My sweet boy, you just turned 4, and still with each Birthday all I can do is ask “how”???
You were scheduled to be born by C-Section on June 5th, 2013. But we’ve long since found out that you don’t run on no schedule! Haha. Instead, you woke Momma up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday May 25th. I thought I’d peed my pants in my sleep! But I knew there was no way I could have slept through something like that. I suspected my water had broken, so I called a nurse who asked me to come be checked. So we went in, and they didn’t think my water had broken. I knew it had. They told me to come back if I had anymore water damage (I’m trying to keep this PG). So we went to a couple Yard Sales, and what do you know, more water. I was certainly not peeing myself. We went back to the hospital and showed our proof of baby waters. They were convinced, admitted us, and started prepping for the C section. Daddy got to call in to work and say “I’m not comin in boss, we’re having a baby today!” 🙂
You came into this world in all your dimpled cuteness on May 25th 2013 @ 10:59 a.m. Daddy brought you to me and I got to see your face and kiss your forehead. You had a bit of a setback with respiratory distress and were admitted to the NICU quickly. Due to just having a C-section, they had to keep me in the O.R. to stitch me up and make me rest. All I wanted was to see my baby. They tried to calmly break it to me that you had to be taken to the NICU, and I wouldn’t get to see you. I had to wait until my spinal meds wore off before I could even be seated in a wheelchair and be wheeled to see you. It broke my heart! Daddy took pictures and video of you for me until I could see you. I finally got back and got to touch you, and then hold you a few hours later.
One of the first things we noticed and loved about you, were your dimples. You’ve got some cute ones on your cheeks, and the first day we met you we saw little dimples in your shoulders, I have never even heard of shoulder dimples before you! You still have them, and they kill me.
I remember having to check out of the Hospital before you were even out of the NICU, it was hard to leave you there, it made me feel like you weren’t mine yet! I am so glad for the hospital’s care, but those days were some of the hardest. I remember crying and praying that we could just take you home already. We had some scary moments where you were struggling so hard to breathe, they had to put a humid “hood” over your head to help you. I was so overwhelmed with fear of losing you.
But you, our strong boy, pulled through. We got to take you home after 8 days in the NICU. You were hooked up to not-so-fun-to-lug-around oxygen tubes, but we were just thankful to get to bring you home.
Since that day we have had you here to love. Kilo learned to be a big brother, to share his toys, and his room. He enjoyed showing you books and teaching you the cool stuff he was into. He has been in love with you from the start. I still remember the very first time he met you, you had your little fist clenched tightly as newborns do, Kilo noticed and gave you “knucks”, it was like your first official “bro” moment. 🙂
I remember while I was pregnant with Hudson, thinking you were not going to love idea of a new little one in the house, who would take over your role as “baby.” But it turns out that you loved being a big brother. You have obviously had your sibling wars, but you have mostly always been so sweet and fun with your baby bro.
The dark brown hair you were born with, transformed into long, beautiful, curly golden locks! I called it your “surfer boy” hair. I went as long as I could before being talked into cutting it, because it was so long and in your eyes all the time. Ever since I cut it, the curly won’t come back… which breaks my heart a bit! But it is still gorgeous and bright blonde.
You were on the tinier side, just like your big brother. We eventually realized you had the same type of food allergy (FPIES), so we had to quit breastfeeding and start you on special formula. You grew, but you stayed on the smaller side of the scales for your age, which I’m cool with because you’re just littler and cuter for longer!
It seems crazy that you’re 4 years old, that somehow, 4 years seemed to just screech by in a flash. How did this all happen so fast? There are so many things that I wish I wrote down, or recorded before you grew out of them. Like silly things you said, the ways you’d make your big brother laugh, what your favorite book was, the way you made up words for things that you didn’t know the real word for.
I’ll be honest. Mommyhood was a hard adjustment. When it was just Kilo it was a lot of new stuff, a lot of learning and growing. I remember thinking having another couldn’t be too much harder, I mean after you’ve learned the basics of taking care of a kid, having one more can’t hurt, right?
