The Rundown: 3 years, 9 months & 2 years, 4 months

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I used to write these sort of updates all the time. I’d make a list of your weights and heights and milestones. I wanted a record all of the ways you were growing and changing month over month.

But for the past six months or more, I haven’t written a post like this. Your changes have come so fast I’ve barely had time to register them. Every day I wake up to two children who are taller, smarter, more animated than the day before. I come home from work and I swear you’ve grown while I was away. I curl up next to you at bedtime and try to imagine how it used to feel to hold you as a baby. Those little round bellies and chubby arm rolls have turned into long, skinny legs and feet that outgrow shoes at an alarming rate.

Every season, as I go through your closets and pack away the things you’ll never wear again, I do it with a lump in my throat. Sometimes, I cave to my own hang-ups, and squeeze you into a favorite t-shirt that should have been abandoned months ago…even though your belly hangs out and it’s tight in the arms. I just want one more day of seeing you run around in that silly piece of clothing you once wore daily.

I don’t know exactly how much either of you weigh or how tall you are now. I do know that the top of Everly’s head comes up to my hip and my arms grow tired while carrying Arlo much quicker than they did even a few months ago .  Arlo, your hair has grown long enough to fall in your eyes. I’m the only one left who thinks it shouldn’t be cut, but I’m standing my ground on that one. Everly, you’ve reached the age where you will patiently let me braid your hair or put it up in little buns. You love to admire my handiwork in the mirror when I’m done.

Everly, you are so full of reason and inquiry. You make up the best songs. You have a great sense of humor and above all, you continue to make me so proud with the way you have empathy for others. You share beautifully and like to make gifts for your loved ones. You are sometimes bossy, often stubborn and a born leader. I watch as every where you go, others are drawn to your energy and confidence. Your spirited nature will no doubt be a challenge to our parenting at times as you grow, but know that it is also one of the things I most admire in you.

 Arlo, you bring pure joy to our world. You are rarely in a hurry but love to speed around the house on your balance bike. You are quiet and content except when you get your heart broken, which is fairly often. You go with the flow, are comfortable to just be, and most happy when you are surrounded by cars and trucks and toy motorcycles. You are not a rough and tumble kid. You are thoughtful and purposeful, affectionate and silly. When I lay down with you at night, you reach out and slowly rub the back of my arms. I can tell, already, that your goodness will make waves in this world.

I’ve stopped counting all the words the two of you say and tracking all of the milestones you’re reaching, because I know you are right where you are supposed to be. We are in no hurry to rush either of you into formal education right now. We are introducing letter, color, and shape identification through lots and lots of book reading. We are being protective of these early childhood years. You will learn all about writing and reading and counting soon enough, but for now, our greatest focus on learning is around the art of adventure and play.

You are both just great kids. We love being your parents. Keep up the good work, you’ve already got this whole childhood thing down pat.

Love,

Mama

The Rundown: 2 years, 10 months & 18 months

Everly and Arlo,

I sat down last night to edit photos from your past two months and write this post with all of the details about your growth and eating habits and new quirks, like I have done since you were both born.  But after writing a solid page of text, I felt compelled to erase it all. Every word.

I love tracking your milestones. I love watching you grow. I love going back and reading about what you were doing at 8 months or 1 year or just two months ago (because honestly, the tiny details of each phase do start to fade from my mind as new ones take their place) but this month I just want to take a moment to recognize where we are.

The question of “How are the kids?” is usually the first anyone asks me.  I just want you to know that it’s hard to contain the  gratitude I feel when I can tell anyone who asks that the two of you are fantastic - healthy and growing.

We have settled into a place of great check-ups with doctors and 8 hours of sleep at night. The two of you have grown so close as siblings. You’re both busting out the toes of your footie pajamas and shirts that fit fine last week are too small the next. As a family, we’ve really found our rhythm lately.

I know first hand that there are no guarantees and things can (and will) change as we walk this path together…But right now, the inches don’t matter and I’m not counting molars and it’s ok if you both refuse to eat broccoli.

Things are good.

Really, really good.

And that’s all the update I need.

Love,

Mama

The Rundown: 2 years, 8 months & 16 months

Stats: 

Everly -The same as your last update. Your still are right at about 26 and a half pounds. At your most recent pediatrician appointment they told me you were about 15 percentile for your age. Small and mighty.

