Wednesday, October 19, 2011

11 months and a whole lot of words!

Dear Baby,

It's been a hard month for us. Getting you to gain weight has been tricky (one day this will bode well for you). It's been a month of extreme development for you as we've seen more and more of your personality shine through. We've discovered that you are quite opinionated. You don't mind telling us exactly what you think at any given moment (something you've undoubtedly inherited from me.) Watching you interact and understand us more and more when we talk to you has been amazing. You're understanding so many words and even sentences. When we say, "Do you wanna go?" you instantly drop what you are doing and excitedly kick. When we ask you if you want to eat, or want more you are also very responsive. Equally you understand night-night which is both a blessing and a curse. But it was the two week visit with your grandparents in Georgia when we discovered just how much you could communicate. In just two weeks you learned how to say "Bye-bye" and wave, "hi, and hey" depending on how well you know the person (also accompanied by a big grin and a wave). You say "Uh-oh" when you drop things and also "Wow" when something is fascinating. You mimic almost everything we say and you get alarmingly close to words like airplane and happy. You are dying to have conversations and any time you can you throw out all the words you know in a rythmic flow. It's incredible how socially adept you are and how fascinated you are with interaction. You daily amaze me with what you learn and how well you retain information. We are so excited to celebrate your first birthday soon and all the amazing milestones that the age of one brings. As always, you are a delight.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9 months old and a bucket of cuddles

Dear Baby,

You love your dad. The other babies were fiercely loyal to mama for the first year at least, and you definitely love your mama. But you also have a softspot for daddy. He can make you smile like no one else can. You love it when he throws you way up high and you love to play games with him. Your daddy feels so connected with you Liv, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has to do with the fact that you are his little girl. You spend time watching football with him (yes you really do, and I am sure he will remind you of this when you are older and don't care for watching football with him.) And you love to cuddle with him. This is brand new to him. Babies don't usually like to cuddle with daddy. But not you, his baby girl, you love to cuddle with him. And if mommy can't be present, you are perfectly at ease with being with daddy. I love watching this bond between the two of you. It was a bond I wondered if he'd ever get to experience. And even though he loves his boys, and all the boy things he gets to do with him, I think he would truly be sad if he missed out on his little girl. You are so treasured; by your father and I both!

Love, Mama

Thursday, July 14, 2011

8 months old and mother's milk

Dear Baby,
You're 8 months old now and it is a mystery to me how you got so old.Weren't you just a tiny newborn only a few minutes ago? Though everyone says you're still so tiny, I see it....the growth in you. How chubby your little cheeks are, how you can see me from down the hallway. How you know your father's face when he comes home from work. I see evidence of your growth everywhere.

But in one area, you're still very much my little baby. Liv you've always loved to breastfeed. I've never really had any trouble with you at all in that department. I went away for 5 days on a vacation with your daddy a few months back and was worried sick about leaving you and losing this connection I have with my little baby. But as soon as I came back, we went right back to normal and I cannot believe we've made it this far. I have to say, that after 2 different kinds of experiences with breastfeeding, it's nice to have somewhat of a success story with you.

I love the time we spend together. I love how you gently brush my face with your hands, or how you giggle at me when you're full . I love the connection and bond it brings in us, and am so thankful for it.

You recently got a tooth, and on occasion you like to "try it out" on me, which makes you laugh. It's not pleasant to me, but I'm thankful you don't really do it all the time.
Olivia, I'm not sure how long I will get this time with you, but I am really enjoying it. You are precious and I treasure you.


Friday, July 1, 2011

First Fry (8 months)

It's every mother's nightmare to lose the precious moments of a third-born due to business, or inability to pick up a camera. I vowed a long time ago to not let the story of your childhood go untold simply because I had two other children. You are special, you are dear, and you are just as important. And it's my job to document your life; every small victory, every adorable thing you do.

Today, you had your first In-n-Out french fry. And you didn't stop at one. No my dear, you ate half of my share of fries. It was so cute. And I was so excited that I was able to catch it. You see, I have a picture of each one of your brother's first In-n-Out french fry eating experiments as well. And I was so pleased that I didn't miss the opportunity to catch YOUR special day as well. Will it seem silly to other people, and maybe even to you one day? Oh probably. But today, was a special day... for me. The day my baby discovered french fries.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

7 months old reflections

Dear Olivia,

You're 7 months old, very nearly 8 months and the time is just flying by. You now have a winning smile, and a giggle that lights up my day. You have two front teeth that are slowly but surely making their appearance. And because of those teeth coming in, you make the most delightful face that just cracks us up. And ofcourse, the signature nose scrunch.

Olivia you are a delight. The only time you seem to fuss is when you're hungry. You spend all your free time rolling, and chewing and laughing and talking. You can ofcourse say Dada, and you amaze your brothers with your chatty dada dialogue throughout the day. You can also say "hi" and wave. It's more like "Heeeeeey" , but it certainly grabs our attention, and it totally counts as a first word. You really are so smart and will dazzle anyone within spitting distance of you. You absolutely captivate your brothers.

