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Category: Letters to Evie


Dear Evie,

St. Patrick’s Day of 2008 was probably the first year ever that I couldn’t have cared less about a holiday that is good for nothing other than parades and partying. That year there was no time for parades or doing anything other than thinking about you. It was a cold rainy day and I spent the entire day hanging out with your brother and packing for the hospital. I was so excited knowing that I would get to see you and hold you in my arms the next day.


We packed the car up after Daddy got home, stopped and had dinner, then headed to Grandma’s where we spent the rest of the evening. Daddy, Grandma, and I stayed up way too late watching movies but it didn’t really matter because it wasn’t like I could sleep anyway. I could hardly sit still knowing what was headed our way.

Daddy and I got up super early to head to the hospital. Since my doctor was expecting you to be big, she was inducing labor 10 days before my due date. For me it couldn’t come fast enough. It seemed like forever before the nurses got me all hooked up and set things in motion.


Finally, at 2:22 p.m., on March 18, 2008 you were born after only a few short pushes. You gave us a little scare when you didn’t take that first breath and cry right away but I’m sure what seemed like an eternity to us was really only a few seconds. Shortly after that you were in my arms and I think that if the whole world had melted away at that moment I wouldn’t have even noticed.

From that moment on my life has been completely changed. Being the mother of two children is so much different than being the mother of only one. It makes life a lot more stressful, but the good times are so much better when we’re all together. Now that you’re getting a little bit older I can see the bond forming between you and your brother. I love watching you together. The two of you actually play together now. You steal his toys. He steals yours. He gets frustrated at you but then a few seconds later he’s talking to you and trying to make you laugh. The sound of you two laughing together? That is the absolute best sound ever. I don’t ever want to forget what that sounds like.

Portraits March 2009

Speaking of sounds, you are talking up a storm these days. It seems like you have a new word every day, though your favorite is still “hi!”. Anytime someone walks into the room you tell them hi and sometimes string a name along with it. I’ve heard you say “hi kitty”, “hi dada”, “hi caitlin”, and “hi ack (zach)”. You say “uh-oh” when you drop something and “done” when you are finished eating. The last couple of days you’ve been trying to say “bye-bye” but it comes out sounding more like “bubba”.

We’ve been expecting you to take those first independent steps any day now. A couple of weeks ago you started walking all over the place with push toys, but you just aren’t quite ready to let go yet. Sometimes you’ll walk holding onto my hands, but most of the time you still prefer to drop to your knees and crawl. You have perfected the jello legs and drop right down when you have had enough of the walking.

Portraits March 2009

Besides the walking, you have started climbing EVERYTHING. I have to be careful leaving you alone for too long or I’ll find you standing on top of toys, chairs, laundry baskets, or whatever else you manage to climb up on. I’m glad you’re getting more adventurous, but I’m terrified you are going to fall and get hurt. This morning when we made a quick stop at the grocery store for cupcakes (to replace the ones mommy lovingly made and your brother flipped upside down) I caught you standing up in the grocery cart seat and nearly had a heart attack. You can bet I’ll never forget to buckle the straps again!

You have graduated from eating baby food to eating real table foods. Unlike your brother, who would eat anything at this age, you are a rather picky eater. You love macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, carrots, applesauce, bologna, mandarin oranges, and McDonald’s cheeseburgers. You still love the Gerber ravioli so I keep a few around for nights when we have something that is difficult for you to eat. You also have a major sweet tooth! I’m pretty sure that explains all the cravings I had when I was pregnant.

Portraits March 2009

Over the last month we have gradually decreased the amount that you are breastfeeding. Just in the last week we have cut down to about once a day. You drink whole milk most of the day and have gotten much better at taking a bottle from me. You still get mad when I try to put your milk in a sippy cup, although you will drink juice or water from a cup just fine. Although I have pushed just a little more to wean you this week, I’m still trying to let you do it on your own. If you want to nurse I let you, but even I can tell that you aren’t getting much milk anymore. I’m sure that our nursing days are numbered. While it makes me a little sad that we won’t have that special time together anymore, I am looking forward to having my body to myself again and I’m sure you will enjoy becoming a little more independent.

