To you, Savs…at 4!

4 years - 3

This is 4! Well, 4 2/3 to be exact. Our lives have been full these past few months and I haven’t had a moment to have a clear thought let alone articulate it.

Savannah, you are an absolute joy to be around. You make us beam with pride on a daily basis by sharing your generous spirit with the world around you. Whether you’re assisting snails along their journey, helping your sister maneuver her latest tricks, or consoling a friend in need your empathy shines true in all that you do.

You have evolved into a long and lean little girl this year. Gone are the baby face, thigh rolls, and poochy belly. They’ve been replaced with legs for days and “Rapunzel hair,” as you like to call it. You are a beautiful little girl inside and out.

You are also articulate, thoughtful, and wise beyond your years. Your memory astounds us – you lessons we’ve taught you or remember events from years ago. You love learning and ask a lot of questions about why the world is the way it is. Fortunately, you take it easy on us as we muddle our way through some of the more difficult topics and seem content to trust that what we tell you is true.

A few months ago you transitioned into the Kinder Prep class at school and you’ve been thriving ever since. You were a little intimidated at first since you were the youngest kid in the group but you had your partners in crime – Jacob and Makenna – by your side and so you settled in quickly. Your handwriting is improving and you’re getting pretty good at sounding words out. Of course, that means you love practicing the alphabet and find reasons to write cards to your family on a daily basis. I am continuously impressed by the curriculum at your school and so thankful we have the means to send you there every day.

You love being a big sister – most of the time. You take great pride in your Belly Baby and love to show her off to your friends. You are usually pretty good at sharing with her but certainly have momentary lapses where you rip something out of her hands or just haul off and hit her for no good reason. For the most part though, you adore Scarlett and she’s very lucky to have you as a role model and friend.

Although you have developed into a little girl in so many ways, I still get daily glimpses of my baby. You still nap for one thing which is a dream come true for this tired mommy! You also love “snuggling” more than anything and will jump at the chance to climb in bed with us before you fall asleep or first thing in the morning.

But most the time, you are all about big kid things. Whether it’s pretending to be a mommy yourself – you’re all about pretend play and your imagination runs wild, or navigating your own iPad, you are in control. You’re pretty self-sufficient and very polite both of which make me quite proud.

You started ballet a couple of months ago and the class has helped you really come out of your shell. You were so shy at first, intimidated by the other kids and insecure because you didn’t know the moves. I even thought you might ask to quit but you didn’t. You stuck it out and we kept going back and now you are obsessed! You are a wonderful listener and follow directions well and of course, you love your teacher.

We talk a lot about bravery and the importance of pushing through fear. You still get shy sometimes but you are trying new things each week and we are so proud of you! You are proud of yourself too which is really what we care about most. Uh…I just love your face!

Nana Bear, I wish I had the words to express how much I adore you. All I can say is that the sight of you makes my heart explode in a million pieces. You are everything I’d hoped my firstborn child would be – kind, empathetic, thoughtful, smart, funny, and of course, very, very brave. You continue to push me to new heights and you remind us how beautiful the world is even when we’re feeling discouraged – which considering it’s an election year, happens a lot nowadays!

Your curiosity is both sweet and inspiring. Your adoration for your friends and family and ability to recognize right from wrong make us proud. And your faith…forget about it. We’ve had to tackle some “big” issues lately and I’ve loved watching how you draw on your faith to pull you through sadness or make sense of the insensible. You are wise beyond your years and teaching us so much every day.

Savi Bear, I frequently refer to you as my kindred spirit. You are my mini-me in many ways – how you look, the way you concentrate deeply when you’re thinking about something, the way you want to help every living creature you come across. We share a deep, deep bond and I love watching you grow each day. You continue to teach me more about myself and push me to the limit of possibility. Thank you for all that you are and all you bring to our family.

You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.


4 at a glance

Cool things you’re doing: You are all around one cool little girl. Your imagination is soaring. Your understanding of the world around you and how it works is expanding by the minute. And your interest in taking care of others and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on target.

Likes: Playing dress up, pretending to be a mommy or a princess, writing cards and drawing pictures, practicing your name, watching shows on your iPad, telling stories, singing and dancing, cooking, and going to school and ballet.

Dislikes: I don’t know when it happened but lately you’ve become quite the picky eater avoiding a lot of the veggies that used to be your favorite. You dislike when your sister torments you or takes your toys. You don’t like being woken up in the morning and you hate having your hair brushed.

Favorite Books: The Book with No Pictures, The Giving Tree, Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You (our special book!), Tickle Monster, The It’s Okay to be Different and the Family Book.

Favorite Songs: You still love Coldplay, you like the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and much to our chagrin, you frequently request “Belly Baby’s songs” which translates to the Barney station on Pandora!

Funny Things You Say: ”That’s ridiculous,” “What the heck???,” “That’s disgusting!”

Our Favorite Things About This Age: Four has been really great. You have matured a lot and it’s like having a little partner in crime by our side rather than a child. You are smart and witty and quite hilarious too. But, I love that even though you’re so grown up you also melt right back into being my baby at every opportunity. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.

