Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dear Spencer... You're one month old!

Our sweet Spencer-bear,

How can it be that you're one month old today? This month has gone by so quickly, just as I expected it would, and you have brought our family so much happiness and joy. I love staring at your beautiful chubby cheeks and plump little lips. You are making eye contact and becoming so much more aware of your surroundings all the time.

Having 3 older siblings, you are used to being on the go and you do pretty well with it. You have cried in the car a bit, but we can usually calm you do with a paci (which you have a few little hands that are always willing to try and help calm you down, too). You've made several trips to Costco and Target and this last week all of the back to school drop offs and pick ups started.

Even though you are our 4th baby, we still have our own quiet time with you in the evenings and it's so sweet. You are sleeping okay through the night, but are up several times to eat. You also have a little gas (which all of our babies have) and sometimes that will keep you up. It's rare that you cry, but you do love some extra snuggles and milk.

Of course you are sleeping throughout the day, but you are also starting to become more awake and alert each day. I love seeing your beautiful blue eyes stare. You are starting to see all of us and take it all in. You are constantly being held by us and your siblings are always wanting to hold you. Seeing your relationship with them blossom makes my heart burst. They are so crazy about you and are always wanting to help with you as well. Cody calls you "bay-bee" and has been so sweet offering up kisses and hugs. Andie and Nolan are always wanting to hold and kiss you... all three of them really love you and I hope the 4 of you always have a special relationship.

You are a wonderful eater and I feel so blessed that I get to breastfeed you exclusively. Daddy gave you a small 2 ounce bottle at about 3.5 weeks old and we have given you one or two more since just so we know you can take that when needed.

You are growing so quickly and had already gained half of a pound at your two week appointment. You are still wearing newborn and 0-3 month clothes. We switched you into size 1 diapers at about 2 weeks old.

We haven't gone too many places since you were born because we want to keep you healthy while you are so tiny, but we did make it out to the beach on Pop's boat, to Gramz & Pop's house, and up to Apple Hill for a little day trip. I love showing you off to people and everyone comments on how cute you are. You do pretty well in your little carseat carrier and the stroller and I also love wearing you in the front pack. You do really well anytime you are being carried.

Your daddy and I have both agreed that even though you've been here a month, it feels like we've known you forever. You have completed our family in such a special way. You are a beautiful little boy with your darker skin coloring and dark blonde/light brown hair. I am really excited to see your smiles (we have seen a couple of gas smiles and they are absolutely adorable).

I hate to see how quickly the time goes, but I also know that with each day I will get to know you more and see more and more of the baby boy you are. Witnessing this time in your life is so precious to me. I am already so proud to be your mommy and I hope if you're ever reading back on this note you know just how much I love and adore you. Your daddy and I are absolutely crazy about you and we are so happy you are a part of our family. You are here for a reason.

I love you to the moon and back, sweet Spencer.

Love,
Mama

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Dear Cody... You're 21 Months Old

Blue-eyed baby Cody,

Daddy and I tell each other every day, multiple times a day, how dang cute you are. It's hard to express just how much I want to squeeze and hug you at all times, but you are busy and on the go, so I sneak in any snuggles when I can. You have grown so much - you're taller, stronger, and quite stout and your personality is blossoming more and more every single day. You are hilarious! You are talking more, laughing all the time, and you are truly one of the most good-natured people I have ever known. You really go with the flow, are pretty easy to please, and as long as you have all of your basic needs met, you're good to go!

You have the cutest little body - I can't even handle how cute it is. Your little belly, round face and cheeks, blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. You look absolutely adorable when you run, and that's pretty much how you get everywhere these days. You are playing and interacting very well with your siblings and you love being outside. You absolutely love toys - especially cars "cahs"- your Toy Story RV, and anything you can throw. You've gotten pretty fast on your miniature strider style bike and you like to ride it around in the yard. One of your favorite things to do this summer was be in the water - you are obsessed with the pool and water slide. Several times you would go into the laundry room, open the swim suit drawer, and bring a suit and swim diaper to us because you want to go in.

Some big changes happened for you when we welcomed your little brother, Spencer, on July 17th. You seem to really love him and not mind him at all. You see him and say "bay-bee" and will come over and give him snuggles and kisses. You haven't shown any signs of being jealous and have been very easy going about the transition for our family. You've grown pretty close to your daddy, too, because he's been home a lot!

