Dear Elle: You’re Eight Months Old!

Dear Elle,

Happy Eight Month Birthday! I made it home as you were drifting off to sleep after three days on the road, so I got to snuggle you for a split second before depositing you in your crib. At least I got that – it’s better than other ‘birthdays’ we’ve had so far!!

Well, where to begin with all the changes going on in your world?

Three weeks ago, you figured out how to be mobile – clasping your hands together and pulling the entire rest of your body along with you. And then a week after that, you started figuring out that up on your hands and knees was a much more productive use of your energy, so you moved around using both for about two days before you were fully committed to crawling around on all fours! And in the last two weeks, you’ve gotten faster and smarter about how to get around – as quick as possible! You’re losing interest in the walker, the jumper and focusing your energies on the things you can do By. Your. Self.

Absolutely still in love with each other!

You started here. So far away. I have the whole series of pictures as you crawled closer. These are just a selection!

And you ended here! Notice I had to entice you with treats (Puffs!) on the floor in front of the camera to make it work.


I like that about you.

I’m pretty sure I’ll deplore it when you’re a teenager, but for now – LOVE your independence.

You are getting a bit more whiny when I walk out of a room, away from you. Anyone for that matter. A bit of separation anxiety? That’s to be expected, of course, but I hope it’s a short phase for you. You’re just such a happy girl, I wouldn’t want anyone to think otherwise (though that sounds like a lot of pressure – so just be you and don’t worry about anything else, kay?).

Turns out you’re a sucker for water — you go in search of the bath tub ALL THE TIME and we even gave you multiple baths in the same day because you’re just so interested in the tub. I attribute it to the great song I made up. But you love the water – you stared at the pool at our neighbors, Michael and Cheryl’s, until I dropped your feet in. You love the pool at your Grandma and Grandpa’s house and you’re definitely entertained by spending time in and around the water. I’m trying to stay very cautious in some ways about your experiences in the water. One bad experience could potentially ruin it, so I’m so, so glad that you love the water! You even love water in your “party cup” (what I have begun calling your sippy cup) because you like the ones with the straw. You love water and I think it actually refreshes you – though I could totally be making that up in my head.

You’re sleeping through the night again — well, you have. It’s not regular at ALL, but you’ve done it again lately. But then there are also nights you’re up four times – so I’m not really chalking up your good or bad habits to any one thing. It’s all completely arbitrary.

We went for your first boat ride at Great Grandma Rosemary’s house and you loved that too!

Your dear Mom has been too busy. I am planning on cutting out some of the things I’ve got going. In addition to my full time job, I have “Candy Tree Productions” – my small side business for, well, anything but up to this point, photography for friends and acquaintances. The Rotary Club. The Vision 2020 Economic Development Chairperson for Marketing. The Under 40s involvement group. And, trying to be good to the people who are good to me – family, friends, etc. There’s too much going on and I’m going to slow it down. Over-extending myself means I feel I don’t do any one thing well — and that drives me a little batty.

We had a big party for your Dad and Auntie Jen’s birthdays and – surprise to her! – Uncle Rick asked Aunt Jen to marry him! Which means that…YOU’RE GOING TO BE A FLOWER GIRL super soon! Haha, isn’t that great?! Regardless of when you tire of crawling and decide to walk, it’ll be before next summer when it looks as though they’ll be getting hitched. Super exciting, isn’t it?!

You and me, though, we’re awesome. I felt like I hadn’t gotten a chance to spend time with you, so last weekend I packed you up in the morning and we headed to the Farmer’s Market in Flint where we had coffee and donuts (ok, I did) listened to some music (and danced — that was you doing the dancing in your stroller) and bought some flowers. Then we went to the Flint Art Fair and did some early, early Christmas shopping and spent time together. Every person there commented on how cute you are and those big blue eyes of yours. They’re pretty captivating, even to people who AREN’T already your biggest fans (that’d be me and your Dad!).

You continue to get to spend lots of time with your grandparents, which makes me so happy, and I feel like we’re just better and better as a family each day, the three of us. Sometimes I hear other Mom’s mention to me “Oh – just wait…” like you walking is going to be ‘worse’ than now. But, now is awesome.

