Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dear Nolan... You are 6.

 Oh, our sweet Noley-Bear,

SIX. Whoa, my love, that sure happened fast. You are truly special to us and the last 6 years of having a son have been such a joy to me as your mommy. I am so proud of you. 

This year was an interesting one with the COVID-19 Pandemic. It came along in March and changed the world as you have known it your whole life. Suddenly, you couldn't go to preschool anymore, couldn't see your friends, and you weren't able to start Kindergarten in-person in August. It was hard as your mom to see all of the fun and exciting adventures of starting elementary school taken away from you. 

Your first 3 months of school were virtual and although it was very challenging, you did such a good job keeping a positive attitude and following along to learn what you could. We worked together and you are truly impressing us with your ability to persevere and learn more about how to read and write. You are now reading and your handwriting is really impressive. You love to sound out words and I love the excitement I see when you get them right. You are also getting much more artistic and your drawings are from your heart, which is why I struggle to get rid of a single one of them. You have a wonderful teacher who has reached out and bonded with you, which makes me so happy.

This year, there was no soccer, but you did pick up golf this summer. You and sissy are playing once a week and it has been fun for you to learn some new skills. You two are so cute with your little golf sets. The two of you have really grown even closer this year with the amount of time you are spending together. We did a lot of swimming this summer, playing outside, making forts, and having sleepovers all over the house. You guys get along pretty well, with the occasional tif here and there. Seeing your friendship grow has meant so much to me. I love how protective you are of her. You always want to make her happy and I love when you go out of your way to give her the little things she wants. You also do very well sharing everything with her. 

You are also growing closer to Cody and seeing you in the big brother role has been very fun. Sometimes the two of you will play legos or tractors and you do very well working with him and helping him. It is so much fun to see how much he loves you, and you love him so much, too. I hope you and your siblings are always close. It is one of my life's greatest joys to see you all play together and support one another. 

This year, we didn't do a ton of traveling because of COVID, but we did go to Hawaii in January before it all hit the US. We visited the Big Island of Hawaii for a family wedding and then we flew on a tiny 8-seater airplane to Maui. The flight was fun because we flew low to the ground and got to see a beautiful view of the islands from up above. It was your first trip as a strong swimmer and you loved getting to go down the waterslides and swim with Andie. You also spent a lot of time digging in the sand and building sand castles on the beach. It was a lot of fun to go! 

We also spent a few days before Thanksgiving in a beautiful home Nana rented in Tahoe. There was the perfect amount of snow and you got lots of sledding it. We were also fortunate to have your cousins from my side there so you all could make memories together sledding and having a big sleepover in the "kids bunk" room. You built legos, a snowman, had sledding races, explored the wooded area around the house, swam in the indoor heated pool, made s'mores, and enjoyed being with family. So many special memories were made! We are truly lucky.

You are getting more adventurous with your eating, but you are still quite picky. Your favorite food is hamburgers and it's what you requested we have for your 6th Birthday party meal yesterday. You love chocolate cake, chicken sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and all fruit "especially eating a banana like a monkey". You are quite thin, but growing taller and wearing a size 6, although it is a little baggy on your smaller frame. The theme for your birthday party this year was Super Mario Bros because you love the Mario Kart racing game we play on daddy's phone. You are also very into Legos still and you love to build anything you can. For Christmas, you got lots of legos and building things from Gramz & Pops, and it is so much fun to see everything you create. Your preschool teachers think that you are going to grow up to be an engineer of some sort because of how you love to build and assemble anything you can. 

It's been a bit of a crazy year this year with lots of adjustments, but you have handled it all very well. We have really valued the time together and I love getting to spend so much time with you. You have the sweetest voice, the tightest hugs, and you are wildly affectionate. You are extremely protective of your family and we are protective of you. You are such a special part of our family. 

I love you to the moon and back, times infinity. I am so proud to be your mommy and I always will be. Happy 6th Birthday, my love. 


Dear Cody... You are 3!

My sweet, content, happy Cody-Bear!

I can't believe you are 3. You are our happy boy. The other day I asked you "why are you so cute?". Your response to me was "because I like to be happy!". 

You have the sweetest giggle and when you laugh really hard, you squint your eyes and it shows on your whole face. You share that laugh with us everyday and you love to make us laugh, too. Your personality is pure gold, even though sometimes you can be a little stinker, too! We are all absolutely crazy about you.

You are growing closer and closer to your older brother and sister as the days go by. I love seeing your love for each other blossom. Yesterday, you jumped into the cold pool with out knowing it was cold. You started screaming for some help and your sissy jumped right in after you from the hot tub after saying she wasn't going in the pool. No matter what, I love knowing that my 4 babies will always have each other. 

