Saturday, August 13, 2011


Dearest Baby Girl,
Here we go. Almost there. It has almost been one whole year since you made me a Mama - for real. I can honestly say, you've changed my life for the better.

I remember taking this picture. You rarely fall asleep in our arms anymore at bedtime and when you do it is almost always with me. This particular evening, you crawled up to Daddy and snuggled in.

Yes, I'm pretty confident you were successful at melting his heart. I think he might have held you all night if he could.

 You are very curious. Your head often whips around when you hear a noise you recognize (the cat's meow) or one you don't (bulldozer next door).

You're very independent yet like to know we are paying attention. You are busy-busy-busy, but come up to our laps for love periodically, and then you're off again.

You get fascinated by the smallest things. This was a piece of thread you pulled off some fabric. This literally kept you entertained for 45 minutes - chewing it, carrying it and swinging it.

You've got so many teeth now. Four on top and on bottom.

You often spread your right palm wide when you are cuddling and drinking milk - or even just hanging out.

You have the sweetest smile. Just thinking about it when I'm away from you makes my heart gallop.

Did I mention you are a busy girl? You get super excited when we open the pantry door. You love to hop to it and help Mama organize. Below you are chewing on a bottle brush. I keep it in that pink organizer for when we are traveling. It is one of your favorites to pull out.

Speaking of travel. You got to attend the ALS Doubledaybike ride with us in late July. Daddy rides every year in memory of your Grandma Kathy.

You loved seeing all of the bicycles. This is a 90 mile bike ride over two days. Daddy did so well - we were so proud!

You love pointing now. We laugh watching you chat away and shake your finger at us. Here it appears you're telling someone to "Shhhhh".

We really creeped into your morning naptime, but you dealt with it like a trooper. You are such a good baby girl.

Grandpa Brad and Grandma Deanie came this year. It was so fun and special to get to spend time with them and have them join us in honoring Grandma Kathy.

You went on your first airplane ride the first week of August to come with me to see Mama's good friends Carin, Alyson and OJ. You didn't like the flight there so much (that's a whole other story), but you did super great on the way home!

We were in Lake Taho a couple of nights. We stayed at an amazing place called Sunnyside Lodge. They had this great deck that wraps around the lodge with tons of seating for their restaurant. You can walk out on the dock while you're waiting for your table or down to the beach - which is what we did so you could dip your toes in the water!

You were so funny stepping on the rocky beach. You didn't know what to think of that!

(PS: See that bow in your hair? I haven't given up on that even though your favorite thing is feeling your head to see if one is there, ripping it out and sticking it in your mouth. Your hair is getting so long, soon we will have to secure it back, so I'm doing my best to get you used to it!)

You love your baby. She often came out with us to dinner. You give the baby love snuggling her, putting her on your shoulder and even give her kisses (pardon the poor cell phone pic).

Auntie Carin and Al love playing with you!

You think Al is super fun (who doesn't?).

After Tahoe, we stayed at Alyson's parents' house in Sacramento (they were out of town). You loved that there were so many things there for Alyson's niece, Presley, who is just a few months younger than you. You just had to try out all her stuff.

There's that heart shaped mouth I just adore.

Somehow, you hadn't been in a pool yet. We had the fortune of hanging out in the pool each day in Sacramento. I wouldn't say you loved it. I'm not sure how to describe it. You were very fascinated, interested, and pretty much in awe, but it took a bit of work to keep you liking it. This day, Carin was out of the pool and you'd have enough, want to go to Carin to get out, change your mind ten minutes later, and so on and so on.

OJ had a lot of fun playing with you!

I'm pretty sure I can hear you through this pic saying, "Ooooooh!"

They had a big glass coffee table, which you'd spend your time walking round and round. One day, Auntie Carin gave you a Nutrigrain bar which ended up being a cereal bar smear around the entire perimeter of the table.

Auntie OJ shared her yogurt with you. You really liked it (blueberry, of course).

We haven't ever turned on a TV show for you. You do watch Muppet Show on our phone or computer, but that is a PowerPoint and super short and somehow seems different for us. I don't know how strict we'll adhere to the "No TV Before 2", but we definitely don't set you in front of it. However, the girls were watching Marmaduke and you were fascinated by all the animals. You crept over to Auntie Al, cuddled up with her and watched about 15 minutes of it. I have never seen you have that kind of interest in TV before. It was so cute and hey, we were on vacation!

The girls celebrated Mommy's birthday. We went swimming and came home to a fun balloon! You REALLY liked it!

We went out for birthday desserts to a place called Rick's Dessert Diner. It was AH-MAZ-ING! It was an old fashioned diner-style dessert hangout. They had really incredible desserts: pie, cake, tortes, cheesecake, cookies - you name it! We got three different things and shared - you even had a few bites although the blueberries and string cheese I brought along kept you pretty satisfied!

You were fascinated with my birthday candle. Next month will be so fun!

You and I both got fun gifts from Auntie Carin. Here she made you a new onesie - we just love it! She is so creative!

The ballon was weighted by a sucker.  You never did get that thing open - we were making sure of that!

Next thing you know, it was time to leave. Auntie Carin really wanted pictures with you. She wants her son, Isaiah, to see you and have a connection with you. Hopefully, our next trip we can all hang out together!

We needed pictures with Al too - silly girl.

We love your Auntie Carin so much. It was so good spending time with her, but always hard saying goodbye!

As I said, you did so great on the airplane ride home. It was the best birthday present ever. You were really helpful when we got home helping me unpack!

You're getting quite coordinated these days. Your favorite game recently is climbing in and over the barstool chairs. It is quite funny seeing you fling yourself over the rails. Hard to explain, I'll have to shoot a video soon. You are always exploring and repeating your new favorite phrase: "Go-Go-Go!"

You're still the prettiest, sweetest, funniest girl I know. You make your Daddy and Mama so happy, Baby Girl! We love you more than ever!

PS: YOU'RE WALKING!!! Video coming soon!


Melissa Erickson said...

was she the little cutie-pie that was playing with my friend's dog during pasta4pals?

Courtney said...

Here is my long answer. I've never gone to Pasta4Pals. I always want to (sort of), but I honestly worry I will go into the "ugly cry" (per Oprah) the entire time. That weekend is already pretty emotional for me and usually come Sat night I'm not up for it. I hope one day I will be able to manage my grief better that weekend and be able to attend!

busycooking said...

I love seeing pictures of her growing and changing. She's so pretty! :-)


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