Friday, February 24, 2012

One Month New

Benny Boy-

You are here. It's been a month (okay, 5 and a half weeks- I'm a bit late!) and I am still having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. As I type one handed pressing you tightly to my chest, I still don't believe it. Even rubbing your ridiculously soft head which still harbors some wrinkly, loose skin doesn't make it seem real. You are finally here. What seemed like the never ending pregnancy has come to an end and you are here. And we couldn't be happier. Though we definitely could be a bit more rested.

It sounds so cliche', but you just fit right in with our family. We haven't even skipped a beat since that day in mid January when you came into this world. Even when Reagan came to meet you for the first time, she ran into the room, immediately saw you laying on my lap, shouted 'baby!', climbed on the bed and gave you no fewer than 500 kisses. It was as if you were some long, lost friend. She never questioned, just accepted. I'm not so sure I've ever seen truer, more innocent love. To this day, nearly 6 weeks later, she can't keep her hands (or lips) off of you.

We had an absolute amazing first week. It was incredibly low key at the hospital, which we loved. It was mostly just your dad and I, laying around, recovering and soaking you in. We went over all of your body parts memorizing you. We held you close, taking in that perfect, quickly fleeting newborn sent. We listened to the sound of your grunts. Laughed at your goofy, newborn facial expressions. And nursed. And nursed. And nursed some more.

Since you and I were both doing perfectly, we were given the option to go home that night. Seeing as being in the hospital gives you even less rest than having a newborn (let alone combining the two!) we took it gratefully and checked out right as you hit about 18 hours old.

For some reason driving you home seemed so much less of a production than it did with your sister. Please don't take that as a lack of excitement, as we were beyond excited. I think we just felt older, more grown up and more prepared. There didn't have to be so much surrounding us bringing you home because it was exactly what we were supposed to be doing. We created you, brought you into this world and now were bringing you home, tucked just as tightly into our hearts as you were into our car. It isn't that it wasn't special, it just didn't seem out of the ordinary. We walked in to a clean house and take out ribs from Chili's (thanks Ama and Pop-pop!) and kept on with our life. Like I said before, we didn't skip a beat. Once you were here, it was just as if you never hadn't been.

That perfect first week ended, though, and as your 8th day rolled around we had quite the ride ahead of us. You woke up a glaring shade of orange and I knew it was time to call the doctor. You showed slight signs of jaundice at two days old, but they had all disappeared by your 5 day check up. We felt in the clear and were so happy to be not hopping on that bandwagon again. But the weekend came and went and left us with a pumpkin in place of our baby. Unfortunately, our amazing pediatrician, Brenda, was on vacation and so we saw Dr. M instead. He took one look at you and then on a piece of paper on the examination table, wrote down a bunch of numbers and corresponding solutions right next to your orange, wiggly, naked body. It was his guess, and he hoped he was wrong, that you would need to be admitted. He said you looked like about a 20 and anything over a 19.5 and we'd be off to the hospital. We went down to the lab, got your first (of many, many) heel pricks, and drove off, phone close and the ringer up loud waiting for the call.

I did the only thing I could think to do while I impatiently waited for the call; so off to Sonic I went for a milkshake. No more than ten seconds after walking in the door at home, my phone rings. "This is she. Mmhmm. How high? Wow. Yea, we can be there in about 15 minutes." The nurse sounded panicked as she told me the doctor wanted us in the ER as soon as possible. He was on the phone with the docs there and they would be expecting us. Your levels, which they don't like to see go above 20, were 24.6. Ouch.

