Katelyn 1 Month

Baby Kate,

Where do I even begin my sweet baby girl? (queue your hormonal overly sensitive mama). Overall, this past month has been amazing and I am high on life right now and never want this fairytail to end. I am overwhelmed by how good God is and how grateful I am for this little family of ours. You are such a healthy, good, mellow and cute baby. You just go with the flow and have yet to let us know of something you don’t like. You sleep great, are eating well and your big brother and sis just want to eat you up. Additionally, having Daddy home is pretty much the best thing in the world. We all just get to hang out together as a family of 5 every day (minus the work daddy has to do). There is no rush for anyone to get up and get out of the house each morning or pressure to be in bed by a certain time. Both mommy and daddy have the freedom to run errands in the middle of the day and take one or two kids, but not be overwhelmed by all three. There are two sets of hands here almost all the time to either make meals, clean meals up, snuggle you or put someone to bed. We’re able to stay on top of keeping the house put together, laundry and making meals and it just feels so good to not have any of those ‘chores’ sitting on my shoulders.

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The weather has been gorgeous and I am totally soaking up all the vitamin D whether it is going for walks, watching the kids ride bikes, playing in the pool, working in my garden/house projects, having ice cream treats or pushing the big kids on the swings. I’ve spent a lot of time thanking God for this gift of time together and for blessing us with such an amazing family. I’m doing my best to just soak in this time and not stress about it coming to an end (which unfortunately, I know it will–the weather and this fairytail). IMG_8434

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Monthly stats

  • Weight: 8 lbs 5 oz (28%) (crazy that you are a month old and still smaller then your big brother was at birth!)
  • Height: 21.61 CM (82%)
  • Head circumference: 14.61 in (80%)
  • Clothes: newborns
  • Diapers: just moved up to size 1 (because sister can pee and fill up a diaper like Whoa!)

Sibling Love

As I mentioned above, your big brother and sister are enamored with you. Both love to ask where you are at all times and love to look at you and give you 50 kisses a day. William was lying next to you in your bedroom one afternoon and asked me if I could tickle your toes? He then turned to you and asked, ‘Do you have toes? Look at my toes!!!’ He also likes to tell you ‘not to throw a fit’ when you’re crying as we commonly use the phrase, ‘you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit’ IMG_8380 IMG_8381

Your newness hasn’t worn off on Lexi either. She loves to do tummy time with you and pick out your clothes and hair bows each day. She also gets right up in your face, like centimeters away to check you out. We’ve had to institute a new rule, you must be a hands distance away from your face unless you’re giving a quick kiss–no lingering. She also likes to use a ‘baby voice’ when she talks to you. She raises her voice two octaves and she says ‘Hiiii Beatle, Hiiii’ while stroking the top of your head. And then I die on the floor because it is too sweet. IMG_8426 IMG_8446 IMG_8507

Eating

I pretty much had to wake you for every feeding for the first two weeks. Around week 3, you started to become much more alert and would wake on your own and cry when you wanted to eat. But, as soon as I picked you up, you stopped crying (reason 483 why you are the best baby). You’re still nursing on one side for each feeding. It still takes awhile to latch on. You’re on and off and on and off and after about 3-5 times of this, you usually stay on. I think this is mostly because you have gas when you wake up and you’re trying to work through it and I feed you too quickly. You do spit up quite a bit, usually right after a burp, but then you’ll continue to spit up for about an hour after eating–especially when you’re on your back or doing tummy time. You have also taken a bottle a couple times and just chowed down.

Side note: The few times I have pumped I’ve gotten about half of what I used to get with your big siblings. Obviously, you need less milk than they did, but hoping this won’t be a problem for the future)

Sleeping

The first two weeks of your life were pretty darn sleepy girlfriend! If I had to guess, you would sleep around 20 hours a day. The only time you were really awake was to eat and even then, I had to wake you up almost every time. Noises didn’t  startle you and we could put you down and pick you up without a peep, so easy!

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Then, around week 3, you started to wake up on your own to eat or when you had a dirty diaper. At night, we would put you in a onesie and the fleece swaddle and you would sleep anywhere from 4-6 hours. Most of your naps were either in the rock’n play or in someone’s arms. Snuggling against a warm body is by far your favorite and when you sleep best and for the longest stretches. You usually wake pretty quickly if you are put down after snoozing in someone’s arms.

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You are by far my most cuddly baby. You love to curl up in a ball with your scrawny little legs in a frog position and snuggle on my (or anyone’s) chest. And my oh my, is it the best. I am trying to soak up that delicious smell of your sweet head, the short little breaths that trickle across my chest and the little grunts you make while cutting some zzzz. When we’re really lucky, and you fall into a deep sleep you pur like a little kitten.