Arlo- You haven’t gained any weight from your last update either (22 lbs), but you have grown a bit taller (almost 32 inches tall) which your pediatrician feels accounts for why you haven’t gained much weight wise.  Even though you are also on the small size for your age, you and Everly are both strong, healthy kiddos!

Teeth:

Everly- nearly six months ago, we noticed one day that one of your front teeth looked gray all of sudden. It freaked me out and I quickly made you an appointment at the dentist to have it looked at. He said that the tooth had some sort of trauma but that it could be from something that happened even when you were a baby. We couldn’t think of a time when you might have hit it. There wasn’t much we could do but keep an eye on it and sure enough, it’s actually starting to turn white again. He told us there was a possibility that it was just bruised and would heal over time.  I’m happy to see it improving!

Arlo - The teeth are coming! Molars left and right! The bottom left molar was the first to pop through and it was really rough on you. Recently, I finally caved and bought you an amber teething necklace. Everly breezed through teething so buying one was never warranted with her, but we reached the point that you were so pitiful that I was willing to try anything! The jury is still out, but I will say that since you’ve had it on, we haven’t had to give you any teething tablets or an overnight dose of ibuprofen to help you sleep. Coincidence or effective? We’ll see.

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The Rundown: 30 months & 14 months

(Eeek! I’m so late on this rundown. These photos are from our trip to Vermont as they are most accurate for this update)

Stats:

Everly- You weigh 26.8 pounds and are 36 inches tall. After wearing the same shoe size for nearly a year, I’m excited about the prospect of you finally wearing a size 6 this fall. I’ve been collecting some super cute shoes for you over the past year because I was just SO SURE that you would have grown into them by now! Your hair is really starting to get long and although the back could probably use a trim, I’m just not ready to cut it yet. You are still in size 24 months in dresses and shirts, and 18 months in most bottoms.

Arlo-  You weigh 22.6 pounds and are 31 inches tall. You have begun to lose what little thigh chub you gained after your heart procedure once you started walking. You are quickly moving into a size 4 shoe and are wearing some hand-me-down shoes from your sister and your cousin Thomas. Your hair has started to really grow in now and the fabulous little curls behind your ears are the cutest thing ever. You are wearing size 12-18 month clothing.

Teeth

Everly - No updates here. Full set of chompers!

Arlo- We thought for sure you were teething most of June and July, but despite some swollen gums, we’ve yet to see any new teeth pop through. You’ve really taken to brushing your teeth and love to do it yourself. Sometimes you get confused and instead of moving the brush up and down, you will stick the tooth brush in your mouth and move your head back and forth- ha!

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The Rundown: 28 months & 12 months

Stats:

Everly - You weigh 26 pounds and are 35 1/2 inches tall. You are still my teeny girl and we’ve watched your best buddy Mylah take off and gain a good inch over you in height recently! You are still wearing a size 5 shoe. Despite your small size, you are so quick on your feet! You love to jump and dance and climb. You are learning to walk down the stairs forward (instead of crawling down backwards) and tell me you are doing it “like a big durl” (girl) every time you hold the rail and careful step down one at a time.

Arlo - You weigh 21 pounds and are 30 inches tall. You’ve crept back up on the growth charts and are now hanging out in the 40% on weight & 50% on height. Your big ‘ol noggin is in the 85% (you can thank your dad for that one!) You wear a size 3 shoe and are starting to fit into some of your 12 month clothes.

Teeth:

Everly - You really love brushing your teeth. Sometimes you ask us several times a day. We try to make it fun with songs and you really love when I brush my teeth along with you. We told you that you have to get the germies off your teeth before you go to bed and now you will ask me after you are done brushing. “Mama, do you see any germies?”

Arlo - You have 8 teeth total - four on the top and four on the bottom. We brush them before bed and you are most interested in just chewing on your tooth brush. You’ve been drooling and chewing on your fingers a lot the past few days so we expect some new teeth are on their way.

