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Caleb – 16 Months

16 Months!

Dear Caleb,

My dear, sweet, loving, cuddly, little miracle surprise baby, I love you with all my heart. I’ll admit that when I found out I was pregnant with you I was scared. I wasn’t sure how I would manage to keep up with another baby, but I fell in love with you and all of those worries went away. I honestly cannot imagine what our family would be without you in it any more. You truly do complete us. It melts my heart to see the way your big brother and sister adore you. I just can’t see it being any other way.

However, the last few months have been extremely challenging for all of us. You see, you started walking, and with that new found ability to move (fast!) you also gained a new sense of independence…and attitude. I’m really proud of all of the new advances you are making, I really am. I just need you to stop every once in a while and take a break from touching and climbing and jumping off of ALL THE THINGS! You are quite a force to be reckoned with these days and you are wearing this old mama out.

There really is no containing you any more, aside from strapping you in a car seat, which causes screams that bring the neighbors running to see what is wrong (not really, but I’m surprised they haven’t yet). You have already managed to climb over the side of your crib, have nearly gotten over the side of the pack ‘n’ play, have escaped your “baby jail”, and figured out how to open doors. This week you also managed to escape from the seat of a shopping cart (while strapped in – thankfully I turned back around at just the right second) and the stroller (while also strapped in). Oh, and also the high chair. When you are done eating you are outta there, one way or another. The only thing you have not managed to break and/or escape from (as long as it is properly closed) is the living room gate, but I’m sure that time is coming.

Once you have managed to escape from whatever latest contraption we were trying to contain you in, you are into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! I am not exaggerating. You seriously have to have someone 1-on-1 with you at all times to keep you from getting into things that you shouldn’t. Perhaps I have not baby proofed as well as I should have because I got a little relaxed with the other two being older, but pretty much if there is anything within your sight that you want, you will find a way to get to it. I have found you standing on top of tables, on top of the back of the sofa and chairs in the living room, and even standing on toys so you could reach just a little farther. There is no stopping you.

Your other favorite pastime seems to be annoying your older brother. One of your favorite things to do is to turn the TV off when he is mid-show, or even worse, in a crucial part of a video game. You also constantly grab his glasses from his face (and mine) which gets old really quick. He’ll let you slide a couple times, but after that he gets a little angry. You better watch out because paybacks are hell, and boy do you have it coming! It’s a good thing that he loves you so much, because there is no one else he would be so patient with.

And can we just talk about this sleep thing for a minute? It took me 13 months, yes THIRTEEN MONTHS, to finally get you sleeping through the night in your own bed. I swear the first morning I woke up and realized you were still asleep in your crib I heard a choir of angels singing above me. There were 8 weeks or so of you doing this pretty much every night, with a few exceptions while you were trying to cut those horrid molars, but hey, that’s understandable. Then came vacation. You actually did amazingly well while we were out of town, despite the crazy schedule, sporadic naps, and getting to bed late pretty much every night. You ended up in bed with mom and dad a couple of times, but it was a nice big king size bed and there was plenty of room. The trouble happened when we came home.

Once we arrived back home from our trip, you forgot how to sleep without me attached to you. In fact, you pretty much forgot how to do anything without me attached to you. I can barely put you down without you screaming (unless there is food visible and within your reach, anyway). Bedtime is horrible. You scream and scream and scream until I finally give in because I’m afraid you are going to scream your lungs up. Eventually, I can get you to sleep by nursing you (which we were nearly done with before vacation but you have now let me know in no uncertain terms that the boobies are still yours) and then put you down in your bed. Some nights that works and you sleep through most of the night before the screaming commences, but others it doesn’t. Those nights are the ones when you wake up just as I try to lay you down and I wonder what on Earth ever possessed me to want to have these little screaming things called children. Ugh, mommy is tired, honey. So, you’ve ended up back in my bed more times that you should have lately and the end seems to be nowhere in sight. Seriously, mommy is tired. Sixteen months of not sleeping (shy of those 8 precious, glorious, weeks) is just too many. I need to sleep and so do you.

