Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are ONE.

Spencie...

I stared at you for a little while as I rocked you to sleep and you finished your baba. I studied your chubby little ankles, one crossed over the other. Your stick straight blonde baby hair, sky blue eyes, and the little round edge of your nose. I thought back to all that we've been through this year. The hundreds of hours we've spent snuggled up together, watching you grow and change daily. As I sat down to write this, I dug out a packet of mint tea from the back of the kitchen drawer... I loved to drink it when I was pregnant with you. I just can't believe you are one year old.

Even though tonight I was rubbing your little knee through a hole you've burned in your jammies from all your crawling, you are walking now. You started taking steps here and there almost two weeks ago. Now you can take 10-15 at a time. You are pretty wobbly still, but your brothers and sister get so excited to see you walk. You have 4 little teeth, have become a ferocious eater (you eat pretty much anything we put on your high chair, so we are taking full advantage of introducing all we can), and you are growing like a weed. You are still smooshing into 12 month sizes...  but 18 month sizes are on deck and ready. Daddy loves to call you an 'angry' eater because as soon as you've eaten everything we set on your tray, you will scream at us until we get more on there.

You love water - you are a water baby. We celebrated your first birthday a little early at Pop's beach with family. You played in the sand, swam in the water, went on the tube with daddy for a short little ride, and rode on the wave runner and boat. You are such a chill little guy and loved taking in all of the activity around you. You hated your cake and cried the entire time we sang to you (in true Lesher fashion). We are celebrating your actual birthday with a little more cake and presents.

You are wearing size 4 diapers and just started wearing shoes. These shoes are special because they're the same first shoes Nolan and Cody both wore and I love seeing them on your little feet. You dislike having your diaper changed and you cry after every bath while we get you ready for bed. You do love the bath, though, and we try to let them last as long as possible in the evenings so you can play. You are in to everything... cabinets, drawers, remotes, legos, our shower, and anything you aren't supposed to have. Your new favorite skill is climbing on the coffee table to scare us all since you haven't figured out how to get down yet. 

You are quite the mama's boy and I absolutely love it. You always reach for me and I can usually find you at my feet if I am not holding you. You also are crazy about your daddy and Pops, too. Gramz and you have connected in the past few months and I love seeing your bond grow with them. I am so filled with love when I watch you play with your brothers and sister. Sometimes I can't find you and you are always with one of them. Andie and Nolan love to carry you around and show you everything. Cody will drive around his tractor with you in the attached trailer. It is so fun to see you all play and work together. Andie feeds you your bottles in the car and makes sure you always have a Paci if you need it. Nolan can see you through the crack in the seat and I can always tell when he is interacting with you because you will laugh at everything he does. You all are building such a little bond and it is my favorite thing. You all are so special to me.

We have been going on bike rides together (you do really well riding in the burley with Cody), swimming in the pool, and spending a lot of time inside playing with toys. You are taking a regular nap still, usually everyday between noon and 2, sometimes more or less. You go to bed at 7pm every night and you've had probably 7 or 8 nights where you have gone all night. Most nights you are still up once to see me for a diaper change and drink. You go right back to bed, usually, and I get a little sleepy snuggle in.

You have so many nicknames, most notably: Spencie, Spencer-bear, Spencie-bear, Spanky (Pops), and baby. Cody calls you "Spe-cee" or "Spe-cer" (no 'n'). We haven't done any traveling in the last several months, so we have all really spent a lot of time together at home. 

2020 has been a turbulent year. Our world is deep in the midst of a pandemic, Covid-19. So far, we have yet to have the virus hit our home, but we've been keeping a distance from most of our extended family and friends since March. Luckily, we've slowly opened up that circle and you've been able to spend a lot of time with our close family and a group of our close friends since May. Thousands more people are getting infected every day and next month schools will still be closed, keeping your siblings home to learn. Our society has also been fighting a war against racism. It's one that should have been kicked away generations ago, but we all are working to build communities focused on inclusion, kindness, and love. So many intense changes surround us, our country has had some tough times this year... but right here in our little tiny world - our family has focused in on doing what we can to start that love at home.

No matter what the world brings to you in your life, you must always know that you have your family. We are all together in this life and my life would not be complete with out you. Spencer, you are so special to me. I will never be able to articulate in words how much you mean to me, but I hope you feel it. I am so proud and blessed to be your mommy. I am grateful every single day for your smile. You give me hope and happiness. I hope you never have any fear in being yourself, I hope you are always kind, and I hope to always live close and be close to you and your siblings. You are a very special little boy.

I will never understand why time goes so fast, but it sure makes me appreciate it all. I love you forever and ever, Spence. You are here for a reason.

Love,
Mama

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