Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Random Day in December

Dear Brooklyn,

You are 16 months and 18 days old today.  You're also going to be a big sister to a little brother in approximately 18 weeks (give or take a few days).  I don't think you quite understand that yet though.  You're going to be the very best big sister there ever was.  I'm certain of it. :)

As I type this, you're playing in the bath tub.  Bath tub crayons are your favorite thing in the world right now and you love to scribble all over the bath tub walls with them.  And then, when I'm looking away for a second, you like to take a big bite out of them.

Right now, you give kisses and hugs and say a handful of words.  You dance to everything.  And you smile and laugh all the time.  I wish I could freeze time for you.  You're such a happy, happy child.  Everything makes you happy (except for when I take away the bath tub crayons after you try to eat them).  You love giving kisses to your daddy and your grandpa--I think you must like the whiskers!

You're getting smarter by the day and, a lot of the time, you're nothing but mischief. :) Except for it's not real mischief, it's you being intelligent and inquisitive and just wanting to learn about everything.  Today, you walked into the kitchen while I was working on something in the living room and, 30 seconds later, by the time I'd followed you in there, you'd moved a kitchen chair over to the counter, climbed up, and you had powdered cappuccino all over your little face.  I'm sure you'd eaten a fair amount too!  We'll see what time you go to bed tonight. :)

You don't like vegetables (except for corn) and your favorite food ever is string cheese.  When you want some, you stand in front of the fridge and yell, "Cheese! Cheese!  Cheese!" at the top of your little lungs until we get you some.  I don't know what we'd do if we ever ran out of cheese, lol!  And your little hands and arms are so expressive!  You babble on and on and throw your little arms up in the air all the time, just like you're telling some grandiose story and just getting to the good part!  I wish we could understand what your little words were saying. :)

Mommy and daddy love you more than you'll ever know baby girl. <3

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One Year Old

Dear Brooklyn,

You turned officially turned one year old just under an hour ago at 11:23 p.m., July 31st, 2012.  Clearly, you're already in bed by this point, but we had a great time celebrating your very first birthday!  Just a quick recap for nostalgia's sake:

  • 4:30 a.m. - You were up and ready to party and DID NOT want to go back to sleep in your own crib, so I pulled you into bed with Mommy and Daddy for awhile
  • 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 - You fell back asleep in your crib so that Mommy and Daddy could get some sleep too!
  • 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - One-year-old photo shoot and cake smash!  You had SO much fun!  You were COVERED in rainbow-colored cake!
  • 1:30 p.m. - Some quick errands, to Wal-mart to pick up Motrin for your one-year shots tomorrow :( and a quick trip to the post office
  • 2:30 - 5: p.m. - Nap time!
  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Supper time!  Your very favorite food!  Mac & cheese!  We picked up Velveeta shells and cheese and you definitely ate your fair share! :)
  • 6:00 p.m. - 9: 00 p.m. - A trip to Grand Forks for some birthday, soft-serve frozen yogurt from Cherry Berry.  Your frozen yogurt was FREE for your birthday!  You had your very own cup of 'Birthday Bash' frozen yogurt with mini m & m's and chocolate sprinkles!  Daddy picked out your clothes for the evening, so you were dressed in camo from head to toe, from your camouflage bow to your camouflage crocs!  
  • 9:30 p.m. - The gas station!  You got one last birthday treat:  a snickerdoodle cookie! :) 
  • 10:00 p.m. - A very tired birthday girl that was all sugared out changed into her jammies, brushed her teeth, read a book, and laid down to sleep after multiple birthday hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy.
I can't believe how quickly this first year has gone.  It amazes me how I seem to love you more and more each day, from your red hair to your cheesy grin to your sassy attitude that doesn't take no for an answer.  I love everything about you. One year ago, you came into our lives and you've irrevocably changed them forever, for the better by far.  I can't imagine my life without you anymore.  I live to love you, to chase you down the hallway and make you giggle, to whisper 'I love you' in your little ear, and to watch you grow and learn new things each day.  You walk now, and you talk in your own little language, babbling and giggling constantly - my favorite sounds these days!

I want you to have this story when you're older.  It's from a book we have called "Someday" by Allison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds, published by Scholastic Inc., 2007,

"One day I counted your fingers
and kissed each one.

One day the first snowflakes fell 
and I held you up and watched them melt 
on your baby skin.

One day 
we crossed the street,
and you held my hand tight.

Then, you were my baby,
and now you are my child.

Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream,
and I dream too . . .

That someday you will dive 
into the cool, clear water
of a lake.

you will walk
into a deep wood.

Someday your eyes will be filled 
with a joy so deep that they shine.

Someday you will run so fast and so far
that your heart will feel like fire.

Someday you will swing high--
so high, higher than you ever dared to swing.

you will hear something so sad
that you will fold up
with sorrow.

