Sunday, May 7, 2017

Letter :: Ellis :: Year ONE!

Dear Ellis,                                                                                                                                           


You are one whole year old and we are loving every minute of this stage of life with you!

We celebrated your birthday with a house filled with family (and a few friends) and the most adorable foxy d├ęcor. Your auntie Catherine made the most delicious cake (apple with salted caramel frosting) - and the woodland theme was perfect! You loved eating it, even if you were a little slow to dig in. Your favorite part of your birthday was when Harry, Daddy and I sang “Happy Birthday” to you on your actual birthday. You lit up with delight when you realized that we were singing to you. It may be our favorite video of you to date.

Lately you are on the move. You not only crawl (still mostly in the army style), but you’re also pulling yourself up on anything you can...and even trying out your climbing skills. The other morning I was cooking in the kitchen and walked around the island to find you standing on your brother’s picnic table bench, reaching for the counter. I’ve said it all along, but I think it’s finally coming to pass: you are a super sweet boy, but you also have a mischievous streak.

Part of me wants to be sad that you’re already one, but in all honesty, I’m just plain thankful. I am so thankful that you have been part of God’s plan for our family all along. We love you and your brother so much and though your first year is a treasure that I will always hold dear in my heart - there is so much joy ahead to look forward to! I am so excited when I think about the relationship that you and Harry are developing. As loud as it can get at times, my favorite sound is the two of you cracking each other up in the back of the van. Harry can really get you squealing screaming with delight...more so than anyone else. I hope and pray that you will be best friends for all of your lives. Your brotherhood is one of my life’s greatest joys to witness!

You are loving the recent sunshine we’ve had and are happiest when we’re outside getting fresh air. You enjoy riding in the stroller, and I think it’s time to take our little police car outside so you can go for rides while Harry rides his bike/scooter/car up and down the street.

You love swinging and going down small slides. I think by the end of the summer you’ll be climbing up to the top of our tree fort out back and going down the big boy slide. You are certainly more adventurous and less cautious than Harry was at this age.

Ellis, we hope you know how much joy your little life has brought to the world - especially to our family of four. We are blessed to call you son and brother...and really can’t remember what life was like before you came along. Here’s to a lifetime of years spent loving each other and learning how to do life together.

Keep adventuring on sweet boy. I’ll be following close behind to try and keep you out of too much trouble ;)

Love always,

Your Mama

Monday, March 27, 2017

Letter :: Ellis :: Month 11

Dear Ellis,                                                                                                                               
Aside from the fact that you’re teething again (which makes us all crazy ;) mainly because we aren’t getting much sleep) this stage you are in has reminded me that the best is truly yet to come. As sad as it is for me to let go of your baby years, watching your personality develop makes me so excited for the future!

Oh sweet boy, we just love you so much. I think my favorite thing lately is to watch you and Harry play. You try to wrestle with him (mostly the two of you rolling around the floor). He legitimately makes you belly laugh, and if we give you a “light saber” (an empty giant bubble wand container) you immediately hold it up, ready to have a Jedi battle with your brother.

When your daddy has to work overtime we often bring him coffee and I think it’s the highlight of both of your days when we roll the window down and you get to see him in his police uniform. I love watching your reaction in the mirror above your car seat. You seem to be a musician like your dad...always dancing when there’s music (which you may have inherited from me, since dancing was my hobby throughout childhood). And you love strumming on Harry’s little guitar. It’s super adorable.

So far, your words are “go”, “mama”, “dada”, and “whoa”. We are still working on “Harry” or “brother” (or even just “bro”). You don’t seem to like the word “no” when you are getting into something you shouldn’t (aka the fireplace grate or the outlet upstairs by your bathroom).

Teething seems to have impacted your interest in food the past week or so, but you really seem to enjoy the food we are eating (preferably fed to you from a grown-up utensil). Peanut butter toast is still one of your favorites, but we recently discovered that you like to chomp on asparagus. You also like scrambled eggs.

