Letters to Lydia: 10 Months

Double digits? Oh dear! The end of this first, magical, amazing, wonderful year is quickly approaching my darling – how can that be?? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was memorizing your fingers for the very first time in the safe little cocoon of our hospital room? That can’t possibly have been ten months ago! Tonight, as you were falling asleep next to me I just stared at your sleeping silhouette and marveled at you. I watched your chest move up and down and your lashes flutter as you settled into dreamland and thanked our sweet Jesus for giving you to me. You are mine. My perfect, beautiful, perfect little baby. I am so truly beyond blessed!

My sweet girl, you are a joy!

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You’re also busy and easily distracted, so these little photo shoots are becoming increasingly harder to do!

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We’ve entered into a new world this month: you are babbling! I can’t quite say that you’re talking, but you are definitely communicating. Your absolute favorite thing to say is “Dada” and you will “Dada, dada, dada” all.day.long! It’s real cute that you love your daddy, but common’ kid, where’s the “mama”? Just kidding…kind of… You can also say “hi” and a really drawn out, almost deep, “heeey.” You’re working on your “ba’s” too, but “dada” is your sound and word of choice for sure.

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You are absolutely on the move, now, too. You can crawl and scoot like it’s your job! You are getting quite proficient at going up the stairs, and if you can’t find either your daddy or I, you’re quick to come find us! You can be pretty sneaky too, but your excited heavy breathing gives you away pretty quickly! You’re quite the climber too, in and out of your exersaucer, onto of my work bag, over your toys, you tend to not let obstacles get in your way 😉

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(Take note of the nail clippers you have in your hand, they are off limits and therefore one of your favorite things!)

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This month was pretty low-key, and we all just hunkered down and adjusted to life with two working parents. It’s busy! You’re in daycare on the days that momma works, and thankfully, daddy can drop you off and pick you up each day right now, so your days there are just regular hours, not my long hours. I still miss you like crazy! It’s one thing to know that my sweet little angel-baby is with her daddy, it’s another when she’s with a complete stranger (not really, but almost).

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Fall is really hitting in the PNW, and it’s been beautiful! We’ve had some rain, but in between the chilly days have been beautiful warm ones, and we were quick to take advantage of a recent one and we hit up the zoo with some friends – I love mama moments like this!

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In social situations you are an observer. You are a spit fire at home with just daddy and I, but when we are out, you are a quiet little darling, taking every scene in. Everyone comments on your sweet, curious, docile little personality. You’ve yet to meet someone you haven’t liked, nor has your charm escaped anyone. It doesn’t hurt that you’re a tiny little stinker and absolutely, perfectly huggable.

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We’ll make this a short and sweet update and move onto the highlights, okay?

Height/Weight: You’re somewhere around 15 pounds, but I don’t know the specific number.

Diaper Size: Still hanging solid with size 2

Clothing Size: We’ve moved up! You are now in 6 month Carter’s clothing, though your 3 month onesies fit well still. You can do 0-3 in any Gap dress or shirt, and 3 – 6 in bottoms. To quote a friend of mine, your just a “mini baby!” I’ll also add that you are wearing size 0-6 month Pediped shoes, but they fit just right without any room to spare.

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Health: Healthy minus your stinkin’ eye. Still goobery – I’m starting to be over it. Just when I think it’s clearing up, you wake up with a huge cake of gunk the next morning. It’s not gross or anything, but I’m tired of having to wipe crusties out of your eye, and you’re sure tired of me sticking my hand in your face! I’ll also mention that you still don’t have any teeth – I don’t even see any swollen spots – and for that, my nipples thank you and your gummy little grin.

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Diet: Breastfeeding is still going strong! I am so thankful! Nursing you has been a wonderful experience, and I am so glad that we are in such a good stride with it. I’ve relaxed a bit as far as worrying about my pumped supply, and I started introducing a bit of almond milk into your bottles to help stretch my milk a bit further. Right now you get about 3 ounces of breast milk with 1 ounce of almond milk. You don’t seem to notice the difference at all and we’ve not noticed any irritations from it either. We also give you solids (usually whatever we’re having unless it’s too spicy), but you still miss your mouth more than you hit it, but you seem to enjoy the process anyway!

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Baby’s first Mexican food!

Sleep: Not bad, not great. You’re waking up about twice a night, which is working. When I’m more ready to wean, I’ll start trying to cut out one of your wake ups, but for now, we’re all surviving. I’m still nursing you in your room and putting back into your crib, which is working well for the most part. It’s hard to get out of bed and force myself to stay awake, but you seem to be sleeping better in your crib, and you sleep in a bit later too (8:30 vs. 7:00 when you’re in our bed). You still sleep on your belly, with your pacifier. We try to put an afghan on you, but you always roll out or away from it.

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Motor Skills: You are standing! No steps yet, but you are getting braver at standing on your own. It’s pretty fun to watch you develop the confidence to go from sitting to squatting to standing – you stand on everything too! On the bed, in the tub, and you’re pretty proud of yourself when you try to stay standing even when mama asks you to please sit down – we’re gonna have to keep working on your listening skills! 😉

Nicknames: Sugar baby, little mama, Liddy bear, smidgens, smidget and angel baby.

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Favorite Things: I don’t really know why we have toys for you, you really could care less about them. You’re way into our phones, but the iPhone isn’t really comparable with being chewed on, so we try to prevent you from grabbing them as much as you can. You also love cords and anything that we’ve deemed off limits (such a remote controllers and the computer chargers). You’re also a big fan of your nail clippers and the bottle for your vitamin D. In order to lotion you up after your bath, I’ve got to give you either one of those if I hope to not have to hold you down! I guess you do love your books, but mostly you love to pull them down off the bookshelf. You much prefer that to actually reading them.

You are a great “helper” and you are super quick to get your hands into whatever we are doing. It’s nearly impossible to be on the computer without you coming by and typing too…such a little assistant you are! You also like to help load the dishwasher, help keep us company while we are in the restroom (nothing but the truth, people!) and help us pack our bags for work!

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Sweet little girl of mine. As much as I want time to just stop right here, so I can soak in every little ounce of you as a baby, I am so excited to see the little human you are becoming. I love watching your eyes take in the world around you. What an honor it is to see this place through the eyes of a child. I love every moment with you! Even though I’d press rewind and do the last 10 months again in a second, I am so excited to see your every tomorrow.