You are fearless and you will go anywhere you see something interesting. You don't really seem to be super attached to us when we are out and about and you will smile, talk (hi, bye, blow kisses), and interact with people. You are still crazy about your Pops and always want to be with him. You love to snuggle with him and anytime he is getting ready to leave, you will protest by the door.

I try to remember all of the little things that happen on a daily basis, but it's almost impossible. I take pictures to help remind me. I had to take you in to get a vaccine two weeks ago and I could not believe how amazing you were. You sat in the stroller the whole time, didn't let a noise out, I took you out for the shot, you barely cried, and then I put you back in the stroller and you just kept going with your day. I couldn't believe how brave and easy going you were.

You are still taking naps, but starting to skip them a few days a week and you do pretty well. When you do nap, it's from about 2-4pm. You sleep at night for about 12 hours from 7:30pm to 7:30am. You really seem to love "Buzz" and Gramz just got you the cutest little Toy Story crib sheet and stuffed Buzz, which you use as a pillow. We love going to check on you at night before we go to bed because you're always in funny positions with buzz and your blanket (a lot of times you like to put your head under the blanket). You are still in your crib for now and we plan to keep you in there until we transition Spencer into your crib. We are getting your big boy room ready now and I am so excited about your new bed and furniture. We didn't want you to feel pushed out of your room, so the transition will be slow over the next few months.

You are a great little eater (although you love to drive your daddy crazy by throwing food around). You eat pretty much all fruit, broccoli, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken, mac and cheese, try tip, waffles, yogurt, etc. You especially love your "baba" of milk and we will let you keep that until about two. You are wearing size 18-24 month and 2T clothes (you grew fast from the size 18 months to 24 months) and size 5 diapers.

I absolutely love hearing you say so many new words, watching you push your cars around on the coffee table, dance with sissy, play outside, and I especially loved seeing your pure enjoyment of the pool this summer. You are such a happy kiddo and getting to be with you every day is truly a pleasure. You know exactly what to do to get a reaction out of us (especially your daddy - you will purposely do things to get a reaction out of him) and we laugh at the funny things you do all the time. You are also very tough. You've taken some falls and gotten some bumps and bruises and usually you just pop back up. I cannot believe you are our baby boy - you're such a sweetheart. You and your siblings are really close and they love to help out with you and it warms my soul to see that all flourish.

I am already so proud to be your mommy, Cody. I can't believe you are 21 months old. 2 will be here before we know it and I am just doing everything I can to soak up this precious time with you. Just your sweet little squishy nose smile makes my whole day. I absolutely love being your mommy. I will always love being your mommy. You are such a wonderful little guy and seeing you grow is truly amazing.

I love you to the moon and back times infinity, my sweet little boy, and I am soaking up every single hug and snuggle with you.

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My sweet 6 year old, Andie!

Our sweet Andie... you are SIX!

I am not sure how that is even possible. You have 12 days left of Kindergarten and just like a lot of your milestones, I am equally proud and sad at the same time. There is just something about you, your spirit, that makes me beam with pride. You are truly a happy little girl - always smiling, tough, strong, brave, sweet, kind, and just an amazing little human.

These yearly letters are hard because so much happens every single day of your life. You amaze me with all that you are and to fit it all into a page of writing is impossible. But I try, so that someday you can look back and read just a little glimpse into the world of this year of your childhood.