You love preschool. You started in August as the youngest little one in your class, but you are keeping up and thriving. You look forward to going and on the days when you don't go, you always ask if you can go. You love your teachers and on the first day, Miss Kim sent me a photo of you with the biggest, most happiest smile. You're making new friends, learning new things, and really enjoying your time to shine. Your teachers told me that during story time you always go and climb into their laps. Your love of snuggling and affection has started to spread outside of our house, and I love seeing you share that. 

You are growing like crazy. You are wearing size 3 in everything and in pajamas, a size 4. Like your big brother, you love staying in your pajamas and with how often we have been home this year, they've been your staple outfit. You are still not potty trained. I know you are smart enough to do it, but you just don't want to yet, and I don't want to push you into it. You will get there in the next couple of months in your own time. 

You are talking and communicating so much with us. You really started to get talkative at about 2 and a half and since then, there's no holding you back. The way you say things like "I love you", "bro-der", "An-ee", and "Spence-ie" is just adorable. You are getting clearer every day and have a pretty big vocabulary. 

Living in a pandemic this year has really allowed us all to be home the past 9 months as a family. You've grown closer to your family and the group of friends and family that have been in our lives. You do pretty well holding your own with the older group of kids we have "quaran-teamed" with. The seem to love you, too, because you are so easy going and fun.

You are a pretty good eater and you sleep well through the night. Naps are definitely still a thing of the past but you go to bed usually between 7:30 and 8 and sleep until about 7am. You still love your crib even though you climb in and out of it on your own. I think you love the feeling of being cozy and enclosed in your crib and it will be yours for as long as you want it to be. You never give us any trouble when we tell you it's bedtime and you love to be covered up and use your pillows. 

It's been a very interesting year. We started out in January with a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii for a family wedding, and then to Maui. It was so much fun to see you enjoy the pools and beaches we visited. You did so well traveling. But besides that trip, we've mostly been home making memories here.  We also took a quick trip to Tahoe for Thanksgiving. You loved playing in the snow and being with family at the beautiful home Nana rented. 

This Christmas was a very fun one with you. You finally understood the magic of the season, our elves that visit every year, and of course - Santa. You loved waking up on Christmas and having your presents to open. You lined up all your goodies and admired them all day long. It was so much fun to see you get to experience it all with your siblings and with your cousins on Christmas Eve. The bond you are growing with the 4 of them is truly special and I am grateful that the 8 of you have each other. 

You are such a sweet kid, Cody. We all absolutely adore you and I am so proud to be your mommy. As much as it hurts to see you grow, change, and blossom every day, I absolutely love seeing all that you're growing in to. You have such a good heart and I know you're going to grow up to be a loving and sweet boy. We love you very much, Cody. You are such a special part of our family.

Love you forever and ever,


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You're 15 Months Old

 Oh, Spencie-bear....

Oh, boy. The last 3 months since you turned one have gone by in the blink of an eye. It's been a bit of a challenging year with everything going on with Covid-19, but our little family has made the most of it. We have all spent so much time together and it is really fun to see you interacting with your siblings so much. You are so loved and adored.

You are a huge eater. You love pretty much everything we feed you. You like waffles, pancakes, all fruit, pb&j, Mac and cheese, chicken, and any snack foods we give you. You take a bottle about 4 times a day, and we are still mixing in a little bit of formula because you prefer it over straight milk. You are wearing 18 month sized clothes (I think you have had a pretty big growth spurt) and even some sized 2T clothes. You are still in size 4 diapers, although, I have a feeling you will be in size 5 soon.

You are loving the freedom of running around. You don't walk much... you run, and you are very fast! You got used to being out and about in your sneakers that both brothers wore as their first shoes and you couldn't care less where we are. You are a free spirit and you will go anywhere you want to go, whether we are going in that direction or not. You are into every drawer and cabinet. With your brother and sister home distance learning because of the pandemic, we have had to put up a gate on your bedroom door to keep you locked in. Prior to the gate - if I stepped away for a second, you would have the kitchen drawers unloaded. You also learned by about 14 months how to open all of the doors. You can push and pull them. You are quite determined to get where you want to go!

You are a decent napper and we do our best to keep you on schedule of going down at noon. Sleeping at night has gotten better since turning one, but you still have nights where you are up wanting to snuggle or scream at us. You are VERY vocal and loud. We always know when you want something. You are also a 'hitter' and you smack us and your siblings. I think you are still trying to figure out the best ways to communicate. You make great eye contact when I talk to you and you are really snuggly. You love to be held and we still wear you a lot when we are out and about. 