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I love you more, my sweet darling.

xoxo,

Mama

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Letters to Lydia: 8 and 9 Months

Oh my gosh. This is out of control! Talk about a #momfail, I am totally overdue on your monthly recaps! And, if I’m being honest, this tired mama’s brain doesn’t have the ability to stretch back and try to come up with enough to do individual months, so you’re getting a two-fer this month!

I did manage to snap your photo every month though…kind of…we’ll just pretend that these were taken on (or even remotely close to) your actual month birthday…

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If I could sum up this past season of your sweet life, it would be this: darling girl, you are a spunky, adventurous, happy baby who oozes joy and life!! I truly love you more each and every day! You are an absolute delight and everyone you meet just seems to become totally intoxicated with you – me most of all!

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Big news of the past two months: you are mobile! You can sit up by yourself, crawl, pull yourself up and cruise! Gone are the days of setting you somewhere and you actually stay there, you are a woman on a mission and you want to “Go! Go! Go!”

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You first discovered you could pull yourself up in your crib whilst protesting nap time. Your daddy heard you hollering and went in to soothe you, only do discover you had stood yourself up and were stuck there. Good thing dad came to rescue you!

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After you finally settled, you helped daddy lower your mattress. Rest assured, you have since figured out how to get down from standing 😉

We’ve been lucky to have lots of family visit!

Uncle Mark:

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Grandma Phyllis and Uncle Tim (this was a weird, but good!, day for mama!):

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Aunt Erin:

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As well as Grandpa Steve and Grandma Allison, and Grandpa Byron and Lola Elsa, but mama was too busy enjoying their visits to take pictures 😦

Your dad and I were determined to take you camping before the summer was over, so we took advantage of a rare weekend off together and loaded you up for your first camping trip!

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I think it would have been easier had you been a little older or a little younger, because a crawler isn’t the best in the dirt, especially when the dirt is mud. I was hoping to be able to put blankets down for you, but it was too damp at the coast, so you spent most of the time in your Bumbo or in the Ergo – not that you minded, you were having a ball!

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You picked at the grass for nearly an hour, and then proceeded to be mesmerized by all that was going on around you. We did a little bit of hiking and I just soaked in the time together as our little family. I am so thankful and humbled that we have you to share our life with. So many years were spent dreaming of what this season of life would be like – I had no idea how sweet it would truly be!

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Things went downhill after our first night. You didn’t sleep super well, and we woke to stormy skies (boo Oregon Coast!). We postponed a longer hike we were planning and drove to a nearby beach instead, where you got to put your hands in the sand for the very first time!

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It was cold and windy, so we grabbed lunch and hoped the weather would turn around.

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Unfortunately, as we pulled back into our campsite, big, fat rain drops started to fall and we finally believed the weather man, who predicted storms until the next afternoon. That was the last straw, we took advantage of your carseat nap and loaded camp as quickly as we ever had and headed back home. It was not the most rewarding camping experience, but we did it, and we’re proud of that!

In other big news over the past two months: your daddy was hired full-time! This is such a blessing for our family! I am so proud of him, for so many reasons, and I am so excited to see him shine in his new career! While I am over the moon for him, a part of me was aching because it meant you needed to start daycare. We weighed a lot of options for you (nanny, daycare, private care, etc.) and finally decided on a little home-based daycare. I’ll admit that I was a wreck your first day. Thankfully, daddy’s been able to do the pick up and drop off, but I still worry nonetheless. I started to freak out the first day, until I checked Facebook and say a series of pictures like this: with you making out with all of the kids! I guess it’s safe to say you were having a good time!

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Let’s see a few other tidbits before we go to the highlights, k?

You are adorable, obviously:

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And silly:

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You are rarely without a smile on your face, and you have learned to squeal, which is music to my ears!

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You are my little buddy and pretty much go everywhere with me:

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You love your daddy!

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You love Oreos too!

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Baths are still a hit, but you now need some entertainment while you soak:

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You’re a bit of a mischief maker:

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But your smile and breathy grins get you out of most anything:

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Oh little mama! You are our dream come true and we are absolutely in love with you!

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Ok, milestones!

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Height/Weight: Still a tiny peanut! At your 9 month appointment you were 14 lbs, 12 oz and 27.3 inches long.

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Diaper Size: Size 2

Clothing Size: Still 3 month for the most part. You are officially too long for all of your pants, but you’re swimming in the next size, so you’ve rocked a lot of capris lately.

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Health: Healthy! We finally went to the opthomologist to have your blocked duct evaluated. I was really hoping she’d be able to unclog it that day, but  that wasn’t possible. She recommended continuing to express it daily and wait until it clears on its own (which may take up to two years!). Your exam did show that your eyes are otherwise perfectly healthy!

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Diet: You’re starting to get more table foods, but honestly, most everything lands in your lap instead of your mouth. You love the act of eating, and we cannot eat something without you insisting we give you some too! You are still nursing great and I’m somehow managing to keep up.

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So far, your very favorite snacks are apple slices, carrot slices and any pouch – you can suck down a whole pouch in a matter of minutes!

 

 

 

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Sleep: You’re not a bad sleeper, but this mama could use a few more 6 – 8 hour stretches! Your natural bedtime is somewhere between 8:30 and 9 pm, and you usually wake again around 11 pm, but after a quick snack and cuddle you sleep until 4 or 5 am. You’re sleeping in your crib pretty much all the time now, I was finding that you were waking earlier and less pleasantly when you were in bed with us, so now if you wake in the middle of the night, I nurse you in your room and than put you back in your crib. You usually wake somewhere around 8:00 am, with only one wake up in the middle of the night. The nights with more than one are pretty rough, but mama’s gotta work on getting to bed earlier so I can take advantage of your longest stretch of sleep.

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Motor Skills: Like I said earlier, you are on the move! 8 months was your month to get going and you are a crawling machine (you kind of crawl/stomp with your hands, it’s adorable!) and as soon as you get to a piece of furniture, you pull up on it and start cruising! You rounded the month out with learning to climb the stairs, which is a dangerous, and exciting new skill!