Here are some things that you love:
+Your family. You are so expressive about how much you love us and you hear it right back about 100 times a day. You and Nolan do fight sometimes, but the majority of the time, you two are so great at using your imaginations and playing together. You will disappear for long stretches of time into your bedrooms and I will hear you two playing school, family, and tearing apart your rooms to get all of the toys. You really have a deep love for both of your brothers and already are talking about Spencer, who is in my belly. You call them "your babies" and I know you will always cherish these 3 little guys. You also really love your extended family and seeing you and Stella as best friends is just adorable. I find notes and drawings all over the house that say "I love my family". You do such a great job at drawing pictures of all of us and I can't find it in me to throw any of them away. They make me so happy!
+Arts & Crafts/creating. You are always asking if we can do art, and usually, most days of the week, you will have out all of the crayons, markers, paints, etc. I almost always say yes to sitting down to do art with you because I love watching you create and put your heart on paper. You also love school and learning and it's truly unbelievable how much you have learned in Kindergarten. You are a wonderful reader (it's amazing!) and you've gotten great at spelling. I love seeing how you sound out words and put them on paper to make things for other people. 
+Dancing and singing... oh, sweet girl... you love to dance and entertain. We signed you up for Jazz and Hip Hop and you have been loving learning a new dance routine. You are really excited for your performance coming up next month. At school, you did your Dance Dynamix performance, and you absolutely loved every minute of being on stage singing and dancing. You were so animated and when the performance ended and you were walking off stage, we watched as you turned toward the crowd and took it all in with a huge smile on your face. You were so happy and it made my heart burst just watching you! At home, you are always asking Alexa to play certain songs and you love to dance on the tables (your stages) for your brothers and anyone else who will watch. 
+Swimsuits & dresses. You are as girlie as girlie can be and you absolutely love all things glitter, make up, pink, and especially dresses and skirts. You wore a dress or skirt to every single day of school this year, except the jog-a-thon (& that was a struggle). You even wear a skirt layered over your pajamas if it's not a nightgown.  If you are not in a dress or skirt, you are undoubtedly in a swim suit - which you wear all times of the year, rain or shine. You are so funny about your clothes and you do a great job waking up every morning and picking out your clothes for school. I let you use your own creativity to get dressed and you always look great. We love how independent you are about getting ready for the day!
+Something I have really noticed in the last year... You love all people... everyone is your friend. You talk so nicely about all of the kids in your class. You don't care about differences in culture or appearance, you just love them for who they are. I love getting to see you interact with others while I am volunteering in your class. You absolutely adore your teacher and really thrived this year in Kindergarten! Your teacher tells us that you are a good student, very friendly, and you haven't had any issues. You are doing just what you should be and we are very proud of  you!

The last year we have taken several very fun trips and it was so much fun to see you experience it all. Last summer, we went on a Disney Cruise to Alaska with Nana, Gramz & Pops, Matt & Juju & the girls, and Uncle Dave and Sam. You had so much fun and it was a beautiful trip! You and Stella got to do the Bippity Boppity Boutique (4 times), you got to go dog sledding and hold tiny puppy Huskies, we saw a ton of whales on a sightseeing tour around Juneau, and we did a little hike to the Mendenhall Glacier & waterfall. It was a magical trip and you may not remember every detail, but I will never forget you getting to see it all. We also did a big family trip to Sunriver, OR with all of your cousins and had a wonderful time! We did bike rides, hikes, spent lots of time out on the grass of the house playing, swimming, etc. It was action packed and you loved just spending the time with all of your cousins. We took several trips to Disneyland this year (4 of them) and as usual, you loved it all! We also went to Northstar for Christmas with Nana and your uncles, and then to South Lake Tahoe to celebrate Gramz & Pop's 40th Anniversary in April. You loved every bit of getting to spend time with your family and we made lots of wonderful memories. 

Your determination and courage is so amazing to me. When we were in Sunriver, you hadn't spent a lot of time riding a two wheel bike prior to going and you didn't hesitate jumping right in to keep up with your cousins. You fell off that bike time and time again and you'd get right back on and keep going with out a fuss. Your legs were covered in grease and scratches, but it didn't slow you down. I hope this trait never leaves you, Andie. It was amazing to watch you take it all in stride and just keep fighting for it. You were a pro by the end of the week! For your 6th Birthday, you asked if you could get your ears pierced and I had no doubt you'd do it with out issue. Sure enough, you wanted to go get it done and you climbed right up in the chair with a straight face and didn't cry. I could tell it hurt a little bit, but you didn't budge. It was so cute seeing how excited you were when he finished - you had the biggest smile on your face when he showed you how they looked in the mirror. It was really special because Nana went with us and she got her ears pieced, too!

You are a wonderful combination of courage, strength, feisty, sweet, and sensitive. You don't like seeing other people sad. You are fearless. I hope you know how much we love and adore you, Andie. I am SO proud of you and the little girl you are. You are truly a special person and when I see your kindness, softness, and love for people and the world around you I am just blown away. I am not sure how daddy and I got so lucky to have you as our little girl.

