letters to sunday

Letters to Sunday | 2 Years Old

Letters to Sunday | 2 Years Old

Sweet, sweet Sunday,

What can I say? I know I'm biased, but, you're basically perfect. This past year has been amazing. You've grown from a crawling baby to a walking, talking, generous, affectionate and loving little girl. I struggle writing these letters these days because I feel like I sound like a broken record. "I love you"  "You're the best"  "You're amazing"  "You're so beautiful!" I could go on. Instead, I thought I'd approach this letter a little differently this time.

Letters to Sunday | 20 Months

Letters to Sunday | 20 Months

Dear Baby Sunday,

My compassionate, expressive, and extremely affectionate daughter... can we even call you a baby anymore? You are so big... a real little girl now. Wanting this and that, not wanting this and that, bossing the dogs around, climbing all over things, giving kisses galore... You are so, so big. Stop it. Stop growing!

Letters to Sunday | 14 months (our longest letter yet)

Letters to Sunday

My precious little one,

Oh how lovely you are. I have started telling you this daily. "You are beautiful. You are smart. You are going to do amazing things." You understand almost everything we say now, why not tell you how amazing you are any chance we get? I hope you always know that you are loved, that you are worthy, and that God has a plan for your life.

You are so affectionate, sweet girl. I love it. We love it. You give kisses galore and stop whatever you are doing every few minutes to climb in someone's arms to top off your cup of affection. After a 3 second embrace you hop back up and return to your activity, often delivering a thank you kiss. Daddy sings a little diddy, "Daddy LOVES kisses from the bay-beee!" And your face just shines! So much sweet joy.

I know I've mentioned this before, but, thanks to you I finally have someone to call silly pet names and my list for you is never-ending: sugar bear, sweet baby, honey baby, smoofaloogaroo. Okay I just made that last one up but it's totally representative of all the ridiculous things that come out of my mouth when I am racking my brain for a new cutesy name to call you. You love it. You love affection: verbal, physical, emotional.

Letters to Sunday

You also still absolutely adore the great outdoors. You and your daddy both… you inspire me so much. You never complain if you're too cold, so Daddy takes you out hiking with him as often as he can. But we have to constantly check your temperature! One time you guys went hiking without me and somewhere along the way you lost a mitten. Daddy had no idea and apparently neither did you because you didn't attempt to communicate the problem with him. But your poor little hand! It knew! It was pink and purple for a little-too-long. Of course the human body is amazing and everything was okay after a little while. But even through all of that, not a peep of complaint from you!

Speaking of complaints. You're still teething. Oh, teething. It's basically this constant thing going on that I am always forgetting about. You are pretty good about handling the pain from teething, but your body typically tries to let me know what's happening. Runny nose, watery eyes… I honestly forget about the teething escapade quite a bit. That's where your nanny, Allison, steps in. She remembers all these little baby things and helps me remember to check your mouth. Low and behold you've got some molars coming in already and every now and then you stop and ask to nurse at the most random times. That's when I know for sure it's your teeth that are bothering you. Poor thing.

Yes, we are still breastfeeding. Girl… I think you would breastfeed until you are 10 years old if I let you. Daddy and I went on our first overnight trip away from you and we were gone for almost two full days. Of course the second you saw me come up the stairs you asked to nurse! Mommy = nursing. It has always been that way, I'm expecting it to not always BE that way. :) At this point we only share that quiet time at home before night-night (naps and bedtime). You seem to have gotten the hang of our new normal and I am grateful it unfolded how I always hoped it would. I hope to nurse you until you are at least two years old - the recommended amount of time - but I am glad we've narrowed this time down to just at home, in the quiet of our own space. (Although, I'll admit, those teeth and your relaxed latch make it slightly challenging for me to enjoy the thought of you nursing for another 10 months… but the cuddles are too sweet not to keep going for so long!)