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Nicknames: Sugar, little mama, stinker baby, and bad baby (daddy calls you this, with love and jest, of course)

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Favorite Things: Anything electronic! Our Bose remote seems to be your favorite piece of equipment, with your baby monitor being a close second. You also love these Teething Factory rings and any book. Big books, little books, any of them. You love to pull them off the shelf and onto your lap. You’d do that for an hour if I’d let you!

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My sweet, sweet girl, I love you so! I could never say it enough – you are my joy, my heart, my whole world. I am so blessed to get to call you mine.

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XOXO,

Mama

Just a Weekend

I’ve all but abandoned this poor blog. I’m nearly a month behind on Lydia’s post (again!) and this little slice of Internet…my own little ode to modern-day motherhood…has been sorely neglected.

I have been taking full advantage of what is important, though. I spent my spare moments crawling around admist the blanket of toys covering my living room floor, soothing the tears that accompany cruising and climbing, fetching my little daredevil off the stairs, out from under the piano and out of the dishwasher, and playing “give mama a kiss” through the gate. I’ve been rushing home from work so I can squeeze in 20 minutes of sillies in with my girl before finally placing her into her bed to dream another night away.

This weekend was a good one. A busy one, a quiet one. We celebrated friends, explored further into a new life direction, and spent a whole lazy day together. And now, I’m letting my baby sleep on my chest just a little bit longer because she is getting bigger every day. She doesn’t always let me rock her to sleep, but tonight she is, and this mama’s love tank is full.

It was just a weekend. Nothing special, except that it was ours and that is the absolutely most special.

Xoxo

Letters to Lydia: 7 Months

Oh baby!

You are seven months old! I’ll just pretend that I’m not shedding big, fat, crocodile tears that you’re closer to one than you are to zero. I’m totally fine with it. Whatever.

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Lydia, you are the sweetest, most wonderful little sass!

You are seriously so cute, little girl! I try to capture your essence with my camera, but it just doesn’t do you justice. Every once in a while, though, I do snag one that is just so you…

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Sometimes I get lucky with little gems that truly depict your sweetness, your joy, your curiosity and your little brain that is going a million miles a minute!

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This month is a great “bridge” month. You’re not quite crawling, and your not quite sitting up unassisted, but you’re close on both parts! You’re starting to learn a little army crawl, but really, rolling is your most efficient form of locomotion and you are quite good at it. So good, in fact, I’ve more than once found you in predicaments you can’t quite get yourself out of:

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You love to play and explore, but your only caveat is that daddy or I must be watching you play and explore! You can play independently for a max of 10 minutes (with an average of about 5), which makes doing things like putting my makeup on or loading the dishwasher more challenging than before, but most of the time daddy and I are happy to oblige you and your performer ways. We are borrowing this exersaucer and you love it (most of the time)!

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If the moment is right you will twirl from station to station like it’s your job. Such a good little worker you are! Gnawing on the yellow flower is your favorite 🙂

We’ve started giving you food a little more consistently this month. So far you’ve liked everything we’ve tried, with peaches, peas and apples being your favorite.

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It was these two pictures that were the last straw for Grandpa Steve – he booked his flight for next month the day after I emailed them to him!

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While we were out one day I decided to let you gnaw on a slice of apple and oh boy were you in heaven! You went to town on that apple and I think my heart melted into a big, mushy pile watching you experience it for the first time. I’ve had so many moments like this when in one second my heart is aching for your sweet, tiny newness, but also celebrating every new little milestone and eager to see the next one. Such a bittersweet (mostly sweet!) thing it is to watch your precious baby grow!

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Some fun things we did this month include going to visit daddy on his first solo patrol as an officer:

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We woke up super early to go visit him at the Tigard Balloon Festival, where you slept most of the time and then we almost got the most perfect family photo (if only you were looking at the camera!):

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We celebrated Aunt Hannah’s birthday by taking her out to dinner and you sat in a restaurant high chair for the very first time:

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We also had our first family sleep over at the Long’s house. The matching jammies were an accident but too cute not to capture on film!

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Saturday mornings were spent at the Farmer’s Market, where daddy and I enjoyed yummy breakfasts and you enjoyed a nice nap in the Ergo

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Mama and you started swimming lessons at the local community center, but I’m bummed to say they were not a hit. You love any chance you get to be in the water, but mama thought the class was not really worth it. We had much more fun swimming with our friends at other local pools (we prefer Kennedy School or Wilson).

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We celebrated your first 4th of July in the most “American” way we could think of: your first baseball game! We enjoyed a picnic on the lawn of our local team, the Hillsboro Hops, and you were so happy to be rolling around on the blanket outside! It wasn’t as warm as we were hoping, and while momma and daddy were freezing, you were content as can be taking everything in!

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We weren’t sure how you would do in the cold and with the loud fireworks, but we decided to bundle up and see how you did. I was afraid that you’d be over tired because it was past your bedtime, or over stimulated by the loud noises and lights, but no, you sat right on your daddy’s lap and watched the entire show! It was so sweet!

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Shall we do some milestones now?

Height/Weight: I don’t know for sure, but you’re somewhere in the 13 pound range and your thighs are getting rounder by the day 😉

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Diaper Size: 1 – 2’s from Costco (which is like 1.5)

Clothing Size: Still Carter’s 3 month. 0 – 3 fits you pretty well, though you are too long for any pants. Good thing it’s summer because dresses and little onesie outfits fit you best.

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Health: Healthy, healthy, healthy! I’m so thankful for that!

Diet: You are loving solids, girlfriend! Breastmilk is still your primary source of nutrition, but we feed you food now, too. It’s mostly for fun and because you enjoy it so much! I skipped cereal and went straight to fruits and veggies for you. So far you’ve had (and enjoyed!): avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, peas, pears and peaches. I would like to make you baby food, but for now, one pouch lasts you at least 3 feedings, so it’s super convenient to just buy an organic pouch and leave it at that. I did buy a peach at the farmer’s market just to make for you. Well, that peach was $2.50 and it made 2 ounces of food, and the next time I went to New Seasons I saw a 4 ounce pouch of organic peaches for $1.75. So, if I’m going to actually make your food, I’ll have to get more creative about ways to do it more cost-effectively.

