Dear Alex,

A small addendum to my recent update. I wanted to wait to write about this until it happened again & the feeling was fresh in my mind. This occurred last night.

My young toddler, barely beyond the brink of infancy, wakes in the middle of the night crying as though he’s lost his last friend in the world.
I go to check on him, and nothing appears outwardly wrong. A bad dream perhaps, or teething. Whatever it was, he quiets the moment I pick him up.
I kiss his forehead, hold him close to me and settle down into the rocking chair. He breathes a heavy sigh of relief and burrows into my embrace, facing me belly to belly with his cheek buried in my elbow. The way we’ve done a thousand times before.
But now he is so big that his feet hang past the side of my lap, just over the edge of the chair. Snuggly moments like this are so few and far between these days that, even though my bed is calling, I decide to sit with him for awhile.
I rub his back and lean my head sideways against the headrest so that I can relax while staring at that sweet face. Before long he’s back in Dreamland, the pacifier drooping at the edge of his lips.
As I start to follow him there, suddenly he reaches his little hand up unconsciously and touches my face, caressing my cheek and then resting his hand on my chest.

And there we stay, in the quiet abyss between awake and asleep, feeling one another’s heartbeat. It feels like forever. It feels like no time at all.
But more than anything else, it feels like peace.

Times like this remind me why I became a mother. The depth of this bond, this love, the way you need me and I need you more than anything or anyone else in the world, is unlike any other experience I’ve had in this life. I know I say this a lot in these letters, but it is truly a blessing.

All my love,

Walk the walk, Talk the talk

Dear Alex,

You’re just over 16 months now! The spring has flown by, weather-wise it seems we’ve almost skipped it entirely and are starting to move on to summer. We were very thankful when the long season of winter weather finally ended, and now we spend a LOT of time playing outside. Things have not changed much activity-wise in the last two months. You are still VERY active, only your walking skills are more proficient and you’ve moved on to trying to run. Your climbing skills have improved a lot too (unfortunately for me, Dad, & especially the dogs LOL), partially because I think you’ve gotten quite a bit taller. You had your checkup at 15 months & clocked in at almost 27lb! I think my arms are getting pretty strong. 😉 Movement-wise, you are also starting to get more into dancing a little bit. It’s still pretty rare so I haven’t caught it on video yet, but super cute!

The biggest change these last two months has been communication. Your understanding of words & even what you’re able to say has grown leaps & bounds. You can identify and point to the common people in your life, for example “Where’s Mommy? Where’s Daddy?” and even distinguishing between our two dogs, Cody & Annie. You know the names of many common objects, and will follow basic commands like “Bring me the ball” or “Put the egg in the basket” (which was said often on Easter Sunday, LOL). Your new favorite word to say is “yuck,” probably because you’re constantly putting anything & EVERYTHING into your mouth, which leads us to say “Don’t eat that,  that’s yuck!” :-X You have mommy & daddy down pat, and will say a few other words such as out, dog, more, & bye bye. We occasionally hear other words & even what we think might be a short sentence (Dad thought he heard you say “want that” the other day, but I am skeptical). You are getting to be very inquisitive, and often ask us what things are by pointing at something and going “Eh?” It’s fun to have little conversations with you. How much you’re learning in such a short span of time just blows my mind! Oh, and one more thing about being vocal– you have recently discovered screaming. When we’re not giving you enough attention or you’re not getting what you want, more & more often you’re starting to throw back your head and SCREAM bloody murder. Lord help us! Hoping to nip that in the bud…. terrible 2’s here we come. :-\

Anyway, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in your hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, too. You’re getting more proficient at things like the shape sorter and building with blocks. When we play outside, you LOVE to “shoot hoops” and have gotten pretty good at slam-dunks with your toddler sized basketball hoop. Recently we took out your little tee ball set, and after only showing you what to do once or twice, you were hitting balls off the tee no problem! You also understand the concept of throwing & we like to play catch with you, in our own little way. It’s more like a complicated game of fetch, honestly. 😉 Haha

I think the rest of our adventures recently can be told in pictures & videos (and I apologize in advance as there are probably not going to be in chronological order)….

