Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: highlights

As the year is ending, and I'm stuck in a car all day, I thought it prudent to try to remember the best of 2012.

*Ryan was inducted into the Alpha Chi honors society for his graduate work. This required purchase of a suit, fancy.

*We found out in April that I was expecting another little birdie.

*Ryan and I went on a brief, but lovely, trip to Ireland. Wherein I was able to show Ryan all of my favorite places. And I got to revisit the pieces of my heart that will forever remain in that land.

*Ryan started working at our church, The Village Chapel. This has brought some incredible folks closer into our lives as well as given valuable experience for Ryan's future career.

*We moved into a new rental house with room for our growing family, a yard, and a study cottage.

*Liam started "school" at a Mothers Day Out program. He has thrived and learned so much.

*Purchasing a new Trooper, even though nothing will ever fill the "Rooney" shaped hole in our hearts.

*Briefly attending my 10 year high school reunion, with Liam in tow.

*Becoming members of the Nashville Zoo, hours of fun for everyone.

*I attended the Starbucks Global Leadership Convention in Houston. It was an incredible week of learning and inspiration. I am truly blessed to work for such an amazing company.

*Ryan played (and won, again) in the alumni rugby game at JBU homecoming. He also got to play some rugby with our oldest nephew, Telan.

*Ryan applied for more graduate work at Queens University Belfast, and was accepted! We may go, or we may not. Either way, this is amazing!

*Kirsten came out from San Francisco for Thanksgiving, after her missing last year we were so excited to have her in Nashville to celebrate with us again.

*The birth of precious baby Jude. Even though he was premature and required emergency delivery, he was healthy and we were both safe. So incredibly thankful.

We can't wait to see what 2013 will bring and where the Lord will take us!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Jude: 1 Month

Dear baby Jude,

You are sharing your one month birthday with the day that we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus! You are having a great first Christmas and we cannot believe that you are already one month old! For your first Christmas you received: wool booties, two rattle toys, The Hungry Caterpillar, a lovie, new pacis, and mommy's milk.

I think we have a pretty good routine down. You have been eating every 3-4 hours. You nurse for about 15-20 minutes and you take a 4oz bottle of pumped milk twice a day! That's a lot of milk, good job eating, buddy!

You are a good sleeper, and we are very thankful! You have had a few fussy nights with a gassy tummy, but overall you go back to sleep really quickly when you wake to eat at night. You have started having more awake time during the day, we love to see those big blue (for now) eyes open!

Since you gained weight so well after leaving the hospital, we won't know your official weight until we go to the pediatrician for your two month check up. But, according to our home scale, you weigh 8 pounds, 2 ounces! I am amazed at how quickly you are growing! You are fitting into newborn sized clothing and diapers really well.

You are such a love bug, baby Jude. Your daddy and I love to snuggle with you! Your big brother, Liam, is becoming more interested in you and often"pets" your head. I can't wait to see your relationship develop, I pray that you two will always be best friends and partners in crime. You have made our family even more full of love in one short month, I'm so thankful that we were blessed with you!

Love you forever, and ever,

Monday, December 24, 2012

An Irish Christmas Blessing

Last night, Ryan and I had the privilege of attending "Joy: an Irish Christmas" by the Gettys at the Nashville symphony. The Gettys, if you don't know, are modern day hymn writers who happen to hail from my beloved Northern Ireland. They are incredibly talented musicians with beautiful hearts for the Lord, it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Also, if you've known me for more than five minutes, you know that anything Irish makes me weep. When the Gettys lead worship at church I usually just sit there and cry! Last night was no exception, with two blows of the bag pipes, I was crying before they even started singing! Silly girl.

It was so nice to go out on a date with my husby. I haven't been able to go to church, since Jude is too little to be out in public, so I haven't really felt like it was truly Christmas. Until, last night! Now I'm definitely in the spirit!

They closed the night with this blessing that they wrote specifically for Christmas:

Now may the fragrance of His peace
Soar through your heart like the dove released
Hide in His wings oh, weary distant soak
He'll guide your spirit home

And may His love poured on from high
Flow to the depths of your deepest sigh
Oh come and drink from the only living stream
And on His shoulder lean

And may the hope that will not deceive
Trough every pain bring eternal ease
There is no night that can steal the promises
His coming brings to us

So may His joy rush over you
Delight in the path He has called you to
May all your steps walk in Heaven's endless light
Beyond this Christmas night

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Homecoming, baby Jude!