Nicknames: Savs, Nana, Nana Bear, Savi, Banana, and of course, Sissy!


4 Years - 1




Dear Scarlett, at 15 months



My sweet, sweet Letti Lou:

I hate to admit it but your first birthday post completely escaped me so unfortunately, this will have to serve as a combined 12 and 15 month letter to you. While my writing has been few and far between these past few months, your first birthday celebration was nothing short of fabulous! We showered you with love and as a friend of mine put it, we hosted a small wedding at our house in your honor. We had over 20 children under five making mayhem in our backyard and everyone left the party smiling ear to ear and exhausted from a day of fun.

Your development has skyrocketed since I last wrote. You went from walking at 11 months to literally running behind your sister nowadays. You have been steady on your feet for quite some time and love to dance, climb, run, and maneuver your little body into all sorts of strange places. You are a physical girl and nothing can hold you back if you are determined to get from point A to point B.

You are also very verbal. Your vocabulary is pretty robust for your age and some of your favorite words are Nana and Lola. Of course, you rattle off Mama and Dada constantly and can say the names of all your grandparents as well as Ball, Book, Baby, Hi, Bye, Up, and a few other choice selections. Your sign language really took off at around 13 months and you still love to sign for More, Please, Milk, Help, and Bed. Baby sign language has been such a blessing with both you and your sister and I swear, it’s allowed us to communicate with you guys way before you were really verbal.

You are an awesome sleeper although it did take a couple of weeks of growing pains for us both. I cut out the nighttime nursing sessions at 12 months and to say you protested the first few nights would be an understatement. You were pissed! But, you got through it and as soon as reality set in, you started sleeping through the night and haven’t stopped since. You like to go to bed way earlier than your big sis ever did so we literally have time to get home, throw food in your mouth and get you ready for bed before you start getting cranky. You get between 11-12 hours of sleep a night which is great. You’re still a cat napper and rarely nap for longer than 45 minutes to an hour but Savannah was the same way so we’ve adjusted accordingly.

Speaking of nursing, I stopped pumping at a year as well and continued to nurse you on demand when I was with you but otherwise you went straight from the boob/bottle to open cups of whole milk. In January, I transitioned you to just two nursing sessions a day – morning and night – and then cut you back to just one. I still nurse you right before bedtime although they’re very short sessions and I think we’re both continuing for comfort more than anything else at this point.

It’s hard to believe I breastfed for going on 2 ½ years between you and Savs and the thought of never doing it again is bittersweet. It is nice to have my body back to myself though and I was getting really sick of wearing nursing friendly clothes all the time! And don’t even get me started on the breast pump! Still, breastfeeding was one of my greatest joys of motherhood to date and a complete surprise since I wasn’t even sure I’d do it when I was pregnant the first time let alone love it!

Your little personality has really flourished these past few months and we’ve started to see some of the true differences between you and your sister. You are funny – like balls to the wall, test the limits, goofy funny. You love to be LOUD, you love all eyes on you, and you are a determined little bird. Like your sister though, you are a snuggle bug and an amazing eater. There are few things you reject and we joke with your teachers that you could have a mouth full of food and two handfuls ready to go and you’re still signing for “more.” Funny enough, you are more petite than Savs ever was hovering in the middle of the scale on weight and length. I don’t know where all the food goes except you also have about 6 BMs a day so I guess it goes straight through you!

Since we put the tubes in last summer, your hearing has been perfect. Knock on wood but we haven’t had any ear infections since and they don’t seem to bother you one bit.

You are officially a world traveler – we went on our first official “family vacation” to Costa Rica in January. You did a great job flying although keeping you busy, still, and quiet for 5 hours straight was exhausting. Once there, you had a ball! You pretty much ate your weight in sand and loved spending every day at the beach and every evening in the pool. I think most of all, you loved having all of us around 24/7 and we enjoyed the chance to see you and your sister explore a new environment together. We’re already starting to plan our next adventure and can’t wait for many more opportunities to share this beautiful world with you girls.

Everyone says you are your father’s mini-me and you really are. You still look so much like Savs did at your age but your eyes are different – you have his and Savs has mine. You both have combined personality traits and embody some of our best (and worst) features but that’s how it goes. I see a lot of your Dada when I look at you and it makes me smile every time.

We still call you Belly Baby or BB most of the time. I’m sorry but I think you’re going to have a hard time kicking that nickname. If you get older and really protest we’ll try to cut it but I hope you always know, it was established in love and it fits you, my sweet girl. You will always be the baby in our family and every time I hear Belly Baby I flash back to the nine months of wonderment as we imagined if God would bless us with a boy or girl to complete our family.

You are obsessed with your big sister. You follow her around like a puppy dog and imitate everything she does. At best, she adores you right back and at worst, she tolerates you. We’ve yet to uncover any true sibling rivalry but we’re preparing ourselves for the coming years.

You are also a daddy’s girl and often times reach for him first when you need comfort. I think it surprises your dad sometimes because for the most part, your sister has always relied on me in times of need. I swear, sometimes I see his chest puff up with pride as he takes you out of my arms though and I think it must feel really good to him to be your #1 right now.

