Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Butternut Month 10

Dear Greta,

So much change this month. 

This month you started crawling on your hands and knees. There are still occasions when you will crawl on your stomach, but for the most part you're staying on all fours. It's fun to see the joy on your face as you move to wherever you want to go. Plus, it's nice that your shirts are staying a little bit cleaner since you're not dragging yourself around.

A new tooth arrived in your mouth this month. That makes four on top and two on the bottom. I keep expecting more to pop up considering how often your fingers are in your mouth. But so far, it doesn't seem like any more teeth are close to the surface. 

A couple weeks ago you started waving bye bye. It is so cute to see you waving your little hand. Especially because it's accompanied by a big grin. You've also started to show a little separation anxiety. You've cried a couple times when we've dropped you off at daycare in the morning, which breaks my heart. You're also reluctant to go to someone you don't recognize. 

This past weekend, I took you to the mall with me. I came prepared with some snacks for you as I knew you would probably find it a little boring. When you started to get cranky, I gave you a few puffs. After you finished them, you looked at me and pointed your finger at the palm of your other hand. You were clearly signing for more. I was so proud! You were communicating. I couldn't wait to get home and tell your daddy.

You've been trying to stand up on your own without the assistance of a table or chair. You get on all fours and straighten your legs so your butt is in the air. But you haven't quite figured out how to straighten up so your body is above your legs. So you instead shake your butt hoping the momentum will lift your body. Baby twerking. It really is adorable, and I really need to get a video of it.


You've also started walking with the assistance of the walker. You look quite pleased with yourself when you walk across the room. I have no doubt that you will be walking on your own before your birthday. 

Speaking of, I don't know that I'm prepared for the fact that you'll be turning 1 in two months. The last 10 months have flown by in the blink of an eye.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Butternut Month 9

Dear Greta,

At the beginning of this month, I had a work trip that lasted a few days. I was a little worried that you wouldn't sleep through the night for your dad while I was gone, but you gave him no trouble. Though I know everyone was happy when I came back home.

This month you got three new teeth, all on the top. It was about a week of not quite sleeping through the night. Plus there were so many fun diaper and clothes changes. Your poor little bottom was bright red from diaper rash. But when the teeth finally popped through your gums, all those issues thankfully went away.

Daycare moved you up into the mobile infant room. You were so ready. One day the daycare director came in to your classroom while giving some new parents a tour. She noticed you practically on top of another baby trying to give him one of your patent-pending open mouth kisses. The teachers told her you were across the room two minutes before that. Your daddy and I are well acquainted with this phenomenon of how quickly you move across a room.

You've been coming home from your day in the mobile baby classroom exhausted since you've been only taking one nap and there's so much more activity happening. We've been feeding you dinner and then putting you to bed early. Though you're so laid back that you don't mind staying up a little longer as long as Willa will play with you.

We went camping this month, which was both your sister's and your first camp out. You did better than I ever dared to imagine. We brought your pack and play for you to hang out in. When we went for a hike, I carried you on my back. To sleep I bundled you up in many layers because it was cold. You did wake up in the middle of the night, but I think Willa woke you up when she started crying. At that point, I put you in my sleeping bag with me. You stayed plenty warm and slept the rest of the night without any trouble.

Your first Easter egg hunt went well, though you were happiest just sitting in the grass trying to put an egg in your mouth. If I tried to take it from you to drop it in your basket, you protested greatly.

You're still crawling on your stomach for now. But you love to pull yourself up to standing whenever you can. You're starting to try and feed yourself more. You continue to babble at us. I ask Willa what you're saying, and she replies, "Goo goo gah gah." Which is about my interpretation. You occasionally growl deep in your throat, which I find hilarious. I haven't been able to catch it on video yet because you always stop as soon as I pull out my phone. But I'm going to keep trying.

Happy nine months, my sweet G!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nugget Year 3

Dear Willa,

You've grown in so many ways in the past year. Taller, longer hair, bigger feet. Exponentially more words. In some ways more adventurous. In other ways more cautious. But one thing hasn't changed. You're silliness and infectious laugh that never fails to make me smile.