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Like most babes, you really like the white noise and that also seems to help get you some longer sleep stretches

Nicknames

You have generated quite a list of nicknames. When we picked out your name, we thought we would call you Kate, which we are, but we do call you Katelyn a lot too. Right away, Lexi started calling you ‘The Little One’ and daddy started calling you ‘Baby Beatle’ or Baby B and Lexi and William have both gravitated to that and regularly call you that. William also calls you Baby Tate as he doesn’t pronounce his ‘K’s’ very well yet. I have a feeling Beatle is going to stick just as Bood did for William.

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Personality/Development

As I’ve mentioned several times before, you are world’s best baby and just are so mellow. You’ve started to cry a little more in the last week or so, but for the first 2-3 weeks of life, you would really only cry if you had some bad gas or were pooping. In the last week, you’ve started to cry when you’re hungry, when you need your diaper changed or when you are uncomfortable (too hot, too cold, funky position)

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Around the 2.5 week mark, some baby acne came in. It isn’t terrible, but I do miss that absolute perfect baby complexion. We’re trying to wash your face each day to keep it in check and that seems to make it less red. Around this same timeframe, Daddy and I both noticed you started to bulk up a little. You’re legs weren’t as scrawny as they had been and your cheeks were a little more full. You’re also fairly dry and your skin is peeling as well.

Sister, you have got some BIG feet! Almost everyone that sees them comments on the length of them and your ‘finger toes’. You have also developed a blister on the top of your lip from sucking. It comes and goes, but I remember Lexi having this too.

So far, you love sucking on your pacifier to help sooth yourself and for the most part do pretty well in the bouncer, car, swing and ergo. You also seem to really enjoy bath time. You just lie in your little bathtub and look around.

Also, right around week 3ish, your eyes got goopy, little green stuff coming out and little white. You also were having these incidents where you would start gagging of choking on your back. Goopy eyes turned about to be some clogged tear ducts and we never figured out the choking thing, but you spent a couple of nights sleeping on my chest in the rocking chair as I didn’t trust you anywhere else and we eventually transitioned you to sleeping in the rock’n play each night.

My recovery

As mentioned in your 1 week post, my milk coming in was the most painful with you, but everything else recovery wise has been the easiest. By week 2, I pretty much felt 100% back to normal and felt good enough to go work out (I didn’t but felt like I could). By the time I delivered you, I had gained 17 lbs. and by postpartum week 2, 12 of them were gone. However, the last 2 weeks, the number on the scale hasn’t budged and neither has anything with my body and I don’t think it will change moving forward. I’m going to need to exercise and eat right to make any changes, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it is also nice when you can eat anything you want and the lbs. just fall off, or your body continues to shrink back to its original size. Although, I’m only up, 5 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight, my belly is definitely bigger and flabbier than it was pre-preggos. Per my gush fest above, I’m fortunately not suffering from any kind of postpartum depression, just the opposite. The only other thing to note was I felt like I bled longer this time around. I’m still wearing thin pads and really hoping this ends soon because pads just suck.

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In summary life is amazing right now, you are an awesome baby that everyone is obsessed with. What a lucky little girl you are right now.

Love, Mama

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William 6 Months

Dear William,

How is it possible I am writing your 6 month post? How are we already half way through your first year of life? In my mind, you’re still  3 months old and I’m shocked at what you’re capable of. This month felt like a game-changer in your development. You learned to sit up, roll over, fall asleep on your own and through the night and started baby food. You continue to be the happiest and smiliest baby ever. Seriously, when you smile, your whole face lights up and it is the best ever.

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Stats

Height

Weight

Head Circumference

Sleep

This month we bit the bullet and did some sleep training. It was a very random decision. I put you down one evening after lots of fussing and decided on the spot that we were going to sleep train you.  After 20 minutes of crying, I went in, put your pacifier back in your mouth, rubbed your belly a little and walked out. You cried for another 20 minutes and then fell asleep. Then around 5, you woke up and I went and fed you and you feel asleep while eating. The next evening, you cried for 20 minutes or so. When you woke up around 4, I just let you fuss and again, after about 20 minutes  you fell back asleep. I think part of your challenge with sleeping was you were on the cusp of rolling over from back to front. I would watch you on the monitor and you kept trying to roll and would get 98% of the way,give up and roll back. After 4-5 nights of this, you figured out how to roll over and would then fall asleep without crying as soon as I laid you to down. On average, we’re putting you to bed as close to 8 as possible and you sleep until 6 or 6:30. I can’t tell you what a big difference this has made in my attitude and co-coherence. I wish I would have done it weeks earlier. I feel like I can function again and am just more positive in general. Naps at home are better too. We haven’t swaddled you in a long time and you’ll fall asleep within 5 minutes of being put down and will sleep anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Although you’re able to roll onto your tummy, you usually just roll onto your side and sleep that way. Sleep at daycare is better but still a pretty questionable. You will fall asleep in your crib, but usually only sleep between 15-45 min. I think it is just too light and noisy in there and have assumed that you won’t sleep well there ever. I would love it if you surprised me though! IMG_2898