We were thrilled to bring Jude home on Wednesday evening, after 10 days in the NICU!

We had a great first night home! Jude is already on a good schedule from being in the NICU. He eats every three hours and goes back to sleep easily, for now.

Yesterday morning, we got to introduce the Hawk brothers to one another. Liam was very friendly and kept saying, "Hey baby!" We had a really nice day yesterday full of loving on both of our babies. I'm so thankful to all be under one roof and to get to hold our tiny one whenever we want!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Liam lately

Baby brother (who is doing great) has swooped in and stolen all of Liam's blog thunder! I've been meaning to write a little update on things he has been doing, I miss his monthly updates!

Mr. Personality has been so funny lately! He loves to laugh and is such a silly little boy. His favorite toys are random non-toy objects, like boxes, empty tums containers, and Tupperware.

In the past few months he has been really affectionate. When we pick him up from school or the church nursery he runs and tackles us for hugs. He also climbs into our laps and will lay his head down and say, "ohhhh." It's precious. We've also experienced a bit of separation anxiety lately.

Liam is saying a lot of new phrases and pretty much carries on a constant conversation anytime he is awake. The new favorite thing he says is, "oh no." He says it in a very concerned voice and about things like dropping his milk or being asked if he needs a diaper change. It's hilarious. He is also obsessed with giving "high fives." He will yell, "FIVE" and then claps and says, "YAY!" afterwards. I love it.

He has been sleeping in his big boy bed at night for about a month. He is still really proud of his bed and runs to it saying , "nigh night!" when it's bedtime. We still haven't successfully gotten him to take a nap in anything but his pack & play, if someone wants to come train him to do that, I would appreciate it.

We get so much joy from raising this little boy. And we are so excited to watch him become a big brother!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One week!

It is so hard to believe that this little love bug is already one week old!

Jude has had a great day! Thank you for your continues prayers, they are working! We've had no new apnea spells, so we are still shooting to come home on Thursday! He was also moved to the "step-down" NICU where they send the babies that are getting closer to coming home.

We've been able to love on him lots the past couple of days and we are so thankful for every little snuggle, kiddo is already wrapped around our hearts.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Quick update/Prayer Request

Hi friends! I just wanted to update you on Jude and ask for some prayers.

Jude is doing really great. Today they took him off of oxygen completely and removed his IV altogether.

Unfortunately, he had another apnea (stopped breathing) spell last night. So, we are back to waiting for him to go five days without a spell in order to go home.

Please pray with us that he doesn't have any more spells so that he can go home next Thursday. We really want our sweet boy home. He loves to snuggle and we want to give him all the snuggles he wants!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 30, 2012

Been there, done that, but a completely different T-shirt

We have had so many friends and family praying for us and we are so thankful!  This is our second stay in the NICU with a preemie and the circumstances are completely different so I thought I would explain a few things in case anyone has wondered...  

First of all, size really doesn't matter much, it's all about development.  Yes, Jude weighs almost a pound and a half more than Liam did, but his lungs aren't as developed.  This is because the lungs are the last thing to develop and the development can come at different times for each baby.  The doctors have said that a lot of times the bigger premature babies have a harder time with their lungs because they've been growing in size and waiting on the last few weeks for that lung maturation.  So, if Jude had not been a preemie, he most likely wouldn't have been huge, just more developed.  Another thing that develops last is the swallowing and sucking reflexes.  While the baby is growing they use the placenta for all of their nutrients, in the last few weeks they start practicing swallowing and sucking.  Clearly, Jude has only just now started learning how to do those things.  

This whole experience, has been really interesting to us.  We are used to a tiny preemie.  Liam really had none of the same issues that Jude has had.  Liam was small and took a long time to gain weight, he also was jaundiced and that's what kept us in the NICU so long, he was never intubated and only had oxygen for a day or so, he also ate like a champ from the moment he was introduced to breast/bottle.  Jude's weight is great, he's only lost an ounce and he isn't jaundiced at all.  But he struggles with eating and breathing, even though he had two more weeks of development that Liam.  Just goes to show you that every child (person) is truly different and you can't compare them.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers!  I am healing well and trying to rest and not worry about cleaning and getting things ready for Jude to come home.  My mom is here helping with Liam bird.  We are driving back and forth to the hospital a few times a day (which is still really difficult for me to get into the car and to drive over bumps and stuff) and just waiting for Jude to do everything they want him to do so that he can come home!  We are so in love with this little boy and can't wait for him and his big brother to meet!  

