Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Violet,

We went on a road trip with you this month to see friends in Chattanooga, and we all had so much fun!  We went to the Aquarium in Chattanooga, then spent Saturday in Atlanta, going to Ikea and Trader Joe's, 2 of your mommy's favorite places.  :)  Rob and Petrina's little boy, Evan, is just under 3 months older than you, and it was SO much fun and SO interesting to watch you two interact!!  You took a little while to get used to him, you silly, sensitive girl.  :)  But you ended up having so much fun with him, and he taught you a few things- sitting in a high chair at a restaurant (you were in your stroller, and wouldn't stop fussing until you were next to him in your own highchair!), eating more than just a little bit in the morning (he eats a whole lot, and you were so interested in watching him, he had to share some of his food with you!), and you wanted to crawl around with him so terribly bad...  I feel bad because I know you're so close to doing it, but you just won't seem to keep those knees bent!  I try to help you out, and you know what to do with your arms, but those knees just flatten, fall and swim around everytime you decide to try crawling.  You've been close now for quite a few weeks, but you can already pull up to standing by yourself and you're starting to cruise around your crib and pack-n-play, so I'm starting to wonder if you'll just skip crawling altogether!  You stood by yourself today for a good 6 or 7 seconds at nana's house.  It was pretty amazing to your mama, who thinks you stole the moon.  :)

Here you are with Evan after a few minutes of warming up to him.  You two were so cute!

Here you are at the butterfly farm, seeing a butterfly for the first time.  I'm so glad I got something like this in a photo.  It's a memorable moment!  ...even though you could've cared less.  :)

Here is your family!  Daddy, your sweet little self in that cute outfit, and your proud mommy, with penguins behind us.  They had their backs turned toward us and wouldn't swim... such a rip off!  You liked seeing them though.

Oh, I love this photo.  This is you and your daddy, watching the fish swim around in a huge water tank.  You were very interested in them, and they were making you sleepy.  They should've had cots lying around that place- it was so relaxing!

Here are you and Evan "playing" on the bed at the hotel in Atlanta.  You liked him about 2/3 of the time.  :)

Here you are in your first pair of sunglasses!  Such a HILARIOUS baby you are.  Look at that pose!

You were pretty stinking jealous of Evan and his crawling abilities.  You were determined to practice until your limbs were shaky, and you still didn't get it!  We tried!  So close though, as you can see...


Here are you and Evan in your monkey shirts...  I swear Petrina and I did NOT plan this either!  You two were so cute.  We had to wave something above your heads to at least get you both to stay still.  Too cute!

I love this face of yours- it's so inquisitive and eager to learn.  We were impressed that you were interested in this toy!  You're such a little genius.

There's that face you made 2309843 times while we were there.  You were a little whiny baby!  It's okay, though, he was a new friend and he could do more things than you so you were frustrated.  I understand, sweetheart...  :)

This is one of the cutest pictures I've ever seen.  I really think he's trying to help you crawl here!  He stayed there like that for a long time!

 Here we all are, the McGarvey's and the Guice's.  Look what you two are doing...  :) 

Here you are, being so so so so incredibly, wonderfully sweet and good on the way home.  You are such a good traveling buddy.  It was a near 8-hour trip, and you didn't break into a full-on cry a single time!  Parents all over the world are jealous of me...  :)

You'll be 7 months old tomorrow, and holy moly, time is flying!  I can't believe you're growing so fast, it's hard to keep up!  It's so amazing to watch you learn.  You really take everything in.  You fight sleep a lot and I think it's because you just love to learn and explore, and you don't want to miss a thing!  Nana and I went jogging tonight while you stayed with papa, and you hadn't had your afternoon nap.  You were red-faced and tear-stained when we got back a short 25 minutes later.  Poor thing, you're such a mama's girl when you're sleepy.  I was talking to them in the kitchen before we left, and you ended up literally "falling" asleep on my shoulder.  Your head was up and you were on my hip, and you just suddenly slumped over and passed out!  It was so cute.  I just love that warm, heavy, soft weight of you sleeping on me.

Speaking of sleeping, you slept all night in your crib last week!  We're trying for you to do it again tonight too, but we'll see.  Mimi and Aunt Amanda came to visit with Kepler, so we had you sleep with us again, but we're trying to see if you'll do well in your crib for the whole night.  I think your daddy wants his bed back...  :)  He's worried he'll hurt you while he sleeps, and I think you may sleep better without having me right there next to you.  We'll see.  I do miss you, though.  It's funny, because I see you every waking second, but I still miss you while I sleep!  That's love, little missy- don't you forget it!