While your name is Olivia, we very rarely call you that. You have settled quite nicely in responding to "Liv" and that is our name of choice for you. But your daddy has developed a sweet nickname for you, that I am afraid you will probably have for the entirety of your life. Everytime he sees you, he calls you "babygirl" and you totally are his babygirl. You go crazy when he walks in the door. You love making silly faces at him and being tickled by him. You are such a small little thing, but you already own your daddy's heart and soul and I am so blessed to watch your relationship with him grow.

At 7 months old, you're not in any real hurry to sit up, or crawl. With the other two kids I was so obsessed with getting them to that milestone. But with you, I'm learning just to take it all in and enjoy the baby that you really want to be. You love to be held and cuddled. You love kisses, and snuggles and lots of hugs. You light up the dark corners of my life Olivia. And when sometimes I just need to be hugged, you nuzzle your face into my hair and I feel so loved. You are so nurturing already. My dear, sweet little love: I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful for the dresses and the bows, but more than that. I am thankful for the hole you've filled, and the completeness I feel now that I have you. You are so loved.

Love, your Mama

Monday, April 4, 2011

5 months old and a bundle of kisses

Dear Baby,

We definitely call you Liv. Much more than I thought I would. At 5 months old, you weigh just barely 12 pounds. You aren't in much of a hurry to roll over, though if your mother would just put you down occasionaly, I am sure that would help :)
You don't have teeth yet, but you're definitely teething. There are several (bulges) on your gums and you are fussy at varying times. I have a feeling they're all going to come in at once like Elijah's did. We are experimenting with rice cereal and a bit of applesauce. But you really just still prefer breastmilk (which is just fine with me!)

You have discovered your tongue and her feet. On most days I can hear you blowing bubbles, and I can see you holding your feet. You absolutely ADORES kisses. You would be kissed all day if you had a choice in the matter. You're not biased either. You love daddy kisses as much as mommy kisses. And you're all about the cuddles. You even will look up at us and open your mouth real big and dive in to give us kisses. It's so cute. You are not a pacifier baby, or a finger in her mouth baby, like both my other babies were. No, you Ms. Liv are all about the blankets. Particularily the one blanket that Great Grandmother made you. You love to be covered in it, and chew the ends. You're ALWAYS finding a blanket to suck on. I think we're going to have a Linus baby on our hands :) You are extremely social. You already have a baby friend whom you play with on the floor and you absolutely love your brothers. Well, if I'm being totally honest you absolutely love Elijah and tolerate Noah. But that's just because Noah is very loud, and isn't always gentle with you.

If you're crying, Elijah can come over and talk to you and you'll grin from ear to ear. This is why I often ask him to go talk to the baby when I'm getting Noah dressed. You also love being in the backseat with the boys in the car. Just yesterday NOAH (remember, the not even 2 year old) was talking to you. He said, "Hi!" then he paused while you goo gooed and gah gahed. Then he said "Oh yeah baby?" like you guys were engaged in a very serious discussion. I died of laughter. A trait he undoubtedly learned from his big brother. Still it was so endearing.

Noah loves you Olivia. He finds your socks and shoes and gives them to me. He finds your hairbows and tries to put them on your head. He absolutely loves his baby. And the boys often fight over exactly who's baby she is. Ofcourse everyone should know by now... She's MY baby! :)

Love, Mama

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4 months old

Dear Baby,

The last 4 months have been the most challenging, sleep-deprived, joyous and wonderful months of my life. You came, and at first, you were just this little pink blob in our lives. And then you got personality. You're teaching us all sorts of new things about girls. Your brothers were very basic babies: They liked to eat, sleep, and cuddle occasionally. You, you're different.You like to talk. I don't mean you blow bubbles and coo on the floor. You require conversation, attention, stimulation. You're not happy unless we're talking to you. You love to just gab and gab with me. It's so strange little girl, what a girl you are. Even being so little.

We just love your little personality. How you giggle when I touch the underside of your chin and armpits. How you blow bubbles at your brothers and try to hold their hands everytime they come near you. You are a little social butterfly. You're also quite the diva. You prefer to be held, and really if I'm being honest, you prefer being held by me alone. You don't quite know what to do with your daddy yet. But I am savoring this time that's all mine right now. Because I know one day you will grow up and be your daddy's girl and you won't particularily care for me.

You don't seem to mind when I do silly things like paint your toenails. You let me put ribbons and bows and crazy big flowers on your head without complaint. You never fuss or kick when I put dresses and tights and shoes on you. I really appreciate that. It's almost like you KNOW how special and important it is to me.

You are starting to sleep more at night, and I am really liking you for that. There was a period of about 2 months when you and I didn't get along so well, and you cried about most everything. But now that we have you mostly sleep trained, you are doing so much better.

I am cherishing every feeding I get with you. When you are done eating you like to talk to me and then you give me a big grin. Almost as if to say "thank you mama". I love that, it's unique to you and it's such a special thing to me.

We love to stare into your big VERY BROWN eyes and speculate on who you look like. Your eyes are definitely your daddy's, along with your KILLER eyelashes. But you got your mama's nose. Right now it looks like you have Elijah's mouth, but we can't be sure. There is something about you that makes you strikingly beautiful. You're so feminine and Olivia... you're just beautiful.

You're so fun right now, and we're looking forward to the coming months when your personality comes through even more.... as well as your hair.