Eating

Eating is still great. You switch between bottles and nursing great. You’ve continued to show lots of interest in our food and over the past week or so seemed more hungry or that milk wasn’t enough for you anymore. So I dug out the highchair and mixed up some rice cereal and you loved it! You kept trying to reach for the spoon and would eagerly open your mouth for more. Because it is a glorified liquid, a lot of it fell out of your mouth and was all over your neck and bib, but you did finish the whole bowl. The following day, you tried some squash. You ate several bites and never turned it down or made a face of disgust, but didn’t seem to love it as much as the rice cereal. You’ve also had green beans, pears and bananas. Much to my surprise, two little teeth popped through your bottom gums at the very end of the month. Surprisingly, you weren’t too crabby or didn’t drool a whole lot more than normal! IMG_5410

Development

Two major milestones this month, both of which happened within a couple days of each other. First, you learned to sit up by yourself! Yeah! Such a game-changing milestone and new perspective of the world for you. Being able to sit up with a few toys in front of you makes you so much more content with life. Additionally, the length of time you can sit up without tumbling over has increased very quickly! The second milestone was rolling over both ways. These two milestones have mellowed you out a bit. You seem much more content with life and less of a squirming-worming whenever you’re being held. You continue to love your playmat and exersaucer. You enjoy this toy much more then Lexi ever did, but can still see through us as we often put you in there so we can get something. i.e. make dinner or clean up. Other favorite activities include peek-a-boo. You can be in a full out cry and we start to play peek-a-boo and you are all smiles and laughter. You also LOVE to be tickled, like Whoa! You’re ticklish everywhere and love to laugh. You do talk and babble, but I think Lexi overshadows you a bit in that department and it is hard to talk over all her chatter. You are definitely a mama’s boy. You’re happiest in my arms and am constantly looking for me or follow me around a room when I’m not next to you. UntitledIMG_5420

Other occurrences

We went to the cabin one weekend and you did a great job in the car for both rides as well as sleeping. I put you in the ergo several times and I was surprised at how well you did in it! You’re such a little cuddle bug and love to snuggle!

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Big sister Lexi still adores you, but is WAY too rough with you. Most of the time she is trying to be sweet, but her ‘love pats’ turn into hits and her hugs turn into laying on top of you. Good intentions, but we need to work on the execution a bit. There are also times, when she just straight up hits and kicks you or rips things from your hands. It often feels like these moments of yelling and timeouts leave me feeling depleted and like I’m speaking to the walls as she repeatedly does that same thing over again. In the grand scheme of things, there are probably more sweet moments than naughty as she really does love you and loves to take care of you. Just yesterday you were fussing in the exersaucer while I was making dinner and she ran into the kitchen and asks where your nookie is because you are crying. There was also a thunderstorm and she gave you her giraffe so you could be brave from the thunder. Then, she was dancing and spinning her windmill around and had you laughing hysterically. These are the moments that I hope to remember and not the yelling and timeouts that often get the best of me. IMG_5467

Happy six months little man! We love you to pieces and can’t get enough of your big smiles, sweet laughter and ticklish little bod.

Love,

Mama

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William 1 Month

Dear William,

It is hard for me to believe that 4 weeks ago Daddy and I were heading to the hospital to meet you. It feels like forever ago, yet in my mind it still feels like you’re a couple of days old. This past month has been a mix of emotions for mommy. I have these moments where I’m bursting with joy and bring myself to tears staring at you and thanking God for blessing us with this perfect little boy. Then, I have these moments where I just want to cry because I don’t have enough arms to take care of you and your sister and question myself over and over. You’re eating and your sister needs to go to the bathroom and I have to choose–Do I stop; make you angry and cover yourself and myself in sticky breast milk or take the chance of Lexi not being able to hold it and pee her pants? Then I worry; Am I not holding you enough? It feels like I’m always putting you down once you’ve fallen asleep so I can do something for Lexi or get something else done (like write this letter) instead of just enjoying you and not worrying about the messy tornado the house has become or making dinner. Then, I worry; Am I holding you too much and creating bad habits and you’re not going to be able to sleep by yourself? Both thoughts are complete contradictions of one other, but honest thoughts. For now, I’m blaming it on the swing of hormones my body is going through and hoping that I’m not going crazy! Overall, taking care of two is so much harder than I ever imagined.