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Sleep: For as much guilt I felt for not getting you on a schedule or setting a strict bedtime, you’ve done your best to tell me “it’s cool mama, I’ve got this!” You’ve kind of set your own routine, and it’s not strict, which is exactly what I was hoping for. You are slowly phasing out your third nap and transitioning to two longer naps a day. You’re usually ready for bed between 8:30 and 9:00 (sometimes later if I miss your cues) and you will usually sleep through until 5 am, when you eat and then sleep for another 2.5 – 3 hours. You’re working really hard to drop your “second sleep” and our mornings are starting earlier and earlier.

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Motor Skills: You are so close to being mobile! You can get to where you want to go, but your radius is typically pretty small, and thankfully, you’re still slow enough to keep up with. I have a feeling that I won’t be able to say that for long! You also sat up unassisted a few times this month, but I’ve had to prop you in that position and you only stay there for a little while. You must feel more confident while on the ground because you prefer to be laying down and rolling more than anything.

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Nicknames: You’re still our Sugar Baby and my Little Mama. Daddy has also been calling you “Cheeks” in honor of your super kissable ones.

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Favorite Things: You’re a big fan of the exersaucer (that has been through nearly 20 Doernbecher babies!). And this little green flower teether. You also love your binkies, but not just for sucking. You really enjoy chewing on the sides and you love to suck on the metal clip of the BogginHead ribbons!

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Oh honey, you are my sweet little sugar and I could not love you more! You have made your daddy and my life so rich and full of joy! Thank you for being our baby girl.

I love you so much.

xoxo,

Mama

Letters to Lydia: 6 Months

To my sweetest girl,

I am hesitant to even write this, because when I do, it’s official that you’re 6 months old. Ugh! Half a year! Well, since you’re insistent on growing and changing wether I write these posts or  not, I better keep up! Little stinker, you are so fun!

Lydia, you continue to light up our lives! You are happy and feisty and perfectly ours.

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(Lydia’s 6 month birthday was on Father’s Day, hence the “I Love Daddy” shirt)

My mama heart aches sometimes for the squishy little warm ball of newborn you used to be, because that tiny baby is going away before my very eyes! You are so not a newborn anymore, you are a baby! Curious and spirited, you are soaking up the world around you. You are joyfully becoming a tiny little person and every time I get twinges of sadness over the little baby you were, I am instantly filled with excitement over the girl you are becoming. I think the equal mix of mourning and joyful expectation is present in every mother’s heart. I loved who you were, I love who you are, and I love thinking of who you will be.

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Speaking of growing and changing, your big challenge this month seems to have been your teeth. They haven’t made their way through yet, but I can tell they’re giving you a run for your money. You have started to make this sweet little face with your lips pursed together. I thought you were just exploring, but Lola Elsa said it might be your teeth and I think she’s right. Whatever it is, I’m obsessed with it and think it’s one of the most precious faces ever.

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I mean, for reals, don’t you wanna smooch that sweet face?!?

You’re also rarely without your fingers in your mouth and drool over your entire shirt. I’ve seen two tiny shadows of white on your bottom gums, but nothing more tangible than that.

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We did a lot of socializing this past month and you got to soak up time with some of your besties:

Vivien:

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Meliha:

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Lucca:

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and Rachel (Mattea was home with her daddy):

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and, of course, mama took every opportunity afforded to her to snuggle your sweet little bootie!

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Daddy and mommy celebrated their anniversary (5 years!) this month and we were happy to share our date night with our favorite girl. Our days of you sleeping through meals out are about over, I’m afraid. You’re too curious to sleep, though you’re usually happy to look around and take in the excitement of the restaurant. You’re really happy if we take you out and let you have some water out of a straw! This night, since we were celebrating, we decided to go all out and give you some potatoes – you loved them! So, your first official food was mashed potatoes from a La Provence at 5.5 months old.

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Later that night, we had a family movie night and you mean-mugged our anniversary photo:

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You are growing and changing getting steadily bigger by the day. One night we decided to try out the BOB without the carseat. You looked so tiny in the big seat all by yourself! It’s moments like this when we can step back and see just how tiny you really are. Sure, you’re huge compared to yesterday, but you’re still our little peanut baby.

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You’re still with daddy while I go to work. Things are getting easier in some regards and harder in others. Your days with dad aren’t as tough as they used to be (most of the time), but I’m getting a bit run down of the constant business of our life. I so can’t wait for the day when my primary job is to be home with you! For now though, we’re getting by, and you and daddy are enjoying your days together – so long as you both get some fresh air and you nap!

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Oh boy! You do love your daddy! He’s pretty smitten with you to 😉

This image stays with me all day, and I have to confess that it is so hard to pull myself out of bed when you two little cozies are snuggled in there. Oh man! My two loves. I am a blessed lady!

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Speaking of loving your daddy, we celebrated his 1st Father’s Day this month. You picked out a pair of shoes for him, but his real gift was this framed photo of you:

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We also made him breakfast in bed and had a quiet family day together. It was lovely, though he does wish you would have let him sleep a little later. We’re really missing “2nd sleep” these days!

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You’re starting to get a spunky little personality! You are working on independent play, but we’re lucky to get 5 minutes at a time. You love to stand on our laps and talk with us. You make it known that you’re ready for some face time, and you’re perfecting your squeals in order to get our attention (it works). You’re pretty quiet around new people, but when you get comfortable, you get quite chatty. Squealy is really the best word to describe it, really! My friend said that you sound exactly like what she imagines I sounded like as a baby (loud, insistent, high-pitched, girly). Yep, pretty much! You’re my little mini and I love it (though my ears could use a bit of a break!).

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You are my spunky, sassy, smiley little ray of sunshine!

Height/Weight: 12 pounds 12 ounces – 2ND PERCENTILE!! Chunker monker! You went up a full 1% this month and have finally doubled your birth weight. You continue to be long and lean at 25 inches (50%).

Diaper Size: You’re blowing out of size 1’s so we’re moving to 2’s.

Clothing Size: Same as last month. Carter’s 3 month (which is starting to get too short) and most other brands 0-3. You still also wear NB onesies, though they are just starting to get a little snug in the length.

