Letters to Elizabeth, 12 months

My sweet baby girl,

You are a whole year old. It’s amazing to look back at the pictures from a year ago and see how much you have changed. You were such a tiny, helpless, little being. It’s so hard to put into words how much love we have for you. You’ve been such a light and a joy over the last year. Even if it did mean a lot less sleep for me.
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This last month has been a pretty big one for you. After weeks of scooting around however you could (mainly belly flops and rolling), you started crawling just after your first birthday. First it was just one or two uncoordinated motions, but girl, you’ve got it down now. There is no stopping you. You also learned to blow on your food this month. This wasn’t something that we taught you, but something you picked up on your own.

You make the best fish lips that I’ve ever seen. One day I put your hair in pigtails and then you made your fish lips and I just happened to snap the picture at just the right time. This may be my favorite picture to date.

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We took our first bike ride as a family of four. You didn’t love it, but your daddy and I have hopes that you will one day. We played with bubbles for the first time too. You weren’t really sure what to do with them at first, but soon you started giggling whenever one would pop.

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Other firsts included your first trip on an airplane and your first trip to the beach. We spent the week of your birthday on Hilton Head Island. You were a trooper and took to the island lifestyle really well. You loved the water and the beach. You even stuck to your napping and bedtime schedule, which was a very good thing.

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It seems that everywhere we go people comment on how happy you are. We are so grateful for the sweet, joyful little girl that you are. Every day is truly a blessing.

Happy Birthday sweet girl.

Love,

Momma.

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Family Pictures

I realized, while typing up Lizzy’s letter the other day that I never shared my mother’s day gift with you all. My request was simple. I wanted to have pictures take. Pictures of all four of us, picture of me with the kids, pictures of the kids. Just pictures. So when I found a local photographer who was running a Mother’s Day Special, I jumped at the chance to have her take our pictures and she did a fantastic job! I think I’ve finally found someone to take our pictures from here on. IMG_9528

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Letters to Elizabeth, 11 months

Dear sweet girl,

You are 11 months old, almost a whole year. I just can’t handle it! The last year has gone by so incredibly fast, and believe me, I know how cliche that sounds. You are first and foremost a talker. Most mornings I know you are awake, not because you are crying, but because you are in your room, just chatting away. I don’t know how you can wake up so happy at 6 am, but you do. Your sleep is much improved this month with a little bit of sleep training. I was very reluctant to do it, but it has  made such a difference in our routines and your night-time sleep.

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Being a talker means that your not much into moving around. Don’t get me wrong, you can get around, but you’re not crawling or walking just yet. You like to roll and roll and you’ve learned how to spin circles on your bottom. You did start leaning forward on your hands, with one foot behind you and start rocking a little. You’re other foot seems to get caught though and you end up on your tummy. One of these days you will get it. You’ve perfected your clapping and can high-five with the best of them. All I have to say is “high-five” and you put your little hand up in the air so that I can give you a high-five. About the second or the third  time we high-five your start giggling and don’t stop until I do.

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Your second tooth popped through this month, although you don’t seem to need any teeth to enjoy your food. You are already a much better eater than your brother was, although we have found a few things you don’t like, mainly melons. Strawberries, grapes, macaroni and cheese and green beans seem to be some of your favorites.

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You took your first dip in the pool and in the lake as well as your first trip to the spray park. You loved them all and are a water baby for sure.

lizzylake11monthsYou are so sweet and inquisitive and I can’t help but kiss those sweet cheeks of yours. We love you so very much and are so thankful that God has chosen us for you.

Love always,

Momma

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Summer Time

We’ve made it through four weeks of summer break. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how it would go. Will hadn’t been home all day for a whole year and I was worried about how he would cope being stuck at home while Lizzy napped and without any friends around to keep him entertained. But we seem to have fallen into a pretty good routine that works for all three of us and we are having lots of fun doing all of the things that are reserved for summer time.

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We’ve been to the park, the pool, and the spray park. We’ve met friends at the children’s museum, the local zoo and for bike rides and walks. We’ve drawn countless pictures on the sidewalk with chalk. We’ve stayed up late to catch lightning bugs and watch movies. And Will started swimming lesson. All this and it’s only the middle of June! I haven’t been very good at documenting everything, but I’ve been trying to enjoy it all.

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This morning we headed out on a quick walk before Lizzy’s first nap. Will rode his bike and Lizzy rode in the stroller. Will has really started perfecting the balance bike techniques and I’m sure he would get along just fine with a pedal bike soon. This morning he was having lots of fun using the driveways as ramps.