You are so close to crawling. You can roll, scoot backwards, spin around on your belly...and almost army crawl to get where you want to go, especially when you are near something you shouldn’t get into (like the fireplace or wall outlets). When it’s time for your bath you are so motivated to get in the tub that you can almost pull yourself up. You love to stand naked on the side of the tub watching the water fill up. And you’re still a splash master once you make it into the water.

Lately you’ve been really enjoying being outside (when it’s not raining). We’ve made it to the park or enjoyed walking around the neighborhood in your stroller. You never fuss when I strap you love sitting back with your blanket and thumb, taking in your surroundings as we walk around outside. Speaking of your blanket, you still love to snuggle up with your blanket and your thumb. It’s the sweetest thing to see you reach for your blanket (you especially love the corners) and stick your left thumb in to soothe yourself. You may end up needing some dental work because of it, but I hope you suck your thumb for a while’s such a sweet reminder that you’re still my little baby.

As I type this, your birthday party invitations are in the mail heading out to our family and a few friends. We cannot wait to throw you a super fun fox party to celebrate the incredible blessing it has been to have you in our family for the past year. We love you Ellis. Can’t wait to enjoy the milestones ahead as you transition from being a baby into your toddler years. This spring and summer will be filled with so much fun as you learn to walk (and run) and enjoy all of the joys of summer alongside your brother (popsicles, bubbles, splash parks, swimming, roasting marshmallows, playing at the park, picnics, library trips, the park, long walks, camping...)!

Happy 11 months sweet boy! You’re such a joy to our family!!! :)

Love always,

Your Mama

Monday, February 20, 2017

Letter :: Ellis :: Month 10

Dear Ellis,                                                                                           

I really cannot believe we are a mere two months away from your birthday?! This just can’t be possible. I say it often, but I really wish time would slow down.

You have been healthy and free from teething pain for quite some time now and I couldn’t be more thankful for a reprieve from the rough few months we had with sickness and teething over the holiday season. You are back to (almost) sleeping through the night and napping well. You are generally so happy and excited about life, although you do not like being ignored. If I walk away from you to do a chore or get something from another room you get pretty upset. To say you’re a “mama’s boy” would be an understatement at this point in your life.

You love to kick your legs hard (and try to get away from me) while getting your diaper changed, which has resulted in a new nickname “Mr. Kicks”. We say it fondly. You also just started saying your first word on your 10 month birthday, “GO!”. You say it quite frequently and often in a very loud voice. Based on your first word, it’ll be interesting to see when you actually start to move since you’re still a little ways off from crawling or walking. You have certainly gotten more mobile in the past couple of weeks however, scooting backwards and almost pulling yourself to a stand.

We just can’t get enough of you. We love playing with you and entertaining you with our silly dance moves. You are quite the eater lately too. You love finger food (some of your favorites include pieces of toast with peanut butter, bits of turkey sandwiches, eggs, bananas, avocado, crackers, and even tried a bit of a pickle and didn’t seem to mind it’s unique flavor). If we can get you to eat purees, you are always up for vegetables (especially orange ones like carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash) but don’t seem to like fruit much (unless it’s mixed with a vegetable).

We just celebrated your brother’s 5th birthday and your Daddy’s 35th birthday. You seemed intrigued by the whole cake and candles thing (and you’re basically a pro at opening presents by now). I’ve started working on your first birthday invitations so it won’t be long now and it’ll be time to celebrate the fact that you’ve been part of our family for a whole year!

Thanks for being you Ellis - for loving time at home with us more than anything else, for being inquisitive (but not up to too much mischief yet), for making us laugh with your infectious smile and giggle (which you often reserve for us at home, or for situations where you feel really comfortable), and mostly for being such an answer to a prayer we prayed for several years. We wanted to grow our family so much, and it took a while before God finally answered our prayer with you. You were worth the wait and continue to be such a gift in our family. Harry loves you to pieces, and your Daddy and I just look at the two of you in awe – so grateful for the chance to be your parents.

Happy 10 month birthday Mr. Kicks! We love you tons!

Love always,

Your Mama