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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Happy Birthday (and a half)

18 months ago today Xavier made his grand entry into this beautiful world. 18 months ago we had no clue how much love, joy, promise and laughter such a little being would bring into our lives. 18 months ago I couldn't have dreamed big enough to capture it all.

This last of those 18 months has, in particular, brought an explosion of big boy-ed-ness. First there were those long awaited first steps. Hesitant stomps that have become true steps. Steps that have become hops. (Hops that are actually the standing and stomping of one foot.) Hops that have led to the desire to run. Running that while possibly a tiny bit faster than walking is actually just smaller steps in quick succession, with arms flailing about and of course a smile.

That smile... those teeth. Our babes first surgery. A mouth, a smile that while gorgeous was painful. Teeth that just weren't done cooking when X decided he was ready to join us. Teeth that decided they didn't want to stay. And so of course we traded up for the pain-free version of pearly whites. Partially his own. Partially dentists brew. Our first post-NICU reminder that our strapping young lad was once that little early bird. And now that smile is pain free perfection. Brushing teeth is fun again. (ok so maybe not fun, but it's nice to not feel like I'm inflicting corporal punishment upon my baby several times a day) And smile he does.

Xavier has never been lacking in personality. But that cup now runneth over and then some. I think it's my treat for growing up the girl who was a bundle of shy observation with a sprinkle of meloncholy... To see him connect with everyone he encounters (and I mean everyone- whether they know it or not) just amazes me. He reaches out, discerns and in split seconds steals hearts. There's this sweetness. A tenderness. Beyond the hugs and kisses. Oh, those hugs and kisses. He's been blowing smooches for some time now, but we are now treated to puckered lips, nose rubbing "Eskimo" kisses and his blinky-tickly attempt at butterfly's on our cheeks. And while I was once strictly the giver of hugs. I am often surprised by a pair of tiny arms around my neck, a squeeze of his scissor legs or a bear hug from behind...

And did I mention that I am now "Mommy"? I have been Mama since the beginning of time but a few days ago someone decided it was a time for a change. And so Mommy it is. I'll admit that it took a couple of days to get used to "oh, who? me?!" But I'll keep it. And we've begun to call him parrot. Words and words and more words. As David and I speak, every sentence or two X latches onto a word and gives it a whirl. I'm grateful that our language is generally pretty G rated. The worst slip up has been the endless repetition of "poopy". We now have mini-sentences and conversations. The vocabulary is actually pretty shocking, and if he can't say it he'll sign it for you...

One of my favorite things of late have been the preferences. There are suddenly things that David and I have absolutely no interest in that X adores. Tractors are big as are planes and bikes and motorcycles. And of the animal set, geese and puppies and kitties and elephants and birds that "chirp, chirp" are wonderful but fish take the cake. Speaking of fish, we had a fishy guest for a week while Stephanie vacationed and after her (the fishes) heartbreaking departure and days of X looking around signing fish we figured the best half-birthday gift would be a fish of his very own. And so we bought a beautiful little beta. Xavier named him Norman. Of course.

I could write forever- the giggle/tickle fests, the games he thinks up, the waking up in the morning to his songs and stories and pokes and slightly stinky breath, the falling asleep at night next to his warm little body, every moment in between. I am endlessly amazed at how in the raising of my son. I feel like I am raising my self. I am seeing as he's seeing so many things as if for the first time. Nothing like 18 little months to change the world.

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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    7:54 AM  

    Oh my gosh, so sweet. And I love the name Norman! Can't wait to meet him!

    Steph top

  • Blogger Tracey says so:
    8:22 AM  

    Happy half bday Xavier! top

  • Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! says so:
    9:34 AM  

    Happy year and a half bday!!! Yippee! It's amazing how independant they get when they hit 18 mos. theBeast wants to walk everywhere now instead of being worn or put in the shopping cart, and she has clothing preferences!!! Yikes! LOL top

  • Blogger Life With All Boys says so:
    9:39 AM  

    SO sweet! I love this age. We have a beta. He's our second one. Our first one lasted 1 1/2 years. Not bad.

    Happy Half Birthday Xavier!!! top

  • Blogger MorningSong says so:
    11:07 AM  

    What a great post. He is celebrated for sure!! There is nothing like the Mommy/Mama job!! Every step and every new thing is just amazing. What a blessing! top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    1:00 PM  

    Happy Half! I feel so honored to have met you (just once!) in your short time her so far. And I got to experience the heart stealing first hand.

    I feel like I've said it enough but I just can't get over how how crazy intelligent this boy is.

    "the girl who was a bundle of shy observation with a sprinkle of meloncholy" Ditto - that was on of my fears with Cricket, I so didn't want that for him. He is more on the observing side for sure but so far it seems more of deep curiosity than b/c of shyness.

    A fish is the perfect bday gift! Also? A trip to Baltimore would be great. (I hope you know I'm totally kidding and not really this pushy). What size shirt does X wear these days? top

  • Blogger Happi says so:
    2:33 PM  

    happy bday and a half Xav. : ) top

  • Anonymous BEa says so:
    10:33 PM  

    So, Norman is the street i live on! :) cute. top

  • Blogger Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot says so:
    4:28 PM  

    Happy Half X!

    What a sweet post.

    I have been reading you for awhile through Stephanie and when Baby #3 is on the way, I will be ordering a sling from you, but it shouldn't be for a while so if you are ever going to close up shop, I will have to order earlier!

    Also, I loved reading your birth story and the things you love about being a mama. So sweet. top