I know you have a lot going on. You are growing like a weed – 34 inches (>98th percentile – off the dang growth charts!) tall, and nearly 25 pounds. Plus, you just cut your first 4 molars and 4 incisors all seemingly at once – a total of 16 teeth! Besides all of the walking, climbing, and exploring, you are trying really hard to learn how to talk. You have several words that you use, but you spend a lot of time right now pointing and making sounds that we are supposed to translate into words.  Your favorite word seems to be “daddy” as you go around saying it over and over and over again all day long. Sadly, when he tries to pay attention to you, you push him away. You can also say mommy, zach, evie, hi, hello, please, this, bopbop, yay-ya, something that sounds similar to caleb, and many other words that you repeat when you hear them. You also have started dancing whenever you hear music. I love that you are doing this and often turn music on just so I can watch you. It is the cutest thing. We used to have lots of dance parties in our house and I kind of miss them.

It may seem like I’m complaining a lot, but the truth is, I really just want to remember every little bit of your babyness. It is flying by so fast. I feel like I miss out on so many moments with you because I’m busy working, or busy with your brother and sister. I struggle to find the time to just sit and snuggle, which is why when you wrap your arms and legs around me and won’t let go as I’m trying to put you to bed I don’t struggle with you very long. We go right back to my chair and snuggle until you fall asleep in my arms. I know just how quickly these days will pass and you will no longer want to sit and snuggle with mom. You will be grown before I know it, though I hope you’ll still come back for a hug now and then. Until then, I’ll cherish ever minute of time with you I can get.

I love you so much, my little monkey!



p.s. Sorry for the lack of photos. You don’t hold still long enough for me to take them anymore!


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17 Months

Dear Evie,

Seventeen months fly by so fast.  Nearly a year and a half is gone in the blink of an eye.  I think of those first few days with you, how tiny you were, and can’t believe that in seventeen months you have grown so much.


Last weekend we had a small garage sale.  I sold the baby swing that both you and your brother used.  The exersaucer, the play mats, the bathtub chair – they’re all gone now.  I’m still holding on to the high chair, crib, and pack ‘n’ play, just in case.  I sorted through your teeny, tiny, baby clothes.  I put price stickers on a few and packed the rest back into the plastic tote they came out of.  I can’t part with them yet.  I’m not ready.  Someday I will be, but not just yet.


You have decided all on your own that you are a “big girl” now.  You don’t want to sleep in your crib any more.  You climb right up into brother’s bottom bunk when it’s time for bed.  We made it yours this weekend, and you picked out your very own princess sheets and comforter to make it official.


You suddenly want to do everything yourself, from brushing your hair to putting on your clothes and shoes.  You pretty much have the shoe thing down, but you’re still a little confused on the clothes.  Shirts go over your head, not on your legs.

Giving Mama a Heart Attack!

You talk all the time.  You say so many words, I cannot even try to list them anymore.  Yesterday, as I was buckling you into your car seat, you were reaching for a brush on the floor of the car.  I handed it to you saying, “Are you happy now?”  You looked up, gave me a huge grin, and said, “Happy!”  That may have been our first true conversation.

Finally enjoying the boat ride

You have a fierce love for your brother these days, always wanting to be near him.  I worry a bit about how you will handle being separated from him in a few weeks as he heads off to preschool.  I’ve found comfort in knowing that even when I’m not with you, the two of you are still together.  That will quickly come to an end.  As I listened to the two of you giggling together until nearly 11:00 last night, I thought again that maybe it is time for separate bedrooms.  Then again, maybe not.  You need all the time you can get to be together right now.  I’m sure it won’t be long before you are fighting like cats and dogs and begging for separate rooms.

This one's for @pocklock!