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Before you were born I, like many moms, searched for the perfect outfit to bring you home in. I found it at BabyGap (of course, it’s my favorite) and it was one of my only clothing purchases before you were born. The size was “Newborn: Up to 7 pounds.” Well, I was sure I was going to have a big baby, so I bought the size bigger too, just in case. Well, I didn’t know then that their sizing is totally off and you were literally swimming in your going home outfit. I can’t believe I even put you in it! Your feet came to the knees and the jacket was ridiculous! You finally, at 5.5 months fit into it! Well, kinda, the jacket is still ridiculous, but the pants fit perfectly.

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The jacket may be dumb, but the pants continue to be my favorites!

Health: You are a healthy little girl, despite the general aches and pains that come with teeth.

Diet: Big changes this month! You’re still nursing and that will continue to be your primary source of nutrition for a while longer (Lord willing!). I started taking Domperidone to up my supply and it’s been helping immensely! I tried so many herbs, but they just didn’t help the way this has. I’ll probably do another post with more detail about being a breastfeeding & pumping working mom, but for now I’ll sum it up by saying that the medicine has been a good choice for us and not only do I have plenty of milk when we nurse (which I always did), I am now usually able to produce enough for the next day when I work and have a little left over to freeze. Such a blessing!

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Other than the potatoes I mentioned above, we’ve started to introduce some new foods for you. The first being “mom-sicles” which are disks of frozen milk in this little mesh teether thing. You love them but they are terribly messy and I end up having to hold the frozen chunk because the mesh is too flimsy for you to figure out. We’ve also started avocado, which you’re not crazy about, but you’re curious.

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You love drinking water out of a straw! I started by using my straw and holding one end to dump a little water into your mouth, and you could not get enough. Soon, you figured out how to drink out of one the right way and you are now happy to suck away, though most of the water does fall right out of your mouth once it’s in there. I think you’re still surprised that you’re doing it!

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Sleep: Ok, last month was horrible. Horrible! I even mentioned that I had a date in my head to start sleep training, but you slept through the night (with a wake up to eat) the day before the date I set in my head. Stinker! Now, you fight going to sleep a little bit, but once your asleep, you usually stay that way until the morning. In fact, I’ve woken up needing to feed you more times than you’ve woken to eat! All that good night time sleep is coming at the cost of our late-morning sleep, but I’ll take it! We still have you swaddled and you still start the night in your crib before I bring you to bed with your wake up.

Motor Skills: Rolling like crazy! You can get around pretty well just by squriming and rolling, but no crawling yet. You do push yourself up onto your arms to get a better view though:

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You’re also not quite sitting yet, but you are more and more sturdy with less support. I think tri-poding is coming soon! For now, you’re working on mastering the “lounge!”

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Nicknames: Sugar baby, girl, stinker and little mama.

Favorite Things: Anything you can put into your mouth! Mainly, your teethers from last month and your fingers. You also LOVE bath time and are starting to be more playful in it. Most of the time it’s easier for me to just bring you into the shower when I shower, but every few days I give you a bath in your little tub and you are happy as a lark the entire time! You just wiggle and smile and love being in the water. I can’t wait for swimming lessons next month!

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Lydia, my big, sweet, wonderful girl: I love you! You are my joy! Every morning I run to your crib and just smile at the sight of your sweet face. You are truly the light of my life and it is such an honor to be your mama!

I love you!

xoxo,

Mama

Letters to Lydia: 5 Months

(I am a month late in posting this! I am appaled it’s taken me so long! I’m going to time stamp it so that it shows it was written on time for my own records, because, after all, the information is accurate, mama’s just been a slacker!)

To my darling Lydia,

Good gracious girl, 5 months!

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Oh my darling baby, you are a little lump of goodness! I am so crazy about you and truly enjoy every single second with you. You are growing and changing right before my eyes. Far too often I look at you and see a big baby, not my little baby – why is time going so stinkin’ fast??

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You and daddy had some great bonding time this month while momma’s at work. Your morning usually start pretty early, which daddy isn’t thrilled about, but you’ve mostly stopped your 6:30 am wake ups for him, so he’s counting his blessings. You two get a lot of face time and then head out for a walk, which has helped you two find your groove immensely. A little sunshine and fresh air does you both very good! You’re a pretty good napper for your dad, and you eat like a horse for him too – often 8 ounces more than I make, so while you’re chowing down, I’m trying my darndest to keep up with you. 7:30 pm can’t come quick enough for mama, and I race home to see your sweet face, just in time to get some snuggles and put you to bed. Being away so long isn’t ideal, but it’s working for now and I’ll have more time at home with you soon enough (we’re praying and praying!).

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On one of your daddy days, he took you on an adventure: your very first hike! You, daddy, Bridger and Aunt Hannah took advantage of a beautiful spring day and hiked Angel’s Rest in the Gorge.

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I guess the trip up was great, but you started to get a bit tired and opinionated on the way down. But, all in all, the four of you made it out happy and in one piece, so I’d say the day was a success!

This month was a lucky one because you got to see two of your grandmas!

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We met Grandma Phyllis and Aunt Erin in Eugene for the morning, and then Lola Elsa came out to visit for daddy’s academy graduation.

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Needless to say, they are both absolutely smitten with you, and the other grandparents who didn’t get to see you this month are just chomping at the bit for their turn!

We spent some time with good friends this past month, including visiting your brand new BFF, Vivien.

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We have been friends with Vivien’s parents for a long time. They are so precious to us, and being parents of you darling girls together is such a blessing! Lisa and I had such a lovely evening and we were totally pinching ourselves that as we diddled around in the kitchen with three beautiful girls joining us. It’s crazy to think that just three years ago our evenings looked so very different…and much more wine was usually involved…

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We did decide this evening that living together on a only-a-little-bit-hippie-commune and raising our children together would be much easier than going at this parenting thing alone! 😉

Little missy, you are getting too big for your britches and you no longer have any interest in being still. You started rolling, and you’ve since become quite proficient at getting to where you need to go. You’ve also decided that sitting in your chairs is for babies, you prefer to lounge like this, or just throw yourself out (or attempt to, thankfully we’ve caught you just in time every time you’ve attempted a kamakazi-style dive) all together.