Someday you will call a song to the wind,
and the wind will carry your song away.

Someday I will stand on this porch
and watch your arms waving to me
until I no longer see you.

Someday you will look at this house
and wonder how something that feels so big
can look so small.

Someday you will feel
a small weight
against your strong back.

Someday I will
watch you brushing 
your child's hair.

Someday, a long time
from now, your own hair will glow
silver in the sun.

And when that day comes, love,
you will remember me."

Every morning I wake up and am so excited to see your beautiful, smiling face, waiting for me in your crib.  I miss you when you nap.  You are so loved my beautiful child.  I want you to know that, always, even when the day comes that I'm not around to tell you that anymore.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Dear Brooklyn,

It is approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 10th, 2012.  You slept in until 12:30 today!  It poured buckets this morning and woke us both up at 6 a.m., so we made up for it by sleeping in.  It's the weekend, so your Daddy is at work and then I'll go to work this evening.

You are 10 months and 10 days old as of today.  I can't believe that you're almost to your first birthday already!  I feel like I've barely even blinked and the first year of your life is almost already over!  It was only a short six months ago that we were reveling in your ability to roll over all by yourself.  You are very busy these days.  You took your very first steps 10 days ago, the day that you turned 10 months old!  You've been close for a long time.  We went to visit my cousin Andrea and her little girl, Olivia, who is only a few months older than you.  You walked from Mommy to Andrea.  It's almost silly really, there are millions of babies in the world, and more or less, they all learn to walk, but I don't think I've ever been more excited about anything than your first steps!  No wait, your first steps are a close second on my excitement scale.  It's a close second to you in general -- the day we found out we were pregnant with you, the day you were born -- those have been the most profoundly exciting moments in my life to date.  And, as an added bonus, BOTH Mommy and Daddy got to see them!

I feel like I spend all of my time picking up after you these days.  The second that I put something away, it instantly becomes the most interesting thing in the room to you and is immediately pulled right back out.  So our house is always a little messy right now.  There are toys strewn about the living room and, right now, clean cloth diaper laundry as well.  It's all clean and in a laundry basket, but just hasn't quite made it back to your bedroom yet, so, naturally, you're busy pulling everything out of the basket and throwing it on the living room floor.  I don't mind though. :) One day, far too soon, I know there will come a day when you have found independence and I will wish that we could go back to these busy, beautiful days when everything was new and worthy of deep investigation through the eyes of a 10-month old.

I hope there will come a day when you get to experience chasing around your own 10-month old and, in those moments, I hope you remember me for just a moment.  Remember that, once up a time, when you were this age, your own mother deeply and intensely loved everything about you, from your tiny hands that moved the hair out of my face this just morning to play peek-a-boo with me, to your tiny feet that delight in nothing more than putting everything on the floor so that you can feel what it's like to step on it, to your 'velociraptor voice' that squeaks and screams at us until you get what you want, like after you'd thrown everything on the floor this morning from out of your high chair (bib and toast included!) and squeaked at me until I took you out.

I love you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Starting Summer Together

Dear Brooklyn,

It's 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 26th, 2012.  You're almost 10 months old and growing up way too fast.  Your hair is still red and your eyes are still blue.  Yesterday, you stood up all by yourself for the first time without holding on to anything.  You still haven't learned to walk yet, but you're very, very close.  You've cruised around furniture with ease since you were about seven months old.  Your very first steps are going to be any day now, and then I wonder how your dad and I are possibly going to keep up with you! :)

You like to be outside.  Every time the front door opens, you beeline it right outside so that you can crawl around on the porch.

We bought your your own little one-ring swimming pool for this summer with plans to set it up on the porch next to the patio chairs so that we can all be together while you're playing in the water. We haven't set it up outside yet, but I blew it up in the house so that we could look at it.  You had fun playing with it even in the house!  You crawled inside and kicked your little feet and laughed.  I think you crawled over every inch of that little swimming pool!

And I don't know if I mentioned this yet, but we use cloth diapers (I think it will be interesting to see what disposable diapers look like when you're older).  A month or so ago, your daddy and I sat down and picked out a bunch of prints to order and they came yesterday.  I think you had just as much fun opening the box as your dad and I did!

I'm actually up washing your cloth diapers right now, as I'm writing this blog post and watching Futurama.  It's my favorite show. :) 

It's finally Mommy's summer vacation too!  My last day for the year at the Head Start was Friday the 19th.  This summer is already turning out to be amazing.  I love being able to be home and spend time with you!  I've worked so much that it feels like I've missed large chunks of your little life already.  I hate being away from you!  Although, when I've been at work, you've been home with your Daddy, which makes it a little easier on me to be gone (I trust your Daddy to the moon and back with everything, even you, the thing that I love most in life).  But now we're together more.  Except for a few random evenings each week when I'm working at Wal-mart (no more than 10 hours a week!), I get the privilege of waking up to your smiling face and tucking you into bed and kissing your little forehead at night.

