LETTERS TO LUCCA



11/19/2014

Dear Lucca,

I've been wanting to write you a letter from day one--but I've been a bit busy. I've decided that now is the time as you are almost 14 months old. I hope that one day my letters to you will be as important to you as they are to me.

This past year with you in our lives has been the most amazing thing to happen to us. You've always been such a happy, smiling baby. Ever since you were 3 months old, you would flap your arms and kick your legs in excitement. People would often stop to ask me, "What does that mean? Why's he flapping like a bird?" And I'd just tell them: "He's happy". You remind me of "Mumble" in Happy Feet. It's just a part of you, and that's how you show your happiness. You were and still are, the happiest little babe I've ever known. 

I won't lie to you-- the first few months were tough. I wanted to prove to the world that I was an amazing mother. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I was doing everything right for you. I know that's silly now, because all that matters is you-you're health and happiness. And now, whenever I'm doubting myself, I know I can always look to you for the answers.

When you turned one, I cried for weeks. I looked back on the year and thought, "Did I hold him enough? Did I cherish every single moment?" I felt that it wasn't enough, and I wanted to turn back time.

Sometimes, I still feel sad that you aren't that tiny, squealing, snuggling little babe anymore, but I'm so amazed by your own unique personality that shines through everyday. Sometimes, when I leave the room, I peer around the corner and just watch you playing. I love to watch your imagination growing, your mind going a mile a minute. I still can't believe that I have made this person--this person who is starting to walk, gives me kisses, looks to me for comfort, and laughs with me. I'm just in awe of you--every single day. And even on the toughest dears, you make this life better in every single way

I love you Lucca Bear. I hope that one day--all of my crazy mama-bear antics will show my true love for you in the best way. You are literally my dream come true--something I know I've wished for all of my life. I'm so excited to watch you grown and experience this life with you. 

"As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen" -Winnie The Pooh

xoxo, 
Mama


11/24/2014


Dear Lucca,

Today was a good day. 
It was a Monday, and I usually dread this day because it means hours in front of the computer working and less time playing with you. But, today was good. Somehow, I pulled it together to be able to work a full day, take you and Brooklyn for a walk, and go to the park. It was also 70 degrees outside-- there was no way we were staying in the house.

You've changed so much in just one week. You walked all over the park, pulled my hand where you wanted to go, and let go a few times to show me you could it all by yourself. I loved watching you play with your friend, making faces at each other and talking in your secret language. This just amazes me beyond belief-- To watch you play and interact-- your personality showing through. I love this stage you are in. You want to explore and know everything, and I want to teach you...

Now that you know what a school bus is, you get so excited to see one pass by. You point, make sure that I see it too, and smile. You are just so smart--soaking up this world around you like a sponge. It's an amazing thing to witness.

I can tell that you will always be very observant--making connections between A and B to understand things. That's not something that can be taught. You are inquisitive and imaginative by nature, and I love that about you.

Today was a good day.
Tomorrow will be another one.

xoxo,
Mama

12/08/2014

Dear Lucca,

The past few weeks have been such a roller coaster. For whatever reason, you stopped sleeping soundly through the night and have given your Dad and I a run for our money. We've been exhausted beyond belief, but regardless how many times you wake up during the night, you always greet us with a  smiling face, and the last several hours of sleeplessness are just a slight memory. I know that these days are few and far between-- the times where we can pat you on the back or rock you until you snore. I know that I will miss those days, so I will keep my complaining to a minimum.

Your independence is growing more and more each day. You want to feed Brooklyn, you want to climb up the stairs and slide back down all by yourself, you want to hold my keys on the way out to the car. With this new independence has brought a few power struggles. Yesterday you went crazy when I took a lint roller out of your hand just to give to the cashier to ring up. But I get it. You were holding it. I guess I'd be upset too if someone just took something from me so abruptly. I'm trying to understand your world as best I can. Life of a 14-month old is something I know absolutely nothing about. You can't talk yet, so it's anybody's guess what you're trying to tell us. And when you do start talking-- we better watch out, for sure.

