Dear Alden, you’re three!

My little Aldi, you are three! Despite earning “big boy” status, you still insist you are “baby Aldi.” Your birthday this year included your annual hot chocolate cake made by mommy and driving around with your family to look at Christmas lights. I love this tradition and plan to keep it going even when you’re all grown up!

While last year’s birthday post mentioned you weren’t talking much yet, this year your speech has exploded and we pretty much can’t keep you quiet! You talk in a sweet, soft voice and I often have to put my ear right up to your mouth to hear you.

You are very easy-going and chill. In fact, this week was only the second time ever that you threw a tantrum while we were out (at gymnastics) and that was only due to daylight savings. You are just a happy guy who can find fun in any situation.

You are still obsessed with your siblings and love to get in the mix with whatever they are doing. Your favorite lately has been playing Mario Party or Mario Kart with them, and honestly, you do very well! When they have a friend over I often find you chasing them, pretending to be a “bad guy,” while saying “Ha Ha Ha!” in a scary (funny) voice. If we are at a party, I usually find you sweaty and red-faced from running around with the older kids.

You finally got your chance this year to play sports after watching on the sidelines. You tried basketball, soccer, and soon t-ball. While you can be a bit timid around the other older kids playing, you ask repeatedly after when you get to play again. You also have learned to swim independently at not even 3 1/2, making you our youngest. I have a feeling you will end up being our best athlete, which is saying a lot considering how athletic your siblings are.

It cracks me up what a spoiled, baby of the family you are sometimes. I call you Little Prince because the motto “what baby wants, baby gets” rings true around here. Lately, you’ve adopted this name yourself and have been asking me to “make eggs and feed me like a little prince.” This entails me hand-feeding you eggs in bed while you watch your iPad. I am such an enabler, but I can’t help it because you’re my last baby and so sweet. You know that if you want something your siblings or Dad, or I will get it for you because we all adore you.

Some of your favorite things include anything Mario, anything the color orange (your fav), your BFF Charlotte (who you say is pretty), gymnastics at the Y, all the eggs you can eat, and being with your family. Even though you are quiet and chill, you make your preferences known! These days you will only wear orange shirts (or Mario) and eat off orange plates. :)

Our family wasn’t complete until you joined, Alden. You are the perfect caboose to our group and we all love you so much. Next year you start preschool and while I am excited to watch you take that next step towards growing up, I will miss our days at home together. We have had so much fun going to art class, gymnastics, the coffee shop etc. I cherish the three+ years we’ve had together 24/7. Being with you has been one of the greatest joys of my life!

We love you so much our Aldi baldi, bitty boy, Aldeezy, little prince.


Dear Lila: you’re ten!


You’ve been ten for four months now, and I must say, you’re the coolest ten-year-old I know. You are bright, curious, silly, tenacious, and loyal. You are wise beyond your years and continue to amaze me with your confidence and sense of self.

This year you’ve gotten into your sports and have played on two travel softball teams, three basketball teams, and tried out volleyball. You are an exceptional natural athlete who excels at everything you try. It has been so much fun being on this journey with you.

Your main love is softball, specifically pitching. This fall you decided you wanted to go “all in” on pitching, so we got you a fantastic pitching coach and you were lucky to make a great travel team with supportive, knowledgeable coaches. The progress you’ve made in five months has been astounding. You went from 36 mph to 47 mph, added a changeup, and increased your accuracy. My favorite part of this process though has been the many hours we’ve spent together practicing, with me as your catcher. I can’t wait to watch you dominate this summer!

Your ability to set goals, visualize what you want, work hard, and keep a positive mindset about setbacks, is going to bring you so much success in life. You set big goals for yourself, like playing softball in college, and I 1,000% think you can achieve each and every one. Keep believing in yourself, because your dad and I do!

You have entered the tricky middle school ages when social pressure can mount around things like popularity, who has a phone, and what brand clothes you’re wearing etc. So far you have stayed true to yourself and tell me “I don’t follow trends, mom. I set them!” It was evident that you don’t care about outside opinions when you dressed up as a giant 8 ft chicken for Halloween. lol!