Scarlett, you make me happy. Like head in the clouds, love beyond words, smile ear to ear, happy. You have a laugh that is deep and guttural and it is infectious. You have a strong will and a kind heart. You love to blow kisses and love on those you know best. You are also a tough nut to crack and don’t warm up to people instantly but that’s okay, I don’t either. I’ve just learned to fake it well! I think you will be very disarming while also maintaining an air of mystery about you. I suspect you will make those who love you work for your affection but once it’s received you give without abandon or hesitation. You will change the world, my girl, and I just can’t wait to see how.

15 Months at a Glance

Weight – 21.75 – 58th percentile

Length – 30.5 inches – 48th percentile

Cool things you’re doing: You are a full blown toddler. You love to shake your booty and dance and love to perform the minute we start singing, “Go Scarlett, it’s your birthday…” You love to run and play hide and seek and enjoy the challenge of finding hidden objects. You eat with a spoon and drink from an open cup. You also clear your own plate which is both incredibly convenient and hilarious.

Likes: Your family, your sister, Lola, exploring the world through touch, hearing your own voice, getting dirty, and unfortunately, you LOVE pooping in the bathtub!

Dislikes: Strangers. You have serious stranger danger. You also get very upset when we take your food away before you finish eating or when we’re delayed in feeding you.

Nicknames: Belly Baby! Letti Lou, BB, Scarletto, Monk

Loving you always, my sweet girl.

Love, your mama




Dear Scarlett…at 11 months


Dear my nearly 1-year-old:

I’m starting to get a little choked up at the thought of your first birthday next month. This year has flown by faster than any other in my life. It’s hard to believe only a year ago we were waiting patiently for your arrival and now you’re about to walk straight into toddlerhood!

Yes, I said walk.

You took your first steps this month. Two little tiny ones that surprised us so much. We just assumed you’d walk sometime after your first birthday like your big sis. Silly us, we should’ve known that like everything else, you had your own timeline in mind. You still aren’t cruising full speed but you love to pop up, take a couple of steps and collapse on your butt in a fit of giggles.

You are also babbling more and more and actually said your first words. You now say “ball” in reference to your favorite toys and the other day in the bathtub you said “mama.” You were upset and trying to get out and you stood up, reached for me and bellowed “mama, mama” at the top of your lungs. For some reason, this caught me in the soft spot of my heart because I teared up a little at the sound of your voice. I just assumed that, like your sis, your first word would be “dada.”

Again, with those assumptions. When will I learn!?

You no longer drink from a bottle at all. You’ve been weaning off the bottle for some time so we finally bit the bullet and moved you over to a sippy cup at school which is working out much better. I’m still pumping at work but plan to stop at your birthday when we introduce cow’s milk. I’ll still nurse you for a few more months when we’re together but I’m definitely ready to get rid of my breast pump forever! And I think you’re ready to try regular milk. You’ve always preferred breastmilk straight from the source and getting you to drink it at school has been an ongoing challenge.

This month has been filled with all sorts of fun. You are so interactive now and definitely filled with personality. You love to steal your sister’s toys and food and she’s constantly panicking because you’ve tipped over her milk or stolen her marker from right under her nose.

You are a rascal, that’s for sure.

You love to eat at Savannah’s table with her so we rarely use the highchair anymore. To that I say, “Good riddance!” – cleaning those things are a pain in the butt! We’ve started locking Lola in the office during mealtimes though because you are terrible about sharing your food with her. You insist on finger foods now and rarely allow us to feed you. We’re officially at the stage where mealtimes are messy no matter what we serve you. I swear you even manage to make a disaster area out of cut up pieces of apple. But you have a ball doing it which is all that matters, I suppose.

You are eating nearly everything except eggs, milk, sugar, nuts, and citrus foods. We’ll start introducing those this month so by your birthday, you’ll be able to really start eating with the rest of us. Savs hates that she can’t share her berries with you and constantly wonders why you can’t have some of her special milk. I just want to get past the stage of worrying about food allergies so fingers crossed all goes well with these new additions.

You are really coming into your own at school. You’ve partnered up with Chloe which is pretty cute considering your big sis and her big brother have been best friends since they were babies too. Like them, you two fight and love each other like siblings. I actually watched as you nudged your way onto the seat she was occupying the other day. She worked to get you to move but you’re a stubborn one and refused to budge. Finally, she just gave up and sat on top of you. Oddly enough, you were both totally content with the resolution. Like Savs and Jacob, you guys will find your groove in time and I know you are going end up best of friends.

You are quite the independent sleeper. Although I enjoy having my personal space again at night it makes me a little sad that you prefer your crib to our bed. Don’t get me wrong, you would stay in our bed all night if I let you. It’s just that when you’re in there you refuse to sleep. You play, wiggle, stand, nurse nonstop, climb on us, punch your father in the nose, giggle, etc. Pretty much anything but sleep soundly.

You still wake throughout the night and most of the time I go in and nurse you for a few minutes and then you go back to sleep in your crib. It’s like you just want a little top off or a snuggle; both of which I can appreciate. Sometimes it gets a little crazy though and you get up every couple of hours like a newborn. Those are the times I let you cry for a bit until you settle yourself down. Right now, I want you to take as much breastmilk as possible so I’m embracing the night feedings but pretty soon little one, I’ll be cutting you off!