As I'm writing this, I'm watching you on the baby monitor as you settle down for your morning nap. We started putting books in your crib so you could read to yourself while you go to sleep or when you wake up. I love that you do this, and jibber jabber and point to pictures that you recognize. I hope you always love books. I hope that you will always reach for a book and want to sit in my lap and snuggle up with a story. Books are forever. There aren't any batteries that will die, there are no screens that might shatter, and they are much more comfy than any iPad. Please, please, always love books. Goodnight Moon, and The Goodnight Train are some of your favorites right now. I can't wait to see what else you love to read...

I don't know what else we'll do today because it's rainy and cold, but I'm happy just to stay in our pajamas until 3 p.m. and play with all your toys. We're pretty good at doing that.

xoxo,
Mama

12/18/2014

Dear Lucca,

We had to call in some reinforcements this week because your Dad and I were exhausted. One day we'll be shaking you to get out of bed before noon, but for whatever reason, you don't like to sleep right now. Luckily, Mags is here to keep you busy, keep us sane, and everybody is happy.

The other day Mags and I took you shopping, and as always you were so friendly to everyone passing by. You love to say "Hiiii" to everyone, and you won't stop waving until they acknowledge you. When we were leaving the store, an elderly man started waving to you. Naturally, you waved back with a big smile. He knelt down, took your hand and kissed it. I was cringing, mostly because I'm grossed out by other people's germs, especially strangers in Walmart. He was so enamored by you, that he took you from Maggie''s hand, picked you up, and hugged you. My initial thought was that you were about to be kidnapped, but then my heart softened once I realized this man just really missed his family. In broken English, he told Mags that he had two sons, and it was evident that it'd been a long time since he had seen them. You made this man's day. And that made me happy.

You are such an amazing, happy boy, so willing to spread your love and joy to other people. Even the grumpiest of people walking past us will stop to reply to your sweet greetings. You always make someone's day. You make mine, everyday. 

xoxo,
Mama

1/5/2015

Dear Lucca,

Another year has begun and today I'm taking you to your 15-month appointment. Just in the past week you've said so many words-- banana, apple, cracker... yes, they are all food words and they are your favorites to say. You've been babbling since you were a newborn with so much to say, so I can't even imagine what you will have to tell us once you can finally put some real words together. You love to try to say "good girl" when we're trying to tell you to be gentle to Brooklyn while you pet her. 

Everyday you are becoming more of a little boy and less of a baby, which makes me sad sometimes but so excited for the days ahead to watch you grow. I have looked forward to so many moments, when you first said "mama" and "daddy", when you reached for my hand when you walked, when you ran to me when I picked you up from daycare, when you blew your first kiss... Now we are trying to teach you to say "I love you", and I'm pretty sure my heart will melt all over again. You are so smart and watching you grow and change before my eyes is the most amazing thing. I love you sweet boy, and can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for us. 

xoxo,
Mama

1/13/2015

Dear Lucca,

You've changed overnight: you cling to me like a treefrog, you say "mama" all day long, you don't want to run into the daycare at the gym anymore, you want to sit in my lap while I work... I'm not going to lie. I do kind of love this right now. This is what I've always wanted: a little teeny voice calling me "mama". A little teeny person that wants me and needs me. A little teeny boy who wants to bring me 18 books and sit in my lap and read every single one. I hate hearing you cry, and I always fight the urge to turn back and run to you. I want you to know that I'll always come back. I'm always here for you, but in the meantime, you've got to hang in there and make the most of it. We are together all day everyday, and it's good for us to both have some space. You can make some friends. I can take a breather. I'll always be excited to see you again, and I know you'll be excited to see me. I know this is just a phase, I know that one day I'll be running after you to give me some attention. 
I love all the words that you're saying: banana, (s)nack, cracker, up, down, mama, daddy, milk, go. Anything you say or do we are amazed. I love when you tell Brooklyn "good girl" and give her a pat and a kiss. I love when you take your toy airplanes and move them in the air and make airplane sounds. I don't know how you know how to do that, but it's so great to watch and we are convinced you are a genius. I also love how you know the real airplanes fly overhead outside of the gym and whenever we come out of the door, you always look up to see if one is coming. I've never seen your Dad be more proud then when he asked you tonight if you wanted to watch the VCU game and you ran into the living room and started yelling and cheering at the TV. And just like that, a Ram Fan was made. You're such a great boy: silly but serious, loving, smart and friendly. I love you and can't wait to see you in the morning and start another day.

