Dear Lila, You’re Five!

Dear Lila Kate,

You turned five years old on November 18! I wanted to write you a post on your actual birthday, but of course things got a bit hectic. You and your brothers sure do keep me on my toes!


This year for your birthday we celebrated at Disney World by taking you and your cousin Reagan to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. You girls were in heaven getting your hair done, nails painted, glitter put everywhere etc. I love that you are still into princesses, dresses, jewelry and other girlie things. I have heard little girls can outgrown that shortly after five, so I wanted to soak it up with you while I can.

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Four was such a transformative year for you. You began to really think about the world, your place in it and how you want to experience life. Your big emotions from age three calmed down and you began to do things that show me you’ve matured a lot. Things like saying sorry unprompted and really meaning it, sacrificing what you want for your brothers, offering to carry my purse to the car when my hands are full, bringing your dishes over to the sink without being asked and having fun playing games even if you lose.

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Nothing has made me more proud of you than when your teacher told us at parent conferences recently that “Lila is one of the nicest kids in class.” More so than knowing your letters, numbers etc, I care most about you learning how to be a good friend, to be kind to others and to love yourself. You make me so proud in this sense every day!

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You love your family so fiercely that sometimes daddy and I joke that no five year old has been more obsessed with their parents than you are. You would honestly rather be with us over any one else in the world. When I leave even to run to the store, you follow me out the door asking for at least five rounds of hugs and kisses.

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You often say “I’m never going to college! I’m going to live with mommy and daddy forever!” Secretly, I would be happy if that actually happened. I want you to experience all the world has to offer, but I hope you are forever close to us (even if it’s just in heart). You are my best little buddy and I love having you always by my side.

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Since the arrival of your brothers, your life has changed a lot. It would be very normal for you to feel resentful of them, but you have never once acted harshly towards them. At most you will tell me you feel jealous if I’m spending time with one of them or try to also sit on my lap if I’m holding one. I try to give you lots of one on one time to let you know that you’re very very special to my heart. You are such a fun big sister – always chasing the brothers until they fall in a heap giggling. They adore you so much.


We’ve tried to keep your life unscheduled so far. You mainly go to school in the mornings and then are home with us the rest of the time. We do little outings to the library, coffee shop or park. I figure you have a lot of time to explore hobbies & sports and I like our calm, quiet life! You already show a lot of aptitude and interest in a few things like singing, art, music, golf, running, swimming and acting. I’m looking forward to when you really start finding your passions.

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I am told often that you are a carbon copy of me. Right now you love “looking like mommy.”  I hope as you get older that continues! You are very tall (just like I was) and are off the charts for height. You’ve already lost two teeth and have your “7 year molars” coming in. Being so tall so young wasn’t always easy for me, but so far you think its so cool that you’re “the tallest in class!” I am going to do my best to help you to always love yourself and to think being tall is a great thing (because now that I’m an adult, I see that it so is!).

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Leading up to your birthday I told you that I thought you should just stay four, since mommy didn’t want you to get older. You said “No mommy I have to turn five! But I’ll always be your baby, remember?!” The truth is I love watching you grow up. I know what a special honor it is to be with you every day as you experience life.

I still can’t believe you are five! It seems like not long ago I was dreaming about what being a mom would be like. Whenever I would think about it, I always dreamt I had a daughter. You are everything and more that I dreamed of and I feel so lucky that you are mine.

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Happy birthday sweet girl!

Love always,




Dear Lila: You’re Two and a Half!

Dear Lila,

You turned two and a half last month and what a joy you are. A friend asked me yesterday what age I like best so far and I told her “every age gets better and better.” So far 2 1/2 is a lot of fun.