You’re honestly such a good baby, such a good girl, so fun and so neat and so smart, that I’m just more and more excited all the time to see who you’re going to be tomorrow, the girl you’re becoming on a minute-by-minute basis. I’m just so optimistic about all the things you’ll do in your life – our lives – that I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner. People have begun asking if we’ll give you a brother or a sister and while I think that having a sibling is perhaps one of life’s greatest gifts, I selfishly just want to spend time with YOU because you are such a cool girlie.

As ever, you fill me up.

No, you actually overflow me.



Dear Elle: You’re Two Months Old

Dear Elle,

Today, you are two months old and let me begin by admitting that I did NOT bake you a cake.


I’ve been able to spend the last two months with you and find more of myself than I knew existed. I feel more like myself as your Mom than I knew I could (for all the sense that makes). I guess, I found myself…or you found me…either way, I’m so very fulfilled with all the things going in our lives these days.

You love to fall asleep with someone holding you…and we’ve spoiled you a little bit. I’m okay with that. I keep saying that we like you spoiled, so long as you’re not rotten. And I’ll stick by that. There’s a fine line there, and I intend to toe that line and may live to regret it, but you’re just too much fun and too cool not to spoil you!

You have discovered your very own HANDS in the last week or so and you are absolutely fascinated by them. I wonder about what the commentary would be if you could share it. I figure it rocks your world that you have determined those hands are attached to YOU!

You are a snacky eater and a cat-napper. You seem to always sleep with your eyes cracked a little bit, not wanting to miss a thing. You fool your Dad and I into thinking your asleep, and then suddenly, you’re bright-eyed and ready to play.

Speaking of playing, you love your little activity mat and the things that twirl above your head. The mobile on your crib is another favorite.  Mostly, you like to lay on the changing pad on your dresser and stare up at the Picasso Peace Dove. I call him your PeaceLove Dove and he’s one of your favorite things.

You are also very much enjoying all the Christmas decoration up around the house. Your Dad does a fabulous job of making sure you get your fill of seeing them every day.

And speaking of your Dad, he’s great. He’s so much more in love with you than I would have ever thought possible. He thinks you’re cool. He is the one that trims your nails…he’s never shied away from a diaper and he seems so content with you. Fills me up, seeing that.

The threat of my return to work has me contemplating what that will be like for us and makes me pretty sad. I have to say, I wish I didn’t have to. I wish there were a way to give you all the things that spoil you without having to have a job…just get the paycheck.

However, it turns out that millions of people have applied for that job, so I’m pretty far down on the waiting list.

Anyway, this letter is about you and your two month birthday.

You have friends – Drew and Nolan who you see most often, but you went to Gina’s (Grandma Wendy’s friend Karen’s daughter) baby shower with me and Grandma and her girlfriends last weekend. You’ve got your Florida friends and school friends who you’ll meet (too) soon. And we have big plans through the rest of the holidays where you’ll see more and more family. You’re the center of everything.

You are an amazingly good baby. You cry if you have a wet diaper or a little burp in your belly, but that’s it. You get a little fussy when you’re hungry, but you’re a snacky eater (like I said)…which is SO MUCH like your Dad (See, I’m more of a binge and regret it kind of eater). You like car rides and seem to really enjoy your car seat. You LOVE LOVE LOVE music — all kinds. I think all of that is because I spent so many thousands of miles driving in the car, listening to all sorts of music. That’s my theory at least. I’m sticking with it for now, unless you can tell me otherwise.

We’ve struggled with what to buy you for Christmas – you need absolutely nothing and you don’t seem to want for anything either. You’ve been spoiled already by all the people that love you. So, I’m giving you an empty box and I hope it’s a tradition I can continue.

I’ll explain it more in a different letter, but know that it’s something that’s important to me, that you know how important it is to be thankful and grateful and gracious and be spoiled, but not rotten. To feel fulfilled but do good with that feeling.

You are loved so over-the-top big that I can’t put it into words.

When you smile and laugh, it makes me smile and laugh…and overflow with little, salty tears at the bottoms of my eyes.

I knew that having you here, in our lives, that it would be awesome. I just didn’t know how that wouldn’t even begin to describe it.

I love you so much.