Baby girl, you are so intelligent and caring and just everything I ever dreamed you would be.  I know we’ll have our struggles down the road, but I hope that someday you can look back at this and know that you have filled every bit of empty space in my heart.


Love always,

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13 Months


Dear Evie,

You turned 13 months old just over a week ago.  Your 13 month birthday came and went with little fanfare since it just happened to fall the day after we buried your Great Grandfather “Papop”.  Since our last minute trip to Louisiana, I haven’t had any free time to sit down and write your monthly letter so I’m going to try to do this as quickly as possible just so I can have something to look back on years from now.

It seems there is something magical about that 1st birthday.  Until the day you turned one you were still my little baby.  Now you’re suddenly a big girl – one that walks, and talks, and wants to feed yourself without any help.  It’s all going by so fast that I can barely keep up.  At your one year wellness check you were 31 1/4 inches tall and weighed 22 lbs 11 oz.  It seems that nearly every day you have outgrown another outfit or pair of shoes.

A little over two weeks ago you stopped nursing.  We had been weaning gradually, but it didn’t seem you really wanted to let go quite yet of your special time with Mama.  You finally went about three days without it, then had a bad night where I sat up with you for over an hour before finally giving in and letting you nurse.  After that you never really tried again.  Sometimes you stick your hand down the front of my shirt (and if I dare try to remove it you let me know that is not acceptable) which seems to give you some kind of comfort.  I’m sure it looks a little odd when we’re out in public, but as long as it is just a transitional thing for you I don’t mind so much.  I have to admit I was a little sad yesterday when I packed away my breast pump and supplies for good.  I miss it because it was our special uninteruppted time together, but at the same time I am enjoying seeing you become more independent.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying having my body to myself again too.  The next stop is trying to break you from the bottles.  I’m willing to give you some time on that though.  The bottles still allow me to get some snuggle time in.

The only complaint I have (and really it’s only a half complaint because I don’t really mind it so much) is that you have suddenly become extremely clingy.  I’m not sure if it is related to the nursing situation or just a developmental thing but you want Mama nearly all the time.  When you’re in a clingy mood you will not let me put you down at all.  On very rare occasions you will allow your Daddy to hold you for short periods of time, but then it is back to me.  You actually cried at day care drop off a couple of times lately, which is very unusual for you because you LOVE day care (most of the time you would rather stay there than go home with me).  The trip to Louisiana seemed to make the clinginess even worse.  You were pretty much attached to my hip the entire time.  You did eventually warm up to Granny and Papa and would get down in the floor to go play but if anyone else tried to talk to you you would latch back on to me and hide your face.  That right there is part of your Mama’s personality and I really hope you are able to outgrow it because when you’re an adult you aren’t allowed to do that anymore.

You are talking more and more (when we’re at home and you aren’t being shy) and I just love listening to you.  It is obvious that you are putting meaning into the words you say now instead of just repeating sounds.  Just in the last couple of weeks you have started using “yes” (which is usually with a quick nod) and “no” (though it sounds more like “nah”) when I ask you a question.  Sometimes you even shake your head and say “nah, nah, nah” when you get caught doing something you know you aren’t supposed to be doing.  It’s so cute it makes me laugh even when I’m trying to scold you.  You also say “up” when you want to be picked up or want up in your high chair to eat.  Last week when I was trying to get your brother up in the morning, you patted him and said “up, up, up” until he uncovered his head and looked at you.  You also say “down” when I’m holding you sometimes because you just want to be on the floor where you can play.

You are getting better and better at walking.  You really want to be able to run and keep up with the big kids, but you still stumble now and then.  I have noticed in the last few days that you have been able to stand yourself back up without holding on to anything though.  Before long I imagine you and your brother will be racing each other through the house and I’ll be yelling at you to slow down just as I do to him.

