Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dear Elodie (12 months... 1 year old!!!)

(the cutest birthday girl in all the land)

Dear Elodie,

What a month this has been - a gamechanger!  You have become so much more of a little girl and less and less of a baby.   Your personality is flourishing right before our eyes.  You are goofier than ever and have become quite the affectionate lovebug.  You have started giving us kisses when we ask for them!!  Oh man does that make my mommy heart soar - it is the best!  You hug your stuffed animals (especially Marie the cat) and will even give mama and dada hugs.  You are really the sweetest little girl.  There is nothing better than having you run into my arms.  Always remember that you will never be too old to hug and kiss your mama :)

(just staring at dada)

These days you are fascinated with taking things apart and putting them back together... like your stacking cups... or taking things out of a bag or box and putting them back in.  You want to climb up on everything especially your walker or ride-on elephant.  Though you often end up chewing on them, you do enjoy flipping through your board books.  You love wearing a necklace and trying to put on mama and dada's shoes.  I can put just about anything on you and you will wear it around the apartment for the longest time.  Your favorite accessories at the moment are my chewbeads necklaces, but you have been known to wear my scarf or dada's shirt on your head.  You also like to pick out different shoes to wear throughout the day.  

(she just can't resist that sticker)

Your goofiness is shining through more than ever.  You love to do stuff to make us laugh.  Your silly little quirks are coming out too.  You love to dance.  You have your own little Ellie dance where you bop from foot to foot, I call it the "Mooshy Shuffle."  Though I don't love to admit that we do let you watch some TV, it is pretty cute to see the way you bust a move when the theme song to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse comes on.  You start to dance and glance back at dada and I with the biggest grin on your face.  It is so fun to see how much you are just like me when I was little... between the accessorizing and the dancing you are turning into quite the mini-me.   

(she looks so cute and innocent when she's doing something we've asked her not to) 

At 12 months old you...
... give the best kisses
... can hear a woof woof (dog) from a mile away
... say "woof woof" for just about everything (especially dogs)
... clap your hands all the time
... love pointing to mama or dada's nose
... have some awesome dance moves
... love accessorizing

(that precious face!)

We have definitely entered the testing limits and being a little stinker stage.  You 100% know when you are doing something you are not supposed to.  Most of the time you look at me before touching something you shouldn't and just shake your head no.  You don't usually stop doing it when I ask you to, but lately if I say no sternly enough and take a step or two in your direction you will stop and try to run away from me.  I am not looking forward to having to discipline you because I would rather just laugh at how cute you are when you misbehave.  Oh this isn't going to be easy. 

(she is perfection)
The best part of dada's new job is that he has been working from home... you absolutely love having dada home to play with.  In the morning I will ask you where dada is and you run to the bedroom door and bang on it till I let you in.  Our new favorite routine is knocking on the front door after we get back from an activity so dada will answer the door for you.  One day when we got in the elevator to head home you looked up at me from the stroller and said "dada" cuz you knew we were heading home to find him.  You still don't really say mama but I can live with that.  It is important to me that we really take advantage of all the extra time you get to spend with dada.  Every night I will get you ready for bed, but then you sit with dada on the couch so he can brush your hair.  It is the sweetest.

(there is so much personality packing into this lovebug)

There are hardly the words to describe how amazing this last year has been.  It has been a year full of the deepest love, unimaginable joy, lots of self-doubt and worry.  Being a mom is such a hard job.  I just want to hold you close and sooth every boo-boo and protect you from any hurt in this world but I can't.  My biggest test will be letting you go... letting you fall on the playground... letting you figure things out without my help.  You have blossomed into the sweetest, goofiest, loviest, most precious little girl.  Your growing independence tugs at my heart strings but it makes me so proud.  My sweet girl, I love you with every ounce of my being.    