So we did the hospital thing. And I pray to God we never have to be in there again. We were there for something pretty darn minor, and that was bad enough. That children's wing is hard to stomach, as is seeing your little, naked 8 day old in a jail-like 'crib' with foam goggles and blue lights. Though I must say. you handled the whole situation much better than I did. We were there for about 30 hours, and were discharged when your levels were at 16.1, to follow up the next day. As to not entirely taint the story of your first month of life with the stress and run around of the second and third week, I'll keep it really brief. Your levels didn't continue to go down, as they should have, and instead went back up, which they definitely shouldn't have. They blamed it on Gilbert's disease, which I was diagnosed with as a senior in high school. They ordered us home photo therapy lights along with daily heel pricks and told us we'd be done when your levels dropped to a 12. After a week, they FINALLY dropped to 12.1. We were so excited to see the next day's results and all but packed up the lights knowing you'd be free. Unfortunately it somehow went UP to 13.6. *#&#^#*#&$&$*#!!!! We. Were. Beyond. Frustrated.

Praise the Lord Brenda got home in time to stop the other doctor from having us go on formula and more testing and anti seizure meds (?!) and we decided to do a test run with part time lights. Your levels stayed the same. So we did a test with no lights. Your levels stayed the same. So we put a big old breast milk induced jaundice label on your two week long jaundice stint that should have been put on it long ago. The home care nurses that came to get your blood sample daily said the longest they had seem babies on lights was ten days. We had your lights for a whopping two weeks. Looking down at you now, sleeping peacefully in my arms, I can't see even a hint of yellow. I am oh so very glad that is behind us.

Now you are just your sweet, mellow little self. I can't look at you or think of you or speak of you without associating you with sweetness. Your little man face is just so sweet. Your personality is sweet. Even your tiny little I-really-want-something-but-can-wait-until-your-ready-because-I'm-not-all-that-needy cry is just stinkin' sweet. Your totally random dinosaur squeaks, your over-reactive startle movements, your smell, your freakishly soft skin, your abnormally long feet, your head wrinkles and your all night long goat grunting- even your Yoda ears-; are all seriously some of the sweetest things this world has to offer and somehow came wrapped up in one adorably mellow little package and was given to us. You are the perfect combination of things fit for a second child, with your calmness, your tolerance, your patience.

Your biggest flaw at current is you have realized you like to be held. That the warmth, the sound and feel of a beating heart, and the millions of kisses that are bestowed upon the top of your head is far better than, well, anywhere else. And I can hardly call it a flaw, because honestly, there isn't much that I love more than snuggling a newborn- especially my newborn- either. But seeing as how life doesn't stop and the dishes don't do themselves just because you and I are hanging out in newborn lala land, every now and then, you have to be set down. And when you get set down, you ask to be picked up. And you have discovered that if your sweet, quiet fussing doesn't get the point across that your much more serious, extremely sad sounding "uh-waaaah" cry typically pulls at my heartstrings enough to get you right back where you want to be.

Sometimes when I look at you being smothered by your sticky-fingered 20 month old sister, or woken up with not-as-gentle-as-they-could-be toddler kisses for the 15th time in a row, or while the music blares as we dance to Disney songs or I'm frantically washing chocolate cupcake out of your mouth that your sister kindly 'shared' with you, even though you take it all in stride, I can't help but wonder if God meant to give you a quieter, calmer family. But then as we snuggle every morning after nursing, while Reagan directs that 'RaRa' should lay on my right arm and "Bendent" to lay on the left side of my chest, and she nuzzles your cheek and unpromted, sweetly says " I ov oo Bendent" I know you are exactly where you belong.

I love you little mister and how you somehow made my heart bigger to fit it all this new love in. And oh how I look forward to more of those giant, gummy grins you're starting to give when you catch our eye. That and a whole bunch more of your sweetness.

Your Mama

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One and Two

My sweet, sweet girl-

We are on the very edge of change. As we teeter on this cusp of one and two I can't help but wonder how it will all pan out. You innocently call for "Dabent, out!", freely offering kisses and belly rubs like they're heading out of style. But you don't know; you can't possibly understand. I, myself, can hardly comprehend it. And while we fully intended on filling our house with children, on making sure you had siblings, I would be lying if I didn't admit that a part of me is mourning the loss we'll be experiencing with our huge gain.