A couple weeks ago I decided it was time to buy you a little potty seat of your own so that we could introduce the concept and you could get comfortable with it. I had no intention of actually trying to get you to use it yet, but you loved it and wanted to sit on it. Just for fun I put you on it during a diaper change and to my surprise you actually peed in the potty. I was sure it was a fluke, but still sat you on there now and then (both with and without clothes). You’ve gone in the potty three times now. I know you are nowhere near being ready to potty train, but it is still very exciting every time.

Portraits March 2009

You have become very lovey lately and give out hugs and kisses whenever you can. Your hugs are sweet as can be, but the kisses can be a little painful sometimes. When you dive in for a kiss it is usually with your mouth wide open. It’s pretty much a 50/50 chance whether you will bite down or close the teeth and give a sweet kiss. I haven’t yet figured out what to do about that because I would like to scold you for biting, yet I don’t want you to stop the kisses. For now I’m just enjoying the kisses and hoping you outgrow the biting soon.

Tonight we took you out to dinner to celebrate your birthday, then came home to have some cake. While we were out, so many people stopped to look at you. They talked to you, smiled at you, and commented about just how cute you were. The same thing happened at the grocery store this morning, at a restaurant last weekend, and nearly every other place that we’ve been lately. You really seem to draw people in and I imagine you will always have many friends around you because of this. You seem to have gotten your daddy’s magnetic personality.


I complain a lot about just how fast the time is going by and how fast you are growing up, but the truth is I love watching each new accomplishment. I love the look on your face when you figure out how to do something for the first time. I celebrate with you as you make each tiny stride toward independence. I beam with pride when anyone compliments you. As my favorite Darius Rucker song says, “It won’t be like this for long” so I’m trying to soak up every moment. Before long you’ll be going off to college, getting married, and maybe even having kids of your own. Only when you hold your own child in your arms will you have any idea how immense the love is that I have for you. I hope that I’m there to celebrate all those moments with you.

Happy Birthday big girl! I love you SO much!

Love always,

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11 Months

Dear Evie,

Today you are eleven months old.  As I make plans for your first birthday next month, I still can’t believe that so much time has passed.  You are turning into a toddler before my eyes and all I want to do is make you slow down.  As I celebrate each new accomplishment, I mourn the babyhood that you are leaving behind.


Each day it seems that you pop out a new word. I don’t always understand what you are saying, but you are saying a lot. You tell everyone “hi” with your sweet little voice either in greeting or sometimes just to get our attention. You call the dogs “bubba” and “bop bop”, our nicknames for them. I think you are also trying to say “brother” and you attempt to repeat much of what we say to you as well. The best part though, is when you sing with me. I love when you bust out with the “yayayayayaya” in the car as we drive home in the evenings.


You’re getting more mobile, even though you don’t seem to have much desire to walk yet (you crawl faster than I can walk anyway). You stand up and walk along the furniture quite a lot, and have even been seen letting go from time to time. I caught you standing in your crib one day with hands up in the air not touching a single thing. However, as soon as we try to stand you up to walk, your legs collapse as if they’re made out of jello. I know you’ll do it when you’re ready, but for some reason I’m just anxious to see those first few steps.


You’ve also been really starting to notice people around you more. You are starting to enjoy playing with (or at least next to) others. When your brother is around you always want to be right next to him and usually want whatever toy he happens to have in his hand at the time. That doesn’t always go over so well, but he is starting to get used to it and is learning to be a little more patient with you.


You also are figuring out cause/effect. For instance, when you push the buttons on the TV and turn it off you get a very big reaction. You think it is the funniest thing in the world, but daddy sure doesn’t. Even Zach has learned to tell you “No-No!” when you get near those fun little buttons. Today he picked you up and moved you away from the TV when you were about to go for a second round. You loved it when your brother lifted you up and you had a huge grin on your face.

Evie vs. The Sucker

A few weeks ago you got very sick. It all started with a cold. Then you got a stomach virus and the cold turned into a bad double ear infection. Amazingly it was your first ear infection ever. We spent days cuddling on the couch together while your body tried to heal itself. Even though I hated it that you were so miserable I couldn’t help but enjoy the cuddles. You are such a snuggler and it really comes out when you don’t feel well.

