Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dear Cody... you are 8 months old!

Cody Bear...

I'm currently staring at you laying on the floor of the house in Sunriver and we are here with all of mommy's family. You spent your 7 month day boarding the cruise in Alaska with family - and now here we are again, with family enjoying beautiful Oregon.

You changed a lot this month and are now a rolling king. You can roll back to front with ease and do it quite often. You are starting to scoot yourself backwards in an attempt to crawl, still only have two teeth on the bottom, and have a smile that makes us all melt.

You love your Pops. I will probably be writing this in every note, but you are getting more and more attached to him and wave your arms and whine until he picks you up. You love laying on his chest, being held by him, and taking baths with him. You really know your family and really aren't a fan of strangers holding you anymore - you'd prefer to just stay with your people.

You aren't the best eater, yet. You prefer to feed yourself and we try to do that as often as we can. You like rice cereal with breastmilk and you seem to be okay with sweet potatoes and prunes. You won't always eat them, though, and your favorite thing is milk! You are up a few times at night still - but typically go in 3 hour chunks (you'll start the night with a 5 hour chunk and go down between 7 and 9). Vacation is different though, you don't care for your pack-n-play and you like to be in bed with us.

You are getting bigger every day and wearing only 9 month clothes or bigger (6-12 month sizes are still okay, too). You are in a size 3 diaper. You are babbling quite a bit and say "mama" and "dada". You really love playing with your brother and sister and are very content just watching them. People always tell me what a "chill" baby you are - because you definitely are. You just love to be with us and watch what's going on. You fuss when you're hungry or tired, but snuggling and nursing always calm you down and put you to sleep. You also love playing with toys - pretty much anything that can go in your mouth is a great toy for you. Being tossed in the air is another favorite thing of yours and you like being held upside down, too!

You smile all the time when you're happy and you are truly such a loving little bear. We love you so much. You have a big family who loves you so dearly, and that's my biggest promise to you... you will always, always, always, have people who love you. I get sad when I think about how much you are growing and getting older. You are my baby and your daddy and I just love you so much... forever!

Love,
Mama

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dear Andie... You are FIVE.

My bouncy, beautiful, blonde baby girl.

I was watching you at the Club pool yesterday and how you interacted with some young girls who were there swimming that you've never met before. They were friends and I watched as you inched your way closer, started jumping in where they were swimming, and quietly introduced yourself. You didn't throw yourself at them, but I could sense you wanting to interact. I was so proud of your confidence and I loved watching you pick up on their queues of whether or not they wanted to interact back. This time, they were more interested in each other than making a new friend - so you went on your way, unbothered.

I have witnessed you put yourself out there time and time again over the last several months. You're blooming, fearlessly, and I hope this confidence in yourself never diminishes. You are truly a tough kid... you will fall right on your face and get up, brush it off, and keep going. If you stop to cry, I know you are either really hurt or really tired.

I can't believe you are FIVE years old (and almost two months). You're absolutely darling. You have thick, wavy blonde hair, toned little muscles, a smile that lights up your whole face, a dimple on your left cheek, and eyes that are as blue as the sky. More importantly, you have compassion, a wild sense of humor, a big imagination, and an intense empathy. You also have a manipulative side, and sometimes I can't believe how smart you are at knowing how to get what you want. Gramz always says to me, "she's a free spirit". Believe me, Gramz knows. And I believe it, too. Everything about you is free-spirited.

This year you have transformed from my sweet toddler baby into a little girl who can hold her own. You really enjoy the company of friends and family, playing dolls, swimming, doing arts and crafts, being outside, performing, and making big messes with that imagination of yours. This year, you finished Pre-K and did very well. You aren't reading yet, but you know most of your letters and their sounds, you can count to 40, and most importantly - you understand the social aspect of starting Elementary school. You really love to learn, and that's something I have loved to watch!

You and Nolan play very well together. The two of you play all sorts of games that you make up and you spend a lot of time in your swim suit (even when we aren't swimming). If you're not in a swim suit, you're in a dress - princess or other - and your outfit will change anywhere from 5-20 times a day. You also love your baby brother Cody. You are constantly doing everything you can to make him smile and laugh. Sometimes you're a little overbearing, but I know it's because you really love him. You are a wonderful big sister.