You aren't going to be my one and only anymore.

There are times when the whole idea of it kills me. When the guilt hits my stomach hard and all I can do is pray you'll forgive me. That you'll realize the gain will be ten fold. That we have intentionally brought this next child into the world, not just for him or for us, but for you. So you can know the amazing love of a sibling; the stability, the rivalry, the built-in best friend. So whatever happens to your dad and I, you'll never be alone. There will always be someone who knows the same love, who has the same experiences, who no matter how nuts you drive each other will always be connected. A bond that can't be broken; something that anger, hurt or difference cannot sever. So you can learn love and sharing and family like nothing else can teach you.

I have zero doubt in my mind that you will love your brother. We are giving him an amazing gift in you alone. You are perhaps the sweetest spirit ever to grace this Earth and you love wholeheartedly, without abandon. I can't picture a kinder soul and it blows my mind to know you're still months away from age two. Strangers who meet you for mere seconds comment on your kindness, on your gentleness, your good nature. And while I cannot guarantee Bennett from a few battle wounds along the way, I know he is already blessed beyond measure at simply being born your brother. I am excited beyond words to see you fill your role to him as big sister.

What I fear, more than perhaps anything else right now, is how you'll react to me. How you'll handle me changing from yours and yours alone to one you have to share. I can't stand the thought of being away from you during labor, only to have you come back to me to find me with another child. I fear you'll think I have replaced you. That I am choosing someone else over you. And while I find myself telling you a million times a day, I hope to God it sinks in. Nothing will ever take you from me. You will always be my girl. I could have a million more children and not one of them- nothing, ever, could possibly make me love you less. And while our one on one time may become fewer and further between, and while you may have to share my lap every now and then, I can only imagine expanding our family will make me love you even more. That watching you unfold as the oldest child, as a sister, can do nothing but accentuate my adoration of you.

I am not naive enough to believe I will have to split my love. I don't know how it will work, and truly believe it is nothing short of a miracle, but I know without a doubt that somehow, without loving you any less, I will love Bennett just the same. It boggles my mind to think I could love another like I love you, but I know I will. These next few weeks may be tough. You may feel a bit lost in the shuffle or angry with the lack of old. It will most definitely be full of change as we attempt to find our new normal, but you will not be left behind. You will never be left behind. You will still remain at the forefront of our every thought, our every decision. Your dad and I will still love you like nothing else, and even then some. To the moon and back 'thiiiiiis' much.

And while I know you're young and wont even remember life as an only child, I pray you forgive us for our shortcomings as we adjust. That if you feel hurt or wronged or left out that you'll know it is a fluke. That we simply don't have it in us to purposefully put you second, ever. Now or then. Past, present, or future. That you and Bennett with forever, both, somehow always be our number ones.

I love you, Reagan Lee. And I cannot wait to make you a sister.

Your Mama

Monday, August 8, 2011

If We Don't Teach Her, She Won't Learn

Is abuse and neglect the only form of bad parenting? Is everyone really just doing the best they can?

I'm going to go easy on you and hand out the answers; no and no.

Can I preface this post with something? I believe I am a good parent. I know enough to know I'm doing some things right. I am absolutely consumed with love for her. I play with her, I talk to her, and I don't cover up her faults. I tell her she's beautiful but not nearly as often as I tell her she's smart. I feed her well balanced meals nearly all of the time, but I do not keep her from the occasional fun snack. I care about who she is going to be enough to discipline her now, while still making sure I talk kindly to her, more often than sternly. Even though it can be difficult, we take her out and about; we do not stay housebound. We do so because we know our struggles now will help her shape up into a well experienced, socialized person. And dealing with one year old tantrums is much easier than 5 or 6 year old tantrums. We know if we don't teach her, she won't learn. We know her entire life, her tiny section of the world, is so shaped and influenced by us it is almost scary. We fully understand what an honor and a blessing it is to have been given this child and we try our absolute hardest to not take it for granted.

