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And... our Big Birthday Boy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010
It seems like I keep putting it "on my to-do list" to post pictures from Bailey's birthday. And, I've yet to do it. And... it is now Jake's birthday! Tomorrow (Friday) is the day that my baby boy turns three. So, I suppose you should expect to see pictures of his birthday by Christmas. :) Teasing... my plan is to create a Flickr account this week so that I can just link you to the pictures that relate to my posts. That seems to make more sense, I think, and will likely make it easier for me to just post them all instead of spending minutes (or hours) going through them to pick the "right" ones. Cilla - I will never understand how you can pick and choose when your photos are SOOOO good. lol.

So... about my big boy.

In similar fashion to my post about Bailey's birthday, I can tell you what I was doing three years ago right now (remember that it's nearly midnight on April 8th as I write this). Most of you probably think that I was sleeping soundly, since I knew that I was being induced the next morning (at like 6 a.m.). However, I was not asleep. I was probably in the bed by now, but I remember being so nervous about having my second child that it was in the wee hours of the morning before I actually rested. I knew what to expect in the ways of labor and the lack of food for an entire day. I also knew that I couldn't wait to meet my little man. I had dreamed of having a little boy for years... before I even met Brad. Then, when I did meet Brad, I wanted to have a little boy even more. I dreamed of having a little boy with long eyelashes around his big round eyes, an adorable smile, and skinny mini legs that were as fast as lightning. I wanted a sweet little boy who adored his mommy, but loved all things boy - dirt, sports, guns, etc. But on this night three years ago, I was worried... anxious. I was used to pink things and girl toys, ribbons and bows, Dora and princesses. I was used to adoring one little girl who had completely stolen my heart and I was terrified that I could never love another child as much as I did her. I knew it was ridiculous, but it scared me to think that I would have this perfect little boy and I would look into his eyes and feel nothing.

Well, as you know from reading my prior posts, that was indeed very ridiculous. My little dream of a son came into this world at 4:25 on April 9 and made everything in our family complete. That's not to say it wasn't rough for the first few hours. Jake didn't make the easiest entrance into the world. He decided, much like he does now, that he was going to do things his way. He wasn't going to be forced and he wasn't going to move to make it easier for anyone. So, he kept his arm where it was most comfortable (and based on the way he slept for many months as an infant, probably in the same position he had kept his arm for several weeks in the womb)... positioned closely around his neck - his hand reaching almost completely over his shoulder to his back. So, naturally, as he was born, he was choking himself. Fortunately, it only caused a few minor "glitches" in delivery, but they wanted to monitor him closely to make sure he was OK. So, my desire to hold my son for more than a couple of seconds just had to wait. It was nearly midnight before I actually held him for more than a moment. Needless to say, I knew I loved him the first time I held him. However, between the hours of say 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. that evening, I was worrying that the bond with my son might not be the same as that with my daughter. I wasn't getting to nurture him the way I had her and I was scared.

Then... my mom, mother-in-law, and hubby, decided that it was due time for me to get my boy in the room and they put their foot down. They had told me hours before that it would only be a few more minutes and I was very frustrated. All was fine with the world when I held him and looked at his little face. Bailey was thrilled to be a big sister and seeing them together melted my heart. As we prepared to go to sleep that night, I placed him in his little bed beside mine and watched him. I knew I loved him as much as I had ever loved Bailey and I knew I had been crazy for being so silly. That night, he began to cry and I simply placed him on my chest and talked to him for a moment. He was content and went back to sleep. I realized that the bond wasn't from getting to hold him first or feed him first, but from nurturing him the whole 9+ months I had carried him.

Much like his sister, Jake's personality came out immediately. He was quieter, more relaxed. He enjoyed eating and sleeping, like most babies, but something about the way he did both of these things was notable (perhaps it was significant that he drank a 4 ounce bottle the first time he was given it or that he slept like 6 hours at night from the very beginning). For some reason, everyone knew that he really enjoyed sleeping and eating... more than most babies. As he grew, we could see that he was going to be the complete opposite of his sister. He excelled at large motor skills - walking at about 10 months, climbing on top of things before he hit the year mark. Speech was and is still developing. By now, Bailey was telling us full stories and even jokes. Jake tells us things, but most of the time, only his immediate family members can translate the stories he tells if they involve much detail. He is shy and acts insecure around new people and situations, whereas Bailey never meets a stranger. He takes a few minutes to warm up to people and he likes to observe before joining in on things and Bailey forces herself on people. Once he "figures" everything out and knows what's going on, he jumps in and has a great time. Unfortunately, I think that comes from me (but I'm hoping Brad is telling the truth when he says he remembers feeling insecure like that too!).

Jake most certainly loves his sister, despite their differences. Every time we go to pick Bailey up at preschool, or to drop her off in the morning, he hugs and kisses her, and tells her he loves her. If we are leaving her, he tells me he misses her when we get in the car. If we are picking her up, he asks about her day and then proceeds to tell her about Spiderman or Batman or whatever his chosen obsession has been for the day. Despite their completely different personalities, they really seem to understand and love each other. They baby each other, too, kissing each other's boo boos, or helping each other when they don't feel well. They push each other on the swings (sometimes), they play tag in the yard, and they really love to cuddle up in our recliner together with a blanket, popcorn, and orange juice to watch a good movie. It's so fascinating to watch them grow and to see that they truly do love each other. Yes, they do fight. Quite a bit, actually, but even then, they love each other. I will be disciplining Jake for hurting Bailey and she will be whispering to him to say he's sorry so that he won't lose his toys. This, coming after she's screamed like he has torn her head off. And it works the other way, too. If I start to get onto Bailey about something, Jake will step up and defend her. He's even gone so far as to try to physically make me leave the room (saying, "Mommy... just go" and pointing to the other room). :) WHAT? Who does that?

Ah... all part of growing up, I guess. A five-year old and a three-year old... I have to say these are awesome years. No bottles, diapers, or bags filled with extra clothes. They incredible fun and active. And, perhaps the best part, they also sleep past 7 on the weekends. FINALLY. :) Happy birthday to my perfect little boy.