We haven't been anywhere in the last few months because a lot of things around us have been closed. Just recently, restaurants have been opening up for indoor dining, but almost everything has been outdoor only for several months. We have taken you into the grocery store, target, Costco, and any other 'essential' errands we need to run. You do pretty well on the go and you haven't minded the car for the last several months. 

You love bath time and being in the water. You love to splash, even when we tell you no. You are learning what 'no' means and I am pretty sure you enjoy looking at us when you do things you are not supposed to do. You especially love to throw your food in your highchair and you will look right at your daddy and smile when you do it. You are also not a fan of having your diaper changed. You will scream and wiggle your way around and you are very strong. It is a challenged getting you dressed after bath time! 

You are getting more vocal and your favorite word is "dada". You have also said "Andie" and occasionally say "mama". You love to scream and yell at us and I am pretty sure you think we understand when you are yelling baby talk at us. You are very good at nodding your head to tell us yes and no. When we ask if you are done eating, you will nod to tell us. You figured that out a month ago and it's really cute! In fact, when I ask you if you are cute, you nod your head yes!

You are really snuggly and I love holding and cuddling with you. Last night, you were up for a couple of hours (I think you're getting teeth) so I held you for as long as I could. You definitely feel comforted when you are close to the people you love and recognize. Your siblings and you are growing a stronger bond and I am so excited to see that flourish in the coming years. You still don't have a ton of teeth, only 6 (4 on top), but I think more are coming in shortly! You love to wave and blow kisses... and it is adorable when you do. You look so cute when you walk and run around - you have a little waddle that is slowly going away.

You are such a sweet little boy. You have several nicknames: "Spencie" is your most common, Spencer-Bear, baby, and Spence are also some of the names you respond to. You definitely know your name and know how to get our attention when you want it. 

You are the sweetest little chubby baby. You have beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest little scrunch nose smile. I melt when I look at you, Spence. You are so special to all of us... even though we only met you 15 months ago, it feels like you have always been a part of our family. You make our family all complete, and we love watching you grow. You are a special kid and I hope you know how much I love and adore you. I love being your mommy and I will always be here for you, no matter what. You are loved for being you!

I am holding on tight to all of these baby moments and embracing you every chance I get. You are so special to me.

Love you forever and ever, Spencie!


Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are ONE.


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.


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!


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are 10 Months Old!


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.


Friday, April 17, 2020

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


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.


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!


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!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

My FIVE year old Noley-Bear

Oh, Nolan, you are 5!

I stare at your little face at least one hundred times a day, Nolan. You are such a cute little boy and every day you are changing and maturing. I love how you ask me to sit and snuggle with you almost every day and you always come up to me with a kiss or hug. You are affectionate and loving with your family and you have a huge heart.

You were really excited to turn 5 and we celebrated up in the snow in South Lake Tahoe with family. You swam in the pool and spa, rode sleds in the snow, made a snow man, shoveled snow, played with legos, rode your new scooter, played with your cousins, dressed up in your new Storm Trooper costume from Nana, and had a big chocolate cake to blow out the candles on. It was so much fun to see your excitement and I always hope you know that even though your birthday is close to Christmas, it is still very special to us.

This last year was extremely full for you. You finished up your first year of preschool and started your second year. We did some traveling to Disneyland, Monterey, and Tahoe. You love going new places and staying in hotels. You also started talking a lot more to strangers, which is funny! It's so fun to see you come out of your shell and answer questions when people ask you things. You are very honest and very sweet.

You played soccer for your second year and you seemed to enjoy it! You played with the same team and really started finding your own little stride toward the end of the season. I love watching you play and even though you aren't the most aggressive little guy - you are the sweetest (in my opinion). You would stop while you were playing and look over at me and yell "I love you, mommy" then blow me a kiss. You are a mama's boy and I love it so much. You and I really have a deep connection.

This year you also grew even closer to your daddy. You are starting to really love learning more about what he does at work. When we go visit you want to see all of the different gadgets on the fire engines and learn more about what he does. You are very smart about knowing all of the tractors and tools, too!

We had an awesome summer waiting for your newest baby brother to come, Spencer. Every single day you and Andie would be out in the pool while Cody took his afternoon nap. You became very confident with your swimming and I loved watching you tackle that. It wasn't easy because you have a little bit of fear in the water, but by the end of summer, you were swimming so well!

