Sunday, April 13, 2014

Memories of Calvin before little brother is born...

I am emotional just thinking about writing this post! I can't believe how quickly time has flown by with my sweet baby boy. Calvin is my little buddy and I love him more than I ever thought I could love anything in the world. I wanted to write some thoughts and memories down before this next baby comes so I could better treasure this last week he and I will have together - just the two of us. 

This was Calvin at just one week old. Already grinning! He was so tiny and so cute. Even though the first 6 weeks of his life were the most challenging time of my life, I look back and cherish those midnight feedings. I think he just had a hard time leaving Heaven to be here on Earth. He has a sweet, sensitive little spirit, which I'll get into a little more later on.

At two months, this little man was really settling into his sleep routine and was doing so much better. My little snuggle bug! Oddly enough, though, he's more snuggly now than he was then. He was too interested in exploring and looking at everything in his line of vision and wasn't much of a cuddler. Now, though, Calvin loves to give hugs and kisses and rest his head on my shoulder when he's tired or just needs some loves. 

Six months and so sweet. Such a cutie pie! I miss these days! His little chubby cheeks and sweet little body. He was sooo tiny here - I think he measured in the 7th percentile in weight and height. I just love his little face.

Seven months and getting more and more mobile! Sweet kid. :)

He's all smiles when it's solid food time! He loved, LOVED solid foods and would wolf them down. I found out later it was because he was hungry! I wasn't producing enough milk and we had lots of problems there. Once he went on formula around this age, he was much happier. Such a sweetheart. 

All ready for church! Such loving little eyes and the sweetest expression. 

I LOVE these pictures of me and my Calvin. He has my whole heart. 

One year old and it flew by so quickly. How did time pass like that? He's such a little ball of energy! He loved having Aunt Melissa and his cousin Anna come to visit. So much fun! 

And now, here he is - a full-blown toddler. He's such a little boy now. He'll always be my baby, but I have to accept that he's growing up. 

I love watching him reach all his milestones and I love teaching him new things. He catches on very quickly when he's ready to learn a concept, but I can't push him before he's truly ready. He's learning and growing so fast! 

(Warning - super sentimental mom post ahead! I know I am bragging about my kid, but hey, isn't that every mom's privilege?)

I guess this post is really just a love letter to my firstborn son, Calvin. I love you more than words can say. You are the joy and the light in my life! You and your sweet dad have made me happier than I have ever been. I will always treasure our time together as mom and only son. I will look back on all our adventures together so fondly as you get older. I love taking you for walks, taking you to the park, reading to you at the library, giving you hugs and snuggles before bed, tickling your neck, kissing your little toes, and getting wet little kisses back from you on my cheek. 

You are a smart, cautious kid who takes his time with new things but learns rapidly. You are a naturally obedient child who wants to obey and do what is right. Your nursery leaders are so impressed with your perfect behavior! You do not get upset if someone takes your toy or even knocks you down - you just get up and move on! You politely eat your snack and let the leaders know when you are done. You are always so sweet and easygoing when others babysit you. This has nothing to do with how I raised you and everything to do with your temperament. You are the perfect older brother and will guide your siblings very well with your great example. Before you were born, Heavenly Father told me in the temple that you were a very choice spirit and would be a wonderful example to those around you. I know you have been a joy to raise and I can't wait for the rest of our time together. This doesn't mean you are perfect, and you do have your normal moments of tantrums or whining, but we all have days like that, don't we? :) Most days are an absolute treat, though. You're a wonderful child. 

Soon you will have a little brother to help guide in life. I already know you'll be a great example to him and I'm excited for you to have a little friend. You love kids your age and have been so gentle and good with the babies you encounter! I am excited for you to have a playmate because you get bored at home with just me. :) However, this may be an adjustment for you, so just remember that mom loves you no matter what and that love will never, ever change. I may not have the same time and attention to give, but you will always have all my love. 

As for me, I am getting so teary-eyed (thanks, pregnancy hormones!) and nostalgic this week. This is the only time in my life I will have one child. I can't believe it! I hope I have soaked up every minute, even though I know I had my days of frustration and anxiety. I wish I could go back and realize how precious every moment was. I wish I didn't take a single thing for granted. I do know I have loved being a mom and can't wait to experience it all over again. I think it's good for me to remind myself that these precious first months go by so quickly and to embrace every moment. Even when I'm sleep-deprived and ready to quit and so exhausted, I must remember that I am so incredibly blessed and I truly will look back fondly on these days - even the rough ones! 

Calvin, mom sure loves you. You will always be my Mr. Buddy. :) 

Easter at Grandma's

We had a blast at Grandma's annual Easter egg hunt! It was so fun to have Calvin be old enough to really enjoy it and collect eggs. It was also fun to see all our cousins and their babies and socialize with them. Calvin really seemed to enjoy the love and attention. I just couldn't love all the Smedleys/Lanes/Standings any more! They are the sweetest people ever. I hope this tradition continues for years and years and years. :)

Since the lunch and hunt started at around 1pm, we let Calvin get in a good nap in the car so we wouldn't be late. He slept for about 40 min which is a long time for him in a car! It was enough of a nap to keep him in good spirits for the rest of the day. :) I'm glad he gets good naps most days because he can have days like this and it won't throw him off that much - we'll just put him to bed a little earlier and call it good. 

Snuggles with Uncle Sean! Calvin was so cute with him. They had a fun little bond over this weekend. :) 

TJ lamented that Calvin had a bad egg-gathering strategy. :) He was like, "Buddy, don't just pick up everything you see! Be strategic!" Hahaha. Teeje. He was kidding, of course. We were hoping to get the $5 egg, but of course, it didn't happen. Darn! Maybe next year. :)

I'm glad Calvin and I practice cleanup time every day - I think it prepared him for gathering the eggs and putting them in the bag. :) To him, this was probably just one big game of cleanup. 

Calvin got special prizes with his name on them! It was so sweet of the family to get him special toys. They had age-specific presents for everyone there. How fun! Calvin loved grabbing his goodies.

Dad had a special method for helping Calvin gather eggs. :)

Another prize! He loved giving Teddy hugs. So cute. He seems to be approaching the age where he enjoys his stuffed animals more. 


Ahhh juice! Calvin was so excited. He never gets juice at home so it was a special treat. He downed about two or three boxes, I think! Little sweetie pie. 

Get those eggs, mister!

Another fun prize! He kept holding the windmill up to our faces so we would blow on it to make it spin. :) He still does it at home now! He will also turn the fan on and hold it up to the fan to make it spin. It's adorable.

All his spoils!

Can you open it for me, mom?? I want some candy!

This is him signing "please" because he sees me and TJ eating candy and he wants some. :) When he asks so politely, I can't say no. :) He ate lots of candy that day. (Don't worry, Amy and Nelson! I brushed his teeth long and hard when we got home :))

It's hard to see, but Calvin was giggling with Uncle Sean on the trampoline. They were having a blast! 

My cute little family! I hated every picture I tried to take of all of us because I looked like a WHALE at 39 weeks pregnant. But sweet Polly took this pic of us and it's perfect! Thanks, Polly! And thanks to me for wearing good ol' black. :) I can't wait to continue to participate in all the activities that go on during the year with the Smedleys. I get to experience everything all over again through Calvin's eyes and it makes holidays that much more special. I love my little family of three (soon to be four)!