I Love You,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear Violet,

You've decided to go changing on me again! Every few weeks I look at you and think, "What happened to you? How did you learn all these new things?!" You're a second away from crawling, and you've just learned how to wave 'bye bye' thanks to nana. You're pulling yourself up on your own in your crib, and I can no longer just plop you in the middle of our bed and leave the room even for a minute. You can sit up strongly enough to let me set you in your crib to entertain yourself for a while, and I love that you are now able to do that.

Here's one way I can keep you on the bed while doing laundry!

Here you are, entertaining yourself in your crib

You are a very, very silly baby! You make the funniest sounds with your mouth and love when we throw you around and hang you upside down. You're so much fun to play with. This afternoon you were laying on my belly, and I was blowing on your neck/cheek, and you decided to spit in my nose! I'm pretty sure I cried a little I was laughing so hard. If I thought you knew any better, I wouldn't have thought it was so funny... ;)

It's been a beautiful snowy mess here lately, and I got you out in it with the dogs a few times. Other than that we've been holed up inside, nice and warm and dry.

Here you are, quietly and sweetly rocking to sleep, looking out at the beautiful snow coming down.  It was such a relaxing afternoon.

I tried to get a picture of both of us, but I ended up getting mostly you (it's better that way anyway!).  Look at your gorgeous face!  This makes me want to get up right now and kiss your sleeping little cheek....  In fact, I will do just that...

Here you are, having so much fun and smiling so big your paci is about to fall out!
You were really hoping I'd pull you around in this basket, I'm pretty sure...  (You were pretty toasty in that huge coat and those Uggs!)
I'm a little obsessed with baby hats. Your aunt Amanda made you some absolutely beautiful ones (those are my favorite), but you have quite a collection. I found one that had been too big for you, but I tried it on you again last night and it barely still fit, so I got a few shots of you in it. You're such a beautiful little person. I couldn't be more proud to have you as my daughter. You've got such a cool, funny personality, and you're breathtakingly gorgeous. You look just like your mimi. I call you her mini-mimi. :) Sometimes I see me or the deRoque side in your face, but at least right now you're a Guice everywhere but your mouth. That pretty little pucker is definitely from me.

This is my new favorite picture of you.  Those cheeks are heavenly, and that hat is just perfect!  You're my little angel pie...
I've been debating whether to have you start sleeping all night in your own room, but I just can't seem to pull us away from each other. First of all, your room is freezing cold all the time (in the winter). The vent doesn't work well and when I close the door to keep noise out, it makes it that much colder. That's my first excuse... Then there's the fact that I love to snuggle with you, and I can't possibly say no to your sweet little warm arms wrapped tightly around my neck as if to say "you'd better not let me sleep here all by myself!" And when I really think about it, what's the harm in letting you sleep with us anyway? Other children aren't scarred by sleeping with their parents for a few years, so I'm pretty sure you'll still grow up normal, despite cuddling with your mom as an infant. You do well in your crib when you first fall asleep or during naps throughout the day, so perhaps sometime in the next year or so we'll make the move.  We'll see... That first time you wake up to nurse, though, you don't want to go back in the crib. I just moved you from your crib to the bed tonight after going in to soothe you for the 3rd time.  After hearing a few squawks from your monitor, I walked in to find you on all fours, half asleep, eyes shut. That was a first! I had to laugh at you.   They say dreaming helps establish the things we learn, and you're learning to crawl, so... I guess that explains it!

Here you are cuddled up to "Sophie the Bear" after playing in the snow.  The bear is a feeble substitute for me, but sometimes you don't seem to notice that it's not my arm you're gripping, but in fact a tiny fabric bear... 
Last week your aunt Allison decided to send me a link to a woman's blog whose little boy drowned in their tub and is in the PICU.  I was mad at your aunt for making me cry at work!  This woman left her young boys in the tub with shallow water, then went across the house to get pj's for them. On the way back she noticed a pile of laundry and decided to put it away, then noticed an unmade bed and made it. After that one of her boys came screaming about Bronson drowning (they had turned the water back on). They don't know what happened, but the boy wasn't breathing- there was no pulse. In that short time of that poor mom letting the little, unimportant things in life take up her time, she will live with guilt for the rest of her life. The boy died for 11 minutes, but luckily is now doing well- awake and semi-alert (they've still yet to determine the long term damage). Reading this woman's blog, about the heartache she goes through every day, just breaks my heart. I cry just about every time I update myself reading it. My point in bringing this up is that although it's heart wrenching, it's a good reminder for me to squeeze you a little tighter, to kiss you one more time, to snuggle with you every night because "to hell with rules of perfect parenting!" I want to appreciate and cherish and remember and enjoy every moment with you. I want to be patient with you and I don't want to forget that each moment passes too quickly to look away. I don't want to miss any little bit of your life, because it's just too short. I feel like I won the lottery every time I look at you, and I revel in the honor of being your mom.  I hope I never cause you to doubt how lucky I feel.