brother or sister. Haha. I hope you get to know love like I have for you. And I hope you get to know the love I have for your dad. It is the best best best part of life, honey. Making your family bigger.

So if you’re reading this, and maybe you’re a teenager…don’t cuss as much as I do in public or around other people. It’s pretty rude. Your grandpa is disgusted by cuss words and I know he’s always disappointed when I write or say them. And if you’re reading this and wondering what YOU’RE doing now (in 2010) as I write- you’re sleeping. You’re sleeping in your crib with your three blankies in your diaper. And I try to only go in and peek at you 3 times a night. You are so precious when you sleep.

And please know, PLEASE KNOW…that my life, as full as it was before having you, was not nearly complete until 8/4/2009. You came into my life and knocked me over with love. I am still overwhelmed by the fact that I get to experience each new day with you. They tell you, everyone tells you: Time flies after a baby. You’ll never understand this kind of love until you have a baby. Let them be little. Don’t rush.

All of those things are true. I hate to repeat it but they are.

I will forever be amazed by you and proud to be your mom. Forever. I hope I can be as good to you as you have been to me. I hope you always know how much I appreciate you. I hope you can forgive me for mistakes I’ve made, and the ones I’ll surely make in the future. Just know that I love you, your dad loves you- and we tell you a million times a day, but just try to remember it always. You are the BEST thing that could have ever EVER happened to us. Whoever is up there running things, knows what He/She is doing. You are the reason I’m on this earth.

I love you so so much big boy.

Mom