One more thing, we have no idea when he will come home and most likely won't know until the doctor signs the discharge papers.  This was something that drove us crazy with Liam because they would tell us what they were thinking and then things would change.  So, this time, we are trying to just relax because it's not in our hands.  Jude has a list of things that he has to do and if he has a setback then he has to stay longer, so we will keep everyone posted as to what we know!

Update on Jude

I figured I should probably do an update on Jude for everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012
After Jude was born, he was intubated to help him breathe.  They thought that he would quickly transition to the regular nursery, but he needed a bit more help so they kept him in the NICU.

Monday, November 26, 2012
I wasn't allowed to go to the NICU until I had my pain pump, catheter, and IVs removed so it was the afternoon before I even saw him for the second time.  He did really well, they took out the tube Monday morning and had him on a low flow of oxygen through a nasal canula.  They hadn't tried to feed him anything, intending to start on Tuesday.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012
We got to hold our sweet boy this day!  It's so hard to get to look at your baby and want to squeeze and snuggle on them but not get to because they are hooked up to a lot of cords!  He has a catheter threaded into his umbilical cord instead of an IV, this is also where they get blood for his labs so that they don't have to routinely stick him. They swaddled him up for us and actually let me try to nurse.  He wasn't interested in feeding at all even from a bottle, he just wanted to snuggle.  They took him off of oxygen altogether and gave him a few bottles in the afternoon that he took after a lot of struggle form the nurses.  Later in the evening, I got a call from the nurse that he had an apnea spell where he basically forgot/stopped breathing.  These aren't considered a huge deal because sometimes babies are just tired from the events of the day (like eating for the first time, or a really big poop), but it is a setback in bringing him home.  The nurse said that they got his sats up fine and weren't worried about him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This was not my favorite day.  I went to visit in the NICU around 5am and was told that Jude had been doing really well.  They had him on the lowest percentage of oxygen and were pleased with all of his labs and everything.  Then, when we went back in the early afternoon, we found out that he had had three more apnea spells in the morning and was on higher oxygen and they were going to be feeding him through a feeding tube while on the oxygen.  This really sucked, I already knew that I would be discharged from the hospital without being able to bring Jude home.  But the rule for apneas is that they have to go five full days without one before they can go home.  Not good.  Everyone reassured us that he was fine, it was just taking him a while to get the hang of things.  Breathing is hard work, especially when your lungs aren't cooked all the way through.

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Jude had a really great day!  The doctor was pleased with his labs and his oxygen saturations and wanted to get him off of the umbilical catheter so that we could love on him some more.  They also scheduled an appointment with the speech pathologist to recommend a good nipple for his mouth and to make sure he didn't have any issues that would impede his feedings.  They started an IV and removed the catheter because he tolerated the IV well.  They also gave him two bottles in the afternoon that he scarfed down!  At his 8pm feeding, Ryan was able to hold him and give him his bottle.  He didn't drink very well because he was so tired and they wound up giving it to him through the tube later, but this is normal since he had a huge day!

Friday, November 30, 2012
We are getting ready to go see our little lamb.  I'm going to attempt to nurse him again.  The doctors haven't rounded yet, but Jude had a great night and has taken his bottles really quickly (it's important that preemies eat in a small window of time because otherwise they burn more calories than they take in).  They are going to work on getting him onto a low-flow nasal canula today and off of the 2 liter oxygen tank!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Baby Story: Jude Monroe

Disclaimer: there will be words used in this post that are associated with birthing babies...if that freaks you out, don't read.  :)  This will also probably run quite long...

Friday, November 23, 2012
After cooking and stuffing myself full of good food all day Thursday, I got up early to open the store Friday morning.  On my drive in to work I noticed that I was having a bit of cramping and some contractions.  This was my "roll-over day" so I was officially 35 weeks pregnant.  Throughout the morning, I kept having contractions that were a little painful.  I knew they were more than Braxton Hicks, but they weren't really regular and seeing as how I was standing on my feet doing fast paced work I figured they would ease up once I got home.

