Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dear Alexandra...9 to 11 months old

Dear Alexandra,

Sweet baby are already 11 months old! Where does the time go? These past couple of months have been extremely busy for our family.  Despite some hard times, it has been YOU (and your brother) that has kept our family in our happy place.  You light up our lives in so many ways.  You have advanced quite a bit since I last wrote.

- You have your own room now (finally) and have definitely adjusted to being all alone.  When we first moved into our new house, you had some nights where you would wake up 2-3 times throughout the night wanting mommy.  You've grown to love your new room and most nights don't even cry when we put you down.  If you do cry, it is short lived.  You sleep all the way through the night now.  
- In between your ninth and tenth month, your first tooth popped! As soon as one popped, some more quickly followed. You now have 5 teeth! 
- You have your first official swim class under your belt.  We were on the "wait list" and initially got turned down by Jim when we showed up for the first class.  But Daddy stayed persistent and was able to get you in.  You were very comfortable in the water and loved the one-on-one time with Daddy.  
-You celebrated your first Halloween, which included a trip to the pumpkin farm and trick-or-treating in our new neighborhood.  

- At about 9 months old, we switched you over to a convertible car seat.  You outgrew the infant car seat quickly.  Mommy and Daddy were happy about the change since we don't have to carry around the heavy car seat anymore.  

-You're officially ready to travel the world as you had your first passport photo taken.  Bring on the Dominican Republic!

- You also celebrated your first Thanksgiving, which included participating in your first footballl game with your cousins and uncles.  

- Your first Christmas was magical.  You brought so much joy to us this holiday season dear baby girl.  You didn't even cry when you met Santa for the first time.  Maybe that had something to do with the fact that you participated in the Santa Rampage two weeks prior where you met hundreds of Santas! 

Things You Like Right Now:
- Outside! We’ve thoroughly been enjoying our new neighborhood by going on walks, wagon rides, Burley rides, and playing in the yard.  You enjoy crawling around and getting your hand on as many possible leaves as you can.  I’ll admit that you even swallowed one last weekend.  You also just like to sit and watch Ari play.  We had a little bit of snow around Thanksgiving, but haven't had any since then.  Mommy and Daddy are so excited for your first snow storm.  We can't wait to get you outside to play!

- Girl, you love to eat! You pretty much eat anything that we are eating as family now. You especially like pancakes, french toast, pastitso, and spaghetti.  There really hasn't been anything that you've resisted.

-Just like Mommy, you like to shop.  You had your first trip to Chicago in November.  We visited the Shedd Aquarium, partied in our hotel room, and shopped on Michigan Ave.
-You are still living up to your reputation of sleeping anywhere. I think you share this common trait with your Uncle Aris.

-Your new purple chair! You are obsessed with this chair and I am 100% sure you know the chair is yours.  You will crawl all over it for 30 minutes straight.  You sit in it, lay in it, bury your head in it, and stand in it! All while you look around with a huge grin on your face.

-Santa brought you a walker/scooter toy for Christmas.  You love walking behind it and looking around to see who is looking at you.
-Buckwheat still has a very special place in your heart.  Your first word after "Mama" was "Buh" for Buckwheat.  Whenever he walks in the room you say "Buh" and look at him with a great big smile.

- The thing that makes you most mad is when someone takes you away from Mommy.  As long as Mommy is holding you, you are as content as can be.  
-You also don't like when your brother tries taking away one of your toys.  In fact, you show a little bit of a temper when he attempts to take something away from you. 

Your Dad:
- Your Daddy had a nice two week break home with you in October. He spent most of the time watching you and your brother, so mommy could work on unpacking and organizing at our new house. He also spent a great deal of time outside raking the leaves in our new big yard.  As always, the highlight of his week was taking you and your brother to swim class on Saturdays.  You even went underwater this past swim class, which made your daddy especially proud.  

Your Brother:
- How do I even say this? Your brother has definitely started to show us what being two is all about.  He loves that you're more active now and that you've started playing with him versus just watching him.  However, he is still realizing and adjusting to the fact that he has to share the attention with you.  I'm very proud of him though because he is officially potty trained.  Right after we moved, mommy and daddy decided it was time.  At first, it was lots of reminders and language evolved around "staying dry", but your brother caught on quick.  Mommy and daddy are super happy to only having one of you in diapers! The two of you even have your own hashtag, #elleandari.  It's so amazing to watch the two of you grow together.

Your Mommy:
- I feel like our big move took a lot out of me these past couple months.  I was emotional leaving our first home, since you and your brother had been born there.  We've just had so many happy memories there and it was really hard to leave them behind and say goodbye to the house we became a family in.  On top of the move, I was also adjusting to not being at Pierce anymore and working primarily as a stay at home mom and at UW-M.  Staying home with you and your brother was the best decision I have ever made and one that I have not ever regretted.  Thank you for joining our family when you did, so I had the opportunity to be home with both of you. I mentioned up above that you are attached to me like crazy.  What I didn't mention yet is how much I love it! I don't even feel right unless I have you on my hip with your sweet smile.  In the morning when you wake up, I bring you into bed for our morning nursing session.  Sometimes you fall back asleep and sometimes you just lay awake curled up snuggling with me.  You are so happy and so am I.  It's one of my most favorite times of the day.