You love to dance. Your teachers told me that you hold on to the wall at school and shake your little booty while they sing, “Go Scarlett, Go Scarlett, Go!” After they elaborated a little further I realized that you have become a master twerker. I’m not too sure how excited we are by that news but we do love that since your surgery you are hearing and enjoying music so much.

We dedicated you at church this month and although it wasn’t the private baptism ceremony your sister had, it meant so much to me. For the first time in my adult life, I’ve found a church I feel at home at and I’ve loved seeing how your father and sister have embraced it as well. We shared the morning with just our immediate family and your Gods, of course, and it was the perfect celebration. Even your grammy and bampa came to town for the occasion.

We chose life verses for you and your sister.

For Savannah, we selected Proverbs 31:25:

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.

And yours is Joshua 1:9:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

That’s you, my girl. Strong, courageous, fearless, and inspired.

You are going to do incredible things with this life. You are going to live it to the fullest. I see that sparkle and yearn for adventure in your little eyes every time I look at you. I pray you always know that God will follow you through your journeys encouraging you and holding you up when the weight of the world gets too heavy for you to bear.

And we’ll be there too. Cheering you on. Lifting you up. And celebrating you for all that you are and all that you will become.

I adore you, my love.

Your mama

11 Months at a Glance

Weight: 20 lbs – 70th percentile

Length: 27.5 inches – 32nd percentile

Cool things You’re Doing: You took your first steps. And you say “mama” and “ball.” You can drink out of an open cup and use a spoon – although you do both clumsily of course. You’ve weaned of the bottle and now drink exclusively from a sippy cup (or open cup depending on how daring we are). You dance and babble and are turning into a toddler before our very eyes.

Likes: You love balls, toys, markers, unpacking and packing purses, containers, or drawers. You love to snuggle and nurse. You find great pleasure in following your sister around and sharing everything with her even when she’s not in the mood.

Dislikes: You dislike getting into your car seat and you hate sitting still for diaper changes.

Nicknames: Scarletto Barbaretto, Letti, Letti Spaghetti, Happy, Monkey, Monk, Monkey Brains, Sissy, and of course, Belly Baby





To you, Savs…at 3 1/2


Savi Bear,

You have grown so much these past six months. In many ways you are a “big kid” now but I still get regular glimpses of my baby, especially when you snuggle up with us at bedtime.

You are the world’s greatest big sister! I mean, seriously. I knew you’d end up loving the baby but never imagined it would go this well right from the start. You are a little mommy and even refer to her as “my child” sometimes. You enjoy teaching her new things and get as excited when she hits a new milestone as we do. You monitor her behavior and if she’s getting herself into trouble – i.e. climbing the stairs! – you sound the alarm so we all come running.

That’s not to say you don’t have your moments where you might wish you were an only child again. You absolutely hate it when she touches the iPad during one of your shows or grabs at your food while you’re eating. You get upset if she steals your toys or pulls your hair. And forget about it if she breaks one of your many “rules.” You have Big Sister written all over you and I can already sense how you might start to get drunk with the power.

Meanwhile, your Belly Baby absolutely adores everything about you. She’d follow you to the ends of the earth and no one brings a smile to her face quite like you. I love watching you greet each other in the morning – you’re both so sweet and gentle with one another. And I long for the day when you can snuggle up in the same bed at night. I even daydream about the two of you sharing a room someday.

You’re also really growing into your own at school. You’ve transitioned into preschool 2 which has a more structured curriculum and you seem to be enjoying it. Your alphabet recognition is improving by the day and you love pointing out letters and telling us what words start with them. You take advantage of any opportunity to count or point out the primary colors. This age is so exciting because I can literally see your little brain growing by the day. You are soaking it all up and it’s been awesome.

You’ve been taking Spanish class for a while now as well and seem to really enjoy it. Especially because we have a trip to Costa Rica coming up. The idea of going to a country where everyone speaks Spanish all the time excites you and I hope you’ll be confident enough to practice what you’ve learned with the locals.

Socially, you are a little butterfly. You have found your place in the pecking order and remain best friends with your oldest classmates – Jacob and Kenna primarily. You’ve gone in and out of phases of playing with “girls only” but no matter what Jacob remains a constant in your life. In fact, you frequently refer to him as your “brother” and you two love to send each other video text messages when you’re apart.

I worry sometimes that you’ll get cliquey and we talk a lot about the importance of including ALL of your friends in your activities. Same goes with making your own decisions. I know you’re a leader and a strong-willed girl but sometimes you say things that make me wonder if you go along with the group too much. We try to stress values like kindness, compassion, and empathy and for the most part I think you get it. You made me really proud when some new kids joined your class last month and you decided to be their “special friend” until they adjusted. You have a very kind heart, always have, and I absolutely love to see it in action.

One of your favorite traditions is “talking about our day” every night. We go around and you ask us about our days and if we’re vague or rush through it because we’re tired, you always make us go back and fill in the gaps. You know the names of our bosses and our “friends” at work. We try to be honest with you and share our lows as well as our highs to give you some perspective. The other day, you cracked me up when you told me that you tried to hold a “meeting” at school but none of your friends wanted to come. Ah, baby girl, better get used to it because that’s corporate American in a nutshell.

