Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eleven Months Old!

Dear Sophie,

You are now eleven months old, and so close to reaching the huge milestone that is your first birthday. You decided to celebrate eleven months by taking your first steps - about five - yesterday, but you definitely aren't walking yet. If I hold my arms out to you from a couple feet away, you'll make your way over, usually falling into my arms on that last step. You want to be walking so badly, but I think it will be a few more weeks before you get there. And that's okay with me because I enjoy watching you speed crawl your way through our entire house. If they had crawling races for babies, my money would be on you every time.

Your days follow a mostly predictable pattern. You enjoy three bottles each day, gobble up finger foods at each meal, and on good days, will tolerate some baby food. You nap very well each morning, but often cry for awhile before your afternoon nap. You are quite happy on most days, but the last hour before bedtime is often hard. You've just plumb tuckered yourself out and start to lose the ability to keep it together. So we take walks, we read books, we cuddle, we have dance parties and somehow, day after day, we make it until 8:00.

You're quite mischievous, just today finding your father's secret stash of dark chocolate and going to town until I found you and promptly put an end to your fun. You have an almost constant gleam in your eye, telling me that you're enjoying life to the fullest. But this gleam also lets me know - in a way that I can't fully explain - that you're going to be trouble sometimes. You're going to test limits and push boundaries, but you'll do it with a happy grin the whole time.

I absolutely adore watching you grow and change into the little person you will become. Sometimes the days are long, but the months and years are short, Sophie Bear. So very soon you will turn one, changing more and more from my baby precious baby into my precocious toddler. And I can't wait to be there with you every step of the way.

I love you lots and lots,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


One of the things I had really looked forward to when Eric and I started a family was creating traditions. I love looking back fondly upon some of my family traditions, from Christmas pajamas opened every year on the 24th of December to my mom's homemade pecan pie every Thanksgiving to eating the same wonderful casserole on most every special occasion. And these days, here in Pittsburgh with two young girls, it's hard to find time or energy to create traditions. Most nights, it's hard not to fall over in exhaustion as soon as the kids are asleep.

But still, when I look back and remember these years, here is one thing I desperately want to remember: making muffins from scratch with my girls. It's an easy recipe, one that my husband and his college roommates made all the time. One that these boys - now men - now all make with their own families from time to time. When I make the muffins, I remember these friends and how our lives intertwine, both then and now, and it makes me smile.

It also makes me smile to watch Emily's excitement at getting to help, at insisting that she can dump in the ingredients by herself. It makes me smile how she asks approximately 28 times if she can lick the spoon yet. It makes me smile to see how she wants to share the experience with her sister, and how she's the first one to suggest that Sophie should get a taste too. It cracks me up that she spends the entire time the muffins are baking "washing" the bowl and measuring cups in the sink. It amazes me that she says, "Guess what mom? The sponge can float. That means it can stay on top of the water." It delights me to watch Sophie take it all in, to know that someday, she too will help us make these same muffins.

Yes, these days are crazy. And hard, so very hard. But these small traditions, like making muffins, are the things I want to remember about these days. And I think I will.