It hasn't always seemed like it, but this past year with Thomas in our lives, has been completely wonderful.
Oh, we have had our share of "downs," but this precious boy has brought more to our lives than we could ever imagine.
I think back to about those days fearful of not being able to love another child as much as I love my Gracie. As most of you promised me, there was more than enough room in my heart for Thomas, and he has given back to me 10 fold. And, then to think that I was so scared of a boy. My life had been all about a wonderful little girl for 5 long years. While everything about him is different, I couldn't love him any more, and he is definitely mommy's boy.
In the past 12 months we have seen a few moments of pure jealousy on Gracie's part, but on the whole it has been amazing to see our children bond. They have their moments, but are amazingly protective of each other, and oh so loving. I have no doubt that the next few years will bring challenges, but I have to say that we were blessed to have a fairly easy first year with "brother bear" and "sister bear" (that's what I call them, and they call each other, I don't care for the terms "sissy" and "bubba.").
That hasn't changed. I haven't gotten more than 3 hours of sleep at a time since the weeks before he was born. Exhaustion has played a huge role in my recovery, my health, my mood, my energy level, and my stress. I am sorry to say that I have struggled a great deal with all of those things these past 12 months, and not all due to lack of sleep. But, I will be glad when he can make it through the night without a milk break. Since Gracie was sleeping all night by this time, this is new territory for me, and I am not of the "let them cry it out camp." But, we clearly have to do something, as I need some sleep!
So Many Smiles
They haven't stopped. I think back to those first 7 weeks of his life when I was sure he hated being born to this family. Our baby never stopped crying, he was unhappy 24/7. You would never know it now.
I get comments constantly about what a happy baby he is. And, you can see by the millions of pictures I take--he is one happy baby. Now, when he isn't happy--he is really unhappy. But those moments are few and short lived. It takes very little to put the very big, and very contagious smile back on his chubby little face. We of course are hoping that things stay that way. He is more clingy these days, and can get pretty fussy, but in coming teeth can do that to you!
There are so many milestones he has crossed this past year, far too many list. And, as I have mentioned before I am amazed daily at how fast he seems to reach those big steps. I have heard from many other mommy's with several children that second and third babies learn quicker because they have someone closer to their size to mimic.
We have reached a great deal of "goals," but we are still lacking in the "walking" department. He is cruising every where and if he would just get brave we are sure he could glide across the floor with ease. He will walk behind his "Hippo" toy, and we have even caught him taking a step, but that is all before be purposely sits down.
For fun this week, I will list the many other milestones he has reached on the left hand side of the blog.
So Much Love
And finally, we couldn't have asked for more love for our baby boy. We know that Gracie is loved, but thanks to being forced out of our purposeful seclusion, we have met and grown so close to so many people. Thomas has so many loving new friends and family in his life, it has been more than we could have ever asked for. To have people share in all of these moments, to be there for firsts and all of the "baby" times has been amazing. We didn't have that with Gracie, and now I see how much we missed out on by not sharing her.
We can't thank you enough for being apart of his life, for being apart of all of our lives. For caring about us, praying for us, spending time with us.
Despite so many struggles for me internally, and externally over the past 12 months (and for longer I am sure)--I can proudly say "life is good."