After work I rested on the couch with my sweet Liam bird.  At some point when I went to the restroom, I noticed that I was spotting a bit.  This is exactly how things started progressing with Liam's premature arrival, so I started to pay attention and record the contractions I was having.  Over the course of a few hours I was having contractions every 8-12 minutes.  Kirsten, who had been staying with us, had gone to spend the night with some other friends and we had plans to meet up for lunch on Saturday.  I decided that I would call the doctor Saturday and see what they wanted me to do if I was still having contractions after sleeping all night.

Saturday, November 24, 2012
When I woke up Saturday morning, I still wasn't feeling right.  I was still having frequent contractions along with spotting.  So, I started cleaning and doing laundry!  Around 10:00am, I called my OB office and the on-call doctor said that I should go into the hospital to be checked and monitored for a little while.  So, we met up with Kirsten for an early lunch and then went to the hospital while she took Liam home for his nap.

Once we arrived at the hospital, they checked me into OB triage and got Jude and I all hooked up on monitors.  I was relieved to see and hear that his heart rate was doing great with the contractions that I was having.  We discovered that I was actually having contractions every 3-4 minutes but since I wasn't in active labor they didn't really hurt and I didn't notice a lot of them.  It took 2 nurses and 1 doctor to check my cervix (not exactly a walk in the park), I was dilated a "fingertip."  After about 30 minutes on the monitors, Jude did have a drop in his heart rate after I had a really strong contraction.  This resulted in earning us a "23 hour observation" stay in the hospital.

At this point, I was a little frustrated.  We had company in town and had planned to decorate for Christmas and go look at Christmas lights with Liam for the first time.  I really thought that these contractions were the result of me over-doing it for the past few days.  So, we assumed that resting, fluids, and some anti-contraction drugs would do the trick.

Sunday, November 25, 2012
The medication I was given to slow/stop my contractions seemed to be working pretty well during the night.  I was still having contractions, but they hadn't developed into active labor and I wasn't in any pain.  So, Dr. Heideman (the on-call & amazing dr) decided to let me go home.  We talked about bed rest and continuing to take the medication.  I was supposed to follow up with my OB on Tuesday.

After leaving the hospital around 1pm, we had to go to target to get my prescription filled.  While walking around there (why is the pharmacy always closed for lunch when we are there?) I started having some pretty painful contractions.  I thought it was just because I was getting close to needing my next dose of medication.  We got home and I laid on the couch for a while and took my medicine.  The contractions lessened for about an hour and I was able to rest, then they were back with a vengeance.  I was in so much pain that I was vomiting and couldn't walk or talk during the contractions, they seemed like they were right on top of each other.  So, I called the doctor back and she told me I needed to come back to the hospital.

We checked back into the hospital a little before 7:00pm and they immediately put me on the monitors. I was having back to back contractions, but Jude was doing really well.  They checked my cervix (in one try!) and I was dilated to a 4.  This sent everyone into hyper-drive, they started immediately checking me in for a c-section and getting IVs started and getting the doctor called back to the hospital. They were concerned at the speed that I was progressing and they reacted accordingly (I was told later that the bottom portion of my uterus was so thin that I almost definitely would have hemorrhaged if I had continued progressing).  I was so impressed with the calm approach everyone had.  They had me checked in, prepped, anesthetized, and ready for a c-section in a little more than an hour.  We were calm and ready to see our baby boy!

And, at 8:44pm Jude Monroe was brought into the world!  At birth, he weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.  He was pretty quite upon birth and started grunting a lot which is a sign of lung distress so he was immediately taken to the NICU and wound up being intubated for a few hours to clear his lungs.  We are so happy to have baby Jude here and are hoping to not have a long stay in the NICU.

Thanksgiving Recap:

Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday!  You have food, family, and fellowship without the pressure of gift giving: perfection!

Seven years ago, our "sister/daughter/friend" came to visit us in Nashville for Thanksgiving and our holiday traditions began!  Kirsten moved to San Francisco and was unable to come to Thanksgiving last year, and we were all committed to making sure she could be here for this years' festivities.

I love to do the cooking, I learned the art of Thanksgiving cooking at the right hand of my older sister.  So, although we don't spend the holiday with my family, we eat roughly the same foods!  In recent years, we have moved to a gluten free diet so this year was the first year without "cheating" I made everything gluten free!

