Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Baby is 1

I can't believe how my sweet Ollie suffers from 2nd child syndrome and he has no idea. It is two weeks after his birthday and I've finally had the chance to take a minute to remember his first year.

Weighing in at 21.2 lbs and measuring 31.5 inches, Eli has made his mark in a year. He is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, I actually felt his craziness acknowledged and thought "FINALLY!!! Someone really sees it!" The doctor that saw him started with the normal "So, is he walking?" My automatic reaction was to laugh. Um, how about running XC? Yeah.

Next question: "Does he have many words?" What doesn't this kid talk about? All day long is chatter, chatter, screaming, grunting, chatter. Aside from "Mama, Dada, Turtur (which he always whispers for fear of being pummled, probably), Pop-pop, Non (Noni =Grandma), dog, woof (does that count?), bup (up) and dow (down)" his all time favorite is "liiiiight." He loves to say light, point at the light source and then just do this cute little attached-too-close-to-the-gum tounge roll. For the past two days, he's been obesssed with a picture of John. He stands at the wall and just babbles and says "Dada." Tonight, he said "luh loo" (we've been practicing love you). I about fell over...and then cried. Apparently, his Daddy was the same as a child.

Mr. Elias is passionate, fierce, loyal, destructive and opinionated. I can't believe I know all of those qualities exist in a one year old. He is everything I am not and I love that. I really see all, or most, of the qualities I love about John in Eli. It makes me happy that those qualities will some day shine down from the White House. What? A Mamma can dream...

Every day this child, wanted or not, makes me a better person. He tests my limits and warrants patience the most gracious Southern Belle would be jealous of. He makes me more creative, efficient and loving.

He is, by far, the one person in my life who makes me a better mom daily.
Happy Birthday, Olliewog!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Married Single Mother

A friend made the comment that she was a "married single mother" while her husband was on a 6 month cruise (I use that term loosely as it means deployment!). At the time I thought "I have no idea what I'm going to do when the time comes!" The kids, the housework, the absence of showers, down time, and not having family or many friends in the area. What in the world do I do every day with two toddlers?!?

Well, it might not be a deployment, but it's been a long month. I've done little things like drive the three hours to my parents' for a visit, grocery shop, run errands. Today, though, I decided I was going to take the kids to the beach. Just us on a quick trip to the beach on base. The heavily life-guarded strip of beach on the back side of Mayport Naval Station. Finally, something out of my comfort zone. The big Atlantic ocean that could swallow a child whole and all that sand. What else am I going to do, though? Wallow in my sorrow? It just makes the kids whine more.

Getting out like that made me realize that I can't wait for John. I already knew that, right? I mean, in San Diego and Japan I learned to go to movies, dinner and just explore on my own. Sometimes I still expect John to come home by 4 like in Monterey and Newport, but it's more like 10 (or not at all) these days. I feel like the initial shock has started to wear off, but I would never wish the "single" parent life on anyone. It's hard work. At the end of the day, I feel like I've walked around Disney 10 times. BUT...I'd never want to be on the other side of the fence. I'm pretty sure John's job, especially being away from his buddies, is even more difficult!