You absolutely love being the "biggest" brother and it's evident how much you adore your baby brothers. You and Cody have really started playing well together in the last few months. You do pretty well at sharing your toys with him and you two will play tractors, trucks, and tools for hours. You also both love riding your tractors with trailers all around the house! When Spencer came along, it melted me to see you with your new baby brother at 4 years old. You talk to him in a little baby voice, you immediately wanted to hold him and kiss him, and you really truly love him. You are a wonderful big brother and I hope you always keep your special relationship with your siblings.

You also still maintain a very close and special connection with Andie. You two do fight sometimes, but I would say the majority of the time you two are very close. I love watching you play and do art together, ride bikes together, and just be together. You are very defensive and protective of her and Cody. Just a few weeks ago we were in Hawaii and a little boy was holding Cody in the water when he was screaming to get away - you immediately went up to him and yelled at him to let Cody go and pushed him over. While we don't celebrate the pushing, I was really proud at how you responded. You are very protective with Andie, too, and if she gets in trouble for doing something wrong, you always come to her defense. You will always offer her something of yours if hers breaks, too. You are a sweet kid with a huge heart.

I loved watching you and Andie play all summer long. It was neat to see the relationship change and I hope you both know how lucky you are to have each other. I love when you both dress up, play house, play school, or make forts together.

You are not a great eater - but you do pretty well eating the things you do love. You have a very limited menu of things you want to eat. Your favorites are apples and peanut butter, Dino Bites, bananas, pb & j sandwiches, quesadillas, carrots, chocolate protein shakes, waffles with peanut butter and most fruit. You are wearing size 5T clothes, but most are still pretty big on you. We just had your 5 year check up and you are 39 pounds and 43 inches tall! You definitely aren't the tallest in the class, but you are growing and thriving!

You love your toys and play with them all day long. You love everything Star Wars, tools, balls, and in the last few months you have really become obsessed with building legos! You will build anything you can - blocks, magnet tiles - but especially legos. You do so well with the ages 5 and up legos and can build almost everything by following the pictures. Your teacher told me she thinks you may grow up to build things!

This Christmas was such a memorable one because you asked for a work bench. Pops spent several days and put so much love into building you your very own custom work bench. It's one of the most special gifts I have ever seen. When we went on vacation, you looked at me and told me you couldn't wait to get home because you missed it. You have also said that you want to keep it forever, and I am sure you will. It is so special, and I especially love the hand written note on the bottom of it from Pops. You are so lucky to have the relationship you have with him and Gramz. Speaking of Gramz, you two are definitely very close. Anytime she comes over, you ask if she will stay and you always want to sit by her and snuggle her.

Preschool this year has been good for you, but also been a little challenging, too. You've learned all of your letters and most of your numbers. You are doing well at writing your name and catching on to a few sight words. You have had some issues with being disruptive (a bit of a jokester), so we are working on it. Your teachers are reassuring that it's pretty normal behavior and you're just getting your wiggles out before starting Kindergarten in the fall. They have told me that anytime they have to talk to you, you always feel bad and try to be better. You have such a sweet side, but that temper is still there, too. It's all just part of your personality and you are trying to navigate all of the big feelings that come along with growing up.

You are really a sweet little boy, Nolan. You love your family with everything inside of you - and we love you back times ten. You give the tightest hugs and tell us randomly with out being prompted that you love us. You are a special little boy and I am so proud of you, Nolan. I absolutely love being your mommy. Never doubt yourself, you can do what you set your mind to and we will be proud of you no matter what you pursue in life - as long as you are content and kind.

I love you to infinity and beyond forever and ever. I am SO proud to be your mama.

Dear Cody... how are you 2?


My sweet, funny, loving, darling baby boy, I am absolutely head over heels for you. You bring us so much joy every single day and your squishy little smile always puts me in a good mood. I feel so lucky to be your mama. You have changed and grown so much over the last few months. Your vocabulary, specifically, grows every day and you are getting better and better at communicating with us.

Because of your birthday being in November and your eligibility of going to transitional kindergarten, I have already had to enroll you in preschool for next year. You will be the youngest in your class, but you're going to be getting that extra year. I can't believe it's already that time. You are changing so quickly, I beg for time to slow down.

You are such a good natured little boy. You are easy going, happy, and truly such a sweet-spirited kid. You go with the flow, which is good because we are often on the go with your big siblings. You are funny as can be and know how to push our buttons - even though it drives us absolutely crazy sometimes, it's all part of your sense of humor!

In the last few months, we have been busy visiting some new places. You went to Monterey for Thanksgiving and you loved being with family and running around in the house Nana rented for our whole family to spend time together in. For Christmas, we spent time with our family at home and then also a few days in the snow in South Lake Tahoe. It was beautiful and you loved playing and sledding. This month, we took your second trip to Hawaii - your first trip to Kona on the Big Island, and then took a tiny 9-seater airplane ride over to Maui. You did fantastic on all 3 of the flights. People on the plane told us after we landed how well behaved you were. We made sure to have you in your car seat so you could be boosted up and comfortable (& confined).