All of that is not to say I am the perfect parent. Or even close to it. It's not to say I don't get frustrated, that I never give in and let her eat graham crackers for breakfast, that I don't ever get lazy or have never hid the book I am sick of reading over and over. Because I do. I have and I am and I'm sure I will again.

It is, however, to say I give it an earnest shot. Every day. I consciously think about how what I'm doing- or not doing- affects her. Is it for her or is it for me? I don't just think about the mess, I think about if the mess is worth it. It almost always is. I don't just think about how hot it'll be sitting outside, I think about the joy she experiences chasing the dogs, throwing rocks in the garden and splashing in her pool. I don't simply consider how much work it is to wake up early, shower, dress, feed and car seat her, I consider how important it is to us that she grows up going to church. I may get frustrated about it, but I don't let the fact that I know she probably won't eat it deter me from taking the time to make her a healthy meal. I don't eat things in front of her that I don't want her eating, and I try not to stay up too late, knowing morning always comes at the same time and I won't be nearly the parent I could be if I'm not well rested.

No one ever said it was easy. But someone (lots of people, actually) did once say that things worth doing are rarely easy.

Parenting is so much more than the required feeding, bathing, nail-clipping, sheet washing, car seat safety-knowing of many parenting books. And I will say it now and say it again, but abuse and neglect are not the only form of poor parenting. In fact, I'd wager to say it is much more difficult to be in the 'good' parent category than the 'poor.' We are not all doing the best we can. If you are letting your kid live in front of the TV, not getting down on the floor to play with and read to them, spending more time doing things for yourself, and disregarding behavioral and safety standards, you are a bad parent in my book. Yeah, you may not be starving or hitting your kid, but they, too, will suffer from your (lack of) parenting.

Having a bad or lazy day doesn't make you a bad parent. Nor does taking time for yourself. That is not the point I am aiming to make. What makes you a bad parent is consistently not doing what is best for your child. Being as every kid is different, what your child needs may vary slightly from what other children need, but overall, kids need much of the same. Time, attention, love and you. So often those things are even more important than the basic physical needs.

It really irks me when people say we're all just doing the best we can. Not only is that a horrible excuse, it makes people who probably know they aren't being a great parent believe that they're doing enough. We are shaping lives. We are taking blank slates and turning them into chalkboards full of answers, and to do any less would not only be doing a disservice to the individual, but our world as a whole.

(I apologize if this comes off as negative; it was written out of frustration. I am so sick of watching parents who don't stop their pre-parent lifestyle or who are far too selfish continue to treat their kids as if they're no more than caged pets that just need food and clean bedding every now and then. If you know me, you know I am oh so very against big government, but I sure wish you had to get a permit to get the privilege of parenting.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black and White

How different can two pregnancies be? Believe me, I'm certainly not complaining. While this pregnancy has me plastered to the couch for entirely different reasons than my first (read: could. not. stop. puking.) it has been treating me oh so much nicer. Sure, I have no motivation or energy to do anything. And yeah, I'm still basically living on the couch. But the puking? So much further and farther between than before.

Reagan- 8 Weeks (Awful picture)
Little Gummy bear- 9 Weeks

 With Reagan, I simply couldn't eat. The thought, sight, sound, smell and taste of anything but applesauce would send me running to the bathroom. With this little one, as soon as I start feeling nauseous, if I can convince myself to eat something, I typically feel better within about ten minutes. Even further on in the pregnancy with Reagan, I never really had strong cravings, but I most certainly had strong aversions. With this pregnancy, it is craving central. If you've never truly had a strong pregnancy craving, you can't understand how 'strong' they are. I heard it described once as the feeling of an anxiety attack coming on if you don't get what you're craving. And while at one point that sounded absolutely ridiculous to me, I can now stand firmly behind it. Because I've been there. Because if I didn't get that homemade hamburger patty, pan fried with onions, I am not so sure I would have lived to see the next day. My palms got sweaty, you guys. This is serious business.

