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,