xoxo,
Mama

3/18/2015

Dear Lucca,

I cringe when I look at the last time I wrote you a letter. But the truth is--we've been busy! YOU are busy. From the time you wake up in the morning until the time you rest your head, you are on the go. You don't walk, you run. You run so much in fact that when we're in public, I'm either holding you or you're in a shopping cart. You haven't quite grasped the concept of holding my hand and taking your time. Maybe you will. But maybe you won't. That's just your style.
You drive me crazy. You drive me crazy but I love you so much for that. I love that you are a busy boy, playing and learning and always moving. Sometimes I want nothing more than to cuddle with you on the couch, but that's not your thing. And when you do cuddle, we know something is wrong-- you don't feel good, you have a fever, etc. Cuddling is so out of character for you. You've got things to do, places to go, people to see. I get it. Maybe one day you'll want to slow down and cuddle with your mama. But maybe you won't.
You're obsessed with balls--any kind: soccer, basketball, football, golf balls, bouncy balls, squishy balls. You request them from the moment we enter your room in the morning. 
You know 3 shapes: heart, star and circle. You know one color: blue. You kind of know your alphabet, but really you just know the tune and chime in for "G", "P", "S", "V" "X" and "Z" but I'd say that's pretty darn good. You know all your farm animals and the sounds they make, you're still obsessed with Mickey Mouse (although I'm thinking you have a crush on Minnie because you only say her name), and you've recently discovered crayons/markers/pens as evidenced by the caveman drawings appearing all over the walls and doors. If you see any writing utensil in plain view, you demand to "CUH-LAH! CUHHHH-LAHHH!" and you usually get your way. 
Watching you learn all these things makes me one proud mama, but at the same time as we come to another milestone (you're almost 1 1/2) it makes me sad. I can't help but feel that way sometimes because you're my baby boy and everyday you are smarter and bigger and faster. Maybe you'll feel bad for me one day and slow down and let me just hold you before another day passes and you are another day older. But maybe you won't.
I love you crazy, silly, smart boy. I love you to the moon and back.

xoxo,
Mama



4/3/2015

Dear Lucca,

This week you turned 18 months old. Sometimes I forget that you're still a baby, because the things you do and say just don't reflect this tiny little babe that I used to snuggle with, listening to your coos and watching you just breathe. You are such a little person now. You herd all the animals-- "Come on B", "Come on kitties", you say hi to every person on their porch as we walk down the street, you wipe your face with a napkin after you eat, you throw your dishes in the sink and throw "tash" away in the garbage. Yes, I'm a proud mama for all these independent things you are doing. And now, you want nothing to do with me holding you in public. You demand to walk (which really means running away from me as fast as possible), and now that the weather is nicer, you bang on the doors and windows and say "outside, outside".
It kills me to not be outside with you every single minute of the day. All I want to do with you is roll around in the grass, point out every single airplane that flies overhead, wave to every school bus driving past us. Those are the times when I'm happiest. Just watching you being you; exploring the world around you without a care. Your interest in everything from an ant crawling on the ground to seeing letters on the side of a building inspire me. You look at the world every single day as new and exciting. It makes me want to slow down to see the world you are seeing. That is so beautiful to me. It's beautiful and sweet and pure. Everyday it's these little moments that I hope to hold on to forever. It's these moments in between the really tough ones that make being your mama so incredibly special. 

And as its raining today, we should probably stay inside. But I want to put on your new raincoat and take a walk in the rain-- watch you catch raindrops and jump in puddles, stick your fingers in the mud. I want to watch you be you and learn even more just by walking out our front door. I know you'll love that.