Giving Kisses

Next to your snuggles, I think the sweetest thing you do is when you give kisses. You either smack your lips together like you are blowing kisses or you just dive (open-mouthed) toward my face and plant one on me. I wish I could say I was the only one on the receiving end of that special token of love but you are quite generous with your slobbery kisses (just ask your brother!).

Look at Those Teeth!

Baby girl, I don’t think I could ever tell you just how much you bring to my life. The love, the joy, the laughter that is now part of my every day life is so far beyond what I ever thought was possible. Watching you and your brother together makes my heart melt into a big puddle. No matter what the day brings my way, knowing that I get to come home and be with this family that your dad and I have created makes it all worth it.

Love always,

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8 Months

Dear Evie,

I can’t believe that it is already time to write you another monthly letter.  You are eight months old now.  Month seven came and went and I never could find the time I needed to sit and reflect on the month before so I’m going to try to cram both months into this one.  I hate doing that because if I don’t get it written down right away I forget some of the details and I’m afraid I’ve already lost some of the memories I wanted to hold on to.  Some day when you are a sleep-deprived mom you’ll understand how the time and details can slip away. 

Cookie Time!

You have been a very busy little girl over the last two months.  Your weight gain has slowed down a little bit now, but at your six month check-up you were 19 pounds, 1 ounce and 28 1/4 inches tall.  The last time you were weighed (just shy of 8 months) you were 20 pounds, 2 ounces.  You have pretty much caught up with Caitlin and you are almost exactly the same size as Mikayla, who are both several months older than you.

Just after you turned six months old you started sleeping through the night.  You made it about five nights straight and then you started waking up again.  I’m not sure what happened, but I was very grateful for those five nights of sleep.  Anytime you want to resume that sleeping thing would be just fine with me.  I’m hoping that the night waking is due to teething and all of the rapid developments you’ve been going through recently but if it isn’t, we need to have a little talk.  Mama needs her sleep – preferably before she loses her mind.

Sitting Up

Speaking of rapid developments, you can now sit up by yourself, crawl (although you still prefer the army crawl most of the time), stand up on your own, and you love to clap (especially when you hear music).  We had to set baby gates up in the living room because you kept getting away from us when we weren’t watching.  You are starting to pull yourself up on everything and get really mad when I make you lay down to change your diaper.  You grab and my shirt the whole time I’m changing you and try to stand up.  Apparently I need to start practicing the standing diaper change again.  I haven’t had to do that one for a while.

Your official first word(s) were spoken clearly on October 10th and just like your brother you chose “dada” over “mama”.  You actually combined it with “hi” and we’ve been hearing “hi dada!” ever since.  I think I’ve caught “bubba” a few times and you’ve also started saying “mama”.  The first time I heard a clear “mama” you were in the floor crying.  You wanted me to pick you up but I was trying to finish up something.  Once you screamed out “MAMA!” I could no longer resist and scooped you up right away. 

Sleepy Girl

Over the last week or so you have decided that you don’t want baby food anymore.  Anything that you can pick up with your hands and put in your mouth yourself is just fine, but if you see a spoon headed your way you turn away from it.  I assume it is because you have finally mastered the pincer grasp, but this does complicate things just a bit.  Even though you have four teeth now, you still can’t do a whole lot of chewing which greatly limits what I can feed you.  Your favorite things to eat are the Gerber fruit puffs and cheese puffs (that look like mini cheetos!) but somehow I think you need a little more nutrition that what those can offer you.  You did seem to like your brother’s Spagettios that I let you try though, so I guess that’s a start.

I’ve started trying to get you to drink out of a sippy cup for a while now but you aren’t really taking to it like I thought you would.  You will drink out of it now and then, but most of the time you just prefer to chew on it.  I was really hoping you would like it because you have started refusing to take a bottle from anyone other than Miss Paula.  Since I do have to leave you with someone else on occasion, it would be nice if you would drink something when I’m not around.  I know you would rather have me around to breastfeed you whenever you get a little thirsty but that isn’t always an option.  I have a feeling we won’t be weaning anytime soon though.

