seven

Little Bear,

You are both very small and very strong. At your 6 month doctor appointment, the doctor couldn’t stop exclaiming about how much you move already. We took you on a carousel and while your cousins took seats in the carts, we went for it and put you on one of the moving horses. You loved it. 

We got to celebrate our first Thanksgiving with you, made even more special because we were in the house I grew up in and you got to meet my extended family.

You’ve tried all manner of new foods and you don’t turn your nose up every time it’s not cereal. In a manner of seconds, you can find the one tiny piece of paper on the floor, crawl over to it, and try to stuff it in your mouth. (Including one time that you crawled under my chair at dinner, peeled a sticker off, and then ate it.)

I can’t believe you’re closer to a year old than you are a newborn. Your dad keeps reminding me that you’re going to grow up and it’s so hard for me to believe. I can’t wait for you to play by yourself and, in the same moment, I love your clingy cries for me to hold you. (Even if those cries often sound like you’re saying, “Dada.”)

I am so excited to celebrate your first Christmas. You’re my very favorite girl and I can’t believe we every had life without you.

Advertisements

thanks

Last year, I was 16 weeks pregnant and we were excited to tell my family Baby Huey was on the way. This year, we brought our little peanut to meet everyone – great grandparents, aunts, uncle’s, and cousins. 

Our travel day was long because we willingly took an infant to New York City on the busiest travel day of the year. #oops But after 4 hours on a plane and 5 in the car, we pulled up to my childhood home just hours before Thanksgiving dawned. 

Today I’m thankful for so many things. Our sweet family of three and the small sweet moments on weekends and early mornings. I love when Tucker sings to Everly in the morning and pretending to tango with her before we go to daycare. 

I’m thankful for Tucker’s family who watch her for long days every Wednesday, take sweet pictures, and put her in for her first Corvette ride. She has faraway aunts and uncles who send her sweet, silly gifts and FaceTime often to stay in touch.

We’ve gotten so many sweet moments even today – meeting her cousins for the first time, rocking with Great-Granny while she sings sweet Scottish tunes, and special moments walking with Grandpa and dreaming about someday Saturday breakfast dates. 

I’m thankful for dozens of pseudo-aunts and uncles for Everly who get her little gifts on a whim, hold her close, and love her and all of us well. 

Above all, we’re thankful for the God who has given us all this – an abundant life, above and beyond what we could have ever asked for or imagined.

six

Little bear, 

Every time I’ve seen someone post a 6 month picture, it says something about time flying. When you were weeks old and we were feeding you every three hours, that seemed impossible. The days felt endless, then all of a sudden you were a month… then three… now six.

This month, you tried some new foods – apples, butternut squash. We can’t just set you on the floor anymore because you move around the room. You’ve had a runny nose all month and chew on everything (including feet, the cat, and cups. so many cups). I heard your giggle for the first time in the swing, you got your first fall snow, and we went to the mountains for elk bugles.

We celebrated your first Halloween with Boo on Briggs and a party with your daycare friends. We went to the pumpkin patch and you went on a hayride. You went to your first friend birthday party and wedding number 5.

You can sit up for a bit at a time and I subjected you and your dad to a lot of Yankees playoff baseball. We entered you to win the Gerber baby contest (haven’t heard, but we’re hoping!) and sleep training has been a bear, but it seems to be paying off after 2 weeks of not sleeping. 

I can’t believe we’ve been sleep deprived and nursing and changing diapers (some with real poop!) for half a year. And in the middle of it all, we are so thankful we’ve gotten to see your sweet smile every morning and kiss your sweet cheeks every night for six months. 

I can’t believe we ever had life without you and we love you more than you could imagine.

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.

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.

three

Little girl, 

Your second month was a big one. You hold up your head and roll over. You want to crawl so badly! You still have all your hair and have grown out of almost all of your newborn things. You had your first little virus and your mom felt like a mama bear for the first time.

It was an early start to your 3rd month. It’s been the busiest couple of weeks for your dad and me and you have slept the worst. 

Last night, though, your terrible sleep had me awake at just the right time. You see, little girl, you’re at camp. In New Mexico. With 300 kids. One of this kids needed help at 1:44am. Exactly when you were finishing your late night snack. 

It’s the first night of 4 here, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t counting them all down. We have no idea what we’re doing and this week is reminding us how much we need God. As I texted with the mom of the student who needed something in the wee hours of the morning, I realized I’ll need faith no matter how you turn out or what age you are. 

