dishes

We’ve had all sorts of sweet milestones in the last few weeks. Sleeping for 10 hours, first food (rice cereal in September then bananas, avocado, pears, and sweet potatoes) to loving food, bouncing, moving in her walker, real scooting, and sitting for longer than a couple seconds by herself. We’ve watched playoff baseball and lots of football and it’s made parenting so sweet and fun.

But there are also so many mundane things that happen literally everyday. We wash the same 7 bottles in the yellow “tub” they bathed Everly in at the hospital. I pump at work at noon, 4, and 9 in a red chair, often with my computer in front of me. When I get home after 11pm, I wash the same 6 sets of pump parts and set them to dry so I can repack them the next day. We change real poops and smell real farts these days (I’m not going to say she takes after her dad, but she does). Every few days, we bring a what looks like a diaper snake from the diaper genie to the trash. We do tiny loads of laundry covered in sweet potatoes and or blow outs and typically have cereal, snot, or spit up somewhere on our shirts or faces depending on how the day is going. And there are plenty of nights where the longest stretch is a short two hours. 

Those moments make parenting tough at worst and mundane at best and not feel the least bit rewarding. But I know I’ll look back and ask Tuck, “remember that huge blowout?” or “remember when the little girl drooled into your beard?” 

And I know we’ll miss those moments along with the sweet milestones. 

Just probably a little less.

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last year

On this day a year ago, it was the first day Tuck and I woke up knowing we’d be parents. We went to Estes Park with Tucker’s mom – our future child’s biggest fan – and got caramel apples, saw the leaves, walked the trail. I started the morning a year ago by telling Tucker that I didn’t want to raise a child in our then-home. We knew our lives would change, but in the hypothetical way you know things will change when you graduate or start a new job.

Today, our little girl slept the best she has in her whole life (10 hours straight!) and we are going to Estes Park with friends we didn’t even know a year ago. The plan? Caramel apples, see the leaves, walk the trail – just like a year ago (and possibly elk bugles – which is apparently a thing). 

It’s a microcosm of how much our life is the same and different. Our jobs haven’t changed. Our lives are still busy and I get home late two – sometimes three – nights a week. We’ve just changed how we do everything. 

We’re home by 7 any night we can be. The little girl is strapped to one of us in her carrier wherever we go. It takes longer to get ready to go and then everywhere we go people talk to us or about us. We have routines and bags and haven’t eaten hot food at the same time before 8pm in 5 months.

And we wouldn’t change it for he world. Except for the sleep thing. Sleeping through the night would be neat.

five

Little Girl,

Today, you are 5 months old. 5 months seems both too short and too long to describe our lives with you. 

You have done a lot of firsts this month. First day at daycare. First boat ride. First cereal. First real food. First night in your big bed. First football game. First cold.

You are getting to be a much more efficient scooter – less face, more arms. You have a great grip and like to hold everything, including your own bottle. You have a little bunny that is your favorite. And you can roll to both sides now.

You’re allergic to cows, an allergy which we are literally praying that you grow out of. We’re trying to teach you to “pet the Kitty” (not grab the Kitty, or put him in your mouth) and to “let go, please” when you grab glasses, tiny strands of hair, shirts, your diaper mat, and, well, basically anything.

You are also so happy. You smile at everyone. Even these last few days when you have been sick – which must be so confusing for your little mind and body – you smile and flail your arms and legs with excitement.

You are such a sweet girl and we have been so grateful for your sweet, easy-going spirit. We can’t wait to see what month five brings.

We love you, Everly Alice, with our whole heart.

thursday

I love Thursday. Sure, I’m exhausted and spend most waking moments thinking about when I can sleep, but Thursday is my Friday which means I often get to pick up the little girl early and get ready for three days together.

Today was a flurry of meetings and then, at last, this sweet face. Everly held her own bottle for the first time for more than the time it takes for me to take a picture and then put herself to sleep in her crib. 

I already feel like I’m forgetting moments from when she was littler so here I am, sitting on the floor of her room writing whatever I can in an attempt to remember every detail. 

Sweet dreams, Everly. I love you with my whole heart.

overwhelmed

Baby girl, 

You have been to 4 weddings, a goodbye party, a youth group party, a week long camp, several days at the office, a retreat, and plenty of coffee meetings. Today, however, is the first day that I’ve seen you get overwhelmed. There were so many people new to both of us and you napped poorly all day and you were tired and it was just too much for your little brain. 

