Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You're 11 Months Old!

Oh, Spence!

I can't believe you're one month away from turning ONE. I look at you every single day and can't believe how much older and bigger you're getting. You are so dang cute - your big smile makes my tummy do flips. We are all so crazy about you, baby.

I love how much your siblings are loving on you every day. A lot of times I won't be able to find you and it's because one of them has whisked you away to their room and shut the door. Nolan will set up his toys for you to play with, Andie will do performances for you or dress you up, and Cody loves to play in your room with you and your toys.

This month you have become even more mobile and quick. You are everywhere and all over. You love to watch and observe, and you love to be where everyone else is. You don't have much fear and when you see something you want, you go after it quickly. You are standing on your own for long periods of time and cruising around the coffee table and couches. You love to go on rides in the tractors with your siblings. You aren't walking yet, but I will bet that in the next month or two you will be running this place!

You have really started to explore more with food this month. You want to feed yourself and you will yell and scream at me if you're not getting fed quickly enough. You definitely like your voice to be heard. You love to feed yourself bananas, strawberries, peaches, broccoli, and anything else I will cut up for you. You also are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, waffles, and the occasional mac and cheese. You still eat baby food from a spoon, but it's getting harder and harder to feed you because you want to do it yourself!

You love bath time and will be in there for 30 minutes or more if we let you. You can't stand diaper changes or getting dressed - you will usually scream at us the whole time until we finish. You have quite the spark plug personality and even though it makes me crazy sometimes, I actually love it! You seem to be determined and vocal - which is evident when you want to be heard among the chaos of our household.

You slept through the night last night for about the 5th time in your life. Most nights you are up once or twice to eat and get a diaper change before going back to sleep. Sometimes you also just want to be held and snuggled. You have been working on getting more teeth, which has also been painful for you and made sleep a little more difficult on some nights. Overall, you're doing much better than you were a few months ago and I have been grateful for the longer stretches of sleep.

You are still tiny, snuggly, and I love holding you. You love to be carried and I will never say no when you put up your little arms asking to be held. I love to feel your little body next to mine. You have been doing much better in the car, although you still have your moments where you are not happy to be in there.

I feel a little sad sometimes to know that our breastfeeding journey is over, but you are still getting some breastmilk from the frozen selection we saved up. You don't mind formula or the bottle and you eat anywhere from 16-20 ounces a day. You are a great eater! You are wearing size 12 month clothes and they fit perfectly. I am looking forward to your 1 year old well check so we can see how you're growing.

I am trying so hard to soak you up, Spencer. I can't believe you're approaching one year old. My baby. I love you so much. I hope you always know just how loved and adored you are - just being you! You are here for a reason, and I believe that so much. Daddy and I talk about how cute you are every single day, we still can't believe you are ours!

I am so grateful and happy to be your mommy. I love you to the moon and back times infinity... forever!

Love,
Mama

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are 10 Months Old!

Spencer,

You are 10 months old. Two digits... I can't believe how quickly time has gone. I know I have written this to you before, but it's hard to imagine life with out you in it, yet time seems to pass so quickly. This last month has been another one for the history books. We are in an unprecedented time with the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. We have mostly been home, or if we are out and about, we are making quick trips into store for the essentials. Most everyone is wearing masks. The good news is, in our area of California, our hospitals are not crowded and a very, very small percentage of the population around us is getting sick. This month, you finally got to see your Gramz and Pops and some extended family after almost 7 weeks. It was a sweet reunion and your love for your pops grew right back to where it was in no time. After just a few hours, all of us were chopped liver and you wanted to snuggle with him.

This month, we have also seen your love of dancing really start to shine. Anytime music is playing, you immediately start to dance. You shake your booty and smile! You are really mobile now and are starting to stand on your own for little spurts of time. You are cruising around the tables and couches in the house. You crawl at lightening speed and I can tell you are anxious to keep up with your brothers and sister.

