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Category: Letters to Zach

Five Years In The Blink of an Eye

Dear Zachary,

Five years ago today, I became a mother.  Some might argue that I became a mother upon your conception, but something inside me changed in those first few moments when I heard your (very loud) cry and got my first glimpse of your beautiful face.  That is the moment when I truly understood what it means to be a mother.  At 4:40 p.m., on June 26th, 2005, I finally knew the meaning of true, unconditional love.


We’ve been through a lot in five years.  I’ve watched you grow from a tiny (ok, maybe not so tiny) baby into a little boy who is a force to be reckoned with.  While I’ve tried to shape you the best that I can, you are very much your own person.  You are so strong-willed and yet also so sensitive at times.  You take after your daddy quite a lot in this way.


You have changed so much over the last year.  You’ve lost every bit of your baby face and now you are just all boy.  You are growing so fast I can barely keep you in clothes and shoes.  I’m just thankful that it is summer now so that you can wear shorts and I don’t have to worry about your pants being too short anymore.  I’m guessing there is another growth spurt coming soon though, because several nights recently you have eaten more at dinner than I have!


This last year you finally got to go to preschool.  You were so excited for school to start.  I think you really enjoyed it for the most part.  There were a few rough times, fights with other kids, and days when you just didn’t want to go, but overall I think it was a good experience.  We also learned that you sometimes have a hard time focusing on tasks.  I’m hoping this is something that will come with maturity and not become a life-long problem.  You do pretty well in a one-on-one environment, but are easily distracted otherwise.  You are so incredibly smart though.  There are still days when you absolutely amaze me with the conversations we have.  My favorite part of preschool was watching you on stage during your school music programs.  You are a true music lover and you practiced so hard to learn your songs.  You were so proud up there performing for your family and friends.  Don’t tell anybody, but I might have cried just a little bit watching you.


After preschool graduation we changed gears a bit.  You are spending the summer going back and forth between your cousins’ house and Miss Paula’s.    I’m glad you are getting a little time to play and relax because in August, a whole new venture begins.  You’ll be starting Kindergarten.  I have very mixed feelings about it at this point.  You seem to be very excited about going to a “big school” but I am a bundle of nerves.  I’m excited for you, but also scared to send my baby off into the unknown.  I’d feel so much better if you could go to Aunt Tanya’s school where I at least know some of the staff.  If I had my way I’d wrap you in my arms and carry you through until you were an adult.  I have this fierce need to protect you from all of this, yet I know that I have to let you go and it’s really tugging at my heart.  I just am not ready for all this growing up and I know that this will be a life-changing year for you.


Five years ago, lying on that hospital bed, I never could have imagined the incredible journey that we’ve been on.  I am so proud of you, of all of your accomplishments, of the things you’ve overcome, of the sweet little boy that you are.  My eyes seem to be watering a bit as I’m writing this because I just can’t find the words to express what I want to say.  The love I have for you is sometimes just so overwhelming.  Of all the boys I have loved and cared for in my life, you are the one who completely stole my heart.

Happy 5th Birthday, Zachary! I love you so much!

Love always,

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Dear Zachary,

Oh my sweet boy, where do I even begin?  The three years since your birth have been the most challenging and the most joy-filled years of my life.  There have been times when I have been frustrated to the point of tears, but still when I look at your face I can feel nothing but love.  You have this hold on my heart unlike anything I have ever known.


Last weekend we celebrated your 3rd birthday, even though it was a few days early.  We had a Cars party at the park, where you and your friends got to play in the wading pool and fountains.  Your Grandma and Aunt Tanya made your cake because they seem to think that homemade cakes are much better than store bought.  It is a good thing they are around to do things like that for you since baking isn’t exactly my specialty.  You were so excited when you saw the cake that you somehow managed to fall…right onto the cake.  Only your hand landed on the cake, but it still did a bit of damage.  Fortunately it was still in the box and Grandma was able to somewhat rescue the icing that got messed up, but I was a little sad that I didn’t get a picture of it before the mishap.

Cars Cake

While we sat at the park enjoying the sunshine with family and friends, I though about all the changes you have been through in the last year.  Some have been easy for you.  Others have been very, very hard.  You went from a small home day care into a school setting.  We took away your noonie (pacifier), which seemed to trigger the night terrors that you had for nearly three months afterward.  Then there was the potty training.  You finally figured that out just in time for your little sister to arrive and shake your world up again.  And finally, we switched you back to another home day care, where you seem to be much more settled.  That’s a lot of big changes in a short period of time.