These pregnancies have truly been black and white.Well, except for the fact both babies grew in my uterus and were put in said uterus by the same man.

I have been far more paranoid this go around than I was with Reagan. I don't know if it has to do with me having more knowledge, with the pregnancy being easier or the fact that I belong to a Facebook group of 300+ moms expecting in January 2012, and have seen more than I care to count leave the group due to miscarriage. It breaks my heart and always leaves me wondering, why am I so lucky? There really isn't an answer. I'm just blessed beyond measure.

In other differences, that are probably far too much to share but what the heck?- modesty and pregnancy are not friends. With Reagan, helllooooo constipation. This one? Lets just say I wish Kaopectate was safe during pregnancy. With my first I thought I had sore boobs; my boobs hadn't seen anything yet. Super with a capital S sensitive plus the little leech still nursing means if anything comes within a mile radius of them, I turn into the Wicked Witch of the West lickidy split. With my first I didn't so much as chew one Tums. This one? Holy moly heartburn. I'm two UTIs in this go around, which is something I have never experienced before, pregnant or not. I hope to God to never experience it again. With Reagan I lost 15 pounds in the first trimester, lived off of applesauce and didn't get out of bed. This one I have yet to gain any weight but certainly haven't lost any, I eat my normal appetites worth and, well, I still probably wouldn't get out of bed but this go around I have a toddler. That changes things. A lot.

In his usual fashion, Rob has been a champion. In the very beginning I couldn't stomach doing the dishes so he would come home from work, clean the kitchen, make dinner and be on Reagan duty. He was great the first go around, but having a one year old makes things more difficult, and he just takes it all in stride. He never rolls his eyes at my cravings and, while he certainly makes fun of me for them, he still always offers to head up the road to get it for me.

The pregnancies being so different have me truly thinking this one is a boy, though my record for guessing isn't great. (Note: I'm always wrong.) Truly, honestly, we will be super happy either way. I loved having sisters growing up and think it would be so fun to have two little girls so close in age. Not to mention cheaper because we already have (tons and tons and tons) of girl clothes. (By typing that, I would like to have it known that I am not, under any circumstance, promising to not buy more.) But we also both would, at some point, like to have a little boy thrown in the mix. Our poor family is surrounded by far too much estrogen, so a little more testosterone probably wouldn't hurt. Either way we're psyched to find out (13 days and counting! Assuming the little bugger cooperates...) and get started on the nursery!

Perhaps the very best thing about this pregnancy is Reagan's obsession with the 'baba' in my 'baba'. (Yes, 'baby' and 'belly' sound the exact same coming out of her mouth.) I truly didn't think she'd comprehend it at all. And while I know she doesn't actually understand, she remembers we said I have a baby in my belly and LOVES to wave 'bye bye' to (I don't really get that one) and kiss and kiss and kiss the baby in there. All the time. If we're sitting on the couch she lifts my shirt and pats my belly. If we're in the shower, she waves at my belly. If we're cuddling in bed, she kisses my belly. The girl loves babies, and even though she probably thinks I have absolutely lost my marbles saying there is one in my belly, she takes my word for it. I'm hoping her love for all things baby carries through to the actual baby that will come home to stay, but she is also quite the Mama's girl, so I guess we'll just have to see.

Monday, August 1, 2011

All Before Noon...

It isn't entirely uncommon to hear someone wonder under their breath what stay-at-home-moms even do all day. Typically it makes me Livid with a capital L. And even more typically it comes from a non-parent. Because if you were a parent, you'd know.

You would know that getting out of bed isn't even something you get a few minutes alone to do anymore because "MAMAMAMAMAMAMA! Ouooot! Ouooot!" is being screamed from the crib next door. Your first morning pee becomes less of a time to continue to wake up and more of a battle to save the toilet paper from it's shredded fate. And pausing before flushing to excitedly examine and wave bye-bye to your pee isn't on your list of 'most relaxing ways to greet the day' either.

