Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welcome to Nursery, EmmaLee!

My Crazy Little Baby Bug!

Sweet EmmaLee, you are growing so much these last 9 months since you turned 1! You are officially in nursery at church, and, though you love it, you still have a hard time with us leaving you there. This soon will pass though and you will be running to get in there! You have physically grown a ton! You are now 34 1/2 inches tall (96th percentile) and 27 lbs (90th percentile) with a 73rd percentile for your weight to length. So, you are VERY tall for your age and also still have some cute chunk to those thighs and belly.

While you have physically grown a lot, your speech has not developed much. You sign please, more, thank you (with some verbal), shoes, help, and milk. But your words are limited to thank you, no (though this means yes and no), nose, ears, and cheese. You used to say "hello" when playing with the phone, but this has stopped. You are now starting to work with ECI to get speech therapy. We are hoping that this develops quickly for you. Luckily you are only delayed in your expressive language. You understand everything very well and are very smart otherwise. You are meeting all of your other physical, social and mental milestones!

EmmaLee, you are so sweet and tender! You LOVE babies, whether it's a doll or a real live one. You are very gentle and curious when you are around babies. And you take care of your dolls so well. You also love playing with cars, play food, barbies, the sandbox, and any of your sisters' things that you can get into. You love to color and make pictures as well. You used to love swimming more and could get yourself around the pool very well! You still like the idea and want to go in there often, but you have also taken to wandering more outside of the pool while we are in it. You handle it so well though when I throw you in though!

Sweet Girl, you are such a beautiful little girl! I love looking at your grey/blue eyes and brown curls! You are so much like your sisters, yet so different. You are tall like Lydia, yet have little feet like Hannah. You are so precious, I love you!


To Lydia, Love Momma

Dearest Lydia,

It feels wrong to call this a birthday letter this year, as it is already May. But this is your 6 year old letter, so you weren't dismissed :). This past year you have taken on a new role in our family and have done it so well! That is the role of the BIG big sister. You lovingly dote on both of your sisters and look forward to spending time with them. It is wonderful to see how you are such good friends with both of them and how much they look up to you. You help me out so much around the house and have learned to do several chores on your own, including vacuuming, sweeping, washing dishes, taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher and laundry (sorting, folding and putting away).

You have also grown so much in your academic realm! You went into kindergarten knowing all of your letters and their sounds, writing your name, reading a few sight words, and doing some basic addition. I am amazed at how far you have come! You are reading some second grade books and understand what they're talking about. You love doing math and are very good at it! You love every subject at school and have a very difficult time choosing a favorite. However, art is always the first thing you tell me about when you get home! I'm really hoping that your new school in San Angelo with have a real art program so that you can learn more fun things there!

This year you played a season of soccer again and did so much better than a couple years ago. You were very eager to play this time and made your best efforts to get the ball in the goal. You also tried your hand at gymnastics. You really enjoyed doing that. However, as we already were aware, you are not naturally very athletic. So it will take some extra practice on your part. However, you are wonderful at swimming! You completed your first round of swim lessons already this year and were so excited to learn new things! Luckily we will have a pool at our new home and you will get lots of time to practice and have fun with this skill :).

Lydia, you are such a kind, loving individual. I am so impressed with you consistently! You love the scriptures and the Lord. You try so hard to make good choices and to help those around you. I am so proud to be your mother!

Love always,

Lydia's 6 year old stats were:
Height 47 inches
Weight 45 pounds

To Hannah, 4 and 1/4 years old!

Oh Hannah! My crazy Hannah!

There never seems to be the words to describe what you are to us! Your laugh can brighten my darkest days! Your silly made up songs make me laugh. And your motherly way of helping everyone around you is beautiful (when the receiving party is wanting to be helped). However, you are still a very strong willed young lady. If you don't want to do something, there isn't much I can do to change that. And if you do want to do something, well... you get the picture. We are working to point you in the best direction for your independence. But I think that your desire help those around you will definitely boost things.

Hannah, you have grown so much since I last wrote you a letter! Not a ton physically. Right now you are 40 inches (35th percentile), 31 lbs (12th percentile) with a 9 percentile BMI. So, you are our little itty bitty. No booster seat for you yet. But it seems that those in the smallest packages are the loudest to be heard. And that certainly rings true for our Hannah Banana!

Your speech is continuing to develop. You had a wonderful speech therapist, Miss Angie, at the elementary school last year that you LOVED! You were always so excited to go play with her and you learned a lot! You also saw another speech therapist at the clinic, Miss Jenny. You weren't very fond of her and so you didn't work very well with her. Unfortunately, we didn't find a good match for you at the clinic until it was time for us to move. So, though you met Mrs. Joan and loved her, you didn't get much time to progress with her. We are working to get things set up for you at the new school and clinic. You are very excited to meet some new speech therapists to play with you! Especially since EmmaLee is already starting her speech therapy and you want to join in!