I love you my smart, sweet, beautiful bear.
xoxo,
Mama



4/23/15 

Dear Lucca,

You are such a little person--I joke that you could move out and get your own apartment because you're so self sufficient. You throw your dishes in the sink when you're finished, you ask for a napkin to wipe your own face and hands, you throw things away that are "yuck" or things you know are garbage. I laugh every morning while I'm working, you finish guzzling your milk, and you walk over to me and say "All done Mommy thank you" and hand me your cup. If I teach you anything, at least it will be to be polite and clean up after yourself. Your future wife will appreciate that.
Last night you also amazed me by running back and forth to get your wild animals, naming each one along the way- "Jaff (giraffe), Hippo, Zubra (Zebra), Tigah (Tiger). You lined them all up side by side, and said "TADAHHH!" You were so proud of yourself. Then you realized one animal was facing the wrong direction, and you immediately fixed it. You are so my child.
My heart melted yesterday (as it does most days) when I told you for the 342830th time that you have to hold Mommy's hand if you want to cross the street. Instead of bolting onto the street like you usually do, you stopped, looked at your toes, then reached your hand up to me. You know. You understand. 
I wonder everyday how you know so much-- you've only been on this Earth for 547 days. In that amount of time, you have figured out so much about the world around you. It makes me think what else you are capable of in the days ahead. But slow down a bit, bear. You're growing up too fast.

xoxo,
Mama



5/13/15

Dear Lucca,

Last week we stayed with Mags and your cousins. This week you're having a bit of withdrawal , and I don't blame you. You woke up this morning calling for Mags, and I was sad I couldn't bring her to you. You had such a blast last week and now you say and know everybody's name. You love to laugh and be silly with your cousins and I'm so glad you are close with them. You have a bond with each of them and it's so special to watch. They take such good care of you and are such good helpers. I love watching you with them.
You're picking up on so many things in the past few weeks. You almost had me in tears the other day when I couldn't stop coughing-- you looked right at me from across the dinner table and said, "Bwess you Mommy. Bwess you..." It was the sweetest thing ever.
You've been telling everyone (and everything) "I wuv you", which melts my heart even more. "I wuv you B. I wuv you Maggie. I wuv you cow". You have so much love to give, we are so lucky to have that with you.

You are such a little person now and have definitely been acting much more like a two-year-old than a little baby. You test my patience everyday, but to hear you ask for things, point out things and say 'I love you' is the best thing ever.
I Wuv You most, my sweet bear.


xoxo,
Mama

6/9/15

Dear Lucca,

Summer is in full-force and everyday I feel guilty having to work while you play in the basement with me. All I want to do is have picnic lunches, spend time splashing at the pool or a splash pad, stopping for ice cream on the way home. We make it work though, and the time we do spend playing outside is all totally worth it. 
In the past month, you've started putting together 3 and 4 words and it's like we can actually have a real conversation with you. "Mommy. Play. Golf. Come Mommy." Or, "Mommy. Brooklyn. Walk. Outside." You know what you want, and you know how to ask for it. Sometimes I really can't believe you can talk to us-- I know this is a normal progression and duh, kids are supposed to learn how to talk, but you know things. You know the names of shapes like diamond and triangle and can tell me you feel "hot" when you're running outside. You know so many different animals and you know the names of your family members and your friends. You sing songs in the backseat of the car and your favorite part of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" is when you sing "washed the spider out" and you make a dramatic movement with your hands. You love naming all the members of your family (including the pets). You're just so smart. And funny-- and you know you're funny, too. You love to be silly and try to get ANYONE to chase you. You like to "hide" behind your hands. I really think you believe you're invisible when you do that. It makes me laugh everytime. And no matter how tied up I am working, I will always stop and find time to chase you. Or take your hand when you walk up to my desk saying "Car. Race. Come Mommy. Race car.." 
You are making your Daddy so proud with your golfing, or "bolf" as you say it. You wiggle your butt and line up your feet and swing. You are so proud of yourself that you love having Daddy watch. It's such a great thing to see. You love your Daddy so much and sharing this together is so special.
I love you smart boy, and as I type away, here you are saying "Daddy, bolf?" You're missing him while he's working too. We will have a fun, fun, summer my love.