There is so much you've learned in the last year. Counting (I think you're up to 11 or 12 without much help from us), the alphabet, colors and shapes. I'm so impressed with what you have learned at school and picked up from watching Little Einsteins or Doc McStuffins.

I wasn't really worried about how you would react to a new baby in the house. But from the moment you met Greta, you've loved her. The first week she was home you wanted to help by changing her diaper. Of course, I couldn't let you do that so I convinced you to change the diaper on your baby doll.

When I bring Greta into your classroom and the other kids inevitably gather around to ooh and aah over the baby, you stand next to her declaring, "MY baby Greta" in case there were any doubts as to who was her big sister. It is so sweet.


Your favorite colors right now are pink and purple. You love Doc McStuffins, Frozen and The Little Mermaid. Though we went through a pretty serious Little Einsteins phase last summer. You'd eat mac and cheese every day if I let you. Though you do still love rice and beans, and you often ask to have fish for dinner.

(Photo by Sassypants Photography

Monkey (the Wubbanub I cut the pacifier off of two years ago) must still be in your hand to fall asleep. And Pillow was, up until a few months ago, as important. Long story short, Pillow got an irreparable hole in it. So I took you shopping and let you pick out a new pillow. You picked out a Frozen pillow and right away had to sleep with it. You've never had any trouble transitioning to the new pillow and haven't mentioned your old Pillow at all.

You love to play with your Little People dollhouse and "be a princess." Sometimes you want to be a specific princess, Elsa or Anna, but sometimes you just go in to your dress up trunk and pull out an outfit. You'll declare, "I'm so pretty" and curtsy at us or spin around giggling.

A couple weeks ago I told you you were pretty and you told me, "I'm not pretty. I'm not wearing a dress." My heart broke at the realization that you already associate being pretty with certain clothes. I now tell you every day how pretty you are no matter what you're wearing. I hope you'll see yourself through my eyes some day and realize just how pretty you are.

We took you on your first camp out last weekend. You were so excited to sleep in a tent and had so much fun running back and forth from tent to tent with your cousins. When we went to sleep that night you crawled in between me and Daddy. Later that night I rolled over and watched you as you slept. I was in awe of how beautiful you are.

Happy 3rd birthday, my beautiful, sweet Nugget, my baby girl.

I love you,

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Butternut Month 8

Dear Greta,

There were times in the last few months I didn't think we'd ever reach this point... sleeping (mostly) through the night! I stopped feeding you when you'd wake up. One night I was so exhausted I went back to sleep inadvertently when I heard you crying and next thing I knew it was morning. After that you started sleeping through the night more often. You still on the occasional night will wake up, but all you need is your paci back in your mouth. I must say I think we're all much happier (and better rested) this month.

My breastfeeding plan with you once I got settled into the working/pumping routine after returning from maternity leave was to go until at least six months. We got to six months and pumping was still going great, and I still had some reserve of milk left so I decided to go until seven months, maybe eight. It was clear several months ago that I wasn't pumping as much as you were drinking at daycare. So at seven months you had eaten up all the reserve. I made the decision to keep going but supplement the extra bottles at daycare with formula since there was only a month left of cold and flu season. Well, we made it a week shy of eight months. It's not easy to work full time and breastfeed/pump. I'm proud to have breastfed you as long I as I did.  

You love to stand up. Last week, I even saw you standing when I know no one put you in that position. Which means you pulled yourself up all on your own. Oof, I don't know if I'm ready for what that means is coming very soon.

Like your sister at this age, you love to play with Cooper's dishes. If I'm not paying attention, and you're in the kitchen with me, you will make a beeline for those dishes. They now spend a lot of time on our kitchen counter so you don't make too much of a mess.

Your teachers at daycare have been telling us that you move around the room and like to give the other babies kisses. I think they're being a little naive because I think your real goal is to eat their faces as that's what it feels like when I get kisses from you.