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dear Elodie (11 months)

(my beautiful lovebug - she is the sweetest)

Dear Elodie,

Well little miss crazy-pants... you can be a total lunatic these days... always on the move!  Usually when you get tired you get more hyper and act totally crazy.  It is pretty cute but also leads to more falls and more tears.  Every day you get closer and closer to walking on your own.  You have taken your first independent steps but still prefer to walk while holding onto someone's hand.  I think your dad and I are ready for you to be walking on your own so we can give our aching backs a rest :-)  

(always moving full steam ahead)
(she is so proud of her walking skills)

Over the past few months we have seen your sense of humor emerging.  These days you are the goofiest goof.  It is safe to say that daddy and I will do just about anything to get you to laugh because oh man your laugh is the best.  I can't wait for you to start doing funny things on purpose to make your dad and I laugh!        

(always moving those arms)

This past month we have started two new classes.  On Tuesdays we go to our Little Explorers class at the 92nd Street Y.  It is the next step after the Babies Together class we did over the summer.  For an hour you get to roam around a room filled with toys and babies.  The best thing about this class is that we have a guaranteed hour a week where you get to interact with other babies and play with new toys.  At this age each baby pretty much plays independently or tries to steal another baby's toy.  When other babies crawl up to you/over you or take something you have you usually just sit back and let it happen with a confused look on your face.  I usually just sit back and let you handle it on your own, though I will admit the mama bear in me totally wants to stand up for you. 

(the sweetest face in the whole wide world)
(she's comin' for ya)

On Wednesdays we have swim class and you absolutely love being in the water.  You spend pretty much the whole class in my arms but the instructor does take you for one little dunk in the water, and you do not like that at all.  You don't object to the going under water part, it is the leaving my arms part that you hate.  Though I want you to be brave and independent, I really love that you are my snugglebug.  You are rocking your swim class my love.  You do really well going under water and climb out of the pool like a pro.  I am so proud! 

(big steps for my big girl)

At 11 months old you...
... have taken your first independent steps!!!
... love to clap
... know how to wave and high-five
... stick out your tongue when I ask you where it is
... like to communicate by screeching

(her hair is getting so long)

We have been hanging out with some moms and babies in the park lately and let me tell you it has been life changing.  Being a stay-at-home mom can be kinda lonely and it really makes such a difference to be able to chat with some other moms doing just what we are doing.  It is also so important to me that you get to spend time with other babies.  We love going to the park and hanging out with friends, don't we?

(standing all on her own)
(crocs... her favorite teether)

Eating is getting better and better.  We offer you food 3 times a day and let you eat as much as you want.  Some days are definitely more successful than others.  Your current favorites are smoothies, turkey, bananas, tuna and apples.  I try to structure eating with you at least sitting in my lap but inevitably you end up playing around and I just offer you bites every so often.  Next step is working on the highchair.

(she certainly tries to tell us lots of stuff these days)

Discipline... well I feel like Kevin and I are gonna suck at this.  I know we will probably do a good job when it counts but right now we can't help but laugh when you do something you shouldn't because you look so darn cute doing it.  You definitely know when you are doing something you aren't supposed to... like eating books... because you usually look us right in the eye as you do it.  You sometimes even shake your head "no" at us.  I know we have to be consistent with our discipline so that you learn to listen to us, but man it is hard.

(the tongue is always out these days)

It is almost your first birthday and while I am so excited for this milestone I am also a little sad because it means you are growing up.  Part of me just wants you to stay my little baby forever though I know that we have so many fun firsts to look forward to as you grow.  Keep growing my love and never forget that you are always my baby no matter how big you get.       


(looks like a yawn but she is actually mid-sentence)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dear Elodie (10 months old)

(just as sweet as can be)

Dear Elodie,

My lovebug, you are on the move every waking moment these days!!  I know you will be walking on your own so soon.  Right now you love holding onto my hand or daddy's hand (only one hand!) and walking everywhere.   You are completely non-stop.  It is so entertaining to watch you explore and I try to give you all the space you need.  You are quite the climber which means I certainly need to keep an eye on you.  I was a big climber when I was little so clearly you get your skills from your mama.  You can also move at lightening speed... seriously I do not know how you move so fast.  You will be sitting playing with toys in a safe spot and I'll think ok this is a good time to try to rinse these dishes so I turn my back for TWO SECONDS and you are on the other side of the room getting into something you shouldn't.  You are a sneaky little goof.