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One month stats:

  • 10 lbs .5 oz (56.2%)
  • 22″ long (81%)
  • 15 in head circumference (85%)

Overall, eating is going well. Once my milk stabilized (around 10 days), I felt much more in control and you were able to latch much better. Frequency of eating is all over the board. If I had to guess, I would say you eat every 3 hours or so. Occasionally, you’ll go 5 hours if you fall into a deep sleep. Around 2.5 weeks you started giving us longer night stretches. Most nights you eat around 9, 1:30 and then again around 7. Of course, there are nights where you wake more often than this, but there have been several nights where this is the ‘schedule’. Also around the 2.5 week timeframe, you started showing some signs of intense gassiness. You scrunch up your face turn bright red and cry and squirm for 30 seconds or so and then go completely calm.

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This continues to occur almost all day and prevents you from falling into a deep sleep. You’ll sleep for 30 to 45 minute stretches but then wake yourself with these gas pains. It is so hard to watch you experience these as you’re clearly in pain and discomfort but there is nothing that we can do to help. At 3 weeks, we took you to the doctor to see if there was anything we could do or give you. They suggested some gas drops, but they didn’t really work. We also had tried prune juice in a bottle, which helped you poop but didn’t take away the gassiness and fussiness. (By the way, you take a bottle like a champ!) One thing the lactation consultant suggested that did help was to have me recline way back or nearly lay down during let down. It comes out pretty strong and quickly so you you were making lots of gulping noises and you would choke on the milk, which then would also spray all over your face when you pulled off. The gassiness is still there, but you seem to do a much better job eating when you can control the let down. You’re still eating on just one side per feeding and do a great job of latching on and off. Within the last two days, I feel like the gassiness has gotten better. You still have it and wince and cry in pain, but you don’t seem to be in as much pain and it isn’t lasting all day. Additionally, you seem to have some results of all your pushing and grunting as now we’re hearing toots and seeing you poop as a result.

Speaking of poop–you like to do it frequently and like to have your diaper changed immediately. I would say you poop 6-8 times between the hours of 7 am and 2 pm. We are going through a ton of diapers (you switched from newborns at about week 3 to size 1s).

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Back to the gas, I’ve removed dairy and caffeine from my diet to see if either of those things are triggers for you. They weren’t, thank God! I was willing to try anything to help you get some relief, but no dairy for me was terrible. Milk or cheese is in nearly every recipe that I have and is a big part of my diet.

Today at the doctor for your 1 month checkup–they gave us a prescription for reflux to see if that may be causing the fussiness. You rarely spit up, but I do hear a lot of noises so you may be spitting up and swallowing it again?! We shall see! After your done eating, I try and lay you flat on my legs to get your stomach to settle and then either put you on my shoulder or have you sit up to burp. You usually give me one good burp.

Other interesting notes:

  • You have the scrawniest little frog legs ever. You love to kick (especially during diaper changes) and push off things with your long little string bean legs. No chubby thighs for you!
  • You love to keep your hands right by your face (also evidenced by your ultrasound pics)
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  • Your wearing 3 month clothes (you never fit into newborn clothes)
  • Around the 1 week mark, the baby acne came in full force and it is still pretty intense. Hopefully it starts to get better in the next couple of weeks. However, the rest of your skin is silky and smooth and I love to run my hands on it. Your wrinkly old man hands and feet went about just after week 1.
  • You love to cuddle and be held–especially with a soft blanket wrapped around your head. If you’re really upset, I’ll wrap a blanket around you hold you really tight and close to me and bounce up and down and it usually calms you down and puts you right to sleep. You also do really well hanging out in the Ergo. It almost always puts your to sleep and I love feeling your fast little breaths on my chest.
  • I think you might love your pacifier more than me. Seriously. You really really like to sooth yourself with it. And Lexi really likes to take it from you. If it falls out of your mouth you squirm and arch your back to try and reach it. You’ve even rolled over because you were squirming so much!
  • Around week 2 we had you start sleeping in your bedroom. We were switching between the rock and play and the crib and swaddling and not swaddling trying to figure out what worked best to have you sleep the longest. Around week 3, we started swaddling you and having you sleep in the crib every night. You were a little resistant at first, but I think it has been helping you sleep for longer stretches.
  • Around 3 weeks, you started to smile at us. Those gummy grins are far and few between, but they have made a couple of appearances.
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  • Your big sister Lexi adores you. She is constantly asking where ‘Buddy’ is and tellng us she wants to see you. She loves to give you kisses and hugs (honestly, like 10 or more a day). She also loves to put herself right in your line of sight and announce, ‘He’s wooking at you’. This is especially true during diaper changes. She literally gets right up in your face so your noses are touching. She has started to act out a little. I’m sure part of it is from her being 2 and the other part from the lack of attention she’s getting. She’ll often tell me that you aren’t hungry when your crying or that you don’t need to be burped but she needs me to color with her.
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  • I’m not sure what we’re going to call you yet. William? Will? I don’t know. For now, it is just William, but am hoping as your little personality starts to shine, we’ll have a better sense of what suits you best.