You love your nanny Allison and her son, Aiden. When they come in the front door you squeal with delight and 99% of the time you would rather be in Allison's arms than Mama's (except that 1% of time when you would prefer to nurse). I can't tell you how comforting it is to know you feel safe in her arms. Aiden helps teach you to share and also to fight your own battles. He has also taught you this cute cry that you do when you are tired (I'll have to get it on video for you!) and other sweet baby things. I love the relatinship you have with both of them and I feel so safe leaving you in their company. They are moving in a few months and you probably won't cry about it as much as I will. I hope I will always be able to tell you of the sweet adventures you shared with them.

You are building a stronger relationship with the puppies. Hawkeye has always been so interested in you and kind of obnoxiously affectionate towards you while Traveller has always sweetly avoided you. However, it seems you appreciate Traveller playing hard-to-get and you are drawn to her more often than Hawkeye. It's pretty cool how she understand so well that you are our baby and she has to make smart decisions around you. Your daddy and I are greatly enjoying watching the relationships between the three of you develop over time. It's such a unique bond.

Food. I can't decide if it is a good or a bad thing that you have inspired me to stop and rethink our diets. Okay, it's a very good thing. At this time, though, I have been trying to learn a healthy balance in my personal relationship with food. This is proving to be a challenge for me and unfortunately you have been along for the ride. We waver between days full of nutrition-packed-meals and days of empty-nutrient meals (and an emotionally defeated mama). Treats are okay, every once in a while. The problem is that if I gave you a treat every time I wanted to, and so did your grandma, and your Thia, and your daddy… well… when would you ever eat well? I'll save the rest of my dieting diatribe for another post. In the meantime, I want to document some of your favorites. You absolutely love sweet potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. Lately you have passed on all meats, which confuses me because you used to love them. You drink milk and water and you do appreciate a sip of my freshly juiced fruits and veggies every now and then. If bread, chips, blueberries or bananas are in sight you will not eat anything else. And so begins our days of fit throwing and toddler-ness.

You are an expert communicator. Using grunts, squeals, pointing and sign language, we communicate fairly successfully. In addition, you do say Daddy, Mama, Bye, No, Yeah, All-Done, Night-Night and a handful of other requested words (as in, I say "Can you say _____??" And you do. :)) Of course we are consistently trying to teach politeness and good manners. This is probably our biggest challenge. But, you're a toddler and we have many years of required consistency before Daddy and I will likely see the fruits of that labor.

You experienced your first plane right at the start of 2013. Me, you, Grandmommie and Aunt Jacqulyn all flew to New Orleans together. The trip was quite a doozy, but you faired well on the plane thanks to a lot of nursing treats. :) Typically you are such a great little travel buddy. You enjoy riding in your carseat, and you really seem to do just fine when your routine is thrown off a bit. But, this trip proved to be too much after a week of being out of your own environment already (due to the holidays). Of course we learned a lot and I hope future trips only continue to improve from here on out. :)

Sunday… we love you so. We love the personality of yours that shines through more each day. We are always talking about "how much fun this age is." Each new day, new discovery, new lesson and bits of personality shining through… it all brings such fullness to our lives. You inspire us to be better people, have a happier marriage, and keep our focus on what's important in life. Thank you, baby.

We love you so.

Love, Mama

letters to sunday: first birthday

Sweet girl,

9:16am... exactly one year ago you were placed into my arms. It was a moment that changed our lives for the BEST.

My sweet, smiley, snuggly girl. How do I say how wonderful you are without talking in circles and repeating everything I've ever said about you? :) You are my favorite little person in this whole world. You were the perfect addition to our family and you made this last year the best of our lives.

It's so crazy now... how much you communicate and understand us. It's like it happened overnight. You turned 11 months old and suddenly you understood everything we were saying. Here we are, one month later, and you don't miss a thing!
If there is something nearby to help you balance, you are standing on your feet. You love to walk around while holding onto furniture and every now and then you let go and try it on your own! Before we know it, you will be walking!