As each month passes, I watch you and your brother get closer and closer.  I love standing outside the door in the morning listening to the two of you giggle and talk together before I come in to get you up.  You are starting to play together more and even though you steal his toys and frustrate him, Zach loves playing with you.  I see signs of that protective big brother coming out in him and it makes me so proud.  Even though he doesn’t like to admit it all the time, his actions show just how much he loves you.  And that huge grin you get on your face when he talks to you?  It shows just how much you love him too.  It makes my heart dance with joy.  I know there will come a time when the two of you fight like cats and dogs so I’m trying to soak up every ounce of love I can get now.

I am just so very proud of you and all the things you are learning.  I love watching your personality develop as you get to be more independent.  Even though you look more and more like your dad as you get older, you seem to get your personality more from me.  It’s almost like looking into a little tiny mirror some days, which is both amazing and terrifying.

I love you with all of my heart.

Love always,

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10 Months

Dear Evie,

Yesterday you turned ten months old. Ten months. That means that you have now been outside of my body longer than you were inside the confines of my protective belly. There are days when I would give anything to be able to put you back there, where you were safe from the harsh outside world but when I remember just how big you are that thought goes right out the window. Last month, at your nine month check up, you weighed 20 pounds and were 29 1/4 inches tall. You are a little more than double your birth weight.


The bigger you get, the more I am reminded just how fast these baby days will be over. Over the last two months, you have cut five new teeth. You have a total of eight teeth now, which makes nursing quite interesting. Your brother stopped nursing at nine months so I never had to deal with so many teeth with him. You, on the other hand, have no interest in stopping any time soon and you like to BITE! The worst part is that when I tell you “NO!” you start crying and then I actually feel bad because you bit me. Tell me how that’s fair.

You really love your nursing time and (except for the biting) I do too. When you want to nurse you barrel your head into my chest and say “na-na” over and over again until I give you want you want. I cherish that time with you. I love having a few quiet moments with you every day where it is just the two of us. Unfortunately, I see that time coming to an end soon.

Pre-Christmas 2008

A few weeks ago your Daddy and I decided it was time for you to start sleeping in your own bed. We shipped Zach off with Grandma for the weekend and were determined to make you sleep in your bed even if it meant letting you cry. And boy did you cry. I’ll let you in on a little secret though – I spent a big part of that first night with tears in my eyes too. As hard as it was those first few nights, it actually worked. You’ve been sleeping through the night in your own bed for just over three weeks now. The downside to that is that you are no longer nursing all night long and my milk supply is feeling the change. If I’m lucky I’m able to pump you one bottle during the day, but you are drinking pretty much everything I have during your morning and bedtime feedings. I hope that I can keep it up until you are ready to wean yourself because I hate to have to take it away before you are ready.

Because of the breast milk supply issues, we have started introducing you to cow’s milk. I know it is a bit earlier than doctors recommend, but you absolutely hate formula and soy milk. You aren’t super thrilled with the cow’s milk either, but you will take a few drinks out of a sippy cup. If we mix it with a little breast milk you drink it right up.

Now There's A Smile!

You are starting to eat more and more table food and less baby food. So far you are a much more finicky eater than your brother was. He would eat pretty much anything I put in front of him but if you don’t like something you spit it right back out. You absolutely hate green beans. Your favorite foods are carrots, bologna, any kind of fruit, and Gerber Graduates ravioli (in any flavor variety). Last week you saw Daddy peeling an orange and decided you had to have some. You ate a whole slice in about 2 seconds and screamed until we gave you some more.

After having a reaction to bananas and a couple other foods, we ended up taking you to an allergist for testing. Every time you eat bananas your face turns bright red around your mouth and down your neck. As it turns out, you tested negative for everything, including bananas. The doctor told us not to hold back on anything so we are re-introducing some of the foods I had stopped feeding you (including milk). I’m still holing off on the bananas for now but hopefully you’ll be able to eat them again soon because you really love them.