We’ve talked a lot about how you can surround yourself with friends who help your light shine or friends who try to dim your light. I am proud of you for knowing yourself, standing up for yourself & others, and staying your kind, respectful self. You set a wonderful example for your brothers.

This year for your 10th birthday, we are taking you on a solo trip with just mom & dad. We plan to do this with all our kids to help connect and stay close before middle and junior high. In just three weeks we are going on a cruise to the Bahamas. We have a lot of fun things planned like swimming with pigs, snorkeling, and going to a water park. I can’t wait to spend a lot of uninterrupted time with you in the sun.

I love how close we are. You know that I will always be honest with you while being your biggest fan on earth. Sometimes I struggle with walking the line between pushing you to be your best, while supporting you where you are. Thankfully you seem to understand that your Dad and I are always in your corner. I hope you know that I think you’re an amazing kid.

Since the moment you were born, you have been my dream come true as a mother. I always wanted to have a daughter, and you are everything and MORE than I ever dreamed about. Being your mom has been the best experience of my life.

I love you sweet girl!


Dear Whit & Davis: You’re Six!

Hey boys – you’re six now! It’s crazy to me to think how much you’ve grown up. It feels not long ago that you were teeny preemies in the hospital, and now you’re rambunctious, strong little boys.

We did it big for your birthday this year! You had a joint birthday party at the Maumee Indoor movie theater with your best bud, Max. We invited your whole class and watched Sonic 1. You guys had a blast running all around the theater with your classmates.

Some other highlights from this past year were our family trip to Cancun for Mimi’s 70th, watching you both start to play basketball & baseball, and celebrating your graduation from preschool.

This year you boys started really becoming your own separate people with your own separate interests. For a long time you guys almost seemed like one unit, lovingly called “The Brothers,” who did everything together and liked all the same things.

Lately, though, your interests have started to diverge and you even have been making more of your own unique friendships. While this has sometimes led to more sibling fights and disagreements, I think it’s good for you to explore your independence.

Whitaker you are my loud, physical, ACTIVE boy who has a heart of gold. You are the first one to offer something you have to a friend if they want it because you love to make people happy. The other day we went to the Lucas County Fair and your buddy Max couldn’t eat the ice cream because of his allergy. While all the other kids got their ice cream, you quickly said “I want to wait until we find a place Max can eat so he’s not left out!” You have a very sweet heart.

Like most six-year-old boys, you are extremely active and loud. You proudly proclaim “mom at least you can always hear me from the back of the car because I’m so loud!” Haha! You are just full of energy and sometimes it is too much for you to contain.

Despite being in the 99% for height and being built like a little muscle man, you currently have little interest in sports. You’d prefer to spend your days swimming at the pool, playing with your friends, or jumping on the bounce house in the backyard. You are very social and like to be around your friends playing pretend, ghost in the graveyard, or tag.

Although at times you are rough and tumble, you still want mom and dad near you most of the time. Of all the kids, you have the hardest time when a babysitter does your bedtime and can get scared to try new things.

This summer we went to the lake house and you were afraid to swim in the open lake. After some coaxing, I got you to jump in with me and you loved it! I am hoping little by little you start to face your fears and build confidence as you do.

Whit you are a great kid, with a big heart. I can’t wait to see how you grow this year and what new experiences you have.

Davis, you are still my snuggly guy who frequently asks me to “snuggle me.” You like when I scratch your back and tickle you. You have a sweet, happy demeanor that I adore. Sometimes you’ll just walk by me and flash a huge smile as you go.

While your brother is loud, you can be so quiet that I have to ask you to repeat yourself 5x before I can hear you (sorry your mom has bad hearing!). You are a gentle soul who can spend hours outside, looking for monarch eggs, playing with sticks, and generally being lost in your own magical world.

You found a competitive streak this year and loved participating in swim team, baseball and golf. With this competitiveness, you’ve started comparing yourself to your brother. You often ask when you’ll grow as tall Whitaker. I just tell you to focus on your “personal best” and that everyone grows at a different pace!