Our menu this year: (and I should mention that this was for 3 adults, you just can't scrimp when it comes to Thanksgiving!)
Butter/herb roasted turkey breast & gravy
Lemon/thyme mashed potatoes
Maple/thyme roasted acorn squash
GF cornbread Italian sausage dressing
Sweet potato spoon bread
Lemon pepper green beans
Cranberry salad
GF rolls
GF pumpkin pie

My favorite thing that we do, besides eat, is watching all of the Thanksgiving "Friends" episodes.  We usually start them out while we are cooking in the morning and then continue watching them after the meal.  Every year, we forget just how hilarious they all show ever.

Everything was so so yummy, and we are so thankful that we got to spend the holiday with one of our most favorite friends.  Especially with the events that were about to occur...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pregnancy Update!

How far along: 34 weeks! I'm officially the most pregnant I've ever been, hooray! From this point on, it's like this is the first time.

Size of baby: 19 inches/6 pounds/large cantaloupe (Jude is measuring an average of 3 weeks ahead, so these estimates are probably on the small side).

Weight gained/lost: up 12 pounds

Maternity clothes: yes, my belly is getting very large

Gender: boy, double checked at last ultrasound!

Movement: kid is a mover...all the time wiggling and poking and kicking.

Symptoms: heartburn, aches, fatigue

Sleep: meh, not so hot. I've still been coughing a lot which a) keeps me up and b) causes vomiting when combined with heartburn and laying down. So, yes, I'm as tired as I look.

Food cravings/aversions: I think I'm the weirdest pregnant woman ever. I'm just not a craver. I've eaten the same thing for dinner the past three nights because it's what we have leftover. I'm trying to eat healthy and spread lots of healthy snacks throughout the day since large meals make heartburn worse.

What I'm looking forward to: maternity leave! Mine is scheduled to start in exactly one month! I'd also like to make it to that point. :) We are getting very excited to have a new little buddy to love on!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

30 weeks?!

How far along: 30 weeks! I cannot believe how quickly it's gone by! And, how little we have done to prepare! :)
Size of baby: 18 inches/3pounds, 2 ounces/head of lettuce
Weight gained/lost: 10ish gained. I've been really sick and lost at least 2 so I'm not sure.
Maternity clothes: yes! Moving into long sleeves. So glad for cooler weather.
Gender: BOY!
Movement: tornado Jude is rocking and a rolling. And punching and kicking. :)
Symptoms: no more migraines thanks to my chiropractor! Starting to get a bit achey. Heart burn. Leg cramps.
Sleep: I have croup so sleep has been awful, but not Jude's fault.
Food cravings/aversions: none. I haven't had much appetite lately. Been living off of soup and baked potatoes.
What I'm looking forward to: getting our room organized for Jude to join us and transitioning Liam to a big boy bed.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Dear Liam bird,

Happy 2nd Birthday, little man!  We are so so so happy that you were born into our family and cannot begin to imagine the last two years without your precious presence.  We are so thankful for you, my love!  I still cannot believe two entire years have gone by since you were born!  It seems like just the other day, it's all so fresh in our minds!  

This month you have continued in your development into a full-fledged little boy!  You are such a busy little mess, and I love watching how quickly you can run around the yard and house, it's pretty remarkable!  You love to be "on the go" and continually bring us your shoes and ask to go outside!  You love to play with rocks and show us trees and flowers when we are outside.  We make a point to spend some time outside with you everyday, even when it's rainy.  

That's right, you are talking so much lately!  Honestly, most of it is still only distinguishable by mommy and daddy.  But, the point is, you are communicating!  Yay!  You say lots of words and have started stringing together 4-5 word sentences.  Your most frequent phrases are, "go outside," and "want to get down." You've also started to mimic us, which is hilarious.  You will count every now and then and seem to know 1-10, but it's not consistent.   

You are an eating and sleeping machine, as usual!  You and I went on a trip to Arkansas a few weeks ago and shared a room, you were such a good sleeper!  You even asked me to "go nigh, nigh please" one night, such a little sleep lover.  You are still sleeping in your crib, but will hopefully be transitioned out of that in the next month.  

