A friend of mine is writing a daily blog about her family’s ordinary moments, the little details that make “them distinctly them” as she described it. I’ve decided to copy her idea and apply it to our life with Emma and Madeline, hopefully creating a journal of memories from our first year with each of them. I hope that this daily blog will help us consciously mark the passage of time, because I know these moments are going to speed by. I’ll also be trying to capture an image each day as well.
We celebrated your first birthday today with a small party. Your birthday is next weekend but we will be traveling to Hilton Head that afternoon, so thought it’d be hard to squeeze in a party on that day. I made you a birthday banner like I did for your sister’s first birthday, and hung it up by the back door. We also got a dog pinata to honor your love of dogs, but it was too cute to fill it up and destroy it in the name of fun so we spared it and used it as a decoration.
You were napping when the party began, but woke up about 30 minutes into the party. I got you up and dressed and brought you outside, and you were relaxed just watching everyone. There were several older girls in attendance so they were running around and you were taking it all in, processing and learning. In just a little while you will be running around with them.
We had lunch and then dessert of cupcakes. You had your first cupcake, a flavor aptly called ‘Birthday Cake’. We all sang and you weren’t sure what was happening, you just looked around at everyone looking at you. Then you stared at the cupcake, gently stuck a finger in the frosting, and tried it. You must have enjoyed it because you went back for more, mostly eating just the frosting but eventually breaking apart the cake and eating some of that too. You were very serious and focused on eating, and were unfazed by the dozens of pictures we were taking.
After we all ate you opened some presents – beautiful clothes and a fun toy – and then you had fun playing with water and chalk. Soon the party wrapped up and our family enjoyed playing and capturing some photos in the grass. It was a perfect, casual, low key party to celebrate you.
Every once in awhile I’ve been checking to see if you have any teeth. Your sister got her first tooth when she was six months and one week old, so I’ve been expecting your first tooth to make an appearance any day. I was checking almost daily when you turned six months old, but I haven’t been checking as frequently lately. I also thought that I’d likely feel the teeth when you nursed. Well, this morning I noticed a lot of drool on your chin and realized I hadn’t checked for teeth for awhile. I felt your lower gums and you have two new teeth just poking through! Wow! I’m not sure how long they’ve been there, though the doctor didn’t mention them Tuesday so I think they broke through in the last day or two.
You both had checkups today. Everything looked great for both of you.
Emma, you have somehow shot up in weight percentiles, as I know when you were a baby you were in single-digits just like your sister is. But today you are in the 24th percentile for weight (28.5 pounds) and 36th percentile for height (measuring 36.5 inches tall).
Madeline, you are a mere 4th percent for weight (13 pounds, 7 ounces), 20th percentile for height (25.5 inches tall), and a whopping 59th percentile for head circumference. The latter metric was validation for me, as you recently outgrew your sunhat and have been wearing your sister’s from last summer (when she was 2.5 years old!), and I had been thinking therefore that your head was pretty large compared to your sister’s at this age. The doctor said we can start introducing you to solids, so we’ll do that in the next few days.
You are three today, happy birthday Sweet Pea. I’ve taken to calling you that term of endearment, or honey, and you often respond strongly with, “I’m not honey! I’m Emma Sophia!”
You are intelligent and well-spoken, your teachers say you have a vocabulary far exceeding your peers. You are starting to recognize letters; you know about half of them. You’ve been able to spell your name for months, then you learned papa, nana, dada and mama. You love spelling out words on the computer. Your favorite activity right now is putting together a large alphabet puzzle. You got it for Christmas and even then nearly had it perfected. Over the last few weeks you’ve been needing less and less assistance, and last night you completed it for the first time on your own.
You’re a strong and active little girl. You’ve been taking gymnastics for many months and are one of the strongest, most coordinated in the class. Your teachers marvel at you, at how you are so tiny and petite, how you eat relatively little compared to your peers, yet they say that you are stronger than the others . They like to tell the story about how, during outside time, you will drive the tricycle that is attached to a wagon, and you often pull two or three kids behind you. They are amazed!
You are passionate about life. You have strong opinions and you’re fiercely independent. The statement ‘I can do it by myself!’ was the most uttered one of the past year .You fight and feel and cry hard, but you’re also quick to hug and love and forget. You’re very caring with your friends when they are sad or hurt, and you also try to comfort us if we’re upset, wrapping your arms around us in a big hug, and patting your little hands on our shoulders.