2008 Halloween Photo Shoot

Along with all of the other developments, your personality has really popped out over the last couple of months.  You don’t hesitate to let us know when you don’t like something.  You laugh like crazy when your brother does something silly – and he’ll do nearly anything to make you laugh.  You also have figured out a couple of ways to make us laugh.  You scrunch your face up into the cutest smile I’ve ever seen and you love to make funny noises with your tongue.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve started calling you my “little monkey” because of the way you latch onto me when you want to cuddle.  You wrap your arms and legs around me and squeeze tight like you are giving me a hug.  It is nearly impossible to put you down when you’re in one of these moods and if I do you’ll scream until I pick you back up.  You have also started giving kisses which is the cutest thing ever.  You turn your head toward the targeted person and then push your whole face up against them.  I love it when I am the lucky recipient.

Zach & Evie

You have had a lot of first experiences over the last couple of months too.  You had your very first ride in a park swing, which you loved.  Then we celebrated your very first Halloween.  You were absolutely adorable dressed up as Tinkerbell.  We took you out trick-or-treating with the boys (Zach and your cousins) but you were much more interested in the flashlight I was trying to carry.  For the next two days you carried that thing around and it was the only thing that would make you stop crying. 

About two weeks ago you got sick for the first time.  At first I thought you had Strep, but after two doctor’s visits we figured out it was Roseola instead.  I missed almost an entire week of work and spent most of that time holding you and trying to keep your fever down so you weren’t so uncomfortable.  I hated it that you were so sick, but at the same time realized just how lucky you were to make it 7 1/2 months without really being sick at all.


You recovered from you ill
ness just in time for us to pack up and make a second trip to Texas.  You got to meet several family members that you didn’t meet the last time around, including your Uncle Tut, Aunt Luli, and cousin Mikayla.  I loved finally getting to see you and Mikayla together.  Even though the two of you are nearly the same size, she has an age advantage of four months and it was very evident.  It reminded me of just how fast things change and what I have to look forward to in the next few months (no rush though!).

As usual, I feel like I have left so much out of this.  Just as there is truly no way to tell you how much I love you, there is no way to recap an entire two months of your life in one letter.  I can’t capture all of the smiles and snuggles and warmth that you have brought into my life in words.  I only hope that some day when you read these words that they will bring the smiles and warmth back to you and you will know just how much you are loved.

Love always,


Evie – 6 Months

Dear Evie,

You are six months old today.  As I watch you grow before my eyes I really wish you would just stop.  Well, maybe just slow it down a bit.  Life moves very fast and I feel like I’m missing so much of your baby days.  I know the memories will all melt together soon and I’ll have a hard time remembering the softness of your sweet baby skin and the feel of you rooting toward my chest.  I took some time tonight to go back and read about your brother when he was six months old and it felt like it was decades ago, yet it also seemed like it was just yesterday that he was doing many of the same things you are now.

sept_08 343

Physically, you are developing so fast.  You can sit up on your own now.  You haven’t quite learned to pull yourself up to a sitting position, but if I sit you up you can hold yourself up for while.  This seems to work better when you have a toy in front of you.  Otherwise you just topple right over so you can roll toward something interesting.

You are trying really hard to figure out how to crawl.  You can get up on your hands and knees now and even get your belly off the floor, but you haven’t quite figured out how to move once you get there.  That’s just fine with me really.  I’m not in a big hurry to get the baby gates out.  You also seem to really like being on your feet.  If I hold you up you will stand and jump up and down until my arms give out.  I’m sure it is only a matter of time before you are pulling up on your own.

sept_08 353

Over the last couple of weeks, you seem to have figured out what to do with those two bottom teeth you have.  I’m not sure if your brother told you or if you figured it out on your own, but teeth are for biting.  Now we just have to teach you that they are for biting food, not people (or cat tails).  Those two little bitty teeth?  They are sharp!  Just wait.  It won’t be long before you get some real food that you can use them on, but until then let’s save the biting for the teething rings and toys, okay?