Well there you have it Mr. William. Your first month captured in way more detail than you probably ever cared to know. The most important thing we want you to know is how much your Daddy and I love you. We are so excited to watch you grow into your own little person and help teach you and guide you along in this crazy life.

Love,

Mama

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William Week 1

Dear William,

You are officially one week old! I feel like I said this in nearly every monthly post of Lexi’s, but I can hardly believe it is only one week and that it is already one week. I’m going to be completely honest, this week was really hard for me.

We came home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon, a day earlier than we needed to, but I was just ready. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, the food wasn’t great and just wanted to start adjusting to our new life. That first night wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. We started putting you in your crib and I slept in our bed, but I think the house was too cold for you as you just didn’t want to sleep alone. You did a good job sleeping in my arms, so we spent a majority of the night sleeping in the rocking chair.

Overall, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday I was just in a lot of pain, hormonal, tired and was having a hard time seeing when the pain would dissipate. Between the pain from the tare, uterine contractions, bruise on my back from the epidural fiasco, my milk coming in, EXTREME engorgement and very little control of my bladder I was just having a really hard time adjusting. I became mean, short-tempered and frustrated, and knew I was, but wasn’t able to control it.

In addition to the pain I was feeling, Lexi started to misbehave more than normal. She was deliberately disobeying us and not listening. This, with my lack of patience was not a good combination. However, by Monday, I felt like I had turned a corner and could start to see things getting better.

We visited the doctor on Monday and you weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz and were 20.5″ long and your head was 14.5″. Your weight and height are in the 75% and head is 90%. Everything else continued to look great for you. The doctor even said that since you are pretty much at your birth weight we don’t have to do the 1-month checkup for you as they really just want to make sure you’re up to your birth weight and you’re pretty much there!

It has been interesting watch Lexi adjust to you over the week. When she first met you in the hospital, she could have cared less about you and was really excited about the cool new train that you got her. Overall, she didn’t like the hospital and wanted to leave and go to Grandma’s house. When she came to visit again that evening, she was still pretty unimpressed with you but kept asking who you were. On Thursday, she definitely started to show more interest and asked what you were doing and who you were over and over. She also went with Daddy to pick out a pal for you. Her original pick was a purple bunny, but eventually settled on a Raccoon and was pretty excited to give it to you. The following days she warmed up a little bit every day. At first, Daddy would ask her to give you a kiss and she refused. She didn’t even want to be near you, and didn’t like the additional attention you received over her. By the end of the week, she would touch your head and is constantly asking where ‘brother’ is and what he is doing or why he is crying. I’ve even caught her touching your head and giving you unprompted kisses.

Other notes about your first week:

  • You really dislike diaper changes and kick a lot during them.
  • Your umbilical cord is almost ready to fall out and it really smells
  • You love to have your hands by your face, but have really long finger nails and scratch yourself so we’ve been wearing sleeping gowns with hand protectors a lot
  • You barely squeezed into a newborn outfit when you came home from the hospital. I tried a different one a couple days later and you couldn’t get into it. You’ve got some broad shoulders buddy.
  • You love to cuddle up in a ball with mom and dad and love to have warm blankets wrapped around you while you sleep.
  • Overall, you’re pretty content and just like to sleep and eat 🙂
  • The first week you met all of your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the Mauer’s and the Vossen’s.
  • You eat every two hours or so–mostly because I need you to, to help manage my milk. Hopefully this will start to stretch out a bit once it has maintained itself.

And that wraps up your first week buddy. We love you so much and are so excited to have you join our family.

Love,

Mama

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures, Lexi ‘accidentally’ played with my phone and locked me out of it, which meant all of my unsaved pictures were cleared.

Lexi is 2!!

Happy Birthday my sweet Lexi!!! It is hard to believe you are already two, and at the same time that you are only two. You feel like you have been a part of our family forever and it feels like you are a lot older than two. I remember being in labor, the excitement, anticipation and series of events like it was yesterday.

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You bring your Daddy and I so much happiness everyday. Daddy is constantly saying ‘I love the bunks.’ or ‘Lexi is the best/sweetest.’ or ‘I know it’s good for her to sleep, but I can’t wait until she wakes up.’ I couldn’t agree more. I always feel like I am racing to get home from work to see you and can’t get here fast enough. When I am home, I want to be with you whether it is putting you down for bed or being there when you wake up or even having you run errands with me. You have an infectious smile and giggle and the expressions you make and the way you talk with your eyes makes my heart dance with delight. You are a true sparkle of happiness in our lives and your grandparents and aunts and uncles. They love you and can’t get enough time to spend with you.