You had a wonderful first year in preschool and are VERY excited to start at your new preschool tomorrow! Last year you attended a small preschool in Mrs. Spring's home with several friends in our ward. This was a perfect setting for you to get started since it was a small class, just twice a week (9am-2pm) with some of your favorite people. This year you will be attending preschool three times a week (8:45am-1:30pm) at St. Luke's Methodist Church. Mrs. Tana will be your teacher and you will have a few more people in your class this year. We are so excited to watch you grow more!

Oh sweet Hannah, you are so loved by all who know you. When first meeting new people, you are very shy. We learned quickly that I need to disappear from sight during speech and other things in order for you to open up and work with other people. However, once you do open up, you are very talkative and engaging! Sometimes there doesn't seem to be a quiet bone in your body! You may be the smallest one, but we can always hear you when you wake up and run down the hallway! You are very quick to follow directions during classes and follow structure.

I could continue to go on talking about you and all the things that you do right now. But for now I'll just write a few of your favorite things and some of my favorite things that you say. You call frogs "Ribbits" and pigs "Oinkies". I sometimes hope that you never stop doing that! You still love spiderman, dinosaurs, and "D-O-D-O" (R2D2)! This completely took me off guard when you asked for the "D-O-D-O" waterbottle at the store and you had never seen StarWars, at least not with us. So, while you are a pink, sparkly, princess loving little girl, you definitely have your adventurous side. I love your unique personality! Your favorite food is "padeti" (spaghetti). Pink is your favorite color. You love to read most any book, but especially if they're silly. You love to play with your baby dolls, kitchen, dressup, coloring/art stuff, and your Kindle.

Hannah, you are so special to us! We love you more and more each day!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome to "One-derland" Emmalee!

Happy Happy Birthday Sweet EmmaLee!

I can hardly believe that you are really a whole year old! It has sure flown by! Yet, here we are. It truly has been a wonderful year though watching you learn and grow and find your role in our family. If I were to define your role right now, it would be to follow your sisters around and play with their toys and then desperately try to escape when they decide they want to love on you in return. You are the object of everyone's affections. Your sweet cheeks are constantly being kissed and we all do anything we can to make you smile (which isn't very difficult to do)!

You have made several new strides these last few months! You began taking your first steps a couple weeks before your birthday and then decided that would be your main mode of getting around about a month later. "Easy does it" was your motto. You were still content enough to crawl around, but figured you'd try a few steps if you were already standing. Now your walk is getting faster and faster as your confidence grows. I love watching those sweet pudgy legs waddle you around the room.

You went from only having 2 bottom teeth to 5 teeth in a matter of weeks! You're still working on getting one more top tooth out. But then hopefully we'll be done for a little while. You've had a rough month with both strep throat and a UTI along with getting all these new chompers. So I think you deserve a good break :).

Speaking of eating! You could do that almost all day! You switched from breastfeeding to formula at about 10 1/2 months when we discovered that my supply had stopped and you really weren't getting much of anything. We had thought that you were starting to thin out a little, but as soon as we switched you to formula you quickly chunked back up! I hadn't thought I was starving you before then, but I sure felt bad when I realized that you were just being courteous. Since then you have also switched to drinking real milk. No problems there! Food is food and you'll take it! Well, except for the occasionally offered broccoli, green beans and avocado. Those are royally shunned.

You still aren't really talking much. Occasionally you'll hold a phone up to your ear and I think that you may be saying, "Hello". So maybe that could be your first word. But you don't even give any attempts at saying anything else. I'm hoping this isn't a sign of any speech problems. But I'm trying not to read into it too much. Only time will tell :). Your sweet babbles are plenty for now.

You have a few "tricks" that you love sharing with us. You love to blow kisses, wave goodbye, and play peek-a-boo. You were signing "more" and "all done". But you've been slacking on that lately. Guess I better start making you work harder for your food again! You love putting things on your head and wearing necklaces. You also love to brush your hair. I think we already have a pretty princess on our hands :). You also love being goofy! You have discovered blinking your eyes recently and love squinching them up at us over and over again and you grin from ear to ear! Melts me every time!

We just adore you EmmaLee! I love the look of joy on your face when we walk in the room to see you! You have the most beautiful smile! I am so excited to see your personality grow even more this next year as you experience more adventures!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

EmmaLee at 9 months

Sweet EmmaLee,

Time has certainly flown by these last few months! I can hardly keep up with you and all your fun new tricks! Your curiosity has bloomed and cannot be contained any longer. You are constantly exploring new things and quickly hone in on the unmentionables, like night lights, cords and phones. Everything that can make it into your chubby little cheeks will quickly find residence there. In many ways, you are still my chill and happy baby. But you also make your frustrations known when you don't want to be dragged around or are in need of some attention.