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Between all of the major life changes and the “Terrible Two’s” it has been a very challenging year.  I’ve seen behaviors that I never thought my kid would have.  I’ve tried everything I can thing of to combat those behaviors and I still haven’t found anything that will work with you.  You are a very strong-willed child, unlike any other I’ve ever met.  I’ve resorted to spanking you more times that I like to admit and often ended up in tears of frustration on my way to work in the mornings because of it.  We’ve tried time-outs, rewards for good behavior, and every other tactic I can think of but nothing ever seems to really work.  I know it is ridiculous, but I just keep thinking that someday, somehow, I will find a way to get through to you.

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Despite our many battles, you are still able to charm the pants off of me.  You are such a little comedian and absolutely love to make your dad and I laugh.  You are constantly saying silly things just to see what kind of reaction you can get.  I have a feeling you are going to be quite the class clown when you get older.  When you think you are being funny you get this little twinkle in your eyes and smile so big that I can’t help but to laugh.  The latest phrase you have picked up is “Hey, come on now guys!” which is usually said in protest of something and is more often than not followed up by “Just a couple minutes!”, but I still find it to be so darn cute that it usually gets a chuckle anyway.

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It sometimes amazes me that you can remember so much of what you hear.  You can quote many of the lines from your favorite movies and only need to hear a few notes of a song before you can tell me what it is.  And of course you love to repeat anything and everything that your Daddy says.  Sometimes you surprise me by repeating things that I didn’t even know you heard, which means that your dad and I need to start being a little more careful about what we say in front of you.  The worst part is when I realize you are picking up bad habits that I didn’t even know I had.  It is only when I try to figure out where you get it from that I realize you got it from me.


Zach, you are getting so big now.  Instead of a baby or toddler, I now have to say I have a little boy.  You have your own thoughts and opinions about things and they don’t always coincide with mine.  That’s something that we both need to get used to.  The best part of it though is that we can carry on actual conversations together (even if they are mostly about your race cars).  Some of my favorite times with you right now are when we are in the car on the way to or from day care.  Without the distraction of TV or toys, you let your mind wander and we have some very interesting conversations.  You often ask about the elementary school playground that we pass and I always have to tell you that you can play there when you get bigger.  Well son, you are getting bigger and bigger every day, and no matter how much I wish I could slow it down, before long you will be playing on that playground – without Mommy there to protect you.


The one thing I hope you’ll always remember – whether you’re on that playground or off at college – is that your Mommy is always here for you and will always love you, no matter what.

Love always,


Love Notes

Be Mine
(scrapbook layout from Girl Talk’s Love Struck Valentine’s Album)

Dear Hubby,

On this Valentine’s Day, I just want to thank you for putting up with me.  I know I’m not always the best wife or the easiest person to get along with (especially when I’m pregnant).   You have shown a lot of patience lately and for that I’m very grateful.  I know I gripe and complain a lot, but regardless of what you think, I do actually appreciate you.  I know you don’t think I show it enough but I really do love you and need you.  I couldn’t make it through this world without you by my side.


p.s.  If you could have dinner ready when I get home, that would be great!

Dear Zachary,

You are without a doubt the light of my life.  Before you came along, I had no idea that I could love anyone as much as I love you.  There are days when you frustrate me to no end with your tantrums and stubbornness, but in the end all it takes is a hug to make me melt into a puddle and forgive you.  You are growing up so very fast that I can barely keep up.  You are quite the companion these days and I’m really going to miss all of the time we spend together after your baby sister arrives.  I guess that will make it even more special when we have a few quiet moments together, just the two of us.  I just hope you will always remember that you are my special boy and no one can take your place.


p.s.  Please go to bed on time tonight.  Your daddy deserves a little snuggling too and I would really like to watch Lost uninterrupted.  Thank you in advance.

Dear BabyG,

We have just about six weeks left on this little journey together.  Soon you will join your daddy, big brother, and I in the outside world.  Each day that goes by I feel a stronger and stronger bond with you.  As you move around and push on my belly I feel a connection with you that I just cannot explain.  When I place my hand on my belly, you often push back as if you are trying to reach out to me too.  Each time it happens feelings of love just wash over me.  You are the little girl that I have dreamed of my entire life and I can’t believe that my dream is finally becoming a reality.  You are already so very loved by so many people.  We absolutely cannot wait to meet you.


p.s.  Feel free to start knocking on that door a couple weeks early if you are ready.  I would love to have you here by Easter if at all possible.