You are also very transparent about how you spend your days. You love to tell us what you learned and who you played with and we know more about the playground politics at your school than we ever imagined possible. This dialogue is actually the best part of my day as well and I pray that you always enjoy talking and sharing with us the way you do right now.

You love to sleep and funny enough, in your own bed. Everyone worried you’d regress after Scarlett was born and we’d find you back in our bed but it didn’t happen even for a night. Of course, you love the occasional slumber party but you really do adore your own bed. You still nap – Thank God! – and I was told you had to be moved into a private space at school because some of the other kids wake you up and upset you. You are your mother’s girl!

You still love to read and play house. You bring a baby, purse or backpack everywhere you go and I’m fairly certain you’re going to grow up to be a hoarder. You take very good care of your babies and I think Belly Baby’s arrival came at the perfect time for this stage of your development.

You’re getting more independent and curious and the little girl who never strayed more than three feet from our side now likes to make new friends and explore further distances. This has forced us to step up our game in public and we no longer take for granted that you’re right next to us all the time. Although it means we have to keep a closer eye on you, I’ve enjoyed watching you venture out of your comfort zone a bit and you don’t claim to be so “shy” when faced with new situations as much anymore.

You are funny. I mean, really, really, funny and frequently leave all of us in stitches with your one liners. You mispronounce words all the time and make these incredibly observant statements. You also accidently curse or repeat inappropriate things we say and while I know we should immediately correct you, most of the time we just giggle under our breaths and ignore it. You love to act like a goofball and dance, sing and shake your booty all the time.

You remain a snuggle bug and always ask for “two more minutes” at bedtime. You love to curl up with any one of us, especially your sister, and rest your head on our chests while we read or chat.

One of the coolest things about the past six months is how you’ve embraced your faith. We’ve started going to church regularly and you look forward to “church school” all week. You love learning about Jesus, praying at night, and sharing the bible stories you learn. You often remind us that “Jesus is in our hearts” or that “God made a beautiful day today” and I just melt. I pray you continue your journey and that your spirituality only grows with age.

All in all, this age is awesome. We have our challenges and you can definitely act like a “threenager” but I also really enjoy how you’ve turned into my best buddy. We have great conversations and I enjoy your company as much as anyone’s. You are thoughtful and kind and just really fun to be around most of the time.

Savannah, you are loved beyond words. I stare at you while you sleep sometimes because I just can’t get enough of you. I’ve always had faith but when I watch you, I know with 100% certainty that God exists. There’s just no way someone as perfect as you was created by accident.

You are going to do amazing things, sweet girl. You already are. I wonder how you’re going to change this world and leave it a far better place than you found it and look forward to watching your story unfold. I see us in you – the lessons we’ve imparted and the genes you’ve inherited. You’ve managed to capture the very best of the two of us and so far, very few of our flaws. You have your idiosyncracies of course but they’re what make you unique and I, personally, adore them.

So go get, em, baby! You’ve got this and we’ll be right here behind you encouraging you on your way.

Loving you always and always,

Your mama

3 1/2 at a Glance

Cool Things You’re Doing: You love shake your booty and sing, “Boom Shaka Laka Boom” (I find this awesome. Your father, not so much). You are learning Spanish and also the letters of the alphabet.

Likes: You love your sissy first and foremost. You also really like animals and learning about exotic animals and where they live. You love our bedtime routine and make sure we never skip a step. You are obsessed with your “shows” on the iPad and I’ve embraced this habit while also trying to keep it under control. You love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and eating berries equally. Your favorite colors are currently purple, pink and blue but mainly purple. You love school and your friends and tell us daily how much you “LOVE YOUR FAMILY!”

Dislikes: When I tell you to stop biting your nails (gross!), when we cut you off from the iPad, waking up in the morning. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times you just lost your mind for no good reason at all!

Favorite Books: The Day the Crayons Quit, your bible stories, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Poky Little Puppy, Dr. Seuss books, and you love visiting the school library and checking books out!

Favorite Songs: Five Little Ducks, Skinamarink, Wagon Wheel, Coldplay, Home by Phillip Phillips, and of course the Hot Dog Song.

Our Favorite Things About This Age: There’s a lot. Watching you grow into your own person has been a joy. Seeing your kindness in action whether it’s with your sister, the spider on the windowsill, or your friends. Our conversations, your sense of humor, and your ability to sleep through anything!

Nicknames: Savs, Nana, Savi Bear, Monk, Monkey Brains, Savarina, Banana Face, Bug












Dear Scarlett, at 10 months!


My sweet Scarlett:

You are 10 months old and just the idea of your first birthday makes me break out in a cold sweat and not because I dread the work involved in planning a party. I just can’t believe my last baby is turning into a toddler right before my eyes. These past 10 months with you have been the best of my life and you really have completed our family in a way we never knew we needed.

This was a really big month in your little life. In fact, possibly the biggest one yet. You had your first surgery a couple of weeks ago and you were a trooper. We, on the other hand, were nervous wrecks.