Your physical developments and capabilities have taken strides these last few months! You went from rolling around the floor at 6 months to sitting up at 7 months to crawling at 8 months. Now, at 9 months, you are cruising all around the place and have finally started developing the art of pulling up onto furniture. It took you almost 8 months to figure out how to get all those fun little treats and toys out of your hand and into your mouth. Now that you have, nothing is safe from your sticky little fingers! I love that I can finally put cheerios and other little food bits on your highchair for you to self-feed. However, your sisters are not so pleased that all of their Barbie shoes and other little items have been removed from the play area until safer times commence.

Your measurements at 6 months were:
27 inches tall (90th percentile)
18 lbs 11 oz (87th percentile)
41.5 cm head circumference (25th percentile)

Your measurements at 9 months are:
28 1/2 inches tall (83rd percentile)
21 1/2 lbs (89th percentile)
42.8 cm head circumference (21st percentile)

I am constantly amazed at how chill and happy you are most the time. You don't usually cry when you wake up from naps. You quietly play and babble until somebody comes to see you. You are my first child to be perfectly content in a stroller and shopping cart. You let me run errands and take your sisters on playdates during naptime. However, you have a very difficult time falling asleep in the stroller or carseat. If you do, it will only last for about 10 minutes. And if I push it too much all day then you will let me know eventually. You also will voice your frustrations when your sisters (particularly Hannah) want to drag you around like their little baby doll. This breaks your poor sister's heart. She loves you so much and wants you to stay little for forever.

Your favorite person in the world right now is Lydia. You get to face Lydia whenever we ride in the car and you LOVE talking, squawking, and laughing at her. She will be busy with her friends and you will work so hard to get her attention. I love listening to how much you adore your big sister! You don't laugh like that for anyone else. With your chill attitude also comes your mellow personality. You readily smile for us, but it takes just the right touch to make you laugh. And even then, your laugh will only last a few seconds before you are done. But you will let loose for Lydia!

Some of your other favorites right now are:
*most any type of food that you can eat, minus pickles and limes (but the faces are amazing!)
*You are happy with most of your toys. But you really love your sisters' barbies!
*You love your little pink mouse snuggly that your sisters picked out for you. For the last 4-5 months you reach out your left hand hunting for your snuggly the second you are laid down in your crib. Your right hand is reserved for sucking those ever favorite first 2 fingers.
*You still loved having your bottom half swaddled while you sleep.

Realistically speaking, you love life so much that it's impossible to list it all!

You have gotten to explore some fun new things these last few months, as well! On our family vacation to Galveston you got to experience the beach for the first time. You LOVED the sand. And I don't mean playing in it really. You loved to eat it! You took one taste and couldn't get enough of it! I guess it built your immune system?

At the beginning of September you got to go with Daddy and I to New York to see Niagara Falls and some of the church history sites, including the sacred grove. You weren't a huge fan of the Falls. They were very wet and you were tired and hungry. But you sure looked cute in your baby size poncho! You were very patient with us throughout the trip as we dragged you from one place to the next. And you constantly had at least one adoring fan to snuggle with.

You also went on an interview trip to San Angelo with us where Daddy fell in love with Shannon Clinic. You enjoyed your trip out there and slept very well in the hotel :).

The last noteworthy thing from the last few months is how cute you were in your mermaid costume for your first Halloween! You matched your 2 older sisters and were enthralled at seeing everybody all dressed up. You weren't scared of anyone. You just stared at them all in disbelief and amazement.

Sweet EmmaLee, I love you more than words. I love to kiss your sweet cheeks and all your sweet little rolls. I love watching your scooch around the house. I love hearing you babble in the baby monitor. I am so grateful that you are my daughter.


Dear EmmaLee, You are not forgotten!

Dear Sweet EmmaLee,

Though you have not gotten as many first year letters as your sisters, you are not forgotten. You are simply a third child. I like to think that instead of focusing on taking pictures all the time and writing blog posts, I am living and enjoying the moments with you. And every moment spent with you is truly precious! You are my angel baby! You sleep amazing! You are happy when you are awake! And you eat like a champ! I can't imagine life with a baby really getting any better! You only cry when you are tired or hungry or have been laying on the floor for a good while and are getting bored. Despite my insistence that you would use the binky and not suck on your fingers, I have lost. You are such a content and happy little lady that I haven't ever felt the need to stick a binky in your mouth. So, you have found your first two digits of your chunky little hands and love to suck on them. But, you're happy.