And I don’t mean the generic “I need faith” sort of thing. I mean the, “I’m drowning and it’s my only lifeline” sort of faith. Whether you’re a great kid with a disease or a tough kid who makes bold, bad decisions, or just a 3 month old at a summer camp, we’d all be lost without Jesus. It’s the only thing keeping us above the waves.

You are such a good baby. I love you with my whole heart, Everly Alice.

someday

Yesterday we sat under clear skies and celebrated one of our friends marry the man perfectly suited for her. Both dads gave beautiful speeches remembering the day their kids were born and shared how thankful they were that their kids found each other. 

The father-daughter dance was the same one that everyone uses – the country twang of “I Held Her First” by some artist who’s made a lot of money playing on peoples emotions (I don’t know his name because nobody likes country music). 

I looked over at Tuck holding our little girl and can’t even imagine that someday she might be in her twenties in a white dress with another man she loves. When we got home, we talked about if Everly’s future husband was already alive and walking. Before we put her to bed, Tuck prayed for him – that he would be good and strong and love Jesus. 

For now, we’ll just do our best to love our little girl and love each other. And we’ll cross “someday” when we get there.

two

Little Girl, 

Today you’re two months old. Today, we also packed you and all your junk up for the first time to dog sit for two weeks. I wrestled your pack and play/bed to the ground and back up again. You woke up for the first time at church. Your dad helped you stand up and move one leg at a time like you were walking. I wanted to get you on Ellen. 

We’re “those” parents who get excited to see pictures of when you were smaller and marvel at how much you’ve changed (hello, that’s every first time parent). You’re a pretty good sleeper at night and a terrible napper. We’ve taken our first trips to the library, ice cream shops and a hipster coffee shop – you know, all the important, educational places.

Your best friends are your uncles – John, Trav, Jovan, and Brian – (none of whom are your actual uncles), your aunts (the real blood related ones and all the pseudo ones who love you), Ruthie, and Claire. 
You’ve been to 2 weddings and will go to at least 2 more before you even turn 1 year old. And you’ve decided your favorite way to be walked around is facing out, looking at the world. 

Right now, you are sleeping in my lap with your arms splayed every which way and I am trying to remember all the sweet things I can because I know our time with you is going to come fast and furious. 

You are so loved, sweet girl. I hope you always know.

father’s day

One of the best things about this new little life we’re building has been watching Tucker become a dad. He’s a great husband – always buys me flowers at Trader Joe’s, let’s me have the last, best bite of dessert by pretending he’s full, and doing almost all of the heavy lifting in our move since I was pregnant. But now he has a new, tiny little life to take care of and he’s been better at it than I ever even imagined.

Because Everly was a C-section, Tucker got to see and hold Everly first. I hope I never forget his tone when he said, “we have a little girl!” While they closed me up, he took her back to our room for the earliest moments of Everly’s life.

In the first days, Tuck did every diaper change since I couldn’t get up or move very quickly (he also opened EVERY cabinet in our room and knew more about where things were than the nurses #architect). He slept on the terrible plastic couch that the hospital touts as a “full bed.” When she wouldn’t settle down, he got up and walked her bassinet in circles for hours.  And the poor man has heard and talked about breast-feeding more than anyone should have to.

He showed our little girl around our room, always made sure I didn’t need a nap before he took one, and sat with me through every painful feeding and all the times I dry heaved into a tiny plastic tub.

All the times I cried – with reason or without – he was right there. He held me while we stood in the NICU while our girl was under blue lights. He took my hand when I burst into tears at the pediatrician’s because breastfeeding is a FRICKIN BEAR. He just put his arm around me when I cried for no reason at all.

I can’t wait to see what happens as our little girl grows up – the new ways she’ll need him and he’ll take care of her, pointing her to the best Father like he does for all the students in his life.

one

The first month has been trying. We’re getting excited about 5 hours of sleep in a row and our conversations revolve around blow out poops and when the next feeding us. Last night this happy little face peed out of her diaper onto the bed (OUR bed, mind you) not once, but twice.

But the first month has also been so sweet. We’re learning which cries are which and that she likes music and to be on the move. And there hasn’t been a heel prick in weeks. We’re getting more smiles and alert hours every day and can’t help but just watch her.

It’s 6pm on a Saturday afternoon and we’re just here on the couch with music on and a sleepy girl in our arms and wouldn’t trade it for the world.