xoxo,
Mama

7/31/15

Dear Lucca,

Slow down. You were running in circles last night like a dog chasing their tail for a good 5 minutes exclaiming, "I fast! I fast!". Indeed, you are. This past weekend you met the entire side of your dad's family and they saw it firsthand just how speedy you really are, the way you were racing all over the place at the hotel. You always have somewhere to go.
It made me feel so happy to see you giving hugs and sharing smiles and high-faves with your family. They were all so excited to finally meet you. Although you don't see them all the time, and you might forget their names every now and again, they are important. It's important to keep your family close. It's important to know your family's history and know where you fall in line. Take pride in that. You are blessed to have born into a huge Italian family with everyone all over the country. All I ask is that 18 years from now, keep it going. Reach out to your extended family. Go to family reunions. Plan trips to visit. Family, no matter how big or small, how close or far away you are, is important. Never forget that.
I love you, and was so proud to finally introduce our smart, funny, and full of life little boy to your daddy's family. 

xoxo,
Mama

11/11/15

Dear Lucca,

My time in between writing you is getting more and more but my only reasoning for this is that we are just so busy. You are so busy. You're two years old now (and a month) and you are definitely acting your age. It's your world, and we are just living in it. You tell me how to wear my hair, wear to sit, and how to play. You test boundaries with me and your Daddy, and sometimes we are left scratching our heads on just how to handle you. You count to twenty (although you skip from 14 to 17, then after 20 you keep repeating 25...25...25..). You have made many friends and know them all by name, what toys they have, where you played together last and what happened when you were together (i.e.: you didn't want to share and it made them sad). 
You had for first Halloween experience and it went better than we ever thought. You loved your Buzz costume, insisted Daddy "fly" you down the sidewalk, and you did such a great job saying 'Trick or Treat' and "thank you" to our neighbors. You ate a cupcake, a lollipop and 3 snickers that night, and needless to say you were up at all hours of the evening bouncing off the walls on your sugar high. Mommy and Daddy were really, really tired, but we had so much fun with you.
You make us laugh with your own jokes, you make up your own games and silly ways to play. Last night you lined up the mixing bowls in the living room, got a ball, and let everyone have a turn shooting it in a bowl. You're so smart when you do things like this, and I love to see your imagination in action. 
You've started going to "school" two times a month. It's short and sweet, but it's good for the both of us. You are with your friends, your teacher, listening and learning, experiencing the world a little bit on your own. It makes me happy to see you happy when you go. You're brave for letting me leave for a little while, but you always know that I come back for you. And I love to hear the stories of your adventures...
I love you Lucca Bear. These days are long and tough but we're making it, and we love you more and more each day. You're teaching us so much about raising a little boy, but so much more about who Daddy and I are as your parents. We'll forever be grateful for that.

xoxo,
Mama

1/19/2016

Dear Lucca,

It's a new year and there have already been so many changes for you. We moved into our "new house" (I wonder how long you will call it this) and you have a new baby brother/sister on the way. The first change was an easy adjustment. You love your new room, your ginormous playroom, and the fact that you get to eat all your meals sitting on a stool in the kitchen. The second change-- well, I guess we won't know until we cross that bridge. You love babies from a distance, you're excited to point out that mommy has a baby in her belly, you excitedly shout that it's a baby sister (we still haven't found out yet!) but when the day actually comes that you'll have to share Mommy and Daddy, we'll see just how happy you are.
Our time together in these two years has been amazing. You made me a mama. You made me stand up to fears and challenge myself to be better-- a better mom, a better person. You've made me want to pull my hair out one minute and roll around on the floor laughing with you the next. The moments we've racked up in just two short years are ones that I will never forget, and I hope you don't either. I sometimes feel guilty that adding a brother/sister to your life might interfere with our special time together. I pray that it won't. I know that we will always have a special bond-- one that was created the second I held you in my arms. I will have a different type of bond with your sibling, and thats okay. We will have our own moments and own special times together, and we will have double the special moments as a family. 
I know that you will be great big brother. You are smart and kind and so incredibly helpful. You don't like to hear anyone cry-- whether it be a complete stranger, your mama, or your friend. You are so quick to put your arms around someone to tell them everything will be alright. This is a trait that many adults don't possess--and this speaks volumes about your personality and your character- and you've only been on this earth for two years to develop this type of compassion for other people.
We'll go through these changes the best way we know how-day by day. We'll learn this new dynamic to our family together. And I promise you, you will always be my bear, forever and ever.