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I love this age because you’re still little enough that you say and do things not because you think we’ll be entertained by it, but just because you want to. This means you say and do a lot of REALLY cute things without even knowing it. Like when we asked you to “put your arm around Reagan for a picture.” lol

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We all have to laugh because for some reason you talk with a southern accent. This little twang you have going is seriously the cutest. Some of your southern sayings include:

– “Mommy can we go bye-bye sumpin’?” (Can we go out somewhere today)
– “Gon do mommy?” (what are you doing mommy)
– “A nudder one please?” (can I have another one)

Since you’re still learning to talk, you say some really cute things that I just don’t have the heart to correct. You call women “he” and men “she,” and anything that happened in the past is “last years.” As in “last years I ate ice cream” even though it was just last night.

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I joke with daddy that you’re similar to an ornery 85 year old man because you are very set in your ways and want everything done a particular way. Your bedtime routine must go in the right order or you’ll be the first to call us out for missing a step. You’re also really into doing things “by myself!!”

Daddy recently took the side off your crib so you can climb in an out on your own. You were so excited by your newfound freedom that we had a bit of a transition period while you learned that you still had to sleep! One night Daddy and I were watching TV at 10pm (you go to bed at 7:30), when you casually came downstairs decked out in your dress up clothes – tutu, bunny ears and jewelry.

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Speaking of dress up, your imagination has gotten very creative lately and you’re doing more and more pretend play. We absolutely love to hear you talk on your fake phone or have breakfast with your “friends.” Sometimes you even set a chair just for me, which melts my heart.

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One of the sweetest developments you’ve gone through these months, is the ability to name your feelings. You tell me when you need space, feel frustrated or are sad. On the flip side, you also tell us frequently and unprompted that you “lub” us very much. You have extended this love to your grandparents and family as well. This text came in from Mimi while she babysat the other night.

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You’ve been having a fun summer so far. I scaled back with work so I can spend more time with you. We go to the park, to 577 gardens, to the grocery store and of course, to the pool. You love showing off your “tricks,” which entails jumping off the edge and going under. As soon as you pop back up (thanks to your puddle jumper), you squeal “again! again! again!”

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Ladybug, you are the light of my life. I say prayers of thanks every day that I have you while I struggle to get pregnant again. My hurt hurts way less when I have you to play with or hug. You tell me often that “Mommy is going to have a baby. Not now, but soon!” and I hope you are right, because I know you’d be a wonderful big sister.

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You teach me new things about life every day and I feel immensely grateful that I get to be your mommy. Thank you for being my little bug.

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Dear Lila: You’re Two!

Dear Lila,

Today you turned two years old! This weekend we had a small family party for you at Gee and Mimi’s house. You got so many awesome presents like dress up clothes from Gee and Mimi, a doll house from Auntie Em and Uncle Matt, a rocking chair from Grammie and Gramps and on.

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Before your party we practiced blowing out candles. It was hard work! At first you got confused about which was blowing out and which was sucking air in, but after awhile you got the hang of it. Mommy may have helped you a little during the real thing.

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What can I say about you as a two year old? Well for starters, you are an absolute doll these days. I was telling daddy that lately it seems like nothing but good days with you. You sleep well, eat well, play well and generally are sweet as can be. We both really love that we can be home with you most days.

You have really taken to your new house. I was worried there may be a tough transition period, but you eased right in with no troubles. You continued to sleep like a champ and love playing in your new playroom. You still insist you have a “pink!!” house, and I have to gently remind you that “it’s green baby.”

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Speaking of pink. You have turned into quite a girly girl! At any given moment you will have three necklaces, multiple bracelets, a purse and your play makeup on. And I can forget about picking your clothes and shoes out these days. You are a little fashionista and want to pick it out for yourself!

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You are talking a lot these days and saying the cutest things. One of my favorites is when you want me to hold you, you ask “Mama, hole shoo me!” (mama hold you me). You’re still working on those pronouns. :) You also have very nice manners and always say your please, thank you and no thank you’s. We have never really “taught” you to say these things, but just focused on modeling for you, so it’s sweet to see that you’ve picked up on it.

Our days together are busy and fun. You take gymnastics and go to story time with cousin reagan, and then you and I do swim lessons on Friday. Otherwise, we spend time with friends at playdates, go to the zoo or museum or just play together at home. You like to be on the go and often ask me “Mama, I go bye bye peez.”

