Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dear Ella . . .

Oh baby girl! You're getting so big! Yesterday we had a mommy-daughter shopping day and we had so much fun! I just love spending time with you. We went to Plano to The Posh Petunia and picked out your birthday dress and a cute party hat. Then we had a little lunch date at Chick-Fil-A. You ate chicken nuggets and drank apple juice from a juice box straw like a big girl! (I guess we'll need to find you a sippy cup with a straw soon!) Then we went to Hobby Lobby to buy supplies for your first birthday party.

You and I were both wiped out after that, so we came home and snuggled and dozed in our chair until it was time to go to Relay for Life. We got to see Bumpaw and Grandma, Aunt Trishy and Taylor and Sarah, and Aunt Carrie, Uncle Al, Lucas and Nicholas. You even got to hear Mommy sing with our church band! What fun!!

I just loved our day together, my sweet big girl! You light up my life!!

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dear Ella . . .

You have a precious new game. In the mornings when we're nursing, you will randomly unlatch, look at me with your big blue eyes, and say "Hi!" It is the cutest thing ever! I could just melt!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Ella . . .

You busted your lip last night. You were playing around in your bed and popped it good. It bled, you cried, Daddy freaked out, and Mommy had to stay calm for all three of us, but it absolutely broke my heart. It is so hard to see you hurt! If I could, I would have taken that pain away for you.

It hit me while I was snuggling and comforting you last night that I was getting a tiny glimpse of the cost God, our Father paid when he sent his son to die for us. Being a mom has put Jesus's story in a whole new light! Oh how he must have hurt and how he must love us to have willingly let his child suffer and die to save us! What a humbling thought. But the best news, baby girl, is that after Jesus died, God was able to bring him back! He rose from the dead and he is alive still today! He lives in my heart and Daddy's heart, and one day, I pray, you will ask him to live in your heart, too.

Sweetheart, don't ever forget God's love story for us. Yes, when it's Easter time we have lots of fun, like we did today. We hunted for Easter eggs, saw the Easter bunny (you LOVED him and wanted to poke his nose!), and when you wake up in the morning, you'll have a special gift in your Easter basket! But all of that is meant to remind us of God's great love and how he makes all things new. I can't wait to share more of that story with you as you get older!

Happy 1st Easter, little bug!

Dear Ella . . .

In one more day you will be 11 months! Wow!! Month 10 has been a busy month for you. You're turning more and more into a toddler and less of a baby every day. It's another one of those Mommy-Joy feelings - deep sadness that the sweet baby days don't last forever, but pride, amazement, and joy at getting to know you even better and the new things you accomplish every day.

Here are a few sweet memories and milestones from your 10th month.

• You can talk! You can say ball, dog, quack, woof, uh-oh (sort of), hi, and daddy. You still babble all the time too and that's when I occasionally hear a precious "mama" come out!
• Your very favorite word is ball! And boy do you get excited to see one! On the floor, at the Easter egg hunt, in the produce aisle at the grocery store - you find them everywhere!
• You were regularly wearing size 4 diapers but you had a growth spurt and got a little taller and thinner so we're back to size 3s for now.
• You are in between clothes sizes right now. Some of your 9 month clothes still fit well and quite a bit of 12 month clothes are working for you too. It depends on the brand and the style (an issue even is grown-up girls have!).
• You are a speed crawler! You can go anywhere you want now and you love for us to chase you!
• You cruise around on all of the furniture, you can walk holding only one hand or finger, you can stand up without help (sometimes), and you can stand on your own for long stretches at a time. I would not be surprised to see you walking before your birthday!
• You now have tooth number 7 and 8 on either side of your two front bottom teeth.
• You love to feed yourself now - to the point that sometimes Mommy and Daddy have to sneak in spoonfuls of your other food around what you're trying to eat!
• Your favorite big girl foods are Gerber Puffs (boy, do you get excited when you see them come out!), freeze-dried yogurt melts, whole grain toast, bananas, avocados, cheddar, and recently rotisserie chicken. I also may have found a way that you like peas and carrots! The frozen ones just wouldn't get soft enough for you, but we tried them from a can last night and you gobbled them up!
• You're still nursing 4 times a day (or
two nursings/two bottles on weekdays when I'm at work). It's still a struggle to pump enough for you while I'm away but I am confident at this point that we'll make it to your birthday!
• You got to be in your first wedding! On March 9 you were a beautiful flower girl in Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Olivia's wedding! You walked down the aisle holding Mommy's hands right next to Evie Bearden and her mommy. You were so precious!
• Your independence is starting to take off! You love to crawl/cruise away from me, but then after a minute or two you come crawling back and lay your head down on me to "love on Mommy". You do the same thing to Daddy too, and it just melts our hearts all over again.
• You are so loved, baby girl, and I love that you are really starting to show that back to us. You are beautiful inside and out! And as immeasurable as our love is for you, don't ever forget that there is One who loves you even more!

Love and joy,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dear Ella . . .

I've hesitated to add this to your journal but I want us both to be able to look back one day and see how God brings us through this.

Mommy's struggling to pump enough milk for you to eat while I'm at work during the day. I have been taking supplements for about a month now and they seemed to be helping until this week. I'm not sure if I need to try something else or if you're just eating less right now because you've had a stuffy nose.

I try not to worry over it (I know that stress makes it worse), but it absolutely breaks my heart to think about not having our sweet snuggly feedings anymore or to not hear you singing to me while you eat.

My ultimate goal is still to make it to at least your birthday and then a little into this summer. Short term goal? To make it to my spring break (a week and a half from now) so we can nurse all day for over a week and I can pump each night and hopefully build up our supply. I'm praying that will give us the momentum we need to get to your birthday.

I'm giving this over to God day by day (sometimes moment by moment) and trusting that His plan for you and me is best - whatever that may be. It's hard, but I'm trying. :)

I love you sweet baby and I cherish every little moment we have together - nursing, singing, snuggling, playing.

Love always,

Dear Ella . . .

We've had a few milestones here lately.

•You are now a speed crawler and are starting to get into things - especially Gizmo's things.

•You are becoming braver and letting go of things as you're standing. You can stand by yourself (only when you're in the mood) for several seconds at a time).

• Yesterday you walked and were only holding on to my pinkie for support! You did it several times through the day and are getting more and more confident on your feet. I think you'll be really walking before April rolls around.

• You ate baby yogurt with bananas for the first time yesterday. You weren't too sure about it at lunch, but you gobbled it up for supper!

• We put your hair in pigtails yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS it was cute! I didn't think you could possibly be any more adorable than you already are but boy was I wrong!

• You are asleep (and ever so lightly snoring) in my arms right now and it's the most beautiful sight. You haven't been napping well lately and it's starting to affect your nighttime sleep too. My plan right now is to enjoy this warm, sleepy, snuggly Sunday morning and let you get the rest you need.

I love you precious little love!
Love always,

Dear Ella . . .

I love you so much, sweet baby. Your open mouth kisses, your sweet baby smell, your squishy kissable cheeks, everything about you just makes me melt. You are the most precious gift, Ella baby. :)

My favorite thing right now is the way you "sing" to me when you're nursing. You live to use your singing voice and you sing long beautiful "ahhhh"s everywhere - especially when we're in the car or concentrating on something (Grandmommy says I did that as a baby, too, but I said "ehhhh"). When you're nursing though, you have a special "ahh" that you use. You unlatch, and look at me and sing like you're communicating a deep truth. The look in your eyes tells it all. I love our special mommy/daughter songs.