xoxo,
Mama 

3/10/16

Dear Lucca,

Your baby brother will be here in 15 weeks, and I'm trying to soak in all the little moments I have with you. You melted my heart this morning when I came in to your room and you said "Oh Mommy you look so cute! You got dressed in your room". Even you know I must be going somewhere when I put on real clothes--regardless, you made me feel good and I can promise you that will stay with me all day. 
When you were a baby, I used to look forward to the hand-holding days ahead and the times when you could tell me you loved me. You only hold my hand in parking lots (but when you do, I hold on tight) but you do give me hugs around my neck throughout the day and say "I love you Mommy". That is everything to me. Especially on the hard days when I've often think I've failed you. 
Things are difficult now that's for sure-- you want everything from me and sometimes I'm just too tired to keep up. I feel guilty for a lot of the times that I can't run from alligators or robots, or hop like a bunny up three flights of stairs. My heart sank the other day when we were talking about the pool and you asked me if I could go down the slide again with you this Summer. I want so badly to do these things with you, and I promise you I will be able to do them again. We have so much fun together, and I know it's difficult for you to understand why I can't do certain things, but soon you will have a little brother to share your silliness with and I can't wait to get back to my old self with you again too. 
I love you baby bear (although, you'd get mad at me if I said this out loud. You'd tell me 1. You're not a baby. and 2. You're not a bear, you're a Lucca... but you'll always be my Lucca Bear. You are so smart, so brave, so kind, and so YOU. You've made me a proud mama for sure, and you make me so incredibly happy.

xoxo,
Mama


5/6/16

Dear Lucca,

We are about 7 weeks away from welcoming baby Leo to our family. My eyes are already tearing up writing this, because every time I say his name, I can hear you say "Baby Wee-Oh", and it melts my heart. Last night, when you were saying goodnight to me and Daddy so Maggie could read you stories, you kissed my belly (unprompted), said "I love you Wee-Oh" and kissed it again. I started to get tears in my eyes and you said "No Mommy. Don't do that. You're happy". And you're right, Bear. I am so incredibly happy. I've felt so nervous and scared and you always make me feel better. You are so kind and loving, and I have no doubt that you will be the best big brother. 
Almost daily, you have told me things you'd like to do with your brother. "Mommy, I want Wee-Oh to come out so I can share my toys". Or, "Mommy, I'll show Wee-Oh how to use a fork to eat hot dogs". I love that you are imagining your life with him, teaching him all the important things and playing with him. At night I dream about these same things--a mommy to two sweet, little boys.
I'm so incredibly proud of you for how much you've grown up in the past few months. You're so matter-of-fact these days and you tell it like it is. You're quick to tell us the rules: "We don't scream. We don't spit. We talk nice" even though you sometimes slip up. You've grown your circle of friends and you love to talk about playing with them, the drama that has unfolded, and how you were such a big boy for sharing. I love seeing this part of your personality grow.
I had another proud moment when you told me last week that a little girl at the park told you "No" when you wanted to use the slide. You were really upset and pouting and you wanted to leave. We talked about ways you can talk to other kids if they make you upset or take toys from you. The next day we went to the park and when a little boy deliberately took trains from you, you looked at me in disbelief, and then turned to the little boy and said "I was using that. Please can I have that back?" Unfortunately, it didn't play out in your favor (sometimes life is like that) but I was so proud that you stood up for yourself. You're learning how to handle difficult situations on your own, and instead of being mean or getting upset, you're learning the power of words and kindness. That is everything. You're two and a half and this lesson is one you will have for the rest of your life.
You're such a big boy, and everyday I'm thankful to be your mama. 

xoxo,
Mama