Time is going so fast, I know it will keep passing by at an impossible rate. But I stare at you sometimes and just try to take you in because I am certain that I am going to miss this stage so much. I am also so proud to see how you grow up and the woman you become. When I asked you the other day what you want to be when you grow up, you told me that you want to be a mama, like me. And I hope you know that made me so proud. All I want for you, sweet girl, is to grow up doing the things that make you feel happy and fulfilled, being kind to others, and spending time with our family. We are just in awe of you. Stay grounded, but always know we believe in you and everything you stand for. You are truly a gift, Andie. No words will ever be able to express how much we love you and I hope you always feel it! Six is going to be another fun and fabulous age for you, I just know it.

Keep shining and loving life, just like you do so naturally. 
We LOVE you so so so much. Forever and ever.
Mama

Dear Cody... You're 18 Months

Our little love bug, Cody-bear...

You are giving so many kisses now, and that is my most favorite recent thing. You pucker up your lips and make the cutest little "mmmm" sounds. You can have as many kisses as you want, you are the sweetest and cutest little guy! You also love to blow kisses and the sound you make is so cute.

We can't believe you are already 18 months old. You are so compact and darling, people just want to squeeze you when they see you out and about running around. You love to interact and wave and the way you say "hi" and "bye" is so cute, with a little accent. You are saying quite a few more words now - mama, dada, baba, Pop, "sishy", car, alexa "ah-ah". You love to point, too, and you are pretty good at communicating your needs to us.

On the top of the list of things you absolutely love is your Pops. You are quite Pops obsessed and the feeling is mutual. You go nuts when you see him and won't let anyone else hold you for long when he is around. You love to snuggle and lay on his chest and you throw a big tantrum every time he has to say bye-bye to you. You two already have a very special bond and it makes me so happy to see how your relationship has bloomed.

You also really love being outside. Anytime a door opens, you're attempting to make an escape. It doesn't matter what we are doing, you want to be out and you love playing with all of Nolan's toys out there. Water is also your favorite thing. You love baths and cry every time we have to take you out. You are the only baby I have ever seen who will purposely stick his face in the water to blow bubbles and lay on your back in the bath. You also like to dive around and splash. It is a little scary with you by the pool because you have no fear or care in the world around water. You will go right in! We are going to work with you on learning to swim this summer.

We took another trip to Disneyland in the last 3 months and you loved it. You really enjoyed the characters and taking everything in while we were on the rides. You do so well just hanging out in the stroller and going along for the ride. We also went to Tahoe to celebrate Gramz & Pop's 40th Anniversary. We lucked out with the weather and had a nice little dusting of snow, so you got to sled and enjoy the cold snow. The weather was also sunny and beautiful, so we spent time outside, which you loved. You also got to spend lots of quality time with Pops, so of course you were happy!

You are so great with your brother and sister and you love them dearly. You 3 have been playing more often together and you will use your little voice if they are messing with you when they shouldn't be. You will give them hugs and kisses and always are excited to see them. We have quite a few ride on toys in the house and you love to push them around or have them push you.

You are a great eater and will try almost everything, so we have been taking advantage of that! You really love all fruit, broccoli, potatoes, peanut butter and jelly, chicken, yogurt, waffles, smoothies and fresh squeezed juices. You also love to throw it all on the floor when you are done and you do it often, especially when daddy is home because you know it drives him crazy! You love to eat with a fork and you are a little bit messy, but you are getting better with more and more practice.

Something that got a little challenging for us recently is that you are now opening doors and you love to play in the toilets! Sometimes you will disappear for a minute and we know to run immediately to all of the toilets, because that's where we will find you. We are hoping that love of toilets fades quickly :)

You are wearing size 18 month clothes and size 4 diapers. You aren't a huge kid, but you're growing and thriving, so I never worry about that. You have tiny little feet (size 5 still). You've been a great napper and routinely go down at about 2 and sleep until about 3:30-4, however, it does seem like you might be starting to outgrow them soon. Sometimes it will take you a long time to fall asleep and other times you don't go down at all.

You are still a very chill baby. You are so easily content, very sweet, and you love just taking in the world around you. When I was pregnant with you, for fun we saw a psychic and she told us this baby was going to be a comedian... and you are very funny. You love to laugh and make other people laugh. You are affectionate, cuddly, and have such a happy little spirit. I say all the time that I don't know how I got so lucky to have your sweet little nature in my life, you are a good baby.