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The Rundown. 26 months & 10 months

Stats:

Everly- You weigh 25 lbs 2 ounces, and are 35 inches tall. While the majority of your body has remained petite, you’ve recently grown this amazing, round little potbelly. It makes me giggle to no end to see you arch your back and poke it out. Apparently, such epic baby bellies run in daddy’s side of the family as your aunt Katie’s was famous for her baby belly when she was your age. You’re in an in between size with your clothes and I have the hardest time lately trying to figure out what size you wear. In pants you are still in 18 months, but in tops you need a 2t (to cover that belly, of course!). 24 month dresses are usually too big but 18 month dresses can be too tight. Your petite little feet are still in a size 5 and haven’t changed much for the past few months. Also, your hair has really started to grow! You’ve recently decided you are willing to wear pony & pig tails and you’ll let me brush your wild hair!

Arlo- Well, well buddy - this is the most fun stats update I’ve had to write on you in some time. Since your surgery 19 days ago, you’ve gained 1 pound and 5 ounces!!!  I mean, that is AMAZING stuff! You now weigh 19 lbs, 4 ounces and are 29 inches long. Suddenly, all of those clothes that have fit you for months and months are busting at the seams! I can’t wait to see how fast you shoot back up on the growth chart now that your heart is functioning like it should. Your sweet little strawberry blonde locks are continuing to grow and your hair is super curly in the back. You are wearing a 2.5 shoe.

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The Rundown: 8 months & 2 years

(Arlo fresh from a bath & Everly having just been caught attempting to give her balloon puppy a “baf”.)

Stats:

Everly: You are riding that 25 percentile curve all the way through your second year of life. At your 2 year check up, you were 24 lbs 8 ounces and 34 3/4 inches tall. You’ve got a closet full of size 5 shoes and you’ve got a serious opinion on the ones you like best. Your crazy, wispy hair is starting to grow in thicker and you still sport the most radical bedhead the world has ever seen most days (despite my attempts to tame it).

Arlo: My long and lean boy continues the same growth pattern too - 17.9 pounds and 28 1/2 inches long. You are wearing 9month clothes like a champ although some of the pants can be a little baggy in the waist. You are wearing a 2.5 shoe (when you wear shoes).

Teeth:

Everly: Your pediatrician confirmed that all of your second year molars are in! Now that all your major teeth are in, can I just tell you that you have always handled teething like a champ. From the first tooth to the last molar, it never seemed like a big deal to you. 

Arlo: After months of sporting two little bunny teeth, you’re about to get some new ones! Your 4 front teeth are just beginning to break through the surface of your gums. You’ve done really well with teething, fussing only here and there. You love chomping on a cold teether when they really bother you.

Feeding:

Everly: Your appetite rocks! It hasn’t always been this way, but you are turning into a great little eater! While you’re still not a huge fan of some green veggies, you’ll pretty much try everything and when you love something, you’ll clean your plate and ask for seconds! Among your favorites right now: shrimp, cheese tortellini, peas, pizza (of course), blackberries, chicken legs, & baked sweet potato fries.

Arlo: You were 6.5 months old when we introduced you to solids and it’s been a slow climb as we introduced each new food to you. I’ve been a little more cautious in giving you new foods since you’ve had some bad reactions to dairy and soy in the past. The good news is that you’ve done great with everything so far and we’ve even had success re-introducing dairy to your diet! You went from loving purees to hating them pretty quickly, so now you mainly eat small pieces of soft foods that you can pick up and feed to yourself. Among your favorites: nitrate free deli turkey, avocado (your favorite!), blue berries, cheese slices, banana, & little pieces of whole grain bread. You still love to nurse and we’re just going to keep going with that as long as you’d like!

Talking:

Everly: Uh, little lady, you pretty much say it all. Like full on complete thoughts, sentences, ideas. It’s incredible to be able to openly communicate with such a tiny individual. You tell us when you are happy, sad, and tired. You ask us if we are happy, sad or tired. You say things like “Look mama, I made something!” or “You got a booboo? You need to go see Dr. ‘Nan?” (your pediatrician’s name). You tell me about your days at preschool “Sadie Wren was sad. Sadie Wren’s mommy gone” “I play on slide!” and you come home singing songs like The Farmer in the Dell but change the words to things like “Arlo takes the cheese!” (Oh, it makes us laugh!) We are astounded by what you know and what you observe and how well you articulate your wants and needs to us.

Arlo: One day, out of the blue, you just decided you were going to start making real, serious vocal sounds. You went from baby goo goos to “da da” “bop bop” and “ma ma” now you say them all the time. You’re not quite old enough yet to really associate those words as our names, but you sure do love saying them.