(ha, you mean you don't want me to touch thissssssss sticker???)
(mwahahaha the sticker is mine)

Sooooooo daddy... you are really loving on him these days.  There is no doubt in my mind that you will be a total daddy's girl.  Though I still think I can claim the #1 spot at the moment I see you gravitating towards daddy more and more each day.  He has been working from home so we have seen a lot of him recently and I think that has really helped you two bond.  Sometimes in the morning before daddy has gotten up you will walk me over to the bedroom door and wait for me to let you in so you can go find him.  There is nothing sweeter than seeing your face light up when you see your daddy.  

(she is getting very good at waving)
(she always puts on the sweetest face when she is doing something I've asked her not to do) 

For a little while I thought you were going to be really shy but it seems like you are actually going to be quite outgoing and adventurous.  If we are in a situation where you feel comfortable you have no problem crawling up to other kids or other parents.  Several times you have crawled all over other moms at the park.  You always check to make sure I am not too far away but it makes me so happy to see you being so brave.  Every single time we go out someone comments on how cute and smiley and happy you are.  Your smile is contagious my little love.  

(cannot resist the sticker)
(such a curious little girl)

At 10 months old you...
... give the best high fives
... love eating bananas and hamburgers
... are developing quite the sense of humor
... are so close to walking
... have started to really enjoy reading
... love to imitate - clicking tongue noises, clapping, waving, scrunchy noses, dance moves
... love swimming in a pool

(mom says you can't touch the sticker)
(yes that sticker)

At the end of August we went on two trips.  First we went to St. Louis to visit Grandma and G-Paw.  Boy did we have the best time even though it was hot hot hot.  We got to see lots of family and friends - everyone was so excited to see you.  We even let you have your first taste of Ted Drewes frozen custard... yummmmm.  We don't get to travel to St. Louis very often so it makes each visit extra special.  Having you spend lots of quality time with Grandma and G-Paw is really important because we don't get to see them enough.

(but mom I really want to touch the sticker)
(but mommmmm I have to touch the sticker)

Our second trip was a little family vacation to Hilton Head with Uncle Nick and Uncle Merrick.  We were so sad that Aunt Naomi couldn't be there.  It is pretty amazing for me to watch you interact with your uncles.  I have such an incredibly close bond with them and I hope that you will have that kind of relationship with your siblings one day.  You are so lucky to have the most talented, kind, loving and fun uncles in the whole wide world.  We took you to the beach for the first time and we went swimming in the pool.  The ocean was a little scary for you but you were all about the pool.  We hope to make a beachy trip down south a summer tradition!  

(this is torture I must have that sticker)
(haha I win, the sticker is mine)

Eating has been much more successful this month.  My mommy gut was right, you just weren't ready before.  So far your favorite foods are bananas and hamburgers.  As of right now we feed you pieces of banana or hamburger (or whatever else we can get you to eat) while you play around the living room.  The highchair hasn't been too successful because you don't really like to have to stay in one spot.  We can get you to eat a decent amount if we feed you as you play and honestly I am just happy that you are actually eating solid food.  We will work on the highchair because I really want to make mealtimes a sit-down affair.  As with everything so far we are taking this one step at a time and I know we will tackle the highchair soon.

(may I please have what you have)
(wubby is her bff)

If I have learned anything so far during my short time as a parent it is that one of the greatest gifts you can give a child is your patience and trust and the space she needs to conquer new things on her own.  There is no perfect timeline for any child and I think it is too easy to get caught up on what your child is "supposed" to be doing at any age - comparison with other children is such a buzzkill, there is no faster way to crush your mommy spirit.  Elodie has proven time and again that she is going to conquer new things when she is ready and on her own terms.  I know in my heart that she is exactly where she is supposed to be.

(the famous scrunch face)

My little lovebug, you are the greatest gift I have ever been given.  I love you with all my heart and soul!


(my moosh)