Speaking of food, you are doing just fine with the eating.  You are weighing in at just over 20 pounds now.  You love your food and are starting on the number two baby foods now.  The only thing I’m a little concerned about is that you have started refusing your bottles sometimes at day care.  You are ready to nurse as soon as I get there to pick you up, but you just don’t want the bottle.  If you keep it up, we’re going to have a bit of a problem because you can’t go eight or more hours without your milk and I can’t drive across town in the middle of the day to nurse you.

sept_08 328

You are getting more and more vocal and I can tell you want to talk so badly.  I don’t think you’ve uttered any real words yet, although it does sound like you “hi” every once in a while.  A couple nights ago you said something that sounded like “maaaa” but there wasn’t a second “ma” to finish it off.  Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon.  Reaching out your arms and crying as I walk by is good enough for now.

Even though I wish you would stay tiny forever, it is so much fun watching you discover the world around you.  You are very observant these days.  You love watching yourself in the mirror.  You also love your toys.  I have to move them all out of the way to change your diaper because you will twist and turn and stretch until you have a toy in your hand otherwise.  You love your dolls and stuffed animals, but you seem to love your brother’s toys even more.  He’s not too thrilled when he catches you slobbering on his cars though.

Who Says Tools Are For Boys?

Over the last month we’ve been trying to enjoy the little bit of summer we have left.  We took you on your first trip to the lake where you enjoyed riding on Grandpa’s boat.  You attended your first Royals baseball game (and then your second).  We also made a trip out to Deanna Rose Farmstead where we saw lots of cool animals.  Out of all of those, I think you probably enjoyed the boat the most.  You got some great naps out there on the water.

I can’t believe half of a year with you has already zipped by.  I know I always say it in these letters, but time really does go by so very fast.  I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy every moment just a little bit more because I don’t want to miss a thing.

Love always,

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Five Months

Dear Evie,

Another month has past (entirely too quickly) and you are now five months old. I’m going to try to keep this letter short because it is late and I’m sure you will be waking soon to nurse (again).


I can’t believe how much change can happen in only a few short weeks. When I wrote the last update you were just figuring out how to grab at things and roll over. Now you are rolling all over the place and playing with your toys like an old pro. You have even been trying to work on those beginning crawling stages. You can get your knees up under you and push forward, but you haven’t yet figured out how to get your arms up at the same time. I’m guessing it won’t be long though.


You are getting so much stronger. You want so badly to sit up but you just don’t quite have the back strength to hold yourself up yet. You can sit by yourself for a few seconds, but you lean over far enough that you can chew on your toes. Of course, you may be doing that on purpose because you really seem to like your toes these days.

Protesting the Squash

A few days ago I gave you your first taste of squash (the baby food variety). You weren’t at all impressed with that and screamed at me until I gave you some of your beloved rice cereal/apple juice mixture. I eventually got you to eat a few more bites of squash. The next day you didn’t mind the squash so much. Since then you have also tried sweet potatoes and applesauce and loved them both.


A little over a week ago, we took you on your first trip to Dallas, Texas. You got to meet most of your extended family on Daddy’s side, including your great-grandparents Mama Goodie and Papop Albert. You also got to meet Vivian and Clyde, some friends that are very special to Mommy. I don’t think you got put down more than once or twice the entire time we were there. Everyone wanted to hold you and they were so impressed by how happy you were. The last couple of days in Dallas you did start getting pretty fussy though. At first I just thought it was the change in routine, but then I realized you were teething. A couple days after we got back in town your first tooth finally popped through your gums. The second one seems to be well on its way too.

What did I do?

You are getting more talkative every day. You love to make noise. I love to listen to you gurgle and coo when you are play. You have also started letting out little squeals now and then and I can already imagine you as a teenager squealing for your favorite boy band. This morning you woke up really early and decided that mom and dad needed to wake up as well. You were lying on the bed between us and kept reaching out and hitting us on our faces while babbling on. When I finally woke up enough to pay attention to you, you smiled at me and said something that sounded like, “Ma!” Mama would have been better, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Don't Mind the Drool

Of all of the amazing things you have started doing this month, the very best part of it all has been your laugh. I’ve never heard a better sound in my life. The really great part is that nobody can get you laughing like your big brother. He loves to talk to you in the car on the way home from day care and always gets you laughing. Hearing my two kids giggling together in the back seat is quite possibly the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard. I can only hope that you will continue laughing together for the rest of your lives.