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The Rundown: 6 Months & 22 Months

(This is terribly late and Everly is already 23 months old - but better late than never)

Stats: Ahhh! My peanut children!

Everly: you weigh 24 pounds and are still comfortably in 18 month clothing. Your little feet are finally creeping towards a size 5 shoe. I used to worry about how small you are, but you are eating well and are very active. There are tiny women on both sides of your family and it’s likely that you are going to be petitie too.

Arlo: you are 16 lbs, 4oz and are 26 inches long. You’re now in the 25% for your age. You’re weight gain has slowed down due to a small heart condition you have called Patent Ductus Arteriosis. It basically makes your heart work extra hard and keeps your metabolism really high. We are monitoring it every six weeks and it’s very likely you will need surgery to fix it early next year.

Teeth:

Everly: No new teeth for you  - you’re sporting a pretty good set right now and we’re just waiting for all of your two year molars to come in. 

Arlo: you have two little bunny teeth that are just as cute as they can be! You’ve started drooling a lot again so we’re thinking that maybe another one might be on the way soon.

Feeding:

Everly: You eat everything! You’re a serious little carnivore and have become a big fan of a steak, chicken legs, and ham. You’re favorite veggies are still broccoli and peas, although I can convince you to eat carrots or greenbeans if I put them in a stir-fry. You love all kinds of berries, cheese, and apples. You eat a lot of almonds and peanut butter. We’ve pretty much cut out all crackers for snacks as you like to fill up on them and then don’t want to eat your meals!

Arlo: We’re still nursing buddy! Woohoo - go us! It’s been really challenging considering I’ve had 2 overnight trips away from you for work and I’m away 8 hours everyday - but we went the full six months with nothing but breastmilk. Recently, you’ve gotten ravenously hungry since you’re growing so much and we gave you a bottle or two of soy formula to supplement you since I am nursing you constantly, pumping in between and we still barely have enough to cover each feeding. You reacted really badly to the formula and got really sick from it. It was so pitiful to see! I’m scared to try another kind of formula but it’s become really stressful to try to make enough milk to keep up with you. Even one formula bottle a day would really help out. We’re going to take it slow and try another brand in a week or so. We’ve also started you on solids! Your first solid was sweet potatoes at thanksgiving which you LOVED! You’ve also had avocados and green beans. We’re attempting to do Baby Led Weaning, and you really like to feed yourself. The challenge is that sometimes you act so hungry and frustrated that you can’t get the food in your mouth as easily as you want. So we’ve started to do a combination of both - you get a little pureed veggie or fruit with oatmeal for one meal and then a BLW meal for the next. That way, you’re getting a little something in your belly (and that cuts down on the amount of milk I have to pump for you each day) and you still get to try your hand at exploring food and learning tastes, textures, and feeding on your own schedule.

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The Rundown. 4 months & 20 Months

(Sorry my kids are in the same outfits for the past 4 posts - I took a lot of photos last Thursday!)

Stats:

Everly: 22lbs 8 ounces - you are such a peanut my dear! Your tiny little feet are in a size 4 but I’ve started buying all of your winter shoes in size 5 as I suspect they are finally growing.

Arlo: 15lbs 8 ounces - You are right on track sweet man! Sitting right at 50% on the growth chart except for that noggin which is in the 75% (big like your daddy’s!). You are already wearing some 6-9 month clothing too.

Teeth:

Everly: We took you to the dentist a few months back and you had a fit! You screamed the entire time and we had to hold you down for a minute so the Dr. could look in your mouth (sorry about that kiddo). Afterwards he said “She did great!” and we were like “She did?!?” and he assured us that almost every toddler reacts with such dramatics at having their teeth examined. Your 2 year molars are on their way in (1 is already through) and as usual, you are handling teething like a champ.

Arlo: Your little gums are swollen and we can feel the two little mounds where your first two bottom teeth are beginning to push through your gums. You are a drool monster and are constantly trying to chew your fingers off in an attempt to relieve your gums. So far, you’ve handled teething pretty well!