Looking forward to writing all about your first vacation and your first birthday next month!


Your Mommy

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dear Alexandra...8 months old

Dear Alexandra,

This past month has been crazy and so much has happened since I last wrote.  It's like right beneath our very own eyes, you have really grown up.  You're learning a lot of new things and becoming more exploratory by the second.  Your personality is emerging and I'm so proud of the advances you have made.  I've grown so attached to you in just a short amount of time.  I miss you every second we're apart, even while you are sleeping.  I feel so blessed to have such an amazing, sweet daughter.

-You are an official full blown crawler.  Daddy and I said to each other one day...she will be crawling within the next week.  And sure enough, about three days letter you had taken off.  You've really picked up the speed and seem to be all over the house exploring new things.  You LOVE your newfound means of getting around. 
-You have started some table foods such as broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, puffs, banana bread, and pumpkin bread.  
- You've just recently started pulling up to things on your own.  This includes pulling up on toys, the couch, toy basket, ottoman, the bottom stair, tv stand, and the step stool.  
-You were baptized.  We had such a special day celebrating.  The service was wonderful and the weather was perfect.  Afterwards we went and had lunch at Apollo Cafe.  The day couldn't have been any more perfect.

Things You Like Right Now:
- You absolutely love to put anything and everything in your mouth.  No teeth yet though.
-You definitely love when mommy or daddy sits with you and plays.  But you also really like solo play time as well.  You are such an exploratory little girl now that you’re crawling.  You crawl all over the living room investigating every nook and cranny.  You also like to bolt for the kitchen, the stairs, and Buckwheat.  When Ari naps in the afternoon, you can keep yourself occupied for a good 45 minutes before you realize you’re tired and would like to nap too.
- We spent a lot of time outside this month...we visited the apple farm, went to the park a lot, and went on lots of hikes.  

- Camping! We took a trip to Door County at the end of the month.  You loved going for a hike in your daddy's backpack, hanging out around the campfire, and playing in the tent.  You had a hard time falling asleep by yourself this time in the tent, so spent a lot of the night snuggling with mommy. One of my favorite moments was holding you at the campfire while you slept.  You were just so snuggly and we definitely helped keep each other warm.  

_ You enjoy going out to eat.  There are some days we say to each other, maybe we shouldn’t go, Elle is tired or we even contemplate one of us staying home with you because you’re crabby.  Then we decide to all go and you end up being the happiest little girl.  I think it’s mostly because you think you are such a big girl getting to sit in your high chair all by yourself.  You look around and are very in tune to what everyone else is doing in the restaurant. I’m always calling you nosy.  You squeak, giggle, and babble almost the entire time we are at the restaurant.  You definitely like to get out and dine. 
- You are a huge fan of eating with your hands.  You get so proud of yourself and just grab and grab for more food.  You are really good at using your thumb and pointer finger to pinch up the food.  When mommy brings out some of the baby food and tries feeding you with a spoon, you look at me and it’s like you’re saying “Really Mom?!?!” in your head. 

- Bath time with your brother is always a hit! My friend gave us this neat bath seat to try and you love it! It lets you sit up and play and mommy doesn’t have to worry about you falling over and hitting your head.  Your legs are moving the entire time you are in the tub.  You get so excited and happy that you just kick, kick, kick. 

- Snoozing in the high chair is becoming one of your favorite things to do.  After breakfast, you just tend to settle in and within minutes you are out.  You are still living up to your personal hashtag #ellewillsleepanywhere. 

- When you are tired, you would just prefer that your mommy holds you.  If I try passing you off to someone else so I can go to the bathroom or grab a load of laundry, you scrunch up your face and let out the sweetest cries. 
-You're not a huge fan of naps in your crib quite yet.  You would much rather prefer to sleep on Mommy or Daddy's chest.  I've just recently started trying to get you to nap at the same time as Ari in the afternoon in your crib.  I'm going to miss our afternoon snuggles.  

Your Dad:
- Your dad had such a great time camping with you! He really lives for being outdoors with his family, following in the footsteps of his parents.  He has so many wonderful memories of camping while he was growing up and he's excited for you and your brother to have those types of memories too! In your Daddy's arms is still one of your most favorite places to sleep...mine too! 

Your Brother:
- Your brother makes you so happy.  It's crazy at such a young age how much you already look up to him.  All he has to do is come say hi to you and you will light up with smiles.  The two of you pretty much do everything hand in hand, eat, go for hikes, and even swim.  You really are special to him.  Anytime I tell Ari we're going to leave the house to go do something he says, "Elle too Mommy?!"

Your Mom:
-I've definitely completely adjusted now to staying at home full time.  In the beginning of the school year it was an adjustment to get used to not going into work every day.  I didn't necessarily miss it was just different.  I used to dread Monday mornings because the weekend was over and I had to leave my sweet babies to go back to work.  I no longer dread Mondays...instead I am excited about starting a new week with you and your brother.  The only thing that makes me sad is Daddy leaving us to go back to work.  You and I, we have a special bond already.  You're my go to girl, the girl that can always make me smile.  I will never forget this age and your sweet scrunch faced smile.  To think that God always had this in store for be your's just amazing.  


Your Mommy