You would be impressed with how still-asleep you can be while changing an incredibly full diaper as the toddler tries to escape and the dogs prance around begging to go outside. Zombie like, you take the dogs to the door, and to avoid a full blown tantrum in your first ten minutes of the day, you follow them out so the toddler can play too. Because God forbid anyone or anything ever goes outside without her joining. Within seconds, you're fishing a pajama-clad toddler out of her kiddy pool, who is now screaming (shhh...don't wake the neighbors) not from being wet, but from being dragged inside. You round up the dogs and carry your thrashing, whining, dripping child back into the house, call your husband to tell him you're awake while you strip the kid, put a new diaper on (two in about twenty minutes if you're counting) and get the already distracted toddler her morning milk.

Against your desire to have her not watch any TV you turn on the one show you do let her watch in hopes to get a few minutes to check your email, indulge in your guilty pleasure of Facebook and read a few blogs before moving on to clean the kitchen. Yes, the kitchen that is very messy from the previous day because using your child-free time after bedtime cleaning a kitchen is the very last thing on your list of things you want to do. So you simply don't.

Unfortunately, the TV isn't enough to keep her attention off of the clanging of unloading the dishwasher so you either A.) unload as fast as you can, breaking every 30 seconds to tell her 'no' as she climbs into the dishwasher and move her back into the living room or B.) give up and promise yourself you'll do it at nap time. Clean kitchen or not, you move onto making breakfast. Scrambled eggs with cheese and ham, whole wheat pancakes slyly stuffed with fruit and veggie puree, fresh toast made with homemade wheat bread with extra eggs, or steel cut oatmeal with homemade applesauce, in addition to a banana, peaches or nectarine, cottage cheese or yogurt, and a sippy cup of water or a blended fruit smoothy with wheat germ. You feel like supermom for a minute for taking the time to make your kid such a healthy meal, but the feeling quickly slips away, because if she is even willing to give it a try, she now requires a spoon or fork meaning she will manage to not get a single bite in her mouth. Silently you curse the toddler eating stage. You realize you forgot to feed yourself as you're cleaning her tray and picking at her leftovers . Gross? Yeah, but whatever.

After a sponge bath cleaning breakfast off every inch of her, (and you and her seat) you're on the floor reading 'Moo, Baa, La La La' for the 4,897th time. Forget the fact that you haven't read an actual book for yourself since the day she was born. Goofy rhymes and silly stories are whats in your queue, and its all made worth it by the quietly sitting-in-your-lap toddler who says and signs 'more' before you're even done reading the last page. Tickle session, hugs, kisses, "ni-nights", "love yous" and nap time. You trip over toys on the way back from her room, pick up a few, shrug off the rest and fall onto the couch. Because its exhausting. Because it is constant. Because you love her enough to feed her well, to play with her on the ground and to forgo your own desires so she can have hers (Which is always you. Well, and graham crackers when you give in.) Because you are her everything. Because its only 11AM and you haven't gotten anything of visible worth done, but you have a well rounded, healthy toddler, who is learning in leaps and bounds, attempting to repeat everything you say and do, and is happy. She is happy. And while there is no doubt it is all exhausting, there is also no doubt that it is all worth it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Months


Time seems to be moving really fast. I can't even tell you how old you are in weeks any more because I've lost count. All I know is you've been here for almost half a year now, you're starting to look like a person more than a baby and you are quickly becoming mobile!

First of all, you sit! One day I brought out the Boppy to help support you in a sitting position and it seemed to work really well and you enjoyed your new viewpoint! We would also spread your legs really wide to help you balance and sit you down in the middle of the bed and you'd sit for about two seconds before losing your balance, but we were still very proud and excited. Then just a couple days later, we sat you down in some grass and you just sat! For minutes and minutes on end! You weren't very sure of your new accomplishment, but Daddy and I were beaming!