You loved Hawaii. You loved playing in the sand (as long as your hands weren't too dirty), going down the water slides - which you did at least 100 times - and running around on the grass. You did really well keeping up with everyone and it was fun to see you experience it all. One of my favorite memories was watching you run (you have the cutest little run) and giggle when you saw the waves coming up on the beach. I hope I never forget just exactly how cute you are, thankfully I took about a thousand pictures. :)

We celebrated your 2nd Birthday with family. We went to Disney on Ice with Nana and your cousins, and then everyone came back over to our house for pizza, cake, singing, and presents. You were liked us singing to you and seemed to be happy! Christmas was definitely more fun this year as you seemed to have a better grasp of opening presents and playing with new toys.

Some of my favorite things about you right now: you are a copycat of your brother and sister. You especially love doing everything Nolan is doing - making the same noises, playing with the same toys, and running around playing "monster!" with him. You love riding around on your toys with wheels in the house. You aren't pedaling yet, but you are very quick with your feet. You are also pretty good on your scooter in the yard. You laugh a lot and have the cutest little teeth that show when you smile. You say "Paw Patrol" in the cutest little voice and it is definitely your favorite show (if we can get you to sit still for a show). You are a little bit afraid of the fire engines at daddy's work and love to be held while you check them out. You love tractors, balls, legos, cars, and any trinket you can hold on to while we are out and about.

You are wearing size 5 diapers and 2T sized clothes. You are a great eater and love apples, bananas, peaches, blueberries, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, quesadillas, tri tip, cheeseburgers and almost everything else we put in front of you. You are adamant about feeding yourself and have become very independent in the last few months.

You are at a stage where you are repeating everything and talking a lot! If we tell you we love you, you will blow us a kiss. You don't give out kisses for free, so when we do get them - it makes us melt. You are really tough and have had many bumps on your head and will just pop up and keep going. If I had to guess, you are going to grow up with a fun sense of humor, laid back personality, and really love life. You truly make me proud just by being yourself - you are such a special little boy and words cannot express how much you are LOVED.

What a blessing to be along for the ride of watching you grow. I am thankful every single day for you, Cody. I love being your mommy.

Love you forever and ever,

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are 6 months old!


SIX whole months! I can't believe it. This note is a few days late because we celebrated your half a year birthday in beautiful Maui and I had limited access to the computer. We definitely have celebrated you every single day of your life and there is no shortage of love being thrown at you by your family. You smile so easily and are truly a sweet little soul. You are such a happy little chunk!

Speaking of Maui, this month you took your first flights to Kona, Hawaii, then on a little 9-seater Cessna to Maui, and then another flight back home. You did so well on all 3 flights. You never made a fuss and I was so proud of you! You definitely proved you are ready to hang with your family that loves to travel. You also seemed to love being in Hawaii, but mostly I think you loved the constant attention (Gramz & Pops were with us, too) and all of the love you got from us. We put you in the sand for a few pictures and you went down the water slide with pops and your siblings.

You still are not a great sleeper and some nights I am up 4 or more times through out the night with you to eat. I know this is a phase and I would never trade my lack of sleep for the sweet age you are right now. You still love to be carried in the front pack and I stick you in there every day. You also love to be pushed around in the stroller so you can see everything around you.

You tried some solid foods for the first time this month, too. I started with sweet potatoes and with some help from Gramz, you also ate some rice cereal. You love your milk and everyone comments on how chunky you are. I love that you are doing so well with your breastfeeding, still. I am hoping our journey continues and I am grateful that we have made it this far.

You are wearing size 3 diapers - almost size 4 - and size 9 month and 6-12 month clothes. You have beautiful blue eyes and the biggest, widest smile. When you are really smiling big, you open your mouth and squish your eyes. You also have a very loud cry and loud voice - you squeak and squeal and laugh all the time and it is adorable. You have full blown conversations with us and you are very good at making eye contact. Your daddy and I absolutely love when you stare at us.

You have several nicknames, some of which are made up on the spot by your siblings - but we call you Spence, Spencie, Spencie-bear, Spencie-Spence, baby bear, and Pops likes to call you Spanky.

Your siblings are still all crazy about you and want to hold, kiss, and snuggle with you. It's hard to imagine life with out you, Spencer. I love you so, so much and am so grateful that I get to be your mommy.

Love you forever, baby Spence.