The bond between the 4 of you has really strengthened with the "stay at home" orders... you all have relied on each other for a friendship and companionship, and it makes me so happy to see all of you play together. Even though you are only 10 months old, you know who your siblings are and you love to smile and laugh at them. They've started taking you on tractor rides around the house and Andie will carry you everywhere we let her! Nolan really adores you and goes to see you first thing in the morning to say hi. Cody always lets me know when you are crying... "baby is crying, mama!" He will also find your Paci and bring it to you if you are upset. He is a stinker, too, and will push you down if you're in his way. He wants to play with you and I can imagine the two of you will have a special bond as you grow older.

You are moving into 12 month old clothes now and barely squeezing in to the size 3 diapers we have left. You are doing well in your crib and slept for 12 hours straight last night (which has only happened one other time!). You take one nap a day, usually from about 12-2 or 3.

You love food and you scream at me while I am feeding you to go faster. You are getting better at feeding yourself and ate an entire half of a pb&j this week. You love pretty much everything I give you in puree - all veggies and fruits.

You talk, scream, yell, and squeak a lot. You are very loud and love to communicate with us all about how you are feeling. You say "mama" and "dada". You have many nicknames - Spence, Spencie, Spencie-bear, baby (Cody calls you that), and Pop's calls you Spanky sometimes.

You do pretty well riding in the car, but sometimes we have to take you out if it's a longer drive. You aren't a fan of being constrained and like to get our and explore. You love to watch all of your surroundings and we will put you in our pack n play in the garage and you will sit there for a while watching all of the commotion around you.

You got your first hair cut this month on May 11th. It was so hard for me to cut your hair because it really made you look like a baby, but your hair was getting into your eyes and it was making it hard for you to see. You also had food in it after every meal! You look so much older with the shorter hair. You are adorable, daddy and I talk about how cute you are all the time!

We love you so much, Spencer... I can't believe you are 10 months old. You have the sweetest smile and still love to be held and carried around still. I love to snuggle you and wear you when I can. You have free reign of the house and it's always interesting to see what you get into in the playroom with your siblings. You fit right in with the gang!

You make me so proud to be your mom. I love to look at you and take in your little body. You are such a loving little baby. I can't believe you are almost 1 year old.

We love you so much, Spence! You and that squishy big smile make me so happy.

Love,
Mama

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You're 9 months old!

Spence...

You are NINE months old! It has been a big month... around the world, and right here in our own home. You moved into your own room just last week. We ordered you a new crib since Cody is still in his. We set up your room and got it all cozy just for you. You have been doing very well with the transition. It broke my heart to move you more than 5 feet away from me... my last baby! But, I knew it was time and you really seem to like your bigger crib and space.

This month you are now officially on the move! You are crawling everywhere and in the last few days, you started pulling yourself up to the standing position on anything you can reach.  I caught the first few moments of you crawling on video and you were so proud of yourself. In the last couple of days you have started getting faster and it is so fun to see you start to explore and get where you want to go.

You are a phenomenal eater. You love food! You eat about 4-5 jars of pureed baby food a day and you haven't had something you don't like yet. You still really love sweet potatoes, bananas, spinach, apples, pears, green beans, peas, avocado, carrots, and anything else I give you. I have been giving you more oatmeal lately and you love that mixed with prunes! You are also doing well with yogurt bites and little bites of banana, too. We are still breastfeeding and in the last month I have started to fill in anywhere from 2-4 ounces a day with formula. You are a big eater and I have a feeling with you being more active now, that's not going to slow down anytime soon.

You love taking baths. The water always makes you happy! You started taking baths in the big tub in the last two days with out a problem. You also have taken a few baths with your siblings and you seem to love the commotion of that, too. You love playing with toys and sticking everything in your mouth. You always have someone wanting to hold you, play with you, and sit with you.

You are wearing size 6-12 month clothes and growing out of all of your 9 month outfits. Gramz just ordered you a whole bunch of new pajamas in 12 month size. You are still in size 3 diapers, but we have to put you in size 4 at night to keep you dry! You have many nicknames: Spence, Spencie, Spencer-bear, baby, bubba, Spencie-Bear, and Andie calls you "bruh bruh". She and Nolan love to pick you up and carry you around. They both are always looking out for you. Cody is very sweet with you most of the time. If you are crying, he will yell "baby kai-ing" and try to stick the Paci in your mouth.

