Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two Adventurous Years

Tomorrow, my Tyler turns two years old. He's not old enough to appreciate hearing about the day he was born, like his brother did this year, but I've been telling him the past few days that his birthday is coming up. Between Carter's two birthday parties earlier this month and receiving gifts and money in the mail from different friends and family, it has seemed that Carter's birthday has practically lasted all month. So, whenever I mention to Tyler that it's his birthday soon, he gets excited and says, "Bubba's birthday!" He sang Happy Birthday to Carter many times this month and naturally, he thinks that once again, it is his brother's birthday we are celebrating. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Tyler just thinks he is an extension of his big brother, whom he just idolizes and adores. As the boys were watching a show this morning that asked them to say their own name, Carter shouted, "Carter!" And of course, Tyler shouted "Carter!" too. I kept telling him to say his own name, that he should say "Tyler," but he kept saying, "No! Carter!" He adores his brother so much that he thinks his name should be Carter, too, and that his brother having a birthday is just as exciting as having a birthday himself. I'm sure this won't last forever, but for now, it's pretty sweet and endearing.

Nevertheless, we WILL be celebrating Tyler and the two adventurous years he's led on this Earth so far. Today, I was thinking back to the day he was born, and how this adventure with Tyler all started. Labor was pretty uneventful, until Tyler came out blue, with the cord wrapped so tightly around his neck that the doctor had to immediately cut it off of him. Before I even really knew what was going on, several doctors and nurses rushed into the room to attend to my new baby. Scott was no longer by my side. I was confused. My baby was supposed to be healthy. I had had an uneventful pregnancy. Luckily, after a few short minutes (that seemed like hours), Tyler's color was normal and he was doing well. However, to make a long story short, we spent the next 18 hours worrying that Tyler may have something wrong with his heart and/or lungs, and he was kept in the special nursery, where I could hold him, only while being hooked up to numerous machines. In the end, we left the hospital with a new healthy baby, who just gave us a good scare. That was his first test run. He's been giving us good scares ever since. Only now, they're while riding his scooter. Or hanging from the top of the playground set. Or jumping off the 5th step of the stairs. Or dislodging my hand from his and bolting across the parking lot. Or shoving the entire piece of pizza in his mouth. Or jumping from the top of the couches. I could go on and on. Tyler is quite the expert at scaring adults with his daredevil acts. I've been joking lately that I am totally going to be one of the moms at the X Games, sitting in the stands with hands half covering my eyes, as my Tyler performs in some daredevil competition. I'll be scared. But I'll be proud of my baby.

So, my baby isn't such a baby anymore. He speaks in sentences of several words, rides a scooter like a pro, sleeps in a toddler bed, has figured out how to blame everything on his big brother, and has strong opinions about everything in his world. For about the past year, I've been able to ask Tyler, "Are you Mama's baby?" and he would respond with a yes, a head nod, or at least a hug. But more recently, Tyler laughs and says, "No!" when I go through this little routine with him. This morning, he even picked out his very own birthday cake at Harris Teeter... a Cars themed cake with Mater and Lightning McQueen. Though, I have to say that I was a bit shocked that he didn't pick out the same type of cake that Carter got this year.

Tomorrow evening, we'll celebrate with my parents, Ellen and Kevin and their girls, and Ellen's parents over a casual dinner at my parents' house. And we'll all sing Happy Birthday to Tyler, who will probably sing the song at the same time, and substitute "Carter" or "Bubba" for his name. That's okay. I'll enjoy the brotherly love while they still show it.

And Tyler, I don't care what you say. You're still my baby.

Happy 2nd birthday, my Tyler! We all love you so much!

So, my memory was jogged by this picture I found. I DID get to hold Tyler for a minute before they took him to the special nursery.

The brotherly love started early... with Carter obliviously smothering Tyler.

My three boys, just a few weeks after Tyler was born.
Even before he turned one, Tyler was trying out his big brother's scooter. We got him his very own scooter for his birthday this year. We're hoping that solves the fighting over the coveted scooter.

