Category Archives: Write This Down

Ronan, Ronan, Ronan….

Ronan, we love you.

The other night I cuddled Ronan an extra thirty minutes before putting him down. He was in just a diaper and sleeping in my arms. I snapped a mental picture of those adorable lips, chubby cheeks, tummy, and rolls (+ rolls + rolls, down to the toes), and just hugged on his sweet little bod. It takes self control not to squeeeeeeze this lil chunk – he’s so delicious!

Moments like this make me wish he’d stay a baby forever. Just never grow up – grow up and not really need me anymore; grow up and move away. </3 Nooooo. It has me reminding Brad to call Mama H more. (We love you, Oma!)

This dude even beats Evey, our peaceful giggly one, in the laid-back baby department.

And, ooh baby, those eyes. Killin’ me, every time.

They are almost purely blue with little sparks of green near his pupils. Knowing that at 6.5 months they can still change, I tried, to no avail, to feign indifference. I LOVE THEM! Maybe they will stay blue (like Papa Cooley) or fade green (like Dad Brad). Maybe they’ll even darken to hazel (like Mom).

In the car he squeals and giggles 90% of the time. It makes us all crack up. Evey will counter back, “Bubbs! What you talking ’bout Bubbs!?” That just makes him (and us) laugh even harder.

He’s was sitting at 4 months but two weeks ago he realized he could sit back and balance himself (without leaning forward with his fists on the ground). This self-discovery resulted in a week of Ronan laughing out loud while wobbling in circles without falling down. His squeals could be heard from the other side of the apartment.

He’s loving avocado, which was his first food (like his big sis), carrot, broccoli, apple, and banana. He’s not loving store bought baby food and prefers just gnawing on whatever he can get his hands on.

At six months he’s sill in bed with Mom + Dad, despite my pitiful (practically non-exsistant) efforts to get him into his own bed. (I’m normally too tired and fall asleep before getting him in there…)

Current names are: Ronan, Bubba, Bubbs, Chunky, and Fat Boy. (Yes, Fat Boy via Bradley…)

Evey and I have a song we’ve sung since his first week home. It’s not too complicated. It goes: “Ronan, Ronan, Ronan, Ronan we love you! Ronan, Ronan, Ronan we love youuuu!” (Repeat x3).

Sorry you have to wear so much pink and have zero personal space. That’s how it goes, little bro.

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These are our last South Bend days.

This morning we woke up around 7:45. Eve pitter-pattered into our room, I scooped Ronan out of his Pack-n-Play (which sits next to our bed), and our little family of four cuddled in a pillow fort.

Brad made eggs and coffee for breakfast. Even though Brad never eats that early – he says his stomach isn’t ready – he always cooks for us. Thanks, Dad Brad. We all dressed and walked to mass.

It’s a mile walk – 0.8 of which is on beautiful ND campus. We talked about how we’d miss these walks and likely never have a better one. Our new apartment in San Antonio is just 0.8 to church – and we’re excited about that – but we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought it might compare to living in Harter Heights at Notre Dame, Indiana.

We see so many young, incredible families we know everywhere we go here. We love that and will really miss this community!

Our Sunday tradition here is post-mass Martin’s (the local grocery store) muffins and donuts. Simple, and sweet! For the first time, Eve doesn’t get one because she yelled on the walk home. :( But I get one (Lemon Poppyseed and delicious!) and she cheers up after lunch and a nap. :)

These days are awesome. Campus feels magical – alive with the spirit of football season and the beginning signs of Fall with cooler breezes and orange, red, green, and yellow falling leaves. Brad is home more. Last weekend he worked his last football game (18 hour days – pleh!) and since then things have relaxed. He anticipates this coming week, our last week here, being likewise laid-back.

Here are some “write this down” bullets before I log off to swipe a short nap at the tail end of my kiddos’ slumber:

  • Walking to Brother’s for football, beers, and food with Brad and the kids.
  • Starbucks with Bradley and then walking to the playground.
  • Ronan’s sweet coos and kicks when he locks eye contact with Eve, Brad, or me.
  • Cuddling him close until Ronan falls asleep.
  • His sweet smell and chubby cheeks.
  • His 4:00 AM coos, kicks, and giggles,
  • Watching him and Eve laugh and play through my rear view mirror and hearing them both giggle.
  • This morning while walking to mass, Eve up looked at me and said, “oh, you look so pretty, Mom.” And then later, “pretty, dress, Mama.”
  • How she calls her avocados “apple-cados.” She asks for them everyday and gobbles down every last bite. (California rubbed off on her a bit.)
  • Watching her climb the ladder at the playground. She’s been doing it before she could walk. She’s way braver than I ever was. Brad gave her that and I love it.
  • How she’s confused “excuse me” for “sorry.” She’s always saying “sorry, Mama” so sweetly when she wants to get by.
  • Her adding of “uh lil’ bit” or “much” to end of her sentences.
  • How she comes in every morning and lays on me for several minutes giving me a huge sleepy hug.
  • Watching her swim at the Kroc. She dives in from the steps and loves to float around in her Puddle Jumper.
  • She’d shout “oh maaan!” when she was frustrated. Now it’s just “maaaaaan!”
    • “Eve, it’s nap time.” — “Maaaaaaaaan.”
    • Drops/spills something. — “Maaaan!”
    • Is told “no.” — “Maaaaan!”
  • Watching her help Ronan – She’s always sprinting to grab and trash a dirty diaper or to grab me a clean one… When he spits up she exclaims, “oh! oh!” and runs for a blanket to wipe him off… When he cries she rubs his back and consoles him saying, “Bubbs, Bubbs, don’t cry Bubbs.”

[Pile of sticks by courtesy of Big Sis.]

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Everyday we name who/what is hanging on the walls in our home. We have a few images of Mary with baby Jesus. I’ll point to Mary and say “Mother Mary” – Evey will say “Mommy.” I’ll point to Jesus, and we’ll both say “Jesus.” The other day after doing this, Evey reaches out to Mary, then touches me, and says “Mom.” Next, she touches Jesus, touches herself, and looks up to me.

Heartbreaker.

Last night during dinner prayer, Evey made her first Sign of the Cross on her own. Normally, I help her. But last night I wasn’t yet to the table and then I realized- she knows!

These days are fun. Hard but beautiful. Her language is exploding. Connections from her tiny mind, ones she’s had for so long, are finally becoming outward signs that we can see. We witness her figure so many new things out everyday.

At 19 months, I’m holding onto:

…how you hang your puffy red winter coat on the hook each time we walk in the door

…how, when seeing your current favorite book (which is called “Snow”) you yell “SNOW”

…what a cuddle monster you are when going down for a nap and at nights

…how you wake up, toddle into our room, and reach up to the bed every morning

(Photos from our trip to DC last March, with a stop at my favorite Smithsonian with Lizzie)

“Wait, so this is love? That’s intense, Mom.”

…your favorite place to hide, in the kitchen cabinet

…watching you use your whole body to yell “DAD!!” as loudly as you can anytime you want him in the room

…your attachment to your purse or “bag” – how you stuff so much inside, and try so hard to carry it about, brimming with toys and knick knacks

…making and eating a big breakfast with you every morning

…watching you run around laughing with Dad, begging to get on his “back” once more

…singing nursery rhymes with you

(Even Mary gave that weaning side-eye…)

…December 25th, the day you weaned completely!

…when you hug and kiss your baby brother in my growing belly

…how intrigued you are by photographs – you scan the photo for recognizable faces and then announce them aloud (when you see yourself you say “EE-VEE!!”)