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You’ve started emailing this past month…

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…ha! No, you weren’t really emailing, but daddy’s computer caught your eye and you rolled yourself right on over to it. Ohmygoshyouaregettingsobig!

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He sent me these two photos while I was at work and my heart nearly exploded. Gosh, I love you so!

This was a very special month for me because it was my very first Mother’s Day! I have waited my whole life to be able to celebrate this day, and you bet your cute little bootie that I was counting my immense blessings all day long. Tears of thankfulness and joy may have been shed. You and daddy worked hard to track down a necklace I was wanting and also surprised me with brunch at a lovely farm-to-table restaurant. It was delicious, as was the company (you and daddy).

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After breakfast, the three of us window-shopped down 23rd Avenue and then went home and relaxed with a movie, pizza delivery and family snuggles. I felt so overwhelmed with love and thankfulness all day – it’s all because of you my sweet girl. You, the one who made me a mama. Thank you my baby.

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Another exciting thing was you getting to see your dad play music for the first time! His band was invited to play worship at a local church and we had a blast watching them play! You were the most darling little lady with your ear phones and you turned more than a few heads because you are the cutest thing on the planet.

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See what I mean? Cutest, for sure.

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A huge highlight of this month was your dad graduating from the Reserve Academy! He has worked so hard and put so much heart into this accomplishment, I am so proud of him! He looked so darn gorgous in his uniform and I was nearly bursting with pride as we watched him give his oath and swear to serve and protect. This is the start of what is promising to be an amazing career for him – I am beaming!

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You, as per usue, were the star of the show and you looked absolutely darling in your matching dress and little gold bow. I thought it was pretty cool to have the entire row of uniformed, armed and very professional police officers cooing and go0-gooing at you. I can’t  blame though, you’re just too cute not to “ooh” and “awe” over!

Alright, already, let’s get to the stats:

Weight/Height: No clue, we don’t get you weighed again until next month. I will say though, that your thighs are getting more and more round – not quite rolly, but round for sure.

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Clothing Size: You’re still longer than you are wide. You are mostly in 3 month clothes, and you can finally fit into Baby Gap 0 – 3, although they are usually loose and a little short. Carter’s NB onesies still fit you best. Such a litte peanut you are!

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Health: Every night I ask Jesus to keep you safe and strong, and thankfully, He has been faithful in such. I know that I bring home so many germs and gunk from the hospital, but your little immune system is hard at work keeping you well. I don’t take that for granted for one moment! I do think we’re on the verge of teething though. You are rarely without your fingers or a toy in your mouth, and slowly but surely, I’m finding myself needing to put a bib on you because your drool is out of control.

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Diet: Mama’s milk. When I’m home you nurse every 2 – 3 hours during the day. You are quick and efficient and take both sides. You’re still not a big comfort nurser, but I’ve found that if you’re getting whiney and fussy you’ll sometimes calm down with nursing. You can take down bottles while I’m at work! Most days you eat 18 – 20 ounces and I’m lucky to pump 12 ounces. So, we’re dipping into my freezer stash pretty regularly. I’m starting to obsess over the numbers, which is making me stress out, which is making my supply suffer even more. I’m going to try a few new supplements to hopefully boost things up. I am hoping to give you breastmilk exclusively and not formula. There is nothing wrong with formula, but given our family history of allergies and asthma, I want you to have every opportunity to not suffer from either of those, so the longer you receive only breastmilk, the better. I will keep trucking on!

Sleep: Ahhh…the “4 Month Wakeful” is my new nemesis. I don’t know if it’s your teeth, your new skills, or just you being in your 4th month, but sleep is no fun. I never, ever complained about your sleeping habits before now, but things are out of control. You go down relatively easy, but you are pretty much up, but not quite awake, every 2 hours. You grunt and kick and fuss and are generally unhappy until you fall back asleep. You’re not waking because you’re hungry, you just wake up and you’re not happy about it! I’ve tried nursing, your binkie, holding, rocking…everything, to no avail. I’m finally considering sleep-training if things don’t get better. I have a date in my head to start (because it makes me feel better to have an actual date, even though there is no rhyme or reason to it), but I’m so hoping we don’t need to go down that route!

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I think I’ll also say that you are still swaddled at nighttime. Given your sleep issues this month, I tried no swaddle, but that was an utter failure. You squirm and twitch and fling your arms and no one is able to rest. You’re a mess, but the second I swaddle you, your whole body relaxes and you are calm. I was concerned because you started to roll over while in your sack, but you are very proficient at moving your head and you often roll back and forth a few times, so your dad and I feel comfortable continuing to keep you swaddled for now.

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(P.S. don’t let these two pictures fool you, you were not the sweet little sleeping angel you appear to be!)

Motor Skills (new category!): Rolling over! At 18 weeks and 1 day (while mom was at work, of course!) you rolled over for the first time. Dad put you on your belly, which really irritated you, so you were having a bit of a hollering fit, when suddenly, in your rage (ha!), you flipped onto your back! You were so shocked that you stopped crying. Later on that same day you rolled from back to belly as well. I cried when daddy sent me the video at work (thankfully he caught it on video!) but I was so proud when you came home and demonstrated for me in real life!

Nicknames: Stinkerbell, babygirl, lovebug, monkey, ‘tinker, punkin pie and sweet thing

Favorite Things: Anything you can put in your mouth! Your fist is quite popular, as are you LifeFactory teething rings and your Sophie. I also found this little flower teether at a local baby store and you love it, I don’t know the brand or anything, but it’ll keep you occupied for a while.

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You’re now starting to play with your “friends” on the play mat and we can sometimes keep you entertained on there for 15 minutes or so. You’re also a big fan of the Jenny Jump Up and your hand-me-down Bumbo chairs. Your favorite toys, however, are the cheapest, and they are these rings.

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I have some attached to your carseat and some just on their own. You love to grab them, gnaw on them and hold them as your falling asleep in the car. It’s precious!

Oh little honey. My heart swells when I think of you and your inherent sweetness. You are so my girl and I am so in love with you! It is a blessing beyond words to have the opportunity to celebrate being a mother…your mother. My life is so filled with you.

