Thursday, April 21, 2011


I hate it when we fight. I hate when I become so frustrated with your actions (or inaction) that I develop what is far beyond an acceptable level of "inside voice." I hate the way we both get red in the face when we are angry with each other. I hate that you were mad at me when I dropped you off at school, hate that you felt the need to brush aside my goodbye hug with a shrug and a frown, hate that I walked away from you knowing you were scowling at my retreating form. Hate that I didn't turn around once more to look at you before I left.

You can be so proud, so determined, so STUBBORN. You have always been that way. Even as a little tyke, when you'd get in trouble, you always got angry at me getting angry at you. It's so true that each child needs to be dealt with in different ways, depending on temperament. Your sister is one to get so very sad and remorseful when she's in trouble, but not you — you simmer with anger and injustice, letting it brew inside you like a pressure cooker, and the only way I know how to deal with that is to walk away, to let you come back down to earth on your own. Because you always do. Once the heat of the moment passes and you've been left on your own to think and contemplate and consider, you emerge, fresh-faced and placid and apologetic, willing to listen and talk and discuss.

You have no idea how fiercely I love you, how much I WANT for you, how strongly I would fight to protect you. The older you become, the greater my fears grow about all the things I can't shield you from, all those outside influences that will only grow in number and magnitude as the years go on, as you come under the influence of other kids, other sources. I can only hope and pray that I have taught you, when the time comes, to make good choices, to do what is right and true.

So I am sorry our morning got off to such a bad start. Mommys aren't perfect — I am far from it, I know. But I am doing the best that I can... and I will always strive to do better by you. I love you, sweet baby boy. I hope as I write this that the moment is already past for you, forgotten, that it hasn't ruined your day. And I hope when I see you later on that you'll give me one of those great hugs like only you give.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monthly Newsletter — Month 16

Spaghetti!, originally uploaded by JenSig.

Dear Isla,

Yesterday you hit the 16-month mark, and you are growing and changing in such leaps and bounds, it's hard to keep up!

You are so similar to Owen and Edie at this same age, in so many ways — namely that you are friendly and outgoing, quick to laugh and eager to cuddle and give hugs and kisses — and yet, you are entirely your own, too. In what I believe is typical for many younger siblings, you really don't talk much, but you sure can communicate! I can tell a lot from your funny little grunts and gestures, fist clenches and expressions. You aren't limited by your lack of speech in any way, little lady!

But you DO have a few words that you'll say with regularity, and these include "mommy," "daddy," "jacquie," "isla," "ball," "night night" and a smattering few others. You will increasingly (and accurately) answer yes or no with little nods or shakes of the head, too, so that if I ask you a question about something you are wanting, you are able to answer with a sweet little grin on your face.

You also now give REAL kisses, meaning an actual little pucker and a smacking sound with your lips, as opposed to the big, open-mouthed wet kisses you used to plant on us. You are still somewhat stingy with your kisses, and won't often give them when asked, but then you'll just surprise us by coming over to us, smacking your lips in little kissing noises, kissing us sweetly and then running off again to continue whatever you were doing before. It's enough to make my heart melt.

I've been noticing more and more the distinct part that birth order plays in the personalities of all three of you kids. Owen, as the oldest, is definitely a nurturer and is also something of a worry-wart, always fussing about things that could go wrong and worrying about the "what ifs," and always wanting to make sure everyone is taken care of.

Edie is displaying a crazy amount of awesome middle child tendencies, being the "star performer" in our midst. A recent trip to the dressing rooms in Old Navy provided her very own runway down the center aisle, from which she had to strut wearing every outfit we were trying on and then, upon reaching the end nearest the mirror, suddenly striking a fabulous pose with a flip of her hair and a sassy expression.

As for you, we are all agreed that we think you are the good time charlie of the bunch, and it won't surprise us a bit if you turn out to be the one who just wants to get a good laugh out of a crowd. You are so laid-back and easy going, charming and sweet, and quick to giggle with a gutteral depth that is awesome to listen to.

I know I've said this before... but you are the best little bonus baby I could ever have asked for.

Love, Mama