Just words.

I still haven’t written my letter to Henry, even though his birthday was 3 days ago. I’ll get to it before Christmas. I hope.

I love the holidays, but it’s tough when you’re struggling financially. I want to be able to get my parents decent gifts. Or my husband. But that’s just not going to happen this year, and it bums me out. We need every cent we have in the bank in case Chris is unemployed longer than expected. Or before one of us gets a job, I mean. It might still have to be me, even though I’m not really ready to leave Henry yet. It kinda breaks my heart to think about it, but I also know that he needs things like food and shelter soooo…yeah.

Anyway, now that he’s a walking pro, Henry is starting to talk more. He’s into Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS right now and can say “tiga” and “grrr.” We actually found this out as we were strolling him around Toys R Us and he spotted a Daniel Tiger doll. I showed it to him and he said “tiga grrr.” So we bought him the doll. Other words in his limited vernacular (besides the basics): cack-a (cracker), nigh-nigh (night night), and mo mo (elmo).

On Thursday, we took him for his one-year well baby check and he did excellent. The doctor said he couldn’t be happier about his growth and development. Seeing Henry walk around the room with a sippy cup in his mouth, then stopping to “talk” to the doctor really tickled him. He sees a lot of babies, so I’ll take that as a good sign. I got a little emotional at one point reminiscing with the doc about this time last year, when Henry was losing too much weight and I was panicked. It’s not a pediatrician’s job to calm a crying new mother, but he did, and he told me we’d be alright, that  I was doing all the right things. So on Thursday, when he looked at me and said, “You are doing such a good job, mama.” OH MAN TEARS FELL FROM MY FACE. Being a mom is hard. Being an exhausted new mom is harder and I’m glad I chose him to be our pediatrician/my therapist.

Chris and I have started Dexter on Netflix. Only about 8 years late to that party. It’s good. So time to go do that before passing out. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who has sent well wishes and prayers and love galore to me and my family. You make me all warm and fuzzy.

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First Party.

We threw Henry an early birthday party yesterday. I actually canceled his party when Chris lost his job. We were planning on having a fancy cake made, tons of decorations thanks to Pinterest, and even a photographer come and take portraits (thank god we are getting the deposit back). I was going to invite all of my friends and family. All of that was scrapped. I was so down in the dumps and just plain nervous about spending ANY money that I called my mom and told her to forget it. A couple hours later, she calls and says she’ll host it, pay for it, and do all of the baking and cooking, but I can only invite a couple people. Her place is small and she didn’t want to cook for a bunch of folks. I think the trauma of my baby shower is still fresh on her mind (like 13 people showed up and you’d think she was cooking for the troops by her stress level). So I invited a couple close friends and it made a happy, albeit, tiny group. Henry is happy with any attention, so it was more than enough for him.

I don’t know if this is true for all babies, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it probably is, but Henry loved the birthday song the most. He had no clue what was happening, but he liked it. No, he’s not an attention hog or anything. As you can imagine, he also loved his cake and devoured ALL of it. He got tons of toys and books and a music CD from very generous (too generous) people. Then he ran around the house on a sugar high and promptly crashed.  A special thanks to my mama and step-dad for their generosity now and always.

PICS! (The theme was Winter ONEderland — again, thanks Pinterest)

henrycakeYeah, I’m no good on writing on cakes. Really bad, actually. But the cookies turned out super cute! (The cookies were very important to me to complete the theme, if you can’t tell.)

smashcakeWe kept it simple since its sole purpose was to be destroyed. Also, we can’t pipe.

henry and gmaHenry with grandma checking out all of mommy’s hard work decorating. That window (thanks again, Pinterest) took me like 2 hours. My mom is keeping it up for xmas (or so she claims, I’m sure it’s already in a dumpster somewhere).

henryelmoElmo…that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. He’s a tad obsessed with “MoMo” as he calls him.

henry cakeYeah, this is good….

remnants…real good.

henry balloonEnd o’ day sugar rush. Getting the wiggles out in the backyard.

Despite the blisters on my feet after it was over, it was a great day, but extremely emotional. I came home, put the baby in bed, and cried. This year has had its ups and downs for sure. Mostly ups. I was really digging life until last month when the rug was pulled from under us. We had a good thing going, and we’ll get that back, I know we will. But the stress has made me literally sick. And I look at my baby growing up and just think about what’s truly important in life and I just let me emotions go wild. Then Chris put on the Christmas classic, Elf, and everything was ok again. Oh, and talking to friends helped too.

The ONE year Dear Henry post is next. Hopefully I’ll have his video done by then and can post it. For someone with zero video editing experience, it’s been a challenge. I think it won’t turn out horrible though, so I hope you stay tuuuuuned.

Night.

Just a little bump in the road.

Today we took Henry to get his Christmas portraits taken. Oh my, he was so sweet. He loved all of the attention. I got a lot of compliments for him (and, oddly, our stroller, which I love if you’re in the market for one) from the waiting parents in the studio. But honestly, I was fawning over a few of babies in there too. Specifically, baby girls. I’ll admit that I’ve been thinking a lot about baby numero dos lately. Maybe it’s because Henry is a week away from being one year old and getting so big and I miss having that little squishy baby. Or maybe it’s because Henry sooo needs a sibling. The kid plays catch with himself. He’ll throw a ball, go fetch it, and repeat. It’s simultaneously cute and sad.

But of course, inevitably, any plans for another baby came to a screeching halt last month when my husband was laid off. To go from 2 incomes, down to 1 income is a big sacrifice, but we made it work. We even built up a pretty nice savings. Thank GOD we did, too. But to go from 1 income to 0 income, AND a child to support. Well, yeah. Crappy. And scary.

To be honest, though it’s been a very stressful month, Chris and I have been shown just how truly blessed we are. It sounds so corny, and it is, but this situation has brought us closer with family and friends and each other. My mom is paying for most of Henry’s birthday party because she knows how much it meant to me to do something for him. She also paid for the portraits today because, again, I wanted it (we also had a coupon). My mom and step-dad have bought us groceries and diapers. My in-laws bought the babe presents for his birthday and Christmas and took us to Costco for some bulk dried fruit (and other things, but we have a lot of dried fruit in our house right now. I have an open bag of dried cherries I’m eating at this moment). My BFF checks in every day and always makes me feel better. She also makes me dinner and gives me wine and bakes cookies for my son’s birthday party. And then I have so many other friends who’ve sent us money and gifts for the baby, all unsolicited. Or they just let me talk and vent to them and probably want to tell me to shut up, but they don’t. They just tell me they love me and it will all work out  (I should specifically single out Mandy Jo, since she’s a daily victim of my woe-is-me). It just warms the cockles of my heart, you guys. There are a lot of beautiful people in our lives, even ones we don’t talk to all the time.

Because of all these above blessings, I’ve been trying to stay positive. That doesn’t mean I don’t still break down into tears occasionally. I do. Maybe every day, but I’m not telling. In the end, I know it will work out. I might have to dust off my old resume and get back out there, and if that’s what I have to do, then so be it. For now, I’m focusing on our beautiful, funny, healthy baby boy and all the people in my life who love us and we love back. We might not have much money, but we’re not poor. Not in any sense of the word.

I know you want to see some portrait shots (only the last one made the cut in terms of actual prints, but the other 2 are ones I still love):

henryport12drool face!

henryport3Baby Gap called and they want their model back.

henryport1“Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there.”