After three ear infections in your short life, your doctor recommended we consult with an ENT about inserting tubes in your ears. Sure enough, one look in those little ears of yours combined with a nearly fail on your auditory test and it was determined that you definitely needed tubes. We booked the surgery for three days later without hesitation. We hated the idea of putting you under anesthesia but the fear of permanent damage to your eardrum was just too much. Not to mention the fact that you’ve been living in so much pain all this time.

All in all, the surgery lasted all of 8 minutes. You came out of recovery fine we were on our way home in short order. The hardest part was changing you into a baby hospital gown and watching as the anesthesiologist took you out of arms. Uh…I pray we never have to live through anything like that again with either of you girls.

Since the surgery, you’ve been doing great. We’re suddenly realizing you probably haven’t been hearing well for months which is why you were slow to babble. Since then, you’ve been talking up a storm!

Despite any pain you were in, you’ve remained our happy girl. You love to smile and laugh, especially at your sister. She just cracks you up when she talks to you in her secret language or plays peek a boo with you. There’s no doubt you two will be best friends in no time but the love/hate relationship that only sisters have is starting to rear its ugly head.

You drive her crazy sometimes!

You steal her food, take her toys, rip the pages from her books, make noise when she’s watching her shows….the list goes on and on. She even accused you of pushing her off the bed and giving her a black eye the other day. Who knew you had super strength!?

But, despite it all, she adores you like no other. She loves to kiss you, hug you, bathe you, and teach you new things. You guys are pretty damn cute together and nothing brings a smile to our faces more than watching you interact.

You are a mover and shaker and I’m pretty sure you can crawl faster than I can run. You love to explore new spaces and have a way of finding even the smallest crumb on the floor and sticking it in your mouth. You are more adventurous than you sister who was a fairly cautious baby and we’ve realized we have to step up our babyproofing game with you! I think you’ll be walking soon but I’m in no rush to see you make that leap. But, that’s just me being a selfish mommy who wants to hold onto her baby for as long as possible.

You continue to love school and you’re starting to really bond with some of the other babies. Your best friends to date are Chloe of course but also Declan and Ahana. There’s a new, younger baby in your class and you love to kiss her and practice your “gentle touch” as you get to know her better.

You’ve been on a complete bottle strike for a while now and your poor teachers have been forced to get very creative in your breastmilk consumption. They mix it with your food, pour it over your snacks and dip your crackers just to get you to consume what I send each day. You still love to nurse like no other but have decided that bottles/sippy cups of milk are not going to cut it. I’m hopeful that we’ll get to 12 months before you wean during the day completely and intend to continue breastfeeding you to 15 months like I did with Savs – if you’ll let me. We’ll see how it goes.

Now that you can hear – seriously, thank God for the tubes! – we’ve discovered how much you love music, musical toys, and the sound of your own voice! While the additional commotion drives me to insanity at times I absolutely love seeing your speech develop and can’t wait to hear what your first “real” word is going to be!

You have been a teething machine. In fact, I’m pretty sure you popped your four top teeth in the matter of one weekend. Your tooth count is now at six and from the way you’ve been gnawing on your hands I expect a couple more to come through any day now.

You continue to be a complete and total lover and you enjoy nothing more than snuggling up with one of us. You rest your little head on our chests and your breath immediately deepens. You have one of the sweetest dispositions and I feel so blessed that – for the most part – you take it pretty easy on us.

Thank you for your giggles, your charm, and your playful disposition. We adore everything about you and despite the ache in my heart, I really am getting excited to celebrate sweet one-year-old you!


Your mama

10 Months at a Glance

Weight: 20 lbs – 70th percentile

Length: 27.5 inches – 32nd percentile

Cool things You’re Doing: You are standing on your own. You eat pretty much everything. You drink out of an open cup and straw cups and try to feed yourself with a spoon. You play peek a boo, clap for yourself, dance, laugh hysterically, and love to play ball. And you babble nonstop.

Likes: You’re all about the balls and love to play catch, pass balls back and forth or roll them around. You love Savannah and Lola and pester them both equally. You’re a snuggle bug and love to rest your head on our chest when we hold you. You’ve also been a daddy’s girl lately and no one quite compares to him in your eyes.

Dislikes: You hate taking bottles now and we’ve pretty much given up trying. Your separation anxiety is in full effect right now as well.

Nicknames: Scarletto Barbaretto, Letti, Letti Spaghetti, Happy, Monkey, Monk, Monkey Brains, Sissy, and of course, Belly Baby





Dear Scarlett…at 9 months!


Scarletto Barbaretto,

You are nine months old. You’ve officially been on this earth for the same amount of time that you were inside of my belly. How the heck did that happen? Time is flying by at the speed of light and it’s breaking my heart a little with each passing day.

While I hate to see my infant disappear before my eyes, this stage – from nine months to 1 year – is actually my favorite. You are so full of life! And you are on the move! Every experience is a new adventure and your desire to “literally” dive right into the unknown has us dazzled. You are a courageous little bird, willing to try new things and open to all sorts of possibilities.

