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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear Alexandra...7 months old

Dear Alexandra, 

Another month has just flown by.  There is so much validity to the saying I always heard before I had children that was, "Just wait until you have kids, then time really goes by fast." I've found that to be true and it really makes sense.  Now that I have you and your brother in my life, I couldn't be happier.  Anything that is portrayed as fun seems to fly by, where as challenging times in our life seem to go so slow and feel at a standstill.  I really wish there was a pause button where I could enjoy you just a little bit longer.  I love this age! You are inquisitive, love trying new things and you just want to be a part of everything your brother is doing. You really don't cry.  If you're upset, it's more of a whine. I am convinced you are the sweetest baby girl there ever was. These monthly shots below are my most favorite yet.  You're beautiful.

-You had your first trip to the Wisconsin State Fair and rode down the Giant Slide with your Daddy.  You seemed to enjoy it more than your brother did, this time around.  

-You're continuing to enjoy solids.  You like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, yogurt, and peas.  You could do without prunes and apples. 

-You've started saying ""  I don't think you associate it with your mama yet, but have officially said your first consonant, which makes mama happy.  
-You have just started sleeping swaddle free, in your own bed, in your brother's room.  It's only been a few days, but I am very pleased with the chunks of good sleep you are getting.  You tend to whine for a few minutes to self-soothe and get yourself back to sleep. I nurse you once in the middle of the night still and again very early in the morning around 5.  I bring you into bed with me to nurse and I absolutely love the snuggle time with you when you're finished.  

Things You Like Right Now: 
- If you could sit smack dab on someones lap all day long, you would.  You love that one on one one attention.  When your brother goes to sleep before you, it's like you get this lil grin on your face like you're thinking ..."Finally, I get mommy all to myself."
- You enjoy sitting next to toy baskets and/or drawers and pulling everything out, one item at a time.  Of course you mouth each item, before going onto the next.  

-You love to sit on the floor and practice pulling up with whomever is sitting with you.  You also get very excited when we stand you up next to the couch or your play cube.  Standing makes you feel very proud.  

-You still like your naps.  I can easily tell when it's time because you will just whine while you sit and play with your toys.  You have about a half an hour nap in the morning and a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon.  

-You love visits to the park.  Sitting on the swing is your favorite.  You prefer a swing where you have a good view of your brother playing.  You like to look around and see who is looking at you, since you're a big girl now and can handle sitting in a swing all by yourself. 

-SHOPPING! What girl doesn't love to shop right? We had so much fun shopping with your Nouna for a dress for your baptism.  You were so happy to be out with the girls and let us try on dress after dress.  You ate it up and gave us the sweetest smiles.  Although this isn't the gown we picked, here you are modeling a beautiful dress. 

Things You Don't Like Right Now:
- The one thing that is sure to set you off is leaving you in a room alone, even for a matter of seconds.  Now I'm not talking about leaving you unattended.  I'm talking about the stepping into the kitchen to grab a paper towel or walking into the bedroom to grab a sweatshirt and returning.  If I take Ari into the bedroom for a diaper change, you will whine the entire time because you want to be with us at all times.  
Quality bathroom time with mommy

- You seem to have quite a like for Ari's toys.  When he notices you have one of his, he will come over and take it away, which really frustrates you. Although he has learned to replace it with one of your toys, which seems to make you a little happier.  

Your Dad:
-Daddy has been back at work full swing now and I know he really misses you.  He loves the snapchats I send of you, to help him get through his day at work.  He lives for the weekends! He's super excited about football starting, since we have a new Packer fan in the house this season.  He's also looking forward to you starting your first swim class in October.  
Celebrating Daddy's birthday at the Packer  Pro Shop

Your Brother:
-Ari usually wakes up before you and plays in the living room while you are still sleeping.  As soon as you get up, I change your diaper and bring you into the living room.  Every single morning when I walk into the living room, Ari's face lights up! He smiles from ear to ear and says "Elle's up!" I usually reply with something like, "Yes, Elle is awake now." And every single morning he says, "Elle, play with Ari?" He loves you so much and my heart is so full watching your relationship grow.  Ari comforts you and even gives you kisses & hugs when you're upset.  The two of you are quite the duo already!
 Ari's 2nd birthday

 Always in awe of your big brother

 First time self-supported in the wagon

 At Uncle Darwin's engagement shoot

Time for breakfast

Your Mom:
-I have to admit before you arrived and I was working full time, I was very envious of the stay at home moms.  I remember thinking to myself, "They don't even realize how lucky they are." And now here I of "them".  I see being able to do this as such a blessing.  I love waking up in the morning and planning out our days together.  What activities we will do, which park we will visit, what we will have for lunch, and so on.  My day to day accomplishments have sure changed, but in a good way.  I have left many students behind, but take pride in knowing I still am a teacher...only difference is I only have two students and they just happen to be my little angels, Alexandra and Aristaeus.  Thank you for coming into our world at the perfect time, making our family feel whole, and allowing me to pursue my dreams of being a stay at home mom.