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27 Months

Dear Zachary,

It has been a while since I’ve written you one of these update letters.  The last one was when you turned two.  It is amazing how much you have changed in three short months.  Somewhere in there you changed from a whiny, needy, toddler into a very determined little boy who wants to do everything on his own…except when it comes to walking.  Apparently you still need me to carry you everywhere we go.  As much as I complain about how heavy you are, sometimes I don’t mind that you still want me to carry you because I know that one day soon you will be off and running and will no longer need the comfort of my arms.

aug_07 020It seems like every day you lose a little bit more of your baby tendencies and gain a little bit more independence.  You like to open the refrigerator to get your own snacks out.  You like to serve yourself and try to cut your own food up at meal times.  You even say a prayer all by yourself before you eat (and with just a little help at bed time).  You like to brush your teeth by yourself (even when mommy really wants to help).  You like to open and close the doors for mommy when we go out.  You really like to put your own bubbles in the tub when it is bath time.  I try to be patient with you, but sometimes I get a little frustrated when I’m in a hurry and you want to do everything yourself.  I’m so proud of you when you accomplish a new task, but sometimes I wish you could realize that mommy really can do it faster.

Your personality shines through more and more all the time.  You have a really great sense of humor and try to express it more and more all the time.  You have started telling “knock, knock” jokes and even though you rarely add on a punch line at the end, you laugh so hard that it makes everyone around you laugh as well.  You think burps are hilarious and always try to imitate it when you hear someone else burp just to get a laugh.  You make other little jokes here and there, just waiting for someone to catch on to what you have said.  One of my favorite things to do with you is to laugh.  The smile on your face and that little glimmer you get in your eyes can light up even the darkest of rooms.

sept_07 076These days I constantly want to compare you to a sponge as it seems you just soak everything up.  Since you started at your new day care (“school”) at the end of July, you have been learning so much.  You surprised me just last week by counting all the way from 1-20 while I was pushing you on the swing at the park.  I didn’t even know you could count to 10, much less 20.  You know most of your colors and can pick them out in pictures when we’re reading books together.  You can even pick out a few letters when we read your Elmo ABC’s book.  You’ve been singing your ABC’s for quite a while now, but I didn’t realize you could pick the letters out by sight.  Besides ABC’s, you’ve picked up several new songs that you love to sing.  The first time I was surprised when you started singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the bath tub.  Now you go around singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, B-I-N-G-O, ABC’s and other various songs all the time.  You still skip over some of the harder words, but you are so cute when you’re singing I’ll let that slide for now.

Things haven’t been all rainbows and sunshine over the last few months though.  You’ve regressed in several areas that I’m not real happy about.  I’m pretty sure that it is because you are learning so many new things at once, but it still gets frustrating.  The main problem areas right now are sleeping, potty training, and that dang pacifier.  It all started around the end of July, when we went on vacation.  I can’t blame it all on the vacation though, because you started at your new day care about a week after we got back so I’m sure that has had a lot to do with it too.  Since that time, I’ve barely been able to pry your pacifier or “noonie” out of your mouth.  I’m so sick of seeing that thing I could scream, but I’m trying to come up with the least traumatic way to get rid of it.  The sleeping is starting to get back on track, but we still struggle some nights at bed time.  As for the potty training, well, let’s just say momma quit pushing so hard.  You still go potty at school when your teacher takes you, but I have a really hard time getting you to go at home.  Some days you fight and scream so bad that I wonder if it is really worth the effort.  I’m hoping that if I back off a bit, you’ll decide you want to start doing it on your own.  Meanwhile, your Elmo and Diego big boy underwear sit unworn in your dresser drawer.

big boy zachWhile all of this has been happening, Daddy and I have also been trying to get you ready for a very big change that is headed your way.  In about 6 months, you will become a big brother.  I know it is going to be hard for you to get used to having a baby in the house, especially when you are used to having all of our attention on you.  We’re all really excited to meet your baby brother or sister in March, but I have to admit that I’m also a little sad that I won’t be able to spend as much time doing the things I love to do with you.  I’ve been really trying lately to spend more quality time with you in the evenings and hopefully will be able to continue doing that even after the baby arrives.  I don’t want you to ever feel like you have been replaced or that we love you any less.  If anything you will be loved even more, because your new sibling will love you just as much as (if not more than) your daddy and I do.

