On the other side of 3 is 4

It was 8:28am four years ago today that I saw my little boy for the first time. I didn’t get to hold him right away, but it wasn’t long before they sewed me up and brought him to me in the recovery room. It was such a surreal and amazing moment to hold him for the first time. This beautiful child I’d dreamed about for so long.

We’ve come a long way over the last four years. Even in the last six months, the changes in Brandon are overwhelming when I think about how he’s evolved. It’s a good kind of overwhelming. He makes me proud to be his mother.

You see, last August, we started the process of getting him assessed through First Words. I’ve been hesitant to mention it. We didn’t (and still don’t) know the extent of help Brandon needs. But he has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few months and I don’t have the same fears that kept me from being open about this period of our lives initially.

The changes I’ve seen in him make the celebration of Brandon’s birthday this year more poignant than the previous three years. 

He’s gone from wanting us to do everything for him to insisting on “helping” or doing things for himself. There are times it’s a fight to get him to let us do things that we know he can’t or shouldn’t do. (I draw the line at letting him cut his own bagels with the bread knife.)

This time last year, I was beating myself up for not having him potty trained. I didn’t know what to do to get him interested.But his interest grew in his own time. Today I can tell you that - except for naps at home on the weekend (because they’re longer than at daycare) - he’s in underwear full time and has been accident free for almost two weeks. This major achievement seems to have given him a newfound confidence in his abilities in many other areas as well. 

His vocabulary grows daily. There is no doubt in my mind that my child is very intelligent. Communication is the challenge. We’ll learn to do what is needed to help him. That’s a fact and a promise to him.

Some things haven’t changed.

Brandon continues to be an exceedingly stubborn child. As frustrating as this trait can be at times, I know that he will benefit from it later in life. Ideally, I’ll be able to train him to be selectively stubborn so that he doesn’t drive the people in his life crazy as an adult. Have I mentioned that he takes after his father in his stubbornness? With a dose of his mother tossed in. It’s a totally unfair genetic consequence we didn’t anticipate at all!

He is a truly affectionate child, freely bestowing hugs and kisses on us and always up for a cuddle.

His desire to have fun and be funny gives us constant amusement. He ASKS to be tickled! He likes to laugh that much.

The perfect pair for Brandon’s cake. :)He is a geek-in-training, with a keen interest in the iDevices that run rampant in our home. He’s also become a huge fan of Super Mario Galaxy 2, though I can’t convince him that the levels with Bowser are not actually fun. He thinks they are because HE’S not the one who has to try to win them. ;) One day, he’ll learn. For now, I’ve ordered him a cake that has Mario and Yoshi on it. I can’t wait to show it to him!

The past year has been so full that I decided he needs to be celebrated in a special way. So, he’s going to have his first-ever birthday party with friends this weekend. He’s very excited and when he sees the trampoline we’re going to set up this week, he’s going to be over the moon. (And that isn’t even a birthday present!)

We have another big year ahead of us with school starting in September and I’m looking forward to watching him grow, learn and discover all the new and interesting things he’ll get to explore. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet little man! May you always be enthusiastic in the things you love to do.

A birthday like no other - I feel really special

I woke up this morning when my son started to get fussy in his room. His Thomas toy just wasn’t doing it for him anymore. And though he was awake, we weren’t really ready for him to come out of his room. Fortunately, we have a distraction that works incredibly well. Distraction, thy name is iPad - also affectionately known as Addy when Matt and I don’t want Brandon to know what we’re talking about.

I stumbled across the hall to deliver Addy under his bedroom door. As I turned away, I said good morning to Matt coming up the stairs. He was carrying a plate of food in his hand and I thought, “Wow - he’s really ahead this morning.” Except, the food wasn’t for Brandon - it was for me. He had a plate in one hand and my coffee in the other all set to deliver it to me in bed. (I’m not making this up - my husband is truly that awesome.)

I foiled his plan (sort of), but I climbed back in bed and ate my breakfast and drank my coffee knowing the day was going to be nice. 

Except it wasn’t. 

At some point - maybe around 6:45 - my friend, Lara, texted me and we got into a conversation that lasted pretty much the entire time I was getting ready. Towards the end, she asked if I had lunch plans. She was going to be downtown and wondered if I’d like to get together. I said yes and she proceeded to tweet it out to the world. And the world responded.

This cheesecake was delicious!I logged on to twitter later to see that our lunch date had grown - and it grew and grew to include 10 people and 4 children. We went to Spin Kitchen & Bar and were given the royal treatment by the staff there, thanks to Anathea. Great friends, great food, great fun. I got to meet Jenn who asked me to go be a social media judge at Yuk Yuks tonight, which I must admit is a pretty cool and fun way to spend my birthday! I also got to see Amy for the first time in too many months. Krista decided to come and “crash our party”. Stéphanie very skillfully convinced Sara and Anna that it really would be okay to come with their children - and I am really glad she did. And Vicky braved the parking challenge to make a special trip downtown as well. All with a couple of hours of notice.

I told you my day wasn’t nice. In fact, it’s been FANTASTIC!

Thank you to each and every one of the dozens upon dozens who have left messages on Facebook and twitter for me. I appreciate that you took the time to do it. You made my day special and made me feel special. And that is worth more than any material item in the world.

Thank you for being such awesome people. You absolutely made my day.

*****

P.S. You can read about my birthday gifts to myself over at Losing it in Ottawa today!

Chats with Matt Episode 8: Birthday Boy Blues

Matt and I were discussing Brandon’s birthday Saturday when Matt had a brainwave:

Matt: I’m 10 times older…. Wait, 11…no, 12 times older than Brandon tomorrow.

Me: Your brother is 13 times older than Brandon this year.

Matt: Oh, so I guess that makes me 12 point something times older than him.

Me: 12.67 to be precise.

Matt: WHY!? Why do you have to do this to me all the time?

Me: Because I can.

Three years ago

It was just after 8:28 - your official time of birth - that we heard you cry for the first time. I didn’t get to hold you until roughtly an hour later, and for that first day, not nearly as much as I wanted throughout the day.

Since your birthday three years ago, I’ve held you, nursed you, comforted you, played with you, hugged you, kissed you, fed you, along with a million other things that moms do. Most of all I’ve loved you.

I love your smile, your kisses, your laugh, your words, your walk, your run, your sleep, your mischievious grins, your curiosity and affectionate sweetness.

Three years ago today you came into this world and our family as we know it was born. 

Happy Birthday, Brandon!

Dear husband of mine, Happy Birthday to you

No one comes up with better ways to entertain our son. He’s a top-notch dad.Today you turned another year older.

I tease you about getting old all the time, but to me you’ll never grow old. 

You are fun and funny, always making me laugh.

You are kind and caring, always thinking about other people.

You are smart and sweet, always knowing just what to say.

I am truly blessed to have met you and get to share my life with you.

I am truly thankful that our child gets to grow up in your example.

I am truly gifted to have a husband like you.

You give us the gift of yourself everyday. On this day I hope you’ve felt special and loved.

Happy Birthday to you, Matt!

*****

Matt’s birthday was actually yesterday, March 7th. These are just my thoughts about him on this special day.