You say "Bye Bye" now with the cutest little wave! So that was officially your first word! You also say Dada and a couple of people SWEAR you have said their names (Aiden and Soda Pop!). So fun. :) We practice Mama and Grandma a LOT.

Now that you can sign you are constantly - and I mean constantly - signing to nurse. If you see your mama, you crawl right over to me look up at me and sign "more!" Which means "Pick me up and nurse me please!" It's probably the one thing that drives me a little batty. I find myself hiding from you sometimes so I don't have to tell you "no." Because that is your least favorite word in the world. And really, honey, you simply cannot eat all. day. long!

I finally finished your birth slideshow - almost a year to the day you were born. Looking back through those pictures now is a completely different experience than looking at them soon after your birth. I know that little baby now... I recognize those familiar expressions you had even at just a few minutes old. I hope one day you will watch it and see the wonderful experience we had bringing you into this world!

Have I mentioned how snuggly you are? You love ANYTHING soft and fluffy and it is the most precious thing to watch you squeeze and nuzzle your blankets or stuffed animals! And almost every time I pick you up you take a moment to lay your head on my shoulder... even if you are just giving me a little hug before you pull back and ask to "Nurse, please." Gosh, I adore you!

You are completely into 12 month clothing now... the onesies are worn less often and real shirts and jeans are worn more often. You are growing up!

You were so super behaved at your first birthday party! I pretty much expected that because you love to people watch so much I knew you would be completely content even if you were completely exhausted at the same time! Oh and you LOVED your birthday cake! Well, mostly you liked the whipped cream icing, but that was to be expected!

As I type, you are napping away after playing in your crib with some books. This week you started falling asleep on your own, peacefully and quietly, when laid in your crib with a few toys. It's a whole new world for us and we both seem to really enjoy it. :)

When you wake we are going out for your birthday! Your Aunt Carrie and Uncle Zac are here (which is appropriate since they were like two of four people who had to miss your party) and we are going to spoil you all day!

Happy Birthday beautiful angel! You are the light of our lives... have I already mentioned that?!

All pictures in this post were taken by my friend Heather at Visions By Heather Photography.

letters to sunday | you make me a better person

Dearest Sunday,

My girl... my heart overflows with adoration and love for you. You have brought such joy to our family. I am happier now than I have ever been... you make me a better person. In completely random order, here are the things your presence has changed in my everyday life:

  1. I don't sit on my computer all day anymore. I actually get up and clean the house and *gasp* I have even mowed the lawn a few times this summer!
  2. I exercise more.
  3. I drink more water. (Breastfeeding requires it!)
  4. I cherish the little things. I know these moments with you are fleeting so I deliberately take the time to pause and appreciate the time we have together right now. I especially am loving the moments together while you are eating. Your curl your little knees up and snuggle into my lap. It's the sweetest time and I hope we continue to enjoy breastfeeding for a long time.
  5. I think your dad is more attractive than ever. I can't help it. Watching him ask for you and interact with you makes my heart jump for joy - you have helped our love for each other grow even deeper.
  6. I am slowly learning better time management. Slowly. With your help, I take a few steps forward (and one step back) on a regular basis. I thought planning was a positive thing in the past... now it is a requirement! And that's a very good thing for us.
  7. The phrase "this too shall pass" is a new mantra in my life. Whether "this" is good or bad, I am learning that what may feel like my whole entire world flipping upside down is really just a small hiccup in our days or weeks.
  8. I don't have the energy to be dramatic about little things anymore. When people ask me "how are you?" My answer is a quick "Really good!" these days. In the past I'd pause and try to find something worth complaining about. I just don't have time anymore. I like it this way!
  9. Since you now want to eat anything you see me eating, I am making better diet choices. For the both of us.
  10. You motivate me every day. To make better choices, to pray more, and to appreciate life more.

Oh this list will grow and grow in the coming years. Life with you is a little piece of heaven on earth and I am so very grateful for it.

xoxox, Mama