You have also mastered the art of rolling. Rolling with a purpose! You can pretty much get around to all of your different toys that are (always) scattered across the floor. I have looked up to find you ten or more feet away from where you started! It is quite surprising how quickly some of these developmental milestones are reached. You are just checking them off the list one by one faster than we can blink!

We were finally able to get you to the west side of the state and have you dedicated at Lake City Church. It was so great acknowledging you as a gift from God in front of the church and we cannot wait to see the plans God has in store for you. While over there, Grandma and Grandpa (and Mom and Dad) took you to your first zoo- Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium! Its kind of neat because its the zoo I grew up going to. You thoroughly enjoyed yourself, but it was the people and kids that you enjoyed far more than the animals. :)

I don't really want to touch on sleep because, wait a minute. What is sleep, again? Ha. All kidding aside, you hate sleep. You come by it honestly, but waking every couple hours isn't easy even on this insomniac. We are up to our elbows in sleep training methods and are trying to figure out what works best for our family. So far, neither you or I are any good at the whole "crying it out" thing. You are a total champ at sleeping nestled up in our arms, but any where else? Yeah, not-so-much.

But in GOOD news, you no longer despise your car seat! Thank the ever-loving God! We were all but ready to sell the Jeep and walk everywhere because it was so awful every. single. time you were in the car. For our trip, we left dark and early in the morning for Lakewood, and you literally slept from the second we hit I-90, all the way until right before I-5! We could hardly believe it! Ever since, you're a champ in your seat. We don't understand it, but we're certainly not complaining.

All in all, you are a total joy. And even though most days, we're completely exhausted, and have given ourselves bedtimes as early as 7:30, we think we'll keep you around. We couldn't ask for a better baby.

Love you bunches, 


Your Favorite Things:

There really is no need to make a list, because for the most part they are all the same. Water and your puppies remain two of the most exciting things in your life. You are still a pretty big fan of books. You absolutely adore being tickled. Daddy usually makes you laugh the best. You are just a happy, giggly baby, and you really enjoy most everything.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Four Months

Four Months. An entire third of a year. Two more times of this and we'll be sitting around a table blowing out the candle on your first birthday cake.

And holy developmental leaps and bounds! A short while ago I wrote about how much you've changed, and the growing and learning just keeps coming. I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise because growing up seems to be the current trend, but it is somehow different with my own. Being in the midst of you changing and learning and growing every day makes it so much more thrilling, exciting and yet somehow unbelievable. Because yesterday I could gurgle and blow bubbles and dance around like a fool and you wouldn't give me a second glance, but today a simple funny sound sends you into a gut-wrenching laughing frenzy. 

You have finally moved to eating every three hours from every two. (Thank you, Lord!) It is amazing how much difference that one, measly hour makes. We used to schedule our days in two hour chunks, and now that we've moved to three I feel like we've been granted more hours in the day! So much more can get done. I have also become more comfortable with nursing in public (using my Hooter Hider, of course) which makes getting errands done more convenient. And you are so enamored with people watching, that you will go over four hours between meals if we are out and about because, "Look! A person! AH! Another one! And LOOK! A child! And walls and floors and shoes and heads and clothes and colors and movement and things and things and things!" You are an absolute joy and flirt with pretty much everyone we come into contact with.

We continue to create a long list of firsts, and this month has been no exception. You've knocked out all sorts of things, your first fair and 'pooping 36,000 feet about ground' included. We took you to the North Idaho Fair a couple weeks ago and oh. my. word. you were in love. I have never seen a baby your size laughing out loud at the animals until you. You thought the goats were the funniest thing in existence (save for your dog, Baylee.) The only animals you weren't so fond of were the Draft Horses, which, hello? Their heads were bigger than your entire bodies so I can't really blame you. You didn't really notice the bunnies and you were asleep by the reptiles and 'random critters' barns. You sat quietly on our laps throughout the entire hypnotist show, enamored with all of the people around us and on stage. Overall, the fair was a success!