4 was a big year of change for our family. Not only did we welcome Cody into our lives, but we finished building our house and, quite chaotically, we moved from our rental house, in with Gramz & Pops for about a month, and then into our home. You did just fine and really worked through all of the change in your own way. I am happy to have you in your own room - your own little space. We also did some fun traveling - to Hawaii, Disneyland, Monterey, and some other smaller trips.

You're a great eater and a wonderful sleeper. You are an early riser. You are turning out to be a great swimmer and can swim easily across the pool. You learned how to ride a two wheel bike with out training wheels on New Years Eve. You love everything princess, girlie girl, make up, painted nails, etc. You were a flower girl in Casey and Annie's wedding shortly after turning 4 and loved every minute. You LOVE to sing, dance, perform, etc. It's one of your favorite things to do! You also played your first year of rec soccer. You did great and your daddy coached the team. You would set out to score a certain amount of goals, and you would usually accomplish that goal. Your celebratory dances were darling, but you also would get very upset when people played defense with you. It will be interesting to see your growth this year.

You are a lot like me. I can look at you sometimes and I know what you're thinking and what your next move is going to be if you're contemplating. You have a wonderful heart. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep because I feel like your childhood is slipping through my fingers like an hourglass, so quickly... I try to be present with you. Be patient with you and all you're learning. And one thing I want to do more of? Me and you time. When we were in the middle of our move, it was just me and you - we went to your soccer practice and then we had frozen yogurt for dinner. It was honestly so amazing - so simple, but so fun. And you talk about it all the time. You call it our "girlie-girl" time.

I am very proud of you, Andie. I hope one day, when you read some of these letters, you know how much I love you. You are growing up, changing every day, and baby, one of my favorite things about my whole life is being front seat to witness it all. You light up my entire world. You and your brothers are my biggest treasures. I may be hard on you sometimes, but it's because, darling, I want the absolute best for you. Work hard, believe in yourself, be kind to others, and remember that you're going to make mistakes. Learn from them, keep going. Life isn't always fair and we have to work through that. Your dad and I are always here for you, unconditionally. We love you and we believe you are absolutely one in a million. You are special.

Keep that free-spirited, happy-go-lucky, good-hearted, fierce, tough, and beautiful personality front and center. Look in the mirror and love what you see.

We LOVE you so much. FIVE. And absolutely fabulous.

Love,
Mama

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dear Cody... You're 7 months old

Sweet, squishy Cody Bear....

How can it be? 7 months old! It's been another big month for you - especially because you got your first TWO teeth. You got teeth so much earlier than your siblings that I wasn't expecting them and it was pops who saw you had one poking through for the first time. It all made sense though, because you haven't been sleeping well and you've been a little less "chill" than usual (yet, still very chill). I couldn't believe it - and now you have two little front bottom teeth.

You've also been eating much more solid foods this month. It took a while for you to get used to the idea of eating anything besides milk, but you're starting to eat more. Your favorite is rice cereal and slowly I have added in sweet potatoes and prunes which you are okay with. You also like to eat avocado, which I have been letting you feed yourself.

You are up quite a few times at night right now, probably because of getting teeth, but you are officially sleeping in your own bed and this month I moved our rocking chair into your bedroom for me to use at night. I sure miss having you next to me, but you're only a few steps across the hall away. Before getting teeth, you did give me a night or two where you were only up once. You nap pretty well during the day for an hour or two at a time, twice a day. We aren't on a super schedule because we are on the go a lot, but I try to get you down for at least your morning nap.

You are one of the happiest babies I know. You smile very easily (unless you're tired or hungry) and you are still extremely ticklish. Your giggle makes me melt and you belly laugh all the time. This month you have also started reaching for people, which I love. You definitely know your "people" and you love to be held and snuggled. You are growing very fond of your Pops, and he loves to put you down for naps on his "popsurpedic" chest. I love seeing your relationship grow with your Gramz & Pops.

You are wearing mostly 6-12 month clothes and 9 month sizes. You can still barely fit into the 6 month size, but I am not ready to get rid of it all yet. You are still in size 3 diapers and lately you've been blowing out of those easily. At your last appointment, you were 17lbs 12oz and 26.5 inches tall. You are in the 50th percentile for weight and the 35th for height. You're growing well and the doctor said your head was looking better (after being a little flat).