Well, it was hard. It was amazing, fun, beautiful, and insanely hard, all at once. I was so thrilled to have 2 boys to love on, but also so worried that I was going to mess everything up. I was enjoying taking care of a tiny new little, but at the same time, potty training a 2 year old toddler, and trying my best to give you equal amounts of love, care, and attention. I felt the burden of FAILURE on my shoulders like never before. There was so much new. SO much I felt inadequate for (and still do).
It’s 4 years later and not a lot has changed in that regard. It is hard to be a mom. But it is also the most amazing, beautiful, and fun thing I have ever done. It has grown me like nothing else has in my walk with God. Why God looked down on me, and saw me fit to be the Mother of a sweet dimple-faced boy named Marshall Emmet Ray, is beyond me. But Lord, am I EVER so grateful.
You are changing every day. You were so excited to turn 4. You talked about it all the time. You were awaiting the big day to turn your car seat around like a big kid, and talked about turning 4 like it was some new power you were going to get. haha! Many times after your Birthday when we’d tell you “Good Job” for just anything in general, you would just give us a cool shrug, and say “yeah, it’s ’cause I’m 4.” You were talking to Kilo about how fast you run the other day, and you said “I wonder if I’m faster now because I’m 4. Actually, I make myself go faster by pushing on my belly when I run.” hahaha!
I love your shy smile. I love how you are only outgoing once you have gotten to know someone well, and are completely comfortable around them. I don’t know how many times people have come over and heard you playing or talking at home, and they are amazed at how outgoing you are, because at church or out in public you are mostly quiet and reserved. You blow me away with how quickly you learn. You just got used to picking up on everything Kilo said or did, and you still do. Sometimes I don’t think you’re very far from him in the way you understand things.
No matter how stubborn you get, you have always been so forgiving. You don’t seem to hold on to issues for long, and you are quick to resolve things with your brothers or mom and dad. I pray that is always a strength in you.
You have such a sweet heart for God at this age. You have known Ephesians 5:22-23 “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” since you were maybe 2 and a half. You LOVED to sing along to the Verses project song of it, and always asked us to please turn it on in the car. Sometimes you’d sing it in the house as you played, at a time when I really needed to hear it. That verse will always remind me of you.
Some Nicknames you’ve gone by since babyhood…
- Mar (Mar-Mar)
- Stinky Pete (I don’t remember why, haha)
- Mello (because Marshall-Mello…. marshmallow…. although, you’re hardly marshmallow-y in shape… we just like how “mello” sounds, plus we’re always telling you to chill… so mello is fitting, yeah?)
Some things you seem to love right now….
You love to help out in the kitchen any chance you get. You really seem to enjoy helping bake or cook dinner. You also love helping load/unload dishes, and helping your big bro do laundry.
Basketball- You will go outside with your brothers, and instead of running straight to the swings or slide like they do, you run and grab a basketball. You learned how to dribble the ball effectively on your own, and even how to run while you dribble. You make many of the shots you throw.
Soccer- You started out sooo shy when we started you in indoor soccer last Winter. You were the smallest kid on your team and didn’t like all the kids running up on you all at once. I didn’t think you’d play. But within 2 weeks you broke out of your shell, and maybe it’s just a biased mom thing to say, but I think you became one of the best players on your team! You even made a few goals on your own. I was so proud to see you break through feeling shy and overwhelmed, and completely turn it around into conquering the game.
I hope I can bring you up in a way that is honoring to God, and that you will desire to follow Him all of your days. Thank you for showing me how to smile when I’m down, for helping me realize my ugly sin when it rears its head, for randomly telling me you love me, or that I’m pretty, or that you like my shoes. I love that you are such a sweet and sporadic little encourager.
I hope you read this one day and remember how I love you, my sweet little Mello. You are such a crazy sweet kid and I can’t wait to see you grow more and more. Sometimes I picture you as a teenager and I can’t help but wonder how much trouble I’ll be in with trying to keep the girls away… but I am looking forward to the years ahead. I love you, son.