We sat for a little while in the quiet of the car and I didn’t even sing or talk to you like usual. You played with your frog until you feel asleep with so much new information to process.

I love you when you’re sad. Even if I don’t understand your sadness, I’ll do my best to at least feel it with you. You’re my sweet, little girl and I love you so much.

weekend

We’re in the eye of the parents-out-of-town storm. I was gone last weekend. Tuck will be gone next weekend. 

So we’re soaking up all the family time we can this weekend. Story time. Sleeping in. Biscuit Day. Real food (ish) for the first time. Walks. Bronco’s game. And first time in Kids Ministry. 

Everyone tells us that before we know it, she’ll be in high school, so we’re trying to appreciate the sweetness of this early season and all the firsts that come with it.

four

Little Bear, 

Your 4 month letter is a day late. We have spent the last month watching you face scoot, trying to find a day care, and putting your hair in pony tails.

You do this combination of pushing with your legs, pulling with your arms (while one hand is in your mouth), and mushing your face into the ground. It results in you moving – albeit inefficiently. You’ve gone all the way across the big bed, all around your play mat, and the length of your blanket.

This month you also started grabbing things and putting them in your mouth. You also love blanket rides around the kitchen. You’re a chatty little girl when you’re happy or sad. And you even occasionally wake up happy these days.

You sleep on your belly and poop on your jammies almost every night. You burp loudly like your aunts and fart like an adult. 

We can’t believe how much we love you. You’re our favorite girl and we can’t picture life before or without you. 

Right now you’re sleeping snuggled on my shoulder and I couldn’t be happier or more thankful.

growing

I found this photo today from when Everly was just 4 days old. We’re less than a week from her being 4 months old now and today, she looks like this:

I can hardly believe that she’ll be 4 or 14 someday.

This morning she bonked her head (okay, I bonked her head) and she cried – the immediate loud cries that break your heart. I picked her up and walked her around the house holding her for a few minutes until the hurt went away. 

Later, I texted with a student who is feeling betrayed by her friends. I’m not with her, but from her texts, I imagine she’s crying the same hurt tears, but no amount of holding and walking will feel like enough. 

We’re trying to love each season for what it is and I am thankful that tears, for now, can be remedied with clean diapers, food, rest, and snuggles. 

traveler

Everly, 

You are such a sweet little baby. Today you were so fussy all afternoon, but right now we’re listening to Spotify while you eat and I’m thinking about the last week of your life. 

We went to camp – a 6 hour car ride away – 5 days of crazy, loud, no routine days. Your Uncle Brian put you to bed each night in a hotel room while your mom finished her responsibilities and your dad cared for 30 seventh grade boys. You rode in a pack all day or got passed to students (carefully!) and basically had people in your face 24/7.

Then we took our first flight together to Portland for your Aunt Morgan and Uncle Sam’s wedding. Another no schedule, new place, more people few days. 

Of course, now that we’re home, all your regular sitters are out of town so off to work I hauled you. All week long. Another no schedule, not at home nap.

You’re exhausted, but you still give out your sweet, toothless smiles and talk to anyone who wants to talk to you. 

We prayed for you and you have been such a gift. So beyond what we could have ever asked or imagined. I love your snuggly smallness even though we have dragged you to the ends of the world. 

I love you, little girl.

weird places I fed you

We did it. We survived a week of camp with a 3 month old, our first flight, and 4th wedding all in one week and are only a little worse for the wear. 

Camp meant no feeding room and relatively little privacy so I thought this would be a humorous little list. 

Here are places I fed you this week:

– a plane seat – both the aisle and the middle seat

– a rock in front of the dining hall while a bunch of random students sauntered to lunch

– in a wheelchair in the nurse’s office while random students wandered in looking for lost and found items

– the corner of the back stage area, surrounded by semi-inflated bubble bumps while students rolled back the inflated ones

– picnic table bench next to the grandma of the groom and some other random stranger who showed up too early for the wedding

– Burgerville (because we’re making all sorts of compromises on food right now)

– floor of gate C13 in the Portland airport

#takethatbreastfeeding