While your sister developed her verbal skills far before her physical ones, you are very mobile. You were crawling by eight months and now you’re standing steadily and starting to think about cruising. You have lovely form and can literally cross a room in less than 5 seconds. I think you spend so much time trying to keep up with your big sis and the older babies at school that you’ve become quite a speed demon.

You stood for the first time last week unassisted and we were both so excited and a little startled. As soon as you realized I let go, you dropped to your butt but then laughed hysterically as if you were saying, “Whoa…what the hell just happened there?”

Speaking of laughing, you do it all the time and it is like music to my ears. Just the sight of your sister sends you into hysterics. One of your favorite pastimes is taking a bath together. She helps wash you but mostly screams in your face and splashes water on you while you just crack up. The harder you laugh, the louder she gets. It’s pretty adorable to watch but also sends mommy running for a glass of wine and a bottle of Advil after a long day.

You babble a fair amount and have been doing a good job pairing your consonants and vowels. Still no identifiable words yet and I’m beginning to wonder what your first word is going to be. My money is on “Nana” after your sis but you may still pull out an old classic like Mama or Dada. You rarely cry but when you do, it’s because you are pissed. You get especially upset if we get distracted during meal time and there’s any delay in getting your food from the table to your mouth.

Food may be your favorite pastime right now. You absolutely love to eat and lately you seem to eat more per sitting than Savs. You dive right into all finger foods and are beginning to reject your bottles at school. I worried that you were starting to wean early but you’re more than content to nurse directly from the source. You just have no patience for the bottle. I’d say your favorite foods so far seem to be watermelon, chicken, beets and crackers.

You love to play with all toys but balls have to be your favorite. You enjoy hide and seek and have become quite a master at uncovering the hidden toy. You also do a great job passing toys back and forth with us and your friends at school. The ball pit remains your favorite spot in the classroom although I learned that you’re spending more time on the play structure lately. You love to climb up the stairs and crawl down the ramp.

All things considered, your sleep is pretty good. In fact, you go down like a dream. I nurse and rock you and then put you into your crib awake. Lately, you don’t even cry but just lay right down and pass out. You still wake up around midnight and we bring you into bed with us where you sleep and nurse on and off all night long. Lately though, you’ve been really restless in our bed and I’ve found myself putting you back into your crib after a few hours where you sleep peacefully for the rest of the night. This whole crib action is totally new to us since Savs never slept an hour in her room alone let alone most of the night. It’s a nice compromise though and I definitely find that we’re both getting a fair amount of sleep on most nights.

You’re cutting your upper teeth and you’ve also been battling a nasty double ear infection so your mood has been a little off this month. We’re actually consulting with an ENT in a couple of weeks to see about putting tubes in your ears since this is your third ear infection since January. No fun. Despite being in a ton of pain, you’ve been a trooper and spared us too many sleepless nights along the way.

All in all, you are as awesome as can be, Miss Scarlett. You love your little family and light up when you see us. Your brain is exploding with new knowledge and your personality is starting to shine through. I love seeing the ways that you are different from your sister and look forward to this opportunity that you’re giving us to grow as parents.

9 Months at a Glance

Weight: 19 lbs 6 ozs – 72nd percentile

Length: 27.5 inches – 45th percentile

Cool things You’re Doing: You crawl, stand, dance, and you are going to start scooting any day now. You fall asleep unassisted which is pretty cool as far as I’m concerned! You eat everything and love finger foods. You play hide and seek, and are an excellent problem solver.

Likes: You love your family, especially your big sister. You love to eat everything and would probably devour an entire steak if we let you. You like taking baths with Savs, snuggling with us, playing peek a boo, and playing with toys – especially balls!

Dislikes: You don’t like seeing us leave the room and you don’t like waking up and discovering you’re alone in your crib. You’re a wiggle worm and hate sitting still long enough for a diaper change and forget about having to wait at mealtime.

Nicknames: Scarletto Barbaretto, Letti, Letti Spaghetti, Happy, Monkey, Monk, Monkey Brains, Sissy, and of course, Belly Baby

Keep on trying new things. Soaring to high heights. And starting each day with a smile, baby girl. You are the best!


Your mama













Dear Scarlett…at 8 months!



Sweet, Sweet, Scarlett:

We call you HAPPY.

Because you are. Nearly all the time.

Except when you’re hungry or tired, of course. Or sick or teething. But come on…even the easiest of babies have their moments!

You are growing into such a fun little cherub and this month brought tons of new developments. In fact, over the course of one weekend you cut two teeth, started crawling and even began pulling yourself into a standing position. You were on the verge of it all for so long and it’s as if you just woke up one morning and said, “Today is the day!”

So now that you’re on the move I’m realizing that pretty much everything Savannah plays with is a death trap! It seems like all her toys are itty bitty which presents a whole new challenge because I can’t exactly get rid of her stuff. That kid has the memory of an elephant and will know if something goes astray. So far, we’ve been doing a lot of educating and explaining what and where she can play with certain things – i.e. legos must stay high up and out of reach! It’s working for now but we’re definitely going to have to come up with a more permanent solution.