Feeding:

Everly: You recently decided you are much to grown to sit in your high chair anymore and insist on sitting in a booster seat at the dining table. You know how to use a spoon and fork (you call them both a “moon”) but you still like to dig in with your hands if the process of eating takes too long. You love all different kinds of foods although your favorites right now are Morningstar soy sausage patties, Trader Joe’s fish sticks, strawberries, green peas, and as always - macaroni and cheese.  We’ve had a harder time getting you to eat your green veggies lately, so we start off each morning with a big cup of “green juice” that has kale, spinach, and green algea mixed with lots of fruit juices.

Arlo: All breastmilk for you little buddy! I’ve been doing some research and have decided that we will not be introducing any kinds of solids until you are older than six months (maybe even 7 or 8 months, we’ll see how it goes). Since you already have a sensitivity to dairy (in my diet) and we have some indication that you might have some other allergies, we’re going the “virgin gut” route (read more here and here.)

Talking:

Everly: OH MY WORD! You are quite the little chatter box and are putting two and three word sentences together.  Just the other day, you hugged Arlo and buried your face in his shirt right where he had recently spitup then you said “Ewwww, Arlo dirty” and I could not stop laughing. You are starting to repeat a lot of words back to us and remember a lot of people’s names. When you wake up from your nap and are ready to get out, you like to say “OH NO!” in a very dramatic voice until someone comes to get you and when you and daddy are playing and being silly, you will wrap your arms around his neck and say “Oh daddy!” in the sweetest, most adoring way.

Arlo: You are starting to use your voice for entertainment. A lot of coos and repetitive sounds. You also like to talk to your play gym and your hands a lot.

Awesome Stuff you are doing:

Everly: You are incredibly affectionate and love to give us big hugs and kisses. I LOVE this stage in your development as you are becoming such a little girl. You have a serious love for playing dress up and have figured out how to put on larger pieces of clothing by yourself. Sometimes you will sneak off in my room and come out with one of my tank top on and your daddy’s hat. You also like to stand in my shoes and try to walk. You love to hide inside closets and will stand quietly in the dark in anticipation of one of us opening the door to find you - then you squeal with delight and take off running. You are CRAZY about books and love to point out all of the different people and things in the pictures. You are learning to count to 10 (you have 1-5 down but sometimes get the higher numbers mixed up) and you are getting pretty good at pointing to stuff that is yellow, red and blue. You also are starting to play pretend a lot- feeding and rocking your babies to sleep and playing guitar (with a pick even!) and singing into a microphone. Dancing is still your favorite thing ever and now you can put combinations of moves together when I call them out - like “Wave your hands in there, get down low, shake your booty, stomp your feet”.Oh! One last thing, you are starting to really indicate they you are ready to start potty training. You have started to tell us when you need to “boop boop” (you made that word up yourself!) and last week you took your diaper off, walked into the living room, climbed into a plastic bucket and said “pee pee” while peeing in the bucket! Next stop on the Everly train- big girl undies!


Arlo: You’ve been rolling over for some time now (your first time was at 6 weeks old, although you stopped for a bit after that) and you are such an inch worm that you can wiggle yourself clear across the floor in about 20 minutes time. Everyone comments on how strong you are. You can stand up for long periods of time with just a tiny bit of support under your arms and you have started pulling yourself up into a sitting position when I give you my hands for leverage. You have an insane grip and it sometimes takes serious effort to peel your little fingers off from around objects (or unwrap fistfuls of my hair from your fingers!). I was told to expect that a lot of your visually linked milestones could be delayed by 3-4 months, but you have hit every.single.one right on track (my heart BURSTS with pride over this Arlo!) You react to your reflection in a mirror, grab at toys that dangle from your play gym, and last week you discovered your feet and now hold on to them for dear life! You are already teaching me to never (for even a single second) underestimate you. You are quickly getting a reputation for being “the happiest baby ever” as you dole out huge (I mean gigantic!!) smiles left and right and let out bellowing belly chuckles that make everyone else laugh too. You laugh all the time, at everything and the joy your spread around is so infectious.

My darling children, you have changed the path of my life is the most wonderful way. Being your mother is the greatest thing I have ever known. To watch you grow and develop into two unique, individual little people is a daily gift. So often daddy and I will just stop what we are doing and say to one another “Aren’t they incredible? Can you believe WE made them?” I can’t imagine this awe ever wearing off.