You have started rolling a little bit more this month, especially belly to back, but you've only gone back to belly once or twice. The doctor said it's okay, though! You are a pro at sitting up and you really prefer that to laying down, so you will sit and play most of the time.

You are great in the car, which has been very welcome to us after your big brother and sister hated it so much. You love playing with all your toys and they're a great distraction for you when needed. You also LOVE your baths and you splash a ton and get everyone and everything wet. You're a blanket baby and I think you're going to love them as much as Andie and Nolan as you get bigger. You also like to sit in your jump-a-roo. But your absolute favorite thing is to be held and carried around so you can see the world. You are on the go with us all the time and you really just go with the flow.

I am so proud to be your mommy. You are a wonderful baby and I love watching you take everything in just like you love watching all of us. I am relishing in you as often as I can because I know it's going to fast. Your daddy and I talk about how cute you are all the time. We can't get enough of you.

I love you so much, Cody. Forever and ever times infinity.

Love,
Mama

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer Favorite: Swimzip Swimsuits

A couple of years ago (when Andie was about 2) I found this little company called Swimzip on Instagram that was started by a woman who was passionate about protecting our bodies from the sun (she was diagnosed with skin cancer at 26!). I loved her swimwear because it was stylish and great for the kids. I am not a huge fan of putting sunscreen on the kids every hour, so her suits make me feel less stressed about the sun and the kids really love them. She also has things for men and women - so much cute stuff and it's all great for the summer.

Before we left for Hawaii, I wanted to get some really cute pieces to bring along because I knew the kids were going to be living in their suits. They were amazing! Especially for Cody, because they're not supposed to have sunscreen before 6 months of age.

Check them out if you're looking for new suits for yourself or the kids for summer. It's fun to support small businesses, especially fellow mamas who have a passion for helping others!




Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dear Cody... You are SIX months old.

Sweet Cody-Bear...

You are SIX months old. One of my all time favorite ages. The last month you have grown stronger and every day you're getting cuter and cuter (which I didn't think was possible). You love to be held and snuggled and I love getting to hold you so much.

You are getting heavier, I am estimating about 18 pounds, and you have little chunk rolls all over your body. You are eating a couple of solid foods - you've tried a few bites of avocado and a few bites of sweet potato, but for now, you are pretty set on your milk. You and I are still rocking breastfeeding and I am so happy we have made it to 6 months. I plan on working a few more foods into your diet in the next month.

Your sister turned 5 years old today as well. It's crazy that you two are 4.5 years apart. She and Nolan both adore you and are very interested in everything you are doing. And you are very interested in them!

You still aren't rolling regularly - you have gone tummy to back about 3 times - but you are a pro at sitting up by yourself. You can go for minutes at a time with out losing your balance and you really prefer to be able to sit up. You are very strong and you're scooting forward and backward on your tummy. You are also very good at moving your fingers and reaching for things. You love to grab your hands and feet and will stare at them quite a bit.

You took your first flight to Maui, and you did wonderfully well. You absolutely loved being near the water, especially with your little feet in the pool and ocean. You slept for 3 hours on our flight home and everyone around us couldn't believe we had such a little guy with us who was so great. You spent lots of quality time with your Gramz & Pops, and our little family loved having you with us for the very first time.

You are spending lots of time during the day in our arms, on the floor with toys, watching your brother and sister, and you will sometimes sit in your little jump-a-roo. You automatically put everything in your mouth - you love to have blankies and toys right up in your face. You are also still drooling, although it has slowed down a little bit in the last month.

You are babbling quite a bit now, too, and it sounds like you're saying 'dada'. You love to stare at us and laugh or fake cough. You are also still very ticklish and will sometimes laugh when we change your diaper because it tickles.

You are one of the sweetest little babies I have ever laid my eyes on. You are mellow, content, super easy going, and you just love your people. You smile and giggle all the time! When you smile, you make me want to freeze in time forever so I can just stare at you. I want 100 more babies if they are like you. You're just a wonderful little guy and your daddy and I can't believe how blessed we are to have you. I am already so proud to be your mommy. I love you SO much and I look at you at least once a day and wonder why I get to be so lucky to have you. You're amazing, Cody.

I can't wait to see the doctor next week to get your updated stats and get you all checked out. I still worry about you too much, but deep down I know you're absolutely perfect just the way you are. You're already teaching us about life.

Love you to the moon and back times infinity. Forever. Never forget that, son.

Love,
Mama