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I love you sweet girl!

xoxo,

Mama

Being a Mama

I knew from as far back as I remember that I was supposed to be a mama. I knew it with every bit of my being but I didn’t know when. So much of my early blogging is me lamenting about how I was trying to cope with the fact that that time wasn’t “the time” and trying to make peace with it. I waxed and waned with my level of “ok” about whatever season I was in, but really, I was just biding time for this season.

This sweet season of caring for my daughter, of being a new mother.

I still pinch myself – I have a daughter.  Me. This precious baby is mine.

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I never doubted that I would be a mother. I always knew I would be. I had no clue about the rest of my life, but in this fact I was confident. I believe God made for this very purpose: to love this child (and any that come after) with every ounce of my being.

Thinking of the enormity of being a parent is too much right now. Thinking of Lydia growing up and giving me sass and driving a car and going to college is too big. I don’t know what the rest of time will look like, or how Ben and I are going to navigate the every-changing waters of raising a child, but I do know that right now the most beautiful, important, and pressing issue is to love this girl. Kiss her cheeks, inhale her sweet breath and embrace her with as much love as I can every moment of every day.

To simply be a mama.

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Happy Mother’s Day, indeed.

I’m having a hard time being joyful today. I hate to complain, especially because I really do love my job and I really do feel honored to care for these precious kiddos, but my heart is so longing to be home today. Maybe it’s particularly bad today because I know Ben could use me to take Lydia today, or because my house is a disaster, or the “4 month wakeful” that has been wrecking havock on my previously good sleeper, or simply because its Monday.

I know there is a lesson in this season.

I know so many have it harder than me, and I know I am abundantly blessed to be in the situation we are in.

I know all that.

I also know I love my girl and I know I’m going to love when being her mama is my “full-time job.”

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Letters to Lydia: 4 Months

Dear my sweet, sweet girl,

You are four months old! My darling baby you are getting funner and sillier and more precious every day and I could bask in your smile every moment!

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We successfully transitioned back to “real life” this past month. As you’ll recall from my last letter mama went back to work when you were 12 weeks old, and now, a month later, we’re  settling into a little routine. I’ve managed to work every other day, so even though I’m gone for a full day, I get to spend the next day with you, my most favorite girl.

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Most of this past month was spent getting used to our busy life (mama works mostly Monday, Wednesday and Friday and daddy has school Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Reserve academy on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day on Saturday – our calendar is full!) but we did manage to to have a bunch of fun in between everything!

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The day after you turned 3 months old, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. And, by “celebrated” I mean that I dressed you in your Irish shirt (which I found at a consignment store) and sparkly headband and used it as an excuse for try to get a decent family picture of the three of us. It didn’t so much work – but at least you looked cute as can be!

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On the 22nd we celebrated Daddy turning 31! We met a bunch of friends at a delicious sushi restaurant, and even though it was late and loud and you were passed around from person to person, you did so well! You were happy the whole time!

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You found your voice this past month, and it is adorable! You’re especially talkative in the morning and you can carry on some pretty serious conversations!

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You’ve also started to laugh – which is maybe my favorite thing yet! You don’t quite laugh out of the blue yet, in fact, mama has to work really hard for some giggles, but you’re giving them more and more, much to our delight! The most sure-fire way to get you going is for me to have you laying on your back and for me to be directly over you and then kiss your belly and chin while tickling your chest. An occasional kiss to your wide open, smiling mouth elicits some good squeals too – I love it!

Lots of people have asked how Bridger has adjusted to having your in his life. He’s done so well, really. He used to get pretty nervous when you’d make noises, but now you don’t phase him unless you’re really hollering. He doesn’t seem to pay much attention to you, but every now and again when your daddy or I go to get you from your swing or seat, he gets really excited and sticks his nose right up in your business with his tail wagging just as fast as can be. He’s not up in your business much, but when he does get curious and go in for a sniff or lick, you don’t seem to mind.

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One fun new adventure we’ve embarked on this past month has been shooting. Daddy had firearms qualifications and needed to practice before them, so off to the woods we went to shoot. I will admit that I felt very hillbilly-ish packing my pink little baby up to go to the woods, but we did it and we had fun! We bundled you up and popped your ear muffs (you look so cute in your headphones!!) on and you didn’t even notice the gun shots behind you! In fact, if you weren’t needing to nurse, you were all bundled in the front seat, sleeping like a…well…baby!

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Mama felt like quite the hillbilly nursing you right out in the open in the middle of the woods! You, though, just rolled with it! You are such our little buddy and are happy as a clam so long as we are together. Sweet girl.

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We also celebrated your first Easter! I pulled a major mom fail and took the most horrendous pictures to commemorate the day – but we did have fun! We woke to a beautiful day, and your little bunny-clad bootie helped open our family Easter basket, before we headed to church. After church we met Dave, Lisa and Meliha for brunch at Edgefield, where we had a terrible meal, but enjoyed lovely company with our dearest friends. This is, unfortunately, the best picture I got of you in your sweet little dress (complete with tights and patent-leather shoes!) and even though the Easter Bunny was prowling around Edgefield, we missed a photo opportunity with him too! 😦

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Lola Elsa sent you a pretty Easter dress, but you’re such a little peanut it didn’t fit! We’ll find an excuse to doll you up soon enough, though!

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Though we missed the Easter Bunny, we didn’t miss out on soaking up the sun though! After eating, we did a quick outfit change and got you ready for your first real sunshine basking. You were quite the little sun baby, and definitely the cutest little diva around!

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We celebrated lots of babies this past month (the water around these parts is full of life – be careful!), with both baby showers and new arrivals. You were especially anxious for your BFF to arrive, Vivian Grace, who made her (swift!) debut on the 8th. You two are going to have such a sweet little time together!

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I can’t even express how thankful we are to have friends we love so much here. When family is far away, it’s especially important to have friends you can be real with. People you love and people who love you. It’s become so much clearer now that I’m a mother too, just how much of a treasure it is to have friends who love your children so deeply. We are so very blessed to have friends like this!

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Life was very full this past month, but we squeezed as much out of it as we could – including taking advantage of every opportunity to snuggle. I think having your sweet, sleeping body against my chest is when I truly feel as complete as I ever have. Being your mom is the greatest blessing and in “mothering” you, I feel I am living out just exactly what I was put on this earth for. Being your daddy’s wife and your mama is my whole heart!