And a year ago, Tyler on his 1st birthday. Already planning his stairwell daredevil acts.
Fast forward a year...By now, he's perfected the scooter. Here are all my boys, on a recent March Saturday morning.

And my birthday boy. I'm sorry, but that is one cute boy. Happy birthday, my Tyler!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My baby turns 4

As I tucked Carter into bed tonight, I began reminiscing about the night before he was born. I told him how Scott and I went to dinner for our "Last Supper" with Mimi, Dudaddy, Gigi, and Papa. Carter's smile grew, listening intently. I told him how I had a big ole belly with a baby in it, named... And he squealed, "Carter??!!??"

I had talked with him before about when he was born, but tonight was the firs time that he actually seemed interested, so I kept going. I went on to tell him that I was so excited that night that I couldn't sleep, and how I cleaned the house and watched TV to pass the time. And how I only got to sleep for a few hours before it was time to get up (when it was still dark!) and head to the hospital to have my new baby, named.... "Carter??!!??" Yep, named Carter Hale Duncan.

I told him about all the people who loved him and came to the hospital to see him, and how he only weighed about 6 pounds. "6 pounds??? Mommy, that's a lot," he said to me. I held out my arms and showed just how small he was, and he mimicked my movements, saying "Like this?" Yep, just like that.

And then he said, "I'm going to get up early tomorrow, Mommy." Change of subject. A little too much reminiscing for the 4 year old, I guess. "Why, Carter?" "Because it's my birthday, and I want to eat cinnamon rolls and open my present!"

Here are the requests he had for his 4th birthday. All have or will be carried out in good ole you-get-whatever-you-want-on-your-birthday fashion.
  • Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Got 'the Pillsbury cans in the fridge and the pan sitting out for the morning.
  • Pizza for dinner. We'll be contacting Papa John's for that tomorrow evening.
  • A birthday cake with football players on it. Not just a football. It HAS to have the football PLAYERS, he said. We can thank Harris Teeter for having a football player scene as one of their screen printing icing options. It won't be a beautiful cake, but it WILL have football players. And that's all that matters, evidently.
  • His two gift requests: A hard football outfit (meaning, a hard football helmet with a uniform to go with it) and real golf shoes. Luckily, we found a Go Tarheels (his request) football uniform with a hard helmet online, and it arrived on the front porch the other day. He knows that there is some surprise for him in that box, and is dying to open it.... thus, why he says he wants to get up early in the morning. AND perhaps most importantly, Mimi scoured the country for golf shoes for a 4 year old, and she hit success! I can't wait to see this kid's face when he opens those shoes.
So, all this birthday reminiscing is mostly for me. It seems like yesterday and like forever ago that I became a mommy to this tiny, sweet, blonde haired, blue eyed baby. Wasn't it only yesterday that I couldn't believe that my baby was turning one? two? three? I mean, three is like a big kid, I thought. Then, what does that make four? I dunno, but it always takes me a while to get used to the fact that my baby is another year older. So, in keeping with my trip down memory lane, I pulled up a few pictures from the past 4 years.

Here is sweet Carter and his jaundiced self, right after coming home from the hospital.

And enjoying his first birthday cake. He's makes less of a mess now, but his love of cake and sweets only gets stronger.

Enjoying turning 2 in his Mr. Mischief shirt, no pants, and rain boots. That about sums up his stage as a 2 year old.

The morning of his third birthday. I honestly could swear that this was yesterday.

And here are the pictures we just took to go on his 4th birthday party invitation. And I just realized that he's wearing the same shirt that he was wearing on his 3rd birthday! Wow, we've gotten our money's worth on that Target shirt.

Oh, my sweet Carter, I have loved these 4 years so much. You have taught me more about life and parenting than I could have ever imagined. We've gone through the good, the bad and the ugly together. But you're still my boy, and always will be. And I'm still your girl. At least that's what you tell me every night as I tuck you into bed. Let's keep it that way. Okay, my boy?

Your girl