You are also an independent bird and I can already see that you like exploring new things. With Savs, we barely baby-proofed the house. Sure, there was a gate at the top of the stairs but we only put child locks on the cabinet under the kitchen sink with the cleaning products. Otherwise, she had free reign to move about as she pleased. It just wasn’t her thing to stray far from us or to snoop around where she didn’t belong. You, on the other hand, seem to be much more curious and definitely more adventurous so we’ll have to step up our game now that you’re mobile.

You play by yourself better than I ever could’ve dreamed. In fact, as long as you have a variety of toys to keep you occupied, you sit on your mat while we work out every morning and barely make a peep. You do the same while we get ready in the bathroom. You crawl around, laugh at your sister and mess with Lola and it’s only right before we pack up to leave that you start to get antsy. You actually entertain yourself (and Savannah) so well that there are days where I think having the two of you is easier than it was just having Savs at your age.

And she was an amazing baby!

Your sleep is going pretty well despite a weekend in a different time zone and a month of conquering milestones. We’re now in a really nice routine where you go to bed in your crib unassisted every night around 8 and then come into our bed when you wake up – usually around midnight. We still get an evening to hang with your sis or do our own thing but we also get half the night to snuggle with you. So far, it’s working out like a dream and I hope this makes it for a fairly painless experience when we transition you into your own room full time.

You dove head first into solids and haven’t looked back since. In fact, I don’t think you’ve met a taste you haven’t liked yet! We haven’t noticed any allergic reactions to all these new flavors except a weird contact reaction to dairy which I’ll have to ask your doctor about next month. You started on finger foods now and are pretty much trying everything on the menu at school. We’re still nursing full time and I haven’t noticed any dip in my supply despite your hankering for solid food. I think cosleeping has a lot to do with it because while you are hit and miss with your bottles during the day you more than make up for it by nursing at night.

My goal is to nurse until you’re 15 months old which is the same length of time I went with your sister. It’ll get us through our trip to Costa Rica in January and give me enough time to wean you slowly. To be honest, while there are times I miss having my body all to myself and would really like to overindulge in caffeine or the occasional cocktail (or three), I absolutely love breastfeeding. I wouldn’t mind burning the breast pump of course, and might just do so when we’re all set and done. But the actual act of nursing you is such a gift and one that I do not take for granted!

You have two little teeth on the bottom and they are the cutest things I ever did see. Teething is always a bit of a drag but you’ve handled it like a champ so far and when you really seem to struggle we give you a dose of Camilia which seems to take the edge off. You love chewing on anything you can get your hands on and pretty much every toy goes straight into your mouth!

You and your big sis continue to adore each other. You light up when she walks in the room and the first person she greets in the morning is you – with a big hug and a kiss I might add. She’s taking such an active role in teaching you new things and does her best to encourage you along the way. In fact, I asked her to show you how to crawl one day a while back and next thing I knew she was declaring, “She just doesn’t get it!” as she was dragging you across the room by your arms. She forgets how much bigger than you she is sometimes and would literally, smother you with her love if we let her! I suppose it’s a pretty awesome problem to have so I’m not complaining one bit.

Now that you’ve taken such an interest in toys we’ve encountered the dreaded “sharing problem” which seems to happen with all siblings – or so I’ve heard. It’s actually strange and bizarre because Savannah has never been competitive or possessive with you but for some reason, she absolutely must have any toy you are playing with – even a silly rattle or teething ring. We’ve finally started threatening to take her toys away every time she takes one of yours which helps a little. Still, she always claims she’s “playing with you” as a way of justifying her actions. She’s a total stinker and for now you don’t seem to mind. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before you start fighting back and then we’re in trouble!

You still love school and seem to be building deeper and deeper bonds with your teachers and classmates. The ball pit remains your favorite spot in the room although I think it’s quickly being replaced with the dining room! Drop off and pick up have become such special traditions for us and I’m always excited to hear how your day went or what new obstacle you overcame while we were at work!

You’ve started taking baths with your sister which is the cutest thing in the world. She loves helping to bathe you and even shares her bath toys with you – most of the time! You are also a cuddle monster and your favorite place in nestled in our arms or right between us in bed. Don’t tell anyone but it’s my favorite place too!

8 Months at a Glance

Weight: 19 lbs 6 ozs – 75th percentile

Length – 28 1/4 inches – 90th percentile

Cool Things You’re Doing: You play really well independently but also love to interact with other children – especially your big sis. You crawl, stand, SLEEP, and babble. You’re just all around as awesome as it gets!

Likes: You love your toys and you love being outdoors. You’re starting to reach for mommy sometimes when other people hold you so I’m guessing that right now, you’re a mommy’s girl. You like to snuggle and knead your feet into our legs while you sleep.

Dislikes: You don’t like being hungry, wet or soiled. I mean, you are a baby after all! You hate getting into your car seat but once you’re there you’re usually content for the car ride. You don’t like when you’re left alone in a room and lately you’ve been quite the wiggle worm, getting irritated when we change your diaper or dress you.

Although it kills me that time is flying by so fast, we are having more and more fun with you with each passing day. You make us all so unbelievably happy and we constantly thank God for your incredible life!

Loving you always,

Your mama