Easter festivities! We actually did an egg hunt/ meet the bunny event with my mom’s group the weekend before, then spent Easter in Hampton with all your grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins. You were much more into it this year, although it took some persuasion to have you put eggs in the basket (rather than immediately opening them to eat the contents, LOL).

We finished up your first round of swim lessons a few weeks ago. You got a fancy little certificate & everything! I think we’ll do this again next spring, when you’re old enough to move up to the next age group. You & I had so much fun with it, and as you can see many of our friends took the class with us… but admittedly, I’m glad to have my Saturday mornings back. 😉

Never a shortage of good times with Dad! You guys have such an awesome bond. I remember when you were a newborn & Dad was worried that you would never like him as much as me… I think he realizes now how silly that was!

There are a few of my favorite photos taken recently. I may be biased but good GRIEF you are adorable! I’m so glad you ended up with my blue eyes. You are going to steal the ladies’ hearts someday! Other than my coloring though, you are the spitting image of Dad. Speaking of cute pictures….

We had some family photos taken a few weeks ago, and I think they turned out really great! It can very hard to capture pictures of you smiling, as you almost never smile on demand (we’ve been working on the whole “say cheese” thing but no dice yet), so hats off to our photographer, Amanda Pham! 🙂

As you can see, lots of fun to be had with Mom too. 😉 The first couple pictures are from Mother’s Day. You & dad brought me breakfast in bed and let me have the morning to myself, then we went out to lunch and geocaching at the park. It was such a fun day… But days with my two favorite guys are always fun!

And that’s about where things are at the moment. This weekend we’ll be headed to WV for our annual family reunion with Dad’s side of the family. It should be a lot of fun! A weekend away with family & fresh air is just what the doctor ordered, and a great “kick off” to the summer season. Not long after that, Dad & I are going on our first vacation since before you were born… and frankly, I’m a little nervous about leaving you for so long (four days). But it should be a good thing for all of us, and it’s for a worthy occasion– my & Dad’s 5th wedding anniversary! It’s hard to believe how much a life can change in just five years. Makes me wonder what the next five years will bring….

Until next time, sweet boy! 🙂

All my love,


Here we go again….

Dear Baby Pacheco,

Hello little one! I guess you’re the baby now, and Alex is the big brother. 🙂 Dad & I are so excited that you’re on your way to us! It happened much more quickly than we anticipated, as I’d just gotten off the pill & we weren’t even seriously trying yet. We’d decided to just let the chips fall where they may for awhile & more actively try to get pregnant if we hadn’t conceived by this summer. But I guess you were ready to make this journey! A few days ago, even though it was unlikely as we’d been more or less avoiding my ovulation days, I took a pregnancy test and got this:

SaturdayTwo lines = pregnant! I was shocked, excited and nervous at the same time. This was at 6:30am on a Saturday morning and Dad was still asleep. I shook him awake and shoved the test in his face. “Whazzzat?” was his sleepy reply. When I explained, he just smiled and said “How do you feel?” He was already convinced I was pregnant, as he has a lot of faith in his abilities to knock me up with relatively little effort. As he said when we were trying for our first baby and again this time around, his “sperm is strong.” LOL. Men!

Anyway, by my calculation your due date is either January 26 (the EXACT same as your brother’s) or 27. Either way, you will be almost exactly two years apart. We were shooting to have our kids be somewhere in the range of 2-3 years apart, so we are thrilled. Uncle Jeff & I are almost exactly 2 years apart as well, so it’s an age difference I’m used to. Because it is still VERY early in the pregnancy, I feel just fine– no major symptoms or anything like that. Our first pregnancy appointment with the doctor is scheduled for next week. We haven’t told many people yet, not even your grandparents! So at this point I don’t have much to share except that we are so excited, and you are already so loved… and much anticipated! This is going to be a long 9 months. 😉

All my love,