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It can take you awhile to warm up to people you aren’t as familiar with, but once you are comfortable, you LOVE your friends and family. Whenever you see your cousin Reagan, you girls scream and giggle while you play.

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You also adore your cousin Mabel and constantly ask to watch videos of her on my phone. You love spending time with your grandparents in Ohio and Indiana, which makes daddy and I so happy. In terms of animals, you love, love, love grammie’s cat Frankie. From what I hear, he loves you right back (even when you try to put your jewelry on him).

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I know it sounds cheesy, but you really do light up our lives. Every day with you feels like a special gift. When daddy or I get stressed out or anxious about all the responsibilities in life, you can instantly lift our spirits with your smiles, hugs and kisses.

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We love you so much baby. Happy second birthday!!


Dear Lila: You’re 20 Months Old!

Dear Lila,

Tomorrow you turn 20 months old. It’s late and I should be in bed asleep, but I wanted to get down on my blog how I feel right in this exact moment thinking about you as a 20 month old.

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Today was one of those typical stay at home mom days. We had eggs and yogurt for breakfast (you ate FOUR eggs!), then we went to the park (I pushed you on the swing for a good 20 minutes). After your nap, we went next door and played with the neighbor kids. There were ups, like our dance party in the living room, and downs, like when you cried when I said it was time to leave the park. Just a normal day.

And yet tonight when I think back on our day together, I’m filled with such an immense amount of love for you. I so enjoy our simple days together. We have such fun on our little adventures, and I have never felt such peace, contentment and JOY than when I’m spending a completely ordinary day with you.

Oh my goodness you are so much fun right now. The other night at dinner you, me, daddy and Mimi were sitting around the kitchen table singing “patty cake.” You got the hang of rolling your arms during the “rollll it” part and at the end of each verse you’d cheer “yaaaaaay!!!” and clap your hands. Of course we were all smiling and laughing right along with you.

You finally have let me cuddle you a bit. Your mommy loves to cuddle and until now you have been more like your daddy – very independent and no hugging please! Lately though, you will rest your head on my should for short bits of time, run up to me and give me a big hug or my favorite, let me hold you very tight before bed when we sing “twinkle twinkle” by your crib. I love burying my face in your sweet smelling hair and closing my eyes to savor the moment.

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You still eat like a grown man. Seriously, you out-eat your dad occasionally. You favorites are eggs, sauerkraut, plums, peaches and popsicles. I make popsicles for you at home using coconut water or as you call it “coco,” mashed up berries and a little orange juice. The other day, you ate three popsicles right in a row (Daddy was watching you).

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I am amazed every day by what new things you can do or how your understanding of the world increases. This morning you were playing in my closet while I got ready to go to the park and I said “Lila, can you bring me my tennis shoes?” You immediately picked my tennis shoes out of 10 pairs of shoes and brought them to me saying “shoo shoo!”

Speaking of shoes, you are sort of obsessed with yours, mine, dads … any one’s shoes! You will point to dad’s sandals and say “Is dada’s shoo!” while you try to put it on. When I get you dressed in the morning, it always takes the longest for you to pick out and approve of what shoes you are wearing that day. I love that one minute you’re proud of your shoe collection and the next you’re throwing dirt.

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After a month or more of living in Ohio, I must say, I think you like it here. Between seeing both sets of your grandparents, having both mommy and daddy home all week and playing with your cousin Reagan and friends Liam, baby Harrison and the neighbors regularly, I marvel at how happy you seem lately. You are an Ohio girl just like your mama.

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I think about how fast you’re growing and how soon you’ll be a full fledged little girl. I tell daddy, “I hope as she grows up that she’ll continue to want to be around me.” I know that sounds a little silly and that there will likely be some years where you’ll prefer your friends over me, but please know my little Lila, I will ALWAYS enjoy being around you. Even when you’re angry, sad or mad at me, being will you will still be my favorite way to spend a day.

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