Lately, when we go in to check on you before we go to sleep, you are always sleeping in the cutest positions. You use stuffed animals as a pillow and you will snuggle them up under your arms. You are just such an amazing kid, we can't get enough of you, Cody.

18 months is a big deal. We are so proud of the little guy you're growing into. We love you so much and talk about how amazing you are all the time. I hope you never have any doubt about how much you are loved and cherished.

Love you forever and ever my sweet Cody-bear!
Mama

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dear Nolan... You are FOUR!

My best buddy, you are now 4.

I honestly cannot believe how fast 4 years have come and gone. You are truly one of our biggest blessings. You have the sweetest little soul and you make us laugh every single day.

This was a big year for you because you started preschool. You did so well and the transition didn't seem to bother you at all. I think because you watched Andie go to school for 2 years at the same place, you seemed excited for your time to shine. You are the oldest kid in your class and you easily made some new friends. Your teachers say you are very social!

You are wearing 3T clothes still, slowly moving into the 4T size because you are a little on the thinner side. You are pretty tall and a lot of people say that you are built just like your daddy. You may be built like him and a lot of people say you look just like him, but I think of all of my babies, so far, you look the most like me. I love to dress you in skinny jeans and tighter shirts because you are just so dang adorable. Daddy still cuts your hair!

You are not the best eater, but you do very well at eating all of your fruit (and you eat several servings of it a day). Your favorite food is chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We are trying very hard to introduce you to more foods and slowly, you are making progress. You also do well with yogurts, waffles, some mac and cheese, and a few veggies. You love any type of treat, especially muffins or cupcakes. You are definitely a little picky, but I know it's all part of who you are and we do our best to keep you healthy but also happy!

You really love your family. You love being home and in your pajamas all day if we let you. You and your sissy play so well together, you have quite the imaginations and are capable of making massive messes. I typically don't mind the messes because you both play so well and enjoy all of your toys. You also love to be outside and shortly after turning 4 years old, you learned how to ride a two wheel bike with out training wheels. We knew you were ready for quite a while, but you had to do it on your own terms. You are also really enjoying doing artwork and have gotten pretty good at painting and coloring. You also learned how to write your name in preschool and shortly after turning 4, you learned all of your letters.

You are a very sensitive guy. You get hurt feelings very easily and you don't like it when we raise our voices even just a little bit. You have one of the sweetest little souls, you are very good at sharing with your sister and brother and you are always the first to offer if one of us needs something. On Christmas, sissy didn't get a pez dispenser like you did, so you gave her half of yours. That describes you in a nutshell, you want the people in your life to be happy and you will do whatever you can to help make that happen. You are a little bit of a mama's boy, and I absolutely love it. You are extremely cuddly and you are my guaranteed snuggle if I need one. You also give the best hugs. You have a sense for when we need them and you tell us you love us multiple times through out the day. I love hearing you say "I love you, mama" from the back seat. You say it often and I don't take one single word of it for granted. You are affectionate, loving, and very sweet.

You love to go to sleep with a toy, usually a tractor, book, or your tools. Those are still some of your favorite toys and recently you have also taken a liking to dinosaurs. You also tell us at night "I love you to the moon" and you always demand a kiss and hug, which you will always get from us!

On the flip side of all of your sweetness is a little temper that comes out only when you are very mad (which isn't very often). You carry quite the punch in your tiny body and you will slam the door or take a swing at us if you are very mad. We are working on talking through your feelings and understanding why you get upset. You always say sorry when you need to and usually after a few minutes of cooling down, we get some love and move on.

This year we took lots of vacations - we went to Maui, our first ever Disney Cruise, and Sunriver. We also took some smaller trips to Disneyland (which you were very excited to be able to ride more of the rides) and to Tahoe to celebrate your Birthday and Christmas with daddy's side of the family.

Family is definitely something you treasure. You love being with all of us including your aunts and uncles and grandparents. When you see us happy, I have noticed that you are happy, too. You are truly adored, Nolan.

You are a unique kid. You have so much to offer the world and I hope you always remember that. You are growing and changing so quickly and I stare at you a lot in disbelief at what a wonderful little boy you are becoming. Watching you grow up is truly among my life's biggest blessings and I don't take one single day for granted. You make me so proud, Nolan.

I love you to the moon and back times infinity. Forever and ever!

Mama