These days you are making a lot more noise... babbling and cooing. You like to blow raspberries and cluck your tongue. You also growl sometimes deep in your throat that sounds a little disturbing if I hear it while not looking at you. I keep trying to catch it on camera but have been unsuccessful so far. I will catch it someday.

Happy eight months, sweet G!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Butternut Month 7

Dear Greta, 

Happy 7 months, baby girl! 


You've been crawling a lot more recently. Especially on our tile or wood floors where it's easier for you to pull yourself along. You like to get up on your hands and knees and are rocking like you know there's something you can do to move forward but you haven't quite figured it out yet. It won't be long before you're going all over this house all by yourself.

The other night you were standing up while holding on to the ottoman. I was barely touching you so you were holding yourself up. You were having a great time banging on the ottoman while also trying to eat it. I wouldn't be that surprised if you skipped crawling on your hands and knees and went straight to walking.

You're still not sleeping through the night. And up until last week, I was still nursing you at night. Then I realized that you weren't still nursing at night because you were hungry. I knew it was time to stop that habit. It's been really hard this past week or so. Before you'd nurse for 10-15 minutes and then go right back to sleep. Now that you're not nursing, it's taking longer most nights to get you back to sleep. A couple nights ago, we were up for two hours trying to get you back to sleep. Even though it's been rough, I know it's the right thing for all of us. That we will all be happier if you can start sleeping through the night. So I'm hoping that eventually you won't need us to get you back to sleep when you wake up at night. That you will be doing it all on your own.

When we moved last spring, we knew we had to find a new church. It took us some time but eventually we found one that felt right for us, which meant we were finally able to schedule your baptism. You were an angel in your christening dress and did great during the service. When you leaned in to give me one of your open mouth kisses (the kind where it feels like you're almost trying to eat my face), you melted the congregations' heart as I heard one big "Awwwww." Your extended family joined us for the service and then came to our house for lunch, where you weren't feeling the hostess role and instead took a nap. Everyone forgave you.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Butternut Month 6

Dear Greta,

Part of me is amazed that you're six months old already. Part of me wonders how it's only been six months since you expanded our family by 33%, because I feel like I've known you my whole life. It's been a busy month for you.

This month you started eating solid food. The only times we have trouble getting you to eat is if you're overly tired or hungry. But you usually are eager to eat. You even get mad if we tease you a little with food and then don't deliver it. So far, you haven't turned your nose up at anything. Bananas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, peas and green beans... you eat it all.

While you're still not consistent, you slept through the night more often this month. Not of course in the last week or so. But before Christmas you were doing it three or four times a week. That I can handle. Of course, there is something that may be contributing to you not sleeping through the night every night.

You cut your first tooth this month! You grabbed my finger one day and shoved it in your mouth. I was surprised to feel the sharp edge of your first tooth. But, looking back, I realized it may be part of the reason why you are still waking up in the middle of the night this month.

Your first Christmas was special. You ate up attention from family members and got to watch your cousins run around with each other. Naturally, you weren't into the presents much, but you had a great time regardless. 

You loved all the Christmas activities... the parade in Coppell, the trains at NorthPark, driving around looking at lights. You even sat in Santa's lap without crying at all. Something your sister didn't do.

Willa discovered that you love to watch her sing. One evening she was singing a song she learned at daycare about the months of the year. You giggled at her. Now she sings that song to you every day to get you to smile and laugh. And, you happily oblige her. It is quite sweet to watch.

You're starting to get up on your hands and knees and rock back and forth. I can see your determination to figure out how to get moving. You really want to. If there is something just out of your reach that you want, you will launch yourself forward just enough to get it. So technically, you are crawling though you're not going all over the house. Yet. It might be time for us to put up the baby gate on the stairs.

I hope your next six months are as fun and wondrous as your first six months.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Recap

Whelp. 2015 was a big year for us. We definitely did not sit idle.

