Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are 10 Months Old!

Spencer,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
Mama

Friday, April 17, 2020

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

Spence...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you, Spencie.

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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

My sweet 8 month old baby...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
Mama

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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

Dear Spencer,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
Mama

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.
Love,
Mama

Dear Cody... how are you 2?

Cody-bear...

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,
Mama

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dear Spencer... You are 6 months old!

Spence!

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.
Love,
Mama