And then the airplane ride. Dun, dun, dun. Actually, my dear, you were quite amazing. Our wonderful daughter, whom we can set our clocks to based on your every-other-afternoon poop schedule, decided you just had to go, on a non-poop day, at 5 in the morning, 36,000 feet about the ground. We were joking that the pressure change literally squeezed it right out of you. I'm sorry we made fun of your pooping. Truly, I am. Fortunately, we had the row to ourselves so I was able to change you on the seat next to me because I have absolutely no idea how one is supposed to change a baby in those phone booth sized bathrooms on board. You were on a total of four airplanes in three days and you couldn't have been better. The only time you got a little fussy, was for about 15, 20 minutes on the descend down into Seattle from Denver. And everyones ears were really bothered by that particular descent, so I don't blame you. We're so proud of our little traveler! 

In other traveling news, your car seat constantly tries to kill you. Or at least thats what you think it's doing. For some reason, you absolutely loathe it. Simply getting into the car, not even in your seat yet, elicits a giant frown, followed by explosive screaming. If we put your in your seat when it isn't in the car yet, the second your little bum touches it, explosive screaming. We joke that 'car seat' is a cuss word in this house. You seriously hate the thing and we can't figure out why. Let me tell you though, it makes us think twice about going out when we really don't need to. You've forced us to go green and conserve gas by getting everything done in one outing. :)

You are getting so ready to eat, and whenever you are close to us and our forks while we're eating, you lean in with your mouth wide open trying to take a bite. I had to take my burger to go from Red Robin yesterday because you refused to be put down, but every time I brought my burger to my mouth you took a giant handful out of it. You can already drink out of a cup (obviously with a TON of assistance and mess, but you know what to do...) as well as a straw. Anytime we're drinking anything you think you should have some too. Obviously, you've only had water and breastmilk but everything looks tasty to you!

You are officially a roller. Unless being well entertained, you refuse to be on your belly and you have the ability as well as knowledge of your ability, to flop over to your back. You are definitely very proud of this feat and while we're very excited for you to be able to move around better, we do slightly mourn the days of worry-less couch, bed and other elevated surface time. 

We are so absolutely enamored with you, it is kind of silly. The second you catch our eye, we're rewarded with a giant, toothless grin. When you're tired or feeling cuddly, you love to sit and play with our face with your unbelievably soft hands. And when we talk to you, you talk back in the sweetest, softest oohs, awws, and coos. You are too cute, sweet and lovable for words. 

I consider it a privilege and an honor to get to watch you grow up, let alone be called your Mommy. I love you so much, bug.

Love, Mommy

Your Favorite Things:

1.) Your Sippy Cup- Holy Spumoni Batman! You would think we put liquid drugs in that thing. I bought one one a whim, seeing how much you like to take sips of water out of our cups and it was (and is) a giant success! It is one that has a thick, rubber spout so I think more than anything you like how it feels when you gum it. But you definitely know how to get water out of it, and do so when you want to. Unfortaenly, you usually end up soaking your entire outfit, but Mommy and Daddy are getting smart and starting to put a bib on when you drink out of it!

2.) Your Puppies- They really are your favorite things. You hardly ever look at them without cracking up. When they're around, you wont look at anything but them. Whenever we're taking pictures (a common practice in our household) we usually have to put the dogs away so you'll look at the camera!

3.) Spoons- I suppose this goes along with loving your sippy cup and water, but you LOVE to drink/eat water off spoons. You will actually grab the spoon and put it in your mouth and then yell when we take it away since, you know, metal spoons really aren't the best play toy for a four month old.

4.) Pink Elephant- Your Great-Grandma and Grandpa bought you (actually let you pick out) this large, pink elephant that dances and sings the ABC song. You absolutely love this thing. You can be throwing a full-blown fit screaming and arching your back and we press the little button and that things starts singing and dancing and you are instantly happy. Which is all well and good except for the voice of the elephant is SO OBNOXIOUS.