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Your personality starts to come through more and more everyday. You look identical to me when I was your age (when you see pictures of me, you say ‘That’s Lexi’) but I think you have more of your Dad’s personality. You’re pretty shy with new people and new places but eventually warm up (and love to talk!). You’re are just happy and content with your simple little life. You definitely have a little bit of mine and daddy’s stubbornness in you and don’t seem to be a fan of change. You don’t like to change your clothes (and prefer to keep your jammies on all day) and don’t like getting ready to leave the house.

You are quite the chatter box. You talk in full sentences and it is a rare occurrence for us not be able to understand what you are saying. You love to chat to yourself, talk to your pals, announce what you see whether we are driving or what you see on TV or in books. You also are pretty good at picking up on phrases Mommy and Daddy commonly say such as: ‘how about’ ‘hey’ ‘be careful’ ‘get down from there’ ‘i love you’ ‘sweet dreams’ ‘see you later’ and ‘sure’ ‘don’t touch, only look’, ‘no jumping, only sit on couch’–you’ve even nailed the inflection. Some of my favorite things are when you say large words like ‘dangerous. quesadilla and patient.’

  • Favorite Books: Curious George, books where you need to find things and little princess books
  • Favorite Shows: Thomas, Frozen, Despicable Me, The Little Mermaid and Dinosaur Train
  • Favorite Foods: Anything sweet, Chocolate Milk, Juice, Mac’N Cheese, Raspberries, Blueberries, Yogurt, Popcorn, Ice Cream and Fruit Snacks
  • Favorite Songs: Let it Go, Thrift Shop, Shut up and Dance, Scalliwag, Everything is Awesome
  • Favorite Activities: Dancing, Running Fast, Playing with Pals, Bulldozer and Diggers, Reading books, Talking, Playing with Papa and Grandma, Taking Baths and Singing songs

You’ve been pooping on the potty for months now, but in the last week you’ve been wearing underwear every day and been doing a great job ‘tinkling’ on the potty. You’re even waking up dry from naps and bedtime. Keep it up big girl!

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You can repeat the numbers correctly from 1-15, but I wouldn’t say you really grasp the idea of counting. When we ask you to count, you just repeat the numbers, but don’t necessarily look at the grouping of items and put a number with each object. We’re working on you ABC’s but about 8 letters in you forget the order.

You continue to be a rockstar sleeper. You go down for bed between 9 and 10 and wake up between 8 and 9. You also will take a nap from 2-5 everyday. Daddy and I love to watch you on the monitor when you’re waking up or as you’re falling asleep as you chat, sing songs, move about your crib and just generally be happy for 20-30 minutes before we get you in the morning or before you fall asleep at night.

You know about half of your colors. You’re very good at identifying pink and blue and get green about 80% of the time and red about 50%. You haven’t figured out purple, orange, yellow, black, brown and white yet.

We’re beginning to see what the ‘terrible twos’ are all about. You usually have some kind of tantrum every day. Some days there are many and they are dramatic, other days they are in-frequent and minimal. All of the time, they are about really trivial things like putting your boots on or not allowing you to play with chapstick. You definitely throw more of a stink for me than anyone else. Going to the bathroom and leaving the house are the most common reasons for you to have a tantrum and it usually consists of having your body become limp like a spaghetti noodle, kicking screaming and throwing your body in all directions to make it very difficult for me to get you to do anything. Sometimes, I just walk away and let you have your moment and within about a minute or so,  you come find me for some comfort. It is amazing that I can make you that angry, but you almost instantly forgive me and want some love from to console you.

Lexi, Daddy and I love you so much and feel so blessed to have you in our lives. We can’t wait to see what this next year brings you and how you are going to react to being a big sister.

Love,

Mama

Lexi 1 year 11 months (24 months)

Dear Lexi,

Your monthly letter completely escaped me. I took notes throughout the month, but procrastinated in writing it because, by gosh, you are TWO my sweet girl and don’t know how to articulate this happy, sweet, funny and smart little munchkin you’ve become. Three months later…here we are. The details and stories aren’t as vivid but I’m sure if you ever dare to read this 15 years from now, you’ll suffice.

