Dear Grace- 16 months

Dear Grace, you are 16 months old!  You are so big!  I wanted to document some of the words you know:

  1. Momma
  2. Dadda
  3. Hi
  4. Bye
  5. okay
  6. yeah
  7. no
  8. dog (your favorite), and also you say "ruff"
  9. duck
  10. milk
  11. ball
  12. book
  13. fan (well, I think you say it, and I know you do the sign)
  14. all done
  15. moe (which means juice)
  16. nose
  17. eye
  18. ear
  19. bonk (referring to your head)
  20. choo (when someone sneezes)
  21. tickle
There are probably more, but there are some of the most popular ones.  I love you, Gracie, you are wonderful.

Dear Grace- 1 year!

Dear Grace, you turned one this week!  I can't believe it!  We had a party for you and lots of our friends came to celebrate.  I made you carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and you ate mostly the frosting- smart girl.

Every time I turn around you are up to something new.  Today you stood in the chair and yelled at a lady passing by.  She stopped turned around, and looked all over to see where it was coming from.  I just laughed and laughed as she walked away confused.

A couple days ago you crawled right past me and up the steps.  You were up 3 of them before I could get to you!  I wish you were slightly afraid of hurting yourself.  You've been pulling up on everything and climbing whatever you can find.

Autumn is such a fantastic season here in Chicago.  The breeze blows in your hair and you love it.  It's been a bit cool so I got some socks out for you.  They are too small.  I guess you've grown a lot this summer!  I'll have to get you new ones.

Well, I hear you waking up from your nap.  I love you little one! xoxo


When they said time flies...

... they weren't kidding.

Dear Gracie Leigh,

It's important for you to know that the reason I have not written you a letter in a few months is not because I don't care or I forgot. It's because you keep me busy. I have been spending my days with you, and nights wiped out on the couch with your daddy. Nothing could have prepared me for how fast you grow and change. I really just can't believe it. You are hardly a baby... you're really more of a little girl.

Well, I think May, June, and July have pretty much gone by since I wrote you a letter. So, let's see. Grandma and Grandpa came to visit in May. We went downtown and took the architecture tour. You were able to sport you yellow hat. We went to see Nana and Papaw in June. You stayed with them for two whole days while Daddy and I went camping. Everyone had a great time. You got to swim in a baby pool, and we got you an outdoor swing to keep at their house. It was a nice visit, and we got some pictures taken.

You are crawling. Not a little, but a lot! In two months you went from hardly rolling over to taking off crawling across the room! You are pretty fearless and try to eat a lot of things you find on the floor. You like to play peek-a-boo (both as the hider and the peeker). I've started calling you "Little Boo" because of how much you enjoy the game! You also love to go to the park. There are some water fountains at Mayfair Park and we run through them together. You love to reach out and touch the water. You also really like to watch the other kids playing.

You pretty much eat what we eat. You like all kinds of things. We've been eating a lot of fruit since summer is the perfect time for that. I think watermelon might be your favorite. You also like strawberries, blueberries, and pears. You can feed yourself, and you've been learning to use your new teeth. I think you have 5 right now. I know you can use them to bite me! We have been trying to teach you that biting isn't good.

You say "momma" and "dada." You can do the sign language for "milk" and "fan." You point at things you want and don't hesitate to tell us when you are not getting what you want. You also say "hey" and sometimes you wave. Your mouth rarely stops going. I think when you learn to talk you will do so all the time. You definitely have a lot to say. I can't wait to hear all about it.

One of my favorite things to do is get kisses from you. Your smiles are the best, and I'll do anything to make you laugh. In general, if you get enough sleep, and your teeth aren't too painful, you are a happy baby. I very happy little girl.

I hum songs as you fall asleep in my arms every night. It's pretty much the best part of my day. I love watching you grow up. It's amazing. It makes me feel so small. It makes me feel like time really does fly. Sometimes I want to freeze you right where you are and keep you a 10 month old forever.

I love you, Gracie.


Dear Grace- 8 months

Dear Grace,

You have a mind of your own. I can't believe how often you decide on something and then make sure we know about it. Sometimes you will just scream until I hold you. No one else. You want me. Sometimes you don't want to eat. You push your lips together and growl! You don't say any words, but you have a language of your own.

You have been teething. Bad. Your two bottom teeth, first the right then the left, just popped through in the last couple weeks. It's been getting us up in the middle of the night, and making you refuse food. It's been tiring for all involved. I can't believe you have those cute little teethies poking through. You've been trying to chew, so now you actually have some tools!

You've started scooting backward. You also have been rolling over one direction or the other about once a day or every other day. You're not really into it, but every now and then you flop over. You, a now expert sitter, have also been going from sitting to on your belly. I'm not so sure you do it on purpose though... I think you might just be testing your boundaries, and then fall forward. ha ha.