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Let’s move onto the highlights, shall we?

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Weight: You are a tiny little dancer! At your 4 month check-up you were 10 pounds 11 ounces – the 1st percentile! Your pediatrician said that some babies have to make up that 1%, and you must just be one of those babies.

Length: 24.25 inches, 50%.

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Diaper Size: 1, and we’ve moved to Huggies because you pretty consistently leak with Pampers. You’ve managed to make pretty good messes in your Huggies as well, but they seem to keep the messes contained a bit. I’ll take this opportunity to put your affinity to blow out whilst in Target. I don’t know what you have against that store in particular, but I’ve had to do a complete outfit change, in that store only, more than once.

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This sweet little tutu was a Target-bomb casualty. The white tights you were wearing sustained so much of this particular gut bomb’s wrath, that they were deposited into the trash can after this photo was taken. Gross.

You’re not always a stinker though, most of the time you are downright edible.

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Clothing Size: My long and lean little thing, you are mostly in 3 or 0 – 3 month clothes. You still wear your NB onesies though, and if you weren’t so tall, you could totally wear NB pants and jammies too. You’re long and lean and where most of the 3 month waists are loose, the length is just right. Mama has an affinity for Gap clothing (I will pick them out of a line up every single time) but it just isn’t made for you – it’s more for short, squatty babies. I wish there was a politically correct/non-offensive way to label baby clothing as either “Long and Lean” or “Rolly Polly”, but alas, there is not, so we’ll just continue our trend of trying things on before we buy them.

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Health: Other than your right tear duct still being blocked (we’ll be referred to a specialist if it persists at your 6 month check-up), you are a healthy little bugger! After much deliberation on my part, I decided to do all of your 4 month vaccinations at the same time instead of spreading them out. I spoke with your Pediatrician, who was super supportive of whatever I chose, but assured me that it was perfectly safe for you to have them all at the same time. You were so miserable for the week or so after each set that I didn’t want to put you (or your daddy and I) through that unnecessarily. You were particularly pissed after your shots – you made sure the entire office staff and me know that you DID NOT like being poked with needles – but I didn’t notice much difference in your temperament in the days following like I did last time.

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Diet: Mama’s milk. With you being on the low end of the growth charts, I was a little nervous we’d be strongly encouraged to supplement with formula, but I was pleasantly surprised that your doctor said we could use some if we wanted, otherwise, to keep doing what we were doing. You are nursing great when I’m home and you’re taking bottles for daddy like a champ. In fact, I am not producing quite enough to keep up with you. I’ve been a few ounces short on the days I work (one day I was even 5 ounces short! That’s a ton since a good pump for me is 3 ounces!) and only barely been able to make enough for the day by pumping once a day on my days off. It’s really hard to nurse you on demand and still allow my body enough time to “fill up” in order to get a full pumping session done. I’m lucky to squeeze out an ounce and a half when you’ve nursed all day, but I’m trying. I’d really, REALLY like to give you breast milk exclusively until 6 months (when we’ll probably start solids), and even more, I’d love to make it a full year with breast milk only for you, but for now, 6 months is my main goal. I’m going to start taking Fenugreek and see if that helps up my supply a bit too.

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Sleep: Sleeping is going pretty well, but you do not sleep through the night. Well, sometimes you do, because technically “sleeping through the night” is 5 straight hours, which you will sometimes do. You usually average 4 – 6 hours after I put you down, then you eat and come to bed with us, and wake once before 6-ish, and then you still do your morning eat, sleep, snack, sleep thing until we finally wake for the day. I usually feel pretty rested, but a second cup of coffee around 3 pm really helps me get through the last part of my work days. So, if you’d like to make those 6 hour stents a habit, I certainly wouldn’t complain!

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Napping is another issue: you’re really not a fan. You’ve fallen into a loose pattern of naps, one in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and then a short one around 5 pm. The length of time you sleep for varies widely, and sometimes you’ll sleep two hours (very rare) and sometimes you’ll sleep 15 minutes (not as rare). I’d say you average 45 minute naps, but it’s hit or miss every time.

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Oh, and I should add that you’re still swaddled, but I no longer double swaddle because it’s been much warmer and I’m not as paranoid of you catching your death of cold.

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Nicknames: Sweet girl, cheeks, Lahdia, ‘tinker, little mama, and your most recent (dubbed by your daddy, of course): Droolia Child.

Favorite Things: We’re loving a lot of things this month! You’re still not crazy about toys, except for your OBall. It’s hands down your favorite, and the only toy you’ll really grab for and chew on for a few minutes. Mama did find a Lamaze giraffe (“Stretch“) at a consignment sale, and you seem to like him a little, but I’ve swapped it out for the OBall because if you decide to not be happy while in the carseat, it helps distract you better.

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You’ve started to enjoy your activity gym and you’re a big fan of your new bouncer.

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One day while mommy was at work, daddy pulled out your Jenny Jump Up, and you’re a big fan of that too! You look super tiny in it, but you sure have fun, which makes it all the cuter!

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We were going to take advantage of the last of daddy’s discount at REI and get a bicycle trailer for you, but after doing some research we realized it’s not safe to use on babies less than one year old, so we decided to wait until next summer to buy one and instead got a GoCrib. The GoCrib is basically an inflatable, pack-n-play that deflates down into a backpack. It’s pretty light weight compared to anything like it, making it one of the most portable cribs out there. They have great reviews, and I’m hoping we’ll love ours as much, I tried it out the day after we got it and you napped in it just fine and woke up smiling – so I’d say you approve!

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As much as you love your OBall, you’re most favorite thing this past month has been your hands. In fact, unless you’re ready for sleeping, you much prefer to suck on them instead of your pacifier. You’re pretty enthusiastic about them, too, and it’s pretty cute to see you  just mow down on those sweet little fingers!

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Lydia Clara, you are my joy! I literally wake up every morning excited to see you! Being your mother is an honor I just don’t have words for. You are far better than I ever dreamed and every day I thank Jesus for giving you to me. You are the best, sweetest, most amazing blessing!

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Precious girl, your daddy and I love you so, so, SO much! Thank you for being ours.

xoxo

Love,

Mama