Love,

Mama

The Rundown: Everly Veda at 16 months

We’re a day away from Everly turning 17 months old and I haven’t posted her bi-monthly update. With all this fuss over her new little brother, I wanted to take a minute today to talk about my first born.

Stats: Everly hasn’t put on any weight since she was a year old - the pediatrician assured us this is because she’s on the go so much and it’s true that all of that fantastic baby chub is quickly disappearing. She still 22 pounds and 30 1/2 inches tall.

Eating: Meal time is an experience in our home these days! Everly is all about feeding herself even if that means smearing her dinner in her hair and into her clothes. We just let her go at it and expect that a bath or a pack of wet wipes will be required afterwards. She loves using a spoon and fork but usually gives up her utensil halfway through and goes back to eating with her hands. She’s gone through phases of being picky and then eating everything. Often a food she loves one week (blueberries, broccoli, chicken) will get spit out and refused the next.  Her all time favorites include macaroni & cheese, green beans, spaghetti, blackberries, frozen organic yogurt tubes and any kind of cheese.

Talking: Our girl is a chatterbox! She loves to mimic our words and attempts to repeat a lot of what we say. Some new words in her vocabulary: duck (her favorite animal), (hair) bow, ball, Arlo, Yellow, Oh No!, and she’s learned the names of so many family members that I can go through photos and she’ll point out - nana, dotdot, papa, etc.  In the mornings when we wake up she’ll lay in bed between us and say “Mama (points to me) Daddy (points to Brent)” over and over - recently she started adding in “Larlo” and pointing to Arlo. That just tickled me to no end!

Other cool stuff she’s doing:

I know it’s been discussed on the blog and I’ve included videos to prove it - but Everly doesn’t just dance - she FEELS music. She adds in hand motions, hip sways, stops and starts and for the past two weeks she started doing this little clogging/tap dance foot shuffle too. As soon as she’s old enough, we’re definitely going to be putting her in a bunch of different dance classes to see what she enjoys most.

Everything is a drum. The glass doors, a table top, a tupperware container - she loves to pat out a beat on any surface that makes a sound.

NO!! Oh boy are we in the no stage. It’s how she answers 90% of the questions we ask. While she understands the “yes” and “no” head movements she has mastered yes verbally so everything gets a No right now.

( I know this bikini is kind of ridiculous and makes her look like a toddler flamenco dancer, but it was good for running around in the front yard and splashing in her pool)

Dovie is ALL girl. Hats, accessories, handbags, shoes - you name it, she’s into it. She loves to dress up, put a bag in the crook of her arm and walk around like she owns the place. She purses her lips and gets the biggest smile when I put a little burt’s bees chapstick on her lips. Brent made the mistake of letting her play with a blue metallic handbag in Target the other day and we narrowly averted a meltdown when we made her put it back on the rack. It’s no surprise considering two of her first words were “hat” and “shoes” but she comes by her love of dress up honestly!

We’ve finally mastered the nap! It took us forever, but Everly finally goes down for a nap on her own in her crib without a fuss. Brent used to have to lay down with her for an hour to get her to settle down and she never stayed asleep for longer than an hour without him going back in and doing the whole process again. With Arlo on the way, we knew this would not work for much longer. We eventually tried a modified cry-it-out method (similar to what we did with her bedtime routine) and it’s working great! We get a solid 2 hour nap out of her during the day now and she seems much more rested.

She likes to figure out how things work - She loves opening and closing the doors on our van with the remote. She knows how to unlock my phone and where the charger plugs into the side of the computer. She tries to put keys in locks and has almost figured out the two-step handles on our baby gates.

Everly is a handful in the best way possible. She’s busy-busy and on the go all the time. She isn’t a mellow toddler but instead keeps us on our toes with her curiosity, energy and silliness.

 

She has taken to big sisterhood like a champ and is incredibly doting on Arlo. We have to remind her often to be gentle as she wants to squish on him and prod him like he is one of her babydolls. She is always trying to get closer to him despite our best efforts to keep him out of arms reach. We have to watch her like a hawk. Twice this week when Arlo was in our arms, we’ve caught her doing a belly flop jump from our couch into the bassinet on the pack n play where he usually sleeps in our living room.

My baby girl has morphed into such an active, fun little person right in front of my eyes! With every month that passes, her baby-ness is being replaced with personality, understanding, and independence. It’s an incredible thing to watch!

Love,

M