Evie - 9 Months

You are starting to say more words, although sometimes it is a struggle to figure out exactly what you are trying to say. Right now you have about 6 words that come out pretty clear: Mama, Dada, na-na, cat, doggy, and Bubba. I think I have also caught you saying Zach(“ack”) and “Budduh” (brother) a time or two but those aren’t as clear. Recently you have really latched onto a baby doll that you got for Christmas and you have a name for that too. At first I thought you were trying to say “baby” since that is what I kept calling it, but I think you are actually calling it Kyra. There is a baby at day care (only 2 months younger than you) named D’Kyra, and I’m pretty sure that is where you are getting the “Kuddah” sound that you are calling your baby.

You are also getting closer and closer to walking. You don’t seem to be ready to let go quite yet, but you walk along the furniture pretty easily these days. I’ve even caught you doing a little climbing and using toys as steps when you want to reach up a little higher.

Evie - 9 Months

Your personality comes out more and more all the time. You are a Mama’s girl through and through. You love to giggle and play with Daddy, but when it is time to snuggle you want to be in Mama’s arms. And do you ever like to snuggle! You are such a cuddly girl that sometimes I have to remind myself just to sit and enjoy it rather than get frustrated. In a perfect world I would be able to just sit and snuggle with you all day but it seems like there is always something else that needs to be done and cuts our time short. Since you have been sleeping in your own bed at night, it seems like those few moments we get to snuggle in the evenings are even more special. As much as I need the sleep at night, I really miss having you cuddled up next to me.

You have developed a little game that you like to play when I come pick you up from day care. When I get there you squeal and get really happy. Then, when I reach my arms out to take you from Miss P, you turn away from me and snuggle up with her instead. Then you reach out to me and quickly turn back to her again. You usually do this three or four times before you come to me and you think it is so funny. I would be offended, but I’m so glad that you love Miss P as much as you do that it doesn’t really bother me. The other night you played your game with Grandma while I was holding you and I have to admit it was even cuter from that angle.


Last month we got to celebrate your very first Christmas. It was the first time that our little family has spent Christmas morning together, just the four of us. While I loved watching you and your brother open all your gifts (Santa went a little overboard this year!), the best part was sitting back knowing that there was absolutely no other place in the world I would rather be than right there in that moment. You, your brother, and your daddy make my life complete in ways I never knew were possible and for some reason on that day I realized just how blessed I am.

Tomorrow is going to be a historic day in our country. Even though you won’t remember it, you were with me in your sling when I cast my vote for Barack Obama, our 44th President. Tomorrow is the Presidential Inaguration and Obama will officially become the first black President of the United States. While the color of his skin shouldn’t matter at all, it does. It matters because of how far our country has come. Only a few decades ago, people with colored skin were not allowed the same rights as your ancestors and starting tomorrow a black man will lead our entire country. By the time you are in school, this election will be in your history books. I hope that when you read about it you won’t understand why this is even such a big deal. As a country we still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction. I hope that you and your brother will never see color when you look at another person’s face, but see the person inside instead.


I suppose I should wrap this up and get some of that precious sleep that I’m finally able to enjoy these days. I have about seven hours before you will wake up and start hollering “dada” from your crib. Even though you can say other words, “dada” is still your word of choice. It’s okay though. “Mama” has been slipping out more and more frequently here lately. It really doesn’t matter though because I’m the one that gets all the smiles and happy cuddles in the morning anyway.

Baby girl, I love you more and more each day. I’m not sure how much a heart can grow, but it seems like mine just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Every day I spend with you, your brother, and our little family I feel so very blessed. I don’t know what I would do without you all in my life.

Love always,

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Breaking News – She Stands!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled bitchfest to bring you the following BREAKING NEWS:

The girl is standing up!

Multimedia message

At approximately 8:04 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2008, Miss Evie grabbed the side of her crib and pulled herself into a standing position. Reports say that her mother was both excited and appalled at this new development. After securing the child and making sure that she was not going to topple over the side of her (not yet lowered) crib, she stopped to take photographic evidence of the situation.  We will continue to update you on future developments as they unfold.

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