Your hair keeps getting blonder and blonder. It's beautiful! In the sun it looks like shades of gold. I like to put a little bow in it. It's long and in your eyes again, but I don't want to cut it. I think I will just pin it back.

Well, I love you more than you will ever know. You bring delight and entertainment to all of my days. I miss you when you are asleep. I pretty much kiss you and cuddle you all the time... and if I'm not kissin and cuddlin, you can be pretty sure your daddy is.


Dear Grace- 7 months

Dear Gracie poo,

I love you. You are a complete person... a very small one... but whole nonetheless. When you look at me and smile it evokes all kinds of emotion. There is the cute factor- the fact that I can't help but smile back. I tell you you are beautiful like 100 times a day. There is love- the kind I choose and the kind I can't help. From the day you were born I loved you. The more I get to know you the more I love you.

You started giving me hugs and kisses the last few weeks. The first time you laid your little head on my chest and held on tight, tears swelled in my eyes. It was as if you were telling me "I know I am loved and safe." I can read about attachment theory all day, but I never knew how it felt to be attached until now. I would try to explain it, but I really can't. All I know is we have a bond that can't be broken.

Sometimes you open your mouth and slobber all over my face. I call it a kiss. C'mon, give me a break, I'll take what I can get. We both love it, and that's all that matters.

We went to the pediatrician on April 4th and you are one long skinny baby! You were:

16lbs 10oz
27 and 7/8s inches long

You can sit up for long periods of time, but sometimes you get tired and don't know how to lay down. You eat 2-3 meals a day. You love bananas, just like me! We started giving you a little water in a sippie cup, and so far you just think it's a toy. I had to give your bangs a little trim because they were poking you in the eyes. You like for me to hold you a lot, especially when you get sleepy. Sometimes you just want your mommy, and that's okay.

You love toys that make noise! You have a train that makes "choo choo" noises and even a cell phone that talks to you. You love it when I hide and then pop up and say "boo!" We both enjoy sucking on your little toes after your bath. We've been reading lots of books and you think it's funny to watch me read. I've been trying to teach you some words and some sign language. I think you've been trying to say "momma" and "bottle." Every night when I give you a bath I show you the soap and say "bottle." You've started to say "ba" when you get in the tub. Maybe you are trying to say "bath"... I suppose time will tell!

We go on long walks every day. Daddy carries you in the carrier and you look around. Sometimes you talk and talk- to the traffic, to the trees, to yourself... who knows. Sometimes you take a little nap. We can't wait until it gets warmer and you don't need so many layers of clothes! When the breeze is warm you kick with excitement, and when it is cold you groan.

Well, that's all for now. You are growing so fast, I probably left something out! We love you more than you will ever know. xo!


A Poem: She's My Baby, Grace!

She's My Baby, Grace!

By: Sara Boyle

Who has ticklish toes,

And a little round nose,

Big brown eyes,

And chunky thighs?

She’s got a smile on her face,

She’s my baby, Grace!

She can babble and coo,

But what else can she do?

She can play with a toy,

And laugh for joy.

She can stand up tall,

Even though she is small.

She’ll give you a kiss, with her mouth open wide

And laugh at peek-a-boo, when you try to hide.

She keeps getting stronger,

And I know before much longer,

She’ll be learning to talk,

And learning to walk.

She holds my heart in her hand,

I think you understand.

I’m so proud every day.

I love her in every way.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Do you like Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies?

Then you are gross. Seriously, I pretty much hate any cookie with "oatmeal" in the name. I don't care what else you put in it or if it is your Grandma's secret recipe. Ick.

However, I LOVE oats in my muffins! It was a life changing experience when I started baking with whole wheat flour and oats. This recipe vaguley resembles the original, so I won't bore you with what it looked like before. Here is my version:

1/2 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar (packed or course)
1 egg
3/4 C apple sauce
a little oil... like maybe 1/8- 1/4 C
a little vanilla... maybe 1 teaspoon
1/2 C re'glar flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 C oats
1 C or so chocolate chips
1 C or so of walnuts (or pecans!)- no need to chop if they are already in halves

Preheat to 350 degrees. You know the drill- cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients separate- the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. A little at a time mix the dry into the wet- it will all be a bit lumpy. Bake in greased cupcake tin or use cups (I like the cups because I freeze them and they seem to maintain their shape better that way) for 25 minutes- use the toothpick test if they don't look quite done.

There you have it. I love them and so does Alan.

I doubled the recipe and it made about 2 baker's dozen. Fill the cups pretty much to the top- they don't rise much at all.