Love always,


4 Months

Dear Evie,

You turned 4 months old a week ago. Why am I just now writing this letter to you? Well, quite frankly I’ve been entirely too busy to sit down and get my thoughts together. Your 4-month birthday fell on Friday and then we spent all weekend in Omaha so we could take you, your brother, and your cousins to the Omaha zoo. Yes, we do have a local zoo here in KC, but the one in Omaha is so much better. We got to explore an indoor Rain Forest, a Desert, and of course the aquarium, which seemed to be your favorite. You loved watching the fish swim around.  The only things you didn’t seem to care for were the heat and the fact that I couldn’t feed you at the exact second you decided you were hungry.

Seriously?  I have to stay in this thing all day?

This last month with you has been so much fun. You are really noticing things around you now (like the fish!). You watch with great interest when your brother is nearby as he’s always doing something silly. You also love to grab at your toys and (more often than not) shove them into your mouth. Every time I lay you down in your crib you reach toward your little pink teddy bear that Zachary brought you at the hospital. You can’t always pick it up by yourself, but you try so hard.

You are getting the movement thing down pretty well actually. You’re arms aren’t so shaky when you reach for things now and on July 1st you rolled over for the first time. You rolled from your back to your tummy and Mommy, Daddy, and Zachary all got to see you do it. It took a week or so for you to get really good at it, but now I can’t lay you down anywhere without you trying to roll away. It makes me so nervous when I leave you in my bed in the mornings, but I don’t want to move you or I’m afraid you’ll wake up.


Speaking of sleeping, you have learned to put yourself to sleep. It is this amazing thing that I didn’t even realize was possible until you just did it one night. I needed a few minutes to help your brother get settled in bed so I put you down in the pack ‘n’ play. When I came back, you were sound asleep without so much as a peep. I thought maybe it was a fluke so I tried it the next night and you went right to sleep again. You also seem to have put yourself on a sleep schedule which is amazing as well. You are ready for bed every night around 8:00 to 8:30 and if I just lay you down you go right to sleep. You still wake up quite often during the night to eat, but not having to fight (or listen to a screaming baby) at bedtime makes it all worth it.  The next step will be getting you to sleep through the night in your own bed.  I have to admit I’m not in a huge hurry for that though because I’ll miss snuggling with you all night.  You’ve recently gotten in the habit of holding my hand and most nights you sleep tucked inside my arm with our hands intertwined.

My absolute favorite time of day with you is when you first wake up in the morning.  You are so happy.  You often do your happy growl and babble on and on like you are telling me a story.  It makes it so hard for me to get out of bed because I would rather just stay there and have conversations with you all day.  I expect that those morning sessions will be some of my favorite memories of you as a baby.

What am I supposed to do with this?

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that you were staring me down at dinner time.  You would follow every bite I took with your eyes.  You watched as I moved my fork from my plate to my mouth.  I figured if you were that interested in what I was eating, maybe you were ready to start eating some food of your own.  A few days later I gave you your first taste of rice cereal.  I mixed it with formula the first time since I didn’t have any extra breast milk pumped but you ate the entire bowl.  The next night you refused it.  Then I tried mixing it with a little apple juice and water and you’ve been a happy girl ever since.  You love your cereal now and when it’s time to eat you have your mouth open and waiting for each spoon full.

Besides all of the other firsts you’ve experienced this past month, you also received your first real injury.  While attempting to play with you at day care, your brother accidentally let go of a toy and it ended up hitting you right smack on the eye.  You had a pretty nice bruise on your eyelid for about a week but it’s all better now.  I’m sure it is the first of many bumps and bruises you will receive from him during your life.

My Beautiful Girl-2

Evie, you are growing so fast.  It seems like you get bigger and bigger every day.  Tomorrow you go to the doctor for a check-up and you’ll get weighed and measured.  I’m anxious to see just how much you have gained in both height and weight.  The last time I weighed you at home you were just over sixteen pounds and I’m sure you’ve gained more since then.  I love watching you grow, but there’s a little part of me that wishes I could just keep you tiny forever.

Love always,

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