Now that I have more time off, me, you, and Daddy found time to walk together to the park together the other day!  You swung in the baby swings, went down the slide with Daddy, 'rode' on the park motorcycle, we blew bubbles (you tried to eat the bubble wands!), and your Daddy took so many pictures that he ran the camera right out of batteries!  But I believe this picture may be my favorite picture of you ever (so far!)

I want to leave this story for you.  Your dad works at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.  You fell asleep at about 9 p.m. tonight.  Shortly after your dad went to bed, I went to put the diaper pail back in the bathroom after putting your diapers in the wash.  The bathroom door tends to stick in the spring for some reason, so it made a loud noise when I opened it.  It must have woken you up, because a few seconds later (just enough time for me to get back out to the living room), you started screaming at the top of your lungs!  I knew what had happened and that you weren't hurt or anything, so I didn't run back there quite as quickly as I could have, but it didn't matter, because your dad was in your room so fast!  I didn't even have time to get to the hallway and he was already in your room with the lights on, holding and consoling you.  He was clearly a little shaken, he told me that he thought that he had heard your Angel Care monitor going off as well.  I don't think I've ever seen your dad move quite so fast!  I think that he was probably half asleep when you started crying, but your Daddy was right there to make sure that you were okay!  

You should see the way your dad's face lights up when he sees you.  He's so in love with you.  We love each other too, but it's a different kind of love.  He can be frustrated with me and smiling at you all in the same sentence.  It's impossible to be mad at your beautiful, trusting little face.  I'm sure that will change over time (especially once we hit those teenage years!), but right now, our whole world rises and sets with you.  As you get older, when you're sad, when you're lonely, when you're angry, when you think that your parents are the weirdest people on the whole planet, please remember baby girl, that we love you more than I could possibly put into words.  You are loved.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

To My Daughter

Dear Brooklyn,

Today, you are nine months, one week, and five days old.  It's 10:17 p.m. and I just laid you down to sleep in your little two-piece pajamas, the ones with ice cream cones on them.  I'm starting this, because when you are older, I want you to remember, to realize exactly how much we love you, how very, very special you are.  So this, my child, will be the first of many, many letters, all written to you.

Right now, we live in Crookston.  I work as a Head Start teacher and your Daddy is a security guard at Concordia.  I also work part-time cashiering at Wal-mart and run a very small business selling hand-crocheted items.  We live in a house that you probably won't ever remember (or if you do, it will be in the faintest of your memories) on Sunflower street, right on the corner.

I cannot believe how much you have changed already since we met you.  At your nine month check-up, just yesterday, you weighed 20 lbs., 8 oz. and were 28.5" long.  Nine short months ago, when you were born, you weighed in at 7 lbs., 12.7 oz. and were 18"  long!  Oh how you've grown!  You knew how to hold your head up before we even left the hospital, were rolling over by four months, were crawling at six months, and now at just over nine months, you are so very close to walking!  My precocious, amazing little girl!  You stand by yourself, you just haven't quite figured out how to move those feet yet!

I work days on Monday through Thursday and about two evenings a week.  Your daddy works days on the weekends and evenings on Mondays.  That means, right now, you're typically home either with me or your daddy.  No child care for you!  At least not yet.  It makes it so much easier for me to be at work, knowing that your safe in your daddy's hands when I'm gone!

Right now, you have the same bright red hair and deep blue eyes that you were born with.  I'm starting to wonder if they will change at all.  You're the most beautiful baby that I've ever met.  Every day, I stare at you in amazement and wonder how your father and I could possibly have produced such a perfect little human being!

Today was Saturday and your daddy worked, like he does every Saturday right now, so it was just me and you home. You woke me up just after eight and we had breakfast, played with your blocks (I built them up and you knocked them down!), and you explored.  You're a wonderful explorer, as I suppose most babies are.  And you love to put everything in your mouth!  Think about this when you're older, when you were a baby, we had to keep the shoes all put away because otherwise you would chew on them!  Yuck!  You napped from noon to two or so, and then when you work up, we walked to the park and played on the swings and blew bubbles.

After we came home, you finger painted pictures for your grandmas for Mother's Day tomorrow!  And I only had to remind you not to eat the paint off of your fingers twice, lol!  I wasn't sure how you'd do, but you actually really got into it!

And, naturally, I had to take pictures, because your Grandma Gail took this picture of me when I was little. :)

If you couldn't tell, it's pretty much agreed that you look more like your Dad than like me right now. :)

I can't promise that I'll update this daily or anything.  But there will definitely be more letters to you, my darling daughter, because I have a lifetime of things to tell you. I love you.