Some days when I sit back and watch you I am just filled with so much love I feel like I could burst.  I want to share every little thing you do with the world because I am so proud of you and the boy you are becoming.  I cherish our conversations, no matter how silly they may seem at the time.  I wish I could record every moment so that when you are all grown up I could go back and re-live it over and over again.  You are everything I ever wished for in a child and more.  I’m not sure it is even possible, but I think I love you more and more each day.


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Dear Zachary,

portraits_0005Two years ago today, your Dad and I were sitting in a hospital room anxiously awaiting your arrival.  You surprised us about 12:00 the night before, letting me know you were ready to start your journey into the world.  It was a moment we had been waiting for for so long that it almost felt surreal.   Words cannot describe the joy we felt when we finally were able to see your beautiful face.

In two short years, you have grown from a helpless infant who required constant care into a very independent little boy. june_07 009 You still need Mom and Dad quite a lot, but you are doing more and more on your own these days.  I’m no longer allowed to close doors or feed the cats when you are around.  If I don’t let you do those things, you become very unhappy.  One of your favorite phrases here lately is “Do it!” meaning, “I want to do it and you better let me!”  If I don’t let you do it, you break out into tantrum mode, which is not pleasant.

You are getting closer and closer to speaking in full sentences.  You can string several words together now and repeat after Daddy and I when we help you say your prayers.  It is still amazing to me when we have an actual conversation with each other.  I love that you can tell me what you want and need most of the time.  I haven’t quite managed to translate all of your words though, and when I don’t understand you it gets pretty frustrating for both of us.  I’m still working on it and one of these days soon we’ll get it all figured out.

Big Boy Bed!I miss your baby days already, I am really enjoying watching you grow and learn.  Just this last weekend, we took your crib/toddler bed apart and stowed it away.  Now in it’s place stands a set of bunk beds, where I’m sure you’ll spend many nights chatting with your cousins, friends, or possibly even a little brother or sister in the future.  You look so tiny in that big bed, but I know you are ready for it.  You were so excited when we brought them home and even took a nap on your new big boy bed before I could get the sheets on it.

june_07 120The next big step we have to make is to get you potty trained.  You are getting closer and closer every day to being ready.  In fact, just last night you did so well that you got to wear real underwear for the first time.  You were so proud of yourself that you promptly peed in them.  You have to learn somehow though, right?  After that, you stayed dry until bedtime when I changed you back into a diaper.  I have a feeling it won’t be long, but I’m sure I have my work cut out for me for a few more months.  One thing I won’t miss is changing diapers.

One of the things that I really love about you right now is the way you enjoy music.  Your favorite song right now is “Boom, Boom, Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy” and every time we get in the car you ask for “boom boom”.  You sing along whenever you can, which is most of the time since you seem to learn the words very fast.  When you aren’t listening to music, you are creating it.  You love to strum your guitar (or Mommy and Daddy’s guitars) and make up your own songs on the spot.

june_07 262It seems that you learn something new every day, and believe it or not, I’m learning right along with you.  Watching you play and enjoy life has taught me that I need to slow down sometimes and just enjoy the moments that surround me.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine that I tend to forget what life is all about.  You, my son, are teaching me constantly to stop and laugh and just enjoy the time that I have.  Sometimes, when I sit back and just watch you playing, I am just so in awe.  It is hard to believe that I created something so amazing.

Daddy's BootsI guess I can no longer call you my baby, although in my heart you always will be.  You are now my big boy, a big boy who jumps, sings, dances, jokes, plays, laughs, and loves (and gives great zerberts!).  You are my big boy, who can melt my heart with a simple hug and kiss and make my heart ache with a single cry.  Being able to watch you grow into the man that I know you will someday become, is the greatest gift I have ever been given.  I love you.  Happy Birthday, my big boy!

Love always,

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22 Months

Dear Zachary,

Sometimes in life, even with the best of intentions, things do not always go as planned. While you may not understand that now, you will certainly learn it as you get older. I can almost hear your adult self chuckling at my words now. Yes, someday you will understand. The reason I am bringing this to your attention is because this letter is well overdue. I sort of missed the 21 month mark and as it got later and later I just decided to roll it into the 22 month letter. Well, now this one is a week overdue as well and it is time for me to play a little catch up. This one might be a little long.

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One of the reasons I am so late with this letter is that you had a brand new baby cousin born last week. Baby Brayden was born just two days before you turned 22 months old and we spent most of the week visiting with him and his family. You got to hold him for the first time when he was just three days old and it was a sight I will never forget. It made me really want to give you a little brother or sister to play with soon. Fortunately, you will have lots of cousins to keep you company though. With the addition of Brayden, you have four cousins now and will have two more by next January. Our family is certainly expanding quickly!