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Letters to Elizabeth, 10 months

Dear sweet, baby girl,

You are 10 months old and getting to be such a big girl! At your 9 month check-up you weigh 16 lb 10 oz and measured just over 27 inches long. You’re petite for you age, but your doctor says you are doing great.

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You started really rolling around this month. Even though you’ve been rolling for awhile, this month you started rolling to get from place to place. You are also pushing up with your hands more and trying to inch your way around while on your tummy. You pull your legs up and wiggle you bottom. Now we just need to work on doing both of those at the same time.

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You got your first tooth this month too. You hadn’t been sleeping well for a week or so and I asked your doctor if he thought it might be your ears or maybe a tooth. He said that your ears looked great, but it could be teething. Sure enough, two days later I stuck my finger in your mouth and felt the sharp edge of a tooth! The sleeping trend has continued, so I wonder if there is another tooth in there working it’s way through.

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You continue to love food and have completely given up on purees. There are very few foods that you have tried that you don’t like. You love toast, pasta, chicken, strawberries, green beans, sweet potato and peas. You started drinking through a straw, even though most of the time you end up spitting the water right back.

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Love

Momma

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A Great Wolf Trip

For Will’s birthday, we decided to spend a night at the Great Wolf Lodge. I love getting him things that he can experience, rather than more things to sit around the house. The Great Wolf Lodge is basically a kid’s dream of a hotel. Among other amenities, there is a water park inside the hotel, only steps from your room. We packed as much into the weekend away as we could, but the real reason for the trip was the water park.

Will really started loving the water and swimming last year. He would go and go and seemed to never run out of energy. After a lull over the winter, I knew an early trip to the pool would be something he would really enjoy. What I didn’t expect is how daring he would be.

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There were several different kinds of slides at the park. There were three kiddie slides in smaller pool for the younger kids. He started there and really seemed to enjoy going down all three of them.

He even got a little silly on the kiddie slides, going down on his back and even going down backwards. After getting a little bored on those slides, he and Kevin went to explore a little bit. There were all kinds of things for the kids to do and soon they came back to tell me that Will had gone down one of the big slides all on his own. Kevin was planning on going down with him, but when they got to the top, the lifeguard told them they would have to go down one at a time. Kevin was anxious for Will to go on his own and went down first hoping that being at the bottom when Will came down would help if Will was scared. Kevin said the whole time he was riding the slide down he was thinking “He’s not going to like this. He’s going to get scared.” Kevin waited patiently at the bottom of the slide for Will and finally Will came down with a big gush of water and a gigantic smile on his face. Needless to say, he loved it. He ended up going down all of the big slides in addition to the kiddie ones.

He also loved just swimming in the pools though, which makes me really excited for summer time.

Overall the trip was a success and I would love to go back. Especially when Lizzy is old enough to really enjoy the water park too. She ended up sleeping through most of the fun this time! Poor thing!

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Letters to Elizabeth, 9 months

Oh my sweet girl, I can hardly believe that you are nine months old already! Time is going by way too fast and no matter how I try, I can’t seem to get it to slow down. You’ve developed a very predictable routine over the last couple of months–you wake up close to six, take naps at nine and one, and you are most definitely ready for bed by seven. You are eating three meals a day now and seem to really enjoy food. At some meal times you can out-eat your brother. He better watch out, because you don’t mess around when it comes to meal time.

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Like most children, you love being outside. We have had some really nice days the last month and we’ve been on walks, taken trips to the park, and just hung out in the yard, you love it all. You love to swing and you seem to be perfectly content hanging out on a blanket and watching the world go by. There are so many things to see and talk to!

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Speaking of talking, you’ve perfected your da-da-da and seem to use it for just about everything, until you get mad (which rarely ever happens). When you are mad all you can say is ma-ma-ma-ma. You seem to be talking a lot though and there is a lot of inflection in your voice, which is fun to hear.

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You have such a happy personality and sometimes I just can’t believe how much you smile, giggle and laugh. When you get excited you start twirling your hands and kicking your feet. And you have the best “cheese” face I have every seen. You grin and squint and make an “eeee” sound that is just precious beyond words. You aren’t moving too much yet and I’m ok with that. You roll some, sit with easy and can bend in ways I can only imagine bending. Sometimes you bend so far forward that you end up on your belly.

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This month we celebrated your first Easter and birthdays of your brother, cousin and great grandfather, took your first trip to the golf course and first train ride. You aren’t sleeping through the night, but your sleep has improved. The last month was relatively healthy too! You’ve created your own little spot in this family of ours and I am so grateful that you have.

We love you baby girl. More that you will ever know.

Love

Momma

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