Major accomplishments of your first 4 months of life include:
*Occasionally rolling from your back to your stomach (and then crying because you don't like your stomach).
*Grabbing onto things and putting them in your mouth. You explored sucking on a carrot in this manner today. It was glorious!
*Sleeping through the night (a typical night is from 10pm-7:30am un-interrupted) and napping well during the day either in your crib or carseat.
*Following people around the room with your eyes, recognizing people, and smiling a lot.
*Small chuckles (I'm excited for this one to develop more!!!)

Growth stats from your 2 month appointment:
Weight: 11 lbs 7 oz (53rd percentile)
Height: 23" (88th percentile)
Head: 37 cm (14th percentile)

Growth stats from your 4 month appointment:
Weight: 16 lbs 6 oz (87th percentile)
Height: 25" (93rd percentile)
Head: 39 cm (22nd percentile)

As you can see, you are a very tall and chunky little lady! I love all those sweet rolls! I never give up a chance to kiss those squishy cheeks and blow raspberries on those yummy rolls! I love having you and your sweet spirit in our home, EmmaLee! You very quickly found your place in our hearts and are a true blessing to us.


One Year Older and Wiser Too!

Happy Birthday Sweet Hannah!

I can hardly believe you're already 3! My heart aches to see you grow up so quickly, yet I'm so excited at all of your new achievements! A lot has happened in the last year! You had to officially have your banged up tooth removed due to infection. You have taken great strides with your speech and graduated from ECI (due to turning 3). And, the biggest change of all, you are a big sister! You have taken to this new role very well! I was nervous that you would get jealous and have problems, but you are just so excited to have a baby sister around! You would love to do everything to take care of her! Fortunately, you always ask permission to hold her and don't try to drag her around anywhere. But you are such a proud big sister whenever we place EmmaLee in your lap! You are so petite that EmmaLee is half the size of you, but you don't mind. She's your baby sister :). I still love watching you care for your baby dolls. Especially as you bounce them in your arms and lovingly "shush" them! You always make sure that they have clean diapers and are well fed too. You are even practicing breastfeeding them from an early stage :).

Lately you have also taken a strong liking to the Barbie dolls. It is so fun to hear you playing with them and having them talk to eachother. You could entertain yourself for hours as you role play all sorts of scenarios with them. I wish I could understand the conversations that they have with eachother. But I can tell that Cinderella is usually the mom, with Princess Anna as a daughter and Prince Charming as a son. Other Barbies make their way in there, but those are always consistent. You also love cooking in the play kitchen and doing art projects with Lydia. And you have taken to swimming this season like a little fish! You get your floatie on and swim all around the pool with perfect intent :). I'm excited to see you develop these skills this summer!

Your speech has improved drastically throughout the year! Though you are still very much behind and have speech therapy on a weekly basis. You speak in full sentences using appropriate tense and pronouns. Well, except that everyone is a "her", there is no he, she or him. Working on that one :). Your biggest speech problem right now is that most consonants are replaced with a "d" or "b" sound. Unlike most speech delayed kids that get "firsty" (thirsty), you get "dirty". I've gotten used to a lot of it and can make out a lot of things, but it's very difficult for people who don't know you. But I have confidence that this will improve with the therapy given how far we have come this past year.

You have a lot of new favorites this year! If asked what you want to eat, it will almost always be either a hotdog/corndog, spaghetti, or crackers and cheese. You love anything princess (which is really any girl wearing a dress) or mermaid. You love playing any sort of game: phone or board game. You are very well entertained through sacrament meeting with just a pen and paper, which in the end will be covered in rows of neat circles. Your favorite friends are Lucy and Adelyn. You adore your sisters! And you love reading books.

Sweet Hannah, you are such a determined and diligent little lady! Though this can often lead to emotional outbursts, I know that you will make sure that things get done. You are perfectly content to play alone and don't need me to entertain you, but you are also very excited to spend time with friends and family. I wish I had the right words to describe your personality. You can be very shy and clingy, but also very outgoing and social. You are a little hesitant to try new things, but don't take too long to get used to them. You love to hug people and shower them with love. Your big smile and big dark brown eyes can melt me in an instant! You've got the pouty lip and puppy eyes down and you know how to use them!

I love you so much, Hannah! You are such a unique and beautiful little lady! We have many things to look forward to this year, including potty training, preschool and primary! You are officially out of toddlerhood and into preschooler mode! I am so grateful to be a part of this journey with you!


ps: your current growth stats are:
Height: 3 feet even! (35th percentile)
Weight: 27 lbs (20th percentile)
Still my petite lady! Strong woman in a small package :).