Favorite memories:

Not necessarily a ‘favorite’ memory, but a huge milestone: you are officially potty trained. We put you in underwear over Thanksgiving break since I was home from work and had the time to work with you and bring you to the potty often. The first day was pretty rough. I think you had 6 accidents. I was ready to give up, but knew I needed to stick it out for a couple more days. Day 2 was a little better, maybe 4 accidents and by day 3 you maybe just had one. We didn’t necessarily use one of the ‘potty training methods’ out there as you didn’t react well to them when we tried back in August. This time, I just would very casually bring you to the potty every hour or two, and you always went. We didn’t make a big fuss about it or talk about it a lot–we just did it, and you seemed to respond pretty well to it. We also were only attempting to train you in the day, not for naps or night time, but after two solid weeks of waking up dry, we quit putting diapers on you. March update: you’ve had less then 5 night time accidents. Way to rock it my big girl! (minor note: You have a really hard time wearing any kind of character underwear as you get rashes on your bum–so we’ve stuck to the Gerber cloth type training pants and Gap)

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We started a Mommy and Me swimming class this month. The first couple classes were a little rough as you had NO interest in doing what the class was doing and just wanted to play. The teacher was also requesting you to do pretty advanced tasks that you just weren’t capable of yet, but nonetheless, by the third week you were listening to the teacher and doing a much better job. One of the evenings, we stayed after class to swim and you blossomed. We were able to work on things like kicking and floating on your back and you rocked them. You also got comfortable going down the tot slide and probably went down it 30 times that night. To say you LOVED it was a complete understatement. I wish I would have had a waterproof camera to capture your big smile every time you went down.

I also took you to get your first haircut this month. The mullet had just gotten out of control and we needed some direction. We went to a specialty kids place, they put you in a little seat, gave you a sucker and let you watch Frozen. I wanted them to keep your hair as long as possible but get it out of your eyes and eliminate the mullet. They suggested bangs as kids your age have a hard time brushing the hair to the side. Even though I’m not a fan of bangs, the logic made sense and we went with it. You were terrified the entire time and kept wanting to give me hugs. And the amount of hair they cut was pathetic and totally not worth the $20. However, they did give you a nice little certificate with a little bag of your hair for your baby book.

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One night I had made Mac N’ Cheese for dinner and you and I were sitting at the table and for whatever reason I told you to take a ‘Big Bite’ but said it in a slightly lower octave and kind of loud and you thought it was the funniest thing you ever heard. You giggled uncontrollably, which of course prompted me to repeat this because that sweet little giggle of yours is seriously the happiest noise I’ve ever heard in my life. Thankfully, we got it on video, but this little saying has become a regular part of our vocabulary and has even stuck around 3 months later.

Notes:

You LOVE to read Curious George. It is usually read every night before bedtime. You also love Frozen, Minions, Ariel and your little Princess Books. You refer to Despicable Me as Minions and New Minions.

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You are amazed by Christmas lights on people’s homes. Whenever you notice them you yell ‘Wook at that mama. Wook Wook Wook!’

You absolutely adore Papa! You talk about him at home frequently and pretend to talk to him on your phone, specifically about how you’re going to eat Gum Drops and play diggers together. Whenever you see him your face lights up in excitement, it is so sweet!

You love to help Daddy shovel the snow. You chatter away while you’re out there, usually saying ‘I heping’

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We went to the Children’s museum for the first time this month and you are such a shy and timid little girl sometimes. You’re very polite and wait your turn for things, but then get frustrated and angry when the other kids budge in line or take things from your hands. You say ‘That’s Wexi’s’ and furrow your brows, but don’t ever take things from other kids or push. Part of me is happy that you’re so well behaved, but the other part of me wants you to stick up for yourself and not let other kids push you around. I hope that you’ll be able to learn do stick up for yourself yet still be the sweet polite little girl that you are.

Of course after the Children’t museum, you got a cold. You were pretty run down and fell asleep while watching one of your shows, (which never happens).

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This month you’ve also learned to easily climb up and down the stools at the counter and sit and eat there occasionally.

Thats it my sweet girl. Officially, your last monthly post. I’ve loved capturing the past two years for you (and for me) and hope you’ll enjoy looking over these as you get older. We love you more than you will ever know.

Love,

Mama

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Lexi 1 year 11 months (23 months)

Dear Lexi,

What an eventful month this has been, and I’m afraid, I don’t have too many pictures or things to report as Mama and Daddy were in Hawaii for 2 of the 4 weeks. Thankfully, that wonderful grandma of yours went above and beyond in volunteering to take time off of work and watch you for Mama and Daddy. I knew you would be in great hands with her but was very nervous leaving you for such a long time. I wasn’t sure if you would recognize that we were gone and feel abandoned or if it wouldn’t cross your mind. For the most part, I think you did fantastic. You didn’t ask about us and had lots of fun with Grandma, Papa and Auntie She-She, but there were some minor side affects to your behavior once we returned home. There were lots and lots and lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles for the days following, which was awesome. On the down side, I did think you felt abandoned to a small degree as you had several wake ups in the middle of the night crying for mama. As soon as I went and got you you put your head on my shoulder and went to sleep. We’ve worked through this and I think you’re in a much better place now, but still feel bad if we made you feel abandoned.

