Friday, September 20, 2013

My Boys: My First, My Only, My Baby #PSF

I just woke up and decided to look at my phone. ABCA posted wedding photos from last week and this one made me gasp...

Photo Courtesy of ABCA

My First: Will

Will was the second grandson and first child to come along in 14 years... I was 17 when he was born and although Les gave birth to him, he was my baby (whom I shared with ABC).

I chose to go to a school 8 hours away from my hometown... but only 2 hours away from Will. Les brought him up to visit me within the first few weeks of school-- I couldn't wait to show off this little one year old (and his Mama) to my friends. (Fun Fact: Les & ABC bought me a HUGE bottle of wine at Walmart and showed me how to hide it by taking out drawers and stashing it underneath. Yes, it's probably still there.)

Whenever something went wrong (read: I got dumped.) or I needed a family fix (but couldn't drive all the way to PA), I crashed in on Will and his parents. Now that I have my own kids and hectic schedule, I simply cannot believe how welcoming they were to me-- Les & Greg never turned me down and left the front door unlocked more times than I can count. I'd babysit in return, but the reality is that I got the sweet deal... I got Will.

I was never a baby person. That, my friends, was (and still is) my Sister.  Will was different.

I couldn't wait to read books with him and watch him line up his cars along the edge of the carpet... I'd sit in his hand-painted Beatrix Potter bedroom and just marvel at those cheeks... We'd snuggle in the big striped chair and nap together.  When I got dumped and barged in on Les, I fell asleep with him curled up on me-- his little breaths helped slow down my tears. We went trick-or-treating together... I was the farmer to his cow when he was 1 and just walking... I played paparazzi to his (and Nick's) Richard Scary year and the infamous Monsters, Inc Mike (Will) and Sulley (Nick)... and so on. When I met Hubby, he embraced my boy(s) as much as I did... At my graduation party at Elon, Hubby and the boys were MIA for a while... only to return around the corner covered in red clay mud. I gasped as I saw that new Abercrombie oxford (God, was he dreamy!) covered in stains, but quickly saw how happy they were... rolling in mud, tackling each other, creating the memories that matter. I can honestly say that those red clay mud stains were part of what sealed the deal... Hubby silently understood how much these little kids meant to me and embraced them as his own. (Yes, I know that they're just boys- and dirty/gross/destructive/playful by default, but let me be lovey and dreamy for a minute...)

Last week, at my Sister's wedding, I got to spend time with Will... he's now 14 and would be mortified if he read any of this... but I had such a great time with him! He pitched a summer job to Hubby (and I seriously want him to come up and do it!), told us about new YouTube videos, talked video games (with Hubby, of course), and just loved up on Master Chief! At one point, Tank (Master Chief's other nickname) was leaning/falling out of my arms... towards Will... to lean in and give him kisses (lick his nose/suck his cheek/chew on his nose)!  He was totally drawn to Will, as I am, and couldn't get enough of this awesome older cousin!

My Only: Hubby

You don't need to read this single blog post to know that I eat-sleep-breathe-adore this man. They say that you marry someone who has traits like your father... and after spending last week in a house with all of the boys in my family, I've realized how true that is! My Daddy & Brother worked together all week on wedding prep... My Gpa was at the bar going shot-for-shot with my Sister (he won, by the way, as he slept in bed and she ended up on the bathroom floor- ha!)... My Uncles ran errands, helped set up the wedding, watched my kids when we needed to bolt, and danced the night away (watching Jonesey dance is pure entertainment!)... and Hubby, he did everything with them! The men in my family worked their tushies off and truly amazed me.

I tried to let him sleep in, nap, and relax, but you know how vacations with kids are-- he had them when I went into town with my Dad and Brother for a Teeter/ABC run, he dealt with nap-time antics while I got a mani/pedi, and he did a little bit of everything on the wedding day (including buttoning my Sis into her dress!)! He is amazing... and being at the wedding reminded me of our wedding day and how much we've grown up and gone through together in nine years!

Side Note: Now, it's not all roses and smiles every day with me...  I'm a PITA and we both know it... and he puts up with it. How could I not love this man?!

My Baby: Master Chief/Tank

If this isn't your first time on the blog, you know how much I love this little 10-month old Tank (the Master Chief-alternative nickname is quite fitting: He is trouble and kinda rolls through life like a tank- taking it all on! Plus, it's quicker to type...).

He started out as Mr. Cranky Pants, but is now the life of the party! I love when he wakes up in the morning and I get to go get him-- he's usually whimpering  but literally starts jumping and smiling the second I walk in the door. He gives me the best hug as soon as I pick him up... aside from my permanent cuddle monster whom I sleep with, he's the greatest to wake up to (Sissy, not such a morning person... but that's another story!)!

He's cracking me up with the things he picks up on and mimics .. talking on the phone (of course! Even though I'm not a fan of talking on the phone, it happens...), mouthing words (Mama, Dada, and Sissy- she's working so hard to get him to say "Sissy"), and even grabbing a wipe and trying to wipe his tush!  He now knows when he is funny and I live for the big smiles and laughs when I get to see his two chicklet teeth popping through!

The other night, Hubby sat down with him at the dinner table around 6pm... and Tank was still eating when I got home at 7:30. Veggie purees (he truly loves them-- you know I'm not one to force healthy food! Ha!)... a canister of baby cheese puffs... and nearly have a bag of grapes! He sits at the table every morning and eats Cheerios... ate D's cheese quesadilla at Chipotle the other day... and tries to eat every small toy/choking hazard in the house!

He's walking up to 6 steps at a time (only 3-4 caught on video, though) and crawls into trouble at lightning speed... this morning he got into D's bedroom and ate the cookie on her bedside table before she even noticed it was gone!

When he slows down, he is the sweetest and cuddliest kid since... well, Will. 

...and that's how it started.

Will and Tank - Sept 2013

Final Note: ALL of the men in my family are AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how much my Daddy and Brother mean to me (and how much I loved our shopping bonding trip to Teeter and the ABC store last week!). My new Bother-in-Law gave me Cliffy and brought his amazing family into our mix... and although I've known them for years (literally! I graduated HS with his twin brothers and was a cheerleader with his Sister), getting to know them last week was an amazing experience! My Uncles-- all three of them -- are all first round picks as well! Last week I couldn't visit with my Uncle Don as much as I had wanted to, but was truly overjoyed that he (and my Aunt) came down! The "other" Joe did far more than his share (including driving the High C's down to NC after coming cross-country himself) and Jonesey kept the football smack talk to a tolerable level (we Richardson's are, after all, a Skins family... and that admittedly warrants smack talk from a die hard Eagle's fan!) and was a blast to party with!  Gpa... well, how can I talk about my Gpa without getting overly melodramatic and emotional?! He is the man that started it all... the one that my Mom grew up with and set the standard for men everywhere. Right now he's the ultimate caregiver and shares every ounce of love in his body. This man is as selfless as it gets-- and I couldn't help but get emotional at Pal's wedding last week when he and Gmom danced & when he was taking shots with the Bride!  Perhaps this is why I just can't tolerate less than the best, in anything in life... because I've lived with and been taught with the best!


Lolli said...

This post is so sweet. What great men you have in your life! Lucky girl :)

abc said...

Damn you Boop! Damn casual Friday outfit does NOT go with tears. I love you!!!

Leslie said...

Wow, you are a gift to all of us ...I could not have made it they those first few years without you. I treasure those memories, and you ... Well said in every way, your children are so lucky to have you as a Mom!!!