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Over the last couple of months you have become even more independent. You like to do what you want to do and often refuse to do what Mommy and Daddy want you to do. You tell Mommy and Daddy when you want a snack or a drink and if we pick out the wrong thing you let us know. You prefer to stand on the kitchen counter so that you can reach into the snack cabinet and choose your own most of the time. When I don’t let you do this you throw a tantrum – unless I can manage to get the perfect snack into your hands before the tantrum commences. While it is extremely frustrating at times, I also enjoy the fact that you have started making decisions on your own.

Giving the Flirty Eyes

Just as with the snacking, mealtime is hit or miss. Some days it seems that we have placed the perfect meal in front of you and other days it seems like we are forcing you to eat pig slop or something. The trouble is, it is often the exact same meal that produces two entirely different responses from you. I’m pretty sure you would be happy if we let you eat chocolate chip cookie dough for every meal, along with a big cup of chocolate milk, but that just isn’t practical or healthy. Instead, I just try to make sure that there is at least one thing on your plate each meal that I know you will eat and hope that you will at least try the rest. Even if you eat nothing else, I can pretty much guarantee that yogurt and cottage cheese will disappear in an instant. You have also started cutting your second set of molars, which just might have something to do with the eating issues. The two bottom ones have started coming in, but the top ones are nowhere to be seen yet.

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When you are behaving at the table, you are allowed a “big boy cup” without a lid. So far you have done quite well with it. The first time I gave you a real cup with some water in it you poured it down the front of you, but you haven’t done so since. I have been very pleasantly surprised at just how well you handle it. I’m just waiting for you to toss a full cup across the room like you do your sippy cups.


Last month, on March 21st, you had your very first surgery. We finally decided to put tubes in your ears so that you could quit having so many ear infections. The procedure was really fast and you were great throughout the whole process, but Mommy had a little bit of a rough time with the whole thing. It ended up not being nearly as bad as I had imagined, but the thought of my little boy lying in a hospital bed was really scary to me. Since the surgery, your ears have done really well. You haven’t had any more ear infections since then so I think it was a very good decision.


At some point during the last couple of months, you figured out what a “booboo” is. You got a pretty bad scrape on your leg and now every time you fall or bump into something you say either “Ow!” or “bobo!” and you need Mommy to kiss it to make it all better. It is amazing how powerful Mommy’s lips can be. As soon as I kiss the spot that is hurting, it magically goes away. This all worked really well until you started asking me to kiss your tongue. I wasn’t quite sure how to tell you that Mommy’s magical kisses don’t work on tongues so instead I just kissed the air next to your tongue and that seemed to work just as well.


The weather around here has been a little bonkers lately and it seems to be driving you about as nuts as it is me. We’ll have a beautiful sunny day where it feels like summer and then the next day it will get cold and rainy again. It wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that you really want to go play outside. You absolutely love playing on the jungle gyms at the park, at your cousins’ house, and at day care. You climb like a pro (while scaring Mommy to death) and love going down the slides. I have a hard time just letting you go and not hovering over you like a safety net, but you really can do it all on your own now.

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Probably the biggest accomplishment you have had recently is learning to use the potty. You have now actually gone peepee in the potty three times. Up until this week, you would sit on the potty when you felt like it but most of the time you just didn’t feel like it. I’m not sure that you are quite ready for full-on potty training yet, but when I woke you up one morning and saw that you had an almost dry diaper on I decided to try putting you on the potty. Luckily I hit you on a good day and you went cheerily to the bathroom to sit on the potty. A few minutes later, you had gone in the potty and we were doing a celebratory song and dance in the bathroom. The next day you did the same. This morning, when I went in to get you up, you practically jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. There were no results but you tried really hard so we danced anyway. People have warned me about trying to potty train too early, but it seems to me that we’re on the right track. I’ve never been more happy to look at a little puddle of pee.

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Zachary, you are just
growing up so darn fast. My days get so busy sometimes that I feel like I’m missing out on so much with you. You have gone from a tiny little baby to an almost 2-year-old in what seems like seconds. You are thinking for yourself, talking in short phrases, and you have such a great sense of humor. I really don’t know how I got so lucky. I’ve been trying really hard lately to just slow down and soak it all in. I just don’t want to forget a single moment. I love you so much.

Love always,

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