You are still not a great sleeper. We started out the month with you waking up every 2-3 hours. After transitioning you into your own room and bed, you have done better. In the last week, you have only been getting up once a night. It has been a relief for me to get more solid hours of sleep and I think it has been helpful for you, too. You are taking a great 2-3 hour nap now, too! Because we don't have a schedule to stick to with your siblings, I can put you down at noon and you are up between 2 and 3.

The state of our world is very unknown right now. For the last 4 weeks we have been under strict "stay at home" or "quarantine" orders. The Coronavirus, or COVID 19, is a global pandemic. It's unprecedented, historic, and has killed many people around the world. Many people have lost their jobs because of the orders and kids are no longer in school for the rest of the year. It's a strange time and it means we are home all day and we only leave to get essentials from the grocery store. Since your daddy is still working, it means he goes in for most of the grocery runs. It's a little bit scary and unknown when this will all get better - but we have so much to be grateful for and I am focusing on that. We really miss our extended family and they really miss you. We have been FaceTiming a lot so they can see you. Besides missing family, we have also just been focusing on enjoying this time together. You have seemed to enjoy being on the go less and getting your naps in has been a nice change, too.

One of the things everyone comments on is your hair. It's getting quite long and your daddy is begging to cut it. I haven't let him yet because it is so cute! You have so much of it and it tends to stick straight up! I think we may have to give you a cut soon because it's starting to get in your eyes. You are just adorable. You love to laugh, you love when we make funny faces, and you are good at making eye contact. I am learning your communication more every day. You also say "mama" and "dada".

With all of the unknown, there is one thing I do know... I sure LOVE my family. You are truly so special to all of us and this time with us being together has been nice. You are a happy, laid back baby. You love being around your siblings, taking everything in, and just learning every day. You still love to be held and we will still stick you in the front pack to wear you. You're getting so big, yet you are still tiny. My baby. I love you so much, Spencer! I am so proud to be your mommy. Our family is our own little team and I hope it stays like that forever.

I love you, Spencie.

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You're 8 Months Old!

My sweet 8 month old baby...

As I rocked you to sleep tonight, I watched your eyes get heavy and slowly close. I felt your body get heavy and swayed back and forth. I thought a lot about you, my last 8 months of getting to know you, and all of the uncertainty of what is happening in our world right now. Even when things are a little uneasy in the world, when I hold your little body close to me, I feel comforted. Our country and the world is in an unprecedented time with something called the COVID-19. A coronavirus that has swept across the world and is scary for older people in poor health. Our entire society as we know it has been put on pause. As of today, we have a shelter in place for our area. Kids are out of school for at least the next few weeks, planes are grounded, cruises are stopped... everything is just starting to stand still so we can stop the spread of the sickness. I know we will get through this all and the only silver lining is that we are slowing down and I get to spend precious time with all 4 of you.

You are such an amazing little guy. You really go with the flow, and this month you have continued doing so much better in the car. It makes it easier for us when we are on the go. You love looking at your brothers and sister and they all talk to you and sing to you all the time. You have gotten really strong in the last month and are crawling backwards and sitting up with ease. You love exploring the toys on the floor and also bouncing around in your jump-a-roo.

The biggest thing this last month was the arrival of your two bottom teeth. The first one popped up the first few days of March, and the second one came in just a few days ago. It was rough and uncomfortable for you, but I am so glad you have them in now so you can get a little break from the pain. You weren't sleeping great for a few stretches because of it, but for the most part in general, you aren't a solid sleeper. Some nights, you are going for 4 hour stretches now, which is amazing! And, you have started to get into some good schedules of 2 hour naps, which has helped with sleeping at night. You are wearing all size 9 month or 6-12 month clothing and still size 3 diapers.

You are eating like a champ and this month you have really grown an appetite. You usually eat about 3 jars of food a day and you will eat just about anything. I try to get at least one jar of veggies only, and follow it up with a fruit/veggie combo. You love pumpkin, apples, pears, carrots, granola, and bananas. You are also still breastfeeding on demand and through the night at least twice. In the last week or so, I have offered a little bit of formula mixed with breast milk at night to see if you wanted a little extra, but some nights you aren't up for it. My only concern is that you may be losing interest in breastfeeding because you aren't going for as long as you did previously. I am trying to keep us going for at least another couple of months, but I will also follow your lead.