You are a little person now, as silly as that may sound. You have stories to tell, and feelings to express, and opinions you make very well known. You pick out your own clothes, and tell us how pretty you look. And you do. You are beautiful. You have such dark, soulful eyes with the longest eyelashes I have ever seen. Your brown hair has become quite long; it’s straight and getting thick. You are tall and still very slender. I continue to have a hard time finding pants the appropriate length yet small enough on your waist. You spent a lot of time pulling up your pants.
You are a big sister, a role you’re really starting to grow into. You bring the baby toys when she is fussy or grabbing at something she shouldn’t have. If she drops a toy, as she does frequently, you pick it up for her again and again. When she is upset you have learned to sing to help calm her, usually choosing the ABC song. You’re getting more and more interested in holding her and trying to make her laugh. As she is getting bigger and more engaged, you are really enjoying playing with her.
You love helping us and having a role in our day-to-day activities. You help to change Madeline’s diapers, feed Moguly, cook food and even do the laundry. I do believe your favorite chore is picking up the dog poop! You love to get your little shovel and help spot the poop and pick it up. I love that this is your favorite chore, as it is one I do not enjoy.
We celebrated your birthday with a party at your school. I asked you dozens of times what food you wanted us to bring for your party and every single time you said “chocolate milk”. So, we had chocolate milk! We also had ice cream with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, strawberries, and sprinkles. You LOVE sprinkles. We have a few containers of sprinkles at home and you like to get them out of the cupboard and study them and shake them. You ask to eat them and we always tell you that you cannot. So I knew you’d be excited to have them for your party.
You sat down and ate with all of your friends, and you wore a birthday crown. Then you handed out a balloon to everyone and had a dance party with your friends.
After the party we went out to dinner with Nana and Papa at Pasta Jay’s. After dinner the waitress brought you and Nana each a bowl of birthday cake-flavored ice cream. And thus you had your second desert.
Then we headed home and opened presents. After presents we had cake, your third dessert of the day.
I wondered if you’d ever sleep, but you feel right asleep. Happy birthday Sweet Pea!!
Madeline, you celebrated your six month birthday today without too much fanfare, though you did get to attend your first rodeo. You seemed mostly perplexed watching all the animals, but you were in a wonderful, happy mood. I am just in awe that you are six months as I feel like I’ve been really trying to consciously mark the passage of time, to enjoy and savor these fleeting moments while you are so tiny, and I’ve been home with you even longer than I was with your sister. For this reason I keep catching myself surprised when I register that you are six months; I really just can’t fathom it. But you indeed are getting bigger and older! You just finally outgrew the 0-3 month clothing and transitioned into 3-6 month, and your little sunhat no longer fits you. You’re adept at rolling front to back and back to front, though some days you don’t roll at all, while others you roll your way several feet. You’re starting to sit up unassisted for several seconds at a time, and have just recently started enjoying spending time in your Boppy chair (this is great for you to sit in and join us at mealtime!) and in the Exercauser.
We also took you for your first walk in a standard stroller (one where you sit upright on your own rather than lying in your carseat). You are a happy, engaged baby. You are very strong, often latching onto my hair or earrings and I have a hard time breaking your grasp. You’re also becoming very vocal, you love to chat with us and have just recently added ‘da-’ sounds to your repertoire. You’re such a wonderful addition to our family; we’ve loved having you with us these past six months!
