I have a secret.
Well, maybe not a secret.
I’d say this is more of an imagination talent that I learned at a young age.
I pick a sunny day when the temperature is just right.
You know, not too hot that you’ll have pit stains just from walking to the mail box. And not to cold so that you’ll get goosebumps when sitting outside for 5 minutes or less. To me, this is a solid 70 degrees. Maybe a 68 degrees.
Next, I listen to for the sound of the wind moving the trees – not a big breeze, just subtle enough to catch my attention. I also listen for a bird singing a morning tune.
When all of these elements of nature perfectly align, I have this gift of closing my eyes and picturing myself on the ocean. I feel the sand beneath my toes. I heard those same birds singing. I feel the sun beating down on my skin.
And that’s what I did this morning as I dropped you off at daycare.
I buckled you into the car seat, took note of your giant smile, and imagined that we were off to build sand castles and get sandwiches filled with turkey, cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and extra sand crunchies. We always called these “sand sandwiches” when I went on vacation as a kid.
I kissed you on the forehead, told you that I loved you, and closed the car door. I found myself smiling as I dreamed about our next family vacation together.
When we pulled up to daycare, it didn’t take long to realize we were far from the beach. But my imagination helped keep me smiling and hopeful for the day. My hope is that you somehow find a way to let your imagination run wild and give you the ability to travel your mind to a happier place.
The majority of what happens to you in life will be determined by how you react the situations and people around you.
Back to reality, I lifted you out of the car seat and quickly realized why you were smiling so big.
I hate taking you to daycare with a giant poopy diaper. Although she’ll never admit it, I think she may wonder if I did that on purpose or not. I told her that I had JUST changed your poopy diaper. Literally, right before we walked out of the door. But you had other plans, Coopster the Poopster.
I suppose I can’t really complain. Absolutely NOTHING compares to the poop story from last week.
You were on antibiotics for your ear infection. And everyone knows antibiotic poop is the worst.
Anyway, I lifted you up from your highchair (NOT knowing that you had pooped) and we started dancing around the kitchen. I felt something wet on my arm, although I didn’t smell anything. I shifted you to my other arm and lifted my arm to my face. To my surprise, my arm was covered in poop. I glanced down at you. Your legs. Your clothes. Your shirt. Your…everything was covered in poop.
I looked over at the highchair, which was also covered in poop.
I panicked and put you on the carpet, which was covered in poop the moment you started rolling all around. You even managed to get poop on an innocent sock laying on the ground.
I somehow got you under control and managed to change your diaper and wipe down your entire body. I had to keep yelling at Bandit so he wouldn’t eat the poop – puppy brother can be gross at times. I know you like to copy what puppy brother does, but do not eat poop ever. Got it?
I ran into the laundry room to clean myself off and put on new clothes. I did this as QUICK as possible, but didn’t stop you from pulling out about 30 wipes and throwing them all around the living room.
At that moment, I couldn’t do anything except for laugh. And then you started laughing. And Bandit just sat there looking all confused. That certainly made for an interesting morning!
Poop stories aside, you’ve grown so much over the past month. It’s almost hard to capture in words.
I’m shocked at the milestones you’ve hit. Your personality continues to grow more and more each day.
You are full of surprises, laughs, smiles, and dramatic outbursts.
I see so much of your father in you…the competitiveness and determination you possess – even if it’s just learning how to crawl or finagling your body in the perfect way so you can reach your toy ball under the TV stand. And you certainly have my quirky personality and dramatic tendencies. You’re a perfect hybrid of us both, but you absolutely have your own personality that is infectious to everyone around you!
Which brings me to some of the exciting moments from the past month:
You started crawling! And you are one active little nugget! I can hardly keep up with you.
You tried watermelon for the first time. I think you enjoyed squeezing it in your hands MORE than actually eating the watermelon.
We went to your first community service day that my company sponsored. You were wonderful at eating puffs and keeping everyone on track. Supervisor Coop!
We both survived our first night apart from each other. I had your Aunt Toni’s bachelorette party!
You had your nine month check-up at the doctor. Thankfully, you didn’t need shots this time around. You did, however, get your foot poked. You were pretty snarky about that happening…
We had our first family trip to Arnold’s Drive-In, which is where mommy worked ALL throughout high school. You loved Lori, who I also called Mama. She was absolutely like family to me growing up.
You continue to love shredded cheese – you get that honest!
We went back to Riley Children’s Hospital for another head evaluation. They are very happy with your head SHAPE, but it’s the ridging that keeps them worried. You did another skull x-Ray and everything seems to look great. (Hopefully) we only have one more check-up to go!
You had your very first trip to the zoo! You were super curious and a little cranky. But everything was all better after a nap!
We celebrated your first Fourth of July with family and friends!
So here we are, you’re 10 months old. It’s hard to believe that in less than 2 months we will be celebrating your first birthday!
As I held you before bed last night, I was amazed at how long and strong you are today.
I remember when we first took you home from the hospital.
You were so tiny. At your lowest, you were 6 lbs and 5 oz!
You would lay on my belly in a little tiny ball, wrapped up like a caterpillar in a cocoon. But last night, you were sprawled across my body – all 30.5 inches of you. All 21 lbs of you.
I looked down at your closed eyes, completely in awe of your beautiful face.
Your perfect eye lashes.
Your adorable nose.
Your sweet chin.
You weren’t all the way asleep yet, so I could you feel your tiny fingers scratching my belly.
This is one of your quirks. You like to scratch something or someone as you’re falling asleep. I have no idea why, but my theory is that it makes you feel less alone. Sometimes I’ll hear you scratching the wood on your crib. Or even the sheets on the mattress. Maybe one day you’ll scratch / rub your wife’s back before heading to bed. I always ask your daddy to do that for me.
As you drifted off to sleep, I ran my finger across your forehead – just like I’ve always done to soothe you. I wrapped my arms around you, squeezed you tightly, and let a tear fall down on your forehead.
Of course, this isn’t a sad tear. I would call this a happy and hopeful tear. I’ll never forget how hard I prayed for you.
How much my heart yearned for you.
How often I dreamed about you.
There is no denying that you challenge me daily and test my patience. I’ve lost many hours of sleep, but I’ve gained the most amazing love of all. You’ve exceeded all of my prayers, heartfelt hopes, and dreams. I am so thankful for you each and every single day of my life.