On a related note, Mama and dada were gone for 12 days and although we had a great time, it was just too long to be away from you. The last two days, I just wanted to be home and see you. I did pretty good for the first 6 days and then each day got a little tougher as I missed you more and more.

Favorite moments

One of my favorite moments this month was seeing you at the airport when we came home. Grandma texted me and said you were out in the car so I ran out to see you and you had the biggest smile on your face and were kicking your legs in your car seat and exclaimed, MAMA!!!! I picked you up and you have me a HUGE hug and just nuzzled your head into my shoulders. I brought you inside to see Daddy and you pointed and gave Daddy a big hug. You quickly came back to mama, and kept nuzzeling your head into my shoulder. I definitely teared up when I saw you and heard your little voice call my name. Your extensive love for both of us continued for several days with lots of hugs and kisses.

On the second night after returning from Hawaii, I was putting you to bed and you were not having it. You were very upset and trying to climb out of your crib. To help you settle down and actually lay down, I promised you I would lie on the floor and hold your hand while you feel asleep. Through your tears, you begged for me to sing twinkle twinkle. So there I lay on the floor and your little hand holding onto my pointer finger. After two rounds of the song you had stopped crying and were falling to sleep. I stopped singing and slowly pulled my hand away. About 30 seconds later, your little voice peeped up and asked to hold my hand and rolled over to the edge of the crib so your face was smushed against the crib slots. Once holding my finger, you requested more Twinkle Twinkle and it just broke my heart and I started getting very weepy. I felt so guilty for leaving you and causing you any anxiety that you may be experiencing. With my voice cracking and tears streaming down my face, I held onto your little hand made my way through the song and let you fall asleep. I’m not sure what it was about this moment, but I felt so vulnerable and responsible for you and just missed you so much–i just broke down.

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The day after we got back also was Halloween. We’ve been attempting to practice wearing your costume throughout the month, but you just didn’t like it so I was a little nervous how the evening was going to unfold. We practiced trick or treating the night before upstairs. You went to each door in your costume and said trick or treat and than daddy or I would open the door and give you some candy. So that evening you were at least compliant in putt your your costume one. It was very cold and luckily, your winter jacket was the same color as your costume so we were able to put it on underneath to help keep you warm. Once the first round of kids came to our door, you wanted to go out with them and were all about it. Daddy took you to the first couple of houses and then came home. And then I took you out and we went all the way around the block. Oh my stars you were so cute and funny. The first house you went to with Daddy, you got a kit-kat and once it was put into your bucket, you looked up and told Lief and Karen, ‘Owww, that’s Mama’s!’. You did a great job saying trick or treat, and please and thank you to every house you went to. And in between houses you would have little conversations with yourself. You would repeat me saying, ‘What do you say?’, and then respond to your own question with ‘Tank you’. You held onto my hand the entire time and were just chatting away about the stars in the sky and the airplanes you could see. When we got to a street you would say, ‘Stop, ook for cars. No cars, et’s go!’ You would even comment about people’s grass and rocks by saying things like ‘Oww nice rocks’ as you walked over them. You were just too darn cute!!!

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At the beginning of the month, you and I were outside and I was cutting all of our plants down for the winter and you were so good playing by yourself for at least an hour. You sat on the stones by the hose and played with a stick in the dirt. I think this moment sticks out in my mind because it was just another sign of how you’re growing up. Normally, you would be right at my side and wanting me to play with you, but you were so content on your own creating your own fun in the dirt. Your getting so big sweet one!

Notes:

You continue to do a great job of letting us know when you have to go poop on the potty.

You often get the word ‘you’ mixed up with the word ‘me’ For example, you’ll request to be carried by saying ‘Carry-you’

You love to watch youtube videos of airplanes taking off and landing. In fact, Daddy bribes you with this when you’re going down for a nap that you get to watch one when you wake up.

You love to read Curious George, watch the minions and Frozen.

You’ve gotten more adventurous in the tub and will lay down on your tummy, put your face in the water and will even attempt to float on your back. Overall, you love the bath and you love to take showers with me.

You LOVE to show Daddy how you look. If we put a new outfit on or do your hair, you request that we go and show Daddy how you look.

While at Grandma’s house, you helped papa with work projects like raking the leaves, you would go to the park and swing at least once, sometimes twice a day, you would go and look at the diggers in the park, you went to the pumpkin patch and to the Zoo. While at the zoo, you were watching the polar bears and saw one of them poop and yelled out ‘Ohhh Poo-poo!’ You also would watch Thomas with papa and play cards with him every night. You had tea-parties with Auntie She-She and Grandma T and had so much fun!

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I can’t believe you’re going to be 2 next month!!!! We love you Lexi and are so happy to be back home with you.

Love,

Mama

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