You have gotten really into your own unique hobbies this year including origami and rubiks cubes. You say you want to “be a cuber” and pretty much always have a cube in hand. It’s pretty impressive how you learn algorithms and focus until you solve them.

You like to try new things and put yourself out of your comfort zone even when scared. At the lake this summer, you worked up the courage to go on the jet ski with me and we went all the way to 27 mph! You were so excited.

You make friends easily and are usually the first one to approach kids at the playground and organize a game of tag. One of your classmate’s moms told me her daughter said “That Davis is as sweet as a kitten!” and I totally agree. You are made of sugar and honey!

Six is going to be a big year for you both. You are starting kindergarten, will learn new skills like how to read, and will start your first real competitive sport – cross country! I can’t wait to see how you grow, mature, and continue to be great little boys.

Your Dad and I love you both so much. While the two of you can drive us absolutely up the wall with your crazy antics – like your nightly wrestle mania matches – we love the fun, laughs, and chaos you bring to our house. There’s never a dull moment and someday I will miss it all.

We feel so lucky to be raising little boys and know you’re going to grow up to be wonderful men. Keep being the best you that you can be.

Love always,


Dear Alden, You’re Two!

Alden Roy,

This week you turned two years old! I really cannot believe it because I am pretty sure it was last month that you were a teeny baby in my arms. Where did the time go?

For your birthday this year you woke up to balloons, presents and cinnamon rolls. Your siblings each drew you a picture and Lila made you a special bracelet you wore all day. Your babysitter Amanda took you to Imagination Station during the day. At night we went to dinner at a hibachi restaurant where you loved watching them cook in front of you. Then we drove around looking at Christmas lights and had homemade hot chocolate cake. It was a great day!

You are such a delight in my life. Truly you make me so happy and I just love being with you. And while you are a fiercely independent Sagittarius like your daddy, you know just how to melt my heart with your hugs, “momeees!” and sly smiles.

While I would love to keep you little, you want nothing more than to be a big kid. You follow your brothers around and want to do everything they do. At parties we can always find you chasing after the big boys trying to do whatever they are. We also ended up giving your high chair away because you absolutely refused to sit in it and demanded to sit in a big boy chair like everyone else, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

You are a very coordinated and physical little guy who started scootering to and from school (1 mile away) at just 18 months. Every person we pass on the way marvels and how good you are on your scooter for being such a little guy. It cracks me and daddy up when you start lifting your leg to the side and doing swerving tricks just like your brothers.

You’ve never met a ball you didn’t like and will regularly inch your way out onto the court at your brother’s basketball games. Recently when I took you to a store they had baskets of balls sitting out front and you about lost your mind screaming “BALL!!!!!” over and over until I let you load a bunch in our cart.

You are obsessed with eating. Mostly eggs. Not only eating, but also cooking. Each morning you bring a carton of eggs to Daddy and demand he put you on the counter so you can help him cook them. You do the same when I’m making dinner. Its not unheard of for you to consume 4 eggs in one sitting and then go back for some fruit to finish it off. I think that may be the reason you’re in the 99% for height.

(Also note the mario boxer shorts of your brothers that you regularly refuse to take off)

If there are two things you’re not that interested in, it would be talking and smiling. Grunting and pointing remains your preferred method of communication and I usually have to explain that you’re a “stoic baby” to the little old ladies cooing at you to smile in the store. Although you refuse to smile for mommy when I take pictures, you’re more than happy to cheese it up for your babysitter! I think you’ll be the type to know your mind and not be swayed by others.

You’ve been thriving despite having hemophilia. I honestly forget about it most days thanks to your medication. You’ve still never had a bleed and hardly notice when we do your monthly injections. We feel so lucky that if you had to have a chronic illness, that it is hemophilia, because it’s been very manageable.

My sweet Roysie Boysie, Baldi Aldi, Boo Boo. I love watching you grow up and and cherishing your toddlerhood as my last baby. It’s clear you’re going to be spoiled because as I tell your siblings “what baby wants, baby gets!” All joking aside, I love being your mommy.

Hugs and kisses forever baby boy!