This has definitely been the month of the temper tantrum.  We are slowly navigating the waters of figuring out the best way to discipline your strong-willed little mind and heart.  You are an angel 95% of the time, and screaming/head butting the other 5%.  I guess that's not too bad to deal with!  We are trying to teach you patience, by emulating it in how we parent you.  I have a feeling we will all be learning patience together for the next 16-18 years! 

Darling boy, I hope you never wonder, forget, or question our love for you.  Because, the truth is, your daddy and I are crazy about you!  We think everything you do is the cutest or smartest or sweetest thing that's ever been done.  You are so precious to us and we are truly so very glad that God blessed us with the raising of you.  We don't your hugs or snuggles but, by golly, we sure to revel in them.  I am so excited to get to watch you grow up and can't wait to see what you'll do next!

Love you forever, and ever,

for laughs...this is what most of my pictures look like!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pregnancy Update!

How far along: 27 weeks, hello 3rd trimester!
Size of baby: 15 inches/2 pounds, 2 ounces/cucumber
Weight gained/lost: plus 8
Maternity clothes: yup! I've had to buy all new pants, I guess I'm just smaller than I was with Liam.
Gender: boy!
Movement: "tornado Jude" is constantly kicking, punching, wiggling, and dancing. Seriously, he moves so much I feel seasick sometimes!
Symptoms: achy,tired, and constantly needing to pee...but nothing I can't handle! So thankful to be carrying this little wild man.
Sleep: have to use a pillow between knees for comfort and getting up a lot in the night for potty breaks. I've also had several instances of insomnia that are quickly cured if I get up and eat a snack, I just don't remember this trick until I've been tossing and turning for an hour or so.
Food cravings/aversions: not really any of either.
What I'm looking forward to: getting my glucose test and rhogam shot over with at my next appointment!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary! I cannot believe how quickly the past six years have gone by, or how richly blessed we have been in this short timeframe.

I can't tell you how happy I am to live life, raise a family, and dream dreams with my sweet husby. He never ceases to love, cherish, and take care of me.

And, I'll tell you what, we didn't do anything special for our anniversary. The starter went out in my car, so we spent the majority of the day trying to line out a game plan for getting that fixed. Ryan wrote me a sweet poem, I made him pizza, we watched "Chopped" on the couch with our ice cream, and I went to bed at 8. That's our life and I wouldn't have it any other way, honestly.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Greek Festival!

Yesterday was such a gorgeous "fall-like" day that we had to get outside! I came home from work, took a quick power nap, and we headed off for the Greek Festival at our local Greek Orthodox church.

(Liam enjoyed some raisins while mom and dad scarfed down dolmodes and tiropita)

This was our first time attending the festival and it was pretty interesting. Lots of "Opa!," loud music, yummy Greek food, and people out soaking in the weather.

I was able to get a brief lecture on the structure and decor of the temple from my church history loving husby. He is so smart. And cute.

We didn't stay long, but we all enjoyed ourselves! Such fun! Next time I will take more pictures, it was just so crowded I couldn't capture the essence!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 1, 2012

23 Months Old!

Dear Liam Davy,

I'm in denial that this is the last month before you turn two years old! You are turning into such a big boy, emphasis on the boy!

I think you've had a pretty big growth spurt this month, I'm excited to find out how tall you are when we go to the doctor next month! You seem to be slimming up a bit, and your legs go on for days!

You've started your first organized socialization (MDO) and seem to be loving it! We are so thankful to have a place for you to play with other kids your age and learn about Jesus!

Not much has changed on the eating or sleeping front, you still greatly enjoy both! You tried Pad Thai for the first time yesterday and devoured it, I hope you always eat so well!

This month, your vocabulary has exploded! You are saying more than 40 words, and made me the proudest mommy in all the land by saying "razorback" tonight! We love to hear your sweet voice saying new words. You've also recently learned the tune to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" which you love to sing with us.

You are obsessed with playing outside, shoes, disciplining Gus, and dancing. You can throw a very good fit, and are stronger than me so your temper tantrums have turned into my cardio workout. We are working on your patience and listening skills!

Love, even when you're in the throws of a vicious meltdown, we couldn't possibly love you more. You are such a joy and a lesson to us. I love it that you can teach me all about my own faults and shortcomings while I try to teach you about life. It's a give and take, buddy. Thanks for being such a sweet teacher.

Love you forever, and ever,