It started in January. I got a promotion to vice president of marketing. I didn't blog about it for a couple reasons. One, I haven't done much blogging lately aside from my Butternut letters. Two, I don't talk about my job much online. My Facebook post from January sums it up pretty well:

It is rare when I talk about my job on social media. This is a deliberate choice. I want to break this self-imposed rule today because I have some big news I want to share with you, my friends. I have been promoted to vice president of marketing at Insurance Technologies Corporation! A couple years post-graduate school into my career I realized where my dream was, where I wanted to be. And for the last 3+ years I have lived it and I continue to live it every day. Life is good.

Almost a year later, this hasn't changed. I love my job and the people I get to work with. 

In February, John started a new job. As a result of his new commute and the fact that we were expecting a baby, we decided to sell our house. We wanted a little more space and to move closer to both our jobs. After a crazy and stressful couple months, we managed to do just that.

We love our new neighborhood and commutes. Seriously, it now only takes me 15 minutes to get to work when traffic is bad. We love our new house. In fact, John just asked me last night if I missed anything about our old house. The answer was not much.

Then Greta came. And our lives and hearts expanded even more.

(Pictures by Sassypants Photography)

It's hard to explain how it happened. It just did. I don't love Willa any less because of Greta. I just found more capacity to love within myself.

Right before I came back to work after having Greta, we discovered John's old Jetta needed repairs that would cost more than it was worth. So we bought a minivan. 

It's still a little weird for me to think of myself as a minivan mom now. But that's what I am. It has already proved itself to be the right car for us multiple times. It certainly made getting all of us, Cooper and our bags and Christmas presents to and from Christmas celebrations much easier.

Also recently, we crossed off a huge goal for us: we got life insurance. Adulting advanced level unlocked. (More on this later.) (Hopefully.)

So in 2015, I got a promotion. John got a new job. We sold our first house. Bought a new one. Had a baby. Bought a car. Bought life insurance. (We've done our part for the economy this year.)
And this was just the big things. We also went to Hilton Head, South Carolina, on a trip with my friends from graduate school. 

We went to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for our first vacation as a family of four. (Willa had croup. It was not the best trip ever, but we still had a good time.) 

2015 was a huge success. I hope 2016 is ready. It's got to follow a really great year.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Butternut Month 5

Dear Greta,

This month you started giggling. You laugh most often at your big sister, which makes my heart grow every time I witness it. You've also found your feet. If you're not otherwise contained, your feet are going automatically in your mouth. I wish I had your flexibility.

We've tried to give you rice cereal a couple times now. The first time you were so hangry you wanted nothing to do with it. I'm not sure what your deal was the second time, but it was only slightly more successful than our first attempt. We'll try again in the next few days. Fingers crossed you take to it soon and start to get more calories from table food.

It may be silly, but I'm hoping that as you start to take in more calories, you'll start consistently sleeping through the night. Every month as I increase how much milk you drink at daycare, I have this hope. But to no avail. Yup. Those late night feedings are still happening. Sometimes you even wake up twice. Once again this month, you did sleep through the night a few times here and there, but that was it. I'm doing my best not to wish away a time I might later miss, but I'm going to be frank. I'm tired.

You've become quick to reach for and grab things. You've knocked cups of water over, pulled a full juice bottle off the counter, and will grab a fistful of hair without hesitation. Much to your sister's consternation. I've tried to tell her she either needs to let me put her hair up or stay out of your face. She hasn't really grasped that lesson yet so you keep pulling her hair, and she keeps acting surprised that you did it. I'm sure it won't be long before you do it intentionally.

We have gotten many comments lately about how you don't cry. And you don't, unless you're hungry or tired. You're such a laid back, easy going baby that we'll put you on your playmat or in your chair, and you could be fine there for at least 30 minutes. It certainly makes getting things done around the house easier.

You ran your first Turkey Trot last week. Well, to be fair, I did all the running. You slept in your stroller for the first mile or so. I was a little worried about how you would do, and if you needed to eat, that I was going to have to stop and sit on the curb to nurse you. I should have known better because I know you just go with the flow (see above paragraph). I hope you come to enjoy that Thanksgiving tradition as much as I do.