Emma: Today we took you to your first rodeo. You were moderately excited about it, though I’m not sure you fully comprehended what exactly a rodeo was ahead of time. You have a Cowboy Mickey book that we’ve read over and over, so I kept referencing that in the lead-up to today’s main attraction: the rodeo! I got you all dressed in your John Deere shirt from your grandparents and your pink cowboy boots, I donned my own cowboy boots, and even tried on your sisters but they were too big. Anyway, after appropriately dressing for the big day we headed out. When we arrived we ducked into the arena to see what was going on and it was a perfect event for you – sheep herding. It was fascinating to watch the dogs do their work, and fun to watch the sheep react. We watched for almost thirty minutes, and I was able to feed your sister and you enjoyed a snack while we watched. Always trying to stay ahead of you and boredom, I suggested we move on before you were officially over it. Well, that and your sister was done eating and was over it, and was making this fact known with loud babbling that was approaching crying. I wasn’t sure if our sounds could hinder the dog’s ability to herd, or the sheep’s ability to respond, but didn’t want to find out…
So we made our exit and worked our way to the kid’s area. There was a petting zoo and we quickly got in line for it. I was really curious to see how you’d react and if you’d be tentative. The petting zoo contained quite a lot of animals and included pigs, goats, a cow, a chicken, and llamas. You weren’t hesitant at all! You pet the animals and even brushed some. You picked up straw off the floor and tried to feed it to them, prompting a nice gentleman to hand you some of the feed. You were in there for probably thirty minutes and I wondered if we’d be able to get you out of there. But, with the promise of a pony ride we were able to exit without issue.
We headed to the pony ride line, and it was quite the line. I was afraid you wouldn’t have the patience for it, and suggested Madeline and I could stand in line while your dad and you went exploring. But your dad said that they’d wait with us and if you started getting antsy then he’d walk around with you. But you were simply fascinated watching the horses, and you made it the entire time, patiently waiting your turn. I was really impressed. We told you the names of all of the horses and you wanted the one named Cowboy. I tried to prepare you for disappointment as the likelihood of you getting Cowboy wasn’t great (1 in 7 to be exact). When it was finally your turn for a ride you were the last one of the group, and therefore didn’t get to choose your horse. I stayed and took pictures, and didn’t pay any attention to which one you got on. Afterward your dad informed me that you got Cowboy! You were what I can only describe as ecstatic the entire ride, wearing a huge grin the whole time. I really am worried that someday soon you may request a horse. Afterward we were talking about the ride on the horse, and you told me, “Mom, it’s called a pony!”.
After the ride we got lunch and needed to leave as it was already past nap time. You were devastated to have to leave. You wanted to go back to the petting zoo, and you kept asking what animals we were going to see next. I felt sad that we had to leave when you loved it so much, but was so glad we got to go and that you really enjoyed it. We’ll go next year!
Today was your baptism and since we all slept in a bit a crazy morning ensued. We were running around trying to get ourselves ready as well as you and your sister. You’ve both had a cold and so we had you lying on the floor in the bathroom while your dad took a shower so that you’d be in the steam from the hot shower. After he got out you were happily playing on the floor on your back. So we left you there, with the door open so we could keep an eye on you, while we continued to get ready in the bedroom.
You’ve been so close to rolling over from back to front for the past couple of weeks, getting closer each day. You pull your knees to your chest then roll to your side, and reach out to your side, usually to grab something. You teeter on edge, seemingly about to go over, but haven’t yet quite figured out how to overcome the hurdle of your other arm. I’ve thought you were so close these last few days that I keep videotaping you, hopeful to get the first rollover on camera.
Well, this morning in the midst of getting ready, your dad peeked into the bathroom to check on you and nonchalantly proclaimed that you’d rolled over and you were on your belly! You were happily lying there, just looking around. I couldn’t believe we’d missed the first rollover! But we had to quickly move on from that big milestone to get ready for your other (scheduled) big milestone of the day – your baptism.
We had your baptism at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Breckenridge, the same church your father and I were married in over 11 years ago.
We were so lucky to have the entire Kandt family here for the occasion.
You wore the baptismal gown that your sister wore and which was also worn by your cousins Liam and Kyle, your Uncle Kyle, and your Papa.
You were so cute and happy as we got you ready for the service in the basement where I got ready for our wedding. It was so special to be there again for this occasion. We took our seats at the front of the church and you were very content to just watch the pastor, listen to the service and music, and play with your purple teething ring (which went flying a couple of times but didn’t cause any disruption).
When the time came for the baptism the entire family went up to the front of the church. Your dad held you for the beginning portion, and you happily looked on. Then the pastor held you and baptized you with water, and you made a few sounds but didn’t cry. Then he carried you up and down the aisle to introduce you to the congregation and you were just so cute. Uncle Brett said it was like you were putting on a show. You were so happy and just took it all in. At one point you did your common action of looking up to see who is holding you, and you studied the pastor’s face for several seconds before deciding he was an ok person to be holding you and turning your attention back to the congregation. You were just perfect.