You are talking a ton and still scream all the time. It is very easy to make you smile and laugh and you are very ticklish. You are a really happy little guy! You look at me and I am instantly happy, sweet baby.

This time may be a little scary and uncertain with everything going on in the world, but all I have to do is hold on to you and I feel so much love. Our family is so lucky to have you, Spencer, you bring us all so much joy.

I love you to the moon and back, sweet Spencer. Happy 8 months!

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dear Spencer... You're 7 Months Old!

Dear Spencer,

You are officially SEVEN months old. I can't believe it, baby boy. As usual, I will say it every time, this beloved first year of your life is passing at lightening speed.

This last month, you have gained so much strength! You are sitting up all by yourself and I never see you tip over. You can go to your belly from sitting and roll every where. You are a pro at getting on to all 4s and crawling backwards. You love to "plank" and are trying to stand up. I am convinced that you will be crawling in the next 6 weeks.

You are also starting to talk and babble a ton. You say "da da da" and "ma ma ma" - although, not to us. You are slowly starting to reach for people who you want to hold you (especially me when you are hungry or want me to hold you). This last month has also been a big month for eating more. It has taken a little time (& patience) but now you will eat a jar or two before bed and in the last few days, I have been giving you a little something in the morning, too. You love sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas. You also eat prunes and are slowly starting to eat apples, too. I will start introducing more in the next month, but for now, you do pretty well with those.

You are growing like crazy. You are our biggest baby and at your 6.5 month check up, you were 18lbs and 8 oz. You aren't quite as long as your older brothers, but I am convinced that you will have a little growth spurt soon. You no longer fit into 6 month sized clothes and easily fill out the 9 month jammies that Gramz got you. You are drooling a lot, so we usually have a little bib on you with your paci attached. You are a paci baby, just like Nolan, and it is nice how quickly it can soothe you. You are still in size 3 diapers.

You are starting to do a little bit better in the car, although I am nervous to write that because I don't want to jinx it. We've been able to do drop off with your siblings with out having to listen to your scream, and it's been much nicer.

You are still a VERY content little baby. You smile and laugh all the time. You love watching your brothers and sister, being held, and playing with toys on the floor. You seem to be very good natured and I love just watching you. You and I have staring contests sometimes and you usually hold your own!

You have such beautiful blue eyes and everyone comments on your fluffy hair. It stands straight up, it has become your trademark! Everywhere we go, people will say "oh, I love his hair". You have a lot of it and it is very soft.

You still are not a good sleeper. Sometimes you will be up every hour, sometimes you are up for hours in the middle of the night, and sometimes you will go in a couple of 3 hour stretches. I am slowly starting to let you figure out how to soothe yourself, but I don't usually let you fuss for long because I don't want to wake everyone up. I know that this phase of sleepiness will pass, soon, so for now I just try to do my best to soak up this sweet baby phase. You also have been hit with colds and runny noses and coughs over the last few months, which has made it a little harder to sleep! We've had to give you a couple puffs of an inhaler this month and suction your little nose a few times to help you sleep more comfortably.

Andie loves to dress you up like a real life doll. You have had a dress on, necklaces, hats, glasses. You just go right along with the flow and love watching her perform and sing to you. Nolan is very affectionate with you and sometimes he will sit next to you in the car and make funny faces and you will just laugh and giggle with him. It is the cutest thing! Cody hasn't had an ounce of jealousy and watching you two interact is really fun. When you are crying, he will yell "baby crying!" and run to bring you a paci. You are SO loved, Spencer.

You have several nicknames: Spence, Spencer-bear, Spanky (Pops calls you that), Spencie (Daddy calls you that), and pretty much anything with the word baby. Everyone in our family tends to call you something a little different and it is fun to hear all of the high pitched voices when they talk to you... you have truly completed our family and we are all so happy you are here.

Spencer, I am crazy for you. You truly fill my heart with so much joy and my whole body feels warmth when I see your little smile. You make daddy and I so happy, just by being here with us. We are proud to be your parents and the best part of my life is getting to see you and your siblings grow and change. I love you forever and ever!

Love,
Mama