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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.48.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.49.16 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.49.43 PM

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

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.46.57 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.49.25 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.53.32 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.50.03 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.50.17 PM

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!”

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.55.36 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.01.57 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.57.28 PM



Mother’s Day 2015

I had a lovely Mother’s Day this year. It started the night before when I was rocking Lila before bed. She said “Daddy and I drew you a picture! It’s for you!” I asked her if it was for Mother’s Day and she said “Yes!” before settling back down.

The moment I woke up, my sweet husband handed me a decaf, breve, latte that he had gotten up early to run out to get. We laid in bed sipping our coffees just enjoying a slow morning. This a rare treat as Luke is an early riser who abhors just “laying” when there are things to get done!

Then Lila woke up and bounded into our room. With a little prompt from her dad, she said “Happy Muders Day, mommy” and gave me a big kiss along with the picture she drew me. We spent the morning playing tea set and dress up until it was time to go to church.

My mom and dad met us for mass, and while a bit roly poly, Lila made it through the whole hour without a hitch. Small victories here people!

After mass we headed over to brunch at Toledo Country Club. I was so impressed by the brunch they put on! Endless amounts of food from smoked salmon and shrimp cocktail, to duck in raspberry sauce and beef tenderloin and eight different types of dessert. I chose cheesecake with ice cream of course.

After brunch we milled around outside at TCC taking in the beautiful view of the river and green grass, while Lila and her cousin Reagan chased each other around, working off their ice cream rushes. We snapped these pictures to remember the day by.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.04.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.04.39 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.04.24 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.04.15 AM

When we got home I took a short nap until my mom texted to see if I could join her at a movie. We saw Age of Adeline, which we enjoyed. I can’t reiterate how nice it is to be able to see an impromptu movie with my mom on Mother’s Day. This is why we moved home in a nutshell.

Still stuffed from our mid-day brunch feast, I got a night off from cooking dinner. Lila munched on some cheese and lunch meat, and Luke whipped up a giant bowl of coconut oil-popped popcorn for us to enjoy while we watched a documentary.

As I rocked Lila before bed, she lifted her head and said “I had a nice Mother’s Day with you.” My heart melted and I told her “I did too sweetie. You know, I always wanted to be a mommy, and when you were born, my wish came true.” Lila smiled and said “Just like in Cinder-rellie!” :)

During the whole day I felt loved and cherished, which is all I could ask for. I was worried I may feel a bit of sadness this Mother’s Day, by thinking about the pregnancy I lost this year and the subsequent struggles to conceive, but it really didn’t enter my mind.

I thank god often for giving me the gift of Lila before I entered this struggle with infertility. Going through days like Mother’s Day while dealing with infertility before having any children would be devastating, and my heart aches for the women who felt that on Sunday.

Being a wife and mother has always been what I’ve wanted most for my life. I just always knew that motherhood, while inherently challenging, would bring with it the most joy I would ever feel. This Mother’s Day, that joy was present in everything we did.

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.

20 months old

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.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.21.42 PM

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).

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 3.06.16 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.22.22 PM

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.

image (17)

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.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.23.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.17.50 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.21.57 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.24.38 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.30.31 PM



Good Mom Bad Mom

So far motherhood has been a teeter totter between feeling like I’ve got it together to feeling completely inept.

Last week was a good example. We drove four hours to San Francisco to see my parents who were in from Ohio staying with my sister. Lila did great in the car and was a happy, calm baby the whole first day. That night though, I think all the change of routine caught up with her and she was up fussing every 2 hours, which is very rare for her.

The next day I was totally exhausted, but excited for the evening. We were going out to a brazilian steakhouse for my dad’s birthday and it was the first night out without baby. My sister had arranged a great baby sitter from my niece’s daycare and I had pumped and brought along a bottle to leave with her.

About a half hour before the babysitter was to arrive, I took the bottle out of the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. And it was completely rancid. Apparently there are a lot of rules about storing breast milk that I had no clue about, so when I transported it in the car four hours and then re-cooled it, it turned the milk sour.

I felt like such a loser as a mother. How did I not know this about breastmilk? What was my baby supposed to eat while I was out??

Totally defeated, I told everyone I would just stay home from dinner. But my sister jumped in and put together a game plan that involved a last minute feeding and supplementing with some of her frozen milk. Part of me felt guilty that I had to give her someone else’s milk, but frankly, I needed a night out.

I think Lila can tell when I’m feeling down about my abilities as a mother, because as soon as I feel pretty low, she will have a great few days. Sure enough, when we got back from dinner, the report from the babysitter was that Lila slept like an angel the whole time. And for the next four nights she slept eight hours or more!

It’s so true when people say motherhood is the greatest and hardest thing you’ll ever do. I have never second-guessed myself as much as I have during these first few months of Lila’s life. I’m constantly worrying that I’m doing it all wrong.

Deep down I know I’m doing the best I can and that I’d have to work pretty hard to mess her up too much at this age. I think the stress just comes from the crazy amount of love I feel for her. I love her so much that I want the absolute best for her. I want to give her MY best.

Because she deserves it.